Home Buyer's Blog

Saving up for a down payment on a house has always been one of the biggest challenges for first-time homebuyers. Owning a home, and budgeting for additional expenses usually doesn’t make money management any easier.

Removing “dated” wallpaper from your home can be a real chore, but there are a few ways you can make it a bit easier. This DIY project is a great way to help update your new home’s appearance without investing a great deal of money.

When you are buying a home, there are so many things to remember. Property taxes are a big one!

Local governments rely on taxes to fund various community services. Tax revenues come from several different sources, including property taxes on all homeowners in the community. (Note that some areas also assess a transaction tax on the purchase/sale of properties, although this is uncommon.)

If you’re buying a home, here’s what you need to know:

What is escrow? This is when a third party holds onto money during a real estate transaction. You can’t touch this money and neither can the seller. However, having these funds in a neutral account protects both sides, by making sure the property transaction happens “all at once” at the closing table.

For most people, buying a home doesn’t happen very often. By definition, first-time buyers don’t have ANY experience! Even seasoned homeowners easily forget the details, many of which may have changed since they last purchased a home.

Buyer’s agents get it. They completely understand that buyers have lots of questions and need lots of assistance. That’s what they do.

There are, however, a few things buyer’s agents wish you DID already know…their “secret” wish list for helping you work together, as a team, to find the perfect home.

If you’re interested in buying a home that requires significant repairs or upgrades, you may need help financing these additional expenses. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a unique program that may be a good fit for your needs, called Section 203(k) Rehab Mortgage Insurance.

When your children are ages three to six, home means everything to them. So, how can you move from one home to another with minimal anxiety and stress for your little one(s)?

Do you tend to grimace when certain items arrive in the mail or appear in your email inbox? Do you hesitate to open your electric bill, or gas bill, or other energy-related charges? An energy audit may help make that experience less cringe-worthy.

The following survey can help you determine if now is the best time for you to buy a new home. For each question, choose the answer that comes closest to matching your current situation.

You may love your house, but hate your bathroom. That’s okay. Like every one of life’s challenges, you have alternatives for implementing changes. If you’re staring at a bathroom that leaves you feeling unhappy, consider three different approaches.

Perhaps you just bought your house. Or maybe you’ve lived in your home for years, and have no plans to move. Why should you, happy property owner, worry about something as “sales-driven” as your home’s curb appeal?

When it comes to personal on-the-job safety, real estate professionals are in a unique position. They often share their contact information and photo openly with others, they meet unknown clients, and they walk through vacant properties.

When buying a home, a final walk-through helps ensure that, at closing, your house is “identical” (in the same condition) to the one you agreed to buy. Similarly, you want to make sure your mortgage terms and conditions haven’t changed.

For most buyers, shopping for a home is a lot more enjoyable than shopping for a mortgage.

We’d like to present our very first guest blogger, Shannon Buss! Shannon has over 13 years of real estate experience and holds the ABR®, GREEN, and GRI designations. That means that she knows her stuff when it comes to working with homebuyers. We asked her to share some of her recommendations for those interested in buying a new home.

You’ve probably heard it before. Every homeowner should keep track of their repairs, maintenance efforts, and related expenses. But it’s such a hassle, right? Besides, all that information is somewhere in the house. Why pull it all together now, when it’s so tempting to put it off until sometime… later?

When you move into a new home, one of the first things you’ll want is a little privacy. Sure, all those windows and all that light looked wonderful when you toured the house. But unless you plan to put your life on display for your neighbors and anyone who happens to walk or drive by, window treatments will be a priority.

If you are considering ditching the landlord and buying your next place to live, you may be considering options other than a traditional “single family” home. Like most of life’s options, multi-unit structures offer both advantages and disadvantages. Carefully examine all the pros and cons.

Can you buy a house with a down payment under 20 percent of the purchase price? Yes. However, it’s important to understand you’ll probably encounter extra expenses—and there are some pros and cons to consider.

Until the late-1950s, plaster walls were the norm in new home construction. These walls are sometimes called “horse-hair plaster” because it was common to mix horse hair into the wet plaster to add strength, and to prevent cracking with minor flexing. Heating and cooling a house will cause plaster to expand and shrink slightly, so the hair helped keep the walls a bit more flexible.

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