Waypoint Realty Group LLC



Posted by Waypoint Realty Group LLC on 2/15/2018

Have you found the home of your dreams but are overwhelmed by the price tag? This is a no-win situation that challenges even the most patient, resourceful homebuyer, and perhaps for good reason. Finding the perfect home may take days, weeks, months or years. And if you discover a residence that meets all of your needs but falls outside your budget, you're likely to be tempted to overspend to acquire this residence. However, you'll want to take a step back and think carefully about your decision, and those who weigh the short- and long-term ramifications of their decision ultimately will be able to make the right choice. Furthermore, you should consider the following factors as you try to resist the urge to overspend on a house: 1. Your monthly mortgage payments Although you may be able to handle a higher monthly mortgage payment in the short-term, you'll want to think about your long-term plans before you finalize your purchase. For example, do you plan to raise children? Or do you anticipate a career change over the next few years? You'll want to consider any plans that could impact your budget and determine whether you're ready to handle your monthly mortgage payments both now and in the future. 2. The quality of the home Although your dream home likely is of the highest quality, you'll want to ensure this residence won't require any immediate improvements. The quality of the home will dictate whether this residence will require substantial short- and long-term maintenance and repairs. And if you find there are many home improvement projects that may need to be completed soon, you may be better off considering other homes on the real estate market. 3. Your wants and needs Ideally, you'll want to find a home that fulfills all of your wants and needs instantly. But in today's highly competitive real estate market, only a fraction of houses may come close to meeting all of your demands. Differentiating between your wants and needs, however, is critical, as this will allow you to distinguish what you need to enjoy your home versus what you'd like your home to include in a dream scenario. For instance, your home needs electricity, running water and other everyday essentials. On the other hand, you may want a home with a pool, a spacious back yard and other distinct features, but you should not rule out homes due to the fact that they lack some of these non-essential amenities. Take a close look at your priorities and your budget, and you'll be able to make the right compromises to find a home that won't require you to break your budget altogether. Remember, your home is what you make it, and overspending to acquire a house may leave you satisfied in the short-term but struggling to pay your bills over an extended period of time. Make the right compromises as you explore the real estate market and set realistic expectations for the houses you check out. By doing so, you can improve your chances of finding a high-quality residence that meets your personal and budgetary needs.




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Posted by Waypoint Realty Group LLC on 2/8/2018

While they have become ubiquitous with the emergence of suburban neighborhoods and townhouses, homeowners associations (HOA, for short) are a relatively new phenomenon.

In modern America, there are many ways to live: apartments, condominiums, houses, townhouses, and now even “tiny houses” are gaining traction. But it wasn’t until the late 1900s that property owners began to experiment with alternative ways of living that revolved around share, “common spaces.”

What constitutes a common area?

Whether you live in an apartment, a house, or in your RV you likely experience common areas every day that are owned by the government. Roads, bridges, and parks are all common areas in that they are used by multiple people and their upkeep is paid for with taxes.

If you take that analogy and apply it to the greenways and lobbies of a condominium, or the streets and sidewalks of a gated community, there are few differences.

What is a homeowners association?

When a developer plans a new community they will often create a homeowners association that will be managed by the people who move into the houses or condominiums. Once a certain number of people have moved into the development and joined the HOA the developer will typically hand over ownership to the HOA and relinquish their legal rights and responsibilities of the land. From there, the HOA typically has complete control over management. Though it should be noted that states have their own HOA related laws with varying levels of oversight.

What does an HOA do?

The most common thing we associate with HOAs is fees and rules. People who move into a community governed by a homeowners association are typically required to join the HOA and are therefore obligated to pay fees and adhere to the guidelines set down by the HOA board.

The fees you pay will go towards maintenance and development of the common areas of your community. That usually amounts to landscaping, maintaining pools and fitness complexes. Fees can range from anywhere between $200 and $450 per month depending on where you live.

HOAs also enforce regulations that homeowners must follow. These vary depending on the community but often include building restrictions for things like fences and additions, as well as other ways that homeowners can customize their homes such as paint and vinyl color. Some homeowners associations go so far as to regulate whether or not a homeowner may fly the flag on their favorite sports team over their door.

Advantages and disadvantages

So what are the advantages and disadvantages you can expect when you belong to a homeowners association? Let’s start with the clear disadvantages. If you are a tinkerer or someone who relishes the freedom to do what they want with their property, living in an HOA-run community might not be right for you. If your salary isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, the cost of living in an HOA neighborhood, along with the monthly fees, might be a bit more than you’re comfortable with.

What about the advantages? First, you can expect that the neighborhood will be well-maintained. This brings about another advantage in that you can expect your property value to grow or at least remain stable thanks to the quality of the neighborhood being carefully managed.




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Posted by Waypoint Realty Group LLC on 2/1/2018

Just as you would take certain precautions in your home if you had a new baby, you should take the same measures when you have a new dog. Without taking some steps to make your home safer for your pets, serious consequences could be suffered. Your dog could have access to things that could harm him like medicines, chemicals, and other hazardous substances. Save your pet and save on unnecessary vet bills by doing your part to keep your dog safe. A few simple precautions can go along way. The same devices that are used to protect children can be used to protect your dog as well. The best part is that they’re easy to install and fairly inexpensive. Some of your options are:


  • Baby gates
  • Electrical outlet covers
  • Covers for power strips
  • Safety locks for cabinets
  • A device to contain electrical cords


There’s other specific precautions that you can take to keep your dog safe and out of trouble: 


Get A Dog Proof Trashcan


Most dogs love to rummage around in the trash. They’re searching for food, of course! If your dog can knock over the trashcan or jump to get the lid off the can, they’ll have access to the trash. Pull-out trashcans are probably your best option. If you can’t install this type of trash receptacle in your home, think about elevating the trashcan on something like a step stool. It could be multi-purpose for both storage and safety.


Limit The Dog’s Access


When you’re not home, close the doors to bathrooms and bedrooms. This way, the dog cannot get into different rooms and destroy anything or eat anything that he’s not supposed to.  


Clutter Is A Danger


If you have a dog that is bound to chew things, you’ll want to put everything away in its place. If your shoes are put away, the dog won’t have easy access to chew them. When chemicals are kept in the cabinets, the dog won’t have access to dangerous things. Not only will putting your things away help you to stay organized, it will keep your pet safer too!


Keep Your Dog From Mischief


If a dog is left alone in an empty house, they have an opportunity to get into a lot of trouble. You’ve probably heard stories from friends where dogs have destroyed furniture, books, and other valuable things. If you keep your dog in a crate while you’re gone for long periods, they’ll learn their boundaries and stay out of trouble while you’re away. 


Dogs are a part of the family too! It’s important to do what you can to keep them safe in your home.




Tags: Dog Lovers   Dog safety   dogs  
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Posted by Waypoint Realty Group LLC on 1/25/2018

If you recently bought or sold a house, you may have only a short amount of time to pack up your belongings and get your family ready for moving day. As such, you'll need to tell your children about your upcoming move to ensure they can prepare accordingly.

Ultimately, informing your kids about your move can be difficult, especially for families that have lived in a particular city or town for many years. Lucky for you, we're here to help you minimize the stress commonly associated with telling your kids about moving day.

Here are three tips to ensure you can stay calm, cool and composed when you inform your kids about your decision to relocate.

1. Speak with Your Kids As Soon As Possible

The longer that you wait to tell your kids about your move, the tougher it will become to break the news to them. Thus, as soon as you decide to purchase or sell a home, you should tell your kids.

Remember, the sooner you speak with your children, the sooner they can start planning for the future. You also can discuss any moving concerns with your kids and ensure they can receive your full emotional support as moving day approaches.

2. Plan Ahead for Your Family Discussion

In most instances, kids will have lots of questions about your decision to move. As a parent, it is your responsibility to dedicate the necessary time and resources to respond to all of your kids' queries.

Consider your children's perspective before you inform your kids about your decision to buy or sell a house – you'll be glad you did. If you plan ahead for a discussion with your kids, you may be able to anticipate potential questions and be ready to provide thoughtful responses.

3. Be Honest

No parent has all the answers, all the time. And if you face children's questions about your move and are uncertain about how to respond to them, you should not hesitate to speak from the heart.

It may be impossible to have answers to all of your kids' questions about an upcoming move. However, if you're honest with your children, you can provide them with plenty of support throughout the moving cycle.

When it comes to discussing an upcoming move with kids, both parents and their children may get emotional. Fortunately, parents and children can work together to support one another and ensure all family members can reap the benefits of a successful transition to a new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to discuss an upcoming move with your kids, you can always consult with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you navigate the homebuying or home selling process, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about the best ways to inform your children about your decision to buy or sell a residence.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take the guesswork out of telling your kids about your upcoming move.




Tags: moving tips   kids  
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Posted by Waypoint Realty Group LLC on 1/18/2018

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, there are a number of financial factors you’ll need to consider.

One of the factors that all lenders will consider when determining whether or not to approve you for a mortgage is credit score.

In this article, we’ll lay out the minimum and ideal credit scores that are needed for getting approved for a home loan.

Determining Your Score

As you may guess, credit reporting is a complicated business. There are three main reporting companies that lenders use to determine your credit: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These companies largely collect the same data about your finances, but can have minor variations. Lenders will take these scores and use the median or middle score to determine your credit rating.

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Americans have the ability to confirm the accuracy of their reports.

If you want to find your credit score, there are a number of online reporting agencies that will show you your report for free on an annual or monthly basis.

Minimum credit scores

Depending on the type of loan you’re applying for and which lender you are pursuing, minimum credit scores vary.

For those seeking first-time homeowner (FHA) loans, you’ll need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify for a 3.5% down payment. A score lower than this amount and you will need to put at least 10% down.

Since FHA loans are insured by the government, you are more likely to be approved if you have a low or “poor” or “bad” credit score (usually anywhere from 300 to 650).

Another type of loan that could help people with low credit is offered by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. These loans, known as VA loans, are guaranteed, in part, by the government. However, the loans are still approved and distributed by lenders who all have varying minimum credit requirements. A good benchmark is that you’ll need a score of at least 620 to be approved.

Minimum isn’t ideal

While you may get approved for a loan with a low credit, this isn’t always a reason to celebrate.

Lenders use your credit score, among other things, to help determine the interest rate of your loan. A lower score often means a higher interest rate.

While 1 or 2 percent can seem like a small number, it can mean paying tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the span of a thirty-year loan.

To illustrate the importance of one percent, consider the following. If you owe $200,000 on a home and intend to pay it over 30 years, you will pay $103,000 in interest at 3% and $143,000 at 4% - that’s a difference of $40,000.

Rather than shooting for the minimum credit score, a better approach would be to build credit while saving for a down payment. Someone with a credit score of 740 or higher will be seen by most mortgage lenders as an ideal person to lend to.

Of course, life doesn’t always allow for the ideal situation. So, do your best to save and build credit, and be sure to shop around for the best rates when you’re ready.







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