Karen Montgomery's Blog
Ready to buy a home? You'll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.
When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:
1. What mortgage options are available?
Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.
Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll know when your mortgage's interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.
2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.
If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.
On the other hand, you don't need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.
3. How long will a mortgage last?
Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years – it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.
A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.
Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.
When it comes to finding a lender, don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.
If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.
When you’re short on space, it can be difficult to see how you could ever possibly declutter your closet. It is, after all, a convenient hiding space for all of your items that you have no idea where to put! There’s a few tips that can help you to get on the road to decluttering your closet and getting organized.
Make Things Accessible
One reason that clutter builds up is that things are not very accessible. As you’re trying to find something, items fall and become misplaced. By spreading out your organization system a bit within the closet, you’re able to see what you have and exactly where it is.
Group Like Items Together
In the same light of being able to find things that you need, grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you need. If you know that all of your haircare items are in a certain bin, you’ll be able to reach in the same spot without thinking.
Find Places You Can “Drop” Things
Closets tend to be that kind of space where we just drop things and forget about them. We always think “I’ll deal with it later.” When later never comes, we end up with quite a cluttered closet. Keep baskets or trays handy in the closet in order to keep things that you may empty out of your pockets or put away at a later time. This way you’ll only have to clean out one basket instead of the entire closet.
Make Use Of Drawers
Drawers are incredibly useful in a closet space. You can place a dresser in the closet if space permits. If you don’t have room for a dresser, you may want to create your own drawer units. For an alternative option of storing things, try installing shelving units and placing baskets across the shelves, giving the illusion of drawers.
Everything that you do to organize your closet should have the goal of keeping tidiness in mind. If the closet is a walk-in, you’ll organize it much differently than if you have a smaller space. No matter the size of the closet, you’ll want to divide the space into zones of sorts. This way, you’ll know where everything goes and how to keep it neat.
Light The Space
Without adequate lightning in the closet, it’s pretty difficult to find what you’re looking for, no matter how organized you are. If your closet doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you’ll need to install some lighting. Whether you put in overhead bulbs, or install touch- activated portable lights, the brighter the better when it comes to your closet. Be sure that there’s lights in key areas like darker corners where the main light source doesn't reach.
Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.
Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:
1. Create a List of Questions
A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.
There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research
The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.
In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.
Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.
One problem that just about every homeowner faces is that of a lack of storage space. There’s plenty of hidden storage spaces in your home that you may be overlooking. Sometimes you have to get creative with the space that you do have. Here, we’ll give you some hints and idea as to where you can store things without moving anything in your home.
It’s very easy to extend the shelving in your home upward. If you look up, and there’s a lot of empty space, there’s a lot of possibilities for storage. You can add shelving directly to the wall or replace smaller shelving units with taller ones. Keep a step stool handy in order to reach any items that you may need access to.
The Stairs Go Further Than Up
If you have large spaces under staircases that you aren’t using, you’re missing out on major possibilities for storage. There are ways that you can make an under-the-stairs closet space. You can install shelving and fit a door over the area, completely transforming it. If a door won’t work for you, try a room screen or even a curtain. The best part is that anything you store in the space will be concealed and easily accessed.
Redesign Your Closet
Closets tend to become overfilled quickly. If you peer inside of the closet and see a bunch of wasted space, there's some opportunity for reorganization there. You can add shelving to the back of the closet for additional storage. You can also move rods and other shelving around in order to add more practical space to put things.
Look Under The Cabinets
There’s plenty of storage space under your cabinets. You should get stackable storage bins for under the bathroom sink, for example. It’s a great place to keep extra toothpaste, cleaning supplies, and soap. In the kitchen, be sure that every cabinet has a purpose. Use a spice rack to keep herbs and spices in order. You can use something as simple as a towel bar and install it on a cabinet door to organize pot lids.
Use Your Doors
There’s plenty of clever and inexpensive things that can be used to organize your things using closet and room doors. Everything from hanging baskets to shoe racks and bags can be easily installed just by hanging a unit over the door.
Find The Nooks
Just about everyone has a space in between their fridge and a wall. Depending upon how much space you actually have, you can do some incredible things with this space. Consider every option from a broom closet to a mini pantry that rolls out.
The most important part of organization and storage is that you find what you need easily. Use the above tips to create your own unique storage spaces within your home.