How to Say Goodbye to Renting and Hello to Home Ownership

Becoming a first-time homeowner takes a lot more than a desire to buy a house. It takes a lot of effort on your part to save up a down payment — which is usually a pretty good sized chunk of change — research neighborhoods, get pre-approved for a loan and other steps. Fortunately, it is quite possible to say goodbye to renting and hello to homeownership, especially when homeowners-to-be consider the following tips:

Focus on the Down Payment

In order to leave the land of rent, you are going to need a down payment — plain and simple. While it is common to put down 20 percent, some lenders now allow a much smaller amount, and first-time home buyer programs may go as low as 3 percent. While a smaller down payment may sound enticing, a 5 percent down payment on a $200K home is still $10,000 — not exactly a small sum. If saving money does not come naturally for you, don’t worry. With some relatively minor lifestyle changes you can speed up the down payment savings process. Come up with a savings plan to determine how much you need to set aside every week or month and then find ways to “find” that money in your budget. Using the $10,000 example from before, if you are determined to buy a home in two years, you’ll have to come up with about $415 a month to stash into your down payment account. Take a close look at your monthly bills and determine what you can pare down or eliminate — maybe you are paying $75 a month for a gym membership you rarely use, or you pay $40 extra for premium satellite channels that no one watches. These services can be cancelled and the money can go directly into your savings account. Eat out less, have Starbucks twice a week instead of every day and if you need to, consider a side hustle on the weekends to reach this magical monthly amount of $415.

Avoid Identity Theft

Unfortunately, the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft increase when you are buying and moving into a new home. The stacks of documents that are part of buying a home and that are filled with your personal information may accidentally fall into the wrong hands, and once you move, mail may not be routed correctly and thieves may steal your mail and your identity from your old mailbox. Prevent this situation from happening by purchasing an identity theft protection program; find a trusted company that will help safeguard your personal data. In addition to letting you know when a bank pulls your credit report and asking if you have authorized this inquiry, certain services will monitor your financial activity and alert you if anything is amiss.

Check Your Credit Report

When you start the pre-approval process for a loan and then move on to the Big Kahuna of applying for an actual mortgage, your credit report will be pulled numerous times. Your credit score will then be used to determine if you are approved for a loan, and what type of interest rate you will get. Please do not wait until you have the down payment saved and you are champing at the bit to go look at houses to check your FICO score — check your credit as early in the process as you can. If you have a credit card that has been issued through your bank, give them a call and see if they can run your report for you for free; in the cases of some credit cards, they also offer a free monthly FICO score check. Read through the report and check for any errors; this includes credit lines you never opened and delinquent payments that you know were made on time. Dispute any mistakes that you find and look for ways to boost your credit score, like paying down credit card bills and setting up automatic bill pay so you are never late with your payments.

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THANK YOU to Realty Times for this article, posted on Nov 23, 2017.
http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/buyersadvice/item/1007237-20171124-how-to-say-goodbye-to-renting-and-hello-to-home-ownership?rtmpage=
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THE HOADLEY GROUP with DOUGLAS ELLIMAN is here to serve all your Florida Real Estate needs in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo Island, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray and Boca Raton.

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Selling Your Home For The Holidays?

Selling Your Home For The Holidays? Don’t Be A Curb Appeal Scrooge

Thanksgiving means turkey and all the trimmings and family get-togethers and football and the Macy’s parade and eating until you can’t breathe. It also means you’re going to be seeing your neighbors up on ladders in the next few days putting up their holiday lights. If your house is currently for sale or if you’re considering listing it, you may be wondering whether you should bother at all with holiday decorations this year. In a word: yes. But there’s more to it than that. There’s a long way between Scrooge and The Griswolds.

“It’s hard to argue with the fact that glitter lights and colorful accents make a home look more cheerful and inviting,” said Realtor.com. “But you also probably know that if you’re trying to sell your home, buyers need to have an easy time imagining themselves (and their own holiday traditions) in your home.”

These tips will help you strike just the right balance.

Go ahead and put up lights

Being the only house on the street that isn’t decorated could leave potential buyers feeling uninspired and unmotivated to purchase – or even come inside. If putting up holiday lights this year means heading to Target to buy new stuff, you’ll have numerous options: white lights, colored lights, snowflake shapes, icicles. Think clean, simple, and elegant to best accentuate your home.

Go ahead and pack up the inflatables

Keeping it simple definitely doesn’t include that big, inflatable Santa or The Grinch family or an entire lawn full of holiday-themed Peanuts characters.

“One man’s ‘merry’ is another man’s ‘tacky,’ so tone down any garish light displays while your home is on the market,” said HGTV. “(No, your neighbors didn’t pay us to say that.) Instead, use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to the gorgeous fir tree in your front yard.”

Address your entry

You don’t have to have a sweeping front porch to establish a warm welcome. Place a festive mini tree or cluster of poinsettias next to the door or hang a wreath to add a little holiday interest.

“Classic is always best: Hang an elegant wreath on the front door, rather than a ‘Santa stops here!’ sign, Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This, Toss That,” told Realtor.com

Go ahead and put up that tree

Putting up the tree may seem like a hassle when you’re focused on decluttering and keeping everything in your home extra clean this year, but think of it as staging. A well-placed and well-decorated tree will make the home feel nice and inviting at holiday time. Placing it in a window that allows it to show through to the street creates that Norman Rockwell feel that will tug at your buyers’ heartstrings.

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To read the full article, this excerpt is thanks to Realty Times, Written by Jaymi Nacir, Nov. 22, 2017.

THE HOADLEY GROUP with DOUGLAS ELLIMAN is here to serve all your Florida Real Estate needs in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo Island, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray and Boca Raton.

CALL US TODAY AT 561-635-8149

Shortage Of Accessible Housing Creates Opportunity For Investors

As a professional realtor, it is sometimes discouraging when I get a phone call for several groups:  mobility challenged, families with pets or couples under 55.  I want to assist, but the LACK of inventory is exceedingly challenging.  In South Florida a huge portion of our housing inventory is dedicated to HOPA (55+), no pets and normal accessibility.

From my perspective the biggest challenges also offer the biggest OPPORTUNITIES !

If you are an investor, flipper or GC builder, perhaps consider an all age, pet friendly and full mobility accessible renovations.  Not only is it the right thing to do to offer beautiful and affordable housing for all, but it is also so rare that they sell quickly.  A win-win no doubt !!

Please have a look at this article from Realty Times:     http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/buyersadvice/item/1006502-20171031-shortage-of-accessible-housing-creates-opportunity-for-investors?rtmpage=

THE HOADLEY GROUP with DOUGLAS ELLIMAN is here to serve all your real estate needs in Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo Island, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray and Boca Raton.

 CALL US TODAY AT 561-635-8149

WELCOME FRIENDS!

THE HOADLEY GROUP with DOUGLAS ELLIMAN is here to serve all your real estate needs in Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo Island, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray and Boca Raton.

 CALL US TODAY AT 561-635-8149