Smart Things To Do After Buying A Home
Prior to closing on the purchase of a home the new homeowner to be should consider what types of services they will be needing for the home. For some of those services calls should be made prior to closing so as to make sure upon moving day the house has power, water and any other services needed to make sure everything goes smoothly. Most services that are acquired for a home are obtained by contacting the provider directly and letting them know the date the service needs to be turned on. This article explores what kind of service providers should be contacted by new homeowners and offers advice on avoiding getting overcharged through those claiming to be service brokers.
When To Request Services
As mentioned above for some services the service providers should be contacted before closing in order to make sure services like power, water, and internet are switched over to the new owners name in time for when they need to move in. With some companies a call should be made at least a couple of days before so that they have enough time to process the change in names of who will be paying for the bill. This is especially important for the electric, gas and water bill as many sellers will request the service be taken out of their name as soon as closing day in order to not spend any extra money than they have to. If the home being purchased has a sump pump the lack of power can cause water backup in the basement which will end up in a big mess for the new homeowners to take care of. The home sellers are not expected to...
Smart Tips For Having A Quick Spring Home Sale
As a Greater Cincinnati real estate agent I am asked often when is the best time to sell a home and how should I prepare my home to sell quickly. In many real estate markets around the U.S., Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky included, Spring time is the best time to put a home on the market since that is the time the most buyers will be out looking for a home. No one really wants to have their home sit on the market for months and when the housing market is as strong as it is currently, homes should be selling in a short amount of time. This article will share some tips for homeowners looking to sell their home during the spring time and the tips will help to get their home sold fast.
Pricing Is Critical
This is often repeated by many articles that address selling a home but bears repeating. The price set for a home for sale is one of the key factors that determines how fast or how slow a home will sell. Price a home too high and the buyers will ignore the home as if half the foundation has melted away. After all no one wants to spend more on anything than they have to. Homes generally are not unique and if they are very unique then it is even harder to sell them since most home buyers don’t want an extremely unique house. For most buyers one home is interchangeable with another home so long as it meets their basic wants/needs like bedroom count, bathroom count, kitchen...
10 Great Tips For Showing Your Home
Once your home has been prepared and is now on the multiple listing service (the MLS and all sites that get their listings from the MLS) the time comes to get ready for buyers to come and visit. Whether you are planning on having an open house or prefer to just let agents walk through with their buyers having the home ready for when the buyers visit will go a long way to impressing those very buyers. Sellers should not let the homebuyers down by showing what looks to be a great home in the pictures and video online but then the in person viewing is something completely different. This article will provide home sellers with some great tips to make sure homebuyers leave with a great impression which can help make their decision of making an offer easier.
1. Set The Stage
Not only does staging help portray a good image of the home for pictures it also helps the home show well for the in person visit. Hiring a professional stager can help but a lot of staging tips can be picked up from the internet and used for any home. Certainly newer furniture with matching curtains shown with modern colors can make a room pop but not everyone has the budget to buy or rent furniture just for staging purposes.
Instead homeowners should focus on cleaning up rooms by removing clutter, repainting walls if needed, replacing or refreshing flooring and making sure the...
6 Signs That Your Home Is Priced Too High
The price of a home that is up for sale is one of the critical aspects of getting a home sold. Price a home too high and the right buyers will not even give a home a second look. Instead the home will sit on the market without much interest and the longer it sits the more of a negative association will come with that home. Not that there may be anything wrong with the home but the longer it sits on the market then homebuyers automatically assume that something is wrong. As a result it pays to make sure a home is priced right from the start and/or the homeowner is ready to adjust the price if the signs show the price to be too high. This article explores some of the signs that may show that a home is priced too high.
Home Price Based On What You Paid And Upgrades Made
Just because you paid a certain amount for a home in the past does not mean it is currently worth that much. Homes need continual upkeep and upgrading in order to retain their value. As a homeowner lives in a home things wear out over time. Furnaces lose efficiency, garage doors and their openers breakdown, carpets wear down, paint gets old. If no repairs or upgrades were made or no other updates of the home were done in any way since buying it the value may not be the same as the day it was purchased. Certainly if the real estate market was on an uptrend from when the home was originally bought and then today it is put on the market to sell there could be some increase in value but not if the condition has not been maintained...
Tips For Buying A Fix And Flip House For Investment Purposes
Popular these days is buying a house which is in average or poor shape and fixing it up in order to sell it for a profit. Some buyers purchase these homes and repair and remodel the homes themselves whereas others are using local contractors to do the work. After the purchase price and repair costs have been accounted for the investor is hoping the home will be worth more so that once sold they can pocket some profit. Obviously there is a lot more to buying a home with the intent of fixing and flipping it for profit as this article explores.
How Do Investors Find Their Homes To Rehab?
Many investors will work with local real estate agents to get access to the multiple listing service (MLS) and have the agent setup a search so that once any property comes to market that meets their criteria they are notified about it via email or text. Oftentimes properties on the MLS (for instance see properties listed on the Greater Cincinnati MLS here) are being pursued by many different investors and the price can be bid up due to competition so some investors shy away from MLS properties. Another alternative that buyer investors pursue is off market deals which are either found directly from the sellers themselves or through Wholesalers whose entire purpose is to find off market property that someone is looking to sell and may not always be in the best of condition. These Wholesalers will then buy the property themselves for a low price and then resell to an investor buyer looking to fix and flip the property. Some other Wholesalers will instead...
Should You Self Manage Your Investment Property?
Whether you purchase investment property on your own or happen to inherit it the question of whether one should self-manage the property does come up. By self-managing a property the owner can save money that they would otherwise pay in monthly management fees, save on tenant placement fees and be allowed to shop around for the best prices from contractors. On the other hand a property manager may be able to make you more money out of your investment by treating it exactly as it is which is a business. This article looks at whether real estate investment owners should self-manage their property or turn it over to a property manager.
What Does A Property Manager Do?
A skilled property manager (PM) more than just collects rents and places tenants. Property managers need to be doing just that, managing the property. That not only includes collection of rents and placement of tenants but also includes managing the tenants and managing the tenants and their interaction with your asset. PMs should be inspecting the property on a regular basis to make sure tenants are not abusing the place they live in. While some minor wear and tear to a living space is to be expected, things like broken windows, broken doors, damaged walls, trash disposed of in the wrong place will quickly lead to degradation in the value of your investment asset which means the amount of rent you can take in could also decrease. When PMs notice tenants being too hard on their living space they should be requesting the tenant to live in their rented space according to the lease and other rules set out for them. ...
Mortgage Scams To Watch Out For
Whether you are looking to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage it is helpful to be aware of potential scams and pitfalls to avoid. As with anything involving money too many con artists are willing to put in effort to separate you from your hard earned money. This article looks at some common mortgage pitfalls and/or scams that could end up costing you more money than it would normally.
Fake Mortgage Lenders
Most mortgage lenders are required to be registered with Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) which keeps a record of all licensed mortgage providers. The NMLS does not issue or revoke anyone’s mortgage license but keeps track of individuals with mortgage licenses so as they work with different organizations in the industry they are tracked. In fact lenders can be looked up by their names on the NMLS Consumer site. With the NMLS Consumer site any information related to the person being looked up is self-reported. Lenders who have had their licenses revoked by their state for whatever reason will be reported as having a suspended license. If you have any doubt about a particular lender ask for their NMLS number and look up their information. With as many legitimate lenders that are out there, if one makes you feel uncomfortable then look for another lender. No one particular lender is going to have the magic formula to suddenly cut your interest rate in half or prevent you from being foreclosed on. Most...
6 Great Tips For Selling A Home With A Tenant
Whether you purchased a home for investment purposes or inherited a home with a tenant and now no longer want to deal with the property it still can be sold even with a tenant in place. Sometimes you are unable to have the tenant move out since there may be a lease in place and the cost to buy out the lease may not make financial sense. With high interest in individuals wanting to buy investment real estate it can make sense just to sell the home with a tenant in place since a future potential buyer may like that the home is already cash flowing. Whatever the reason may be, selling a home with a tenant in place is something can be done as this article will explore.
If a tenant is on a month to month lease then now is not the time to have them sign a long term lease as the next buyer may be looking to buy the house for themselves rather than own as a rental property. With a month to month lease the tenant can generally be given thirty day notice to move out and be moved out before closing if that is what the buyer wants. In fact some buyers may include as part of their offer the requirement that the owner have the house vacated prior to closing so the buyer can move in after closing. If the tenant is on a long term lease then the owner does not need to make changes to the lease but should have a conversation with the tenant if they would be open to a lease buyout. With a lease buyout the owner is offering some money to the tenant to cancel the lease early and move out. The owner needs to know ahead of time if the tenant...
What To Know About The Home Appraisal Process
Whether you are selling your home to someone buying with a mortgage it or working on refinancing your existing mortgage you will have to get an appraisal on your home. An appraisal is prepared by a licensed Appraiser who looks at the condition and features of your home and compares them to other similar homes in order to come up with an opinion of value. As long as your appraisal meets at least the sales price during a sale or meets the value the mortgage loan refinance is being based on you should be fine. If your home ends up getting appraised for less than the agreed to sales price or less than the value of the refinance is based upon the purchase contract or refinance could fall through. This article looks at how best a homeowner can prepare for an appraisal so they put their best foot forward to ensure the best chances of success.
When Does An Appraisal Happen?
Once an offer on a home has been made and accepted, and usually after a home inspection has been done (the buyers are comfortable with the home inspection results), the buyer’s lender will put in a request for an appraisal. Generally the homebuyer is required to pay for the appraisal and may be asked to pay for it at the time it is scheduled or they may pay for it at closing depending on lender requirements. Once requested it may take up to seven to ten days for the appraiser to actually come out to the home depending on how busy the home selling season is. After the appraiser has visited a home the actual appraisal report should be issued within a few days. When a lender is involved the appraisal report will be given directly to the lender from the...
Should You Remodel Your Garage?
Sometimes homeowners may consider the option of converting their garage to living space in order to expand the living space of the home. Maybe the current homeowners don’t use their garage much, or mainly use it for storage and the cars are parked outside due to space limits in the garage. Or maybe there is not much extra land to build on to extend a house so the garage becomes an easy area which when converted can allow additions to a home. Depending where the house is located and how many garage spaces are available converting a garage to permanent living space can actually reduce the value of a home.
Garages Are Still Essential Feature Of A Home
Just like reducing the bedroom count or bathroom count for a home can reduce the value of a home so can removing garage space from a home. While converting the garage space could be adding square footage to the home that additional living space may not always offset the reduction in price. If a home has three or more garage spaces then converting one of the garage spaces into living space could be acceptable as most homeowners are expecting at least two garage spaces where it is common for the neighborhood. Of course if your home is in a neighborhood where almost every home has a three car garage the reduction of a garage space would likely reduce the value of your home.
When buyers are shopping for a home they will be comparing any home on sale to similar homes in the neighborhood. Homes with fewer features as compared to other homes in the neighborhood will generally be valued less. On the other hand if you are in a neighborhood where most homes have no garage, by the fact your home has a garage that...
How Driverless Cars Will Change Real Estate and The Homes We Live In
Driverless or autonomous vehicles are currently on the road today making multiple trips in certain test areas. While many of these cars are test vehicles and have a human driver sitting behind the wheel to take over in case a problem happens some of them are completely driverless. Companies like Uber, Apple, Google, Toyota, GM, Tesla and more are researching and investing in driverless car technology. Driverless cars will change the face of real estate as we know it and even the very home and neighborhoods we live in will be impacted by driverless vehicle technologies. This article explores some of the impact driverless vehicles will have on where we live and work.
Will We Even Need To Own A Car?
Just as many are learning to get by without a car by using public transportation and services like Lyft, Uber or Turo driverless cars will make it even less likely someone will need to own a car. A driverless car can be parked anywhere and can be ordered on demand at a moment’s notice. Yes it will take time for the car to arrive from where it is parked to the person requesting a ride but that time is easily accounted for by scheduling ahead of time when a car is needed just like done with Lyft and Uber. The person wanting a ride will not have to worry about getting a driver who is overly tired from driving all night. With a few clicks on a smartphone app a car can be at a person’s location and ready to take them where they want to go. Driverless cars can get people to the airport or to other central transit location points so one can hop on the subway to take them to work downtown. With the ...
Tips For Building Up An Emergency Fund
Whether you own a house or live in rented living space having an emergency fund is smart thing to do. An emergency fund is there to help you in case you encounter some unexpected expense. As a homeowner if your furnace goes out in the dead of winter you will need to have it fixed so you don’t freeze or don’t damage your house in the from frozen pipes later bursting and causing water damage. If windows to your home are damaged by a storm having the money to get those windows replaced are critical to keeping your house safe and secure. Even as someone living in a rented home while your furnace and broken windows should be covered by the owner of the home, other things like your car breaking down, major medical expenses (flu or injury) can quickly set your budget behind. This article provides tips for how anyone can build up an emergency fund so if something bad does happen you can financially weather the challenge.
How Much and Where To Save
At a minimum people should be saving at least three months of living expenses and on the maximum side of things saving up to 12 months of living expenses gives you enough of a cushion that you won’t feel very stressed if something major does happen like a job loss. Savings in your 401(k) and IRA accounts should not be counted towards this emergency fund. Certainly you may be able to take hardship withdrawals from your 401(k), withdraw with penalty from your traditional IRA or withdraw original contributions from your Roth IRA but that does not mean you should be doing so. Most of the money in the retirement accounts will likely be tied up in stocks and/or bond investments...
How Artificial Intelligence Will Change The Home
With Smart Home technology taking off and smart home assistants (like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri) becoming more prevalent in homes the start of a new home technology revolution is underway. Homeowners can monitor and control the house heating and cooling systems, security systems, door locks, garage doors and more all from where ever they have access to internet on their smartphone. Artificial intelligence (AI) will add to that ability by allowing decisions about the home to be made without the need of direct input from the homeowner. For instance a trusted dog walker walks up to the front door during their scheduled time to take Fido out for a walk. The dog walker’s face is seen via camera which an artificial intelligence assistant recognizes and knows they are there during the correct time and allows the door to be unlocked so Fido can enjoy some outdoor time while the homeowner is away. This article explores both the positive and negative impacts of artificial intelligence for the homeowner.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Intelligence is defined “…as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.” Basically put it means using learned information in and around us to make choices. With regards to human behavior we make choices every day based on what we know. We decide to wake up early on work days because we know we need to go to work...
Predictions For The 2019 Real Estate Market
The real estate market has been on an upward trend for a number of years now. The stock market has also been on a bull market run for a record amount of time and based on recently volatility that upwards trend is being strongly challenged. With interest rates being raised by the Federal Reserve that has pushed mortgage rates up as well which in turn is putting pressure on home pricing. With higher interest rates the price of a home will need to be lower in order for buyers to afford the home at the same monthly payment or they will look for lower priced homes that meet their requirements. This article will look at the current real estate market trends and attempt to make some guesses for the future.
Today’s Real Estate Market
In many markets average home prices have reached or surpassed the prices that were in play prior to the 2007 real estate market crash. While some may argue that today’s market is more stable since the exotic no document loans or 125% mortgages are not present that does not mean a financial house of cards does not exist that could bring both the real estate market and the stock market crumbling down. Just as happened in the past mortgage lenders are reducing their lending standards in order to issue more mortgages and that is not a good thing.
Whereas in the immediate past there were higher requirements with regards to debt ratios versus income those have been relaxed allowing those with more debt to buy a house. The problem...
Should You Sell Your Home To A “We Buy Houses For Cash” Company?
You may have seen the signs in passing while driving in parts of your town where they usually say “We Buy Houses For Cash” or “We Will Buy Your Home In Any Condition”. Sometimes the signs are properly printed signs whereas others are handwritten. Also known as bandit signs since they are illegal to put up in many areas, these signs advertise to homeowners that regardless of the condition of their home they can give it to someone and get paid for it. For some it may make more sense to invest in a few repairs and sell the home as-is on the local Multiple Listing Service or even For Sale By Owner. For others though the we buy homes for cash buyer can represent a quick exit from a home that may not even be livable and is costing more money that it is worth. This article explores the cash for houses concept in more detail.
Just as in the retail market a wholesaler will buy items from the manufacturer and sell them down the line directly to retailers and make a profit along the way some of the we buy homes for cash buyers are wholesalers as well. Those wholesalers don’t intend to buy the home themselves and are merely locking into contract the option to purchase a home with the goal of finding an investor who will actually buy the home for cash at a price over what the wholesaler is in contract with the homeowner for. The wholesaler does intend to make a quick profit by re-assigning the purchase contract to another buyer and hence is the reason for their business model. Some wholesalers do allow subsequent buyers to finance their purchase but often times...
4 Reasons Why You May Not Want To Own A House
While many strive towards the goal of owning a home, homeownership for others may be something that can hold them down unnecessarily. Owning a home means committing to a long term mortgage (for many that means 15-30 years) and staying in the same living space for a while. It means being responsible for all the upkeep and ongoing maintenance for the home. This article looks at the reasons why someone may instead prefer to rent an apartment or even a home so as not to be tied down to one place for too long.
High Transaction Costs
In order to purchase a home many need to borrow money via a mortgage loan. Mortgages typically run 15 to 30 years and depending on the interest rate the amount of interest paid over the time of owning the home can sometimes be more than the actual price paid for the home. While a mortgage interest rate deduction can help with that that still means homeowners are paying extra money for the privilege of living in a home they “own”. Additionally prior to buying the home there are transaction costs that come with purchasing the home and taking out a mortgage. Those costs include mortgage loan points, mortgage loan closing costs, real estate commissions, title insurance, title transfer fees, taxes and more. Depending on the price of the home, the total for those upfront costs can be in the thousands of dollars and more. Since home values don’t rise up very quickly (some years home values can go down) it may take a number of years for the home value to rise up enough to make up for those upfront costs bringing the...
The Essential Skills Needed To Survive Homeownership
Owning a home is quite a bit different than renting a place where if something goes wrong a quick call to the property manager results in maintenance coming by and fixing a problem. Yes as a homeowner you can call a plumber to fix a toilet that won’t flush or can call a handyman (or woman) to come fix a squeaky door but eventually all of those calls will quickly add up in costs. Those dollars spent on calling someone to fix a problem could be put to better use by the homeowner spending on other things they need or by simply adding it to a rainy day fund so when something major does go wrong and a professional contractor can be called in to make repairs. This article explores some of the essential skills homeowners should have in order to make sure their home is running in tip top condition.
Basic Plumbing Skills
Whether you have a slow drain or your toilet clogs up knowing which type of drain cleaner to use or having handy a toilet plunger or toilet auger (sometimes referred to as a drain snake) can save you hundreds if not thousands over the life of owning that home. Routine calls to a plumber will run a minimum of $80 dollars and up depending on your location. Drain cleaning solutions run no more than 10-20 dollars a bottle and often provide multiple uses with one bottle. A toilet plunger should run no more than 5-10 dollars and a toilet auger should cost no more than 20-30 dollars and get multiple if not unlimited uses based on the quality of the product.
With a slow drain a gel based drain cleaner can help get...
Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday
After Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about buying something at a discount or buying local in anticipation of the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus and more. Another day for consideration is #GivingTuesday. With #GivingTuesday the idea is to contribute some money to a charity of your choosing so those who are in need can benefit as well from the holiday season. Being a personal fan of local charities I have compiled a number of local charities in this article that operate in both the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and Northern Kentucky. Take a look at the great things these local charities are doing and consider donating to them or becoming a volunteer.
La Soupe located at 4150 Round Bottom Road Cincinnati, OH 45244 and helps people get nutritious meals. Founded in 2014 by Chef Suzy DeYoung the goal of La Soupe is to repurpose excess food (that would otherwise be thrown out) to create tasty and nutritious soups and meals for those in need. Currently La Soupe rescues approximately 5000 pounds of food per week and with that is able to feed 2000 children in and around the Cincinnati area. La Soupe recently sent 23,000 pounds of food to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Houston, Texas.
Not only does La Soupe give soup to those in need they also sell their soups to anyone wanting to buy their delicious soups. So in case you want to make a donation in person be sure to also...
What Happens When The Sellers Refuse To Move Out Of The Home
When buying a home the homebuyer goes in with the expectation that the homeowner is ready to sell and move to a new home, sometimes thought that may not always be the case. For whatever reason a homeowner may have second thoughts on leaving a home after the buyer has had all the inspections and appraisal done. What is a buyer to do in those situations? The answer depends on whether the seller is refusing to move before or after closing as to what actions a buyer can take and is explored further in this article.
Seller Refuses To Move Before Closing
Prior to closing the seller can outright tell their agent and the buyers that they changed their mind about selling their home and will refuse to close on the sale let alone move. The buyer’s options are limited in this case. Yes the homebuyer could sue to attempt to get the seller to sell their home but most courts rarely like to force people to sell their homes and instead are more likely to award damages to the buyer for actual losses (paying for inspections, appraisal, movers and more). Courts could also award punitive damages to the buyer in order to punish the seller for their lack of follow through on the contract. In the end though the buyer is without a house and must begin the process again of finding another home.
This is a situation that is hard for a homebuyer to avoid as there is no way to really tell if a home seller is really motivated to sell or is just listing the home on the market with no actual intent of really wanting to sell. For most home sellers...
4 Helpful Tips For Buying Your Next House
Whether you are buying for the first time or buying a subsequent home there are some tips to follow in order to make sure the home purchase is a successful one. With a home being one of the largest purchases a person will make in their lifetime it makes sense to go in with full planning and an understanding of how the buying process works. Any time wasted on bad strategies are just that, time wasted that could have been saved by putting you into a home sooner. This article explores some of the strategies homebuyers should be using and ones that may only lead to frustration.
Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
While this is often talked about it bears repeating, shopping for a home without a mortgage pre-approval is a recipe for frustration. The mortgage pre-approval not only gives you an idea of how much home you can purchase it also can give you an idea of your monthly payments. A $200,000 dollar house does not mean you divide $200,000 by 360 months (12 monthly payments times 30 years mortgage) and that is your payment. Your ultimate mortgage payment not only depends on the house price, but also on the taxes and insurance you will be paying for the house. So when getting a pre-approval make sure to ask your lender about the monthly payments that include principal, taxes and insurance.
Since taxes and insurance can vary on the value of the home and the location those numbers are subject to change. As a result if you do find a home that you like be sure to ask your lender to calculate the monthly payments for you based on the taxes you will be paying for that house along with the estimated insurance. If...