You’ve decided you’re ready to buy a home – now what? Start with these initial steps:
1. Get your financial ducks in a row.
Calculate how much money you have in savings and assets, your total annual income and your expenses. Know how much of it you can allocate toward a down payment and other expenses. Check your credit report and fix any errors. This will help you determine what type of loan you qualify for, and the price range of homes you want to look at.
2. Determine how much house you can afford.
A common rule is that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your pre-tax income. You can plug your information into an online mortgage calculator to get a starting idea of exactly how much you’ll pay each month with different interest rates and terms.
It’s important that you keep an open mind and look at a wide range of properties. Go to open houses. Cruise the Internet. Peruse different neighborhoods. As a real estate agent, I can help by finding properties that match as many of your “wants” and “needs” as possible. When you fall in love with a house and are ready to make it official, I can help you navigate the process from putting in an offer to the closing table.
For more advice on how to prepare to buy a home, contact me today! I can help you through every step of the process.
It's time to dive into your Spring Maintenance Checklist to ensure that your systems and appliances run smoothly all year-long. We'll take you down a step-by-step process to ensure that your summer is as breezy as ever. Read these tips and download our guide to help you develop a plan.
Spring has sprung, and the evidence is blooming all around us. After you take it all in, it’s time to get busy. Now is the perfect time to take care of some routine home maintenance to get your household organized for spring and keep it running smoothly and efficiently right through summer.
Click below to download the Spring Maintenance Checklist!
Winter weather can wreck your home's exterior, potentially causing an assortment of damage. Now that it's getting warmer, get outside and take a look around:
1. Clean all gutters.
Poor or improper drainage can cause water damage to your home. Check for loose and leaky gutters and ensure downspouts are positioned to drain away from your home's foundation. Clear debris from all gutters and downspouts.
2. Inspect the roof.
Your roof is your home's primary defense against the elements. Visually inspect the roof, looking for signs of warping, cracking and loose shingle or tiles. Examine flashing around chimneys, skylights and vents. Damaged covering and flashing should be replaced. For roof areas too high to inspect from the ground,...
Spring has officially sprung! Bring on the outdoor activities, backyard barbecues and warm weather, right? The majority of us would happily welcome all of these, but before the springtime festivities begin, homeowners have a task that many would probably prefer to skip — spring cleaning.
The custom of spring cleaning in America came about as a tradition in March, when the weather is warm enough to open the windows but cold enough to keep the bugs away. So, in honor of the tradition, here are a few ways to get organized and tackle spring cleaning:
Make a Plan
Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many families jump in without one. Having a plan will ensure that you have cleaned and covered all areas. There is an endless supply of printable checklists online; choose the one that best fits your needs, and as you complete the tasks, (happily) cross them off the list.
Involve the Family
Divide and conquer. Encourage the whole family to help by incorporating games with the chores. Make it a race or have an assembly line. And the dirtier the task, the better the reward.
Don't Forget the Outside
Who wouldn’t be ready to get back in the sun after a long, cold winter? Use this as an excuse to organize and tidy up the exterior of your home. Wash the winter sludge off the windows, clean out the gutters, rake and fertilize the lawn, and organize the garage.
Hopefully, these quick tips will make the task of spring cleaning seem a little less daunting.
Spring means the busy homebuying and selling season is just around the corner....
You may not think “real estate” when you think about modern technology, but several advances are making the lives of homebuyers, home sellers, and agents a lot easier — not to mention adding peace of mind with added security measures. Here are a few.
Fitting a small camera onto a helicopter drone lets agents capture aerial images of homes, properties and neighborhoods to feature in sales listings. Drones can also be useful for checking out things like roof damage without a ladder. The Federal Aviation Administration recently loosened its guidelines on commercial uses for drones, making it easier for more agents to adopt the technology.
2. Digital signature platforms
Years ago, an agent could spend hours driving back and forth to collect buyer and seller signatures on forms. Today, we can toss our pens and manage everything from the office thanks to digital signing platforms. The government passed laws that make electronic signatures just as valid as physical signatures. Platforms like DocuSign let agents securely send documents for clients to authorize with a simple click on a computer or a phone.
3. Electronic lockboxes
Smart lockboxes on homes have several features that can make showing a home more secure. These new boxes allow smart phones to work as keys, which means they also can track who enters and leaves the home. Some boxes can also be programmed to host real-time information about the home and the neighborhood which visitors can access using their smart phones.
4. Wireless video monitors
Security cams help agents...