Tag Archives: home

3 Steps You Need to Take Before Buying a Home

Buying a HouseBuying a brand new home is one of the most substantial purchases you’ll ever be making in your whole life. That’s why you should be fully prepared before you go through the process of finding a house. This includes being ready for all the financial obligations that come with it.

To help you ready yourself for this big decision and avoid making any big mistake, here are some things you should keep in mind, recommends Altius Mortgage Group.

Build Your Credit Score Up

Credit score is an important factor for banks and lenders when trying to assess how much loan you can get. That’s why it’s important to make sure your credit score is as good as possible, so you can increase the amount of loan you are qualified for and get a better house. If you have bad credit right now, change your spending habits and pay your credit card bills on time to slowly but surely improve it before you approach different lenders.

Visit Various Lenders

After building your credit score up, the next thing you should do is visit different lenders for a consultation. This way, you can find the best mortgage rate that is available to you. Don’t just settle with the first lender you visit because other banks might have a better rate for you. After visiting, compare each of the offers you have, including the interest rate and the overall pros and cons of each one.

Create a Checklist

You need to consider a lot of factors to make sure you’re buying the right Salt Lake City home for your needs. That’s why you need to create a checklist of your needs and preferences. Rank them based on their importance. This way, you can assess each house you visit based on your checklist. That’s how you pick the right house for you and not through impulse or emotion.

These are just some of the things you need to do when buying a home to prevent regretting your choice down the road.

Single-family Homes Are Getting Bigger, And There’s No Slowing Down

Home Builder in UtahThere are only two realities when talking about homes in the U.S. First, they’re typically expensive. Second, they’re getting bigger — perhaps a lot bigger than they used to be years ago. Data from the National Association of Home Builders state that 66 years ago, homes were a mere 983 square feet on average. In 2015, the average number ballooned to 2,720 square feet.

A quick look at the sites of various custom home builders, including Keystone Construction, makes this evident. According to experts, the average numbers are climbing since higher-end homes are included. This market in particular is experiencing massive growth. Homes that are about 5,000-8,000 sq ft seem to be ‘mass-produced’: built quickly on small lots and packed together closely. They’re ingeniously called ‘McMansions’ because of this – reminiscent of how fast food restaurants churn out orders.

Larger Homes, Smaller Lots

There’s another trend at play here. While homes are getting bigger, lots are doing the opposite. Data from Zillow show a steady decline in lot area from 2010 onwards, with actual structure square footage climbing up. According to Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell, Americans may be able to afford a bigger home, but sizeable lots are still out of reach, especially those near job centers.

Strong Housing Market? Not Exactly

According to the Wall Street Journal, bigger homes don’t mean a stronger market. It’s because new construction is leaning towards the high-end spectrum, and that builders are looking to entice young buyers at lower price points. This, in turn, opens up the market for pricier properties. Land prices also affected builders lately — since lots are more expensive, starter homes aren’t much of a priority for builders.


It’s because a good number of Americans can afford it, according to Investopedia. There’s really no reason to hold back if one can afford it. But, this often comes with the smaller lot tradeoff for most. Furthermore, interest rates on mortgages (which hit record-lows recently) and aggressive marketing of high-end homes add fuel to the fire.

Home Remodeling: Where to Get Financing

Home Loan in Salt Lake CityOwning your own home is one of the life’s greatest joys since you can do absolutely anything with it — add a swimming pool, make it more home efficient, and add more rooms among others. However, all these come at a significant cost. Fortunately for you, you can opt to take out a home improvement or remodel loan so you can obtain some money for your grand remodeling plans.

The Most Basic Home Improvement Loan Types

According to American Loans, home improvement loans come in two basic types — those requiring a down payment and those that use your home equity. Mortgage loans that the equity on a home as collateral are among the most common and provide the highest amounts. However, the majority of lenders require borrowers to maintain a 15% equity after the remodel loan, says Salt Lake City mortgage officer, so you will require a relatively huge amount of home equity in order to qualify.

You can likewise opt to take out a loan and pay off the down payment instead of using your home equity as collateral. However, if you don’t like tying up your home equity, you may be offered a loan with a smaller amount, but a higher interest. Regardless of which loan type you choose, always shop around for the best deal you can get.

While your current mortgage lender is an obvious option, it might not be the best idea for you. To ensure that you’ll get the best deal, compare offers from different lenders, which include your current mortgage lender. Additionally, note that applying for a couple of loans or asking for pre-approval will not put a dent in your credit rating because major credit bureaus collate similar loan applications into only one inquiry. It will actually aid you in finding the best loan terms and most favorable interest rate.

If you are really intent on doing your home improvement plan, take careful consideration on how you’ll fund it. Using your home equity may be the most economical choice, considering that you have ample equity and are sure that you won’t risk losing your home by missing monthly payments. In some cases, however, personal remodel loans will actually make more sense as long as you look around for great deals and are sure you can afford it.

Make Your Home Elderly-Friendly with these Top Strategies

Elderly-Friendly HomeAs the Health Care Associates and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has cited, approximately one million over the age of 65 account for a huge percentage of hospital emergency rooms due to injuries caused by products in their household. And this number is just for the elderly people.

The primary causes of injuries in home sustained by older people

Of all the injuries that older individuals sustain in their own homes, slips, trips, and falls are the most common. Carpets and rugs are often the culprits for slips and trips, as well as anything else in the form of small items cluttered around the home.

Burns and scalding from open flames and hot tap or shower water also make it to the list of common injuries among seniors.

You should also note that the bathroom poses the greatest hazard in elderly people, especially when it comes to using the bathtub or the shower. Without the right tools and support, they can easily slip and fall, resulting in sprains, strains, fractures, and worse, concussions.

Creating a safety checklist for households with elderly occupants

Many of the things that pose hazards to elderly individuals are easy to overlook. Fortunately, they are also easy to fix. You can prevent these dangers by simply creating a checklist enumerating the areas in your home that pose the highest risk for these accidents. The bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and living room should all make it to this list.

Additions you should make for a more elderly-friendly home

Investing in a bathtub for elderly use is one of the greatest additions you can make to your home to prevent slips and falls that can cause serious injuries. Installing safety bars, grab rails, and safety rails in the bathroom and stairs will also help considerably minimize the risks of accident-causing injuries. You should also replace your existing carpeting and rugs with slip-resistant products.

With the right knowledge and the use of elderly-friendly fixtures and furnishings, you can make your home a safe haven for your older loved ones.

The Four M’s to Having a Small But Comfortable Home


Small Home Having a small starter home is becoming more and more popular for newlyweds, single executives and even families of three. You may have to adjust a bit after living in a larger rental home, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Experts from Urban Homes say that you can maximise the potential of your home with the right elements.

Here are some suggestions for creating more space for your future small house.

Minimise Furnishings – The best part of having a small home is that you can choose not to buy excessive furniture or large appliances. Having minimal furnishings in your home also means less electrical consumptions, less maintenance fees and fewer repairs to be made. This also means you have fewer items that need to be cleaned or dusted.

Maximise Functions – When your initial small block home designs show limited space, you would tend to buy multi-functional furniture, appliances and equipment. Sofa beds, portable gyms and multi-purpose kitchen equipment are but a few of these examples. Look up for other items online that has multiple uses which you feel would help you greatly in your new starter home.

Modernise Everything – A small Brisbane home would usually require modern upgrades to make it more energy-efficient. Install the latest in energy saving appliances and you would definitely save up on your utility bill. The good news is, most of the equipment and appliances are designed to fit into tiny spaces since space saving is one of the features that can be sold.

Multiply Storage – Small house designs use up all its space wisely even going as far as using higher parts of the walls, under the stairs and other unused areas as storage places. The more reputable and experienced construction companies can personalize your storage areas depending on your specifications.

Living compact doesn’t mean you have to live in a stuffy and uncomfortable environment. With the many ingenious ways of ‘expanding’ your limited residence, you will find your starter house a wonderful place to go home to. Always remember, big surprises come in small packages and your upcoming home is proof of that.

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Living Room Look and Feel More Alive

Living Room

Living RoomYour living room should be a spacious, comfortable, and fun area for the whole family and also for your house guests. This is where you’ll spend most of your time to bond as a family and also to entertain your visitors. That’s why the area should always be clean, inviting, and pleasing to the eyes.

If it’s been a while since you last reorganized or updated your living room, here are some suggestions for you to make it look better.

Use Modern Lighting

What better way to make your living room more inviting than a modern take on lighting? Chandeliers come in so many shapes and sizes these days that there’s no limit to your imagination. Pick something that’s out of the box but still fits the overall mood of your living room. This can also serve as the space’s focal point.

Buy More Innovative Appliances

More and more appliances are now available for the convenience and entertainment of everybody when hanging out in the living room. This includes flat screen LED TVs, surround sound systems, portable karaoke microphones, gaming consoles, and more! The choices are limitless; it just depends on what you like. When shopping for state-of-the-art appliances Fayetteville offers, visit more than one shop to compare prices and end up with a great deal.

Create an Open Space for Activities

There should be a readily available open space in your living room so your family and guests can enjoy some fun games or other activities when the need arises. It can be at the center of the room or on one side. A perfect way to achieve this is by having an easily movable center table and a rug underneath it. Just move the table and let everyone sit on the rug and play board games, mind games, and the like.

These tips will definitely make your living room more of a sanctuary for everyone coming in your home. With these, you can have more bonding options with the whole family or with your visitors.

To Build or Not to Build: Are Conservatories a Good Addition to Your Home?

Home Extension

Home ExtensionHomeowners planning to build an extension for their home may build a conservatory for its unique design. Apart from the extra living space and value, it lets your home get additional natural light, which can save you from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the colder season.

Before calling a contractor, however, you need to have an idea about its construction. Here are some things to take note of:

The Purpose

Joinery For All Seasons noted that conservatories could serve as a recreation and relaxation area, a mini indoor garden, an office or a dining area. It costs an average of £10,000 or even higher, depending on the materials and design to accomplish. As it is mostly made of glass, homeowners need to be mindful of the things they will put in it. The absence of window treatments like blinds allows burglars to see what items they can take from your home.

Rules and Regulations

If you do not want to get into trouble during and after the construction of your conservatory, it is best to identify the regulations you need to follow. From the size to the position, you need to take note which structural element limitations are applicable in your area.

Planning and building regulations resource, Planning Portal, has listed the conditions for England. They noted that the coverage of the conservatory should be no more than 50% of the land surrounding the original house—its size when it was first built. The maximum height for the conservatory should not be higher than the house, either. In some cases, regulations are not necessary if you decided to build it separately from the house, when it is at ground level and is occupying less than 30 square metres.

A conservatory can be a remarkable addition to your home. All you need is to take note of its purpose and the regulations regarding its construction to avoid problems in the future.

Don’t Let Your Swimming Pool Become a Death Trap

Swimming Pool

Swimming PoolEvery year, thousands of American families go through heartbreaking pool tragedies, including near-fatal and fatal drowning of young children. Most of these swimming pool injuries and tragedies took place in the backyard of homes. The unfortunate thing about this is homeowners could have easily prevented these incidents.

Preventing Pool Injuries and Death in Your Home

Barriers come in the form of a wall or fence, pool safety cover, and door alarms for the home. While these are not completely childproof, these barriers can offer significant protection for children when adult supervision is not available. They offer adults extra time to locate a child before a potentially tragic incident takes place. Because of this, these safety additions must be near equipment, structures, and similar items that small children can use to climb over the barrier.

Pool fencing makes a practical addition to homes. If you’re planning a pool fence DIY plan, the height of the barrier must be around four to five feet.

If a part of your home serves as one side of the pool barrier, the people behind GreatFence.com recommend installing door alarms on every door that leads to the swimming pool area. Make sure that all doors have self-latching and self-closing locks that small children can’t easily reach.

Pool covers can add another extra protection. Maintain the covers properly and make sure the controls are not accessible to children.

Some Crucial Points to Remember

A swimming pool barrier system prevents children from getting under or over it; this keeps them away from the pool area, unless under the supervision of adults. Some states have specific pool safety policies that you must adhere to, so make sure you are aware of the specific rules in your area.

As effective as they are, these pool barriers shouldn’t be a substitute for adult supervision. As a parent, you are responsible for the welfare of your children.

Should You Apply for a Fixed-Rate Mortgage or an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?

mortgage in St. George

mortgage in St. GeorgeWhen planning for the financing of your first home, one of the things you need to think about is the type of mortgage you will be getting. With all the special options offered by lenders, this subject can be overwhelming to someone who is not too familiar with financial matters.

To give you a background, here are two of the common mortgage options you will encounter:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

This fixed-rate mortgage accounts for as much as 90% of all home loans in the United States. This type of mortgage has the same interest rate for the whole term of your loan. For instance, your periodic payment will remain the same if you get a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

With this type of mortgage, you have an idea of how much you will be paying for the duration of your loan. This provides you more freedom in planning the budget for your home’s financing.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), or floating-rate mortgage, is the opposite of a fixed-rate loan. Under this type, interest rates can change during the loan term. This means your payment may go up or down, depending on the current rates. Borrowers may obtain lower rates at the start of the mortgage, which, in turn, allows them to qualify for bigger loans. Some mortgage companies in St. George may offer loan terms for one, five, or seven years.

An adjustable-rate mortgage also has variations. One of the common variations is the interest-only loan. In type of arrangement, a borrower may only pay for the interest during the initial period until it reverts to the fixed type.

The right mortgage will depend on a number of factors, such as your needs, current financial condition, and even your plans for the house. Each loan type has its own benefits, so you have to be thorough with your choice.