One of the key aspects of buying a house anywhere is the location. The neighborhood is just as important as selecting the apartment or house itself. The area you choose to move in has to have low crime rates, it has to be affordable, and it should be easy for you to imagine making friends with the people living around you. Moreover, and this depends on whether you have kids, the location should have good preschools, high schools, playgrounds, etc.
If you’re planning to buy a home or apartment, it is important to understand that you don’t just have to consider the property itself, but also the neighborhood. So let’s see how you can go about choosing the ideal neighborhood as you look for a new home.
Make a List of Important Questions and Do Some Analysis on Your Own
It is vital to first think about all the qualities you seek in a good neighborhood. In your mind what constitutes as a good neighborhood? Understand that it isn’t just you that is going to be living in your new house. You have to consider the needs and well-being of your family as well. So ask questions such as:
- Would you prefer a busy area or some place that is nice and quiet?
- Would you prefer walking or do you need certain amenities?
- Do you want to live in a greener area, with trees, parks and a good flora and fauna?
- Should your house be close to restaurants, malls and hospitals?
- Do you have to move in to a newer development or are you fine with an older neighborhood?
- Do you prefer privacy or a well-knit community?
As you think everything through, these are some important questions to dwell on. Moreover, it would also help if you consult your spouse and children as well (if they are older). For example, if you have school going kids, would prefer to have separate cares or would you prefer public transportation? After you develop a realistic picture of the type of neighborhood you wish to settle in, mentioned below are some other important factors to consider.
Keep Your Month-to-Month Budget in Mind
One of the key factors to consider in selecting a good neighborhood is your monthly budget. Depending on what your monthly expenses are, some neighborhoods may either be too expensive or affordable. The first thing you need to consider is property tax. The amount of taxes in this category primarily depends on the location itself. For example, a posh or gated community may have a comparably higher property tax rate than a more common locale. Don’t forget that property tax rates increase with time, further adding to your monthly expenses.
See if the Local Lifestyle is in Line with Yours
Nothing is more important than moving into a neighborhood that is in line with your current lifestyle and will continue to augment your future lifestyle. You have to figure out what type of a community would be more comfortable in. For example, would it suit you to move into a modern and lively single-family neighborhood or a family-friendly and private area?
The best way to determine that is to first take a long drive along the neighborhoods you have shortlisted, try to get a sense of how the people are. In addition to getting a feel for the community, there are also some immediate factors to consider such as whether or not the area has a good school district, how the local transportation is, the commute times, etc. You could even easily do an online search or just discuss this with your real estate agent.
It isn’t that hard to buy a house or apartment, but what can be difficult is selecting the right neighborhood. Keep these points in mind before jumping the gun and buying a house. In many ways a neighborhood is an extension of your immediate home and it deserves proper consideration.
In the world of real estate, there are a couple of people whom are key players. Ranging from appraisals, home inspectors, property managers, mortgage loan officers, contractors, bankers and even government agencies; there are usually many people playing important roles in the real estate industry including the prospective buyers and sellers. But it is important to note that the real powerhouse of a standard real estate transaction are those people in charge of the coordination process: real estate agents and real estate brokers!
On different occasions and for different reasons, a real estate agent works at different points: salesperson, buyers’s advocate, analyst, consultant, negotiator or even as a marketer. Below are the top 5 values and qualities that a great real estate agent should possess:
Successful real estate agents are usually up-to-date in the realm of real estate agency. They’re very active in the local market as this is the reason they are always able to render effective services to their clients. Their educational and professional development is continuous giving them the opportunity to expand their businesses and remain atop the real estate industry. If you emulate and develop a flair for knowledge acquisition, then, on the long run, you would definitely achieve a very positive value which would boost your presence and upgrade your relevance in the world of real estate.
- Building a Network of Connections
In the world of real estate agency, building a vast array and network of connections is highly important. Great real estate agaents usually possess relevant communications and networking skills within the market they work. Obviously, the aforesaid list of connection usually include several other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers and other role players in the industry.
- A Problem Solving Mindset
One key thing that work and contributes to the values of a great real estate agent is having a problem solving mindset. Real estate agents are usually positive thinkers who provide creative solutions to problems via optimism and critical thinking. For instance, they are well-learned on how to appropriately come up with creative solutions and showcase a house in order to make it more marketable while they also generate and build impressive MLS listings that would attract the appropriate buyer.
- Hustling Spirit and Tenacity
The real estate industry is really a no joke. To become a top reckoned and great real estate agent, it requires that you possess a tough hustling spirit, mental grit and tenacity. This is because you will be required to put in a great work ethic and purse every lead to aggressively market the properties of your clients. It’s not all about the time you expend, rather about how right and smart you’ve successfully worked to be a great agent in the industry.
- Paying Close Attention to Detail
If you want to be a great and successful real estate agent, it’s quite important that you have good listening ears and pay attention to details. This is very important to your career in real estate industry. A good agent is very attentive to the essential needs of his or her clients’and must be well-organized, follow leads and maintain a very strong communication with clients. With these, more deals are assured to be closed and more relevance, ascertained.
Conclusively, it is quite imperative to know that the above listed values are those of a great real estate agent, and if they are inclucated and put into good use, you’re rest assured to become a top relevant and very successful agent in the real estate industry.
Is Renting Right for Me?
If you’re currently renting on Long Island and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, home ownership may be closer than you realize.
According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.
When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason. The results of the survey can be seen here:It’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”
The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of home ownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.
If you’re one of the many Long Island renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to home ownership.
The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability
There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.
On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…
“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”
Their methodology states:
“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”
So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:
It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.
Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.
With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!
With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.