Category Archives: Real Estate

Couple with agent visiting the property

Factors to Consider When Buying a House

Couple with agent visiting the propertyPurchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you make in life. It can be scary and exciting at the same time. In the rush of the moment, you might miss out on important tips that may end up messing your chances of closing in a good deal.

It is, therefore, important to consider the following guidelines when buying your home.

1. Compare different lenders’ rates

One key trap that many house buyers fall into is talking to a single lender. They end up with the only deal they came across without considering other options. You should avoid this pitfall by shopping around for several lenders.

Get to compare the different mortgage rates offered in Washington before settling down on one. It is recommended that you talk to at least three different lenders in the process. You may end up saving quite a huge amount of money or negotiating a favorable mortgage that will not overburden you.

Consult a mortgage broker who will help you understand the loan terms, lender fees and compare the rates. Loan officers will also assist you in navigating the possible roadblocks that may lie ahead of you in the home-buying process.

2. Find out the real cost of the house

Enlighten yourself on all the costs of buying and maintaining a home to make a well-informed decision. It is important to understand all the tax implications on your mortgage and how they will affect you.

Also, ascertain that the mortgage payment does not exceed the recommended 30% of your gross income. Establish whether your new neighborhood has a Home Owners Association and their monthly contributions beforehand.

Have a thorough home inspection ran to establish the repairs and maintenance that the house might require and how much they cost. Basic house maintenance may cost you up to 3% of the home’s purchase price annually. If the house requires major repairs such as a new roof or an HVAC system, then be prepared to part with a large amount of money.

3. Get a good location

The location of your home really matters as it may directly affect your joy and satisfaction. Research about the state of the neighborhood to know more about its safety and general condition. Find out the accessibility of social amenities in the surrounding.

Ask about the susceptibility to natural calamities such as flooding. It is also essential to establish whether the value of the property has increased. This information will tell you whether the area has grown over time or not.

4. Yes, size matters

Couple looking at the house

When buying a home, it is important that you balance between your present and future considerations to choose the ideal size. Thinking about the future, you may require extra room for your children.

However, that may not be affordable at the moment, and you have to live in reality. Consider taking the space you can comfortably afford at the moment and plan for it repurposing accordingly in the future.

Whether buying a home for the first time or the umpteenth time, it is important that you take into consideration the size and the location of the home, the real cost of the house and talk to different lenders. Only settle after getting a satisfactory deal.

Suburban neighborhood with cars parked in front

U.S. Housing Market in 2019: 6 Predictions Buyers and Sellers Should Know

Suburban neighborhood with cars parked in frontThe year 2018 has been eventful for the real estate industry. The housing market was a roller coaster that has seen incredibly low interest rates reach the highest point in over seven years and the growth of home prices slow down. Sellers still own the upper hand, but buyers have begun to feel optimistic about the future.

Will 2019 bring wild ups and downs too? Let’s explore the six popular predictions of many real estate authorities.

1. Interest Rates Will Rise

Any mortgage broker in Fort Myers expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates about three times next year. Historically, the mortgage rates by the end of 2019 are likely to remain low based on historical levels. While such rate movements can reduce the overall purchasing power of aspiring homeowners or refinancers across the country, they can’t single-handedly scare borrowers.

Despite moderate interest rate hikes, the surge of millennial demand may prove to be strong enough to keep loan originators busy. This is highly probable since many members of this generation will turn 30 in 2019, which is just about the prime home-ownership age.

2. Home Prices Will Keep Heading North

Property values will still go up, but price growth won’t be as rapid as sellers have been used to seeing. Current homeowners can enjoy more gains, particularly in smaller cities that can benefit from migration. First-time homebuyers might flock to more affordable areas and away from major metros.

3. Inventory Levels Will Increase

Supply still won’t keep up with demand, but higher inventory levels will welcome the first waves of buyers next year. Although this won’t put sellers at a disadvantage, the incrementally increasing number of properties on the market won’t make the situation worse for aspiring homeowners.

4. Sales Will Decrease

Greater inventory isn’t expected to boost overall sales because it’s concentrated in high-growth areas. In fact, experts expect even lower loan volumes in 2019. The lethal combination of property value increases and interest rate hikes will probably price more borrowers out next year.

5. More Borrowers Will Grab an ARM

Agent handing a key to a new houseAdjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) will become extra fashionable to buyers in the coming months, especially when agreeing to a 5% fixed rate for 30 years feels scary for now. A 7/1 ARM with 3% will probably be one of the best deals in 2019 for those buying a house they might not retire in. It’s not crazy to anticipate that ARMs will represent one-tenth of all mortgages in the year ahead.

6. Disruptors Will Continue to Threaten Traditionalists

Modern technology won’t stop disrupting the real estate industry in 2019. Silicon Valley will keep on discomforting conservatives, and lenders will need to embrace the changes. Artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency are some of the forces that will further break the mold of the American housing market.

Not a lot of properties are predicted to change hands in 2019, but this isn’t necessarily bad news. The future remains bright for the industry because slow property appreciation will render homeownership more affordable and low sales will give inventory a chance to recover.

Four Blunders Committed by First-Time Homebuyers

Couple holding keys to new house
Buying a home is something that many Americans aspire to accomplish. Yes, it can be difficult, which is why fulfilling it will always be a big deal. A lot of people rush the process, and they often end up having problems. You need to keep in mind that home acquisition is a painstaking process. If you do not subscribe to your idea, you have more risks of committing costly mistakes, something that you obviously do not want to happen.

This is why you need to be careful when buying a property. You will always have to think things twice until you become sure of your decision. You should also learn from the mistakes of other homebuyers. If you do not know where to start, let this article be your simple guide.

Below are some of the situations where many homebuyers are at fault. Reading them may inspire you to come up with ideas to better your plan.

Mistake #1: Buying more than what you can afford

Face it: homes are often a barometer of a person’s status. They tell you a lot about a person, their background, and their lifestyle. If you are looking for a home based on these criteria, you are bound to fail, especially if you do not have the money to support and sustain it. Do not fixate over living in a fancy neighborhood. Do not get yourself a big house if you only plan to have a small family. In short, do not be emotional when buying a property.

Mistake #2: Picking one lender

When it comes to funding your down payment, it is important that you ask around and compare. Many homebuyers make the mistake of sticking to one lender only. And this is quite problematic, as you run the risk of missing out on mortgage lenders in Fresno that might have better offers. What you should do at this point is come up with a list of possible lenders, ask their offers, and compare.

Mistake #3: Not having contingency funds

Man holding keys
Yes, you may already have the budget for your down payment. But you need to understand that payments do not stop there. On top of your monthly mortgage payments, you will have to take care of other fees. You may not realize it now, but you will have to shoulder insurance costs, moving in costs, and even cosmetic requirements. This is why you will need to have a contingency fund, which may come from your savings. But make sure that you have a separate savings account to accommodate your other family needs and other emergency needs.

Mistake #4: Being too picky

It’s okay to be picky about houses. After all, it may be your life’s single biggest purchase. But do not be too picky to the point that you have missed other opportunities. Be practical and always think of the time. Otherwise, you will end up not having a good home.

These are only some of the mistakes of many homebuyers that you want to avoid. Doing so will help increase your odds of getting the perfect home.

Mortgage Broker: Qualities to Look For

mortgage broker with couple

One of the most important individuals you would have to work with at least once in your life is a mortgage broker. Finding the right one is the key to having a stable financial standing, while at the same time pay for the investment you have always dreamt of making.

However, like other professional services, finding a mortgage broker is not always a walk in the park. Even industry leader Altius Mortgage would agree. Avoid making the wrong decision by knowing the qualities to look for in mortgage brokers in Salt Lake City before signing a contract.

If you are looking for a guide, look for these traits in a mortgage broker.

A good listener

There are times that one or either of you has to compromise. As a client, you have your own preferences. As a mortgage broker, they know the ideal choices to make. However, sometimes, these two sets of considerations do not always match.

A good mortgage broker is one who is able to listen and take your concerns into consideration without compromising the quality of the house you buy and your mortgage terms. Find one who listens, while at the same time, one who communicates well. As a bonus, find one that can marry your wants as well as the ideal mortgage terms for your specific financial situation.


Mortgage loans consist of numerous details. These details are all important and should be taken care of properly. This should be a non-negotiable since one small mistake on your home loan application could mean huge consequences that you cannot get out of easily or without paying a hefty price.

Working with a broker who is not only organized but is also attentive to detail can definitely help give you the results you need and the peace of mind you deserve.

Honest and trustworthy

mortgage broker with couple shaking hands

A mortgage broker will be dealing with a lot of sensitive personal information. Thus, it is important to work with one who you can truly trust. It’s not to say that there are a lot of dishonest agents who are out to scam you, but the point is that you can never be too careful.

Trust to your gut feeling and be observant with how they handle any situation at hand. Also, do your research; ask around, and search online whether you are dealing with a reliable broker.

Charges reasonably

Mortgage brokers do not offer their services for free. In fact, some people choose to skip hiring one due to fear of exorbitant fees. A good mortgage broker, however, is one who charges reasonably while at the same time, delivers results that you want.

Finding a mortgage broker might not be a breeze, but with some knowledge an effort, you would be able to find the right one. Also, after you find a good mortgage broker, do make sure you get your money’s worth by letting them do the legwork for you. Their services don’t come cheap, so don’t hesitate to ask for their help to the full extent of their expertise.

Three Ways to Find the Right Forever Home

couple have found their right homeA house is probably the largest investment a person will spend money on in their lifetime. The cost of a house could go up to a hundred thousand dollars, which is why it is crucial that you pick a home that responds to how you live your life.

The following can help you land the house that will be appropriate for your lifestyle and needs:

1. Purchase land and house

If you do not have the patience to construct a home from scratch, you might want to buy an existing property package. This way, you will be able to easily pick a house that would work for you as you can visit and check it out.

Ask real estate agents who have house and land packages around Whittlesea offerings and ask for their help and advice on the matter.

2. Make a list of deal breakers

When you are looking for a house, you need to have a list of features that are non-negotiable. These “must-haves” must be in the final list of houses that you are considering to purchase. More importantly, you need to be realistic about your expectations with regards to the house that you will buy.

3. Pick an accessible location

Location is a big consideration for a lot of home buyers. If you want a basic yardstick on how to determine accessibility, it should be near enough areas that you frequent. These areas can include your children’s school, your own workplace and the like.

When buying a house, you should always make sure that you pick out the home that fits well with your needs. This will make the investment worth making, especially considering that it costs a lot of money.

Moving and Relocating Tips

Stay on Track with an Epic Corporate Relocation To-Do List

Moving and Relocating TipsEstablishing a schedule for a corporate move may seem easy. After all, you have made many schedules in your line of work it is almost second nature. Still, you may not realize there is a need for multiple task lists for different timeframes as you prepare for the move.
This guide outlines the necessary steps for a smooth and well-coordinated move for your business.

Working backward from the day of the move

Having set the final day and hour of the move, the real preparation work begins. The final move out date is the day when everything must be brought out of the space you are currently occupying. By working backward, you can list down the necessary tasks and assign people who are expected to perform them. Since work continues in the company as you approach the moving date, the staff must also be ready.

By planning early and well, there is no reason to stress over anything when the van line services provider arrives to bring all the stuff you have packed to the new location.

Assigning tasks two months prior to the move

Creating a move team can be fun. Assign a moving coordinator for each department who will assemble his or her own team. During the first meeting with the department coordinators, you must establish the areas of responsibility and regular move coordination meetings.

While packing office equipment and assigning folks specific tasks, the company is simultaneously preparing the new space. Another important task is to meet with the employees to orient them on the move, and to present layout plans for the new space.

Packing and labeling materials may fall short or problems may arise while preparing office equipment for the move. The overall coordinator should find time to discuss priorities during the move week, as well as have the presence of mind to troubleshoot. It helps if the entire pool of employees is working as one and following a clear plan of action.

Contractor putting tiles on the floor

Tools Used For Tile Cutting

Contractor putting tiles on the floorTiles are currently the number one option for most property owners. These include stone, ceramic, porcelain, marble, terrazzo and granite among others. When working with tiles, their shaping and precise cutting will be the primary determinant of an exceptional look and their durability.

Tile cutting tools will hence be a crucial part of your job and generally the one you use most. As such, you might need replacement parts frequently from your tile cutter parts supplier. To minimise these replacements, you should match your tile cutter tool to your job. Here is a guide to help you match the tool and your tile cutting.

Manual Tile Cutter

This is a steel tool with a cutting wheel made from tungsten carbide. It is used for making quick and accurate straight cuts. It is sometimes called a tile hand cutter, snap cutter or tile snapper. Manual tile cutters are typically used for cutting tiles measuring less than 12×12 inches. They are inexpensive but best-suited for small construction projects.

Hand-Held Tile Saw

This tool requires more skill and practice compared to a manual tile cutter. Hand-held tile saws are used for trimming tiles with wooden trims like those in round holes or doorways and light sockets. They use a round diamond blade measuring around four inches. Hand-held tile saws are however noisy and throw up a lot of debris.

Tile Nipper

A tile nipper closely resembles a pair of pliers. It is hardened using carbide to strengthen it for tile cutting. A tile nipper is the most straightforward tile cutting tool available and is generally used for quick trims and making precise bites.

With the above tidbits, you are now better-placed to match your task and the tile cutting tool. When replacing any part of your tile cutting machine, ensure you get it from a reputable dealer. This guarantees the durability of your tool and its optimal performance.

Things to Look Out for When Purchasing Property

House For SaleBuying a house, whether it is your first or not, is a huge step. The last thing you want is to lose your hard-earned money to real estate fraud. To avoid this devastating experience, it is always prudent to carry out a compliance check before making an offer.

While there is legal recourse should you fall victim, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, before you decide to invest in real estate in Hawera, consider the following tips from First National Mills Gibbon.


Be sure that the house has a clean deed with no mortgages or borrowing against it. Ensure that the property you are interested in has not been sold to another party and that the owner of the house is listed on the deed.

State of the house

Get a professional for valuation to avoid being defrauded into paying more than a property is worth. Get the house inspected focusing on the walls, electrical wiring, insulation, roof, drainage and plumbing.

It would be costly not to have an inspection done since you might spend even more money to fix issues found after you have relocated to the new house.


Explore the neighbourhood and talk to the locals to get to know more about the area. Be sure to find out if the area is secure, prone to bad weather or pest infestations. If you do not get information about the neighbourhood, you could end up with a property that is difficult to live in or resell.

Purchasing a new house can be confusing, especially if this is your first time. Creating a checklist with all parts that need a closer inspection or more repairs will definitely help. Remember that you are not just buying a place to stay, but also an investment.

Would You Choose Eco-Friendly Funerals? You Could Be Among These Groups

funeral pink wreathPrepaid funeral plan companies have observed a trend of embracing eco-friendly funerals in the UK driven by public concern for conserving the environment. Have you, however, wondered for a moment, the kind of people that opt for this kind of burial instead of following the traditional techniques of burying?

Here are four groups of people that prefer ‘eco funerals.’

The Pragmatic

Pragmatics opt for natural funerals because of the low cost of this burial approach. Unlike the traditional burying process that requires embalming, cemetery services, and caskets, eco-friendly funerals use biodegradable fabric or containers to bury the deceased.

Moreover, the minimal process requirements for this burial type attract a low cost, which is a plus for pragmatics.

Nature Lovers

Some people love nature; hence, they prefer to have their burial grounds favour and preserve mother nature. They, therefore, choose to have eco-friendly burials either in a field with the trees instead of the usual tombstone in cemeteries.

Certain Religions

For some individuals, green funeral is not a choice, but a requirement according to the religious beliefs and faith to which they subscribe. Some of these include the Jewish, Wiccans, and Islamic faith, who believe in using shrouds in place of caskets.


A majority of people are opting for green funerals nowadays to conserve the environmental resources and minimise their carbon footprint on the planet. Traditional burial methods are responsible for the ecological impact from the concrete, the wood, and steel for caskets and the embalming fluids.

When the time comes, you too could choose the type of burial you want for yourself to save your loved ones the stress of deciding. Discuss with your loved ones the different approaches as well as their respective costs with the help of an expert and begin saving for your burial.

Investor discussing her investment

Investing in Properties With the Help of FHA Multifamily Financing Services

Investor discussing her investmentInvestors can borrow money for multifamily dwellings with assurance from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The various FHA multifamily financing services are multifamily mortgages insured by the FHA with funds issued by a lender. These funds are used to buy properties with more than five units and follow FHA loan limits and qualifications.

Loan Limits, Rates and Down Payment

The FHA Multifamily Acquisition loans have a loan limit of $57,133 per unit for non-elevator buildings and $66,657 for buildings with an elevator. The interest rates vary from 3.2% to 4.9%, with a minimum of 15% of the total price. There should be at least five units with kitchen and baths.

Additionally, there should be no major repairs on the unit and minor repairs must have been completed within a year. The property must have undergone rehab or constructed more than three years prior to applying for an FHA loan. The FHA does not set the loan rate; instead, they insure the loan with approved lenders.

Apartment Buildings

The loan facility is aimed at allowing or expanding on residential buildings for investors. These include high-rise buildings with elevators, as well as detached and non-detached buildings. Predominantly residential buildings with some commercial spaces are also allowed. A collection of single family homes grouped as a multifamily property is allowed as well.

The FHA insures loans for multifamily properties in good condition for investors and borrowers who would manage these properties and keep them in good working conditions. To protect the lender, the FHA also wants to ensure that the investors have good credit standing and can manage multifamily properties.

The FHA doesn’t have any mandate to provide loans. Instead, it acts as a third party for multifamily property loans. The agency insures the loan for a lender. This helps make it easier for the borrower to find a lender. In turn, the lender would be able to release loans faster. The multifamily financing makes it easy for borrowers to invest in residential properties for lease or rent.