Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/25/2018

Ultimately, there is no surefire amount that you should spend on a house. The real estate market varies in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, the prices of houses fall across a broad range. Also, the condition and age of a house Ė as well as a homebuyer's budget Ė may dictate how much an individual is willing to spend on a particular residence.

As you search for your dream house, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Because if you have a homebuying strategy in place, you can determine exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your finances in order before you kick off a house search.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, your credit score may have far-flung effects on your homebuying budget. And if you fail to review your credit score before you embark on a house search, you may miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream house.

A low credit score may make it tough to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal residence. Thus, you may want to check your credit score and find ways to improve it before you begin a house search.

You won't have to break your budget to get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In fact, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the aforementioned credit bureaus. Request a copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score.

Of course, if your credit score is low, you can always improve it by paying off outstanding debt. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that provided the report so that you can get these issues corrected.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage makes it easy to enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage sooner rather than later.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. Don't hesitate to ask these specialists about assorted mortgage options, and you can select a mortgage that perfectly matches your finances.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can make it simple to pursue your dream house. This housing market professional will help you narrow the price range for your dream house and ensure you can discover the perfect house without delay. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home.

Ready to start a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can simultaneously look for your dream house and avoid the risk of paying too much to purchase your dream residence.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 11/27/2017

Every king has his castle and in every castle there must be a throne. And in every castle a man needs a place of solace as well. Thatís where the man cave comes in. A man needs A place where he can truly kickback and relax. But what really makes up the perfect man cave? There are a few pieces that every home needs for a man cave to truly be complete. Hereís some items to help you create the best man cave on the block: 1. Complete home theater system Boys love their toys. What man cave is complete without a giant TV and a great speaker system? Youíll need an entertainment stand large enough to hold the largest TV that you can afford. Next, youíll need shelving to accommodate items like routers, speakers, DVDs and all the other entertainment essentials. The right furniture A super comfortable chair is a must in the man cave. Home furniture stores even sell chairs with a built in speakers. For guysí night, you might even need a sofa for additional seating. All of the furniture in the man cave should be manly in design of course. Leather furniture works perfectly for the purpose of the man cave. Leather is comfortable yet sleek and not feminine in nature. The right setting If youíre lucky enough to have an in-home bar, Thatís the perfect place to put your man cave. You want to be sure that the lighting in the man cave isnít too bright, yet you need to see whatís going on. The man cave should be placed around an atmosphere thatís perfect for hanging out. If youíre shopping for house, and your guy loves hanging with his buddies, you may want to add a ďman cave spaceĒ to your home search wish list. Remember the fun stuff No man cave will be complete without a pool table or a ping-pong table. If thereís one thing to know about guys itís that they love to be competitive. Make sure the room that you select for your man cave is large enough to hold one or more of these items. Cool decor For the sports lover a man cave is a great place to put sports memorabilia on display. The walls of the room can be filled with things from your favorite team. Donít forget you can also add liquor and beer brand items into the mix of your man cave decor. Essential appliances Donít forget that you will need replace to keep your beers cold in the man cave. Some appliances will be essential. You will probably need a fridge and a sink to start off. Frosty beer glasses would be a nice touch as well. It would also be a plus to have all of the bartending essentials present somewhere in the man cave. These are just a few ideas to help you design and implement the perfect man cave in your home. No matter what kind of man cave you dream of, itís possible to create it!





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 11/20/2017

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 11/13/2017

Believe it or not, flood insurance may prove to be a valuable investment, even if your home is not located in a floodplain. Flood insurance covers physical damage to your residence or personal items due to floods. Thus, flood insurance offers added protection for your home and belongings, making it exceedingly valuable for homeowners. As a homebuyer, you may search for residences that are located outside of floodplains. But it is crucial to note that even a few inches of water can cause substantial property damage in a short period of time, and a residence remains at risk for flood damage even if it falls outside of a floodplain. So should you purchase flood insurance for your new home? Ultimately, there are many factors to consider, including: 1. Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. As such, you likely will need to purchase a flood insurance policy if you want to safeguard your residence against flood damage. Those who reside in designated flood zones will need flood insurance. Meanwhile, flood insurance usually represents a valuable option for those who live in inland areas or away from major rivers as well. If flooding occurs, you'll want to do everything possible to protect your home and assets. And with flood insurance, you'll be better equipped to safeguard your residence and belongings in the event of a flood. 2. Your Umbrella Policy With an umbrella policy, you are able to add liability coverage beyond what is offered in a standard homeowners insurance policy. An umbrella policy also offers protection against major claims and lawsuits to further safeguard your home and assets. Although you might have purchased an umbrella policy for extra liability insurance, this coverage does not apply to flood damage. As a result, you will need to prepare accordingly if you want to insure your home against floods. 3. The Coverage Provided by Flood Insurance Although flood insurance offers value for homeowners, it may fail to deliver full protection for your home and belongings. Federal flood insurance policies commonly provide coverage up to a set amount for your home and possessions. In the event that your residence or belongings are worth more than these totals, you'll only receive compensation from your insurer up to the federally mandated amount. When purchasing flood insurance, it is important to consider the value of your home and belongings. If you feel that flood insurance coverage fails to meet your needs, you may want to consider excess flood insurance to increase your total coverage. Furthermore, discussing your flood insurance options with a real estate agent may be a great idea. This professional will be able to tell you if your new home is in a floodplain and offer tips to ensure that you find a residence that satisfies all of your needs. Floods can cause serious damage quickly, but homeowners who are ready for the dangers posed by these natural disasters can plan appropriately. Therefore, homeowners may want to consider purchasing flood insurance, as this coverage will protect their homes and belongings if flood damage occurs.







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