Flexibility Helps When Searching For a Dream Home

When it comes to finding your dream home, your vision is going to be both unique and personal.

For many people, their idea of a dream home may be a composite of the home they grew up in and other mental snapshots they accumulated over the years.

In some cases, the house of your dreams may bear little or no resemblance to the image you conjured up in your mind. Sometimes, you just instinctively know the right home when you see it — even if it’s not exactly the one you originally envisioned.

A good starting point for launching your home search is to develop a detailed priority list. It should consist of both “must have” characteristics and “wish list” items. Hopefully, you and your spouse (or partner) will be in full agreement on most of the important features of your next home, such as whether you want a ranch house or colonial. Being on the same page in terms of location can also make a big difference in how satisfied you both are with your real estate purchase. As an example: Someone’s going to less than thrilled if, let’s say, you want a townhouse in the city, while your spouse has their heart set on a Craftsman-style home in the suburbs!

Trends in Home-Buying Preferences

If you’re a member of the so-called “millennial” generation, your top priority in a new home would probably be the quality of the neighborhood. That’s according to a “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report” (2015) compiled by the National Association of Realtors. In order of importance, factors influencing home purchasing choices are: the convenience of the home to one’s job(s), overall affordability, access to friends and family, and the quality of schools in the district.

Many buyers in that same demographic are also leaning toward homes that are energy efficient, ones that offer “smart home” capabilities, and dwellings that include a space that can be used as a home office. Since nearly 40% of Americans telecommute for their jobs on at least a part-time basis, more and more home buyers are adding that requirement to their priority lists. Surveys have also shown that prospective homeowners in their twenties and thirties are opting for low-maintenance surfaces, such as flooring, counter tops, and backyard decks. Updated interiors are also a strong preference for many in that age group since they don’t have the extra money, time, or inclination to get involved in major renovation projects.

Other factors which belong on house-hunting priority lists include square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the yard. If privacy and noise levels are concerns, then key factors to consider would be fencing, trees and hedges, and the amount of space between houses.

While it’s not always possible to find a home that includes every single item on your wish list, an experienced real estate agent can help you find what you want and match your requirements with the available listings in your desired neighborhoods.

Weighing the Decision to Buy Your First Home

If you’re currently renting an apartment or house, it makes good financial sense to consider becoming a homeowner in the foreseeable future. There are pros and cons to owning your own home — and it’s not for everyone — but for most people, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

An exception would be if your job requires you to relocate frequently. In that scenario, the potential benefits of building up equity in a home would be greatly diminished.

On the other hand, if you plan on staying put for more than a few years, then the tax benefits and investment value of owning real estate could put you on a stronger financial track than if you continued shelling out your hard-earned money to a landlord. You’ve probably heard the argument before: “If you pay rent, you have nothing to show for it at the end of the year”. However, when you buy a home, an increasing portion of your monthly payments is applied to your actual ownership of the property (as opposed to how much you owe the bank).

Tax Advantages of Home Ownership

In most cases, you can deduct all of your home mortgage interest from your federal tax returns, according to the IRS. More specifically: “The only costs you can deduct are real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums.”

However, since everyone’s financial situation is different and there is no “one size fits all” approach to financial management, it’s always best to consult with an experienced CPA, enrolled agent, or knowledgeable tax preparer. There may be other tax benefits you could qualify for as a homeowner, too, including getting tax credits for installing a solar energy system. The government’s Energy Star program says tax credits on new solar energy systems are available through the year 2021.

Getting the Process Underway

Two key steps to becoming a home owner are finding out your credit score and meeting with a mortgage lender to determine how much of a real estate loan you could qualify for. An experienced real estate agent can also provide you with a wealth of guidance and information on how to become a homeowner. They can fill you in on many of the exact steps, requirements, and advantages of buying your first home. A buyers’ agent can also help you assess your readiness to take the plunge into home ownership.

In addition to finding out your credit score, which will impact your mortgage interest rate and the type of loan you may qualify for, other vital information can be gleaned from a detailed personal budget. Although the amount of rent you now pay will provide some insights into your potential house-buying budget, there are a lot of variables which will impact how much of a mortgage you could comfortably afford.

Single-Family – 1 Devens Rd Worcester, MA 01606 now has a new price of $369,900!

Another Burncoat beauty has become available!! ~Offering over 2500 sq feet of living~~Recently updated kitchen includes new cabinets~ recessed lighting~ Quartz counter-tops~ huge island~flooring~ Bertazzoni gas range, and open concept to dining area featuring a wonderful window seat. Impressive front to back fire placed living room with recess lighting,crown,molding and plenty of space for entertaining your family and friends~~You will find the large four season porch with two sets of french doors,double ceiling fans and new vinyl windows charming and relaxing~~Master bedroom with walk in closet and spectacular spa like master bath including soaking tub~~All additional bedrooms are on the larger side~~Convenient second floor laundry room~ finished walk up attic for additional flexible space~~ Fenced in yard and patio area~~ If your looking for space you will want to check this one out!!

This is a Colonial style home and features 10 total rooms, 2 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.21 Acres, and is currently available for $369,900.

For complete details click here.

Factors That Negatively Impact Your Credit Score

A credit score is an essential factor that determines how creditworthy you are and how much interest you should pay on loans. If you have an excellent credit score, you will pay a lower interest rate on loans and credit lines all through your lifetime. Apart from reducing your interest rate, a good credit score helps you save more money that should have gone into interest payment. 

Your credit score is also a basis on which lenders determine if you are creditworthy. Other businesses have now adopted the credit score method as a basis to make decisions about you. Firms like the insurance company and utility company are among the few who have chosen this appraisal style. Having a bad credit score leaves you in a bad position. To determine factors that affect your credit score, read through the points listed below.

Late Payment History

Having a history of late payments would affect your credit score by about 35%. Payment history is the most significant factor that determines your creditworthiness. Payment history like bankruptcy, tax liens, collections, foreclosure, and charge – offs would destroy your credit score – making it almost impossible for you to be creditworthy. 

Level of Debt

Debt utilization ratio makes up about 30% of your credit score. Having a huge debt will negatively affect your credit score and also increase how much you would pay on the interest rate. FICO credit calculator determines your credit score by calculating…

– Your credit balance ratio against your credit limit.

– Total debt you incur.

– How much loan balance you have left as against the original amount loaned

Defaulting

A single default on your loan repayment can leave your credit score in shambles. A person with a high credit score that declares bankruptcy loses up to 250 points, a foreclosed home would lose 200 points off the credit score of its owner. This information remains on your file for as long as seven to ten years. 

Unemployment

Being unemployed for an extended period puts you in the wrong place. It’s something everyone goes through at a point or the other in their lives. Taking money out of your unemployment benefit will leave a slightly negative impact on your credit score. You might be wondering why it so? Credit bureaus do not know you are unemployed; all they see is a reduction in your income without a corresponding increase. It’s advisable you do this for a very short while. 

Having a low credit score is not the end of the world; it’s your ability to work on changing this score that matters. Work with a personal financial consultant to develop a plan to improve your credit score.