Craig Della Penna, Realtor® | Northampton Real Estate, Amherst Real Estate, Florence Real Estate


Before you embark on a search for your dream house, it helps to know what to expect during the homebuying journey. If you understand the true cost of purchasing a home, you can map out your property buying strategy accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three factors that may impact how much you spend to acquire your ideal residence.

1. The Price of a Home

The initial asking price for a house is not necessarily set in stone. In some instances, you may be able to negotiate with a seller and receive a lower price.

However, regardless of the price you negotiate with a seller, you are responsible for paying for a residence. And if you fail to receive a mortgage, you may struggle to make your homeownership dream come true.

It often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Pre-approval for a mortgage also may enable you to speed up your home search and ensure you can quickly discover a residence that falls within your price range.

2. Closing Costs and Other Homebuying Fees

After a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, there may be various fees that you'll need to pay to finalize your house purchase.

For instance, a buyer who conducts a home inspection will need to pay for this evaluation. He or she likely will need to pay for an appraisal and any closing costs as well.

As you get ready to pursue a house, you may want to put aside extra funds for any potential costs you may encounter throughout the homebuying cycle. Because if you have the necessary funds at your disposal, you may be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

3. Moving Expenses

After you buy a home, you will need to relocate all of your belongings to your new address. To do so, you probably will require moving boxes and packing supplies to ensure your personal belongings can safely reach your new house. As such, you should account for these expenses prior to starting a house search.

Of course, you may want to hire a moving company too. If you want to find out what it costs to hire professional movers, you may want to receive quotes from multiple local moving companies sooner rather than later.

If you need help getting ready to search for a home, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. A real estate agent can offer lots of insights into the potential costs you may encounter at each stage of the property buying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will help you narrow your search for your dream house, conduct home showings and much more.

Start planning for potential costs associated with the homebuying journey – you'll be glad you did. If you budget for the property buying journey, you could increase the likelihood of enjoying a quick, stress-free homebuying experience.


A home inspection report may prove to be a difference-maker for a property buyer, and for good reason. With an inspection report in hand, a property buyer will need to decide whether to proceed with a home purchase or rescind a homebuying proposal. Therefore, a property buyer must allocate time and resources to review a home inspection report so he or she can make an informed homebuying decision.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why a homebuyer should trust the final results of a property inspection report, and these reasons include:

1. A home inspection is conducted by a property expert.

A home inspection is conducted by a property expert who will perform a deep evaluation of a house. As such, a home inspector will provide a homebuyer with a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.

For homebuyers, it often is beneficial to search for a top-rated home inspector. This inspector likely will provide an in-depth report that outlines a house's strengths and weaknesses. A homebuyer then can use this report to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a house.

2. A home inspection is used to assess all aspects of a house.

A home inspection generally takes several hours to complete. During this evaluation, a home inspector will look at a home's foundation, heating and cooling systems and other aspects of a house. By doing so, a home inspector will be able to identify any underlying issues with a residence.

It usually is beneficial to ask questions during a home inspection as well. If you strive to learn from a home inspector, you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision about whether a house is right for you.

3. A home inspection offers insights that property buyers may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Although a homebuyer may visit a house more than once before submitting an offer to purchase, a home inspection represents a learning opportunity unlike any other. A house inspection enables a homebuyer to examine a residence both inside and out with a property expert. Then, this buyer will receive an extensive inspection report that he or she can review prior to finalizing a house purchase.

If you're preparing to search for a home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will be able to guide you along the homebuying journey. And once you reach the point where you need to conduct a house inspection, a real estate agent will help you find a top home inspector in your city or town.

Of course, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions too. As a result, a real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of buying a house.

Ready to find and purchase a home? Before you finalize a house purchase, perform a home inspection – you'll be glad you did. Because if you review a home inspection report, you can determine the best course of action relative to a home purchase.


Having a high credit score is one of the most important and helpful things you can achieve before buying a home. A solid credit history will give you a better chance of being approved for the home loan you want and getting a lower interest rate so that you know you’re getting a good deal on your first home.

But, as any renter can tell you, it can sometimes be difficult to lift your credit score when you’ve got so many other things to worry about.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover the best ways to build credit while renting an apartment so you can lift your score to an amount that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.

1. Take over the bills

If you live with roommates or with your family, one good way to start building your credit score is to simply put more bills in your name.

If you’re certain that you’ll be able to make on-time payments on them each month, this can be a way to boost your score without much thought.

Keep in mind, however, that not all utility companies report your payments to credit bureaus, so it’s a good idea to check that yours does before putting the bills in your name.

2. Become an authorized user

If taking out new credit isn’t an option for you, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account can help you increase your score.

Be sure to find out whether the credit issuer reports payments for authorized users before taking this step. And, once you’re sure that they do, you can be added to the account without changing anything about your spending.

3. Convince your landlord to report your rental payments

In most cases, rental payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. However, it is becoming more common. Check to see if your landlord uses a service like PayYourRent or RentTrack. If not, consider asking them to try it out.

4. Solving the “no credit” problem

Since we all start off with a blank slate in terms of credit history, some renters have the issues of not having enough credit information to start building their score.

If this is the case, it might be a good idea to open your first credit account. But, wait! Before you start racking up debt on your first credit card, take a minute to make a wise plan.

First, don’t change your spending habits just because you have credit. Pick a card that offers rewards in the form of cash back, and only use your card for things like gas and groceries that will help you earn points.

Then, set your card to auto-pay in full each month so that you never start accruing interest. This way, you’ll build your credit score and earn money (in the form of rewards or cash back), making it a win-win.



 Photo by Steven Buissinne via Pixabay

Buying a luxury penthouse isn’t just about finding one perfect thing about it. Several other factors come into play when deciding where you might live for many years. If everything isn’t just right, you may end up with buyer’s remorse. Buying a penthouse is different from buying a house in that you have to share several features with others.

Location

The most important part about finding a great luxury penthouse is the location. You could have a luxury penthouse in a part of town that isn’t the best. While you might be safe in the building and your penthouse, your vehicle might not be quite as safe. And, when you have guests, you don’t want the outside of the building and the area around the building to look trashy, even though the inside is ultra-luxurious.

View

The view goes right along with the location. You are paying top dollar for the penthouse. You should have some benefits for the price you pay, even if money is no object. A building might have a great view on one side, but if your penthouse is not on that side of the building, you won’t get the view. Be sure the view isn’t overlooking a bad part of the city. Not only will you be looking at an eyesore, but the sounds and smells could keep you from enjoying the penthouse.

Balcony

Your penthouse should have a good-sized balcony. If you want to grill out or just sit outside and get some fresh air, you won’t have to go all the way downstairs to do it. The balcony should have a sturdy railing, the cement or wood should be in good condition and it should not smell. Previous owners could have let their animals out to do their business on the balcony instead of walking them.

The Floor Plan

As with buying a house, a penthouse should have a floor plan that is perfect for you. If you enjoy entertaining, pick a floor plan that has enough space, preferably an open plan for the living room, kitchen and dining room. A split floor plan is also nice, as it separates the master from the other bedrooms and gives you privacy whether you have kids or have guests that stay over. If you have guests that stay over, you might look for a floor plan that includes more than one master suite.

Convenient Parking

In some cases, a penthouse may not have convenient parking, whether the parking is outside or in an adjacent building. The penthouse you choose should have parking in your building. Also, management should allocate plenty of parking for guests. You would need at least two spaces for yourself if you have a family and drive two vehicles. Guest parking should also be in the same building.


Although being a first-time buyer can seem overwhelming, there was one advantage to the entire process: You didn’t need to sell another property. If you would like to move out of the home that you’re currently living in and are in the process of buying a new place, your life is about the get complicated! Hold tight to your realtor and get ready for quite the ride. 


Since it’s often unrealistic to pay two mortgages at once, there’s a certain way that you must complete the transactions so as not to cause a huge financial headache when moving from one place to another. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to deal with buying a new home and selling your current one simultaneously in most cases.    


The good news is that it can be done! Read on for tips to find out how you can make the process go as smoothly as possible. 


First, you’ll want to understand the housing market that you’re in. You’ll know what strategies you need to employ if you understand the type of market that you’re dealing with. If the two homes are in completely different areas, this research will be even more important to you. 


Buying


While you’re searching for a new home and selling your current one, you’ll want to leave your options open. That means not locking yourself down to just one home. Of course, you’ll only put in one offer at a time, but knowing what’s out there for you to buy is important in case the purchase falls through on the first prospective home. This way you won’t have much chance of being “stranded” once your old home sells. 


Selling


You want your home to be sold in a timely manner. This means that your old home should be well-priced and ready to sell. Work with your realtor on staging, pricing, and holding open houses. The more effort that is put into marketing your home, the better chance you’ll have of selling it. Extra time on the market means that you’ll have a bigger headache when it comes to buying your new home. Selling quickly is not a bad thing so long as you have some other place to live. You can also put a contingency in the sale stating that you need to find suitable housing before you can move. Realtors can do a lot when their sellers are cooperative and proactive.           


Should You Buy First?


If you sell your home first, you’ll have an easier time getting a mortgage on a new home. The problem here is that you’ll need to find some sort of temporary housing before you even head out on the house hunt.


If you buy a home fist, your buying power may be less than if you sold your current home. Your debt-to-income ratio will be higher, giving you less money to spend on a new home.


While buying and selling a home simultaneously can be complicated, if you strategize correctly, you’ll be able to go through the entire process with ease.   

 





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