When it comes to buying your first house, it is something that is really exciting. However, as a first-time buyer, there can also be some surprises along the way. There may be some costs that you might not have considered before the house buying process, as well as a few things that you simply just didn’t know about. So with that in mind, here are some surprising things that first-time buyers might encounter.
Your mortgage could get sold
When you are getting a mortgage it can feel like a whole new world of finances and paperwork. But did you know that it is quite likely that your mortgage will get sold at least once? Many mortgage brokers will sell some mortgages in order to make money, as well as allowing some capital to free up, so that they can continue to loan money to people. If this happens, then there is no reason to panic. You should just listen to what your lender says about where new payments need to be made to.
You can buy a house without seeing it completed
When it comes to buying a new-build home, which is quite common for first-time buyers, you can often buy a house or apartment off the plan, which means that you haven’t seen it finished, but buy it anyway. This is something that can be quite common, if you look at Meriton apartments and homes, for example. Although there is an element of risk of not liking the house or apartment afterwards, when there are a lot of potential buyers, getting in there early and buying off plan can be a good way to make sure that the property becomes yours.
If you are going to buy a house from renting, then you will quickly realize just how many more bills that you have. Landlords can often cover a lot of costs, such as repairs of appliances, for example. As a homeowner, all of that will be up to you. Your landlord may have also combined energy bills and things like broadband, but now it will be all of your own responsibility to sort and arrange.
The value of the home depends on a lot of things
By keeping your home in good shape and decorating it well, doesn’t mean that the value of the house will increase. There are so many other factors to consider when it comes to the value of a home, and whether it will increase or decrease. The location, accessibility to good schools, and other factors can play a part, as well as what work you do to the home, such as extending to add an extra bedroom.
If you are a first-time buyer, then be prepared for some unexpected things to come your way, as well as unexpected costs to come your way. Having a little extra money in your budget can really make a difference, and that will mean that you can have a little bit of relief should something very unexpected come your way.
Buying a new home is an incredibly exciting time, you’ll be looking forward to a new chapter, and making a great investment. House hunting can be a complicated progress, and many people find it stressful. To help you ease the stress, here are four mistakes to avoid when you are house hunting.1 . Failing To Set A BudgetBefore you start house hunting it’s important to establish a budget, and understand what you can afford. Failing to budget means you could end up looking at homes that are way out of your price range. Equally, you might be able to afford more than you think. According to NerdWallet, ‘you shouldn’t spend more than 28% of your gross monthly income on home-related costs and 36% total on debts.’ Whether you’re looking for high end real estate and properties or an inexpensive flat, it’s important to know your budget from the get-go.
2. Not Knowing The NeighbourhoodWhen you’re buying a property in a new neighbourhood you need to spend plenty of time getting to know the area. You might have found your dream house, but choosing the wrong neighbourhood can affect your quality of life. The neighbourhood will also have an impact on the value of your property over time. Spend time in the area, go shopping, eat at restaurants, explore the parks and research the schools. When you’re working with your real estate agent, you can ask questions about the neighbourhood. You might want to ask:
Your agent will be able to support you to find out more about the area. With plenty of information, it’s easier to make an informed decision.
3. Failing to shop around
Buying the perfect home takes a little time, if you don’t shop around you could end up settling for the wrong place. To help you shop around you should make a list of your wants and needs. Think about how many bedrooms you need, and how important it is that you have a garden. Are you looking for a new build or an older property? Which amenities do you need on your doorstep? Answering questions like these will make your house hunting journey a whole lot easier.
4. Skipping the house inspection
Before you commit to buying a property it’s important to get a house inspection. A house inspection will identify any faults with the property, it might be structural damage, electrical faults, or asbestos risks. A house inspection will highlight any issues that need urgent attention. If there are issues which affect the value and safety of the home, you might find yourself rethinking the deal.
The house hunting process doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s important to get organized, and know exactly what you are looking for. Avoiding these mistakes will get you that little bit closer to finding your dream home.
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Most of us know what a great home looks like. We may spend time browsing for them online, or we get that unmistakable feeling when taking a property tour. Of course, all of us have different tastes, but sometimes, there are objective markers as to what constitutes a great home, to the point where we instinctually feel it where possible.
But how can you find the perfect home for YOU in this capacity? It’s not very easy to define that if we haven’t spent the time trying to figure it out. Luckily, there are a few filters, principles and rules you can set or define before going on your house hunt to make sure you end up with something you’re interested in.
What does that mean going forward? Well, the next time you decide to browse the best homes for sale, consider some of the following tidbits of insight. You never know just when they may be applicable or help you see the value in a home that someone else might not. Let’s get started:
Filter Your Budget (And How You May Stretch)
It’s good to filter what kind of budget you’re happy with, and search properties within that lens. However, it’s also good to widen those strict terms just a little to give you more leeway. For instance, you never know just how an amazing location might convince you to buy a cheaper property and spend a year renovating it instead of moving in right away, or perhaps borrowing money or stretching your budget to go for a house that has it all. So, be mindful of your budget, but don’t consider it totally gospel. This can help you browse more options without being silly about it.
Find Specialized Property Agents
Property agents and realty services can help you get the viewings, explore an area, and highlight the fixtures. Of course, they can also help you seamlessly put an offer in and manage the transfer of the property, including the associated fees and paperwork. However, you will notice that some have experience in certain home types, and others may have specific experience in rural areas. If looking for a particular property, like a city penthouse, make sure to use agents that have thorough experience in that field and a wide portfolio of properties to show you.
Think Of Communities & Lifestyles, Not Just Homes
It’s not just about the property you’ll live in, but everything that comes with that. Make sure to view the local community, speak to some of its people, spend a weekend there, and consider what your lifestyle may be when choosing that location. A seafront home may encourage a completely different mode of living than when living in a large city. But what if the large city is also on the seafront? You can see how a location truly dictates what kind of activities, culture and general attitudes you may be exposed to. It’s worth thinking of that as much as you can.
With this advice, we hope you can continue to find the perfect home for you - as you deserve.
You might have heard that home buyers only care about the four walls. In other words, they aren’t particularly concerned with what exists inside a home they are thinking about purchasing or what’s around it. However, polls show time and time again that this isn’t the case. Indeed, it seems a variety of factors will impact whether a buyer chooses to commit to a home purchase. So, you do need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to ensure that your home is attractive and something that they would want.
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Use A Home Stager
You might want to think about using a home stager to ensure that your property looks fantastic to a potential buyer. A home stager will make interior design and decor choices for you. The aim will be to highlight the key selling points of your property and ensure that a buyer does notice them. You might think a home stager is too expensive but they can earn you a lot more than they cost.
If you speak to a realtor you can find on sites like Camijoneshomes.com one of the first pieces of advice they’ll give is that you should be decluttering your home. The reason for this is that decluttering your home will make your property look significantly larger overall. Thus, it will also look more expensive. As well as this, by removing the clutter you can guarantee that the home feels more impressive and grand. One of the issues with decluttering your home is that you might not have the space to put the extra items. If that’s the case, then you should think about using outside storage. The right outside storage will be budget-friendly and ensure that your home looks great.
Boost Curb Appeal
When you are selling a home, you always need to think about the first impression that you are making with the home. This is all about the curb appeal or what the home looks like from the outside. There are lots of ways to ensure that the exterior of your home looks appealing. For instance, you might want to think about speaking to a landscaper. They could have a few ways to level up your property. This might include adding a water feature or adding different levels to your garden.
Explore The Latest Trends
Finally, you should think about the latest trends and incorporate them into your interior design and decor. One of the ways that you can do this is by adding new tech to your home design. You could consider a smart control system or something like a UHD TV. The latest TVs look like works of art, particularly when they are fitted to the wall with a professional design. You can find more information on UHD TVs by visiting www.howtogeek.com.
We hope this helps you understand everything that you need to know about how to make your home more attractive to a potential buyer. If you take the right steps here, then you can guarantee that you do get a fast home sale at the right price.
Buying a house is a big milestone and a lot of young people are eager to get onto the property ladder as soon as possible, but is that really the best thing to do?
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Plenty of people will tell you that getting your own place is the best thing to do because it’s an investment and you are paying towards owning a property instead of paying rent on somebody else’s. Although that is true, there are a lot of other things you have to consider too. These are some of the reasons why you should wait before buying your first house.
You Can Save A Bigger Deposit
A lot of people rush into buying a house because they have enough for a down payment and they are accepted for a mortgage. But how much can you borrow? Even though you can technically get a mortgage, you might not be able to borrow that much, which means that you won’t get a great house. If you don’t want to make sacrifices on space, you will usually have to go for a less-than-ideal location, and that makes more difference than you think. It’s better to look for local apartments for rent in a desirable location instead of spending all of your money on a run down house or a house in a bad location. That gives you more time to save a bigger deposit and get your finances in order, so when you do eventually buy a place, you can get the house of your dreams.
You Don’t Have To Pay For Maintenance
Most first time buyers underestimate just how much it costs to own a house. People are always talking about how much money you save when you buy your own place instead of renting, but they fail to factor in the cost of important home repairs. You might think that you are financially stable enough to own your own home, but you may find otherwise once you move in and start paying for all of the maintenance. In many cases, it’s better to wait a while until you have more money to pay for the upkeep of your home. In the meantime, let your landlord deal with it.
It’s Easier To Move
Where will you be in five year’s time, or ten? You might not know that, which is fine, but you should consider that when you are deciding whether to buy a house or not. If you are just starting a new career, for example, work could take you halfway across the country. If you are renting, moving to a new place is fairly straightforward. But if you own your home, you have to go through the whole process of selling. If you only bought the house a year or two before, this isn’t ideal and you could even end up losing money on it. That’s why it’s better to wait until you are ready to put roots down before you buy.
People are always saying that young people need to get on the housing market as soon as possible, but that isn’t always true. These are some of the best reasons NOT to buy a house if you are young.
Making Your Home More Cost-Efficient
Even if you’ve paid a lot for your home, you still have to worry about the cost of living in your home. The bills won’t pay themselves, and they are going to be what you make them. There’s a lot you can do around the house to lower these costs, and it’s important to be conscious of what’s costing you more money every month. When you look at your energy bill, you can start to think of ways to cut it down, and what improvements can be made around the home to make the cost of living there a lot cheaper for you. Living is expensive enough, and you owe it to yourself to be making the most out of your money.
If there’s one thing that can put a dent in your wallet, it’s the money that you have to spend to warm your home during the winter. There’s a lot that can be done about your heating, but one of the things that are going to help the most, and also pay for itself, is the insulation within your walls. It might be an expensive investment at first, but if you’re planning to stay put for a long time, then having better insulation put in is going to save you a lot of money when it comes to your heating bills.
Just like double insulation, one of the better ways to keep the cold out is through thicker windows. Your windows can contribute a lot to the warmth of your house, but you won’t be feeling their effectiveness if they’re thin or cheap. Having a Renewal by Andersen window replacement can help to ensure that your windows aren’t costing you extra when it comes to your energy bill. Windows are yet again another expensive investment, but they’ll save you money in the long run. It’s important to have these changes made if you’re going to invest in better insulation too, as they rely on each other to keep the place warm.
Invest in a better boiler
The boiler itself is of course what you’re using to keep your house warm, but you have to consider the effectiveness of it. Not all boilers are built equally! Some are going to be more energy efficient than others, and that’s the difference between a cheap and an expensive boiler. They’re pricey when you’re looking at them, but if you take the time to work out how much money you could be saving on your energy bills.
A lot of people are going to be hesitant when it comes to investing a lot in a better boiler - it’s a large investment after all, but it does more than just save you money. Having a better boiler is not only great for your energy bill, but it can be better for the atmosphere too. If you’re conscious about how much energy you’re using, then it’s best to make sure you have the right boiler for you.
Deal with cracks and holes
Damages around the home can contribute to your energy bills a lot more than you may think. If your windows have a draft, or you have any holes where the cold air can get in, it’s going to make your home a lot colder overall. Even if you have a great boiler, it’s going to have to work harder to keep the place warm if you have damages that are letting the cold in. If you’re not much of a person to handle these things yourself, you should have someone come and repair it as soon as possible!
Be more energy conscious
A lot of the time, the amount of money that contributes to the energy bill is made up of things that could be avoided. Of course, you’re never going to bring that number down to zero, but if you’re more careful about how you use things; it can certainly help. Paying attention to how often lights are left on when they don’t need to be, appliances that are wasting electricity when out of use; it all adds up over time. You don’t need to avoid using your appliances completely, but being aware of what’s using energy when you don’t need it can help to save you money here and there.
You’re not going to be saving fortunes every month, but that number soon adds up by the end of the year, so keeping on top of your bills and figuring out how to save yourself money can help significantly if you’re trying to improve your financial situation.
We all put off household jobs and repairs sometimes. Some of these jobs can be safely put off with no issues, but some reairs should be sorted out as soon as possible before they turn 97nto much larger issues. Here are the home repairs you should never put off doing.
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Grouting Or Caulking
Caulk doesn’t cost much, but it’s important. Caulk prevents water from getting into places like your walls or falls and causing damp or household mold. Check around the shower, bath, windows, and doors for any areas that are missing caulk or grouting. If there is, deal with it then and there, as missing grout is a lot less expensive to repair than water damage.
A crack in your foundation could mean the structure of your home is at risk, which will massively lower its value. You might be able to tell if your foundation has shifted if your doors start to be more difficult to close properly. Go outside and check the foundation for any cracks or other signs of movement. If you find a significant crack, you need to call in a professional immediately to take a look and see if the foundation needs to be shored up.
A roof that is letting in water can cause a lot of very expensive damage, from mold to major structural damage. You will need to call in a professional to get any roof damage repaired as soon as you notice any damage, or you could end up with much bigger problems, that will be far pricier to have sorted out.
AC Filter Service
A dirty air filter means your SC system will need to work a lot harder. Get ready for Spring and higher temperatures by checking your AC filters. You can make your AC unit cheaper to run by not putting off any repairs it needs and having your filter cleaned a few times a year.
Wooden decking, especially in the shade, can easily rot if it’s left wet. This makes the structure of your deck quite dangerous and can cause other problems like the rails around the edge coming loose.
If you notice rot in your deck, you will need to replace any boards that are rotting. For older decks, you might need to replace all the boards so you know they’re safe. This also helps the deck to look the same when you’re finished, instead of having an obvious repair. You could replace the wooden boards with composite decking. This is more expensive than wood, but it doesn’t rot.
Leaves, twigs, and other debris can block your gutters. During bad weather, this will make water spill over your guttering, which will then freeze. As the water can’t flow away from the house, it can also get into your basement, causing damp. Clean the gutters once or twice a year so the water can drain freely. Gutter guards will keep them free of debris too.
While we largely focus on interior design within the pages of this website, it is sometimes important to consider the exterior of our homes too. What we show on the outside can reflect the beauty of our homes inside, especially when we match the overall design of our properties to a particular style and time period.
When we talk about our home exterior, we often use the term curb appeal. This is largely used in the context of a home sale, as the better the curb appeal, the more attractive it will be to the home buyer. This is certainly something you should think about when selling your home, but you should also find ways to improve your home's curb appeal for the benefit of your peace of mind at home and to appease any grumbling neighbors
Here are some suggestions we hope you find useful.
#1: Give your front door a new lease of life
A fresh lick of paint will often do the trick when refreshing your front door, especially when using a color that pops when contrasted with the rest of your home's stonework. You could refresh the hardware on your door too, perhaps with a handle made out of polished brass if you are trying to add period charm or with something a little more modern if your home is of contemporary design. Door decor can also prove pleasing to the eye, such as a lavender wreath, a hanging basket, or a decorative name plaque.
#2: Keep pests at bay
By pests, we aren't only talking about mice, moles, and the vast array of garden pests that can ruin your home's curb appeal. We are also talking about wandering cats who could dig up your flower patches or birds that could leave droppings on your roof and walls. You can buy various types of repellants to keep pests both large and small at bay, including those that keep away next door's moggy. Pest control services can keep the majority of birds and beasties away too, including bird specialists who can provide roof and solar panel pigeon protection. There are all kinds of how-to guides online, so if there is a particular pest ruining your home's curb appeal, continue your research online.
#3: Take care of your lawn
This is the obvious thing to do as an overgrown lawn is never going to please the eyes of anybody walking by. Regularly care for your lawn by removing weeds, mowing your grass, blowing away leaves, and keeping it watered. Plant some flowers too, perhaps by taking a cue from these beautifully designed flower bed ideas, and consider adding garden decoration if you think it is safe to do so.
#4: Get on top of any repairs
It could be a broken fence or mailbox. Or it might be a cracked driveway. It could also be chipped paint on your exterior walls. Such issues can be an eyesore to any onlookers, so whatever the problem is, make the appropriate fixes or call on a specialist for professional help.
Never underestimate your home's curb appeal. While you will understandably focus on your interior design when trying to improve the look of your home, there are times when the exterior will need some attention too. Follow our suggestions and look for further inspiration online or by paying attention to the homes in your neighborhood.
When it comes to selling your house, you obviously want to get the best deal possible, right? And in a market that’s as crazy as real estate, working with a good estate agent is key to getting the money and the time you’re looking for. You want a good price and an even better time period, making sure you’re off the market and home free in less than a few months.
Some estate agents are better than others - and there’s no denying that - so make sure you’re aware of what makes an agent good at their job, above anyone else. Because of this, we’ve put together a short list of such marks for your easy convenience below.
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What’s Their Website Like?
The first thing to do is click through to look at their website, and make sure you like what you see. Is it bare bones? Are there many properties? Are the navigation tabs relevant? If they have a blog section, is it filled with handy, good to know information? And most of all, how recently was the website updated?
If you’d like an example of a good update schedule, be sure to click here for something to base your criteria on. Ask yourself questions like these while browsing and you’ll narrow your search down much faster.
How Good Does the Valuation Sound?
When an estate agent puts in a valuation of your property, and it’s so much more than any quote you’ve heard before (from friends or family, surveyors, the general market consensus, etc.,), it’s a sign you’re being pulled along just for the job. The agent in question wants to reel you in, and before you happily jump on the numbers they’re showing you, you need to take 5 and think about it.
Because an estate agent that’s being honest with you will quote you a valuation that’s about what you think it should be. It should also align with other valuations currently on the market, which makes sure it’s a realistic price that is likely to attract buyers. All in all, the valuation should sound good, because you expected that number, but it shouldn’t sound too good to be true.
What’s Your First Impression of Them?
Once you find an estate agent you think you like, and you’ve only communicated by text or email before now, it’s good to have a face to face meeting just to be sure they’re who you think they are. Once you do, you can get an all around impression of the agent, and make sure you would actually like to work with them.
Make sure you like the way they communicate, and how attentive they are on the job. Do they check in regularly? Do they keep you updated? Are they personable enough for your tastes? It all matters!
When it comes picking the right estate agent, you’ve got to be on the lookout for a few marks in their favor. Some aspects matter more than most!
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Selling your home can be a tough challenge considering the amount of time and effort that it takes to do so. Agents must be contacted, listings must be made and a lot of redecorating or renovating might be required in order to bring it up to scratch both inside and out.
Additionally, you might have to be open to letting strangers often look around and this can feel like invaded privacy which can result in wildly conflicting emotions about whether you should be selling your house at all.
While there are many variables and facets to selling your house, there are some key factors that you should always be on the lookout for when deciding to sell, are in the process of selling, or when nearing the end of a transaction.
Some of these include:
Quick Sale Sharks
You have probably seen the adverts stating “we buy any home” or “we buy homes for cash” and while there are many reputable companies out there that are highly respected and will give you a fair, albeit usually lower price for your home when you need a quick sell, there are probably just as many who will be looking to fleece you as much as they can. A 2019 report in the UK found that the average cost of a typical property scam costs the victim around £108,000 at a total of £74 million since 2005 with property fraud accounting for 71% of all fraud committed, although most of this was related to mortgage and rental scams.
However, it still serves to highlight the importance of being vigilant when selling your home as it could cost you a significant amount of money, time, and heartache should you fall victim to a complex scam or even a shrewd buyer looking to take advantage of your vulnerable position. Cash buying for homes is a popular choice for many home sellers that are looking to sell as quickly as possible but there are some things you need to be aware of on how to find a cash buyer for your house.
There are benefits to selling to a cash buyer such as being able to sell on your own terms without an agent, showing when you want to, and most importantly, keeping all the profit for yourself. So when considering a cash buyer only use reputable firms that have experience, can prove that they have the cash, and have genuine promising reviews that you can access from third-party sources.
The economy plays a key role in many things such as jobs, national GDP, and commerce but it also has a large impact on housing and the sales thereof. Sometimes, however, the housing market can operate independently of the national economy, and even in times of recession can be a good time to either sell or buy, depending on certain specific factors. This makes keeping an eye on both the national economic situation and the housing economy a pivotal part of considering a home sale.
During the 2008 crash, housing prices dropped by as much as 20% which made them prime targets for those with the cash to buy them up at a much lower rate as they looked to take advantage of people in need of quick money. Fortunately, even the Covid-19 pandemic hasn't had quite as much an effect on house prices as 2008 but it has still had an impact at around 1 to 4%, which can mean a potentially negative ROI on some properties that are on the market now.
Fortunately, most economic downturns are temporary and housing prices may only be temporarily affected. Through various sources such as the internet, radio, and TV it is possible to predict when a negative turn might be coming and you can either choose to get ahead of it by listing a property sooner rather than later or weathering the storm if you are able to wait since the housing economy usually bounces back pretty quickly.
One of the most important aspects when it comes to selling a home is the emotional attachments that come with it. You might have spent many years making your home what it is from initially renovating, redecorating every few years, holding important family events, and even raising children. All of these are what makes a house your dream home and it's only natural that you become emotionally involved with the property itself, which can sometimes feel like part of the family itself.
When looking to sell, you need to begin the process of thinking of your home purely as an item of sale rather than the place where you built a life. Should you fail to do this you run the risk of changing your mind, off-putting property sale tasks, and taking it off the market altogether. In short, without an emotional detachment, it could become all but impossible to sell your house.
A good rule of thumb is to remember all of the great times in your home while also trying to remember the excitement and adventure you felt when buying it. This can help prepare you for getting excited about your next property purchase and occupancy that is set to become a new chapter of your life where you can make many new memories and allow your previous home to do the same for another family.
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