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Should You Buy the “Less Than Perfect” Home?

When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has all the features and characteristics you want. Perhaps you’re looking for a large deck surrounded by picturesque landscaping, a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble countertops, or a cozy living room with a fireplace.

You should be looking for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers become fixated on finding the “perfect” property, and pass too quickly on those homes that don’t quite measure up.

That can be a mistake, because some of those less-than-perfect properties have the potential to become your next dream home.

First, a home that is lacking some desirable features will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than enough to cover any needed upgrades or renovations.

Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on the market for you to consider.

If you’re determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for example, don’t cross homes off your list that don’t have this feature. At least not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would that deck look if it were added to this particular property? How much would such a renovation cost?

There’s no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has the features and characteristics you want. If you work with me, there is a good chance you’ll find a property that has most, if not all of them.

But, keep an open mind. Sometimes a “diamond in the rough” can – with an upgrade or renovation – become a home you’ll treasure for years.

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3 Ways to Build Equity

Equity is the money you make from owning your home. It can be determined by subtracting the amount of principal you owe on your mortgage from your home’s value. When home prices rise, most homeowners gain equity. These three strategies reduce your mortgage principal, granting you an equity boost in your home.

1. Maximize your down payment
Low down payment options make homeownership accessible for many families who can’t afford 20% down. But just because you’re approved for a 3% down payment loan doesn’t mean you can’t put down 5%, 10%, or 15%. A larger down payment helps you build equity faster and could end up saving you thousands of dollars in interest over the course of your mortgage.

2. Take out a shorter mortgage
Most homeowners choose a 30 year mortgage to keep their monthly payments low. However, you’ll typically pay less interest and gain equity more quickly with a 15 year mortgage, making it a better overall investment. Also, just like the down payment, if you can’t go from a 30 year all the way down to a 15 year term, try 20 or 25 years instead.

3. Prepay your mortgage
A lot can happen over the course of a 15 or 30 year mortgage. When your family earns raises or promotions that increase your income, funnel that money into your mortgage payments. Any extra money you put towards your home can go directly into your principal payment and reduce the overall interest you pay on your home. It will also lower the debt on your credit report and help build equity in your home.

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How to Meet Your New Neighbours

Moving into a new home is a lot of work. There’s furniture to move, boxes to unpack, utilities and services to turn on, and on top of all that, you have new neighbors to meet. But even with all the work going on, getting to know your neighbors doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are three easy ways to reach out to your new neighbors.

1. Seize the moment!
The longer you put off meeting your neighbors, the more awkward things will be. Take a break after unloading your moving truck and before unpacking your boxes to introduce yourself.

2. Ask them some questions
When you knock on your neighbor’s door, what do you say? Aside from explaining that you just moved in and wanted to introduce yourself, consider asking a bit about the neighborhood. If you’ve relocated into the area, you can ask about the city or even the state. What nearby comedy clubs or theaters do they recommend? Is there a DMV nearby? What restaurants deliver to your neighborhood?

3. Host a housewarming party
If you’re new to the neighborhood but have ties in the general area, consider hosting a housewarming party. You can invite your friends and family as well as your new neighbors. It will be a great excuse to knock on their door. And when they show up, you can start building new friendships with them.

Before you meet your new neighbors, you have to find your new home. If you or someone you know is looking to make a move, let me know! I can answer questions about the area and help you find your family’s perfect fit!