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A Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home

The home-buying process is complicated; there’s no doubt about that. But it does not have to be stressful. From establishing a budget to what to do for closing, the following guide can get you started. So sit back, relax, and check out these tips.

Start with research.

It is never too early to begin thinking about what you want in a home. Make a list of features that appeal to you. This can help you formulate a budget and will serve as a starting point for your real estate agent. Spend some time looking online at houses that you think meet your needs. This is a great time to research school zones, crime, and property tax rates.

Crunch the numbers.

Money is usually the biggest factor when it comes to what kind of house you can reasonably expect to buy. Take a look at your budget to determine how much you can afford. If you know how much you can spend each month, you can work backward to determine what price range you’ll need to stick with. 

Keep in mind that you will have to put money down—usually anywhere from 3 percent to 20 percent, plus closing costs. You also have the option to pay points on your mortgage, which lowers your interest rate and thereby your monthly payment. Tally some numbers to determine whether or not this is a good option for you, since it depends on things like the type of loan you choose and your personal financial situation.

Start shopping.

Your real estate agent can help you narrow down properties that fit your needs and budget. Then, you can pay a visit to the ones that appeal to you the most. Don’t worry if you do not find a house right off the bat; some buyers look at dozens of homes before making an offer. Do be open-minded, and know that you might have to make some sacrifices to get a home in your price range, even if it doesn’t check all your boxes.

While a certain level of compromise is usually inevitable, Forbes notes you should never cave in when it comes to things like your budget, the location, and the home’s condition.

Check for safety.

When you do find a home that resonates with you, don’t jump to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be happy to take you back for a second or third viewing, where you can think objectively. Look for signs of issues, such as rotting wood, foundation damage and signs of rust or corrosion on pipes. Take a glance around the house so that you know where the electrical system and all points of egress are. 

If something doesn’t feel right, you might need to look elsewhere. Either way, it’s in your best interest to hire a home inspector before you sign on the dotted line.

Make an offer and negotiate.

When you buy a home, you can expect some back and forth. The asking price is a good starting point, but, depending on the market and how long that particular home has been listed, there may be some wiggle room. Talk to your agent about making a reasonable offer. 

What to do before closing day.

Now that you’ve chosen a house, made an offer, and had it accepted, it might be a month or more before closing day. During this time, there’ll be lots of moving parts, including a title search, the home inspection, and appraisal. There are often some negotiations involved, which Realty Biz News notes your inspection can provide leverage. If everything goes well, you’ll be moving in no time. If not, there may be some delays, but try not to stress and remember that your real estate agent has experience.

Purchasing a home is an involved process. Lean on your real estate agent for guidance and information, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. These professionals know that you may only buy a handful of houses in your lifetime, and they travel this path every day.

Are you ready to take the plunge into homeownership? Let NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals help! Whether you’re looking for a savvy foreclosure or a prime piece of land to build upon, their expertise can guide you towards the best decisions, every step of the way. Get in touch by calling (970) 507-8655 today!

A special thank you to Tina Martin for writing this week’s blog post! Be sure to check her blog out for more great articles!

 

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How to Buy a Home for Your Personal and Professional Success

By Tina Martin

You have a killer idea for a home business and the funds to get things started, but you have realized that your current living space just won’t work for your business. Maybe it’s too small or your neighborhood isn’t zoned for commercial use. Whatever the issue, you need to find a new space that can accommodate your family and your business. Read these tips from NextHome to learn more.

Locate a Home You Can Customize

If you’re lucky or very patient, you may be able to find a ready-to-move-in home that is perfect for your family and your business needs. However, working with a skilled realtor from NextHome can help you find a home that can be affordably modified to match exactly what you need out of your living and working space.

Consider Buying “As Is”

Most of the time, when a seller puts a home on the market, the seller is responsible for making any repairs that would cause the home to fail an inspection. When a seller sells “as is,” the buyer is responsible for making repairs. The upside for the buyer is the potential significant savings on the purchase price. If you are already planning to make renovations to accommodate your home business, buying “as-is” is one way to boost your renovation budget by spending less on the purchase price.

Just be aware of the potential shortcomings involved with such a transaction, as well as how to go about completing the purchase in a manner that protects your interests. Not all problems are easy to spot. An “as-is” home might have pest infestations, hidden leaks, structural issues and more. You should always have a home inspection done before a purchase, but it’s particularly important to schedule a professional inspection for an “as-is” property and carefully review the seller’s disclosures.

Budget for Your Home Office Renovation

Fixr reports the average cost of a home office remodeling project is $66 per square foot, while a full addition will run around $300 per square foot. If you’re trying to set up an office on a budget, start by making a list of the things you have to have to conduct your business. Focus on those items and then consider any nice-to-haves if you have any wiggle room left in your budget.

As you weigh your considerations, think about things like special upgrades for your functionality, like ventilation, wiring, soundproofing, and so forth. Also think about whether you’ll meet clients at your home and if they will need a waiting area, restroom or parking. Storage might also be a concern, and whether or not delivery vehicles will come and go.

Protect Your Investment

You are going to pour a lot of time, money and energy into purchasing and renovating a space to accommodate your family and your business. Make sure you safeguard your investment by setting up your business as an LLC.

If your business becomes unable to pay its debts, as a sole proprietor, creditors can come after your personal assets. However, as an LLC, there are limited circumstances where creditors can pursue your personal assets. Additionally, LLCs come with some tax benefits and are easier to set up and more flexible than other business structures. The laws that govern LLCs vary by state, so consider using the cheapest formation service to ensure you get all of the paperwork right, without incurring the high fees an attorney might charge.

Additionally, check with your insurance professional to make sure you have the types and amounts of insurance you need to cover your home business and your renovation project. Standard homeowners insurance may not cover the unique risks associated with operating a home business or remodeling your home.

If your current living situation cannot accommodate your home business needs, the best solution may be to find a new home that can be renovated to custom fit your needs while staying within your budget. Connect with a skilled real estate professional from NextHome who can help you track down the right property at the right price. Give us a call today at (970) 507-8655.

A special Thank You to Tina Martin, author of “Ideaspired” for writing this week’s blog post!

Lost Traction In The Snow?

Getting Out Of A Sticky (Snowy?) Situation

With winter in full force and Christmas nearly here, many of us are braving the snowy roads and icy parking lots. Whether you’re driving cross-country to see family, or driving down the road for groceries, you are likely going to encounter some bad road conditions! If you’re losing traction in the grocery store parking lot or stuck in a foot of snow, this guide should help you get out!

Car without Traction

Momentum Is Key!

If you are slipping or sliding on or off the road, don’t stop! If you keep your momentum up there is a good chance you will be able to drive away! If you stop you are much more likely to become stuck in the snow.

Easy On The Throttle.

Throttle control is extremely important when trying to get un-stuck. If you use too much power, you will spin your wheels and dig deeper into the snow. Spinning wheels can also turn the snow into ice, which isn’t ideal for traction! A light foot is a necessity when trying to get out of the snow.

Think About Gears.

If you are in a vehicle with an automatic, shift to the lowest gear possible. If you are in a vehicle with a manual transmission, shift to 3rd or 4th gear. Doing so will allow you to more easily control your tire movement and minimize wear to your car.

Disable Traction Control.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, traction control won’t help you get unstuck! Traction control works by applying the brakes to whichever wheel has the least traction. This limits your control over the vehicle and can actually keep you from driving out of the snow! If your vehicle has traction control, you can turn it off by pushing or holding the traction control button. Be careful not to apply too much power with traction control off or your tires will just spin. See “Easy On The Throttle.

Rock & Roll!

Rocking your vehicle back and forth can help propel it out of a rut. Simply drive forward as much as you can, then put the car in reverse and move backwards. Repeat this step to build momentum and get unstuck! If you feel the car get over the rut, you can give it some gas to power out of the snow.

Traction Tools.

If you are stuck it is probably too late to put tire chains or cables on your car. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options! Small rocks, sand, kitty litter, and even small branches can be placed under the tires to add some grip. There are also traction boards available that work great for adding traction; they work as a makeshift shovel too!

Air Those Tires Down

If you simply don’t have enough traction to get moving, deflating your tires by a few PSI may help! When you let air out of your tires the contact patch between the tire and ground increases. This means you have more tread on the ground to add traction! If you keep your wheels straight with the tires aired down, there is less resistance so your car will move easier. Keep in mind that you will need to re-inflate your tires soon after getting unstuck or you risk damaging them. Several companies make portable air compressors for this application!

Dig, Dig, Dig!

Sometimes there is simply too much snow to drive through. When this is the case a proper shovel is your friend! There are several portable shovels available, many with collapsible handles for easy storage. These will come in very useful for unburying axles and clearing the underside of your car in deep snow. You can also use a shovel to build a ramp in the snow if it’s too deep for your car!

Last Ditch Efforts

If these tips just aren’t working in your situation, it’s best to either phone a friend or call a tow company for help! Remember to always check your tailpipes as a blockage could force exhaust gases into your vehicles cabin. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re waiting for help, break out your Winter Emergency Kit to stay warm and cozy! While you’re waiting, check out our Featured Listings, or like us on Facebook to see our Virtual Open House videos and other important updates!