Buying Real Estate – Factors to Consider

Are you looking for Hammond real estate for sale? Even for seasoned real estate agents, buying a home is not as easy as it sounds. For many people, real estate purchase is one of the largest investments they ever make in life. It helps to make sure that you’re doing things the right way. Before you make the final decision regarding owning a home, this blog post highlights a number of important factors that you ought to consider.

  • Income Stability – this is a key question for most individuals who intend to delve into the real estate for sale. Despite the advice that your uncle gave you many years ago, you don’t always have to own a home. If your company or business is making lots of money, it’s easy to get excited into purchasing a high-valued property. Before you result to buying your home, think about how your income figures will be reading like next year and the year after that. If you’re not sure about your future income situation, you’ll probably want to wait a couple of months so you get a clearer picture regarding the whole thing.
  • Credit Score – of course, your credit score will determine your interest rate if your mortgage gets approved. A small difference between interest rates can mean you have to pay thousands of dollars more over the entire period of the mortgage. Make sure that your credit score reads right before you start looking for your ideal home. If it’s not so impressive, start thinking about how you can raise it.
  • Life Situation – your life situation matters a lot when you’re considering buying real estate. Are you single or married? If married, how many kids do you have and how much space you think might be ideal for your family. Have it in mind that your current life situation could change in a single day. You want to think and plan ahead. What if the company you work for transfers you into another state? Different people have different situations. If you think it might be necessary to sell your home in a couple of years, think about buying property that will be easy to sell. Make a buying situation that really fits your current and future life situation.
  • Property Goals – you definitely have a goal regarding why you want to clip into real estate for sale! Some people just want to get a shelter. Others want to live in a booming neighborhood that can contribute to a high quality of life. Some other people want to live in a location where it’ll be easy to walk to work. Before you sign any piece of paper making it official that you’ve purchased a certain property, think about your goals. The real estate you finally settle on should make it easier for you to accomplish these goals. More so, make sure that you get a property that’s within your budget. If you buy something that’s way above your pay grade, you’ll probably bring a lot of stress in your financial life. A lot of people buy real estate as an investment decision, but this is almost always a bad idea. Sure, it’s cool if the home you’re buying seems like a great deal, but this shouldn’t be the only criterion. If your goal is to flip the property or make some money off it overnight, you’ll probably need to reconsider. There’s too much risk involved when you’re taking this approach. Do your research to see how long it takes to sell a home in the precise neighborhood, and check out real estate trends. This means you might have to deal with a seasoned real estate professional who can bring a lot of relevant data to the table.
  • Timeline – unless you have no problem with money, don’t make an impulse decision when buying real estate. Seller agents are keen to extort as much money as possible from an impatient buyer. Take some time to sniff out any issues that might affect the property. Visit to check out different offers that match your budget and requirements portfolio, and smell for animal-related scents. ‘Punch’ the walls to see if they sound hollow, test the dishwashers to see if a bunch of roaches will creep out. Is the toilet flushing as well as it should be? Is the air conditioning working? Is the water pressure okay? Don’t ignore anything. Seemingly small adjustments can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars after you buy the property, which is obviously not what you want!

Also, it’s important to understand that the property search can take longer than you anticipated. So don’t make any commitments that will make things challenging if your property search extends for months. You want to buy your dream home, and that means a great property that you can afford right now, not in the future. Plan for other costs that are related to home ownership. Of course, a good real estate agent should help you get the clear picture with everything!

  • Professional Help – you probably have been reading a lot about buying property of late. But that doesn’t make you a real estate agent. Despite your current confidence level, you can almost never be as good as a skilled real estate agent who has local knowledge. Have it in mind that buying a home is a major investment, so don’t gamble with anything. Finding a great real estate agent is part of doing it right when it comes to purchasing your ideal home. You might interview various agents to see what they have to offer. Learn about the properties they have sold in the past, and whether the buyers feel satisfied. You might want to call a few of their past clients to get a little more insightful information. Make sure that before you hire, you’re going to the best real estate agent in town!
landscaping new orleans

Spent All Your Cash on the Down Payment? Landscape your New Home on a Budget!

If you spent most of your cash buying that new home, it’s time to figure out how you can landscape your new home on a budget!

Landscaping around your yard can finish off a newly constructed home, or beautify your existing abode. Most people will run into the same problem when trying to complete this task, budgeting. Some home owners choose to go all out, spending tens of thousands of dollars on ornate plants, shrubs, and annuals that definitely beautify a yard, accent a home, or complete a backyard pool design. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you HAVE to spend tens of thousands of dollars to landscape your home. You can achieve the same end goal as almost anyone else, while still maintaining a comfortable budget.

Limit Your Plant Selection.
Landscapes on a budget can be accomplished by first, reducing your selection of plants. If you can select common, highly available plants, you will be able to reduce some of your costs, rather than choosing rare or extremely ornate plants. Typically the more common plants are relatively cheaper and some of the big box stores that you can purchase them from will warranty them, so if they die you can replace them at no cost. If you have a brown thumb instead of a green one, then this may be your best option. Plant selection may seem trivial but you can really cut costs by being educated on a few different aspects of choosing your plants. By choosing plants that grow larger, you can reduce the quantity of plants that you require to fill a space. If you can buy one larger plant for a lower cost than many smaller ones, this would be a safer route to maintain your budget.

Choosing evergreens, shrubbery, or even flowering plants that return every year.landscaping new orleans

New home buyers can also reduce the cost of having to replace annuals like Pansies, Periwinkles, or Begonias that die off in the winter and require replacing. There are many different flowering plants that live all year long that you can purchase at a smaller size and allow it to fill in a specific location in your landscape giving you some color there when it blooms. The upfront costs may be close to the same but you want to be careful with planting annuals because of the fact they you will only have them for a few months typically before they will die and need to be replaced. If you are unable to find something else to fill in that hole, you will be left with an incomplete look to your landscape. Reducing costs can be found in other places around your landscaping project as well. Irrigation systems can be costly to install if you have to cover a large area, but there are other options and some pros and cons to each one. When you are deciding on which route you wish to take, consider the following: Proper irrigation can give your landscape the right amount of water that it requires to thrive.

Install an Irrigation System at Your New Home

Automatic irrigation systems can be costly but really automate the process so you do not even have to be home for the system to properly function and water your lawn and garden. Some of the other systems such as the drip systems or the soaker hose systems have to be manually turned on and off but once they are running you can go do other things for a while and return only to shut it off later. The last option I will mention would be the manual labor set up. This involves you, a water hose, and plenty of time. Considering some beds require around 10 minutes of watering 5 days a week during the summer, you are looking at spending quite a lot of time either watering the beds, or doing a rain dance hoping you don’t have to spend your time watering.

Either way, there are options out there to definitely create a beautiful landscape for your home on a properly itemized budget. Spend the money where you will get the most return on your investment by choosing plants that are present all year long so that you constantly see the rewards of your labor. Remember, although annuals seem cheaper and are definitely pretty, they require replacement after a few months because of tolerance to weather. You will spend more money in the long run replacing them or risk having a gap, or bare spot in your landscaping. If you do this yourself, you can save some money, but doing it properly is the only way to guarantee it. Many landscaping projects start out with the best intentions of being low- budget but end up costing more in the long run due to improper care or maintenance leading to the demise of the plants. Work with a professional landscaper to develop your budget and properly plan out the project so that you see the best return on your investment, which will last the entire life of your home.

How to Find a Skilled Real Estate Agent

Looking for real estate property for sale? Getting a top real estate agent is one way to go right about your property hunt and purchase. The real estate profession changes constantly, but the skills and qualities of a top-performing professional will never change. The fine details may change as technology moves forward, but the yielding skills remain the same. In this post, we highlight a few tips that will help you find a skilled real estate agent.

1. Talk to Recent Clients

When interviewing agents, ask them to provide a list of clients that they have worked with in the recent past. This list should include contact information. Before you make the calls, ask the agent if any of these past clients will be particularly satisfied or particularly disappointed. Ask these past clients what the asking price was, and what the purchase price was for the property. Try to see if any of these past properties are similar to yours in terms of features, location and price (if you’re a seller). Find out how long it took the agent to sell the home. You want to work with someone who specializes in your type of property, and who can help you get the best deal. As a buyer, find out whether previous buyers think the agent was very helpful. If they sound unhappy about the whole experience, it’s probably time to move on to another agent.

2. Licensing

Different states have boards that are tasked with licensing and disciplining real estate professionals. Check the regulatory body in the state to find out whether a particular agent is licensed, and whether they have ever faced disciplinary action before. You want to work with someone who has a clean record. It’s also important to check online to see whether there are any negative comments or complaints related to their work.

3. Go for a Winner

Unless you’re not serious about buying or selling your real estate property, you want to work with an agent who’s a perennial top performer. That cousin of yours who got started in the real estate business last year might have your best interests at heart, but they’ll not give you the best experience. Ultimately, remember your goals. A good agent is the one who helps you find a property that matches your goals and gets a great deal on it as well.

4. Background Research

Conduct some background research to see how long a specific agent has been in business. You might want to check with your state’s licensing authority to see what information you can get. If they have been in business for five years of less, they are learning on you and that’s not cool. Go for a top professional who specializes in a specific area and price range, and who has done it for many years.

These tips are not everything you need to hire the best real estate agent, but they’ll certainly get you started on the right footing!

5 Negotiating Tips for Buying Real Estate

Are you a potential home owner? Buying a home is a major undertaking. To get the best deal, you need to focus on the finer aspects of the home buying game. The general saying is that everything is negotiable in real estate, but it’s not that black and white. When you set out to purchase real estate, you intend to get the best terms and price. In able to be able to do just that, you ought to know when to start negotiating, and when to stop. Market familiarity is usually the first step. Narrow down to the neighborhood and street, and make sure you know as much about the area as possible. There’s more room for negotiations when there are more homes than buyers. But things are a little bit tough when there’s a shortage of inventory. Follow the tips below to land your best real estate deal!

1.      Put your Finances in Order

Before anything else, make sure that your finances are in order. Your offer is much less persuasive if it doesn’t require pre-approval of a mortgage. So have things taken care of financially before you engage your agent in house hunting.

2.      Think About Value, Not Price

Most people make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on the price, rather than the value. Your real estate agent should be able to gather information on recent homes sales in the neighborhood. If a property is priced below market value, you have little room for negotiations, but possibly a great deal on the price. There’s more room for negotiation if the price of the property is listed above market value. A good agent should be able to guide you so that you negotiate to get the best value, not price.

3.      Move Fast

If you see a home you like, move fast. If you’re in a highly competitive market, where homes tend to go very quickly, make your first offer your best offer. You don’t want to take too many chances, otherwise, you’ll miss out on the best deal. People who’re always inclined to making a lower offer learn their lesson after they miss out on the property.

4.      Ask for Repairs

In a tight market, you want to ask for concessions and repairs. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. However, understand that you won’t be getting it all. Put your money in escrow, and wait until the completion of the inspection period before you make such requests. Ask for more, rather than less.

5.      Gather Seller Information

It’s important to find out why the property is on sale. The more information you gather about the seller and his or her property, the better placed you’ll be to make a tailored offer. If a seller already has a new home and is looking to close quickly, that means you could move in fast to get a good deal. Is the seller divorced? Is the seller in a hurry to sell or not? You have to find the answers to all these questions. The more you know, the better!