Tag Archives: homeowner

Money Monday: Money tips for homeowners

With homeownership, there are both benefits and costs involved (not just the down payment).

As the homeowner, your financial responsibilities extend beyond the down payment and monthly mortgage payments; there will be maintenance items to maintain and pay for, yearly tax bills, and the unexpected repairs to resolve. CNN Money does have a few money tips to help those would-be and already-are homeowners; read their article here.

Photo from Pictures of Money

Photo from Pictures of Money

1. Create a new budget

Instead of rent, you now have house expenditures. Besides the change in the monthly payment, there will likely be an increase in utility bills (it costs more to cool and heat and power a larger living space!), the potential watering and maintenance of a yard and garden, and other things such as a trash bill and your tax bills.

Estimate your monthly expenses initially, but then keep track of the actual monthly money going out for awhile, and then base your budget on that.

2. Plan on repairs

Even with a turn-key property, most likely you will have repairs to make pretty soon down the road. “Most homeowners spend 1% to 4% of their homes’ value each year on repairs and maintenance.” (CNN Money. “4 money tips for new homeowners”). And if you have an expensive repair coming up, like replacing the roof, try to save a little more each month in preparation.

3. Expect your property taxes to go up

Property taxes start out based on the assessed value of your home at the time of purchase. But,

Property taxes have a tendency to rise, even when home values drop. Back in 2000, localities across the U.S. collected an estimated $247 billion in property taxes, but by 2010, that number almost doubled to $476 billion despite the decline in home prices from the infamous housing bubble implosion. (CNN Money. “4 money tips for new homeowners”)

4. Expect big payments

Homeowner’s insurance and property taxes are some hefty bills, that you should plan for accordingly.

Read up on all of CNN Money’s tips here: “4 money tips for new homeowners”

Understanding Your Contractor

On average, a homeowner in the U.S. spends $5,000 annually on home improvement projects. That’s a lot of contractors and conversations that could go the wrong way if you don’t understand “contractor lingo.” Here are tips to help you be successful with your next renovation project.

Continue reading

Enjoying Your Yard

What do you like to use your yard for? New_House,_New_YardInfographic by CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

Top 10 Most Cost-Effective Remodeling Projects

Remodeling projects with the most bang for your buck

fixer upperIf you are thinking of selling your home, you may want to consider doing a remodeling project to bring in buyer interest and garner top dollar for your home sell. But what should you remodel, especially when thinking out getting the most return on your investment?

Thankfully, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS has complied a quick cheat-sheet for you, based on information provided by the Cost vs. Value Report 2013 by NAR and Remodeling magazine.

In order of the most cost recouped percentage-wise, here are the top 10 most cost-effective remodeling projects:

  1. Steel entry door replacement
  2. Wood deck addition
  3. Garage door replacement
  4. Minor kitchen remodel
  5. Wood window replacement
  6. Vinyl siding replacement
  7. Attic bedroom
  8. Vinyl window replacement
  9. Basement remodel
  10. Major kitchen remodel

remodeling projects car.org

Infographic from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS; source: Cost vs. Value Report 2013 by NAR and Remodeling magazine.

Lawn Maintenance Tips

It’s going to be a long and hot summer. The scorching heat, though appreciated by sunbathers, can be murder to our lawns and gardens. A little early prevention is the best way to ensure that your lawn remains free of brown patches, insects, disease, and weeds.

In order to avoid a desiccated lawn, start tending your lawn early in the growing season. A strong and healthy lawn is the best way to ward off weeds, insects, and diseases. Continue reading

Review your homeowner’s policy

It’s that time of year again: time to review your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Wait—you don’t typically do that? There are many reasons why you should give this important policy an annual review, particularly if you made changes to your home during the past year.

Here are some tips regarding what to look for when you do your review. Continue reading

What does FICO have to do with my Home Loan?

ficoYour FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness. The major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading

More millennials see homeownership as a good investment

homeownerMost millennials that make more than $50,000 a year are more interested in buying homes than they were a year ago, a recent survey by homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. found.

Nearly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of renters between 18 and 34 who responded to the survey and had an income above $50,000 said that their intention to buy has “significantly or somewhat increased in the past year,” PulteGroup said.

“Millennials have witnessed the housing boom and bust, but still believe homeownership is a good investment,” said Fred Ehle, vice president for PulteGroup, in a statement. “Consistent with other third-party research that shows more than 90 percent of millennials plan to buy a home someday, we see a lot of young adults who are making financial sacrifices to afford a place of their own.”

As part of the survey, PulteGroup also polled people on what home aspects matter most to them. The company found that millennials highly value efficient use of space in a home, with 69 percent of respondents indicating that they “overwhelmingly want an open layout space in the kitchen and family rooms for entertaining family and friends.”

Millennial survey respondents also said these features were either very important or extremely important to them:
•84 percent said ample storage for daily items;
•76 percent said space for TV, movie, or sports watching;
•73 percent said the entry to the home;
•63 percent said an outdoor living space or deck; and,
•36 percent said the ability to conduct business from home.