mortgage insuranceMost people, when they buy a home or property, are able to do so by taking out a mortgage loan. If you put less than 20% of the cost of your property down, you’re required to have Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI protects lenders if the borrower defaults on their loan. PMI is charged annually, and it will typically cost 0.5% to 1% of the entire loan amount. The payments are generally paid each month rather than in a large one-time payment. Because many people are unable to raise the 20% cost of their property, then a Private Mortgage Insurance fees is one thing they can’t escape. If you plan on taking out a mortgage loan, and you don’t have 20% to put down, expect to add private mortgage insurance payments to your other monthly bills.

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4When you live in a rental property, most maintenance is performed by the landlord or the property manager. When you become a homeowner, those maintenance costs fall upon you. When you purchase a home, all maintenance items should be considered when it comes to your overall budget. Will you want to replace all the appliances? Will the property need new windows or a new roof? Does the home need basic upgrades? Most people in the industry suggest you allocate 1% of your home’s worth for maintenance costs every year, but the reality is that 1% is likely the minimum – you should plan on more than 1% maintenance costs each year as a homeowner, and if you plan on any larger renovations, bet on the costs to be even higher. However, there are certain maintenances that you can carry out on your own. Some of these maintenances include cleaning the gutters, changing furnace filters and trimming the lawn. For more complex maintenance you will have to hire an expert service provider.

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Young couple looking at their home expenses

You’ve just moved in to your new home and you are now a proud home owner, but the question is, have you taken property taxes in to consideration? When you rent, you are not responsible for the property taxes on the property. But when you become a homeowner, you’re expected to pay yearly property taxes, of which go to public works, wages for government workers or public school boards. Based on the current value of your home, property taxes are assessed every year and will likely change to reflect an increase (or decrease) in your home’s value. Property taxes can be paid at one time, or they can be divided into 12 payments over the course of a year and added to your mortgage payment. When you’re trying to determine what your mortgage payment will be each month, don’t forget to factor in property taxes.

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If you’ve never owned your own property before, there are some costs you should prepare yourself for ahead of time. Should you take out a mortgage, you’ll have your monthly mortgage payment, but often there are additional costs and fees added that a new homeowner will not expect. Let’s just say these additional expenses come like a package with your home ownership. Being aware of these costs matters most when it comes to buying your first home. Often, prospective buyers come prepared with their budget but midway, they are caught unaware. This may result in postponing the purchase plan which indeed can be disheartening.

In the course of next month, I am going to outline some of these additional costs you should expect to pay once you become a homeowner.

bachelor-cap-gownReal estate agents are well educated in buying and selling of homes or any other real estate property. With this knowledge, agents can give you the best advice to help you make the right decisions during the buying or selling process. Using their education, experience and exposure in the real estate market, they can guide you and explain to you how things like market conditions and similar home sells can affect your decisions. Hiring an agent will save you time during your home buying or selling process and allow you to focus on selecting your dream home while you handle other aspects of your day to day life. The agent will do all the necessary research for you and analyze all available options in the market so that you only look at specific homes that meet your criteria instead having to go through every home on the market.
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man-buried-in-paperworkUnless you’re working with a brand new agent, most agents know the ins and outs of all the documents and paperwork required for a home sale or purchase because they’ve been through a number of transactions. From finding the comps of your market and drafting a purchase agreement, to contacting any other agents and the title company, a real estate agent will be able to provide help in the forms of knowledge, time and resources during the real estate transaction process. Agents also know the important parts of an offer or contract, especially when it comes to line items that could cost a lot in the end or things that are negotiable. Having an agent that knows the process, the paperwork and the documentation is a valuable asset when it comes to making one of the biggest decisions of your life. A real estate agent will inspect every document that you will be asked to sign to ascertain that they are authentic and also take the time to explain them thoroughly to ensure that you understand what you are doing. Therefore, hiring an agent can save you a lot of time and distress from all the paperwork so that you only focus on your new home and your other daily activities.
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If you’re searching for a home or property to buy, having an agent is no additional cost. An agent’s commission is paid by the seller, but most buyers don’t realize this and entertain the idea of going without a Realtor during their home search. If a seller pays the commission, there is no loss to a buyer to take full advantage of all the services a real estate agent offers. It’s also important to understand that even if you choose to go it alone when buying a home, you do not receive the commission a buyer’s agent would. Commission rates are negotiated before the final sale and are included in the contract, meaning if you don’t use a buyer’s agent, the entire commission is paid to the listing agent.

So don’t go it alone when buying or selling your home, call me or contact me on Facebook.

The real estate transaction process requires a number of professionals and services. From a lender, home inspector, contractors and handymen for repairs, lawyers, and a number of other professionals and tradesmen, knowing the right people is beyond important when you want to have a smooth and successful transaction. Real estate agents are in the business, and their experience has provided them with a number of respectable and dependable contacts and referrals than you’ll find asking friends and family. A ready agent will come prepared with connections and people they are willing to refer because they’ve worked with them in the past and they know their track record. When you choose to work without an agent, you sacrifice the networking that naturally comes with being a real estate agent. An agent is able to network with other agents in their area to find you the perfect home that fits your criteria and select the best deal for you.Connection

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Realtor with family in new home

Buying a home is an intimidating experience – you’re making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. As a buyer, you want to ensure stress and emotions don’t get the better of you, especially when it comes to making important decisions. Since this is one of the most important financial decisions that you have to make in your life, hiring a person with experience in this area is very beneficial and can give you peace of mind. Real estate agents know what buyers and sellers go through – they’ve been there, as it’s more than likely they too have made a real estate purchase of their own. While they have personal experience, they also have an experienced rational eye when it comes to the business portion of a real estate transaction. They possess clear judgment, and agents are a seller and buyer’s biggest advocate for a successful negotiation. They know exactly how the process should go and using their experience in the market they can advise you so that you make the right decision in choosing your dream home. Real estate agents have the experience, knowledge and acumen to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Their knowledge of sales and marketing of properties can save you time and money.

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A golden access key. 3D rendering with raytraced textures and HDRI lighting.

Real estate agents have a number of access points that a regular buyer or seller doesn’t. They have access to listings before they are put in the MLS, and they have access to the homes! Many sellers are only willing to grant access to agents, which mean that most buyers going it alone can only access homes during open houses. An agent working for the seller is only going to provide information with the seller’s best interest at heart, so when you go it alone you might be only getting partial information from any questions you may have. Working with an agent will help provide private access to homes, and an agent will be able to get more information from the seller’s agent. Your agent can schedule an appointment with the seller’s agent to arrange entry and a time for you to see the home yourself. By doing so, you will be able to see more homes at the time which is convenient for you giving you the chance to make a more informed decision.
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