Thomas Beauchemin's Blog
While home remodeling can be about getting your home some major cool points, you really want to be focused on the home remodeling projects that will provide you the greatest amount of return on your investment. There are certain home remodeling projects that just aren’t worth it. Others will help the value of your home truly soar. It’s important to invest your money carefully and thoughtfully. If you know that you’re moving in the near future, you may not even want to undertake remodeling projects for fear that they won’t be worth it. There are certain projects that are absolutely necessary for you to complete if you hope to get the top value for your home. You don’t ant to put in thousands of dollars with no sign of return for your investment.
You don’t need to get complex when it comes to remodeling your home. Take a look at what needs help on the surface. This will include things like new kitchen countertops, replacing sinks, cabinet refacing, or floor retiling. Don’t bother with huge structural changes to the home. Also, keep in mind that someone else has a different taste than you. Keep things neutral. You might love a bright yellow kitchen, but it’s certain that the next owner will probably have a different preference.
Work With What You Have
While you may wish that you had a lot more space and hope to put an addition on the home, the next owners could have a different vision. While there will be more square feet of living space, many buyers look at a home’s potential for them. There’s no sense in starting a bunch of huge construction projects that will only become a costly source of stress.
Make The Necessary Repairs
Buyers will love a home that has a fairly new roof over one that will need a roof replacement within a couple of years. You should fix the things around the home that need to be tended to. This includes window replacements, roofs, electrical outlet work, and major yard issues.
Don’t Forget The Outdoors
It’s important for your home to look good from the outside as well. Buyers appreciate a home that has been well taken care of. Take the time, money, and effort to keep up your lawn and outdoor landscaping. Planting some greenery around can never hurt. While new owners may have different tastes than you, it’s always a bonus to move into a house and have a little less work to do on the outside!
Many homebuyers face their credit score just before they’re ready to purchase. Your credit score is an important factor when trying to get funding for your new home, and it’s always a good practice to know where you stand.
Here are a few tips and tidbits to help you get your credit score in top shape before buying a home.
Why Do We Have Credit Scores?
Credit scores are numbers that show how likely a person is to repay a loan on time, or their creditworthiness. Lenders examine your score to assess how risky a person may be to lend to. They’re used to lessen the potential risk of borrower default. If your score is good, you’re more likely to get the loans and lower interest rates you need. However, you may have to go elsewhere for funding if your score is lower than the required minimum score for the loan.
What’s A Good Score?
Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest score you can get. A credit score of 700 to 799 is “good.” A credit score above 800 to 850 is “excellent.”
If your credit score isn’t perfect, there are ways to correct it before you look for your loan.
Pay Off Outstanding Debt
Outstanding debt can make it harder for you to secure funding. If you have accounts in collections, high-balance credit cards, medical bills or any other outstanding debt, pay off as much as you can. By paying off these outstanding debts, your score rises as your debt-to-income ratio shrinks.
Rebuild Your Credit
You’ll need to keep up any accounts that you have with excellent payment history. Maintain those on-time payments to keep your creditworthiness in shape. If you have accounts with late payments, you can work to get the accounts to “current” status.
If you don’t have any accounts that can help you build credit, you’ll need to get and use at least one. Apply for a credit card and charge a small amount each month. Pay the amount off monthly. This will help you build or repair your credit for an excellent credit history.
Look At Your Whole Financial Picture
Aside from your credit score, you’ll need to look at your bigger financial picture. You need sufficient income, decent credit and an airtight budget to buy a home and provide a down payment along with money to pay closing costs.
Once you dive into your credit score and how to improve it, you’ll be on your way to better financial health and keys to your new home.
Buying a home will likely be one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. While this may seem scary at first, it’s worth noting that buying a home can also be a valuable financial investment.
When it comes to preparing to buy a home, many people just wait until they run out of room in their apartment before deciding that they need to upgrade to a home. A better approach, however, would be to start planning for your first home a year or more in advance.
Saving for a down payment is a vital step to making the best long-term financial decision. A larger down payment can help you pay off your home sooner, pay thousands or tens of thousands less in interest, and start using your home equity as an asset.
But, saving for a down payment is easier said than done. So, in this post, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can aggressively save for a down payment so that, when the time comes, you can achieve long-term financial security from your investment.
Setting your savings goals
The first thing you should be thinking about when saving for a down payment is what your goals are in a home. Setting realistic goals in this phase will make saving for your down payment more feasible and less discouraging.
Think about what you really need from a home at this point in your life and compromise where you can.
Remember that on top of your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll likely also be paying for taxes, insurance, utilities, homeowners association fees, and more.
Save on a timeline
When setting your savings goal, make sure you’re aware of the timeframe you’re working with. If you want to buy a home next year, you’ll need to focus on short-term savings options. However, if you’re okay with renting for the next 5 years, investing your money could be a better option.
Lock away your savings
Treat your down payment savings like an emergency fund. Open a separate account, automatically deposit a portion of your pay into the account, and never withdraw from it. To do this, you will, of course, need to already have an emergency fund with a month’s expenses in it.
However, once you’ve established your emergency fund, start immediately depositing into your savings account.
Pay off credit cards
It may seem like saving for a down payment is more pressing than paying off old debt. However, the numbers will show that making interest payments on your credit cards is essentially throwing away money that could have been used toward your down payment savings.
Adjust your spending habits
While it isn’t easy to start spending less once you’ve built a standard of living, there are ways to spend less money and still lead a fulfilling life. Think about where your money goes each month, including bills and services you might pay for.
Now could be the best time to cut the cord and start using a service like Hulu to save $50 or more each month.
Time for a raise?
If it’s been some time since your last pay raise, now could be an ideal time to speak with your employer. To improve your chances of success, don’t discuss reasons outside of work that might be influencing your decision to ask for a raise (such as saving for a down payment). Rather, back up your request with evidence of your accomplishments at work.
Preparing to list a house can be a stressful time for any home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you alleviate stress as you get ready to add your home to the real estate market.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you minimize stress as you prepare to list your residence.
1. Reach Out to Family Members and Friends for Help
Family members and friends generally are ready to lend a helping hand whenever they can. As such, you should reach out to loved ones to help you reduce stress as you get ready to sell your house.
Remember, family members and friends have your best interests in mind. These loved ones will do whatever they can to assist you, even tough jobs like helping you clean your residence or remove clutter. Thus, you can work with family members and friends to ensure you can prepare your residence for the real estate market in no time at all.
2. Don't Hesitate to Contact Professionals
Perhaps one of the best ways for a home seller to minimize stress is to hire professional assistance. Because if you have professionals at your disposal, you can get the help you need to instantly enhance your house.
Whether it's home cleaners, landscapers or other professionals, you can quickly and effortlessly find plenty of top-notch professionals in your area to help you complete various home upgrades. If you hire any of these professionals today, you can accelerate the process of prepping your house for the real estate market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you intend to sell your house and want to get the best-possible results, you should hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert support to help you manage stress at each stage of the home selling journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you to learn about you and your home selling goals. He or she then will craft a personalized home selling strategy designed to help you accomplish your desired results as quickly as possible. Plus, a real estate agent can offer plenty of tips to help you upgrade your residence prior to adding it to the housing market.
A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty throughout the home selling cycle too. He or she will set up open houses and home showings, promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and help you review offers to purchase your residence. Furthermore, if you ever have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Stress can be problematic, particularly for a home seller who is unsure about how to prep his or her residence for the real estate market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble improving your residence and ensuring it stands out to potential buyers.
One of the biggest hurdles people face when looking for a home is applying for a mortgage. While applying for a mortgage is relatively straightforward, finding favorable terms might be more challenging. Many buyers are surprised by how broad the terms of a mortgage might be. With this in mind, it is critical to understand the most common mistakes people make when looking for a mortgage.
Not Looking Locally First
The most common mistake people make when looking for a mortgage is not looking locally first. Many are tempted to use the internet to seek out a loan. While there is nothing wrong with looking around (in fact, this is encouraged), don't forget to head to the traditional bank or credit union a few miles down the road. There are professionals who are interested in building a relationship with the local community often providing more favorable terms.
Assuming All Mortgages are the Same
Don't assume all mortgages are the same. This is far from accurate. Applying for a mortgage can be an involved process that people rarely want to do this more than once. You may assume the next lender will offer similar terms. In reality, some lenders might be willing to wave origination fees or points on the mortgage. Some might even offer a lower interest rate, be sure to ask what special offers may be available.
Not Locking In the Rate
One of the common questions people face when applying for a mortgage is whether or not they would like to lock in the rate. The fear of locking in the rate is that, if the mortgage rates drop, they might miss out on the opportunity to save money. On the other hand, people also forget the alternative. The rate might actually go up. The downside to this is that their monthly mortgage payments may not be affordable anymore. Go ahead and lock in the rate.
Not Putting Enough Money Down
Lastly, many try to save money by not putting enough cash down. When you don't put enough money down, you may end up with a higher interest rate and a higher monthly mortgage payment. Additionally, you may have to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance, also known as PMI, for the lender making the monthly payment even higher. To prevent this from happening, make sure the down payment is large enough to satisfy the lender, usually between 10 and 20 percent.