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Home Buying Tips for First-Timers

Investing in a home is not an easy decision to make. You have to consider a lot of factors. Some people even find it stressful. The good news is the stress and mistakes of buying a house can be avoided by considering these tips. 

Plan Your Budget

How much can you pay every month? Are you planning to take a house loan, or do you have enough cash to pay it at once? 

if you are taking a loan, do you have enough cash for the down payment? Do you have enough money to pay your monthly mortgage? To make it easier for your finances, save for down payment for at least three years.  A higher down payment means lower monthly plans and mortgage insurance. It also means bigger savings for you.

Review Your Finances

This includes reviewing your monthly expenses and savings. How much are you saving and spending each month? Is your saving enough to shoulder your monthly mortgage once it starts?

Don’t leave anything out when reviewing your finances. You should even consider future expenses like increasing utility bills and once in a while family vacations. Put miscellaneous items on your list of expenses and determine whether you can still have a healthy financial status even with a monthly home mortgage.

Do Your Assignment

Buying a home is like a life-project. Do not buy a home because of a whim. Make sure to do your research and study factors such as home location, the current status of the house, property size including the land, and your mortgage and down payment options. 

For the location, consider its distance from your workplace. Is the area a flood-prone area? Is it in the middle of the city? Are you looking for a quiet neighborhood? Does it match your preference for a perfect home?

Compare different mortgage rates and offers as well. Look for a lender that can offer you big discount points or gives lower interest rates.

Find Someone Who Can Help You

Whether it is your first time or not, buying a home never becomes an easy task. To make your home buying project smoother and less stressful, seek help from a professional real estate agent. 

A professional can help you make negotiations easier and favorable to you. They can also help you find the right home based on your preferences. Once you found a house that calls your attention, your agent can also help you with the paperwork. 

Will a real estate agent make your purchase higher? No! a real estate agent earns from commissions that the seller gives to them. 

Conclusion

Finding a home is basically finding a place to settle in. you envision yourself living in that house for the rest of your life. Make it sure to buy a home that you really want, a home that meets all your requirements. 

Follow these tips and give it your time so you won’t have to regret making one of the biggest decisions in your life – buying a home! Learn how fences increase your home value: https://virginiacook.com/do-fences-increase-your-home-value/

Do fences increase your home value?

Privacy fences: A construction worker uses arc welding to build a metal gate for a new home

Are you planning to sell your home and wondering how to increase its value? Aside from giving it fresh paint inside, you can also do the same on your old fences or better yet, replace your fences. 

Would it help? Definitely! Fences can increase the value of your home especially if it is in good condition or freshly painted. 

Fences Provide Privacy, Security, and Value

With tall privacy fences, you are not just increasing the privacy and security of your home. You are also adding value to your home in general. 

Most people today own pets and prefer to get a house with tall fences. Instead of buying a home without a fence then build one in the future, it is more attractive for them to just purchase a house with a fence. 

This means if your home is enclosed with tall fences, you can increase your property’s price accordingly. 

A new luxury home installed fences for a private pool

How Much Increase Can You Expect? 

How much can you add to your property price if you have a fence installed? It will depend on the materials used and the design of your fence. Your realtor can make the necessary assessment for you. 

For better fence installation, hire professional fence installers. These professionals can install a fence that can match your home’s exterior design to make it more appealing to the eye. Due to the hill country in Travis County, iron fencing is often a great solution to add value and security without impacting Texas’ hills. If you’re looking for local iron fencing Austin, TX specialists, contact Austin Iron Fences.

If you don’t have a fence yet but you are planning to put your home in the market, you can ask your realtor first to refer a fence installer. You can spend a few hundred dollars for the installer and add a few thousand to your home’s value upon listing. 

Fixing A Bad Fence

If you have a bad fence, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars to install a new one for the purpose of increasing your property’s value. You can ask your realtor to look for a fence installer to repair it and repaint it. Fresh paints can give your renovated fence a fresh look, a sure way to ask for a high selling price once you put your property on the market. 

What Makes A Fence A Good Fence?

Fences serve a purpose – to provide security and privacy. You don’t need to install a 10-feet high fence though, just put up a fence that is tall enough to keep you and your family free to move around without being seen by everyone passing by. 

A fence is important for families with small kids and pets. Homeowners with cars also prefer to park their cars inside a gated home. With this being said, your fence won’t just increase the value of your property, it will make it easier to sell as well to other people. 

Conclusion

Installing a fence is not a small project. it needs a budget too and time as well. Personally, I would prefer to move to a home with a fence for a higher value that to purchase a cheaper property without a fence. I wouldn’t want to spend time and money to other people to install new fences for my new home. 

Relocating to Austin: Four Things You Should Know

Four Things You Should Know

Austin is known as the world’s music capital. It is also a popular choice for a place to visit and live with because of its warm weather and friendly locals. Are you planning to relocate to this city anytime soon? 

Here are four things that you should know before packing your bags and heading to Austin, TX.

The Weather

Living in Austin means preparing for ‘hot’ weather. Summer in this city is not just ‘hot’, it can be ‘very, very, very hot’. The summer season can start at 70°F and can shoot up to 100°F. This means you should plan on investing in a good air-conditioning system.

This city has four seasons. Winter, summer, spring, and fall. However, don’t expect a NY winter season and you might not be able to use your snow boots during winter. Basically, Austin has a hot and humid temperature all year long.

The Price of Staying in Austin for Good

Austin is one of the most affordable cities to live in the US. According to studies, the city has reasonable mortgage rates, affordable utility rates, and inexpensive health care. 

Although housing in Austin costs a bit high at $1100 for a single-room apartment or $1700 for a dual-room apartment, food in Austin is cheap. 

You can get bread for $3 or a dozen eggs for $1.78. you can also watch a movie for $12 and have lunch or dinner for $15. It means a date can cost you a dollar and you and your partner can just have a great time. 

When it comes to utility costs, Austin recorded a low utility rate as compared to other cities.  A single person living at his own place, doing regular laundry, and taking daily baths can only get a $35 utility bill a month.

Related: Relocating to Dallas: Four Things to Know – 2020 Update

Job Opportunity

The city of Austin is known for its tech companies. If you are in this area of expertise, you have a greater chance of landing a high-paying job in this city. Finding a job is also easier if you are a tech graduate. 

This also means that most people relocating to Austin are tech ‘nerds’ and are of the younger generation with too much money. A report from the Labor Bureau showed that IT personnel in Austin earns more than $1100 a week.

Transportation Options

Is it better to drive your own car or use public transportation in Austin? If you love parting and moving around Austin when not working, you might need to get your own car. However, you need to consider gas and insurance cause. A gas in Austin costs $1.95 a gallon in average ye diesel fuel costs higher at $2.11 per liter. 

If you are planning to move in the east, central, or south regions of Austin, you can move around by using their public transportation. They have rail transports, buses, and taxis. They have friendly transportation modes in the city, so commuting is a very acceptable option. 

Are you now ready to move to Austin?

Top 4 Tips When Selling Your Home

Selling your home: Best Kept Secrets for Selling Your home (Brighten, First Impression, Hide Pets, Closets Tidy and Half Empty) professional woman wearing head wrap holding binder isolated on white background

Home selling can be stressful and emotionally challenging. Regardless of the reason for leaving, it is still difficult to leave a place you have been staying for years. However, now that you have decided to move out and sell your home, there is no need to make the move harder. Here are four of the top tips that you can use when putting your home in the market. 

Find an Agent

One you put your home in the market, you can reach more potential buyers if you have an agent. You can also ask for a higher price because you are marketing a home professionally. Imagine offering your home to a friend or a colleague, that person might even ask for a ‘friendship discount’ that you can’t resist. 

With an agent, you won’t have to face different people asking questions about your home or spend time showing your home to everyone showing interest. 

Realtors can also produce fast results so if you are in a hurry to leave town, having a real estate agent is your best option. 

Make Necessary Renovations

Don’t think of renovation as an additional cost. Renovating or improving your landscape before putting your house in the market won’t just make your house more appealing, it can also increase its value. 

A house with a garden can cost more as compared to a house without landscape. Declutter and leave only the essential things that can make your home comfortable, airy, and cleaner to live with. 

If you need to repaint some parts, do so. The cost you will spend on renovation and repainting is worth it once your realtor assesses your home prior to putting it up on the market. 

Check for Foul Smell

You probably haven’t noticed it because you have been living in it for years, but visitors might notice unlikely smells like pet odors among others. Don’t wait for a potential buyer to point it out. 

Clean your home thoroughly before starting to accept visitors and potential buyers. 

Market Your Home

Even if you already hired a realtor, marketing your home can also help you attract more potential home buyers. Use social media platforms to market your house. 

If you will use social media for marketing, then do use good pictures. You can even create a video tour. Interested buyers can watch your virtual or video tour and if they love it, then they can contact you immediately. People who wouldn’t find it appealing on video might not find it appealing personally too – that will save you both time and effort. Check out the coast to live in Dallas here.

When doing a virtual tour, use good lighting. You can also improve the content of your video tour and give all necessary information that a buyer might ask like space sizes or materials used on the floor. 

Conclusion

Moving out doesn’t need to be draining and tiring and these four tips will help you market your home without lifting even a finger. With these steps, you can just focus on the new chapter of your life at your new home as your realtor finds the best person to own your old home. 

Relocating to Dallas: Four Things to Know – 2020 Update

Dallas Green Road Sign and Airplane Above with Dramatic Blue Sky and Clouds.

Data in 2017 shows that Dallas is one of the best places to move in because of its growing economy. They placed second to Atlanta in terms of job opportunities. If you are looking for a chance to work in Dallas and are planning to move, here are four things that you should know. 

What’s the Cost to Live in Dallas? 

One thing is for sure, living in Dallas costs a lot. Don’t worry though, if you are from San Francisco or other CA states, it is cheaper. However, when compared to other states in the US, living in Dallas is more costly. 

It is really hard to quantify the price of living in Dallas but consider this if you want a tasty lunch in this city, be prepared to pay $14 or $8 for a fast food meal. A great apartment can cost you around $1500 a month but if you want to have a low-profile, a budget apartment can cost around $1300 (a not much difference huh)!

Get Familiar with Dallas

Dallas is one of the biggest cities in the US, next to LA, NY, and Chicago. Before moving in, find a place that will suit your living and financial preference. Some neighborhoods are affordable while some are really expensive to live with. 

For example, you might want to check the affluent neighborhood of Colleyville if money is not a problem or you can check out Grapevine if you are looking for a lower tax and cheaper education system.

Are you single? Checkout Uptown Dallas and enjoy the vibes of their restaurants, nightlife and bars, clubs, and cafes. 

Do You Hate Traffic, Think Again!

Dallas is a big and busy city. It means traffic is heavy all the time. If you are planning to stay in this city, you should consider commute time even if you are driving your own car. 

Your option? You can choose different modes of transportation such as using a motorcycle or a bike. They have dedicated bike trails in the city. Another option is the use of railway transportation. With 64 trains running around Dallas, you can get to your office easily. 

Are You Starting A Family in Dallas, They Have Great Schools Around!

Whether you have preschools or college kids, living in Dallas is a great choice for them as well. Dallas is known for its excellent public and private universities and colleges.in fact, they have 18 popular colleges and universities that offer high-quality education. 

You Won’t Get Bored

Living in Dallas will keep you busy not only at work but also even off work. This city takes pride in its popular parks, museums, art districts, big shopping centers, and for its great concert venues. 

Conclusion

These are just four of the things that you should know prior to moving to Dallas. There are more factors that you can consider which are mostly positive such as low crime rate (as compared to its population), its increasing job market, and highly urbanized neighborhoods. 

4 Tips for Property Management

Property Management: Photo of a smiling young couple thanking to the agent for the new house.

Owning properties is good but as an investment, you can do more with your invested properties – such as managing and renting them out. However, there are associated stress and works with property management and if you don’t know the basics of managing a property, it might burn you out.

In this article, we will share with you four tips that can make your property management job easier. 

Understand Property Management 

Property management is not just about giving your property to someone and let them pay you on a monthly or yearly basis. As a property manager, you have responsibilities for your renters too. 

To avoid the stress of managing a property, you have to understand what it means first to be a property manager. Learn how to market your property, how to choose a good renter, how to make an acceptable lease term and maintenance processes in the future. 

 Get Familiar About Your Property

If you have an apartment for rent, you should know the specifics, even the smallest details that a possible renter might ask. Get to know the area where your property is, its advantages, and what can make it an attractive place to live. 

You can increase your chance of having a renter by giving helpful information like the distance of your apartment to the nearest shopping malls, school, church, freeways, etc. 

Set Clear Rules/Terms

It is important to have a ready set of rules. When showing off a property, your future renter might ask questions such as contract (how long you will lease your property), payment, maintenance process (who will pay for maintenance fees), and eviction process. 

What if your renter had an accident and isn’t able to work and pay for a month? What is your eviction process? 

A renter will feel more confident and comfortable in leasing a place with a crystal clear set of rules and if you can give an impression that you mean business on day 1, then you have won round 1. 

Know Your Role

As a landlord or property owner, you still have responsibilities even after turning your property over to your renter. 

It is your role to review complaints and requests by your tenants. This is very crucial especially if you are managing a large property like a 10-dorr apartment or condo. 

After reviewing complaints or requests, take action. Be fair and reasonable when responding to your renters. The key to successful property management is having a great relationship with your renters. Make then feel that your property is theirs too so they can have the initiative to take care of your property. 

Conclusion

People think that landlords are living a great life as they don’t work and just waits for their renters to pay regularly. This is true for people who knew how to manage their properties properly. 

If you will follow these four tips that we have for you, you can be one of these landlords that people think are happy with leasing their properties out. Make your properties earn for you without giving you stress by simply learning property management.