TLC Real Estate



Posted by TLC Real Estate on 5/13/2022

Buying your first home can be an exciting process, but with so many different expenses to account and plan for, it can also be overwhelming. Not sure where to begin with it comes to saving for your first home? There are a few expenses you won't want to overlook.

Down Payment

First, make sure you have enough money saved up for a down payment. This amount can vary depending on the sale price of the home you purchase and the type of mortgage you take out. For a conventional home loan, for example, you'll be expected to make a minimum 20% down payment. FHA loans, however, only require 3.5% down. Meanwhile, if you qualify for a VA loan or a USDA loan, you might not have to make a down payment at all.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are another notable expense that can vary based on the sale price of the home and even where you live. However, expect closing costs to account for about 2-5% of the sale price of your home. This means if you're buying a home for $150,000, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs.

Appraisals/Inspections

Having a home appraised and inspected is par for the course for most home sales. An appraisal determines the current value of the home to make sure that you're not paying more for it than what it's worth. Meanwhile, an inspection looks for underlying issues with a home (such as a leaky roof or a short-cycling HVAC unit) that you'll want to be aware of before closing.

Appraisal and inspection costs can vary, but you should typically expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a home appraisal. Meanwhile, inspections cost an average of about $300.

Furniture and Lawn Care Equipment

Once you buy your home, you'll probably need to buy your fair share of furniture. Likewise, if you're coming from an apartment-living situation, you may also need to purchase some lawn care equipment such as a lawnmower, weed eater and other gear.

As you can see, these costs can add up quickly—so it's important to plan accordingly and make sure you've saved up enough money to purchase your first home comfortably. From there, you can close on your home with confidence.




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Posted by TLC Real Estate on 5/6/2022

If you’re searching for a new home, it’s important to be aware of the different terminology used for property conditions. Knowing the details of a property can help you avoid extra costs and frustration after purchase. “Move-in ready” is one term you will probably encounter in the housing market. Here is an explanation of what “move-in ready” actually means so you know what to expect:

Major Systems Are Up to Date

A home that’s designated “move-in ready” has all of its major systems in good working order. Electrical work should be up to date and include safe and functional wall outlets. Plumbing might not be modern, but it is trustworthy and has a reasonable amount of lifespan remaining.

You can expect the roof and windows to be in solid condition even if not recently replaced. A move-in ready house should have a roof with at least several decades of workable lifespan left. Windows should not leak air or moisture but might still require upgrades to more efficient versions.

Functional, Not Pristine

One key to understanding what “move-in ready” really means is to know that the home will be functional but not perfect. Kitchens, for example, are not required to have modern appliances or sparkling new countertops to be “move-in ready.” Bathrooms are similar in that the fixtures should be clean and all the drains should be unclogged. However, the fixtures and cosmetic elements of the bathroom might still look dated and need an upgrade. As long as they are functioning normally for regular use, it’s “move-in ready.”

You Might Need to Paint

The aesthetic of a home can be enough to make or break a decision. However, it’s important to know that many cosmetic features—both interior and exterior—are considered move-in ready regardless of personal taste. For example, rooms with boldly painted walls, wallpaper or paneling might not be ideal from an aesthetic standpoint, but these features will not prevent you from moving in to the home.

Keep in mind that once you buy a home, you can make whatever design decisions you wish. If the move-in ready house you’re planning to buy has an unpleasant paint color or dated paneling, you may simply need to make those changes priority.





Posted by TLC Real Estate on 2/11/2022

Whether you’re planning on buying investment property or a new home, there are financial factors to consider. Knowing the details of your financial situation will help you make the best decision and help avoid unnecessary stress. If you’re trying to decide between renting and buying, here are some of the main financial things to go over:

Savings

Most financial experts advise you to save up to 6 months of emergency savings before you buy a home. Emergency savings are always a good idea to have, but when you’re considering purchasing a home, it becomes especially important. Before making a major investment, make sure you have the means to stay afloat in case something goes wrong.

Down Payments

It’s possible to purchase a home with a tiny down payment, but even the lower percentages are thousands of dollars. The bigger the down payment, the less money you owe to your lender. For this reason, many potential homebuyers opt for a larger down payment both to save on accrued interest and private mortgage insurance.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Most lenders will consider your debt-to-income ratio as part of your qualification for a loan. Luckily, this ratio is simple to calculate yourself. To find your own DTI, divide your monthly expenses—including loan and credit card payments—by your monthly gross income. This will give you a good idea of how you stack up compared to lender requirements.

Credit Score

Higher credit scores typically mean better chances of being approved for a lower interest rate on a mortgage. Your credit score comprises many financial factors. You can improve it by lowering your credit usage and paying your bills on time. While it might not seem important, even a percentage point matters for getting a good interest rate.

The financial part of home ownership can be overwhelming, but as long as you know the important metrics, you will make the best decision for your own situation. Keep these financials in mind to make the best choice.







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