Debbie Glass REALTOR® Broker/Owner's Blog
Your home can undergo a variety of improvements, both inside and out. Enriching the beauty and value of a home is just one reason for improvements; they should also be to repair any damages. Adding more space or making the home safer are also good reasons for home upgrades.
There are several different reasons to do improvements, and you will find that many are time-consuming. They are, however, usually worth the energy and time that you put into them; and, you are bound to appreciate the outcome. An improvement alters and changes the home for the better. If you plan to put your home up for sale or wish to make it more livable for your family, there is a lot to be garnered from making home improvements.
The initial home improvements you should consider are repairs. Attend to any ceiling leak problems, the plumbing job you have been putting off, or that attic insulation that has become necessary. Doing repairs first holds whether you are planning to live in the home yourself, put it up for rent, or put the house on the market.
Home improvement projects that involve restructuring need to be well thought out so that they do not look out of place and mar the street appeal of the house. They are usually done to enhance lighting, provide more space, or improve the home's exterior aspect. Remodeling your home can also mean an improvement in its atmosphere. For instance, if a kitchen wall is removed to create an open concept, it immediately makes the home friendlier and more sociable.
Improvements in your home could involve:
- Repairs of already existing structures
- Remodeling certain rooms of the home to give them a face-lift
- Adding to your home to improve quality of life such as a second bath
- Home improvement projects to add energy efficiency.
Remodeling your kitchen or bath is a smart move if you are planning to put your home up for sale. These upgrades increase the value of the house immediately, and if appropriately researched, can be done with a high return on your investment.
Helping a home's energy efficiency is also an excellent idea for adding resale value, because not only does it reduce the electricity and gas bills, it is a great thing to do for the environment. Improvements in the insulation of the home can be a long-term blessing. Investing in a home so that it harvests solar energy could be another way of improving the house for posterity.
Do not undertake extensive projects on a whim. It is essential to consider why a specific project is required, and what you gain from the expense. So, home improvements involving repair increase the comfort in the home and its longevity and are therefore essential. But all other sorts of home improvements need careful judgment before embarking on them.
If you need help determining the return on investment for a particular improvement, talk to your local real estate professional for advice.
36 Pine St, Carver, MA 02330
You got a reverse mortgage on your home to help with your retirement, but now, you want to move out. Maybe its because your kids want the house, or it just doesn't work for you anymore due to the climate or just how far away your family lives. Makes sense, when you were younger your life changed all the time, that doesn’t stop after retirement. So, are you stuck? Or can you sell it?
First, what is a Reverse Mortgage?
A "reverse mortgage" is a special form of home financing that pays out based on the equity of your home. While you continue living in the home, the loan pays either a single lump sum, as a line of credit, monthly payments, or in some combination thereof to help cover the cost of your retirement. In the United States, the home must be the primary residence, and the homeowner must be over the age of 62 to qualify. While originally started to allow seniors to keep a more stable income, the IRS doesn't see it that way and instead looks at the income as a "loan advance" and taxes it accordingly.
Paying off Your Reverse Mortgage
Typically, the point of a reverse mortgage is for the income. That means you defer payment of the loan until you die, though it comes due when you sell the home or if you live elsewhere for a whole year. That means it usually falls to your heirs to handle it. They can pay it off, refinance it or sell the home. As a last resort, they can give up the property to the lender in place of repayment, but they give up all the rights of ownership to the property. Its possible to get a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) from the FHA restricted to the value of your home. This type of loan protects your heirs since the mortgage can't be more than the value of the house, which means all they have to do is hand over the property and they are free and clear.
Selling Your Home Under the Reverse Mortgage
Selling your reverse mortgaged home can be complicated. Your reverse mortgage compounds interest over its whole life on both the owed interested and the borrowed amount. That means the mortgage could be substantially higher than the original borrowed amount. If you want to sell the home, no matter if its family or open market, first start by figuring out just how much remains on the mortgage. Include the whole borrowed amount, owed interest, compounded interest and any fees your lender may charge. Double check that number by requesting a payoff amount from the lender. They will send you an estimated payoff amount based on your current status and will only apply for a specific date range. Keep in mind that regardless if you sell the home for the original amount, if it takes longer than you originally planned, those numbers could go up.
Want to know if your home is a good candidate for a reverse mortgage sale? Refer to your local real estate agent to find out if the market value of your home is high enough to make it a good idea.
When you buy a home, there’s more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when you’re in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while you’re in the process of buying a home.
Do You Offer Any Special Programs?
Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you don’t feel that it is a good fit for you.
Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?
If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, you’re in good hands. If the type of loan that you’re looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs.
Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?
The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.
What Are The Mortgage Rates?
You’ll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. It’s not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan.
Do You Help With Down Payments?
There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that you’re able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.
Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?
In hot real estate markets, you’re going to need some proof that you’re pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount.
Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. It’s just another part of the home buying process!
You may keep a spare house key hidden somewhere around your home just in case you lose or forget your main set of keys. How does your hiding place measure up? Is it too obvious that anyone including thieves can find it? You can still have a spare key easily accessible to you without sacrificing the security of your home.
Never sacrifice the safety of your home for convenience. If you fail to have an alarm system set as an added layer of security, you really could be in trouble if your spare key isn’t well hidden. Burglars now have free and easy access to your home.
The Most Obvious Places To Hide A Key
Under The Mat
Everyone (especially burglars) will look under the mat for a key to get into your home. If you see it in the movies, it’s probably too obvious of a hiding place.
The Flower Pot
This is a textbook area to hide a key in that can be easily accessed by intruders. Criminals know where to look, so you need to think ahead of them.
If the rock doesn’t blend in, it’s not a good hiding spot! Many pre-fabricated hiding systems can be a bit obvious, so beware.
On Your Person
Whether you put a spare key in a wallet or your purse, if that gets stolen, there goes your spare key. The perpetrator also has access to your home. It’s generally not a good practice to keep a spare key on your person.
Good Places For A Spare Key
With A Trusted Neighbor
If the neighbor hides your key on their property, if a thief does find the key, they will assume the key goes to the neighbor’s house. This is a safe, convenient way to keep a spare key as long as the key is kept somewhere outside the home. You don’t want to face a lockout only to find out that your neighbor isn’t home.
In Your Car
Surprisingly, most break-ins happen during the daytime when you’re not home. If you keep your spare key in your car, the key won’t be there while you aren’t home.
Near The Dog
If a key is hidden near the place where the dog will be, you’ll have little to worry about. Burglars really don’t like dogs, mostly because dogs don’t like them!
Forget About Keys
Technology affords us one great option in the present day- keyless entry. If you are constantly forgetting your keys you should invest in a keyless lock system. These typically have codes that can be programmed. Just don’t forget the code!