Have you ever thought about your house potentially violating any codes? You may have recently replaced an air conditioning unit, added a backyard deck, etc. It may be possible that the new additions to your home may be in violation of building codes or HOA in your town, city, or county. Although it may not be something you have thought about before, selling your house with code violations can be more problematic than you think.
Is Your House Is Up to Code?
To determine this, unfortunately most city municipalities have a set of building codes that you have to abide by. These codes they use are to help with safety and help prevent damage or health issues. This is ultimately a way to look out for occupants of homes, apartments buildings, and any other residence. Theses specific rules however, vary depending on the municipality, structure, and type of work done.
If you own a new home, there’s a good chance that it is already up to code. New home builders often have local inspectors watching over them and making sure the work they’re doing meets the codes of the city, county, etc. As you alter, change, or add on to the residence the code violations might be coming with that. That could be a problem if and when it comes to selling your home. So, in case you are wondering if and how you can sell your home with all of these issues, there are a few solutions to prevent this before selling your home.
Bring Your House Up to Code
The best way to make sure that your house is up to date with code violations is to hire a general inspector to take a look at your house and see any potential code violations, if you have any.Most times, inspectors aren’t looking specifically for code violations but they will look for any hazardous electrical wires, piping leaks, and anything else that may turn into a problem. The truth is that it’s unlikely anyone can keep you from selling a house with certain code violations.Most mortgage companies will have an inspector take a look and if they see too many code violations they may not want to loan on the house.
Sell the Home with Violations with Value Cash Offers
Technically, you could sell the home as-is on the open market as long as there are no clear code violations that presents any danger to the home. If you decide to sell the home as-is with any potential code violates the buyer will take on that responsibility.
The buyer is going to want contingencies and credits for the work they know they’ll have to do and that’s coming directly out of the sale price. To avoid the headache with negotiations going back and forth with the seller, you can call us here at Value Cash Offers and we will help you sell your home!
Starter homes are no longer really cheap and widely available. These small yet comparably affordable homes are getting scooped up left and right. Apartment-weary millennials and baby boomers looking to downsize now that the boomerangs seem to have permanently left the nest for good are driving the prices of starter homes that much higher. Some are beginning to question whether these diminutive living spaces are worth the money.
Should You pay for a Starter Home or Save for Something Better?
Every home-seeker will have to crunch the numbers and weigh the pros and cons of buying a home like a starter one or saving for something larger. Those who are single and those who have no intentions of starting a family in the short-term will likely find a starter home to be worth the money. However, it might not make sense for a newly-married couple to buy a starter home if they plan on starting a family in the upcoming years. Couples looking to add to their family would be better served saving for a larger home or taking out a larger mortgage for more spacious digs to accommodate their children.
Are Starter Homes Worth the Elevated Prices?
Even those who are single or in a relationship without plans to have a family are questioning whether starter homes are worth the lofty prices. Today’s starter homes are approaching the price tags of the family homes of yesteryear. Does it really makes sense to take out a substantial mortgage to finance such a small house? After all, there is no guarantee the real estate market will remain strong. If home prices dip, the investment could lose value and make it that much more difficult to segue to a larger home at the desired time and price.
You Can’t Time the Market to Perfection
There is no sense in trying to time the real estate market as it is unpredictable. If you have been waiting on the sidelines for a while, hoping the price of your “forever home” finally dips, beware that the wait could continue. There is no guarantee the forever home you have your eye on will stay the same price or decrease in price in due time. The market could continue to climb, making it that much more challenging to snag that forever home.
If you intend on transitioning to such a forever home within a year or a couple years of your move to the starter home, you should give serious consideration to skipping the starter home altogether. The moral of this story is few succeed in timing the market to make a seamless and profitable transition between starter and forever homes.
Consider a Happy Medium
Crunch the numbers on the starter home and forever home you have in mind. Once you have determined the exact price difference between the two homes, consider how many years it would to take to save that amount of money. If you can save up the difference between the two homes’ prices in a year or two, it might make sense to buy the forever home right now. If it would take half a decade or longer to save up the difference between the two homes, it makes more financial sense to opt for the starter home.
When a couple lives together it can be confusing as to whose name should be on the mortgage. Maybe you want to split the mortgage to create equal ownership, but that might not always be the best route. Owning a home is a major investment so knowing the facts is extremely important. Let’s start to lay out some mortgage facts so that you and your partner can rest easier.
Title vs mortgage
The title is in relation to who owns rights to the property. A mortgage is an agreement to pay back a loan to lenders. Homeownership strictly falls under having your name on the title and not the mortgage.
Not being named
If you’re not named on the mortgage or title then you are at a major disadvantage when it comes to homeownership. Legally speaking when this happens you have no ownership of the home. If you are taken to court at this point then you will have very little rights to any part of the property. You might not be on the mortgage payments but be sure to be on the title of the home if you want any stake in ownership.
Title of the home
Let’s say you decide not to have both names on the mortgage but are concerned about home ownership. Well, as mentioned before you have the option be on the title of the home which will grant you many rights legally. Doing this as you close is the best option if you want to avoid the headache of doing it later. Once your names are on the title then congratulations on both being homeowners!
However, if your name is not on the title and things go sour between you and your partner then you can end up technically homeless. Any money you put into the home would be gone and you’d lose any rights. Another sad example would be if your partner dies and they were the only one on the title then you can be in for a major legal headache. Save yourself the stress and get on the title.
Name on mortgage
It may sound like a sweet deal to be on the title but not on any of the mortgages but that can end up sour too. When whoever stops paying the mortgage who do you think the lenders will be coming to? Yep, that you and they will take high notice if you’re close to foreclosure.
What if you’re just making mortgage payments? Well, then you could be really prone to taking some damage. The owner of the title could end up selling half the home to someone you don’t know to leave you paying the mortgage for a homeowner you don’t know. Is that likely? No, but it can happen so why leave yourself vulnerable?
If you are in the market for a new home, size and location are of the utmost importance. An abundance of space is tempting yet it will hike your property tax bill. A large home also requires that much more maintenance to boot. Too little space will make you feel cramped and make it difficult to start a family or even welcome a pet. Here’s a quick look at how to choose a home with just the right amount of space.
Mind the Size of Square Footage
Home size is measured in square feet. If you are a single home buyer without a family or partner, space is not that important. However, there is always the potential that you will add a significant other and/or a pet to the home in due time. The average home stretches across 2,687 square feet. An individual home buyer will be comfortable with less than this amount of space. However, if you err on the side of going too small with your new home, it might prove difficult to sell the house when the time comes to upgrade to something larger. The average couple can enjoy a high-quality of life in a home with as little as 1,250 square feet. The key is to find the right balance between space, resale value and property taxes.
A family consisting of three or more people will likely require a 3-bedroom home. The typical 3-bedroom home has around 1,300 square feet to 1,600 square feet of space. If you plan on adding to your family, look for a home with more than 2,000 square feet of space to ensure your growing family has enough room to play and enjoy at least a modicum of privacy. Those who are planning on adding spacious niceties such as a home gym or home theater will require 3,000 square feet or more.
The Pros and Cons of Spacious Homes
It is awfully tempting to choose a home that is larger than what is currently necessary in terms of space and luxuries. Do not give into this temptation until you have considered the downsides to a large home. For one, the hike in square feet will bump up your property taxes that much more. Additional space will also cost more to cool and heat. Though it is certainly nice to use the extra rooms in a large home for storage, it is comparably cheaper to opt for a smaller home and pay for storage at a nearby facility.
If you were to poll those who moved into homes larger than necessary, most would testify they love their abundance of space. However, these same homeowners enjoying their spacious digs are also quick to complain the extra room minimizes social interaction amongst family members. A home of just the right size forces family members to cross paths and communicate at a fairly high frequency.
How to Choose the Perfect Size: Count the Bedrooms
Those in the housing industry swear by the mantra of “location, location, location.” However, location is only one piece to the real estate puzzle. Home size is just as important as its position on the map. In general, there should be enough dining room and living room space to accommodate two times as many people as there are bedrooms in the home. The bedroom count really is the main determinant of total square footage. If possible, allot some space for family members and guests to interact away from the living room and kitchen to make the house feel like a true home. A home with such “away” spaces for people to congregate in small groups makes the property that much more enjoyable for everyone.
The many costs associated with buying a mortgage often leave new buyer’s heads spinning. Between closing costs, interest rates, and additional fees, how do you stay on top of everything? The more you understand the different terminology of mortgages, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart choices about your money when buying a house.
One of the most confusing aspects of choosing a mortgage is understanding your interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR). This guide will break down the differences between each so you’ll be ready to find the best mortgage deal.
Interest Rates and APR Defined
When you choose to buy a home, you’ll likely get financing from a mortgage lender or bank. The lender generally will pay for a percentage of the loan, and you agree to pay this amount back with interest over a specific period of time. Your interest rate is the amount of interest you’re accruing on your home mortgage each year.
That means when you pay your mortgage every month, you’re paying a portion of the principal, or the amount you originally borrowed, as well as the interest you’ve accrued for that month. With that in mind, the longer the length of your loan, the lower your monthly payments and the more you’ll pay in interest.
Your interest rate is not the same as your APR, or annual percentage rate. While we’ve just defined your interest rate as the amount you’ll pay to borrow your mortgage loan, this doesn’t include any other fees or charges that come along with having a mortgage.
Your APR is both the cost of your loan as well as additional fees. Your APR will include the cost of mortgage insurance, loan originator fees, discount points, and more. That means you don’t want to only look at your interest rate when shopping around for a mortgage. Your APR will give a much clearer picture of how much you’ll owe on a monthly basis.
How to Compare Mortgage Rates
Now that you understand how interest rates and APR differ, you’re in a better place to compare mortgages to find the best fit for your budget. The best place to find all of this information is on your loan estimate. Your loan estimates from all of your lenders will look the same since it’s a regulated government document.
You’ll find your loan interest rate under your section for loan terms, and you’ll need to read on further to find your APR under the comparison heading on the third page of your loan estimate document. When deciding two similar loans, it’s a good idea to jump to the APR. This will help you land the best deal.
In general, APR provides a clearer picture of which lender is charging you more. However, always do your best to research any additional expenses that might not be included in your APR such as property surveys or title insurance. It’s also important to note that APRs on adjustable-rate loans won’t show the maximum interest rate possible, so this could be misleading.
If you want a lower monthly payment, pay the most attention to the interest rate. If you’re more concerned about the overall cost of your loan, focus more on your APR. Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Take all aspects of the mortgage application process seriously to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Your mortgage is likely the biggest financial agreement you’ll ever enter. Don’t take it lightly!