Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reasons you should buy a new home before selling your current home

Last week, we discussed the reasons you should sell first, then buy a new home. That is optimal for most people. But there are situations in which buying a new home first, then selling your current home is the right thing to do.

If you have the cash on hand for a down payment and have the means to pay for two mortgages while selling your existing property, buying first offers several advantages.

No pressure to find your dream home

If you're under a deadline to move out of your existing home because the new owners are moving in, you're likely to compromise on what you're looking for in a new home. Buying first offers you the opportunity to look for a new home without any pressure to purchase. You're more likely to hold out for your dream home, rather than settling for one without some of the features you desire.

Wasting money on rental

Finding the right place to rent is almost as difficult as finding a new home. Property managers won't usually sign a month-to-month lease, and they don't like signing a short-term lease. And if they do, they charge more for the same property. So if you sign a six-month lease and find a new home immediately, you'll still be on the hook for whatever is required to break the lease.

You'll only have to move once

Let's face it... moving is a hassle. If you sell your home, and aren't able to find a new home, you either have to move into a rental or move your entire home into storage while you live with friends or relatives. In essence, you're moving twice - once when you move everything to the storage facility, and again when you find a new home.

Knowing the market is essential. Take a hard look at your budget and be realistic about your financial situation. Talk to your mortgage lender to make sure that you can qualify for a second mortgage on a new home. As always, talk to your REALTOR® to take the temperature of the housing market in your area.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Four reasons you should sell your home before buying another

Whether you're moving to a new, bigger home, or downsizing when you become empty nesters, the timeline of buying and selling homes rarely coincides perfectly. So the question is, "Should we sell first or buy first?"

Selling your home before getting serious about buying a new one has some distinct advantages, no matter what the market is doing.

Time is on your side

By selling first, you give yourself the ability to negotiate on both sides of the equation. You can always ask the buyer for a later move-out date so you can have a little extra time to find a new home.

You can be sure how much cash you'll have on hand

With your first home sold, you have the added advantage of using equity to make a larger down payment and can play hard ball when it comes time to make an offer on home #2.

You're more likely to get your target price

If you buy first, you may be forced to take an offer that is much lower than what is fair. Agents know that if you've bought another home, they have an advantage during the negotiation. You'll want to avoid having two mortgage payments. They also know that most people's income will not qualify for a second mortgage with most lenders. They will use that to their advantage.

Most agents will not allow a contingency clause

If you make selling your home contingent upon finding a new one, you are in essence under no obligation to sell. That leaves them with a huge question about their future. Smart agents will not allow this to happen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tips for loading a moving truck

Whether you’re moving across the country or across town, if you’re not hiring a professional mover, renting a moving truck can save you time and energy. Done properly, it can also save you money in replacement costs in the event of damage to furniture and appliances.

After making sure that everything is packed properly, loading the truck correctly is perhaps the most important step to take that will ensure your belongings arrive safely. If you’re using friends and family to move, make sure to let them know what your strategy is for loading the truck.

Here’s what they all need to know about loading a moving truck so the ride is smooth and everything arrives at your new home safely.

  • Make sure the path from the door to the truck remains free of obstacles such as boxes

  • Use the ramp into the trailer on every trip

  • One or two people should be designated to be in the truck to load everything in tightly, while the others carry everything in

  • Load the front of the truck to the top and work your way toward the back

  • Stack items from floor to ceiling

  • Heavy items go on the bottom and lighter items on the top

  • Packing items tightly will help avoid shifting in transit, so try to avoid any open space

  • Use rolled-up rugs, bags of linens, pillows, etc., to fill void areas

  • Strap tiers in as you go - it’s safer to use more ties and straps than you think you’ll need

  • Cover appliances and furniture with pads and blankets

  • Load the largest, heaviest furniture and appliances first and put them against the walls to help distribute the weight evenly throughout the truck

  • Remove legs and feet from furniture

  • Sofa and loveseat should be placed on their end if possible

  • Between mattresses is a great place to store wrapped pictures and mirrors, headboards and footboards (but only one per space)

  • Make sure items that can cause damage are not loaded against fabric or wood furniture

  • Tables with thin legs should not have anything stacked on top of them

  • Load fragile items or awkward-shaped items on top and secure tightly

  • Place light-weight loose items on top

  • Any light machinery such as lawn mowers, tillers and weed eaters should be drained

  • of gas and oil, then covered with a tarp away from mattresses and furniture covered

  • in fabric

  • Keep gas operated items such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc., on the truck floor, covered with tarp or plastic sheeting and away from fabric items

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pros and Cons of Using Your Home's Equity to Buy Another Home

Although interest rates have risen over the last six months, they are still relatively low. In many markets, home sales have begun to accelerate, which could make this a good time to invest in real estate.

Like many, you may want to buy a second home - for vacation, retirement, or as a rental - but find yourself without cash on hand to make a proper down payment.

Many opt to use equity from their home in order to buy another. Equity is simply the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and your home's value on the market. If you owe $75,000 on your home but it's worth $155,000, your equity is $80,000.

As with any financial move, there are risks, but there are some advantages to using equity to purchase another home.

The pros

Banks can offer more favorable terms
Costs of loans (title search, etc) are typically lower
If you have enough equity in your first home to pay cash for a second home, you'll always have a free place to live

The cons

You'll be increasing your monthly mortgage payment
Increased risk of foreclosure in the event of job loss, etc
You're increasing the amount you have in one type of investment
Mortgage interest paid on an equity line or loan on your home might not be tax deductible
Your home would be subject to foreclosure if anything went wrong with the deal

There are some options when it comes to using the equity in your existing home to purchase another. Talk to your mortgage lender and your tax attorney to discuss the best option for you.