RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 12/9/2020

If youíre a first-time homebuyer, you might be wondering what all of the expenses you can expect to have when it comes time to close on your home.

Ideally, youíll want to understand all of the closing costs months in advance so that you can plan accordingly. However, even if youíre close to purchasing your first home, itís still useful to get to know closing costs better.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover the closing costs that are typically the buyerís responsibility.

Buyerís closing costs

Thereís good news and bad news when it comes to closing costs for buyers. The bad news is that buyers are typically on the hook for the majority of the closing costs associated with a real estate transaction. The good news, however, is that many of these fees will be grouped together as part of your mortgage, meaning you wonít have to devote much time or thought to them individually.

That being said, to ensure that you know where your money is going, hereís a breakdown of the main closing costs that youíll likely be responsible for as a buyer:

1. Attorney fees

Real estate attorneys research the ownership of the home, ensuring that the seller actually has the right to sell you the property. Though this is usually a formality, it is an important one.

Attorneys can either charge a flat fee or hourly rate.

2. Origination fees

The origination fee is paid upfront to the lender. Itís the fee that they charge for processing your mortgage application and getting you approved as a borrower.

3. Prepaid interest

Many buyers pay their first monthís interest in advance. This is the amount of interest that will accrue from the time you purchase the home until your first mortgage payment is due (a month later).

4. Home inspection

Inspections are one of the closing costs that can save you a ton of money in the long run if they find anything during their visit to the home. Inspectors should be licensed in your state, and you should choose your own inspector based on ratings and reviews (not at the recommendation of someone who is incentivized to sell you the home such).

5. Escrow deposits

Escrow deposits are typically shared between the buyer and seller and it is the fee that escrow agents charge for their services. You can think of an escrow as a neutral third party that keeps your money safe while purchasing a home.

6. Recording fees

All real estate purchases have to be recorded by the local government. Typically, this is performed by the county or town hall. Recording fees are charged whenever a real estate transaction occurs.

7. Underwriting fees

Mortgages are all about determining risk. A lender wants to know whether they will see a return on their investment by lending to you. To do so, they research your credit and income history. The fee the charge for this work is called the underwriting fee.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 12/2/2020


 Photo by Nick Magwood via Pixabay

There's nothing more annoying than a cabinet door in the kitchen or bathroom that won't close properly. It squeaks. It catches. Plus it makes the space look less "put together" no matter how clean it otherwise is. Ignoring a door that won't close correctly, can do damage to the hinge or door. That creates a more significant home project. But fear not, below we'll show you four simple fixes to get your cabinet door working as it should.

What you'll need:

The tools you'll need vary, depending on what's wrong with your door. So identify the fix needed below before spending money on these items:

  • A screwdriver
  • New hinges 
  • Level
  • Epoxy
  • Drill with a small drill bit

Fix one: tighten the hinge screws

Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. Cabinet doors that see a lot of use may jostle their screws loose over time. If the screws are loose, tighten them with a screwdriver. Do this sooner rather than later because allowing loose screws to remain loose will damage hinges and possibly the door over time.

Fix two: move the hinge

If your cabinet door never closed correctly, chances are it wasn't installed correctly. But fortunately, you can fix this too by moving the hinge to a new location. 

Start by unscrewing the problematic hinge. Then fill the holes with epoxy. This will harden and prevent the new screw holes from running into the old ones.

Determine where the hinge needs to be and place it there. Then mark holes with a pencil through the holes. Now, it's just a matter of drilling some new holes and screwing the hinge in.

*Pro tip* If you need to adjust the holes on the door itself, be careful not to drill all the way through.

Fix three: adjust the hinges

Some hinges are adjustable. This allows the hinge to fit into a recess or self-close the door. But these hinges can get off track. The door may then lean down slightly and not close well.

In this case, you'll need to adjust the cabinet door so that it is the same distance from the cabinet at both hinges. Then make sure the door is level. Now, tighten the screws on the hinges to hold the hinge and door in that position.

Fix four: replace the hinges

When you inspect the door, you may find that the hinge is warped. You may be able to hammer it out. But more likely, you'll want to replace it with a new hinge instead. Unscrew the existing hinge and screw a new one into the existing holes.

That door works as good as new. For more simple DIY home projects that can make a huge difference in how you live in and love your home, follow our blog.

 




Tags: DIY   Home Repair   cabinets  
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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 11/25/2020

A three season room can be a really great investment for your home. This addition really allows for the enjoyment of the great outdoors without exposing you to the elements. Itís an investment that gives a maximum return.  


When you decide to install a three season room, there are a few things that you should consider. First, youíll need to estimate the costs of building the room. How much youíll spend varies based on the finishes that you choose, the materials used, and the area of the country that you live in.


Estimates


When you undertake any kind of home improvement project you should obtain estimates first. This way, youíll have an idea of just how much the project will cost. Contractors will also give you an idea of how they will go about completing the project in order to meet your needs. Itís a good idea to know how much demolition is needed and how long the project will take. This will vary by contractor.


Think Of Using Existing Structures


Using existing structures on your home can really help to cut down the cost of building a three season room. Your current porch or deck area may even have the ability to be enclosed. If the structures are sound, itís a great option. Remember that a three season room needs glass, a sturdy floor, screens and windows to be complete! 


Match The Roof


Youíll want to match the roof of your three season/sunroom with the existing roof of your home. Choose from a variety of styles from simple to the elaborate. Just be sure that the new roofing doesnít stick out too much. You can even add a skylight in the new addition to let more light in. 


The Estimate


You want to be sure that you get an accurate estimate for building your three season room. The contractor should include all of the following areas in the estimate:


  • The foundation
  • The frame
  • Electrical
  • Molding
  • Drywall
  • Skylights
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Screens
  • Fans
  • HVAC hookups


It should be noted that along with building materials, the cost of labor should be included along with the estimate. Carpenters charge a set rate per hour as do electricians and plumbers. Youíll most likely need a few different contractors in order to complete your three season room, so take that into account. 


No matter what part of the country that you live in, you will always be happier if you maximize your enjoyment of the outdoors. Completing a 3 season room can help you and your family to enjoy nature all year round.




Tags: outdoor living   porch  
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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 11/18/2020

Photo by TeroVesalainen via Pixabay

Flipping a house successfully means keeping your ducks in a row during the rehab process--and that typically means communicating with several vendors to coordinate work, making sure everyone is on the same page, and dealing with delays when they (inevitably) occur. It's worth your while to build a project management strategy and skill set into your workflow, particularly if you aren't accustomed to managing multiple teams on a project. 

1. Always Know What's Happening 

When you get started on a project, you'll need a list of vendors (electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc.) and a scope of work for each of them. In some cases, a general contractor will manage all of these for you; in others, you'll end up coordinating the different facets of the job yourself. Regardless of who's doing what, you need to know what your people are working on. Don't micromanage the people you've hired, do check in with your contractor often.

The best suggestion is requiring a report of who's on the job (general contractor, subs, other vendors) and what's getting accomplished each week. This keeps your contractor more accountable and keeps you informed of issues as they pop up. 

2. Use a Project Management System 

House flippers use a huge variety of different online tools and apps to keep them on track, and the one that works best for you will be the one you find easiest to use. Many have had great success with Podio, Basecamp, and Asana as well. Learning one of these systems (or establishing your own) and using it to keep you and your team on track will make a huge difference in keeping your project running smoothly. 

3. Set Expectations Before You Begin 

It sounds simple, but this is a big one. Before your contractors get started, talk them through your goals--in terms of timelines, budgets, and unforeseen issues that arise during the flipping process. Here are a few issues to address with your contractor before work even begins: 

  • What grade of materials and finishes do you expect to be used? 
  • What happens when it becomes clear something is going to cost more than expected? 
  • What subcontractors will your general contractor be hiring out? For what projects? 
  • Do you expect a weekly report of what's going to be accomplished that week? Will you be on-site each day for a walk-through? How will you stay on top of the project and answer any questions that come up? 

Many excellent books have been written on managing a house flip, so don't take this to be an exhaustive list by any means. But it's a solid skeleton of a jumping-off point as you plan out the most efficient ways to manage your projects. 





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 11/11/2020

When it comes to home buying a home, thereís a ton of different information available out there. A lot of what has been presented as ďfactĒ actually is quite false. These misconceptions could keep you away from achieving the very real dream of home ownership. Below, youíll find some of the most common myths that youíll find about home buying.


If Your Credit Score Isnít Up To Par, You Canít Buy


To get good mortgage rates, having a good credit score doesnít hurt. You can still buy a home if you donít have amazing credit. A low credit score means that your mortgage rates will be higher than the average. There are loans like FHA loans, that allow for you to get a loan with a credit score as low as 580. Donít let a lower credit score discourage you from buying a home. If your credit score is low, there are plenty of things that you can do to help you fix the score in a short period of time.  


You Need 20 Percent Down To Buy A Home


This is a long-standing myth about home buying. While putting down 20 percent on a home purchase saves you the extra expense of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), you can still be in the running to buy a home if your down payment is less than 20 percent. There are even some home loan programs that allow buyers to put as little as 0-3 percent down for the purchase of their home.


You Have To Make A Lot Of Money To Buy A Home


Your monthly income is one of many aspects of your financial life thatís considered when youíre buying a home. Home loans can be denied to those who make a large income just as easily as to those who have lower incomes. What matters is the debt-to-income ratio, which tells lenders how much debt a buyer has compared to the amount of income the buyer makes each and every month. Keep your debt down, and youíll be in good shape to buy a home. 


You Donít Need To Be Pre-Approved To Get A House


Being pre-approved gives you an upper hand in the home buying process. Being pre-approved allows your lender and you to go through the entire process of getting a mortgage. When you find a home that you love, youíre able to breeze through the process of making an offer if youíre pre-approved. The pre-approval process is one of the most important aspects of buying a home. 


If youíre prepared with knowledge, buying a home isnít such a daunting process after all. Find a realtor you trust, understand your finances, and the rest will fall into place!




Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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