Friday, January 10, 2014

Costs Involved in Owning A Home!

Nothing can replace the satisfaction of a homeowner who has reached that point in life when they have a house they can call their own. But the process that led to such point is neither easy nor simple. And those who are planning to buy their own house should understand that there are many costs involved and not just the purchasing price of the house.

Deposit Amount

Usually sellers require at least 3% - 5% of the purchase price as deposit.

Inspection Fees

Some may consider building & pest inspections as additional expense which can be skipped. But in reality having these inspections will be for your security and peace of mind. You don’t want to be paying for a house which will give you headaches when you are already living in there because of the many repair works that didn't surface during your first inspection. A professional home inspection will make sure that all possible sources or points of repair works are inspected and cleared before making the final payment.

Mortgage Repayments

If you are contemplating about finally owning a home, you need to decide on the financing option that will be suitable for your financial situation. You can choose from variable and fixed rates. Interest rates which are low at this time are not guaranteed to stay low permanently. When rates go high, it will have a huge impact on mortgages. It is best to consult with a financial advisor so you would have an idea of how much you have to allocate for your mortgage repayments.

Insurance, Taxes and Utilities

Apart from the mortgage, a home buyer should have to be concerned with paying the property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. You have to check if insurance is included in the monthly mortgage bill. In addition, you will also have to pay for the utilities such as water, energy (electricity or gas), and rates.

Homeowner’s Association Dues

If your home is part of a body corporate, quarterly fees will be collected from all homeowners. This amount should take care of the upkeep of the surroundings within the village or community or construction of common amenities such as additional playground for the children or a park for the elderly, etc.

Regular Upkeep

If your house has a lawn or garden or a pond or fountain, you would need to get someone for the regular upkeep of the property, if you cannot spare weekends to do those chores. The advantage of having a regular maintenance schedule for the house is to avoid having to deal with major repair issues which can be costlier in the long run. You need to allocate a budget for the regular upkeep and a contingency fund for emergency repairs.

Moving Costs

You will be bringing in some stuff from your old apartment or house and into the new home. Hence, you need to set aside a budget for a moving company to bring all your belongings to the new abode.
There could be other expenses or costs that you will have to budget in. Make a list of all possible expenses a homeowner will incur including the recurring bills so that you can calculate if after making the final payment for the house, you will have enough to cover the recurring expenses. And that’s not to forget that there are unexpected expenses that may come up along the way.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Best Time of Year to Buy Household Items

By Kamia Saulsberry, Realtor at Century 21 Action!

Who doesn't love a deal? I loved this article at Realty Times, which recently revealed the best time of year to buy certain household items in order to score the biggest bargains, based on research from AARP and LifeHacker.

January: Furniture, new flooring, and bedding and linens

February: Air conditioners and older model televisions that will soon be moving out for newer models

March: Gardening tools, china, and flatware

April: Vacuum cleaners

May: Barbecue equipment, patio furniture, and home office furniture

June: Tools

July: Kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators and ranges

August: Linens and storage containers

September: Grills and lawn mowers

October: Appliances and clearance patio furniture and outdoor items

November: Electronics, appliances, and tools

December: Televisions, electronics, and small appliances like toasters and blenders

Read more month-to-month breakdown of household discounts at Realty Times.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


A fish is an expert at swimming.  A bird is an expert at flying.  A Realtor is an expert at buying/selling homes.  The internet has the world believing they are experts at everything. The Do-It-Yourself era has made people forget the need for experts. You wouldn't cut your own hair or perform your own surgery. You’d have the job done by a professional. So when it comes to real estate, there are many reasons to hire a professional.  Some benefits include but are not limited to:
  • They provide and assist with the legal paper work necessary. Disclosures, legal forms, contracts and laws that must be followed to avoid lawsuits frequent in the real estate industry. A Realtor is insured to protect against errors and omissions.
  • They are educated and experienced in the entire sales process.  They view homes every day so they can easily determine market value. Preventing sellers from over pricing due to sentimental value and sitting on the market, and buyers from purchasing an overpriced property.
  • They act as a buffer between all parties in negotiations.  Sellers want top dollar.  Buyers want to pay the lowest price possible.  A professional Realtor helps the two come to a compromise so all parties walk away satisfied.
  •  They get your home maximum exposure.  From lawn signs, inter- office promoting, multiple listing service, and many other powerful tools available to Realtors.
  • They screen the tire kickers.  A Realtor pre-qualifies a buyer before showing them homes. They have a copy of their ID and know their financial status.  Selling your own home subjects you to endless calls and unannounced visits.  

A real estate sales professional is paid solely based on their efforts, so they only get paid once the job is complete.  Getting the job done to your satisfaction is the main objective. If the deal doesn't close no one is happy.  Why not leave the hard work for the professionals