Are You Ready?

Mon, 08 May by haidarealty

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Should I buy a home? Or should I rent? Read on to find out if you are ready for homeownership.

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge on your dream home. But are you really ready to own it, or should you consider renting? Home ownership is often touted as a popular facet of the American Dream. But buying a home is not something you do on a whim. Rather, it’s a deliberate process that involves assessing your life to determine if buying a house is a financially sound step for you. Here are some signals that you might be ready for homeownership.

You Are Debt Free

You know you’re ready to buy a home when you are debt-free. Not only would paying a monthly mortgage seem like a herculean task, but getting a mortgage lender to finance your home could be difficult as well.

Lenders often decide to lend based on the debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is related to your total monthly debt to gross monthly income. The higher this number, the more difficult it is to receive financing. If a large portion of your income is going to pay off your pre-existing loans, you have to ask yourself if you can really afford to pay off another huge loan. If you are still paying off your auto loans, student loans, and credit card debts, or have a debt-to-income ratio of more than 43%, now might not be a good time to buy a house.

You Can Afford a Down Payment

A down payment is a percentage of the total price of the home that you pay up-front. The number one hurdle that potential house-buyers face is this initial investment.

How much should you put down as down payment? The standard amount is 20% of the asking price of the house. This is the ideal percentage to keep your monthly mortgage check low and manageable. A 20% or higher down payment will also allow you to refinance your future home at a lower interest rate.

Being able to afford a healthy down payment shows your lenders that you are capable of saving, and that you are serious about your investment. This payment negates the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which gives your lender protection in an event where the buyer stops paying their mortgage.

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The 5-Year Rule

If you’re planning to stay in one place for at least 5 years, that’s a great time to buy a home. The reason is that this long-term commitment helps build equity.

Equity is the difference between the appraised value of your house and the balance left to pay as mortgage. One thing to be aware of is mortgage amortization, which is how mortgage payments are calculated: how much goes toward paying off the principal amount, and how much goes toward paying the interest.

At the beginning, more of your payment goes towards paying interest than principal balance. But after making enough payments, as you get closer to paying off the remaining balance on your loan, more money will go to pay the principal amount rather than interest. Each month, equity on the house increases. Five years is a good benchmark to develop enough equity to sell your house for a profit, which may be used to make a bigger down payment on your next house.

You Have an Emergency Fund

Life is full of curve balls, and you should be prepared for those, especially financially. Another great indication that you’re ready to purchase a home is that you have an emergency fund reserved for unexpected events like lay-offs, car repairs, renovations, emergency medical expenses, etc. It’s a good idea to build a safety net before investing in a house. A good benchmark is to have 6 months’ worth of income saved up in a savings account. This gives you a healthy blanket of financial security to handle any financial setbacks that might come your way. Emergency funds should be kept separate from your down payment.

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You Can Afford the Associated Fees of Buying a Home

Buying a home requires more than just being able to afford the sticker price. There are several costs that may not be mentioned up-front that most new buyers don’t consider. Educating yourself about all these fees, which can add up to a substantial expense, will put you in a better position to tackle what many new buyers might consider as an unexpected blow to their home-buying plans.

Home inspections, closing costs (an umbrella term that includes several costs like lender fees, title fees, home appraisal, and Escrow fees, etc.), moving costs, property taxes, home insurance, higher monthly utility bills, homeowner’s association (HOA) fees, along with maintenance, furnishing, and renovation expenses are all costs that many potential home-buyers overlook. Make sure that you have enough savings stacked up to cover these expenses.

Now that you know what to look for, find out How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent to learn the 6 factors to keep in mind when seeking the best agent for your house hunting.

Easter Ideas

Tue, 11 Apr by haidarealty

20 Creative Easter Egg Ideas to DYE For

20 Egg-cellent Egg Dying Ideas for Easter

Easter is just a few days away which means it is almost time to dye eggs!

I have so many fond memories of dying eggs at home. My mom was always unbelievably patient with me…even when I tried dying our eggs before boiling them in water. (What a mess!) And I will also never forget finding an egg weeks later hidden behind our piano…another oops.

For those who celebrate, I am sure you can remember the good old days of buying the Paas egg kit that came with those little round tablets that you had to drop into vinegar. Somehow your hands always ended up getting stained an odd greenish brown color. I really wish I had known about this GENIUS idea. Today there are so many options! Eggs kits that have glitter, stickers, sparkles and pretty much anything you can think of.

For those who want to skip the kit and think “outside the carton” here are 20 unique ideas for making beautiful Easter eggs. Want to learn how to make these eggs? Simply click the link of the blog where there egg-cellent ideas came from for instructions. 

Monogram Eggs | Lil’ Luna

Monogram Easter Eggs

Natural Dye Colored Eggs | Big Sis Lil Sis

Rubber Band Rainbow Eggs | Inkspired Musings

Watercolor Eggs | Alisa Burke

Flower Pressed Egg | The Magic Onions

String Eggs | Craftberry Bush

Glitter Eggs | Sew and the City

Edible Eggs | Barefoot Witch in the Kitchen

Chalk Eggs | Shelterness

Rhinestone Eggs | Martha Stewart

Metallic Eggs | Think Crafts

Sequin Eggs | Craft Ideas

Sweet Note Eggs | Lil’ Luna

Black and White Easter Eggs | Obviously Sweet

Tissue Paper Eggs | Aunt Peaches 

Waxed Eggs | Magic Onions

Elegant Eggs | Country Living

Punched Eggs | Lolly Chops

3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me as a First Time Home Buyer

Tue, 28 Mar by haidarealty

Wondering if it may be time to buy your first home? Take a look at this before you get started.

As I approach my four year “homeaversary” I decided to take a moment to reflect on all that I had on my mind as my husband and I prepared to make the biggest purchase of our lives. Here are some of the things I wish I had known sooner that I hope will help you, or someone you, know on their journey toward home ownership.

You Don’t Pay The Agent’s Commission as the Buyer

So many first time buyers wonder, “do you have to pay a real estate agent if you are buying a home?” For some, the thought of having to shell out extra cash when they are already doing all they can to save for their down payment is enough to make them walk away from the entire process before they even get going. Many are surprised to find out that the answer is actually no. A home buyer does not pay their agent, rather the agent earns their commission from the seller side of the transaction.*

Need help finding an agent? www.haidarealty.com.

Focus on Your Monthly Mortgage Payment, Not the Entire Thing

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is generally the first step you should take as a first time buyer. A common mistake that people often make is focusing on the total price of the home they can afford instead of the monthly payment they will be making. You may get approved for a $350,000 home, but this may not necessarily be what you can truly afford. Think of the amount your advisor suggests you can afford as a range. There is a high end and a low end and it is your job, not the mortgage advisor’s, to figure out what you are comfortable paying each month. It is crucial that you work with your advisor to understand how your down payment amount, credit, and the current mortgage rate affect your monthly payment.

Make the Jump!

To steal a line from Nike®…Just Do It™! From agonizing over the down payment to finding the “perfect” home there are a ton of moments in the first time buying process that are going to make you feel nervous. Know that it is natural and that similar to having a baby, there is never really a 100% perfect time. You are always going to wish you had more money in the bank, hope that the home had a backyard that was just a little bigger, or that you were just a little more sure what direction your life will be taking in the next 5-10 years. My advice: if you feel comfortable with the payment, love the location and “bones” of the house and will feel proud to make this house a home, then take the leap and don’t look back.

Hello world!

Tue, 10 Jan by haidarealty

Welcome to my new blog! I look forward to sharing new and exciting updates about the Real Estate Market and what is happening around town! Stay tuned for new posts coming soon!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.