More and more millennials and the up and coming Gen Z’s dream of home ownership. Unfortunately, many of the young people today carry large student debt. Home ownership is achievable by following these three simple steps.
- Learn to live on a budget. Know exactly where and how you are spending your money. It is so easy to budget with all of the free apps available today. Prioritize your spending, downsize what isn’t necessary, and know what sacrifices, such as stopping at the coffee shop and going out to eat, you are willing to make in order to pay off your debts and save money.
- Build your credit history. Stay on top of your student loan, car loan, and credit cards. Make sure to pay them off each month on time. If you don’t have any loans or a credit history, open a credit card, use it, and pay it off each month.
- Automate a down payment savings. Have a designated amount of money automatically deducted from your paycheck each month and deposited into a house fund account. Keep the account separate and don’t touch it until you are ready to purchase a home.
Although, there are loans available for no money down, it will be necessary to have available funds for closing costs and miscellaneous expenses such as inspections. A sizable down payment with a good credit score can reduce the interest rate on the loan for your home purchase.
All good things in life, require a few sacrifices and work. Home ownership is achievable, you just need to take the proper steps to get there.
It may sound crazy but many of us buy a house for our best friend, the family dog. Given that 99% of pet owners feel that the dog is part of the family it isn’t really all the crazy. Many Buyers undertake projects to improve the house they fall in love with if it isn’t pet friendly.
Although we personally never require a fenced in yard, doggy door, or dog wash, we always look for ease of letting the dog out on a chain and having a place to dry the dog’s feet off. 52% of dog owners surveyed under take projects to benefit their dogs. If the yard isn’t fenced, 23% build one. Dog owners also change the flooring in their homes to make maintenance easier. They prefer not to have carpeting where the dogs enter from the yard and 10% install laminate or luxury vinyl tile instead of wood. Wood floors scratch easily, especially if you have a larger dog. Although, I notice scratches on my floor and I have a 24 lb. cavachon. We installed luxury vinyl tile where we let the dog goes in and out and the clean up is easy.
Buyers should ask if fences or outdoor kennels are allowed in the neighborhood before purchasing a home. Many neighborhoods have covenants that forbid fences; especially chain link ones, kennels, and dog houses. Know your options before you buy. Is a laundry room sink important for bathing your dog when they come in from the mud? Or do you need a faucet in the garage? Today, we find clients who are building a home request a dog was either in the garage or the laundry area.
As a Buyer, do you look for a pet friendly home? What is the most important feature for you?
Many Sellers fear the home inspection once they accept an Offer to Purchase and wait with baited breath for the report. There are several steps Sellers can take to reduce their stress.
1. Disclose , disclose, disclose. Anything that gets disclosed on the Real Estate Condition Report won’t be held against the Seller because the Buyer is made aware of the possible defect or issue.
2. Practice home maintenance. Don’t put off repairs for a later date. Replace light bulbs, check all outlets to make sure they are in good working order and grounded, unclog drains, fix leaky faucets, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check electrical boxes and wiring for mice damage.
3. Check all windows. Make sure they all open and stay open. Repair any cracked panes or sashes.
4. Although an inspector isn’t there to check on your cleaning skills, a nice clean house shows it is well cared for and not subject to neglect.
5. Have your own pre-inspection. While most Buyers should order and pay for there own inspection, a pre- inspection allows Sellers to fix any issues that may affect the sale or to disclose them in the Real Estate Condition Report. A pre-inspection by the Sellers is especially beneficial in a Buyers market when the inventory exceeds the number of Buyers.
Although a well maintained home doesn’t guarantee any surprises during the home inspection, it can eliminate larger problems and reduce Seller stress. During the down market, I always had my Sellers order a pre- inspection. As a Seller, I followed my own advice and discovered that our chimney needed to be repaired by a professional. The pre- inspection actually eliminated the Buyers inspector from finding any defects.