The First Time Home Buyer's Checklist:
- I know where I want to live. Determining the location of your home is one of the most important factors that goes into home buying. Most decisions are influenced by your job/career, but things like family, friends and weather are all important things to consider. Aside from knowing where you want to live, you'll also need to know how long you want to stay. As a general rule, if you don't plan on staying in your home for at least 5-8 years it could be cheaper and easier to rent until you find somewhere you'd like to settle in.
- I have my finances under control. You don't need to be wealthy to buy a home, but you do need to have a strong understanding of your personal finances. In a spreadsheet, write down your total savings, monthly income and monthly expenses (including groceries, transportation, bills, and loans). Find out what type of mortgage and downpayment you can afford at your income level.
- My income is dependable. When you apply for a home loan the bank will look into this for you. But you should also want to make sure you can continue to afford your mortgage payments. How dependable is your job? Are there a lot of job opportunities in your field and in your area? These are all questions that help you determine the stability of your income.
- I have a good credit score. Your credit will be a big factor in getting approved for a home loan. Building credit seems complicated but it's based on four main things: paying bills on time, keeping balances relatively low, having a long record of repayment, and not opening several new cards or taking on multiple loans in a short period of time.
- I'm pre-approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved isn't mandatory, but it offers many benefits. First, it shows lenders that you are a safe person to loan money to. Second, it will give you insight into what banks think of your finances and will give you an idea of what price range you can safely buy in.
- I'm prepared for the responsibilities of owning a home and willing to learn. If you're handy around the house and can fix anything, that's great. What's more important, however, is that you have the time and willingness to learn new skills that will help you become a good homeowner.
Buying a home should be a fun, exciting experience, one that ends with you moving into your dream residence. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent you from accomplishing your ultimate goal.
No homebuyer should be left in the dark, especially when it comes to navigating a competitive real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you kick off your homebuying journey on the right foot.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you launch a successful homebuying journey.
1. Know Your Homebuying Budget
You know that you'd like to buy a house, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? With a homebuying budget in place, you can determine exactly what you can afford.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables you to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. Many credit unions and banks are available nationwide, and each lender is happy to provide details about a wide range of mortgage options. That way, you can select a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.
Also, don't forget to consider the costs of utilities when you budget for a home. And if you need to commute to work or school, you may want to consider your transportation expenses as well.
2. Examine the Housing Market
The housing market usually features a large collection of high-quality houses. Take a look at some of the houses that are currently available, and you can better plan for your homebuying journey.
For example, if there is an abundance of homes available in a city or town where you'd like to live, now may prove to be the ideal time to enter the real estate market. The sheer volume of residences indicates a buyer's market may be in place, so you might be able to boost your chances of acquiring an exceptional house at a budget-friendly price.
On the other hand, if homes are selling quickly in a particular area, it likely means a seller's market is in place. As such, you will need to be aggressive if you want to secure your dream residence at an affordable price.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
The homebuying journey can be daunting, particularly for those who are interested in purchasing a house for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market experience. He or she can share real estate insights with you to ensure you can purchase a great house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new properties, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns or questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.
Ready to make your homeownership dreams come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can enter the real estate market as an informed homebuyer.
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Your bathroom can quickly become one of the dirtiest places in the house even after a deep clean. Knowing the most important places to focus on in the bathroom can make or break the appearance of your bathroom. Read on for some tips to help keep your bathroom spic and span.
Toothpaste Causes Gunk And Build Up
You don‘t want toothpaste gunk to get ahead of you. Use all-purpose cleaners to quickly wipe away any toothpaste. Use baking soda or some other kind of abrasive cleaner to get up any stubborn toothpaste that won’t come up. Remember not to use abrasive cleaners on any surfaces that may scratch easily.
Keep The Toilet Tidy
The toilet is one of the more difficult areas of your home to clean. Keep ahead of the dirt in the toilet by spraying the bowl down with an all purpose cleaner or vinegar and water. The bowl can be sanitized easily with 1/4 cup of bleach or commercial toilet cleaner.
The Shower: Where You Get Clean
You need to get your shower in good shape so you feel clean once you get out of the shower. A gunky shower head can cause hard water due to lime build up. Attach a bag of vinegar over the shower head with a rubber band. Leave it on the shower head for 1 hour. Then, turn the shower on to flush with water.
In the tub, make a baking soda and vinegar paste, or use an all-purpose cleaner to remove soap scum and grime. Any rust stains can be removed with a stain-fighting cleaner.
Surface Clean Up
The different surfaces of your bathroom require different cleaning methods. For most surfaces, a damp mop will suffice to start. Many cleaning products can scratch or ruin certain materials so it is always best to err on the side of caution. A mild detergent can be used to help get rid of any dirt and grime on most surfaces.
Marble and granite can be vacuumed first to remove any debris. You shouldn’t use any sort of wax or acidic product to clean these types of stone.
Tile can be wiped with mild detergents and flushed down with water. You want to avoid using any harsh cleaning products that can ruin the tile. Wax and polish are no-gos on tile surfaces.
The best way to keep your bathroom clean is to do frequent quick cleanings. You don’t want to wait for dirt and grime to build up before you bother taking the time to tidy up the area.