How Proximity Affects Home Value [Infographic]

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Real estate is all about location, location, location! It’s no surprise that what affects home value more than anything else is your proximity to certain places (or people). This infographic takes a look at exactly just how important that can be! Here’s how various factors help or hurt a home depending on their nearness to the property.

Proximity-Affects-Home-Value

Remember home value is not the same as resale value. 

Boost Home Value

Being within walking distance of lightrail transit can actually boost your home value by 17%. Being near public transportation stops in general can raise home value as much as 41%. If you’re within a quarter mile of a Starbucks, your home value increases about 21%. Similarly, proximity to a Dunkin Donuts can make your estate about 15% more valuable. In general, buyers seek to be closer to shopping and community activity. 21% of buyers will pay more to be in walking distance of their kids’ schools.

Hurt Home Value

As great as those things that boost home value are, there are a lot more factors that could work against your estate’s worth.

Being near a garbage dump lowers your home value about 5-7%. Similarly, being near a power plant can hurt value about 4-7%. Even the threat of fracking can devestate home value. Just living near a shale gas well can hurt home value as much at 24%.

Living near a foreclosed lot can lower value around $7,200. Living near a sinkhole or even just tacky billboards can cost you up to $30K.

It’s not just places that hurt your home value. Being near certain people can be damaging, too. Loud neighbors or neighbors who don’t maintain their lot can lower your home value anywhere from 5-10%. Living in the same neighborhood as a registered sex offender lowers home value a whopping 12%. Not very fair, is it?

Some other factors working against your home value include living near a busy road or freeway, loud railroad tracks, or telephone poles.

Cited:

Some of these figures may seem kind of crazy! Here’s where we got our stats so you can take a look for yourself:

Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts stats come from GrubStreet. Many of the other value booster statistics came from HouseLogic and BankRate. Most of the factors that destroy home value came from this Business Insider article. You can also refer to our post about home-buyers looking for walkable communities at our Take A Walk Infographic.

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Pros and Cons of Buying a Bank-Owned Property

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Bank-owned properties are homes or properties that have been acquired by a bank due to delinquent or unwillingness to pay mortgage payments. These properties are often in great shape, but the owner simply could not or did not want to pay their mortgage any longer. Many homebuyers are uncertain as to whether or not they should buy a bank-owned property. So here are some of the pros and cons of buying a bank-owned property.

Bank-Owned Property

 

Pros of a Bank-Owned Property

There are many pros to buying a bank-owned property. These types of homes sell at a lower price than other homes. Bank-owned properties often have low-interest rates and low down payments. There is no need to negotiate with a homeowner, which is a big deal because you’re negotiating the price of a home, and emotions often get in the way for a homeowner trying to make the right decision to sell their home. You are allowed to view the home when it fits your schedule; you don’t have to wait for a homeowner to fit you in. These benefits are great if you are looking to buy a home, and you want to save as much as you can throughout the purchasing process.

Cons of a Bank-Owned Property

As with the pros, come the cons of bank-owned properties. With bank-owned properties, there are many different buyers who are as qualified as you who want to purchase the same home. You will not be able to have a contingency clause with a bank, so that means you cannot sell a home first before you purchase a bank-owned property; banks see this as too high of a risk. So unless you want to have more than one home in your name, you are not going to be able to buy a bank-owned property without selling your home if you only want to own one home at a time.

Bank-Owned Property

The bank may also take some time to get back to you because of the many offers they receive from other buyers. There is also the negative of purchasing the property in the condition as is. This means that it is up to you, the homebuyer, to make any updates to it if you do not like certain features of the home. The negatives that come with a bank-owned properties require lots to think about and consider.

How to Buy a Bank-Owned Property

How you should go about buying a bank-owned property is slightly different than how you would buy a regular home. First, talk to a real estate agent who has experience with bank-owned properties. They will help you understand the proper steps you should take. They will most likely tell you to sell your home first since banks will not accept a contingency on you selling your home before you buy the bank-owned property.

After you find the home you want, you will then need to get prequalified. Once you are prequalified, make an offer on the home. The bank will then reject or accept your offer. If you are accepted, and you’ve completed the process of buying the home, congratulations on buying a bank-owned property!

Is a Bank Owned-Property Right for You?

So is a bank-owned property right for you? It all depends on your particular situation. Do you already own a home? If so, you’re going to have to sell it before you purchase a bank-owned property if you do not intend to have more than one home at a time. If you do not own a home yet, this is a great time for you to purchase a bank-owned property since you have no other home to sell before you make your purchase. Be sure to learn more about bank-owned properties and hopefully they are the right type of home for you!

Bank-Owned Property

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Pros and Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

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If you’re at an age where you’re considering a reverse mortgage, there may be some concerns you have. Will you get to keep your home? What happens if you move? What happens when the payments are complete? If you’re unsure, take a look at what a reverse mortgage is, how it works, and what the pros and cons are to having one.

Reverse Mortgage

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

You’ve probably heard the term reverse mortgage, but you may not know what it’s for. A reverse mortgage is a home loan that provides cash payments based on home equity. What that means is you receive payments for what your home is worth in value. For example, if your current home is worth $300,000, and you take out a reverse mortgage on your home, it will pay you monthly payments until you’ve received the money back from what you’ve paid into your home.

Reverse Mortgage

Even if you haven’t paid off the entire $300,000, you can still receive money. You have to be 62 years or older to be eligible for a reverse mortgage, and you are allowed to live in your home while you receive monthly payments and even after the payments are completed. So as long as you are alive, do not move, and do not sell your home, you will still be able to live in your home with a reverse mortgage.

Pros of a Reverse Mortgage

The pros of a reverse mortgage are that it is beneficial if you really need a way to supplement your income throughout your retirement. You will receive monthly payments or a lump sum of money. You are allowed to continue to live in your home. The proceeds from the reverse mortgage are tax free. The interest rates are very low. Finally, your heirs can receive what is left of the home equity after the reverse mortgage is paid to you. Another nice feature of a reverse mortgage is that if you receive more payments than your home is worth, you will never owe more than the value of your home.

Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

The cons of a reverse mortgage are: some fees may be higher than a traditional mortgage, the value of the estate inheritance may decrease over time, and if you move from your home, you will have to pay back the loan. Also, your heirs will not get the home if it is sold after you pass, which it will be if they cannot, or do not want to, pay back the reverse mortgage loan. This is a huge drawback for most senior citizens who want to leave a home in their family as their legacy or for a family tradition.

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

So is a reverse mortgage right for you and your specific circumstances? That all depends. Do you truly believe you need the money, or can you hold off and keep your home? If you have no other alternatives, and can no longer work to provide an income for yourself and anyone else you live with, then you may want to go with a reverse mortgage. However, if you want to give your home to someone in your family, and you have a way to receive income or money to sustain yourself, then you should do your best to steer clear of a reverse mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage

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Simple Cutbacks Save a Fortune [Infographic]

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Shorten the length of your loan! Save on interest!

Cut small, unnecessary costs from your daily routine and apply the savings towards your mortgage payments. This will not only shorten the time you’re stuck paying off your loan, but it will save you thousands of dollars in interest! Pay your mortgage faster to save time and money!

Pay Your Mortgage Faster Save Time Money

First, it’s important to clarify the mortgage assumptions for this infographic. We’ve selected an average priced home with pretty standard interest rate (although for the next few months you can easily find a lower interest rate). We went with a 30-year fixed rate loan, since that’s the standard for homeowners.

$200,000 Mortgage
30 Year Fixed Rate Loan
4.5% Interest Rate

Standard Monthly Payment = $1,013.17

All calculations below are based on these figures. 

If you cut one monthly movie date, you save $30 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 1 year 9 months off the length of the loan. You save $11,138 worth of interest.

If you cut out your daily coffee, you save $40 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 2 years 3 months off the length of the loan. You save $14,496 worth of interest.

If you cut out your gym membership and just work out outside instead, you save $55 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 3 years off the length of the loan. You save $19,247 worth of interest.

If you cut dinner out at a restaurant with the family just once a month, you save $80 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment, you will trim 4 years 2 months off the length of the loan. You save $26,486 worth of interest.

If you cut out that daily latte, you save $100 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 5 years off the length of the loan. You save $31,746 worth of interest.

If you cut out those fast food lunches, you save $150 per month. If you apply that towards your mortgage payment each month, you will trim 5 years 11 months off the length of the loan. You save $43,204 worth of interest. Pack those leftovers!

Calculations via Bankrate’s Additional Payment Calculator.

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Empty Room Ideas

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Your kids are living on their own now. Since they’ve taken all of their belongings with them, there’s an empty room in your home. So what can you do to fill it? We’ve come up with some awesome ideas on how you can turn that empty room into something useful with these empty room ideas!

Empty Room Ideas

Home Office

Turn that empty room into a home office! If you are a real estate agent, teacher, businessperson, or you’ve always wanted to start your own business, now is the perfect time. An empty room frees up tons of space for paperwork, a desk, file cabinets, and room for meeting with clients or employees. So if you’re a busy entrepreneur, or just working from home, an empty room makes a great space for you to turn into your very own home office.

Empty Room Idea

Home Gym

Tired of having that treadmill tucked away in your garage as you continue to gain pounds every year? Why not turn your empty room into a home gym? You can put any exercise equipment you already have in your empty room and use it as a home gym. If this empty room idea prompts you to buy more equipment and get in shape, we hope you do. Just don’t forget to eat some healthy foods along the way!

Empty Room Idea

Private Den or Man/Woman Cave

Have you always dreamed of a private den or man cave/woman cave? With this empty room idea, you can create a space where you can come home to unwind and enjoy yourself. Whether you want a room with a couch and your big television, a pool hall that you can put up all your pool table and novelty paintings, or a cozy place where you can relax, your empty room can become your very own den or man/woman cave if you want it to be with this empty room idea.

Empty Room Idea

Guest Bedroom

This may seem obvious, but you can turn the empty bedroom into a guest bedroom. Create a beautiful guest bedroom for any relatives that you have come by to visit. You can add more than one bed or a bunk bed in the guestroom to have your relatives stay the night more often.

Empty Room Idea

Add a New Bathroom

Convert that empty room into a new bathroom. If you do not have enough bathrooms in your home for everyone who still lives there, make a new one. Adding a new bathroom can take some time, but new bathrooms typically add around 20 percent to a home’s value! Talk to a construction team and look at some beautiful, designs to craft a one you want to add in your home.

Empty Room Idea

Storage Room

This can be counterintuitive to creating an interesting room that you can use for work or pleasure, but if you have a monthly storage payment at a facility, you should bring all of the items in storage and put them in your empty room. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll have all of your belongings back in your home again.

Empty Room Idea

Personal Library

You can literally create a home library with this empty room idea. You can add a few book shelves, add your collection of books to them, and go out and buy some more if you want to read even more. We recommend that you go to used bookstores to save on costs. For your new library, be sure to add a reading nook consisting of a comfy chair, a nightstand, and a lamp for reading late at night.

Empty Room Idea

Personal Art Studio

Ever wanted to express yourself by painting, but you were too afraid to learn? Why not start in your own personal art studio in your empty room. Even if you think you aren’t very good, no one has to know! Buy a few paintbrushes, some paint, an easel, and canvas, and you’re ready to start painting your masterpieces, Picasso!

Empty Room Idea

Whether you want to create a home office, a den, a home gym, or add a new bathroom in your home, the empty room ideas out there are endless. Just be sure to find out who you need to contact before making any construction to your home. Once you’ve completed your empty room idea, be sure to invite your friends and family over to check out how you’ve turned your empty room into an amazing space!

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