Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 3/11/2018

As a first time home buyer, you may feel like a fish out of water when it comes to the process of getting a home. If youíre ready to buy your first home, thereís some key mistakes that you should avoid. 

You Think That You Donít Need Help From A Professional

So many homebuyers think that they can save themselves a few dollars by avoiding working with a realtor. This is a big mistake. Realtors are a valuable resource for buyers and will help you throughout the process of purchasing a home. Realtors can help guide buyers step-by-step while providing assistance with things like negotiations and making sure all of the paperwork gets from point A to point B. Youíll also need other professionals involved in this process of home buying including lawyers and loan officers. Having these people on your team protects you and gives you a backing of knowledge that you wouldnít otherwise have. 

Donít Skip Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is key before you even start to search for a house. The pre-approval letter is a great resource in helping you land the home of your dreams. If youíre going up against other bids on a home, your bid will be seen as more serious if you have been pre-approved. Getting a pre-approval lets sellers know that youíre serious about the whole process of buying a home and are ready to make the financial commitment. 

Know The Costs Associated With Buying A Home

Just because you have the monthly income to pay a mortgage doesn't mean youíre financially ready to buy a home. Thereís a few things that need to be in place before you can even commit to buying a home. First, youíll need to make sure your credit score is up to par. Next, youíll need to have enough saved up for a down payment. Without a down payment of at east 20% of the purchase price of a home, youíll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Thereís plenty of other costs that youíll need cash on hand for when it comes to buying a home. This includes home insurance, home inspections, closing costs, property taxes, HOA fees, and maintenance. In other words, there needs to be some wiggle room in your budget for all of the extra costs that go into closing on a home and maintaining a home. 

Donít Completely Deplete Your Savings

Just because you have been saving up for years to buy a home, doesnít mean you need to completely deplete your savings in one pass. If you lack an emergency fund, youíre not buying a home with a responsible financial cushion. While youíll probably take out a good chunk of savings in order to purchase the home, you need a bit more. Experts say that you need about 3-6 months of expenses saved up in case of the event of illness, job loss, or other emergency. Hence the name ďemergency fund.Ē

Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 9/17/2017

Although an exciting time in your life, moving out of the home you grew up in or your college/first apartment can seem scary and daunting. The thought of packing and unpacking is intimidating. And letís not forget about the cost. Making such a large investment for the first time and really, truly living on your own is a whole new experience. Itís important that when you visit a house for sale you can feel yourself living there and turning it into your home. Here are a few tips for making a house a home: Photos & Artwork: What better way to bring personality and familiarity into a home than photos of family and friends or artwork from a favorite artist. Often frames can become a thing of clutter and even dust collectors. However, adding photos and artwork can be done tastefully. A popular approach is a grid-like arrangement created on large, open walls. This is one way to display many beloved photos without creating clutter on tables or other pieces of furniture. Have a long wall thatís runs along a hallway? This would be a great place to display larger photos or artwork that would run horizontally. This is especially nice for sequenced pieces such as change of season photos or artwork. DIY projects: Add your personality and blood, sweat, and tears to your home with DIY projects. Ok, maybe Ďblood, sweat and tearsí is a little dramatic but get ready to get your hands dirty. Mason jars, glass vases, and empty wine bottles can be turned into beautiful home dťcor with only a few materials and a couple hours. Items like rope, artificial flowers, ribbon, and craft glue are just a couple examples of supplies that can be used to turn those boring items into a homemade masterpiece. To make this idea even more appealing invite friends or family over for a craft day and work on multiple DIY projects. Keepsakes: Have a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation? An heirloom could range from a quilt or afghan that a great-grandparent or grandparent had knit, family photos that span over many generations, clocks, diaries and recipes. Recipes could simply be displayed on a kitchen counter or you can get creative and design custom wallpaper from the recipe cards. Wall clocks can be displayed in family or dining rooms and grandfather clocks fit the atmosphere of dens. There are tasteful ways to add each one of these into your home and preserve the memory of these mementos. Fresh flowers: Nothing adds life to a home like fresh-cut flowers. The colors and the scents just fill a room. Add a pop of color to a room with dyed carnations, tulips, roses or hydrangeas. Add elegance to a room with white or cream colored flowers such as roses, daisies or lilies. Small, horizontal arrangements look lovely on a rectangle or square dining room table. Taller arrangements are perfect for a bay window or small table. Fresh-cut flowers would also pair well with a DIY vase.

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Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 8/13/2017

Itís a long road to get to the status of being a homeowner. Once all of the iís are dotted and the tís are crossed at closing, youíll be handed the keys to your wonderful new place to live. Now, youíll have a huge responsibility on your hands as well. Youíll need to pay the mortgage monthly. Youíll need to perform regular maintenance around the home. Youíll also need to pay for things like home insurance, utilities, and more. Everything that happens in your home when you have those keys is your responsibility. 

Once you have unpacked and settled into your new place, thereís a seemingly unending amount of things to do including organizing, unpacking, painting, decorating, cleaning, renovating, and so much more. You really need to take a break from all of that and take the time to bask in the glory of homeownership for a few minutes.        

Know What You Have Accomplished

Buying a home is not something that every person can achieve. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and persistence to save up money, find a home you love, and close the deal. Youíll also learn a lot through the process of buying a home. Youíve established a sense of independence and freedom through buying a home; youíre truly living the American Dream. 

You Have Something To Call Your Own

As a homeowner, you are not the master of your own domain. Anything that you wish is your command. Any hobbies you have, whatever type of decorations you want, and the types of chairs you like to sit in are all your choice in your own home. Once you own a home you donít need to worry about the unruly neighbors upstairs or the landlord who wouldnít ket you paint the walls. Do you want to plant a vegetable garden in your yard? You can! Thereís no one there to tell you that you canít. Have a blast using your yard and your home the exact way that you want it. Now you can feel free to have friends over and entertain to your heartís content. This is one of the best parts of owning a home.

You Now Have A Better Financial Future

Buying a home is a smart investment. Youíre contributing positively to your financial future. Every mortgage payment that you make is contributing to something that you own. Thereís no security deposits and no fees for your pets. The longer you live in your home, the more equity that youíre building up since your property is increasing in value over time. If you continue to make timely payments and upkeep your home properly, youíll be able to really see a return on your initial investment on the home.  


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