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When you purchase a home, you are not only choosing where to live, you are making a financial investment as well. Home Equity  is the percentage of your home value that you own and with each mortgage payment you make you are contributing to your own financial savings.  The goal is to build up as much equity as you can so that when you sell your home, you will make a nice profit!  Here are some tips for building home equity:

- Take Out a 15-Year Mortgage Loan - It’s common for people to choose a 30-year mortgage because many believe a 15-year mortgage is out of their budget.  However, it can’t hurt to ask your mortgage lender to run the numbers to see if a 15-year mortgage is doable for you.  You might be surprised to discover that the shorter term is within reach.  Sticking to a Budget that allows you to pay off your house in half the time will build equity faster and will certainly pay off in the long run!

- Pay Down the Principal - Build equity faster by paying down your home loan quicker.  Even if you don’t have the ability to take out a 15-year mortgage, you can still make extra mortgage payments when you have the means to do so and the difference extra mortgage payments can make toward building equity are huge. If you make just one extra payment toward  Principal each year, you can potentially pay off your home loan seven or eight years ahead of schedule.  There are ways to do this without breaking your budget.  For example, you can use a tax refund or a work bonus.  Another way to do it is to simply add a small amount to your principal payment each month.

- Make a Larger Down Payment - Depending on your credit standing, you can qualify for a conventional mortgage loan with a down payment as low as 3%, and an FHA loan with a down payment as low as 3.5%.  While it’s tempting to buy a house with a low down payment so that you have more cash on hand, the pros of making a larger down payment may outweigh the cons. The larger the down payment, the faster you build equity.  The faster you build equity, the more profit you will make should you have to sell your home before paying it off.

- Make Improvements on Your Home - Making Home Improvements is a good way to add value to your property.  It’s important to educate yourself about what home improvements give you the best ROI (return on investment).  For example, per Chris Terrill, CEO of HomeAdvisor, “a minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments homeowners can make.”  “Projects including refinishing cabinets, updating the countertops and installing new appliances all provide high return without breaking the bank.”  Other home improvements that add value to your property include replacing garage doors, adding a bedroom, updating a bathroom and installing new windows. And don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal!  A professionally landscaped yard will not only help with a quick sale; it can also add up to 20% to your home’s value!

Owning a home is likely the largest financial investment you will make, and the more equity you acquire, the more options you will have.  You can utilize your equity as a nest egg for the future or it can be used as a cash down payment on your next home.  Use these tips to build equity faster so you can build up your savings and enjoy this wonderful perk of home ownership!

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

The Best Chance For Selling Your New River Valley VA Home!

by Desi Sowers

The best chance for selling your New River Valley Va home is within the first four weeks. Each year, in our area, many home sellers make the same mistakes over and over again. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, I’ve compiled a list of the main factors to ensure you sell your home faster and net more.

Pricing

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value when you list it. Overpricing by only a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell in a desired time frame.

An overpriced home:

•           Minimizes offers

•           Lowers showings

•           Lowers agent response

•           Limits financing

•           Limits qualified buyers

•           Nets less for the seller

Cleanliness

Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of dirtiness or odor when buying a home. If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net your desired return. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do!

Likewise, declutter. You are moving anyway, so get rid of that old junk now so your house will appear larger. Put items you can’t bear to part with in storage to free up space.

Easy Access

The easiest way to show a house is to have a lockbox accessible to real estate agents! Allow your home to be available during all reasonable hours. Midmorning and midafternoon are usually the best, but sometimes people will want to see your home in the evening after work. Allow your home to be available on short notice as well.

Showtime

When your home is being shown, please do the following:

•           Keep all lights on

•           Keep all drapes, shutters and blinds open

•           Keep all doors unlocked

•           Make sure the temperature is appropriate for the season

•           Leave soft music playing

•           Take a short walk with your children and pets

•           Let the buyer be at ease and let the Realtor do their job

Paint and Carpet

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Paint makes the whole house smell clean and appear neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem.

Curb Appeal

Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your house to the buyer. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Has the grass been mowed, trimmed and edged? Walkways should be swept. Clean away debris. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn't like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.

Desi Sowers has distinguished herself as a leader in the New River Valley real estate market. Desi assists buyers looking for New River Valley real estate for sale and aggressively markets New River Valley homes for sale. 

Desi brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a New River Valley home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future – Desi Sowers will help make the most of your New River Valley real estate experience. Give her a call today, 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move. Have a question send me an email!


photo credit: pinterest.com

Top 10 Remodeling Projects for Adding Value to Your Home

by Desi Sowers

Top 10 remodeling projects for adding value to your home

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