Sholan Realty


Posted by Sholan Realty on 2/28/2021

You want to buy a house, but you know that you need to save as much money as possible for a down payment. Although you've tried to save money in the past, your best efforts have failed to help you collect the funds that you'll need to make a down payment on your dream residence.

Let's face it Ė saving for a home can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer creative ways to help you get the money that you'll need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Now, let's take a look at three creative ways to save for a down payment on a house.

1. Start a Friendly Competition

Competition often brings out the best in homebuyers. Much in the same vein, you and your friends may be able to compete against one another to see who can save the most money for a down payment on a home.

If you and your friends intend to buy a home together or separately, a friendly competition can make a world of difference in getting the required funds for a down payment. In fact, you can even award the winner of this competition with an "Ultimate Saver" trophy or other fun prizes.

Ultimately, a friendly competition is a great way to have fun with friends and save money for a down payment on a house at the same time. Regardless of who wins the competition, you'll notice that your down payment savings will increase, moving you one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

2. Use a Rewards System

Saving for a down payment on a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you build rewards into your day-to-day savings efforts, you can earn incentives as you reach various milestones.

For instance, you may want to reward yourself with a special dinner every time that you reach a savings milestone. Or, you can always celebrate hitting a savings milestone with a trip to the dog park with your puppy.

3. Trim the Fat from Your Budget

It sometimes can be tough to remove cable TV, takeout meals and other excess items from your budget. But if you consider the long-term benefits of these short-term sacrifices, you may be better equipped than ever before to save significant funds for a down payment on a home.

Look closely at your daily, weekly and monthly budgets. Then, you can determine which budget items are essential and which are not and trim the fat from your budget accordingly. This will allow you to speed up the process of saving for a down payment on a house and ensure that you can achieve your homeownership dream faster than ever before.

Lastly, as you prepare to explore available homes, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for extra help. By hiring a real estate agent, you can get the assistance that you need to discover a great house that falls within your price range.





Posted by Sholan Realty on 2/21/2021

Buying a new home can be an exciting but anxiety-inducing experience. With so many things to consider, it can be difficult to keep track of the things that matter most to you.

This process is complicated further when you discover a second or third home that you like as much as the first and youíre trying to decide which one to make an offer on.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about how you can effectively compare houses to ensure that youíre making the most sensible, long-term decision for you and your family.

Itís all about the spreadsheet

Today, our method isnít going to rely on any fancy new apps or paid tools. Everything you need to accomplish your spreadsheet is a tool like Google Sheets (itís like a free version of Excel) or a simple pencil and notebook.

The columns of your spreadsheet will be made up of the factors that will influence your decision. This will include the obvious details like the cost and square footage of the home, but also finer details like its proximity to key places in your life.

The rows of your spreadsheet will be the properties youíre comparing. Now, it may be tempting to start listing every house on your radar in the columns of your spreadsheet. However, I think itís more time-effective to only include the homes that youíre likely to make an offer on. This means doing some hard thinking and having a conversation with your family about your realistic goals for buying a home.

What is most important to you in a home and neighborhood?

Letís turn our attention back to the top row of your spreadsheet. We want to fill that section with around 10 factors that are most important to you in a home and the location the home will be in.

In this section, you can include the estimated cost of the home and the estimated monthly expenses for owning that home (utilities, taxes, etc.).

Hereís the secret weapon of our spreadsheet, however. Rather than listing the actual cost of the home in this row, weíre going to give it a rank of 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the house is a lot more expensive than you want. A score of 5 means the house is the ideal cost. A 3 would be somewhere in the middle.

Weíre going to use this 1 to 5 ranking system for all other factors on our spreadsheet as well.

Next to these costs, youíll want to add other important factors to your home buying decision. Does it have the number of rooms youíre looking for? If a backyard is important to you, does it provide for that need?

In terms of upgrades, how much work will you have to do on the home to make it something youíre satisfied with? For DIY-minded people with time to spare, home improvement might be a welcome concept. For others, it simply would take too much time to accomplish everything you want. So, when you fill out the ďUpgradesĒ column of your spreadsheet, make sure you determine a system for ranking the homes that suits your needs.

House location shouldnít be overlooked

Itís a sad truth, but in todayís busy world, the average homeowner spends most of their time away from home, whether theyíre at work, commuting, or bring their kids to and from after school activities.

Youíll want at least one column on your spreadsheet to be devoted to location. When ranking the location of a home, consider things like commuting time, distance to schools, hospitals, parks, and grocery stores. All of these things will have a larger impact on your day-to-day life than small details of the house itself.

Ranking the homes

Now that you have the first row and column of your spreadsheet built, itís time to fill in the details and tally up the totals. These numbers will help inform your decision as to which house is really right for you.




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Posted by Sholan Realty on 2/14/2021

Photo by 1000Photography via Shutterstock

Investment in real estate rental properties has many upsides. You can make great money long term. But as with any business, there are risks. Before you turn your condo or townhouse into a rental or invest in a house or duplex, consider the ramifications and consult professionals.

Dos and Doníts:

  • Do set up a legal entity to own your rental properties for you. This may be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation or Partnership. Donít hold the property in your own name. This protects you from lawsuits and judgments.
  • Donít overspend on the property. Donít overspend on upgrades or refurbishing.
  • Do take care of the major systems such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roofs, in-ground sprinklers and garage doors.
  • Do get the property inspected to make sure there is no hidden damage or problems youíll need to fix.
  • Donít buy your first rental without looking at it.

Dealing with Tenants

Owning a rental property does not guarantee youíll have immediate profits. If you go several months unoccupied, you still must pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance. If you donít know how to go about getting tenants, consider using a property management service. The small monthly fees you pay usually make up for months with no rent or bad renters. 

Another advantage of using a service is that they vet your tenants for you. They run the credit checks and make the phone calls to employers and banks. The only thing worse than no tenant is a bad tenant. Bad tenants damage property, renege on paying their lease payments, and cost you money if you decide to evict them.

Handling Maintenance

As with any home, thereís no actual way to anticipate all the things that could go wrong. Sometimes, one failing system causes problems with other systems. For example, electrical malfunctions can damage the water heater, leading to plumbing failure. A leaky roof might trigger the AC to go out. Donít run your rental business on a shoestring. Keep funds available to fix anything that goes wrong so that you donít lose your investment.

If owning rental property is your goal, talk to an experienced real estate professional. They can guide you toward profitable properties, introduce you to property management companies and help you on your way.




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Posted by Sholan Realty on 2/7/2021

Photo by Michael Jarmoluk via Pixabay

When youíre shopping for a new home, the prospect of a fixer-upper being on the market for an unbeatable price sounds great! There are a few things that should be on your checklist to make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze when purchasing a home. A fixer-upper that needs mainly aesthetic repair is usually a good deal. Just make sure you ask your real estate agent or the property owner about some costly, but necessary, repairs.

Foundation

First off, any home that is worth its weight in gold needs to have a good foundation. Foundation issues can be quite expensive, depending on the type of repair needed. For example, all houses will settle over time. Itís only natural. But if your prospective home has settled too much it can lead to slab leaks, cracks and serious structural issues; which may lead to expensive repairs. 

Water

Plumbing issues can range from a minor leak in the faucet to a cracked supply or drain line, which can either be a slight nuisance or a major flooding issue (and flood damage is not a cheap fix on its own). Along with the immediate cost of the plumbing repairs themselves, plumbing problems can cause higher monthly water bills.

Electrical

Electrical issues can not only be costly to repair but very unsafe. If you are shopping for a home, make sure to check with the homeowner or agent about the quality of wiring, electrical sockets, etc. to avoid both the costly repairs.

Remember, when shopping for that great fixer-upper in your new neighborhood make sure to check these three big boxes before choosing your soon-to-be dream home.




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Posted by Sholan Realty on 1/31/2021

Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

While buying a home in a sellerís market, it pays to stand out from the crowd. One way to do that is with a memorable offer letter that captures the sellerís attention from the start. You must include all the right elements, however, to effectively win them over and earn the chance to buy your dream property. To make the biggest impact, hereís what to include in your offer letter.

The Story of Your Journey

Although you do not have to go into great detail, it is helpful to share information about you and your family in your offer letter. You can simply talk about your journey toward finding the perfect home and how their property fits your vision for the future. Or you can go even further in creating a connection by talking about your:

  • Family dynamics
  • Hobbies
  • Pets
  • Career

Aim to create a connection with the seller by highlighting shared interests that you may have picked up on during the open house.

Your Plans for the Space

When you share your plans for how you will use the home, sellers can start to envision you making the purchase and living there. Consider talking about your familyís various activities, such as baking and sports, and share how different areas of the home would support those endeavors.

Strive to weave in compliments about the homeís current design as you share your plans, helping create a strong connection with the seller. If you are planning on fully renovating the space, leave out those details, as sellers often feel protective of their current home design.

A Heartfelt Appeal

While remaining upbeat, add a heartfelt appeal that speaks to the heart of the seller. Use this moment to give context to your bid, explaining why you offered what you did. Then, politely ask that they consider your offer and help you realize your dreams of owning that property.

Focus on your journey and hopes for the future rather than the challenges you have encountered along the way. Remaining positive helps generate warm feelings that make it more likely your offer will be accepted. For the same reason, close your letter by expressing your appreciation of them taking the time to read and consider your offer. 

Now that you know what your offer letter should include, you can sit down with a pen and paper and write it out. Although it takes more time, skipping the word processing program allows you to keep it as personal as possible. If you have a dedicated real estate agent, they can help you craft the perfect letter and send it out by the deadline. Don't have a real estate agent yet? Feel free to reach out and let's begin your homeownership journey together!




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