Category Archives: New House

Prepare For The Unforeseen Expenses Of Homeownership

Unforeseen Expenses Of Homeownership

Being a homeowner has been your dream since you were a kid and you finally accomplished it.

Then, moving day comes. Once all the boxes are unloaded, and the furniture is shoved roughly into the right rooms, you grab a coffee and take a breather. And that is when it dawns on you. This is only just the beginning.

As a new homeowner, there are whole lists of things you need to take care of, and almost all of them cost money.

So, if you are planning to buy a new home, have just signed the paperwork, or are moving in next week, this list is for you. And if you know someone who is moving in, be a friend and give them a heads-up as well.

Property Tax – Up to $10,000: When it comes to property tax, a lot of people get sticker shock a year after they move into a new construction. The reason for this is simple; the taxes are based on the empty lot the home was built on says, Local Records Office. But a year later, the assessors come around and put a new valuation on the lot, which now has a beautiful home sitting on it. You can also face much higher taxes based on the particular school district you live in. And of course, taxes vary greatly by state. The average property taxes paid in New Jersey are almost $7,500, as opposed to $1,500 in Colorado, as of 2017.

Major Appliances – Up to $10,000: New home builds usually include a dishwasher, microwave, and stove, with the option of a fridge/freezer, washer, and dryer. They are basic unless you opt for the upgrades in your contract, but if you do, they could add a chunk to your monthly mortgage payment. If you buy a used home, you may not have any appliances included.

HOA Fees – Up to $700 a Month: Many new homes come with a Home Owners Association, and most used homes have HOAs as well. In theory, they’re a sound idea. They are there to keep the neighborhood looking great, and deal with trash collection, playgrounds, community pools, street lighting, common areas, snow removal, and so on. A typical HOA can run $100 a month. Some are just a few hundred a year, while in the higher-end neighborhoods, you may not see much change out of $1,000 every month.

Insurance – Up to $2,000 Annually: There are a few different types of insurance you need to have when buying a home. First, you must have homeowner’s insurance. The average cost of this is around $700 annually, but this varies by state. You should also have contents insurance, based on the value of your possessions. You could, of course, skip this payment. But if tragedy does strike, you could lose everything.

Utilities – Up to $400 Monthly: Again, if you live in a mansion that figure will be greater. And in a new one-bedroom apartment, much less. But on average, when moving into a new home, you will see utility bills in the hundreds of dollars. This can be quite a shock, especially if you were formerly in a small apartment or even living with your parents.

Repairs and Maintenance – Unknown: One of the biggest unknown expenses of owning a home is the repairs and maintenance costs that can hit you out of nowhere. If you were formerly renting, that was all taken care of. Now it is all on you. If the hot water heater goes out, you pay. If the roof leaks, you pay. If strong winds blow your fence down, you pay.
Yes, being a homeowner is the American dream, but it does not always come cheap. There are a lot of hidden fees and expenses. If you make a plan to cover these expenditures, then you will be a well-prepared homeowner.  ***

Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for My Close Up

closeupThere is an idiom that has stood the test of time: seeing is believing. And when it comes to spending money, it is a rarity that we ever purchase something based on description alone. Not only do we check on the product reviews of others, but we rely on a visual picture in order to be fully convinced to part with our hard-earned cash. Nothing proves this truer than when it comes to buying property. According to the 2014 NAR® Home Buyers and Sellers profile, buyers rank listing photos as the number 1 most valuable website feature – even higher than the listing’s description! These days, 92% of people looking for a new home rely on the internet to begin their process so it seem only natural that photos are preferred over just a written description. And now that you have found yourself a home to sell, it’s time to get it ready for that photo shoot.

First, you need to speak with your home-owning clients. You have already walked through the home with them, giving suggestions to make things ready for the future showings. Now it is time to give everything some final touches so that the photo shoot goes smoothly. A great tip is to ask your professional photographer (because you shouldn’t be taking the photos on your own) for a checklist your clients can reference in order to get things camera-ready. In fact, this list can also work double-time as a handy tool for those upcoming showing days.

When it comes to the interior of the home, the added touches are all pretty simple. Keep the toilet seat down, clothes in the hamper, toiletries and other personal products hidden from view. One way to give your clients a point of reference is to have a quick tour once a housecleaner professionally cleans the place so everything has a place and the home is picture perfect. As for the exterior, you should have your clients keep the yard clean as a whistle. Keep cars in the garage and/or parked from view, landscaping tidy and trash cans & toys picked up and out of the way. The cleaner the property is kept, the easier it will be for you to photograph and show to prospective buyers.

When it comes to the actual photo shoot, the only proper way to go is with a professional photographer. Find one that understands the business and express exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Before each shoot, show the photographer certain aspects of the home that should be featured in the photos. The more you can show these special features to your prospective buyers, the easier it will be to book showings and, ultimately, sell the home. Build a relationship with them so that you can move through these shoots like a team and make the photos the very best they can be.

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words…

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