Thursday, January 10, 2019 / by Francisco Latimer
What to look for when buying a house — and what not to do.
The only thing more exciting than shopping for your first house is the day you move into it. And in your eagerness to get to that day, there are a bunch of opportunities to botch the shopping.
Here are some #facepalm moments and the house-hunting tips you'll need to avoid them.
"I Saw the House Online. It's Perfect — Let's Make an Offer Before It's Gone!"
Buying a house sight unseen?!? Whoa. Online photos are a fun sneak peek — and that's all.
Before you plan marriage after the house equivalent of swiping right, consider this:
It's the photos that aren't in the gallery you should worry about. You won't see the hastily patched cracks in the home's foundation. Or the mold in the attic.
Your other senses need to evaluate the place. There could be traffic rumbling by or a stinky recycling facility downwind.
Three words: Wide angle lens. (They make small spaces look deceptive ...
Thursday, January 3, 2019 / by Francisco Latimer
The city where you plan to buy a home may offer loans with no money down.
Can you buy a house with no down payment?</p
Yes, you can.
“Paying 20% down is, quite frankly, a myth," says Karen Hoskins, vice president at NeighborWorks and bearer-of-great-news. "Most buyers pay only 5% to 10% down — some even pay zero."
The key to finding a no-money-down home loan is finding the right assistance program. And there's no shortage of them if you qualify.
Of the roughly 2,500 home-buying programs tracked by Down Payment Resource, a nationwide database of home ownership programs that helps match buyers and properties, 69% offer down payment assistance.
Even better: The average amount of assistance from those programs nationwide tops $11,000 — though amounts would vary greatly between disparate cost-of-living markets like Southern California and Iowa, according to Down Payment Resource. Some 87% of properties are eligible for some kind ...
Thursday, December 27, 2018 / by Francisco Latimer
There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and that takes time: It takes 50 days on average to just close on a home.
How long does it take to buy a house? A lot depends on how much time you spend shopping for one. But once you have a contract, it takes an average of 50 days to close on a house.
There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and any of them could drag out the timeline, especially if you're not prepared. Here's the home-buying timeline, broken down step-by-step, so you can be in control:
1. Do Your Homework
Time: 1-14 days
Dreaming about owning your own home is one thing; making it happen is another. To get beyond the dream stage, you need to do some critical research to help you figure out what you do and don't want — along with how much can you afford.
It's mighty disappointing to fall in love with a house only to find out you can't afford it. A quick chat with your bank can help you avoid that heartb ...
Thursday, December 20, 2018 / by Francisco Latimer
Find out how much it costs to remodel a kitchen, item by item, so you never spend more than you need to.
How much is that kitchen remodel going to cost you? That's a hard number to nail down. It's not like you can cost compare on Amazon.
Instead, you need to research, create a budget, and track your expenses. Having your own kitchen remodel worksheet can help. Download it here. (You'll be prompted to make a copy of the interactive worksheet -- just for you).
Or, scroll on to see what kind of costs to expect and how to save on a kitchen remodel to get the most return on your investment.
Costs of a Typical Kitchen Remodel
Below are itemized costs of kitchen materials and labor so you can see where the possibilities for savings exist.
Price ranges on materials include builder-grade, mid-grade, and better quality, but not the most expensive you can buy. These numbers are meant to convey typical costs.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 / by Francisco Latimer
The most critical things to do to increase your home’s value before putting it on the market.
As a smart seller, you'll want your home in tip-top shape — but you don't want to eat into your profits by overspending on home improvements. You won't be around to enjoy them anyway. The key is to focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house to ensure every dollar you spend supports a higher asking price.
"Smaller and less expensive updates in combination with good staging will have a great return," says Colorado Springs agent Susanna Haynie. But how do you know what things to do before putting your house on the market? Prioritize these updates — and consider letting the rest go.
#1 The Most Important Repair to Make Before Selling: Fix Damaged Flooring
Scratched-up wood flooring; ratty, outdated carpeting; and tired linoleum make your home feel sad. Buyers might take one step inside and scrat ...