Millennium Realty



Posted by Millennium Realty on 11/25/2021


Everyone talks about preparing financially to purchase and own a home. However, itís not always exactly clear how to prepare. Rather than get overwhelmed by details, there are some basic things you can start with in order to get your finances ready for home ownership. Here we will go over the best ways to prepare.

Take Care of Your Credit Score

Unfortunately, there is no quick cure for a low credit score. Itís based on a lot of long-term factors like bill payment history and age of your credit accounts, so itís difficult to boost your score short term. However, the more you prepare for buying a home, the betteróand creating and maintaining good credit habits will help you in the long run. The first thing you can do is sign up for a free credit monitoring service so you are aware of your starting point. You can also identify any errors that might count against you so that you can dispute them. Some other things you can do are:

  • Hold off on opening any new credit cards or loans to avoid ďhard inquiriesĒ on your credit

  • Set up auto-payment with any recurring bills to avoid late payments

  • Donít completely close any old accounts, even if you donít use them anymore

These are just the basics and while they are general best practices, only consider them in your own credit situation. For detailed financial advice, always consult a professional.

Start Saving for a Down Payment

The down payment on a new home is the largest upfront expense to prepare for. The size of the down payment will depend on the terms of the mortgage you choose, as well as the purchase price of the home. However, most experts recommend aiming for 20% of the price on the home. While the amount you need in the end might be lower, consider the advantages of saving more than not enough. Some simple strategies for saving up for this expense include automatic deposits into savings and redirecting funds you would normally contribute to a retirement fund. Everybody is different, and itís important to consider the details of your particular financial situation. Hiring a financial advisor who can create a customized savings plan is a great idea for getting the most savings possible.

Look Into First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Programs

Among the myriad loan options available for homebuyers, there are some programs that exist specifically to help first-time homebuyers. There are various forms of financial assistance available, including special mortgages with low interest rates or tax credits. You can usually find these types of programs available through state governments. Take some time to research whether your state offers any financial help in buying your first home ó it might surprise you how many opportunities are available.

The financial aspect of buying your first home is complicated and so is saving for it. However, if you follow these general best practices, youíll be creating a solid foundation for yourself and your financial future.





Posted by Millennium Realty on 5/27/2021

If you're an apartment renter ready to take the plunge into home ownership, there are a lot of reasons to be excited! Owning your own home does bring with it additional work and responsibilities, but the feeling of pride that accompanies it makes it all worthwhile!

Once you get used to the idea that "the buck stops here" and that there's no landlord to handle repairs and maintenance any more, it won't take long to get into the rhythm of being an established property owner. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your first experience with home ownership is a satisfying one.

  • Get a good real estate agent. A real estate professional can provide you with valuable guidance, advice, and information about houses you're considering in your desired neighborhoods and price ranges. A buyers' agent can help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls of buying your first home and help you stay within budget. They'll assist you in clarifying your priorities and work on your behalf to find homes that meet your requirements. A service-oriented agent will not only point out the positive aspects of houses you're considering, but they'll also discuss ideas for adapting the home to your specific needs and lifestyle.
  • Hire an experienced property inspector. A seasoned home inspector can take a close look at the condition of the house and property you're considering and help make sure there are no major structural defects, safety issues, or operational problems with the home's systems and components. Although every property inspector approaches their job a little differently, their inspection service should include everything from the roof and foundation to the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. They may also report to you on the condition of the home's insulation, its exterior, and any existing or potential drainage problems on the property. Certain aspects of the house may be excluded from the inspection if it's difficult or unsafe to gain access to them. A top-notch home inspector can also provide useful insights into repairs that need to be made on the house. As a side note, professional property inspectors are often members of The American Society of Home Inspectors and follow the organization's Standards of Practice.
  • Visit a lot of different houses for sale before making a final decision. It also pays to have a checklist with you to keep track of how each house stacks up to your requirements and expectations.
While your emotions will invariably play a role in your final choice, many other factors should also be taken into account, including the character of the neighborhood, proximity to conveniences and shopping, and the quality of the school district. Your real estate agent and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide you with a handy checklist for evaluating and comparing homes for sale.





Posted by Millennium Realty on 10/22/2020

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Are you in the market for your first home purchase? If so, congratulations! This is an amazingly exciting stage of life, and we know you must be excited.

Many first-time buyers run into issues that can turn their new home into a source of stress. Here are three common pitfalls you should watch out for as you purchase your first home.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Far and away the most common pitfall that first-time home buyers run into is with setting realistic expectations. It’s a tough market for first-time buyers, and many are tempted to jump in deeper than they can manage. Just because you can get a mortgage without a full down payment doesn’t necessarily mean that you should, for example.

Your mortgage payment is going to be a reasonable percentage of your take-home pay, but don’t let it get too high. Many experts recommend 25 to 30%. And consider what your financial situation will look like if in a few years you add a child or two to the mix.

Everyone’s situation is different, but none of us have infinite money. Take the time to calculate what you can truly afford, and then stick to those figures. You may well tour your dream home as you look at available properties, but living there won’t be dreamy at all if it puts you in financial distress.

Not Considering Non-Mortgage Costs

If you’ve been renting all of your adult life, you need to be prepared for some non-mortgage costs that you probably haven’t had to pay yet.

First, understand that all repairs to your new home and property are your responsibility. If you have a $2,000 sewer repair crop up in the first 2 months of living there, do you have a way to pay for it? When you’re budgeting for your home purchase, make sure there’s enough left over to cover unexpected issues like these.

Second, if you’re bringing a full down payment to the table, there’s one more non-mortgage cost that could catch you by surprise: property tax. Make sure you know before you buy what property taxes are like on similar homes, and save 1/12th of that amount each month.

Making a Purchase Decision Too Quickly

A third pitfall for first-time homebuyers is rushing the purchase decision. Don’t get us wrong, we want you to buy a house! But your house is a long-lasting investment. Get to know various parts of your city, and take your time surveying what properties are available in your price tier.

Most first-time homebuyers won’t be in a position to sell and move up in house for at least five years. So don’t rush the purchase decision. Be sure before you commit.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Millennium Realty on 10/10/2019

So, you know youíre ready to buy a home and will be purchasing a new home soon. Youíre excited that you finally have the down payment and are itching to start your home search. While youíre meeting with real estate agents and interviewing candidates to help you find your home, you canít help but get started on your own. Everyone goes through this, you see yourself starting to look online and browse around. You may have an idea about your budget and financial and special requirements. Thatís good! Just remember that itís easy to stray outside your guidelines when youíre browsing online. Your real estate agent will ultimately guide you to properties that fit your requirements, but while youíre browsing around you may want to consider setting some boundaries or search guidelines for yourself. 

First, know that browsing current listings online can help you create a productive list of features, preferences for your real estate agent to work with. You should feel encouraged to browse around, just remember to think about some basic direction you should consider before you start. This mostly pertains to your mental state when browsing, but know that your browsing will influence your actual buying strategy in the end. 

Looking for homes online allows you to look at every price level, area and feature imaginable, or at least available within a range of your current city. It actually isnít a bad thing to look at home out of your price range, but you should focus on homes within your price range. This can help you understand what your money can get you. You can see what features and locations are available in your price range, as well as above, so you can hone in on the significant areas and features you want to discuss with your real estate agent. 

While looking at homes online, you should remind yourself to look at features, price, and location generally, and not focus in on a single home. The house youíre looking at online may or may not be available when you ask your agent. Furthermore, the home youíre looking at may or not be real. Even if you see something awesome online, you should always ask the advice of a trusted agent. They can verify the listing against the official MLS listing and contact the homeowner or their listing agent before you become too invested in the home. 

Bottom line, feel free to search online while you select a real estate agent to facilitate your home search. Just remember to be smart, keep yourself from becoming overly obsessed with a single house and always ask the agent you choose to contact sellers on your behalf. With the help of your agentís guidance, youíll be well on your way to finding your new home.





Posted by Millennium Realty on 3/17/2016

OrganizedWhether you buy your first home later in life, or directly from college, buying your first home is a major milestone in your life.† For that reason, there are things you need to be knowledgeable about before your purchase is complete. You will want to safeguard yourself so you know that you are getting a home and a loan that you can afford. Here are a few tips from mortgage and real estate pros to help prepare you for the biggest purchase of your life. Using an Agent If you are a buyer, then there is no reason not to use a real estate professional. It does not cost you any more money to hire an agent. That agent will do more than find you that perfect house. You will discover that after you find a house is when you will need that agent the most.† The agent will use their expertise to present your offer to the seller and then address issues that may arise between contract and closing. House Hunting Remember, location, location, location. This is very important when buying a house.† Location plays a big part in determining the market value of the home. Before you start the house hunting process, make sure you know what neighborhood is a good location for you. Also, it would be good to have an idea of what style home you are looking for. Real estate moves quickly, so if you see a property that you love, you should move on it before someone else does. Find a Loan that Works for Your It sure can be tricky business trying decide what kind of loan is right for you.† There are many different types of loans that you should be aware of.† There is an Adjustable rate mortgage which has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. So as the index changes your interest rate and payments may go up or down. There is also a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage as well as a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage. Some state and county maximum loan amount restrictions may apply. Home Buyer Alternatives for First Timer Saving for a first home can sometime seem like itís a hill that too steep, but donít worry there are assistance programs that can help. The Federal Housing Administration offers loans to people with a credit score as low as 640, low down payments and down payment assistance. There are also VA and USDA loans: Certain active members of the military and veterans as well as qualifying residents of designated rural areas can qualify for a 0% down-payment housing loans that are free of mortgage insurance fees. How Much Do You Have to Put Down? It really depends on what type of loan you have. If you have a conventional loan then you may have to put as much as 20% down. It is possible to put 5% down on a conventional loan if you donít mind paying mortgage insurance.† If you go with the FHA loan you will need at least 3.5 % down.† For people who are relying on others to help with down payments, an FHA loan may be a good option. First time home buyers need to look around and know that there are a multitude of down payment assistance offers by state or local governments. Closing cost: There can be a lot of hidden fees in closing costs; first time home buyers should be aware of these costs.† These fees are typically included in the closing costs, including fees for commissions, appraisals, inspections, certifications and surveying.† There will also be fees for government record changes, tax and title services and transfer taxes.







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