Linda Costanzo's Blog
Let's face it – there are many risks that you may face during the homebuying journey. From submitting an offer on a house that ultimately proves to be a poor investment to failing to obtain a mortgage due to a bad credit score, there are various issues that may prevent you from achieving your desired results. Lucky for you, we're here to help you focus on the task at hand and eliminate potential risks as you search for your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid risks throughout the homebuying journey.
1. Set Realistic Homebuying Expectations
How you search for a home may determine whether you are successful or unsuccessful. For example, if you evaluate houses that fall outside your price range, you may struggle to find a home that you can actually afford. On the other hand, if you establish realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you may be able to streamline your house search.
Think about where you want to live and how much you can afford to pay for a home. Also, you should consider home must-haves and wants. With this information at your disposal, you can avoid the risk of missing out on an opportunity to acquire a residence that matches your expectations.
2. Get a Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is pivotal. Because if you obtain a mortgage today, you can enter the housing market with a budget and narrow your house search accordingly. Perhaps most important, a mortgage enables you to avoid the temptation to pursue homes that be priced beyond your budget.
Consult with banks and credit unions, and you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and kick off your search for your dream residence.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Problems may arise at any point during the homebuying journey. And if you're unsure about how to address these issues, it may be tough for you to acquire your ideal residence. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you may be able to identify and address homebuying problems before they escalate.
A real estate agent understands the housing market and is happy to share his or her expertise with you. This housing market professional can teach you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, help you prepare a homebuying strategy and much more.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you get ready to submit an offer on your dream home, either. A real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Furthermore, he or she will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and do everything possible to ensure you can acquire your dream residence at a budget-friendly price.
Take control of the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit risk as you search for your ideal house.
It’s a difficult time to be a first-time home buyer. Post-recession buyers are wary--and for good reason--of how and when to save money for a down payment on a house. One thing to remember, however, is that it’s always a good time to start saving.
In this article, we’re going to cover the four most useful methods of saving for a down payment on your first home. That way you can feel confident in taking the first and most important step toward homeownership.
Choosing the right savings account
Unlike riskier investments, a savings account is a safe and proven way of building interest and saving for a home. However, not all savings accounts are created equal.
Typically, brick and mortar banks offer interest rates that are low--the current national average is only about 0.06% annually. While these banks offer conveniences such as in-network ATMs and check-cashing, their physical locations make them expensive to run.
Enter the online bank. Since online banks don’t have all of the costs associated with running branches, they can afford to offer better rewards--namely, high-interest returns on your savings accounts.
So, should you take all of your money out of your current savings account and transfer it to an online bank? Maybe. But let’s talk about the benefits of having multiple savings accounts.
Open a dedicated account with automatic deposits
Saving isn’t just difficult due to financial reasons. Managing money also takes time and effort. To simplify this process, it’s preferable to direct deposit or automatically transfer a percentage of your weekly income into your down payment savings account.
While it may seem like pinching pennies at first, even small weekly deposits add up, and within a few years the compounding interest can earn you enough for a higher down payment than you thought possible.
Prioritize high-interest debt now
Have student debt or a car loan that’s keeping you from focusing on saving for a down payment? Oftentimes the best coarse of action is to aggressively pay off high-interest loans. In the long term, this will save you money that can then be used toward a down payment.
For debt that will take several years to pay off, consider refinancing for a lower interest rate, or consolidating your student loans. Speaking with a student loan adviser or financial planner is a good first step to take toward managing your debt.
Make a real budget
Most of us think of a verb when we hear the word “budget.” However, it’s more useful as a noun.
Creating a real budget, whether it’s in Excel, Google Sheets, or with the help of an app, having a budget you can refer to once a week is vital to making good savings decisions. It will help you monitor your spending and stay on top of your savings goals.
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Have you ever looked around your home and just felt that something was missing? Have you had the feeling that something was off in your home? There are certain design and decor mistakes that you can make inside of your home that may not be so obvious. We’ll give you the information that you need to fix these mistakes and bring back the balance in your home.
Not Enough Lighting
Either you don’t have enough lights in a room, or the lights are not in a good place. You need to make a plan with your lighting as you would with your furniture pieces. Make sure work areas have task lighting, that accent lamps are present to add personality and overhead lighting is spread or or set with a dimmer. This will diversify your lighting types and strengths to help every area of each room be properly lit.
Everything Is Against The Wall
If you enter a room and everything is up against the walls, there’s a problem there! It seems cold and kind of boring if a room appears this way. Make sure that things are at least a few feet apart within a room. Also, try and put some pieces of furniture at angles. Even if you simply put the area rug at an angle, it will make a difference.
There’s Too Much Clutter
If you have too much “stuff” in any room, it can be an issue. If there’s no focal point, it’s easy to overlook each piece. Decorate your rooms so that everything has a place to stand out. Purge your decor at least once a year in order to keep the things that you really love around. Get rid of the tired, boring decor that’s not adding anything to your home. You can also switch up your accessories a few times a year and put away decor that doesn’t gel with the season.
One Color Rules All
You shouldn’t have too much of one color in any room of your home. You’ll need to be sure that you mix it up. If the room is a beige color and your couch is also a neutral tone, place some colorful throw pillows on the sofa to get a pop of color and a bright effect in he room. Choose artwork carefully as well, helping to contrast the wall colors.
There’s No Personality In Your Home
If everything in your home is polished, there’s little room for you to shine through. The most important thing about home decorating is for your personality to be present. While following design rules is a good idea, don’t be so caught up in the “rules” that you forget to show what you like. Let your home represent who you are.