No Comments

Prioritizing Lifestyle Amid Rising Interest Rates

The real estate market has changed over the past year. One of the biggest
issues facing anyone considering a home purchase or sale is rising interest
rates. After enjoying years of mortgage rates in the 2-3% range, many
borrowers are shocked to see a conventional 30-year fixed loan offering
rates as high as 7 per cent. While historically reasonable, this increase is
having an impact on the real estate market. If you are considering a move,
it’s important to remember that your lifestyle still needs to take precedence
over these temporary changes.

First, your mortgage interest rate is just one aspect of your overall financial
situation. Taking a more holistic view of the potential move, including
lifestyle and personal needs, may provide a more favorable picture. For
example, if the move is a downsize, what is the savings in loan amount
(less expensive home), maintenance and repair costs, utility costs, property
taxes, etc.? One must also consider the potential tax deduction difference
that mortgage interest might provide.

Another important consideration is that property values may have dropped
in some areas as rates have increased. While one may not completely
balance the other, it can make the increase more palatable. Additionally,
rates fluctuate and if interest rates decrease, you might have the option to
refinance down the road. Meanwhile, home values have historically been a
great vehicle for wealth building as values rise over time.

Finally, and most importantly, if your lifestyle has changed and you want to
move, then that should be your priority. Quality of life is the single most
important aspect of health. While rising interest rates may change your
decision, it should not keep you from moving if that’s what’s best.

No Comments

Unusual but Important Considerations When Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Most people know that choosing the right neighborhood is one of the most
important aspects of a great lifestyle. When buying a new home, this
becomes even more important. While everyone knows that property values,
safety, schools, and commute ranks high in importance, there are some
considerations that are not commonly thought about in advance yet make a
huge impact on satisfaction.

· Vibrant Community and Social Scene – While some people are
looking for a quiet life in the country, for those craving more action, consider
this when choosing a neighborhood. Look for farmer’s markets, art
galleries, festivals, bars and clubs, community events; ways to create a
sense of belonging and involvement.

· Pet-Friendly Environment – For pet owners, finding a welcoming
community for their furry friends is important. Look for places with lots of
green space, dog parks, and pet-friendly establishments.

· Unique Architectural or Historic Value – There are many cities with
historical districts and heritage sites. Buying a home in these areas can be
a distinctly inspiring experience. One caveat, before buying, it’s important to
make sure to understand the rules and restrictions; often there are
ordinances which prevent changing the exterior of the home.

· Natural Surroundings – For nature enthusiasts, living near green
spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities can be important. In addition
to community parks, trails, or lakes, these buyers should consider proximity
to national parks, BLM land, or public waterways.

· Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Communities – If environmental
sustainability is important, then look for communities with eco-friendly policies and amenities. Watch for communal gardens, bike lanes, and
renewable energy initiatives.

Choosing the right neighborhood is about more than just property values
and school systems. By looking beyond the traditional aspects and
considering the unique things that enhance lifestyle, buyers can make sure
that the community, as well as the home, suits their needs.

No Comments

Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer Upper Home

Purchasing a fixer-upper property can be an exciting and rewarding
experience. HGTV is filled with programs of amateurs knocking down walls
and tiling bathroom floors. The fact is that this is much harder than it looks
and before diving headfirst into this kind of project, it’s critical to consider
whether you are prepared for the venture.

5 Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

1. Financial Planning – The first step in buying a fixer-upper home is to
establish a realistic budget. Include the purchase price, repairs costs, and
any expected expenses for renovation or restoration. Once you have
created a “known” list, then add extra for unexpected issues that will arise.

2. Time and Effort – Renovating a fixer-upper takes time and effort,
even if you hire a general contractor to oversee the project. Consider the
overall scope of the project and evaluate your skills and level of time

3. Structural Condition – Before making an offer, thoroughly inspect
the property’s structure and foundation. Recognize the impact of any issues
uncovered and make sure to budget for the proper corrections.

4. Real Estate Market and Location – Even a beautiful home in a
terrible area is a bad investment. Consider such factors as property values,
market trends and the potential for future appreciation. Work with a
financial planner to make sure the investment fits your long-term goals.

5. Legal Considerations – Before writing the offer, familiarize yourself
with local building codes, permit requirements, and zoning regulations.
Ensure the changes you anticipate align with local requirements.

Purchasing a fixer-upper home can be a wonderful investment and
worthwhile project. By evaluating your budget, time commitment, property
condition, and potential appreciation, you can be sure to choose the right
situation for your goals and experience.