Kate DeSimone's Blog
When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, you’ll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.
The Expense Of Closing Costs
Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, you’ll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a seller’s market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much you’ll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that you’ll incur during the process of buying a home.
The Cost Of Maintaining A House
Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you’ll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house.
The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home
You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more.
Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny
If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If you’re not paying attention during the home inspection, you’ll be in for some surprises. That’s why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.
When it comes time to attend a home showing, it helps to be prepared. That way, you can check out a house from top to bottom and confirm that this house fits your needs.
Ultimately, there are several important steps that a homebuyer should take before attending a home showing, and these are:
1. Review the Home Listing
Reading a home listing often serves as a first opportunity to evaluate a house and determine whether it could be your dream residence. As such, you'll want to review the listing closely to verify your interest in a house.
Oftentimes, reading a home listing a few times is a good idea. This will enable you to analyze all aspects of the listing and ensure it is worth your time to visit a house in-person.
2. Create a Home Showing Checklist
Although a home listing likely provides lots of information about a house, there may be plenty of unanswered questions that you have about a residence. Fortunately, a home showing gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive insights into a house that you won't be able to receive elsewhere. And if you craft a home showing checklist in advance, you'll be ready to get the information that you need to fully assess a residence.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to evaluating a house. If you make a list of questions before a home showing, you'll be able to receive responses that can help you make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer on a house.
Don't forget to include different areas of a home in your home showing checklist, either. In most cases, you'll want to evaluate a house's roof, attic and other areas to determine whether costly, time-intensive repairs may be needed in the near future.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Preparing for a home showing may prove to be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is attending a showing for the first time. If you consult with a real estate agent, however, you can get the help that you need to prepare for any home showing, at any time.
A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who understands the ins and outs of evaluating a residence. He or she can provide expert home showing preparation recommendations and serve as a guide throughout the showing itself.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to help you at each stage of the homebuying journey. If you have questions before or after a home showing, a real estate agent is ready to answer them. And if you want to submit an offer following a showing, this housing market professional can help you submit a competitive proposal at your convenience.
Don't wait to kick off your search for the perfect home. Instead, follow the aforementioned steps, and you can prepare for a home showing and move closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
Let’s face it- we are dealing with some serious logistical and economic burdens due to the Coronavirus. Every business is going to feel a hit from this.
When it comes to the real estate industry, we are also feeling the hit. Understandably, sellers don’t want to open their homes to outsiders who could possibly be carrying the virus. Buyers who have been saving money for a down payment might need to dip into those funds if they lose pay due to shutdowns. Realtors, like other small business owners need develop a plan. This has me thinking, how is the best way for a Realtor to service his or her Clients when working from home or quarantined?
If you are planning on listing your home in the next few weeks or months, there is work we can do amidst this pandemic! One of the first and most important steps in selling your home is to get a custom market analysis. I have traditionally preferred to visit a property in person, but that is not always necessary in the beginning. After gathering notes about your home (in person or by phone) I can research recent sales of houses with similar size, location and style. I will then analyze how the data compares and ride by the comparable houses to verify the conditions. This analysis can be very time consuming but is done mostly from my computer and my car, without human-to-human contact.
Unless we get quarantined, I’m comfortable coming to your home if you are open to visitors but I’m confident we can make progress by me analyzing your home remotely. Once this Covid-19 crisis has passed, we can fine-tune the numbers, do any final preparations at your property and hit the “Spring Market”!
If you’re buying a fixer upper, whether you plan to live on the property or flip it, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to consider. So you can budget appropriately, below, many of the costs and fees are laid to so that you can see what you’ll need to budget for when rehabilitating a home.
The Overall Costs
The costs that you’ll incur in buying and finishing a home that needs to be rehabilitated are as follows:
- The team needed for rehabilitation
- The purchase price of the property
- The cost of owning the property
- The cost of selling the property (if you plan on flipping the home)
The people that you put together to rehab your home will be very important to the entire rehabilitation process. You should take the time to research each person that you’re hiring to be sure that they are a good fit for the job.
Professionals who will be involved in the process include:
- Insurance agent
- Home inspector
You can ask your realtor or other trusted contacts for recommendations. Putting a team in place helps to make the entire, sometimes cumbersome process of house rehabilitation a bit smoother.
Buying The Property
These costs are pretty standard as if you were buying any other home. You’ll need to pay closing costs, attorneys fees, realtor fees, and more. Costs typically included in a home purchase are:
- Purchase price
- Closing costs
You should budget for all of these typical home buying costs when buying a rehab home.
The Costs Of Home Rehabilitation
This is where things get expensive. You’ll need to first pay a contractor just to consult with them to see how they will create your vision for the property. You could also take another route an consult with a home inspector who has experience in construction. They can give you an idea of what the construction expense will be and what needs to be addressed.
When you do get to meet with contractors, you’ll want to understand their construction experience and feel comfortable that they can produce the work that you need at a high level of quality.
Owning A Home
Once you have the home in need of rehabilitation in your possession, you’ll need to pay the typical costs of any homeowner. These include:
- Mortgage payments
Even if you’re not currently occupying the home, once the property is purchased, all of these costs will need to be covered and considered.
If you decide to flip the property and sell it, you’ll need to consider additional costs including realtor’s fees and other closing costs.
When it comes to buying things for the home, the air conditioning unit is not the most intriguing. But it is one of the essential components. Choosing the right A/C unit may be the difference between utmost comfort and sizzling heat. Determining the right type of air conditioning unit and how to measure for it will help you find the ideal one for your home.
Types of Air Conditioners
Before you buy an A/C unit, you need to know which type is right for your home. Air conditioning units come in varied sizes, shapes, and prices. Below are four types to consider when shopping around.
• Central Units: This kind of A/C pumps cooled air from a split unit into an entire home via duct work. Although it is expensive, it is more energy efficient. If your home already has duct heating, this is an excellent choice for you.
• Window Units: A window unit sits on a window sill and pumps cool air inside a room and forces warm air outside. They are great for keeping single rooms cool, but in a larger home you may need several to keep the temperature comfortable.
• Through-the-Wall or Mini-Split Units: These systems attach to an exterior wall with the compressor and condenser portions of the unit on the outside and the controls and airflow on the inside. These come in various shapes and sizes. Some are meant for installation below a window while other designs allow for overhead placement.
• Portable Units: This type is ideal if you have limited space and want to move from room to room with ease. If you are conscious about home decor, portable units are very sleek-looking. Some portable units utilize a hose to eject hot air outside a window while others simply recirculate the air within the room.
Things to Consider When Choosing an A/C Unit
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of system, choosing the right A/C unit is not difficult. Below are the items to check when selecting the perfect A/C unit for your home.
• Capacity: When it comes to choosing the right A/C, it is vital to pick the correct size. Picking the right size does not mean the physical size of the A/C unit but for the output of your home. Generally, air conditioner sizes measure by BTUs (British Thermal Units) for window, wall or portable units or by the ton for central-duct units. To know the right size for your home, you need to know the square footage. For a BTU system, 8,000 BTUs will cool 350 square feet and 1,2000 BTUs will cool 550 square feet. For centralized systems, you add one ton for every 600 square feet of your home. That is to say, if a home has 3,000 square feet and you want to cool the entire house, purchase a 5-ton air conditioner unit. Figure out the size of your home and choose an A/C unit that is the ideal size based on tons.
• Energy Efficiency: Now that you know the size of the A/C unit, it’s time to think about energy efficiency. Energy efficiency may be complicated, so it’s best you consult an HVAC professional for expert advice. Choosing a more efficient A/C unit saves money, and it’s eco-friendly.
• Features: Some A/C units come with better features than others. Check for features such as smart thermostats, auto delay switches and fan-only options before buying an A/C unit for your home.
• Warranty: Before you buy, double check the warranty of the A/C unit to make sure any foreseeable malfunctions are covered. Some warranties only cover parts like the condenser or the pump while others cover labor and parts if the unit becomes faulty.
For expert advice on finding your perfect air conditioning unit, have an energy efficiency inspection done for your home, or consult an HVAC professional.