The Crucial Steps You Need to Know to Minimize the Risk of Owning a Home

Once upon a time, owning a home was considered to be one of the safest investments someone could make. These days with thousands of people underwater with the mortgages, and many others have walked away, owning a home has become a lot scarier, and out of reach for many. While it may be scary to purchase your first home (especially after all the bad press about the recent real estate bubble), it’s still one of the best investments anyone can make for your future. Owning a home doesn’t have to be scary. The easiest way to minimize that risk is by following these crucial steps.

Avoid Subprime, “Special” or “Adjustable” mortgage rates and find a fixed rate mortgage

One of the biggest problems people faced when they were having trouble with their homes was that they took out an adjustable rate mortgage. The appeal of an initially low interest rate got a lot of people into homes. Unfortunately, many were not prepared when the interest rate increased and the monthly mortgage went up, squeezing the homeowner out of their home.

While adjustable rate mortgages are appealing because of their promises of a low interest rate, a fixed rate mortgage allows the homeowner to plan much further in advance. This predictability for your finances is invaluable for many, and the peace of mind is worth much more than what you might otherwise initially save by using a special or adjustable rate mortgage.

Put a Home Warranty in Place

One of the most common things potential homeowners talk about as a deterrent to buying a home is the fact that when they buy it, that’s it, they’re the ones responsible for whatever may go wrong. That’s why to help alleviate that risk, when buying your home, you should put a home warranty in place. A home warranty will help cover any major costs associated with the general upkeep and maintenance of your new home. This is mostly limited to things like fixing a leaky roof, a broken hot water heater, or wiring that may have gone wrong at some point.

Your home warranty will begin once you close on your home kicks in. Depending on the coverage you selected, this warranty will help cover your home against whatever may break, wear out or need replacing. Some companies even offer you coverage for major home appliances like your dishwasher or specialty fixtures that may come with the home. In Atlanta, the seller is usually willing to pay for it for the first year.

Inspect & Price Potential Repairs

Your dream home may be in the perfect neighborhood, close to the best schools and right next to work, but you don’t want to move into a place that all sorts of problems that you’d be responsible for after purchasing. Generally, pest and roof inspectors will provide you with an estimate if they encounter any problems. A more general inspection report of the home could reveal many problems that will need to be repaired before you move in. Work with your agent, you should be able to schedule actual repair contractors to come and evaluate the home before you buy and help put together a few bids to give you a better idea of how much work will be needed after your purchase. Going into buying the home with all the knowledge you can get is the best way to negotiate more favorable terms.

Buy with the Next Ten Years in Mind

Purchasing a home comes with certain expectations. Many people who got in trouble over the last few years were trying to play the market and “flip” those properties quickly for a profit. When buying a home now, you should buy with the expectation that you will be living there for at least the next five to ten years. This can give you a better peace of mind knowing that you will have a place that you can come home to while supporting your investment for a long time to come. Things happen in life obviously, so you can’t predict everything that will happen in the next ten years (new job, larger family, etc), but when buying the home, look for one that you can imagine seeing yourself in for the next ten years.

There are no guarantees when you are buying a home. That’s why the more you prepare and think long term, the better off you will be.

Checklist For Moving Your Home To A New Location

When it is time to move, it is time for decisions. The choices you make when planning a move will determine how your family handles the stress of moving. Properly planned your move can be an exciting adventure or it can be a depressing disaster.

The first thing you do is to make contact with a removals company for their ideas and suggestions for help in preparing for your move. They may want to come do a survey, which you should gratefully welcome. This allows their moving professionals to see what is involved and what will be needed. The things needed for preparation are considerably different if you are moving to another country or just down the lane to the next village. You can search for removals companies in your area online. For example if you lived in Cambridge you can search for Cambridge Removals.

Make sure you involve everyone in the family in the process of preparation for the move. Let the children inventory their things and identify things they would like to give away to charity. Things are worn out and used, may not be wanted anymore by your family but they may be wonderful things for a family in need. The bottom line is that what you move should only be items you expect to need at your new home.

Before any packing is done, make sure you take a written inventory of everything in the house. The best way to start is to make a video or take photographs of everything that will come on the move. This provides you with proof of items involved in the relocation. This type of data is necessary and probably required by your insurance company if a claim needs to be filed.

Check several times to be sure dangerous items are not transported with your personal items. No chemical agents, fuels or batteries should be packed away with any of your goods. Your removals agent can give you a list of dangerous or banned substances that cannot accompany your household goods.

Make sure that items you take with you personally are safely put away. Somehow it seems that something always gets packed that you needed to take with you. Avoid this problem by selecting things to take, for each person in the family, and storing them safely away.

Any items you plan to put in storage should be moved to storage before the main day of moving. Making multiple moves to different locations in the same day is not an experience you should want to endure.

The more you plan the better your move will proceed. Have the children research about the new place you will live, and plan the trip to get there. Keeping everyone involved is the key, along with good planning, to a fantastic moving experience.

Ursula Jones writes on a number of subjects including moving home and using removals companies. For Cambridge removals please see http://cambridgevanman.co.uk/

Sell Your Atlanta Metro Area Home Now

Looking to sell your Atlanta metro area home? We get questions all the time- when should I put my home on the market? Springtime belongs to the real estate market. It is the season that brings out the best in buyers looking for a new home. Market activity will be high and new home sales will soar. With all this going on, when should serious home sellers list their homes? The answer: right now.

Since housing inventory is low in Metro Atlanta during the winter months, homes that are listed now will have less competition. This means your home can be a stand-out instead of being buried under the influx of inventory will come later in April & May. You can act now, sell your Atlanta metro area home, and take advantage of this crucial exposure because when summer hits, the volume of homes for sale will skyrocket.

We believe this year is going to be one of the strongest years in recent memory for buying real estate. When a slumping housing inventory is coupled with high buyer demand, home prices are bound to rise. Interest rates are still very low which means that buyers have more purchasing power than ever. Bank inventory is some of the lowest we have seen in years.

Of course, buyers want to pay the best price possible, which is why the Atlanta Housing Source Team believes that they will be motivated to buy now – before prices go up. As we see home prices rising, this can also mean a corresponding increase in interest rates. Today’s buyers have the lowest interest rates available in decades which give them the power to buy “more home” without an increase in their monthly housing payment.

If a buyer purchased a $200K home with a 4.65% interest rate, their mortgage payment would be around $1,013 per month. Now with rates as low as 3.65%, they would be able to buy a home worth $225K, with no increase in their monthly payment. This gives buyers an extra $25,000 of buying power without increasing the monthly cost of their home.

With the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy put in place September of 2012, home lending rates dropped again to historically low levels. At the current rate of 3.32%, home buyers are shopping aggressively before this QE3 policy comes to an end.

In past years, a record number of homeowners, having lost their home due to foreclosure, are now choosing to rent instead of buy property. The high demand for rentals, and a general lack of supply, has actually increased rental rates beyond a typical monthly mortgage payment would be. With the market dynamic being that it is cheaper to buy than to rent, you have yet another solid reason to list your property for sale. If ever there was even a time to put a home on the market, it is right now.

This unique combination of market conditions, including extremely low interest rates, buyers in the marketplace with more buying power, low housing inventory and mortgage payments being cheaper than rent, should be the greatest motivators for you, the home seller, to list your home sooner rather than later. If you take advantage of today’s market conditions and price your home appropriately, you will sell your home in no time at all.

Ready to sell your Atlanta Metro Area home? Want a FREE Evaluation of your home’s worth? Complete a short form and we will be happy to provide you with a range. Want a more detailed analysis? Call Mark Lackey at 404.886.8789 today for an appointment.

 

What To Do When Your Home Isn’t Selling

When you sell your home, the process is almost like going to a job interview.  Selling a home involves presentation, which is one of the key factors that determine the outcome.  Although this may sound a bit weird, presentation is a way of life in the world of real estate.  Buyers in today’s market look for good presentation – many basing their final decisions on it.

If the property you are selling comes with a garage, you’ll need to go through your garage before you sell your home.  Chances are that you store things in your garage, which can easily pile up over time before you realize it.  If your garage is in a messy condition, you’ll obviously want to clean it up.  Buyers look for homes that are in perfect condition, and anything less than perfect will look bad in the eyes of the buyer.

Most homes have some truly outstanding features inside of them.  You should always do your best to highlight the best features of your home, instead of just hoping that the buyer understands what they are.  The ideal way to bring out the best features of your home is to use the proper lighting.  If your home is clean, you can use lighting to bring out the best features in your home, and ensure that they stand out to the buyer.

When a potential buyer first pulls up to your home; the first thing he will see is your lawn.  If your lawn is trimmed and well taken care of, he will get a good impression right off the bat. If your lawn is a wreck, he may immediately pull away.  To give the best impression to the buyer, you should put some thought into how things look.  You can always plant flowers around the walkway and throughout the yard, which will look great to a potential buyer.

You should also make sure that the entrance into your home is a positive as well.  The front door should be in great shape, as well as the entry area into the home.  You can add some plants, paintings, and rugs to ensure that your buyer gets a good impression.  When the buyer walks through the entry way into your home, you should make sure that the view he or she takes in is a good on.  Your biggest goal when showing your home is to ensure that the buyer is pleased.

Keep in mind that it may take some time to sell your home.  These days, homes depending on price and condition, can sit on the market for months at a time before they actually sell.  If you are having trouble selling your home and want a second opinion, we would be happy to speak with you about how we get homes sold.

Homes for Sale | Wellington Lake

Wellington Lake subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Wellington Lake in Gwinnett County, GA.

Wellington Lake subdivision, Duluth GA is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Highway 141. The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at the Forum or a short drive to the Mall of Georgia.

Wellington Lake is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Wellington Lake is one of Wellington Lake’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are Simpson Elementary School, Pinckneyville Middle School and Norcross High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Wellington Lake are typically priced from the $400,000-$950,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Wellington Lake or Gwinnett home buyer.

             SEE ALL WELLINGTON LAKE HOMES FOR SALE:

See all Real Estate in the Wellington Lake tract.
(all data current as of 10/25/2014)

  1. 6 beds, 5 full baths
    Home size: 5,437 sq ft
    Square foot source: Appraisal
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  2. 6 beds, 5 full baths
    Home size: 5,437 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,037 sqft
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  3. 5 beds, 5 full baths
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  4. 5 beds, 5 full baths
    Home size: 5,182 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Homes for Sale | Sweet Bottom Plantation

Sweet Bottom Plantation subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Sweet Bottom Plantation in Gwinnett County, GA.

Sweet Bottom Plantation subdivision, Duluth GA is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at area malls and restaurants.

Sweet Bottom Plantation is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Sweet Bottom Plantation is one of Sweet Bottom Plantation’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are Berkeley Lake Elementary School, Duluth Middle School and Duluth High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Sweet Bottom Plantationare typically priced from the $450,000-$800,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Sweet Bottom Plantation or Gwinnett home buyer.

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Homes for Sale | Howell Wood

 

Howell Wood subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Howell Wood in Gwinnett County, GA.

Howell Wood subdivision, Duluth GA is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at The Forum Mall and the Mall of Georgia area.

Howell Wood is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Howell Wood is one of Howell Wood’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are Berkeley Lake Elementary School, Duluth Middle School and Duluth High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Howell Woodare typically priced from the $325,000-$350,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Howell Wood or Gwinnett home buyer.

 SEE ALL HOWELL WOOD HOMES FOR SALE:

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(all data current as of 10/25/2014)

  1. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 2,198 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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  2. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Lot size: 23,958 sqft
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  3. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 2,272 sq ft
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  4. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 2,272 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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  5. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 2,090 sq ft
    Lot size: 31,798 sqft
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Homes for Sale | Sugarloaf Country Club

Sugarloaf Country Club subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Sugarloaf Country Club in Gwinnett County, GA.

Sugarloaf Country Club subdivision, Duluth GA is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Sugarloaf Parkway The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at The Forum Mall and the Mall of Georgia area and the TPC Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf Country Club is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Sugarloaf Country Club is one of Sugarloaf Country Club’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are M.H. Mason Elementary School, Hull Middle School and Peachtree Ridge High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Sugarloaf Country Clubare typically priced from the $660,000-$1,000,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Sugarloaf Country Club or Gwinnett home buyer.

 SEE ALL SUGARLOAF COUNTRY CLUB HOMES FOR SALE:

See all Real Estate in the Sugarloaf Country Club tract.
(all data current as of 10/25/2014)

  1. 6 beds, 6 full, 2 part baths
    Home size: 8,511 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.06 ac
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  2. 6 beds, 6 full, 2 part baths
    Home size: 8,511 sq ft
    Square foot source: Appraisal
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  3. 6 beds, 6 full, 2 part baths
    Home size: 8,172 sq ft
    Square foot source: Appraisal
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  4. 6 beds, 6 full, 2 part baths
    Home size: 8,172 sq ft
    Lot size: 29,620 sqft
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  5. 6 beds, 6 full, 2 part baths
    Home size: 8,396 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Homes for Sale | Stonebrier at Sugarloaf

 

Stonebrier at Sugarloaf subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Stonebrier at Sugarloaf in Gwinnett County, GA.

Stonebrier at Sugarloaf subdivision, Duluth GA  is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Sugarloaf Parkway The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at The Forum Mall and the Mall of Georgia area

Stonebrier at Sugarloaf is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Stonebrier at Sugarloaf is one of Stonebrier at Sugarloaf’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are Parsons Elementary School, Hull Middle School and Peachtree Ridge High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Stonebrier at Sugarloafare typically priced from the $375,000-$650,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Stonebrier at Sugarloaf or Gwinnett home buyer.

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Homes for Sale | Berkshire at Sugarloaf

Berkshire at Sugarloaf subdivision, located in the Gwinnett County area of Berkshire at Sugarloaf in Gwinnett County, GA.

Berkshire at Sugarloaf subdivision, Duluth GA  is conveniently located in Gwinnett County near Old Peachtree Road. The neighborhood is only minutes away from fine shopping and dining at The Forum Mall area

Berkshire at Sugarloaf is very close to outstanding amenities such as various restaurants and outdoor recreation. Berkshire at Sugarloaf is one of Berkshire at Sugarloaf’s most established and desirable neighborhoods

The outstanding local schools that serve are Parsons Elementary School, Hull Middle School and Peachtree Ridge High School the school buses make stops throughout the neighborhood.

Homes in Berkshire at Sugarloafare typically priced from the $350,000-$375,000, so there really are homes in a choice of price ranges for any Berkshire at Sugarloaf or Gwinnett home buyer.

 SEE ALL BERKSHIRE AT SUGARLOAF HOMES FOR SALE:

See all Real Estate in the Berkshire At Sugarloaf tract.
(all data current as of 10/25/2014)

  1. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 3,865 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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  2. 5 beds, 6 full baths
    Home size: 5,607 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,988 sqft
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  3. 5 beds, 6 full baths
    Home size: 3,794 sq ft
    Square foot source: Appraisal
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  4. 5 beds, 4 full, 1 part baths
    Home size: 3,864 sq ft
    Square foot source: Tax Record
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.