Ten Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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1. Be picky, but don’t be unrealistic
2. Do your homework before you start looking
3. Get your finances in order
4. Don’t wait to get a loan
5. Don’t ask too many people for opinions
6. Decide when you would move
7. Think long-term
8. Don’t let yourself be “house poor”
9. Don’t be naive
10. Get help

Creating a Budget

With being a proud homeowner, you should invest some time in planning for the future. The best way to do this is to create a budget and stick to it. A budget will help you meet your monthly bills and it can help increase your savings. Your personal savings should be sufficient to last several months should you lose your job or source of income.
How to make a budget:
1. Track your spending. Keep a spending diary for a month or two to see how much money you spend on a daily and monthly basis. Record every dime you spend and how you spend it, whether by cash, check, debit card, ATM card, or credit card. Keep all receipts and slips. Gather your records. Organize the cash receipts as well as your credit card monthly statements and your checkbook register.budget-plan
2. Itemize your income and expenses. Using receipts and bills, prepare an accurate account of where you’re spending your money. List your monthly income. This includes salary from jobs and any other income. List and total your monthly expenses. Based upon your spending diary, list expenses in the following categories: Housing – your mortgage; utilities – phone, cable TV, laundry, internet access; food – groceries, dinners out, snacks; auto – monthly car loan payments, maintenance, parking, gas, etc.; insurance – premiums for health, disability, dental, auto, and apartment. If you pay quarterly premiums, divide each by three to get a monthly figure; education – tuition, books, supplies, and the student loan payments (if any); entertainment – movies, parties, nightclubs, travel costs; clothing – include dry cleaning and repairs; personal care – toiletries, haircuts, gym membership; health – out of pocket expenses (not covered by insurance) for office visits, treatments, prescriptions; credit card debt – if you carry a balance on your credit card, list the amount you pay off each month; miscellaneous – gifts, unanticipated small expenses.
3. Total and compare the income and expenses columns to create your budget. Do you have any money left over? If so, you’re in good shape – you’re spending less then you’re earning. Why not budget the extra money to pay your credit card or other debts? If your expenses exceed your income, start reducing your expenses that aren’t fixed every month.
Savings
A good rule of thumb is to have three to six months of living expenses in emergency savings. Once you’ve figured out your monthly budget – and seen that you stick with it – try to save three to six times that much in a savings account or investment you can easily access. It’s okay if it takes a while, as long as you’re putting something aside each month.

Four Factors to Selling Your Home

There are four factors to selling your home, even in this market! These five factors are:
1. Location
2. Condition of your home
3. Terms of the sale
4. Asking price
Three of these four factors you can control! The only one out of your control is the location.
1-14-e1426175320399The location of your home does impact the value of your home. Homes located on quiet streets or cul-de-sacs have more location value than homes located on busier streets.
Other factors affecting the value of your home due to its location are:
• Mountain views
• City views
• What backs up to your property
These items give an idea of the typical factors that affect the location value. These are factors, again, that you have no control over, but play a major role in the value of the home.
But, never underestimate the important of having your home looking at its best. Having your home appeal to the buyers is very important.
1. First impressions are very important: Curb appeal and front entrance
2. Kitchen and bathrooms are important rooms: Keep clean and uncluttered
3. Flooring should be clean and deodorized
4. Paint – its is the highest return improvement investment one can make and the most inexpensive compared to other home improvement remedies
Last but not least, the terms of the sale is important to the marketing of your home as well. The possession date, financing options, and contingencies are all examples of the terms of sale. The more flexible, the easier the transaction. You can use flexibility in terms to negotiating a higher selling price. It is important to consider all aspects of the offer to purchase before making any decisions.