Jeff Rapson's Blog
When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, you’ll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.
The Expense Of Closing Costs
Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, you’ll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a seller’s market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much you’ll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that you’ll incur during the process of buying a home.
The Cost Of Maintaining A House
Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you’ll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house.
The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home
You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more.
Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny
If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If you’re not paying attention during the home inspection, you’ll be in for some surprises. That’s why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.
Buying a condo requires hard work and patience, particularly for property buyers who are searching for a condo that they can enjoy for years to come. Thus, there are many questions that condo buyers need to ask before they purchase a property, including:
1. What Does the Condo Include?
Although a condo will feature home essentials like bedrooms and bathrooms, there are other factors that condo buyers need to consider as well.
For example, does a condo offer reserved parking? If not, where will you park your car day after day? And if you invite guests to visit, where can they park their vehicles? These are just some of the questions you'll want to consider about a condo before you submit an offer. Ultimately, you'll want to ensure that you are comfortable with everything that a condo has to offer. And if a condo fails to meet your expectations, keep in mind that other properties may be available that satisfy your needs.
2. How Much Are the Homeowners Association (HOA) Fees?
Condo owners usually are responsible for their monthly mortgage costs, along with HOA fees.
HOA fees are used to cover property maintenance costs throughout a condo community. The costs ensure that your neighborhood will feature fresh-cut lawns, clear walkways and other great features that help it stand out from other neighborhoods. At the same time, HOA fees must be considered before you purchase a condo, as these costs can add up quickly.
In many instances, HOA fees may add several hundred dollars to your monthly expenses. As such, you should find out exactly how much your HOA fees will be prior to buying a condo.
Consult with your real estate agent to learn more about a condo community's HOA fees. By doing so, you can budget accordingly.
3. What Are the HOA Rules?
HOA rules may vary from community to community, and you should get a copy of these rules to determine whether they correspond to your lifestyle.
For example, some condo communities feature quiet hours. On the other hand, various condo communities may have rules in place to prevent condo owners from renting out their properties.
Your real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with a copy of the HOA rules for a particular condo community. Examine these requirements closely before you make your purchase decision, and you can understand how the HOA rules will impact your day-to-day life in a condo community.
No one should be forced to settle for an inferior condo. Fortunately, employing a real estate agent with condo experience can help you speed up the process of finding a terrific condo.
With support from an experienced real estate agent, you can browse a broad array of condos in any city or town. Plus, your real estate agent can offer details about HOA fees and rules, along with provide expert tips to help you secure the perfect condo at a great price.
Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of discovering your ideal condo.
You are required to get homeowners insurance when you purchase a home. You probably are so excited about buying a home that you neglect to learn the ins and outs of your policy. Unfortunately, there are many things that insurance won’t cover, yet many homeowners think that they are covered under their home insurance policy. Below, you’ll find some things that are often not covered by your home insurance, even though you might think they are.
While your home insurance will cover damage from water in your home (different than flood insurance), the policy probably won’t cover what it takes to fix broken pipes. Your best bet in this area is prevention. You should be sure that your pipes are insulated properly and that there is adequate airflow around the pipes in your cabinets.
If an earthquake hits, you’re out of luck when it comes to your homeowners insurance policy. You typically need a separate policy to get earthquake coverage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you’ll need to inquire about specific policies to protect your home from this type of natural disaster.
You’ll also need a separate policy in the event of a flood. Homeowner’s policies do not cover damage or losses caused by flooding. You can get optional coverage and this is highly recommended, especially if you live near a body of water or in an area that’s prone to flooding.
A Sewer Backup
If a sewer backs up, you’ll face some serious damage in your home. Unfortunately, your homeowners policy will not cover this type of damage. The repairs can be hefty. If you wish, you can always add this type of coverage to your policy.
Only Portions Of Disasters May Be Covered
If a hurricane hits, any damage that has been caused by the wind will be covered by your home insurance policy. If you face flooding, however, and do not have a flood insurance policy, you’ll be out of luck. Without extra coverage, some natural disasters can be a special disaster for you and your wallet.
Keep Up The Maintenance On Your Home
It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy. When you know how to prepare for different situations, it will make caring for and maintaining your home and your financial future a lot easier. If you prepare accordingly for natural disasters as directed, and perform proper maintenance on your home, your insurance policy should act in the best interest for you. If you happen to live in an area where you are prone to natural disasters, make sure you get the appropriate additional coverage that you’ll need to protect you.