What Does a Builder’s Warranty Cover?

Builders’ warranties vary greatly, so it’s important that homeowners take the time to learn what’s covered. Even with new homes, things can go wrong. That is why many buyers of newly built homes are interested in warranties, which promise to repair or replace certain elements of the home. Many home warranties are backed by the builder, while others are purchased by builders from independent companies that assume responsibility for specific claims. In other cases, homeowners purchase coverage from a third-party warranty company to supplement coverage provided by their builder. In fact, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) require …

5 Facts Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Credits

No matter which side of the transaction you’re on, you don’t want to give up more than you have to. After months of searching for the perfect home, making some offers, and maybe even competing with other buyers, you finally have a deal on your dream home. It took some negotiations, but you and the seller have come to terms. Or have you? Too often, getting a signed contract and putting your money into escrow is the beginning of what can become yet another round of negotiations. Here are five things every home buyer and seller should know about last-minute …

How Much Does It Cost to Move?

The dollars and cents that go into moving vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Making the decision to move can be an exciting time, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. But it can also be a milestone surrounded by uncertainty: am I making the right decision? How will my kids adjust to a new school? Will I like my new neighborhood? According to the US Census, 11.2 percent of Americans moved in 2016, for reasons related to housing, family, and employment. And there’s one question pretty much everyone who is thinking about moving asks: How …

Budget-Friendly Curb Appeal Boosters

Get maximum improvement for minimum cash with these tips for transforming your home’s exterior. A polished home exterior makes for an inviting experience for any visitor or passersby, which is especially important if your home is on the market. All sellers should focus on exterior home improvements, says Tallahassee-based realtor Joe Manausa of Joe Manausa Real Estate. “Buyers are searching for homes online, and the exterior picture of your home will be the most likely culprit for somebody to reject your home,” he notes. Check out our tips to get the most curb appeal for the lowest cost — while turning your neighbors’ heads and …

What is Tax Assessed Value, Tax Appraised Value, and Market Assessed Value?

What is the value of your home? It depends on what you mean by “value.” Tax assessed value This figure varies throughout the U.S. since it is determined by the taxing authority of the city, county, or state where you live. Sometimes it is the same as the market assessed value and other times counties will multiply the market value by an assessment ratio to get the tax assessed value, which is often lower than the market assessed value. For example, suppose where you live, homes are assessed at 100 percent of market value. If you have a home that …

How to Measure Your Home’s Square Footage

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the “size” of a house. Like most aspects of owning or purchasing a house, measuring the square footage of a home is complicated. There’s no established standard for measuring a residential property, and everyone seems to measure square footage differently. But if you get it wrong, it can affect your home’s value. There’s no need to be nervous about calculating your home’s square footage, however. Let’s look at how easy it actually is to measure a home’s square footage accurately. Square footage of a house (GLA) …

How to Actually Afford to Buy A Home in America

Home buyers today face tough challenges—housing prices have soared, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did and rent is more expensive than the past. How are people today making such a large purchase in spite of these hurdles? With more flexibility and a bit of creativity when it comes to financing, today’s buyers are finding ways to achieve homeownership. Know Your Options (And Credit Score) To even begin the home buying process, it’s important to know what resources are available. Turns out, according to a 2017 Fannie Mae working paper, “How Much Do U.S. Households Know About Qualifying …

6 Ways to Score a Lease in a Competitive Rental Market

Follow these six tips to give yourself an edge over other renters and achieve your goal. In a competitive rental market, you’ll need to do quite a bit more than simply fill out an application and put down a deposit. Since 2005, there has been “an uptick in renters, with people in their 50s and 60s making up the largest chunk of the increase,” CNN Money reports. With large numbers of millennials and Baby Boomers competing in a growing pool of renter applications, it’s important to consider ways to boost your odds during the application process. Read on to learn how to …

How to Make a Competitive Offer Against All-Cash Home Buyers

Buyers who aren’t paying cash for a house aren’t necessarily out of luck. Here’s how you can gain an edge over cash buyers. Buyers making a cash offer on a house are active in many markets, and they can strike fear in new buyers who are bidding on a home. Cash home buyers can perform and close quickly and provide sellers with a sense of comfort. But does this mean a solid buyer putting down 20 percent or more shouldn’t attempt to compete with cash home buyers? Absolutely not. What if you can’t make a cash offer on a house? …