Shari Marquis' Blog
It's time to find the perfect place of your own but becoming a property investor has one significant roadblock: a down payment. It’s something that can stop potential home buyers in their tracks.
While winning the lottery or inheriting a windfall would be fabulous, you don’t need those luxuries before you can buy a home. What you do need is a budget that gives you a strategy for saving while still attending to daily expenses. The challenge is that once you create the budget, you must protect it from the temptation to stray from it while you work toward homeownership.
Here are some proven savings tips AND the budget-busters to avoid along the way:
Strategies for Saving
Detached account. While it seems obvious, many people lack even one savings account. If you already have an account, open a separate one specifically for your down payment. Make sure that it is detached from your other accounts. Having a savings account designated specifically for your down payment may get you to think before dipping into it whenever other expenses arise.
Different bank. You can open an account at the same institution where you have a checking account but doing so makes it easy to move money back into your spending account. Open an account at a credit union or savings bank to which you'd have to make a special trip to remove funds.
Direct deposit. Have the down payment part of your paycheck deposited directly to your savings account. You'll avoid having immediate access to it. If you don't see it in your checking account, you are less likely to spend it.
Establish a Budget
Now that you have established a place to save funds, you need to create a budget to handle your remaining income. Many online programs will help you to create a budget and keep track of your spending. They are often free or low fee to use, and some give you access to a financial planner at a small cost. Here are some to get you started:
Many people resist living by a budget because it feels too restrictive. The notion that your budget monitors your spending keeps many from reaching even first-level financial goals. Money is a tool to help you get what you truly desire. If you wish to own a home, eliminate these budget-busters that will keep you from getting there:
Overpriced drinks. If your caffeine habit racks up more than $10 every day, consider cutting that expense in half. If you saved five dollars each day, you could add $1825 to your down payment account by year’s end.
Eating out. Just like a daily coffee break, restaurants and fast food meals can easily break a budget. Studies show the average American spends over $250 each month eating out. If that sounds like you, eat out half as often and bank another $125 each month. Over 12 months, that’s $1500 more towards your down payment.
Clothes. Many offices allow casual dress so spending on clothes for work might not be necessary. If you work in an environment that requires professional attire, purchase a few high-quality pieces that you can style in different ways with lower-cost items.
Expensive vacations. The travel bug bites in every season. Even a cheap flight with a hotel and rental car can result in a fairly large expense. Instead, you may opt for a getaway that is within driving distance while you’re working through your savings plan.
These budget-busters could add up to $6000 or more annually. That could be enough to qualify for a down payment when using an FHA loan. Add to that a portion of any extra money you receive throughout the months for bonuses, birthdays, holidays, rebates, and tax refunds, and your down payment account can grow significantly in just one year.
Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.
1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals
Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.
Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.
Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.
Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.
When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.
Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.
Let's face it – after you buy or sell a home, moving can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, moving companies are available to help you streamline the process of transporting your personal belongings from Point A to Point B.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to hire a moving company to assist you with your upcoming move, including:
1. A moving company can help you transport heavy items to your new address.
When it comes time to move, there is no reason to put a strain on your body. Fortunately, a moving company employs moving professionals who are happy to take heavy items to your new address.
A moving company hires only the best moving professionals to provide day-to-day support. As such, these professionals will take care of your belongings to ensure they can reach your new home quickly and safely.
Furthermore, a moving company may even be able to help you pack your belongings. This will ensure you can speed up the process of getting your belongings ready to take to your new residence.
2. A moving company can help you save time.
The time it takes to pack up all of your belongings, place them in your car, drive them to your new address and unpack your items can add up quickly. However, with support from a moving company, you may be able to reduce the time it takes to get settled at a new location.
A moving company will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get your belongings to the right location, at the right time. In fact, this business will work with you to fulfill your moving requests without delay.
3. A moving company can help you alleviate stress.
Moving to a new residence may seem like a long, arduous and complex process at first. Conversely, a moving company can help you take the guesswork out of getting your belongings to your new house.
A moving company is available to help you transport your belongings to a new location at your convenience. This business will do whatever it takes to help you enjoy a fast, seamless move.
Typically, a moving company will offer tips to help you prep for moving day and will assist you as you get your items ready for your upcoming move. Moreover, this company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving professionals who are readily available to respond to your moving concerns and questions.
If you're unsure about whether a moving company is right for you, don't hesitate to consult with your real estate agent.
Your real estate agent is committed to helping you in any way possible. Therefore, he or she may be able to provide moving company recommendations to ensure you can work with the best professional movers in your area.
Ready to transport your belongings to your new address? Employ a moving company – you'll be happy you did. If you hire a moving company today, you can get plenty of support to help you complete a successful move.
If you list your home and fail to stir up interest in it, there is no reason to panic. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure your house consistently garners homebuyers' attention.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you showcase your home to dozens of prospective buyers.
1. Bolster Your House's Curb Appeal
How your home looks to potential buyers can have a significant impact on the house selling journey. If your residence appears drab and cluttered, buyers may be reluctant to set up a home showing. However, if you enhance your residence's curb appeal, you could make your home an attractive choice to buyers.
To upgrade your house's curb appeal, it is essential to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. Don't forget to repair or replace any damaged home siding too. Because if you make your home's exterior appealing to buyers, you may find that many buyers want to check out your house as soon as possible.
2. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter is a problem that home sellers must eliminate. Otherwise, excess items scattered throughout a home may make a residence appear small.
For those who want to cut down on clutter, it may be beneficial to rent a storage unit. You can rent a storage unit close to home that enables you to keep various belongings safe until your residence sells.
If you are ready to get rid of assorted items, you can host a yard sale or list these items online. You also may want to donate unwanted items to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to generating interest in a home, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows how to promote a residence to buyers, and ultimately, ensure a seller can reap the benefits of a quick, profitable property selling experience.
Initially, a real estate agent will walk through your home and perform an in-depth analysis. He or she next will work with you to craft a house selling strategy and showcase your residence to buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and determine how to proceed.
Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you accept an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will guide you through the closing stages of the home selling journey. And if you have any concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is happy to address them.
If you find that buyers are hesitant to view your house, you may want to revamp your property selling strategy. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revise your house selling plan and take the necessary steps to get buyers interested in your residence.
Eco-friendly homes are becoming much more common due to the benefits they provide, including significant energy savings and less of an impact on the environment. New construction homes can be green right from the start with the materials used to build them. These green building materials are often natural materials or renewable ones that are considered sustainable. Which kinds of building materials are used for green homes? The following are some common green building materials used for home construction.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable material used for building homes, since it is a fast-growing plant. This green building material offers a lightweight design combined with a high tensile strength that makes it difficult to damage, making it a good choice for flooring in many areas. Bamboo’s appearance can give new homes a naturalistic, whimsical style.
Reclaimed wood provides a green source of wood for home construction, which helps reduce the number of trees that are cut down. This type of wood comes from many sources, including old barns, shipping pallets and even box cars. Reclaimed wood can be used for many areas of a new home, including the walls and floors. In addition to offering durability, this kind of wood has a unique appearance with distinctive markings, colors and patterns.
Cork is another sustainable material that is sometimes used as insulation for green homes. This material, which comes from the cork oak tree, can be harvested without damaging or destroying these trees. Cork offers a high degree of thermal insulation, which puts it among the most effective materials for insulating homes. Cork is also resistant to fire, as well as mold and mildew that can grow inside walls in damp conditions. This material, which offers good shock absorption, can also be used for flooring in new homes.
Recycled steel offers a sustainable alternative to wood for building frames for new homes. Builders can use this green building material, which is fully recyclable, to help save trees that would normally be cut down for home construction. Recycled steel offers durability and strength while also being resistant to fire and other sources of damage.
Precast Concrete Slabs
Precast concrete slabs can be used for building walls and facades in new homes. These slabs provide a more sustainable option compared to traditional concrete slabs, since they are manufactured and shipped whole to building sites instead of being made at the site. Overall, the require less energy to produce, which is healthier for the environment. Precast concrete slabs are also more resistant to cracks and other damage that traditional concrete can develop.
Straw bale can be used for insulating new construction homes or as framing material. When used as insulation, this material is able to help home interior stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, resulting in less energy usage. This kind of green building material has soundproof qualities, as well as some degree of fire resistance. Straw bales can be re-planted after being harvested for use as a building material, making it an eco-friendly and sustainable choice for new construction.