First Time Homeowner Common Mistakes

Finally, you’ve found your  first dream home and you’re about to start the buying process. You are excited to own your FIRST HOME.  Hols off a moment….. The property may seem to be perfect now, but you need to make sure there are no surprises once you own it.  The common mistakes first time owners miss are many.  But important questions that needs to be addressed before placing an offer:




How old is the roof? Depending on the type of roof that’s installed, if done right it can last anywhere from 20 years to 50 years. But at some point, it will need to be replaced, and it’s important to know about how long you have left, so you can be prepared.

Any problems with termites? If there’s ever been an infestation, it’s the previous owner’s responsibility to tell you, and provide proof that it’s been taken care of. But you also should know what caused the infestation. If the conditions are still there (e.g. soft rotting wood), you might expect another one before long if the situation isn’t dealt with. Check if the home is under termite warranty/protection

How much are utilities? How much can you expect to pay in an average month? What are the peak months? Knowing this will help you budget your own electricity and gas usage, and even figure out ways of keeping costs down.

How old are the appliances? Home appliances like HVAC systems and garage door openers that come with the house should all work properly. Find out if there are any warranties still active on them and how much trouble you can expect them to give.

How much insulation is there? Most houses are insulated, but few are insulated enough, and that can cost you a lot in the energy department. Check the attic and see if you need more insulation, how much, and what kind. Also check to see if there are any air leaks or ductwork leaks that need to be sealed, as they can waste serious energy as well.

How big is the water heater? Will there be enough hot water to meet your family’s daily needs?

For more insight on home ownership and how to avoid common mistakes of the first time home owner, contact us at ZRI Realty to learn all of the right questions to ask before buying a home.

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Misconceptions about Real Estate.

Popular misconceptions about real estate make many people hesitant to get into the home-buying or -selling process.

When it comes to buying and selling homes, conventional wisdom has its flaws. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, don’t let the following conventional wisdom stop you.

You need 20 percent or more down to buy a home

This is the biggest misconception for millennials, who are often burdened with huge student loans but still want to be homeowners.

After the credit and housing crisis, it became very difficult to get a mortgage. Lenders were strict, and financing killed deal after deal.

Today, however, it is possible to get a low with as little as three percent down.

But while lending standards have loosened you still must have great credit, verifiable income and assets to back you up. But not necessarily need a 20-percent or more down payment.

Home value is whatever the appraiser says it is

The market value of a home is determined by what willing and able buyers and sellers agree on in an open market and arm’s length transaction.

Other than that, a homeowner or would-be seller can only rely on a recent appraisal for a bank refinance.

It’s helpful to understand that a home’s appraised value typically comes in below the market value. Factors such as views, finishes, fixtures or neighborhood specifications can affect your home’s appraisal.

 Spring is the best time to sell a home

Traditionally, many buyers come to the market in the spring to secure a new home before the start of the following school year in September. This decades-long trend has made people think spring is the best time to list a home for sale.

But not all buyers today are families with kids. Buyers are single , people who are downsizing, baby boomers and people who don’t need — nor care — about the school calendar.

The best time to sell your home is when inventory is low, and that’s the dead of winter. Later in the year is better because buyers are still home shopping through the holiday season.

 Real estate agent have been replaced by online portals

Today it’s more important than ever to have a great  real estate agent  on your team. And there’s no cost to you, so why not get an experienced pro on your side?

It’s no longer about agents having access to the proprietary data — it’s all out there. But since buying a home is such an infrequent transaction in your life, you need someone through the process who knows the market, understands the process and can act as an adviser to help you interpret the data.

And buying a home is not just a financial transaction. It involves emotions and sentiments, and you’ll want a professional to help diffuse the feelings, navigate the ups and downs, and steer you in the right direction.

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Downpayment for Buying First Home an uphill task

A first-time home buyer earning an average income in Florida needs 22.64 years to accumulate a 10 percent downpayment for a median price home, according to a new analysis from Builder.

Households in Hawaii need more time to save up for a downpayment – 26.79 years.

Rule of thumb dictates that households should not spend more than 28 percent of their gross income on total housing expenses. Its  calculated how much of that 28 percent is spent on rent every month in each state to pinpoint the balance that people would be contributing to a downpayment savings account each month.

Overall, an average U.S. family needs almost eight years to save a downpayment, according to its calculations.


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Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Programs by HUD

Law enforcement officers, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program. HUD offers a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. In return you must commit to live in the property for 36 months as your sole residence.

The Neighbor Next Door initiatives are a collection of FHA’s home sales programs designed to help communities and promote homeownership.
Eligible Single Family homes located in revitalization areas are listed exclusively for sale through the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program. Properties are available for purchase through the program for seven days.

Check the listings for your state. Follow the instructions to submit your interest in purchasing a specific home. If more than one person submits an offer on a single home a selection will be made by random lottery. You must meet the requirements for a law enforcement officer, teacher, firefighter or emergency medical technician and comply with HUD’s regulations for the program.
HUD requires that you sign a second mortgage and note for the discount amount. No interest or payments are required on this “silent second” provided that you fulfill the three-year occupancy requirement.
The number of properties available is limited and the list of available properties changes weekly.
To learn more, please see check Good Neighbor Sales Frequently Asked Questions!

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