|  Company News, Home Maintenance, Horticulture/Environment, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

Green Home Terms

Whether you’re building the home of your dreams or looking for an existing unit, there’s a lot of data involved in finding the right environmentally friendly dwelling. Here’s a breakdown of the different certification systems for energy-efficient homes.

RESNET
The Residential Energy Services Network is a not-for-profit corporation that develops industry-wide standards and rules for energy efficiency ratings and certification systems for buildings. In addition to overseeing the HERS index (see below), RESNET certifies contractors of all ty...

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 |  Company News, Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

Questions to Ask the Condo Board

Before you purchase a condo, you should have an attorney review property documents for you. However, you should contact the board yourself ahead of time. You’ll learn how responsive and organized its members are and be alerted to potential problems.

How many units are owner-occupied?
Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the easier the condo will be to resell.

What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property?
Carefully read the bylaws to determine if you can abide by them. Also, find out if there are grandfather provisions th...

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 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Resources to Hire Professionals

Loans and Lending Terms

Below are a few terms that may assist you in your home search in terms of financing.   This is by no means a complete list or plan.  Be sure to always consult a trusted professional in these circumstances to protect your individual interest and rights.

Terms:  Mortgages are generally available at 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms. In general, the longer the term, the lower the monthly payment. However, shorter terms mean you pay less interest over the life of the loan.

Fixed vs. adjustable interest rates:  A fixed rate allows you to lock in a lo...

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 |  Company News, Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

Prepare for House-Hunting

Know that there’s no “right” time to buy.   If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going.   Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.

Don’t ask for too many opinions.   It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision.   Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be ...

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 |  Purchasing a Home, Resources to Hire Professionals

Home Ownership – Seven Reasons to Own a Home

Seven Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The recent housing crisis has caused some to ...
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 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

What to Consider About Owning a Vacation Home

Wouldn’t it be great to own a place at the beach, in the mountains, or by the lake? If you are seriously considering buying a vacation home, you have probably weighed many of the pros and cons already.

But you should carefully consider everything before you buy. Have you taken these additional costs and benefits into account?

The Overlooked Costs of Homeownership

As any experienced home buyer knows, there are additional annual costs that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Make sure you consider maintena...

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 |  Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

The Six Resources You Must Use When Buying a Home

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of th...

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 |  Financial, Home Maintenance, Home Organization, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

Seven Things You Must Do When Relocating

Anytime you relocate to a new area, whether it’s a city just a few miles away or across the country, you face a unique set of challenges.

The housing market, the transit, and even the weather may not be what you’re used to. Planning your move can be difficult, too, since you need to coordinate when, where, and how you’ll be moving your belongings to a new area.

Because moving to a completely new area means learning about a new housing market and a new community, we wanted to share a few helpful relocation tips to make it a much easier experience for you.

1...

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