CENTURY 21 CUDDY



Posted by CENTURY 21 CUDDY on 4/7/2019

First-time homebuyers are prone to making a lot of mistakes when it comes to picking a home, due to many reasonsóone of which is just plain old inexperience. If you plan to buy your first home soon, these are a few things you want to avoid.

  1. Not having a budget. It might surprise you to know but a lot of first time home buyers donít have a spending budget before they start looking. Or sometimes, they look at houses that are way over what they can afford and end up spelling more money than they ought to. It's always better to clearly define what you are willing to spend on the new house and stick with it. That way you have a more comprehensive search scope that you can share with your realtor.
  2. Being overly emotional. Sometimes you see a house that looks like the builder intentionally had you in mind. But sometimes it's better to put your emotions in check because it might reduce your bargaining power with the seller. Being too excited might even make you oblivious to specific reasons why the home may not be a good fit for you.
  3. Not factoring additional costs of renovations and home improvements. Having a budget and firmly sticking to it is not enough, you also have to take into consideration the costs of any home additions or repair work you think of doing. You want to change the lamp fixtures or faucets in the showers? Be prepared to spend a little more.
  4. Underestimating the costs of maintaining the home. Sure, you get to buy the house at a giveaway price but have you stopped to consider what it will cost you to keep the house in that condition? Lots of first time home buyers don't do this. Electricity bill, gas bill cable bills, and even homeowner association fees are things that any home buyer should consider before concluding on any deal.
  5. Not hiring an agent. Winging it on your own is probably the most common mistake first-time buyers make. In a bid to save some money, they neglect to hire an agent of their own and choose to work directly with the seller or even worse, the sellerís agent themselves. More likely than not, whatís going to happen is a novice buyer who finds himself outclassed by an experienced salesperson.

Whatever you do, avoid these mistakes by contacting a real estate professional in your area.





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 8/27/2017

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.  

    





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