Cove Real Estate



Posted by Cove Real Estate on 2/6/2015

Are you looking for a deal when buying your next home? Buying a fixer-upper home just might be the way to go but there are some important things to know before you buy. These helpful hints can help you save time, money and a lot of headaches when buying a fixer-upper. Set a budget: You need to know how much money you can afford to spend. You will want to factor in the price of the property plus the cost of the renovations. Remember to plan for the unknown, add at least 10% to it for "overruns". Most projects never seem to go as planned. Plan ahead: Buying a fixer-upper requires more planning. When looking at potential homes you will want to make a list of renovations. Try to come up with an estimated cost of the renovations. You will also want to identify whether or not you have the expertise to do the renovations or if you will need to hire a contractor. Get a home inspection: There are some things that are unseen to the untrained eye. A good home inspection will be able to tell you all of the needed repairs and potential pitfalls. Remember buying a fixer-upper is an investment. Follow the tips on this list and you will be prepared for the project of buying, renovating and owning a fixer-upper.





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 1/9/2015

Buying a home can be an exciting time and there is no better time to buy and take advantage of low mortgage rates and prices. Buyer beware, just because it is a good deal you still need to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line. Here are some potential purchase pitfalls to look for: Do-it-yourself anything Does the home you are purchasing have a great finished basement, new deck or three season addition? Check with city or town hall to make sure the work was done to code and the proper permits were pulled. Things not done to code can be expensive to fix and can ultimately lower the home's value. Structural problems Structural problems are a big red flag. Have a professional home inspection and if need be have a structural inspection on the home. Things to look for include doors and windows that don’t open and close properly and cracks along the foundation. Some cracks may be harmless and normal settling but typically the bigger the crack, the bigger the problem. Structural problems are usually a deal killer as they can be very costly to fix. Insect damage can be part of a much bigger problem. Signs of excessive termite or pest damage does not tell the whole story and often there is unseen damage inside the walls. This may require a special pest inspection to determine if the home's studs have been compromised thus affecting the home's structure. Water damage Another potential problem is water damage. Water damage can cause the failure of the foundation. Water needs to be always draining away from the house. Look for moisture or water stains in the basement. This may indicate a drainage issue. Also be sure to check if the home is in a flood zone. Water in the home can also cause mold. Mold can lead to many serious health issues and is expensive and time consuming to remove. Mold should always be removed by a professional specializing in mold mitigation. Electrical work Do-it-yourself electrical work or antiquated electrical can be a recipe for disaster. When looking at homes be wary of electrical work that has been added on over the years. If the home has an addition make sure to ask if the current electrical system is enough to handle the additional square footage. Be wary of older knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring this can be very expensive to replace. A professional home inspector should always be able to help point out potential pitfalls in a home before you purchase it. Never skimp on peace of mind. To find a qualified home inspector you can check with the National Association of Home Inspectors.





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 12/12/2014

Have you always dreamed of owning a second home? While owning a vacation home may see like a huge expense, it can also provide some savings. There are special tax rules and regulations that apply to second properties that could have you vacationing on the cheap. Before you buy a second home you should consider how you will use it. The Internal Revenue Service will categorize the home for tax purposes on how it is used. Here are the ways it can be categorized: Residence: It will be considered a residence if you use it for personal housing at least part of the year. If your home is a residence you can deduct the mortgage interest under your vacation on line 10 of Schedule A. Investment: If the property is rented most of the year, it's considered a rental or investment property. In order to have a deduction on an investment property your rental deductions can't exceed gross rental income, less interest, taxes, and costs to advertise the property. If your income totals more than the rental income received you won't be able to list the loss (the excess expenses) on your income tax return. Another benefit of a rental property is that you may be able to deduct the value of your rental property over time. This is called depreciation. Depreciation is the wear and tear on a property over time. This can all be confusing so it is best to contact a tax advisor before purchasing a second home. There are some other key points to keep in mind: If the property is purely an investment, all the expenses are deductible against the rent. You don't have to claim income if you rent the property for less than 14 days a year. There are lots of other rules about timing and claiming a property as a residence or an investment. Always make sure to consult with your tax advisor.





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 11/21/2014

The housing market may be in recovery and some analysts are predicting that mortgage rates will be heading upward. In that case, and in any case prospective, current home seekers as well as homeowners are always looking to lock into the lowest interest rate possible. Here are some tips to help home buyers shop for the best rate: Before you call your lender and ask for the best rate you need to know two things: 1. The number of points you want to pay. 2. The length of time you want to lock in the rate. Knowing what you are planning on doing with your home and how long you intend to stay there will give you a baseline for comparison of rates. Don't just call any old lender advertising the lowest rates. As not all real estate professionals are alike, neither are lenders. You need a reliable lender who will not try to trick you into a lower rate only to change the rate on you later. The best way to find a lender is through a referral.  Once you have found a lender you will want to shop around for a few more. Make sure to be up front with everyone, and be consistent. Call them all on the same day and provide the same information to everyone. The interest rate is not the only fee to consider when borrowing money to buy a house. Be sure to ask about all the additional fees associated with the loan. For more information check out the Truth in Lending Act.    





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 10/31/2014

When searching for a home you may want to first consider if you are looking to purchase a new or an existing home. This is a common questions that many home buyers  consider during the early stages of their home search. Some of the advantages home buyers cite as reasons to buy a brand-new house or condominium are: energy-efficiency, open layout, a warranty, the selection of appliances, flooring, paint colors and other design elements. There are advantages to purchasing both new and existing homes. The National Association of Home Builders(NAHB) has created a list of the advantages of buying a newly built home. New homes are often built in communities of new homes. When this happens all the neighbors are new to the neighborhood. This can help families form bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime. Newer homes offer more open floor plans making entertaining easier. New-home layouts often feature great rooms, higher ceilings and additional windows that bringing in more light than you would find in an older home. The appeal of owning something new can be a strong draw. Some buyers like the thought of being the first to cook a dinner in a brand-new kitchen. While others don't like the idea of having to repaint or update an older home. A new home allows a buyer to create their own home décor from the beginning. Newer homes are built for today's high-definition televisions, DVRs, computers and other electronic needs. New homes can be tailored to meet an individual home owner’s needs. There is little to no cost associated with home repair on a new home. Buyers pick the features, appliances and modern features to suit your needs.  When purchasing a new home it is truly built to the buyer's liking. Newly constructed homes are more energy efficient. They often include energy saving features such as double-pane windows, insulation and appliances which can reduce energy costs. Have you ever considered buying a newly constructed home, if so, why?