Things to Know Before Buying Your Home

We all know the old line about location. But buying a home takes a lot of research, research, and more research! 

You will want to determine:

 

How much you can comfortably afford. The pre-approval process, which entails full documentation and credit check, is the best way to determine the numbers that are right for you. Early in your search, you can identify any potential hurdles and focus only on homes truly available to you.

 

How much cash you need to close. Knowing how much cash you’ll need to close and, ideally, consolidating those funds into one account will help to prevent stress and ease the process later.

 

What kind of property you really want. Single-family, multi-family, condo, co-op, Victorian, Colonial, Cape, split, ranch, cottage, cabin, teepee…home types and legal distinctions are plentiful. Whether you are open to several styles or have your heart set on only one, narrowing your search will save time and prepare you to act when the perfect home hits the market.

 

Where you want to be and how long you’ll want to be there. You’ll want to strike a balance between buying what you can afford and buying what will accommodate your needs for longer than just the first few years. Assess your plans for growing your family and how your income might grow to match. Planning ahead is especially important in today’s market, when trading up tomorrow may mean both a more expensive home and a higher mortgage rate.

 

How the process works. This is a time when the Internet doesn’t have all the answers. The process varies for many reasons, including area and custom. Generally, purchases include: Offer, Acceptance, Inspections, Contract, Loan Application, Appraisal, Title, Loan Approval, Closing/Funding and Moving In. Many little steps can fall in between, and the process won’t always occur in a given order.

 

It’s always great to start getting all of this information early. When you’re ready to find out more, don’t hesitate to call me.

Buying Real Estate with Bitcoin?

 

I’ve been hearing so much about Bitcoin in the last few months. Some good things, some bad. What I’ve come to understand is that Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which kind of just means that its digital. You can’t hold it, but you can use it just like money where it is accepted. Wow! So we can buy real estate with Bitcoin? In a short answer, YES!

I find Bitcoin so interesting and definitely want to learn a little more about it. In an article from CNBC, Ben Shaoul, president of Magnum Real Estate Group said, “Our buyer has evolved, they’ve moved from mom and pops to young people who want to pay with various forms of payment. Cryptocurrency is something that has been asked of us — ‘Can you take cryptocurrency? Can we pay that way?’ — and of course when somebody wants to pay you with a different form of payment, you’re going to try to work with them and give them what they want, especially in a very busy real estate market.” It seems that timing is everything and thats how Bitcoin has made it’s way into real estate.

Read more from the CNBC article here.

Are Millennials Changing the Real Estate Marketplace?

Over the weekend, I saw this article that said that Millenials prefer “turnkey and ready to move-in” homes. It said that they would prefer not to paint or make any changes to the home. This is based on the turnkey style homes on HGTV. Although, I think that this isn’t just millennial buyers. There are many buyers that opt for the turnkey option. They would sometimes pay more to not have to live through a remodel.

What do you guys think? Is it the younger generation that is looking for completely finished homes or do you think it’s just the trend? Check out the article here and let me know.

Make Moving Easier

Here are some tips to hopefully make your move much easier!

 

Tip #1: Choose a Reputable Moving Company
If you’re hiring a moving company, make sure you select a reputable company. The Internet can be a great resource for this, if you’re not sure where to start. Angie’s List, Yelp and The American Moving and Storage Association (www.amsa.org) are a few good resources to check out. It’s important to shop around, interview several movers and get written estimates for the job. Make sure you’re working with an insured service that provides compensation for loss and breakage.

Tip #2: Plan Your Move Early
Ideally, you should start planning your move two months in advance. Don’t forget, lots of people move around the first of the month when leases expire, so it’s a good idea to reserve your truck and moving crew a minimum of two weeks in advance.

Tip #3: Label Your Boxes & Take Inventory
Labeling your boxes and keeping an inventory for each room will help you get organized quickly in your new location. You can also use this for insurance purposes to determine your declared value for the moving company.

Tip #4: Secure Your Valuables
Consider locking valuable jewelry in your safety deposit box on moving day. Or, if you’re moving a long distance, carry precious items yourself to prevent them from being lost or stolen.

Tip #5: Back Up Your Computers
Make sure you have a backup of your computers and put the disks or external drive in a separate box from the computer. That way, if by some chance your computer is lost or damaged during the move, you will have a backup of all your important files.

Tip #6: Take Photos of Computer & TV Wiring
If you’re not entirely computer or electronics savvy, take a photo of the back side of your computer or television setup, so you know where the wires are plugged in before you take it apart. This could be a huge time-saver when you put everything back together in your new home.

Tip #7: Keep a Record of Your Moving Expenses

Your moving expenses may be tax deductible, so keep a list of all your expenses, including miscellaneous expenses for packing, truck rental, etc. This will be convenient to have at tax time.

Tip #8: Pack Your Survival Gear
Get a clear plastic box (it will be easy to find amongst the other boxes) and pack it with the things you will need the first day in your new home. If you have children, pack a box of their favorite toys to keep them busy in a safe area while the rest of the house is being unpacked. Have each family member pack a personal overnight bag with basic essentials such as toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, change of clothes,
etc.

 

I hope these tips are helpful for you! If there is anything else you need, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Make House-Hunting Easier

Knowing how much house you can afford is just a starting point in your search for a new home. By answering the following questions, you can narrow down what features are most important to you:

•    How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
•    Do you want a new home or would you prefer an older one?
•    Are there special features you must have?
•    Is the school district a factor for you?
•    Do you want to be close to a shopping center?
•    Is commuting to work an issue? If so, how far are you willing to drive?
•    Will you accept any style of home? What about colors?
•    Do you want a fireplace, pool and/or air conditioning?

Searching for a new home can be overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to make it a bit easier!

•    Take a notepad and map with you. Save each home’s fact sheet.
•    Limit the homes you look at in one session to three so you can focus on the details.
•    Take a picture of the homes that appeal to you so you can remember their features.
•    Make sketches of floor plans to help you compare the homes you like.
•    Ask questions about any problems in the home before you make an offer.


I hope these tips help you find the home of your dreams!

Turning Warehouses into Creative Spaces

Hey everyone!

I just read this great article about turning warehouses into creative workspaces. Thought you would be interested!

Photos and renderings courtesy of Third & Urban

“As projects from south Grant Park to Inman Park and the Lindbergh area are proving, thoughtfully converted warehouse spaces are all the rage in Atlanta.

And there’s no sign of that activity stopping on the city’s western front.

The latest Westside “creative flex space” conversion was announced today for two 1964 warehouses along Menlo Drive, tucked off Huff Road in Blandtown, around the corner from AuthenTEAK furniture.

Totalling 80,000 square feet, the project will be called Inland Tract, according to developer Third & Urban, which is partnering with commercial real estate group Granite Properties.

Through a “strategic, long-term partnership,” the companies will also recapitalize a nearby Upper Westside project in a similar vein, Complex.

Read More

 

Important Tips for a Smooth Closing

When the time comes to close the deal on your new home, a lot of things are happening all at once. You can expect the real estate transaction and the financial transaction to close on the same day!

With that in mind, I wanted to share some tips to help you prepare for this exciting day.

 

•    Review Loan Documents in Advance – We will touch base in advance to prepare you for your loan closing. There should be no surprises at this point, providing we have locked in the interest rate for your loan to coordinate with the timing of your real estate purchase.

At the final closing, you will need to review every legally binding document carefully and make sure there are no typos or errors, and the loan terms are listed as we have discussed. Any typos or errors must be corrected prior to closing. We will go over each document with you, so you have a clear understanding of your financial commitment.

One important document you will be signing is the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This document lists all the final credits and charges relevant to both you and the seller, based on the terms of your contract. You should receive this at least 24 hours prior to  your closing. Compare this to your Good Faith Estimate to make sure your rate and terms are written as you expected them to be. The lender is bound to honor the Good Faith Estimate for 10 days.

•    Be Prepared for Closing Costs – Prior to closing, you should know exactly what your closing costs are. It’s best to have a cashier’s check ready to pay your closing costs. (An electronic funds transfer could delay the process, depending on what time the transfer posts.) This includes any fees, taxes, charges and your down payment. Again, we will review this with you, so you have a full understanding of your closing costs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We’re here to help.

•    Make Sure Your New Home is Ready to Live In – When you do your final walk-through of the property, make sure all repairs have been made that were agreed upon and the home is ready to occupy. Otherwise, your Buying Agent can make additional negotiations with the Selling Agent to resolve any outstanding issues. Your final walk-through should be done before the final real estate closing documents are signed. Allow for at least 30 minutes to do your final walk-through.

Get to Know Your Credit Rating

While looking through some information regarding credit ratings, I thought you might find this to be interesting. Enjoy!

Bottom line- your credit report is very important when it comes to determining mortgage eligibility. The best thing to do is to learn what is on your report, determine what impact that information has on your credit rating, and work on repairing any damage or correcting any errors that may exist on your report.

There are three main credit bureaus to which most creditors (such as credit card companies, banks and leasing agencies) provide information. Each month, your credit holders report information to the credit bureaus regarding your current balance, minimum payment requirement, and payment history. It is best to make payments regularly and timely!

Some Tips for Easy & Inexpensive Upgrades!

Don’t wait until you’re ready to sell your home to make easy upgrades that you can enjoy today! Here are five inexpensive tips that will increase the curb appeal of your home immediately.

1.    Spruce up a room with a new paint job. An average room can be easily transformed for under $100. To get a quick estimate, Google your favorite home improvement center for a paint coverage calculator.

2.     Get a new mailbox made of quality materials. Depending upon the style that best suits your home, choose brass, iron, or other quality materials.

3.    Add quality door knobs made of brass, glass, or other suitable materials. You will appreciate the better quality each time you open a door. Future prospective buyers will also notice them as they go through your house.

4.    Replace that worn, dirty doormat with a fresh new one to add that extra touch to a potential buyer’s (or your) enjoyment!

5.    Bold street numbers made of brass, iron, ceramic or other quality materials make your home noticeable and easy to find.

All of these easy upgrades can be done with very little time and investment! And, please give me a call if there’s anything I can do for you.