MARY ANN QUINN's Blog
For many people, owning one home is enough. Even if a house is paid for, many people simply don't want the responsibility of taking care of two houses. They don't want the hassle of mowing two lawns, shoveling snow at two properties and repairing and replacing materials and appliances like roofs, automatic garage door openers and washers and refrigerators.
Work isn't the only thing driving people to buy two or more homes
But, there are instances where even two homes may not be enough. A job that requires frequent cross country travel is one time when owning one house may not be enough. This situation is familiar to entertainers and professional athletes.
Yet, people who don't entertain or compete at professional sports levels have bought a second or third home. Comfort isn't the only reason why these people take on more than one mortgage. Additional reasons besides frequent cross country travel that these and other Americans buy a second or third home include:
- Estate - Few things may be as helpful to adult children as the chance to own a house without taking on mortgage debt. To give their adult children this benefit, some Americans buy several houses and will them to their children.
- Taxes - Regardless of where a house is located, the property is attached to a tax write-off.
- Bi-coastal living arrangements - Military couples and other people may live in different regions of the country. Living out of a hotel for months at a time is too expensive. To combat hotel costs, bi-coastal couples may buy another house.
- Vacation home - It's not uncommon for Americans to buy or rent a vacation home like a shore house.
- Business - A second home can be used to operate a business out of.
- Extended family - If an in-law suite isn't large enough, a couple could buy their aging parents a separate house nearby.
Flipping houses isn't the only reason why people buy multiple houses
The chance to live turnkey at two or more locations, especially at locations that are far apart, can save you the hassle and the cost of paying for and checking in and out of hotels. Your adult children and relatives can visit you more, as they'll have more than one place to visit you at.
Pay off two or more houses and you may have more equity to pass along to your children. You may also have enough real estate to get approved for a business loan should your passion and vision be to launch a startup company.
Regarding business ownership, you may benefit from buying two or more houses in order to use one of the houses solely to operate your business. For example, you could use the house to manufacture jewelry, clothes, shoes or other products that you market and sell.
It may be overlooked, but owning multiple homes isn't just for people who flip houses. Owning multiple houses is also for people who want to build real estate equity, will a separate home to each of their children or have a space to operate a company without having to take on corporate real estate costs.
A condo offers a great opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living space without the hassle of home exterior maintenance. As such, many property buyers are exploring condos in cities and towns nationwide.
However, buying a condo sometimes can be tricky, particularly for property buyers who are unfamiliar with the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of purchasing a condo.
Let's take a look at three questions that condo buyers need to consider before they purchase a property.
1. Am I ready for condo life?
Owning a condo and owning a home are two very different things, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Like a homeowner, a condo owner has a property to call his or her own. But a condo community usually has a homeowners' association (HOA) in place that manages exterior maintenance and other tasks. This association also establishes rules and regulations that all condo owners must follow; otherwise, property owners may face fines.
Before you purchase a condo, it is paramount to prepare for condo life as much as possible. To do so, you may want to consult with friends or family members who have resided in condo communities over the years. These loved ones can share their condo living experiences with you to help you better understand what life will be like as a condo owner.
2. How much can I afford to pay for a condo?
Although you know that you'd like to purchase a condo, you still need to find out how much you can afford to pay for a property. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available to help you determine how much you can spend on a condo.
Consult with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your expectations.
In addition, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your condo search. If you enter the real estate market with a budget in hand, you can narrow your condo search and speed up the property buying process.
3. Do I need to employ a real estate agent?
Ultimately, a real estate agent is a must-have for any condo buyer, at any time. This housing market professional can teach you the ins and outs of real estate and ensure that you can make an informed condo purchase.
A real estate agent strives to provide you with an outstanding condo buying experience. To accomplish this goal, he or she will work with you, learn about your condo buying goals and help you plan accordingly.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest. He or she will offer condo buying recommendations and suggestions as you check out a variety of properties. This housing market professional is happy to respond to your condo buying queries as well.
Streamline the process of buying a condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move closer to acquiring an outstanding condo at an outstanding price.
Tired of living in the big city? No worries, as there is plenty of demand for residences in cities across the United States.
As a home seller, it is important to learn about a city's housing market. By doing so, you can understand what to expect before you list your property.
Ultimately, selling a home in the city can be a quick and simple process. Here are three tips to ensure you can add your residence to a city's real estate market and maximize the value of your house.
1. Check Out Comparable Residences That Are Currently Available
How does your home stack up against other houses in a particular city? Review comparable homes that are currently available, and you may be able to find ways to differentiate your residence from the competition.
Remember, an informed home seller understands the ins and outs of the local housing market. This individual will learn about his or her property's strengths and weaknesses, and as a result, discover ways to transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.
Emphasize your city home's interior and exterior as you search for ways to enhance your residence. A clean, uncluttered home interior will make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your house. Meanwhile, a dazzling home exterior will ensure your residence can make an unforgettable first impression on homebuyers.
2. Establish a Competitive Price for Your House
A competitive price can make a world of difference for home sellers in a big city. In fact, a home seller who prices his or her city home aggressively from the get-go may be able to streamline the home selling process.
To determine a fair price for a city residence, assess the prices of recently sold houses in your city. This housing market data will help you determine whether the current real estate market favors homebuyers or home sellers.
Also, don't forget to complete a home appraisal. This home evaluation will enable you to receive expert insights into problem areas throughout your home that you can correct before you list your residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is happy to serve home sellers in any way possible. This real estate professional knows what it takes to sell a city home and will allocate the necessary time and resources to promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers.
With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your city home. A real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence on social media and much more. Perhaps best of all, this real estate professional will respond to your home selling queries at any time.
Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to sell your city home. Use these home selling tips, and you can increase the likelihood that you'll be able to maximize the value of your residence.
Deciphering credit scoresMost major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get). When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score. Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a "safe" person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit. What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:
- 35%: your payment history
- 30%: your debt amount
- 15%: length of your credit history
- 10%: types of credit you have used
- 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)
What does this mean for taking out mortgages?A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that's not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well. If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:
- If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
- If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
- If you don't have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card