Daily Archives: January 15, 2021

7 New Year’s Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home in 2021

Are you hoping to buy a property in 2021? Here are seven new year’s resolutions that can help keep your financial resume in shape. And the fitter it is, the more chance you have to be able to buy.

Resolution #1 – Clearly outline your goal

Having a very specific goal is the first step to reaching it, so write down exactly what you want to achieve. For example, “buy a 1 bedroom unit near Byron Bay by 31 December 2021” or “buy an investment property in Melbourne CBD by end of August 2021”.

Having a timeframe attached to your goal will add a sense of urgency and help keep you motivated and on track.

Resolution #2 – Set up a budget for 2021

Good saving habits are very important if you are planning on getting a home loan this year. Set a monthly savings target. Start by working out where your money is going. You will need to know precisely how much you spend on essential costs like rent, food, bills and transport, and then allocate money for the debts you are paying off.

Once you have a clear view of your expenses, you can determine what you can cut back and what proportion of your income you will be able to allocate to savings. The more money you have saved in the bank, the more appealing you are to a lender. We buy houses in Winter Haven

Resolution #3 – Keep a steady job

Having a steady employment history and income are two of the biggest factors lenders look at when evaluating a home loan application. A new career move can be great, but keep in mind that if you are moving into a new industry, lenders may be concerned.

Ideally, you will have had a steady employment history for at least two years. This will help lenders predict your future income. Be aware that in many cases, lenders will contact your employer to ensure you are still employed and to verify your salary. If you do change jobs, be sure to let your lender know as they may require extra documentation.

If you are moving from a job that pays hourly to one that is salaried with equal or more compensation, it may actually help your application, as lenders prefer borrowers to have a steady, predictable paycheck.

Resolution #4 – Eliminate credit card debt

Many lenders require you to have a zero balance on all of your credit cards to qualify for a home loan. Lenders use your debt-to-income ratio, or in other words, they compare the amount you earn against the amount you spend. This ratio is important to ensure you don’t over extend yourself with the home loan repayments.

Plus, you should avoid making any large purchases such as a new car or expensive holiday while you are saving for a property. Even if you have pre-approval, home loan lenders re-check your credit before they finalise the loan. This means that any new debt could delay or prohibit your home loan from going through.

Resolution #5 – Build a solid credit history

Your credit history is the most important document that lenders will look at to determine how risky a borrower you are, how much they are willing to lend you, what interest rate they will offer or if they will lend to you at all. Generally, the lowest interest rates are normally only available for borrowers with a high credit score.

To understand your score, purchase a credit report which will give you a basic history of your financial activity. Approximately 1 in 10 Australians have a negative listing, which may stop them from getting a loan. Knowing where you sit before you meet with a lender gives you the opportunity to improve your score should you need to.

Resolution #6 – Get pre-approval

Having an idea of how much a lender will lend you is important. If you don’t have pre-approval and know exactly how much you can spend, you might miss out on the perfect property because your finances aren’t in place. You won’t be able to confidently put a bid in at auction or make an offer on a property without the panic of a last minute rush.

Pre-approval essentially is an approved loan amount (usually for a particular time period). Knowing this enables you to set your price range ceiling for yourself and confidently make offers on a property you want to buy.

Resolution #7 – Research the market

It is important that you spend time researching the area you are looking at buying in, so you understand the number type of properties available, the price points and how quickly the properties are selling. By understanding the market, you will be able to identify the right property for you quickly, if it is good value and how quickly you need to move on the purchase.

How To Add Value to Your Home On a Budget

Revive your kitchen

You don’t need to go for the full make-over to revive your kitchen and make potential home buyers fall in love with your home. Start with taking care of the floor and install the tiles you have been craving for some time. There is nothing better to refresh a room. Vinyl floors, which are budget-friendly and waterproof, are also a great option. They are also easy to maintain and install.

Swapping cabinet doors can give your kitchen a real facelift. If you prefer to spend your budget on other features, then you can simply replace the handles of your cupboards and drawers, and give them a fresh coat of paint.

While at it, you can also take care of your benchtops. However, know that they are not all expensive and replacing them will really transform your kitchen. You can find laminate benchtops, the most cost-effective material, under $150 per square metre. And it works wonders as long as you choose the right colour and design.

A splashback can be a point of focus in your kitchen. For more personality and be sure to make an impression, don’t be afraid to pick a material or colour that will contrast with the cabinetry. Tiles are the go-to and can cost as little as $35 per square metre. Acrylic can also be a great option. It looks very much like glass but is way cheaper (from $240 per square metre).

If your appliances are out of date, replacing them can also be a worthwhile investment. You will be able to get a new cooktop, oven and dishwasher for around $2,500. Depending on the brand you choose and type of energy, you might even be able to add a microwave.

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Make your bathroom a relaxation haven

Just like in the kitchen, new flooring will always go a long way. With a vinyl floor, you won’t need to fear moisture, steam, and humidity. Moreover, this material is not slippery when wet, and you will enjoy a warm and cosy feeling under your bare feet.

If you’re planning to sell, porcelain tiles can also be a great option. Hard and dense, they are very strong and durable (even more than ceramic tiles), highly resistant to moisture, scratch and stain. They require very little maintenance and are also very versatile in terms of design. Use them both for the floor and on your walls. And remember, the larger the tiles, the less grouting work.

To renovate and modernise the bathroom without spending too much time or money, you also have the option of simply repainting it. A brushstroke and your bathroom will appear transformed. Replace your vanity, shower screen and shower head, upgrade lighting fixtures, and your bathroom will look like new. Doing all these renovations can fit a budget under $3,000 if you’re savvy.

If your bathroom is small, it might even cost you less. So think about ways to optimise the space and invest in accessories. You can maybe consider adding some open shelves for extra storage and a towel rack behind the door. You can also install a big, new mirror. Not only will they enhance the feeling of spaciousness, but they are also very convenient.

Finally, to really make your bathroom a relaxation haven, don’t overlook the details and decorate. It is one of the best ways to add value to your home on a budget. Add a few well-chosen accessories such as small storage boxes, scented candles, a make-up mirror or a nice soap dispenser to give your bathroom a luxury touch. A couple of plants that thrive in a high-humidity environment (like orchids, bamboo or spider plants) will also help create a spa-like atmosphere.

Maximise space in the bedrooms

Remodelling bedrooms may never cost as much as refreshing a kitchen or bathroom. Still, it is worth spending time and money on them as you can expect a great return on investment. And even on a budget, you should be able to do a fair bit.

You will never have too much storage in a bedroom (or anywhere in your home!), so built-in robes are a must-have. Use the full height and focus on the structure and essential features. Don’t worry too much about adding all the bells and whistles or you could quickly end up with a hefty bill.

Depending on the number of bedrooms, you might also be able to invest in new flooring and refresh the walls with a crisp coat of paint. As much as possible, try to stick to neutral colours and keep the space clutter-free (that is what the built-in robes are here for) to make it appear larger. These are easy renovations that do not require you to spend a lot and will always be worth the investment for your home.

Make your home smart

If you have a limited budget, you won’t be able to get the most advanced set-up available today. Still, it is more than sufficient to take the first few steps in making your home smart. It will allow you to automate and control household appliances by connecting them to smart devices (such as your smartphone, tablet or smart speaker) via your wifi router. This will, in turn, greatly enhance your lifestyle and make your home more appealing to buyers.

You can start with a smart lock. It can automatically lock the front door when you go out and unlock when you return. Not only this feature makes your home safer, but it is also very practical.

Once you step inside the house, smart lights are a nice feature to have. They turn on and off, dim, and you can program them by creating scenes. These are pre-set configurations for different scenarios, such as “movie night”, “romantic”, “wake up”, etc. Smart thermostats can work the exact same way.

But there is much more you can do in a smart home. For example, you can voice-control your TV and sound system, program a robot vacuum to clean the house while you are out, let the fridge take care of your grocery list (and even order it), etc. Priorities will vary depending on your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, making your home smarter will definitely help it stand out and give you an edge on the competition.

Create inviting outdoor spaces

Spring is the best time of the year to give your garden some TLC, as it is the perfect season to plant. For example, it is a great time to start the veggie garden you’ve always dreamt off! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your garden year-round, as a well-thought and maintained outdoor area can be a strong selling point. It basically adds a whole new room to your home.

You can give your garden a simple make-over by just mowing the lawn, removing dead plants, weeding and adding defining borders to your flower beds (timber ones are popular). Add a few larger plants as focal points, but make sure to keep them in proportion to the size of your garden.

To create a pleasant atmosphere, why not also upgrade to fresh, clean and crisp pieces of outdoor furniture. This is a good, easy way to showcase the potential of the space and make it inviting. Whether you invest in a new dining or lounging set (or both if space and budget allow), it will help prospective buyers project themselves enjoying the area with family and friends.