According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 9 out of 10 Buyers look for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features in their search for a new home. This is especially true in the north and south where extreme temperatures occur on a regular basis and homeowners in the north are bracing for this winter’s higher utility bills. Continue reading
Posted in Build Green, Choosing Green, Real Estate News
Tagged EcoBroker, energy efficiency, energy-efficient homes, environmentally friendly, green builders, LEED, NAR GREEN, National Association of Realtors, real-estate, third party certifications, USGBC
Earlier this week I attended a “Case Management” hearing with one of my Short Sale Sellers. The Seller had received a notice to appear in a room at the courthouse at 8:30 AM. As I walked down the hall to the assigned room I noticed a large number of people outside the door. Once closer I saw people flipping through page after page of names to determine where they were on the docket. It was my turn to look for my Sellers’ name even though I had seen them inside the courtroom waiting. I leafed through 13 pages of cases set for hearings the same morning, approximately 105 cases in all. I was unable to find the Sellers’ case number on the docket so I thought I would look through the dockets posted on the room next door which was supposed to be the “pre-foreclosure” courtroom. Continue reading
Photo: HGTV's FrontDoor News
Mistake #6: Buying a house you can’t afford
Just because a lender is willing to loan you more money than you thought you wanted to borrow, that doesn’t mean you should change your home buying plans. Buying more home, or anything else you really can’t afford can quickly lead to headaches, stress and money worries. Keep in mind you are buying a shelter for yourself which will probably appreciate in time but don’t forget you will still need money for other things.
As a rule of thumb, I would recommend your mortgage payment be less than 25% of your gross monthly income unless you buy an energy-efficient home or one with a HERS index rating of less than 60. Obviously, the higher your utility bills the higher that percentage gets to where it can become 40-50% of your gross monthly income. Besides your mortgage payment and utilities, you need to be prepared for additional costs of homeownership, such as homeowners insurance, property taxes and maintenance which could be more on a wood structure vs. concrete block depending on the area you buy.
Consider scaling back on the size of the home you’re looking for in order to make the whole investment fit into your budget. Keep in mind you want to own the house and not have the house own you so you can’t afford to do anything else or you take on credit card debt for vacations or emergencies.