Buying a Home April 21, 2023

Biggest Home-Buying Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

One person handing a set of house keys to another.

The real estate market can be challenging to navigate when you are new to it. Even when you seek advice from others, you might get misinformed. Here are the biggest home-buying myths you shouldn’t believe.

A home inspection is not necessary

When an excellent property appears on the market, a full-on bidding war starts between the buyers. It’s not like people buy a home every day, so the frenzy they create when they see the perfect home for them is understandable. They try everything to become a top candidate for getting the said home. That usually includes submitting a higher offer or getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Sometimes people even waive their right to do a home inspection. You might get some potentially dangerous advice that a home inspection is unnecessary. Although some houses do not conceal any flaws, some may hide issues that can be costly for you to fix. So, even though the risk may pay off and get you the home of your dreams, it may also get you in financial trouble.

A man wearing a hard hat and yellow vest inspects a house door.

One of the biggest home-buying myths is that you don’t need a home inspection, which can create many costly problems for you in the future.

The down payment is always 20% of the purchase price

This statement would be correct if we changed only one word, and that is always. The down payment is usually 20% of the purchase price but not always. There are many loans and programs, especially for first-time buyers you should get familiar with. If you belong to a particular group, such as war veterans, you might even be eligible for a loan that requires a 0% down payment. You must be well informed about these things because we are discussing substantial sums of money you can save. Also, bear in mind that, as is the case with many other subject matters, loan options differ from state to state.

Down payment and closing costs are all you need to save up for

So, your neighbor Amy has told you she only paid the down payment and closing costs, and that’s it; her new life can begin. Well, that may or may not be accurate, even in theory. There are other costs you must save up for in order not to end up in an unfavorable situation. There may be specific mandatory insurance fees, and your home may be part of the HOA which insists on those. Also, you should think about the moving costs as well. For example, moving from Miami to California is not the most straightforward and cheapest endeavor. You’ll have to consider whether you leave it in the hands of pros or DIY your move. Again, you’ll need to gather detailed information regarding this topic specific to the home you are buying and the neighborhood.

A calculator and a notepad on top of various dollar bills.

Very often, down payment and closing costs are not all the expenses you’ll have to bear while buying a home.

A 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate is the best you can get

Some home-buying myths have come about due to not seeing the bigger picture. A 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate may seem like the best option. Especially when you only observe the amount you need to pay monthly. But how about the overall amount? It is never what you have asked for but a lot more. Loans with a shorter repaying period may require you to pay more each month, but you will pay significantly less. Therefore, don’t blindly fall for this myth but evaluate all your loan options properly.

One of the biggest home-buying myths: It’s better to rent than buy a home

Again, this myth has come out of people’s habit of making conclusions without considering all factors. Rent may be lower than the monthly mortgage payments. Your landlord may be an honest person you have perfect communication with. And to collect all the money you’d need for a down payment and other costs, you might need to lower some of your living standards. With that thinking, many people decide buying a home is foolish and unnecessary. There are multiple reasons why this myth is a total myth. Firstly, the rent you think is more affordable than a mortgage payment may change yearly.

On the other hand, mortgage rates are stable and fixed. Also, after a certain amount of time, let’s say three years, depending on the state and lender, your home will have a considerable amount of equity at your disposal if you decide to sell. Paid rents, on the other hand, are the money that will never come back to you in any shape or form.

Only people with perfect credit scores get approved for a loan

That is just not accurate. Besides, don’t ever assume anything regarding loans and mortgages without making real inquiries. The lenders don’t only look at your credit score, but they pay attention to its trend. They will take it as a good sign if you gradually improve it. In any case, don’t give up without trying first.

Colder months of the year are not a good time to buy a home

Spring is the most popular month in the world of real estate. That is a fact. But most people are wrong in thinking that fall and winter are unfavorable for those activities. That makes the colder period of the year less crowded in this market, so you, as a buyer, will have a better chance of getting the property you like. The real estate agent will be able to pay you a lot more attention since they will have fewer clients. Also, in this period, many sellers want to close the deal fast, so you can finalize the sale quicker and potentially at a better price.

A house buried in snow.

A colder period of the year can be a perfect time to buy a home for many reasons.


As you can see, these home-buying myths can significantly ruin your chances of scoring the property of your dreams. You should never take any information from non-experts without double-checking it first. There are so many professionals out there that will provide you with much more accurate data and help you acquire the home you want.

Ready to Sell? April 4, 2023

Home Selling Plan of Action

Action Plan Selling a Home


  1. Analyze why you are selling – If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.
  2. Prepare your home for the buyer – Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up its weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.
  3. Find a good real estate agent that understands your needs – Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.
  4. Be prepared for negotiation – Learn and understand your buyer’s situation; what are their motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.
  5. Negotiate for the best price and the best terms – Learn how to counter offer to get maximum value from every offer.
  6. Make sure the contract is accurate and complete – Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home’s defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.
Buying a Home April 4, 2023

Is Buying a Home Still a Smart Plan

Is Buying a Home Still a Smart Plan

With the burst of the housing bubble, credit crisis, and millions of foreclosures across the country, you may wonder if buying a home is such a good idea after all. However, it’s important to consider all of the facts. The important message to take away from these events is not that buying a home is a bad idea, but that you must be smart about buying your home.

The housing market, like every type of market, unavoidably has its ups and downs. That doesn’t mean buying a home is a bad investment. As a long-term investment, homeownership is still one of the best investments for individual households. Historically, real estate has consistently increased in value, despite shorter periods of depreciation due to local markets and/or national economic conditions. The data shows that homes generally appreciate about 5% per year.

Savings & Investment

Five percent may not seem like a great return on investment, but you have to think about it in the context of the situation. For example, let’s say you put 10% down on a $200,000 house. That’s a $20,000 down payment, or initial investment. At a 5% annual appreciation rate, your $200,000 home would gain $10,000 in value during the first year. Earning $10,000 on an investment of $20,000 is a whopping 50% return.

For further perspective, let’s say instead of spending that $20,000 on a down payment, you invested it in the stock market. With a 5% return, you would gain only $1,000 in profit.

Tax Benefits

So now you’re saying that a home may have a higher return, but that’s before you consider all of the costs of home ownership, such as taxes, etc. Well, think of it this way: your property taxes as well as the interest on your mortgage are both tax deductible. You can deduct those costs from your income, thus reducing your overall taxable income. In other words, the government is subsidizing your home.

Other Benefits

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the economic reasons for home ownership, but it’s important to remember that not every reason is financial. Have you ever wanted to paint the walls of your apartment? Well when you’re renting, you can’t. Has anything in your apartment ever needed updating, but the landlord refused to do it? When you own a home, you can make the space yours in almost any way you want. And you benefit when you do home improvements, both financially and psychologically. Homes generally have more space, for storage, living, etc. than other living arrangements. Not to mention that you have space outdoors for barbecuing, pets, and kids. Owning your home carries with it a sense of pride, accomplishment, and even an elevated social status.

So when you’re considering buying a home, consider the broad range of benefits that owning a home can have. And always make sure you have an experienced real estate agent and loan officer to help make sure you’re getting a home that is right for you, both financially and psychologically.

Ready to Sell? April 4, 2023

Survival Guide to Selling a Home While Living in It

Blue and white kitchen interior.

Selling your home is a stressful task, and here is an additional challenge – you are still living there. Your lifestyle will undoubtedly go through some significant changes in this transition period. You want to keep your house “yours” while making it staged and attractive to potential buyers. Every piece of advice and tip is welcome in this situation. So, here is a survival guide to what you should keep in mind when selling a home while living in it in order to do it in the most successful and least stressful way possible.

Start packing right away

Although it may sound challenging to handle it all simultaneously, you should start with multitasking right away. Good organization will save you time and mental health in the long run. Therefore, start you packing first of all. Begin with the things you won’t need in the showing process. Take a good look and get out of the house and everything you can live without while your home is on the market. Leave these at your family member’s or friend’s house, or get a storage unit. The point is to pack as much as possible and get everything else out later.

Depersonalize the space

Moving is always an excellent opportunity to do detailed decluttering and cleaning. After packing up all of the things you don’t use regularly, free some additional space by getting rid of everything you no longer want or need. It will simplify your relocation once the house is sold. Start with outworn clothes and remove the pieces you no longer like or don’t fit. Unused furniture, outdated electronics or kitchen items, expired food, medication or supplies, and unneeded papers and files should also go out without thinking twice. See what you could donate and what you should throw away.

Don’t forget to temporarily remove all personal things, family photos, artwork, and souvenirs. Also, make sure to prepare your garden – it will make a significant impact on the first impression. The lawn should be flawless, and the seating area should be inviting and cozy. The space should remain as open and neutral as possible since every buyer wants to visualize themselves living there – make this easy for them.

Clean bathroom

Make sure to depersonalize your space.

Be ready – keep it clean and staged

Keeping your home clean is crucial while it is on the market. Make sure to tidy up frequently, vacuum or sweep floors, wipe down counters and surfaces, and keep bathrooms, kitchens, mirrors, and windows spotless. You never know when a potential buyer might want to drop by for a showing, so staying on top of the cleaning is essential. By constantly keeping your house neat and ready, you will be prepared when the call comes and be able to make it perfect with minimum effort. In fact, staging your home for sale while living in it can significantly affect how interested buyers perceive it. Consider consulting a professional to assist you with this, or simply try rearranging furniture or adding decorative items to make the space look more inviting. You want to create a welcoming atmosphere that emphasizes your home’s best features.

A notebook with a to-do list

Stay organized when selling a home while living in it.

Stay organized

Creating a checklist that will help you stay well-organized in this potentially chaotic period of selling a home while living in it may be helpful. Make sure not to forget anything important during the selling process. Prepare the schedule for cleaning, decluttering, and staging. Include all family members – divide the tasks to make everything easier. Keep track and set reminders for important deadlines and appointments. Consider asking for calls and notices from interested viewers in advance – this will help you stay in control and remain the house ready for showing. And by always being prepared, you will ensure that more potential buyers get to see your property. Therefore, you increase your chances for a quick and successful sale! A good organization helps you make your move less stressful and keep you on track.

Leave the house during showings

It is advisable not to be around the house during showings. As mentioned above, it’s crucial to depersonalize your property when selling a home while living in it. You have already removed all of the items that could remind potential buyers of you – now let them sense the space as theirs. Let the experienced real estate agent do their job and conduct the showings professionally.

Meanwhile, stay prepared by keeping a bag with necessary things and knowing what you need to pack, and get ready to leave in no time when the call comes. Consider where you can spend time while the showing is in progress, for example, your favorite coffee shop or a friend’s house. It should be comfortable, so you can do something else that is important at the moment. This way, you will also ensure the showing time is productive for you.

Private sign

Take care of your private and valuable belongings.

Take care of your privacy and safety

Potential buyers may want to look around and take a peek into every corner of the house. And that is understandable since they want to get completely familiar with the space they intend to live in. Your job here is to think about your privacy, security, and peace of mind. Make sure the agent accompanies the viewer during showings. Find a safe space for personal belongings you don’t want anyone else to see, and consider how to protect your valuables best. Furthermore, you can also consider reaching out for a reliable storage service in California – you might find this useful since storage units are an excellent solution for keeping your things safe during relocation while opening up additional space in the house.

In conclusion

Selling a home while living in it is a challenge, but following this guide and setting the right approach can be done with minimal stress and maximal success. While handling all the stuff discussed here, don’t forget yourself! Set aside time to relax, recharge, and take good care of yourself. It will help you remain focused, keep a positive mindset, and move smoothly from your current home to the new one.