T. Jay Johnson Jr. - RE/MAX Property Promotions



Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 5/3/2019

Are you thinking about buying your first home but completely overwhelmed with where to even begin?

Buying your first home is a big, and exciting, decision. Itís also one that comes with a big learning curve you need to get down quickly.

There are many steps to the process and even though your agent is always here to help you and give advice itís critical you do your own research. You want to be able to take action quickly when you find your dream home. To do this you will need to be able to keep up with the process by having everything done neatly, orderly and on time.

So where to start?

Start here:

Start by sitting down with your budget. What do your current finances look like? What sort of wiggle room for spending do you have? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment?

And perhaps more importantly, do you have enough saved to cover a down payment and closing costs? Depending on which programs you qualify for you donít necessarily have to put the traditional 20% down. With that said, you should know how much you would need to put down and if you have money in the bank to cover those costs.

Smooth out any credit snags. Your credit score doesnít need to be out of this world, but it should reflect that you are actively improving and financially responsible.

Find a mortgage professional you trust to help you make the right moves throughout the process. Again, you want to be able to take action quickly once you find a home you love. And you donít want to miss out because your mortgage professional hasnít prioritized you.

You will also want to have a preapproval prepared, with the help of your mortgage professional, when you are ready to start looking at houses. Having a pre-approval in hand shows your agent that you are serious about this process.

Calculate the costs. Yes, more math! You will want to take into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees, home repairs and maintenance as you refine your budget to see which homes make the most sense for your lifestyle.

When looking at homes focus on the ďbonesĒ of the house. Look past paint, hideous wallpaper and yes even the granite countertops. Are there enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? A laundry room? Is there enough garage space and driveway? Do you like the floor plan? The neighborhood?

Know whatís important to you. In an ideal world, you will find a home that ticks off every item on your wishlist. And not to say that itís entirely impossible, but know which items on your list are negotiable. Which are you willing to budge on and which are make or break?





Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 1/4/2019

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 T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 10/13/2017

Itís a long road to get to the status of being a homeowner. Once all of the iís are dotted and the tís are crossed at closing, youíll be handed the keys to your wonderful new place to live. Now, youíll have a huge responsibility on your hands as well. Youíll need to pay the mortgage monthly. Youíll need to perform regular maintenance around the home. Youíll also need to pay for things like home insurance, utilities, and more. Everything that happens in your home when you have those keys is your responsibility. 


Once you have unpacked and settled into your new place, thereís a seemingly unending amount of things to do including organizing, unpacking, painting, decorating, cleaning, renovating, and so much more. You really need to take a break from all of that and take the time to bask in the glory of homeownership for a few minutes.        


Know What You Have Accomplished


Buying a home is not something that every person can achieve. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and persistence to save up money, find a home you love, and close the deal. Youíll also learn a lot through the process of buying a home. Youíve established a sense of independence and freedom through buying a home; youíre truly living the American Dream. 


You Have Something To Call Your Own


As a homeowner, you are not the master of your own domain. Anything that you wish is your command. Any hobbies you have, whatever type of decorations you want, and the types of chairs you like to sit in are all your choice in your own home. Once you own a home you donít need to worry about the unruly neighbors upstairs or the landlord who wouldnít ket you paint the walls. Do you want to plant a vegetable garden in your yard? You can! Thereís no one there to tell you that you canít. Have a blast using your yard and your home the exact way that you want it. Now you can feel free to have friends over and entertain to your heartís content. This is one of the best parts of owning a home.


You Now Have A Better Financial Future


Buying a home is a smart investment. Youíre contributing positively to your financial future. Every mortgage payment that you make is contributing to something that you own. Thereís no security deposits and no fees for your pets. The longer you live in your home, the more equity that youíre building up since your property is increasing in value over time. If you continue to make timely payments and upkeep your home properly, youíll be able to really see a return on your initial investment on the home.  

    





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