Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 10/14/2018

When youíre buying a home, thereís a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, youíll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.  


The Expense Of Closing Costs


Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, youíll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a sellerís market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much youíll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that youíll incur during the process of buying a home.  


The Cost Of Maintaining A House


Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, youíll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, thereís not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house. 


The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home


You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more. 


Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny


If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If youíre not paying attention during the home inspection, youíll be in for some surprises. Thatís why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.           





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 10/7/2018

Youíve been thinking it for a while: ďI really should start putting some money aside for a down payment.Ē But, you just canít seem to find any wiggle room in your budget.

Youíre not alone. Saving for a down payment isnít easy. Especially if youíve got rent, car payments, student loans, and are trying to put money aside for retirement.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about how to make a game plan for your down payment. This way, you can start saving immediately, bringing you closer to your goal of homeownership each day.

Step 1: Give each dollar a job

The first rule of budgeting is that you need to know where each dollar you earn ends up. From there, you can start re-allocating funds to the things you want to save for.

There are many apps and tools available to help you out with this process, including YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. If apps arenít your thing, you can always use a simple spreadsheet.

First, account for all of your income. This could include your salary, rental income, or other forms of money that you have coming in.

Next, detail each of your weekly and monthly expenses. Everything from groceries to the internet bill and retirement contributions.

Step 2: Reassess your expenses

Now itís time to make some tough decisions. Are there ways you can cut down on your weekly or monthly expenses? Maybe you arenít using that Amazon Prime membership as much as you thought you would. Or, maybe youíve decided you donít really watch anything on cable but the news. There are a number of ways one might cut back on their monthly bills.

Get creative with family plans, bulk shopping for food, or cooking budget-friendly meals. All of these savings will add up quickly.

Step 3: Pay off small debts with high interest

Letís face it, if you have thousands of dollars in student loans, you might not be able to aggressively pay them down by the time you want to move out of your apartment.

But, for small debts (under $1,000 credit card debt, for example), you could save more in the long run by paying them off and avoiding interest payments.

Step 4: Be smart about your savings

With the right savings account and credit card, you can earn money through savings interest and through cashback rewards on credit cards.

First, find a savings account with the highest possible interest rate. These can often be found from choosing an online bank who doesnít have the overhead of running branches.

Next, direct deposit a set amount of your paycheck each week into that savings account. This way, you can be sure that you wonít dip into your down payment savings.

To generate additional income, you can use cash back rewards from credit cards for things like groceries and gas. Choose a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards for things like groceries and gas purchases. The key here is to only use your credit card on necessities and to always pay off the card in full at the end of each month.

If you follow these four steps, you should be able to streamline your down payment savings process and start saving right now.




Categories: down payment   savings plan  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/30/2018

If you want to sell a house in a buyer's market, it pays to allocate the necessary time and resources to differentiate your home listing from others. Because if you create an informative and engaging home listing, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your residence, even in a buyer's market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you differentiate your home listing in a buyer's market.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

In a buyer's market, a homebuyer has no shortage of high-quality residences at his or her disposal. As such, you'll want to consider how a buyer may approach your residence and tailor your house listing accordingly.

Think about what led you to purchase your residence in the first place. Then, you can create a home listing that highlights your house's distinct features.

For example, if your home boasts a large, luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you may want to include details about it in your home listing. Or, if your house is located just minutes from many popular attractions, you may want to incorporate this information into your house listing.

2. Be Honest with Buyers

Your goal as a home seller is to craft a house listing that showcases your residence's features. At the same time, you'll want to be honest with buyers to help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your home.

A detailed home listing that includes accurate information about your house is paramount. Because if your listing is misleading or inaccurate, it may cause problems down the line.

Remember, any problems with a house likely will be identified during a home inspection, a key step in the homebuying process. And if you try to hide these issues, it may slow down or stop a home sale from happening. Conversely, if you are honest with buyers from the beginning, you can make it easy for them to determine whether your residence is the right choice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A buyer's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of where you live. Luckily, real estate agents are available to assist sellers in any buyer's market, at any time.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can craft a home listing that hits the mark with the right groups of homebuyers. In fact, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling journey and help you identify and address any hurdles along the way.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then can help you put together an in-depth home listing that highlights the key features of your house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will share this home listing with dozens of buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Ready to list your house in a buyer's market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can create a top-notch home listing that helps your residence stand out from the competition.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/23/2018

If you want to buy or sell a home, hiring a real estate agent is a must. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble getting the best results.

A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of the housing market and ensure you can make informed buying or selling decisions. In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you throughout each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.

Although many real estate agents are available nationwide, it is important to remember that not all of these housing market professionals possess the same communication skills. And if you hire a real estate agent who is an ineffective communicator, you may miss out on opportunities to buy your dream home or get the best price for your current residence.

Ultimately, there are many signs that a real estate agent is a great communicator, including:

1. A real estate agent keeps in touch with clients via emails, phone calls and texts.

A real estate agent who understands the importance of effective communication will be able to stay in contact with you via emails, phone calls and texts. This housing market professional is happy to work with you in any way possible, and as such, is ready to lend a helping hand time and time again.

Furthermore, a great communicator understands the importance of timely, accurate messages. This means a real estate agent who strives to maintain open lines of communication should have no trouble keeping you informed throughout the homebuying or home selling cycle.

2. A real estate agent listens to your concerns and questions.

Let's face it Ė buying or selling a home can be stressful, particularly if you're operating in a competitive housing market. Lucky for you, a real estate agent who acts as a great communicator can listen to your concerns and questions and help you alleviate stress.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to assist a homebuyer or home seller. He or she also recognizes the importance of active listening and respond to your concerns and queries instantly. That way, this housing market professional can do whatever it takes to help you remain calm, cool and collected as you buy or sell a home.

3. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest.

Although the homebuying or home selling journey should be simple, problems sometimes may arise. However, a real estate agent who serves as a great communicator will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you overcome any challenges.

A real estate agent is proud to assist his or her clients. At the same time, this housing market professional is unafraid to deliver bad news. Therefore, a real estate agent who is an effective communicator can share good and bad news with clients, provide consistent support and help clients mitigate homebuying or home selling problems as quickly as possible.

Employ a real estate agent who is a great communicator, and you can work with a housing market professional who can help you overcome the challenges associated with buying or selling a home.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/16/2018

A successful home search enables you to discover your dream residence at a budget-friendly price. However, conducting a successful house search may be difficult, particularly for individuals who fail to prepare for the homebuying journey. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to prevent problems as you search for your ideal home.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you complete a successful home search.

1. Refine Your Homebuying Criteria

Think about where you want to reside. That way, you can focus on available houses in your preferred cities and towns Ė something that will allow you to speed up your quest to find your dream home.

Also, consider your homebuying must-haves. If you have always wanted to own a house with a spacious backyard, for instance, you can hone your home search accordingly. On the other hand, if you require a home that features multiple bedrooms, you can search for a residence that matches your expectations.

2. Establish a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget is crucial because it helps you understand exactly how much you can spend on a house. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start your house search with a budget in hand.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Then, you can find out how different types of mortgages work and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

In addition, ask questions about home financing. Banks and credit unions are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection. If you analyze your home financing options closely, you can choose a mortgage that will serve you well both now and in the future.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent takes the guesswork out of a home search. In fact, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can discover your ideal residence without delay.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent makes it easy for a homebuyer to find a terrific house at an affordable price. This housing market professional simplifies a home search and will keep you up to date about residences that match your property buying criteria. Plus, if you want to buy a home, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase your ideal house any time you choose.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the home closing process as well. A real estate agent will help you finalize a house purchase and ensure you can move into your dream residence as soon as possible. Best of all, if you have any concerns leading up to a home closing, a real estate agent can respond to them right away.

As you get set to search for your dream home, you may want to start planning for the homebuying journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare for the homebuying journey and boost the likelihood of quickly finding and acquiring your dream house.