Jan. 27, 2017

3 Month Plan To Sell Your Home In Spring

So you’ve decided to sell your home, and you want to have it ready by Spring time. You don’t have to wait until it warms up to get your home ready to list, but you’ll need to have a plan set in place beforehand. The tips provided below will help get your home ready to sell in three months.

Make A Plan

The first thing you should do is to make a plan of all the things you need to get done and when you want to have your home sold. Making a plan helps you organize and break down tasks making them easier to get done in the coming months.

During this time, you’ll also want to start talking with real estate agent. Finding an agent takes time, and you’ll be happy you took the time to find the correct agent. It’s best to find an agent with experience and knows how to sell a home effectively.

Three Months Before You Sell

Get an inspection to see what needs to be fixed inside your home. You may be surprised at the number of minor problems that your home has that will cause it to lose value. When your inspection is over, you can then prioritize what needs to be done first. Talk with your agent to help determine what’s crucial and what you can let slide for a while.

One Month Before Selling

The month before you list your home is the time to apply a fresh coat of paint, do your landscaping, and work on other aesthetic areas to increase the curb appeal. You’ll need to deep clean your home a week or two before listing your home as well. This means cleaning the carpets, removing stains, and maybe taking pets elsewhere until your home sells to avoid accidents.

The winter can be a tough time to start working on your home, but it’s necessary if you want to stay ahead of the competition and sell your home by the desired date. Just follow the steps above to ensure a smooth and painless experience.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Jan. 17, 2017

How to Save for a Down Payment While Renting

Are you tired of renting? Rental prices are rising and homeowners everywhere are enjoying a steady increase in property values. If you are thinking about buying your first home, the time is now. Building equity in a home that you will one day own makes much more sense than throwing your money into a rental property. However, renting can be a great way to start out in adult life as a transition into buying your own property. Learning to save while you are paying rent can be a difficult thing to do when you are paying the high amount of rent that is present int the market today. With some strategic financial planning, you will be able to save for a substantial down payment while renting your current home or apartment. 

Cut down on your expenses 

When you are trying to save, it is important that you make sure you are not overspending. There are so many things that we purchase each month that cut into our ability to save. In our digital world, it is easy to have subscriptions to many different streaming services without seeing the big picture. Pick one or two streaming services instead of having five or six. This could save you hundreds of dollars every year. When you are buying clothing, make sure you stay away from designer brands. There are stores that will provide you quality outfits at a fraction of the price of big designer stores. Try to cut down on eating out. This is one activity that is taking more money than you might know. It can be easy to spend $300 dollars a month just eating fast food for lunch each day. By packing a lunch instead of eating out, you can save nearly $5,000 a year. 

Find a way to earn additional income 

When you work a 9-5 job, there is a lot of time left in the day to earn a little extra income. There are many great ways to earn money today with the outlets that are available to us. Being an Uber driver is a great way to set your own hours and also make a lot of extra money on the weekends when party goers need a ride home from the bar. If you are good at writing, you can earn money on your own terms by writing articles online. If you like dogs, you could start a dog walking business. The possibilities are virtually endless. 

Sell items around the house that you don't use anymore

As we grow older, there are hobbies that we just aren't as interested in anymore.You may have spent a few thousand dollars on a beautiful camera back when you had a lot of extra time back in college but now you just don't have the time to take pictures with your busy work schedule. You can turn this dusty camera into savings for your down payment. You will be surprised at the amount of stuff laying around your house that can be turned into cash with a yard sale.

Deposit into your savings account ever paycheck

You will need to fine tune your budget when you are trying to constantly add money into your savings account. You need to make sure that you can still pay all of your bills after a substantial amount of your money is being deposited into your bank account. Once you have decided what amount of money you can deposit into your savings account, you can contact your bank to set up an automatic deposit into your savings account each time you have a direct deposit from your employer. This will automate your savings and help keep your savings on autopilot. 

Stay consistent 

When you are trying to save for a downpayment, you need to be in it for the long haul. You will want to save for at least a year. If possible, you should strive to save for even longer than that. The more money you are able to put down on a house, the better rates you will get. You will need to make sure that you can stay consistent over time in order to save up a substantial amount of money for your down payment. Saving a great deal of money over a short period of time will never add up to saving a moderate amount of money over a much longer period of time. 

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 27, 2016

5 Things to Know About VA Loans

When you’re a veteran, adjusting to civilian life can be difficult. One of the ways the government tries to support our veterans is through affordable VA loans. Although the Department of Veteran Affairs doesn’t lend money for VA loans, it does back loans made by banks and mortgage companies, which can be a huge help for veterans hoping to buy a home. And it’s not just houses—VA loans can be used to buy a home or a condo, to build a home, to make improvements on an exisiting home, or to buy a manufactured home or lot.

If you’re a veteran and are interested in applying for a VA loan, here five things you need to know before you begin the process:

1. Your Eligibility. Most veterans are eligible and can apply for a VA loan. Some surviving spouses of military members who died while on active duty may also apply. If you’re an active-duty member of the military, you can apply for a VA loan after six months of service. If you’re a reservist or member of the National Guard, you can apply after six years—during war periods, this requirement is shorter.

2. The Benefits. There are a number of benefits to getting a VA loan rather than a conventional mortgage. First of all, VA loans are made through private lenders and are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, so they don’t require mortgage insurance. There’s also no minimum credit score to apply for these loans, lower closing costs, and borrowers don’t need to have a down payment, which is a huge plus.

3. Other Fees. While getting a VA loan is generally cheaper than conventional loans, they do carry a one-time funding fee that will vary depending on the person and the situation. You can use a VA loan calculator to help you figure out how much you’ll have to pay upfront for your loan. In some cases, this fee can be financed or reduced with a down payment of at least 5%, or waived if you receive VA compensation for a disability.

4. Underwriting Requirements. While the VA doesn’t require a certain credit score for a VA loan, lenders usually have their own requirements—a credit score of 620 or higher is usually the minimum. Like conventional loans, borrowers must also show that they make enough to repay the loan, and that their DTI (debt to income) ratio is low.

5. More Protection. One of the greatest fears of any homeowner is foreclosure. VA loans offer assistance to borrows who are struggling to avoid this fate. If you find you can’t make your payments in full or on time, the VA can step in and work with the lender on your behalf by negotiating repayment plans, modifying your loan, and finding other ways to keep you in your home.

If you qualify for a VA loan and want to start the process of buying a home, contact Network Real Estate. Our talented and passionate agents will help you find a home that fits your budget, your lifestyle, and your dreams. It’s the least we can do.

In the meantime, we thank you for your service.

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 19, 2016

How to Leave Your Home When You’re Traveling During the Holidays

Your gifts are wrapped, bags are packed, car is gassed up, and you’re all set to hit the road for your annual holiday vacation. Not so fast! There are still a few steps that need to be checked off your to-do list in order to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away.

Lock Up

Maybe this task seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to lock everything up. Just like Santa makes his list and checks it twice, give the locks in your house a second look. Make sure all doors, window, and fences are properly shut and securely locked. Perhaps consider putting a deadbolt on your door while you are out of town to give you that extra peace of mind. This might seem like overkill, but unfortunately, the holidays are prime time for burglaries due to so many homes being vacant. It’s better to be safe to ensure you have a merry little Christmas!

Lay Low

Traveling is always a tempting time to overshare on social media. After all, you want your followers to see you basking in the Caribbean sun while they are stuck in the cold winter weather! However, by posting everything on Facebook or Instagram (even if it’s just a picture of your dessert) can be dangerous. You never know who might be looking at your page, and posting a photo of you out of town gives clarity that a stranger needs to break into your home. Lay low and share all of your amazing photos when you get home from vacation!

Stay Lit

A dark home screams, “I’m out of town! Come on in!” There are ways to keep your house lit up without your electricity bill sky rocketing while you’re out of town. If you have holiday lights up at your house, set them on an automatic timer that is scheduled to go on and off at specific times. You can also use this method for the lamps inside your home. When a stranger drives by and sees a house that seems like people are currently in, then they will most likely continue to drive away.

Keep it Normal

In order to further make it look like your home is currently being lived in, keep other aspects normal as well. For instance, if you typically leave your curtains slightly open, then leave them that way. If you usually leave a car in your driveway, maybe lock it up and keep it in the driveway. Pull your trashcans inside, so it doesn’t look as if they have been abandoned. Think about the normal routines of your everyday life and keep living them out, even when you’re not there!

Ask a Neighbor

Now is the time to ask that friendly neighbor of yours for a favor. Before heading out of town, leave a key with a trusted neighbor and instructions for things you’d like them to help you with while you’re gone. Before your mailbox overflows, have them check your mail every day. Maybe ask them to take the extra step of bringing your mail (and newspapers) inside your house and ensuring that everything still looks normal. Have them double check your light timers while they’re at it!

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, and we don’t want you stressing about the safety of your house while you’re gone. Follow these tips and you will be all set to have a merry little Christmas this year!

Posted in DIY
Dec. 12, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home

2017 is around the corner, if you’re like most people, you're spending the end of the year taking stock of your life, identifying areas you’d like to improve, and setting goals you want to accomplish. While these resolutions are usually personal – “save money,” “travel” and “volunteer” are high on many lists – the New Year is also a great time to set some goals for your home.

Your home is the place where you spend the majority of your free time. It’s where you wake up and go to sleep, and it has the power to set the tone for your day and your life. If your home is clean, organized, efficient, comfortable and beautiful, it will be easier to focus on other areas of your life, such as your relationships or your finances. Think of your home as the foundation upon which all other goals are built. If your home is strong and solid, the chances of achieving your dreams are that much better.

Below are five resolutions you can make for your home. Don’t feel pressured to tackle them all at once! After all, a year is a long time and change doesn’t happen overnight. By making small, meaningful progress toward your goals, you’ll be able to look back on 2017 as a productive year in your life and at home.

  1. Clear Your Clutter. 2016 was the year everyone started obsessing over their stuff, namely how to have less of it. If you read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you know what I’m talking about. In this short manual, author Marie Kondo encourages readers to get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” as a way to make room in their lives for the things that truly matter. While you don’t need to strip your home down to the bare essentials, the start of a New Year is a great time to go through the nooks and crannies of your home and donate any items that you haven’t used (or seen) in far too long. Others will benefit from your rarely used items, and you’ll benefit from more space and a clearer mind. Everybody wins.
  2. Protect What Matters. Make sure your home is safe and sound, and that your belongings, not to mention your loved ones, are protected. First, check that your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition and that you’ve placed them on every floor of your house. Next, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas contains radioactive particles that can cause lung cancer. Luckily, a test kit costs as little as $20 at any hardware store. You can also take this time to review your insurance policy, making sure your valuables are protected and that you have adequate coverage. If you rent, don’t assume you can skip this last step. Renters’ insurance is very important, and can protect you in case of fire, flooding or theft.
  3. Go Green! During the New Year, many people take stock of their health and the health of their environment. Perhaps you’ve already made a resolution to walk or ride your bike more often to cut down on your gasoline use, or to always bring bags to the grocery store to use less plastic. You can extend these good deeds to your home. Start cutting energy costs by turning off lights when you leave a room, turning off your air conditioner when you aren’t home, and starting a compost pile for your kitchen waste. If it’s in your budget, you can also invest in energy saving appliances, solar power or a wood-burning stove. As an added bonus, many of these “green” improvements are also linked to certain tax breaks, which can help with any financial goals you may be setting in 2017.
  4. Host More Parties. Who said all your goals have to be hard? You can make a few fun ones too, and resolving to host more parties is a great way to do just that. To help you achieve this goal, rearrange the furniture in your living room to make it more conducive to conversations, buy some fun serving ware (fondue pot, anyone?) and splurge on some great outdoor furniture for fun summer gatherings. After all, you take pride in your home, and the best way to show it off is by entertaining friends and family.
  5. Sell Your Home. Whether you want to downsize now that the kids are out of the house or buy a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, the first step is selling your current home. Selling your home can be a process, with many twists and turns. By setting this goal early in the year, you’ll be better equipped to prepare for a sale by making improvements, getting your yard in pristine shape, getting your financial documents in order, and hunting for a new home to call your own. If selling your current home or buying a new one in 2017 is one of your resolutions, the best thing you can do right now is get in touch with one of the realtors at Network Real Estate. We can help you through the process and give you the tools to turn this dream into a reality. For your best year yet, contact us today.

We hope this article has given you some great ideas for a happier, healthier home in 2017. Happy New Year!

Posted in DIY
Dec. 7, 2016

Fun Things to do in Wilmington During the Christmas Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Wilmington! Hot Cocoa fills your cups, bright lights flood the streets, and holiday cheer is everywhere for all to hear. Our city sure knows how to get into the holiday spirit. Not only do the beautiful Christmas decorations Downtown and at Mayfaire Town Center bring a little joy to your hearts, but there are also plenty of fun holiday events to dive into this year!

Enchanted Airlie

This is the 11th year for this incredible New Hanover tradition. Airlie Gardens is known year round for its breathtaking views and serene environment. Add sparkling sights and festive sounds to the mix and you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet! Cozy up with your loved ones, grab a warm cup of cocoa, take a bite of some local food vendors’ delicious cuisines, and even meet Santa Claus himself at Enchanted Airlie! And don’t to get your tickets in advance, because this stellar event sells out fast.

Holiday Train Expo

All aboard this Polar Express! The Cape Fear Model Railroad Society is showcasing its annual Holiday Train Expo from December 9th to December 11th at Independence Mall. Get lost in a winter wonderland as you watch trains travel through detailed villages, parks, and festive landscapes. Kids can even get their photo taken with the conductor of the Polar Express!

Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

In case you miss the Holiday Train Expo, there is still time to travel the tracks at this Downtown Wilmington event! Featuring model trains, twinkling lights, and trains trekking across snowy scenery, this exhibit is truly spectacular! Grab a Christmas cookie, pour a cup of cider, and revel in the magic of the holiday season.

It’s a Wonderful Life

One of the best parts of the holidays is the holiday films. And what’s better than a showing of the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This annual tradition takes place at Thailan Hall in Downtown Wilmington. Get your popcorn ready and get excited to enjoy a James Stewart classic for 2 hours of this feel good throwback. Fun for the whole family!

Christmas Caroling

Warm up those vocal chords and spread holiday cheer for all to hear as you trot through the streets of Historic Downtown in your very own horse-drawn carriage! Sing Christmas carols with Santa, his reindeer, and your loved ones to serenade the streets of your city. Bring the kids and enjoy free candy canes as you hum about the most wonderful time of the year!

There is so much to love about the holidays, and our town surely does not disappoint. Create new traditions with your friends and family this year, and make Wilmington feel a little more like home!

Posted in Local Events
Nov. 18, 2016

Should You Buy a House When You Have Student Loan Debt?

Today, it’s incredibly rare to graduate from college without at least some student loan debt. A few lucky people get away with owing just a few grand, while others find themselves saddled with six-digit debt. There are many contributing factors to our student loan crisis, but we’re not here to discuss rising tuition costs, the Great Recession, or millennial spending habits. Instead, we’re here to discuss whether people paying off their student loans should attempt to also buy a home.

A recent study found that college graduates who owe more than $25,000 in student loans are less likely to own a home than those who owe less. This isn’t surprising. Paying off your loans make it harder to save up for a home, since your extra money is going toward debt. If you dream of becoming a homeowner before you retire, you have options, even with your debt. Student loans don’t mean you can’t own a home. They just mean you have to take a hard look at your finances, be honest about your situation, and be willing to compromise.

Homeownership could be within your reach if the following three statements are true:

Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio is low.

Your DTI is one of the most important factors a bank will consider when you’re applying for a mortgage, as this number helps them figure out your ability to pay off your new loan. DTI is determined by adding up your total monthly debt, including your projected mortgage payment, and dividing it by your total monthly income. The lower your ratio, the better chance you have of being approved for a mortgage. Obviously, a mountain of student loan debt will raise your DTI quite a bit. If this is the case for you, there are a few ways to lower your DTI, even if wiping out your student loan isn’t possible. You can focus on paying off your credit card, which usually has a higher interest rate anyway. You can also make bigger payments on your car, in order to get it down to ten payments or less—this will improve your DTI instantly. The other way to decrease your DTI is to increase your income. While this is easier said than done, it’s worth finding out if and when you’re due for a raise at work, applying for better opportunities in your field, or taking on side gig for a year or two. By working hard now, you can reap the benefits later.

You’re ready to settle down in one place.

In general, buying a home is a good investment if and only if you plan to live in it for at least two years—the longer, the better. This could become an issue for younger people who are still dealing with the burden of loans, since mobility—that is, the ability to move quickly and often—can be a boon when it comes to finding the right career or settling into the right relationship. When you’re young and figuring out your life, anchoring yourself with a home and a mortgage may not be the best idea. If, on the other hand, you feel settled in your job, your relationship, and your city, home ownership can be a way to put down deep roots and enjoy the benefits of belonging to and investing in your community.

You have enough money saved up for a down payment.

Once upon a time, 20% of the home’s listing price was the down payment most people expected to pay and saved up for. Now, thanks to the Federal Housing Administration, first time homebuyers can put down as little as 3.5%. For those with hefty student loan debt, it may be their only viable option. While this can lead to higher interest rates on the loan and a longer period of making payments, a smaller down payment isn’t necessarily negative. This is especially true when you consider that paying a mortgage for 30 years is often cheaper, overall, than paying rent for the same amount of time. Another way to make a smaller down payment is to look for a smaller, and thus cheaper, house. If you want to invest in a home now, for stability or equity, don’t think of it as your forever home; think of it as your starter home. A smaller house that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles will be cheaper than a sprawling home on a large property for you and the five kids you plan to have… in fifteen years. By living within your means and compromising on your dreams, you could open the door to options you hadn’t previously considered.

Ready to start shopping?

If you said yes to all three of the above statements, then it might be time to start your search for the perfect home. If you need assistance navigating this very important decision, contact Network Real Estate. Our agents can help you find a home that fits your lifestyle and your budget at every stage.

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 14, 2016

Keep Your House Clean Every Day

You have unpacked all the boxes and put everything in its respective spot, and the rest is easy! Right? Not so fast. You still want to keep that new house nice and tidy. With the holidays rolling around, clutter tends to build up and cause additional stress. Unwrapped gifts are scattered around the guest room, while the kitchen is constantly covered in crumbs from those delicious holiday desserts.

With all of the rooms you have to take of, the idea of maintaining a spotless house can feel like a foreign concept. It’s not! We are here to help you create that weekly cleaning list to attack the clutter before it comes.Don’t let the mess pile up with these helpful home care strategies.

Pick up as you go.

We are all guilty of it. Dropping a blanket on the floor, promising that we will pick it up later. Or maybe leaving a plate in the kitchen sink with every intention of cleaning it when you come back for your next snack. Instead of making inner pacts in your head to come back to that little clutter, pick it up as you go! Practice this simple method: As you walk through the rooms of your house, pick up the little things as you go. If you see a piece of crumpled paper on your home office floor, just pick it up and throw it in the trash (Michael Jordan style) as you walk through that room. You will find that when you pick up the little messes, the big messes won’t feel as daunting.

Practice purging.

As natural consumers, it’s possible for us to have much more than what we actually need in our homes. You might even find that you have double of some things. Now is the time to purge! Start collecting a box (or two) of household items that you no longer have use for. We guarantee someone else might have a use for it, so consider donating those items to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Keep the Kitchen Tidy.

You might not want to admit it, but the majority of time you spend in your home is in the kitchen (outside of sleeping). Therefore, it’s so important to keep your kitchen the tidiest of all the rooms. When this particular room is clean, it will feel like the rest of your house is also clean (even if it’s not).

Here are some quick cleaning pointers for the kitchen:

  • Take a Clorox wipe and wipe down surfaces daily.
  • Do not let dishes pile up. Take the extra couple of minutes to clean them right after your meal.
  • Take a Swiffer to the floor to get those daily crumbs gone.
  • Throw away old food in the refrigerator each week.
  • Spray Febreze! Fresh smells create fresh environments.

De-Clutter Common Areas.

Your common areas should also be at the top of your list for cleaning, including the living room, guest bathrooms, and eating areas. These are the rooms that your guests tend to gather in most. Fluff up the pillow on your couch, put out coasters for your guests to use, and take a duster to the furniture each week. By making this a habit, your guests and your family will enjoy a nice and sanitary experience in your home.

In just a few minutes’ time, you are able to keep your house clean on a daily basis. I think we can all agree that we do not need any extra stress or chaos in our lives. So let’s practice daily habits to keep our homes healthy and comfortable!

Posted in DIY
Nov. 9, 2016

How to Host the Perfect Thanksgiving

Right now you might be wondering why you volunteered to host the annual Thanksgiving feast with family and friends at YOUR house. What if the ham isn’t cooked long enough? What if my centerpiece is not festive enough? How do I fold my napkins into cute little turkeys? There’s so much to be done and so little time!

Before you wave that white flag, we are ready to swoop in and help you save the day. There is no need to stress over this festive holiday. You can actually ENJOY it. Who knew, right? We are going to provide you with some helpful tips to eliminate the stress and give you even more to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Plan Ahead

There is no need to save everything for the day of the big event. Thanksgiving is an easy holiday where you can prepare pieces of the party ahead of time. For instance, set your table the night before. Lay out the plates, silverware, adorable autumn-themed napkins, and gorgeous centerpiece prior to Thanksgiving morning. This will allow you more time on the day of to spend time in the kitchen perfecting that apple pie recipe or adding extra touches to the dining room.

Ask for Help

You are not in this alone. And you definitely don’t need to take on the task of preparing the entire Thanksgiving meal all by yourself. Make a list of what dishes you feel like you can tackle and divvy out the rest to your guests. People love to feel included and like they have contributed something, so if you don’t like making green bean casserole – someone else might consider it their specialty! Put those delegation skills to the test, and divide and conquer this Thanksgiving!

DIY Everything

There is no need to hit the aisles and spend all of your holiday savings before Christmas even gets here! Don’t have an autumn wreath? Need to add a little fall flare to your mantel? Do it yourself! Special shout out to Pinterest for making these DIY projects so simpler and fun. There are a number of cute creations you can find online that are not time-consuming and will perfectly match the autumn decorations for your Thanksgiving party. Welcome your guests at the front door with a homemade wreath made out of pinecones, berries, and hydrangeas. Align your mantle with an array of baby pumpkins or fill a basket with piles of gourds, leaves, and corn for a lovely centerpiece. Get crafty this Thanksgiving and turn your home into a real life Pinterest party! Need some inspiration? Take a look at our favorite ideas from our Pinterest!

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Once the house is delightfully decorated, the table settings are set, and the turkey is pulled out of the oven, it’s time to relax and have fun! Just because you are the host of this party doesn’t mean that you don’t get to enjoy it too. Remember the reason for this holiday season. Gather around the table, give thanks for those who are with you, and dig in! One of the best parts of having a home is hosting dinner parties and events for your friends and family. With some prepping and planning, make your house feel like home to your guests this holiday season!

Posted in DIY
Nov. 2, 2016

5 Myths About Homeownership Debunked

For most of us, buying a home is the biggest purchase we’ll ever make. If it’s our first time going through the home-buying process, we often feel nervous, tense, and confused. There’s nothing wrong with this—after all, we’re about to spend a lot of money—but only if we worry about the right things.

Below are five common myths about homeownership, which we’ve taken the liberty to thoroughly debunk for your peace of mind. Remember, when it comes to most things in life, it’s better to focus on the facts and forget about the fiction.

Myth #1: You can’t get a loan unless you have perfect credit. 

While it’s true that your credit score will affect your mortgage loan approval and interest rate, very few people have a “perfect” score of 850. Most people’s scores actually fall between 600 and 700. The higher your score, the better your options will be. However, credit score isn’t the only thing lenders factor into their loans. They’ll also look at the amount of debt you have, your job history, and your down payment. If, however, your credit score is below 500, it may be worth it wait a year or two and focus on raising that number before you start house hunting.

Myth #2: Most homes these days end up in foreclosure. 

The recent mortgage crisis scared many would-be home buyers, and made them stick with rentals longer than they might have. Even now, people are wary about buying a home, worried that they won’t be able to make payments. The good news is that following the mortgage crisis new regulations were put into place to put a stop to the practices that led to the problem in the first place. Plus, the fact that so many people are worried about foreclosure is actually a good sign—it means they’re less likely to take on risky loans they can’t afford. If you practice due diligence and buy a home within your means, you should be fine.

Myth #3: It’s cheaper to rent a home than to own one. 

Sure, renting may seem like a smarter financial decision in the short term. You don’t have to pay for repairs, you don’t have worry about property taxes, and you can move pretty much any time you want without going to the trouble of selling your home. Real estate, however, is one of the easiest ways to build wealth, as long as you make smart financial choices. Generally, home prices increase over time. This means that when you’re ready to move, you can usually sell your home and make back most of what you spent in the first place—an option a renter will never have.

Myth #4: Hiring a real estate agent is a waste of money.

Many people don’t understand the role a real estate agent plays in the home buying process, and so they assume they won’t need one. Once you get further into the process, however, you begin to realize how much you don’t know—and how having an experienced professional on your side can help. Real estate agents play many roles during the home buying process, from helping you narrow down your choices, to negotiating on your behalf, to connecting you with trusted lenders, to guiding you through the closing process. Buying a home is a big deal, and a real estate agent is an integral part of making sure you do it right so you can enjoy the results.

Myth #5:  It’s all about location, location, location. 

There was a time when home buyers were encouraged to choose a home based on where it was located—IE, in well-established communities with low crime rates and good schools. Now, however, there are many neighborhoods that are on the rise. This means that, with a little foresight, you can buy a less expensive home in a place that will get better and better over the next few years, thus raising the value of your investment. While location will always be important, it’s good to keep an open mind and consider just at where a house is now, but what that neighborhood will look like one, five, or ten years from now.

We hope that learning the truth behind these myths makes you more comfortable with the idea of buying a home. If you think you’re ready to take the plunge, contact Network Real Estate. Our agents will make sure you have all the facts you need to make the best choice for you and your family.

Posted in Buying a Home