Archive for the ‘buying a home’ Category

Types of Condos



There are several reasons that condominiums have been growing in popularity over the last few years in NJ. Many people prefer the security and sense of community that are associated with condominiums while others are drawn to this real estate purchase because of its cost effectiveness. An owner does have to perform minor maintenance on a condo, but they typically do not have the added responsibility of doing yard work. These are some of the main reasons that people purchase condos. When a condo is purchased it is a collective ownership. There are three different types of condo ownerships. Continue reading

Benefits of Buying a Condo



There are several options available when looking for a home to purchase; and most agree that purchasing is better than renting in almost every circumstance. The traditional detached residence may be one of the most popular choices, but purchasing a condominium can be a better option over renting an apartment or buying a more traditional home. There are several different types of condos but most of them look like a regular house or a townhouse. Here are a few of the advantages that are associated with purchasing a condo.

The Advantage of Community

There is a social aspect to owning a condominium. You and your neighbors become a sort of community, and since they are purchasing their condo too it is possible to develop long term relationships with them. There is a sense of shared ownership so there can be quite a bit of socialization between the owners. When you need to go on a business or leisure trip, you can rest easy knowing that there is someone close by who would alert you or the police should anything look out of the normal.

Maintenance Advantages

Condo owners do not typically have to mow their lawns, they do not have to clean the gutters or pay landscapers. Usually, the property management company takes care of these sorts of things for the owners. Roofing, house painting and cleaning the pool are not the owner’s responsibility. You will not even have to shovel your own sidewalk in most cases. Living mostly maintenance free is one of the biggest things that appeals to those who choose to purchase a condo.

Easy on the Budget

Most of the time a condominium is much less per square foot than the purchase price of a detached residential home. Condos do have a very wide price range, but they are usually more affordable than single home dwellings of other types. The monthly mortgage is many times much less than what is paid for renting an apartment. Choosing a condo is easier on the budget than most other options. And there is no lease with a property management company. This just means you do not have to make a choice periodically whether you are moving or staying. It’s much more permanent.

Other Financial Advantages

When you pay for a condominium, you are paying a mortgage. This means that the payment will include interest which is tax deductible. Even though the dwelling is a condo, you are still a homeowner which gives you the same advantages as those who own traditional homes. Since you are making a mortgage payment with the hope of one day paying the loan off, you are investing in real estate. If you desire, you can make improvements by different home remodeling projects that can help increase the value of your home. Of course this is to ensure that you make a profit when it comes time to sell it later. Just get a property appraisal before you get it ready to put on the market. This will give you a good idea of how much the improvements were actually worth.

Should I Replace the Locks when I Move into a New Home?



When you move into a new residence of any sort it is pretty certain that there are plenty of other people who have made copies of the keys used on the locks. Think about the last place you lived, how many people did you give keys to so that they could easily access your home? There are several reasons why you may want to call the locksmith to have the locks changed out on your new home.

Why Change the Locks?

No matter where your new residence is, it is imperative that the locks be changed out once you move in. Some types of locks may require a locksmith to exchange the locks; while others can be done yourself. You will need to stay with the same kind of lock, or just have it rekeyed if it is possible. Deadbolt locks are tubular and when they are replaced you will want to use the same type of tubular lock. It is not the best idea to try to drill new lock holes as it can be unattractive; or it can compromise the door’s integrity. Sometimes several of the exterior doors have been keyed so that they all require the same key. In this case it is best to have a locksmith rekey them.  The older locks should be changed as it is uncertain if they have been picked, jimmied or previously broken in to. Since you are not certain about the lock’s integrity, it is best to maximize your safety and install totally new locks. Continue reading

Affordable mortgage through VA loan

  • Guest post By, Kevin KaiserKevin Kaiser works with VA Mortgage Center, helping to provide VA loans for veterans and military members, he has done this for over a year.

    After all they have done to serve our country, veterans deserve some service in return. VA loans were created to serve those who have served. Flexible and financially beneficial, VA loans turn houses into homes for veterans across the country.

    The program offers huge benefits to eligible veterans. The loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, so approved VA loan lenders have much more flexibility when preparing their loans. The biggest advantage that stems from this is that there are no down payments. The loan limit is $417,000 for most parts of the country (higher in more expensive areas), which means veterans can buy a home of that price without putting down a single dollar.
    With VA loans, veterans enjoy lower monthly payments as well. This saves borrowers substantial amounts of money. Other VA loan benefits include:

    • Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required
    • Loan interest rates are generally .5%-1% lower than those of conventional loans
    • Sellers can pay up to 6 percent of closing costs and concessions
    • Borrowers face no penalties for prepaying on their loans

    VA loans are open only to certain veterans, however. To be eligible for a VA loan, you must have done one of the following:

    • Served 181 days during peacetime
    • Served 3 months during wartime
    • Served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
    • Be the spouse of someone who died in service

    Overall, the lending rules and qualification measures are much more lenient than conventional loans simply because VA loans are backed by the government. This allows veterans with lower credit and higher debt to income ratio to still qualify for loans. 8 out of 10 VA loan borrowers could not have qualified for a conventional loan, demonstrating how much VA loans really do help veterans.

    Once you qualify and have your certificate of eligibility, what can you use your VA loan for? You can use it to buy, build, repair, refinance, alter, or improve a home. You can also use it to refinance certain existing loans (VA-guaranteed or direct) or buy a farm residence. As long as the loan is used towards your primary residence and you do not use it to buy land or investment properties, you are good to go.

    VA loans are clearly meant to help veterans become homeowners. Every veteran deserves to have a home to call their own, and VA loans are there to help this become a reality.

  • How to choose a home

    Choosing the right home for your specific needs is a crucial element in the purchasing of a home. Location, size, your lifestyle needs, and the price of your home should be considered when choosing to buy a new home. These elements should be evaluated at the present time and for the future. Your needs may change in the future and that is just as important as your current needs when making a long term commitment such as buying a home.

    Location should be considered when purchasing a home for many reasons. For example, if you travel often you may want to consider living near a family member or a friend so that house sitting is an easier option or living near an airport so that you have convenient access to the airport. Do you have children or plan to have children in the near future? Some school districts perform better then others districts do, this would be a good reason to purchase a home in a favorable school district.

    Equally important is the size of the home you are looking to purchase. Family size, present and future, should be considered when it comes to the number of bedrooms your home is equipped with and the living space provided in the home you choose. Do you have pets? You may want a larger yard for your pet’s needs? Do you work from home? A quiet office space may be something to look for in a new home.


    As for the price, the overall price of your home, the monthly mortgage payments, and your home owner expenses should all be factored when choosing a home. As discussed in Deciding to buy your home, “homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance, home association fees, property tax, and maintenance and improvement cost are added expenses for many home owners.” Make sure the home you choose is affordable in all areas of cost for you, as the home owner.

    Doing your research and choosing the right home in regards to location, size and price will lead you to a successful home ownership. Buying a home is a huge step and a big responsibility. Choosing the right home for your needs is very important for that reason, this huge step should be one that brings you comfort knowing you’ve made a great investment in a home that is ideal for your needs.

    Deciding to buy your first home (what should go into the decision?)

    There are many factors to consider when deciding to buy your first home. The time has to be right for the purchase of a new home and the right time to purchase a new home isn’t dependant only upon how the market is in your area. The right time to buy your first home is also dependant on your current life circumstances. Meaning, before buying a home you must do your homework and see if this life changing decision is currently the right decision for your situation.

    When purchasing a home you must consider your work history, credit history, savings, and affordability. Some questions to consider:

    • Have you had steady income in the past two years, and if you haven’t what has caused your employment to not be steady?
    • Has your income fluctuated, and why?
    • Do you have a history in paying your bills on time?
    • Have you defaulted on loans previously?
    • What does your credit report show, is it favorable?
    • Do you have a savings account, and how much have you saved?
    • Can you afford a mortgage at the present time?

    After considering the questions above, remember that you must consider added cost as a home owner. Homeowner’s Insurance, private mortgage insurance, home association fees, property tax, and maintenance and improvement cost are added expenses for many home owners. Are these cost that you will be able to afford as a new home owner?

    After reviewing the information I have listed you should know if today is the right time for you to act on purchasing your first home. Is today the right time for you to be a first time home owner or is it best in your personal situation to continue to rent a home? Please share by commenting how you are ready to buy a home or how you could better prepare yourself to purchase your first home. Others can better prepare themselves in buying their first home by learning from the information I provided and by your personal examples shared.