Bigger Isn’t Always Better

After the mad dash by homebuyers to purchase larger places to live in at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts are making a case for more efficiently designed, smaller homes.

With the pandemic seemingly waning, mortgage rates and home prices rising, and builders struggling to get anything up in the face of supply chain shortages, there’s a convincing argument to be made that home shoppers should consider seeking smaller houses.

A new book by Sheri Koones, “Bigger Than Tiny, Smaller Than Average,” posits that functionality is more important than square footage.

Read more HERE.

Signs You’re Buying a House You’ll Slowly Come To Hate

When you’re shopping for a home, it’s easy to get distracted by the shiny fixtures and fancy appliances. But there’s something far more important and not always easy to pinpoint that you should be looking out for: signs of good home design.

So how can you tell if a house is well-designed? A well-designed home makes you feel good when you walk in. It’s well-lit, with lots of natural light and glimpses of nature viewed through ample windows and doors. Where a poorly designed home might feel cramped and cluttered—despite the best efforts of the homeowner—a well-designed home has a place for everything.

Rooms flow naturally into one another, in a way that makes sense for the way the homeowners live.

Experts call this good “flow,” and they know it when they see it. But to the average homebuyer, it can be a tough thing to spot at first glance. And poor flow is an expensive—sometimes near-impossible—thing to fix.

Look for the following giveaways next time you’re touring homes.

The Reason You Confide More in a Real Estate Agent

The homebuying process is also complicated, so depending on whatever real estate curveballs come hurtling your way, your agent will likely become your shoulder to cry on, shrink, perhaps even your 24/7 hotline when you discover an email at 3 a.m. that your mortgage approval fell through.

In fact, a new survey from Century 21 finds that a majority of homebuyers and sellers say they value and confide in their agents more than they do a therapist, and even feel they know them better than their own neighbors.

Surprised?  Find out more HERE.

Proof of Funds Letter for a Real Estate Purchase: Why Home Buyers Need It

Is your Realtor asking for proof of funds? What is proof of funds in real estate anyway? When you’re buying a house, a proof of funds letter is a document that proves that a home buyer has enough liquid cash to purchase a home. It’s essential paperwork that all home sellers will want to see, so home buyers shouldn’t feel prepared to make an offer without one.

Basically all buyers need to provide a proof of funds letter. Even if you’re getting a mortgage to finance your home purchase, you’ll still need enough money for a down payment (ideally 20% of the price of the house) and closing costs (an additional 3% to 4% of the home’s price).

Read more HERE.

What To Do When Sellers Leave Their Junk Behind

What happens when the seller leaves behind more than a few cardboard boxes and cleaning supplies? Having to deal with a refrigerator full of rotting food, a piano, or pricey sports equipment is not easy—especially when you’re in the process of moving your own stuff in.

You might be staring at piles of junk and wondering how the heck you’re supposed to contend with it all. Who owns all that stuff? Are you allowed to just get rid of it? And, what could you have done to avoid getting this mess in the first place?

Find out HERE.

13 Types of Home Inspections: Are You Getting the Right One?

Most homebuyers know that no matter how much they love a house, they should get it inspected before closing the deal.

Homebuyers often add an inspection contingency to their offers, which lets you back out of the deal if a significant problem is revealed.

Given how an inspection can protect buyers from a lemon, it’s no surprise that most homebuyers get one done. However, do you know what type of home inspection you need?

Find out HERE.

Easy, Fast, Pain-Free Ways To Save Up for a House

Buying a house typically requires some serious savings. After all, with the median home price hovering at $375,000, a 20% down payment amounts to $75,000. Yes, you can put down less. (The national average is 12%, although some loans allow as little as 3%.) However, in today’s competitive market, more cash upfront can give you an edge and help make your offer stand out.

It’s no surprise that among younger homebuyers, 30% say that pulling together the down payment is the most challenging step in buying a home, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Yet as daunting as it may be to amass this pile of cash, there are plenty of tactics that can help you get there faster—and with fewer sacrifices than you might think.

Some of the advice that follows is tried and true, while other tips are fairly new, in the form of nifty apps that’ll line your pockets with extra cash with little effort. See which ones fit, so you’re armed and ready once you get out there to make an offer.

How To Calculate Property Tax

Most people know that homeownership requires coughing up copious amounts of money. There’s your mortgage, of course, but the costs hardly end there. You will also have to pay property tax.

If you already own a home, you can look at how your tax is calculated on the most current property tax statement. If you’re considering buying a home, look on the real estate listing for assessment and tax information, or go to the county website to find out the annual property tax.

Be aware that property taxes can change. The assessed value of your house can go up or down, depending on the local real estate market. Your assessment can also rise or fall depending on changes you make to your house—for example, if you make additions to your property. And the tax rate can change depending on your local government.

Read more HERE.

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