Harold (Buddy) Pope's Blog
When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be excited to find out that you can afford a lot more house than you thought you could. Don’t be so fast, this is just what you can get a loan for. The bank doesn’t know a lot of factors about your finances. While you most likely had to provide a ton of income verification statements and information in order to get this ballpark figure, relying solely on the pre-approval number can put you in a bind when it comes to your finances. Your lender doesn’t know certain things like how much you spend on groceries or how much your cell phone bill is each month.
What Lenders Consider
Lenders look at the health of your credit history, how much income you have and how much debt you have. These are the big factors that tell your lender about how much house you can afford. Yet, your home lender is not your financial advisor and can’t help you with household expenses and the like. When thinking about what price range of home you really can afford, consider these factors beyond the bank:
Your Monthly Budget
Your spending habits will ultimately affect your ability to pay the monthly mortgage bill. If you’re spending all of your disposable income, then you may not be able to afford much at all beyond what you’re already paying for rent. You don’t want to stretch your finances so thin that you won’t be able to afford food!
Owning A Home Requires Additional Costs
Lenders do factor into their number the cost of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, but don’t consider other things like utility bills, trash pickup and home repairs. All this can certainly add up when you’re a homeowner!
Your Savings Is Nonexistent
If you’re unable to save any money at all if you’re a homeowner, then you’ll be in trouble. You need money stashed away in case of unemployment or an emergency. You also may be planning for things like retirement and future costs like children’s education. For the initial purchase of a home, you’ll need upfront payments available for the down payment and closing costs. However, you’ll need some more savings beyond that for everything that life brings your way!
You Have Big Plans
Are you thinking of quitting your job and heading out to start your own business? Now may not be the best time to buy a new house. These changes could have a huge impact on your finances and leave you unable to pay your mortgage. Your lender won’t be asking about these plans, so you’ll need to know what the future holds (for the most part ) in order to keep your own finances secure.
The bottom line is that anything that could leave you financially stressed is not a good idea. Considering that buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make, you want to be sure that you keep your finances in check during the purchase process.
Most of the time, we build homes to our taste rather than to their environment. And while it’s important to have a home that you love to look at, it’s also necessary to take your local climate and surroundings into account.
One of the best up-and-coming home architecture styles features something called “passive solar” design.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to passive solar and talk about why so many homeowners are choosing passive solar homes in today’s age of rising energy costs.
What is a passive solar home?
Passive solar homes utilize four main things to ensure the lowest possible energy usage:
The building site
The area’s climate and weather
Strict building standards involving top quality materials and airtight construction
Let’s talk a bit about how these three features help make passive solar homes the most energy efficient homes currently available.
Choosing a site for a passive home can be a complicated and scientific endeavor. In colder climates, this means allowing the home to utilize as much sunlight as possible. The building site, therefore, has to take into account the sun’s path throughout the year to provide the home with the best angles for maximum sunlight.
Since sunlight travels lower on the horizon in the winter months and higher in summer months, roofs and overhangs are designed to let in maximum light in the winter time and block out light that would overheat your home in the summertime.
Airflow throughout your home is vital to maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round. Passive homes rely on a heat exchanger system that uses heat from warm areas of your home to heat air that is vented in from the outside.
This means that the air in your home is constantly being circulated and heated without relying on too many outside sources.
Building materials are another key part to passive solar homes. To make an airtight home, special types of sealing and insulation is used.
Furthermore, insulated areas of your home are designed to absorb sunlight throughout the day and slowly release heat after the sun goes down, providing a natural source of heat for the entire 24 hour cycle.
Can I convert my current house into a passive solar home?
While making a home adhere to passive house standards typically requires planning at the construction phase, there are some ways to utilize passive solar techniques in your current home.
Making your home airtight, using thermal mass to slowly heat your home overnight, and taking advantage of heat from the sun are all things that can be retrofitted to a home.
Making these improvements can take time, especially if you plan to change window locations or build an overhanging roof. However, you might find that the upgrades will save you money on energy costs and add to the resale value of your home.
When you sell something, you expect to make a profit on the sale. It doesn’t quite always work this way when you sell a home. While you may count the sale of your home as “all profit,” there will be some significant upfront costs that you’ll incur when it comes to selling your home. Planning the sale of your home can help you to manage these expenses and sell your home faster.
The first costs that you will incur when you’re selling a home will usually be of the cosmetic and repair nature. These will include things like painting, small fixes, and
Paint Your Home
Although you may love the bright green living room, another homebuyer may not. It would be worth your investment to stage your home well. An important renovation might include painting the rooms on the inside of your home neutral colors. Refreshing the trim on your windows also helps to make the interior of your home shine. You can paint around the windows for a quick update to the inside of your home. Paint can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000.
If you wash your windows, it could add some value to your home and help it sell faster. When the windows sparkle, they will undoubtedly make a very positive impact on the buyer. Get rid of dust, dirt and grime, especially from the obvious spaces in your home.
The outside of your home is also very important. Do some quick yard maintenance for a better look for the exterior of your home. Rake up the leaves. Trim the bushes. Mow the lawn. Make your home appear as pristine as possible.
Anything that needs to be repaired in the home should be. This will help you out during the inspection period. Things like leaky sinks, cracks in the walls, and holes in the roof are obvious and should be addressed before your home even goes on the market.
Stage Your Home
Take the time to make sure all of your furniture is arranged in a neat manner. The rugs should be streamlined with the chairs and tables. If things look a little cramped in any room, either take a piece of furniture out or move the room around in order to make it appear more spacious.
Keep Your Utilities Running
If you need to move out before you get your home sold, make sure that you leave your utilities on. This way, there’s lights and heat available for potential buyers as they walk through the home to discover if they can see themselves living there.