Hidden Homeowner Costs

Budgeting for buying a home can be difficult enough when you’re just weighing mortgage options and a purchase price. But there are many other factors that go into the cost of homeownership. Some of them are one-time expenses that you’ll pay during the home buying process, while others will be recurring costs for as long as you own the home.

Closing costs

There are several smaller fees that add up to a rather large sum when you’re going through the closing process-loan fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, and more. They typically add up to 2-5% of the purchase price. For a $300,000 home – roughly the national median – that’s in the neighborhood of $10,000, so be sure to budget for it.

Appraisal

Your lender will require an appraisal, and the appraisal fee (a few hundred dollars) comes out of your pocket.

Inspection

The few hundred dollars you’ll pay for a home inspection is money well spent, but it’s something you have to keep in mind during the purchase process. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the house is free from any major issues, and you’re making a smart, solid investment.

Insurance

Although homeowners insurance isn’t legally required, it’ll almost certainly be required by your lender. Further insurance, such as flood insurance, may also be required (depending on your location).

Home Owners Association

If you’re living in a property or community with shared spaces, you’ll almost certainly have an HOA fee. This pays for things like trash removal, maintenance of common areas, and for recreational facilities like gyms and swimming pools.

If you’re in the market for a home and are considering your options, reach out to me and I’d be glad to help you.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

How to Calculate Your True Cost of Living and Determine How Much of a Home You Can Afford

A monthly mortgage can seem like enough of a financial responsibility on its own, but there are many factors involved in home ownership that affect its fiscal feasibility. If you’re in the market for a house and are wondering how your income will stack up against the rest of your expenses, here’s how to determine a home cost that’s reasonable for you.

Determine Your Down Payment

Before you start with anything else, you’ll want to determine the amount of money you can put down so you can estimate your monthly payments. The traditional amount for a down payment is 20% of the home’s purchase price, so if you don’t have anything close to this amount it might be worth waiting a little longer so you can minimize your payments and the amount of interest or mortgage insurance you’ll be paying in the long run.

Each person’s situation is different, and there may be programs available with less than 20% down. This is an excellent question to pose to your trusted mortgage advisor.

Calculate Your Monthly Budget

If your mortgage cost already seems high, it will definitely be worth carefully calculating your monthly expenditures. Instead of a wild guess, take the time to sit down and calculate what your costs are including food, utilities, transportation and any other monthly necessities.

Once you do this, it’s also very important to add any debt repayments you’re making to the mix. The total amount of your estimated mortgage costs, debt payments, and living expenses should give you a pretty good sense of if your mortgage is viable in the long term.

Don’t Forget About The Extras

When it comes to purchasing a home, many people envision that they will be eating and sleeping their new home so don’t pay attention to all of the additional costs that can arise with living life. A new home is certainly an exciting, worthwhile financial venture, but ensure you’re realistic about what it entails.

If you’re planning to go back to school or have children in the future, you’ll want to add a little bit of extra cushion in your budget so that you don’t have to put your other dreams on hold for the sake of your ideal home.

It can be very exciting to find a home you feel good about, but it’s important before making an offer to realize the amount of house you can afford so you don’t find yourself in a hole down the road. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, give me a call today and I’ll help you find the perfect one for you.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Take Care of These 3 Items Before the Big Move Into Your New Home

With the excitement involved in moving into a new home and all of the things that need to be done, it can be easy to forget a few important things before you load up the moving van. If the day of departure is drawing closer and you’re mulling over the final details, here are some items you may want to check off the list first.

Install A New Lock

One of the most important aspects of homeownership is the feeling of security it automatically provides, so you’ll want to change out the locks on the doors before you embark on the big move.

As soon as you’ve received the keys to your new home, contact a locksmith who will be able to do the dirty work for you or, if time permits, you may want to take on this task on your own and save a little bit of money in the process.

Do A Quick Clean

With so many boxes to unpack and items to organize, the concept of cleaning the house you’ve just moved into might not be very appealing; however, this can be a necessary step in making you and your family feel more at home.

It doesn’t have to be the kind of cleanup that will take 10 hours, but a quick dusting and wiping of cabinets and appliances, as well as a quick sweep and vacuum of the floor, may change the way you feel about your new home.

If Time Permits, Paint!

If the walls of your new house happen to be in immaculate shape, you can probably avoid paint; however, a prime up of the walls can add a lot to the sparkle of your new home and may make it feel like yours much sooner.

Instead of going for boldness or deciding on a decorating scheme right away, choose a neutral color that will instantly brighten your room. If the walls are in particularly bad shape, you may even want to contact a professional who will be happy to sand and spackle away.

Moving into a new home is undoubtedly a time of great excitement, but there are some things you should do before you make yourself comfortable in your new place. If you’re curious about what’s available on the market and would like to know your options, get in touch with me and we can see what’s best for you.

dining and kitchen

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

3 Reasons You Might Decide to Retire to a Tiny Home – and Why You’ll Love It!

Many people romanticize the idea of paying off their home mortgage early so they can enjoy their home in retirement, but when it comes to the later years of life, a big house can actually be too much to handle.

If you’ve started to consider a smaller home and are wondering why it might be a good decision for you and yours, here are a few things you may want to consider.

It’s Much Easier To Maintain

It is often the idea of the palatial estate with a pool that homeowners get excited about, but when it comes to reality, the larger the home, the harder it is going to be to take care of and maintain.

If you don’t have a maid or a butler, a smaller home will enable you to spend a lot more of your free time doing things that you love instead of being bound to a house that is full of repairs and maintenance that needs to be completed.

Save On The Big Home Bills

One of the worries associated with getting older is having the ability to maintain your lifestyle in old age, and a smaller home can actually alleviate many of the high costs that go along with having an oversized home.

A smaller home will not only minimize your insurance and taxes, it can also positively impact the amount you pay each month for heating and electricity, so you’ll notice the savings right off the bat.

Tiny interior

The Freedom Of A Downsized Lifestyle

One of the best things about downsizing to a smaller home is the huge sense of responsibility that can be left in the dust. Instead of being held back by all of the stuff required to fill a big house, a small home means there is less to worry about.

This may mean you’ll have the option to go on longer vacations or can even relocate to a hot climate for the summer months, and you’ll only need someone to come by and water the plants every once in a while!

There are plenty of people that decide to downsize later in life since it can actually be a great way to save money and have a lot more freedom. If you’re considering your smaller home options and are curious about what’s available on the market, give me a call and let’s see what is your best option.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

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Miami real estate prices start 2013 strong

Miami real estate prices start 2013 strong

Miami home prices rose again in January, marking 14 consecutive months of appreciation for both single-family homes and condominiums. The median sales price of Miami-Dade condominiums, which has increased each of the last 19 months, rose 24.1% to $155,000 compared to a year earlier and decreased 4.9% compared to the previous month. The median sales price of single-family homes rose 14.8% to $194,000 year-over-year and decreased 9.4 % compared to the previous month.