For generations, homeowners would buy a home for life. Working over the years to make the payments and celebrating the end of the 30 year mortgage were great milestones in the family. Today, few home buyers expect to be in their home for longer than 7 years on average. Paying off a 30 year mortgage seems like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are great ways to pay off your loan which do not involve time. Here are a few tips for paying off your mortgage loan faster.
- Biweekly Payments – Work with your lender to determine how they handle biweekly payments. If processed immediately, you can save 8 years of payments on a 30 year loan.
- Extra Payments – By making just one extra payment each year, you can pay off your loan 11 years earlier.
- Refinance to 15 years – There are great interest rates available for mortgage loans. Consider a 15 year mortgage.
- Principal Reduction – Watch for ways to add to your monthly payment a little at a time. When possible, increase the principal payment you make.
Paying off your mortgage builds wealth. Consider your life goals, including retirement. A 30 year loan taken out at 37 years old will not be complete until 67 – retirement age. The loan needs to be part of the overall financial plan from the beginning and making payoff a priority with a few simple steps can add up to huge savings in interest which can then be used for better investments.
Building a new home from scratch can be a dream come true. The idea of designing the perfect property with morning sun in the kitchen and evening breezes on the deck can be exhilarating; the first step to a successful project is finding the right piece of land on which to build. This can present challenges if not approached correctly. Top Tips When Buying Vacant Land
- Hire Experience – More than most real estate transactions, it’s critical to hire an agent who specializes in vacant land purchases and can guide you through the steps.
- Expect to Pay Cash – Finding a lender for vacant land can be very difficult. Those who will finance land typically require a 50% or higher down payment and above average interest rates and terms.
- Get the Neighborhood Comps – Do not neglect to understand home values in the community so you do not over, or under, build your home.
- Do Your Due Diligence – It is critical to research the property thoroughly. Just a few considerations much include.
- Site Surveys and Environmental Testing
- Easements and Zoning Restrictions
- Lot Survey and Boundaries
- Utilities and Water Rights
Once you’ve completed these preliminary reviews, it’s time to consult with an architect and General Contractor who will then begin to develop concept drawings to consider. Even at this stage, you might find that the home you want is not appropriate for the land you’ve chosen. Staying flexible is a key component to searching for land; remember that by following a few tips, you can ensure you find the right lot for your dream home.
If you’ve been searching for a new home no doubt you’ve seen the term, “movein ready.” This description sounds very appealing, but understanding what it actually means is important so you have the right expectations when arranging your home listing tour. First it’s important to remember that the descriptions in real estate listings are written by the listing agent or broker. There is no set industry standard for what agents can say in their listings. While there are guidelines and rules which prevent blatant lying, most home buyers have become aware of the fluffy language used to market a home for sale.
The meaning of “move-in ready” is fairly straightforward; it means that the home is in a condition which is acceptable for immediate occupancy. The home meets the standards of living and assures the buyer that the essential elements needed to occupy the home are present and in running condition. For example, the home should have working plumbing, appliances, sound roof, electricity, gas and locking doors and windows. What “move-in ready” does not necessarily mean is that the home is in pristine condition.
A home that is “move-in ready” might still need significant updating and while systems are assumed to be operational, they might still be old or outdated. “Move-in ready” is a common phrase in real estate listings. Understanding that the home might still need quite a bit of work to suit your taste and lifestyle, you can approach the listing with realistic expectations and determine if the property is the right fit for your needs.
Crafting the perfect lifestyle is about more than just the size of the kitchen or the space in the backyard. The community in which the home is located is almost as important to quality of life as the home itself. As more and more properties are developed in master planned communities, the home buyer is accustomed to considering neighborhood amenities as part of the package. Here are the most popular community amenities in 2019.
- Parks and Green Space – Topping the list of desired amenities is green space. Studies show that as home buyers seek smaller square footage, they also are seeking outdoor space from the neighborhood.
- Trail Systems – Along the same lines as green space and parks is the desire for trails throughout the community. Home buyers are interested in both paved and natural trails for walking, hiking or biking.
- Resort Style Pool and Clubs – Pools and clubhouses have become more elaborate over the past decade and home buyers expect their community pool to feel like a vacation spot in style, size and extras, such as towel service and snack bars.
- World Class Gyms and Courts – Exercise rooms and courts are also expected to rival the best paid clubs in the area.
- Main Street Village Centers – As developers create their neighborhoods, daily necessities must be readily available. Artfully designing the shopping area to include a main street feel is a huge plus to home buyers.
Lifestyle is a complete package. With the appeal of smaller homes and nomaintenance properties, home buyers are seeking the extra space in their communities, replacing large private yards with community space and amenities.
Latest Kitchen Backsplash TrendsSummer is upon us and home designers are hard at work showcasing the upcoming trends for 2020. This year, kitchen design shows are filled with new materials, patterns and colors as enthusiasts look for the latest trends and styles. As we leave thedarkgranite countertops behind, kitchens are getting lighter, brighter and more streamlined looks. These new backsplashes are design statement pieces in their own right, creating a uniquely modern feel to the space. Witha focus on sleek surfaces and natural elements, here are the latest trends for kitchen backsplashes.
?Mixed materials –layers of stone mix withsleek metal trims or soft wood to create layer upon layer of design. ?Higher Profiles –the backsplash is no longer a 6”continuation of the countertop. Taller profiles and accent-wall styling are new trends.
?Bold Patterns –geometric tone-on-tone designs create visual interest.
?Subway Tiles –after so many of us removed the old white tile of our kitchens, designers are bringing them back in interesting shapes and patterns.
?Veins –larger granite, quartz or natural stone pieces are used as focal points, adding drama and depth. ?Backsplash Shelves –one of the latest design trends is to create a ledge or shelf along the top of a high-profile backsplash.
?Solid Wall –this last trend is eliminating a backsplash entirely and adding a stone “wall”in the kitchen, removing any visual distinction and creating a sleek, clean line. 2020 design trends are contemporaryand exciting. After years of cozy kitchens and dark woods, these kitchens are light and bright; mixing soft natural stone and wood with hard, urban features for a modern, functional kitchen that suits any home style.
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