Month: July 2018
Closing costs are often the last thing a person thinks of when buying a home. While closing is the joyous moment the home becomes yours, the costs can be surprisingly aggravating.
When you purchase a home, condo or other property, you will go through a period known as escrow. During escrow, various issues related to the property transfer are worked out. The last day of escrow is known as the closing day and you are going to be paying closing costs.
Closing costs come in many forms. Some involve significant dollars while others are relatively painless. Hereís a list of typical costs:
An escrow agent is essentially a third party that works with the seller and buyer to finalize the transaction. For this assistance, the escrow agent will charge a fee. Depending on your area and the agent, you can expect fees from a few hundred dollars to around a thousand or so. Make sure you find out the fees before picking an escrow agent.
Obtaining a home loan in the current market is a highly subjective event. ìPointsî can be a major cost associated with home loans. Points are essentially a fee you pay or have build into the loan for the privilege of being allowed to borrow money. A point usually equates to 1% of the loan. On a loan of $300,000, one point would equal $3,000. If you have excellent credit, you can shop for a loan that doesnít require you to pay points.
Home and Title Insurance
Insurance for your home and title are a must. If you are borrowing money to purchase the home, each is mandatory. If you are using your own funds, you should still get both forms of insurance. As each name implies, they provide insurance against issues involving your home and problems with the title transferred to you. You want to have clear title.
Private Mortgage Insurance, ìPMIî, is mandatory if your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars a year in PMI. Inspections, Appraisals and Miscellaneous Fees
In the home purchase process, you are going to use a variety of services to validate the property is your dream home. These services come with fees and you can expect to pay for home inspectors, appraisers and the like. Depending upon the state you live in, many of these fees may be built into your mortgage. Nonetheless, you need to know exactly what you must pay for on closing day so you can budget accordingly.
Closing escrow should be one of the happier days in your life, particularly if it is for your first home. Make sure you know the costs associated with it so you donít have to spend the day running around borrowing money.
Is island life for you? Or is having an island getaway for you? Both questions would entail completely different lists of pros and cons. For investment purposes, island homes tend to hold their value, as land is obviously at a premium on an island!
The population of USA has access to many islands, in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands and in the Pacific. If you are planning to buy a second home on an island, you will not need to do the same soul-searching that would be required for a permanent move.
Many families have bought an island cabin as a group purchase, and the weekends and vacations are allotted on a casual ‘time share’ basis within the family. It is shared in turn for weekend getaways where the children can roam free on weekends and vacations and every now and again they will all plan to show up together! It is a great idea for promoting family unity. It also keeps costs down, as boats, fishing rods, repairs etc can be shared.
However, that is a little different to suddenly deciding to sell everything up and move to an island. To some, that would sound idyllic and to others it may bring on claustrophobia!!
The advantages and pitfalls must differ according to each island’s amenities, climate, environment and many other factors, but are there any general island ‘rules’?
Most island residents who choose permanency would probably opt for an island with a ferry service. There are times when the sea is too rough for a little row boat, or motor boat, and they do not want to feel isolated. Of course, for many people this isolation is exactly what they DO want!
Sometimes a ferry schedule can mean that when you arrive home late (from a vacation flight) or from the theater you cannot make it home on the ferry. Many islands have a water taxi service that you can pre-book, or some residents will just use their own boat, and others will decide ahead to spend a night in the town’s hotel.
One other problem with living on an island is that often you may have to worry where to park your car. Is the island big enough to have a car ferry, or do you need to leave your car each time you go over on a tiny ferry? In the latter case, you will need to negotiate parking near the ferry – although this is often provided for.
Such other inconveniences, like arriving home with no sugar, is really just an accepted part of island life, and easily adjusted to. That’s what neighbors are for, and community glue is strong on islands!
No matter what the inconveniences are, to islanders, the peace and the feeling of being ‘away from it all’ is paramount. If you work off island, it only takes a few short weeks for that feeling of peace to pervade your entire being. It happens the minute you step onto that ferry boat each evening to cross the ocean to your island home.
Maybe you’ve read lots of advice on selling a house. But do you know the biggest mistake many people make when selling a house? Not understanding real estate value.
You see, it doesn’t matter what you think your home is worth. It doesn’t matter what youdid to make in nicer for your family. The value of your home is determined by buyers. What you enjoyed about your house may be irrelevant when it’s time to sell. Think in terms of what buyers want, and use some of the following advice on selling a house.
1. Know the market. What other similar houses have sold for? Have those examples ready to show potential buyers.
2. Decide on a minimum price – the price below which you just won’t move. Don’t tell your agent what this minimum is, but negotiate with any buyers who make an offer near or above it.
3. Concentrate on the visible things first. A new mailbox is often a good idea. When buyers fall in love with the house before they even enter it, they forgive a lot of problems.
4. Clean the neighborhood. If a neighbor’s yard is a mess, give their kids $10 to pick up the yard. Spend $20 to put flowers in any common-areas, and buyers will have a better first impression of the neighborhood.
5. If you or your agent aren’t getting many calls, try something new. Is more advertising necessary? Is the price too high? If price is the problem, drop it fast. That perfect buyer might pass on by while the the home is still over-priced.
6. Listen to prospects. They’ll be more objective than you. If you hear several times that the kitchen is dark, get out the white paint.
7. Find the average sales time for your area. If your house is taking longer than average to sell, there’s a problem, and usually it’s the price.
8. Ask your real estate agent what she plans to do – before you sign a listing agreement. Write down what she says, and hold her to her promises.
9. If there are known problems, such as an old roof, get an estimate for repairs. The sellers may want a $7,000 allowance for a new roof – until you show them your $4,000 estimate.
10. Do improvements that can realistically get you at least a two-to-one return on investment. If $300 to seal the driveway is likely to add $600 to the sales price of the home, do it. Always consider first those things that are most visible.
There are dozens of things you can do to sell your house faster, and get a better price. Start with the ones that will get the most “bang for your buck.” Also, read and USE good advice on selling a house.