Afonso Real Estate



Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 11/8/2017

When it comes to finding a place for you and your family to live, there have never been more options available than today. Banks and property owners have made living arrangements available and accessible to people of any lifestyle; whether you plan on staying in a home for just six months, or for the rest of your life.

It isn’t always easy, though, to determine which option is best for you. In this article, we’ll break down the financial and lifestyle characteristics of the four most common living situations: condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or owning your own home.

Condo living

Condominiums are a type of community living. But, they’re more than just an apartment that you own. Most condos are attached; meaning they’re not separated by yards and driveways. Some, however, are detached. One thing that is true for all condos, however, are the common areas throughout the development. This can include things like a park, yards, gyms, pools, or lounges and cafes. The best part about those amenities? You don’t have to worry about their upkeep.

So, since you own the condo, who pays for the common areas? Odds are, you’ll be paying a monthly fee or a homeowners association fee to upkeep the amenities your condo came with. Expect higher fees for better amenities and prime real estate location.

What about maintenance? Since you own the condo, you’re responsible for much of the interior maintenance, such as appliances. However, outdoor issues like roofing or siding are usually the responsibility of the homeowners association or property manager.

Condos are ideal for people who are somewhat committed to an area, and who want independence over their home without having to take care of all the landscaping.

Townhouses

Townhouses are in many ways the opposite of condos. They are often rented but they look like single family homes, complete with a driveway and front yard. There are also typically homeowners association fees for townhouses, but they can be significantly less since there are fewer amenities in a townhouse living environment.

Depending on your long-term plans, you can either rent or buy townhouses. Renting is usually a better choice for inhabitants who don’t plan on staying in the residence for more than a couple of years.

Homeownership

If what you truly seek in a home is independence and privacy then traditional homeownership might be the best option for you. If you own a home outright and don’t have to answer to a homeowners association, you get to choose what you do with your yard. There are of course, some limits to this, like getting additions approved by zoning boards, or trampolines signed off by your insurance company.

Financially, homes can be a good asset. They typically increase in value and allow you to build equity. You might also find them more financially dependable; rents can increase year after year, but your monthly mortgage payments typically won’t unless you choose to refinance.

Ultimately, buying a home is going to benefit you more the longer you stay there. So, if you plan on moving for work in the next few years, you might be better off renting.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 11/1/2017

As you prepare to embark on the homebuying process, you may encounter a variety of homebuying myths. And if you believe these myths, the risk increases that you may be forced to deal with many problems along the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying myths, along with the problems associated with these myths.

1. Buying a house is a quick, stress-free process.

The homebuying process may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. As such, he or she can help you identify and address these problems before they escalate.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about what you want to find in your dream house and help you plan accordingly. With this approach, a real estate agent will ensure that you can enjoy a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.

2. Getting a mortgage won't take long at all.

There are many factors that will dictate your ability to acquire a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations. For instance, your credit score, income and outstanding debt will impact a lender's decision to provide you with a mortgage. And if you have experienced financial problems in the past, they may impact your ability to acquire a mortgage today.

It generally helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. Because if you have a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search.

Also, it may be beneficial to shop around for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. If you explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can select a mortgage that suits your finances perfectly.

3. The first home that you see in-person likely will be the house that you'll end up purchasing.

The homebuying process offers no guarantees. And if you expect to buy the first home that you view in-person, you ultimately may be disappointed with the final results of your home search.

Oftentimes, it is a great idea to check out a wide range of houses. By conducting an in-depth home search, you can select a house that fulfills all of your homebuying demands.

As you search for a home, you may want to work with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. He or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific residence, as well as negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you won't have to pay too much to acquire your ideal house.

The aforementioned myths can be harmful to any homebuyer, at any time. If you hire a real estate agent, however, you can learn the ins and outs of the housing market and avoid potential hurdles throughout the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 3/8/2017

If relocation and house hunting is in the foreseeable future for you and your family, making a list of requirements and preferences will help ensure that you're satisfied with your next home.

Checklists are available from a variety of sources, including real estate agents and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

While it's nearly impossible to find an affordable property that's a short drive from everywhere and that meets all your requirements, creating a prioritized list will help you clarify your goals and help you get the real estate features that are the most important to you and your family. Having a well organized list of priorities will also make it easier and more practical for your real estate agent to locate properties for sale that are aligned with your needs and preferences.

While the ideal home should be comfortably close to jobs, schools, childcare, and supermarkets, there are other conveniences and necessities that are sometimes overlooked by home buyers. Here are a few additional items to consider:

  • Medical and dental offices: Although it's difficult find the ideal house that also happens to be located just a short drive from all your family's medical and dental care providers, it's a goal worth considering when evaluating different properties. Being close to a preferred hospital can also be a desirable feature -- especially if you expect to be looking for top-quality maternity care in the near future.
  • Houses of worship: If you and your family attend religious services several times a month, it would definitely make life easier to live a short distance from your favorite church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • Automotive services: When you need an oil change, state inspection, AC maintenance, or car repair, it's much more convenient to have it taken care of close to home.
  • Transportation: Whether this item ranks high or low on your priority list depends on how often you plan on traveling for work, business, vacations, college, or family visits. For some people, proximity to airports, train stations, bus depots, and major highways can be a major benefit.
  • Recreational facilities: For families with active lifestyles, being close to tennis courts, golf courses, fitness clubs, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities would be considered a big "plus". For others... not so much.
  • Entertainment: Again, it depends on individual lifestyles, but some people enjoy going to the movies, restaurants, concerts, and the theater on a regular basis.
The value of creating a list of requirements and a "wish list" boils down to clarifying in your own mind the conveniences, services, and facilities that are most important to you and your family. It's also a more efficient method of communicating your hopes and needs to your real estate agent. His or her objective is to help you find the residential property in your target area that best satisfies the majority of your goals, desires, and dreams.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 12/28/2016

Taking ownership of an older house could save you thousands of dollars. In fact,ticket prices on houses built during the 1940s are generally half the ticket price on modern homes. Think of buying an older house the way that you approach buying a used car. As with a used car, because the house has experienced wear and tear, you won’t be asked to pay top dollar to move into the home.

Age could provide you significant cost savings

Pick an older home that’s not located in an area that’s overseen by a homeowners association and you could save thousands of dollars a year. Other ways that buying an older house could save you thousands of dollars are in structural maintenance costs.

Houses built around World War II were built to endure hard blasts. Punch a wall in a house that was built during the 1940s and you could break your hand. On the other hand, you could tear a hole in a house built during the 1980s or later if you accidentally jam the end of a broom handle against the wall.

Walls of houses built in the 1940s were made of cement. Modern homes may be constructed with fiberboard or plasterboard panels. Fiberboard and plasterboard are thinner than cement walls. You may have heard a relative or friend refer to the walls as being “paper thin”.

As a note of caution, get walls of older houses you’re thinking of buying inspected. Many walls in houses built during the 1940s were made with asbestos cement. To save money on an older home also ensure that the house is well ventilated.

Making the most out of buying older houses

If you don’t, you could buy a house that, although durable, is not well insulated or ventilated.Poor ventilation can cause a house to feel uncomfortably warm during summer months and far too cool when it gets cold outside. Also, make sure that the older house you want to buy has central air conditioning.

Of course,if you spend a lot of time outdoors, central air may not be a priority. To keep your older home cool during summer without turning on central air, close the doors to rooms that you are not using. Place chairs and sofas near windows and vents. And use window air conditioners and efficient floor fans.

You may love the privacy that you’ll gain with an older home, as older houses are generally not designed with open floor plans. Each room may have a separate archway or door. Houses in older neighborhoods tend to have a similar floor plan.Depending on when you grew up, you may recall how your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents homes’ were laid out the same.

After you get an older house that you want to buy inspected, you can always modernize the home. For example, you could install solar panels in the house. Upgrade the insulation and knock down walls and create an open floor plan to give the home a more spacious look and feel.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 6/1/2016

There are so many things to think of when buying a home. It can be difficult to think of everything when you are house shopping. When you tour potential homes it can be easy to get caught up in things that may not be as important after you move in like storage, parking, and privacy. When home shopping you should make a checklist of the things you must have in a home so you don't get caught up in the new granite countertops or the beautifully decorated master bedroom. Think function over style when making a buying decision. Here are some things you may want to consider putting on your must-have list. Storage When walking through a home make sure to make note of the amount of storage. A good staging job can disguise a home with too little storage. Imagine the home with no furniture and picture your furniture and belongings in place. If you are seriously interested in the home bring a sketch pad and measure the rooms and draw a quick sketch of walls, doors, windows and closets. Location Consider the location of the home to places you frequently travel. You may only be a few miles from the store or work but what is the commute like? Do a practice run at rush hour from the home to your work. If you are moving near public transportation give that a try too. Make sure to try the commute both ways. Enough Power and Water Imagine waking up the first morning in your new home and finding out the water pressure is barely enough for a shower or the water gets cold half way through.  It is important to determine if the plumbing and wiring can accommodate your lifestyle. Check the size of the hot water tank and run a few plumbing items at a time to check the water pressure. Talk to your home inspector about the electrical system. Make sure the home inspector knows the kinds of electrical equipment you run and the number of people that will be living in the home. Privacy Many buyers overlook privacy until it's too late. Try to spend some time in the house. Look out the bathroom and bedroom windows and test what you see. Do a walk-through of the home and pretend to go through your day. Sit in the back yard and on the deck to see and listen to the neighbors.




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