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 3/15/2019

Your first week in your new home is an exciting time. It’s also a very busy one. There is just so much to do to get everything in order and settled in! Some things are more important to get done this first week than others. On the other hand, there are tasks you’ll be glad you completed your first week instead of putting them off.

Here’s your guide to your first week in your new home.

Start by opening new accounts for all of your utilities as soon as possible. These are the non-negotiables you simply can’t live without. These utilities include things like:

  • Electricity

  • Gas

  • Water

  • Sewer

  • Trash

  • Internet, phone and cable/satellite

You’ll want to rekey all of the locks of your new home. You never know who has a key to the current locks. While you are having the locks rekeyed be sure to have extras made as well. Give backups to friends and family that you trust and consider getting a safe box for a spare key should you lock yourself out.  

Plan to deep clean before you begin unpacking and settling in. Wipe down walls, mop floors, dust every cranny and hire a carpet cleaner. If you plan on repainting do it while the rooms are still (mostly) empty. You will only have to move furniture once and it will be easier to clean up afterward.  

Refer to your inspector report for maintenance tasks. Plan them out by making necessary arrangements. Hire professionals, schedule out weekend projects and purchase necessary supplies. If this is your first house you’ll want to purchase equipment to take care of your new yard. Especially items like a lawnmower, hose and gardening tools.

Change your address on important accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, health insurance, memberships, subscriptions and workplace benefits. Hopefully, you’ve already put in your change of address with the post office. However, this is only for a few months which is why it’s important to make these changes now.

Locate all of your shut off valves in case of emergency. Know where the main shut off valves are as well as the minor ones. Familiarize yourself with your circuit breaker and make sure that it is appropriately labeled. Now is a great time to come up with an emergency plan and course of action for your family in case anything should happen.

The first week in a new home can feel very hectic. There is just so much to do in such a small amount of time! However, there are always tasks that need to take priority. Use this guide for your first week in your new home to get everything in order with the least amount of friction during the process.




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Posted by TLC Real Estate on 8/17/2018

We’re not taught much about homeownership when we’re young. Like paying bills and taxes, it’s something we’re all expected to pick up along the way. But with something as important and expensive as buying a home, there should be a guide to help first time homeowners determine if they’re ready to enter the real estate market.

Today, we’re going to attempt to provide you with that guide. We’ll offer some of the prerequisites to homeownership to help you determine if you’re ready to buy your first home.

A rite of passage

Buying a house is a significant moment in anyone’s life. It’s often a precursor to starting a career, a family, and settling in a part of the country you will likely call home for a large portion of your life.

It’s also overwhelming.

There’s much to prepare for before buying your first home. You’ll be calculating a lot of expenses, thinking about jobs and schools, and learning new things about home maintenance. Here are some things to think about before buying your first home.

Can I afford it?

The most obvious question first time buyers ask themselves is whether they can afford a home. What many don’t ask, however, is if they can afford all of the unexpected expenses that come with homeownership.

Everyone knows they’ll be making mortgage payments. But to decide if you can really afford a home you’ll have to make a detailed budget. Here are some other expenses to consider:

  • Mortgage closing costs

  • Property tax

  • Home insurance

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • Home improvement

  • All utilities

  • Moving costs

Do I plan on staying in the area?

When you buy a home, you’re not just committing yourself to the house itself, but also to the area you live in. Typically, it only makes sense to buy a home if you’re planning on staying in it for a number of years (usually five or more). Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you can truly commit yourself to your area.

  • Could my career lead me to transferring to another location?

  • Could my spouse’s career lead them to transferring?

  • If children are in the present/future, is the local school district what I’m looking for in terms of education for my child?

  • Will I want to move live to family?

  • Will I have to move soon to care for aging parents?

  • Do I like the weather and culture in the area?

Is my income stable?

Owning a home is much easier when you have a stable income or two stable incomes between you and your significant other. It help you get preapproved for a mortgage and help you rest easy knowing that you can keep up with the bills each month to maintain or build your credit.

Stability doesn’t just mean feeling comfortable that your company won’t get closed down or that you’ll be dismissed from your job. It also means that there are frequent openings in your field of work in the area you choose to live. So, when planning to buy a home, make sure you factor in the potential travel distance to cities or places you could potentially work.

Am I prepared to put in extra work?

If you currently rent an apartment, you’re most likely not responsible for maintenance outside of basic cleaning. Owning a home is a different story. You’ll be taking care of the house inside and out. That means learning basic maintenance and buying the tools for the job.

It also means mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, shoveling snow off of the roof, and other menial tasks that you’ll need to make time for.







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