House Hunting Checklist and Worksheet

House Hunting Checklist and Worksheet House Hunting Checklist and Worksheet

House hunting can be challenging and time-consuming. Make sure to follow these 10 tips to make it easier to find your new home.

1.) Take Pictures. They will come in handy when you sit down and compare all of the homes you have visited and ultimately make a decision.

2.) Don’t Do it Alone. A second opinion might help you in choosing which house is the best for you. Bring a friend or family member because two heads are better than one.

3.) Find Your Budget. It will save you a lot of time and headache if you can concentrate only on houses that fit your budget.

4.) Consider the Proximity to Your Place of Work. Research and find out how much money and time it will cost you to commute to work.

5.) Ask about Utilities and Other Maintenance Costs. This will give you a better idea of what your actual expenses will be and help you manage your budget better.

6.) Budget for Additional Costs. Figure out and decide if you can afford other costs like necessary renovations or anything you else you want to add.

7.) Use a Real Estate Agent. Hiring one will save you the hassle of dealing with the very complicated housing market.

8.) Sleep on it before You Decide. Let the idea or decision sit in your head for a while. After a good night’s sleep you may have a different point of view.

9.) Decide on a Neighborhood. Narrow down your search to specific communities that you like and you will have more realistic options to choose from.

10.) Decide What You Need vs. Want. Stay focused on what is important when looking for a house like comfort, safety, access, and neighbors. After that you can decide whether the things you want are worth it or affordable.



Rent vs. Buy: Reasons for Owning a Home or House

Rent vs. Buy Reasons for Owning a Home or House Rent vs. Buy: Reasons for Owning a Home or House

There are many benefits and advantages to homeownership if you are seeking stable monthly housing expenses, tax savings, and a long term investment. On the other hand, there are benefits and advantages to renting if you move frequently or hate lawn work. The real estate market moves up and down in the short term but has consistently appreciated over time.

In the different regions of the United States: the west, the midwest, the northeast, and the south, 70%, 67%, 67%, and 79% percent of renters plan on buying a home in the future, respectively. Homeowners stay in their home for longer periods of time and engage and interact with the people in their communities than renters do. This results in nicer neighborhoods and more involvement in civic activities. Also, homeowners are 16% more likely to be in parent/teacher organizations, 28% more likely to vote in elections, 28% more likely to improve/repair their home, 9% more likely to know their school board representative, and 12% more likely to grow and maintain a garden. Over the past six months, the view on homeownership has become a more positive percentage for Americans. The Millennials, 18-34 years old, have seen an increase of 26%, Generation X, 35-44 years old, have seen an increase of 18%, the Baby Boomers who haven’t retired, have seen an increase of 18%, and the Baby Boomers who are about to retire or already have, have seen an increase of 22%.

Many believe that renting is always less expensive than owning a house, but that is a myth. A fixed rate mortgage will not change for 15 to 30 years, but rent increases about 5% each year. It has been seen in many cases that the total amount of money a homeowner spends over time can actually be a lot less than what a renter spends. Along with the benefit of homeowner’s tax, the savings can be quite significant.

In the example above on the infographic, you can see that by year 3 the renter spends more money renting than the homeowner does on their mortgage because of tax savings. Another reason to own a home is that the mortgage interest rates in the housing market at this time are at historic lows. As shown on the graph on the infographic, in June of 1971 the rate was at 7.53%. The rate went up after a few years but as noted on June of 2011, the mortgage rate dropped to a low 4.52%. In a survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau in 2011, it was noted that 78% of homeowners say that their home is the best investment that they have ever made. In the last graph of the infographic, you can see that home values have risen consistently over time. In June of 1971 the average value for a home was $26,100 and in June of 2011, the average value was $235,200. There are so many reasons to buy or rent a home and these reasons might help you decide which one suits you best.




News for Those in Search of Cheap International Real Estate or a Home

News for Those in Search of Cheap International Real Estate or a Home1 News for Those in Search of Cheap International Real Estate or a Home

The whole world felt the hit when the real estate market fell but many areas of the world’s largest and most desirable destinations remain far beyond the budget of a middle-income family in the United States. Compared to a lot of the world’s biggest cities, it seems that properties in the United States, even in the priciest locations, are a lot cheaper.

The most expensive price per square foot in the U.S. is in New York City at $1,068. To most Americans, that may seem too much, but in Paris, the average price per square foot is at a whopping $3,287, which is almost three times the price of New York.

If you want to pay the least amount as possible for your real estate, consider Houston, TX, or, if you want to move out of the country, take on Santiago, Chile which cost around $54 and $160 per square foot respectively.  Whether you want to take the cheapest, expensive, or something in between, there are many locations around the world that you can choose to fit your budget.