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Articles Tagged "First-time buyers"

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April
11

Simple Ways to Transform Your Laundry Room

Laundry Room Tips

For many, laundry rooms are just a simple, functional area for washing clothes, but our real estate agents see them as a room with lots of opportunities.

During the staging process, we always remind our clients not to forget about the laundry room. It's among the most desirable features for buyers. In fact, 91% of home shoppers want a laundry room, and 57% said it's a must-have. Therefore, taking the time to stage this space gives you the opportunity to turn a basic functional area into a true asset.

Adding some beautiful decor or designs to your laundry room is an easy and affordable way to increase the overall appeal of your home. There are many wonderful ways to transform your laundry room into a beautifully designed addition. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Add Cabinets
    If there is one thing every laundry room needs, it's storage space. Adding some beautiful wood cabinets can not only provide you with that extra space, but they can also add some aesthetic appeal. Nice cabinets over the washer and dryer make it easy to keep cleaning materials put away. Just be sure to choose cabinets that match your appliances. 

  • Hang Floating Shelves
    New cabinets can be pricey, so if you're looking for a less expensive way to add more storage, consider some nice floating shelves. You can then organize your supplies into baskets and place store them nicely along the wall.

  • Add A Tile Backsplash
    Tile backsplashes aren't just for the kitchen. They make for a great design element in the laundry room too. Backsplashes are so versatile, as you can pick from a wide range of colors and patterns. Add one behind the washer and dryer for some nice contrast. 

  • Add An Island Or Counterspace For Folding
    If you have room for it, a small island or counter that can be used for folding clothes makes for a really nice addition. Buyers can envision themselves doing laundry all in one place as opposed to dragging laundry all over the house. An island or counter space also gives you some extra storage options. 

  • Go With A Bright Color Scheme
    All white laundry rooms are not only brighter, but they also appear larger as well. Try white appliances, walls, and floor tiles for a super clean and bright look. If you have windows in the laundry room, keep them open to maximize light exposure. Lots of natural light plus white colors can make for a great combination.

  • Add Wallpaper 
    Wallpaper is back in style this year, and you can have a lot of fun with it in the laundry room. There are many different styles and patterns on the market, so you can choose one that matches your personality and your decor.

With a little extra work, it's easy to transform a basic laundry room into a major selling point for buyers when they are looking at Richmond homes for sale. Contact us today for more tips on interior design.

February
21

5 Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home

Pet Friendly Home

Many households view their pets as family members, so it only makes sense that you would consider your pets when searching for a new home. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to ensure you buy a pet-friendly home. 

  1. Look for Flooring That's Easy to Clean
    Despite your best efforts, it's almost inevitable that your pet is eventually going to make a mess on your floors. If your pet is elderly or has a finicky stomach, these messes may occur more frequently. A pet-friendly home should have flooring that's quick and easy for you to clean, like laminate or tile. If you don't want this type of flooring throughout your whole home, search for a property that has pet-friendly flooring in the areas where your pet will spend most of their day. 
  1. Make Sure a Potential Home Has Space to Exercise Your Pet
    Your pet needs exercise, and the right home will give you space to provide your pet with the exercise it needs. This space doesn't necessarily need to be a large yard. A walkable neighborhood or a home that's close to a park are both terrific alternatives. Or, if you know from experience that you prefer the convenience of opening the door to give your pet room to play and exercise, make a spacious yard with a fence a top priority on your homebuying wishlist. 
  1. Check That a Potential Home Has Space for Your Pet's Equipment
    If your dog uses a crate or if you own pets that require a cage (like birds, rabbits, snakes, or guinea pigs), make sure that a potential home has ample space to house your pet's equipment. A large crate or cage can quickly take up much of the floor space in a smaller room. Or, if you have multiple cats, you'll likely need an area to house multiple litter boxes. When touring Richmond homes for sale, keep in mind the amount of space that your pet's equipment needs. Homes with an under-the-stairs area provide a great spot to house your pet's crate or litterbox. 
  1. Search for Homes with a Mudroom
    A mudroom is an excellent addition for any pet owner. It gives you a space to house your pet supplies so that they're conveniently located but out of sight. You can use your mudroom to clean your pet before granting them access to the rest of your home. Some mudrooms even come with wash stations ideal for washing muddy paws. 
  1. Consider if the Home Will be Accessible as Your Pet Ages
    As your pet gets older, they may have issues climbing stairs. A single-story home is a good option to ensure that your pets can easily navigate your home. Or, if you're interested in a multi-story home, look for one that offers the space your pet needs on the main level. 

Ready to move to a home with more space for all your family members? Contact us today to get started!

December
27

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent in 2022

Richmond Real Estate Agent

If you're planning on buying or selling a house in the coming year, you might be wondering how to find the right real estate agent to support your transaction. After all, so much of your success depends on the experience of the real estate agent you select to support you along the way. If you're selling your home, your real estate agent is key to securing the highest possible sale price. If you're considering one of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale, your agent's expertise in the market and negotiation experience can help you land a solid deal.

However, finding a good real estate agent with the right level of experience isn't as simple as you might think. With so many agents out there, you might have to do some work to really find one who is truly a good match for you and your family. To help you, below are some tips that can help you find the best real estate agent to support your transaction in 2022.

  • Seek Referrals From Someone You Trust
    If a friend, family member, or neighbor recently purchased or sold a home, you may want to consider asking them for an agent referral. An agent's past clients are the best source of information on the agent's expertise, character, and reputation. Just be sure to ask someone you trust!

  • Do Your Research
    Before choosing an agent, you'll want to do a good bit of research. Check out their online profiles, read reviews, and conduct an interview. During the process, look for signs that they're compassionate, patient, and knowledgeable about the industry. Set expectations around communication and timeframes, and see if they're willing to accommodate. 

  • Gauge The Agent's Responsiveness
    One of the most important characteristics of a real estate agent is responsiveness. In a hot market, you need an agent that's willing to quickly turn around offers and negotiations. When evaluating agents, pay attention to the time it takes them to return texts or calls. Also, look into the brokerage firm that supports them -- do they have a team behind them that can support if they're unavailable? Both buyers and sellers need to act quickly in today's market, and you don't want to miss out on opportunities due to an agent that is too busy.

  • Consider Their Experience
    It's always worth asking an agent about their track record of success. How long have they been an agent, and how many home sales or purchases have they supported? Ideally, you want an experienced negotiator in your corner, so it's perfectly acceptable to ask for examples of big wins and past client success.

  • But Experience Isn't Everything
    While experience certainly does matter, you also want to select an agent who is easy to work with and is the right fit for you and your family. Choose someone who is likable, relatable, and patient. If you're buying or selling for the first time, you'll likely want to work with an agent who takes their time and helps educate you on the process and the market. You're trusting your agent to guide you through one of the biggest financial transactions of your life.

Selecting the right real estate agent takes a bit of research, but it's well worth the time investment. A good agent can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your home purchase or sale. Contact us for more tips or to speak with one of our real estate agents today.

December
28

7 Reasons You Should Move to Richmond in 2021

Move to Richmond

As we move into the waning days of 2020, Richmond homes for sale are still getting plenty of attention from buyers. For all kinds of reasons, people from around the country are learning what our real estate agents already knew: Richmond is the place to be in 2021!

Let's look at seven of the biggest reasons why:

  1. The James River
    Richmond got its name from the river, as the breathtaking views from Libby Park's Church Hill reminded early residents of Richmond, England. There's plenty of space along the James to go hiking or bicycling – and yes, boating is popular, too! Plenty of picturesque neighborhoods sit right by the water.

  2. A Promising Future
    Richmond has one of the best post-COVID unemployment rates for large cities in the United States and is gaining ground in its employment outlook. There's a highly active downtown area with plenty of new development. Plus, RVA boasts an active startup scene and colorful small businesses.

  3. The Perfect Location
    With its central location – literally – Richmond is a convenient home base no matter where in the state you wish to journey. Sitting at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, it's two hours to the astonishing Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, or even Washington, DC.

  4. Vibrant Arts and Culture
    A truly creative city, Richmond has an array of museums, galleries, and musical venues to suit any taste. The Carpenter Theater is home to the Richmond Ballet. The Altria Theater brings Broadway right to your door, and both the Virginia Opera and Richmond Symphony are world-class.

  5. Family-Friendly Fun All Year Around
    Dotted with parks and playgrounds, Richmond is ideal for keeping the kids entertained. The Children's Museum of Richmond is an award-winning interactive experience, and the Science Museum of Virginia enthralls older kids. Local botanical gardens hold family days, and there are three amusement parks too.

  6. Unbeatable Culinary Scene
    Richmond is known for its culinary delights. Famous chefs flock here, and some of the top names in the industry got their start in the area. James Beard Award Winner Sally Bell has been offering classic boxed lunches since 1924, and Alton Brown of Good Eats called Proper Pie the best pumpkin pie he's ever had.

  7. A "Festive" Atmosphere
    There's always something going on in Richmond, with a social calendar packed with unique local events. Some favorites include the Irish Festival in Church Hill, the Easter Parade on Monument Avenue, Arts in the Park, Broadappetit, the Carytown Watermelon Festival, Hogtoberfest, and much more.

In 2021, Richmond is set to continue growing. It's a thriving city that will always pleasantly surprise you. There's plenty more to see, and your next home could be waiting!

Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about the area or get started.

November
2

Get Ready to Buy Your First Home With This Checklist

First Home Checklist

Are you ready to buy your first home? Congratulations! This is a major milestone and an awesome accomplishment that you should be proud of. Our real estate agents understand how important this decision is, and we're here to help anyone who feels ready to enter into homeownership. Get ready to buy your first home by using this helpful checklist.

  1. Check Your Credit Score
    First, we recommend all first-time buyers check their credit score, resolve any issues, and increase their score if possible. A few simple tricks can increase your credit score in a matter of months, which may help you secure a better mortgage rate.


  2. Determine Your Budget
    Before you determine how much home you can afford, you should look at how much your rent and bills cost now. This will give you a baseline of what you can afford, which you can then use to determine how much farther your budget can stretch.


  3. Know Your Finances
    As you look at your expenses, you should also determine how you can save for a down payment. See where you can not only cut expenses but find additional ways to proactively save each month to hit your down payment goal.


  4. Learn About Real Estate Transactions
    Educating yourself about real estate transactions is never a bad idea. Learning the lingo, uncovering the "hidden" costs of buying a home (such as closing costs and moving expenses), and understanding how a transaction proceeds from start to finish will better prepare you for your own experience.


  5. See if You Qualify for Assistance
    Many first-time homebuyers qualify for federal, state, or local programs that either provide financial assistance or enable you to secure a lower mortgage rate. You should also look into other assistance programs available to see if you qualify for assistance.


  6. Get Pre-Approved
    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is extremely beneficial. Not only will you discover how much you qualify for before you put in an offer, but you'll also look better in the eyes of the seller when you place an offer that already has pre-approval from a mortgage lender.


  7. Make a Wish List
    Before you begin your house hunt, create a list of what home features you need, want, and can live without. This will help you view each home objectively and not become distracted.


  8. Find a Real Estate Agent
    A knowledgeable, experienced, and honest real estate agent will be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. 


  9. Tour Homes
    It's time for you to begin your home search. Once you've narrowed the inventory down to your favorite homes, schedule private showings with your agent. Be sure to revisit your favorites multiple times at different hours of the day and night so you can truly get a feel for what the property and neighborhood are like throughout the day.


  10. Trust Your Instincts
    Ultimately, you need to trust your gut when buying a home. This is one of the largest purchases you'll ever make, and you must be completely confident and comfortable with your decision. Trust your instincts, and you'll achieve your homeownership goals.

Would you like to schedule tours of our latest Richmond homes for sale? Let us help you. Contact us today to tour the best homes in the RVA.  

September
21

5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes You Should Avoid

Homebuyer Mistakes

Purchasing a first home is one of the largest financial decisions most people make in a lifetime. The process can be an emotional roller coaster -- stressful, exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. For inexperienced homebuyers, it can be difficult to know what to expect and it's common to make mistakes during the house-hunting process. However, with a little preparation and research, you can avoid costly pitfalls and prevent major issues from popping-up down the line. Below are some tips to help you make the best decision when purchasing your first home.

  1. Don't Look at Homes Before Applying for a Mortgage
    While it may be tempting to dive right in and start viewing these beautiful Richmond Homes for sale, your first step should be to apply for a mortgage. Being pre-approved sends a signal that you're a serious, qualified buyer. Not only will this help you understand how much you can afford, but you'll be in the right position to make an offer once you do find the home you love.
  2. Consider Multiple Lenders
    Sometimes first-time homebuyers will accept a mortgage from the first lender they meet with instead of shopping around for the best rate. This can be an incredibly expensive mistake. Be sure to compare rates and evaluate at least three lenders and a mortgage broker to be sure you're getting the best deal.
  3. Draining Your Savings
    While putting down 20% is usually a good idea, it's also important not to drain your savings. Owning a home can come with many unanticipated costs, so it's a good idea to have some cash on hand for emergencies. If you barely have enough cash to make the 20% down payment, you might be better off putting a smaller amount down so you can be better prepared for emergencies.
  4. Forgetting About the Neighborhood
    Remember, you're not just buying the house, you're also buying a piece of a neighborhood. It's common for first-time homebuyers to fall in love with a house, only then to later realize the neighborhood isn't what they expected. Be sure to buy a house in an area that has the location, and amenities that are the best fit for you and your family. 
  5. Making an Emotional Decision
    Because purchasing a first home is such a major life experience, it can be easy to fall in love with a particular feature or amenity. It can be easy to envision some of life's great moments happening in a specific home. While it might be difficult, it's important to try to remove emotions from the decision making process and instead, make sure your future home checks all the right boxes.

Buying your first home can be an intimidating experience, but our REALTORS® can help. If you're a first-time homebuyer, contact us today for assistance. 

March
23

Guide to Closing Costs for First-Time Buyers

Guide to Closing Costs

Like most major purchases, buying a home involves expenses beyond the reported sale price of the home. Some of these expenses are for processing key paperwork, and others cover measures to help you aware of potential issues with your purchase. Our real estate agents want you to be prepared for the full process of buying a home. Some expenses consist of a flat fee, such as the mortgage application or home inspection fee. Other expenses represent a percentage of the sale price. While exact figures are hard to determine before you make an offer on a specific home, knowing what these expenses are can help you estimate a figure for the assorted expenses involved. 

Go With The Pros

New homeowners can recall one key aspect of buying a house: the reams of paperwork. You're making a large and legally significant purchase, and much of the paperwork will be in complex, legalistic language. Many homebuyers hire an attorney to review the paperwork and ensure that all is in order and that there are no aspects of the sale that will surprise either buyer or seller. It's a small cost compared to a home purchase price and can save you much more in unexpected expenses. 

You'll have a chance to view your new home before you buy it, but what you probably won't have at the open house is the expertise of a home inspector. Home inspectors are trained and licensed to diagnose signs of damage and deterioration and identify areas in need of repair. You can have this done before you make an official offer, or as part of closing. You may also want to have the lot your home sits on surveyed to help establish boundaries and dimensions. It's more common for commercial properties, but can be beneficial for homebuyers to know where their responsibilities end and where their neighbors' begin. 

A Sense of Entitlement 

When you buy a home, you're joining a chain of owners. Occasionally, that chain can get tangled or even break. Your closing costs will include a title search and title insurance to make sure that you bought your home from someone authorized to sell it, and to protect you if a dispute over ownership arises. If you omit these, you may wind up making a significant investment in a home you don't truly own. 

Starting On The Right Foot

Some closing costs represent the initial payments of expenses you'll continue to pay after you take possession. These include property taxes, mortgage insurance, and homeowners insurance premiums. How much you have to pay upfront can vary, and you may be asked to cover a period before your move-in.

If you'd like to get an estimate of closing costs for one of our Richmond homes for sale, this worksheet should give you a good idea of what to expect. If you have further questions about buying a home in Richmond, we'll be pleased to answer them when you contact us.

September
23

How to Draft a Personalized Offer Letter

Personalized Offer Letters - Joyner Fine Properties

After days, weeks, or even months of browsing Richmond homes for sale, you've found the perfect house for you. Research and diligence have placed you in the best position to take the next steps — submitting an offer.

How to Draft a Personalized Offer Letter in 10 Steps

Before you ask your real estate agent to formally offer a price, you may want to consider writing a personalized offer letter. Sending in a sincere note along with your offer price can make a world of difference, especially when you're competing against other buyers. Our real estate agents suggest following these ten steps when drafting your personalized offer letter.   

  1. Format & Outline

    Any document you create should look as professional as possible. Look for templates or advice on how to format an offer letter. Start with a friendly introduction, perhaps two to three paragraphs for the body and a strong yet amicable closing statement.

  2. Personalize it from the Start

    First, purchase a nice piece of stationary and plan on handwriting the letter for a more personal touch. When addressing the seller, refer to them by name and introduce yourself. You want your message to act as a friendly introduction.

  3. Paint a Picture

    Help the seller visualize who might live in their home. Provide a few details about yourself, such as how large your family is and if you're new to the area. By offering a few personal details, you can help them see you as an individual, not just another prospective buyer.

  4. Find Commonalities

    If there's a way, you can connect with the seller on a significant topic, consider including it. For example, if you've noticed they have décor reflecting a sports team you're a fan or if the flowers they've planted in their garden are your personal favorites, mention it. This could create a more meaningful connection.

  5. Highlight What You Like About the Home

    Pick two or three aspects of the home that you love the most and praise them. Whether it's the large backyard, spacious living room or cozy kitchen, be sure to identify these features as your favorites. Identifying the specifics shows that you'll appreciate the unique features of the house.

  6. Don't Mention Remodeling

    You might want to do a few renovations to the home, but you shouldn't mention that to the seller. They may not agree with your changes or may not appreciate someone remodeling the home.

  7. Extend a Reasonable Offer

    Don't beat around the bush when you state your offer and don't be unreasonable. Extend your offer with confidence and respect, showing that you're serious about moving forward.

  8. End With Impact

    Closeout your letter by thanking them for their consideration and expressing a willingness to make this process as smooth as possible.

  9. Edit Twice, Submit Once

    Don't send it off right after the ink dries! You need to proofread the letter and make sure it looks and sounds professional. We suggest having someone like your real estate agent review it.

  10. Be Confident & Content

    Once you feel like the letter is ready, submit it and try to relax. You've prepared and presented your position the best way you can — now it's time to wait for a reply.

For help finding and putting an offer in on fabulous Richmond homes for sale, contact us today!

August
19

Final Walk-through Checklist for Home Buyers

Checklist for Home Buyers - Joyner Fine Properties

You've found your dream home, your offer was accepted, and now you're anxiously awaiting your closing date. 

While it might seem like the hard part is over, there is one more thing you need to take care of before you sign your closing paperwork: your final walk-through. It is your last chance to make sure the home is exactly as it should be before it becomes yours. This is not something you should take lightly. 

During your walk-through, you'll want to make sure that all repairs are complete and that nothing has changed since the last time you saw the home. To help make sure you don't forget anything important, our REALTORS® have created the following final walk-through checklist. Let's get started! 

  1. Gather Up the Essentials
    You're only going to get one shot at your final walkthrough, so make sure you have everything you need before you head out. You'll want to bring your final contract and your inspection summary. Also make sure you have a pen and paper, and your mobile phone and charger (in case you need to take photos or videos). Finally, confirm that your realtor is planning to attend the walk-through with you. 
  2. Check All Repairs
    One of the most important things you'll do during your walkthrough is to confirm that all negotiated repairs have been completed to your satisfaction. Also, make sure the previous owner has left copies warranties for the work and purchase receipts. This will come in handy if you need to follow up after you've purchased the home. 
  3. Make Sure Nothing is Missing
    Your purchase agreement should note exactly what's included in the sale of the home. This includes things like blinds, light fixtures, and appliances. During your walk-through, check to make sure everything that's supposed to be in the home is there.
  4. Check the Outside of the House
    Don't forget about the outside of the home! Walk around and check the condition of the yard, landscaping, and trees. Make sure any landscape lighting, statues, or anything else that should be included hasn't been removed. Check the pool pump and heater. Finally, check the sprinkler system and inspect the fence and gates to ensure there's no damage. 
  5. Inspect Everything One Last Time
    Although you should have already had a full inspection done on your home, things can change from the time the inspection is done and your final walk-through date. It's always a good idea to repeat most of the inspection points including:
    • Make sure all appliances work
    • Make sure all windows open
    • Confirm that no windows or screens are broken or missing
    • Check bathrooms for standing water, water damage, or mold
    • Turn on all faucets and showers
    • Check that the hot water works
    • Check the kitchen for standing water or water damage
    • Test the heating and air conditioning system
    • Turn lights on and off and confirm that all outlets work
    • Check doorbells, security system, and garage door 
    • Check door locks and hinges
    • Look for signs of pests or rodents

Hopefully, everything will look great, and you can look forward to your closing date. If you notice any issues, however, you'll want to discuss them with your REALTOR® who will help you decide on the best course of action. In most cases, any problems can easily be fixed and shouldn't impact your closing date. 

If you haven't found your ideal home yet, now is the perfect time to get started. There are plenty of great properties available in Richmond, and we would love to help you find the one that's right for you. Contact us to get started. 

July
2

3 Things To Know In The Housing Market Today!

Daily News On Ipad with Coffee and NotepadA lot is happening in the world, and it's having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don't know yet.

The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.

1. Interest Rates

One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. We recently posed the question, "Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?" The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.

30 year fixed rate Mortgage rate

2. Building Materials

Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.

3. Economic Slowdown

At the beginning of the year, many economic leaders thought we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, we reported that economists had started to push that projection past 2020.  Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.

Next Recession Beginning Chart

Bottom Line

We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months.  Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it's a great time to be in the market.

SOURCE: Keeping Current Matters - Steve Harney

May
30

How to know if you're ready to buy a house

Buying a house should never be entered into lightly, and often many potential buyers may not realize just how much work it actually takes or the process involved. Doing as much research as possible can help determine exactly what is needed and required, to put a buyer in the best possible position to make a purchase.

Here are ten (10) great ways to help you identify the point at which making a home purchase becomes feasible for you:

1) Little to no credit card debt

When you're trying to get a mortgage, perhaps the most important aspect of doing so is getting your credit card debt reduced as close to zero as possible, according to Money Under 30. That's true for two reasons. First, the size of your credit card balances relative to your limits makes up a significant portion of your credit score. Second, lenders look at debt-to-income ratio. As long as you're carrying relatively small balances from one month to the next (or ideally, not carrying a balance at all), you'll be in good shape.

2) All other loans paid off

One of the biggest hurdles for the millennial generation when it comes to being financially capable of buying a home is student loans. It may not be wise to try to buy until your loan balances under control. That doesn't mean they have to be paid off in full, but they certainly need to be somewhat small relative to your income.

3) Tens of thousands of dollars in savings

Ready to buy?If you're trying to buy a home in today's market, you'll almost certainly need to make a sizable down payment. While it's possible to get mortgages with down payment requirements as low as 3 percent, the added long-term expense could end up costing you significantly over the life of the loan. Making as large a down payment as possible is going to keep your borrowing costs down.

4) A rainy day fund

In addition to the money that will go toward your down payment, it's vital to have some additional money saved just in case something goes wrong with the home, according to Mint. As a general rule, having about $1 per square foot - or 1 percent of the purchase price - in the bank will help cover some basic expenses you're likely to encounter after your home purchase.

5) A long-term plan

Whether you're buying a home for a whole family or as a single person, you need to know what your situation is going to look like two, five, 10 or even 20 years down the road. That will inform a lot of decisions about the kinds of homes you're looking to purchase - i.e. not buying a small one that you'll have to move out of in a few years when you have kids - and how much work you'll have to put in to make sure your finances are in good enough shape to do so.

6) Reliable income

Lenders also want to make sure you're going to be able to keep up with your mortgage payments in the long term, so a steady job is a must, according to Credit Sesame. While no one can predict their employers' future with 100 percent accuracy, it might not be a good idea to go house hunting at a time of turmoil. As long as you're fairly confident in your position, shopping should be no problem.

7) A comfortable cushion

One issue some homeowners encounter after buying a home is they've pushed themselves so far financially trying to get ready for the real estate sales process that they come out the other side in rough financial shape. Being "house poor" means people own a house but otherwise struggle financially because of the cost of that property. You'll need to make sure you're not buying too much house or else risk running into other financial problems even if you can technically afford the mortgage and other costs.

8) An understanding of what constitutes affordability

Along similar lines, it's vital to not only factor in the cost of the mortgage, taxes and so on themselves, but also other expenses. This may include higher electric and heating bills that come with living in a bigger space, more costly insurance coverage (especially if your new home is in an area prone to flooding) and so on. Sitting down and doing the math around the true cost of homeownership will help you avoid being house poor or running into expenses you might not have realized will crop up

9) A list of must-haves and nice-to-haves

When people actually start shopping for homes, it can be easy to fall in love with certain properties, according to Forbes. However, while it would be nice to have a state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless steel appliances, it's probably going to be expensive and not necessary to your happiness in the home. Having a list of things that you will absolutely need out of your new property - big backyard for the kids, finished basement for a home office, etc. - will inform your choices and help you get a better idea of what you can actually afford.

10) A talented and experienced agent

The key role of real estate professionals in every portion of the process cannot be overstated. They will be able to help first-time buyers as well as those who have previously been through the process get as prepared as possible so they can maximize their understanding and the value they get out of buying a home. Experienced agents have likely seen it all and can help shepherd any client through a sale - as either buyers or sellers - with ease.

 

Buying a home is usually going to be the biggest purchase anyone makes in their entire lives, so it's important to put in a lot of legwork - over a period of months or more - to ensure things go as smoothly as possible at each step of the shopping process. That, in turn, will help you feel more confident in your ability to make a purchase with confidence that you've done everything right. 

 

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/20/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/20/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 1:07:52 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 12:54:02 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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Agency License Information: Joyner Fine Properties and its agents are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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