Ready to Relocate? 3 Tips on How to Set a Moving Budget That Won’t Break the Bank

Relocating to a new area can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. There are many resources to help, but most cost money. However, if you take your time and plan carefully, you can reduce the expense so you don’t start your new life with new debt. Here are three tips to controlling your moving budget.

1. Find Out What’s Free
Nothing is better than paying nothing, right? Don’t assume you have to fork out money for everything you need to move. If you have accepted a new job, ask your new employer whether the company can cover any of your moving expenses. When it comes to moving supplies, see what you can get without having to pay for it. Stock up on free moving supplies by asking your workplace, local grocery stores, and friends and family for unneeded, sturdy boxes. Instead of paying professional movers, see if you can barter with friends or family for help in moving boxes to and from the truck.

2. Focus On Essentials
After you’ve pursued every possible angle to cover your needs for free, you will likely need to pay for something. The trick is to only do so for what is absolutely necessary. Many providers will offer you help along the way, but you should only sign up for basic services. This could include moving big items such as a piano, paying for gas and tolls, or buying cartons for oddly-shaped or particularly valuable items. If you are not able to move things yourself, this could include hiring professionals.

3. Do It Yourself
If you have the time and are physically fit, start long before moving day and pack everything yourself. Rent or borrow a truck and move your boxes yourself, perhaps with the help of a friend. Take care of disconnecting old utilities and signing up for new ones. Handle both cleaning your old home and preparing your new one. Anything you can do with a little elbow grease will mean less money out of pocket.

CALL ME for advice on keeping moving expenses down. Ask about providers who may give you a discount for being referred by your agent. Remember that you are in charge of your move, so don’t automatically sign up for every service available. By using free goods and services when available and doing much of the work yourself, you can set and follow a moving budget you can afford.

 

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Renovations to Avoid: 3 Home Modifications That Can Lessen Your Home’s Value!!

Whether or not you’ve been looking into selling your house for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the buzzword ‘renovation’ and considered how it can positively impact the value of your home. From upgrading your kitchen to painting, there are plenty of renovations that will do wonders in terms of your property’s price on the market, but there are a few that can actually have the opposite effect so you’ll want to be leery of the following fix-ups.

Cool Colored Tile

If, at one point, you installed a bunch of brightly colored tile into your living room or kitchen to add a bit more life to your home, it’s possible this is the type of renovation you may come to regret upon resale. Often times, when it comes to purchasing a home, buyers will be looking for something they won’t have to renovate right off the bat, so a flashy feature can have a marked effect on the selling potential of your house.

An Unflattering Paint Color

 You’ve probably heard all about the power that painting has to revamp the look of your home, but the wrong tint of paint can actually have the completely opposite effect. Instead of opting for bright or risky colors, ensure you stick to neutrals that will coordinate in a flattering way with your furniture and flooring. A bright color can certainly make for a memorable impression, but it can also obscure many other good features if it happens to be too much.

Adding On Another Bedroom

 It can often be considered a great benefit to have a house with multiple bedrooms. However, if you’ve condensed the size of one room to create an extra bedroom that’s little more than miniature, it may not have the impact on your price-point you envisioned. Instead of focusing on the house that you don’t have, play up the positive features of your home and the ideal buyer will come to you – and hopefully with the offer you’re looking for.

Renovating your home is a good idea if you’re planning on putting it on the market, but adding on another bedroom or choosing a garish color of paint might not be worth the cost you’re going to pay. If you are planning on putting your home on the market in the near future, give me a call today!

It’s All About The Benjamin’s…& Home Equity…

When delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook.

It’s All About The Benjamin’s…& Home Equity

Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the cost of your home, the value of your home equity is this total amount. Of course, because most people seek a lender to borrow money from when they purchase a home, their home equity would consist of their down payment and whatever amount they’ve paid down on the mortgage since purchase.

For Example…

To provide further clarification, let’s use the example of a house that has been purchased for $300,000. In the case that a down payment of 20% has been provided at the time of purchase, the equity in the home would be $60,000. Since this amount is the percentage and cost of the house that’s been paid down, this is the amount of the house that is actually owned and this will be figured among an individual’s assets.

How Home Equity Works

As you pay the amount that you owe on your home each month, you are paying off your total debt and thereby increasing your equity. Since this amount of money is considered an asset that belongs to you, it can be used down the road to buy another home or invest in other important things like education or retirement. While paying off the amount owed on a home is a considerable investment, if the value of your home increases, this means that you’ll still owe the same on it but your home equity will have automatically increased.

As an asset that is part of your financial net worth and can be used down the road to fund other investments, home equity is a very useful term to know when it comes to purchasing a home. If you’re on the market for a home and are considering your options, give me a call for more info…

Happy Father’s Day! Here’s some DIY tips for all the Dad’s out there!

DIY for the GarageDIY

DIY for the Front/Backyard

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ENJOY!! 🙂

4 Must-Know Tips for Buying, Selling in 2016

What do buyers and sellers need to know to be smart about the housing market in 2016?

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Realtor.com® released “Top Tips for Home Buyers and Sellers in 2016” to help guide house-hunters and home sellers on what’s most important for buying and selling a home this year. Here’s what they had to say.

Top Tips for Buyers in 2016

  1. Don’t wait. More than 85 % of buyers who say they plan to buy a home in the next year say they will wait until the spring or summer of 2016, shows a recent realtor.com® survey. But buyers who start their hunt early will likely face less competition and have just as many homes for-sale to consider.
  2. Shop around for a mortgage. Buyers shouldn’t take the first rate-quote they receive and should talk to more than one lender. A lower interest rate could equate to thousands in savings over the life of the loan. Mortgage rates are largely expected to rise over this year. Realtor.com® is predicting mortgage rates to reach 4.65 % by the end of this year (they’re currently just under 4 percent).
  3. Don’t discount buying new. New-home construction is expected to surge this year, with an expected 16 percent increase in new home sales year-over-year. Buying new most likely means less competition and a wider selection of homes.
  4. Don’t underestimate the value of hiring a GREAT Broker or Agent to represent you!

Top Tips for Sellers in 2016

  1. List during prime-buying season. Realtor.com®’s data shows that the prime home buying season usually begins in April and reaches a peak in June. “Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings,” according to realtor.com®’s report.
  2. Price to sell. Home prices nationwide are expected to rise 3 percent year-over-year. Home sellers would be wise to take their local REALTOR®’s advice to price their home adequately for the market and based on comparables.
  3. Consider an incentive. Is there something extra a seller could throw in to entice buyers? Sellers who are open to negotiate beyond just price may find more success in hooking a buyer. Thirty-seven percent of all sellers offered some type of an incentive last year.
  4. Sell in California. The Golden State is being singled out as having the most markets that will likely tilt in sellers’ favor this year. Job growth, rising home prices, and limited inventories are boosting housing markets in the state!

Source: Move Inc.

Are You Ready to Make the Leap into Home Ownership? Here’s How You Can Tell…

Are you ready to make that leap from living at home or renting to owning a home of your own? While everyone moves at their own pace, here are some signs that you can use to determine if it is time to own your own home. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you can use to justify your decision.

Are You Sticking Around?
If you plan on moving soon for a job or think that you won’t be in town much longer, it may be better to rent. However, if you are thinking about living in the same town or within the same county for years to come, it is time to put down roots. The stability that comes with home ownership may make you more prepared for a marriage and/or a family if that is something that you want. This stability may make you more attractive if you are single and searching for a long-term relationship.

Do You Have a Steady Job?
Those who have a steady job and know that they have a stable salary may want to make the move to home ownership. As long as there aren’t any other major debts eating into your income, you can probably handle a mortgage and other costs associated with home ownership. The equity that you build in your home can help you build wealth for the future if and when you want to retire. Your home may also make a great rental property in the future, which can help you diversify your portfolio and keep you solvent for years to come.

You Are Spending More Time Watching Television Shows Related to Home Ownership
You may have caught yourself recently watching shows revolving around people or couples who are looking for homes. You may also be watching programs dedicated to giving tips as to how you can upgrade your home. If you watch these shows frequently, it may be a sign that you are ready to move out on your own and take on the exciting challenge of being a homeowner.

Are you ready to be a homeowner in the near future? Only you can say for sure if it is time to make that leap. However, those who are looking for a long-term housing solution may be ready to make that move. For more information, it may be worthwhile to talk to a real estate agent today.

 

Halloween Safety Tips!

Walk Safely

  • -Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • -Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • -Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • -Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • -Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.
  • -Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • -Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • -Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that
  • are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • -Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • -Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • -Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • -When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • -Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • -Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • -Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • -Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • -Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • -Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.