Monthly Archives: October 2008

Buying Versus Renting, Which is Better??

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Buying Versus Renting. Which is Better ???
I guess it depends on who you are asking. People used to think that home purchase should be saved until after marriage and when a career became stable. But many 20 somethings’ are delaying marriage well into their 30’s, choosing to be independent and work on their careers. Many young professionals are becoming successful at an early age, and are looking to stop throwing their money away, but rather throw it into an investment. Is it time for you to make that transition?? Continue to Rent if:·You think you may be relocating within the next few months ·You are stretching to make ends meet now ·Your credit is very poor and score cannot be raised within a year ·Your employment situation is not stable Cons of Renting:·You reap no tax advantages, tax breaks are for homeowners. Your landlord receives all tax breaks and equity available ·Your landlord can increase your rent every time your lease is renewed ·Usually renters cannot personalize their homes, and can be charged a fee for adding something like hardwood floors or upgrading fixtures. Sometimes renters even have to leave the upgrades they have made to the home Consider Buying if:·You want to have the stability, security and reap the rewards of investing in a home ·You don’t want to be subject to a landlord increasing your rents annually ·You want to paint and decorate your home as you please ·You want to build equity in your home ·You want to eventually own your home and have no more payments ·In the future you want to use your home as collateral for a business, sending your child to college or other large expenses.

Ok, it’s time to Buy . . . What Should I do First???
Ok, you are ready to see some return on the money you send out every month. First you want to take a look at your budget, for some, you want to make a budget. You do have disposable income left over after all bills are paid, and you are saving at least some portion of your salary every month. Meet with a Mortgage professional and let them explain to you the many different mortgage options and find one that is best for you. Also, after meeting with the Mortgage professional, you should know how much home you can afford, and leave with a pre-approval letter. Next, you should meet with a Realtor to discuss your needs. This meeting with help you to find out what kind of home you can purchase with the amount of money you have to spend. This is also a great time to discuss with your Realtor, the amenities you have become accustomed to in your apartment, and find out what amenities you can expect in your home.

How do I Prepare??
Ok, so you’re 6 months to a year away from making renter to buyer transition. What kind of planning should you do? Now is a great time to save money. Hopefully, you already have some savings, but if not, now is the time to save as much as you can. Have money automatically withdrawn from your checking account every month and deposited into an interest bearing savings account, for example, www.ingdirect.com. Now is also the time to order a copy of your credit report from all three credit agencies, so that you can compare them and make corrections. Also you can make sure that they all have the same information, try, www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you have a copy of your credit report from all three agencies, you need to carefully check all of them for errors, including correct addresses and social security numbers. This is the time to ask for bad credit accounts ( excluding bankruptcy) that are past seven years old, to be removed for your credit report.

Should I take the HomeBuyer Assistance Class??
If you have at least 6 months before purchasing your home, taking a home buying assistance course has many advantages. Most courses are free, only require 8 hours of your time, and the class is usually offered on Saturday’s. By completing the course and receiving your certificate, you may be eligible for grant money, down-payment assistance, lower interest rates, and discounts. This program can add up to $14,000 in assistance and most times, this grant or assistance money does not have to be paid back. Ask your Realtor for information about the home buyer assistance class.

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10 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

 

While most improvements you make to your home should be made to increase your enjoyment, you also want these improvements to add value.  Below are the top 10 ways you can do just that.

 

 

1.         Add a new roof – In addition to landscaping and siding, a roof is one of thefirst things a buyer sees when approaching your home.  Make sure your roof is maintained and if need be completely repaired.

 

2.        Major kitchen remodel – Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes and within a tight market, these rooms are very important. Adding features like granite   countertops, high quality stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry, and additional counter space for preparing meals, are some great ways to increase value.

 

3.         Major bathroom remodel – Creating a luxurious spa-like feel to the bathroom is one of the biggest ways to add value to your home.  Updating the standard tub to a large garden tub, adding  a his and hers sink, adding a two-headed shower, more storage space and even additional natural light are ways to increase to bathroom experience.

 

4.         Home office remodel – Having a home office is more of a standard than an option now with so many professionals working from home.  This addition not only adds square footage, but definitely increases value.

 

   5.         Create a master suite – Turning the master bedroom into a suite or retreat, gives the buyer a feeling of luxury and relaxation and is an expected feature for most buyers. 

 

6.         Add a family room – Adding a room for kids to play, for the family to meet and have activities is a great way to give a cozy and warm feel to a home

 

7.         Landscape your yard – Creating curb appeal with a beautifully landscaped yard not only adds to the bottom line but helps in bringing buyers inside.     Adding seating and entertaining space is also a plus.

 

8.         Add a deck – Adding a deck for a relaxing summer evening is greatly desired in areas with warm climates, adding an entertainment feature to the home.

 

9.         Paint the walls – Adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the most inexpensive things you can do to make a room  feel larger and more spacious, creating the appearance of an more open floor plan. Using neutral or lighter colors is a plus.

 

10.       Replace your old siding – Some buyers will definitely judge a book by its cover- updating the siding of your home or even giving it a major cleaning can improve the curb appeal for those drive-by buyers.

 

You will need to consult your Realtor and appraiser to find out the dollar value these improvements have made to your home, but almost anything done to create a relaxing retreat, with a clean, open feel and high-quality appliances will increase your enjoyment and also the return on your investment.