Financial Benefits of Owning a Home

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While personalization, neighborhood, and space are all benefits of owning a home, they don’t begin to touch on the financial benefits. When it comes to owning a home, the financial benefits are evident, particularly around tax time. Here are 4 financial benefits of owning a home.

Financial Benefits of Owning a Home

Equity

You’ve probably heard that homeownership builds wealth over time. This is especially true in today’s market. If you are looking to move to Pacific Northwest, you are not alone, and that demand is raising home values. If you buy your home today and plan to sell it in 10 years, the amount of equity you’ll gain off of your home (granted conditions stay constant) would put you in a good spot financially for your next home. Equity is the lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment. Thus, as the months and years go by, your equity grows!

Tax Deductions

The tax code allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest from their tax obligations. For a lot of people, the interest is the largest part of their mortgage payment, so it’s a huge deduction. Additionally, the first year you buy your home you’re allowed to claim the origination fees. Finally, property tax is deductible for income tax purposes.

Forced Saving Plan

Paying your mortgage every month and reducing your principal is like having a forced savings plan. You are building up more equity in your home every month you pay a mortgage. This is a good thing, especially for those you are not likely to save on their own. This can be helpful down the line when you choose to sell your home or refinance. You’re able to put that equity into further real estate investments.

Long Term, Buying is Cheaper Than Renting

Looking at the big picture, buying is cheaper than renting. In the first few years it may seem that renting is cheaper because the monthly number might be smaller, but remember, when you rent you are giving that money to the landlord. When you buy a home, you are putting it back into your own home. You have to live somewhere so instead of paying off your landlord’s home or building, pay off your own! In 15 years you could have full ownership of a home, or you could have been paying $1000 a month to someone else.

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What Millennial Home Buyers Want in a Home

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Many millennials are entering or are already in the home buying market. They are a motivated generation that sees owning a home more affordable than renting. But they’ve also been known as the pickiest generation when it comes to real estate. Here are the top 4 things that millennial home buyers want in a home.

What Millennial Home Buyers Want in a Home

Green Features and Sustainable

The millennial generation is prioritizes giving back to their communities and choosing brand with green platforms. So therefore they want to choose a home that includes green features and is built with a sustainable design. Use of green building materials and energy efficient appliances they will see as requirements instead of merely value adds. While millennials are looking for green homes, they don’t want to necessarily pay extra for it. High student debt and a competitive housing market makes millennials budget conscious. To meet this demand, builders need to choose the right materials to make sure the house if sustainable but keeping costs down.

Low Maintenance

Millennials tend to have very busy schedules and don’t have time to fix up their home. Because of this, millennials lean toward buying homes that are newly renovated or newly built. If they are moving to areas prone to natural disaster and extreme weather, they expect new home to be built with these conditions in mind. Millennials will also look for many remaining warranties on the house or features, so that should something happen, they are covered and will not have to front a ton of extra funds.

Quiet Sanctuary + Good Neighborhoods

60% of millennials are buying homes in the suburbs, with another 16% choosing to live in small towns. Homes with back yards and community parks play a key role in buying decisions for millennials. Good schools is also one of the top things millennial home buyers want in a home.

Generally speaking, millennial shave at least one child, so have a quiet sanctuary where the family can relax and recharge is a must for millennial home buyers.

Specialty Rooms & Features

Millennial home buyers are very focused on the vale for their money. They want less cookie cutter homes, and more open floor plans. The formal dining room is less important to millennial home buyers and they would like to see that space turned into a den or flex room. They are also looking for specialty rooms such as bonus rooms, media rooms, work out rooms, and wine cellars to be included in their home.

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Benefits of Buying a Split-Level Home

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Split-level (also called tri-level) homes call for two short sets of stairs, with one going up to the bedrooms and the other going down to the basement. Even though this floor plan was popular a few decades ago, split level homes are often found today in resale homes. While this plan tends to be overlooked, check out these 4 advantages of buying a split-level home.

Benefits of Buying a Split-Level Home

Plenty of Space, With Limited Land

Total space in a home is one of the top things buyers look for when browsing homes. Ideally, the home should be a place where the family can relax together and should have ample space for all members of the family. Even with limited land, split-levels tend to offer open space for the kitchen and living areas, bedrooms and even a basement. While in a traditional two-story single-family home, the bonus room is a separate room on the second floor, with a split-level home the basement can be dedicated to a play area, offering even more space than most bonus rooms.

Affordability

The affordability is one of the biggest benefits of buying a split-level home. Because split-levels tend to be built on smaller lots, they are a lot more affordable than other designs in the same area. You will be able to save a lot of money and use that for other things that you may not have been able to afford if you opted for a larger design.

Separation of Space

With children, it’s nice to have separation of space in your home. This allows your teenage daughter to have her friends over in the upstairs area, while your middle school aged son can play video games down in the basement without disturbing one another. You get the best of both worlds, an open area where the whole family can spend time together for dinners and game nights, but different levels that can give everyone a sense of privacy. Additionally, with split-level homes, you have a compact space that won’t require so much walking since everything is a half flight of stairs away.

Not Much Upkeep

Yes you’ll want to vacuum and sweep regularly, but it’s truly not very expensive to maintain the beauty of a split-level home. It’s simple design can be well maintained with a fresh coat of paint which helps avoid some of the costly renovations that are often put into larger floor plans. Many times split-level homes have smaller yards as well, which require less upkeep than those plans with larger yards.

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5 Kitchen Upgrades for a New Look Without Remodeling

5 Kitchen Upgrades for a New Look Without Remodeling

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The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it’s understandable why homeowners tend to spend their renovating dollars in the kitchen first. If you don’t have financial resources for a full-on renovation, there are a variety of ways to give your kitchen a new look for a lot less. From refacing cabinets, to replacing lighting, here are 5 kitchen upgrades for a new look without remodeling.

5 Kitchen Upgrades for a New Look Without Remodeling

Cabinets

Many homeowners turn to refacing as an easy way to update their cabinets. Refacing involves removing the doors and drawers and covering the exterior with a brand-new coat of paint. If you’re happy with the function and layout of your kitchen, a simple reface can drastically change the look of your kitchen without having the entirely replace the cabinets. While a full-on kitchen gut could take several months to complete, refacing your cabinets can be done over a weekend.

Shelving

Adding shelving to your kitchen is a great way to show off your beautiful serving dishes and is one of the simplest kitchen upgrades. It’s also a great way to decorate an otherwise empty wall. Open shelving can pull accents colors into your kitchen and help maintain a streamline design in your space. You can get floating shelves for a very low from many retailers.

Lighting

One of the main things that makes a kitchen look outdated is the lighting package. Tear out the florescent lighting and replace them with can lights. Additionally, adding under cabinet lighting can make food prep easier and add a soft light to keep on when you have overnight guests. Picking modern pendant lights for over your island can dramatically change the feel of your kitchen.

Hardware

Replacing hardware is an easy and low-cost way to update your kitchen. This is especially true if you’re already going to the trouble to reface your cabinets. Adding an accent of gold or black can help the knobs tie in with light fixtures to give your kitchen a cohesive feel.

Appliances

For less than $500 you can get a brand-new gas stove range, and less than $700 you can get a brand new stainless steel refrigerator. Dated appliances paired with updated cabinetry will make your kitchen feel incomplete. Even something as simple as changing out your faucet (for under $100!) can make your kitchen feel whole. Same thing is true for your dishwasher. If you go stainless with one appliance, consider choosing stainless for all of them.

You may also like: Home Renovations: When to Hire a Pro and When to DIY

6 Ways to Take Advantage of Selling a Home in the Fall

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Different seasons provide different advantages to home sellers. Here are ways to take advantage of selling a home in the fall.

6 Ways to Take Advantage of Selling a Home in the Fall

Pros and Cons of Selling a Home in the Fall

The Autumn months bring both pros and cons to home sellers. Generally, sales of U.S. homes overall peak during May, June, July and August, accounting for 40 percent of volume, per data from the National Association of Realtors. Furthermore, the average seller premium also peaks during these months. In regions where the weather changes dramatically from summer to winter, fall months may also mean some buyers stay home.

selling a home in the fall

But the upside to those numbers and trends are that when a home buyer does brave the colder weather, they are likely to be serious and not just testing the waters. Inventory may also be smaller, meaning there is less competition for home sellers. And you may be able to increase your seller’s premium by making sure your home is putting its best foot forward, to appeal to the most buyers.

Selling a home in the fall? Here are Six tips for taking advantage of the season:

When you think of Autumn months, what comes to mind? Changing leaves, cooling temps, college football and spiced drinks? Us too! Selling a home in the fall offers some advantages when it comes to staging your home and yard to appeal to home buyers, here are just a few.

  1. Think WARM!

Replicate the look of Autumn vibrantly colorful foliage in your home’s staging with yellow, orange and red throw blankets and pillows. Leave the fireplace to create an extra-warm glow and recreate that same type of glow with flameless candles on your mantel, kitchen and bathroom counters, tabletop centerpiece, nightstands, and so on.

  1. Evoke reactions.

Pumpkin spice. Vanilla bean. Cloves. Cinnamon – these are some of the tastes and scents that permeate the food and beverage landscape during the fall. You can bring these scents out subtly with candles and soaps or go all in and leave pumpkin spice muffins and warm snickerdoodles out for home buyers to enjoy.

  1. Set the stage.

When you’re selling a home, think about all the ways buyers can use your spaces to enjoy time with friends and loved ones, entertain, throw parties – and stage accordingly. Do you have a great game-day TV wall? Stage the space as though you are hosting a watch party. Is your backyard a great place to scrimmage? Show off your home by setting the stage for different types of events, holidays and activities.

  1. Take advantage of the holidays.

Of the $9B Americans who celebrate Halloween spent on the holiday in 2018, $2.7B was on Halloween decorations. And right after Halloween? Why it’s Thanksgiving! Then December holidays! With a non-stop holiday décor rotation, you can ensure that your home is welcoming and inspirational, showing potential buyers what a great home this is for any holiday. Start from the outside in, decorating the front porch and walkway, and continuing in to the foyer. You can keep moving buyers eyes along with decoration vignettes placed in each room or go for a big bang in one spot.

  1. Music for their ears.

If you have decorated for a seasonal holiday you can keep that impression going with music playing softly in the background throughout the rooms of your home. But you don’t have to play seasonal music, you can also elect to employ a little psychology in music choices. Do you want buyers to feel relaxed and calm? Music can help! Do you want them to see the back deck as a party spot? Music can do that too!

  1. A gourd by any other name…

Fall décor often revolves around the idea of bounty, harvest and plenty. This is expressed visually with pumpkins, Indian corn, colorful squashes and other gourds. The great thing about these items is they offer a pop of warm color, are generally inexpensive, and can be used in or out of doors, making them very versatile as a type of decoration. In addition, they are used just as often in Halloween décor as they are Thanksgiving decorating, so they have a long shelf life in terms of being useful to your staging.

Feeling inspired? Us too! Whether you’re selling a home in the Fall or not, these ideas can help your home look awesome during the Autumn months.

You may also like: 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home Faster

So You Bought a New Home – Now What?

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Buying a new home can entail several weeks if not months of work. Signing on the dotted line can feel like the end of the journey, but it’s more like the end of the beginning.

There are many details you’ll need to attend to in between signing the paperwork and actually living in your new home.  You’ll have to figure out how and when to move your possessions. Which furnishings to keep or replace or purchase.  You’ll have to set up utilities and update or obtain insurance. And you will only have a short time to get it all done.

So You Bought a New Home – Now What?

A Checklist for New Home Buyers

Moving

“Move” is a 4-letter word! Packing, hefting and stacking boxes, wrapping fragile items, de-constructing furniture and frames – just thinking about it can make you tired! MovingLabor.com has some great resources for new home buyers:

DIY Movers – Find out about different types of options, from rental trucks to storage containers, and how you can save you money on your move. Once you’ve clicked on one of the options, they’ve also included handy links to various companies that provide that type of moving capability.

Choosing a moving company – Should you prefer to hire a moving company, here are seven things to do to choose the moving company that’s best-suited to your needs and budget. You’re entrusting this company with your possessions, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly!

Before moving, it’s also a good idea to declutter. Get rid of things that you won’t need in the future, that are becoming worn out or that you want to replace. Devesting yourself of these items before moving can save you a lot of time as well as money. Consider letting items go if:

  • You haven’t used them for 1 year (clothing, seasonal décor, formal table wares, etc.)
  • They have little intrinsic or sentimental value and you’re ready for a change (wall art, furnishings, tablewares, etc.)
  • They are duplicates (multiple sets of sheets, more towels than needed, lots of throw blankets, pillows, etc.)
  • Their useful life is over (worn out pots, pans, dinnerware, furniture, rugs, bedding, etc.)
  • Expiration date has passed (pantry and fridge items, makeup, perfume, etc.)
  • You are unlikely to need them again soon (baby stuff, kids’ toys, etc.)

Many people have yard sales before moving for this very reason. This enables them to reduce the number of items that nave to be moved and even gives them a chance to make some money in the process. These receipts can then be put into the moving fund or saved to purchase new items after you move in.

Pack a moving day musts box – On the day you move you are likely to want fast access to tools needed to reassembled bedframes and furniture, cleaning supplies, phone charger, toilet paper, water, snacks and so on. You might also want an overnight bag packed with enough clothes for a couple of days, your toiletries and pajamas, since it will probably take a few days to unload and unpack your personal belongings. Keep these items with you instead of loading them onto the moving truck; they’ll be more readily available and you won’t have to go hunting through things to find them.

Utilities

Coordinate with the sellers to ensure that utilities will be maintained up until the point of time that you take possession. Set up accounts with the appropriate utility companies well in advance to ensure that you’ll have power, heat (or air), internet, television, etc., when you need it. New home buyers commonly have to set up:

  • Electricity and/or natural gas (or propane in rural areas)
  • Water and sewer (or septic)
  • Trash and recycling
  • Cable or satellite television, or subscriber services in lieu of traditional cable/dish

Inspections

It’s very common for new home buyers to request an inspection be completed between the time an offer is signed around and when possession is transferred. Even when buying a brand new home (vs. a pre-owned home), getting the home inspected before moving in can identify any potential issues which it would be essential or preferable to resolve in advance.

Insurance

If you are moving from one home to another, you’ll need to update your home insurance or obtain new insurance on the home you’re purchasing. This is a great time to review your coverage to see if changes to the amount of insurance needed to cover your possessions (as well as the home itself) or your deductible (the amount of money you’re responsible to spend before insurance kicks in) should be adjusted.

Deliveries

New home buyers often purchase one or more large appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner, etc.) or large pieces of furniture for their house. Many home improvement and furniture stores will even allow you to purchase these items well in advance and schedule delivery weeks (or even months) later once you’ve taken possession of your new home.

If your home is a new construction house, bear in mind that map apps may not have your new address in their systems yet. Be sure that you provide the store with specific directions to your new home so they are delivered correctly and on time.

You may also like: Hidden Costs of Owning a Home

3 Ways to Protect Your Home From Invasion

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Since your home is likely your largest asset, you want to do all you can to protect it. According to the Department of Justice, there are almost 4 million household burglaries that occur each year. While these are frightening statistics, there are things you can do to protect your home from invasion.

3 Ways to Protect Your Home From Invasion

Lock It Up

While this is a seemingly obvious tip, you’d be surprised that 1 out of 25 burglars will simply want into an unlocked door. Make sure to do a double check of all the doors on the main level every time you leave the house or go to bed. Additionally, while hide a keys are a great safety net for you, if hidden in an obvious location, they can be found by burglars who are looking for hidden keys. Consider giving a key to a neighbor before stashing it under your welcome mat.

Wait to Post on Social Media

Yes your trip to Mexico is totally Instagram worthy, but be sure you are taking safety precautions before you tell the world that you’re out of your house for a week. Before going on a long trip, tell your neighbors how long you’ll be gone and if you have a house sitter coming while you are gone. This will keep an extra pair of eyes on your home to watch for any suspicious activity. And when you do post on social media, consider waiting until the trip is over so you aren’t alerting people that you have left a vacant home. As sad as it is, even those you consider “friends” on social media could be the ones looking to break into your home.

Home Security System

Home security is one of the best ways to protect your home from invasion. Adding a camera to the front porch can help give you peace of mind when you aren’t home. It can also record any motion on the front porch so in the event of a burglary, you have a recording to file with the police. If you do have a security system, be strategic where you place your stickers. If you place right on your front window, burglars can see what type of system you have and can search ways to disarm the system. Additionally, home automation systems can alert you if you left your garage door open when you left the house and can allow you to close the door from a remote location before a burglary happens.

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6 Things to do Before Downsizing

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Downsizing certainly comes with its fair share of challenges, but the payoff can be very rewarding. And there are plenty of reasons to downsize – becoming empty nesters, saving money on monthly payments, or change in family dynamic are just a few. Here are 6 things to do before downsizing.

6 Things to do Before Downsizing

Set Goals with Your Family

One of the top things to do before downsizing is to set goals with your family. Before you begin looking for smaller homes, it’s best to sit down with your family and think about everyone’s wants and needs. Is your move about bringing your family closer? What are some things you can’t or don’t want to sacrifice in a smaller space? Setting goals with your family to get on the same page and make the process of downsizing go as smoothly as possible.

De-Clutter

Spend some time de-cluttering before you begin packing up your home. Go room by room organizing your things into keep, throw, donate, and sell piles. Organizing before you move will prevent you from having to move all the items you don’t want, saving time and energy for you on moving day. If you’re downsizing significantly, de-cluttering should leave your current closets feeling a bit bare.

Sell Items

If you have a lot of items to sell, consider holding a garage or yard sale or finding neighborhood resale groups on social media. Since there’s a chance some of your current furniture won’t fit in a smaller space, you might decide to put the money you make from selling items towards new more function items. The items left over after the garage sale can be donated.

Plan Ahead

It’s good to start planning out the space once you decide you’re moving. Map out which kids are sharing what room, who gets which closet, and sketch furniture arrangements so you have a plan before moving day. Planning ahead can help prevent moving items twice and taking up valuable energy on moving day.

De-Dupe

As part of the moving process, get rid of anything you have multiples of. For example, no one needs two can openers, four cutting board, or two blocks of knives. Getting rid of these things as you pack will help eliminate the boxes you need to move.

Communicate

Clearly communicating with your extended family will help them respect and understand your new lifestyle. If you usually host the large family thanksgiving, communicate that that tradition may need to shift. If you’re short on space, suggest to family members that they skip the toys for presents and instead buy them an experience.

You may also like: 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home Faster

5 Secrets to Sell Your Home Faster

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Selling your home quickly not only allows you to wrap up that part of your life, it also means fewer days of keeping your home pristine and receiving the funds faster. Here are 5 secrets to sell your home faster, no matter when you list it.

5 Secrets to Sell Your Home Faster

Take Great Photos

Since almost 50% of buyers start their home search online, it’s important that you market your home with professional photos. This means investing in a professional photographer to photograph your home, or buying a DSLR so you can do them your self. If you choose to take your own photos, be sure to pay attention to cleanliness of the home, lighting, angles, and staging. All of the play a factor is producing photos that help sell your home faster.

Depersonalize Your Home

It may be difficult, but remove all of your family photos and memorabilia. You want furniture in the home to help potential buyers envision their life in your home, but with their family, not yours. Additionally it’s also a good idea to remove anything political or religious as you don’t want to unintentionally offend potential buyers. And if you do take photos off of the walls, be sure to also remove nails and repair nail holes to ensure a clean wall.

Make Your Home Available

Buyers like to see homes on their schedule, which may not necessarily be yours. Be open on evenings and weekends.If you home can be shows with little or no notice, more prospective buyers will see it. If you are slow to get back to them and you aren’t able to show your home for at least a week, they may choose to skip your home altogether. When you’re ready to sell be sure to live in a clean manner so packing up quickly isn’t an issue.

Set the Right Price From the Beginning

The strategy of setting an unrealistically high price with the idea that you can come down later doesn’t work. A home that’s overpriced tends to stay on the market longer, even after the price is cut because buyers think there is something wrong with the house. Conduct market research with your agent, and set an accurate price from the beginning to attract the most buyers.

Repaint in Neutral Colors

A new coat of paint gives a house a fresh and clean look. This is the time to paint over your daughter’s pink room, remove the floral wallpaper in the bathroom, and nix the green laundry room. Your goal should be to create a neutral palette so buyers can envision their own personal touches in the home.

You may also like: 5 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Summer

4 Common Issues a Home Inspection Can Reveal

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With all of the expenses that come with buying a home, you may be on the fence about completing a home inspection. While they are not necessarily mandatory, a home inspection is an extremely useful tool when buying a home. Home inspectors can pickup any defects in your new home and give you recommendations for further action. Here are 4 common issues a home inspection can reveal.

4 Common Issues a Home Inspection Can Reveal

Water 

There are a lot of potential water woes when it comes to buying a new home, but the most common is poor drainage. This can result in water pooling around the house which eventually causes problems with the foundation. Foundation repairs can cost anywhere between $5,000 to over $10,000. If your home inspector finds a drainage issue, it gives you the chance to walk away from the house, or add repair costs to the sale of the home. A $500 home inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

Electrical 

Electrical issues are one of the most common issues a home inspection can reveal. Outdated wiring is a common find in old homes that can’t handle the load our modern lifestyle demands. Worst case scenario is that electrical issues can cause sparks which could turn to house fires. Upgrading electrical in a home can get very expensive so you’ll want to know upfront if your new home is coming with electrical repairs.

Roofing

Replacing the roof is something that pops up when it becomes absolutely necessary and water is leaking through the ceiling. Many homeowners tend to ignore the roof and hope for the best, neglecting even simple repairs such as broken shingles. Home inspectors will check the roof of your new home and checks for missing sections, flashing, or current leaks. If the home inspection report comes back with leaks and patches of shingles missing, you’ll want to ensure the seller will take on the responsibility before you agree to buy the property.

HVAC Hazards

HVAC issues in your home is one of the most common issues a home inspection can reveal. Blocked chimneys, broken controls, and cracked heat exchangers are common HVAC hazards. These issues will not only cause the HVAC system to run inefficiently, your bills will be inaccurate and your health could be in danger. Knowing the HVAC system is in good condition will put your mind at ease when buying your new home.

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Hidden Costs of Owning a Home

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Buying a home is an exciting time for so many reasons, but it can go downhill if you’re not prepared for all of the additional expenses. You may be prepared to pay the down payment and closing costs, but what about the additional costs that go into owning a home? Here are 4 hidden costs of owning a home to be aware of before making your investment.

Hidden Costs of Owning a Home

Repairs

Unless you’re buying a newly built home, it’s important that you budget for repairs even before you buy. If you are buying a home that needs a new roof, a fresh coat of paint, new landscaping, etc. you’ll need to budget for those repairs from the get go. While every situation is different, the typical rule of thumb is to expect to spend an average of 1% of the value of your home on repairs per year. You may not spend that much each year, but some years you’ll likely face a broken furnace, appliance replacement, or other costs that eats up that money you saved. Repairs are one of the top hidden costs of owning a home.

Utilities

While you’re likely used to paying a portion of utilities for an apartment space, the utility bills are significantly more for a home. There are no costs that are forgiven by a landlord, plus the overall space is likely larger. Additionally, if you plan to add home security to your space, that’s an upfront cost for the equipment, plus a monthly service cost. Make sure to budget for these costs when you buy a home.

Furniture

With a bigger space comes additional furniture to fill it. Make sure to budget for furniture costs when buying a home. If you’re moving from a 1000 sq. ft. apartment, to a 2800 sq. ft. house, you’re definitely going to be purchasing furniture. Additionally, if you’re redoing an outdoor living space, you’re going to need to purchase outdoor furniture for your home. All of the furniture expenses can add up fast, so it’s important to budget for these costs before you buy a home.

Property Taxes

You might think, “I’m paying $1,500 a month in rent, for that I can pay a lower mortgage and own a home!” Well, yes – as long as you’re plugging in the property taxes. You will need to find out what the taxes are in advance, divide it by 12 and the add it to your monthly payment. Also, property taxes are going to keep going up, so make sure you have room left in your budget to pay even more taxes in the future.

You may also like: The Advantages of Buying a Home Vs. Renting

Advantages of Living in an HOA Community

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Homeowners associations (HOA) are becoming more prevalent throughout the United States. A well-run HOA can make for a highly enjoyable community, while a poorly run HOA can drive it’s residents away from the community. From the access to amenities, to social activities, to the overall sense of community, there are many advantages of living in an HOA community.

Advantages of Living in an HOA Community

Amenities

The amenities are one of the main advantages of living in an HOA community. Many HOA communities have community pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, business centers, coffee shops and clubhouses. This can help homeowners save on expenses associated without having to pay to use similar utilities elsewhere. For example, if an HOA community offers a neighborhood gym, this eliminates the need for residents to buy an additional gym membership.

Increase in Home Value

The rules of an HOA are designed to protect the value of each property and to ensure that an individual home cannot negatively impact the market value of homes in the neighborhood. Therefore, the presence of a highly functional and well run HOA can dramatically increase the value of homes in the neighborhood. Additionally, a lot of changes that homeowners make to the outside appearance of their homes have to be approved by the HOA.

Planned Social Activities

Want to celebrate the 4th of July with your neighbors but don’t want to take on the burden of planning? Done! With an HOA, there is typically a social committee that is in charge of planning events for the neighborhood. This allows you to enjoy leisure activities with your neighbors without having to worry about the details. Additionally, attending social activities helps build relationships between neighbors.

Well Maintained

An HOA enforces a well maintained community. All public spaces within the community, including parks, trails, and sidewalks, are maintained by the HOA and are not the responsibility of individual residents. This helps the overall appearance of a community. This also helps keep these spaces healthy and inviting for families to visit. Additionally, because the rules are strict about the exterior appearances of homes, the result is a more upscale neighborhood. The eliminates any eyesores on the block.

Mediator for Neighbor Disputes

Any time you have an argument about a dog barking all night long, loud parties, or car alarms consistently going off, the HOA will address it. This helps mediate any issues between neighbors. Often times there are penalties for such violations, so you probably won’t have many issues anyway.

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