Category Archives: Real Estate

4 Things You Need to Know When Buying a House

Real estate agent touring a couple around the houseIt’s a pretty common goal to purchase property in the form of an apartment, a condominium or a house. Many people aspire to it because it’s a typical indicator of success. When you own a house, it’s a sign that all the hard work you put in is paying off. That’s why buying a house is such a big step for any person. It’s a significant milestone in anybody’s life. This is why before doing anything, you should have enough knowledge about the entire property acquisition process.

The following are things that you should know before you decide to invest and purchase a property:

1. Make sure you buy both the house and land

Generally speaking, when you buy a house, you also own the land that surrounds it to a certain extent. However, there are a few exceptions to this. This is the reason why you should always know the fine print when buying a property. Read more about how a house and land around Melbourne North will benefit you before you purchase a home for you and your family.

2. Go for a trusted realtor or broker

Your best chance to land a good house and lot option would be to work with a realtor or broker. These people have a vast network and strong experience to draw from that will help you choose the house based on your budget and needs. They will get a cut of the sales of the house, but they are also required to give you a good option considering that their reputation is at stake. Working with a reliable realtor may be your best bet at getting your ideal house at a reasonable price range.

3. Never sign anything without the presence of your attorney

Attorney asking a client to sign a documentYou need to remember that the purchase of a property is a long commitment. It will involve a contract, which is binding. For starters, never sign anything without reading the fine print. This is common sense. It may seem intimidating given the length of the contract and the numerous terms and conditions, but you just have to do it. You need to have an attorney with you when you sign documents to make sure that you are not getting the lower end of the agreement.

4. Predict your ability to pay the house in the long run

One of the most important things that you have to consider when buying a house is your financial capability. Even if you have money now, there is a possibility that you may have financial difficulties in the future. You need to assess whether you will still be able to pay by then. Evaluate your position in your career; you may need to stay long term with your current company to ensure that your income is steady. It’s advisable to consult with your accountant as well as a financial adviser.

Buying a house is complicated enough. If you do not want to have any issues in the process, you should know the things mentioned above.

Features in a Modern Luxury Home

Luxury Home

When looking for a house to buy, it is obvious that you want to buy a luxury home for you and your family. However, what exactly qualifies a home to be luxurious? Is it the cost, location, or features? Luxury homes are different from ordinary homes due to the features they have. The advancement of technology has revolutionized amenities that were once considered luxurious. Below are the features that you may look for in the luxury homes that you want to buy in Kansas City:

Dressing Room

Long gone are the days when homeowners kept their clothes in a closet. The closet has advanced to become a full dressing room and is commonly known as a walk-in closet. The dressing room is large to accommodate many clothes. There is adequate space to store shoes and bags. The room has light accessories and elegant pieces that add a touch of class to the room. Dressing rooms are custom designed to suit the owner’s preference.


There is the fun of working out in a gym with people around you. However, the commute to the gym can make you less motivated. Individuals who love their personal space will not enjoy working out in the public gym. A home gym gives the homeowner the opportunity to exercise in the comfort of their home. A home gym usually contains a TV set, a music system, and workout equipment.

Entertainment Room

Entertainment room

Rooms set apart for entertainment purposes are another common feature in a luxury home. An entertainment room contains a space for home movies and indoor games. You can also install an indoor pool, a sports bar, or a basketball court. The room serves as an entertainment joint for the family and friends.

Spa Bathroom

The bathroom is a room where most people spend a large part of their day. A spa bathroom gives a homeowner the chance to enjoy services luxury and comfort. It contains a steam shower, Jacuzzi, soaking bathtub, and double vanity. This saves the homeowner the hassle of visiting spas for the luxury feel.

Smart Technology

This is among the most desirable feature in a home. It allows a homeowner to manage systems in the home remotely. Some of the tasks include regulating the home temperature, locking doors, and switching off lights. The smart technology requires a homeowner to have a phone on which they can monitor their home. Smart technology increases the security of homes.

Modern Kitchen

A luxury home is incomplete without a modern kitchen. It has the latest appliances such as a cooker, fridge, and microwave. It also has adequate space for enjoying meals with the family and meetings.

Purchasing a home is a big investment. Therefore, it is essential that you buy a home that you will enjoy living in. The luxury homes for sale in Kansas City contain unique features that give you a sense of fulfillment. They are in a serene environment, are accessible, and are worth investing in. Consult with an agent to start with the home buying process. That will be the first step to becoming a homeowner.

On Your Own: Getting Yourself Ready for Living Alone

woman living alone in her home

Living with tons of relatives is tough, especially if you’re in a Filipino household, but living alone is tougher. Between the two, a lot of people, mostly young people well into their 20s, choose the latter because it means getting the peace and privacy needed when #adulting. If you’ve been thinking about moving out soon, you have to prepare yourself for this significant shift as early as now. Here are the best ways to get your #adult self ready:

Get your finances in order

While living alone has lots of perks, it also entails a lot of responsibilities. The bulk of it is financial obligations. Thus, before you take the plunge, you should at least have some financial knowledge. First on the list of things that you have to learn thoroughly is the cost of getting your own place. Most young adults go for condos, which are relatively cheaper and closer to central business districts and schools. If you want to take this route, you have to prepare for association dues, membership fees, property taxes, and parking rates. Know your budget range so that when you check out a Cebu City condo for sale, you can filter your options easily. From there, explore loan options. Beyond the expenses in buying your own place, you also need to have enough funds to sustain the maintenance of a home. This includes utilities, like water, electricity, and food.

Learn household chores

Being on your own is the ultimate test for adulting since you count on no one but yourself when it comes to cooking, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, taking the trash out and more. Thus, while you’re still under the care of your parents, learn as much as you can about house duties. Ask your mom to teach you how to make your favorite dish. You don’t want to blow up your monthly salary with restaurant dinners every night, do you? Volunteer to wash the dishes or do the laundry at least once in a while to get the hang of it.

man cleaning his living room

See if the condo complex that you’re eyeing offers a laundry station as part of their amenities. That way, you have this option in case your washing machine acts up. Part of the house duties you have to get used to is paying the bills. You can’t miss due dates unless it’s okay for you to live in the dark for days.

Hone your social skills

Living alone doesn’t mean living like a hermit. Also, it will be an absolute mistake to coop up in your place forever, not caring about your neighbors. You’ll be lonely, and you won’t feel at home during the adjustment period, the most critical time of the move. Now, you don’t necessarily have to a social butterfly. A simple “hi” or smile at the people you meet in the hallway or elevator is enough to build rapport bit by bit. Practice that in your office or current neighborhood.

Living independently is nerve-racking, but with the right preparation, you can make this the best #adulting decision you’ve ever made. Be optimistic as you get yourself ready.

Grave Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Should Avoid

couple in their new home

Common sense dictates that you think your purchase through since you don’t want to drown in debt due to a bad deal. This applies to every acquisition, especially real estate properties. Read on and take a look at these mistakes that most first-time buyers commit so that you can avoid them when you start house hunting.

Not Getting the House Checked

You may be getting hard pressed by the dealer about buying a certain property, trying to sell it to you by highlighting its best qualities. Maybe you happen to come across this house that seems to check off all the boxes in your “want” list at first glance. Regardless of the circumstances, if the offer seems a bit too good to be true, then the possibility of this one being a money trap is not too far off. Get in touch with a licensed house inspector first and have the house checked from top to bottom. If the seller is trying to hide any issue from you by selling you on its positives, then a licensed inspector will identify the negative aspects easily.

Not Planning for Additional Expenses

If the only financial aspect that you prepared for is the upfront costs, then you might suffer financially due to your lack of foresight. Regular dues, such as mortgages, utilities, and insurance fees, may seem affordable at first glance but can hurt you financially when you factor in possible miscellaneous, future repair, and maintenance costs and even taxes. If possible, try to ask for more flexible mortgage rates from reputable realty companies in Utah, such as Altius Mortgage, so that you have a workable financial margin. Also, if there are payments that you do not fully understand, ask them to clarify these additions for you.

Not Getting Pre-Approval

agent and a man shakes hand

This is a concept that seems foreign to those who are new to purchasing properties, but it is an essential step that you should never neglect. Getting pre-approval gives you a better insight into the best price deals and mortgage rates available and expedites the approval process. In fact, there are some companies that will outright refuse to schedule an appointment with you if you don’t get pre-approved first.

Not Searching for Other Options

More often than not, people just stick to their dream house then try to negotiate their mortgages because they absolutely “want” that particular property. This leads to them missing out on other possible offers that can be more profitable to them in the long run. Take the time to talk to different companies and compare their offered deals and packages. You may even find a rate quote that’s way better than the one you initially want or an even better home than the one you first fell in love with.

If you intend to get the best deal possible, plan ahead of time and choose the property that will suit your purpose best.  After all, there are a lot of factors involved when choosing a home. As a first-timer, you need to make sure that all your bases covered. Your hard-earned money is far too valuable to risk, and so is your financial state. Of course, your search may take longer than what you’ve hoped for, but it’s better to take your time deciding than to regret a rushed choice in the future.

The Lowdown on Selling a Home

house that was soldIn some ways, being a first-time buyer is easier than being already on the property ladder. Sure, everything is unfamiliar to the newbie, and there’s a lot of complex information and legal paperwork to understand, but, they do have the advantage of being able to move quickly. Not being part of a chain, once first-time buyers see somewhere they like, they can put in an offer and start the ball rolling. This can make them a more attractive prospect to the owner of the house.

It’s not that simple for those who also have their home to sell. They have to deal with two separate property transactions, which may or may not run in sync with each other. In this case, it’s even more vital to have a mortgage solicitor in London who is understanding, flexible, and keeps in constant communication with their clients about what is happening with each part of the process. Experienced firms in the capital, such as Saracens Solicitors, are well-versed at providing this type of support to their residential property clients.

How does it work?

As far as the selling end of the transaction goes, the role of the mortgage solicitor in London begins once the sellers have a firm offer on their home. At this point, they instruct a mortgage solicitor in London, who will send them the necessary paperwork to get the process underway.

The mortgage solicitor in London uses this information as part of a sale pack, which they send to the buyer’s solicitors. This includes:

  • a contract
  • a copy of the title deeds to the seller’s home
  • the property information forms filled out by the seller
  • a list of fixture and fittings that will be left in the property once it is vacated.

Once the sale is complete, the mortgage solicitor in London will take care of the finances, including settling mortgages, sending any required funds to estate agents and sending funds from the sale to the seller.

Hopefully, by this point, the seller will have gone through the other side of the process and bought their new house, ready to move to their next home.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Rental Properties

Man holding a calculator with house models

You can turn your property into a cash cow if you could rent it out to other people successfully. However, becoming a landlord is also a business. And just like any business, there could be pitfalls. To make sure you’re getting the most profit out of your property, here are some things to keep in mind.

Screen Tenants Rigorously

You’ll soon entrust the key to your property to a total stranger. And you’re going to trust that stranger to pay rent on time, take care of your house, and keep their end of the lease agreement. That’s why screening potential tenants can spell the difference between making or losing money in this kind of business. Start everything right by having a rigorous background check before handing out that key.

Reduce Vacancy Rate

Each day your property remains unoccupied is a day when you’re losing money. Thus, you need to lower your vacancy rate by proactively listing your house the moment you learn that your tenant is moving. Additionally, Leasing Agent 415 and other industry experts recommend hiring the services of a leasing agent in San Francisco. They can help you rent out the property faster and on top of that, you do away with the paperwork that usually accompanies the process.

Take Care of Tenants

Think of tenants as your customer. You’ll want to keep your customers satisfied and happy if you want a steady stream of income in the form of timely paid rent.

Customer service also helps lower your turnover rate, keeping your best tenants for the long haul. Thus, you need to treat them with professionalism and their concerns should be addressed promptly. If you have a property manager, make sure that they’re doing their job excellently by keeping in touch with the tenants themselves and asking for their feedback from time to time.

Be Diligent in Rent Collection

Rental agreement form with signing hand and pen

If collecting rent is one of the joys of being a rental property owner, delayed rent also happens to be one of the common headaches in this type of business. While you have to show kindness and respect to your tenants, be clear to them how you take rent collection seriously. Be proactive in following up with late rent and penalty for late payment.

Increase Rent Strategically

When the contract is up for renewal, increasing the rental price is one of the things you have to consider seriously. You want to offer your tenant a very fair deal while getting the most out of your property. You could check out market conditions if there’s a lot of demand in your area and how much rent are they charging for a property similar to yours. Moving will cost your tenants too, so strike a balance between offering a deal they can’t refuse and something where you don’t shortchange yourself.

Keep Your Property in Tip-top Condition

Regular upgrades and upkeep of your property is the best way to maximize its income potential. A good strategy would be to time renovation and upgrades when a contract is about to be renewed. This way, you do what a good landlord is expected to do and your tenant will feel they’re getting value for their money when you do decide to increase rent.

Making a money machine out of your property is a very viable business. If you play your cards right, this is the kind of business that will be very profitable for years to come.

What Do You Need for a Smooth Loan Application?

Couple property visit

It’s exciting to go property shopping knowing you’ll finally have a home to call your own. But mortgage company PRMI Raleigh adds that this time can also be overwhelming, both for first-time and experienced buyers. For starters, you have to make it past the hurdle of getting approved for a loan first. In this case, it’s best to come up with a checklist.

Here’s what you will need to speed up the process.

Research and Verify What You Have

Learn what the requirements are and study the process carefully. You will have to come prepared if you want your loan application to go smoothly.

Preparation is a must for everything, even when applying for a home loan. First, do the math and figure out if the financial aspects make sense.

Estimate your figures before you apply. This year has been a rocky one for the housing industry, as it tipped back from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market in August.

Save time and energy by learning what’s involved and preparing properly.

Collect the Paperwork You Need

Once you’ve done your research, paperwork comes next. You have to gather all the documents required by the mortgage company.

Every company needs to see the paper as proof of all the information you submitted. Loan companies have to verify all the details you will place on the application form.

Here are some of the documents you will have to prepare:

  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of marriage (if applicable)
  • Birth certificates of your children (if you have kids)
  • Certificate of employment or W2 form for all jobs you worked in for the past two years
  • Most recent payroll stubs
  • Pages of personal federal tax returns for the past two years
  • Letters of explanation for credit inquiries
  • Written authorization for your lender to run your credit report
  • Documents presenting your credit history
  • Lease agreement if you’re currently renting out an existing home

These are most of the documents required by mortgage companies. The paperwork, however, varies per type of loan. For example, here’s a more specific list of requirements for an FHA loan.

The process is faster and easier once you’ve prepared all these documents. So if the loan company asks for a specific paper, you just have to rummage through your pile and hand it over right away.

Submit the Required Information

Woman signing papers

You will have to fill out a federally required mortgage application. The application can be in a paper format or you can fill it out online.

The document will require you to provide the necessary information, such as:

  • Full name, birth date, social security number, and phone number
  • Marital status, number of kids and their ages
  • History of residence for the past two years
  • Company name, address, phone number, and your job title
  • Income history for at least two years
  • Debt payments and balances for credit cards, mortgages, etc.
  • Asset account balances, like savings, checking, investment, and retirement accounts
  • Confirmation if you’ve had foreclosures or bankruptcies in the past seven years
  • Confirmation if a portion of your down payment is lent from another party

A refinancing mortgage comes with closing costs and fees that can most likely equate to three to six percent of your outstanding balance. With this in mind, you have to narrow down your goals.

A checklist will always help you tick off which document or information you may have missed. With a checklist, you’ll be well prepared to meet any requirement that allows you to get your dream home.

Methods Used to Calculate Returns on Rental Properties

rental propertyInvesting in rental properties might seem like the best plan to get constant income. This, unfortunately, is not that straightforward. It takes more than simply buying a property and getting a tenant to reap the benefits.

There are different methods rental management experts in Denver will use to calculate the projected returns of your investment. This way, you are fully aware of how much you stand to make and can hence make an informed choice. Here are some of the calculation methods for rental property returns.

Capitalization Rate

This rate is your investment’s net operating income divided by its purchase price. An individual cap rate is used by property appraisers and lenders to assess the value of a property.

The market cap rate gives a general idea of the area’s property prices based on recent transactions. The cap rate is considered the most reliable value estimate of your rental property returns.

Gross Rent Multiplier

This ratio estimates the value of your rental property. In the calculation of the gross rent multiplier, the total projected rent and sales price of the property are the two primary elements considered.

There are two categories of gross rent multipliers, including monthly and annual. The gross rent multiplier method does not, however, consider a property’s operating costs.

Net Operating Income

This is equivalent to your property’s total annual income, excluding the total operating expenses and vacancy allowance. The income in a net operating income calculation also includes vending and laundry receipts, parking fees and others, besides the house rent. The net operating income value can also be used in the computation of cap rates.

Rental properties are investments that require tact to benefit from. Getting the best property management company to handle the calculations above is vital. This way, do not have to worry about no regretting your investment and suffering losses.

Buying a Home: Common Blunders to Avoid

house that was soldHouse-hunting is physically and mentally exhausting. It is somewhat scary because your funds are at stake. In addition, buying a house is like investing in your future. To help you make a good investment, here are some home-buying mistakes that you should avoid:

1. Doing house-hunting first without securing mortgage pre-qualification

If you cannot afford to pay the house in cash, it is important to apply for pre-qualification. The process will evaluate your creditworthiness according to your financial status. This will help the lender decide if you qualify for a loan and how much you can borrow. Once approved, only then can you start house-hunting. There are numerous beautiful houses for sale in Burnside. You better start saving or applying for pre-qualification now.

2. Not seeking professional assistance

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, never go to an open house without a real estate agent, broker, or lawyer. Do not negotiate or close a deal without seeking professional help from these people. Their advice is worth your every cent, so don’t hesitate to ask for their assistance. Let them act on your behalf.

3. Trading off the more important things

Don’t purchase a house that is cheaper than your ideal one. Never settle for a two-bedroom condominium if you’re planning to have five kids. A five-bedroom house could be tempting. Do not accept standards beyond your preference. Trading off the more important things due to fund limitations could lead to a major problem.

4. Failure to consider other expenses

Aside from your monthly amortisation, you have to consider the payment for the property tax, insurance, maintenance costs, and other expenses. Make sure that you have sufficient funds or means to settle all your responsibilities.

5. Getting more loans than you can afford

Applying for a car loan is not a good idea if you are not yet done with your house loan. Loans allow you to buy more things than your income would allow. Nevertheless, don’t be tempted to spend more than what you can actually afford.

Purchasing a house is a major decision that requires critical and analytical thinking. To make sure that you get your money’s worth, keep in mind the home-buying mistakes mentioned above. Try to avoid them at all costs, and of course, negotiate only with reputable companies.

What’s in Store for Victoria’s Housing Market in 2019?

Real estate expert talking to homebuyersReal estate experts in Australia believe that home prices will continue to fall next year, but Victoria should be one of your particular destinations. The state has the strongest regional market due to the combination of low prices and high investment yields.

For instance, house and land packages in Geelong, VIC may be a good place to start looking for a potential deal. When choosing a real estate development, pick one that has open spaces, parklands, and conservation areas nearby basic facilities such as schools, retail shops, and dining outlets.

Cheap Prices for Prospective Buyers

If the price is your top concern, there are homes for sales on the Bendigo, Ballarat, and Albury-Wodonga areas on the Victoria-New South Wales border. Some of the properties there are priced from as low as $200,000 up to $300,000. These locations also offer a ‘solid growth potential’ that is ideal for investors, according to property expert Terry Ryder.

However, you should not expect to see a home worth $200,000 to be on the market for too long. Competition from other buyers will obviously be stronger in these places, so be prepared to pay a premium since others will likely do the same. The three regional areas may not be near Melbourne, but its proximity to Canberra and Sydney is the reason many are interested in buying their own house in any of these markets.

Melbourne’s Falling Home Prices

Percent and an arrow pointing downAnother reason to buy a home in regional Victoria involves the falling real estate prices in Melbourne, which is among the capital cities leading the decline in prices, according to CoreLogic figures. As of November, prices in capital cities dropped almost 1 per cent.

The decline indicated that home prices in Melbourne have declined for the past 12 months. This, however, does not mean that prices are necessarily cheaper. By the end of November, the median home prices in the city amounted to more than $656,000. The current price is not also a good indication based on an investment standpoint, as it represented 5.8 per cent decline year over year.

A Slowdown in National Market

Tighter lending standards are part of the reason why home prices in Melbourne have declined over the previous year. Tim Lawless, CoreLogic head of research, said that a rebound in the housing market would depend on relaxed policies for home loans and more available financing for buyers.

Still, this may not be possible in the near future and homebuyers should expect that prices might become more expensive in Melbourne. If you are willing to wait, though, Lawless said that home prices in Melbourne might further drop by 10 per cent next year.

It can be confusing to pick a location in Victoria if you only have a limited budget, but it would be a worthwhile investment to pay for an additional expense of hiring a property agent. An industry professional, such as someone who is familiar with your preferred location, will be helpful in finding a place that fits your budget.