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  • "2018 in review: What mattered for affordable housing in WNC" - MountainX.com"With apologies to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a resident of Western North Carolina in possession of little fortune must be in want of affordable housing. In 2018, governments and organizations throughout the area tried to tackle the problem with a range of creative solutions... Asheville officials considered putting up the city’s own land as an inducement for developers to create affordable rental units. At City Council’s Dec. 11 meeting, Council directed staff to continue plans for properties on Biltmore Avenue and South Charlotte Street, with next steps in come in January..."
  • "Downtown Greenville's wealth is in apartments, and there's room for even more" - GreenvilleOnline.comA Charleston developer is turning the old BB&T building into apartments with plans to remake the Buncombe Street gateway into downtown. Those properties are among the most valuable in the downtown area, but an analysis of property data by The Greenville News shows that the real money is overwhelmingly in apartment complexes, which make up seven of the 10 most valuable properties downtown..."
  • "Redevelopment agreement approved for Pete’s, senior living development on Madison Street in Oak Park" - ChicagoTribune.com"The Oak Park Village Board has approved a redevelopment agreement with developers proposing a new Pete’s Fresh Market grocery store and a senior living facility along Madison Street. In approving the agreement, the developers will now begin a public process that is expected to include neighborhood meetings and testimony in front of the village plan commission, officials said..."
  • "Project in the works to transform concrete jungle into renewed Upper Downtown Denver" - TheDenverChannel.com"More development is planned in our Colorado, this time in the beloved area near Denver's Brown Palace. The Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) is in the beginning stages of a project called a “Renewed Focus” to transform upper downtown from a concrete jungle to a friendly neighborhood hangout. “We want to put some renewed emphasis and renewed energy into this space and make it a more exciting and interesting place for the community,” said Randy Thelen, the Vice President of Economic Development for the DDP..."
Buying your first home (what to expect in 2018) - an offrs.com review

Buying your first home (what to expect in 2018) - an offrs.com review

There's a first-time for everything and when it comes to home-buying, small misunderstandings can mean significant loss in ROI or even the loss of the investment entirely down the road. Be sure to share this with your first-time homebuyer today.

As seen on Kinja.com, here is...

 

What Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs to Know

Congratulations! You’re ready to buy your first home. If you’re like most first-time homebuyers, it’s a very exciting time. But, since it’s something you haven’t done before, you need to make sure that you research the process, find out what to expect and what you can do to make the experience a success. Here are the most critical things a first-time home-buyer needs to know to get started.

 

Avoid Becoming “House Poor”

Okay, so you’re fired up about buying a house, but don’t forget that there are other things you like to (and have to) spend your money on. It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of house-hunting and end up paying more than you’re comfortable with. Just because you’re approved for a particular mortgage amount doesn’t mean you should use all the approved funds to buy your home.

 

Calculate the Cost of Home Ownership

You need to do the math. The cost of home ownership goes far beyond the mortgage payment. Make sure that you add in:

  • Property Taxes and Home Insurance: These two items are often included in your monthly mortgage payment, but keep in mind that many online mortgage calculators don’t take these into account.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20 percent, you may need to include Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) in your monthly mortgage cost.
  • Homeowner Association (HOA) Fees: If you move into a neighborhood that has an HOA, you’ll need to factor in a monthly HOA fee.
  • Utilities: Your utilities may be higher in your new home, so don’t underestimate the cost.
  • Maintenance: Even newer homes need occasional maintenance, so make sure to consider maintenance in your budget.

Decide What You Want to Pay Each Month

Based on the potential cost of a new home, decide what you’re willing to spend on this alone, each month. Your calculations may indicate that if you buy the most expensive home you can... you won’t have enough money each month to do the other things you enjoy doing. If that’s the case, set a price range for your new home that will let you have that desirable lifestyle that you also yearn for.

 

Get the Professional Services You Need to Get Started

You’ll need the services of a number of professionals as you go through the purchase process, but you need to start with these two.

  • A Real Estate Agent:? Find an agent that has experience working with first-time homebuyers. Choose wisely, and they can be a big help in ensuring that you enjoy your home buying experience. Hiring a relative or friend who just got their license, or who isn’t familiar with the neighborhoods you want to look in may not be the best approach.
  • A Mortgage Lender: Don’t delay finding a mortgage lender. You need to get pre-approved before you even start looking for a home. You’ll get a clear idea of what your mortgage costs will be, and you’ll put yourself in a strong negotiating position with home seller leads.

Clarify Your Needs and Wants

Realistically, you’ll never find a perfect house, so it’s important to make a list of things you need and things you want. The things you need should be those things that you don’t want to compromise on, while the things you want aren’t set in stone. You might even want to prioritize your “need” list. These lists will help you stay focused as you’re looking at prospective homes. For example, you may want a wrap-around porch, but you need to be in a particular school district. Review and revise the list with your real estate agent.

 

Have Fun!

There are other things you’ll need to know as you get farther into your home search. However, when you address the issues described above, you’ve set a good foundation for success! Remember to go in prepared but to make it a fun experience. Being ready to jump if you need to doesn't have to mean a stressful experience.

 

offrs collects and provides topical insights, statistics, reviews, humor and best practices gathered from real estate professionals and consumer homeowner industry peers. If you're a broker or agent interested in learning more about seller lead generation or automated marketing services and solutions, visit www.offrs.com or continue to browse our growing collection of industry articles at www.offrs.net.
 

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