55 Years Old – Don't Buy A House

If you have owned a house and paid off the mortgage over the years you know the first 10 years is almost all interest payments with very little equity.

There is nothing wrong with buying a house as long as you can qualify. That means a good down payment and a steady job. None of that no-down-payment nonsense. The buyer must be serious about making those monthly mortgage payments and have a good job. Banks are checking these days.

The financial community in the recent past has been required to make mortgages for those who did not qualify with no down payments and had no serious intention of paying if it became economically uncomfortable. It is too easy to walk away.

The true cost of home ownership is not just the monthly mortgage payment. In a new house all the appliances, plumbing, roof, pool equipment, window frames, etc., etc., everything has an estimated life expectancy after which they need to be replaced.

Buying an older home means all of the above will occur sooner. Replace or repair can be expensive.

The true cost of keeping the house is the mortgage payment plus upkeep. Oh and let's not forget taxes. Then there is a little thing called insurance that is required by the mortgage holder.

The industry calls it PITI = principle, interest, taxes and insurance. Depending upon the length of time of the mortgage and whatever your down payment was it normally comes out 10% annually of the selling price divided by 12 or 1% of the selling price each month.

If the house cost $ 200,000 that figures about or close to $ 2,000 per month.

If you are 55 years old do you want to take on that obligation? Wouldn't it be smarter to rent? If the same quality home can be rented for $ 1,200 per month the renter could save the difference of $ 800 each month and in 10 years at retirement have $ 96,000 plus interest. I can guarantee he would not have that in home equity if he bought the house when he was 55.

Furthermore renters pay much less for rental insurance and have the ability to move to a new location any time. Renters do not have to put on a new roof or replace an old hot water heater. No major upkeep out of pocket expense.

How about a 6 month rental in Canada for the Summer and 6 months in Florida, Mexico or Dominican Republic for the Winter? The only extra would be travel expenses.

With so many rentals available the foreclosure prices are not yet a great buy. If a person wishes to buy there are yet about 4,000,000 more distressed properties to hit the market in the next 2 years. Prices will be even lower than today.

Do the numbers before you buy.

Source Article

Operation Security: Safeguarding Your Home During An Open House

While an open house is a great way to actually meet the perfect buyer for your property, it is also a great opportunity for people with bad motives to do their rude moves. More than allowing your house to actually accommodate good buyers, you might also be accommodating bad people. So how are you are exactly going to do the open house while securing your home? Here are some tips.

Keep away important documents containing pertinent information such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts. These digits of numbers can actually be the key towards investigating crimes using your identity.

Remove jewelries, antiques, and other items of high values. These are eye candies and can easily attract robbers and thieves. Electronic gadgets like tablets, laptops, and smartphones should also be secured. Your personal and some confidential information can be leaked once these gadgets are taken away from your possession.

Photos of family members are advised to be hidden. You don't know how criminal minds think. Your family members, even with just their photos can be easy targets of crimes, especially children.

Never leave keys of your house, car, or rooms – even if they are just duplicates. These things are small and can be easily grabbed. When possessed by bad persons, these keys can be used to enter your property.

Never hide anything of value in your rooms and other likely places. Rooms within your house especially those that are locked up during the open house can imply that there are valuable things in there. Though they are locked up, it is still advised never to leave things of high value in those rooms. Some curious and naughty persons might be unnoticed sneaking in those rooms to peep on those things and plan something bad afterwards.

Have a logbook of guests joining the open house. This is a helpful record to see who came to visit the house. Make sure that the arrival and departure times are recorded too.

Take photos or videos of the rooms and other parts of the house before the open house in its staged state. After the open house, review the photos or videos to see if there are some alterations on how things are placed and ordered.

Remember that an open house should be an opportunity to meet buyers, or even meet new connections and friends. It should not be an opportunity or an invitation to persons with bad intentions. However, we won't know bad people until they have done wrong. So better stay safe and secured than be sorry later on!

Source Article

Selling My House in Philadelphia, PA

Smart Philadelphia homeowners want to know the score before they decide, "I want to sell my house." Understanding the market can make all the difference between simply unloading your home or getting the best possible deal on it. Educated sellers are able to contribute significantly to the sales process, acting as team players with their realtors.

If you're planning to sell your home, it pays to ask the important questions and have market data at your fingertips.

If I do decide to sell my house, how long can I expect it to be on the market?

Due to an 24 percent decrease in inventory-ie, the number of homes for sale-compared to last year, Philadelphia home sales moved fairly quickly in 2017. Generally speaking, Philly houses sold in an average 98 days last year, about two weeks faster than the year before. Quick turnaround is a trend that's expected to continue-perhaps even accelerate-as long as the supply of houses for sale remains limited.

What is the average selling price of houses in Philadelphia?

Because December 2017 continued to see a hot seller's market in Philadelphia, home values ​​have gone up-9.1 percent in the past year alone. Experts predict this trend will continue in the coming year. Right now, homes in the city sell for an average of $ 145 per square foot, for a median closing price of approximately $ 180,000. This represents an average 97.2 percent of the list price and an all-time high for homes in the City of Brotherly Love.

How many homes were sold in Philadelphia during the last few months?

According to Realtor.com , some 12,776 homes have been sold in Philadelphia in recent months. Long & Foster's Market Minute indicates December 2017 alone saw 1,309 homes sold in Philadelphia County, a 3 percent decrease from last year directly attributable to the 24 percent decrease in the number of homes listed.

What are the current trends in the Philadelphia housing market?

The Philadelphia housing market continues to be a strong seller's market. Real estate is trending upward and expected to do so for the foreseeable future. Construction has exploded in emerging neighborhoods, increasing demand in those areas. Experts predict between a 5 and 6 percent year-on-year surge in median sales prices as new listings continue to dwindle and demand continues to increase. In other words, the market is, and will continue to be, hot for sellers and very competitive from the buyer's standpoint.

Source Article

How Lifestyle Affects House Design

I can still hear the crunch of the gravel driveway under the tires of Grandpa's Dodge Fury at my grandparents' home in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I remember how well the house seemed to fit them and my great-grandmother, who lived with them, and how everything had its place in their home. In that simpler time homes were smaller and less complex, as were the lives of the people those houses sheltered. They were very comfortable in their modest ranch. It was a custom-built house, but it was unlike any of the others in their neighborhood. It was small, but spacious, and it had character. Knowing my Grandfather, I'm certain he shopped for the best bargain on the street, but he also knew construction and got himself a solid building of quality materials.

When as an Architect, I began to think seriously about home design, I wondered how that house came to be that fit them so well. I like to think that their quiet little homestead was designed and built with care and craftsmanship by someone who had a pretty good idea of ​​the kind of family that might like to live there. Our lives are more varied and complex now, and the design of our homes should support and reflect that.

The opportunities for architectural invention in home design today are limitless – new materials, products, and construction techniques are constantly being introduced, and new technologies are having an impact. Unlike days past when historical styles ruled home design, our options today are wide open. We are free to interpret style, or to create our own to satisfy our aesthetic desires.

But all of these available design tools are too rarely used to create homes that are molded to the lives of their owners. Instead, homebuyers find themselves having to choose from among a few floor plans designed to appeal to a broad market, and then struggling to give it personality and character with just paint, carpet, and furniture. We try to make a house "ours" with features and decorating and never consider that it is the architectural design itself that brings a house to life.

We lose sight of what's possible and end up with just another house instead of a home.

Designing and building a new home is an opportunity to create something brand new, something unique, something as individual as you. We're working on several homes that defy any stylistic categorization because their inspiration, their "style" comes from the lives that their owners lead. These homes are built with character as the major construction material – the architecture and the "decorating" can't be separated.

Houses like these are so much more than just the number of bedrooms and the size of the floor plan – they're the ones that you return to look at again and again and think, "wow, there's something about that house that I really like ". What you like about those houses is the result of the owners having taken an active …

Insulating a Slipform Stone House

There can be no question that insulation should be of primary importance when considering new house construction. Slipform stone houses are no exception to this rule. Helen and Scott Nearing, early proponents of this stone building technique, claimed that their New England homes were comfortable year-round without much thought given to insulation – indeed, their first slipform home was built right into a Vermont cliff-face, and made use of bare ledge as one wall. While the thermal mass of the earth itself surely served to maintain house temperatures above freezing, by modern standards, there can be no doubt that this uninsulated stone house would make for a chilly winter. Insulation is key to efficiency, and there are a number of ways to insulate a slipform stone structure.

Stud Wall and fiberglass batting

One common approach to the question of insulation in stone and concrete structures is the construction of a standard framed stud wall against the interior wall. This framed wall is then insulated in the traditional manner, using fiberglass batting insulation between the studs. While this approach works fine, and brings the comfort of familiarity to many builders, the construction of the stud wall is wasteful, and the studs themselves present the opportunity for thermal bridging, significantly reducing the overall insulation of the house.

Rigid Insulation

Rigid insulation offers a number of opportunities when it comes to insulating slipform stone homes. Rigid insulation, correctly installed, allows for no thermal bridging and creates a tight envelope inside the house. There are a number of techniques for building this type of insulation right into the walls themselves, either by laying the insulation inside the forms as you build, or replacing the interior forms entirely with nailbase – rigid insulation mated with OSB, plywood, or even sheetrock on one side.

Adding rigid insulation after the walls are standing can present a challenge to the typical owner / builder. The biggest hurdle here is figuring out how to secure the insulation to the stone / concrete wall. One of the best ways to do this is using furring strips – narrow boards attached to the wall, into which screws can be driven. A powder-actuated nail gun, or ramset can be used to attach the furring strips to the wall. Another approach is to embed the furring strips into the concrete itself as you build the walls. The downside to this approach is that the furring strips will degrade and rot away over the decades, leaving gaps in the wall and weakening the overall structure. Fully removing the furring strips and replacing them could be a challenge.

Spray-on Insulation

This nifty product could be used to spray a seamless layer of insulating foam directly onto the interior of the slipform wall. The insulation would then be cut, sanded, or squashed flat before a finish layer of sheetrock is applied. Both of the above approaches present difficulties when it comes to hanging anything on the walls, as there are no interior studs for screwing or …

White House Pecan Pie

Over the James river and through the woods of Dinwiddie County to grandmother's house we went for the holidays. The pecan pie alone was well worth the trip!

My grandmother, "Meme", found her pecan pie recipe printed in The Progress-Index on Wednesday February 26, 1964 and was said to be "Mrs. Landon B. Johnson's Favorite Pie" (typo and all). The recipe is actually the masterpiece of Zephyr Wright, the Johnson family's White House cook.

White House Pecan Pie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Fluted unbaked pastry shell in a 9-inch pie pan or plate

Allow the butter to stand in a covered medium mixing bowl at room temperature until it is extremely soft. Add sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla; With a sturdy hand rotary beater or mixing spoon, beat until thoroughly blended. Add eggs and beat gently just until blended. Fold in the pecans. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in a medium (375 degrees) oven on the rack directly below the center rack until top is toasted brown and filling is set in center when pie is gently shaken – about 40 to 50 minutes.

Pastry edge should be browned and the bottom pastry a pale gold. If top of pie gets very dark toward end of baking time, place a tent of foil over it. Cool on wire rack. If desired, serve with unsweetened whipped cream.

I make this pie every Thanksgiving and Christmas because it's absolutely delicious and brings back memories of holidays spent at Meme's farm in ford, va.

Enjoy!

Source Article

Should I Buy That Two – Family House?

Some people purchase a two – family house, because, they hope to live, in one apartment, and rent the other, in order to significantly reduce their cost of living! While, this is a great solution, for some, it is not for everyone. For some, they need more privacy, and / or, don't want the responsibilities involved, in being a landlord. Other individuals purchase two – family houses, for investment purposes, and it's essential and important, to begin this process, with your eyes – wide – open , understanding, both the advantages and disadvantages. While, a well – considered, properly priced, property, may be a fantastic investment opportunity, there are some others, that may not be, for certain reasons. With that in mind, this article will attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss, these two scenarios, and the process, one should go through, prior to making the commitment.

1. Owner – occupied: An owner – occupied, two – family house, is eligible, for very similar mortgage conditions, and requirements, as a single – family home. Often, this is about 0.5% or more, lower rate, than when the owner does not live there. What rate of returns, and other relevant concerns, should be considered? Begin, with considering, cash – flow, meaning, the owner's outflow, versus, the rent, collected, How will this compare, with your costs, if you purchased a single – family home? How comfortable will you be, being a landlord? Are you handy, or will you need, to hire others, whenever there is a necessary repair, etc? Do you have the type of personality, which might handle, some of the inherent stresses and strains, involved? Will you be happy, sharing the property, ensuring your tenant, takes decent care of the part, they occupy, and any potential challenges, in terms of privacy, and other issues?

2. Non – owner occupied: Begin, with a realistic evaluation, and analysis, of the revenue, versus expenditures. Will you generate sufficient cash flow, to avoid having additional financial challenges, and stresses? Unless, you are convinced, there will be a cash flow – positive, situation, you usually should avoid the investment. Consider only about 75% of the realistic rent – roll, in order to account for vacancies, and other unforeseen contingencies. On the expense side, add your mortgage payment (including principal, interest, real estate taxes, and escrow), to your monthly contributions in various reserve finds, for repairs, renovations, upgrades, etc. If this is positive, then move – on, to a rate – of – return, or ROI / return on investment, analysis. Consider your total cost of purchasing the property (purchase price plus initial renovations / upgrades / repairs), and your annual rent – rolls. Seek at least a 6% return.

An investment property may be your smartest move, or a risky, unwise one! Take these easy steps, from the unset, and proceed accordingly.

Source Article

Making The House Photoshoot Ready

All spotlights are on your house for a photo shoot that will make it an instant star. Like a celebrity, it will mesmerize people and possibly have a fan base from whom will emerge a possible owner soon. But is your house ready when the camera starts focusing on its beauty? Will real beauty be captured? If your house is soon to be an object of a photo shoot for a marketing effort, then these are some things you should follow according to the Florida Realtor Magazine.

  • Brighten up the house. Photos always look best when light is great. The house should receive as much light as it can. With this, all interior lights should be turned on while allowing natural light from the outside to enter. Do this by opening doors, blinds, curtains and drapes.
  • Refresh the house. Imbibe freshness on the house. Make it as clean as possible. If necessary, apply new paint on surfaces needing them. Check for some peelings or chippings on walls and repaint at once.
  • Lose your identity of the house. Unless you're preparing your house for a feature that will tell your story, personalizing it with pictures and other things will do just fine. But if the photo shoot is to sell your house, then start removing things that will give it your identity. Photographs, calendars, boards, and other things that will show your identity and give impression of the date should be removed.
  • Eliminate unnecessary things inside and outside. Decluttering the house covers both interior and exterior portions. Reduce the number of furniture for showing. Shelves must be minimized of books and magazines. Countertops must be stripped off of unused kitchen gadgets. Jars, bottles, and other empty containers residing on the yard must be eliminated too. There's always the recycling shop to monetize them.
  • Accessorize, but not too much. Reducing the displays will be defeated if you're just replacing them with other objects. accessorizing does not mean that you have to equate what you've removed. Attractive vases are always good displays especially if there are flesh flowers on them. Give a scale view of the length and width of tables by putting smaller but attractive objects on them too. Center tables can host a dish garden instead of too many ceramic displays on it.

The house is a great object for photo shoots. By following the tips above, you're sure to have wonderful photos of your house that are also good for viewing by potential buyers.

Source Article

Why Should You Hire a Professional House Mover?

If you want to enjoy a smooth, stress-free moving experience, we suggest that you hire professional house movers. Although you can move with the help of your friends and family, it's not a good choice for a number of reasons. Let's discuss those reasons.

Reliability

Reliability is the number one reason why you should contact the services of professionals. These service providers go through a lot of training so that they can do their job professionally. This way you can rest assured that your stuff will be safe throughout the process.

Peace of Mind

At times, it can be overwhelming to plan for your move. Professionals are trained to handle different objects in a way that each item is transported to the destination in one piece. With this in mind, you won't have to worry about the safety of your belongings during the move.

Fast Service

All houses movers give their clients the time and date their stuff will be moved to the new house by. Most service providers offer prompt service. If you look for a good service provider, you can boost the entire process of moving. This can save you a lot of time and effort.

Efficiency and Accountability

Professionals take full responsibility when moving your stuff to your new house. On the other hand, if you carry out the whole process with the help of your friends and family, you may not be able to complete the job in an efficient manner. Plus, you won't be able to hold your family or friends responsible in case they drop something valuable causing a good deal of loss to you. Also, professionals have the required equipment to relocate heavy boxes in an efficient manner.

No Health Risks

You may not have the required skills and training to lift heavy objects. If you try lifting heavy things, you may end up hurting your back. Therefore, it is a good idea to hire the services of a professional instead.

Inventory Record

Since you are going to move hundreds of items to a new location, you want to make sure nothing goes missing or is left behind. Without the help of a professional, it may not be easier for you to track everything.

A professional mover can do this job for you. They can maintain a record of all of your stuff to make sure you can get all your things back safe and sound. You won't need to spend hours counting and examining each item.

Hassle-Free

If you are going to ask your family or friends to help you move, know that you are going to take a big risk. It's much easier to hire pro movers to pack your stuff and transport it safely than ask your friends for assistance.

Experienced Movers

If you have some concerns, you can consult a professional moving company. They will answer your questions and resolve your concerns about the whole process. This way you can enjoy a great experience.

So, these are a few …

3 Benefits of Using a Bounce House

A bounce house is a perfect way to entertain children for a church picnic, birthday party or similar event. It is a great way to get the children playing outside, and makes a fun and social activity for everyone to enjoy. Here are three of the main benefits of using the bounce house:

Safe to use

A high-quality bounce house is safe to use for all kinds of special events and makes sure children are kept in a protected and secure environment. Most of the inflatable structures are made using a thick vinyl material for the floor and wall surfaces which lets the little ones jump and play without having to be concerned with the inevitable bruises and bumps that are typical with other activities.

Also, the vinyl material is very easy to clean and maintain which means a regular clean will make sure the bounce house is entirely free of debris, dirt and germs.

Social skills

The regular use of a bounce house can be very effective at promoting social skills. It will encourage young children to take turns and behave in the right way when with other people. Plus, the other positives in this area include the ability to learn and appreciate the benefits of cooperation and being more aware of the needs of other children.

Healthy fix

Most children will have boundless amounts of energy when at parties or similar events. A great way to burn off the excess energy is with a physical activity such as playing and jumping. This will ensure the children are worn out and more calm at other times of the day when it is not necessary to be so active, such as meal time, relaxing with family, or watching a TV or special show.

While children are having fun in the bounce house they will benefit from a healthy dose of cardio. Any child that jumps around will give their heart rate a boost which will help to improve the cardiovascular health. Also, the jumping action is useful for strengthening the muscles and bone density, while also enhancing body flexibility with the ability to train the ligaments, tendons and joints. A further good quality is the potential to achieve weight loss by increasing the metabolism rate and the ability to stay active over a long period of time.

All in all, the option to buy or hire a bounce house for a special event is certain to benefit the entire family and make it possible to not only have fun but also to reap the wide-ranging health benefits.

Source Article