3 Hidden Costs that a Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to switching over from a renter to being a homeowner. Owning your home means much more than being approved for a home loan and paying off the monthly payments as the years go by.


Simply put, there are other costs that are involved in being a homeowner, and here are 3 hidden costs associated with home ownership:

#1: Closing Costs on your Loan

Closing can literally amount to thousands of dollars on your home loan when it is finally settled, and the amount is usually negotiated while differing from state to state. Sometimes the buyer may have to come up with the cash or the seller will absorb the costs.

#2: Home Maintenance & Repairs

Almost every homeowner is aware of the fact that costs exists, and vary in amounts, depending on whether you buy a home in prime condition or which needs a bit of repair. Don’t be surprised if you have to deal with repairs almost every other year. So, it’s a good idea to keep some money aside for repairs in order to keep your house well-maintained.

#3: Property Taxes

Counties, municipalities and school districts all depend on property taxes paid by homeowners. It is usually about 1.38 percent of the value of the home at an average in the United States. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know how much your home will cost in terms of property taxes and set aside money for that very reason.

Tips to Selling Your Home with No Expert Assistance

When a home is on sale, the usual process is to hire a realtor and pay him a commission to sell your home at a good price. But what if you don’t want to pay that commission and do it all by yourself?


With the possibility of not being able to find any good buyers, there is always the likelihood that you might get frustrated and give up.

However, if you play your cards right, you can easily sell your with no need of expert assistance. So here are 3 tips that will help you do so:

#1: A Realistic Price is advisable

Don’t make a price based on what you feel your home is worth but actually come up with a number based on market fluctuations along with the prices of similar homes in your neighborhood. Also be aware of the terms of sale.

#2: Prepare the necessary documentation

Without a doubt, you have to put together several legal documents when you are selling your home. Some of them include the purchase contract, seller disclosures, loan application and property profile and so on and so forth.

#3: Conduct research on prospective Buyers

Prospective buyers are those who can afford your home, and if you know your buyer and information pertaining to his finances such as credit standing, job security, debts, liabilities and salary, you’ll also know how to negotiate to your advantage when you show them your home.

#4:  Don’t move out

No matter what you do, don’t move out of the home that you’re trying to sell. Firstly, it will tell the buyers that you need to close the sale as soon as possible. Since the house would be empty, much of it would look empty and unappealing.

3 Ways to Profit from every Meeting with a Seller

A meeting with a seller means taking time out of your busy schedule, from your real estate business, to discussing the possibilities of being able to make a sale for a client. Of course, this doesn’t happen all the time, since there are times when the property that is being discussed is a match for your business.


So how do you profit from such a meeting?

Here are 3 ways by which you can profit from every meeting with a seller:

#1: Use your Contacts

It doesn’t matter if you won’t be able to profit directly from this meeting especially if it isn’t a fit for your business. How you can indirectly profit from it is by referring the client to someone in your network who can actually help. In good time, they will return the favor with buyers if certain deals fall through.

#2: Collect Information on Local Market Conditions

Again, if you can’t seem to make a profit from the meeting, you can gain valuable information and perspective on local market conditions by asking question such as how long properties are staying on the market, the types of properties that are in demand or not, what rental and resale prices are and the seller’s opinion about the market.

#3: Spend some time thinking how you can improve meetings with clients

After every meeting with a client, make it a point to review what went well with the meeting and what didn’t. Also, come up with a plan as to what you will do differently the next time around. Not only will this build your reputation but your conversion rate should improve over time.


Common Condo Pitfalls

Shopping for a condo can sound very attractive, especially in today’s market where many first time home buyers are priced out. Condos are good first purchases for the right people, but there are common pitfalls owners fall into if they aren’t careful. Your best friend is a good tool to research the area, and you should be prepared to make some phone calls. Your condo might look beautiful, but you never know the state of everyone else’s.

Who Should Own a Condo

Condos are typically in urban areas, so moving into one implies you’ll be moving into a densely populated area. Condos can be conveniently placed within the city, so they are good for younger couples who still get out and about frequently. They are also good for older couples looking for a smaller space to tend to, but they may not be for everyone. It’s a lot like apartment living, so you need to evaluate what you want out of a home purchase.

Purchasing Challenges

Banks may also give you some difficulty when you look for loans. They tend to like a certain percentage of the condo complex to be occupied by owners, as opposed to renters, and may have tougher restrictions on the loan-to-value ratios.

HOAs and Fees

HOAs are a double-edged sword. They can help alleviate some of the costs of improving your condo, but if no one pays them they may rise over time. You may also require additional insurance coverage, or double check that the costs are not shifted onto you to lower premiums.


- Realty ONE Group CEO Kuba Jewgieniew is an expert in data-driven sales techniques. As a former stock broker, Kuba Jewgieniew has helped Realty ONE Group reach Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing companies for six years.

4 Factors to Consider When Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

So, you’ve found a fixer-upper home and are thinking about buying it. With it being inexpensive, it might seem like a good deal.

However, before you go ahead and buy it, think about whether you can go through with the renovation.

Here are 4 factors to consider when buying a fixer-upper home:

#1: Time

Let’s face it: renovating a fixer-upper will take a toll on your free time. So, if you’re one to hit the gym after work or even spend your weekend at the movie or out partying with friends, then a fixer-upper might not be for you.

#2: Structural Damage

If you’re new to home repair, then problems associated with structural damage might not be an issue for you to deal with. Whether it is termites, plumbing or foundational issues, fixing these will be a real problem for you as they will be expensive and time consuming.

#3: Type of problems

If the problem with your home is largely cosmetic such as improving the looks of homes with a bit of painting or even replacing the bathroom sink, then this might be easy to fix. Also, if the glitches are small, then it won’t require much expenditure or the expertise of a number of contractors either.

#4: Alternate Place to Stay

It’s good to have another place to stay while renovations are going on, then the transition might not be so difficult. However, if you don’t mind staying in the place that you are renovating with it being shabby and unclean, then that shouldn’t bother you either.

Wicker Works with Any Home

By Wicker Paradise

What kind of home are you currently living in? Hopefully, it’s one you like. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do more to make it a place you’ll be even happier enjoying and even showing off to others. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is by changing out the furniture in your home. Of course, this means picking affordable furniture you’ll actually enjoy. A great option in this regard is Rattan furniture, for example.


The great thing about wicker is that it can function in and outdoors. By choosing outdoor wicker furniture, your home can basically have a second room added onto it, because people will be more comfortable going outside and enjoying the patio, deck, porch, etc.

At the same time, there are just as many options for the inside of your home too. This makes it easy to have a style that flows well whether you’re outside or in. Plus, with so many styles to choose from, it’s easy to get the ones that also fit whatever style you currently have going.

Improving your home doesn’t have to be an expensive process. Instead, go ahead and utilize whicker to create a much nicer interior and exterior.


When you’re looking for ways to improve the look of your home, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours with physical renovations. Instead go to Wicker Paradise and shop through the many wicker furniture sets (including tropical furniture) they have to offer at affordable prices.

3 Types of Flippers

By definition, flipping a property involves buying it and then selling it for a quick profit. Usually, they buy properties at much lesser than the ‘retail’ rate. Best of all: one does not need a license to flip properties nor do they need to spend a lot of time either.

That said, here are 3 types of flippers:

#1: Scout

This flipper, as the name suggests, gathers information while also keeping potential investors of these deals. Most people get started in the real estate business by being a scout since this does not require any prior knowledge or cash in order to find distressed properties. Of course, for the information that he provides, he will charge a fee and that amount will depend on the property price and price potential too.

#2: Dealer

Much like the Scout, the Dealer also looks for properties for other investors. In this case however, he located a property that is a good bargain and signs a purchase contract with the owner. Since he is investing his own money for this, unlike a Scout, there is a considerable amount of risk that involves more than just information. After this, he has two options: sell the contract to an investor or sell the property himself. Full-time dealers can make at least $15000 a month while part-time dealers make about $3000 for that same duration.

#3: Retailer

This type of Scout usually finds and buys properties, thanks to the services rendered by a Scout, real estate agent or a Dealer. Unlike the other flippers, the retailer puts up most of the money and stands to gain the most profit from the deal which will be made with the owner-occupant. However, while Retailers will take months to realize their profit, Scouts and Dealers will make it in a matter of days or weeks.

Moving to Ridgewood Is the Best Choice

By Al Donohue

Are you planning a move in the near future? Perhaps you’ve had a life changing event or maybe you can just afford something nicer. Whatever the case, it makes a lot of sense to start perusing and considering Ridgewood homes for sale. These properties are second-to-none in terms of class, elegance and the amount of yard space you get with them.

Plus, a Ridgewood address is nothing to sneeze at here in New Jersey or anywhere else for that matter. You’ll be surrounded by a great community of people that treasure this sense of togetherness and foster the community spirit. This means friendlier people and a safer neighborhood.

Furthermore, no matter where you live, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the Ridgewood Country Club. There’s nothing wrong with that. This country club is not only beautiful, but a great place to meet people just like you with similar interests and ambitions.

Move to Ridgewood today and years from now you’ll look back on this decision as the best you ever made. And you’ll be sitting inside one beautiful home when you do it!


In terms of beauty and prestige, Ridgewood New Jersey real estate isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t getting bought up more and more every day. So if you’re looking to relocate, for whatever reason, it’s worth giving Ebergen County Homes a call today. They’re experts when it comes to this beautiful part of the country.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Condo Hotel Unit

Condo hotels is one of the hottest real estate investments around where owners will use their condos as and when they like but will allow it to be rented out, in the hotel’s rental program, when not using it.

However, as inviting as this seems to kill two birds with one stone, here are 4 questions that you should ask yourself before buying a hotel condo:

#1: Does a Condo Hotel work for you?

Condo hotels are not your typical second homes but are actually suites that are well-furnished and are located in some of the most popular resorts and hotels around the country. If you don’t know this already, these are located in high-rise luxury hotels and with prices ranging from $250000 to $1 million to purchase.

#2: Does it have a major franchise?

Who the hotel operator is will determine whether your investment is successful or not. Compared to a non-brand, condo hotels at the Ritz-Carlton, Trump, Hilton or Starwood will do much better and will ultimately make it a good investment.

#3: Is it well-located?

There are two questions about the location you must ask yourself before purchasing the condo hotel. It is located in an area which is a popular tourist destination and which will continue to be so regardless of a change in economic conditions. Yet most of all: Does it give a view of the ocean or the golf course that you’ve always wanted in a vacation home?

#4: Will the condo hotel appreciate in value?

Although you might buy this condo primarily as a place to spend your vacation, it’s a good idea to also check its potential for appreciation in value. For this, all you have to do is look at surrounding properties and their appreciation in values over the past few years.

Prime Real Estate in the Cayman Islands

Summary: Seven Mile Beach will see several new developments in the coming years. If you want a property on Grand Cayman, check out this blossoming stretch of beach.

Seven Mile Beach, which is only five and a half miles long despite the name, is one of the most beautiful places in the Cayman Islands. The beach itself is public property, and sees tourists visiting all year long. The area is happening, with restaurants and resorts dotting the sandy landscape. There are also new luxury condominiums being built there, in addition to more extravagant housing too. If you’re looking for Caribbean vacation homes for sale, look no further than Seven Mile Beach.

In the past few years, the area has seen substantial developments and new construction projects. There are gorgeous canal front homes , prized for their amazing views and boating access to the protected North Sound and Caribbean Sea, and luxury beachfront developments with numerous amenities. Cayman Islands property is on track for another strong year.

Don’t think that inventory is gone. The Cayman Islands sees new visitors year after year, with some choosing to stay while others leave. Anyone can buy property in the Cayman Islands. All property is exempt from annual property taxes and capital gains tax. So Cayman Islands property make for decent investments you can enjoy with your family. Land is becoming scarce, however, as more developments seek out the prime spots on the beach.


By Dream Finders real estate broker James Bovell specializes in property for sale in the Cayman Islands. Find a luxury condo or magnificent home on the beaches of Grand Cayman.

What You Need to Know About Buying Apartments

There are a number of factors that determine the success of investing in apartments but the most important one is its current and future income.

And there are a number of mistakes that can prove to be costly if one is not careful with regard to its income stream.

Some of these mistakes include not hiring effective management, using excessive leverage, failing to make a good deal, not having a viable business plan, poor market timing and a lack of market knowledge.

That said, it’s important to think things through when it comes to buying an apartment. For starters, it’s important to be independent with your thinking. Instead of buying real estate at high prices especially when other investors are interested, pick a time when the demand outpaces the supply.

Another thing to keep in mind is that conducting market research is imperative to your future financial success and one way to achieve this is to keep in touch with local guides who can direct you to the best locations so as to purchase the best property.

If you are purchasing property outside your local area, then you can partner with an experienced individual or firm so as to minimize risks.

Another thing that you must keep in mind is looking at a number properties before you decided to sign on the dotten line. Another benefit from this is you’ll get a good picture of the values of a number of properties before you make a commitment.

It’s also just as important for you to create a business plan that clearly lays out the objectives and goals of the property in question.

Finally, don’t forget to hire an excellent property management company which has a proven track record in managing the type of property you have acquired. They should be able to show results from their past records too.

Open House Safety Tips

Many homeowners use an open house to market their property to prospective buyers. When the seller lists property with an agent, he or she can ask for an open house. According to “The Real Estate Process: Pros Discuss Buying & Selling Your Home,” the independent seller can use an open house to market the property and save money in the process.

Best Days

Before arranging an open house, do a little research to determine the best date to host the event in your community. For many, the best day is Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The community newspaper or property agent are likely to have valuable opinions. After fixing a date for the open house, it’s time to promote the event. Most sellers want to send personal invites to their network because, even if these individuals aren’t looking for a home, they’re likely to have friends and acquaintances who are.


When a single buyer hosts an open house, it’s always best practice to ask one or more friends to stay for the event duration. An open house usually means that strangers are invited to view the property. With safety and security in mind, remove as many valuables as possible from the home, e.g. in a bank safety deposit box. Take all prescription medicines and drugs from bathroom cabinets for the event. If guns are kept in the home, make sure these are also removed.


Since more people market their properties to the public these days, it’s important to do some advance planning to ensure homeowner or family safety.


Kuba Jewgieniew is the CEO of Realty ONE Group, named one of the fastest growing companies by INC. magazine from 2009-2013.

4 Cities Where it is a Better Idea For One To Rent a Home

Almost every renter feels the pressure to buy a home with benefits such as building tax equity and cashing in on tax breaks.

However, given the situation in certain cities in the United States, it might take a long time to break even on home purchases.

So, it does make sense to rent for a little longer from a financial standpoint. That said, here are 4 cities where renting seems a better choice:

#1: Boston

If you’re not planning to stay for more than 3.3 years then it would be a good idea to rent a home instead. The Zillow rent index is $2458. No matter what, the city can be considered hot property where the median home value rose by 8.4 percent while the rent rose by 3.3 percent for the last 12 months.

#2: Virginia Beach, Virginia

If you aren’t sure of staying for less than 3.5 years, then it’s better that you rent a place. Better still, the median rent for Virginia Beach increased by 0.8 percent over the last year. The value for the Zillow rent index is $1534.

#3: Washington D.C

This is yet another city which works best for renting not unless you don’t mind waiting for 3.5 years . The median rent is about $2453 and which has increased by 0.3 percent since last year. It must be pointed out that the median home value is also up by 14.4 percent.

#4: Honolulu

In this tropical paradise it takes about 6.8 years for one to break even on the purchase of one’s home. With the median rent at $2276, it keeps decreasing by 5 percent year after year. This is why it is one of the best places to rent a home if you wish to.

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Southern Realty Inc.