Your Essential Moving Checklist

Map out everything you need to do, week by week, until the big day.

When it comes to moving, proper organization is the defining difference between ultimate success and complete failure.

Even if you’re already an excellent organizer, you might still feel overwhelmed by the number of relocation-related tasks you have to complete before moving day — unless you find a way to bring order to the chaos.

Here’s a moving timeline that will do the trick. It will help you organize your time, prioritize your tasks, track your progress, and reduce moving stress. What’s more, you’ll never forget anything important, because your week-by-week moving checklist will remind you of what to do every single day until moving day.

Eight weeks before moving day

Organizing a safe, efficient, and trouble-free relocation requires about two months of careful planning and hard work. So, start your moving preparations about eight weeks before the big day:

  • Start looking for an appropriate new home in your future area (you may have to start sooner if you’re moving to a particularly hot real estate market).
  • Inventory your possessions and decide what you’re going to take to your new home.
  • Research your moving options and decide if you’re going to move on your own or use professional moving services.

Six weeks before moving day

  • Contact a few trustworthy movers and request an in-house estimation of your relocation costs. If you’ve decided on a DIY move, contact several truck rental companies and compare their rates and conditions.
  • Review your finances and designate your moving budget.
  • Notify all the relevant people and institutions of your move: your landlord (if you’re a renter), employer, family physician, children’s school (if applicable), and bank, for starters.
  • Start looking for a trustworthy health provider and a good school for your kids in your new city.
  • Schedule your move and book your chosen moving company (or book a rental truck of appropriate size for the day of your move).

Four weeks before moving day

  • Obtain your and your family’s medical records and your children’s school records.
  • Take your pet to the vet for a complete checkup and get all the necessary papers: vaccination records, health certificates, etc.
  • Get rid of unwanted items. Organize a moving sale, sell items online, donate them to charity, or give them away to relatives and friends.
  • Obtain packing supplies and start packing the items you won’t need before moving day. Make sure you don’t pack any nonallowable items.
  • Cancel subscriptions to delivery services and memberships to clubs and organizations.

Two weeks before moving day

  • If you’re driving to your new home, have your car serviced to make sure your road trip will go as smoothly as possible. If you’re flying to your new city, book your ticket and find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
  • Change your address with the United States Postal Service.
  • Transfer utilities — arrange for services in your old home to be disconnected the day after your move. Contact service providers in your new city to have utilities running in your new home on move-in day.
  • Reserve a parking place for the moving truck (directly in front of the entrance to your home) and an elevator for the time of your move (if applicable).

One week before moving day

  • Contact your moving company and confirm that everything is going according to plan.
  • Say your goodbyes — organize a farewell party, spend some quality time with your closest friends, visit your favorite places in town, etc.
  • Check on your packing progress. Most of your belongings should be packed up and labeled by this point.
  • Prepare an “open first” box that contains all the essentials you’re going to need as soon as you arrive in your new home.
  • Hire a sitter to look after your children and/or pets on moving day (if necessary).
  • Check if you’ve paid all the bills, picked up your clothes from the dry cleaners, returned library books and borrowed items, etc.

Two days before moving day

  • Finish packing — leave out only a few items you can’t do without during the last couple of days in your old home, and the cleaning supplies you’re going to need to clean the place before leaving it for the last time.
  • Defrost and clean your fridge and get all your household appliances ready to move — empty them, clean them, and make sure they’re fully dry and safely wrapped for transportation.
  • Disassemble large furniture pieces and pack them for shipment.
  • Make sure you have all valuables and important documents with you.

Moving day

  • Have a good night’s rest and get up early in the morning to have enough time for last-minute moving tasks.
  • Double-check your home for forgotten items.
  • Meet your hired movers and provide them with all the information they need to perform a quick and efficient move.
  • Keep kids and pets away from the hectic moving procedures.
  • Carefully read all the paperwork you need to sign.
  • Prepare some refreshments for your movers and have some cash ready to tip them if you’re satisfied with their work.
  • Give the truck driver your exact new address and your phone number.
  • Clean your old home, lock it safely, and bid it farewell. The time has come to set foot on the road to your new life!

Even though most moving tasks are common for all residential moves, you can modify them to meet your personal needs and requirements. Certain aspects of your move will be unique and will require a different approach, so personalize this moving timeline checklist and make it work perfectly for you.

Related:

Source: zillow.com

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time—Without Losing Your Mind

Ah, to be a first-time home buyer again: How easy it was to buy a home when you weren’t carrying another mortgage on your back at the same time!

If you’re looking to graduate from first-timer to repeat buyer, you know things are about to get much trickier. Unless you’re a bona fide house collector, you’ll have to sell your home in order to buy anew—adding a whole separate layer of anxiety to what you already know is a stressful home-buying process.

In an ideal world, you’d buy a new home, move, and then, when all the dust settles, deal with the turmoil of selling.

But for most people, that’s totally unrealistic. Not only does it cost a lot, since you’ll be paying two mortgages at the same time, but sellers of your potential new home might be quick to judge if you’re holding on to your current home.

Drew Snyder, a Realtor® with Snyder Sutton Real Estate in Topanga, CA, says one of his clients had difficulty getting sellers to “take them seriously unless the house was on the market or in escrow. As soon as we put it on [the market], they were considered as serious buyers.”

So, while shopping for a new home and selling your current home at once may sound like a real estate nightmare, it may be your best option.

Here’s what you need to know to make sure both processes go as smoothly as possible.

Know the market first

Before you start seriously searching for a new home—or put your current home on the market—make sure you have a solid understanding of the housing market in your area (and the area where you’re planning to buy).

Ask your real estate agent: Is the market weighted toward buyers or sellers? Only then will you be able to fully strategize. In real estate, your best plan of action may depending on whether sellers or buyers are in the more powerful position.

One way to play it safe is to keep your mind open to lots of buying options. If it’s a seller’s market, you might find that you’re able to get your home sold quickly, but that the homes you tour with your real estate agent just aren’t up to par.

If you can widen your search and find multiple homes you’re interested in, you’re less likely to find yourself in trouble if a purchase falls through—selling your current home won’t leave you stranded.

Another way to protect yourself is to hire an appraiser and price your old home fairly.

If it’s a buyer’s market, you have to know that your home has lots of competition. You may not have the time or energy to update your home, but one thing you can do is set a reasonable price that will get buyers interested.

Now is decidedly not the time for delusions of grandeur: Two extra months on the market because you couldn’t humble yourself to lower the price means two months that you’ll be paying double mortgages. Two very long months…

Plan your schedule carefully…

You might be asking: Should you try to buy first, then sell—or vice versa? Both have their risks and rewards.

Selling first makes getting a mortgage easier, but it also means you’ll need to find a temporary place to live.

Buying first means that moving will be easier, but it also skews your debt-to-income ratio, making it harder to qualify for a new mortgage—not to mention the difficulty of juggling two monthly house payments.

Your down payment can be difficult to come up with, too, if all your money is tied up in your old home.

“It’s walking a tightrope,” says Gary DiMauro, a Realtor in New York’s Hudson Valley. And he’s not just talking about scheduling: Your finances will be on the high wire, too.

When determining whether you should sell or buy first, think beyond “How can I make the move as easy as possible?” Instead ask: “Can I handle two mortgages? What if my home sells for less than its listing price?”

Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re prepared to accept the consequences: either having to store your stuff and rent temporarily, or undergoing the financial burden of dual mortgages.

… but don’t rely on timing

When buying and selling a home simultaneously, “There are so many external circumstances,” says DiMauro. “I’ve yet to see it really work smoothly and efficiently.”

Remember: You’re not the only party in this equation. For every seller there’s a buyer, for every buyer a seller.

While things might appear to be working smoothly when viewing your master plan from above, that doesn’t take into account the varying fortunes of the people you will be working with.

Closings are rife with delays. Your buyers might have difficulty securing their mortgage; your home inspector may bring up issues that need to be fixed before you can move in.

“You’re relying on the seller of the place that you’re buying to be ready to move, in concert with the buyer of your house,” DiMauro says.

So even if you’ve planned to sell your home first and are prepared to rent while buying, know that even the best-laid plans go awry—and that you might end up juggling both mortgages. Preparing yourself for this (however remote) possibility ahead of time will ensure a smooth transition.

Know your financial solutions

For those who choose to sell first, the process is relatively straightforward: taking on the additional cost of a rental between homes.

However, you might want to consider the option of a rent-back agreement, where you negotiate with the lenders and buyers to be able to remain in the property for a maximum of 60 to 90 days—often in exchange for a lower selling price or for rent paid to the buyers.

This can relieve some of the pressure of finding a new home, giving you additional time to house hunt.

But if you’re buying first, talk to your Realtor about ways to decrease your financial burden and risk. Here are the two most popular options for buyers:

  • Contract contingency: Buyers can request that their new home purchase be dependent on the successful sale of their old home. If you’re looking in a competitive market, this may not be a good option. However, if the seller of your intended home has had difficulty attracting interest, this may be a good deal for all parties involved—assuming that you can persuade them that your home will sell quickly.
  • Bridge loan: A bridge loan allows you to own two homes simultaneously if you don’t have deep pockets for a second down payment. This option is especially attractive if you’d planned to sell your home first and use the proceeds to buy the second. It functions as a short-term loan, intended to be repaid upon the sale of your original house.

Don’t let fear rush you

If your home has sold but you haven’t found a new place to live, don’t let anxiety push you toward a bad decision.

DiMauro usually recommends that his clients preemptively plan on a short-term rental “so they don’t feel stressed or pushed into something that they would not normally be interested in,” he says.

“They shouldn’t make a purchase because they felt like they were pressured from the time constraints.”

Found the perfect home right on schedule? That’s great. But don’t feel that you have to compromise on things that are important to you just because you need to find a home.

Conversely, don’t accept a bid that you feel is too low just because your finances are strained by two mortgages. If you have a temporary apartment set up, you’re less likely to compromise.

Certainly, selling and buying a house simultaneously will be stressful—but carefully considering and planning for the risks and hurdles can mitigate the stress.

Source: realtor.com

22 Cities Where Home Appreciation Is Spiking

Couple looking at their old home
Photo by Hurst Photo / Shutterstock.com

Extreme demand for homes is pushing home values up at a rate not seen since before the Great Recession, a new Zillow report finds.

Several trends — including new millennial homebuyers, record-low interest rates, trends related to the coronavirus pandemic and the relatively small pool of homes for sale — have converged to heat up the market. The hot sellers’ market is a contrast to flat growth in rental prices nationally, as we reported in “Rent Prices Have Dropped in These 9 Formerly Hot Markets.”

The Zillow Home Value Index rose 9.1% from January 2020 to January 2021, the report says. Year-over-year home value growth hasn’t been this high since June 2006.

That rate may even pick up a bit: Zillow economists expect values to rise 10.1% from January 2021 to January 2022.

The demand has shortened the length of time that homes stay on the market, to a median of just 18 days as of mid-January. Compare that to 46 days at the same time last year and the year before.

A demographic bomb is a factor in the hot market. Millennials — defined by Zillow as Americans ages 25-34 — are entering their peak homebuying years. The number of these millennials increased by 12% — or, about 4.9 million people — between 2010 and 2020.

The generation’s size adds to the housing demand. Also, younger buyers are less likely than older ones to sell a previous home when they buy, which is expected to help keep the pool of homes for sale tight.

Government-stoked low mortgage rates — averaging 2.74% for a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage in January — are driving demand as buyers try to seize the opportunity to either pay less for a home or buy a more expensive one than they otherwise could.

Says Zillow:

“An extraordinary number of home buyers, with budgets supercharged by rock-bottom mortgage interest rates, are competing over a limited supply of homes for sale.”

The pandemic is a final factor. Many workers are now clocking in virtually instead of at the office, driving some to seek larger homes and others to move to smaller, more-affordable markets, Zillow says.

While home values increased in all of the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. from January 2020 to January 2021, some have seen steeper growth rates than others.

Here are the 22 major markets where home values grew 10% or more, along with their typical home price and their home price growth rate:

  • Phoenix: $335,975 (up 17.1% from January 2020 to January 2021)
  • San Jose, California: $1,314,799 (up 14.2%)
  • Austin, Texas: $384,446 (up 13.7%)
  • Salt Lake City: $436,390 (up 13.7%)
  • San Diego: $689,361 (up 13.5%)
  • Seattle: $594,223 (up 12.8%)
  • Tampa, Florida: $257,499 (up 12.8%)
  • Milwaukee: $219,381 (up 12.1%)
  • Cincinnati: $208,352 (up 12%)
  • Providence, Rhode Island: $357,761 (up 12%)
  • Riverside, California: $433,226 (up 11.7%)
  • Buffalo, New York: $193,583 (up 11.4%)
  • Sacramento, California: $478,817 (up 11.3%)
  • Indianapolis: $204,141 (up 11.3%)
  • Memphis, Tennessee: $174,063 (up 11.3%)
  • Cleveland: $176,069 (up 11.1%)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: $265,397 (up 10.9%)
  • Columbus, Ohio: $234,276 (up 10.8%)
  • Philadelphia: $277,775 (up 10.6%)
  • Kansas City, Missouri: $227,059 (up 10.6%)
  • Pittsburgh: $178,282 (up 10.4%)
  • Detroit: $198,979 (up 10.3%)

If you’re in the market for a new home or refinancing for your existing home, check out the mortgage rate comparison tools in Money Talks News’ Solutions Center.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

Can You Sell a House and Buy Another at the Same Time? We Explore Your Options

When you are in the process of moving, the process of buying your new home and selling your old one usually involves choosing which one comes first—to buy or to sell. Selling your old home first is often a more sensible option, as this ensures you have the needed down payment to cover your new property. But if you sell and don’t have a new home waiting for you, you might end up scrambling for a place to stay and someplace to store your belongings. For a family with kids or with pets, that can be especially inconvenient.

Buying before selling is an alternative, but when market demand is low and you can’t sell your old home quickly, you might end up with a lot more obligations than you can handle. You now have two homes to maintain and two mortgages to pay. If you’re on a tight budget, this could put you in hot water. 

What if you decide to buy and sell at the same time? This strategy can work well if you have reserves or some investments to sell to come up with the needed amounts to buy your new home if that occurs before your sell your old one. But if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to spare, you need to develop some ideas to push through. 

Selling and buying simultaneously will require some ingenuity on your part as this strategy calls for thoughtful planning to time your sales and purchases. While you may not control the entire housing market, there are steps you can take to make sure you pull off both transactions. 

We’ll fill you in on some of the options to make sure you succeed in selling your current property and seal the deal to your new home at the same time. We’ll also cover some contingencies just in case you encounter a gap between selling and buying so that you won’t end up homeless at the very least.  

Options for Buying and Selling at the Same Time 

As mentioned, there are several options you can explore when you plan to buy and sell at the same time. These alternatives can help you manage not only the buying-while-selling process, but it can also keep your stress levels at a minimum.

#1 Find a Cash Buyer for Your Home 

Selling your house requires exact timing and demand from the market. Some markets, like the Florida housing market, are quite in demand right now, but others may not be, so plan out your timeline accordingly and take that extra time you may need to sell into account. You can sell your house fast in areas with high demand if you partner with an instant home buyer or a real estate investment company that offers to pay in cash rather than waiting for buyers to have their mortgages approved. 

This way, selling your house gives you the needed resources to fund your next move when you’ve already closed the deal. If ever you’re still looking, accessible funds ensure you can find temporary arrangements until you’re ready to find a new home.

#2 Talk to a Lender 

In case market demands are low and you can’t sell your house quickly, you would need to consider if owning two homes are feasible for your budget. While cash reserves can get you as far as a few months of the double mortgage, you may need to sell a few of your assets to maintain both properties. 

If you find your savings or income insufficient, you can consider talking to a lender to generate some funding. They can provide you with several loan offers that use your home’s equity as a down payment for your purchase. 

One of them is a bridging loan, short-term financing that can work great when you’ve already chosen your new property and acquiring it is in the works. You can even add a contingency clause that your purchase will only go through if your bridging loan gets approved so you can walk away without any additional obligations.

Another option is to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that gives you greater flexibility to repay only the amount you use for buying your home. A HELOC uses your home’s equity as a basis to issue amounts you can use based on agreed terms that will help you get by until you sell your former home.

However, while these loans can give you access to immediate funds, they often come with considerable interests and lengths. It would be best to give it some careful thought before you take out any of these loans

#3 Make Attractive Offers 

Part of a successful strategy is to make attractive offers for the home that you want and the one you’re selling. Contingency offers help secure your intentions without you having to pay for unnecessary obligations. You can include a condition for the upcoming purchase if your current house sells. This can work to your advantage when you’re in a buyer’s market. It can also work if there is less demand for the home you desire. 

While having a contingency clause may at times weaken your offer, you counter this by offering a higher bid so the seller can wait until you’ve sold your house. You can even add in non-refundable earnest money to win the deal on your next dream home. 

#4 Make Gaps Work to Your Advantage

Sometimes circumstances do not work as planned, but don’t get disheartened. These are just momentary setbacks that may even give you time to improve your current home and increase its current market value. 

If you find yourself in your new home and stressing how to manage the former, you can consider renting it out to cover maintenance and mortgage costs. You can use Airbnb and other similar platforms to gain additional income from your property while the market is on a low. Once the conditions are right, you can sell your house for the price you want. 

If you take out a home equity loan, you can use it to renovate your old home and increase your home value. Some key features to spend on that have high ROIs include enhancing your curb appeal, taking care of house repairs early on, and updating your kitchen to give it a modern look. Spending considerable time and effort on your former property will surely enhance its chances of getting sold in the coming days. 

Conclusion 

Selling and buying are some of the less-traveled paths for homeowners because of their inherent risks. Taking on two mortgages when you do not have sufficient funds can be too much to handle, and taking out loans can add stress. 

You can make this strategy work to your advantage if you find the right tools to help you pull off both transactions simultaneously. Partnering with an instant house buyer can give you cash for your next purchase, while loans can provide you enough leeway to facilitate your move. Adding contingency offers allows you to address gaps as they happen without having to take on additional burdens or leaving you homeless at the very least.

Keep reading

Do You Pay Taxes When Selling Your House?
Great Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home: the 3 Areas with the Biggest ROI
Considering Buying a Home with a Crawl Space? Here’s What You Need to Know
A Brief Guide to Buying Real Estate: The Main Players in Your Next Home Search

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Should You Buy a New Home or an Old Home?

It’s time for another match-up, this time we’ll compare buying a new home versus purchasing an old one.

For the record, some home builders refer to existing homes as “used,” which sounds kind of silly considering we’re talking about a house and not a car.

Ultimately, it’s a marketing gimmick to sway you toward buying new as opposed to old, but let’s continue on to determine the pros and cons.

Millennials and Gen X Are Big on New Homes

types of home buyers

A recent report from the National Association of Home Builders found that interest in newly-built homes has surged.

They noted that during the fourth quarter of 2020, 41% of prospective buyers were searching for a newly-built home, double the 19% share a year earlier.

At the same time, the share interested in an existing home fell from 40% to 30%.

It’s even more pronounced when we break it down by generation, with 50% of Millennial and 48% of Gen X buyers looking to buy a new home.

Meanwhile, just 13% of Boomers indicated that they were looking for a new home vs. existing.

Interestingly, Gen Z is a little more into existing homes than Boomers with a 38% share, but still below that of Millennials and Gen X.

New Homes Are Untouched and Clean

  • The number one reason to buy a new home is probably the fact that it’s never been lived in
  • Some people may not like the idea of living somewhere that was previously occupied
  • It also might feature the newest amenities such as improved insulation and solar panels
  • And in theory you shouldn’t have to repair or renovate anything right away

The most obvious benefit to buying a new home as opposed to an old, existing, or used one is the fact that it’s brand spanking new.

It’s untouched, it’s clean, everything is in good working order and nothing needs to be repaired. At least that’s the hope.

That’s a pretty huge incentive to buy new. You won’t have to worry about the typical costs of homeownership for the first several years, right?

Another benefit to buying new is that the home (or townhouse or condo) should have all the latest amenities.

Remember when it was all the rage to have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops?

Well, today’s new homes come with solar panels, energy-saving windows, smart appliances, USB outlets, electric vehicle charging stations, thermostats and door locks you can control with your phone, and other features that might make your used home look really old, especially a few years down the line.

Aesthetics aside, these upgrades could actually save you a lot of money each year on utility costs because they’re designed to be cost-efficient, not just handy.  You might even get a tax break!

Not only that, but many of these new homes use low-VOC paints and flooring, which are supposedly better for your health. Who knows what lurks in some of the older homes?

Additionally, new home buyers often get the opportunity to fine-tune the home they buy by selecting certain features, colors, styles, etc., and even financing any add-ons into the mortgage loan amount.

It Can Be Easier to Buy a New Home

  • It might be easier to finance a new home with a mortgage
  • Home builders often have their own home loan divisions
  • So they’ll be motivated to work with you to get the deal done
  • But still take the time to shop around and negotiate since you don’t need to use their preferred company

And speaking of mortgages, most home builders have their own financing departments that make it easy to get a mortgage.

Whether it’s the best deal is another question, but if you simply want in, your odds are probably better with a new home.  After all, the builder has a vested interest to get you financing.

There’s probably also a lot less competition for a new home, seeing that you’re probably checking out a brand new neighborhood full of vacant homes to choose from.

This can be a huge advantage in a seller’s market, which we’re experiencing at the moment. Instead of a bidding war, you might be able to pick and choose from a selection of available properties.

You can even pick among different sizes and floor plans to get just the right amount of space, as opposed to having to conform to what’s available in the existing market.

You might be thinking, hey, this sounds great, sign me up now! Why on earth would I want a used home with dodgy popcorn ceilings and laminate countertops?

But wait, there’s more to homes than their shiny exteriors and what’s inside.

Don’t Forget About Location…

  • Location is and will always be the biggest property value driver
  • And new construction homes are often in less desirable areas
  • Or in the outskirts of urban areas because that’s where new land is available
  • Be sure to take that into consideration as a major tradeoff to buying a new home

Let’s face it; the old adage that location is everything in real estate is true. It’s always been true, and always will be true. That is, if you want to see your property actually go up in value.

And guess what. Brand new homes often ren’t being built in the best locations. When it comes down to it, there’s no space for a new development in an established or central location.

Sure, you might see a new condo development, but new homes most likely won’t be that central. They’ll be on the outskirts of town, or in a “trendy” or “up-and-coming” area.

In other words, there’s going to be a commute if you buy new, and the location might be questionable at best in terms of value.

There might even be multiple new developments surrounding yours, with tractors and hammering construction workers doing what they do all day long.

That being said, it is possible to buy a new home in an area that flourishes. One hint it’s the right area might be the stores that are built nearby, such as a Whole Food’s or Trader Joe’s.

Of course, with an existing or used home, you can buy in the heart of the city, or in an area you know well that is insulated by a lack of available space and construction.

That buffer means the property should hold up well in terms of value, even during a downturn, assuming the area isn’t subject to obsolescence.

A used home might also give you the ability to walk to work, or to popular restaurants, bars, shops, and so on.

At the same time, a used home doesn’t necessarily have to be old inside. If you shop around, you might be able to find an old home that has already been remodeled to your liking.

And even if it hasn’t, that shouldn’t stop you from buying it and making renovations if it’s got good bones.

New Homes Are 20% More Expensive

  • Ultimately you pay a premium for a new home (just like a brand new car)
  • Apparently the cost is 20% more on average per a study from Trulia
  • So while a new home might be cheaper with regard to maintenance and renovation
  • You still need to consider the upfront cost to get an apples-to-apples comparison

A while back, Trulia determined that new homes (built in 2013-2014) cost roughly 20% more than similar existing homes.

They also found that two in five Americans would prefer to buy a new home, compared to just 21% opting for an existing home and 38% declaring no preference.

But when it came to that 20% markup, only 17% would actually pay the premium to get the new house.

So to get this straight, you might have to pay 20% for a new home AND you won’t be in a central location.

You’ll be in an untested location that might wind up being a ghost neighborhood in a decade if things don’t work out as planned.

During the most recent housing crisis, a lot of new home communities were hit the hardest, whereas existing homes saw their values decline but prop back up over time.

Of course, if you opt for new you’ll probably have all the latest technology and no major issues.

And if you go with an older home, you might have major bills on your hands when the roof gives out, or you discover serious plumbing issues.

So you’ll need to do your due diligence when buying an old home to ensure the property is in adequate shape. This means paying for a quality inspection (or two).

Then again, I’ve heard really negative stuff about new homes too, with many claiming workmanship has gone to you know what these days.

In other words, you’re not out of woods if you buy new either, though there might be some kind of warranty in place for a while.

At the end of the day, it’s probably okay to consider both new and used homes when looking for a property, and including both types should increase your odds of finding a winner.

As long as you take the time to inspect the property and the neighborhood, negotiate the right place, and make sure you can afford the place, you should be okay.

Lastly, you should make sure you actually want to own as opposed to rent because owning comes with many more responsibilities, whether you buy new or used.

Advantages to Buying a New Home

  • Brand new, clean, no major issues
  • Move-in ready (no wait or work to be done)
  • Cool new technology
  • Green features could reduce utility costs and/or provide tax incentives
  • Trendy design
  • Ability to customize
  • Can finance additions into mortgage
  • Possibly easier to get financing with home builder
  • Less competition, more choices on floor plans

Disadvantages to Buying a New Home

  • More expensive than buying used
  • Location probably isn’t ideal
  • Despite being new, workmanship might be questionable
  • Could be subject to costly HOAs, even if it’s a house
  • Neighborhood dynamic is unknown
  • Property values might be more volatile
  • Construction nearby (eyesore and noisy)
  • More cookie-cutter, less unique

Advantages to Buying an Existing Home

  • Possibly cheaper
  • Better, more central location
  • Can buy in an established school district
  • Can own in a more reputable and recognized neighborhood
  • Old house might have new upgrades
  • You can always renovate if need be
  • Older houses tend to have more character, custom design
  • Could actually be built better than a new home

Disadvantages to Buying an Existing Home

  • Harder to find an existing home (less inventory)
  • Might have major problems you don’t initially notice
  • Financing could be tricky (if unpermitted work, etc.)
  • Could still be more expensive than buying new
  • Fewer amenities, especially as homes get more tech-integrated
  • The neighborhood might be in decline
  • More competition to get your offer accepted
  • Might have to settle for a smaller, less ideal home to get right location

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

What To Consider Before Buying an Older Home

There is something so unique and wonderful about older homes. Not only do they have character, but they also have a story. Yet, while they are charming and beautiful, they also have some disadvantages that come with the age. To make sure that you are making the right decision for you and your family, we have compiled a few pointers on what to consider before buying an older home. Hopefully, this information will help you find the perfect new house to call home.

Condition of the Foundation

Nobody wants to buy a house with a bad foundation. Not only does that mean that the structural stability of the house is up for question, but that also means that the cost of fixing it is most likely going to be high. This is something that you must have checked out during your inspection. You don’t want to run into this problem or issue after you have already bought the home. You want the home you buy to be safe and secure, not cracked and costly.

All Things Electrical

The electricity should always be looked at and considered before buying a home. With age come outdated methods and equipment, especially for household electrical components. It is recommended that you update any outdated electrical components before you move into your new home.

Are There Plumbing Problems?

Having someone come into the home to identify the quality of the plumbing is a necessity. Knowing the condition of the plumbing ahead of time will allow you to fix anything that may be broken or in bad condition; that way, you can hopefully decrease any problems in the near future. Unfortunately, in some situations, this might be costly and might derail you from purchasing the home. However, being aware of these issues ahead of time will allow you to make that educated decision.

Energy Inefficiency

Since houses aren’t built the same way as they used to be, they are not as energy-efficient. Many older homes were built without insulation or have older appliances. Make sure that you hire a professional to come in and check the condition of your HVAC so that they can make sure it is safe and secure to use.

And while there are more aspects to keep in mind when buying an older home, these four are extremely important. This information covering what to consider before buying an older home will allow you to see the overall condition of the home and decide whether the home is right for you. After all, your home should be the happiest and safest place for you and your family!

Source: realtybiznews.com