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Articles Tagged "Home-buying tips"

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Las Vegas Condo

Owning a home is a goal most of us strive for. Typically, that goal involves a single-family home. But there are other options: most notably, a condominium.

A condo -- short for condominium -- is a dwelling unit that, like an apartment, is usually located in a building with other units. Your neighbors may be above you, below you or next door. The difference between a condo and an apartment is that you own the condo.

So who is most likely to gravitate to condo living? Generally, it's the person who wants to own his or her dwelling but doesn't want to be bothered with maintenance. But there are other factors that may impact your decision about whether buying a condo might be right for you when compared with other Las Vegas homes for sale

  1. Fees
    Because you are not responsible for the maintenance of a condo, you will pay fees for the cost of the maintenance for the grounds and building. Fees are usually required monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or annually. While discussing these fees, ask the condo management what sort of reserve funds the condominium association has in case of emergencies. You have a right to know what shape the association is in financially, and a well-run condo association won't mind sharing this information. 

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Buying a Home During Retirement Years

Your priorities can change as you get older. Along with your priorities, housing needs will change as you age.

Buying a home at any age, and in retirement is always a possibility. 

The following are some factors our brokers recommend considering as you look at Las Vegas homes for sale during your retirement.

Your New Cost of Living

If you're buying a home, your cost of living may change. For example, an older home may need more repairs. A condo or home in a community with a homeowners' association will come with HOA fees. And if you're from another state or community, you'll need to investigate the cost of living where your home is located. For example, Nevada has one of the lowest tax rates in the country since it has a very low property tax rate and no personal income tax.

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Saving for Down Payment

For decades, 20 percent was the traditional benchmark for down payments on a purchase of Las Vegas homes for sale, but today's real estate market has changed. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, approximately 60 percent of homebuyers make a down payment of six percent or less.

Do you still see the down payment as an obstacle to your dream of homeownership? Use these helpful saving tips that have been successful for clients of our brokers.

  1. Determine a Target Number
    Once you've established a price range of homes within your means, calculate different down payment amounts to see your options. Prequalification, through a lender or online site like NerdWallet, is a great tool to help. 

  2. Create a Budget
    Every goal needs a specific plan. Make a complete list of expenses, then set a reasonable timeline, so you know how much to put away each month. Breaking the total down into smaller amounts is also psychologically less intimidating.

  3. Automate Savings
    Technology makes it easy to save money painlessly. Set up a payroll transfer or other automatic transfer program like Digit to deposit money in a savings account before it ever gets in your hands.

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Closing Costs for New Home Buyers

When exploring Las Vegas homes for sale, there are many things to consider. Your dream home will be in the perfect location, have all of the amenities, and fit your budget. While you're deciding how much you can afford for your home, it's important not to forget about closing costs. 

Our real estate agents recommend that prospective buyers save up 2 to 5 percent of the home's price to cover closing costs. This can include a wide variety of expenses, including (but not limited to) the following.  

  • Mortgage Application Fee - Your mortgage application fee is what the bank charges for processing your application. It's typically between $200 and $400. You may need to pay this ahead of time or at closing.

  • Appraisal Fee - An appraisal is required to ensure the property value is enough to secure the total amount of the loan. The cost is usually between $100 and $400.

  • Inspection Fee - Before you can purchase a home using financing, a professional must check the house for damage or other problems. A home inspection typically costs between $100 and $400.

  • Title Search and Title Insurance - This is a service performed by a title company to ensure no other parties have a legal claim to the property. The search is usually between $150 and $200, while title insurance typically costs about 1 percent of the property's price.

  • Recording Fees - Recording fees are what the local government charges to record your purchase transaction. They usually run between $40 and $60.

  • Transfer Tax - When you purchase a new (to you) property, you'll owe transfer taxes. The cost will vary depending on where the home is located. 

  • Legal Fees - You aren't required to hire a lawyer, but doing so can help ensure your interests are represented in the transaction. This can cost anywhere from $300 to $600, depending on the attorney.

  • Homeowner's Insurance - Most lenders require you pay the first year of your homeowner's insurance premium upfront. Sometimes you'll pay your insurance company directly while at other times you'll pay this cost at closing.

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) - If you make a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home's value, you'll most likely have to carry private mortgage insurance. The cost will vary depending on the home's value, your credit, and how much you put down. On average, it runs about 2.5 percent of the mortgage balance.

  • Prepaid Interest - The lender may require you to pre-pay a partial month's interest if you close on a date other than the first of the month.

  • Points - Points are an optional expense that allows you to reduce your mortgage interest rate. 

  • Paying Your Closing Costs - Within three days of submitting your loan application, your lender will provide you with a "good faith estimate." This document outlines all of the closing costs. 

There are several ways buyers can choose to pay their closing costs. This includes paying cash, rolling the costs into the mortgage loan, and taking out a separate loan. It's also possible to negotiate having the seller or the lender cover some of the closing costs. 

Are you ready to find your dream home in the Las Vegas area? Contact us today to get started. 


Home Maintenance Costs - Wardley Real Estate

Owning a home is a significant responsibility that takes more than merely having the funds to cover the mortgage payment. When you're looking at Las Vegas homes for sale, it's crucial that you thoroughly account for the maintenance and costs that go along with the property. Don't be surprised when the bills come rolling in! The following are five "hidden" expenses that are easily overlooked by home buyers in Las Vegas.

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HOA Pros and Cons - Wardley Real Estate

ARM, FHA, MLS ... the real estate industry is full of acronyms. If you're in the market for a condo, townhouse, or other Las Vegas homes for sale in certain communities, one acronym you should become familiar with is HOA, or homeowners association.

An HOA is established to manage a community to maintain a consistent standard of living benefiting all residents. Here's a helpful look at the pros and cons of buying a home in a building or neighborhood run by an HOA.

  • PRO: Common Area Maintenance
    Have you ever seen a neighborhood that seemed to always look messy or shabby? That's never a problem in communities with an HOA, as it's the association's responsibility to ensure the upkeep of lawns, streets, and sidewalks.

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Home Inspection Issues-Wardley Real Estate

If there is ever a good time to have the support of one of our real estate agents behind you, it's when you get the inspection report. Normally, you'll get it after you've put down a deposit and have opened the escrow. When it comes back with bad news, the knowledge and experience your agent have are essential. 

You'll have to make quick decisions about how to deal with the results of the inspection. If you're like many, you may feel you need more information to make a solid decision about the defect. Besides the deadline, there could be a lot at stake with some of the problems that the home inspection reveals. Your real estate agent has the experience to identify the items that will be easy to fix and those that require a pro and a good deal of money. 

  • Identify Your Strengths Beforehand
    Decide where you fall on the do-it-yourself scale and let your REALTOR® know. While you won't know the extent of repairs a home will need before the formal inspection, you can avoid those properties that will need more TLC than you're willing to give. 

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Springtime Home Bidding-Wardley Real Estate

If you moved to the Las Vegas Valley recently, you might not know what locals do about Las Vegas homes for sale. Compared to other major cities in the country, the housing market in this city has swings in the supply and demand balance that sometimes start bidding wars among home buyers in the spring when housing sales start to increase.

A bidding war starts whenever two or more people want the home, and neither is willing to let it go. If you find yourself in a position where you have competition, one or more of these strategies from our real estate agents might give you the upper hand.

  1. Get Pre-Approved
    Not only will it provide a ceiling for you in a bidding war, but pre-approval from a lender will also get your foot in the door with real estate agents and home sellers. Many agencies and sellers won't deal with someone who doesn't already a pre-approval letter. This practice is two-fold. First, it separates serious buyers from people who are just curious and second, it lets you know how high you can bid should the situation develop.

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