What to Expect When it Comes to Personal Property and Buying

What is included in your purchase?

Don’t assume everything is included in your home purchase. It’s important to get everything in writing so you’re not left feeling cheated. Here are some common house features buyers think are included in the deal, but aren’t necessarily automatically included.

  1. Appliances

It’s not always the norm when buying a home that all appliances are included in the sale. Things like refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers and microwaves may be going with the seller. If you want a specific appliance left behind, make sure to clarify in writing that it’s a condition of the sale.

  1. Window Coverings.

Sometimes there are shades or drapes in the home during showings. The shades may be fully fitted for the window and attached, but the seller may be planning on taking them once they sell the home. If you don’t see it written anywhere, get the inclusion of window coverings in writing. Specify you want the existing window coverings either included or removed if you don’t like them.

  1. Mounting Materials

It’s common for homes to have TV’s mounted on the wall with a bracket supporting it. Be sure to ask. It may not actually be included with the sale of the home.

  1. Lawn Care Equipment

If the lawn at the home you are buying is large, you may want to negotiate with the sellers for any lawn care equipment you need. If the lawn requires a riding lawnmower the previous owners may be willing to include it in the sale.

Find more tips for buying in the Mel Foster Co. blog.

Should You Raise the Asking Price of Your Home?

Pricing strategies

There are several strategies homeowners can follow when setting their initial asking price. Often sellers try to undercut their competition, but there are times when it actually makes sense to list your home for a higher price.

You should feel comfortable listing your home for a higher price when your residence offers more than other listings in your area. Maybe your kitchen was recently renovated or you have more storage that sets your home apart from all the others. These features may justify an asking price that’s a bit higher than other homes in your area.

Finally, frequently check market conditions to see if they have changed since you initially listed your home. If you notice more buyers are entering the market and homes are selling quickly, raising your own asking price might be a good move.

Setting the right asking price is a challenge you’ll face when listing your home. That’s why it’s so important to work with a real estate agent who knows your market. Find a Mel Foster Co. agent who specializes in listings in your area.

Read This Before Remodeling your Kitchen

Thinking of kitchen remodel?

Small details can make or break your kitchen renovation. Avoid stress by going through this list before you start making purchases.

  1. Measure Everything

This extra step will save time, money and headaches in the long run. The last thing you want is the refrigerator or dishwasher not opening all the way because the island ended up being too close.

  1. Choose a Timeless Backsplash

It may be tempting to choose a trendy tile layout, but you may quickly become bored with your decision. You’ll also have difficulty selling later on if your kitchen looks outdated due to a very specific design choice. Stick to classic white coloring. White is always on trend.

  1. Decide if a Splurge is Worth it

Sometimes spending a little more now will save you in the long run. If an energy efficient appliance is a little more expensive, it might be worth it to upgrade so you have lower energy bills every month. It’s important to prioritize needs over wants, but sometimes a want is worth the happiness or convenience it will provide.

  1. Consider Open Shelving

A few rows of open shelving can help break up the “boxy” feel of some kitchens. Even an addition of a few shelves can help the kitchen feel more open and also offer you the opportunity to show off some photos or nice dining ware.

Not sure how much upgrading to make to your home before you become the most expensive house in the neighborhood? Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent for comparables in your neighborhood.

Getting Kids Involved In Your Home Search.

Involving your kids

Children are becoming more and more involved in the search for real estate, especially as children wait longer to leave the nest and complete their education. Depending on the age of your children, they can use technology to find homes for sale or even be an integral part of determining how much house you can afford.

Mel Foster Co. lists all home for sale, from every listing company, at www.melfosterco.com. Your kids can help you filter by price, bedrooms and other options that are important to you.

The free Mel Foster Co. app can be downloaded to find all homes for sale around a particular location. Once you have the app downloaded to your phone or tablet, your tech-savvy child can launch the Foster Finder to activate your device’s camera and GPS to identify listings while you drive. It’s a fun way to get kids involved on the drive home from school or a friend’s house. And having a helper while you drive is the safe way to search on the go.

Children of all ages can benefit from the financial lessons that go along with buying a house. Searching within a budget is an easy lesson for younger children while budgeting for expenses like homeowners insurance, taxes, inspections and closing costs is a valuable exercise for older children who may soon be buying their first home.

Make your home search a family affair and involve your kids at an age appropriate level.

Where Gen Y Buyers Can Find A Diamond In The Rough.

Are you a Gen Y buyer?
Are you a Gen Y buyer?

When shopping for a home, check out transitional city neighborhoods that might just be on the verge of revitalization. You might find a great price or a really unique home that’s in the middle of the action. There are several reasons why you should consider all of your options when searching for your new home.

Urban neighborhoods are home to coffee shops and corner stores. Boutiques and other quirky shops can add the character you might be missing in a traditional suburban setting.

Young couples or singles, who aren’t ready to give up a thriving nightlife, are often drawn to downtown lofts, converted warehouse spaces or even upper floors of shops and restaurants. Living downtown may give you more opportunities to make friends who are your age.

Many times, living in an urban area gives you easier access to public transportation that could significantly reduce your annual transportation budget, if you’re fortunate enough to no longer need the use of a car.

Farmer’s markets and food co-ops are also becoming very popular in urban areas. With access to organic and farm fresh food, your health and wallet could be thanking you. Another point of consideration is that living in densely populated areas gives you the potential for exposure to other ethnic groups and cultures. New and interesting food and customs could become just another perk of your new neighborhood.

Downtown homes or lofts are often smaller than homes out in the burbs. This means less to clean, a smaller yard or maybe no yard to mow, and your utility bill may be smaller in a smaller home. You have your whole life to move out to the suburbs. Look around your downtown for the hot spots that fit your budget and style.

Count on a Mel Foster Co. agent to help you identify up and coming neighborhoods and the programs that may make homeownership more affordable to you. Find an agent at your local office.

Turn A Vacation Rental Into Your Second Home.

Turn a vacation rental into a second home!
Turn a vacation rental into a second home!

Vacation home sales are on the rise, with many people buying for a vacation home to use now and retire to later.

Second home buyers tend to be in their 40s and 50s, are still working, have children who are starting their own families and no obligations to care for aging parents. They are using their vacation home as a meeting place to gather everyone during holidays or other significant family holidays.

When the home isn’t being used, it generates rental income. In some locations, the rental fees can completely cover the mortgage, taxes and fees of homeownership, giving you a vacation home for free that can eventually become your second home in retirement.

Purchasing a vacation home where you’d eventually like to retire allows you to establish community ties for a smooth transition into retirement later. It’s also a great trial run. It gives you a glimpse into where you might want to spend your golden years before the time arrives and you have to make a firm commitment.

There are also financial benefits to owning a second home. First is the appreciation that will happen over time, especially if you purchase in a popular resort area. However even modest appreciation over time is acceptable given all the benefits of second home ownership.

Mel Foster Co.’s relocation division has connections to help you find a second home anywhere in the world. Contact a relocation specialist at 800-367-1134.

Get Your Finances In Order.

Getting your finances in order
Getting your finances in order

One of the smartest things you can do before buying a home is getting yourself pre-qualified. By getting pre-qualified, you’ll get an idea of what your mortgage might cost, ahead of time. This can help you prepare your budget, set your expectations and strengthen your confidence to negotiate when you’re ready to make an offer.

What is pre-qualification?

Pre-qualification gives you an estimate of what you could potentially borrow. It is based on information you give on your income, assets and credit. Many times a pre-qualification can be done online and is offered by many lenders at little to no cost. It is however just an estimation, and not a guarantee of any type of loan.

Why get pre-qualified?

Once you know how much of a monthly payment you are able to afford, and you’ve figured out a budget for yourself, a pre-qualification will allow you to estimate a loan option to fit your needs. You’ll also have a better idea of which homes you can afford during your search.

What documentation do I need in order to get pre-qualified?

You will need proof of income, this could include recent pay stubs, or W-2 statements from the past two years. You should also bring a copy of your tax return for the past two years, as well as proof of any alimony or additional income. You’ll also want to bring proof of your assets, including bank account statements to show you have the money for a potential down payment. Don’t forget your driver’s license and social security card, as the lender will need these to access your credit report.

Pre-qualification can help you be fully prepared to purchase that home you’ve been eyeing. You can get a head start by using the mortgage calculators to determine your monthly payment, figure out how much home you can afford and make a decision about renting versus buying.

An Older Home As A Green Alternative.

Older Home as Green Alternative
Older Home as Green Alternative

Call it recycling on a grand scale. Homebuyers who want their purchase to be more environmentally friendly are turning to older homes instead of building new. In fact, architect Carl Elefante coined the phrase, “the greenest building is the one that is already built.” What he meant by that is that environmental resources that would be used to build a building’s replacement are often times spared by restoring or repurposing an existing structure.

Did you know that it can take up to 80 years for a new, energy-efficient building to overcome the energy and climate change impacts caused during the construction process? Building reuse offers significant environmental savings when compared to the energy consumption of demolition and new construction.

Older buildings constructed prior to reliance on mechanical heating, cooling and lighting systems utilize what nature offers as part of their design. This can help reduce your energy use, helping you save on heating and cooling your home.

Go green and consider purchasing an older home that just needs a little TLC. Use the option to search by Year Built by clicking here to find a home you can recycle.

Put Out The Welcome Mat For Fall.

Welcome Fall
Welcome Fall

The number one tip for giving your home great curb appeal in the fall is to keep your lawn free of leaves. Buyers may drive right past your home if they feel like raking leaves would be too much work for them if they bought your home. Keep up with this chore to give your home a tidy and maintenance free look.

Cooler temperatures also mean it’s time to replace your tired annuals with colorful mums or kale. Clear out your planting beds of summer foliage and drop some blooms into your window box or porch planter. Remember that you still need to water these plants to keep them looking fresh.

If you have already moved out or can’t maintain plant watering, you can brighten your porch with a grouping of three large pumpkins. Want them to last even longer? Don’t carve your pumpkins for Halloween. You can keep an uncarved pumpkin on your porch through Thanksgiving and get two holidays out of one purchase!

Even though it’s Halloween time, real spider webs on your porch need to be cleared away regularly. No need to scare away buyers with frightful spider webs.

Need ideas for keeping your home open house ready for the holidays? Click here for simple tips.

Which Loan Is Right For Me?

It’s important to select the right type of mortgage for your financial situation, but understanding your options can be difficult. Your Mel Foster Co. agent  <link to find an agent> is your resource for proving information so you are able to make a knowledgeable decision regarding a mortgage. This quick list explains the top three most popular loan types.

1. Fixed-interest Mortgage

A fixed-interest mortgage is a type of loan that has a set interest rate. Most fixed mortgages are usually 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. The most common length of time is 30 years, as it provides the lowest monthly payment for homeowners. Keep in mind that most of the first few years of the payment are heavily focused on the interest that will be paid off, and very little actually goes towards the principal. You can determine your monthly payment for a fixed-interest mortgage with the Mel Foster Co. monthly payment calculator. 

2. Adjustable-rate Mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM is a loan with a variable interest rate. The interest rate will change after a designated period of time, determined by the lender. As a borrower, you may benefit if the interest rate is lowered, but you will also be exposed to potentially higher interest rates. The interest rate will remain steady for an agreed upon time, and won’t change until the next adjustment period. These types of mortgages are easier to obtain in situations when a fixed-interest mortgage isn’t an option. 

3. Interest-only Loan

An interest-only loan focuses on paying only the interest first. An example would be a 5-year fixed-30 mortgage. This means that for the first five years, you are only paying the interest, and not contributing any money towards the principal. The interest rate is fixed, but may change after five years. Once the five years is up, you begin to pay interest along with the principal cost. This will increase your payments significantly, even if the interest rate doesn’t change. This option is meant for someone who believes that they will earn more money in the future, or currently has their money tied up somewhere else. Just always remember to save your money for after the initial five years.

Which loan is right for you?
Which loan is right for you?


,
Office:




© 2021