Homeowner’s Toolkit Archive
(MCT)—In the old days, a cracked driveway was summarily patched. And a seriously broken and damaged driveway was replaced with new concrete. But very little about today’s driveways — and sidewalks — is that conventional anymore.
(MCT)—Be on guard against those low, low mortgage rates — you may end up spending more by refinancing than if you had stuck with your current mortgage, even if your new interest rate would be under 3 or 4 percent financial planners warn.
(MCT)—For homeowners struggling to stay in their homes, a mortgage modification may be the way to go.
But before you choose that route, make sure the modification fits your needs and your wallet.
“Evaluating a mod (modification) offer is pretty straightforward,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH.com, which publishes mortgage information. “Keeping in mind that a homeowner under duress may have little choice but to accept what is offered, there may not be a whole lot to evaluate.”
According to the National Association of Realtors®, more than 4.25 million homes sold in 2011. That's a lot of real estate and such numbers raise the question: How are sellers doing it?
"Because individual homes are unique, there isn't one single strategy that works equally well for every property," says Wendy Forsythe, the executive vice president of a real estate company. "The real trick is understanding that today's marketplace is cash driven, quick and highly competitive. Owners who understand their local markets and work with a knowledgeable agent are those most likely to succeed."
Are you looking to buy your home for the first time? Congratulations! While this is an exciting time, knowing what you are in for can ease the process exponentially. Below are a few steps you can take to find your dream house, and make it into your new home.
Learn About Homeownership
Owning a home requires a large investment of time, money and energy, so make sure you are careful when making your decision to buy. To answer all of the questions you may have, participate in a first-time homebuyer class at a local non-profit agency in your community.
A new survey released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows common remodeling projects have increased, compared to a similar survey from 2010. The survey, released in conjunction with National Home Remodeling Month, describes the changes the remodeling market has undergone in recent years.
Remodelers report that kitchen and bathroom projects remain the most popular remodeling jobs with home owners increasingly upgrading both rooms and making major repairs as they decide to stay in their current homes longer. Nearly 50 percent of remodelers report seeing an increase
Recently, we discussed some initial reasons your home might not be selling. Here are issues that may not be as obvious, but may still be impeding the sale of your home:
Selling a home can be a daunting undertaking, and while you may be helpless to control the state of the market or the number of prospective buyers in your price range, here are a few ways to be proactive against some of sellers' most common pitfalls:
As winter gives way to warmer weather and spring begins to bloom, heavy rain storms pose a threat to homeowners. Homes that aren’t properly protected from the elements are at risk of flooding and mold infestation, which can cost thousands of dollars to fix once the damage is done.
Greg Rand (@gsrand
), CEO of OwnAmerica
and host of Rand on Real Estate on 770 WABC, takes a call from a listener from New Jersey. After listening to the show, the caller is now wondering if she should sell her first home, but unsure if she can deal with being a landlord. Greg gives his advice on keeping the property as an investment and hiring a management company to take over all landlord duties.
Square-footage and price are important elements to consider when selecting a home but according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 1,000 men and women, they both also rely on how they feel and how their lifestyle fits into a home when looking for a place to live. The survey found 28 percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do on the layout, square footage, or price. The majority of women (62 percent) and men (61 percent) also know within the first visit if the home is right for them.
“A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist.
Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate recently unveiled its new online and television reality series, “Home, First Home”(SM). The series, which features real stories from first-time homebuyers across the country, as well as advice
For buyers and sellers alike, home inspections are a crucial part of the home-buying and -selling process. While setting up a home inspection once you have an offer on your home is an important piece of the puzzle, taking the time to prepare for the inspection can be just as essential. In fact, Jay Gregg, director of marketing at Pillar To Post, strongly believes that home sellers who take the time to get ready for the inspection will pave the way for a smoother inspection and, therefore, a smoother transaction. The good news is that preparing your home for inspection doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, as the items that need to be addressed are things that homeowners typically take care of on a recurring basis.
A new National Association of REALTORS® collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Treasury will help REALTORS® better assist homeowners who are struggling to sell their homes in a short sale.
REALTORS® who attend upcoming Making Home Affordable “Help for Homeowners” outreach events, sponsored by the Treasury Department, will learn insights to help them navigate the short sale process and have the opportunity to meet directly with loan servicers on their clients’ behalf for assistance with difficult transactions.
“As the nation’s leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues,
Every home—whether it’s a resale or new—has some kind of an issue, and the reality is that there is no “perfect” house. Many homebuyers embark on their search for a home with the belief that new homes should be flawless, when this is never actually the case.
Problems are found in all homes, but the issues with new homes are totally different than the defects found in resale homes. When evaluating a resale home, most problems are often related to older systems that are near the end of their service life. On the other hand, problems in new homes typically involve incomplete work, damaged systems, missing pieces of key materials and imperfect workmanship.