Tag Archives: home

4 New Home Purchase Mistakes to Avoid

Key with House KeychainFinally being able to buy a home that you can call yours is more exciting than stressful. After all, when all the legalities and decision-making is done, you will finally have a place to call your own. But, before the good times come rolling, you need to be able to face the reality of making the right decisions.

There are many new homes in Kansas City to choose from. The only question you have to answer is which one is right for you? Aside from knowing how to buy a home, it also pays to know the mistakes to avoid when buying one.

1. Not sticking to your budget

Unless you just won the lottery or was born to a really rich family, having a budget is a must-have when buying a new home. Having it is not enough, you should learn to stick to it for the whole process to go smoothly. Also, do not forget to set (and stick) to a realistic budget.

2. Not knowing your timeline

How long do you plan to stay in your home? These questions should be answered as honestly as possible, as it can help dictate the type of your home, as well as the amount you would spend (i.e. mortgages) on it.

3. Not seeking professional help

Invest in a real estate agent or in a broker. They might have initial upfront costs, but seeking professional help can lead you to the right path and reduce unnecessary costs along the way.

4. Lack of research

You might be fixated on your dream house, but additional research regarding the property’s location, surrounding community, and legalities, among others, can help make the whole process a lot easier. Not to mention, it can help you avoid foreseen hiccups along the way.

Keep these things in mind and avoid them at all costs. See how it can help make your purchase a smooth and fruitful one.

What Happens After a Seller Accepts My Offer?

Client and agent shaking handsAfter looking around for some time, you finally found the perfect home for you and your family. You then put down your offer and fortunately, the seller accepts it. What now? Do you wait to close on your mortgage and move in, or do you need to do something else?

In general, this is what happens once a seller accepts your offer.

Secure Your Mortgage

If you’re already preapproved, then you need to follow your lender’s instructions on how to go about closing. Otherwise, you need to shop around for a mortgage deal that you could comfortably afford; keeping in mind that your expenses would also include your new home’s upkeep.

These include all the costs that come with it to make certain that you pay your monthly mortgage payments on time, every time. You can ask mortgage lenders in Tempe such as VIP Mortgage.

Schedule Professional Home Inspections

This typically takes place about 10 days following the seller’s acceptance of your offer. Aside from the standard home inspection, consider asbestos/radon and pest inspections as well.

While it’s your responsibility to shoulder the costs of these inspections, if inspectors discover issues, you could negotiate with the seller to have the problems fixed or reduce the home’s purchase price to offset your costs.

Schedule a Home Appraisal

Your lender would appoint an appraiser for your home and will give you a detailed report about the home’s value. If the appraiser deems that the home’s value is less than your offer on it, you could put down a larger down payment or try negotiating with the owner to offset the appraised home value.

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer

Depending on state law, you might need a lawyer for closing. Otherwise, you could use a title agency. However, having a real estate lawyer look over the paperwork of your transaction would ensure that everything’s legal before you sign at closing.

Take Out Homeowners Insurance Policy

Lenders require that borrowers have homeowners’ insurance coverage before giving their mortgage. Preferably, you must start making payments on the insurance before closing.

The Final Inspection

This is your last chance to look around the home and ensure that everything is in the exact same condition you know it to be and that there are loose ends.

Once everything’s in order, you can now close the transaction – settle balances, sign everything that needs signing, get the deed and keys from the seller, and you’re ready to move in.

A Guide to Choosing Insulation for Your Home

Home insulationOlder homes in Fairfax, VA were obviously not designed for the highest levels of energy efficiency. Adding or improving insulation to the attic or elsewhere can lessen the energy bill burden significantly. Often, the solution is just adding insulation that pays back in a couple of years. Here are some important steps to help you determine the type and amount of insulation to use.

Conduct an energy assessment.

The most important thing is to determine whether you need to improve your home’s insulation in the first place. An insulation check as conducted during an energy audit or roof replacement for your Fairfax, VA home is very revealing. An energy assessment also checks for air sealing needs in the house. If you choose not to call the energy auditor, you still need to check three major things:

  • Insulation presence or absence,
  • Type of insulation, and
  • Insulation R-value.

Inspect and evaluate insulation.

For a start, the areas to check for insulation include floors, attic and walls next to the basement or garage. This is because the structural elements around these areas are exposed; you can easily decipher the insulation type and size. The rule of the thumb is to make estimations via an opened electrical outlet box. Check via several outlets because it is possible to have insulation in certain parts of the house only.

Determine the cost of insulation.

The R-value of the insulation is going to be very important for this insulation project. Whether you get the value through a professional assessment or own analysis, energy- and cost-savings can help you determine the amount of insulation you need. It will also guide you on where to place the insulation.

Winters in Fairfax can be extremely drafty. Poorly insulated homes are exposed during winter because of their never-ending cold. If you think your home needs new insulation badly, contact an expert in roof replacement for help.

3 Winter Household Preparations You Must Not Forget

 burning firewood in a fireplaceFrom November through March, the State of Utah becomes a winter wonderland. Its uniquely dry and fluffy snowfall is a legend of its own; its snow-capped hills and mountains some of the most popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts. But as majestic as winter is, households in The Beehive State knows that upon its arrival, essential home preparations must be made, such as these:

Fireplace preparation

The fireplace in your Salt Lake City home must be readied for the cold season as early as November, at which point daily temperatures across the state start to dip. The kind of fireplace you have determines what preparations you must do.

If yours is the traditional type that uses wood, cleaning the firebox and the chimney’s interior and exterior are important. Crucial components that need checking include the flue and damper. For a gas fireplace, the glass plate must be checked for cracks, the shut-off valve for clogged holes, and vents for any signs of wear and tear.

Furnace inspection

If your house has a working furnace, the crucial part you must inspect, and replace if necessary, is the air filter. A faulty one has detriments ranging from increasing your energy usage and cost to contaminating the air quality in your home.

Sprinkler shutoff

Failure to turn off your grass sprinklers during wintertime could freeze the pipes and lead to a breakdown. As soon as the days start to get cold, make sure to drain all the pipes connected to your sprinkler, and shut off all valves and controllers attached to it.

These tips seem almost unnecessarily simple to some. But you will be surprised by how many households inadvertently neglect to do them. See to it that you make these preparations so you can enjoy your lazy winter months with peace of mind.

How to Achieve the Victorian Style in Your Home

a Victorian houseThe reign of Queen Victoria left a large and impressive impact on today’s architecture. There are still many homes today that carry the elaborate layouts of the Victorian style — fancy metal fence decorations or designs, arched and eyebrowed windows, and touches of stained-glass.

If you’re building a new home or renovating your current one into a romantic Victorian home, here are some ideas that can help you achieve the rich and ornate feel of a home in the 1800s.

China Dishes in a Glass Cabinet

Keep hand-painted plates, saucers, coffee and teacups, in a glass cabinet that’s in the corner of your dining room. Or better yet, use them as your everyday dishes to add romance and nostalgia to your mealtime.

Wicker Furniture

Painted white or dark brown, and woven into intricate designs, wicker furniture contributes to the homey yet elegant design of a Victorian living room.

Clocks, Frames, Candelabra

The 1800s used gold, silver, brass, or copper to create these fixtures with curvy and slender designs. Use candelabra to line your halls. Add a big, round brass clock in your dining room. Or use copper frames with fancy vine designs for a Victorian painting.

Intricate Wallpaper Patterns

These are often leaf and flower designs that are daintily curved into detailed patterns. The mix of vines, leaves, and petals make for vintage and romantic backdrop to any room in a Victorian home.

Ruby Red, Emerald Green, Sapphire Blue

When it comes to choosing colors, you should always go with jewel tones. An emerald green door against a sapphire blue wall gives a room strength and boldness. A ruby red dresser in your room gives it a splash of vibrant energy.

Though this style may seem extravagant and fancy, being creative and thinking out of the box can help you get a cost-efficient Victorian feel that your family will love to come home to every day.

Guide to Starting a Group Home

a construction of a houseA group home is a facility where people who are unrelated to one another live in a cooperative-type environment. This gives the residents access to amenities and resources; therefore, allowing for semi-independence. Its nature is different from a nursing home due to the absence of aides and full-time staff.

But because it is a substitute for nursing homes and other facilities that provide care, a group home is subject to the same rules and regulations that cover nursing homes. Starting a group home is not different from starting any other business.

Alternative Home For Independent Elderly Citizens

Group homes for the elderly are grouped according to the level of service and medical care provided. They are licensed and regulated by the state Department of Health and Human Service. A group home also has to be registered as a business entity even if it is a non-profit organization.

Whether it is a corporation or a limited liability company, it will have to keep records of its expenses and have its own financial recording system. This is best done with the help of an accountant. As a taxpaying entity, it has to apply for a tax identification number.

Type of Group Home

There are several types of group homes, including adult group homes, foster care, as well as group homes for handicapped, troubled teens, youth, veterans, autism, Asperger’s, and others. Traditional homes do not cater to these groups. Group homes cater to more than just senior citizens or those with special needs. Typically, the residents of group homes are capable of working or helping themselves.

A group home is not a business for the fainthearted. It is a non-profit endeavor meant to help those who are in need. Even though the residents have an independent lifestyle, the group home needs highly trained staff to perform the tasks efficiently.

Wooden Porches and How to Maintain Them

A modern porch designA wooden porch allows a smooth transition from the indoors to the outdoors and vice versa. Other than having a small space to relax, wooden porches add beauty to every home. That is why it is important to always keep it well maintained.

Below are simple ways to maintain a porch in your New Zealand home, from the wooden steps to the whole deck.

Check for problem areas

The most important step in maintaining your wooden porch is checking for problem areas. This means regular inspection should be conducted to know which areas are in good condition and which ones have signs of abnormalities. Identifying the problems will help you know the steps you have to take.

Repair faulty spots

Is it a stain or a rotten part? Is your deck infested with pests? Once you find the faulty spots, the next logical step would be repairing it immediately. Doing so can help prevent damage from spreading further, as well as keep your porch safe for your family.

Clean it regularly

Clean it by sweeping every day or using soap and water to brush off dirt and debris at least once a week. Using a specific deck cleaner can make cleaning easier while nourishing the wood.

Seal and protect

During the summers, it is important to seal and protect your wood with sealants. This is in preparation for the damp and cold season when water can easily seep into the woods and damage it.

Do you have a wooden porch that requires TLC? Maybe it’s time to start giving some attention to your porch and take care of it the way you should. You will be surprised at the positive changes it will bring to your home.

Three Things About Reverse Mortgage Programs You Might Not Know

A conceptual look at variable mortgage rates.About 49 million US residents turned 65 years and older in 2016, which is about 15% of the total population. Many of these people are baby boomers, about 80% of whom own their own homes. Unfortunately, they do not have much else.

Many retirees struggle to make ends meet on their monthly pensions because of high healthcare costs. Those who own their own homes turn to reverse mortgages to add to their income. It is the perfect fit for some homeowners over 62, but not for all. Here are three things you may not know about a reverse mortgage program, according to Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Age matters

Any homeowner over 62 can qualify for a reverse mortgage. However, what you might not know is that the older you are, the more cash you can get. This is because reverse mortgage calculations include the probable term of the loan. This makes sense because the loan matures when the borrower dies or sells the property, whichever comes first.

Interesting options

Not all reverse mortgage lenders are alike. The interest rate you get for a reverse mortgage program will depend on the lender. Reputable lenders follow strict regulations that protect reverse mortgage borrowers. When choosing a lender, find one with a good reputation in the market. Ask friends, family, and your financial adviser for recommendations.

Net proceeds

The money you receive from the lender will not be the amount of the loan. This is because you have to pay for fees and costs. The first thing that will take a chunk out of the money is any balance left on your mortgage. Even if you have fully paid the mortgage, you still have to pay for mortgage insurance, application fees, lender fees, and closing costs. Your lender is obligated to explain all these costs to you before you commit to an agreement. If this does not happen, find another lender.

A reverse mortgage program is a good way to add to a retiree’s monthly income. However, it is not without costs. You’ll be all right as long as you know everything you need to know about reverse mortgages from your lender. To be on the safe side, find a lender with a good reputation for taking care of their clients.

4 Easy Tricks to Keep Your Home Warm

Double Glazing for Winter with Snow and icicles plus beautiful Sunset reflection from adjacent hills with room for text aboveKeeping your indoors warm through the winter is one of the best ways to make your home comfy for you and your family. There are many simple things you can do to achieve this, some of which are remarkably affordable. Here are four of the commonest ones.

Use waterproofing sealants

Few products can help keep your house warm like waterproofing sealants. These products are designed to inhibit the transference of moisture into your living space and are perfect for the floors, walls and roofs. You can find a range of these waterproofing sealants at the local suppliers in Sydney such as Waterproofing Direct. Talk to your contractor to find out what works best for your house.

Choose windows and doors that have tight air seals

Go for doors and windows that have proprietary draught-proofing strips. Also, fit retractable draught seals below your hinged doors. In case you have double hung windows or sliding doors, install overlapping brush seals to seal out the air. For casement and awning windows, use self-adhesive neoprene pillow.

Replace open-vented downlights

Open-vented downlights allow air leakage, making the house cold and uncomfortable. You can replace them with up lights at ceiling levels, hence preventing penetration of cold air into the house. In case your lighting emits a lot of heat, ensure it’s in an open space, so it doesn’t interfere with your house’s insulation.

Avoid open fireplaces

Open fireplaces are very inefficient as they draw in lots of cold air for combustion, making the entire room cold. Use dampers inside chimneys that you occasionally use to avoid air leakage when they are not being used. Many states have regulations that require that homeowners fit dampers to new chimneys.

If you can waterproof your home and seal it against air leakage, you should be able to make it through the winter comfortably while saving significantly on energy bills. While many of the ways to seal your house appear incredibly simple, they usually bear astonishingly good results.

Tricks to Keep Your Garage Door Safe and Functioning Optimally

Front shot of a garage doorPerhaps you are wondering what is going on with your garage door. The whirring sound may be due to issues with the gears. The sliding mechanism may also be causing the problem. Only a qualified technician can identify the culprit.

But professionals will only be able to tell you what is wrong when you invite them into your home. Better yet, you can avoid all these if you ask a commercial garage door repair company in Salt Lake City to conduct regular maintenance.

Potential problem areas

The largest door in the house requires consistent maintenance. If you don’t want to be bothered by grinding sounds or the sudden loud bang of a broken spring, you need to watch out for potential problem areas. A lubrication regimen includes some of the most critical components of the door. If you pay attention to these possible problem areas, you can avoid bigger issues later on.
Lubrication of the opener screw or chain, the torsion and extension springs, and the roller tracks once or twice a year should keep the moving mechanisms tidy and operationally efficient. Maintenance checks once every three months is a great schedule to follow. If you give your garage door proper attention, you are making sure your family enjoys a safe and comfortable home all year round.

Professional inspection helps

To avoid dealing with damage, as well as wear and tear, you must let a professional inspect your garage door regularly. They can check for effects of any residual moisture and troubleshoot immediately. They can also inspect the balance of the door. There may be gaps in the coverage, and there may already be tension problems with the spring. A garage door safety inspection is extremely important.

You store many valuable items in the garage. You use the door every day. Like every part of the house, it must be a safe and comfortable place for your family and belongings. Take good care of your garage door and it will protect you from any harm.