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The Six Phases of Buying a Home

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Six Phases of Buying a Home

First off, congratulations on entering the the second phase of buying a house. That’s right, the SECOND phase; Whether you realize it or not if you’re reading this article you’ve likely mulled it over at some level, even if only deep within your subconscious. Maybe you’re a savvy, investment-minded individual thinking about the future; perhaps you’re simply experiencing a severe case of FOMO as you hear about all your friends buying houses; or maybe you’ve simply outgrown your current place; for whatever reason, at this point you’re solidly planted in phase #2.

#1- A Lingering Thought

Let’s back up for a moment and discuss phase # 1. In this phase, the idea of purchasing a home isn’t a fully-formed plan, and is very likely simply a passing thought, or idea. Butthat’s excellent! The greatest feats of mankind each started as a simple idea. 

During this period you’ve likely found yourself coming back to the idea of buying a home, over and over. It wasn’t a serious, time-consuming consideration, but a pesky recurring thought that wouldn’t go away. As a result, you began noticing the things you admire about your friend’s homes, or you found yourself holding a lingering glance at the beautiful home down the street, or just maybe, the “For Sale” and “Open House” signs on the corner suddenly caught your attention. You spent some time ignoring it, then you gamed it out in your mind as a potential scenario, now you’re truly considering it, and here you are reading a piece titled “The Six Phases of Purchasing a Home” Welcome to phase #2.

#2- Exploring the Idea of Buying a Home

Now that you’ve given in to that still small voice in the back of your mind, you’re in a preliminary exploratory phase. You’ve probably already done a home search or two, huh? Thought so. During this phase potential buyers begin researching the process of buying a home in earnest; They’re considering their finances and purchasing power, glancing at the inventory, and likely searching online about what to expect (again, here you are!), as well as asking close friends about their experiences and recommendations. 

While no serious commitment to actually buying a home has been made yet, with each passing day it begins to feel more and more like a real possibility. As you do your homework, it becomes obvious that it makes much more economic sense to purchase your own home to build personal wealth, than to continue contributing to that of your landlord’s

Now you’ve decided; It’s time. 

This conveniently brings us to phase #3: Committing to buying a home. 

#3- Committing to Buying a Home

This period is an extension of #2, and a pre-cursor to #3, in that it incorporates the activities of both. At this point purchasers have been doing some preliminary groundwork, but now that they’ve officially set out on the adventure of becoming a homeowner, everything steps up a notch. What were innocent casual searches before are now auto-emails with pre-defined filtered criteria, only returning properties that are perfect matches for their dream home… or something they’ve landed on which they can both afford and find joy in. 

This is a crucial step because this is where buyers assemble their real estate teams (cue dramatic inspirational music and a cast of superheroes appearing!). Ok, maybe not quite so cinematically divine, but still an exciting and highly consequential decision. A real estate team’s makeup will vary slightly depending upon the individual buyer’s circumstances, but most are made up of three key players: The buyer, their realtor, and their lender. 

The buyer has the vision and calls the shots, the realtor knows the housing market and current inventory, and handles negotiations, and the lender helps the buyer better understand the specifics of the finances, issues a pre-approval (required to submit an offer in most cases), and processes the loan. 

Choosing a real estate team is an integral step in the process, and buyers should choose professionals who are experienced and bring a great deal of value to the table, but who also help the buyer feel at ease and educated about the process; They serve as both advocates and educators.

#4- Actively Pursuing a Home to Buy

Now that a solid team is formed, the buyer is well on their way to purchasing a home. Here the buyer enters phase #4. During this time the buyer and their agent are actively monitoring the housing inventory. In step #3 the agent likely set up an auto-search, so both the agent and the buyer are pinged when a new listing that matches the search criteria goes active. Now, the buyer is also attending open houses on the weekends and visiting the strongest contenders with their agents. At this stage, the buyer is ready to take action when the right home hits the market. The real estate team is on high alert.

And then it happens; The perfect home has been identified, and it’s “the one”. Buyer and agent discuss the specifics of an offer, the offer is written and submitted (along with the pre-approval letter from the lender), and then the buyer hears those magic words they’ve been anxiously awaiting: “Your offer has been accepted!”

#5- Contract Process

Woo hoo! Now phase #5 commences: the contract phase. The length of this phase is determined by the settlement date included in the offer; It may be a very quick turn-around of 14 day, or a pretty lengthy period of 60 days. During this time the contract’s contingencies are worked through (items such as the home inspection, appraisal, reviewing documents if located within a homeowner’s or condo association, etc.). This is when the buyer, with the aid of their agent, performs their due diligence and gathers all the relevant information on the property. During this same period, the buyer’s lender is processing their loan documents, and eventually sends them to underwriting for final loan approval. 

#6- Closing Day!

And finally, once all the action items of the contract period are satisfied, the magical day arrives, the day considered by many to be one of the most important days of their lives; It’s closing day! This is the sixth and FINAL step of the home buying process. Closing day (also called settlement day) is when the buyer finally takes possession of the keys to their new house. Settlement itself is a relatively simple affair, merely requiring a lot of initials, dates, and signatures. 

For some, this process takes months, and sometimes even years, and for others it can be a blazing fast affair of only a few weeks. For most, it seems far more daunting than it actually is. So, if you’re an early-stage #1-er, or you’ve found yourself progressing into phase #2 land, don’t hesitate to start considering the makeup of your real estate team; They’ll help ground you and focus you on the objectives ahead. 

Start with your friends who have purchased before and ask what they loved or didn’t love about their realtors. Maybe they have a strong suggestion, or perhaps they didn’t have a great experience and they’ll share why. Either way, you’ll get valuable insight about what to expect along the path to homeownership.

Happy house-hunting!

Ed Cook Licensed Realtor – South Florida http://edcookrealestate.com

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The Benefits of Refinansiering Your Home

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Refinancing is a great way to save money on your mortgage. With current low rates, it’s possible to switch from a 30-year loan to a shorter one. This will allow you to save on interest and pay off your loan more quickly.

However, you should remember that refinancing a home is a complex process that will take time and resources. If you’re considering refinancing, you should consider the taxes involved.

Reduced monthly payments

If you’re trying to reduce your monthly mortgage payments, refinancing may be a good option. Refinancing can lower your monthly payment by lowering the interest rate. For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.5% would require a principal and interest payment of $568, whereas a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.1% would require a principal and interest payment of $477. 

Interest rates fluctuate frequently, so refinancing when rates fall may be the most beneficial way to reduce your monthly payments.

There are many benefits to refinancing. Lower monthly payments can free up your budget to pay other expenses. Refinancing can help you avoid PMI. Click here to learn more about Private Mortgage Insurance. Lower monthly payments can help you save money over the long run. 

Refinancing can lower the interest rate on your mortgage, and it’s a good idea to consider the benefits and drawbacks before you make the decision to refinance your mortgage.

One of the main benefits of refinancing is that it allows you to extend your mortgage payment and the length of time it will take to pay off the loan. For example, a nine-year mortgage can be refinanced into a 30-year mortgage, which will make your payments smaller for a longer period of time. Refinancing will allow you to pay off your mortgage sooner, which can help you offset other debts and relieve mortgage pressure in the future.

However, the cost of refinancing may not be worth the savings from reduced monthly payments. The monthly savings from a reduced monthly payment may not be worth the cost of refinancing, so it’s important to calculate a break-even calculation to determine whether refinancing is a good idea for you. 

If your monthly payments don’t go down due to the new interest rate, forbearance agreements can provide temporary relief. When the agreement expires, payments will return to normal.

In addition to reducing your monthly payment, refinancing can also help you make changes to your loan. You may be able to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage or borrow money from your home equity. Click the link: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fixed_rate_mortgage to find out more about fixed-rate mortgages. Talk to your lender to learn more about your options.

Lower interest rates

If you’re in a good financial situation, refinancing your current mortgage loan can lower your monthly payment and interest rate, resulting in lower total interest and more cash flow. Unlike federal loans, where payments don’t resume until the interest accrues, refinancing is an option you should seriously consider.

Refinancing your home loan is not a free way to save money, but the interest rates you’ll end up paying are usually much lower than the rates on other types of loans.  You can visit refinansiere.net/ for a loan calculator that can help you predict your payments. This can be a great way to determine whether a refinancing would be beneficial.

While it’s a great way to save money on your mortgage payments, you should check your credit score to make sure you’re getting the best deal. In addition, refinancing will cost you money if you don’t improve your credit score.

The best time to refinance your mortgage is when home values have risen, the housing market is favorable for buyers, and you plan to remain in your home for several years. If you’re planning to move in a couple of years, refinancing may not be worth the expense and the savings from reduced interest rates may not last long.

Paying off your loan faster

A refinancing can lower your interest rate and mortgage payment and shorten your loan term, helping you pay off your loan sooner. The process may also allow you to take cash out at closing, consolidate debt, or change from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. It may also allow you to get rid of private mortgage insurance premiums, if you have one.

When deciding whether to refinance, consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Some refinancing plans may allow you to cash out some of your equity, which you can reinvest. However, the costs associated with this move can take a long time to recoup. It may be best to wait until your home is worth more and you have fewer years of mortgage payments to see the benefits of refinancing.

Refinancing can also lower your interest rate, which can help you save a significant amount of money. In addition, refinancing can shorten the length of your loan. You may choose to shorten the loan to six years, which will reduce the total amount of interest that you have to pay.

Getting money from home equity

Home equity refinancing is a great way to lower monthly payments and to take advantage of new loan terms. Home equity loans are available to home owners who have paid off their current home loan and whose property value has increased. 

The rates are often lower than the rates on credit cards and personal loans. This refinancing option can be useful if you need a large sum of cash for a specific purpose.

The interest rate on a home equity loan is relatively low, which can be a huge benefit for borrowers. Home equity loans can be used to consolidate high-interest debt. This means you can replace a high APR with a low monthly payment. Of course, it is important to make sure you can afford the new loan and monitor your debt level.

Home equity loans are also an excellent investment opportunity. You can use the money to make home improvements, pay off credit cards, consolidate debt, or increase your retirement fund. Home equity loans are a great way to unlock the equity in your home, and a low fixed rate is a great time to take advantage of them.

Another benefit of home equity loans is that the interest payments on these loans may be tax deductible. Because of this, home equity loans are usually easier to get. They require good credit, and borrowers can get approved in a short time. The interest rates, however, tend to be higher than those on HELOCs. Click here for more information about HELOCs, or a Home Equity Line of Credit.

HELOCs are also a good option for people who need a large amount of money. This is because they allow people to borrow the funds they need for major purchases, without having to pay closing costs and interest on a new home equity loan. They are also convenient for homeowners with low incomes, as they receive their funds in one lump sum instead of multiple payments each month.

Home equity refinancing can also be useful if you need money to pay off debt or to replace a current mortgage loan. These loans can be beneficial if you need to borrow a large sum of money, and they are perfect for long-term homeowners who want to take advantage of them.

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Pest Control Services Can Vary Enormously: Here’s What the Best Do

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Some services are more essential than others. That renovation you’re planning can be done tomorrow or years from now. But when you see a pest inside your home, you need to rush to the phone and call a professional exterminator.

The thing is, the first number you stumble on isn’t guaranteed to deliver excellent results. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a pest control expert.

Home Protection Plan

The best pest control services let you prevent the problem comprehensively, rather than merely eliminating the infestation after it’s appeared. By arranging a home protection plan, you can have genuine experts inspect your property for signs of any existing infestation or pest breeding grounds.

They’ll eliminate any pests found with a spray and perform preventative treatment, too. If pests are on your property, they’ll get rid of them. If there aren’t any, they’ll keep it pest-free.

Should there be any pests in the future, the exterminators will eliminate them free of charge. The only thing better than uprooting an infestation is preventing it from occurring in the first place.

Powerful Chemicals

There’s nothing worse than using a pest control spray you bought at the hardware store only to see the infestation is still there. Opening up the cupboard below the sink only to find active creepy-crawlies is a disturbing feeling you can avoid by hiring professional exterminators who use their own custom chemical solutions.

The sprays they use aren’t available commercially. You can only get them by hiring a company that makes its own blends based on genuine expertise. 

Experts know how to recognize specific species and sub-species and what chemicals work most effectively to counter them.

Friendly for Pets and The Environment

The chemicals used to rid your home of pests must be friendly to everything else. Leading exterminators create chemical solutions that are 100% pet-friendly, so you can be ruthless on roaches and soft on your furry four-legged friends. 

Look for a company that uses Health Canada-approved chemicals, so you’re confident they’re not in any way harmful.

Kind, Courteous, Professional

You may feel a little icky after seeing critters in your home. You don’t want a stranger inside making things worse by not respecting your domicile.

Leading pest control experts from smaller, local companies tend to behave better inside your home. They will act courteously and professionally throughout the procedure, from showing up on time to being polite.

Owners from local businesses know their technicians personally and don’t dispatch them into homes without first trusting their professional abilities and personality traits. It’s hard to get this type of assurance from a larger company, where owners don’t necessarily know the people who will work in your home.

After noticing a critter inside your home, you probably won’t want to spend time doing extensive market research about the best exterminator. It’s better to find one today that meets all the above criteria to protect your home pre-emptively or keep them in mind if you ever notice a pest.

 

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Benefits of Metal Roofing in South Bend, IN

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Metal Roofing

Metal roofing can be installed on various types of buildings, from small sheds to high-rise structures. It is also available in various colors and styles. Metal tile and shake roofs offer the same look and feel of classic tile and wood shake roofs, but are lighter in weight. These types of roofs are also more durable than wood shake roofs. A classic style of metal roofing is the vertical panel, which is sleek and economical. Moreover, many of these panels come pre-painted in colors that are complementary to the home’s interior.

Metal Roofing

Roofing South Bend IN is a good option for homes that experience extreme weather conditions. In addition to its longevity, metal roofing provides many other benefits. It can be used to replace damaged roofs, protect the house from fire and water damage, and help save money in the long run. If you’re thinking of getting a new roof for your home, contact a local roofing company in South Bend. A professional will be able to offer you the best possible protection for your home.

If you’re looking for a traditional style for your South Bend IN home, you can opt for an exposed fastener metal roofing system. These panels are fastened into the roof deck using screws and gaskets. This type of metal roof is the classic choice for residential buildings, and it’s less expensive than many other metal roofing systems. The reason for this is that exposed fastener metal is made of thinner gauge metal and requires no seams.

Shingle/Slate Roofing

Metal roofing is a great option for homes that are environmentally conscious. Most metal roofs are made from recycled materials and are completely recyclable at the end of their life. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are not recyclable and must be disposed of in a landfill each time they need to be replaced. In addition, metal roofs are more energy efficient and reflect solar radiant heat, helping you to reduce your cooling costs by 10 to twenty percent in many areas. Additionally, you may be able to get tax credits if you opt for this type of roofing in South Bend, IN.

South Bend Roofing, IN have a wide range of materials and services to choose from. There are companies that specialize in different roofing systems, including asphalt, single-ply membrane, and flat roofs. Additionally, you can choose your preferred shingles, colors, and styles. Some even offer services such as siding, window installation, and roof remodels.

Some companies specialize in residential roofing in South Bend, IN, such as Dennison Exterior Solutions & Gutter Toppers. The company was founded by local roofers in 1975 and specializes in commercial and residential projects. Currently, it works with CertainTeed shingle roofs. The company also provides warranty options and can be reached 24/7 for any questions.

Stamped metal shingles

Stamped metal shingles are composed of smaller modular panels and can mimic the look of a slate, tile, or shake roof. These shingles are usually made of aluminum or pre-painted PVDF steel. They are installed using a four-way interlocking system. Stamped metal shingles are also durable and can match any style of surrounding home. The design and color options are endless and can be customized to match any aesthetic.

A stamped metal shingle roof is more durable and will last for decades. In fact, a single stamped metal roof can outlast three asphalt shingles. Moreover, stamped metal shingles are installed with concealed fasteners, so you won’t have to worry about exposed fasteners. Exposed fasteners can weaken and cause significant problems with your roof.

Conclusion

Stamped metal shingles are one of the most common options for residential roofing. The cost of stamped metal shingles depends on the type of metal used for your roof, the number of stories, and your contractor’s preference.

 

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Tips For Roof Replacement in South Bend

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Roof Replacement

In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose a roof replacement contractor in South Bend. We’ll also discuss how to choose a GAF factory-certified roofer. There are many things to consider when choosing a roofing contractor in South Bend. We hope that these tips will help you to make the right decision.

Certified roofing contractors

When you’re in need of Roof Replacement South Bend, you can rely on the expertise of certified roofing contractors. These professionals are fully licensed, insured, and transparent about their prices. When you’re in the market for a new roof, you should consider the benefits of Visualizer software, which allows you to visualize what your future roof will look like before the installation begins.

A certified roofing contractor can provide a variety of services for your home, including roof installation and roof repair. You can trust their estimators to do a thorough inspection of your home and roof to ensure the best possible outcome. They can even accommodate you if you have special needs, such as a handicapped or senior citizen.

The cost of a roof replacement in South Bend varies depending on the material used and the size of the roof. Additionally, you may qualify for a warranty on your roof. Contact a certified roofing contractor for more information. They’ll be able to recommend the best materials and roofing system for your home.

Listed below are several local roofing contractors in South Bend. Each one specializes in a different type of roofing project. In addition to roof installation, they also provide roof repair, gutter installation, and attic insulation. Each company offers a warranty, and they offer customer service round the clock.

Cost of roof replacement in South Bend

Roof replacement costs range between $3,200 and $19,300, but the actual cost will depend on many factors, including the type of shingle used and the size of your roof. For example, a basic new roof for a 1,500-square-foot home will cost about $6,550. Roofing material will make up the largest portion of your bill, and it can cost anywhere from $70 to $160 per square foot for asphalt shingles to more than $1,700 for slate tiles. Additional materials, such as underlayment, may also add a few hundred dollars to your bill.

If you suspect your Roofers South Bend is past its prime, don’t hesitate to get an estimate from a professional. It’s always better to know what to expect ahead of time. The first thing to consider is the age of the roof. A standard roof can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. However, some factors play a large role in determining how long your roof will last.

Another factor that can affect your roofing costs is the season. While spring and fall are prime times for roof replacement, winter months may also be appropriate for the project. However, if you’re planning to replace your roof during this time, make sure you contact a team that’s experienced and qualified to perform the work. This will ensure the work is completed without causing damage to your home’s exterior or causing freezing temperatures inside your home.

Choosing a roofing contractor in South Bend

There are a lot of roofing contractors in South Bend, and choosing the right one can be a challenging process. You can narrow down your search by asking your contractor about the extent of his or her experience in the field. You also want to find out if he or she uses subcontractors to complete roofing jobs. Most South Bend roofing contractors have very few employees and farm out their work to outside contractors.

A good roof should come with a warranty and it is important to ask what the manufacturer offers. Most state laws require a minimum of two years of warranty from roofing materials. While most roofing companies will say that it doesn’t matter which manufacturer provides the warranty, be sure to check the fine print. Most manufacturer warranties are void if they don’t have the specific coverage you need.

Conclusion

Ask questions and be sure to ask for references. You can also check out the Better Business Bureau directory for a list of credible professionals. It’s also a good idea to read reviews online to get a better idea of what to expect from a professional roofing company.

 

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Secret Techniques to Improve Air Duct Cleaning

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When it comes to air duct cleaning, you should hire a professional. The reason is that you’re using chemicals and the expertise of a professional is necessary. Plus, if you don’t know how to properly clean your HVAC system, you could end up damaging it.

Effectiveness of duct cleaning methods

It’s important to use proper duct cleaning methods to achieve the best results. While dust particles in the ventilation system are harmless, stirring them up can lead to bigger problems. However, there’s very little research to show that air duct cleaning is associated with increased particle levels. Health experts and government studies have focused on the issue, but the results are still inconclusive.

When cleaning the HVAC system, professionals use a powerful vacuum and air filtration system. They also use a spinning brush to break up debris and dust. This combination is more effective than using a simple shop-vac. To get the most thorough results, they use a vacuum that has a powerful suction and a high-quality HEPA air filter.

While some people say that Air Duct Cleaning has negative health effects, the fact remains that it is important to clean air ducts on a regular basis. While dust is not harmful to your health, if you suffer from allergies, asthma, or a combination of the two, then you should consult your doctor first. They will be able to provide you with recommendations that will address your particular condition.

Professionals also recommend using chemical biocides to kill mold and bacteria. However, these biocides can be harmful for some people. Hence, consumers must be educated about these chemicals.

Cost

The best way to determine how much air duct cleaning will cost is to consult a professional. A professional air duct cleaner will be able to provide you with references, recommendations, and reviews. You can also check out company websites for customer reviews. Once you’ve found a company, make sure to ask them about the standards they use for duct cleaning. While more expensive, a company with high standards will be able to provide you with quality service.

Cost of hiring a professional

The cost of air duct cleaning can vary depending on your location and the scope of the project. If your ducts are dirty, the process can take longer. You may also need to have special equipment to clean them, which increases the price. Higher-quality contractors will also charge a higher price. But their work is usually better and they often offer solid guarantees.

A professional air duct cleaner will use high-powered vacuums and rotary brushes to remove debris. Doing this yourself will result in damage to the lining and insulation of your ducts. Moreover, you run the risk of damaging the connections between your HVAC system and ducts. Hence, hiring a professional air duct cleaning company is highly recommended.

In addition to cleaning the ducts, they will also clean your interior walls and apply a sealant. This process may take two to five hours, depending on the size of your house. While cleaning your ducts, a professional should also inspect for any traces of asbestos and mold, seal all access points, and use a professional vacuum to remove debris.

Conclusion

Most residential air duct cleaners charge between $30 and $40 per vent, but this price increases if your ductwork contains more than 15 vents. It is also important to consider that a residential duct cleaner will clean ducts located in the attic and ceilings, which are easier to access. It will cost more to clean ducts located in hard-to-reach places, such as the crawlspace.

 

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