How can I build equity into my house?

You can build equity in three ways. First (and easiest) is from market appreciation. Second, when making your monthly mortgage payment, try to send a little bit more. This will go directly to the principal of the loan, rather than the interest. Be sure your lender knows to put the extra toward principal, and not the next month’s payment. Even an extra $50 per month can quickly build equity, as well as knock years off of your loan. The third way to build equity into your house is to make improvements. There are a variety of ways to remodel and make positive changes to the interior and exterior of your home. One of the best ways is to add square footage/living space.

What is a good number of homes to tour prior to making an offer?

The best answer is “as many as it takes to find a home that works for you”. Purchasing a home will most likely be the single largest investment you will make, so it is important to make sure you find a home that meets your current and future needs. It’s best not to look at just one home, but also not to look at more than 6 or 7 in one day. It’s common to confuse the features if you view too many in one day. Bring a notepad and pen and take notes on your likes and dislikes of each home.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are expenses incurred by buyers and sellers when the ownership of the property is transferred. These are usually negotiable items as to who will be responsible for their payment. Examples of closing costs include recording fees, documentary fees, real estate commission, taxes prorations, settlement fees, and title insurance.

What is a real estate closing?

An appraisal is an estimate of the value of a piece of property by a licensed, trained, and experienced individual called an appraiser. They are usually required by a lender to determine how much the property is worth in ascertaining how much they will loan on the property.

The closing is the culmination of everything in a real estate transaction. It’s where the title, known as the deed, transfers from seller to purchaser. Closings may be held at a title company, or at the real estate agent’s office. The title company researches the chain of title to the home. Assuming the title is clear, all inspections are satisfactory, and all contingencies have been met, the title company (closing/escrow agent) will facilitate the closing by providing an explanation of documents to be signed, collection of and disbursement of funds, and a last minute check by the title company to make sure that a clear title to the property will be transferred.

What are home warranty plans?

Home warranty plans can be purchased at the time a home is bought. They usually cover major items in the home such as the furnace and appliances. It is not a replacement for homeowners insurance, but can provide additional coverage for some items.

What are home inspections?

When purchasing a home, it is important to perform a thorough assessment of the home’s structure, equipment, and surroundings. Real estate purchase contracts provide appropriate language to protect buyers from purchasing a structurally unsound home, while at the same time protecting sellers from liability. An inspection can be made by an inspection service company, or a buyer may choose to inspect the home him or herself.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an estimate of the value of a piece of property by a licensed, trained, and experienced individual called an appraiser. They are usually required by a lender to determine how much the property is worth in ascertaining how much they will loan on the property.

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