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Three Mortgage Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Money

August 24th, 2016

Purchasing a home can be one of the most exciting and stabilizing investments of your life, but because of the expense, there are many ways you may be spending more money than you should. If you’re wondering about the financial soundness of your home investment, here are some things to consider before putting anything down.

Investing In Too Much Home

Mortgage word cloud written on a chalkboard

Many homebuyers are so gung-ho about having their own home that they forget a mortgage takes many years to pay off and there’s a lot of living to do in the interim. While you may be looking at the monthly cost of your mortgage as something to get through, it’s more important to find a home that will provide you with a more flexible lifestyle. Instead of spending half your income on your home, it’s better to choose a more affordable option that won’t lead to buyer’s remorse.

Putting Less Than 20% Down

One of the greatest struggles for those who want to make the leap into home ownership is the down payment, and many buyers will put down a lot less than 20%. While this might seem like a better deal in the short term, putting 5 or 10% down means you’ll have to pay for mortgage insurance in case you

Real Estate in Thomasville GA Home Search

Real Estate in Thomasville GA Home Search

default on your payments. It can be hard to come up with 20% for many buyers, but putting this amount down means you don’t have to pay for added insurance.

Not Researching Your Lender

When it comes to purchasing food or electronics, many people will shop around for the best deal in the hopes of saving money. However, few things will cost more than investing in a home, so you should be doing the same research when it comes to your lender. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, approximately 50% of Americans consider only one lender prior to applying for a mortgage. Instead of being among them, take the time to research a lender that will help you save on fees and interest.

It can be overwhelming to buy a home with all of the information and energy that goes into finding the right place and the right price. However, by being realistic about what you can afford and searching for the best loan for you, you’re well on your way to a sound purchase.

Ready to purchase your first home – but don’t know where to start?  Give First Thomasville Realty the chance to help you find that perfect first home!  Call us now at 229-226-6515 or email us at general@ftrealty.com

 

Three Money-Smart Reasons To Downsize Your Home

August 22nd, 2016

Living big isn’t necessarily living better. Apartment buildings, townhouses and multiplexes have become the new normal for increasing numbers of individuals, couples and families. It’s clear that for many people, smaller spaces are smarter, too.Depositphotos_92067118_s-2015

This attitude is more than just a trend. According to TIME Magazine, multi-family dwellings like condominiums accounted for 40% of new construction in the United States in 2014 and the movement shows few signs of slowing down.

The change isn’t surprising when considering the benefits to moving, especially when it comes to sheer cost-savings. Whether residents are spending less cash or conserving their valuable time and resources, they’re going to see a difference in their bank accounts.

Here are three money-smart reasons to downsize that can lead to big savings.

  1. Reduced Maintenance

Maintaining a single-family dwelling is difficult. Clearing gutters, painting walls, weeding the garden and other unpleasant tasks have serious costs, as residents are forced to invest their valuable time and resources into these recurring chores.

Switching to a smaller space means less maintenance, which can lead to serious savings. Multi-family dwellings typically have building managers who’s responsible for upkeep, leading to serious savings.

  1. Heating, Water and More

Utilities are much less costly after downsizing. The less square footage a home has, the less electricity, water and other utilities it will require. Residents have the potential to save hundreds of dollars in costs.

There’s also an added benefit if there are shared utilities divided between other residents of multi-family dwellings. Splitting subscriptions or services like Internet, cable and television can lead to much lower prices.

Moving to smaller spaces makes these invoices less expensive, which gives residents a bonus every month.

  1. Location is Key

Apartment buildings, condominiums and other compact dwellings are often located in central areas close to useful services and businesses. This convenience is a major cost-cutting reason that encourages many people to move.

The Nielsen Company actually found that 62% of millennials would choose to live in communities that combine residential homes and businesses. By being closer to things they value, residents save themselves time, a valued commodity.

Why Moving is a Smart Move

These three money-smart reasons are major factors into why people move into smaller spaces. It’s hard to resist saved time and resources, reduced maintenance, lower utility bills and increased convenience.

Thomasville has options for individuals wanting to downsize, including lovely downtown condominiums. If you’re looking for a new “smaller” home, First Thomasville Realty can help. Call us at 229-226-6515 or email us at general@ftrealty.com  for more information.

 

 

 

 

Three Important Things To Consider Before Listing Your Home on Airbnb

August 19th, 2016

Airbnb has become an attractive way for homeowners to make income from their property.  Although Airbnb’s is known for its reputable insurance policy, there are a few things you should consider before listing your home online.

Time Commitment

Online Booking Concept

People have a tendency to think more about what they can gain from hosting on Airbnb than what hosting will do to their life.  Having a steady stream of guests is quite a time-consuming endeavor; you’ll have to respond to inquiries online, clean your guest’s space and do laundry after every booking, and make sure your home is constantly neat and tidy.

This may seem like a small to-do list, but if you have a new guest every 3-4 days that could add up to 10 extra loads of laundry per month.  Yikes!

As a host, you will also need to be present to check guests in and out of your home, which means you’ll need to book time off from your other commitments to properly welcome your guests and fulfill your hosting requirements.  Hosting on Airbnb is just like having a real B&B, it is a business and requires time as such.

Risky Business

Needless to say, allowing strangers to stay in your home comes with inherent risk.  Although Airbnb has insurance to protect its hosts and their homes, hosts are still vulnerable to theft or property damage.  This can be especially devastating if sentimental items, such a weddings rings or family heirlooms, are stolen by a guest.

Another risk for Airbnb hosts to be aware of is squatting scams.  Some scammers have taken advantage of the fact that when a guest stays in a home for longer than 30 days, they may gain squatting rights to the property, making it difficult for their host to force them to leave.

To avoid this situation, do not accept bookings that are longer than 30 days, and/or be very clear in your communication to guests that they are only allowed to stay at your property until the agreed upon departure date, and explicitly state that they must vacate your home after that time.

Be Realistic

It is unlikely that listing your home on Airbnb will provide you with enough financial freedom to quit your job and travel the world, though it may provide you with extra funds to contribute towards your mortgage payments.  Be realistic about your expected hosting income, and don’t make any major financial changes based on your expectations until you have experience as a host and can accurately predict your monthly Airbnb profit.

Are you ready to find an ideal income property for Airbnb guests?  There’s a reason that First Thomasville Realty was voted “Best of Thomasville  Real Estate” from 2012-2015.  It’s because we put our clients needs FIRST in every transaction.  We’d love to help you in your real estate transaction  – give us a call at 229-226-6515 or email us at general@ftrealty.com.

The FHA Mortgage Minimum Credit Score Has Been Reduced. Here’s What You Need to Know

August 17th, 2016

Credit is of considerable concern when it comes to buying a home, FreeCreditreport_webbut if you’re on the market for a new place in the next few months there may be some timely news that applies to you. If you haven’t heard about the changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) credit score minimum, here’s some information on the recent reduction and how it may impact your home purchase.

Information On The FHA

Started in 1934, the FHA is the organization responsible for insuring the loans that are available to homebuyers in the United States. These loans are not provided directly by the FHA, rather the FHA serves as the insurer for the loans that are leant by financial institutions of the United States. While there are a number of guidelines that must be met by borrowers in order to ensure the FHA will back their loan, a lowered mortgage minimum credit score means that those with a less-impressive credit profile may have a better opportunity for home ownership.

The Minimum Credit Score Reduction

The strength or weakness of your credit history has a significant impact on whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage or even pre-approval, so for those whose credit has suffered the recent drop in the minimum will be good news. Previously, the FHA required a score of 640 so that a borrower could be approved for a mortgage, but the reduction by 60 points to a credit score of 580 means greater possibility for those who might fit into a lower credit category.

A Lower Mortgage Minimum And The Market

With the opportunity for home ownership that will be opened up to potential buyers, there is a strong possibility that the market will experience a noticeable shift. Many millennials are poised to enter the real estate market this year, and with more people considering a house as a result of a reduction, there could be an increased demand in housing purchases. While the prices in rural areas have been dropping off, the housing in metropolitan areas may experience a sizeable upsurge.

With the reduction of the mortgage minimum credit score by the FHA, there are likely to be some shifts in the real estate market in the coming year that will affect demand and price. If you’re on the market for a new home and are interested in a purchase that will align with your finances, you may want to contact your local mortgage broker for more information.

If you’re looking for a home, First Thomasville Realty can help. Call us at 229-226-6515 or email us at general@ftrealty.com  for more information.