Scott Miller's Blog
The homebuying journey is rarely problem-free. Fortunately, homebuyers who know how to address challenges throughout the property buying journey should have no trouble making their homeownership dreams come true.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you develop an effective approach to address any homebuying challenges that come your way.
1. Be Diligent
When it comes to homebuying challenges, it helps to be diligent. A diligent homebuyer allocates time and resources to understand problems and address them from every angle. As such, this buyer may be better equipped than others to find the right solution to any homebuying challenge, at any time.
Furthermore, a diligent homebuyer often learns about the housing market and analyzes real estate market patterns and trends. With this information at his or her disposal, a homebuyer can use real estate market data to gain an advantage over rival property buyers. And as a result, a diligent homebuyer can use housing market data to make fast, informed decisions throughout the property buying journey.
2. Understand the Worst-Case Scenarios
No one likes to think about the worst-case scenarios. Yet considering potential challenges that could arise during the homebuying cycle may help a property buyer plan ahead for these problems.
As a homebuyer, it is important to prepare as much as possible for all stages of the property buying journey. If a buyer understands potential challenges, he or she may be able to address such problems without delay. Perhaps best of all, this buyer can minimize the risk of encountering possible hurdles that otherwise may prevent him or her from finding the right house at the right price.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Dealing with a homebuying challenge on your own can cause immense stress. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you identify and resolve any homebuying challenges before they escalate.
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who can guide you along each stage of the property buying journey. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a custom property buying strategy. A real estate agent next will keep you up to date about new homes that match your property buying criteria, as well as set up home showings. And once you find a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after a seller accepts your offer to purchase a home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you schedule a house inspection and ensure that you are fully prepared for closing day. And if you have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to become a confident homebuyer? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your homebuying confidence and address any homebuying challenges with poise and integrity.
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Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.
On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.
In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.
A breakdown of closing costs
Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.
Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.
For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:
Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney
Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application
Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due
Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home
Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent
Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage
Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application
These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.
Reducing closing costs
Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.
You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.
Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.
Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.
If you have hired a realtor to help you sell your home, you have already taken care of a good amount of the job that needs to be done to get the home sold at the right price. There is one important thing that you need to tend to as a seller- that’s getting your home ready to be shown. Once the home is on the market, your realtor will work with you to schedule open houses and times for the home to be shown privately. Whether you only have a few hours or a day or two to prepare for a home showing, there are a few certain areas that you need to tend to in order to help your home appear clean and tidy to impress buyers.
It doesn’t take very long to sweep down your hardwood and tile floors. After you do this, run over the floors with a mop to remove any stains that may be present on the floor.
The Dust Rag Is Your Friend
If you have time, you can do a deep clean of your home. It also doesn’t take a long time to go over the surfaces of your home with a duster. Getting up the dust will not only make your home smell fresher, but it will appear cleaner as well.
Make The Beds
Your mother told you for years that you need to make your bed in the mornings. She was right. Beds that have been made look much more presentable and homey than rooms with bedding strewn around. If your bedding is looking less than inviting and you have some time before your showing, you may want to pick up some new bedding. The small details are so important when it comes to selling your home, and making the home look inviting is one of them.
Clear The Clutter Out
Whether it’s piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or papers on the counters, clean it up! While you want to give prospective home buyers an idea of what it’s like to live in a place, the home doesn’t need to look “lived in.” Try and get rid of the personal traces that you leave behind as you prepare to sell your home. As a bonus, you should also make sure the trash is empty and fresh.
Vacuum The Rugs
Running a vacuum over your rugs can really help to freshen the home. If you have pets, this will help remove the odor that animals leave behind. It will also provide a fresh surface for anyone who is touring your home to walk on.
Turn On The Lights
When you leave the house for a showing or open house, definitely make sure that all of the shades are open and the lights are on. A bright home is an inviting home.
A potting bench can provide you with a place to work on your garden, from starting seeds to grafting and transplanting. Ideally, your bench should be at a comfortable height for you to work at, be sturdy enough to support plants and tools and enhance the look of your yard. You have several options when it comes to creating a potting bench; choose the one that works best for you:
Reinvent an existing piece: Think outside the box and update an existing piece to make it into a potting bench. A fresh coat of exterior paint, some hooks for tools and a few other extras are all you need to convert a piece of furniture to meet your needs. Sideboards, dressers, desks and other pieces of furniture that are sturdy but that have gone out of style are ideal candidates.
Build it yourself: A potting bench is an ideal beginner's building project; a drill, wood screws, hammer and nails are usually enough to make your own potting bench. You do not need to have a saw-- most big box stores will cut lumber to your specifications when asked. A potting bench made from construction 2x4's is sturdy and affordable to make and free plans can be found online from a wide range of sources. If you have some tools, want to develop your skills and make something that is uniquely yours, then this approach will do.
Use a kit: Love DIY, but not sure where to start? You can purchase a kit to make your own potting bench from a variety of sources. Kits come with pre-cut lumber, fasteners and other items to create your own piece; you'll need to decide what finish to use when you are done. A kit combines the ease of repurposing another piece with the customization of a true DIY build.
Before you begin, list out how you'll use the potting bench and what you want it to do. You should also measure the space you want the bench to go and determine the right height for you -- the height will vary depending on your own physical stature and how you like to work. Once you have these details, you can look for peices to repurpose or plans to build from. Give yourself a weekend to complete this project, then expect to enjoy it for years to come.