Home Fence Options and Costs

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There are many different types of fences you can buy or make around your home. They all may look and feel different, but their intentions are the same: to keep your home surrounded at all times. Fences are used to surround your home and for privacy from your neighbors. They will keep you safe from intruders and unwanted animals wandering into your home. Fences also decorate your home: many home fences are ornate and very beautiful.

The different materials used in making a fence usually determine its price. Obviously a more decorative fence is going to cost more than a plain fence, so we’re going to share the benefits of many different types of fences to help you choose which will be best for your home.

Home Fences

What Type of Fence Do You Need?

What type of fence you need determines a lot. If you’re looking for a fence to do its simplest function, surround your home, then you may want to get the cheapest fence you can find and have professionals install it. However, if you want a specific type of fence, there are lots of reasons for different types of home fences.

Aluminum Fences:

Aluminum fences are durable and come in many different heights and styles. This inexpensive material provides for great coverage around your home. Many aluminum fences have designs like metal fences, but they are much less expensive because of the material used. They are easy to install and come in many different colors.

Home Fence

Best for: Cost Effectiveness and Ease of Installation                       Average Cost: $10-30 Per Square Foot

Brick Fences:

Brick is expensive, but it provides the most privacy, safety, and security. Intruders are much less likely to scale a brick fence because it is very difficult to climb. Brick can be soundproof and requires almost no maintenance.

Home Fence

Best for: Privacy and Security                     Average Cost: $15-35 Per Square Foot

Metal Fences:

Metal fences are great for protection. They are hired to climb and many have spikes or spokes on the end, not just for decorative purposes, but also serve well in warding off would-be intruders. Aluminum and chain-link fences are not as strong as iron or steel, but they will provide some safety. If you truly want to feel safe, iron or steel home fences are incredibly strong and can be made with spokes at the top of them.

Home Fence Home Fence

Best for: Protection and Strength                             Average Cost: $3-100 Per Square Foot

Vinyl Fences:

Vinyl fences are durable, low-maintenance fences that will last for many years. They are neutral in color and come in many different shapes and designs to fit your home. Vinyl fences are great because you do not have to paint them, and they do not rot, rust, flake, or peel.

Home Fence

Best for: Durability and Impressing Neighbors                   Average Cost: $4-30 Per Square Foot

Wood Fences:

Wood fences can be either pickets or wood planks. Wood is great because they can be painted to match the color of your home. Wood lasts up to 20 years, and planks provide great privacy, while picket fences give off a wonderful charm about your home.

Home Fence

Best for: Painting and Life Expectancy                   Average Cost: $3-80 Per Square Foot

Adding a fence to your home can be as inexpensive, costly, plain, or beautiful as you choose it to be. Obviously mixing more ornate designs is going to cost you more than just a fence alone—like adding beautiful, stone walls alongside steel gates. These factors vary, so it is best that you discuss your options with a reputable contractor. So whether you decide to go with aluminum, brick, metal, vinyl, or wood for your home fence is entirely up to you. Make sure that your new fence ascents your home, and all of your neighbors will surely compliment you on the new upgrade!

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Why Use a Real Estate Attorney?

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A real estate attorney is helpful for a lot of reasons. If you are uncertain about the home buying process, you can talk to an attorney to help you. An attorney will help you understand the paperwork and payments involved in buying a home in a practical way that even your agent may not be able to. If you’re unsure if you will need an attorney to help you, here’s information on real estate attorneys and what they do.

Real Estate Attorney

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

A real estate attorney is an optional attorney, hired by you (the homebuyer) to provide legal opinion and professional advice on your closing documents. If you have bought a home before, you may feel comfortable in not using a lawyer to finalize the process with you. However, if you have never bought a home before, you may want to utilize the knowledge and understanding a lawyer has when it comes to buying your first home.

Attorneys often work with commercial buyers and sellers. Since these purchases are so large and require lots of attention to detail and laws to be followed, lawyers are necessary for these types of sales.

Real Estate Attorney

Why Use an Attorney?

You should use a real estate attorney if you have never bought a home before. It is helpful to use an attorney to guide you through understanding the closing documents. If you do not want to sign anything you don’t understand, a lawyer will explain what exactly the closing documents say in laymen’s terms. Attorneys are great because not only will the help you understand the documents, but they will know where to look to find any potential problems in the documents.

Who Needs a Real Estate Attorney?

A real estate attorney is not a mandatory service needed to buy a home. You can hire an attorney if you are buying a home, and you want the safe feeling of having a professional look over your closing documents with you to make sure everything is in order so you get exactly what you’re paying for.

Even if you’ve read and understood lots of legal documents in the past, you might still want to hire a lawyer to help you with the closing process. Commercial real estate purchases often require a real estate attorney on both sides to ensure the buyer and seller are both getting what they want from the purchase.

Junk Fees

Junk fees are fees that you do not have to pay, or fees that can be reduced, that come with the closing costs. A Good Faith Estimate will be given to you by the agent to show you all of the costs that come with buying a home and fees from their brokerage. With this estimate, you will find many fees that are unnecessary or overpriced. With a real estate attorney, you can have them look over the estimate, and they will get you the lowest price possible to pay for any fees and also get rid of any junk fees that are completely unnecessary.

What Can Happen Without an Attorney?

Lots of things can happen without a real estate attorney. You will not have anyone to look over the closing documents with you to ensure your best interests are being held to the highest standard and not just what the seller wants. Legal issues can also ensue without an attorney. You can be sued by the opposing party if you fail to disclose any information or problems about the property. Filing state or county level documents improperly can result in time wasted and more monetary complications. These fees and complications can all be avoided by hiring a real estate attorney in the first place.

How to Find a Real Estate Attorney

There are lots of companies that you can use to set you up with a real estate attorney. Real estate attorneys can be found online and hired for a reasonable price depending on how much and how long you need their services for. They are here to help you and all of your legal home-buying needs.

Real Estate Attorney

So do yourself a favor, hire an attorney if you need one. If you do, you will see how much they can help you with buying your next home.

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Which Loan is Right for Your Home? [Infographic]

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Here are the most popular mortgage options in the United States. See basic qualification information and down payments for these home loan options to see which is best suited for you and your next home.

Home-Loan-Options

Conventional

This is the most common mortgage option and usually has the best interest rates.

Down Payment: 10% minimum, 20% standard

Best For: repeat buyers

FHA

Makes ownership more affordable with less down and easier credit requirements.

Down Payment: 3.5% minimum, 20% standard

Best For: first-time buyers

VA

Takes away the need for a down payment without the risk of PMI. Only available to veterans.

Down Payment: no down payment

Best For: military veterans

USDA

This mortgage option was developed to promote the purchase of rural land.

Down Payment:  no down payment

Best For: investors; anyone interested in living in a rural atmosphere

ARM

These rates start out lower than any other option, but fluctuate with the market (and usually not for the better).

Down Payment: 10% minimum, 20% standard

Best For: anyone interested

Source: Fearless Home Buyer

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Why You Should Keep Your Home Phone

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With cell phones always in our pockets or purses, who needs a home phone anymore? Is there any good reason to have a landline in this day and age? Does such an out-dated piece of technology still have any uses? In short, yes it does.

Home Phone

There are lots of uses for a home phone. No, they are not like smartphones, but they have plenty of practical uses. Obviously you can call people on your home phone; that’s what a phone was invented to do.

Home Phone Benefits to Homeowners:

You need a landline for many burglar alarm systems to have a way to notify the police or fire department.

If you have a corded home phone, it will still work during a power outage thanks to the power company. However, a cordless home phone will not.

If you have small children, you can teach them to use the speed dial buttons on your home phone in case of emergencies.

Home Phone

You can screen your calls with a home phone. This is useful if a number is calling you that you do not recognize with emergency information about a friend or family member.

Miscellaneous Home Phone Benefits

Most television and internet companies need you to have a landline to set up their services.

Home phones tend to have much better reception than cell phones. Also, if a home phone breaks, it is much cheaper to replace than a cell phone.

Home Phone

 

If you lose or misplace your cell phone, you will have a home phone as back up until you can find or replace your cell phone.

Many phone companies offer inexpensive services for international calls. This is great if you have family in another country.

Even things like applying for a home loan, buying a car, or getting a bank account are a lot easier and quicker for the companies to verify your address and information with a home phone.

Emergency Calls

Home phones are best for in-home emergencies. If you call 911 from a cell phone, they will have to ask what address you’re at or where you are even if you’re at home. This takes valuable time, and if the emergency causes you duress, you may not have time to recite off your address. If you have a home phone, the 911 operator already knows where you are calling because your address is already linked to your landline. This saves lots of time in the event of an emergency. For whatever reason, if you do cannot say anything over the phone, the 911 operator will still send someone to your residence to help you because your home address is linked to your home phone number.

Home Phone

So if you’ve been considering getting rid of your home phone because everyone in your household already has a cell phone, you may want to think twice. Consider keeping your home phone because you never know when you might need it.

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What are Junk Fees?

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As a homebuyer, you know that you’re going to be paying lots of fees to the escrow company. But, do you know what junk fees are? You might be outraged to find out that there are fees for things that you should not have to pay that a company can tack on to get more money from you. So we’re here to share with you what junk fees are and what you can do about them.

Junk Fees

Junk Fees:

Junk fees usually include certain administrative fees, application review fees, commitment fees, courier fees, email fees, organization fees, processing fees, and settlement fees. Some of these fees may seem necessary to the services provided, but they are often overpriced. That means that you can get them reduced and even taken off completely from what you owe them.

Lending Company:

The type of lending company you have should be upfront and honest about the fees. They should explain to you what all of the fees are for and why they are priced that way. If they cannot give you a justifiable reason, or the fees are too high, then you know that the junk fees can be reduced or even eliminated.

How to Negotiate Junk Fees:

Your lenders give you a document in the beginning of the loan process that describe the list of possible fees that you will pay—it is called a good faith estimate (GFE). With this document, look through these fees and see which seem too high or unnecessary to you. At this time, you can ask your agent to explain what these fees are for and why they are necessary. If they cannot give you a straight-forward answer, ask them to remove the junk fee or reduce them. If they will not reduce or remove many of the junk fees, it is best that you go with a different lender.

Junk Fees

Reducing/Removing Junk Fees:

Ask your agent or the brokerage to reduce the junk fee costs. You can do this by looking over the closing documents and asking them to go into detail as to what certain fees were for. If you feel that these specific fees are too high or unnecessary for the service provided, let them know. Tell them you want the junk fees removed, and they will either remove them or at least reduce what they can.

Who Can Help:

You should contact a real estate attorney to help you understand the entirety of the contracts you will be signing as well as pinpoint the junk fees that are unnecessary and can be gotten rid of. If you have a friend or family member who happens to be a real estate agent, you should ask them to help you understand which fees are legitimate and which are junk fees that can be removed. However, you should not hire a friend or family member as your real estate agent.

junk fees

The best thing you can do about junk fees is talk to your agent and lender about what fees can be taken off. It’s very likely that even legitimate fees can be over priced, and you can get them reduced. Do your best to work with your lender. They want you to finalize and close with them just as much as you do. This means that as long as both of you work together, you will come up with a price for closing and all of the fees that you think are fair.

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