Thinking About a New Home?

So you’re thinking about buying a new home, huh? Well here are a couple pointers you should think about before diving into the water. What have you done? What do you need to do to move forward in this process?

  1. Crunch your numbers – figure out what you can do financially. Are you truly ready to buy a house now? What types of payments do you think you can cover?
  2. Know your credit – you should know your credit because it will determine what your interest rate and mortgage payment will be. The lower your score, the higher your payments will be. If you have credit issues, you should begin fixing them now since it usually takes time.
  3. Garner a down payment – Your down payment on your home will be anywhere from 5% to 20% of the price of the home. The median home price in Las Vegas is $196,000 which means your down payment would be anywhere between $9,800 and $39,200.
  4. Get educated – take advantage of the free home buying seminars, typically offered by banks or nonprofits. There you will learn things like what each portion of a mortgage payment goes toward and criteria lenders use to evaluate a buyer.
  5. Interview at least 3 Real Estate agents – 52% of buyers fin an agent through a friend but these are some good questions to ask:
    1. How long have you been in real estate? You want someone who knows what they are doing.
    2. How long have you been in the area? If they lived in the area their entire life, they’re likely to know more about the area versus one who recently moved to the region.
    3. What’s your schedule? If they’re not full time, you need to know when they will be available.
    4. Do you have any vacations planned? If they’re heading out of town soon, make sure they have a back up realtor just in case you find the perfect home while they are away.
  6. Know the difference between a real estate agent, broker, and a REALTOR.
    1. Real Estate Agent – anyone licensed to sell property, usually completed 100 hours and passed an exam.
    2. Broker – one who continued his studies and hires agents to work under them
    3. REALTOR – an agent or broker who is a member of National Association of Realtors. They adhere to a detailed code of ethics. You can consider them an added insurance that they are committed to your cause.
  7. Mortgage shop – you won’t buy the first house you like, don’t settle with the first mortgage price you get.
  8. Ballpark closing costs – 3% to 6% of the purchase price of the house goes towards closing costs because of taxes, transaction fees and other expenses.
  9. Ponder the future – always have an emergency fund to cover at least 3 to 6 months worth of bills. You may face a financial hardship and you should make sure you are prepared.

 

Who you Should Notify When Moving

We can all admit that when it’s finally time to move things get a little hectic. One thing that many people put off is notifying everyone about the move to ensure the transition is smooth.

Here is a reminder of a few parties that should be notified about your move. With this list, it should help you get everyone up to speed on where you are headed.

USPS
Probably the most important party to notify. You will be able to forward all your mail to your new address. The United States Postal Service makes it easy to change your address online or you can walk into the post office and fill out the change of address form.

Current Landlord
Typically landlords ask for a 30 day notice and can penalize you for moving before the end of your lease.

Friends & Family
I mean really, do you want to hear your friends and families fuss about you not letting them know about your new move? You could even make this announcement on social media.

Employers
Your employer will want an accurate address on file. If you are moving, and will be resigning from your job, it is always great to give your employer a two week notice.

Other parties that should be notified include:

IRS
Credit Card Companies
Insurance Providers
Your Pets Veterinarian and Kennel
Government Agencies
Bank or Credit Union
Other Financial Institutions
DMV
Utilities/Phone/Internet
Subscriptions
Medical Care Providers
Schools