The key to a successful and affordable move is to plan ahead. This way, you can start saving and budgeting well in advance of your moving date. But what expenses do you need to account for as you plan your move? Our real estate agents list some often-forgotten moving expenses below.
If you're planning on buying or selling a house in the coming year, you might be wondering how to find the right real estate agent to support your transaction. After all, so much of your success depends on the experience of the real estate agent you select to support you along the way. If you're selling your home, your real estate agent is key to securing the highest possible sale price. If you're considering one of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale, your agent's expertise in the market and negotiation experience can help you land a solid deal.
However, finding a good real estate agent with the right level of experience isn't as simple as you might think. With so many agents out there, you might have to do some work to really find one who is truly a good match for you and your family. To help you, below are some tips that can help you find the best real estate agent to support your transaction in 2022.
Fall is a good time to embrace all the things that make us cozy and comfortable. Beyond sweaters, leggings, and pumpkin spice, this is also a great time to consider upgrades to make your home cozier as the weather gets cooler. Here are a few upgrades our real estate agents say can make a big difference, especially if you plan on listing your home for sale this fall.
Coordinating the logistics of a move is rarely an easy task, which is why our real estate agents are always trying to offer tips to make things as easy as possible. In our experience, renting a storage unit can help make things significantly easier during the home sale and moving process. However, many of our clients wonder if the benefits are worth the expense. If you're planning on moving soon, below are 5 ways renting a storage unit can make your life a lot easier.
Are you ready to buy your first home? Congratulations! This is a major milestone and an awesome accomplishment that you should be proud of. Our real estate agents understand how important this decision is, and we're here to help anyone who feels ready to enter into homeownership. Get ready to buy your first home by using this helpful checklist.
Purchasing a first home is one of the largest financial decisions most people make in a lifetime. The process can be an emotional roller coaster -- stressful, exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. For inexperienced homebuyers, it can be difficult to know what to expect and it's common to make mistakes during the house-hunting process. However, with a little preparation and research, you can avoid costly pitfalls and prevent major issues from popping-up down the line. Below are some tips to help you make the best decision when purchasing your first home.
A home inspection is an important step when you're buying or selling a home, so it pays to know what an inspection entails and exactly what kind of information it reveals.
Our REALTORS® explain the following points buyers and sellers need to know about home inspections for Richmond homes for sale.
Buying a home requires learning a new language. It is normal to feel a little lost in the conversation until you learn the lingo. To help make buying a home in Richmond a little easier, our real estate agents recommend studying the following vocabulary words as you start the process.
Like most major purchases, buying a home involves expenses beyond the reported sale price of the home. Some of these expenses are for processing key paperwork, and others cover measures to help you aware of potential issues with your purchase. Our real estate agents want you to be prepared for the full process of buying a home. Some expenses consist of a flat fee, such as the mortgage application or home inspection fee. Other expenses represent a percentage of the sale price. While exact figures are hard to determine before you make an offer on a specific home, knowing what these expenses are can help you estimate a figure for the assorted expenses involved.
For most renters, owning a home is the eventual goal – it's just a matter of when to make the leap. Whether you've always wanted to own a home or you're simply growing tired of renting, there are plenty of signs to tell you that now is the time. Our REALTORS® are here to help you decide, with signs that you may be ready to buy a home.
Do You Daydream of Your Own Home?
Sometimes, the signs are straightforward. When you find yourself going online frequently to scout out Richmond homes for sale and dreaming, it's time to start thinking about turning that dream into reality. If you can already afford a monthly rent payment and your credit is in good shape, a mortgage may be more within reach than you expect.
Family on the Way
Whether you're transitioning from single to married life or expecting a child, sometimes life changes are the perfect motivation to move from renting to owning. Maybe you want additional space to accommodate a family or a place to settle down in a great school district. Either way, it may be time to buy.
Multigenerational homes have become a popular option for buyers in recent years. When you're shopping for Richmond homes for sale, it's worth considering whether a multigenerational home is an option for your family. Of course, choosing the right multigenerational home is a huge key to keeping everyone happy. Our real estate agents put together a guide to help you decide whether a multigenerational home is right for your family.
Why More Families Are Considering Multigenerational Homes
Multigenerational homes have exploded in popularity over the last decade, and the trend doesn't appear to be slowing down. Some families live under one roof to take care of older family members, while others do so for cultural reasons. The housing market crash caused many families to move in together. Also, multigenerational homes are popular for families with recent college graduates who are finding their way on the job market.
Moving to a new city is an exciting experience, but that doesn't mean you'll instantly feel at home. It's only natural to have an adjustment period after moving to a new town. Getting to know your new city can be a fun, exciting process, and there are plenty of little things you can do to make your new town feel like home along the way. Our real estate agents understand what it's like to move to a new community, and we've got tips for how to make a new town feel like home.
You've found your dream home, your offer was accepted, and now you're anxiously awaiting your closing date.
While it might seem like the hard part is over, there is one more thing you need to take care of before you sign your closing paperwork: your final walk-through. It is your last chance to make sure the home is exactly as it should be before it becomes yours. This is not something you should take lightly.
During your walk-through, you'll want to make sure that all repairs are complete and that nothing has changed since the last time you saw the home. To help make sure you don't forget anything important, our REALTORS® have created the following final walk-through checklist. Let's get started!
A lot is happening in the world, and it's having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don't know yet.
The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. We recently posed the question, "Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?" The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.
Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.
At the beginning of the year, many economic leaders thought we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, we reported that economists had started to push that projection past 2020. Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.
We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it's a great time to be in the market.
SOURCE: Keeping Current Matters - Steve Harney
Buying a house should never be entered into lightly, and often many potential buyers may not realize just how much work it actually takes or the process involved. Doing as much research as possible can help determine exactly what is needed and required, to put a buyer in the best possible position to make a purchase.
Here are ten (10) great ways to help you identify the point at which making a home purchase becomes feasible for you:
1) Little to no credit card debt
When you're trying to get a mortgage, perhaps the most important aspect of doing so is getting your credit card debt reduced as close to zero as possible, according to Money Under 30. That's true for two reasons. First, the size of your credit card balances relative to your limits makes up a significant portion of your credit score. Second, lenders look at debt-to-income ratio. As long as you're carrying relatively small balances from one month to the next (or ideally, not carrying a balance at all), you'll be in good shape.
2) All other loans paid off
One of the biggest hurdles for the millennial generation when it comes to being financially capable of buying a home is student loans. It may not be wise to try to buy until your loan balances under control. That doesn't mean they have to be paid off in full, but they certainly need to be somewhat small relative to your income.
3) Tens of thousands of dollars in savings
If you're trying to buy a home in today's market, you'll almost certainly need to make a sizable down payment. While it's possible to get mortgages with down payment requirements as low as 3 percent, the added long-term expense could end up costing you significantly over the life of the loan. Making as large a down payment as possible is going to keep your borrowing costs down.
4) A rainy day fund
In addition to the money that will go toward your down payment, it's vital to have some additional money saved just in case something goes wrong with the home, according to Mint. As a general rule, having about $1 per square foot - or 1 percent of the purchase price - in the bank will help cover some basic expenses you're likely to encounter after your home purchase.
5) A long-term plan
Whether you're buying a home for a whole family or as a single person, you need to know what your situation is going to look like two, five, 10 or even 20 years down the road. That will inform a lot of decisions about the kinds of homes you're looking to purchase - i.e. not buying a small one that you'll have to move out of in a few years when you have kids - and how much work you'll have to put in to make sure your finances are in good enough shape to do so.
6) Reliable income
Lenders also want to make sure you're going to be able to keep up with your mortgage payments in the long term, so a steady job is a must, according to Credit Sesame. While no one can predict their employers' future with 100 percent accuracy, it might not be a good idea to go house hunting at a time of turmoil. As long as you're fairly confident in your position, shopping should be no problem.
7) A comfortable cushion
One issue some homeowners encounter after buying a home is they've pushed themselves so far financially trying to get ready for the real estate sales process that they come out the other side in rough financial shape. Being "house poor" means people own a house but otherwise struggle financially because of the cost of that property. You'll need to make sure you're not buying too much house or else risk running into other financial problems even if you can technically afford the mortgage and other costs.
8) An understanding of what constitutes affordability
Along similar lines, it's vital to not only factor in the cost of the mortgage, taxes and so on themselves, but also other expenses. This may include higher electric and heating bills that come with living in a bigger space, more costly insurance coverage (especially if your new home is in an area prone to flooding) and so on. Sitting down and doing the math around the true cost of homeownership will help you avoid being house poor or running into expenses you might not have realized will crop up
9) A list of must-haves and nice-to-haves
When people actually start shopping for homes, it can be easy to fall in love with certain properties, according to Forbes. However, while it would be nice to have a state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless steel appliances, it's probably going to be expensive and not necessary to your happiness in the home. Having a list of things that you will absolutely need out of your new property - big backyard for the kids, finished basement for a home office, etc. - will inform your choices and help you get a better idea of what you can actually afford.
10) A talented and experienced agent
The key role of real estate professionals in every portion of the process cannot be overstated. They will be able to help first-time buyers as well as those who have previously been through the process get as prepared as possible so they can maximize their understanding and the value they get out of buying a home. Experienced agents have likely seen it all and can help shepherd any client through a sale - as either buyers or sellers - with ease.
Buying a home is usually going to be the biggest purchase anyone makes in their entire lives, so it's important to put in a lot of legwork - over a period of months or more - to ensure things go as smoothly as possible at each step of the shopping process. That, in turn, will help you feel more confident in your ability to make a purchase with confidence that you've done everything right.
Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click
Spring is here and that means many first-time buyers are looking to enter the market. Having the ability to get through that process with as little stress about the purchase as possible is critical in highly competitive markets.
With that in mind, here are five tips that should help first-timers better navigate the real estate sales process without a lot of stress, confusion or hiccups:
1) Work with a qualified real estate professional
First-time buyers in particular are always advised to work with a real estate agent on the process because it can be so complicated and time-consuming, even with professional help, according to The Balance. There are about a million things that can pop up in the course of the search for a home and, even after a deal is agreed upon, the sales process itself. As a result, having an agent you can call or text with questions or concerns as they develop is an absolute must.
2) Get pre-approved
When trying to buy a home, one of the most difficult things for first-time shoppers is finding a budget that works for them and their unique financial situations, and actually sticking to it. When shoppers fall in love with a particular home, it can be easy to bid aggressively and end up agreeing to a price they might not actually be able to afford.
This is one huge reason getting pre-approved for a mortgage is so important: A lender will let you know roughly how much credit they will extend to you, and that should serve as the ceiling for what you can bid. As an added bonus, borrowers will also be able to expedite the sales process itself if they are pre-approved.
3) Narrow the search
With the help of an agent and a budget in mind, first-timers will have a much easier time finding homes they're interested in and really focusing on which will be best for them based on their own needs. Honing in on specific features within a certain price range can help reduce the number of open houses they have to attend.
4) Look beyond the asking price
In addition to the expense of buying the house itself, first-timers would be wise to remember the other costs associated with homeownership, according to DaveRamsey.com. Adding in expenses like higher electric and heating bills, homeowners insurance and the cost of making the small home repairs that will likely add up significantly over the course of the year is a must when it comes to determining how much house you can truly afford.
5) This about more than just the house
Finally, it's also important to consider future plans. If first-time buyers think they will be looking to trade up for a bigger house in the next five years, that's something to discuss with an agent. The same is true of local amenities, the quality of school districts for those with kids and so on, because all of this will not only affect the price of the house, but also the quality of life for first-time buyers.
Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com
If you and your spouse have started researching Richmond homes for sale, you might have noticed that you have different tastes. Whether it's the size, location, or style of home, there's a good chance that you'll need to compromise on some things. Since your home is one of the single largest investments you'll ever make, it's important to make sure you'll both be happy in the long run.
Getting on the same page before you start home shopping will save you a lot of headaches. The last thing you want is to end up in a stalemate that causes you to miss out on a great buying opportunity, or, even worse, make a purchase that you later end up regretting.
Our REALTORS® have plenty of experience in working with couples to help them find a home that's perfect for both of them. Here are some of their best tips to help you get started.