Things To Know About Your First Home Purchase

Being a first time home buyer is exciting, whether you are purchasing a one story fixer upper or a sprawling, six-bedroom home. While searching for your first real estate property is dependent on the area that you live, there are some universal principles to buying a home that you can take advantage of. Follow the tips below so that you can purchase the best home for your money. 

Shop For The Best Financing Options

There are a number of finance options that you can key in on when looking for a high quality piece of real estate. Since most people tend to get a standard mortgage, you should explore the many different mortgage options available to you. You can shop for a mortgage online or by walking into a bank branch to shop between their rates. The 30-year mortgage is most common, and these typically come with interest rates that are a little more than 4 percent. You may also research Home Equity Lines of Credit, which allow you to fund the house with credit, similar to a very large credit card. Further, check with credit unions and community banks to see which options they can provide you with. 

Handle The Little Things During The Search Process

When searching for a new home, the little things add up to be very major. Walk through a home you are considering buying many times and envision yourself living there, while also taking a copy of the blueprint. Make sure that you create a list and compare the major points of each option against others to narrow down the ideal home for you. Never close on a home without getting it inspected. The inspection will catch all major issues, ranging from asbestos and foundation problems to roofing and electric. A home inspection will usually cost about $318

Dedicate Yourself To Home Maintenance

Home maintenance is incredibly vital because it keeps your property values very high and makes your home a better place to live. Clean your gutters frequently so that your roof does not get swamped with water, which can create moisture damage. A professional gutter cleaning will cost between $100 and $400. You also need to take care of the landscaping and spruce up your curb appeal, since this plays into the equity you have in your home. Further, always stay on track with your utilities, so that your home remains useful and sound. 

For more advice to make the most of your home purchase, talk to a professional like Fischer Homes

3 Tips For Flipping Houses

During the housing crash, many people who had money to spend decided to flip houses for a profit. In a lot of cases, these people made back their money and more, but in other instances, the investor lost money. Even though the housing market is on the rise, you can still flip houses and make money doing it, if you know what you are doing. Here are some tips for flipping houses that you must know before starting down that road.

1. Do Your Research On The House

First, before you purchase a house to be flipped, you need to have an inspector come in and determine the amount of work to be done on the house. When you walk through, you may just notice things like flooring, bathrooms, and other simple fixes, but there could in fact be far more work than you realize. If there is any problem with the foundation, the structure, or any other major part of the house, you may have just gotten yourself into a bigger project that may not be worth it.

If you decide to purchase a house that needs serious work, you need to make sure that the price reflects it. Otherwise, you will easily pour all of your money into the house and never make it back.

2. Buy In A Hot Location

The key to flipping a house is selling it fast. The longer you hold on to the house, the more money lost. This is why buying in the right location is key. Right now, the housing market is hot. Prices are inflated in desirable areas, and if you are smart, you can purchase a house, take a couple months to fix it, and then turn it around for a profit, but only if it is in a highly desirable area.

3. Pay For The House With As Much Cash As Possible

Lastly, you need to use as much cash as you can for buying the house. You should put down a hefty down payment so that you avoid paying private mortgage insurance. This insurance will only increase your monthly payments, and even if you sell for a profit, all that money you lost in interest and insurance will be money gone. Ideally, you should purchase the house with cash to avoid all interest on the house, but if that isn’t an option, at least have the down payment with cash.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of having a positive experience flipping a house. Visit websites like to learn more.

Getting Your Home Ready For Sale: Small Changes That Can Improve The Overall Look Of Your Home

While you may not want to invest tens of thousands of dollars in renovations for your home to prepare it for sale, there are plenty of small changes you can make that can raise your asking price. If your kitchen is outdated or the home needs a number of small repairs, take the time to deal with a new paint job or the small repairs before your home starts getting shown to potential buyers. Even when the repairs are little, potential buyers want to know that you took good care of the home over the years. Give your home a thorough cleaning, and do what you can to make your house shine before you sell real estate.

Replace Cracked or Missing Outlet Covers

If you have that one outlet in the spare bedroom you never got around to fixing, or you have a cracked cover in your entryway, take the time to find new outlet covers that fit. For only a few dollars, you will clean up the look of your wall or switch plate. If you have mismatching outlet covers in one particular room, buy enough to change out the covers in the entire room so they are all the same.

Repair Your Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump in your basement and it hasn’t been working correctly, get it fixed before putting your home up for sale. The sump pump removes water from your basement if it floods, and a broken pump will do you no good. When a potential homeowner checks out the sump pump and it doesn’t work, they may be concerned that the basement has been subjected to too much moisture.

Make Sure Windows Open Easily

Home buyers are going to check all kinds of things when they come to look at your home. If you have a window painted shut that you never got around to opening, fix it. If you have windows with missing screens, find the replacements. You want your home to look neat and cared for.

Clean Your Appliances Inside and Out

It’s not hard to give your appliances a good cleaning inside and out. Even if the appliances are older, they won’t be crusted over with old food or smells on the inside. Take the time to clean your appliances thoroughly. This goes the same for your toilets and sinks, too. A clean home is way more appealing to potential home buyers than one that has accumulated dirt and dust.

Why Hire A Security Company To Protect Your Company

Running a business is a large investment. It takes a lot of your time, as well as a lot of your money. As with any investment, you should make sure it is protected. This includes looking at all types of security, and hiring a company that specializes in protection will give you the best deterrent for crimes.

Benefits of Hiring Security

Obviously, the biggest perk for your company with hiring a security company is the fact you do not have to worry about how to set everything up, or what you really need. A security company is not what you see in the movies, having visible security in itself is a great deterrent for would-be criminals. Having a person on your premises will make sure that you have someone watching your business, as well as having a trained professional available when a crime does happen. Finally, you, as a business owner, have one less thing to worry about. Your employees will have a boosted morale because they will feel comfortable having a person that can take them to their vehicle if they have to work before or after the sun goes down.

In addition to protecting your business, security companies are a great asset if you are planning a company event. They are already on your payroll, so let their experience help you handle the crowd control and prevent any unruly behavior that may break out as alcohol is consumed. This will keep not only your employees safe, but also your guests. There are many places that want some sort of security in place if there is going to be a large crowd congregating.

Things to Consider

It is important to be comfortable with the company you hire because it is your investment you are handing to them to protect. Make sure you do a full background check on the security officers, and ask for any security clearances they have. You will also want to make sure that drug tests are performed regularly and that they have attended training to carry firearms. Finally, make sure you have any incident fully documented so that you can track how your security handles situations and if there are any red flags you need to be concerned about.

Armed guards may be overkill for your business, so make sure you talk to a security company about other options that may be available. They may determine that you simply need cameras located throughout your interior and exterior, but they also will make sure you have them installed correctly. Just do your research first, and make sure you feel comfortable with the company protecting your investment.

Statements You Can Say As A Real Estate Agent To Make Your Clients Feel Comfortable

When you’re a new real estate agent, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time learning the ropes of the trade. It’s important, however, to also work on the people side of your business. Having clients feel satisfied with the level of service you’re providing is integral to real estate, given that many agents do not formally advertise and, instead, rely solely on word of mouth to get new clients. In the hours that you’ll spend with clients, you can make them feel comfortable and confident in your ability by using a number of key phrases, including these.

“I’ll Get An Answer On That”

Real estate clients don’t need their agents to know everything. In fact, many would prefer that an agent admits that he or she doesn’t know the answer and pledges to find out, rather than provides a quick answer that may not be 100 percent accurate. Instead of trying to wow your clients by answering their questions quickly, give some honest thought to each question you’re posed. You can often earn a client’s confidence by admitting that you’re not completely sure of the answer, but that you’ll find out and get back to the client.

“You’ll Be Hearing From Me By …”

One of the strongest qualities that a real estate agent can possess is respecting his or her clients’ time. No clients want to submit a query and then wonder when their agent will respond. When your client text messages, emails, or calls you with a question about a property, for example, don’t just say you’ll get the information and pass it along when you can. Instead, give a specific timeline for your response. For example, you might say, “I’ll be in touch with you by the end of the business day.” This attitude will make your clients confident that you’re reliable and in control.

“If I Were In Your Shoes”

Many real estate clients appreciate an agent who will help them by putting himself or herself in their shoes. Doing so shows that the agent is giving serious consideration to a situation and trying to identify what is best for his or her clients. For example, if you’re representing a buyer, you might say that the buyer’s offer is fair and if you were him or her, you wouldn’t increase the amount of your offer — even if it might risk not getting a deal done. For help with finding a property, contact your local real estate agents

Make Sure Your Luxury Home Offers These Security Features

When you’re searching for a luxury home for sale, it can be a fun process to tour a variety of properties and take in the features that combine style and comfort. While you might be excited about the process of moving into a posh neighborhood and enjoying a home with considerable appeal inside and out, you should also give some consideration to your security. In many cases, you’ll find that luxury homes have a wide range of security features designed to make homeowners and their families feel comfortable. Here are some of these features to watch for.

Controlled Access

A desirable trait that many luxury homes offer is controlled access to the neighborhood. If you’re shopping for a luxury home in a high-end location, it’s possible that the street on which the home is located is private. Furthermore, the neighborhood may be gated and include a security officer at the gate, as well as security patrols throughout the neighborhood. Take note of these features when you and your real estate agent arrive for your scheduled viewing. If it takes a few steps to actually get to the luxury home, you’ll be pleased with the high level of security that the area offers its homeowners.

State-Of-The-Art Security System

You’ll find that many luxury homes have state-of-the-art security systems, which is ideal for homeowners who have high-value possessions. It’s desirable for any luxury home you’re considering buying to already have such a system in place, as its presence means that you won’t have to hire a security company to install a system. Furthermore, the home won’t be without a security system from the time you move in to the time the system is installed. In a high-end home, look for features such a security cameras, “smart” capabilities, and other such features.

Neighborhood Security Cameras

While it’s ideal for your luxury home to be protected by a security camera, you should also look for security features in the neighborhood. In many luxury subdivisions, you may find security cameras mounted to light posts and other fixtures. These cameras are monitored and controlled by the security service that is staffing the gate that allows or restricts access to the community. These cameras are ideal for making you feel more secure in your home, as you know that anyone who may be inclined to commit a crime in the area is more apt to be caught, due to the footage that will be obtained by the police.

Reasons To Consider Buying A Home In An Adults-Only Community

Whether you’re about to retire or have finally retired, one of your main priorities might be to buy a home that reflects this big change in your life. While there are many ideal housing situations to consider, including moving into a condo, you might wish to look for an adults-only community in your city. Sometimes advertised as “55+” or “60+” communities, these neighborhoods are marketed to mature adults. There are several reasons that you may wish to consider buying a home in one of these areas. Here are some reasons to consider.

You’ll Enjoy More Quiet

One of the chief reasons to move to an adults-only community is that these neighborhoods are often known for being quiet. You’re unlikely to find rambunctious children yelling in the yards, teenagers squealing their tires on the roads, and loud music during pool parties. If you look forward to quiet days during your retirement — perhaps sitting on the porch with a newspaper and your morning coffee or quietly tending to your flower garden — you’ll find a high degree of tranquility in this sort of living arrangement.

You’ll Have A Good Chance To Make Friends

While there’s nothing that says people in different age groups can’t be friends, you might struggle to find common ground with the young family that lives beside you in your current home. If you move into an adults-only community, you’ll instantly be surrounded by people who are peers. This can give you a better chance of finding common interests with those on your street and quickly forming friendships. For example, if you see a group of women out walking each morning, you may approach them and ask to join in if you’re an avid walker. Or if you see a male neighbor loading golf clubs into his car, you might invite him for a round of play another day if you’re a golfer, too.

You May Find That Many Amenities Are Conveniently Located

Many adults-only communities are built in areas that will allow residents to reach local amenities with ease. This might mean that shops and medical facilities are within walking distance or that the community is adjacent to a golf course or tennis facility. If you enjoy walking, you may be able to reach several places on foot. If you know that you’ll eventually give up driving, you may find that the local public transportation system has convenient stops within your neighborhood.

To learn more, contact a company like Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

Why Is A Land Surveyor Important For A Commercial Land Buyer?

Out of the many professionals that you can consult on a commercial land buying decision, a land surveyor is one of the last people to approach before closing on a sale. Here are some of the important pieces of information that a land surveyor can provide.

Property Boundaries

First of all, your land surveyor can give you the most accurate map of what the property actually includes. When you’re completing a sale, this is important for knowing the actual shape of the land and what your property includes. Down the line, a land survey can be very important if there are disputes with a neighbor about what parts of the land actually belong to you. For instance, if your neighbor wants to build a fence, you can use a land survey to show what property belongs to you versus them. If someone is injured close to your property boundary, a land survey will help clarify whose site the injury actually occurred on for insurance purposes.

Property Rights

A land surveyor will also help you clarify any property rights. If there is a shared amenity, such as a lake that falls on multiple people’s property, your land surveyor can do the research to figure out exactly what your rights are to use and building on this shared feature. Property rights can also play a factor in a purchase if you or your neighbors have easements on the land. These contracts can give the holder certain rights to usage of someone else’s property, and it’s an important thing to understand. If you buy a property that has easements on it, for instance, you’ll want to know how long you must honor these contracts and if there is a way to cancel them with the easement holder.

Property Responsibilities

At the same time, you might have responsibilities for upkeep of shared features, such as sidewalks, power lines, and other terrain features. A land survey can help to show how much of these amenities actually fall on your property, which is useful for determining how much liability you have on your property.

Zoning and Building Codes

Zoning codes are another consideration when you’re buying a property. A land surveyor can track down a building’s history and determine whether there are any building and zoning violations on the property. Understanding the zoning rights on your property will also give you an idea of what you can and can’t do with the property in the future, which is especially important for commercial activities.

Tips For Cleaning Up After A Minor Flood

Water damage can happen from a number of ways, be it from storm water, a leak, or a sewer problem. No matter how it happens, water damage can ruin your belongings, furnishings and structural components of your home. Major water damage to your home may require complete replacement, but minor damage can be repaired. It’s a big messy job, but it can be done. See below for tips on how to clean up after a minor flood in your home.

1. Stop The Water

Find the source of the water first and then figure out how to stop it. It’s silly to try and clean up the damage if the water can still come in and do further damage. Once you have figured out how to stop the water, you can begin the process of cleaning up.

2. Remove The Water

Remove the water from your home using a submersible water pump and long hose to pump it out of your home. Pump out as much water as you can, then use a wet/dry vacuum to vacuum up any excess that can no longer be pumped out. 

3. Take Out Damaged Items

Take water damaged items outside to dry out. Clothing can be cleaned, as can furniture, but some things such as carpeting either needs to be thrown out or contact a professional carpet cleaning company to have it steam cleaned if the water damage is not too severe. If carpeting was submerged in water, it’s best to take out the carpet and the padding below and dispose of them.

4. Keep Your Home Dry

Try your best to keep your home as dry as possible. Turn on the air conditioner to help keep the humidity at bay. Humidity will only help the growth of mold/mildew after a flood. Also use fans to help keep the air dry and to help dry out your home.

5. Cut Out Water Damaged Drywall

If your water damaged walls, you may need to cut out drywall and have it replaced. Cut out the wet sections, then, using a bleach/water solution, wash down the studs behind the drywall to help prevent mold/mildew growth. This needs to be done immediately, as mold/mildew can grow quickly. Don’t replace any drywall until the studs have been cleaned properly and have dried out completely. If the sub-floor has water damage, be sure to paint it using a mold preventative paint. You can use this paint on the wall studs as well after washing them down. 

Water damage to your home can be extremely frustrating. Call your insurance company after a flood, whether it is major or minor, and call a professional cleaning service that specializes in water damage to have your home professionally cleaned. They can sanitize your home, furnishings and carpeting to make it safe again.

Take These Issues To Your Property Manager For Resolution

When you live in an apartment, condo, or other housing arrangement in which you’re surrounded by other residents, conflicts can certainly arise. Although you might feel that you can approach another resident to voice your concerns, some people aren’t always receptive to such discussions. This can cause the conversation to deteriorate quickly, leading to a poor relationship — and this isn’t something that you want with a neighbor. It’s better to approach the property management professional to provide your side of the story. This person can then speak to the other party about the issue and, ideally, resolve the problem. Here are some issues that are best to take to the property manager.

Parking Disputes

When you live in an apartment or condo, you’ll occasionally have parking disputes with your neighbors. These could result from residents parking in your designated parking spot, or even their guests parking in your spot. Such situations can be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless. Confrontations may not be a good idea, though. It’s better to seek out your property management and explain the situation. You might also wish to take some photos of other vehicles in your designated parking space to help support your case.

Noise Conflicts

In an apartment or condo, you’ll occasionally hear your neighbors. This isn’t a cause for concern, as they’ll likely hear you on occasion, too. However, if you’re constantly hearing people who are not considerate of those around them, it’s worthwhile to get your property manager involved. This way, you can stay anonymous. Instead of banging on someone’s door and asking him or her to keep quiet, for example, you can share the issue with the property manager. This professional can then follow up and possibly give a warning to the problematic resident.

Problems In Common Areas

Occasionally, there will be an issue in a common area of the building that requires the intervention of management. For example, perhaps someone is consistently dumping trash from his or her vehicle in the parking lot, or perhaps someone is using multiple laundry machines concurrently, despite a rule to this effect being posted in the laundry room. It’s best to avoid taking matters into your own hands — removing someone’s wet laundry from a machine and throwing it on the floor might feel tempting, but this will only serve to escalate the conflict. Instead, bring the matter to the attention of the building’s property manager so that things can be resolved properly.