Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 8/5/2019

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that youíll ever make in your lifetime. Youíll spend decades of your life making mortgage payments to pay off your home loan. Buying a home is more than just simply finding a place to live. Itís also a financial decision. Your home helps you to build equity, gives you tax deductions, and helps you to have some security in your financial future. 


One of the biggest questions that youíll have when you buy a home is ďHow much can I spend?Ē To answer this question, youíll need to dig a little deeper. 


Do You Have Money For A Down Payment?


The standard amount of money that youíll need for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. If you donít have the money for a full down payment, youíll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This could add up to be an extra cost of hundreds of dollars per month in additional insurance payments on top of your mortgage and every other kind of expense that goes along with buying a home. Youíll need to take the time to save up for a down payment if youíre a first time homebuyer. If you already own a home, the equity that you have in that home can help you with the down payment.


What Are Your Other Financial Responsibilities?


Thereís more to buying a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. Youíll need to get insurance, pay taxes, and have some money set aside for repair and decorating costs. Youíll need to look at your monthly income to find out just how much you can afford on a home. You should take an honest look at your lifestyle and existing expenses in order to determine a comfortable monthly mortgage payment for you.    


Know Your Credit Score


Your credit score will be a major factor in how much house youíll be able to afford. Your lender will use your credit score and credit history to help determine what type of interest rate youíll get and how much theyíre willing to lend you in order to buy a home.


Understanding what you can afford for a home purchase is crucial before you even start shopping. Itís a good idea to meet with a lender to get pre-qualified. This is different than getting pre-approved. Your lender will give you a general idea of how much you can spend on a home without digging too deep into your finances. Getting pre-qualified is a great place to start when youíre looking at the numbers of being a homeowner.




Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Buying a Home   Money   personal finance  


Posted by Colleen Griffin on 7/1/2019

You may be in the market to buy a vacation home in the near future. Getting ready to purchase a second home can be a big decision and a big financial commitment. Aside from a good investment, buying a vacation home brings enjoyment to you and your family. To help you make a good decision on when and where to buy your vacation home, read on. 


Itís All About Location


You need ton know why you want to buy a second home. Do you spend a lot of time in one specific area? Do you want to explore one particular place a bit more on a frequent basis? The reason behind why you purchase a home for vacation purposes will fuel your decision on location. If youíre looking for a simple getaway with your family several times a year, the answer may be different than if you want to have a rental property. Choose a location that has varied seasons. You donít want the prime time for use of the property to be the same as when youíd like to be on the property with your family.   


Donít Purchase On A Whim


While it can be tempting to search for homes while youíre on a getaway, you should rent several times before you make the decision to buy in a particular place. Vacations can give buyers this sense of awe that could quickly fade. You donít want your decision to be fueled by emotion. You need to be certain that youíll actually enjoy an area for the long term. 


Shopping for a vacation home is quite similar to shopping for your main house. You want to know youíre in a good area and that youíll enjoy the house or the long haul. Itís tough to do that if you donít have a basic understanding or appreciation of the area.  


How Often Will You Use The House, Really?


You need to be realistic about how often youíll actually use your vacation house. It may not be worth it to buy in an area that will only be used one week out of the year. If you know youíll be able to use the space all of the time, then go for buying a home in the location of your dreams. If, however, youíre unsure of how often youíll be able to get to the house you might want to think twice. You could do just as well finding a spot that you can use as a reliable rental when you want it. Donít forget that buying a second home means having a second home to maintain. Not everyone is up for that challenge.           





Categories: Buying a Home   vacation  


Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/3/2019

If youíre in the market to buy a home, one of the easiest ways to do it is to look for homes that are move-in ready. Out of all the options that exist for buying real estate, buying a house thatís ready for you is a no-brainer. 


The problem for many real estate agents who are helping buyers find homes is that buyers arenít sure what ďmove-in ready means. It means something different for everyone. Below, weíll discuss some misconceptions and truths about move-in ready homes. 


Move-In Ready Doesnít Have To Be New


New construction homes are indeed move-in ready, but there are a few roadblocks to buying new construction homes. First, these homes take some time to get. Many times,  buyers are purchasing them and waiting months to move in. Thereís also less of a selection of locations. Most new construction homes can be found in the same area because thatís where the land is. New construction is certainly an option for people who have the time to wait to move into a new home. 


There are plenty of existing homes that may not need much work and have been constructed in recent years. You may not have been able to pick the colors on the walls or the types of countertops you have, but the house certainly isnít falling apart. 


Move-In Ready Could Mean Thereís A Little Work


Buying a fixer-upper is worlds different from purchasing a home thatís ready for you to live. Some move-in ready homes could use some work. The work involved is only cosmetic. The walls may need some painting or the house may need some cleaning up, but everything that needs to be done will be minimal. These are the types of projects that will be involved in buying a home thatís move-in ready.


The Benefits Of A Move-In Ready Home


You can enjoy the home right away

Things like appliances and other features in the house will be newer

The home will be in a sought after location

Sellers and builders will be motivated 


It's easy to enjoy the home and find newer features in a move-in ready home. New constructions homes will have the latest in everything from appliances to security. The owner will have upgraded homes that are ready to move to. More modern homes also tend to be in desirable locations. All of this not only equates to better living conditions for you an your family but better value when you sell the home at a later date.           








Posted by Colleen Griffin on 5/20/2019

Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).

In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether youíre buying or selling a home.

Home inspections for buyers

Thereís a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much youíre willing to offer on a home, or if youíre willing to make an offer at all.

Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.

Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.

Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.

Home inspections for sellers

As weíve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.

If youíre planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You donít want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.

So, whether youíre a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home youíre planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if youíre a buyer. Or, if youíre a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 4/29/2019

Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector Ė you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  




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