How Much Home Can You Afford?

Jan 13

How Much Home Can You Afford?

Are you ready to make the move from renter to homeowner? It’s an equally exciting and daunting process. No doubt you’ve already begun to surf the real estate websites to find the perfect home. Looking for a house, townhouse or condominium? Are you better suited for the suburbs or a downtown loft? Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s best to first determine not only how much house the bank will determine you can afford, but what you financial comfort level is. Owning a home comes with more expenses, often unexpected, than renting a home. Schedule to meet with a mortgage professional and be prepared to bring the following documents to the meeting.

● Make a list of all of your monthly bills outside of your current rent and heat/electric/phone charges. This should include all credit cards, department store charge cards, student loans and car payments. Each of these items will appear on your credit report, but it’s important to have the most accurate, up to date information to determine your mortgage eligibility.

● Bring a copy of your most recent pay stub which should include year to date earnings. A copy of the last two years’ tax returns will also be needed if you’re self employed or have additional income beyond earnings from your employer.

● Make copies of your bank statements and retirements account balances. If you’re fortunate enough to receive any gift funds for the down payment or closing costs, you’ll need to document these funds. Provide a signed letter from the donor stating the amount, recipient and date. It must be verified that this is a gift and not a loan. Identify the account and deposit dates for the funds.

● The mortgage banker or broker will run a copy of your credit report. Your credit score will determine the interest rate you will qualify for. The lower the interest rate, the lower the monthly payment ­ and vice versa, the higher the interest rate, the higher the monthly payment will be.

After evaluating all of the information above, your banker will provide you with a pre­-approval letter indicating the maximum mortgage amount for which you have qualified. Happy house hunting!

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Investing for the Purchase of a Home: FX Trading

Aug 12

Investing for the Purchase of a Home: FX Trading

It’s no secret that buying a home is a big investment. But it’s also possibly the biggest wealth building tool that you’ll ever encounter in your entire life. Why is this? For many reasons. On one hand, homes tend to increase in value: 4-5% most years. You’ll also not lose any of the money that you put into your mortgage payment (unless your home happens to lose value). This is an enormous reality for homeowners. Just think of all the checks you wrote for landlords. It’s almost like throwing that money down the toilet. Finally, homeownership is essentially subsidized by the federal government. As a homeowner, you’re able to write your mortgage payment interest off on your yearly taxes. You’re also paying an artificially low interest rate, one meant to attract homebuyers. In short, home buying is no-brainer for would-be wealthy people.

But it’s not a step that everyone is able to take. If you don’t have the credit history or resources to pay a down payment, you’re out of luck. It doesn’t matter if you are able and responsible to pay the mortgage payment in full, on time, every month. If you aren’t able to get a bank or other lending institution to foot the bill to pay for the house all at once (that’s what a mortgage is, folks), then you won’t be able to buy the house, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

So many would-be homeowners are left standing on the stoop. This is especially a problem in metropolitan areas, where many first time homebuyers live near or below the poverty line, amidst houses which cost many times what they would be able to afford. Because home ownership is a leg up into a new lifestyle and privilege class, it’s essential for people who don’t want to remain in the economic strata in which they find themselves. But how do you afford that down payment?

Well, banks are looking for a few things when they give you a mortgage loan. One, they want you to be employed. If you haven’t been working a single job for two years or more, it may be tough to get someone to give you the money for the whole thing. You’ll also want steady credit history. If you don’t have a good credit score, take a year or two to work on that. Work on your credit to debt ratio, pay your bills on time, and basically be a goody-two-shoes when it comes to paying for things in full and on time.

But then you’ve got to have the money for that down payment. If you live in a metropolitan area, I recommend looking for financial programs which help first time homebuyers get a leg up. There are also investment opportunities which pay off fast for reasonable sums like down payments. FX trading with CMC markets is one such investment. Users are able to see quick returns (and losses, be careful) on the outcomes of investments made regarding the future values of currencies. These investments resolve quickly, but reward practice, insight on world affairs, and a knack for the rhythms of FX trading. So try saving and investing for your future down payment. If you’re building up your finances in the rest of your life simultaneously, you’ll have no problem buying your first house when you’re ready.

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You Can Vanquish Health Invaders Lurking in Your Home

Aug 04

You Can Vanquish Health Invaders Lurking in Your Home

Mold spores and microscopic pathogens may be hiding in plain sight, armed and able to attack your family’s health, or lurking in the dark where you’d never think of cleaning or disinfecting. That’s plain sight, as in carpets, or out of sight as in ductwork or inside walls invaded by dampness. It’s a key part of the formula that could turn your home into a toxic breeding ground.

As someone in the business of eradicating these tiny but powerful invaders on a regular basis, specializing in emergency scenarios, I offer advice that might help you disarm a ticking time bomb before it explodes into a health emergency. This threat exists wherever you find water and humidity in a home. It may be in a damp basement or supposedly warm and toasty living quarters exposed to moisture that remains a permanent guest. My crew at NYC Duct Mold Water Cleanup are experts in finding and removing mold, whether in carpet, air ducts or behind baseboards, as well as cleanup and repair in the wake of flood, water and fire damage.

You may never experience such an emergency, but your home may be an emergency in the making. For instance, carpets are literally repositories of mold spores and bacteria. In fact, even with regular vacuuming and cleaning, carpets may host hundreds of thousands of bacteria in just a few square inches. They are kept alive by deep down moisture and sustained by food particles, even pollen and dead skin cells. Mold is even known to feast on drywall, wood or fabrics.

As someone who deals with flood and water cleanup, I am all too familiar with the places water can go and then remain as moisture. Cleaning air ducts is a must in the aftermath of burst pipes that inundate a home or damage from flooding. Pathogens and spores collect there and may then be blown about the premises through heating and air ducts. Again, it may require years to become a potential threat but it is something than can be averted by including duct cleaning as part of heating and air conditioning maintenance.

Without getting technical, mold spores and microscopic pathogens, which are carriers of disease and infection, can be kept at bay. I am not out to scare anyone, because if you don’t feel safe in your home, where can you go? Carpets are proof that an ounce of prevention will protect you and your family from some of these health hazards.

If I could offer just a few words of advice it would be these five: a deep and thorough cleaning. Use the right cleaning aids to kill the bacteria and make sure it stays away. That may take a little label checking on your part. It’s not complicated. For instance, a common household ingredients such as vinegar can help you do the job. Finally, keep the carpet as dry as possible— even if it means purchasing a dehumidifier or upgrading ventilation with ceiling fans.

In other words, don’t create an emergency where there doesn’t have to be one.

— Avi Haber, NYC Duct Mold Water Cleanup

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Making Move to Wood Floors? Custom Carpenter Offers Advice

Jun 30

Making Move to Wood Floors? Custom Carpenter Offers Advice

It goes back to the 1600’s when French nobility started putting ornate wood flooring in their homes. Five centuries later wood flooring, real and simulated, is reclaiming the turf captured in previous decades by carpeting and linoleum in millions of American homes.

Proceed with caution, advises a custom carpenter who has renovated many homes and businesses in New York City and the Tri-State area. First of all, reports Alan Bowes, owner of Alan Michael Carpentry in South Salem, NY, you need to walk on it and feel it before you make the decision to buy it.

“You get what you pay for,” says Bowes. “A cheap laminated wood floor will feel exactly like a cheap laminated wood floor. Make sure you walk on and feel the product you are getting. There are many different types of ‘wood floors’ other than the classic — laminates, engineered, floating. They all feel and look different than the real thing.”

High-quality wood flooring has become increasingly affordable for homeowners, but it is an investment of thousands of dollars you expect to last a lifetime and add value. Rely on sound planning and consultation from an accredited professional you trust, advises Bowes, before making your choice.

“It is a lot of bang for your buck,” Bowes says of wood. For starters, it can literally be renewed every few years by refinishing. It is easy to clean, resists wear and it can be stained to complement the dominant colors in your home.

“The only time a wood floor cannot be finished is if it not longer has enough thickness to do so,” he adds as a cautionary note. “With some of the newly engineered floors, they can only be refinished a handful of times before the actual surface wood has worn away completely— or if the existing stain has penetrated too deep to be removed efficiently.”

What are the most popular types in recent renovations? White and red oak remain among the top choices and Bowes reports “a spike in maple and Brazilian cherry.” Lately, clients prefer the wider widths of the so-called floorboard pattern. Finally, the look you want from the wood includes pluses and minuses. Pine will give you a more rustic look, for example, but will wear quicker. Oak and other hardwoods show minimal wear with a cleaner look.

Custom carpenters are more likely to “get more involved in the details” of a renovation project than a general contractor, bringing a creative touch and the ability to customize virtually every aspect.

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An Introductory Guide to Buying a Condo

Jun 28

An Introductory Guide to Buying a Condo

Anytime you buy a house, an apartment or even a condominium it is a big step in your life and an undertaking that can be stressful, time consuming, and expensive. It should never be taken lightly and it takes careful thought and careful planning to make things go smoothly. This is especially true when buying something that is more of a shared space like buying a condo. Here are some suggestions to help guide you through the process.


Royalty free photo

Why a Condo?

Before you start looking for a condo you must decide if that is the type of home purchase that is right for you. Remember, when you own a condo unit you own your bedroom, kitchen and living area but the rest of the building are all shared facilities. This does bring with it some important economies of scale but it also can cause some intrusions on your personal space. So it is very important that you and your significant other (if there is one) talk this over and decide if it’s right for you before commencing your search.

Searching for the Right Condo

The next step in the search once you have decided it is definitely a condo you are looking for is to decide where what area you want to live. Do you want a condo in Florida at the beach or maybe someplace cooler like a condo in Montreal? Once you decide what place you want your condo to be located, the next thing you need to do is decide what part of that town or city you want it located in. Do you want a short commute to work or do you want it close to the kids’ school, these are all important factors to consider. It’s hard to sell a condo quickly once you buy it, so make sure you get the right one for your needs.

The Purchase

What is the biggest decision of all when buying a condo? The answer of course is the price. You need to find something that fits into your budget and that you can make payments on comfortably if you are getting financed by a bank. You may also want to make sure you have enough to do some minor alterations to the condo so you can decorate it as you so choose. You also want to avoid a price that saddles you with too much debt. So make sure you buy at a price that is comfortable for you.

Buying a condo can also be looked at as an investment too. Make a purchase in a unit that will gain in value because of its location and the way the building is run. You can also use it as collateral if you should ever want to take out a loan for something else too.

Buying a condo is no small purchase to be taken lightly. Treat it with the respect it deserves and put a lot of thought into before making a purchase. Keep these things in mind and you will be sure to find a condo unit that meets your needs well into the future.

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7 Tips for Saving Money to Buy a Home

May 13

7 Tips for Saving Money to Buy a Home

Buying a new home is a goal that many people work towards their entire lives. Everyone wants to have the home of their dreams, but many people struggle to make that a reality. Saving money for any purpose is difficult, but when it comes to homes, there just never seems to be enough.

Even though it is a challenge, there are a lot of productive ways to save money for a new home. Most of these ideas are simple and easy methods that anyone can use in their daily lives. Here are seven tips for saving money to buy a home.

Save on current home expenses

No matter what living situation a person chooses while they save money to buy a home, there are always home expenses that they will need to cover. The first step anyone can take to save money is to reduce these expenses as much as possible. Some people might choose to look here for lower satellite TV prices, others may want to move to a smaller apartment.

Cut back on other investments

There are a lot of other investments that people will make throughout their lives other than buying a home. Some people will also want to invest in retirement, clothing, or stocks. These investments may be just as important, but in order to make real progress towards a home, consider putting other investing on hold.

Check out local home-buying programs

Some local governments or state programs will offer their residents some home-buying programs. These programs can not only help people save money, but they can also help everyone get into the home they want faster and pay it off sooner than they could on their own.

Set a goal for the down payment

Having a goal is an essential part of reaching any form of success. To successfully save money for a house, people should set a goal amount for their down payment. Typically, this amount is at least 20 percent of the asking price for the home.

Understand the mortgage rates of a good home

Many people will begin saving for their dream home without really knowing what it will cost to maintain that home. It is important to not only build up some savings for a down payment, but also to know how much the mortgage will be and other home costs that will need to be paid monthly.

Do not forget about an emergency fund

Even though it is easy to let other savings slip when focused on getting into a new home, it is still essential for everyone to maintain their emergency fund. This fund should be about what the family needs to live on for 3 months and should be kept apart from the savings for the house.

Host a garage sale

Many people will need to downsize for their current home or get new things for the home once they move. Instead of just giving away or throwing away old furniture, people can host a garage sale to make a little extra cash.


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Apr 24


Now Pune as we all know is quite a popular and commercialized city of the state of Maharashtra. Over the years, the city has seen so much change in its commercial, economic and educational sector.

Well, Pune being a city just two hours away from the metropolitan Mumbai has been enjoying a lot of popularity.

But Pune individually has also made a goodwill. The recent development in the city has been worth watching. Wherever you go around in the city, you see that there are some new ventures going on everywhere.

This advent of new industries and educational institutes has invited a huge mass of people to the city. Which is why, the demand for flat on sale in Pune has increased rapidly.

Yes, so this article is dedicated to all those migrants who are planning to move into the city for various reasons and would be needing to find some stable and comforting accommodation for themselves.

When you come into a new city, you are a complete stranger to that place and are rarely aware of the anything in the city. We definitely understand that it gets difficult to adjust into a new city, and this adjustment process gets a lot more difficult when you roam around searching for the perfect rental apartment. But that’s not it; some people also get themselves into trouble by not acting smart.

Imagine, you want a 1 BHK flat on rent in Pune, what shall you do?

Well, the simplest way you would feel for finding a rental apartment would be searching on the internet or consult an estate agent.

But what to do after you manage to find a house that fits your need? That is what we are going to guide you about today in this article.

Proper paperwork is damn essential before cracking any deal, yes! So many people get strangled in a situation when they are left astray on the streets because of weak paperwork and are also likely to get into trouble.

One should insure that the paperwork of the property that they are renting is completely in place and there are no loop holes what so ever.

And how can you insure that you have a strong paperwork? Well, read the guidelines down under and you’ll definitely get a pretty good idea,

  • Know the owner- there are so many flat on sale in Pune available, that you are likely to get confused. But once you’ve found one, make sure that the owner you are contacting is authentic and real.
  • Check your agreement- this is the most important aspect, to check your agreement. Check even the minutest details. Especially pay attention to the amount of the rent decided in the contract and the period for which the house is given to you. Make sure the deposit amount to also mention so there is no chance of any inconvenience in the future.

So these were the tips that we had for the people who are in near future planning to move into a rental apartment.

So whether you want a 1 BHK on rent in Pune or a bungalow or a villa, paying attention to the paperwork is mandatory in any deal.

Remember, paperwork is the most sensitive matter of any deal. And one has to insure that the paperwork is completely fair and error free.

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