Roland Theis P.A.'s Blog
You may have heard the term “escrow” in your experience with real estate. You might know it’s an account, but what exactly does it do for you as a buyer? An escrow account is what your lender uses to make payments on things like property taxes, insurance, and more. The lender collects your monthly mortgage payment, and part of that cash goes into an escrow account.
This type of account is an excellent option for homeowners because your bills relating to being a homeowner will all be paid without you having to do anything. It makes budgeting a breeze because there aren’t any complicated calculations involved. Every month, your lender collects 1/12 of the estimated tax bill and insurance cost for the home. The rest of your mortgage payment covers the principal and interest on the loan of the house.
Are Escrow Accounts Mandatory?
You’ll find that most lenders require you to have an escrow account. The purpose of the account is to keep the home safe as collateral for the loan. The bank has an interest in the proper insurance behind the property. The taxes also need to be paid on time in order to keep the property in good standing. If the taxes aren’t paid, a tax lien will be placed against the house.
Everything In One Place
You’ll receive an annual statement from your lender that will show you how much money was collected and placed in your escrow account. Escrow payments often change because insurance premiums and taxes tend to change quite frequently. The amount being put into escrow may change a few times throughout the year. The lender keeps track of all this for you, saving you some time.
Bills That Need To Be Paid
Whether you have an escrow account or not the bills that are included must be paid one way or another. It’s a good idea to speak with your lender before you buy a home to find out that bank’s procedures around these insurance and tax payments. Property tax and home insurance are items that you’ll need to budget for regardless of how your lender does things. An escrow account can be much more convenient for many buyers.
Escrow is just another one of the many essential terms that you’ll come across as a homebuyer. Knowing the advantages and purpose of the account helps you to be informed as you dive into the home buying process.
Although it may seem like the Internet and email have always been an integral part of our daily lives, those modes of modern communication have only been around for the past two decades or so.
With technology like video teleconferencing, online document sharing, and other collaborative tools becoming commonplace in the business arena, more and more companies are allowing (and even encouraging) their employees to work from home -- at least a couple days a week. For better or worse, many employees, managers, and executives are putting in lots of overtime from their home offices.
Whether you're telecommuting for a job or running your own home-based business, having a dedicated work space can make all the difference in your ability to stay focused and productive. Not only can you control distractions by closing the door, but having a separate work space at home makes it easier to stay organized and maintain a professional image. Depending on the layout of your house, the cooperation of your family, and neighborhood zoning regulations, it may even be possible to meet with clients at your home office.
While some people don't have a problem setting up their laptop and working at the kitchen table, in their bedroom, or the living room, problems can arise when your spouse or other members of the family want to use your temporary work space for something else!
Other potential complications are possible, too: When people in your household have easy access to your computer, work files, and research materials, there's also the possibility of accidentally losing unsaved documents, unfinished emails being prematurely sent or closed, and having to deal with spills, sticky surfaces, misplaced work materials, and other miscellaneous mishaps! On the other hand, setting aside a dedicated work space at home for tackling office projects, preparing reports, or creating client proposals can help you avoid losing valuable work, missing deadlines, and looking unprofessional.
Home Offices Are a Selling Point
In addition to making your own life more organized and less chaotic, there's also the advantage of increasing your home's marketability. If you happen to be considering putting your house on the market now or in the near future, having a dedicated office space will help make your home look more appealing to potential buyers.
Today, more than ever, the idea of having a home office is on many people's minds and priority lists -- or at least, their "wish list". When prospective buyers can envision ways in which your home can meet their lifestyle goals, business objectives, and career requirements, they'll be a lot more likely to seriously consider making an offer on your house.
As more and more people pursue work-at-home options, freelancing opportunities, advanced degrees, and home-based businesses, a dedicated office space will continue to be a highly desirable feature for both current and future home owners.
Need a quick, easy way to improve your house's curb appeal? Hire a home landscaping company, and you should have no trouble transforming an ordinary lawn into an awe-inspiring one.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to work with a home landscaping company, and these include:
1. You can reap the benefits of professional home landscaping assistance.
A home landscaping company employs courteous, highly trained professionals who know the ins and outs of lawn care. As such, this company can help you enhance your lawn's appearance in no time at all.
Typically, a home landscaping company will consult with you and learn about your lawn care needs. Following this consultation, a home landscaper will send out professionals who will mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks.
If you ever have concerns or questions about home landscaping, a lawn care company is happy to respond at any time. That way, you can get the lawn care support that you need, exactly when you need it.
2. You won't have to worry about completing landscaping tasks on your own.
When it comes to lawn care, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? If you're unsure about how to care for your front lawn or perform various home landscaping tasks, it pays to get professional support.
It also is important to remember that your home's curb appeal may work for or against you, particularly in a fierce real estate market.
For example, if you have a clean-cut front lawn, your home may stand out to potential buyers, leading to many home showings. On the other hand, a messy front lawn is unlikely to do you any favors and may actually cause some homebuyers to avoid your residence altogether.
3. You can speed up the process of getting your house show-ready.
Getting a house ready for the real estate market may prove to be a long, arduous process, one that is filled with myriad hurdles along the way. Fortunately, if you hire a home landscaping company, you can instantly remove one item from your home preparation checklist.
A home landscaping company will perform assorted lawn care and maintenance tasks so that you don't have to worry about these projects. Instead, you can focus on other home preparation tasks and accelerate the process of adding your residence to the real estate market.
Lastly, it is vital to note that not all home landscaping companies are created equal. And if you're struggling to find a top-notch home landscaper in your city or town, you may want to consult with a real estate agent.
In most instances, a real estate agent can offer home landscaping company recommendations. This housing market professional will do what it takes to help you prep your residence for the real estate market and ensure that you can get the best possible home selling results.
Employ a home landscaping company today, and you can move one step closer to listing and selling your house.
There are so many factors that go into finding and securing the financing to buy a home. While lenders require quite a bit of information for you to get a loan, you still need to be aware of your own financial picture. Even if you’re pre-approved for a certain amount of money to buy a home, you still need to dig into your finances a bit deeper than a lender would. The bottom line is that you can't rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford for a monthly payment on a home. Even if you’re approved to borrow the maximum amount of money for your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t mean that you actually should use that amount. There are so many other real world things that you need to consider outside of the basic numbers that are plugged into a mortgage formula.
Run Your Own Numbers
It’s important to sit down and do your own budget when you’re getting ready to buy a home. You have plenty of monthly expenses including student loan debt, car payments, utility bills, and more. Don’t forget that you need to eat too! Think about what your lifestyle is like. How much do you spend on food? Do you go out to the movies often or spend a regular amount of cash on clothing? Even if you plan to make adjustments to these habits when buying a home, you’ll want to think honestly about all of your needs and spending habits before signing on to buy a home.
Now, you’ll know what your true monthly costs are. Be sure to include things like home insurance, property taxes, monthly utilities, and any other personal monthly expenses in this budget. If you plan to put down a lower amount on the home, you’ll also need to include additional insurance costs like private mortgage insurance (PMI).
The magic number that you should remember when it comes to housing costs is 30%. This is the percentage of your monthly income that you should plan to spend on housing. Realistically, this could make your budget tight so this is often thought of as a maximum percentage. By law, a lender can’t approve a mortgage that would take up more than 35% of your monthly income. Some lenders have even stricter requirements such as not allowing a borrower to have a mortgage that would be more than 28% of monthly income. This is where the debt-to-income ratio comes into play.
As you can see, it’s important to take an earnest look at your finances to avoid larger money issues when you buy a home.
If you want to list your home, it generally is a good idea to address any house selling concerns right away. That way, you can alleviate these concerns before they slow down the home selling process or prevent you from accomplishing your desired home selling results.
Now, let's take a look at three common home selling concerns, as well as tips to help you resolve these issues.
1. Meeting Your Home Selling Timeline
If you want to sell your home by a specific date, it often helps to establish house selling milestones. Then, once you have these milestones in place, you can determine the steps you'll need to take to stay on track with your home selling timeline.
Of course, it typically helps to maintain flexibility relative to your home selling timeline. If you can quickly adjust your house selling timeline as needed, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless home selling experience.
2. Determining the Right Initial Asking Price for Your Home
How you price your residence can have major ramifications on your house selling experience. If you conduct a home appraisal, however, you can gain the insights you need to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
A home appraisal usually won't take long to complete, and the evaluation enables you to obtain a property valuation. Once you have this valuation, you can use it to price your residence competitively – something that could help you speed up the home selling journey.
3. Optimizing Your Home Sale Earnings
As a home seller, your goal is likely to earn as much as you can from your house sale. Yet optimizing your home sale earnings may be difficult, particularly if you fail to promote your residence effectively. But if you learn about your target buyer, you could boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.
Think about your home and why a buyer may want to purchase it. Next, you can craft a home listing to highlight your house's amenities and features to the right groups of buyers.
Take a look at the local housing sector, too. If you find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses in your city or town, you may discover innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition. And as a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Lastly, if you require extra help during the home selling journey, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations to help you identify and address home selling hurdles before they get out of hand. Best of all, if you ever have concerns or questions at any point in the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Want to add your house to the real estate market? Address the aforementioned home selling concerns, and you can enter the housing market with a plan in place to achieve the optimal results.