Our Real Estate Blog
For years home ownership has been the American dream, but, according to the Pew Research Center, a higher percentage of us are renters than at any other time in the last 50 years. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. For many people renting may be the right choice. Every individual and family needs to consider all the factors and make the decision that’s right for them.
The Financial Consideration
There’s a rule of thumb called the price to rent ratio. You get it by dividing the price of a house by the annual rent. For example, if you can buy a house for $300,000 or rent it for $1500 per month, the ratio is 300,000 / (12 * 1500), or 16.7. When the number is 15 or less, buying is the better choice, when it’s 16 to 20, renting becomes more favorable and when it’s over 20 renting is significantly better. However, this fails to take in factors like down payment amount, financing terms, taxes, insurance and other costs, which can vary widely. A more accurate number, telling you how long it will take to cover the up-front costs of ownership and pull even financially with renting, can be found using one of many calculators available.
The Other Considerations
While this sort of calculation is valuable, there are other questions, both financial and lifestyle-related, that the potential renter or buyer must ask.
What can I spend upfront for down payment and closing costs?
Can I afford a major repair such as replacing a furnace or air conditioner? There are insurance-like plans to defray some of that cost, but those make up another annual expense.
How long do I plan to stay? Selling a home and buying a new one is costly and time-consuming.
Which is more important to me, stability or flexibility?
Advantages of Home Ownership
As the inheritor of the American dream, the homeowner has some opportunities and privileges that the renter can’t enjoy.
Appreciation and equity. As home value rises and morgage balance drops, homeowners gain equity, which for many is their most valuable asset.
Freedom to remodel. There’s no landlord telling you what you can and can’t do with your property.
Stable monthly payments. Taxes and insurance can increase, but principal and interest payment remains the same. If you stay there long enough, eventually you’ll have no principal/interest to pay at all.
Tax advantage. For most people, it isn’t what it was before the 2017 tax changes, but interest and taxes may still be deductible.
Stability. You can become a member of your neighborhood and your children can stay in the same school system. No landlord can decide to sell and give you notice.
Advantages of Renting
No large upfront expenses.
Your landlord is responsible for major repairs.
Still some opportunity to build credit by paying rent promptly.
You have less at risk. You won’t be affected if property values fall.
Flexibility. If you choose to move you can easily give notice and do so.
Here’s one last question: which feels better, the satisfaction of owning your own castle or the freedom to change your life quickly? The answer may go a long way toward pointing you in the right direction.
Seeing your desire to buy a waterfront property through is a big accomplishment. Before you sign on the dotted lines, there are a few things that you should know about the process of choosing the perfect waterfront property for you.
Decide What You Need
The first step in finding the right property of any kind is understanding your own needs. How do you want to use the property? Will it be your year-round home, or will you be there only a portion of the year? Really map out what your priorities are when it comes to searching for waterfront properties. From here, you can figure out what areas you’d like to search in and what type of property you want to find to suit you. What types of activities will you be doing at your property? Will a lake property do the job or do you need an ocean escape? Is canoeing or kayaking a part of your dream, or is simply sitting by the water enough enjoyment for your needs? Answering all of these questions can help you to narrow down your needs for a waterfront property.
As with any other type of home search, you should take the time to scope out the properties that you’re interested in. This means not only looking at the properties themselves but looking at the communities and neighborhoods as well. What does the area have to offer you? Is it near a town or nestled away in a secluded spot? Remember that with a typical house the size of the home is what contributes to the majority of the value of the home. With a waterfront property, the surroundings are key. The closer to the water you are, the more valuable your piece of real estate is. Consider all of the typical factors when looking at properties along with the additional concerns of being close to the amenities and natural pleasures that you crave.
Other Important Things To Consider
Other things that you should consider in finding your perfect piece of waterfront heaven are things like:
- How close is the beach?
- Does the beach or lake have easy access?
- Is there an adequate amount of privacy at this property?
- What kind of view is there?
The more breathtaking the views and the more space between you and your neighbors will give you an advantage not only in your own living situation but in renting out the property and even selling it in the future.
There are a lot of things that go into making the decision of finding the right waterfront property. Sometimes, hiring an experienced realtor in the area can be just what you need to understand all the aspects of your investment from the area to the type of home you choose. Don’t be afraid to hire an experienced realtor to help you in your search.
There are a number of steps involved in buying a home. One of the many important things you should do before closing on a new home is to get the house properly inspected.
Buyers sometimes avoid getting a professional inspection for a number of reasons. Some are on a tight budget and want to save a few dollars. Others have time constraints and want to close as soon as possible. And, many buyers believe that omitting an inspection is a way to show trust in the previous owner.
In this article, we’ll talk about why getting a home inspection is such an important part before closing on a real estate deal.
Closing on a home comes with a number of expenses. Application fees, origination fees, underwriting fees… the list goes on. If you’re buying a home, you might be tempted to opt out of getting the property inspected to save money.
The cost of an inspection ranges anywhere from $200 for smaller homes, to $400 or more for large homes. However, the cost of not getting your home inspected can be much greater. Even if you’re knowledgeable when it comes to houses, there are a number of things that only the experts can diagnose.
Having a professional inspect the home is the only way to ensure that there aren’t any issues that will come back to haunt you (and your wallet) in the months and years to come.
Many buyers are eager to close the deal and begin moving into their new home as soon as possible. Sometimes buyers need to vacate their old home before a certain date, others try to time their move around holidays or school vacations.
There are other ways, however, to make sure you get the house inspected in time. First, make sure you’ve included a home inspection in your purchase agreement. This will avoid wasted times debating whether or not you are entitled to inspect the home.
Next, call multiple inspectors in your area for quotes and availability. Delaying this step can make you lose time, and inspectors might charge you more if they have to squeeze you into their schedule.
The best time to schedule an inspection is as soon as your offer is accepted.
Maintaining a good relationship with the seller
It may seem like an act of diplomacy to waive a home inspection. In reality, however, nearly all sellers will understand that you are simply doing due diligence to make sure the process runs smoothly for both of you.
Sellers might sometimes offer you the findings of a previous inspection that they had done. In this case, it’s still important to have your own inspection done so that you can walk through the home with the inspector and listen to their feedback. You can’t be sure of the accuracy of any old reports, and the previous inspector is only accountable to the seller.
Having a home professionally inspected is almost always a good idea. It can save you time and money in repairs that could have been avoided.
If a seller rejects your offer to purchase his or her house, there is no need to panic. At this point, there are many things you can do, including:
1. Craft a New Offer to Purchase
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Remember, if you find your dream house but your initial offer to purchase is rejected, you can always create a new homebuying proposal. And if you submit a new offer to purchase that falls in line with a seller's expectations, you may receive an instant "Yes."
For those who decide to submit a new offer to purchase a residence, it is important to avoid making the same mistake twice. Thus, you should analyze the home you want to purchase, along with the current housing sector. Because if you use a variety of real estate market data, you could submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.
2. Reenter the Housing Market
A seller may reject your offer to purchase his or her house, and as such, you may need to continue your home search. Fortunately, quality residences are available in cities and towns nationwide, which means there are lots of great houses at your disposal.
Of course, you may want to put together a homebuying budget, too. If you have a homebuying budget in hand, you can search for houses that match your price range.
To craft a homebuying budget, you should meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can offer home financing insights and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. And once you have a mortgage, you will know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal house.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is happy to help you determine the best course of action after a seller rejects your offer to purchase. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you streamline the homebuying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she then will create a homebuying plan designed to help you achieve your desired results. Next, you and a real estate agent will work together to transform your homebuying vision into a reality. And as you navigate the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will provide comprehensive housing market insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent will provide as you get ready to submit an offer to purchase a house, either. A real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase any home, at any time. Best of all, if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase as quickly as possible.
Clearly, there are many things you can do if your offer to purchase your ideal house is rejected. If you start planning ahead for the homebuying journey, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a seamless property buying experience.
Buying a home is the mark of an important milestone in your life. While you’re very excited, you need to be prepared for all of the costs that are associated with buying a home. There are a few different costs that go into buying a home that are often overlooked. Before you dive into the home buying process, you’ll want to be prepared.
The Closing Costs
Many homebuyers have gone smoothly through the process of buying a home until they get to the closing table. They suddenly realize that they need a bit more cash than they anticipated. You probably were more than prepared with your down payment, but there’s other costs that are associated with buying a home. Some costs that you should be prepared for include:
- The home appraisal
- Attorney’s fees
- lender’s fees
- Underwriting fee
- Processing fees
- Inspection fees
You’ll receive a disclosure up front to help you understand all of the charges and cash that you must present when your signing the final documents for the purchase of the house. Keep in mind that many of these fees can be negotiable.
Decorating Your New Home
Once you move into a new home, you’re going to want to decorate the space. You may need a some new furniture. Perhaps you own no furniture and need to furnish the entire house. You’ll want to budget for this. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fill up your home with items that won’t break the bank yet look good in the home. Places that you can shop include online sources like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can even check out local second hand stores for some great deals on furniture and decor that is in good condition. The important thing is that you understand how much you’ll need to buy as you move into the home.
The escrow account typically holds the insurance and taxes for the home. Funds are withdrawn as premiums and payments are due. Not every lender has these set up, but you should be prepared to have the money up front for the home insurance and even the taxes at the closing table.
Improvements Around The Home
There will be plenty of things that you’ll want to do around your new home to spruce up the place and make it your own. From planting bushes in the front to flower gardens outside to fresh coats of paint, you’ll quickly discover how expensive it is to be a homeowner.
If you’re preparing to buy a home, now you understand why saving is so important! Investigate all the costs that you’ll need to pay up front while you’re in the midst of buying a home to avoid any surprises.