Buying a fixer upper is a great way to save money on a home. In addition, fixer uppers allow buyers to customize their homes as much as they want. However, the task of redesigning a home can be a challenge. Here are a few tips about how to start the process of remodeling a fixer upper.
1) Floors and Walls
In order to redesign a home, it is important to have a canvas on which to work. In the case of fixer uppers, this often requires working on the walls and floors first. Most people will want to simply paint the walls, but homeowners will want to look for signs of damage first and repair any problems.
The floors are important as well, and homeowners will want to decide what flooring material will be used. Wood can often be restored, but it may be simpler to go with tile or carpet. Simply changing the floors and walls can radically transform a home, and some might prefer to restore these areas before making new plans.
2) Kitchen and Bathrooms
The most important rooms when placing a value on a home are the kitchen and the bathrooms. New homeowners will want to focus on these areas first. Bathroom upgrades do not have to be expensive, but there may be structural issues that will require work. It is important to hire an inspector or plumbing expert to look for any problems that can build over time. When designing the kitchen, homeowners will want to ensure that the design they choose works with the rest of the house. One way to save money is to refurbish cabinets instead of replacing them.
3) The Exterior
The exterior of a home is often ignored during renovations, but some easy fixes can drastically improve the home’s look. A weekend spent landscaping can help, and a fresh coat of paint can make the home look new. There are also some more intensive renovations that can help; a new entryway can give a home a modern feel. Again, it is important to watch out for structural issues, and new homeowners should have the foundation and walls checked by an expert before proceeding.
With a bit of hard work and some careful planning, a fixer-upper can be an affordable route to a dream home. Along the way, however, it is important to ensure that the structural components are sound. Fortunately, many fixer uppers can be transformed with only cosmetic fixes, but those looking for a more radical transformation have options available as well.
In the aftermath of the bursting of the housing bubble, one thing that can be considered a “perk” for first time home buyers is that prices are significantly lower than they were in years past, especially for smaller homes. This allows many to have access to homes that they otherwise would never have been able to afford. But before you go crazy and buy that unnecessarily large home you drive by every morning on your way to work, consider the advantages to purchasing a smaller, more affordable home. Aside from the obvious cash savings in the long run buying an affordable home can have some serious perks.
Here are a few things to consider before you decide to go big.
Smaller Homes – Key Benefits
1. Heating and Air – Let’s face it, if you home isn’t located underground, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to heat it in the Winter and cool it in the Summer. Smaller homes allow for more flexibility on this issue. A smaller home is easier to heat and cool, as well as more efficient, saving you money on your power bill.
2. Lower mortgage – Obviously a more affordable home will lower your monthly mortgage payment. The monthly payment difference between a $300,000 home and a $200,000 home is roughly $600. Think about all the other things that $600 a month can pay for like a new car, vacations or home furnishings you know you’ll want soon after buying. Also, with the variety of financing options available for new home owners, it’s possible these savings could be even more.
3. Easier to maintain – A smaller home will have less actual brick and mortar for you to deal with meaning that when it’s time for a new roof, it won’t break the bank. Also, buying an affordable home allows you to set aside money in the event that you want to
upgrade later by adding onto the garage, building that pool you’ve always wanted, or adding an extra bedroom. It’s much easier to upgrade than it is to downgrade and these changes will also improve your overall home value.
4. Less square footage = less property taxes – Think about it. The less space you actually occupy, the less you’ll have to pay. What many first time home buyers don’t realize is that in addition to your monthly mortgage payment, there are also property taxes to pay. Less is always better when it comes to expenses.
5. Security – No, this doesn’t mean surveillance cameras and security systems. What this security refers to is the stability of staying in the home if something unforeseen happens. These are uncertain economic times and unemployment is at a high. By purchasing an
affordable home, you’re able to save more money and protect yourself if your income becomes compromised or unexpected changes arise. Also, you may have life changes that pull you away from home, and having a well-priced home will make resale easier.
There are many other advantages to purchasing an affordable home including things like yard maintenance and house cleaning. But first and foremost, the cost savings are huge and over time can add up quickly. Think of all the vacations, renovations and expendable income you, like everyone else, want. All of that can be a reality by being a conservative home buyer and looking at smaller homes when buying.
By Lauren Tessin
You’re finally out of college and you want a place of your own. Single women like you would find the following tips useful especially if you’re looking for the perfect home:
1. Find a home that is accessible to your work location. If you live near your place of work, you can save on transportation expenses such as fuel costs. In fact, you can just even walk to your office instead of driving your car. This will enable you to save more money. Try to consider your home’s accessibility to essential establishments such as grocery stores and shops as well as hospitals and police stations in case of emergency.
2. Find a home that is less expensive. Since you’re just starting out with your career, try to find a home that would fit your budget. The suburbs or country locations are generally less expensive compared to urban areas. However, if you don’t want to compromise travel time, you can find a location which is more accessible. There are also high traffic areas in cities which cost cheaper. Unless the noise on a busy street doesn’t bother you, you may want to take that option.
3. Privacy. If privacy is not a big issue for you, you can try out a condo unit, townhouse or apartment. These types of residential areas are cheaper compared to single detached homes. However, just be prepared for neighboring noises since you only have walls separating you from other people. However, if you want to keep your privacy, you can purchase a single story house, which is just ideal for a single woman like you.
4. Look for a house which is easy to maintain. For single women like you, it will be more advantageous if you live in a smaller house. This way, you will be able to maintain cleanliness and run things smoothly. A house which is too big for you entails a lot of effort and a lot of money to maintain. So unless you have no budget for regular maintenance and housekeeping just stick to a house which is just the right size. A house with two bedrooms is just enough.
5. Buy a house which offers maximum security. Considering that you’re alone most of the time, look for a house that is located in a secure area. Make sure that your house is equipped with a functional security system. Inspect the door locks well to make sure that you will be safe. Also make sure that the house is well lighted. A gated community is better compared to homes in an alley.
6. Check out the location’s crime rate and neighboring structures. Before deciding to buy your house, try to check whether the area is safe by checking the crime rate and neighboring structures.
Keep in mind that safety, accessibility, convenience, and cost are just some of the factors you need to consider when looking for a home. Enjoy house hunting!
FindCollegeCards.com, is a place for college students to find their first credit card, as well as find helpful college tips through a blog.
By Andrew Black
Finding and buying a new home can be an overwhelming experience. It can be both exciting and stressful at the same time as there are just too many ‘hot’ properties up for sale in the market. Homebuyers, especially the first timers, usually find it confusing and challenging to come up with the best home purchase. With so many homes up for sale, it can be hard to find and buy the best.
Logically, any homebuyer needs to conduct actual and ample research before finally getting into any purchase deal. Experts advise buyers to learn from the mistakes committed by others instead of learning from their own home purchasing blunders. First-time buyers would find it particularly beneficial to do so. There are several usual mistakes committed by homebuyers. It would be ideal if you would strive not to commit the same errors to make sure your purchase is the right one.
Buying Based on First Impressions
Many homebuyers usually commit the mistake of buying a property based on first impressions. In general, buyers are tempted to choose and buy homes that look fabulous. Homes that initially look messy and not properly painted are usually disliked although most of them are of best conditions and are exhibiting ideal interior and structural designs. Likewise, homes that are not well designed and are close to condemnation are preferred because buyers like the new wall paint and other aesthetic features.
The best way to overcome this mistake is to conduct a proper and thorough home inspection before you buy. Many first-time homebuyers fail to do this. It is advisable to hire an inspection professional or employ the services of a home inspection company. Ask for guidance before making the purchase. A good home inspection report should provide you with a comprehensive list of pros and cons of buying the property. Take note of potential setbacks identified that would possibly make you lose your money in futility.
Some buyers also fail to first check out the neighborhood before entering purchase deals. Some homes may appeal to the first impression of prospective buyers although they are located in an area where there is no reliable and sound infrastructure and where amenities are poor. Instead of being influenced by initial impressions, look at a different perspective. Would the home be too far from major establishments and institutions like schools, groceries, churches, or parks? Would it take too long to travel from the house to your work?
Lack of Enough Knowledge About Negotiations
A number of homebuyers believe that the best way to enter a fair price negotiation is to offer low. In reality, such a strategy would just hamper flexibility, possibly polarising the purchase discussions. If you are not very adept and knowledgeable about buying properties, be honest to yourself and employ the expertise and services of experienced realtors. Such professionals have mastered the art and science of winning negotiations.
Another common mistake when buying a home is making an offer based on an asking price instead of a market value. In general, home sellers usually conduct a comparative market analysis before imposing and assigning price tags to any property for sale. It would be best if you would get hold of a similar analysis. You have to first understand the logical prices in the area before making an offer. This could be your best defense against possibly buying a home above normal or market prices. Of course, no seller would dispose a property at below market valuation.
Before making an offer, you as a homebuyer should also know and understand your basic rights as well as obligations in making an offer. Many buyers commit the mistake of overlooking this aspect. Your understanding of the purchase offer and the proposed contract would certainly spare you from getting into friction with other parties involved. Thoroughly check all contract clauses and assumptions as such factors could potentially lead to improperly increased costs. Beware of clauses that could lead to a void contract. In this regard, hiring a professional realtor could still be advantageous. A lawyer’s advice should also be sought.
Andrew is a contributing author in various real estate blogs. Andrew has been working in the finance industry for several years as a refinance specialist and has advised many home buyers on the best solution for their home loans
By Nicole Rodgers
Shopping around for a mortgage is not as difficult as it may seem. Although there is a lot of paperwork involved, comparing offers and searching for a good deal is worth your effort. Before going for a mortgage loan you should understand how things work and then try to get lower interest rates. Here are some tips on getting the best mortgage:
Improve Your Credit Rating
Before you start shopping for a home loan or mortgage, check your credit record. Paying down your financial obligations and getting rid of debt is a good start. Individuals with a poor credit record have a difficult time finding competitive deals. It is highly recommended that you improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage. Credit scores over 620 are usually approved.
Shop Around and Compare Costs
Although you might be tempted to go to a local bank because you have a checking account there, it is advisable that you first research your options to make an informed decision. Contact a broker, use the Internet to get loan quotes and search for information in your local newspaper. Each bank, loan association or mortgage company has its own interest rates, so be sure to evaluate a number of offers from different providers.
Make a Large Initial Deposit
The size of your deposit is very important when it comes to getting a mortgage. The best rates out there are available only to those with a large deposit. The larger the deposit you have, the more money you will save. The good news is that there are a couple of things you can do in order to build up your deposit. Getting an unsecured loan is a viable option. You may also ask your family or friends for help, reduce daily expenses or use your other savings.
Decide on the Right Mortgage
If you decide to apply for a mortgage, be sure to do proper research. Potential homeowners can choose from various types of loans. Some of them prefer a 30-year mortgage, while others opt for fifteen-year fixed rate loans. Evaluate your budget and decide how much you can afford paying every month. Remember to ask each lender and broker about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR includes broker fees and points, as well as the interest rate that applies to the loan.
Once you find an offer that suits your needs, act quickly to secure the mortgage. Although you need to do research and evaluate your options, it is important that you act quickly to avoid disappointment and get the best deal out there. You may hire a broker and ask for expert help. A good broker can move quickly to secure funds for you.
Applying for a mortgage loan requires your full attention. Be sure to get all the information you need from several lenders or brokers. Ask about the lender’s requirements for a down payment and try to find out what each fee includes. Make lenders compete with one another for you. Examine your credit report and make sure you don’t borrow more money than you need. Don’t hesitate to contact a broker; he can help find a loan that best suits your needs. Get loan quotes from multiple sources and check the reputation of the brokers and lenders you interested in working with.
Nicole Rodgers has been in the mortgage industry for 4 years; she currently contributes to blogs dealing with ways for people to refinance a home loan and how online trading can help families earn extra income.
By Greg Andruff
9. Location –- Is your purchase close to shopping, traffic, airport? What area/neighbourhood is the property in? Is it close to schools and parks or close to downtown?
8. Is the property restricted by certain rules? Be aware that in a strata or a heritage home, certain rules and restrictions can possibly hamper resale.
7. Market conditions — You don’t buy the market but you want to know what conditions you are working in. (Is it a buyers, sellers or balanced market? Are you in a seasonal market?)
6. Is the property close to transit? Bridges? What about paying tolls?
5. What is the property condition inside and out? An inspector is cheap insurance. Typically, older buildings will require more work, so be aware of that. There may be a chance for sweat equity…
4. Think about resale: Is the property easy to get into but hard to get out of?! What is the type of ownership — strata, freehold, or co-op? Co-ops tend to trade at a lower price because they require 35% financing up front. This may or may not be an advantage to a buyer.
3. Neighbours — Talk to the neighbours before you buy. What is the neighbourhood like? Are there mostly older people, families, or professionals? Keep this in mind, especially in a strata where you live right on the other side of the wall from your neighbours! Does your neighbour have a dog that howls at the moon?
2. Think about the future. Is there a possible transit connection (bridge or train) being built soon? Is there a development going in around the corner, or a half-way house, old folks home, or super complex and how does that relate to you?
1. Mortgage qualification – Most importantly, you need to know your budget. What type of mortgage do you want or need? Best rates are not everything: flexibility or readvanceable principle may be more valuable! Be sure to talk to a professional mortgage broker about your options.
Greg Andruff is a member of a successful Vancouver residential real estate team, Team Andruff.
They strongly believe in helping educate and inform their client to make confident buying and selling decisions in any market. To contact Greg visit www.GregAndruff.com or call 778-899-4267*