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Things to keep in mind before you buy a house

Looking for the perfect home might sound exciting. But sometimes, when you venture out in the hope of finding a paradise, you are shown nothing more than pigeonholes. The path leading to your perfect home may feel like a treacherous one, but that’s far from true. All you must do is keep the important points in mind while you are looking for your next home.

Here are simple tips to keep in mind while hunting for a house so that you can avoid making an expensive mistake.

Know your budget

The process of looking for a new home starts by evaluating your bank accounts, assets, cash flow, and liabilities. The most common mistake people make is that they set their hearts on a house that is beyond their budget. Yes, you can get a home loan to cover the deficit, but luxurious homes come at luxury prices which can throw your budget out of the window.

Know your loan amount eligibility

You can easily check how much loan amount you are eligible for using online home loan calculator, but keep in mind that these are only an estimate and not the final word. To get a true amount, you should contact your bank before starting your search.

There could be a significant difference between what you think you’re eligible (pre-qualified) for and what you receive (pre-approved). It’s important to be sure you know the amount of loan you can get before you set your final budget.

What about the other costs?

People think that, once they have bought a house, they are done with the expenses, but that’s not true. As soon you purchase a home, you’ll have a monthly mortgage payment (assuming you took out a home loan), you’ll have to spend money on maintenance, utilities and more. You also might have to purchase new furniture as well. Also, don’t forget to include insurance costs in your budget. All US mortgage lenders require insurance on your property to protect against costly losses.

Be open to change

Finding the exact home you’ve been dreaming of is extremely difficult. For example, you may want a swimming pool, three balconies, and attached bathroom with every bedroom, but when you may only be able to find properties with two out of the three.

If you spend too much time or are too picky, you might miss a good deal on a house. So, it is best to keep an open mind and a keen awareness of your priorities.

Don’t get carried away

People often make the mistake of overspending money just to decorate their new home. You don’t have to spend extra money if your old furniture is in good condition. Instead plan to replace it with new over time, helping you save a lot of money in the short term.

See through the drama

Builders often offer cosmetic changes or upgrades to change the look of your house for extra money. These fixes can alter the look of your house, but it’s important to consider if these are these additions or alterations are worth it.

Many changes and upgrades can be added later by a handyman or contracting service, often at a much lower price than if purchased from the builder. If you’re trying to save money on a new construction home, this may be a good idea to consider for those “nice but not necessary” improvements like decks, patios, or even central air conditioning units.

Pick and choose

Yes, you should keep an open mind when home searching, but that doesn’t mean you have to make bad choices. If you have a big family, buying a big house with 3-4 bedrooms makes perfect sense. You don’t want to feel cramped in your house just because you wanted to save some money.

Make the list of things that you are not willing to compromise at any cost. This allows you to make the right decision.

Keep an eye out

Builders usually promise to finish work at lightning speed, but the truth is, they take ages to complete the project. If you have made the payment for the house, make sure your visit the property regularly and contact the builder for regular updates. If you sense something is wrong, contact the local authorities to ensure your investment is safe.

If you’re purchasing an already-constructed property, make sure you do a proper survey. For example, if you are looking to find homes for sale near Las Vegas, make sure you check every nook and cranny before making your final decision.

Find your own agent

Hire an agent of your own if you want to know all the secrets of the property. You will have to pay a fee to the agent, in return you will get guidance that will be true. Using Cashifyd to find an expert agent in your local area who offers cashback credit at closing, helping you to save even more on your next real estate purchase.

Home Buying Tips for New U.S. Citizens

The home buying process is often daunting for many people, but for those who are new U.S. citizens, the task can be particularly difficult. However, having a house to oneself is a dream for many immigrants, and there are options available that can help make the process easier to navigate. 

In order to help get your footing on the home buying process as a new U.S. citizen, here are a few tips and resources you can utilize to make your journey as easy as possible.

Save Early

While there are first-time homeowners loans available that immigrants should certainly take advantage of, these loans still require a down payment of 3.5%. Therefore, saving money in advance is imperative to the process. 

Signing up for a bank account in the United States as a new citizen can be difficult, especially due to the potential lack of a U.S. credit score. However, there are now online banks that don’t require credit checks to sign up, allowing you to have a safe place to save your money during your home buying process.

Build Credit

As mentioned previously, credit scores play a major role in the home buying process; your credit history will impact the interest rates and loan amounts you have access to. This applies to most mortgage services, aside from a few agencies that perform underwriting for home buyers and don’t take credit score into account when applying.

However, there are options available for new citizens looking to build their credit. One option would be to use your international credit report to get credit in the United States. This means that you won’t need to spend time signing up for credit cards and building credit, if you have a solid credit score from your previous nation of residence.

Find Community Support

Remember that the home buying process isn’t something that you need to take on all by yourself. Through the support of your friends, family, and other members of your local community, you can find a great network of people who have been through the home buying process themselves. Many of them would be more than willing to provide insights and advice on how to navigate it in the best, most cost-effective way. 

Finally, look for real estate agents that have experience working with new citizens, as they can often point you in the direction of the best resources for you to utilize while searching for a home. They will also be more understanding of your current situation, and give you the time and advice you need, to avoid rushing into the process and overspending, or settling on a home you don’t enjoy. At the end of the day, being a homeowner is a wonderful experience, and the day you finally sign the final deal will be incredibly rewarding.


Relatable articles: Why “We Buy Houses for Cash” is a Bad Idea

Dog Laws & Home Ownership: What You Need to Know

You’ve lived in cramped apartments where having a dog wouldn’t make sense. You upgraded to a beautiful condo annnnnd unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed.

Finally, the moment has come. You’re buying a house! You can get as many dogs as you want now! You can open up your own rescue if you wanted? Right?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. Even as a homeowner, your dog ownership capabilities are more limited than you might think.

Number of Dogs

Buying a house out in the country with lots of land? The sky is pretty much your limit with how many dogs you can own. That’s not the case in many cities, where there are restrictions on how many dogs live in a household. Here are a few examples

  • In Holland, MI only two dogs are allowed per household. A man spent 90 days in jail for refusing to give up one of his three dogs.
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of a neighborhood law that homeowners could have one to three dogs.
  • Homeowners can have no more than four weaned dogs in Long Beach, CA.

Before you buy a house, check the area’s laws if you have more than two dogs, just to play it safe.

Kennel License

Kennel licenses are often thought of for breeders or doggie daycare owners, but that’s not always the case. Some cities require homeowners to get a special kennel license if they own more than four or five dogs. You might have to pay a few hundred dollars each year. Check this table to see each state’s laws (and how much you’ll owe).

Homeowner’s Insurance

Unless you buy a house in Michigan or Pennsylvania, homeowners insurance companies could deny you coverage, solely because of your dog’s breed. These are some of the breeds that are sometimes flagged by insurance companies:

  • Pitbull
  • Doberman
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Huskie
  • Chow Chow
  • Great Dane
  • Akita
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Boxer

Some of those breeds are actually banned in cities as well. Keep in mind, simply having a dog might up your insurance costs — even if Fido is not one of the breeds listed above.

Fencing

The HOA will often have limits on the type of fencing you can have. In some cases, they might require you to have an underground, electric fence — even if you weren’t planning on installing one. The HOA typically has rules on the height, material, and possibly even color of your fence. It’s a good practice to check into HOA laws before buying a house, regardless of owning a dog.

Overall Costs

It’s already expensive to buy and own a house. Considering the kennel licenses, higher insurance premiums, and fence installation costs, it’s pretty clear to see that owning a dog ups your expenses even more. Make sure to factor all of this in when budgeting for buying a house.

Owning a dog is one of the greatest parts of life for many adults. The same goes for owning a house. Having both at the same time is borderline (collie) heavenly, and it’s certainly attainable. But as you’re looking for homes through RealtyHive, make sure you follow up with dog laws in the area before you buy a house, a dog, or both.

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New Year, New Home? How to Tell if You’re Ready to Buy

So you’ve decided to make the jump.

Maybe you want to be able to paint the walls any color you’d like, or have a backyard for your dog to play in. Maybe you’re just tired of having the expense of rent instead of the investment of homeownership. We hear you, and you’re right, homeownership comes with many advantages. Before you start picking patterns for curtains, you’ve got a few other things to work out. Here’s what you need to ask yourself to decide if you’re ready to buy a home.

What’s your money situation?

More than likely you’re going to need a loan to buy your home, especially if this is your first home purchase. In this case, the first step is to talk with a mortgage lender to find out exactly what you are approved for. They’ll talk with you and find out what your current assets and debts are. They’ll ask about your income, check your credit score, and basically assess the situation to help you figure out where you’re at. Once you know the general math, you’ll be able to start looking for a home. One thing to consider, though, is that home prices are not all-inclusive. If you buy a home for $150,000, that’s not the only price you’re liable to pay right away. You’ll be expected to pay homeowners insurance, closing costs, and sometimes Homeowners Association fees all right away as well. All this needs to be factored into your math when purchasing your home.

What does your future hold?

While no one can predict the future, you should have a guess of what the next few months, and ideally years, hold for you. Shortly after closing on a new home is not the time to quit your steady job in favor of becoming a freelance harmonica tuner. (no matter what the couples in House Hunters make you think). You’re also going to want to make sure your new home is in an area you’d like to stay in. Are you planning to stay put for a while or are you thinking of leaving the country to teach abroad? If you have children or intend to, how are the schools in the area? Will you have enough bedrooms? Does the neighborhood seem safe? Sure, if you find that you don’t want to or can’t live in your house after a few months or years, you do have options. You could sell or rent it out, but both of those options come with their own challenges.

Are you being realistic?

Sure, you want to find your dream home in a wonderful location priced below your budget, but that rarely happens. More often you’re going to have to make some concessions when it comes to finding the right home. Is having a detached garage a real deal breaker for you or can you overlook that fact for a spacious kitchen? Do you have your heart set on a charming old Victorian home, but cringe at the thought of making significant updates right off the bat? Will you be able to afford the utility costs of heating/cooling/lighting a 7300 square foot home or would you be better suited for a smaller place? Do you really want to move you, your spouse, and 3 Great Danes into a “tiny home”? These are all things that need to be considered. You’re better off by recognizing these trade-offs in the beginning and addressing them than to ignore the reality of your situation.

Owning a home is an investment, but choosing the right one and making sure you’re ready, both financially and otherwise, are the biggest factors in making the decision successful. Long story short, you should buy because you’re ready, not because you think you need to. Whether you’re just browsing or are ready to take the plunge, RealtyHive can help. Check out our upcoming auctions to find homes in your area at the best value!

 

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