Our convention takes place from March 20-22 at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre. The schedule is packed with keynote speakers and educational breakout presentations on a variety of real estate topics. The convention kicks off with a charity golf tournament on Thursday, then continues with all-day presentations on Friday and Saturday. The topics that will be discussed include marketing, using social media, selling properties through auction, working with global clients, acquiring luxury listings and boosting website traffic. You can register for this event online. As an added incentive, if you register by January 31st, you’ll be entered to win a free iPad. We also have a block of hotel rooms reserved for convention attendees, so make sure you request the group room rate when booking your stay. We hope you’ll join us and make 2014 a great year for your career!
The costs associated with buying a new home add up quickly. That’s why it’s crucial for you to make sure you have a budget in place. Otherwise, your new home could end up draining your finances.
Use the following tips on budgeting for new homeowners to ensure that you spend your money wisely:
- Set aside money for repairs: Make sure you can afford to take care of minor maintenance issues before they become larger ones. You also never know when major problems will come up, such as a burst pipe.
- Hire professionals: Look for qualified and reputable contractors to do repairs on your home instead of attempting to do them yourself, which could end up costing you more money.
- Limit spending on decorating and remodeling: Take your time filling your home with new furniture and having things replaced or fixed up, so you won’t overspend right after buying your new home.
- Hire an accountant for taxes: This helps ensure that you’ll include all of the homeowner deductions you’re entitled to, which helps maximize your refund.
When it comes to financing your new home, you’ll need to be approved for a home loan. Before that can happen, though, you need to know roughly how big of a loan you’ll most likely need. This is where the terms “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” come into play.
Getting pre-qualified happens first and means that you’ll find out how much of a mortgage you might be approved for. This step doesn’t involve as much scrutiny as pre-approval, so you won’t be going through a credit check or be asked to provide tons of information on your financial situation. You’ll also learn about the different types of mortgages, so you can find the one that would be best for you.
Being pre-approved is more in-depth than getting pre-qualified. Your lender will go over your credit report and look closely at your finances. You’ll also need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the paperwork that the lender requests. You’ll get a specific loan amount, which you can use to negotiate the price of a home.
Having a home inspection done is an essential part of the home buying process. It provides you with information on the home’s condition, so you can factor in the cost of needed repairs before settling on a price.
When it’s time to have an inspection done, avoid making the following mistakes:
- Focusing too much on cost: Hiring the cheapest inspection company could cost you more money down the road when you suddenly encounter problems that you weren’t aware of. Hire a reliable inspector instead.
- Not being there: Going in-person gives you the chance to ask questions about the home’s condition and find out more about it.
- Skipping new construction inspections: New construction should always be inspected in case the contractors made mistakes that could lead to future trouble.
- Expecting precise estimates: Your inspector can tell you about how long certain systems will be good for, such as the central air unit, but it’s only a rough estimate.
- Ignoring the inspector’s advice: Follow up on the inspector’s recommendations before closing on the home.
Keeping your house in good shape is crucial if you plan on putting it on the market soon. Otherwise, you could run into problems or maintenance issues that will cause delays in the selling process or even keep buyers away.
Use the following tips for winterizing your property to make sure yours will be in good selling condition:
- Have a furnace inspection done to ensure that your heating system is running efficiently and safely. This gives you time to replace it or repair it if necessary.
- Clear out your gutters, so melting snow and ice won’t cause blockages or leaks that could affect your siding or your home’s interior. Make sure that your downspouts are also fully connected to keep water draining away from your home.
- Insulate any exposed pipes on your property, so they won’t freeze up and break or burst. This could lead to extensive water damage on your property. Outdoor faucets should also be winterized.
- Replace any bulbs that are burnt out in your outdoor lights so you’ll have plenty of light when it gets dark early.