August 29 2019

7 Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home with Plants

by racheal

House plants

There are many benefits to having indoor plants.  Plants can boost your mood, productivity, concentration, and creativity. They also can reduce stress, fatigue, and the common cold. Plants can clean indoor air by absorbing toxins increasing humidity and producing oxygen. Your indoor plants are also great for bringing in color and life to your living space. The best part of adding greenery to your home is that it’s an affordable way to decorate. If you’re looking to liven up your humble abode, we’ve created the perfect list of simple ways to decorate with the use of plants.

 

Place your plants on display with shelving

 

Place your prized leafy babies on display with simple shelving that is sure to catch the eye. Use a simple bookcase that you already have or install a few floating shelves on the walls.

 

Take advantage of your window seal

 

One of the most common places to put a plant in your home is the ledge of a window. There’s typically an ample amount of sunlight and a great way to view your new addition. 

 

Consider using potted paper plants

 

For those who don’t quite have that green thumb, paper plants are the perfect alternatives! No water needed. You can either purchase your paper plants online or make it a DIY project! Your guests will never know the difference.

 

Spice it up with some fun pots and planters

 

Make decorating with your plants less drab with fun pots that match your décor! Choose a few cool pots and planters with funky designs that will accentuate your gorgeous greenery. Another option is to pick up a few terracotta pots, grab some paint and have at it to give your pots a personal touch. Or get creative and try placing a few plans in a couple of soup cans. Of course, you might want to eat the soup first. 

 

Hang your plants in style!

 

For an extra touch of flair, consider using a macramé hanging plant holder. These can be purchased or made by hand. This is a great option to include greenery in a small space. Install a few hooks in your ceiling and hang away! You can also place your hanging plants in your entryways, patio and balcony areas. 

 

Fill in those empty spaces

 

Adding a simple plant or two or three is a great solution for those empty spaces in your home that you just can’t seem to fill. Throw in a nice Yucca plant or a Fiddle leaf fig or scale down a few sizes and place a few Ferns, Succulents, or Air Plants in your space.

 

Use a rolling cart

 

If you don’t already have one, grab a bar cart from your local thrift store or Target or Walmart and fill it with all of your favorite small house plants. The awesome part about this is that it’s on wheels. You can easily move your plants from room to room if you ever change your mind about their position in the home.

 

 

No matter how you decide to decorate your home, make sure to put your special touch on it and be creative. Choose plants and pottery that reflect your personality and style.

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July 24 2019

Five Tips for Upgrading Your Home When You’re on a Budget

by racheal

kitchen with island

We all fantasize about upgrading our home - but, the thought of overspending almost always turns our dream into a nightmare. According to today’s home improvement shows, the only way around spending a small fortune on DIY home upgrades is to dedicate a minimum of 40 hours a week to DIY projects. Most of us have been scared into thinking that we simply don’t have the time or the money to take on meaningful home improvement projects. However, there are many easy ways to upgrade your home when you’re on a budget! The following five tips will help you turn your house into your dream home and save money and time while doing it.

 

Add a tile backsplash to your bathroom or kitchen.  

 

A tile backsplash makes for a gorgeous statement piece - but they’re expensive and require professional installation, right? Nope! Thanks to products like Smart Tile, you can add a professional-looking tile backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom in minutes. Smart Tiles are adhesive sheets that come in many colors and designs and feature an adhesive backing that allows you to quickly install a jaw-dropping tile backsplash without any experience or expertise. 

 

Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover.

 

Cabinets define the look and feel of a kitchen, so a simple cabinet makeover will completely transform your kitchen and make it look brand new. Instead of replacing your cabinets, here are a few cheap and easy cabinet upgrades to give your kitchen a custom look:

 

• Add task lighting or up-lighting with light strips

• Add etched glass door inserts

• Replace the old hardware with modern (or vintage) pulls and handles

• Install crown molding to the top of the cabinets

• Remove the cabinet doors completely

• Apply a fresh coat of paint

 

Apply fresh caulk in the bathroom.

 

Facing old, deteriorating caulk in a bathroom is a terrible experience for homeowners everywhere. Over time, your floor begins to look grimy, as the once-white caulk becomes brown and flakes away to leave space for mold and mildew. Thankfully, it is cheap and simple to apply a fresh layer of caulk in order to refresh the look of your bathroom.  

 

3D Wall Panels

Add texture to your walls with 3D peel-and-stick wall panels. 

 

Instead of hanging a painting, use adhesive 3D wall panels to add a unique statement to any wall. The trendy panels come in various designs and will breathe life into any room. Plus, the simple peel-and-stick design allows you to apply them or remove them in a single afternoon without damaging your walls.

 

Renew worn-out floors with paint. 

 

An easy way to bring personality back into a room is to paint your wood and vinyl floors. Use your favorite paint colors to create a large checkered pattern or keep it simple with a single color that will balance out your walls - either way, using floor paint is a great way to refresh dull floorboards and impress guests.

 

Your home holds a great deal of value in your life - aside from an investment, your home acts as a sanctuary for you and your loved ones to live, love, laugh, cry, and grow. With the significance of your home as both an asset and as the place you and your family lay your heads, it is important that you continuously make upgrades to your house. Many people believe that money is what stands in the way of upgrading to their dream home, however, there are numerous ways to renovate your home on a budget. So, if you want to make some serious home renovations, but don’t want to spend a fortune, use this list of the best ways to upgrade your home on a budget.

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May 17 2019

You Just Purchased your First Home. Now What?

by racheal

red door with lock

So, you’ve just gained the title of “homeowner” and the stress and anxiety of the home buying processes are finally over with. Now, what do you do? Don’t think that the work is done once you sign the dotted line. There are a few steps you should make after the home buying process that will make your life a little easier. We’ve got 10 helpful tips below to help you along the way.

 

Change the locks

 

Many people don’t think about taking this step when purchasing a home. With all of the open houses, realtors, and past homeowners trafficking through the home, you never know who may possess an extra set of keys or even the garage door opener. The cost to change the locks is minimal compared to both your peace of mind and the possibility of a break-in. When changing your locks, be sure to replace the hardware as well.

 

It’s also best to wait until the day after closing to schedule a locksmith to come out to make this change. You never know how closing can go. Sometimes it can drag on for a few more days than expected and you want to make sure that the entire deal is finalized before changing your locks.

 

Set up your utilities

 

This is probably everyone’s least favorite part about having their own living space when it’s apartment living or being a homeowner. It’s time to set up those utilities and pay deposits.

 

Say hello to your new neighbors

 

A bowl of jello or a plate of fresh-baked cookies is not required for this step. We’re not living in the ’60s, but it’s still nice to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. It’s great to form a relationship with the people you live next to. You’ll see them on a daily basis leaving and coming in and in most cases, it’s a great way to look out for one another’s homes when you’re away or form a carpool when the kids go to school.

 

Put your mortgage documents in a safe place

 

All of your documents may already be saved somewhere in the cloud or right in your email and that’s great! We may be in a new age with technology, but it’s always a good idea to make hard copies of your official mortgage documents and place them in a safe place for future reference. If for some reason, you cannot access your documents on a computer, you’ll always have a backup copy in hand.

 

Give your home a good deep clean

 

 

The best time to give your house a deep clean is when it’s completely empty. You won’t be able to see every spot, stain, or spider web with your house fully furnished. Take the time out to steam clean the carpets, buff the floors, wash windows, and deep clean in and around your appliances before your home becomes lived in with the day to day wear and tear. If you prefer to do it yourself, that’s great and you’ll save a few dollars, but there’s also nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get the job done and save some time.

 

Purchase a home warranty

 

A home warranty is a service contract that will repair or replace things around your home like a broken dishwasher. A warranty on your home may have come with the purchase of your home, but be sure to read the fine print. If you find that you may need extra security with another warranty, take the steps to do so.

 

Set aside an emergency fund

 

It may not sound very appealing to start yet another savings fund after shelling out the last of your savings on your new home, but this is a very important part of homeownership. Now that you’re a homeowner, there is no longer a maintenance man to fix the garbage disposal and there’s no leasing office to complain to. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and has a few dollars stashed away for emergency purposes only.

 

Create a maintenance plan

 

The same way you have a maintenance plan for yourself when it comes to routine salon visits, dental appointments, and doctor visits, you should also have a maintenance plan for your home. Keeping a plan in place will prevent future problems around the house like the A/C going out in the summer or a pipe bursting in the middle of the night potentially flooding your brand new floors. Keep important numbers handy for your homes maintenance repairs.  Keep track of how long your warranties are for your major appliances and schedule “checkups” routinely to ensure everything is in good shape. 

 

We hope you find these tips helpful as you get settled into your new residence. 

 

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April 19 2019

5 Useful Tips for Buying a New Home in Spring

by racheal

As the weather is beginning to warm up, so are those home sales. There’s nothing worse than attempting to purchase your first home without prior knowledge of what steps to take. Grab your wishlist and use these five tips to help you prepare to buy your new home this spring.

 

1. Get rid of your debt and clean up your credit 

 

The number one thing you need to do in preparation for purchasing your first home is to clear up your debt. You’ll find it much easier to save money toward your new home as you pay down your debt. You’ll also find that you’ll have better buying options with less debt and a better credit rating.

 

2. Make a wishlist that’s realistic

 

You probably have a list already made up of all the must-have features and amenities that you just can’t live without in your new house.  The gourmet kitchen and spa-like bathroom you’ve seen on television may not exactly come in your budget or be in the neighborhood you’ve got your eyes set on. Make sure to do your research on both what you can afford and what the areas you’d like to live in have to offer. Think about revising your wishlist and compromising in some areas. The home you select may not come with granite countertops or hardwood floors, but you can make it a DIY project and save a few dollars along the way.

 

Man in blue shirt holding a key

3. Hire a licensed real estate agent

 

Whether it’s your first time around searching for a home, or you are in need of an upgrade for your growing family, hiring a licensed real estate agent is always your best bet.  Do your research and find the best realtor for your needs. They are more equipped than you will be when it comes to tackling the hard stuff during the buying process.

 

It is also a plus to hire an agent that is a neighborhood specialist. When you have an idea of the specific area that you would like to move to, an agent that specializes there is truly beneficial when choosing the perfect home for you and your family. 

 

4. Get preapproved by a local lender

 

To ensure that you have a smooth loan process, make it a point to get preapproved by a local lender. Avoid applying for loans with online lenders or lenders outside of your local area. Offers that are received from a local lender will most likely get preference when purchasing a new home. This will also help in having a timely closing and smooth process. Local lenders have a better reputation for closing on time. They will also ensure that they give you the best service because they want you to refer their business to others within the local community.

 

5. Don’t hold off too long on making a bid

 

Making a bid on your first home can be a difficult decision. If you come across the perfect home during your search, try not to hesitate too long to make an offer. Your dream home may not be available for long. Home prices typically begin to rise during the warmer months, so there would be little chance of the home you want decreasing in price.

 

As you take the steps to prepare to buy your first home, take these tips into consideration and always do your research as well as seek professional help to ensure that you’re making the best decisions for your investment.  

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January 18 2019

4 Major Mistakes to avoid when buying home

by Erin

woman with keys in hand

Without doing your research, it may seem like the only major step in the home buying process is to find the home of your dreams.  There is so much more to the journey of becoming a new homeowner and it can be easy to make a few mistakes along the way.  Here are 4 major mistakes to avoid when purchasing your first home.  

 

1. Emptying your savings 

You’ve worked hard for your money and worked even harder to save every dime for the ultimate goal of one day purchasing a new home.  Where would your finances be if every penny went into your new home purchase and you were forced to begin the process of saving all over again?

 

Be sure to save enough money to cover both the expected and unexpected costs of buying your first home.  This will include your down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and cost of possible repairs. Don’t rush the process of buying a home if you are not ready financially.  Take your time to become financially prepared and save as much as you can. This is a lifetime investment.  You should be able to have a little breathing room when it’s all said and done.  Who wants to eat Top Ramen in their brand new gourmet kitchen?

 

2. Not taking advantage of first-time home buyer programs

First time home buyer programs can provide you with so much knowledge prior to going through the home buying process.  It is very beneficial to spearhead the process head first with as much knowledge as possible. Make sure to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that you are fully equipped to proceed in the home buying process and take advantage of the free recourses that are available to you.

 

3. Thinking a home inspection is not needed

Some buyers want to save a few dollars by not having an official home inspection completed prior to purchasing which in turn puts them in a position where they are actually spending much more than they initially expected. 

Real estate agents see this type of thing happening more often than not.  In today’s climate, many home buyers are more interested in closing in on a home before someone else does.

Avoid falling through a rabbit hole of ongoing repairs because you were blindsided by a nice paint job.  Be sure to include the price of a professional home inspector into your home buying budget so that there are no surprises or hiccups on your journey to becoming a homeowner.  Think about it.  You’ll have to get an inspector either way, so why not start off right. 

 

4. Making decisions based on your emotions

 

House hunting can be a very joyous experience. You can easily fall in love with that claw foot bathtub in the master bathroom or the stainless steel appliances in the gourmet kitchen.  Leading with your emotions rather than common sense and your budget in mind can place you in a difficult position when making wise decisions.  The home may seem perfect at first glance, but there may be underlying issues that may come up down the line that you may not be prepared for. When making decisions based on how you feel rather than what you know, you may find yourself trying to make your budget fit the house rather than the house fit the budget.   You can put yourself in a bind when spending more money than you can actually afford.  Try your best not to allow your emotion to guide these important decisions. 

 

All and all, be mindful of each step you take during your home buying journey.  Be prepared and gain the knowledge it takes to make smart moves when closing the deal on the home of your dreams. 

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January 4 2019

2019 Home Décor Trends: 5 ways to revamp your home design this year

by Erin

white kitchen with backsplash

As you begin to set your goals for the New Year to refresh your way of living, don’t forget to include your living space on that list as well.  It’s common to make changes with your physical activity, eating habits, and finances, but leave your living space in the exact same state it has always been. Giving your home a slight makeover can provide you with a better outlook on life and assist you with accomplishing those goals even more so.  Think of it like buying new workout clothes to motivate you to exercise more.  Switching up the Feng shui in your home can give you that same energy.  So, here are a few home décor trends to implement as you step into the New Year.

 

Change out that headboard with a Canopy 

Enhance the room you spend the most time in by adding a four-post canopy to your bed.  Begin and end your day in a picturesque oasis with only the slightest of change in décor.

 

Add a backsplash that pops

A bold backsplash speaks volumes in a kitchen that may lack a little flair. Add personality to a minimalist kitchen with touches of color and texture that peek through behind the cabinetry. 

 

Keep the white space and add a touch of color

All white spaces are still in, but the new addition to this trend in 2019 is including hints of color throughout the space using the 90/10 rule.  Take a blank canvas of a once 90% white room and add in 10% of color in the form of décor, pieces of furniture, or even an accent wall creating vibrant vocal points. 

 

Put down the paintbrush and add wallpaper

Pull in both color and texture to the walls in your home with the addition of agate wallpaper.  Agate wallpaper consists of an organic textural pattern that is sure to add depth to any room design.

 

Bring concrete inside the home

This year, concrete will make appearances beyond the driveway and inside of the home in a major way.  You can create a more industrial modern look with large forms of concrete in the form of flooring, walls, bathtubs, and sinks.  If you’re looking to add smaller touches of texture, add concrete pieces in the form of planters, shelves, and even candle holders that still make a statement.

 

Whatever trends you decide to revamp within 2019, be sure that they reflect your own personal style.  Leave a touch of personality in your living space and allow it to inspire you to proceed through the year ready to accomplish all of your goals.  

 

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December 28 2018

What to look for when buying a new home

by Erin

keys for new home on table

Purchasing a home can be viewed as a large part of the American dream for some.  You can easily find yourself thinking about the day you sign your name on the dotted line and receive your keys in hand.  It’s exciting to think of what color you will paint each room and all of the DIY projects to tackle. Who can forget the must-have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances? These are all so exciting and definitely a part of the process, but what are you really supposed to be looking for when buying your first home?

 

Ensuring that your new home is just right is so much more than what you may have pinned on your Pinterest board. Some tend to ask the right questions at the wrong time which can lead to trouble down the line, so here are a few questions you should be asking yourself when narrowing down the perfect home for you and your family.

 

What is the surrounding area like?

 

A beautiful home with all the right features may seem picture perfect, but if it’s located in the wrong area it can lead to issues down the line.  Consider factors like nearby bodies of water that may cause damage after a natural disaster or a local bar that might bring unwanted noise and riff-raff to your area when night falls.  Be sure your home is not located within proximity of a busy street or a train track that may become an issue when you’re trying to catch up on your sleep. 

 

Is there enough lighting?

 

A home can be staged to look as if the lighting is just right during your first viewing, but when you decide to add some plant life you may find that your greenery may become a little less lifeless in certain rooms. Make sure that you check to see which direction the home is located.  The direction of the home can either leave you with a dark, cold, drab home or rooms that are overexposed to the sunlight and can overheat in the warmer months.  Decide what it is that you desire when it comes to natural light and temperature for your new home and make sure that is what you look for during your home search.

 

Is the home structurally sound?

 

No one wants what seems to be an immaculate home to end up actually having a leaky roof or a cracked foundation.  Take the time to look past the outer appearance that may seem to be put together and have the home inspected by a professional to ensure that you aren’t purchasing a lemon of a house.  By enlisting the help of a professional home inspector, you’ll have the opportunity to learn if there is a need for a roof replacement, or if there are foundation issues, poor tiling, mold, and even water damage.

 

Is the home properly ventilated? 

 

Proper ventilation can be a second thought, but a very necessary factor when selecting your new residence.  If your prospective home is improperly ventilated, it allows for extra moisture to remain which in turn can cause mold as well as an increase in allergies.  Look for signs as you complete your walk through like bubbled or peeling paint around windows, doors, or vents, which will indicate that there is moisture in the walls and ceiling.  Taking these precautions will be very helpful when deciding on whether or not to purchase a particular home.

 

Take the time to investigate and look past the typical home staging tactics to uncover any issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.  Inquire and do your research along with enlisting the help of a professional.  All in all, ensure that you are not approaching the walkthrough of your next home as if you’re sightseeing; only appreciating its charming features.  Make sure you ask all of the right questions to get your dime’s worth of the “American dream.”

 

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December 21 2018

5 Budget Friendly Home Staging Tips to Boost Home Sales

by Erin

master bedroom

Every detail counts when it comes to selling your home. It always helps to be intentional about making your home appealing to potential home buyers. Of course, it always benefits your pockets even more when you can save a few dollars while doing so. Here are 5 budget friendly home staging tips to help boost the sale of your home.

Ensure your home consists of unisex décor throughout

You never who may show up at your door when it’s time for your first open house. Your home should appeal to buyers of both sexes. A home plastered in bubblegum pink might not appeal to everyone that walks through the door. Take the time out to remove certain features that come off as too gender-specific. Paint your walls a neutral color and choose décor and accessories that not only match but complement the design scheme as a whole. Allow potential homebuyers to use their imagination as they walk through the home so that they can see themselves decorating to their liking.

Update your outdated fireplace

The fireplace can be one of those features of your home that can easily be overlooked but can also be a top feature for those looking to buy. At first thought, updating your fireplace may sound time consuming and maybe even expensive, but don’t fret! It’s not as bad as you think. Take the time to remove the fireplace screen and wipe it down really well. After that, grab some soap and water and give the fireplace a much needed scrub. You can spruce up the bricks by grabbing a stone color enhancer to polish them and give them a little shine. Lastly, pick up a can of heat-resistant spray paint in a color that compliments your décor and go to town on the screen you wiped down. A quick coat of paint makes all of the difference. Before you know it, you won’t even recognize your old fireplace and it’ll be a hot selling point.

Update your appliances without the expense

Stainless steel appliances are on almost everyone’s checklist when on the search for a new home. Take your outdated appliances to the next level while on the budget. Don’t worry about purchasing a new dishwasher just for looks. Remove the front panels and clean them. Then pop on a stainless steel stick-on covering after cutting it to size. There you go. Good as new for about 20 bucks!



Make your space a blank canvas and get rid of the clutter

It makes it much more difficult to imagine how you will be living in a space when it is filled with clutter. It can add frustration to the decision making process if buyers cannot see the space entirely. Before showing your home, take the time to declutter and pack up any unnecessary items and even furniture that is taking up space.  The goal is to allow the potential home buyer to see themselves living in your home. Pack up your family photos and put away any keepsakes or memorabilia. Transform any areas of the rooms that heavily themed into more neutral spaces. You want to provide the home buyer with a blank canvas.

Do not neglect the outer appearance

The outside of your home is the very first thing buyers see either online or in person. You want to make sure that you’re offering curb appeal when placing your home up for sale. Plant a few flowers near the entrance way to give a more welcoming and homey feel. Make sure the yard is groomed at all times. No one wants to look at a home with an unkempt yard laced with weeds. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and replace doorknobs and doorbells for a more updated look.
 
With these simple tips, you’re sure to score a sale without breaking the bank.

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July 26 2018

Becoming Mentally Prepared for Your First Home Purchase

by Kelley

Becoming Mentally Prepared for Your First Home Purchase

Now that you have a better understanding of Becoming Financially Prepared for Your First Home Purchase, it’s time to become mentally prepared because there is far more that goes into curating your dream home than money. The home itself may seem like the perfect option for you and your family but there are several other factors that need to be considered in order to make sure you’re making the right decision.

 

Create a Wish List

 

Having the money without knowing what you want in a home is pointless so it’s important to really think about what you want short term and long term. What type of home do you want? Can you see yourself in a condo, townhome, single-family home, new construction, or custom home? Considering the type of home first is very important because depending on your choice, you may be limited on options for the remainder of your wish list. Another important thing to consider is what you want to get out of your neighborhood. Some homebuyers prefer master-planned communities that come with a community designed specifically for the residents which includes amenities and other convenient perks. If you have children or are planning to have children in the future that will attend public school, making sure you’re in the right school district may also be a priority. After you’ve checked off all the tough decisions, have a little fun and make of list of design features you want in your home. Keep in mind that when searching you may not be able to accommodate everything on your wish list so figure out what you can’t live without in order to create a more realistic list.

 

Where Do You Want to Live and For How Long?

 

Buying a home can be a great long term investment but unless you’re flipping a resell home for a quick turnaround, it’s best to own the home until you start seeing substantial equity which can take time. This means either finding an area that you want to live in long term or being prepared to find renters to occupy your home so the cost does not solely fall on you. If you plan to stay in the area long term, do some research before choosing a neighborhood by attending community events or visiting restaurants and shops in the area. This will give you a feel for the locals and the tempo of the location. Also, consider commuting options if you have to travel for work. Considering the traffic if you have to take freeways, distance from the airport or lack of public transportation may be deal breakers so explore the options before making an offer.

 

Window Shop the Market

 

One of the best ways to understand the current real estate market is to understand what is out there. Browsing listings for sale in the area you want to move can help determine what you want in a home and it could give you some insight on where to get the best bang for your buck.  Take it a step further and tour open houses. The peak season for most areas is during the spring and summer months so finding multiple open houses near your area should be a breeze.

 

Find the Right Team

 

Once you’ve determined what you want in your home find a team of professional experts that can help guide you to locking down your perfect home. The home buying process can be overwhelming but finding the right real estate agent will make the experience much more enjoyable. In addition to a realtor, you’ll need a mortgage professional and depending on what type of home you want you’ll need to find a builder. Often times finding the right builder provides you with everything you need for a one-stop shop so be transparent with what you need. Ask and you shall receive!

 

Be Patient

 

Buying a home is extremely rewarding but it takes time. Be patient, trust the process and enjoy the journey to home!

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July 20 2018

Becoming Financially Prepared for Your First Home Purchase

by Kelley

How to Become Financially Prepared to Buy a Home

The home buying process is not for the faint of heart so before you press go, being financially prepared is a must. For first time buyers without proper instruction, the steps leading up to a home purchase can seem daunting and overwhelming so here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re financially ready to purchase your first home.

 

Is Your Credit in Good Shape?

 

Having good credit is one of the most important factors when buying home. Your credit score helps to determine whether you’ll qualify for a home loan and the terms of that loan including your interest rate. It’s important to ask yourself this question first because building good credit takes time so if there are issues on your credit report it’s time to start fixing them now to ensure your score will be ready when you are.

 

Are You Financially Prepared to Apply for a Loan?

 

Being financially prepared to apply for a home loan has multiple parts.

There is the matter of being financially ready to payback a home loan which requires evaluating your debt to determine your DTI (Debt to Income Ratio). Your DTI will tell lenders if you can easily afford to make payments every month depending on how much income is remaining after you have made payments on your current debt.

Next, you’ll need to determine how much you can put aside for a down payment and closing cost. The amount of your down payment has the potential to affect your interest rate and may require you to pay for PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) until you’ve paid for a certain percentage of the home. Closing cost vary on a case by case basis so it’s best to have an extra amount saved and consult with a realtor for a more detailed estimate on how much you should be planning for.

 

Are You Financially Secure to Maintain Your Home?

 

Renters are used to paying rent, renter’s insurance and utilities but there’s much more to homeownership than paying the mortgage and home insurance. Again, depending on how much you present for your down payment, you may be required to pay for PMI each month in addition to the mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, and cost of any maintenance your home may require. The days of calling the property manager or owner to fix and replace things are over because the home is completely your responsibility. New homes come with a warranty that often cover problems that arise within the warranty period but as a homeowner, it’s best to financially plan to cover unplanned home expenses by maintaining a designated savings account.

In addition to unexpected home expenses, it’s a smart move to plan for unexpected life events. Securing an emergency fund with at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses can be the difference maker in staying afloat in the event of job loss, illness, or other unplanned circumstances.

 

As you can see, being financially prepared to buy a home takes time but with proper research, planning and discipline, you’ll be financially ready for your new home purchase in no time. Next week, look for Part 2 on Becoming Mentally Prepared for Your First Home Purchase.

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