The Best Is Yet to Come for Homebuyers

The Spring market is in full swing, but some buyers are feeling the pressure with few affordable home options!  Rismedia.com has all the details on perfect home buying timing!

 

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The Most Common Spring Cleaning Mistake (Plus 8 Others)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Spring cleaning time!  Who doesn’t love a solid weekend of cleaning, decluttering and organizing?  Houselogic has a list of spring cleaning mistakes you don’t want to make!

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The Forgotten Home Buying Expenses

By: Carolyn Smith

Buying a home is a huge financial decision but there are some other expenses you may not think about when buying a home.  In order to avoid being thrown off financially consider all of the following things that you should budget for when purchasing a home.

When purchasing a home the inspections, appraisals, commissions,  and fees can all add up rather quickly.  The buyer may also be responsible to pay back property taxes that the previous owner had already paid, pay for oil that was purchased by previous owner or take care of HOA costs.  Don’t be thrown off guard by closing costs and keep track of the expenses you accrue along the way.

Along with your mortgage you will be responsible to pay yearly property taxes.  Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with the property tax amount, but don’t “bank” on that number staying the same from year to year, especially if you plan on making improvements or adding on to the home.

Utilities can take a huge bite out of your monthly budget.  Be sure to consider the size of your new property when budgeting, especially if your new property is larger than your last. 

Home insurance is one expense that you don’t want to skimp on!  Your new investment needs to be taken care of and home insurance policies compensate you for potential damages and losses to your home and possessions.  There are a number of different companies and polices to choose from,  so make sure to choose the coverage that is correct for you and your needs.  Typically coverage includes, storms, fire, theft, and vandalism, but areas prone to bad weather should consider flood and earthquake coverage.

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.  We’re not talking mowing your yard or cleaning your toilet; we’re talking the big stuff.  Painting, replacing shingles on your roof, plumbing issues, the list could go on and on.  A good rule of the thumb to follow, set aside at least 1% of your home’s purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs that might pop up.

And last but certainly not least, budget for new stuff!  Take an inventory of what you already have and think about what you need for each room.  This should give you an idea of how much you may need to save to purchase some new items for your new home!

Buying a home is an exciting time and our agents are here to help you from the start of the buying process to the end!  Let DLP help you find your dream home!

You’re Under Contract, Don’t Do These 5 Things

By: Carolyn Smith

Congratulations!  Your offer was accepted and you’re on your way to home ownership, but in order to keep the ball rolling and ensure that your loan approval doesn’t stall there are a few things you need to avoid.

  1. Don’t make any large purchases or apply for a new credit card. We get it, you want that new sofa with matching end tables and that store credit card could save you a ton on new home décor but resist the temptations.  Your lender will do a final credit check right before closing and any big purchases or new debt could create an issue. 
  2. Wait until after closing to make a job change or take a promotion. If any changes do happen, make sure you inform your lender immediately.  Any changes in income can delay closing.
  3. Don’t mess with your credit by closing out credit cards or disputing information on your credit report. Closing out cards can damage your credit score and disputing information can stall the entire process.
  4. Avoid making large cash deposits. Any large deposits, including cash, will need to be accounted for and documented.  Deposits from payroll or an IRS tax refund should be okay, but undefined amounts may be questioned.
  5. Don’t lose contact with your lender or agent, and be readily available if they should need you for additional information or last-minute concerns.

Buying a home is a journey with tons of details and small hiccups that could stall the process, so cover your bases and be sure that ball is heading in the correct direction!

Lehigh Valley Interest Rates are Up, & Inventory is Down

 

The spring market is here but it may not be in full bloom!  The Morning Call has all the details on what to expect in Lehigh Valley Real Estate!

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How to Clean Garden Tools (and Why They Need It So Bad)

Spring is here (even if the temps suggest otherwise) and getting your flower beds and gardens back in order may be a priority, but don’t forget to give your garden tools a bit of attention before digging around.  Realtor.com has all the clean up tips to have your tools ready to dig!

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In Like a Lion: Spring Gets Roaring Start with High Values, Low Supply

The spring market is off to a grrrrr-eat start!  With low inventory and lots of buyers, the competition will be fierce and rismedia.com has all the info you need to know about buying this Spring.

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Thinking about Buying a Home? Here’s the Process

By: Alex Lopez

So you want to buy a home, but you don’t know the process or where to start.  Lucky for you,  our buyer agents at DLP are here to lead you every step of the way. 

First, thing is first, get your finances in order.  Check your credit score.   There are often errors that can affect your score negatively, so make sure everything is accurate and if it’s not, dispute it.  Stay current on your payments, this goes without being said, but one missed payment can make quite the dent on your score. 

Get preapproved for a mortgage.  There are a few different loan options out there so make sure you do a bit of research and find a good lender to help you choose the best option for you.

Find an agent!  This will save you time and tons of headaches.  At DLP our buyer’s agents are here for the buyer and only the buyer!  In fact, at DLP,  you get not one but two agents working for you!  DLP’s Buyer Success Manager and Showing Specialists work together to make the buying process smooth and seamless and work hard to ensure that you are in the loop every step of the way.

Now that you have chosen an agent (or agents)  the fun begins!  It’s time to narrow down location, wants/needs, and start house hunting!  The market is hot right now so be prepared to hit the ground running!  If at first, you aren’t able to find what you want in your price range, it might be a good idea to go back and rethink your wants and needs or narrow or widen your search location.

Make an offer, but before you take this step, make sure your wants/needs are met and you feel comfortable with your offer. If you have any questions, ask your agent to explain or go over the details, but make sure you don’t wait too long because homes are flying off the market!

Once you are under agreement, it’s time to do some inspections!  A home inspector will do a top-to-bottom inspection of the home and list any items that may be problematic.  If repairs are needed, you can ask the seller to fix or re-negotiate, or if there are serious issues with the home, you may be able to rescind your offer.

Before closing,  your lender will require an appraisal to assess the home’s market value and to ensure the loan amount is appropriate.  Although,  the buyer and seller have agreed on a purchase price the appraiser’s evaluation must be equal to or less than the purchase price. 

It’s finally closing day, but before you get to the closing table do one last walk through of your soon-to-be home to insure that the condition has not changed since you signed the sales agreement.

Last but not least, enjoy your new digs!  Homeownership is a wonderful thing and DLP would love to help you get there!

DIY a Simple 2X4 Shelf for Extra Decor Space

Running out of space to display your family photos or trinkets from your world travels.  Lucky for you, thenest.com has a super simple and cheap DIY shelf!  

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What Not to Overlook When Buying a Home

By: Carolyn Smith

Just imagine the excitement of buying a home with the perfect kitchen, beautiful backyard, and picturesque neighborhood, the house of your dreams.  You sign the papers, pay the commissions, get your keys and start unpacking.  Then as you and your family are sitting down for your first meal in your new home, you hear it and feel it…an airplane on its final approach to the airport, that is just around the corner.  You think to yourself, “that can’t happen all the time,” and then it does, again and again and again.   You should have done your homework, but rest assured it happens more than one would think.

The excitement of buying a home can often cloud buyer’s judgment and things that normally are noticeable or nuisances may be overlooked.

Make multiple visits to the home at different times of the day to see what the property is like at all times of the day.  Is there a dog that barks all afternoon, does rush hour traffic create noise in the morning and evening, or does your neighbor have loud parties every weekend? Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be caught off guard.

Pay attention to closet space.  There is nothing worse than moving into your new home and realizing you have nowhere to store your linens. Coat closets, kitchen cabinets and pantry space are spots you may overlook as well. 

Don’t forget about your future needs.  Are you a newly married couple thinking about raising a family in your new home?  Make sure the room that is perfect for a nursery will also be able to accommodate a normal size bed and further down the road a teenager with lots of stuff. Or are you downsizing, because all your kids are off to college?  Don’t forget to consider your future grandchildren or occasional visitors.

Check out additional expenses.  Ask the sellers to see copies of utility bills.  If you are buying in the winter or summer consider what the bill might look like in the colder or warmer months. 

In addition to these tips, gain a bit more peace of mind with DLP’s 24-Month Love It or Leave It Guarantee.   Give our agents a call for more information and to help you in your home search!

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