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Posted by Monica Kavanaugh on 2/20/2018

For some home buyers, a home older than a certain date is automatically off the table. But for others the more history a home has the more interested they become in placing a bid. If you are in the latter camp, this article is for you. Owning a historic home isnít for everyone and there are a few things you should know before beginning your search.  

One disappointment for potential homebuyers can be the limitations historic districts or easements put in place. They can limit what you can and cannot do aesthetically to your home such as paint colors and architectural changes, especially to the front of the house. If you find yourself dreaming of new siding colors, tearing down walls or building additions to make the house ďjust rightĒ, you may find yourself disappointed. These are common changes that donít go beyond the drawing board due to limitations in place and can even bring down the value of your home.   

On the plus side, because of these rules in place, the area probably has an active neighborhood association. You can expect well taken care of homes on your street that stay authentic to the historical charm you so love. Youíll have a community to turn to when youíre looking to gain knowledge on renovating and repairing your home. Chances are pretty high they have had to make similar repairs and know the best contractors in the area or where to source materials youíll need.

And this is great because youíll want to be prepared for repairs throughout the years to maintain your home. When renovating itís important that you use the right materials as not doing so could damage your home in the long run if they donít play well with your homeís existing infrastructure. For this reason, youíll want to hire historic home specialists and preservationists when it comes time to make repairs.

In historic homes, repair bills can add up especially if youíve taken on a ďprojectĒ home. Take your current and projected income into consideration and if youíll have the ability to keep up with costs. No one wants to live in a permanent construction zone and this can very well be the case if you run out of funds. You may want to consider an FHA 203k loan, aka a rehab mortgage, to help cover these costs especially any large ones youíll need in the beginning. Some states also offer grants and tax deductions for repairs and maintenance on historic homes.

For each home you consider, hire an inspector that specializes in historical houses and therefore well versed on what to look out for and what the common (and uncommon) warning signs are. Be on the alert for asbestos, mold and lead paint especially if you have or plan to have small children. And know when to walk away, homes with structural issues are usually not worth their while and the issues youíre sure to have with time.

Purchasing a historical home is more than just a buying a house. Itís buying a piece of history with memories imprinted into its floors and walls. It is for this reason you also want to ensure those memories are not toxic or unsafe for your family. This house buying, perhaps more than any other, is one best-given plenty of time to find ďThe OneĒ thatís perfect for you.  





Posted by Monica Kavanaugh on 2/13/2018

Congratulations on your recent home sale! Now, you just need to figure out how to tell family members, friends and other loved ones that you'll be packing up and moving out of your current residence.

Informing loved ones about a home sale may seem challenging at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you keep your cool as you tell loved ones that you've sold your house.

Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid the stress and headaches sometimes associated with informing loved ones about your decision to sell your home.

1. Get Ready for Questions

Loved ones have your best interests in mind, and as such, likely will have many questions about why you sold your residence.

What prompted you to sell your home now? How much did you receive for your home? And where do you plan to live in the future? These are just some of the questions that you should be ready to face from family members, friends and other loved ones.

Moreover, answer loved ones' questions as best you can. And if you are uncertain or uncomfortable about answering a question, you can politely decline to respond.

2. Keep an Open Mind

Things will move quickly after you sell your home. Although you may have plans to buy a new residence or relocate out of state at some point, you might still need time to finalize your next move.

Oftentimes, loved ones may pressure you to move in a certain direction following your home sale. But it is essential to keep the best interests of yourself and your family in mind at all times.

If family members or friends pressure you to make a move that makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. Remember, your loved ones want you to be happy, and they should be willing to listen to your concerns after you share the news that you have sold your residence.

3. Operate Fearlessly

After you accept a homebuyer's offer for your residence, the toughest part of the home selling journey is over. At this point, you can finalize your home sale and move forward with the next stage of your life.

It takes a lot of courage to sell a house, and you should maintain this confidence as you tell loved ones about your home selling decision.

Regardless of how a loved one feels about your decision to sell your house, what's most important is how you feel about your choice. If you believe you made the best decision possible, you should feel good, even if family members or friends disagree.

When it comes to telling loved ones about your home selling decision, don't forget to reach out to your real estate for assistance. This real estate professional understands the challenges of informing family members and friends about a home selling decision and may be able to offer expert guidance. That way, you can remain poised and confident as you share your home selling news with others.





Posted by Monica Kavanaugh on 2/6/2018

When you're a homeowner, it's tempting to save money any way you can. Oftentimes people take repairs into their own hands when they don't have the knowledge or experience to complete the job safely. What begins as a way to save money can quickly turn into a disaster--as you spend lengthy periods of time on a project and find yourself going over your initial budget. It isn't always easy to know which projects you can attempt yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. And, of course, it will depend on your comfort and skill level when it comes to various household repairs. So, if you're a plumber, disregard our plumbing advice and dive in to your DIY plumbing projects since you have the know-how. But if you're an average homeowner looking to make some renovations and repairs, read on to find out which ones you should attempt and which ones are better left to the pros.

1. Electrical work

So you've got a few faulty outlets in the new home you bought. It doesn't seem worth calling in an electrician just for those few minor issues. However, due to the dangers and complications that can arise from electric work, it's a good idea to hold off and call in the experts. Aside from shocking yourself (which can be deadly), you could also create fire hazards or damage circuitry, resulting in much higher repair costs than you initially had. Another benefit of calling in an electrician, other than having the project done correctly, is that they will be able to diagnose your home circuitry to let you know what other problems might arise in the foreseeable future.†So, when it comes to power issues, always call in the pros.

2. Hazardous materials

Many people will tell you not to worry about asbestos or lead paint unless you have children. However, these are both dangerous materials than can create several chronic health problems in adults as well. If you're concerned for the safety of yourself and your family, call in contractors who will remove the lead or asbestos. What can go wrong if you try to do it yourself? Lead chips and dust will fly through the air when attempting to remove lead paint. Breathing in these fumes is dangerous initially and down the road when the dust settles into the corners of your home. Asbestos, especially in blown-in insulation can be particularly dangerous. Aside from ensuring your safety, a contractor will also be able to assess the situation and determine whether your hazardous materials need to be removed or can just be "repaired" or covered up. Simple repair jobs on asbestos or lead-containing objects can save you some serious time and money.

3. Roofing and siding

There's a reason even building contractors bring in third party companies to install roofs and siding. These are both labor-intensive and time-intensive jobs that require specialized skills and tools that only dedicated companies can accomplish correctly. Roofing and siding are both dangerous jobs that carry the risk of falling off of roofs and ladders, as well as injuring your back lifting heavy shingles. The pros have the tools and experience to avoid these injuries. When you hire the professionals to do your roofing or siding, you can rest assured that the job is done correctly and will last much longer than if you made it a DIY project as well.





Posted by Monica Kavanaugh on 1/30/2018

Selling a home requires a combination of careful planning, favorable market conditions, and good luck. As a result, thereís no simple formula for determining when your house will sell. There are, however, things you can do to help increase the odds of your home selling within your timeline.

In this article, weíll go over some of the reasons homes sell quickly or slowly, and offer some tips on how to plan accordingly so that your home sells at the price you want and within the time you need, so you can get back to your life in your new home.

What you canít control

Letís start with the pre existing conditions that you wonít have much sway over when it comes to selling your home. First, thereís the market: is it a buyerís or a sellerís market? The term ďsellerís marketĒ deals with supply and demand. In a sellerís market, there is more demand than supply, and therefore listings often see quicker sales and more frequent offers. These terms are used geographically as well. While we are currently considered to be in sellerís market nationwide, it could vary geographically. Certain cities and regions experience surplus housing and are therefore considered buyerís markets.

What you might be able to control

One factor in the amount of time it takes for your home to sell that you have some control over is when you put it on the market. A new study has found that the best time to sell a home is early March to late April, depending on your geographic location.

For you, this means ensuring that your home is ready to be listed by the end of January. That means you wonít want to delay in getting outdoor issues taken care of before winter arrives if you live in a colder climate. Itís much easier to work on roofs and driveways or septic systems before temperatures reach freezing.

What you can absolutely control

Now that weíve talked about those details which are out of your hands, letís talk about what you can do now to increase the likelihood of your home selling when you need it to.

First, be sure to price your home accurately. Any time that your house sits on the market with an inflated price is time wasted.

Next, stay on track with home improvements and upgrades that will increase the interior appeal and curb appeal of your home. That means fresh coats of neutral paint, a lot of cleaning and decluttering, and some appropriate landscaping. Itís important to remember, however, that some upgrades arenít very cost-effective, so be sure to do your research before taking on big home improvement projects.

Right before you put your home on the market, take the time to stage the home and take great photos. Cell phone pictures of a dirty house with poor lighting wonít do you any favors. If you know a photographer, enlist their help for the day to make sure your photos stand out on listing websites.

If you follow these tips and remain consistent in communicating with your real estate agent, thereís no reason you shouldnít sell your home within the timeframe needed for you and your family.





Posted by Monica Kavanaugh on 1/23/2018

If youíre ready to buy a home, you probably have done a lot of research. One thing is sure: You know you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Itís perhaps the most critical step in the process of buying a home for a variety of reasons. Thereís down payments and debt-to-income ratios, and other financial issues to worry about. You need to know what type of mortgage you should get. To help you understand what kind of mortgage you need, you should get pre-approved.


Understand The Pre-Approval Process


There are many misconceptions about pre-approvals. First, buyers need to understand that there is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification merely scrapes the surface of your financial state, while a pre-approval goes through everything a mortgage company will need to grant you a loan. You may be pre-qualified for a much higher amount than you can actually afford, for example.


Pre-Approval Defined


A pre-approval is a lenderís written commitment to a borrower. The approval states that the lender is willing to lend a certain amount of money for a home. The lender obtains the following from the buyer:


  • Employment history
  • Credit report
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements


The time and effort that it takes to get a pre-approval is worth it because everything will be ready for the lender to grant the mortgage once an offer is made on a home. It also gives the buyer an upper hand in finding the home of their dreams. Many sellers require a pre-approval with an offer.


When To Get A Pre Approval


As soon as you know youíre serious about buying a home and are ready to start the house hunt, you should get pre-approved. Pre-approvals do expire after a certain amount of time, but lenders can renew them with proper notice. 


The Importance Of The Pre-Approval


Many buyers feel that they can skip the pre-approval process altogether. It has many benefits. Besides giving you a better look at your finances and how much house you can afford, pre-approvals can:


  • Give you the insight to correct your credit score and help you correct credit problems
  • Help to avoid disappointment when you find a home you love
  • Allow first-time buyers to see all of the costs involved in buying a home


A pre-approval is a handy thing to have, and itís not just because the experts say itís essential. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you to be more on top of your finances going into one of the most significant purchases you'll ever make in your life. 

 




Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized