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8 Steps to Decluttering your Entire Home!

by The Schnoor Team

It starts as a small pile of mail, or a few clothes, or some toys, and a few days later the piles have multiplied in size. By the end of the week the pile has become a monster that you really don’t want to deal with. As I have stressed countless times, a clean house will sell faster and for more but a clean house also just feels better and will improve your mood! So I present to you an 8 step plan to attack and declutter each room to get your house under control!

TIP: Don't start with family heirlooms, those are the hardest to get rid of.

Step 1: Start Off Right

You will want to start in the place that really motivated you to begin cleaning in the first place. What was the straw the broke the camel’s back? A backlog of un-opened mail or laundry? The goal is to take care of that one AREA and not the whole room.

Step 2: The Bathroom

The bathroom is fairly easy to declutter. It is fast and easy to throw away empty or unused bottles, expired items, and old makeup. It’s important to remember that, depending on the size, your bathroom should not be treated as a linen closet. Don’t go overboard putting all your extras in your bathroom, use your linen closet.

Step 3: Public Rooms

 

Perhaps you’re embarrassed by all the DVDs, video games and newspapers scattered around your living room, or can’t host another dinner party until something is done about all that stuff on the dining room table. Areas that guests see are often a lot easier to go through and sort out.

Bonus: Cleaning them up will allow you to quickly benefit socially.

 

Step 4: The Kitchen

Most people view the kitchen as one of the biggest challenges. The entire area is filled with things that you use or could use: extra containers, boxes, twist ties, and extra kitchen tools. The best approach is to think of the last time you used each item. The items you haven’t used in a couple of months get put in boxes and store them away in the garage or attic. Anything that you haven’t used in a year or more gets stored in longer-term storage or gets donated.

Step 5: Clothing/Closets

Give yourself plenty of time for closets, around an hour and a half. I recommend starting in the corners and moving toward the middle. Items in this area are very personal and you will certainly have a hard time getting rid of clothes. Try to be objective, which clothes have you never worn? If you find yourself getting too bogged down put things in an “undecided box” put it away. If, in a year, you haven’t noticed they are missing: donate them.

Step 6: The Bedrooms

Bedrooms are made up entirely of personal mementos, photos, family heirlooms, and other items with lots of emotional attachment. The best idea is to get a close friend to sit with you and help you make QUICK decisions. Remember, your bedroom is primarily for relaxing and sleeping; all items that won’t help you do that doesn’t really need to be there. Step 9: Attic/Basement/Garage Never do these rooms solo—furniture and big boxes will slow you down, so schedule a helper. As with closets, work back-to-front, beginning in the back corners and moving toward the middle of the room. Back corners tend to fill with junk you don’t need, and make for quick tossing that opens up a lot of space.

Step 7: Home Office

Clear out your entire desk; empty drawers and clear off all surface spaces. Set paperwork aside to sort through later. Designate one desk drawer to office supplies. Sort through your desk files and papers and as you organize the paperwork, keep these guidelines in mind: If you don’t use the file on a weekly basis, or if it’s not personal or confidential, either dispose of it or store it in a separate filing cabinet.

Step 8: The Party

If you have reached this step you deserve a reward! Plan a party. A giveaway party, that is. Invite over friends who might be happy to take that necklace or the jeans you never wear off your hands. This party will kill two birds with one stone. You get rewarded for decluttering your entire home AND you will be further decluttering by getting rid of unneeded items!

Are You Looking to Sell Your Home? Let us help! Our Real Estate experience and resources will be at your disposal! Contact us today, visit our Seller Resources Page, or fill out the form below!

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Making it to a Real Estate Closing

by The Schnoor Team

 

Successful participation in real estate negotiations is dependent on your complete understanding of local laws and the specific contents of every contract with which you are involved. Although technical negotiations are critical, it is every bit as important to support your clients emotionally and help make sure their path to closing is a smooth one.

One of the most stressful events of the transaction for both sellers and buyers is the home inspection. It's not unusual for everyone to be on edge until they hear the results, even if they think the house will breeze through with no problems. Try to get your sellers to relax. Let them know that if repair issues do occur, they can nearly always be handled so that all parties are happy with the outcome.

If there are serious problems with the house, they should certainly be disclosed to buyers before an offer is made. However, there are several things that buyers perceive as problems that truly aren't. Your sellers can keep the home from failing inspection by taking care of a few issues that always make buyers wonder if repairs are needed.

Be sure to remove all traces of mold and mildew inside and outside the house. Remove the source of dampness that allowed them to grow. Cover bare earth in crawl spaces and unfinished basements to place a barrier between the house and the earth. Exposed dirt is a source of moisture that can encourage insects and mold growth.

If buyers ask for repairs, you'll be responsible for helping your seller decide whether or not to make requested changes. Remember that the contract between the buyer and seller plays a crucial role in all repair issues and determines which items can and cannot be included in requests.

Water entering a basement often does so because of poor drainage, not because the foundation needs to be repaired. (Although, the foundation can become an issue over time if the poor drainage is not dealt with properly.) To improve drainage, clean the home's gutters and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the home's foundation, and that in-ground drainage avenues are clog free.

Another way to eliminate potential sources of moisture is to make sure that flashing around the base of chimneys is watertight and that the chimney's mortar and bricks are in good condition. Replace deteriorated shingles if possible.

Your sellers live in the house, so they are probably aware of little things that should be fixed. Make them aware that buyers nearly always question a home's overall condition when their inspection report contains a long list of items that need to be repaired. Handling a long list of little things early on will help them breeze through the inspection later.

Visit our HOME SELLER RESOURCE page for more information or give us a call today!


8 Reason To Buy A Home

by The Schnoor Team

So you've heard that owning your own home is a good thing, but why?

Here are some of the answers I found. 

  1. Freedom from noisy neighbors. In many cases, your own home provides you with more privacy than rental living. For some people this translates into a more quiet living environment, for others it's the ability to have a garden or a garage for the car. ​
  2. The ability to change your home as you like. Always wanted a yellow kitchen or a back porch? In your own home, you make whatever changes or improvements you like. This benefit gives you more control over your living environment, allowing you to make adjustments as your family changes or just as your personal taste dictates.​​
  3. Parents who own their own home may be helping to boost their children's educational achievements and even reduce behavioral problems, according to a new nationwide study. The research showed that for children living in owned homes rather than rental units, math achievement scores are up to 9 percent higher, reading achievement is up to 7 percent higher and behavioral problems are 1 to 3 percent lower. One of the main reasons that children of homeowners did better was the differences in living environment, Haurin said. Findings showed that owning a home compared with renting leads to a 13 to 23 percent higher-quality home environment. Owners have more of an incentive to make improvements in their home and create a more positive living environment, Haurin said. "They may be able to do things like create a better play area for their children, which could help their intellectual development. The benefits of homeownership were also shown by the fact that children did better the longer they lived in owned homes.
  4. Homeownership builds confidence. Owners possess significantly higher levels of self-confidence than renters.
  5. Homeowners are more involved in civic affairs, including voting in the last election and knowing their elected officials.
  6. Homeownership builds wealth. The median net worth of most modest-income owners is almost $60,000 compared to less than $10,000 for renters in the same income group.
  7. Homeownership provides tax benefits. The typical homeowner that pays a $1,000 house payment will realize tax savings of about $120 each month.
  8. Homeownership contributes toward lower crime rates. Homeownership and a stable housing helps contribute toward lowering crime rates. Homeowners have a greater financial stake than do renters especially in the case of property crimes or other crimes in their neighborhood. Hence, homeowners have more reason to prevent crime by working with the society and participating in crime prevention programs. The research also states that homeowners are less likely to become crime victims. Homeownership lowers dependency on public assistance. Homeownership and stable housing in a stable neighborhood brought down the rate of teenage pregnancy consecutively reducing the use of public assistance. Another research points out that homeowners are able to cope better after being laid off from their jobs because they can access their home equity credit lines rather than turn to public assistance.

I hope today's blog entry will help get you thinking about the benefits of homeownership! There are some strong opinions and supporting evidence from credible sources out there that seem pretty convincing. But is homeownership for you? Check out our upcoming blog entry to get the other side of the story and decide for yourself! We welcome your input, opinions, ideas and suggestions! If you have something to share with us on this topic, please post your comments on this discussion.

Thinking About Buying A Home? 

Don't go into the process alone! Let The Schnoor Team at Berkshire & Hathaway assist you through the process of home buying! Download our FREE HOME BUYERS GUIDE and get all the information you need to get the process started today!

 

 

5 Crucial Things that Determine Your Sales Price

by The Schnoor Team

Every time I have an initial consultation with a potential listing client, I discuss the listing price for their home. As a part of that process, the seller and I discuss the price they think their home should sell for.

I think it is worth noting that the seller's desired sales price may or may not be a realistic estimate of the Price that the home will sell for in the current Real Estate Market. Pricing is the most important factor in selling a home. It is the qualified, professional, REALTOR who can balance these factors. 

Here are some of the most relevant factors that determine your sales price.

Comparable Sales of Other Homes

Again, sales price is different than listing price, so keep in mind that the price you saw on your neighbor's flier probably isn't the price it actually sold for. You should contact your Realtor to get a list of the homes that have sold in the past 3-4 months. When looking at these sales, keep in mind that you probably aren't comparing apples to apples, but it will give you a starting point.

Home Improvements

I'll caution you on this one. I have had clients think that just because they added tile or a covered patio that their price has gone up some extreme amount. That may or may not be the case. Remember that home improvement trends are trends, and they come and go. Just because you like tile doesn't mean that everyone does. Home improvements can actually depreciate the sales price of your home.

Competing Home Prices

Watch the competition like a hawk! How long have comparable homes been on the market? What prices are selling fast and what prices are selling slowly? Compare the price per square foot. You are competing for buyers so you need to think through your competition's prices before making a final decision.

The Market

Buyers set the market value. If you have a home in high demand, your home is worth more money. That's pretty simple. In a seller's market you can price your home above market value and still attract buyers. In a buyer's market you need to price it just below market value.

The Location

Is your home located across the street from Walmart with parking lot lights glaring into your bedroom windows? If so, it might be worth less than a home of equal size in a different location. .

These are just 5 factors that determine your sales price. The truth is that there are many more. If you're thinking about selling your home, The Schnoor Team will help you find your home's approximate current market home value. This CMA (Current Market Home Value) is absolutely free, there is no obligation, it is completely confidential, and the whole process can be carried out by e-mail. Follow this link for the FREE CMA. 

 

(ALBUQUERQUE, NM) ⎯ The real estate team of Jon and Jeanne Schnoor have recently

joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties as The Schnoor Team.

Together the team has 25+ years of combined real estate experience in the Albuquerque metro

and Santa Fe markets. Jim Pitts, Qualifying Broker, Owner and Managing Partner of Berkshire

Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties made the announcement.


 

“We are excited and honored to be a part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

brand. Their Luxury Division of services, global reach and technology was one of the deciding

factors in our decision to join their office,” said Jeanne Schnoor. Both Jon and Jeanne are

actively involved in our community. Jon currently serves as Immediate Past President of the

Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® and is a National Association of

REALTORS® Director. Jeanne continues to serve on the Greater Albuquerque Association of

REALTORS® Pro-Standards Committee – and loves it!

 

“We knew we had to find the right partners that would match the integrity and

professionalism of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand as we continue to expand our

sales staff and especially our Luxury Division of brokers. The Schnoor Team shares Berkshire

Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties’ commitment to quality and customer service.

They are exactly the type of experienced professionals we are seeking, as we continue to grow

the company, and increase our presence in the greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe community,”

said Jim Pitts, Qualifying Broker, Owner and Managing Partner.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties, which is

independently owned and operated, became a member of the Berkshire Hathaway

HomeServices brokerage network, operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, in 2014.

 

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties, Allstar,

REALTORS® and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Santa Fe Real Estate

Prudential New Mexico Properties, Real Living Premier, REALTORS®, and All Star

Realty were combined under JPGF NM Holdings Company, LLC. in the fall of 2013.

Doing business as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties,

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Allstar, REALTORS® and Berkshire Hathaway

HomeServices Santa Fe Real Estate, our combined knowledge, expertise, and years of

experience in the major, local real estate markets in New Mexico has made us one of the

largest real estate brands in the state. In addition to residential buying and selling, we

also offer a commercial real estate division, International relocation services, and now

property management.

 

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a brand-new real estate

brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. Berkshire Hathaway

HomeServices has grown to more than 40,000 agents and 1,200 offices operating across

47 states since its launch in September 2013. The network, among the few organizations

entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real

estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity.

 

About HSF Affiliates LLC

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,

Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is

a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-
service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an

affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Advice for the First Time Home Seller

by The Schnoor Team

In today's market, sellers are steeling themselves to new realities that include paying (rather than making) money at the closing table, providing extras to sweeten the deal, and spending more time and cash making the home camera-ready.

For first-time Sellers who have never been through the process before, it's a different world. One where the value of the house isn't measured
in the profit made on the sale, but by the enjoyment the owners had from living in the home.

Here are three things experienced sellers would tell you, if they could.

Price it realistically from the start

Your largest number of showings will occur in the first two to three weeks. Why? Because the multiple listing service and the Internet tend to drive the majority of showings. Many buyers are plugged in electronically. So the minute something new pops up that meets their criteria, they want to see it.

Take advantage of that sweet spot by pricing the house competitively right out of the gate.

When we work with first time sellers, we give you a comprehensive list of the initial asking prices of nearby homes like theirs, along with the final selling prices. This gives you an insiders look at the market.

Be prepared to lose some money

Want to sit with a house that won't move? Be the first-time seller who insists you can get the appraised value, the tax assessor's estimate or whatever you paid a few years ago.

Sometimes it seems like there's no relationship between your assessed value, taxable value and the actual market value of our house. The truth is that your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay. No more. That means many buyers should be prepared to lose some money or hang onto the home until the price rises.

Promotion, promotion, promotion

One question to ask yourself and pose as you interview agents: How will you reach the home's target market?

You have to consider who your most likely buyers are for what you're selling and cater to that group of people.

Targeting 20-somethings who live on their smartphones? You need to effectively access the networks your buyers are tapping to find their next home. One big trend: Social Media has created an instant culture who want instant connections and contact. These social media accounts give them that all that their fingertips.

The typical starter home can also appeal to downsizing empty nesters. To serve their needs, you might also want to have a phone number that instantly reaches someone who can provide details and answer questions.

Selling your home can be a stress filled process, so let  The Schnoor Team experience assist you in getting your home sold! Contact us today!

10 common home-buying mistakes

by The Schnoor Team

We have literally worked with hundreds of Buyers in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas! There are some common themes that emerge whenever we work with a family who has run into some problems. 

Use our list of 10 common home-buying mistakes to avoid costly regrets.


1. Doing it alone.

Buying a house is a complex transaction. Even if you don't use an agent, you'll need a complete, dependable team: lender, lawyer, inspector, insurer, as well as referrals and advice from friends and family. Enlist the help of these individuals early in the buying process.

2. Buying at first sight.

You may be in love with the place, but does it fit your family's needs and budget? Make a list of your needs and wants and make sure the house fits your requirements. Check out the neighborhood and the community before you buy by visiting at different times of the day and week to learn about noise and traffic patterns. Even if you don't have kids, check out the local schools to make sure your resale value will be good.

3. Not getting pre-qualified and pre-approved.

Being pre-qualified gives you a general idea of how much you can afford to borrow. Being pre-approved means a lender has verified your information and credit rating and agreed to provide you with a specific amount of money. You are in a better position to go house hunting knowing exactly how much you can afford and that you have financing.

4. Overbuying.

You may qualify to borrow more, but can you afford to? Analyze your monthly costs: debt, food, transportation, entertainment, and savings. As a general rule, your total monthly debts, including your mortgage, should not exceed 36 percent of your income before taxes. Be sure to budget enough to cover closing costs (often two to five percent of the home's purchase price), plus moving, redecorating and maintenance. Allow for increases in ongoing expenses such as utilities and taxes.

5. Misplacing your trust.

No matter how much you like the agent, sellers, inspector, or the guy down the block who vouches for them, remember this is a business transaction. Your decision is binding. Do your own research and know your support team's roles and responsibilities.

6. Relying on oral agreements.

Get it right and get it in writing. Written agreements almost always trump oral ones when it comes to contracts. If the offer says the lawnmower is negotiable, but the agent says it's included, get it in writing.

7. Skipping the fine print.

You need to understand what you're signing before you pick up a pen. Ask for documents in advance, make time to read them and ask questions. Get copies of your mortgage papers a few days ahead of closing.

8. Forgetting or betting on resale.

Avoid buying a home that costs 50 percent more than neighboring homes and think before buying the most expensive home on the block. Your neighbors' lower home values will weaken yours. Remember, markets change. If you buy intending to flip your investment and the market falls and you have to sell, your selling price may not be enough to even cover your mortgage.

9. Making an unconditional offer.

Protect yourself with at least two of these contingencies in your offer:

Mortgage financing -- You're pre-approved, but is the house? Before a bank will lend you money, it will want a formal appraisal of the property to confirm that there is sufficient equity in it to warrant the loan. If the house appraises lower than the sales price, the loan may be declined.

Inspection -- never buy an existing or new home without a thorough home inspection. Walk through the home with the inspector to learn more about the house and any concerns he or she may have.

Insurance -- confirm you can get adequate coverage. In some areas, it's difficult to get hazard insurance.


10. Having buyer's remorse.

No place is perfect. There will always be surprises. Don't let a few initial blips spoil the whole ride. And don't miss a great house waiting for the perfect one!

Have more questions Contact Us Here: http://www.buyandsellabqhomes.com/Buyer-Resources/Questions

 

Make Sure Your Home Stands Tall in a Competitive Market

by The Schnoor Team

Home sellers today must convince a new era of buyers returning to the market that their homes stand for value and quality. 

The time-honored open house event remains a terrific way to expose your property to many consumers and gain distinction from the competition. While your real estate professional will advertise and manage the event, it is up to you to ensure that your home is seen in the best light possible. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so approach your open house event as your property’s showcase. Here are several ways to make your property shine, inside and out. 

Start with the outside. Do a visual check of the front of the house from across the street. Does your property have curb appeal? It should look inviting, with a trimmed lawn and flowerbed and a freshly painted front door. Polish door handles and knockers and replace worn items such as a rusty doorbell. Consider adding a new doormat and flowering plants at the entrance. Don’t forget to wash your windows and clean any oil or rust spots from the driveway.

Be sure to inspect the side and back yards. Add some flowering plants to the back as well. Clean and rearrange the outdoor furniture to look inviting. Put away gardening tools, and tidy around the grill area. 

Now focus on the inside of the home where cleanliness, space, smell and lighting are vital. First get your house in tip-top condition by cleaning and clearing away clutter. Steam clean and vacuum the carpet. Make sure your floors are waxed and shiny. Touch up nicks on walls and make sure the porcelain sinks and tubs and metallic fixtures shine. 

Be conscious of any lingering odors such as smoke, pets or strong-smelling foods. You may need to air out your home prior to your open house event. Consider grinding fresh lemons in the garbage disposal. And don’t forget to empty all trash containers. 

Look at your countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms and the tops of your bureaus. Do they seem cluttered? Clear away and store as much as possible. You want your home to seem spacious. 

Next, set the mood. Let your prospective buyers picture your home as their own. Rearrange the furniture so that rooms look more spacious, or consider removing furniture and accessories. 

Lighting is also important to creating a desirable atmosphere. Bright lights provide a cheerful environment and make a small space appear larger. Pull back all the drapes and open the blinds. Turn on all the lights. Make sure all light sockets have fresh bulbs. Use softer lights for rooms in which you want a warm, cozy feeling.

Don’t forget little touches such as fresh flowers, lighted candles in the bathrooms, new logs in the fireplace, or a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. You may even want to set your dining-room table with color-coordinated table settings.

When you list your home with the Schnoor Team, we provide you with an exhaustive list of ideas collected from decorators, stagers and The National Association of Realtors.  These are tried and true proven and effective ways to place your home at the TOP of the list for prospective buyers.  So give us a call we would love the opportunity to share with you!

It’s a Buyers Market for Real Estate Investors

by The Schnoor Team

Turn on any financial news program and at some point you’ll hear the experts extolling the virtues of diversification. Real estate, even through the market downturn, has long been considered a conservative, long-term strategy to growing wealth. 

In fact, that very downturn has created a historic buying opportunity for potential homebuyers and investors alike. The combination of lower home prices across American and historically low mortgage rates, two essential factors that usually don’t trend in the same direction, have triggered a buyer’s market in many areas of the country. For real estate investors who want to rent their properties, this can make the difference in achieving positive cash flow sooner or right off the bat. 

While some seasoned real estate investors make it look easy, to be successful, beginners should follow some basic principles. 

  • Learn all you can. Before committing your cash, you should have a fundamental understanding of real estate. For example, be aware that, in general, investment properties are not liquid investments. Barring exceptional circumstances, real estate does not sell at a moment’s notice. It could take days or months to sell a property, depending on the strength of the market in a particular region.
  • Consider cash flow. You’ll need to have enough capital on hand to cover any short-term losses due to vacancies between tenants.
  • Start small. Look into buying a condominium, single-family home or a duplex. Leave large apartment buildings and commercial properties to the pros.
  • Inquire at the local Chamber of Commerce about companies relocating into or out of the area. Company movement is one indicator of demand for rental and/or office space.
  • Find a property that will be in demand. Look for a moderately priced home with three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage that sits on a quiet street.
  • Research the property. The most common way first-time investors lose is by failing to investigate a property thoroughly. Look beyond the front door. Investigate the reputation of the school district, the crime rate, and plans for expanding a nearby highway or developing vacant land. Ask a local real estate professional about the area, its history, and how fast (or slow) properties are moving.
  • Inspect the home you’re considering for signs of water damage, such as stains on the ceiling and crinkling or gathering wallpaper; open and close every door and window; and check all electrical sockets by plugging in an appliance. Get an independent home inspection, roof inspection and termite inspection. Unexpected repair costs can eat away your cash flow. Because even the best inspection can’t always predict problems, try to set aside some of the rental income for unexpected repairs.
  • Spend time driving the streets of the neighborhood noting the condition of other properties. Are lawns maintained? Are roofs in good shape? Are homes kept up?
  • Be ready to make fixes quickly and respond to the renter’s needs. If you’re not prepared to be a hands-on landlord, consider hiring a property management firm.
  • See your tax advisor for related planning and laws that can affect your investment decisions.

    Remember, investing in a property is much different than living in one, and while emotion and attachment can be prime motivators when it comes to homes, it is return on investment that counts when investing in real estate.

 

Owning a Home Has Its Benefits

by The Schnoor Team

Opportunity is knocking for those considering homeownership for the first time. Historically low interest rates, lower home prices in most markets and the first-time homebuyer tax credit – part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – brought first-timers to the market in droves throughout the year. 

In fact, these consumers represented about half of home sales logged during 2009, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, a significant increase from historic levels. 

Today’s opportunities aside, here are eight time-honored reasons why those considering homeownership for the first time should make their move. 

1. Pride of Ownership

Owning your own home adds to your own sense of self-esteem and personal pride. The satisfaction that comes from feeling connected to the land you occupy and the home in which you live is ages-old.  

2. Security of Tenancy

With homeownership comes stability. When renting, you never know when you may have to move because of new ownership, rent increases or other changes. As a homeowner, you decide when and if you want to move. 

3. Privacy

While there are usually some limits on the access landlords have to property, almost all landlords can access your property for necessary inspections and maintenance. For many renters, this lack of privacy is a significant discomfort. Homeowners on the other hand generally have much stronger property rights and experience an increase in perceived and actual privacy. 

4. Decorating

Homeowners are free to decorate, remodel and accessorize a home any way they want. Not only do you have the right to make improvements, but the value of those improvements becomes yours as well. Having your living space and exteriors just the way you want them can significantly increase your satisfaction with your living environment. 

5. Financial Predictability

When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you have more predictability over future housing costs. Because your interest rate never changes, the amount of your payment never changes. Financial planning and credit are more easily managed with a fixed-rate mortgage compared to renting. 

6. Building Equity

When you own your own home, you pay rent to yourself instead of a landlord. Most homeowners pay for their purchase by obtaining a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage, your equity builds and you gain an increasingly larger share in a valuable asset. Over time, that asset can work for you in many ways, such as home equity lines of credit. And of course, a home is a wonderful asset to pass along in an estate. 

7. Investment Appreciation

There are certainly no guarantees of property value appreciation. In the long-term, however, real estate valuations almost always increase. This means that when you decide to sell your home, its value may be significantly higher than when you purchased it. The difference in value is called appreciation. You can reinvest that appreciation in other real estate or you may wish to downsize and keep the value of that appreciation for retirement or other purposes. 

8. Tax Benefits

In the United States, the cost of home mortgage interest and property taxes are usually tax-deductible. Depending on your circumstances, thousands of dollars in taxes can be saved each year. These tax savings are not limited to federal taxes either. Many states and localities either base their tax system on the federal system or offer similar incentives to homeownership. Some additional benefits are designed specifically for first-time homebuyers. (See your tax advisor for additional information.) 

If you still have doubts, call us here at the Schnoor Team and we will answer questions you may have about homeownership and explain the buying process to you, we take you from contract to closing!

Displaying blog entries 171-180 of 190

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. This is not a solicitation if you are currently working with a real estate broker. Equal Housing Opportunity