One of the major pitfalls that many homeowners fall into is not saving enough for repairs and upkeep on their homes. According to a recent article on Money.com, many people know they need to budget for repairs, but severely underestimate the amount they should be budgeting.
How much should you save?
According to Money.com, you should save 1-4% of your home’s value for maintenance. Regional variances impact how much you need to save. This means that if you own a $200,000 home, you need to save between $2,000-$8,000 for repairs and maintenance. This fund is not necessarily for upgrades or improvements. This fund is for things like roof repair/replacement, upkeep of HVAC, plumbing repairs, electrical issues, drainage and foundation repairs, appliance replacement, and the various other needs just to keep your home in good repair. This fund will also provide needed relief when something catastrophic happens, since insurance rarely covers everything.
The cost of not saving
For people who aren’t saving, or not saving enough, the costs are significant. For these homeowners, they often find themselves delaying needed maintenance because they do not have the needed reserves. Unfortunately, this can have devastating circumstances. Neglected maintenance never resolves itself, and the situation will just continue to deteriorate until what could have been a relatively inexpensive repair has become a threat to the safety of the home. It also severely impacts the property value at sale, with homeowners often surprised when their home is valued much lower than neighboring properties.
A special note for prospective new homeowners
In our experience, there is another situation that new homeowners are particularly vulnerable to: maxing out the pre-approval amount on their mortgage. While the bank is looking at the maximum amount of housing payment you can be approved for, it’s up to you to determine if that amount is actually affordable. You should definitely factor in monthly costs like: maintenance and repairs, utilities, child care, and any other needs, adjusting your expectations accordingly. If you max out the pre-approval amount, you may find yourself struggling to meet your other non-debt-related needs and are more likely to let home repairs lapse.
It’s pays to understand the actual costs of home ownership BEFORE you buy. It’s so much more than simply making your monthly mortgage payment. We want our clients to be successfully homeowners that reap the rewards of their investment, but you must have the resources to maintain that investment.
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Davis Team wants to share how the market is doing on a weekly basis. Chris has prepared a short video clip as well as full Market Data for you to review for the Loganville area. If you are looking for these numbers for your town, just drop us a quick note and we can prepare them and email it over. This is our job and we love to help out our community.
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October is Fire Prevention Month. With the coming holiday season and cooler winter months, there is an increased risk of house fires, due to the use of candles, holiday lights, space heaters, and other potential fire hazards. it’s important to take steps to protect your family and one of your most valuable assets – your home.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), fire departments are called to a fire every 23 seconds in the US. Of those, a “home structure” fire occurs every 86 seconds. This results in a fire-related injury every 34 minutes, and a death every 2 hours and 40 minutes. The cost of fire deaths and injuries, as well as property damage, are a major drain on family resources, due to loss of income and housing.
Image courtesy of NFPA.
The NFPA has concluded that the two most frequent causes of home structure fires are cooking equipment and heating equipment. While the number of smoking-related fires is relatively low compared to other causes, they are by far the most frequent cause of fire-related deaths, likely because many of those fires begin while victims are asleep.
Image courtesy of NFPA.
What Can Homeowners Do?
One of the primary factors in surviving a house fire is a functioning smoke detector. It is recommended that you test your smoke detectors twice per year, and replace the batteries at the same time. A good way to remember is to get in the habit of checking your equipment during the twice-yearly time changes. When the clocks “fall back” on November 6, mark your calendar to do a fire safety check, then again when clocks “spring forward” in March. You should also check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are still in working order.
Just a note: Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers do expire. The life span of a typical smoke detector is 10 years. Fire extinguishers will have an expiration date printed on the label. If you are unsure of when your smoke detector was manufactured, you can usually find the manufacture date on the label on the underside of the unit. You can check this when you remove the unit to replace the batteries.
You should also make a family escape plan and review it with all family members on a regular basis.
Of course, the best course of action is to prevent fires from occurring in the first place. This means being diligent about safety in your home when it comes to operating appliances, using extension cords, or using candles and fire places. Here are just a few of the many tips that can help you prevent a fire from occurring:
For these and more tips, check out the numerous resources on the NFPA website.
We want to keep our friends and clients safe and enjoying their homes for many years to come. We encourage you to contact us at DavisTeam@KW.com or visit our website at www.eastgeorgiahomes.com to find out more about how we can help you make your next move a rewarding and positive experience.
Are you an agent selling homes? Are you running your business like a business? Not sure?
We have the class for you, FREE to ALL Agents! Keller Williams is the #1 Training Company in the World!
Come visit and learn how to make simple changes to run a smoother real estate business.
On November 16, 2016, Chad Hyams will be teaching this class from 12:30 to 3:30 covering the following information.
Interested in signing up?
Please R.S.V.P. by emailing: Davisteam@kw.com
Have questions, call us (678-805-7774) ....we would love to see you there!
The mortgage process is complex, and probably the most time consuming, turn-your-hair-gray-overnight, tree-killing process you will you ever go through. The avalanche of paperwork, the strange vocabulary, and sea of acronyms is enough to make anyone stick to renting for the next 40 years.
There are many aspects of the mortgage process that are mysterious and confusing, and we’ll tackle some of them in upcoming blogs. For right now, we want to focus one area that seems to cause a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions: pre-qualification vs. pre-approval, and what it means for buyers and sellers.
The First Step of the Mortgage Process
Pre-qualification is considered the first litmus test of the mortgage process. Your lender (or lenders), will gather some cursory information about you, like income, debts, length of , and credit history. What lenders are looking for during this process is basically to see if you are a good candidate to start the loan process.
Obviously, a lot of derogatory information on a credit report or insufficient income would halt the process right here, without the lender and underwriters going to a lot of time and expense to verify information.
If you pass this initial step, you may receive a letter indicating that you have been “pre-qualified” for a mortgage, and will give you a general guideline regarding the amount of funding you could be approved for. This process may only take a few minutes to a couple hours.
Pre-Approval Goes a Step Further
Where pre-approval and pre-qualification differ is the level of verification the lender will do to ensure your creditworthiness and eligibility for a loan. To receive a pre-approval letter, buyers will have to produce a lot of documentation, and the lender will spend more time diligently verifying income sources, assets, and debts.
If you pass this step, it means that you have been determined to be eligible for a mortgage, but it does not guarantee approval. There will be other considerations once you choose a home, such as the offer price, appraised value, and other factors.
Whereas the pre-qualification process may be free, there may be a nominal fee associated with pre-approval, to cover the cost of pulling credit reports and doing the verification. These costs are often rebated at closing.
Why Should You Care about the Difference?
Many first-time and even experienced buyers are confused about the importance of pre-approval. One of the by-products of the mortgage industry melt-down is that lenders are much more discerning about who they give loans to. Even someone who passes the pre-qualification test may not stand up to the deeper scrutiny of the pre-approval process.
For buyers, being pre-approved for a mortgage means you are serious. You aren’t just window-shopping and dreaming. You’ve actually committed to and are ready to buy a home, as proven by the more rigorous pre-approval process. When you present an offer to a seller, the seller can be reassured that you qualify for a mortgage and aren’t wasting valuable time. Many Realtors will not even show homes unless the buyer is at least pre-qualified, and most prefer the buyer to be pre-approved.
For sellers, there is risk involved in accepting offers from potential buyers who have not been pre-qualified, or who have not been pre-approved. When you accept an offer, your home is no longer on the market. If the deal falls through, you will have lost that time when you could have sold your house to someone else. Many sellers will not accept any offer that is not accompanied by a copy of the pre-approval letter.
A pre-approved buyer has a much stronger position and is less likely to back out of the deal due to the inability to obtain financing. While pre-approval is not a guarantee (remember, the home under contract must also meet the lender’s requirements based on price/appraisal/inspection/etc.), the likelihood that sale will be closed is much higher if the buyer is pre-approved.
Here at the Davis Team, we take great pride in helping our clients navigate the complexity of home-buying and mortgage financing. We encourage you to contact us at DavisTeam@KW.com or visit our website at www.eastgeorgiahomes.com to find out more about how we can help you make your next move a rewarding and positive experience.
How much is your home worth?
Davis Team understands you, the consumer, want to know the value of your home. We like to provide help to those we know want our help. Our home value report will provide you with a great deal of information and I want to show you here how to best request your home's value to know where your largest investment is in today's market. Please understand that the information provided to you is automated and as computers go the information you get is only as good as the person putting in the information. Please understand that the data you see is a compilation of county tax records, MLS (multiple listing service) data and public data collected. If your value appears low, please let us know and we can provide a true Competitive Market Analysis of the homes listed and sold around your home to provide you with a more accurate value.
Being in Real Estate every day working full time with home buyers and sellers we have seen many neighborhoods increase in value while some still struggle. We will gladly help you to find out if your subdivision is one of the neighborhoods on the side of rising values or not. We can also provide accurate information to have you make a clear decision if selling, refinancing your home or staying put is best for you. We do not charge fees and are here to help our neighbors in and around the community. We like to build relationships so when you have a question about the largest investment you have, your home, you can contact someone you know and trust to provide you with the right information for you to make the decisions you need to make.
If you have questions after this post please feel free to reach out to us and let us know, we would love to help!
Now on to the meat of the home value site and your step by step process of getting the information you need.
1. Visit our site: http://bit.ly/DavisTeamSellers
The website you visit should look like this
When you reach this page you will want to make sure to input your home address. We in the office are researching your property address making sure it matches the tax records. We have real bodies doing work behind the scenes and we will reach out to you or the home you put in. If you have questions about another home let us know and we will gladly help.
We have also updated this website to select your property address as you type it in. If you see it pop up you can select it here. We have a photo to show you how that works too. We know some need step by step instructions to follow and I personally like to see as I walk through the process.
Selecting the address helps you move along faster. You can also check your home value for any rental properties you might have in other states. If you are thinking of selling in another state let us know. We would love to introduce you to an experienced full-time agent in that town and help you sell homes where ever you may have them. After you fill in your address click the Bright Green SUBMIT button to move on to the next screen below.
You are shown an overhead map view of your property, asked to verify the property information to review the property address entered, type of property, bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and condition. To review it is important to know the condition you think your home is in can be a matter of opinion. Are there some minor repairs you know you need to complete because you live there? Squeaky doors, replace a piece of siding, seal the windows, repair and repaint the wood around the doors and windows?
These are things we see called out by a home inspection on a regular basis and we would love to come walk around your house to let you know what stands out from a different point of view.
Select your condition based on the view of you look in from the outside and not your emotion of how you feel about your home. Select Verify Property Details and Get Valuation.
You are almost to the meat of the value. Most people shy away at this point. We want to let you know we will never spam you with unwanted information. We strive to provide you with information of value that is for homeowners that want to know the value of their investment and want to stay up to date with what is going on in their community. If you provide information that you are only curious about your value we will understand. If you are ready to move, we will work on your time schedule. We are here for providing information to help you decision process in what you want to do.
Fill out the fields and click Access Your Valuation Report Now and you will have full access to homes sold around you, the estimate value along with so much more.
It will provide you with a confidence level of each value and that is something to look at. We need to let you know that again, this is a computer generated report. We know for a fact there were two homes for sale in this same neighborhood at the time of this value listed at 164,900 that were not under contract, your neighborhood can be the same way with differing home values and we are here to let you know the real value to help you make a decision on selling your home
There is also a list of sold properties, sold dates, sold price and an average price per square foot. This is a wide range of homes in the area and should be reviewed by a REALTOR to explain the differences. Here the homes on Grady Smith Rd are of higher quality, more upgrades, more acreage than homes in a subdivision. The going price for homes in this neighborhood would be between $84 - $100 a square foot depending on improvements made and location within the neighborhood.
Don’t forget that if you sell your home, you will need somewhere to go. We provide you with a home property search for you to view homes that are active on the market today. Check out by county, city, pricing and more by clicking the Advanced Search or just Click SEARCH and go with it!
Again if you have questions about your home’s value we would love to help you out. You can reach out to us via phone 678-805-7774, email : email@example.com, text: 678-805-7774 and even write to us at our office to Davis Team | Keller Williams Realty 4495 Atlanta Hwy Ste 100A, Loganville GA 30052
Just know that you will be receiving information from us after submitting the request for your home value as we want to provide excellent customer service. Check the mail for you info coming soon.