W. Darrow Fiedler

Real Estate Made Simple

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Closing Costs When Buying a Home

Many individuals save for a down payment for their future home, but they might not be aware of the fact that this isn’t the only money that they need to have when they close on it. Most homeowners have to pay closing costs as well. Here’s a little bit more information about closing costs and some ways to lessen them.

What’s Included

Closing costs tend to be about 4% of the purchase price of a home. This amount can vary slightly. Closing costs tend to include things like origination fees associated with the loan, title insurance, attorney fees, and closing fees. For many sellers, the amount they have to pay in closing costs can equate to thousands of dollars. Buyers will receive an itemized list of their closing costs before their actual closing date. This will allow them to see how much each item is that they have to pay for. Fortunately, they may be able to get some help paying for their closing costs.

Getting Assistance

There are a few different ways that buyers can lessen the amount of money that they have to bring to the table during their closing. In some instances, sellers may actually pay the closing costs themselves. This is common for sellers whose house has been for sale for a long time. There also are a variety of grants available that may be used to pay for closing costs if certain requirements are met. Buyers might also be able to roll their closing costs into the loan of the home. While they still will have to pay all of the closing costs, they may end up being more affordable for those that are limited on cash as they can pay them over the life of the loan.

Buying a home can come with a lot of expenses before the buyer even gets the keys to the house. Fortunately, there are some ways that buyers can get assistance paying for closing costs. It’s best for buyers to be upfront with their realtor and mortgage broker about how much they can afford to pay upfront. They can use this information to help the buyer find a few different ways to make closing costs a little more affordable for them.

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3 Home Renovations for a Faster Sale

When you know you’ll be selling your home a few months or years down the road, it’s a great idea to use this knowledge and make renovations now before the chaos of selling takes over your life. Certain renovations increase the value of your home more than others. If you want your home to sell shortly after being listed, consider prioritizing these upgrades over others.

New High-Quality Flooring

Old, outdated flooring will quickly turn off potential buyers. Carpet that’s peeling away or trodden down by foot traffic over the years makes your home look low value. Installing new floors is an instant way to completely transform the look of a home. Wood floors are a great choice: they look polished and have an estimated ROI of 70 to 80 percent. Another great option, particularly if you live where humidity levels are high, is ceramic tile. It’s pricier than wood but still offers an estimated ROI of 70 percent.

A State of the Art Kitchen

It’s common knowledge that the two most sought-after remodels involve the kitchen and master bathroom. The kitchen is what really sells a home however, and an overhaul can really shorten the length of time a home sits on the market. When remodeling the kitchen, try to keep things neutral. Granite countertops are still popular, as are tasteful backsplashes and white cabinets. Upgraded appliances bring the entire package together.

A Yard Built For Entertaining

A lifestyle that involves a lot of time spent outdoors is currently very sought after. Some people want to grow their own food. Others want more of an outdoor living room, a cozy spot where they can sit in comfort and entertain guests. Make sure your landscaping is on point and has a polished look to it if you want your home to stand out as a luxury home. Firepits, shady areas in which to sit, pools, and hot tubs are all great additions with high return rates.

These are some of the most lucrative home improvement ideas that will help you sell your home fast. It’s important to keep in mind that even with all the renovations in the world, your home still might not sell. Everything depends on your local real estate market. Still, these changes should make a home more likely to sell, anywhere in the country.

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The Most Affordable Cities for New Families

If you’re planning on starting a family, you might be thinking about moving somewhere new. One reason to think about moving is affordability.

By moving to a more affordable city, you can give your children a better quality of life. Consider some of these cities if you’re looking to move somewhere affordable for families.

Boulder

For years, Boulder has been growing from people moving out of state to Colorado. The city has been known for being a great place for college graduates in industries like aerospace and engineering.

However, Boulder is also great for families. The median home price is near half a million, but Boulder has been known for offering high salaries to people with the right education.

Boulder also features great school systems, beautiful outdoors, and more. Look more into Boulder if you’re looking to move your family to somewhere new.

Des Moines

You might be in a situation where you don’t have the college education to give you high-paying jobs in places like Boulder. You’ll want to find somewhere cheaper like Des Moines.

Des Moines is known for being one of the cheapest places to live in the United States, hosting median home prices of less than $200,000. The city even has the benefit of combining low home prices with a low rate of crime.

In addition to being cheap, Des Moines has been known for having a great infrastructure that ensures that you can get back and forth to work quickly, ensuring that you have more time to take care of your children. Consider Des Moines if you’re looking for a cheap place to move with your family.

Huntsville

After looking at cities in the north, you might be thinking about cities in the south. For that, you should be looking at Huntsville.

Huntsville is currently the largest city in Alabama, hosting a population of over 400,000 people in its metropolitan area. The city is known for even being cheaper than Des Moines, giving a median home price of less than $180,000.

For those with engineering degrees, they will feel at home in Huntsville with large job recruiters such as NASA and the U.S Army making themselves home in the city. Anyone interested in getting a great job and a cheap home should take a look at Huntsville.

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Home Buying Tips for Millennials

Buying a home is hardly a priority for younger generations. Most millennials have other fun things to do in life, and buying a house is far-fetched. But, some are taking the first step in purchasing a home, which is recommended to do. For the millennials willing to take this bold investment more seriously, it is essential to have everything in order. It’s important to have guidance in making these huge decisions. Below are crucial home buying tips for millennials.

Pay off the student loans plus other loans

Student loans are challenging to this generation. A person’s accumulated loans will affect their chance to own a home. Millennials must first consider paying off these loans to realize other dreams. They need to know that most home selling companies and banks will need to review all the loans before offering any financial assistance.

Save money for the down payment

Saving is paramount when it comes to owning a house. Since most millennials do not have enough funds to own a home, they must start saving early. It is vital to have a savings plan that will work for them. Millennials should set realistic savings goals if they’re serious about buying a home, and if they’re uncertain about the right saving plans to take, it’s okay to seek assistance from financial experts.

Be competitive in the market

Once they settle the debts and have a good saving plan, the next thing is to be competitive in the market. It indicates that they ought to get into the house buying process. Seeking approvals from the bank for the homes you’re interested in is integral, and you shouldn’t waste time in making critical decisions about the intended house.

Start shopping for the house

At this point, millennials have to be honest with the kind of home they intend to own. While doing so, it is important to consider homes within their financial abilities.. It is good to see different mortgage plans from companies involved before taking any plan.

While buying a home can seem scary, it’s totally doable and worth your time and money. Be sure to seek out help from the appropriate sources, and you won’t regret it.

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Outdoor Features to Attract Homebuyers

According to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, at least 13.6 million Americans perform outdoor activities such as camping, running and hiking. And although these leisure activities are fun, perhaps the simplest way to get outdoorsy is to chill in the backyard.

Many homebuyers appreciate the versatility of residential outdoor space. From entertainment to gathering with friends and family or just winding down after a long week, outdoor spaces have plenty of value to offer. Here are five outdoor features that attract homebuyers.

1. Good Landscaping

Most real estate agents can agree that nothing attracts potential homebuyers quite like beautiful landscaping. Furthermore, landscaping costs are relatively low, so sellers can easily recoup 100% of their investment after a home sale.

Privacy-oriented landscaping, in particular, adds plenty of value to a home. Well-manicured hedges and trees planted reasonably close to a house can provide aesthetic value while adding a sense of privacy. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a single mature tree can raise a home’s value by $1000-$10,000.

2. Entertainment Area

What is a backyard without a dedicated entertainment area? Thanks in part to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, indoor entertainment may have lost much of its appeal. Some of the entertainment features prospective homebuyers look for in an outdoor space include outdoor kitchens, grills, permanent seating and spacious decks.

3. Spacious Yard

Outdoor playtime is not only essential for children but also family bonding. Homebuyers are increasingly expressing interest in homes with yards big enough to accommodate play structures such as slides and swings, basketball courts, sandboxes, miniature soccer fields and more. Homeowners appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children can play all they want within the confines of their backyard.

4. Fire Pit

Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are grand for reminiscing, keeping warm during chilly evenings and roasting marshmallows or hot dogs. Families that love camping will definitely appreciate the outdoor heating idea.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting treads the thin line between a functional, must-have feature and a decorative element. Combining smart, solar-powered lights with motion sensors can make an outdoor space more inviting, all while acting as a security feature.

Final Thoughts

Homebuyers view the modern yard as an extension of the main home. The right yard additions can transform a home’s outdoor area into more than a living space and increase the offers made for the home significantly.

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