Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 8/13/2018

Historic homes are coveted by many for their charm. Some want a home with history while others one with “good bones” of bygone construction methods. Whatever your motivations one thing is clear: owning a historic home is a rewarding experience.

This is usually due to the effort, time and investment put into maintaining the home’s old world charm. Those who take on a historic home should be ready for a project in some capacity either right after buying or down the line.

Maintaining, and sticking to, the classic style and shapes while working under stylistic limitations takes time and effort. Be sure that when purchasing a historic home it’s one of an era whose style you really like. This is because many historic homes have what is called an easement in place. What an easement does is dictate what owners of that particular estate can and can not do to the home to maintain its historical integrity. This can limit everything from additions to siding color.

Historic homeowners should also be ready to get creative during the renovation process. Old houses have their quirks, it’s best to embrace this when making changes and to work with them - not against them. Knocking out walls and shaving down flooring to be perfectly symmetrical compromises the entire structure’s historic roots. If you absolutely must have perfect walls and flooring a historic home is probably not for you.

With that said when viewing homes ensure that any crookedness is from settling over time and not from damage to the sill plate. The sill plate is the topmost part of the foundation and especially vulnerable due to this placement along ground level. If there is damage to the sill plate know that the entire structure of the home is also compromised and in need of serious, and expensive, attention. If this is the case, it’s best to walk for most homeowners.

A warped or compromised sill plate can also mean water damage. Another sign to look for water troubles is a sump pump in the basement. You want to keep an eye out for water damage, as this is a very serious threat to the structure and can also attract all kinds of bugs.

If you have your heart set on a historic home but find all of this overwhelming a historic home expert, either a contractor who specializes in historic homes and/or a local historian that restores homes, can help you significantly through the process. In fact, overwhelmed or not it’s best to bring an expert on board during your buying process. This person should be in addition to your home inspector - not in place of. You also want to be sure to find someone who understands that you want to preserve and restore a historical home and not just gut the building.

Plan your budget well. While restoring a home is usually a passion project for many you still don’t want to overinvest and end up taking a huge loss if you eventually resell. Know what restoration projects in your area typically go for and use these as a guideline for your own budget.

Don’t be afraid to start small if you are on a tight budget or this is your first restoration project. These projects can take years so when planning start here first: roof, windows, and masonry. Create a watertight home first to prevent any further potential damage.

The good news about historic homes is that there are plenty of grants and tax programs for homeowners planning on restoration. Not every loan option will be available to you if the home requires major work but there are loans available specifically for major repairs such as the 203k. Know your options before you start looking as this will a major determination factor of your budget and the degree of work you’ll be able to put into a home.






Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 3/5/2018

If you plan to pursue a condo, it generally is a good idea to know exactly what to expect. That way, you can map out a successful condo buying journey, one that ensures you can avoid potential pitfalls along the way.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you get ready to embark on the condo buying journey, and these include:

1. Where You Want to Live

The condos in a big city often are very different from those available in a small town. Thus, you should make a list of your condo must-haves prior to starting a condo search to boost the likelihood of a seamless condo buying experience.

Furthermore, think about where you want to live before you kick off your condo search – you'll be happy that you did. Because if you can narrow your condo search to properties in a group of cities or towns, you may be able to speed up your condo search.

2. Your Budget

If you intend to buy a condo, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, many banks and credit unions are available, and these lenders can teach you everything that you need to know to put together a successful budget.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. If you connect with these mortgage specialists, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options and make an informed mortgage selection.

Also, don't forget to plan ahead for potential condo dues. Most condos provide lawn care, snow removal and other amenities that are covered under monthly or annual condo fees. Although these fees may not be included in your mortgage, you'll need to put aside funds each month to cover them. Therefore, you'll want to account for potential condo fees as you craft your condo buying budget.

3. Condo Living

Living in a condo and residing in a house are not the same thing. As such, you should try to prepare for condo living as much as possible to ensure that the condo lifestyle is right for you.

For example, condo owners typically won't have to worry about performing lawn care thanks to their condo fees. At the same time, condo owners will need to comply with various regulations established by a community's homeowner's association (HOA). In fact, failure to comply with HOA rules could result in fines or other penalties.

If you want to get a better understanding about what it's like to live in a particular condo community, it may be beneficial to consult with a real estate agent with condo buying expertise. This housing market expert can offer insights into different condo communities in your city or town. Then, if you want to pursue a condo in a specific community, a real estate agent can help you purchase your ideal condo.

Ready to take the guesswork out of buying a condo? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can streamline the process of going from condo buyer to condo owner.




Tags: buyer tips   Condo  
Categories: Condo   buying tips  


Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 12/18/2017

Applying for a mortgage is one of the biggest decision that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important for a first-time homebuyer to dedicate the necessary time and resources to employ the best mortgage lender – without exception.

So what does it take to hire the ideal mortgage lender? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer quickly and effortlessly choose the right mortgage lender.

1. Consider a Variety of Lenders

There is no shortage of top-notch lenders in cities and towns across the United States. Thus, a first-time homebuyer can meet with a variety of credit unions and banks to explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal.

Spend some time learning about lenders in your area. Look at each lender's experience and reputation, and you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to select the ideal lender based on your individual needs.

Furthermore, conduct face-to-face meetings with lenders. These meetings will allow you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and will make it easy for you to make an informed decision.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

When it comes to getting a mortgage for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, ask plenty of questions as you consult with assorted lenders, and you can gain the insights you need to pick a lender that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you meet with various lenders, you can get all of your mortgage concerns and queries addressed without delay.

A first-time homebuyer who asks lots of questions may be able to avoid potential financial pitfalls down the line too. In fact, this homebuyer should have no trouble selecting a great lender who can fulfill his or her mortgage needs for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – selecting a lender may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased advice to help you find the right lender in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges of obtaining a terrific mortgage, and as a result, will do everything possible to help a homebuyer discover a lender that can provide outstanding support day after day. Plus, a real estate agent can even help a homebuyer alleviate stress as he or she searches for the right lender.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the entire homebuying journey, either. Typically, a real estate agent can keep a homebuyer informed about new residences as they become available, set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller on buyer's behalf and much more.

Get the right mortgage any time you choose – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 10/16/2017

Want to transform your homeownership dream into a reality? Understanding what it takes to enter the real estate market successfully is paramount for homebuyers. With the necessary preparation, you should have no trouble purchasing your dream residence.

Ultimately, there are several steps that a homebuyer should take before he or she conducts a home search, including:

1. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market fluctuates regularly, and a buyer's market can change into a seller's market quickly. As such, you'll want to conduct sufficient real estate market research before you start your home search so you can streamline the process of finding the perfect house.

Consider where you want to live and whether you'd like to reside close to family members and friends. Also, consider how much space you'll need from a new home, along with whether you'd like to live near schools, playgrounds and other local hot spots.

Don't forget to check out the prices of a wide range of homes, either. By doing so, you may be able to determine the price range for houses that match your needs.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know exactly what you can afford as soon as you're ready to buy a house.

Banks and credit unions frequently offer a vast array of home financing options, making it simple for you to choose a mortgage that fits your budget. Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are among the most popular choices for homebuyers nationwide. Meanwhile, you may be eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as well.

Reach out to multiple banks and credit unions to pursue all of the home financing options at your disposal. This will enable you to find the best mortgage based on your individual needs and enter the housing market with financing in hand to secure your dream home.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market alone. Lucky for you, experienced real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her real estate expertise with you. This professional will educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you know what to look for when you attend an open house.

Also, an experienced real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. From the moment you spot your dream home to the day you finalize a purchase agreement, your real estate agent will offer the support that you need to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will help alleviate your homebuying concerns. And if you ever have homebuying questions, your real estate agent will provide responses at any time.

Don't settle for a subpar home – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to discovering your ideal residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips