First-Time Homebuyer Tips: Get the Mortgage You Want

Obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you streamline the process of analyzing various mortgage options and choosing one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers secure the ideal mortgage.

1. Assess All of the Mortgage Options at Your Disposal

Both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available, and homebuyers who understand the pros and cons of these mortgage options may be better equipped than others to make the right mortgage decision.

A fixed-rate mortgage ensures a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage enables a homebuyer to budget for monthly home payments over the course of three decades. And in many instances, a homebuyer may be able to pay off a fixed-rate mortgage early without penalty.

On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage may start out with a lower monthly payment that escalates over the course of a few years. An adjustable-rate mortgage, for instance, may allow a homebuyer to acquire a home that surpasses his or her initial budget thanks to a lower initial monthly payment. However, after the first few years, the monthly mortgage payment may increase, and a homebuyer will need to plan accordingly.

Assess your mortgage options closely – you’ll be glad you did. By doing so, you can boost your chances of selecting a mortgage that works well based on your current and future financial needs.

2. Evaluate Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, a first-time homebuyer’s credit score may impact his or her ability to get the right mortgage. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can analyze his or her credit score without delay.

You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, with your credit report in hand, you can better understand how potential lenders may view your mortgage application.

Of course, if you receive a copy of your credit report and find glaring errors, be sure to let the credit bureau know immediately. This will enable you to get any mistakes corrected and ensure these problems won’t slow you down as you pursue your dream residence.

3. Consult with Potential Lenders

Although getting a mortgage may seem like an uphill climb at first, consulting with potential lenders may prove to be exceedingly valuable, especially for a first-time homebuyer.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to educate you about assorted mortgage options. These lenders can teach you about the ins and outs of various mortgage options at your convenience.

Lastly, if you need extra help in your search for the perfect mortgage, real estate agents may be able to offer assistance. These housing market professionals can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about lenders in your area so you can move one step closer to securing your ideal mortgage.

Ready to get a mortgage for the first time? Use these tips, and you can accelerate the process of obtaining a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Should You Repair Or Replace A Broken Appliance?

Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.

So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question: 

Is it worth getting this repaired?

If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.

Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance

Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:

  • Dishwasher 9 years
  • Freezer 13 years
  • Range 15 years
  • Dryer 13 years
  • Washing Machine 10 years

Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.              

Pricing Appliances 

Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs. 

New Features

If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.

Tips for Moving Furniture

If you recently bought or sold a house, you may need to vacate your residence sooner rather than later. This probably means that you’ll need to prepare a wide range of large items for moving day, including your furniture.

Ultimately, moving furniture from Point A to Point B can be quick and simple – here are three tips to help you transport chairs, couches and other furniture to your new address.

1. Pick Up Furniture Sliders

When it comes to moving furniture, it pays to work smart – not hard. If you purchase furniture sliders prior to moving day, you should have no trouble moving furniture over carpet, grass or other rough surfaces.

Furniture sliders usually are inexpensive and easy to find at any hardware or home goods store. Plus, these sliders can be placed under the legs of any chair or couch to make it simple for you to glide your furniture across rough surfaces.

To install furniture sliders, you’ll need to lift each corner of a piece of furniture and move the sliders underneath. By doing so, you can use these sliders to reduce friction when you push furniture across a rough surface, resulting in a faster, more efficient move.

2. Consider Lifting Straps and a Hand Truck

Let’s face it – furniture can be tough to move on your own. Fortunately, if you purchase lifting straps and a hand truck, you can avoid putting too much pressure on your body while you move furniture.

Lifting straps are designed to help minimize weight on your back, making them ideal for moving furniture and other heavy objects. They require two people to use and help these individuals share the weight of heavy items. However, you should not use lifting straps if you plan to move furniture up or down stairs, as the weight of a piece of furniture will shift to the person on the bottom.

Also, a hand truck represents a worthwhile moving day investment, particularly for those who need to move lots of furniture quickly. Hand trucks are available in a variety of sizes and enable you to wheel furniture in and out of a home.

3. Hire a Moving Company

If you need to move furniture and have no idea what to do, there is no need to worry. Many moving companies are available in cities and towns nationwide, and each of these businesses employs friendly, knowledgeable moving professionals.

Moving furniture can be time-consuming and physically demanding. On the other hand, if you hire a moving company, you can avoid the challenges commonly associated with moving furniture from one location to another.

Lastly, if you need extra help to move furniture or other heavy items, you should consult with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can connect you with the top moving companies in any area.

Enjoy a quick, seamless transition to a new address – use the aforementioned tips, and you can simplify the process of getting your furniture to your new address.