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Moving Up? What You Need to Consider to Accommodate Your Growing Family One of the most common reasons to buy a home is to accommodate your growing family. Perhaps you want to live in a neighborhood with better schools and more services, or maybe you need a bigger house as the two of you turns into three and then four. In fact, in a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders, some 64 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: "I wish my home were larger." The other two top concerns are price and finding the right neighbor-
Mortgage RatesU.S. averages as of May 30, 2002:
30 yr. fixed: 6.76%15 yr. fixed: 6.22%1 yr. adj: 4.76%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
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hood. If you have a young family and are ready to make the jump from your entry level home, or if you've been renting and are embarking on the purchase of your first house, you'll want to consider the
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?Let me show you.
Selling The Deal As Important As Selling The House Seller markets creep up on you. They don't just suddenly happen from one month to another. As a local economy strengthens, jobs are created bringing in workers, which creates a demand for more homes. As one builder told me, "Homes are where the jobs go at night." Buyer markets on the other hand, can materialize suddenly, like a really bad cold in the morning or the obnoxious brother-in-law at your front door. All it can take is a couple of stories in the local media about some sort of slow down or a possible factory closing and suddenly, buyers don't want to buy anymore. As the economy slows, people lose jobs and start moving elsewhere. With no one moving into town, those houses can sit on the market a long time. This economic climate creates a glut of homes, which means you've moved into a buyers market. Buyers are in control and get prices lowered, lots of seller subsidies and even some extra perks and cash.
Think Green: Trees a BigPlus For Your Home As you embark on your house-hunting ventures, chances are the contenders canopied by mature trees will make the top of your list. Or, if you're buying a new home, you're probably anxious to get those trees planted to reap the awards in the years ahead. The benefits of trees are numerous. They increase property values, sometimes as much as 20 percent, according to the National Arbor Day Foundation. On average, trees add between 5 to 7 percent to the value of the property - the U.S. Forest Service says the added value results in an extra $5,000 per lot. Trees also help cool your home. The USFS says trees that are placed strategically around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent in energy used to heat a home. Growing Greener Cities, A Tree Planting Handbook (Global Releaf, Living Plant Press, Los Angeles, 1992), says the average base value for a tree with a 10-inch diameter (measured 4.5 feet from the ground) is $1,729. A tree with a 30-inch diameter has an average base value of $15,554. The values are adjusted based on species, location in relation to the house, and condition.
Turn Your Inspection Into a Maintenance Planning Guide Your offer has been accepted and, like 77 percent of American homebuyers, you've heeded your agent's advice to hire a professional home inspector to examine the home you hope to purchase. But once the inspector has done the job and issued a report, what's your job? Barring the discovery of a major defect that will significantly alter the negotiations, you shouldn't dismiss the inspection as just a formality. Instead, you should use the findings, along with a little research, to calculate how much replacement and maintenance of individual parts will cost you in the coming years and analyze the value of the home you're about to purchase.
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