Monday, 3 October 2016

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling


By: John Riha
Follow these seven strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel.
Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride.
A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. A complete kitchen renovation with a national median cost of $60,000 recovers about 67% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to the "2015 Remodeling Impact Report" from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The project gets a big thumbs-up from homeowners, too. Those polled in the "Report" gave their new kitchen a Joy Score of 9.8 -- a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their remodeling, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.
To maximize your return on investment, follow these seven strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction. If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.
How much time should you spend planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and create change orders, which will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment.

Some tips on planning:

Study your existing kitchen: How wide is the doorway into your kitchen? It’s a common mistake many homeowners make: Buying the extra-large fridge only to find they can’t get it in the doorway. To avoid mistakes like this, create a drawing of your kitchen with measurements for doorways, walkways, counters, etc. And don’t forget height, too.
Think about traffic patterns: Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks.
Design with ergonomics in mind: Drawers or pull-out shelves in base cabinets; counter heights that can adjust up or down; a wall oven instead of a range: These are all features that make a kitchen accessible to everyone — and a pleasure to work in.
Plan for the unforeseeable: Even if you’ve planned down to the number of nails you’ll need in your remodel, expect the unexpected. Build in a little leeway for completing the remodel. Want it done by Thanksgiving? Then plan to be done before Halloween.
Choose all your fixtures and materials before starting: Contractors will be able to make more accurate bids, and you’ll lessen the risk of delays because of back orders.
Don’t be afraid to seek help: A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel. Pros help make style decisions, foresee potential problems, and schedule contractors. Expect fees around $50 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total cost of the project.

2. Keep the Same Footprint

Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls. This is usually where unforeseen problems occur.
So if possible, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.

3. Get Real About Appliances

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your new kitchen. A six-burner commercial-grade range and luxury-brand refrigerator may make eye-catching centerpieces, but they may not fit your cooking needs or lifestyle.
Appliances are essentially tools used to cook and store food. Your kitchen remodel shouldn’t be about the tools, but the design and functionality of the entire kitchen.

So unless you’re an exceptional cook who cooks a lot, concentrate your dollars on long-term features that add value, such as cabinets and flooring.

Then choose appliances made by trusted brands that have high marks in online reviews and Consumer Reports.

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lighting

Lighting can make a world of difference in a kitchen. It can make it look larger and brighter. And it will help you work safely and efficiently. You should have two different types of lighting in your kitchen: 
Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.
Ambient lighting: Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and track lights create overall lighting in your kitchen. Include dimmer switches to control intensity and mood.
Related: How to Choose the Best Bulb for the Job

5. Be Quality-Conscious

Functionality and durability should be top priorities during kitchen remodeling. Resist low-quality bargains, and choose products that combine low maintenance with long warranty periods. Solid-surface countertops, for instance, may cost a little more, but with the proper care, they’ll look great for a long time.
And if you’re planning on moving soon, products with substantial warranties are a selling advantage.
Related:
  • Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You'll Never Regret
  • White: The Savvy and Chic Kitchen Color Choice

6. Add Storage, Not Space

Storage will never go out of style, but if you’re sticking with the same footprint, here are a couple of ideas to add more: 
Install cabinets that reach the ceiling: They may cost more — and you might need a stepladder — but you’ll gain valuable storage space for Christmas platters and other once-a-year items. In addition, you won’t have to dust cabinet tops.

Hang it up: Mount small shelving units on unused wall areas and inside cabinet doors; hang stock pots and large skillets on a ceiling-mounted rack; and add hooks to the backs of closet doors for aprons, brooms, and mops.
Related: Storage Options that Pack More Space in Your Kitchen

7. Communicate Clearly With Your Remodelers

Establishing a good rapport with your project manager or construction team is essential for staying on budget. To keep the sweetness in your project:
Drop by the project during work hours: Your presence broadcasts your commitment to quality.
Establish a communication routine: Hang a message board on site where you and the project manager can leave daily communiqu├ęs. Give your email address and cell phone number to subs and team leaders.
Set house rules: Be clear about smoking, boom box noise levels, available bathrooms, and appropriate parking.
Be kind: Offer refreshments (a little hospitality can go a long way), give praise when warranted, and resist pestering them with conversation, jokes, and questions when they are working. They’ll work better when refreshed and allowed to concentrate on work.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Home Upgrades with the Lowest ROI


File these six upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.
Life is a balancing act, and upgrading your home is no different. Some upgrades, like a kitchen remodel or an additional bathroom, typically add value to your home. Others, like putting in a pool, provide little dollar return on your investment.
Of course, homeowning isn’t just about building wealth; it’s also about living well and making memories -- even if that means outclassing your neighborhood or turning off future buyers. So if any of these six upgrades is something you can’t be dissuaded from, enjoy! We won’t judge. But go in with your eyes wide open. Here’s why: 
1.  Outdoor Kitchen
The fantasy: You’re the man -- grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.
The reality: For what it costs -- on average $12,000 to $15,000 -- are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA’s "Life At Home" study. And the National Association of Home Builders' 2013 "What Home Buyers Really Want" report says 35% of mid-range buyers don’t want an outdoor kitchen.
The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you’re dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting -- only 1% of buyers don’t want that.
Related: How to Buy a Gas Grill
2.  In-Ground Swimming Pool
The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.
The reality: Pools are money pits that you’ll spend $17,000 to $45,000+ to install (concrete), and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won’t use them as much as you think, and when you’re ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain.
The bottom-line: If your idea of making it includes a backyard swimming pool, go for it. But, get real about:
  • How many days per year you’ll actually swim.
  • How much your energy bills will climb to heat the water ($760 to $1,845 depending on location and temperature).
  • What you’ll pay to clean and chemically treat the pool ($20 to $100 per month in-season if you do it yourself; $75 to $165 per month for a pool service).
  • The fact that you'll likely need to invest in a pool fence. In fact, some insurance carriers require it.
Related:
Less expensive option: an above-ground pool
Lower maintenance option: natural pools
If you do put in a pool, you can save money by installing a solar heater.
3.  In-Ground Spa
The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.
The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive ($15,000 to $20,000) as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You’ll have to buy a cover ($50 to $400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas’ ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.
The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won’t use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000 to $2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.
Related: What You Need to Know About Installing a Spa
4.  Elevator
Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.
The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don’t want in the NAHB “What Buyers Really Want” report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.
The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000 to $5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.
Related: 4 Easy-Living Tips for Aging in Place
5.  Backup Power Generator
Your fantasy: The power in your area goes kaput, but not for you. You were smart enough to install a backup power generator. While the neighbors eat cold hot dogs by a flashlight beam, you’re poaching salmon in your oven and pumping out Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes.
The reality: Power outages may seem to go on forever, but they don’t. Fifty dollars worth of batteries can power portable lights, radios, and TVs; a car adaptor will charge your cell phones and iPods; and some dry ice will keep freezer food cold for at least a couple of days.
The bottom-line: If you live in areas where power shortages are the rule, not the exception, spend the money for reliable backup power: Your still-frozen steaks, home office fax, and refrigerated medicine will thank you. But if the power goes out rarely, then installing a standby generator is overkill.
Nationwide, homeowners recouped 59.9% on their average $12,135 investment in a backup generator -- one of the lowest ROIs in the annual "Cost vs. Value Report." If you need occasional emergency power, a gasoline-powered portable generator ($200 to $650) probably will suffice.
Related: What I Learned About Portable Generators One Dark and Stormy Night
6.  New Windows
The fantasy: Brand new windows that don’t stick, and slash energy bills.
The reality: An $11,000 vinyl window replacement project will recoup about 73% of your investment at resale, and if they’re Energy Star-qualified, they can save you around $300 in energy bills per year.  So, plan to live in your house about another 10 years to recoup the cost of new windows.
The bottom-line: We get it -- new windows are sturdy, pretty energy savers. But unless old window frames are thoroughly rotten, most windows can be repaired for a fraction of replacement costs. And if you spend about $1,000 to update insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping, you’ll save 10% to 20% on your energy bill.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

9 Unusual Ways To Keep Your Home Warm Without Turning Up The Heat

Let's just cut to the chase -- it's freezing out and we wish our homes could be a little warmer. And while we all know the standard practices from adjusting the thermostat to making sure our windows are sealed and lighting a fire, there are definitely some tricks we're missing.
1. Close off unused rooms.
Keeping doors closed won't just prevent cold air from moving into the rest of the house -- it will help contain the heat you've generated (whether it be from a fireplace, radiator or elsewhere).
2. Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise.
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be changed seasonally. By setting them clockwise in the winter at a lower speed, you can drive warm air down towards you and your guests.
3. Change your sheets.
Again, sometimes simple is tremendously effective when it comes to keeping warm. Swap cotton for flannel sheets, grab a down comforter and don't forget about the value of extra blankets.
4. Add some layers to your floor. Area rugs aren't just a way to add color and style -- they were invented for the practical reason of keeping your floors cozy. Floors account for as much as 10 percent of heat loss if they're not insulated, according to the National Energy Foundation, and rugs can be that missing insulation. They'll keep cool air from seeping up into the room, and your toes will definitely thank you.
5. Foil away.
Wasted heat means wasted money -- but a little DIY can always save the day. Putting tin foil behind the radiators in your home reflects heat back into the room, rather than allowing it to escape through the walls. Though they do make foil specially designed for this purpose, the quality stuff in your kitchen will also do the trick.
6. Turn off your bathroom fan.
And the one in your kitchen, for that matter! Exhaust fans in these rooms pull hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your home. If you must use them, turn them on sparingly and be sure to shut them off when you're done.
7. Try something old-fashioned.
Hot water bottles and bags of rice or dried beans warmed up in the microwave may seem old school, but hey, they still work. If you don't have either of those, running a hot pan (or a blowdryer, for a more modern take) over your sheets works, too.
8. Re-arrange your furniture.
Sitting by the window can cause radiant heat loss from your body to the glass make you feel cold. To avoid this, make sure your furniture is not in front of a large window or pushed up against an outside wall. Additionally, avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of radiators as the say, couch or sofa, will absorb the heat you want.
9. Worry about the person, not the house.
At the end of the day, hats, cozy socks and turtleneck sweaters can all be good friends this season. And who doesn't love enjoying a good cup of hot cocoa by the fire? If done right, focusing on heating yourself can give you that warm feeling you've been missing while also helping slash those horror-inducing heating bills.




Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, filed by Samantha Toscano (January 21, 2014)

Friday, 29 March 2013

What Do Buyers Really Want in a Home?

What sets one home apart from another as buyers are touring homes? What features do buyers truly need, and which amenities would they merely view as a bonus? The National Association of Realtors has tried to answer those questions (and more) with the recently released 2013 Profile of Buyers' Home Feature Preferences. The survey was completed by buyers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012.
According to the study:
The typical buyer bought a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. About half of homes purchased were on a single level, while two-fifths were on two levels. Garages were more popular among buyers of new homes, homes in the Midwest, and homes in the suburbs. Fireplaces were most common in higher priced homes, homes in resort or recreation areas, and in detached single-family homes. Forty-one percent of homes had basements, which could be finished, partially finished or unfinished. Finished basements were more popular among single males, younger home buyers, and buyers in the Northeast and Midwest.
For sellers who are looking at remodeling, and want to make sure their renovation dollars are well spent, this could be a road map of what to update or add to their homes. Some other highlights:
  • 78% of buyers chose a home with a garage
  • 58% purchased a home with a fireplace
  • New kitchen appliances were more important to buyers than granite countertops
  • 69% of buyers who didn't buy a home with new appliances would have been willing to pay more for a home that had them
  • Among buyers 55 and older, 42% rated a single level home style very important, compared to only 11% of buyers under 35
  • Buyers were willing to pay a higher dollar value for an in-law suite and a basement than other extra room types.
  • The feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay extra for? Waterfront location.
  • 53% of buyers started a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically in the kitchen.
  • The majority of buyers wanted more or larger closets and more storage.
The great news is that 97% were satisfied with their home purchase. Learn more about the profile here. If you are like me, and enjoy following along with data and trends, you can 'like' the NAR Research Group's Facebook page.

 

By Heather Elias Director of Social Business Practice at National Association of REALTORS®

Friday, 15 February 2013

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Sales Professional


Buying real estate is complex, and it’s imperative to select a competent, honest agent who will skillfully represent your best interests throughout the entire process of selecting, negotiating and closing on your property.
Here are several things to look for and consider when selecting the real estate professional to represent you in a transaction:

Experience
Real estate is a learn-by-doing process, and an experienced agent should be closing at least five to seven property transactions per year. Every transaction is complex, and each agent obtains new and relevant “training” on each deal. So ask each agent — you should interview at least three — how many transactions they’ve closed in the past 12 months and several years. If they have not closed that many, ask who is guiding them as they learn the business and what professional training they had to prepare them to assist you.
References
You also want to get references from the sales professionals’ recently closed transactions. Then take the time to call those references to ask how the agents performed. You will learn a lot by listening to what their past customers have to say. Google their names, too, and check the state for licensing information and any disciplinary information.
Time to work with you
An agent who has too many clients may be too busy for you and may not be right for you, either. Make sure they have the time to sit with and educate you, show you lots of properties and are willing to write offers on properties that you would like to buy. If they have too many clients at once, service to you may suffer. So make your best judgment.

Location
Make sure they know the location, location, location in which you want to purchase property. Some agents are going to be familiar with the entire county and can talk to you about each neighborhood. Find a sales professional who is very knowledgeable about your targeted location.

Help you protect yourself
Will they help you make smart decisions? This is the largest purchase you are ever going to make, and your real estate professional should be well-versed in and advise you on how to do your “homework” when buying a property. Does buying make financial sense? Did you get a fair deal on your mortgage? Have you looked at the HOA documents, title abstract or plat? Are you procuring the right insurance for the proper amount? A good agent can guide you in these areas and should be on your side in a transaction.
The sales professional you use should be someone you trust and feel can do a great job helping you evaluate homes and get a property under contract. They should also help you navigate the escrow and closing process and negotiate in your best interest, whether it is the price, repair requests or other contract terms.


Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/02/05/how-to-choose-right-real-estate-sales-professional/#ixzz2KyyZWurm

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

6 Tips To Sell Your Home Faster

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, a person can generally sell a house faster by lowering the price. But there are other ways to enhance a home's attractiveness besides lowering the asking price. If you're looking to sell your home in a cooling real estate market, read on for some tips on how to generate interest and get the best price possible.

Tutorial: Exploring Real Estate Investing
Differentiate From the Neighbors In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home's aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should compliment the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool.

However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don't over-improve it. According to a 2006 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or a sun room, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom addition is about 75%. For a sun room, it's even less. If you're going to invest in renovations, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home's listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.

Clean the ClutterIt is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items. You may even want to hire a stager to help you make better use of the space. Staging costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a basic consultation to several thousand dollars, particularly if you rent modern, neutral furniture for showing your home. Many people feel that stagers can make a home more salable, so hiring one deserves some consideration.

Sweeten the Deal Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they're getting one.

Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.

Finally, it's important to note that some buyers are motivated by the option to close in a short amount of time. If it is possible for you to close on the home within 30 to 60 days, this may set your deal apart and get you a contract.

Improve Curb AppealSellers often overlook the importance of their home's curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is a home's external appearance and the way it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Try to make certain that the exterior has a fresh coat of paint, and that the bushes and lawn are well manicured. In real estate, appearances mean a lot. What better way to set your home apart than to make it attractive at first glance?
Get Your Home in "Move In" ConditionAesthetics are important, but it's also important that doors, appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures be in compliance with current building codes and in working order. Again, the idea is to have the home in move in condition and to give potential buyers the impression that they will be able to move right in and start enjoying their new home, rather than spending time and money fixing it up.

Pricing It RightRegardless of how well you renovate and stage your home, it is still important to price the home appropriately. Consult a local real estate agent, read the newspapers and go to online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are going for in your area.

It's not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. Try to put yourself in the buyer's shoes and then determine what a fair price might be. Have friends, neighbors and real estate professionals tour the home and weigh in as well. (To learn more, read 10 Tips For Getting A Fair Price On A Home.)


The Bottom Line
Selling a home in a down market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing. These tips, coupled with an attractive price, will increase the odds of getting your home sold.
Came across this article on www.investopedia.com that has some really good points to follow when looking to sell. Remember Call Jason anytime 506-333-9889 for Real Results!!!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

7 Steps to take before you buy a home

By doing your homework before you buy, you’ll feel more content about your new home.


Follow these steps to ensure your home search is fun and productive.
Most potential homebuyers are a smidge daunted by the fact that they’re about to agree to a hefty mortgage that they’ll be paying for the next few decades. The best way to relieve that anxiety is to be confident you’re purchasing the best home at a price you can afford with the most favorable financing. These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase.

1. Decide how much home you can afford

Generally, you can afford a home priced 2 to 3 times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care if you plan to have children.

2. Develop your home wish list

Be honest about which features you must have and which you’d like to have. Handicap accessibility for an aging parent or special needs child is a must. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are in the bonus category. Come up with your top-five must-haves and top-five wants to help you focus your search and make a logical, rather than emotional, choice when home shopping.

3. Select where you want to live

Make a list of your top-five community priorities, such as commute time, schools, and recreational facilities. Ask your REALTOR® to help you identify three to four target neighborhoods based on your priorities.

4. Start saving

Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and cover your downpayment? Ideally, you should have 20% of the purchase price set aside for a downpayment, but some lenders allow as little as 5% down. A small downpayment preserves your savings for emergencies.
However, the lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for, and if you still qualify, the higher your monthly payment. Your downpayment size can also influence your interest rate and the type of loan you can get.
Finally, if your downpayment is less than 20%, you’ll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance. Depending on the size of your loan, PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment. Check with your state and local government for mortgage and downpayment assistance programs for first-time buyers.

5. Ask about all the costs before you sign

A downpayment is just one homebuying cost. Your REALTOR® can tell you what other costs buyers commonly pay in your area—including home inspections, attorneys’ fees, and transfer fees of 2% to 7% of the home price. Tally up the extras you’ll also want to buy after you move-in, such as window coverings and patio furniture for your new yard.

6. Get your credit in order

A credit report details your borrowing history, including any late payments and bad debts, and typically includes a credit score. Lenders lean heavily on your credit report and credit score in determining whether, how much, and at what interest rate to lend for a home. Most require a minimum credit score of 620 for a home mortgage.
You’re entitled to free copies of your credit reports annually from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Order and then pore over them to ensure the information is accurate, and try to correct any errors before you buy. If your credit score isn’t up to snuff, the easiest ways to improve it are to pay every bill on time and pay down high credit card debt.

7. Get prequalified

Meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter that says how much house you’re qualified to buy. Start gathering the paperwork your lender says it needs. Most want to see W-2 forms verifying your employment and income, copies of pay stubs, and two to four months of banking statements.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet, and personal and business income tax returns for the previous two years.
Consider your financing options. The longer the loan, the smaller your monthly payment. Fixed-rate mortgages offer payment certainty; an adjustable-rate mortgage offers a lower monthly payment. However, an adjustable-rate mortgage may adjust dramatically. Be sure to calculate your affordability at both the lowest and highest possible ARM rate.