The Pros and Cons of Buying a Semi-Detached House

November 12, 2018

Finding the right house for you is like finding a soul mate. You know that it is going to take a while before you find the right “one” for you. When you find it, you realize that it is not really “perfect” after all. There are some things that are not exactly what you want but in a way, it makes you feel right in so many ways.  

Owning a semi-detached home has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your situation. Let us list the pros and cons of buying a semi-detached house: 

Generous space 

If you have a big family, a large space from many semi-detached homes can be very helpful. These houses provide plenty of rooms which are good enough to accommodate all members of the family. A big space is ideal to make the flow of traffic inside the house smooth all the time. If you are lucky, you can find homes with a back lawn which you can use as a play area for kids or your pets. 

Maintenance issues 

If you have more space, you need more maintenance works to do. It can also cost you a little bit more to keep the good condition of your property. You might also need to spend more time cleaning it than houses with smaller interior areas. Some house experts say that an average family spends 2.5 hours a week on cleaning their house and fixing small things.  If you have a bigger house, you might need to spend long hours in cleaning your house.  

In terms of maintenance cost, one family spends $2,000 on maintenance a year on average. If you have a bigger house, you might spend more than this figure to keep your house in good condition.  

Price appreciation 

Most semi-detached houses gain value over time. Even if the demand for this kind of home has decreased since 2016, the home prices are still up. The average price a semi-detached home is $200,000 more than a regular home. If we will compare its price to condo units and apartments, it can be at least $300,000 more. Because of the price, it can be out of reach of regular investors. 


Your lifestyle will also determine whether a semi-detached home fits you or not. It is important that you discuss with your agent your family’s needs to check if a semi-detached house will be good for you or not. 


How to Calculate Real Estate Taxes

June 21, 2018

All homeowners need to . The Government requires it. It is essential for every homeowner to know how their Real Estate Taxes are calculated. Home ownership takes a huge toll on any homeowner’s finances. Knowing how much they’ll have to pay for taxes is the only way they can better manage their finances.  

Here’s how to properly calculate the Real Estate Taxes. 

Know the assessed value of your property 

The assessed value will serve as the guide for the price you can realistically sell your house for. Knowing the assessed value gives you a picture of how much you’ll have to pay in Real Estate taxes. For discussion’s sake, let’s say they that a certain property’s total assessed value is $300,000. This means that the land and improvements made to the property have a total value of $300,000. Land improvements refer to the structure(house or commercial building) built on the Real Estate property to increase its overall value.   

Know if you’re eligible for exemptions 

Homestead exemptions are provisions in the law that lowers the amount you’ll have to pay in Real Estate Taxes. They are tax breaks to entice people to buy their first homes to stimulate the US economy. The rate varies by state. For example, your State offers a tax exemption for the first $30,000 of your home’s total assessed value. It means $300,000 – $30,000 = $270,000. The amount of $270,000 is the value that the State can charge you for Real Estate Taxes.  

Mill levy or millage Tax 

The mill rates represent $1 for every $1000. It means $270,000 divided by $1,000 is equal to 2,700. If you’re State charges a rate of 2.5 mills, you have to multiply 2.5 with 2,700, you’ll come up with the figure of $6,750. In simpler terms, it means the local tax rate in your State is 2.5%. Your property’s value after the exemption is charged with a 2.5% Real Estate Tax. So, $270,000 multiplied with 2.5% or 0.025(the decimal form for 2.5%), you still come up with $6,750. The formula is (total assessed value – homestead exemption) * tax rate or (total assessed value-homestead exemption/1,000) * mill levy.  

The Real Estate taxes you’ll have to pay annually varies from time to time. The total assessed value of your property will change whether you have made any improvements or not. It will rise and fall together with the Real Estate Market. Assessors rely on market data to determine how much your property is worth during that time. This process is not perfect. 

If you ever feel that you’re paying too much on your Real Estate Property taxes, you can always file for refunds. You must first file an abatement request. The local tax agency will review the valuation of your property. If they find out that you’re paying more on Real Estate taxes than you should, expect to get refunds. 

How To Pay Off Your House Mortgage Early

March 1, 2018

There are many advantages when you pay your mortgage earlier than when it is supposed to end. Probably, the best benefit is having a peace of mind knowing that you finished paying your financial obligation. If you are looking for ways to pay off your mortgage early, consider the following: 

  1. Refinance with a shorter-term mortgage

This is what you can do: you initially set-up for a 30-year fixed-term mortgage for $200,000 at 4.5%. After 5 years, you realized that you have more money to pay your mortgage. You can refinance into a 15-year loan at 4% interest. Doing so will cut your mortgage payment by 10 years and will be able to make you save more than $60,000. 

  1. Pay more each month 

What you are paying each month is the principal plus the interest of your loan for buying las vegas luxury homes. If your income can afford it, pay extra than what is being required. To determine how much you need to add from what you normally pay, divide your monthly principal plus the interest by 12. Whatever the amount is, add it up to your monthly mortgage payment which is equivalent to 13 payments in within a year. 

  1. Make an extra every year

If you don’t like option number two, then you can pay one extra payment after every 12 months. Save at least 1/12 of a payment every month so that you can afford to pay one extra month in a year. This means that if you will do this from the first month after getting a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 at 4.5%, you can save as much as $27,000 interest, you will finish paying your loan four years and three months earlier. 

  1. Put whatever extra you have on the mortgage

There are times when you receive money that you are not expecting. If you have a generous boss, you probably get a bonus each month. How about a tax refund? Whatever extra money that comes your way, consider putting it into your mortgage rather than spending it on something else. In the same scenario above, if you a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of $200,000 at 4.5 %, then you paid a lump-sum of $10,000 from your bonus. By doing this, your mortgage will be paid two years and four months earlier and saves more than $19,000 in interest. 

Is Buying A Condo A Good Investment? 

February 23, 2018

Buying a condominium is just like buying any other Real Estate property. It needs to be studied carefully before coming up with the decision to purchase a unit. They are ideal for young professionals living and working in the city, Retirees who want to keep their busy lifestyles, and Savvy Real Estate Investors. Location, rental income potential, and lifestyle choices are very important factors that make buying a condo unit attractive. Most condominiums offer amenities like swimming pools, restaurants, or gyms. However, they have high property taxes and maintenance costs.  

So, is buying a condo a good investment? 


Capital gains 

Condominiums are erected and built in the heart of a bustling city or a vacation hotspot. These places have higher market values as compared to places that seem ordinary. The prices of condo units also tend to appreciate much slower as compared to single-family homes. They are more affordable early on and a better choice when you plan to live in it or have it rented out first before selling for a substantial profit later on.


Rental income  

Their locations make them an ideal asset for rental income. These places usually command a higher rental rate compared to houses located outside the city’s center. Condominiums are also an attractive option for rental income because of the lifestyle they can offer to those who live in it. Most condominium developers also offer property management services making you earn passive income without the complications a landlord regularly faces. 


Substantial savings on travel time and costs 

For some people, time is gold. They prioritize it over everything else. They want to make the most of their time and buying a condominium unit gives them just that. They can take advantage of reducing travel time and costs because they just have to walk to their respective places of work or business. The tax breaks help them greatly offset the costs of condominium ownership. 

Chance to own cheap vacation homes 

States like Florida and Hawaii are vacation hotspots. Owning a regular home there is more expensive as compared to buying a condominium unit. It’s your cheaper option of owning a great vacation home. Don’t worry about maintenance as you can have your unit managed by the developer’s property managers. That way, you are sure someone’s taking proper care of it and earning money for you while you’re away. 

It’s a good investment whether you’re a professional working in the city, a businessman or a retiree wanting to own a little piece of paradise. Buying a condominium unit is a great investment only if it’s making you more money over the cost of owning it.   

Realtor- A Better Option

February 6, 2018

Discount realtors can be a great option to reduce the expensiveness of full-service realtor commissions from the sale of a home that typically range in the amount of six percent of the sale price for which a home sells. Before using a discount realtor, homeowners must consider that using a discount realtor will not save them the full commission price. Discount realtor services range in price from a flat fee service to lower percentage rates depending on the services the seller wants. Lower commissions or fees means less service so that the homeowner must determine services he or she is willing to forfeit for savings in commission costs.

Getting a home listed on a flat fee MLS service is the best way for homeowners to get the word out about their home for sale to realtors. Whether a local or a multiple listing service covering a larger geographic area, only realtors can get homes listed on these services. There are flat-fee services that permit homeowners to get their names on a multiple listing service through a realtor that can range in price usually around $100. Therefore, having your ‘for sale by owner’ home listed on a multiple listing service is not sufficient justification for signing a contract with a traditional realtor. By having a ‘for sale by owner’ home on a flat fee MLS listing service other realtors will bring home buyers into your home. If another realtor brings in a buyer, the homeowner will have to pay a commission to that selling realtor. This is important for sellers to remember because it means that they will be saving half the commission they would have paid using a full-service realtor rather than the full amount.

Flat fee realtors offer many of the same types of document services that full-service realtors provide including binder and contract documentation. Realtors that assist with this documentation also range in providing document services for less than traditional rates or for flat rates. Because contracts used by realtors are typically fill-in-the-blank documents, sellers can often obtain such a document on their own and the provision of such a contract would not in itself justify commission paid to a realtor. Sellers can also use an attorney for the contract for the sale. Receiving the down payment at the time of the contract signing which is typically about 10 percent of the purchase price will require that a homeowner have a realtor or attorney or escrow agent to hold the down payment money. Other documentation from title searches to mortgage documents are typically handled by professionals in those fields and as long as a seller is using a checklist to make certain necessary documentation is obtained for a closing, a realtor is not a necessary part of assembling this paperwork. Arranging closings and contacting appropriate parties will also likely be part of a For Sale By Owner’s job when a discount broker is used.

The most significant area that distinguishes full-service flat fee realtors from the range of full-service realtors is in the area of marketing the home. From signs to advertisements in media to screening buyers and bringing in traffic, realtors advertise that their services will save a seller hassle and effort in getting an interested buyer. This is a judgment call that each seller must make for him or herself. Showing a home, making appointments for buyers to see your home and determining the ability of a buyer to pay for your home can be time-consuming work that may be worth the additional expense. On the other hand, discount realtor services are thriving because many people do not believe that realtors live up to their promises about providing these specific marketing services.

A Report on Realtor

February 6, 2018

Unlike other US cities, Realtors are a very important part of the home buying and selling process in Houston, Texas. A good, reliable Houston Realtor can help you process paperwork, make good home buying decisions, help you find properties and buyers that match your needs, and can take most of the stress out of the whole experience. So how do you choose the right Houston Realtor? When beginning your search for a great realtor in the Houston, Texas area, make sure to first check with HAR, or the “Houston Association of Realtors” is a great resource for finding reliable Realtors in the greater Houston area. To become and remain part of the Houston Association of Realtors family, realtors are required to follow a strict code of ethics. They are also subject to a rating system put into place by the Association. You can glance through many realtors in a short period of time by browsing HAR’s website. The Association can also help to match you up to a realtor that will match up with your specific needs and geographical location.

Another great source for a good realtor is your friends and family. If you know of someone in the Houston area who has recently purchased or sold property with a realtor, ask them who they used, and if they would recommend them. A source of a good realtor that you may not have thought of is other companies you use that deal with realtors on a regular basis, such as your insurance company. These companies may buy and sell property more often than the average home owner, and may have a close relationship with a realtor in the area.

Once you have a list of good, prospective realtors, go meet them! Don’t skip the interview process. Employers would not consider hiring an employee without an interview, so why should you hire a realtor, who will technically become a temporary employee of yours, with sitting down and asking a few questions first? So what sort of questions to ask? Be sure to start with conversation; some realtors you may click with automatically just through conversation. Make sure this feels like an agent you can trust, and that you can be candid with about your needs, financial situation, and budget limits. If you are not comfortable, the sale will not be a comfortable process either!

Next, you want to get a feel for their career. Feel free to ask for references; again, you have to look at this as a job interview. Make sure that their customers are as happy as they want you to think they are. Also ask how long they have been in the business and how long they have sold realty in the Houston area. It will give you a feel for how well they know the business and the area. If the realtor is new to the area and has never lived there, he or she may not be the right fit, especially if you are new to the area as well. Get a feel for what they can do for you. Ask what special or unique services they provide, such as virtual tours or special hours. Ask about the strategy they have in mind for selling your home or finding you a new property. Don’t be afraid to get your potential realtor to give you a break down of what your experience will be like, from start to finish.