Category Archives: Real Estate

Minimalist office with black and white motif

Three Important Considerations When Renovating an Office

Minimalist office with black and white motifIn cities like Singapore, office renovation is a serious business. Environmental concerns are taken seriously, which means that you cannot pull a thing off without thinking how it may affect the environment. Another consideration would be how it would affect the employees.

Here are a few things that you can do to make your office renovation project in Singapore smoother:

1. Gather Input From Employees

Your employees will be affected by the changes that you are about to make in the office. Remember that the office layout can set the standard for employee productivity. So it stands to reason that you have to get your workers’ input. Talk to them about your goals and how it will affect their work process. It would also be good if you can gather their suggestions and incorporate their ideas into your goals.

2. Minimise Intrusion as Much as Possible

Tearing down existing walls might seem a nice idea to create space and provide an open design concept, but how much would it cost? If you can keep existing infrastructure in place and minimise intrusion, not only will it cost less, but it would also preserve the familiarity that your employees have with your workplace.

3. Provide a Realistic Timeline

What are the specific areas of the office you are going to change? What needs to be moved somewhere to complete the renovation? Take these questions in mind when you think of the completion date of your project.

If you are in charge of the renovation process, you have to set a balance of what should and can be done. It is easy to find ideas online and develop a huge plan, but you have to take into consideration your budget and the time you have in your hands.

3 Must Ask Questions Before Buying a House

a family moving in to a new homeA home purchase is often a considerable capital investment. The kind of decisions that you make can make or kill your dream. If there is a need to make financial changes, then it is wise that you be thorough and accurate. Also, important to consider are the do’s and don’ts so that you don’t get ripped off in the process. Below highlights some of the essential questions you must answer before buying your dream home.

Do I have enough money to invest in a home?

Unless you are applying for a loan, you should evaluate your finances and see what amount of mortgage you could qualify for. See if it can fully finance your dream home purchase. Compare the figures in monthly installments you must pay towards the loan and see if you could manage to pay your monthly payments. If you have other debts, they should also be factored in. If you find that more than 30% of your monthly gross is going to debts, then it is wise to wait a bit longer to save more.

How long will I stay in my new home?

This is another critical question you cannot afford to ignore as an investor. Like earlier mentioned, a home buying venture could be financially overwhelming. Only if you are sure you would be staying there for five years or longer should you finally buy a property. If you are unsure of your long-term plans, perhaps finding a condo for sale in Muntinlupa should be your best option.

Has the house passed inspections?

A home inspection is a very crucial stage, and it’s often worth paying the price. Check if it has passed all safety tests and structural integrity examinations. Determine if you would need to do renovations and repairs once you have bought the property. Ensure that the home seller you are dealing with is aware that you don’t want something that would cost you much for repairs than it has for buying the property.

This way, you won’t just avoid making costly mistakes but also ensure you don’t encounter surprises down the line.

More often than not, people have saved and reached the threshold that allows them to finance their home buying investments using mortgages. However, some of them never get to enjoy their dream homes due to the kind of preliminary decisions they made. Therefore, it is essential to meet with experts, if you can afford their services, so you spare yourself the heartache and stress.

Is 20% Really The Average Down Payment on a Home?

couple signing house contractAsk most home buyers about what’s the average down payment on a home would be, and they’d probably answer with 20% of the house’s purchase price. Now you’re probably thinking that you couldn’t possibly afford that. While there are great reasons for putting down a 20% home deposit, some lenders might allow you to put down a down payment that’s less than 20%.

20% Down Payment

While 20% might seem like a very sizable amount, you’d actually paying less in the long term if you could make a down payment of 20% of higher on the home you’re looking to purchase. This is mainly because putting down 20% would give you a lower interest rate on a home loan and you do away with private mortgage insurance (PMI), which could tack on a couple of hundred to your monthly mortgage payments.

The reason that lenders require PMI is because of the higher risk lenders assume on home loan’s with less than 20% down payment, explains one of the top mortgage brokers from the Altius Mortgage Group in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, once you have reached 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, or have paid off the equivalent of 20% of the value of your house, you could request that your lender cancel your PMI. Likewise, if you reach 78% LTV, your lender would be legally obliged to cancel your PMI.

Less Than 20% Down Payment

If you’re unable to make a down payment of 20%, you could look for lenders that would allow you to make a down payment of less than 20%. You could also look into loans, such as FHA and USDA loans that enable qualified borrowers to put down smaller down payments on certain loans. Do note though that because you’d be funding a higher amount, regardless of the terms, you would need to make higher monthly payments because of the higher interest rate.

The Bottom Line

A higher down payment equals a more affordable mortgage and the lower the down payment, the more costly the mortgage. However, it is very crucial to note that under the right circumstances, putting a lower down payment could be a viable option. For instance, it’s an excellent way to buy a house and begin building equity on it, and you just have to budget wisely due to the relatively higher monthly payments.

Likewise, you might likewise qualify for a refinance after several years. That being said, for a majority of home buyers, buying a home is likely the biggest financial decision they will make in their lives, so shop around and talk to different lenders to ensure that you secure the best home loan for your needs.

Homeowner Horror: Why Your House Isn’t Sellable

house for saleIf your house has been on the market for too long without a prospective buyer on the horizon, there may be a reason for that. GoCompare Home Insurance commissioned a research study that revealed the reasons that keep people from buying a property. These are the top four:

1. Damp Stains

According to the study, 69 percent of home buyers are turned off when they see stains or dampness. Leaky pipes and roofs likely cause molds that stain walls and ceilings. A Salt Lake City-based roof leak repair company recommends a bi-annual inspection of your roofing system as preventative maintenance to keep the longevity of your property.

2. Foul Odors

Sixty-three percent of home buyers said they get turned off by foul smells before they even see the entire property. Scents linger and make an impact on how buyers perceive a home they’re viewing. If what greets them is an unpleasant smell, they might think it’s permanent, and you end up losing a sale.

3. Poor Property Maintenance

Peeling paint and worn floors turn 59 percent of home buyers away. If your house is in bad shape, potential buyers may see the cost of repair as an added expense if they buy the house. That’s why it’s important to have a home maintenance checklist to keep your property at top value.

4. Lack of Parking Space

Since 95 percent of Americans own a car, buying a house with a garage is a must. In fact, 56 percent of home buyers will drive past your For Sale sign if they see that your property doesn’t come with a space to park their cars in.

A house is something you’ve invested in over the years, so it’s important that you profit from it whenever you plan to sell it. Just remember that keeping a property well-maintained is key to its marketability.

House Purchase: What Do Buyers Regret?

Military couples hapy with their homeWhile many swear to the happiness associated with having the keys to their new property, regrets are still common. Many homebuyers (even successful ones) have remorse in some aspects of their purchase. It is important to remember where these regrets come from, so you may avoid them by the time you search for a new home.

More Savings

It is difficult for many homebuyers to come up with a 20% down payment, which is the necessary amount to avoid paying private mortgage (PMI). You may buy a house with as little as 3% money down, but it has a long-term effect on your monthly budget and mortgage payments. This is why many wished they had more savings to avoid the extra cost of PMI.

Price of the Home

Searching for the right home can be exhausting, but many who have settled on a place that they aren’t genuinely happy about often have regrets. If you, however, find the RIGHT one, don’t get too excited by paying more than the asking price to outbid others.

Migonline.com and other mortgage lenders in Cookeville suggest that it is always advisable to limit yourself, so you’ll feel comfortable about future loan payments and avoid becoming house poor.

Neighborhood

Many easily get persuaded by the appearance of the house, but fail to learn more about the neighborhood. This is why if you’re buying a home, be sure to visit the neighborhood first and walk around it. It is also a good idea to talk or meet new neighbors if you can. You may also want to check for its overall safety and nearby amenities.

Transportation Issues

A beautiful home may convince you that a longer travel is not entirely bad (which may be true or false). It is best to get a sense of the daily commute by trying to travel both ways during rush hour. You should also think about your current and future parking needs. Even if you didn’t own a car right now, consider any lifestyle changes or the issue of parking spaces when friends are invited to stay.

These are only some of the common regrets many homebuyers had. If you want to avoid having a buyer’s remorse, research more about the property and your mortgage options. It is also a good idea to find a lender that you feel working with to increase the chance of having a successful deal.

Real Property Mistakes You Should Know

Conveyancing text written on a diaryAs a would-be owner of any property, due diligence is part of your responsibility. This does not only include the task of comparing conveyancing quotes online, your obligations also involve scrutinising the authenticity of the title. You should avoid the following situations to prevent complication in your property purchase.

Hidden second charge

If the previous homeowner failed to pay mortgage or taxes, the bank or any entity that the lease is owed to would put a second charge on the property. If the second charge does not show up during inspections, it can be transferable to the new owner, which could be you. This makes it a costly mistake if you discover this after buying the property.

Secret Heir

If you think it only happens on soap operas, think again. An unknown or missing heir may show up and claim the property that is already sold to you by the estate agent. In some instances, the family of the supposed heir will step up and claim the ownership on behalf of the heir. Either way, your property rights will be jeopardised.

Unknown Easement

Other forms of encumbrances exist including easement or the right to use the property in question for a specific purpose. As long as there is a declaration, it doesn’t matter whether the other party is the owner or not. If the property is in a resource-rich area, even private companies can get a hold of the said property. There may be financial consequences along the way.

Survey Discrepancy

A boundary dispute, a mistake that can carry on for years, is also commonplace. The legal process may even take years, and you might end up losing a sizable portion of the property due to claims by neighbours.

Title mistakes occur. That’s the sad reality of conveyancing. However, any diligent would-be owner would look into these areas to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

4 Ways to Get A Mortgage Without Income Proof

An Approved Mortgage LoanAre you planning to file for a mortgage but is limited because your income proof does not post a relatively pretty picture? Here are some ways that you will be able to do to step over these hurdles for your home:

Apply for an FHA multifamily loan

The Federal Housing Administration, an office under the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has lots of programs that make obtaining loans easier. There are, for example, programs that link homeowners to FHA multifamily lenders that will be able to provide them with mortgage assistance. These types of loans are especially great because they rarely require proof of income as it is market-driven.

Get a credit card without income proof

Some lenders ask for your credit card instead for mortgage approval. But not everyone has a credit card. If you do not have one, there is still hope for you as there are credit cards that do not need income proof. Most of these types of cards have a $500 limit and are almost always sure to be approved.

Use your car as loan collateral for title loan

There are states in the United States like Missouri, South Dakota and Illinois that make it possible for loans to be approved easily. How is this done? The amount is usually based on the estimated value of the car. Just make sure that you can pay the amount and interest (which is higher than most).

Go for a no-documentation home loan

No-documentation home loans were made for people whose income is difficult to estimate or verify like those that are self-employed. Often in these cases, the lending institution only looks at the property’s value and the credit attached to it.

Hopefully, these tips will be able to help you in getting a mortgage for your home. Not only are they proven, more and more people are also doing them.

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Mortgage Company

A man showing the contract for mortgagePerhaps the most difficult choice to make right after deciding to take on a mortgage for your home is to choose the best mortgage company. This can be a complicated process, which can take weeks or even months. After all, you don’t want to barter your entire home with some shady and unscrupulous company and end up losing everything in the process.

The sheer number of lenders in Salt Lake City makes it even harder to decide. Because this is an important matter, you need to make sure you choose the best mortgage company.

So how do you start? Here are a few things to look for when shopping around for a mortgage company.

License

Real estate finance can be a tangled web if you don’t know your way around. This is why many people have undergone training and gotten licensed to handle these matters. Now, if you’re going to take on a mortgage, would you trust someone who doesn’t have these qualifications? It never hurts to check for certification.

Years in the Business

Do you know the average age of most mortgage lending companies? Just a little below 4 years. You’ll probably be handling this mortgage far longer than these companies have been in business. Would you trust a startup company to handle your finances? Well, the Better Business Bureau carries a very detailed record of companies’ reviews and histories and this can give you an idea of how experienced and/or reliable your choice of company is. A little research goes a long way, especially for mortgages.

Offerings

Much like in fashion, there is no one-size-fits-all in mortgage company offerings. Most of these businesses have a “menu” that their customers can choose from, and the truth is, you either fall in the specific categories of their menu or you simply don’t. Do you think your situation is unique or is it like the rest of the cases they hear every day? You decide.

These are just a few pointers to help you get started. Taking out a mortgage for your home is an important but difficult process. Don’t forget to do your research and work with the right lender.

Why You Need a Realtor to Help You Sell Your Home

House Being soldSome homeowners who would like to sell their property decide to do it entirely on their own. While this is legal and totally doable, you should consider if this is indeed the course of action you want to take. Here are some of the reasons you should get help from your realtor in selling your house.

Your realtor has the experience

Not only is your real estate agent more experienced, but they also have the education for the job. Your realtor can take the load off your shoulders, and you can rest easy knowing someone with more experience and knowledge in these matters is doing the work.

They have the network

Your realtor probably already has a network of other professionals that you may need for your sale. For example, they can call a professional they trust to apply any repairs or improvements that can increase the value of the property. They also know whether you can recoup the cost of the improvement. Many realtors also have many contacts among those who are looking for a house for living or as an investment. So if you want to sell a house fast in St. Louis or elsewhere, call a well-connected realtor.

They can handle the paperwork

It’s their job, so they can handle the paperwork faster, as they don’t have to ask around about the next step. If you do this yourself, you might be overwhelmed by all the paperwork. And if you make any mistakes, you might be legally liable for it and cost you a lot of money to correct it.

They can protect you

When you try selling a house on your own, you might be subjected to phone calls that lead nowhere, even visits from people who have no real intention of buying. Your agent knows how to handle such things and can protect you from them, so you are not bothered.

The job of a real estate agent is not one for the untrained and uninitiated. Find a trustworthy real estate agent and let them do their job for you.

3 Secrets to Keeping the Total Cost of Your Home Loan Affordable

Affordable Home LoanWhen applying for a home loan, you need one that is affordable and easy to pay. Unfortunately, this type of loan is not easy to find. In fact, many people have to deal with high-interest rates. But with the right considerations, you can keep your loan’s interest rate low.

Improve Your Creditworthiness

Lenders look at your credit ratings before deciding whether to approve your loan or application or not. You finances form the basis to determine how much money you can borrow and the applicable interest rate. It is also a deciding factor on your eligibility. You can increase your chances of qualifying by eliminating most, if not all, of the red flags that a lender is likely to encounter.

Cleaning up your financial history is a slow and lengthy process that takes a considerable amount of effort. As such, you should give it a sufficient grace period. Don’t fall for the numerous fraudulent activities on the Internet that promise overnight results.

Reduce Your Loan Principal with Extra Payment

Paying off your home loan quickly offers many advantages, including savings on the interest. Check with your lender before embarking on such a plan. While some lenders might frown on such a practice, they are fine with an extra payment every year. Start by dividing your monthly payment into two equal parts. Since there are 52 weeks in the year, you will make 13 repayments instead of the regular 12. The extra month goes towards lowering your principal.

Choose a Reputable Lender

Before acquiring a loan, check the reputation of the lending company. Work with a company with a long history of quality and honest service. Read online reviews of several companies before making a commitment. Avoid signing with companies with dubious reputation as it could ruin your finances.

With the proper application, loans are quite helpful when you are short on cash. But you need to approach the process with utmost caution to ensure you get the best terms and the lowest interest rate.