Cliff and Cindy Leinonen Team's Blog
If you’re buying or selling a home for the first time you’ll likely come across several terms and acronyms you’ve never heard before. When working with a real estate agent, he or she will likely do their best to put things in simplest terms for you to understand. But, it never hurts to do your research ahead of time so you’re prepared for the lengthy and complex process of buying or selling a home.
In this article, we’ll define some of the real estate terms you’re most likely to read or hear during your search for a new home, or when you put your current home on the market.
Common real estate definitions
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) - a home loan with a in interest rate which fluctuates throughout the payback term of the loan. The fluctuation typically aligns with changes in the housing market’s average interest rates.
Fixed rate mortgage (FRM) - Fixed rate mortgages have an interest rate that does not change for a predetermined period of time or for the entire length of the home loan repayment period.
Closing costs - Miscellaneous fees associated with buying a home. These include attorney fees, applications fees, taxes (property taxes, transfer taxes), underwriting costs, and more.
Transfer tax - A tax charged for when a property changes ownership. These vary by state. Some states do not have a transfer tax.
Appreciation and depreciation - Appreciation is an increase in a property value due to things like inflation. Depreciation is a decrease in property value due to market deflation, wear and tear on the property, etc.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) - A U.S. law that makes it illegal for a creditor to discriminate on the basis of the following: national origin, race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, or to the applicant’s status as receiving public assistance from things like food stamps and social security.
Mortgage escrow - an escrow is a neutral, third party agent or company which holds documents or funds until certain terms and conditions are met and a contract is fulfilled or terminated. For mortgages, lenders will often set up an escrow to pay insurance premiums and property taxes. These are typically added to your monthly mortgage bill.
Homeowners association (HOA) - a group of homeowners who regulate, maintain, and manage common spaces in subdivisions and condominiums. Monthly dues are typically required to upkeep common spaces. An HOA board made up of homeowners meets to vote on rules and regulations that members of the HOA must abide by.
Private mortgage insurance - a type of insurance that protects a lender if a borrower defaults on their home loan.
Exclusive agency listing - an agreement between a homeowner and a real estate broker giving the broker exclusive rights to list the home.
Assumable mortgage - a home loan that enables a buyer to take over the seller’s mortgage payments and loan terms.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) - A U.S. law which promotes privacy, fairness, and accuracy in reporting your credit score to lenders. This lets you correct inaccuracies and prevent certain information from being used against you when applying for a loan.
Decorating your home as an adult can be a taxing task. Transitioning from a college student to a professional can take some time. Once you buy your first home, you may find that your tastes for decorating need an upgrade. Those old posters and funny magnets have got to go along with your more sophisticated lifestyle. The decor in your home should make you feel comfortable in your surroundings. You should express your own personal interests through the artwork that’s displayed in your home.
Pieces of artwork shouldn’t just be run-of-the-mill. You need something that will let your personality shine through. You can collect unique pieces in your travels, use personal photographs that you have taken, or simply find things that have meaning for you.
It can be sort of intimidating to dive into a more mature way of decorating but, it can be very rewarding. You’ll also learn a lot about your own style and yourself. Through this self-discovery, you’ll find artwork that you can continue to grow with in your home. Below, you’ll find some tips for choosing the right artwork for your home.
Set A Budget
Buying artwork can be an investment. If you’re a new homeowner, you may need to hold back on getting expensive art for a few years. Set a limit for how much art you want to buy and what you can afford. There are plenty of ways to get decorating pieces for your home for less money. Many stores offer artwork that can add some character to your walls. Even if these aren’t Picasso originals, they can certainly add some flair to the emptiness of a new house. Everything that adds personality to your home isn’t hanging on a wall either. Your decor includes the small figures on your tables, statues, plants, and more.
Have Goals In Mind
If you begin hanging artwork without some reason, your decorating scheme could end up being a disaster. Map out a plan for each room. Think of themes, colors palettes, and the vision for the space. You don’t want to make a serious investment in artwork only to find out that it doesn’t fit with your wall color or furniture. When choosing artwork, it’s important to consider each room as a whole.
Know That Tastes Change Over Time
If you do invest in an expensive piece of artwork, know that it may not suit your needs forever. That’s OK! You can always sell artwork and find replacement pieces over time. It’s not expected that whatever you hang in your home when you move in will stay there for the next 20 years! Artwork very much flows with our lives, so go with the flow.
191 City Depot Rd, Charlton, MA 01507
191 City Depot, Charlton, MA 01507
The home inspection may seem like a standard thing that you need to go through in the process of buying a home. Really, you’re paying for the home inspection, and it’s a huge opportunity for you. As a home buyer, you should look at the home inspection as an educational event for homeowners. You’ll learn a lot about the history of the property that you’ll be living in. From water that may have been present in the basement to a leaky roof, you’ll get to know your new home and how everything works.
When you hire your home inspector, he or she may seem like they are talking to experts. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ask questions during the inspection so that you can clarify what the inspector is talking bout.
Is This Problem Urgent?
It’s a good idea to see how soon any problems in the house need to be fixed. If the roof needs to be replaced within 3-6 months and your finances are tight, it’s something that you’ll want to know about. While home inspectors will reserve their opinions about a property overall, professionally, they can tell you how big of an issue certain things are. You may need to hire a certified professional who specializes in a certain area like plumbing or electricity for further evaluation in many cases. For your own knowledge, it’s a good idea to know what needs to be done around the property and when.
You’re never going to remember where everything is in the house on the first pass. It’s a good idea to carry a notepad with you when you’re going through the home. Make notes of any major issues, where they are, and how to fix them. This way, even after the inspection report is sent, you’ll have something to refer back to.
Is This At The End Of Its Lifespan?
Your home inspector will take a look at all of the moving parts of the home that you’re about to purchase. This includes the appliances. Is the dishwasher on its last leg? Will you need a new refrigerator very soon? Is that creak in the floor more than just a problem with a floorboard? If you find out what to expect from both the major and minor issues in the home, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the property overall.
Home inspectors give you an overview of the condition of a home. Inspectors will tell you that there is no home that comes completely clean when it comes to an inspection. Even a brand new home that was just built will have some issues. While it may not be the most fun to find out that your new home needs a new roof, at least you and your realtor will know what needs to be brought to the negotiation table if you decide to go through with the purchase of the home.