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Moving to a new house is an amazing experience.

Homeownership is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. Whether you're about to become a homeowner for the first time or you've purchased real estate many times before, you'll want your move to go smoothly. These moving tips are part of any home-buying advice to keep in mind as you prepare to relocate.

Plan and Create a Checklist

Prepare a checklist as you plan your move. This should include specifics such as home essentials, which pieces of furniture to keep and which ones to sell or put in storage, where each item goes, and what to buy for the new house. Set the date and time of your move. Calculate how much time you'll need to pack and move everything. Trying to cram everything into the moving truck at the last minute may be stressful, and you run the risk of forgetting anything vital.

Hire Professional Movers

A major relocation needs professional movers. Expert movers know how to make sure your items are transported easily, safely, and arrive at your intended destination intact. Get quotes from several movers and choose the one you like best. Speak with them about the schedule of your move, if you need a truck or trailer, and the list of items to be transported. Remember that it might be harder to book movers during certain times, such as the summer months. Allow more time if you're going to move during this time.

Research the New Area

As a home buyer, chances are you've spent time thinking about the new community you’ll be living in. Now is the time to research it even further. Look for amenities close to your area, such as a library, hospital, coffee place, gym, pet shop, and shopping and community centers. If you have some time, walk the streets in the area before you arrive. Do a test run for your new commute to find out the best way to get to work.

Take a Tour of the House

It's imperative to have a walk-through of the entire house no more than a day or two before you're going to move. Make sure all is in order before you move in. It would be best if you also had your utilities set up and running on the day you move in. Find out what utilities serve your new community. Look for any problems with the house. Document any such issues and make sure they are fully corrected before your planned move.

Get the Whole Family Involved

Moving to a new location is a chance to start a brand-new life. That's particularly true for children who need special care during the transition and a chance to explore their new home with you. Make sure to value their input and consider their special needs to help them adjust to their new lifestyle. One way to do this is to involve them at every stage of the move, including planning, packing, and unpacking their belongings. Using a game-like organizational system like Moving Game Plans™ gives kids a fun way to tackle “grown-up” tasks and potentially “beat” other family members at key tasks along the way. Streamlining tasks and making the move fun are the keys to having the whole family smiling all the way through the move.

Change the Locks

Security is crucial no matter where you live. Once you've moved, it's time to get those locks changed. Make sure the front door and all other doors, such as the door in the backyard, have brand new locks once you're residing there. Ensure the porch lights are working to protect your home during the evening hours. It’s necessary to install a security system around your property.

Change Your Address

When you move, you're going to change your address. You want to let everyone know about it. Inform your family and friends about your new mailing address. You will also need to let all the companies you do business with know that you have a new address for your regular correspondence and bills. The same is true of your employer. Find out how to make any changes to your paycheck. Be extra careful with whom you are sharing your contact information.

Meet Your New Neighbors

Meeting new people is one of the greatest joys of moving. Knock on your neighbor's doors and let them know you're about to be part of their community. Introduce yourself and all your family members to everyone in the immediate area. Consider bringing a small gift with you as you speak with the neighbors. Baked goods or a bottle of wine are good choices. Your neighbors are pleased to answer any questions you might have about the area. They're also delighted to let you know about their favorite places to eat and fun things you can do on your leisure time.

Establish New Routines

Take a deep breath and think about your daily activities now that you’re in the new place. Make a to-do list. Routines help you get things done, such as food and grocery shopping every Thursday, workout session, kids’ sport activities, and even dinner dates. If you like to spend your Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee and a pastry, take a stroll in your new community and see what's on tap.

Think Positive

While moving can be quite stressful in many ways, it will also lead to really good things in your life. You have the chance to begin a new chapter in your life. Focus on all the positive things going on as the transition continues. You finally have the opportunity to create the kind of spaces you've always wanted in a home of your own. Think about the many wonderful things you're going to have once you settle in. It's all waiting for you in this bright new, inviting house.

The terms of the real estate contract should be precise and straightforward so that there are no misunderstandings regarding what was agreed upon.

Homebuying is one of the most significant investments you will make in your lifetime. It's not always exciting to read the paperwork, but you must understand what you are reading. The purpose of the contract is to establish a meeting of minds concerning the terms and conditions for the sale of a property.

The real estate agreement should clearly state any contingencies or clauses in which either party may void the agreement and any penalties for doing so. The contract must also comply with any zoning laws or other regulations that may govern or restrict the sale or use of property in a given area. The legal description records all rights, easements, and encumbrances affecting those rights.

Both the buyer's and seller's legal names are required on the contract. If more than one person owns the property, all owners must sign. Both parties must be competent when the contract is signed, which means they must have the mental capacity to understand what they are signing.

Homeownership information

The contract usually contains the following: names of buyer and seller, a complete description of the property (including address and legal description, purchase price, and agreed upon earnest money deposit or EMD), closing date or time frame for closing, proof of title insurance and the financial contingencies for obtaining financing and passing inspections.

First and foremost, both the buyer and seller's legal names are required on the contract. If more than one person owns the property, all owners must sign. The contract should list the address of the property. It may also include additional details that help confirm its location, such as its lot number or unit number in a condominium or cooperative building.

The purchase price is another one of the most critical parts of a real estate contract for both buyers and sellers. The purchase price can be set in several different ways. Regarding the property information, the seller needs to specify what's included in the property sale, including appliances, fixtures, or even furniture pieces you want to come with the home.

Financing terms

Financing terms refer to how the buyer plans to pay for the property. One option is for the buyer to pay cash, in which case there may not be any financing terms on the contract. If the buyer intends to obtain a loan from a lender, financing terms need to be included in the contract.

These terms specify how much time the buyer has to obtain financing, what type of loan they plan on getting, and whether or not they've already been pre-approved for a mortgage by their lender. If the buyer cannot secure financing within the specified timeframe, they can back out of buying the house without any penalties.

Home inspection

A home inspection is another important part of the real estate transaction. It gives buyers a chance to learn about the property and make an informed decision on whether to purchase it. The seller will also get information on their home that they can use to plan future repairs or upgrades.

These inspections are very popular, especially when market conditions favor buyers, and homes may have hidden problems. Here, you will find out if there are any major repairs you need to make after closing. In some cases, you may find out that the home has mold, lead paint, or other issues that need addressing before you can move in. Based on your inspector's report, you can determine if the home seller is willing to make repairs.

A good inspection can help prevent headaches later on, so most buyers feel that it is worth paying for one as soon as possible after their offer has been accepted. Your contract may have specific provisions about what happens if an inspection shows major problems with your home. While most contracts include a standard home inspection contingency, other types of assessments may be desirable or required in different situations.

Closing date and costs

When all documents are signed, papers are exchanged, and funds are distributed to transfer ownership of the property from seller to buyer. A seller is unlikely to accept an offer without a specified closing date, so keep this in mind when making your offer! The contract will include information about who pays for what in connection with closing costs.

Closing costs include escrow fees, title search fees, title insurance, notary fees, transfer tax, recording fees, etc. Make sure that everyone involved in your transaction will be available for your closing date and provide an alternative date if necessary.

Signatures

The real estate purchase contract is one of the most critical documents in the home buying process, so you'll want to make sure you understand what you're signing. And if there's anything that might not be clear, now is the time to ask your real estate agent or attorney for additional information.

Make sure everyone has signed it. Otherwise, there's no contract. Both parties should sign a copy of the agreement and keep it for their records. Both buyer and seller must initial every page of every contract, and if a page isn't signed, it won't be enforceable.

Real estate contracts can be complicated for the first-time homebuyer, you need an expert to help you with every detail. If you want to save yourself from a lot of headaches and legal costs, use a contract. This can be an important asset in your home purchase process. A real estate contract outlines how the seller and buyer conduct themselves throughout the transaction. This document helps protect buyers and sellers from any issues during the transaction. If you own real estate, then you should always have a real estate contract on file within your county.

 

Homeownership is a dream for most people, with good reason as it comes with many benefits. Most potential homebuyers consider how such a purchase will affect their finances, and there are many financial as well as non-financial benefits to owning a house. For one, when you own your own home, your assets grow larger than someone who rents. If you are considering buying a home, here are some more benefits you should know about.

 

Financial Benefits

 

Homeownership Tax Deductions

When tax time comes every year, homeowners search for tax breaks. Luckily there are plenty of tax deductions that can add up to several thousand dollars. The biggest deduction to itemize is mortgage interest. You can deduct the interest up to a limit depending on when you take out your mortgage. Home equity loans interest is also deductible if you use the funds to substantially improve your home. You can claim home office deductions if you use part of your home exclusively for official purposes. You can get breaks on property taxes, but it's limited. Add up all the tax deductions you qualify for and itemize. You should take full advantage of the tax benefits to save some money every year.

Build Up a Financial Portfolio

An investment or financial portfolio stores all your assets; it's more of a concept than physical space. A solid portfolio can help you achieve long-term financial dreams. You might even repay your mortgage early or consider other investments. You can have some control over your financial future. Whether you realize it or not, purchasing a home will be great for your portfolio. You will have a higher risk tolerance, allowing you to embrace most opportunities that come your way. A house is a major asset whatever way you look at it; it will diversify your portfolio and let you dive deeper into investing. You can start thinking about the financial steps you want to take for the future.

Mortgage Is A ‘Good Debt’

Most creditors see a mortgage as good debt since it’s secured by the value of your home. Your ability to maintain mortgage payments is seen as debt responsibility and financial stability. Debt is seen by most as the greatest threat to financial independence, but mortgage debt is the only one that defies all the rules. Credit score agencies usually add points if you can manage different debts. Your mortgage might help you improve your credit score. It's also one of the few safe loans with low interest because your property is a guarantee that the loaned funds can quickly be recovered if a problem arises. The interest is also tax-deductible, which potentially makes the loan even less expensive.

Home Equity

Your home equity is the difference between what you owe and how much you can sell the house for. The more you pay your mortgage, the more your equity grows. If you have a reliable source of income and know you can repay, a home equity loan may be an option as you can use your home equity as collateral and acquire some funds. You can do plenty of things with such loans to improve your home or invest in other things. Home equity loans are typically called second mortgages, and you can use them for large expenditures.

 

Non-Financial Benefits

 

Security and Privacy

The highest level of privacy you can attain is being able to decide who does and does not enter your home. You can use a modern security system to keep your belongings and loved ones safe; you are free to add as many security features as you want to your house. When you are renting, you won't have exclusive rights to the property, which means less privacy and security.

A Place to Raise a Family

Having enough room to play outside becomes a higher priority when you have a family with children. You want your children to have the best upbringing possible and having a home will be part of it. You can hold family gatherings, cookouts, and many other family-exclusive activities because you have the space. Apartments can restrict you from having pets. But when you finally have your own house, you can get the pet you have always dreamed of. A home gives you and your family endless possibilities, especially when you have a private outdoor space. Having a garden might also be possible; you can turn the home into your private paradise. You can also pick a location with the best school district.

Personalization

You are probably tired of making an apartment feel like home when you don’t have any freedom to customize it however you like. Home buying can change that. You have the freedom to create the home you want, starting with the house design, decorations, and paint. Pick the colors and the style you want to make your dream home a reality. Renovate the space when you see fit, hang pictures and art for a more personal feel. Customize the home to make your pets and family members (not to mention your guests) feel comfortable.

Stability and Happiness

Homeownership has a liberating feeling you will never take for granted. If you have been a long-term renter, purchasing a home is indeed a level up. It gives you happiness and a sense of stability. It’s a haven for you and your kids if you have always dreamed of having a family. Maintaining a stable environment like a home is emotionally satisfying. Putting down roots allows you to form friendships that last a lifetime. Your neighbors become part of your community which reinforces the sense of stability.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that home buying is a worthwhile investment because of these benefits. If it's your goal to be a homeowner someday, start working towards that. Once you own a property, you can do so many things that aren't possible as a renter. Homeownership comes with a sense of pride and feeling settled in your community can improve your quality of life.

Ready to invest in the real estate market? Get in touch.

 

Prepping to put your house up for sale? Your goal is to sell it quickly and at the highest possible price.

Speaking of getting your home on the market, home staging plays a key part to impress your potential buyers. It involves decluttering, rearranging, and remodeling your home. Keep in mind that homebuyers come from various walks of life, thus when staging your property ensure that it is eye-catching to everyone.

There are professional home stagers that you can hire and even experienced real estate agents can do some staging themselves. However, you can also choose to be hands-on and do it yourself. The infographic below will guide you through the home staging process:

 

 

The bottom line is that staging can increase your home's purchase offers, but you don't need to stage every room of the house. Focus your efforts on the most usable spaces of the home. Get professional advice from an established real estate group to discuss the best strategy for selling your home and prepare it for a successful open house. Call 650-550-8646 or send an e-mail to team@rosegroupre.com.

 

Are you ready to buy a house?

Whether it’s an investment property, a place to move and build a family, or a space to grow old in, buying a home for the first time is a big step. It’s both a major financial and emotional decision.

A house is likely the most expensive purchase of your life, so it can be a bit overwhelming. It is totally understandable. To help you feel as prepared as possible and eliminate a lot of the stress, we’ve come up with these tips that should guide you through the home-buying process.

1. Check your financial health (savings and spending)

Do you have savings? Calculate your monthly expenses and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which should be at a maximum of 43%. It is essential to know where you stand in your finances to strengthen your credit score – this will determine if you qualify for a mortgage. Consider having an emergency fund for three to six months' worth of expenses. When you buy a home, there will be a down payment and closing costs.

2. Save for a down payment

Save enough money for a 20% down payment (or more). Your down payment will depend on the type of mortgage you choose and the lender’s terms. Some lenders allow as low as a 3% down payment for first-time homebuyers with excellent credit scores. Also, keep in mind that as a homeowner you will be responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep costs.

3. Make a list of your home must-haves and nice-to-haves

What does your dream house look like? Write down specific features and amenities that you need for your ideal home. You can also include the location, neighborhood, and size of the house and lot. You can make a separate list of the home features that are less important, that you can do without upon purchase. This is your first home; you deserve a house that grants most (if not all) of your wishes but be realistic.

4. Understand your home loan options

Don’t worry about not being able to pay cash for a home because there are a variety of mortgages with varying down payment and eligibility requirements:

By the way, you also have options when it comes to how long you are going to pay a home loan, anywhere from 15- to 30-years.

5. Get a mortgage pre-approval

A mortgage pre-approval determines how much house you can afford. Lenders will take into consideration your financial situation, including monthly income, DTI, and credit score. They will then provide you a statement that you are qualified to take a loan and how much a lender will give you to buy your first home. With a mortgage pre-approval, your home financing is already secured, and it shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer.

8. Attend open houses and home buying assistance programs

Your mortgage pre-approval will give you an idea of how much you can spend for your first home, which will help you narrow down your house requirements. Attend several open houses in the neighborhoods you want to live in to give you the chance to learn more about the area, its facilities, and community culture. Take advantage of home buying assistance programs from local government and realtors.

6. Submit a competitive offer

First of all, hire a trained professional to do an inspection of the property you’re interested in, so you’ll know the condition of your potential new home. This way, you can negotiate your offer with the seller, such as paying for the repairs. You can also ask them to lower the price to cover the cost of repairs. There are instances that the seller will pay some of the closing costs if the offer is right.

7. Work with a real estate agent

An excellent real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the market, finds you homes that match your criteria, and guides you through the entire process. Communicate with your agent regularly. Your home-buying journey will be a lot easier when you’re working with a real estate professional.

 

Always remember...

 

9. Stick to your budget (factor in the closing costs)

Don’t go over budget. As a first-time homebuyer, it is natural to get excited shopping for a perfect house that ticks everything in your checklist, forgetting what you can truly afford. Have enough money for repairs and renovations.

Remember to consider closing costs in your budget. These fees pay for important steps in the home-buying process, including:

10. Save Physical Copies of Your Paperwork

Keep the physical copy of your mortgage statements, deed, Closing Disclosure, vendor and supplier receipts, property insurance policy, and other important real estate records. Compile them all together for easier access and lock them in a fireproof cabinet, if possible.

Now back to the first question, are you ready to buy a house? Tap a highly rated real estate agent nearest you; contact us today!

 

Rose Group, with Keller Williams Realty, is comprised of licensed REALTORS® and a dynamic support staff. We’ve focused on providing trusted, expert representation to real estate buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley since 2004—and now we’re in San Diego!
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