First Things First, What To Do Upon Moving Into Your New Home

If you have purchased a new home and are going to move in soon, what are the first few things that you will need to do upon moving into your new home?

Moving can be very stressful, but having a checklist can make your move to a new home effortless.

Here are 6 easy steps that can eliminate any frustration and help you feel safe and secure: 

Change Your Address
You will need to change your address for all magazine subscriptions, bills, and other services. You can update your mailing address online or visit your local post office to find out what needs to be done.

Set Up The Utilities
When you move into a new home, you may get all of the contact information from the previous homeowner or real estate agent for the utility companies. Be sure to change the services into your name before you move in, such as gas, cable, electricity, internet, telephone, sewer, and water.

Change The Locks
You have no way of knowing who the old homeowners gave a copy of the key to, so having the locks changed is something that you should do right away when you move into your new property.

Have The Carpets Cleaned
Get your life in the new house off to a fresh start by having the carpets steam-cleaned before you move your furniture in. You could either rent a steam cleaner or pay for a carpet cleaning service, but either way, this will make the house feel really clean and new.

Figure Out Your Breaker Box
Another important first step to owning your new home is to figure out which breakers control each part of your home.

Knowing how the breaker box works will ensure that you can flip the right switch when you need to. You might need to ask someone to help you by standing in another part of the house and letting you know which lights come on or off when you flick the switches.

Check Your Smoke Alarms
The smoke alarms and CO monitors in your home might not have been checked recently, so make sure that they are functioning properly. Depending on how old they are, you might need to change the batteries. This is an important maintenance task for your own safety.

These are just a few of the important first steps that you should take when you first move into your brand-new home.

For more information about buying a new home, feel free to contact your trusted real estate professional today.  

Are You Ready for Home Ownership? Find Out by Answering These 4 Questions

Do you ever dream about a larger, roomier, or more luxurious living space? Or perhaps just want to experience the joy of owning your own home and building your net worth instead of renting? Let’s explore a few questions that can help to answer whether or not you’re ready for a new lifestyle as a homeowner.

Can You Realistically Afford To Buy A Home?

The first consideration to make is a financial one: can you afford it? Buying a home is a significant financial investment. In most cases, you’ll need to manage monthly mortgage payments for many years. The good news: owning a home is more affordable than you might think. If you’re already a stable renter then you’re most of the way there.

Do You Have Your Down Payment Saved Up?

If you’re confident that monthly payments are no problem, then the next step is saving up enough to cover your down payment. This is a lump-sum investment that you make when you buy the home. Typically your down payment is around 20 percent of the home’s cost, but there are assistance programs that can reduce this further.

Do You Know What Type Of Home You Need?

Once you’ve cleared all of the financial hurdles, you will need to decide exactly what kind of home you need. If you’re a single young professional, a condo or apartment might be the perfect starter home from which you can upgrade later. Or you might prefer something more rural which comes with more yard space, perfect for pets.

Are You Ready To Set Down Some Roots?

Finally, it’s worth taking some time to decide whether or not you’re ready to emotionally and physically invest in your local community. Is your career stable enough that you won’t be moving for at least a few years? What about that of your partner or spouse? If you don’t already, do you envision having children in the future? All of these are considerations that will help you choose the right neighborhood.

When you are ready, our professional mortgage team is here to help you finance the home of your dreams.

Negotiating Homebuying Costs: Securing Your Dream Home at the Right Price

Buying a home is one of life’s significant milestones, but it often comes with a significant price tag. Fortunately, the sticker price on a house isn’t always set in stone. When buying a home, negotiating certain costs can save you a significant amount of money. Here are some costs that every homebuyer should negotiate:

Closing costs: Closing costs are the fees associated with finalizing the purchase of a home. They typically include things like appraisal fees, title search fees, and attorney fees. Closing costs can be a significant expense, so it’s worth trying to negotiate them with the seller or the lender.

Inspection costs: Before purchasing a home, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional to identify any potential issues. The cost of a home inspection can vary depending on the size and location of the property. Negotiating the cost of the inspection can help you save money.

Repairs: If the home inspection identifies any issues that need to be repaired, you can try to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of those repairs. Alternatively, you can negotiate a lower price for the home to account for the cost of repairs.

Home warranty: A home warranty can provide peace of mind by covering the cost of repairs or replacements for certain appliances or systems in the home. You can try to negotiate the cost of a home warranty with the seller or the warranty provider.

Property taxes: Property taxes can be a significant expense for homeowners, so it’s worth negotiating with the seller to see if they can cover some or all of the property tax costs for a certain period of time.

Homeowners’ association fees: If the property you’re purchasing is part of a homeowners association, you can try to negotiate the amount of the fees or the terms of the agreement.

Remember, not all costs can be negotiated, and negotiations may not always result in a lower cost. However, it’s always worth trying to negotiate to save yourself some money in the home-buying process.

What Does Contingent Mean on a House Sale

What Does Contingent Mean on a House SaleIn the context of a house sale, “contingent” typically means that the sale of the house is dependent on certain conditions being met. These conditions could include things like the buyer securing financing, the completion of a home inspection, or the sale of the buyer’s current home.

For example, if a buyer makes an offer on a house and the offer is accepted by the seller, the sale may be contingent on the buyer obtaining financing within a specified period of time. If the buyer is unable to obtain financing, the sale may fall through.

Another common contingency is a home inspection. If the inspection reveals significant issues with the property, the buyer may have the option to renegotiate the terms of the sale or back out of the deal altogether.

Contingencies are designed to protect both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. They give the buyer an opportunity to ensure that the house is in good condition and that they can obtain financing, while also giving the seller some assurance that the sale will go through if the conditions are met.

Types of Home Contingencies

There are several types of contingencies that can be included in a home sale contract. Here are some of the most common.

Financing contingency: This contingency specifies that the sale of the home is contingent on the buyer obtaining financing. If the buyer is unable to secure financing within a specified timeframe, the contract may be voided.

Appraisal contingency: This contingency specifies that the sale of the home is contingent on the home appraising for at least the purchase price. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, the buyer may have the option to renegotiate the price or back out of the deal.

Inspection contingency: This contingency specifies that the sale of the home is contingent on a satisfactory home inspection. If the inspection reveals significant issues with the property, the buyer may have the option to renegotiate the terms of the sale or back out of the deal.

Sale contingency: This contingency specifies that the sale of the home is contingent on the buyer selling their current home within a specified timeframe. If the buyer is unable to sell their current home, the contract may be voided.

Title contingency: This contingency specifies that the sale of the home is contingent on the seller having clear title to the property. If there are issues with the title, the contract may be voided or the seller may need to take steps to clear the title before the sale can proceed.

It’s important to note that contingencies can vary depending on the specifics of the contract and the state or region where the sale is taking place. It’s always a good idea to consult with a real estate professional or attorney to ensure that your contract includes the appropriate contingencies for your situation.

Buying for Retirement: 3 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Buy Your Retirement Home Before You Retire

Buying for Retirement: 3 Reasons Why You'll Want to Buy Your Retirement Home Before You RetireMany people dream of buying their ideal retirement home after their career has come to a conclusion – with all that extra free time it seems like it’d be the most logical time to shop around.

However, many real estate professionals strongly recommend that their clients find a retirement property before they’re off the payroll. While it may seem like a big time commitment to find a new home while you’re still busy with your work there are several significant financial benefits to purchasing your retirement home before you actually do retire. Here are our top reasons why.

It Makes Your Mortgage Easy

When you are employed it is easier to get approved for a mortgage. If you wait until after you retire to buy your retirement home, you may not have the income require to qualify for the mortgage that you need. Don’t limit yourself! Buy while you’re still employed to keep your options open.

It Leaves You With More Spending Money

Buying a new home while you have an income provides you with more security with your expenses, such as mortgage payments and planned upgrades or renovations. Having an income can also mitigate financial stress should you run into any unexpected expenses after closing.

It Leaves You Ready For Reality

You may think you can accurately predict the expenses of your new home, but if you buy the property before retiring it gives you time to get to know the true amounts of your monthly payments. This can help ensure that you have enough saved to retire and live comfortably in your new property, with no surprises for your budget. You’ll be in a better position to create a financial plan once you know the reality of owning your new home.

An Added Bonus: It Can Be An Income Property

If you decide to purchase your retirement home before you retire you don’t have to move into it right away. You can rent it out as an income property until you’re ready to settle in, which will not only help cover mortgage payments but will also allow you to see first-hand what the monthly expenses are for the property.

This will also prevent you from having to deal with a move while working; you can wait until you do finally retire before packing up your current home and moving into your new one.

Contact your trusted mortgage professional today for more advice to set yourself up for the future.