Advice For Purchasing A House On A Single Income

Advice For Purchasing A House On A Single IncomeEven though a lot of people have two incomes they can use to purchase a house (theirs and their partner’s), this is not necessarily required. There are lots of people who want to take advantage of current interest rates to purchase a house, and some people are trying to do it on their own. Even though it can be a challenge to buy a house with only one income, it is certainly not impossible. There are several tips that can make it easier for everyone to afford a house with just a single income. 

Always Check Your Credit Score

If you want to buy a house on a single income, make sure you check your credit score first. Your credit score is a reflection of your financial health. The higher your credit score is, the better your chances of having your loan application approved. You can check your credit score for free once per year from any of the major credit bureaus. You need to know what your credit score is and you need to correct any inaccuracies on your credit report before you apply for a home loan. 

Explore Government Loan Programs

Next, if you are buying a home for the first time, you should explore government loan programs. For example, you might be able to apply for an FHA loan, which could allow you to purchase a home for as little as 3.5 percent down. That way, you do not necessarily need to save up a 20 percent down payment to buy a house. Depending on your location, there could be other government loan programs that can make it easier for you to buy a house.

Ask For a Co-Signer To Help 

Even if you plan on paying for the mortgage yourself, you may find it easier to buy a house if you have someone who can co-sign for your loan. This is particularly helpful if your credit score isn’t quite high enough to qualify for a loan. As long as your co-signer has a solid credit score, they might make it easier for you to get your loan application approved. Furthermore, you might be rewarded with a lower interest rate than you could otherwise get on your own. 

 

Eliminate These 5 Barriers To Saving For Your Down Payment This Month!

Saving Up: 5 Barriers to Saving Money That You Can Eliminate in Just One MonthWith all the expenses that go into monthly living and the temptations that come along with life, saving money for the down payment on your new home can be quite a struggle for many people. If you’re having a hard time saving and are wondering what you can do to ensure a higher bank balance next month, here are a few things that may pose a risk to getting the home of your dreams.

Forgetting To Take Lunch

One of the things most likely to defeat your bank balance is the daily office trip to the deli or diner. Instead of opting for an easy but expensive $10.00 lunch, take a few minutes at the end of each day to put together a sandwich or salad so you don’t have to spend extra funds on your lunch break.

Relying On Cable Television

With all the available options for streaming services, many people are switching out their packages for something a lot more economical. Cable can easily add up to $100.00 a month to your expenses, but a streaming service may only be a fraction of the cost and will provide savings you’ll soon notice.

Splurging On Morning Coffee

Grabbing the familiar cup of joe on the way to the office is certainly a way to ease yourself into the day, but one coffee can add up to a huge expense by the end of the month. If this is a vice you crave, try taking your own coffee to work and opt for a treat once a week if you really can’t resist.

Impulse Buys At The Grocery Store

Food certainly counts as a necessity, but there are many things that end up in the grocery cart at the end of a shopping trip that aren’t really staple items. If your cart is filling up with chips and chocolate, you might want to stick to your list or review your cart before the final purchase.

Avoiding Your Budget

Unless you’re taking to a spreadsheet to balance out your expenses and earnings, you may not see any significant savings at the end of each month. Budgeting will give you a better idea of what you can and can’t afford consistently, so make sure you’re writing everything down.

The idea of cutting back on spending is rarely a popular one, but there are things you can do every day that will make for a better bank balance at the end of the month. If you’re looking for more tips on buying your own home, contact your trusted mortgage professional today!

Making Sure You Are Ready To Take On A Mortgage

Making Sure You Are Ready To Take On A MortgageThere is so much to know when it comes to homeownership that even wading into all of the information can seem overwhelming, but if there’s one thing you need when the time comes to purchasing a home, it’s to be prepared. Here are a few ways that you can ensure you’re ready for what a mortgage entails so that buying your dream home will be a positive experience you won’t regret.

Consider All Of Your Options

Instead of accepting the mortgage that your bank is offering you, it’s very important to do some research and determine what some of the best options out there are for you. While it’s entirely possible that the option pushed forward by your bank will work out, in the days of so much information online it’s silly to go into your biggest purchase blindfolded. Take some time out and read about the products available so that, when the time comes, you can make an educated decision.

Know Your Credit History

Lenders will most definitely be digging through your finances and credit history for anything that might make them leery of your financial state, but you’ll want to be aware of your own standing so that you can be prepared for what this might entail. By getting your credit report and score before going through the process of acquiring a mortgage, you can fix any errors that might be on your credit report so that you’ll be prepared for the result when the time comes for pre-approval.

Plan For The Future Possibilities

If the mortgage amount you are planning on paying seems feasible on a month-to-month basis, it’s certainly a good place to start, but if you not on a fixed rate mortgage, you will need to consider the ever-fluctuating state of interest rates, and you need to prepare for this reality at the same time. It’s important to base the amount you’ll be spending each month off of the income and expenditures that you’ve worked out in a budget, but you’ll want to add in some wiggle room so that a jump in the rates won’t sink your dream of home ownership.

There are many things to be aware of when starting the process of purchasing a home, but delving into your credit history and doing the necessary background research can make for a smoother experience. If you’re looking for advice on purchasing a home, contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

An Overview Of Electronic And Smart Locks

AAn Overview Of Electronic And Smart Lockslmost everyone has been locked out of their home before. If you do not have a hidden key or someone else with a key, it can be stressful to wait for a locksmith to come and open the door. Fortunately, there are ways homeowners can address this issue, and one of the options is to get a smart lock or an electronic lock instead. 

How Smart Locks And Electronic Locks Work

Every smart lock is different; however, they have a few themes. Basic electronic locks have a combination that someone has to enter before the door unlocks. Other electronic locks use fingerprints, RFID, or Bluetooth recognition to allow someone to enter. Many smart locks also allow the owner to give out digital keys that allow friends, children, and other people to come and go. The combinations are stored and act as a digital log of who has entered the home. 

The Benefits Of Using Smart Locks And Electronic Locks

There are a number of benefits that come with using smart and electronic locks for homes. First, homeowners never have to worry about getting locked out of the house, as they don’t have to worry about losing manual keys. Second, homeowners can keep track of people, including their children, as they come and go. Finally, smart locks do not necessarily have to be rekeyed or replaced. Homeowners can change the combination when they feel it is nessesary..

Choosing The Right Electronic Lock

Even though smart locks and electronic locks have a variety of benefits, it is important for homeowners to think carefully about which option is best for them. Homeowners need to make sure whatever lock they choose is compatible with their phone. They also need to select locks that have security measures in place that prevent people from cracking the code or getting through the keypad. Finally, take a look at how many combinations the lock can handle. Sometimes, homeowners like to assign people specific codes so they know exactly who is coming and going. Some locks can even be customized so that certain combinations only work on certain days. This can be helpful if there is a maid or tutor who comes from time to time. 

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best InvestmentWhen delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook.

All About Home Equity

Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the cost of your home, the value of your home equity is this total amount. Of course, because most people seek a lender to borrow money from when they purchase a home, their home equity would consist of their down payment and whatever amount they’ve paid down on the mortgage since purchase.

An Example Of Home Equity

To provide further clarification, let’s use the example of a house that has been purchased for $300,000. In the case that a down payment of 20% has been provided at the time of purchase, the equity in the home would be $60,000. Since this amount is the percentage and cost of the house that’s been paid down, this is the amount of the house that is actually owned and this will be figured among an individual’s assets.

How Home Equity Works

As you pay the amount that you owe on your home each month, you are paying off your total debt and thereby increasing your equity. Since this amount of money is considered an asset that belongs to you, it can be used down the road to buy another home or invest in other important things like education or retirement. While paying off the amount owed on a home is a considerable investment, if the value of your home increases, this means that you’ll still owe the same on it but your home equity will have automatically increased.

As an asset that is part of your financial net worth and can be used down the road to fund other investments, home equity is a very useful term to know when it comes to purchasing a home. If you’re on the market for a home and are considering your options, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

The ‘Debt to Income’ Ratio and How It Affects Your Home Purchase

Real Estate Terms: The 'Debt to Income' Ratio and How It Affects Your Home PurchaseThe real estate market is rife with terminology that can make a home purchase seem more than a little complicated. If you’re currently looking for a home and are considering your loan options, you may have even heard the term ‘Debt to Income’ ratio. In the interest of simplifying things, here are some insights on what this term means and how it can impact your home investment.

Determining Your ‘Debt to Income’ Ratio

It’s important to consider what exactly your DTI ratio is before your home purchase as this will quickly determine how much home you can actually afford. To calculate this number, take your monthly debt payments – including any credit card, loan and mortgage payments – and divide them by your monthly gross income to get a percentage. In the event that your monthly debt is $700 and you make $2800 in income, your DTI is 25%.

What Your DTI Means To The Bank

The DTI is a very important number when it comes to a home loan because it enables the bank to determine your financial situation. A DTI of 25% leaves some wiggle room, as most banks will allow a DTI percentage that runs between 36-43%. In the case of the above example, this means that the most debt this person could take on per month is about $1200. While banks vary on this percentage, credit history plays an important part in the DTI that will be allowed.

Paying Down Your Debt Or Purchasing A Home

In the event that you have a DTI ratio that exceeds what your bank will allow, you will need to consider your debts before moving on to investing in a home. If you’re planning on purchasing a home in the next year, it’s a good idea to tackle high-interest debt first. However, if you happen to have a chunk of money saved up that you’re planning on putting into a down payment, it’s worth considering that putting more than 20% down may slightly increase the DTI percentage your bank will accept.

There are many fancy terms that go along with the world of real estate, but it’s important to understand what they mean so you can make them work in your favor. If you’re calculating your DTI ratio and are planning a home purchase down the road, you may want to contact your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

The Top Ways To Add Storage To A Home

The Top Ways To Add Storage To A HomeThere are many homeowners who are looking for help with storage. Even after moving in, many homeowners still have a lot of items they need to get rid of and this is where built-in storage solutions can be helpful. Even though some storage options might be pricey, there are inexpensive options available as well. Take a look at a few solutions below, and improve the storage situation. 

Use Space Under the Stairs

One option that many homeowners overlook is the space under the stairs. If there is a second story, there may be an area under the staircase that looks like a storage space. There should be plenty of opportunities to add a bookcase, a shelf, or even a cabinet. Even a few drawers can make a significant difference. 

Consider Going Under the Bed

Another option is to use storage space under the bed. If the bed is on a frame, there should be room to add a box or two. This could be a great way to create more storage space in the bedroom without adding another piece of furniture. There might even be opportunities to put the bed on risers, creating even more room underneath the bed. 

Use Tilting Drawers

Homeowners may want to get creative by adding tilting drawers. If there is an awkward location in the kitchen, a hinge solution might be the answer. What this means is that it is possible to pull the door out of the drawer and create additional storage inside the area. This is a great way to hide a garbage can or a recycling bin. Most contractors can add this type of storage relatively quickly. This could also be a great solution in the bathroom. 

Take Advantage of Sliding Storage

Homeowners also need to take advantage of sliding storage. This is a great way to get more room out of narrow spaces. For example, there might be room in the kitchen to add a sliding shelf that doubles as a spice rack. One possible location is the area between the refrigerator and the wall or counter. There might also be a small spot between the bathtub and the wall, which could act as a great shelf for linens.

 

Exploring Asbestos Prevention And The Top Green Alternatives

Exploring Asbestos Prevention And The Top Green AlternativesHouses across the country come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are older than others, so they might come with aspects that are a bit outdated. Unfortunately, there are a lot of locations where older homes might still have asbestos in them. While this should be something that comes up on the inspection, buyers need to be aware of these serious issues. If the home was built before 1980, there is a major chance that the building might have asbestos in it. Fortunately, there are alternatives to this type of insulation.

Where Is Asbestos Found In The Home?

There are a number of locations where asbestos might be hiding in the home. For example, asbestos is commonly found in the floors, in the pipes, in popcorn ceilings, and even in the roof. It was used throughout the 20th century because it is thin and strong; however, it can easily be inhaled in the lungs, where it can cause severe lung damage. In some cases, it might even cause mesothelioma, which is a severe respiratory condition that usually has a poor prognosis.

What To Do About Asbestos In The Home

If there is asbestos in the home, or if there are concerns, a home inspector needs to come and take a look at the situation. He or she will be able to recommend the best course of action. If the asbestos is not removed correctly, the fibers could be tossed into the air, where they might harm other people. In many cases, the asbestos needs to be removed by a contractor who has specific training to remove it safely. The most important thing for homeowners to remember is that they need to work with a licensed professional.

Exploring Potential Green Alternatives To Asbestos Insulation

Now, there are new construction practices that use alternatives to asbestos. For example, lcynene, cellulose, and cotton fiber could be used as green alternatives to asbestos. They are a healthy alternative and they could help homeowners reduce their energy expenses. Homeowners need to work with professionals who can help them save money and protect their health when it comes to the insulation in their homes. There are multiple green options available.

Keeping A Closet Organized: The Top Tips

Keeping A Closet Organized: The Top TipsHomeowners need to make sure they maximize every square foot of their home. This includes the closet. Many people get frustrated when they look at their closets because they feel like they cannot find what they are looking for. Anyone who is struggling to keep their closet organizers should take a look at a few important points below.

Remove Items That Are No Longer Being Used

The first step in creating more space in a closet is getting rid of items that are no longer being used. First, take a look at all the items on the hangers. Then, see if it has been worn during the past year. If not, it is time to get rid of it. In addition, it might be helpful to remove clothing items that are not in season. Then, store them until the weather changes again. Creating more space in the closet can make it easier to keep the closet organized.

Check The Quality Of The Hangers

Next, take a look at the hangers. It is critical to use the right hangers because the wrong hangers could damage the clothes. Even though it is tempting to keep clothes on hangers that came from the store, they could stretch the clothes out over time, ruining the appearance. Try to use hangers that have pads on them. These softer hangers will not leave impressions on the clothes, extending their lifespan. 

Create More Storage In The Closet

Finally, remember that not everything has to go on a hanger. There are some items that can be folded or tucked away in drawers. That is why it might be helpful to invest in alternative storage options in the closet. This could include cubbies that hang from the bottom of the shelf. Or, it might be nice to install drawers at the bottom of the closet. This could be another way to create more storage space and keep the closet organized. 

Improve Closet Organization

Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to keep a closet organized. By removing items that are not being used and increasing storage space in the closet, it might be easier to find what is needed. This is a great way to keep the closet clean. 

 

Is It Time To Create A Home Office: What To Know

Is It Time To Create A Home Office: What To KnowOffice work has changed significantly during the past few years. With many people working well from home, numerous employers are becoming open to the possibility of allowing their employees to work from home permanently. With many people looking for ways to be productive from home, it is critical to create an environment that is conducive to being productive. How can homeowners make this happen?

Make Small Changes First

It is difficult to make major changes in a small home or condo; however, there are still small changes that can be made. For example, many people use a drop-down shelf or a narrow table as a work from home desk. Then, with a task light and a monitor, it is easy to create a functional home office. It is even possible to repurpose a formal dining room table, by turning it into a home office.

Repurpose An Entire Room

Those who own larger single-family homes might be able to make bigger changes to their homes, repurposing an entire room and turning it into a home office. For example, it might be possible to turn the guest room into a home office, making it a guest room during the evening and a home office during the day. Then, homeowners might want to install a Murphy bed that can fold out and create a guest room during the evening.

Use The Attic Or Basement

It might be time to finish the attic or basement, turning that into a home office. These are usually large spaces that can be used for more than one purpose. For example, it might be possible to use this space as a home office for two people. Consider investing in great lighting to avoid creating a cave-like work environment. It is possible to turn these locations into fantastic home offices with the right tools.

Consider Building An Addition

Finally, some homeowners are also thinking about building a home office instead. It might be time to add an addition to a single-family home, particularly for those who are going to be working from home for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of remodeling projects that could create a functional, comfortable home office.