Lisa Moore's Blog
For those who are on the lookout for a great house, it may be beneficial to explore homes in small towns. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a small town residence, and these include:
1. You can avoid the hustle and bustle of big city living.
Purchasing a house in the city may prove to be difficult. In many instances, competition for houses near city attractions and landmarks is fierce. Also, owning a home in the city may require you to pay high costs for taxes, parking and more.
Comparatively, small town living often provides a breath of fresh air, particularly for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of a big city. Small town homes are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Perhaps best of all, purchasing a small town house typically won't force you to break your budget.
2. You can live close to loved ones.
If family members and friends live in a small town, it may be beneficial to join them. And if you kick off a search for a home in the small town of your choice, you can live near loved ones.
Of course, prior to starting a small town home search, you may want to learn about the local housing market. If you possess housing market data and insights, you can tailor your property buying strategy accordingly.
3. You can find a superior house at a budget-friendly price.
Small town homes may be more affordable than their big city counterparts. Therefore, a buyer who wants to find the best value for a home may want to narrow his or her house search to properties in small towns.
When it comes to searching for a small town home, there are lots of exceptional options available across the United States. As such, determining exactly where to pursue a small town home sometimes can be challenging.
Thankfully, hiring a real estate agent is a viable option for all buyers, at all times. A real estate agent can teach a buyer about the housing market in any small town. By doing so, this housing market professional can help a buyer take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a small town residence.
A real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance at each stage of the property buying journey. He or she will set up small town home showings and keep a buyer up to date about properties that match this individual's criteria. Plus, if a buyer finds his or her ideal small town residence, a real estate agent will help this individual submit a competitive offer to purchase.
For those who want to pursue a small town residence, there is no reason to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can receive extensive support as you conduct a search for a home in the small town of your choice.
Having equity in your home is an incredibly valuable thing. It allows you to borrow against your house and shows that the value of your investment is rising. Equity defined is the difference between your home’s value and the amount you still owe on the home. Equity allows you to move forward with other properties and sell your current one.
As you pay down your mortgage, your equity increases. There is, however, always a risk of an equity slide where values drop a bit. There are a few ways that you can help your home’s equity value to increase faster.
Pay Towards The Principal
The first few years that you’re a homeowner, you’ll be paying a lot towards the interest and only a little towards the principal value of the loan. The quicker you pay down your home loan, the faster you’ll increase the equity of your home. Check your budget and see how much extra you may be able to pay. Then, talk with your lender to see if there are any pre-payment penalties.
Complete Home Improvement Projects
You may not know that many home improvement projects can increase the value of your home substantially. There are many projects that you can complete in your home that won’t break the bank yet will give you a significant return. You can start simple, or think big. Some of the best home improvement projects that will add value to your home include:
- Complete kitchen remodel
- Replacing countertops
- Refinishing cabinets
- Installing new appliances
- Replacing garage doors
- Bathroom remodel
- Putting on addition
- Landscaping renovations
Any of these home improvement projects can add value to your home, bringing the equity value of the home up. Even if you’re not planning on taking out any equity in your home for some time, any improvement projects that you choose to do are beneficial for both you and how your home affects your finances.
Increase The Amount Of Your Downpayment
You can increase the value of a home before you even buy it. If you put the traditional 20% down on a house, you’ll build equity a bit faster than if you put down a lower amount such as 3% or 5%. If you have already purchased your home, you can ask your lender to do what’s called a cash-in refinance. This type of refinance is where you bring cash to the refinancing closing table in order to lower the balance of your mortgage.
Many property owners at some point consider renting out their house. Whether it’s a property they inherited, a summer home they rarely use, or they're just trying their hand at property management.
It's a common misconception that renting out a house is passive income. You'll have to do a lot of work if you plan on keeping your tenants around and paying their rent.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should consider if you're planning on renting out a house or property you own.
The rental process
Some landlords take shortcuts during the rental process to save time or money. However, doing so could cost you big time in the long run. If you don't utilize a real estate agent, draw up the proper contracts and agreements, or fail to do due diligence with walkthroughs, you could easily end up losing money on your investment.
The safest approach to finding reliable tenants and renting your property securely is to use a property manager who knows the practical and legal aspects of renting so you don't have to worry about making any beginner mistakes.
DIY property management
If you decide you want to save money and manage the property yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for tenants.
First, use background checks and credit checks to ensure your future tenants are in good financial standing.
Next, ask for references on your application, preferably from former landlords. Most landlords will happily let you know if their tenants were good about making on-time payments or were difficult in other ways.
When it comes to your lease, don't try to write it from scratch. There are several templates available online. Try to find one that covers most applicable laws in your area, then hire a lawyer to read over your lease and make any pertinent changes.
Finally, be sure to collect a security deposit or first and last month’s rent. This will give you some protection if your tenant stops paying or causes costly damages in the building.
Know your legal limits
If you've ever rented before, odds are there were a few things you wish your landlord did differently. Before beginning this endeavor of becoming a landlord, make sure you're doing it by the book.
Find the laws for your state and city regarding landlord/tenant requirements. Know when you can enter the apartment and how long of an advanced notice is required to do any work in the apartment.
Before sending any complaints or notices to your tenant, make sure you are in the right, legally speaking and can back up your claims with evidence. To do so, you'll need to practice rigorous bookkeeping. Document and keep copies of each payment you receive and all of the money you spend on repairs and maintenance. These records can help you should you ever need to prove yourself in a court of law.
Finally, be respectful and courteous with your tenants. Going out of your way to be helpful will often save you headaches in the long run. However, know when your leniency is being taken advantage of by tenants who are avoiding paying rent or abusing your property.
For those who want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare accordingly. That way, you will be ready to identify and address any hurdles that come your way during the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to avoid a complex homebuying journey, such as:
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can search for residences that match your expectations. Best of all, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find and acquire your dream home.
To craft homebuying criteria, think about what you require from a house. For instance, if you need a home that is located near your office in the city, you can hone your house search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want a home that offers two or more bedrooms, you can search for a house that provides the space you need.
You may want to create a list of home must-haves, too. This list may help you simultaneously narrow your home search and speed up the homebuying journey.
2. Know Your Homebuying Budget
There is no need to focus on homes that fall outside your price range. Instead, develop a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of wasting time pursuing a house that you are unable to afford.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different home financing options so you can develop an effective property buying budget.
Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you will know precisely how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – no one wants to encounter roadblocks during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these homebuying experts are happy to help you achieve your desired results.
A real estate agent can offer comprehensive insights into the homebuying journey. He or she also can help you conduct an in-depth home search, set up house showings and much more.
In addition, a real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. He or she will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions at your request.
When it comes to navigating the homebuying journey, you may want to start planning today. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can map out a successful homebuying journey. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of purchasing a house that will serve you well both now and in the future.
A home bar is one thing that most adults should have in their homes. Even if you’re not a drinker yourself, you should have something on hand to offer guests when they come over for an evening of food and conversation. You’ll need the right setup, the right tools, and the right recipes handy to have the perfect home bar. Whether you have a bar already or are looking to build your own, we have all the tips that you’ll need as a rookie bartender.
You’ll need quite a few essentials in your home bar including but not limited to:
- Bar tools
- Recipe books
Find The Right Surface To Transform Into A Bar
You can easily transform any table, sideboard, or cart into a bar. If the vessel that you’re using has a drawer, that’s even better. You can keep all of your bottles, glasses, decanters, and openers in one convenient place. It’s not bad if you can’t fit all of your supplies in one place. Less used items can be stored in the pantry.
You can even use a simple bookshelf to store all of your bar supplies. Transform any bookcase from “boring bookshelf” to home bar in no time. You can arrange the shelving by category, giving each shelf a purpose. You can keep spirits on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, tools on another, and recipe books on another shelf.
Does Your Home Have An Actual Bar Built-In?
Many homes actually have bars built in, but people rarely use them because they feel inexperienced in using the bar tools of the trade. Whether you have a full wet bar or a simpler dry bar, keep all of the essentials there. You’ll need:
- Bar towel
- Trash can
- Bar spoon
- Access to ice
- Simple Syrup
- Old fashioned glass
- Mesh strainer
Location Of The Bar
If you’re setting up a brand new bar, there’s a variety of places that you can put the bar. If you have space in the kitchen, you can add it to a corner right there. Other great places for your bar could be a den or a man cave. Wherever you’ll spend time hanging out with company is a good place to keep your bar. If you have children, you might even consider getting a locking cabinet system for your liquor. You don’t want little hands getting into what they’re not supposed to.
Setting up your own home bar is something to be proud of. It will be quite the conversation piece when guests come over. You’ll be able to discuss your collection of liquors and see if friends have any recommendations as to what you might add to your selection of liquors. A home bar is an entertaining essential.