CENTURY 21 CUDDY



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.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 8/27/2017

Thereís a lot that goes into the process of buying a new home. Buyers often think that once the closing process in complete they can move their stuff in and things will go back to normal. But they are often caught off guard throughout that first initial year by maintenance tasks. Tasks that they could have been prepared for at the beginning if only they had known. So today I want to talk about how to stay one step ahead when you first move in to avoid surprises months later or worse years down the line. For the most part, these should each take you all of ten minutes a few times a month.

Be sure to write in reminders on your calendar for monthly maintenance and annual inspections to stay on top of any issues that may arise. Maintenance is key to good homeownership. Youíll save money in the long run as you find and repair issues when they are still minor. Youíll be so glad you didnít find out the hard way - by a burst pipe or major crack in your foundation.

Speaking of maintenance and saving money, wait to invest in top to bottom renovations, especially those that are purely cosmetic. Buying a new home is a large investment and most families need time to bounce back financially from the buying and moving process. Funnel what finances you do have towards initial repairs that will need to be made. And since you no longer have a landlord to depend on when repairs need to be made it is wise to start building an emergency fund for future home repairs.

For initial repairs that will need to be made be sure to hire professionals to take care of any and all that are technical. Donít try to fix repairs yourself that you arenít qualified to do. And no a Google search isn't enough to qualify you to do electrical or plumbing work. Youíve just made a major investment. So ensure to protect that investment for years to come by having things done the right way the first time. This also saves you money in the long run from having a professional come to undo your mistakes and set it up the right way. Or worse, from medical bills.

Keep a binder to track and save receipts for all home improvements. Doing so will help you to maximize your tax-free earnings if and when you decide to sell your home. And while the line between home improvements and repairs can get vague in some areas itís best to track everything. Invest in an accountant, especially for your first year of homeownership, to help you sift through these receipts and maximize your returns. This binder will also come in handy for years to come. Youíll be able to refer back to when you purchased a new water heater or last had a home inspection done, for example.

Invest in sufficient home insurance. Not all basic plans include fire and flood protection. You will also need life insurance policies if you have dependents. This will ensure that if anything were to happen to you, your dependents would gain ownership of the house. And since you now own a large asset it is wise to ramp up your car insurance policy.

Donít get caught off guard. Take 10 minutes a few times each week after youíve closed on your house to set up these appointments and systems. For such a small amount of time, they have major pay off. And come tax season or time to make a repair youíll be so glad you did.





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.  

    





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 6/5/2016

OrganizedWhether you buy your first home later in life, or directly from college, buying your first home is a major milestone in your life.† For that reason, there are things you need to be knowledgeable about before your purchase is complete. You will want to safeguard yourself so you know that you are getting a home and a loan that you can afford. Here are a few tips from mortgage and real estate pros to help prepare you for the biggest purchase of your life. Using an Agent If you are a buyer, then there is no reason not to use a real estate professional. It does not cost you any more money to hire an agent. That agent will do more than find you that perfect house. You will discover that after you find a house is when you will need that agent the most.† The agent will use their expertise to present your offer to the seller and then address issues that may arise between contract and closing. House Hunting Remember, location, location, location. This is very important when buying a house.† Location plays a big part in determining the market value of the home. Before you start the house hunting process, make sure you know what neighborhood is a good location for you. Also, it would be good to have an idea of what style home you are looking for. Real estate moves quickly, so if you see a property that you love, you should move on it before someone else does. Find a Loan that Works for Your It sure can be tricky business trying decide what kind of loan is right for you.† There are many different types of loans that you should be aware of.† There is an Adjustable rate mortgage which has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. So as the index changes your interest rate and payments may go up or down. There is also a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage as well as a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage. Some state and county maximum loan amount restrictions may apply. Home Buyer Alternatives for First Timer Saving for a first home can sometime seem like itís a hill that too steep, but donít worry there are assistance programs that can help. The Federal Housing Administration offers loans to people with a credit score as low as 640, low down payments and down payment assistance. There are also VA and USDA loans: Certain active members of the military and veterans as well as qualifying residents of designated rural areas can qualify for a 0% down-payment housing loans that are free of mortgage insurance fees. How Much Do You Have to Put Down? It really depends on what type of loan you have. If you have a conventional loan then you may have to put as much as 20% down. It is possible to put 5% down on a conventional loan if you donít mind paying mortgage insurance.† If you go with the FHA loan you will need at least 3.5 % down.† For people who are relying on others to help with down payments, an FHA loan may be a good option. First time home buyers need to look around and know that there are a multitude of down payment assistance offers by state or local governments. Closing cost: There can be a lot of hidden fees in closing costs; first time home buyers should be aware of these costs.† These fees are typically included in the closing costs, including fees for commissions, appraisals, inspections, certifications and surveying.† There will also be fees for government record changes, tax and title services and transfer taxes.







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