When putting your house on the market, it is vital to have it shown in its best possible light. The key however, is figuring out how to achieve this without breaking the bank. Consumer Reports provides the following agenda, for finding that perfect balance.
Freshen up the bath: $300-$1,000
Paint the rooms- selectively: $100 (DIY)-$1,000 (Pro)
Clean up, clear out; smells and clutter: $0 (DIY)-$2,500 (Pro)
Enhance the exterior: $150-$7,500
Spruce up the kitchen: $300-$5,000
For complete descriptions on each, as well as potential returns, check out the following link from Consumer Reportshere.
There are some people who delay their transition in to eventual home-ownership, because they feel uncomfortable taking on the obligation of having a mortgage. However it is important to realize that whether you own or rent a home, you are paying someones mortgage. As the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.
That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”
Decks are long-lasting additions to your home, and can add to the value of your property if you ever decide to sell. Keeping your deck in tip-top shape can extend its lifespan, and save you money in the long term. Whether you need just a quick touch-up, or a complete overhaul; follow these easy steps to keep your deck looking great.
Not only does home-ownership offer the pride and security that has been sought after in this country for so long; it also makes up for the majority of typical Americans net worth, in the form of home equity. Check out the graphic below to see which components make up net worth; for the average established family in the U.S.
A recent survey shows that nearly 45% of people polled believe that they need at least a credit score of 780 in order to qualify for a mortgage to buy a home. However, according to American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk, this perception is not the reality of the situation.
From Keeping Current Matters:
70% of first-time buyer mortgages had a combined loan-to-value ratio of 95% or higher
About 20% of first-time buyers taking out mortgages had a FICO score below 660
25% had total debt-to-income ratios above 43 percent
The median first-time buyer with an agency mortgage made a down payment of only 3 percent, or $7200 in dollar terms.
The median FICO score for first-time buyers with agency mortgages was 705
For first-time buyers with FHA-insured loans, the median FICO score was only 672
These numbers contradict the frequent claims that first-time buyers face difficulties in obtaining mortgages.
Stephen Oliner, co-director of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk explained the reality of the situation.
“One hears all the time that first-time buyers have limited access to mortgage debt. But this isn’t true. Many first-time buyers with low FICO scores and little money down are buying homes every month.”