Buying a Home

3 Important Tips for New Homeowners

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, especially when it’s your very first home purchase. In the midst of the excitement and celebration, there are some steps you shouldn’t ignore. Now is the time to get your ducks in a row to ensure that your first year of homeownership goes as smoothly as possible.

Embrace Your Inner Handyman
Learning as much about home maintenance and DIY projects as you can will serve you well when beginning your journey into homeownership. Find a local hardware store and see what classes they offer. Many hardware stores offer workshops on everything from painting walls to installing a kitchen backsplash. Make it a priority to hone your general handiness around the home so that when you are presented...

Choose Your Battles When Buying a Home

A fenced-in yard. Double sinks. A wrap-around porch. An open floor plan. Solar panels. There are just so many things we want our new home to have.

However, when shopping for our dream home, it’s essential to steer the dream a little bit more toward reality. No home will have every single feature you desire, so before you set out on the search, sit down, think hard and narrow down your list of must-haves. Must-haves are usually rooted in practicality—a classic case of needs vs. wants. Some important musts, therefore, often involve:

  • The number of bedrooms and/or potential to turn a room into an additional bedroom—are you planning on children? Need space for an in-law to move in?
  • The master bedroom—is it big enough for your king bed, and does it include a master bath?
  • ...

New Home? Prep the Bathroom First

On moving day, when you arrive at your new home, there’s an excellent chance that someone in your family is going to need to use the bathroom immediately. And when that happens, you’re not going to want to dig through dozens of boxes to find the essentials people need.

Bathrooms are one of the busiest rooms in any home, so it makes sense to start getting it ready right away. Especially because when moving day ends, you’re just going to want to wash up and rest. .

Here’s how to get your new bathroom ready right away.

Pack Smart
Pack towels, washcloths, a bathmat, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and toothbrushes in a separate,...

How to Make Sure You Get a Thorough Home Inspection Before You Buy

Before you purchase a home, you should have it inspected. A home inspector can spot problems so you can avoid buying a house that’ll need major repairs. Your real estate agent most likely has worked with one or more qualified and experienced local home inspectors and can make a recommendation.

What a Home Inspection Does and Doesn’t Cover
A standard inspection typically covers the walls, windows, foundation, roof, basement, attic, plumbing, electrical system, HVAC system and appliances. Inspectors check things that are visible, but they won’t tear out walls to check hidden plumbing, wiring and insulation.

Home inspectors generally don’t check for pests, asbestos, radon, lead paint or mold. When you call to schedule an inspection, make...

5 Steps to Take Before Buying Your First Home

House hunting is an exciting process, especially when it’s your first home. While it may feel stressful and overwhelming at times, there are ways to make the search easier. Here are five steps to take before looking for your dream home:

1. Set Your Budget. The first thing you need to do before looking at any homes is set your budget. It’s a waste of time to look at homes that are out of your price range. If you aren’t sure what your budget should be, try an online calculator that tells you how much home you can afford. Knowing how much you can spend allows you to filter home options by price. The best way to find out how much you can afford is by getting pre-approved.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. When you’re serious about buying a home, you should...

How to Find the Down Payment for Your First Home

If you’re in the market for buying your first home, chances are you have some money saved but you might be worrying a bit about having enough for the down payment. This is especially true for millennials just a few years into the workforce who probably are just learning why their parents always told them to save some of their paycheck each week.

Sure, the prospect of saving enough might be difficult to digest when you’re eager to get house hunting, which is why sometimes it makes sense to explore some other means to get the money.

Below are some helpful hints to find the down payment you need.

Family:
Deep down you might be too proud to ask your parents for a handout, but that’s probably the easiest way for you to get the...

New to Home Buying? Here’s Why You Should Consider a Starter Home

When people think about their first home, rarely do they think about small rooms, little closet space or a yard that barely has room for some lawn chairs. But for those who want to buy their first home, especially millennials just starting in their careers, sometimes they need to realize that their dream house is probably not going to be the first house they buy.

Starter homes should not be considered “bad” though, and many of these homes have great character and provide people with that same great feeling of being a homeowner. After all, the idea of finally buying a home is to gain that independence and call something your own.

By buying a starter home, you will be on the road to establishing credit, which will be helpful when you’re ready to move on to your next home. It’s...

Should You Buy a Model Home?

When a new subdivision is being constructed, builders typically show a model home to prospective buyers. A model house is often filled with amenities and offered at relatively low prices, but there are downsides to consider before buying one.

Benefits of a Model Home
Most buyers of homes in a new subdivision need to wait for their houses to be built, but a model home is in move-in condition. Model houses may have granite countertops and top-of-the-line appliances to attract buyers. In some cases, the furniture is included in the deal.

Buyers of new homes sometimes find that the natural process of settling causes noises and cracks that require repairs. Those problems will have been addressed before a model house is sold.

Drawbacks of a Model Home...