Lisa Oleksak-Sullivan's Blog
A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.
There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.
2. Narrow Your Home Search
Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.
Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.
3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans
Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.
For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.
On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.
Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.
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There is always an undeniable appeal to move into a brand new home. After all, there shouldn’t be any problems with a new construction home, right? While shiny new appliances and brand new flooring can be appealing, there are many advantages to buying an older home.
It may seem obvious, but older homes are less expensive than newer homes. You might be able to get a bit more for your money if you decide to buy an older home.
Older homes tend to have a bit better quality in their construction. Some aspects of older construction homes cannot even be reproduced with all of the technology that we have in the present day. It’s often true that “they don’t build homes like they used to.” Certain building materials of the past are actually more sturdy than the materials that are used in the present day. Older homes have stood the test of time for a reason!
The Location Is An Established Neighborhood
If you’re not looking to move into an up and coming neighborhood, you could be better off buying an older construction home. You’ll know that a neighborhood has already been established and that people have enjoyed living in the area for years before you got there when you find an older home to purchase. In finding a neighborhood, you’ll look at the important factors like the school district, the walkability of the area and the crime rate. Older homes tend to be in more stable areas. Keep that in mind.
Older Homes Have More Personality
Sure, you could move into a street with new construction and be happy there. Yet, if you move into an older home, you will find a lot of advantages. The landscaping may be more well-established, allowing you to find your favorite features on the outside of the home right when you move in. In a new home, it could take years to establish the same type of curb appeal that you’ll get from moving into an older home.
There’s More Space In An Older Home
An older home may afford you much more yard space and overall square footage. As the world gets more and more developed, space runs short. Older homes were constructed at times when space was at a maximum. These homes were built on larger lots, giving homeowners the advantage of more space.
While you may think that buying a new construction home is the way to go, older homes offer many different things that newer construction homes just can’t bring to the table. Broaden your search and look for older homes, you could be very surprised!
Often used interchangeably, the terms “property insurance” and “homeowners’ insurance” sometimes confuse new homebuyers. Homeowners’ insurance is a specialized form of property insurance. By “property” the insurance industry means anything that you own.
Under that category come homeowners’ insurance and even renters’ insurance. These products cover single-family houses, condominiums and a renter’s contents in the case of damage from fire, storms, water leaks and theft. Some coverage includes temporary accommodation if you can’t stay in your home.
Homeowners’ insurance typically includes a liability component in case someone suffers property damage or accidental injury due to happenings on your property or the condition of your home.
On a side note, homeowners’ insurance (HOI) should not be confused with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Although you pay the premiums for PMI when you utilize a zero or low down-payment mortgage option, the coverage does not protect you or your home. It’s there to protect the lender if you default on your loan. Your investment in the home and any equity you’ve built up, however, is not covered by PMI. Additionally, mortgage lenders usually require that you carry HOI up to a certain percentage of the property’s value. Coverage for your contents is up to you.
Here’s How It Breaks Down:
- Property insurance provides protection against risks to your home and property, like catastrophic and everyday weather damage, fire and theft. “Riders” are specialized forms of insurance or add-on endorsements to cover damage from floods and earthquakes, for example, or damage to or theft of high-value personal items such as antiques, jewelry, firearms, artwork, collectibles, specialized electronics and musical instruments. Some coverage even protects you from yourself. That is, if you’re accident-prone, it will replace your laptop if you trip and send your computer flying across the room.
- Premiums are the amount that you pay each month, quarter or annually for the coverage. What you pay in premiums above the basic coverage required by your lender is largely within your control, depending on what you cover. You can also reduce some premium costs by installing a security system and avoiding frivolous claims. You can also increase or reduce your premiums by agreeing to a lower or higher deductible.
- Your deductible is the amount you pay for damage before your insurance coverage kicks in. It’s a wise move to have a savings account with the amount of the deductible tucked away so that in the event of a claim, you can get right on the repairs as soon as the insurance pays your claim.
For advice and recommendations on homeowners’ insurance coverages, ask your real estate agent.