Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/17/2017

Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house. Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase. So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house: 1. Location Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house's location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house. For instance, if you don't own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city. Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you'll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future. 2. Price A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you'll need to consider the house's price before you begin your search for the perfect residence. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you'll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house. Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence. 3. Debt Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you'll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house. To minimize debt, you'll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you're eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year. Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence. Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/20/2017

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. Itís not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, itís even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, ďWould other people want to live here?Ē When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is ďequity.Ē As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, youíll make a profit. Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think itís going to be a forever home, life happens and you donít want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy: Size Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families donít want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage. On the flip side, you donít want your home to be too big either. Larger homes arenít as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a ďsweet spotĒ for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. Room To Expand Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but thereís some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property. Look Past The Appearance Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics arenít as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, donít let a little paint separate you from a home that you love! Curb Appeal Helps While itís easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home youíre about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. Thereís plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal. Sound Structure If the structure of the home is not in good condition, youíll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a homeís structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, itís going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly whatís going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/6/2017

Buying a vacation home is something that many dream of, but for some itís not just a dream. And itís certainly not something that is only for the rich and the famous. Maybe you have been saving for one your whole life, got a large bonus at work that you want to use as a down payment, or are just going out on a limb; there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Cost: First and foremost, what kind of financial position are you in? Are you able to put down 20% and if not will you be able to afford the potential higher interest rate that goes along with less money done? If you are planning to buy farther away, can you afford the airfare cost for as often as youíd like to spend there? Can you afford the inevitable maintenance that will be necessary? You certainly do not have to be a millionaire to purchase a vacation home, but itís important to know what you can afford and cannot afford. Location: Do you want to buy a vacation home that is within a couple of hours from your home? Or would you rather buy one a plane ride away that may be in a location thatís warm year round? Or do you want to buy a home in another country? This is certainly something that should be determined before beginning your search. Condo vs. Single-Family: Do you want the privacy of a single-family home or do you want the amenities that come along with living in a condo? There is a level of privacy that comes with owning a single-family home versus a condo, as well as there are condo fees to consider. This decision may not matter much to you, but itís important that everyone involved agrees on the type of home they would like to buy. Rent It: Do you plan on renting out your vacation home when you are not there? Are you looking at homes in locations where renting is possible? Can you afford the home if you do not rent it out? If you canít afford the home without renting, how often do you need to rent to be able to afford it? Do you want the hassle of renting it? Itís important to consider this possibility even before you begin your house hunt. Buying a vacation home is extremely exciting, but itís a large investment. It should be well thought out and planned out. But, once you have those details worked outó go out and buy the vacation home of your dreams!





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/25/2017

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that youíll ever make in your lifetime. Youíll spend decades of your life making mortgage payments to pay off your home loan. Buying a home is more than just simply finding a place to live. Itís also a financial decision. Your home helps you to build equity, gives you tax deductions, and helps you to have some security in your financial future. 


One of the biggest questions that youíll have when you buy a home is ďHow much can I spend?Ē To answer this question, youíll need to dig a little deeper. 


Do You Have Money For A Down Payment?


The standard amount of money that youíll need for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. If you donít have the money for a full down payment, youíll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This could add up to be an extra cost of hundreds of dollars per month in additional insurance payments on top of your mortgage and every other kind of expense that goes along with buying a home. Youíll need to take the time to save up for a down payment if youíre a first time homebuyer. If you already own a home, the equity that you have in that home can help you with the down payment.


What Are Your Other Financial Responsibilities?


Thereís more to buying a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. Youíll need to get insurance, pay taxes, and have some money set aside for repair and decorating costs. Youíll need to look at your monthly income to find out just how much you can afford on a home. You should take an honest look at your lifestyle and existing expenses in order to determine a comfortable monthly mortgage payment for you.    


Know Your Credit Score


Your credit score will be a major factor in how much house youíll be able to afford. Your lender will use your credit score and credit history to help determine what type of interest rate youíll get and how much theyíre willing to lend you in order to buy a home.


Understanding what you can afford for a home purchase is crucial before you even start shopping. Itís a good idea to meet with a lender to get pre-qualified. This is different than getting pre-approved. Your lender will give you a general idea of how much you can spend on a home without digging too deep into your finances. Getting pre-qualified is a great place to start when youíre looking at the numbers of being a homeowner.




Tags: buying a home   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 5/28/2017

When it comes to finding a place for you and your family to live, there have never been more options available than today. Banks and property owners have made living arrangements available and accessible to people of any lifestyle; whether you plan on staying in a home for just six months, or for the rest of your life.

It isnít always easy, though, to determine which option is best for you. In this article, weíll break down the financial and lifestyle characteristics of the four most common living situations: condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or owning your own home.

Condo living

Condominiums are a type of community living. But, theyíre more than just an apartment that you own. Most condos are attached; meaning theyíre not separated by yards and driveways. Some, however, are detached. One thing that is true for all condos, however, are the common areas throughout the development. This can include things like a park, yards, gyms, pools, or lounges and cafes. The best part about those amenities? You donít have to worry about their upkeep.

So, since you own the condo, who pays for the common areas? Odds are, youíll be paying a monthly fee or a homeowners association fee to upkeep the amenities your condo came with. Expect higher fees for better amenities and prime real estate location.

What about maintenance? Since you own the condo, youíre responsible for much of the interior maintenance, such as appliances. However, outdoor issues like roofing or siding are usually the responsibility of the homeowners association or property manager.

Condos are ideal for people who are somewhat committed to an area, and who want independence over their home without having to take care of all the landscaping.

Townhouses

Townhouses are in many ways the opposite of condos. They are often rented but they look like single family homes, complete with a driveway and front yard. There are also typically homeowners association fees for townhouses, but they can be significantly less since there are fewer amenities in a townhouse living environment.

Depending on your long-term plans, you can either rent or buy townhouses. Renting is usually a better choice for inhabitants who donít plan on staying in the residence for more than a couple of years.

Homeownership

If what you truly seek in a home is independence and privacy then traditional homeownership might be the best option for you. If you own a home outright and donít have to answer to a homeowners association, you get to choose what you do with your yard. There are of course, some limits to this, like getting additions approved by zoning boards, or trampolines signed off by your insurance company.

Financially, homes can be a good asset. They typically increase in value and allow you to build equity. You might also find them more financially dependable; rents can increase year after year, but your monthly mortgage payments typically wonít unless you choose to refinance.

Ultimately, buying a home is going to benefit you more the longer you stay there. So, if you plan on moving for work in the next few years, you might be better off renting.