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8 Things You Should Consider Looking At When Buying A Home, Part 2

8 Things You Should Consider Looking At When Buying A Home, Part 2

One of the biggest decisions that you will make in your life is buying a new home, for yourself or for your family. It is imperative for you stay prudent throughout the entire process. Fortunately, there are sound principles that can help you handle this task with ease.

I’ve already covered the first half of the topics here. This time, I will dive into a broader scope. Let’s take a close look at another eight things you should consider looking at when buying a home.

Use the Right Real Estate Listings Website

There are dozens of listing sites around today. It is vital for you to focus on using a credible real estate site with home listings that appeal to your area, budget, and target price. An exceptional real estate listings site will give you guides that can help you save precious time and find the home of your dreams.

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Get More Details on the Listing

A real estate listing website will give you an opportunity to see many homes for sale in your area. You should get more details on the listings that get your attention. Real estate search engines like Zillow and EstateBlock provide in-depth demographics and neighborhood information, making it easier for you to gauge if the property you are eyeing is suitable for your needs and preferences. Let’s zero in on several important questions:

  • Is the home located near schools?
  • Is the crime rate low in the area?
  • Are hospitals or clinics nearby?
  • Is the home in an area where public transportation is accessible?

The answers to these questions will help you decide if the home will be ideal for you and your family.

Know Your Realtor

A realtor plays a big role in the home-buying process. You should choose an experienced realtor that has sold homes in your targeted area. A local realtor will be in the position to offer better results. It is also important for you to choose a realtor that speaks your language.

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Inspect the Property

You cannot make a final decision without inspecting the property. A same-day showing with your realtor will give you a chance to see the home in person. Attending an open house is important because this will give you an opportunity to inspect the property. Keep in mind, though, that an open house is a selling tactic used by realtors. You and others will be invited to see the home during the same time period. Realtors use open houses to get home shoppers to compete with each other.

Take your time while inspecting the property. Look at the home’s structure, landscaping, and amenities. A thorough home inspection will let you know if the home is suitable for you and your family.

Examine the Surrounding Area

Concentrate on buying a home in an area with rising property values. Homes located near hospitals, shopping malls, and schools normally increase in market value over time. This will increase your home’s equity.

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Move-In or Fixer-Upper?

You need to determine if the house is ready to move in or if it’s a fixer-upper. A move-in house does not need any cosmetic work. It is ready for you to move in as is. A fixer-upper requires minimal to major cosmetic work, such as re-painting, repairing minor damages to wood floors, fixing roof gutter and electrical systems, etc. Unlike the seller of a move-in home, a fixer-upper seller will be easier to negotiate with.

Terms of the Payment

Does the seller want full payment? Is the seller willing to take most of their money upfront and create a second mortgage? A second mortgage allows you to pay the remaining balance owed to the seller in the form of monthly payments. You should consider dealing with a home seller that is willing to accept a second mortgage if your lender will not provide the full amount for the purchase.

Go With Your Instincts

Your instincts will let you know if you are looking at the right home. Relying upon your instincts will help you make the right decision. You should also determine how the home will be used. Will it serve as a primary residence or a vacation home? It would be a grave mistake for you to ignore your instincts!

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Buying a home will be one of the most important decisions that you will make in your life. Using the eight pointers listed above will help you buy the home of your dreams with ease.

Featured photo credit: Christian Koch via unsplash.com

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on June 22, 2018

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider consolidating multiple credit cards if possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to pay the full balance you spent each month at the very least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay extra when you can – every small amount counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a plan on how to pay extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out costs for services you do not use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get aggressive about it

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate your progress at set intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start knocking out your debt today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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