Buying a home is a dream come true for many people and the longer you live in it, the more opportunity you have to build equity. Equity is the difference between what the home’s market value is versus what you owe on it and with each house payment you make, the more equity you gain. Also as your home’s value starts to increase your equity also grows. If you’re looking for additional ways to improve equity in your home, here are a couple of ideas.
#1: Large down payment.
When you’re ready to buy a home, you can get a head start right at the get-go, by making a large down payment. Putting down 20% or more of the property’s value is a great way to not only add instant equity, but it can also keep your house payment lower and it will also allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance each month which doesn’t insure you but rather insures the lender against a possible loss.
#2: Shorter mortgage terms.
It’s very common for homeowners to take out 30-year loans on their home, but if you can swing refinancing your home to a 15-year mortgage, you will be able to pile on the equity and help pay off the loan quicker. Your monthly payments will be higher, but the payoff can be significant when your mortgage is paid off in half of the time. If you can’t swing the refinance to a 15-year mortgage, consider paying a little more on the principal of your loan with your payment each month or make one or two extra payments a year and apply it toward the principal. This can help you pay off the loan sooner and will help bolster equity over time.
#3: Home renovations.
There are some remodeling and home improvement projects that can help increase the value of your home and boost the equity. Replacing windows and doors, adding attic insulation, and completing a kitchen or bathroom remodel can all help with increased property value and greater home equity. There are certain home projects that do not add as much value. If you’re not sure, I’m glad to provide advice on which to-dos reap the most return.
If you’re ready to explore the option of buying or selling a home, contact me. I’ve been helping clients of all kinds for more than two decades. As a Realtor®, I can help you start the process and can provide tips along the way. I am glad to help you with the information you need to start your adventure.
Once you have purchased your home, it costs money to maintain. There are some surprisingly easy ways to save your hard-earned cash when it comes to day to day living in your home, as well as home maintenance. Her are some tips.
#1: Minimize your use of traditional light bulbs.
Incandescent light bulbs cause homeowners to throw away a lot of money every month due to high electric bills. Replacing your old bulbs with LED bulbs can help save you huge amounts of money over time. Over its life span, traditional bulbs can use up to $180 worth of electricity, whereas LED bulbs will use only $30 per bulb.
#2: Fix leaky faucets.
Leaky faucets not only waste gallons of water, which is a precious resource, but you’ll end up paying a lot of money for unused water. Getting your faucet replaced is an important task and could end up saving you a lot on your water bill.
#3: Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are an amazing invention that allow homeowners to customize the temperature of their homes the way they like. The best part: you’re not wasting energy running your heating or cooling system while you’re away at work or on vacation. For example, if you plan to be away at work for most of the day during a hot summer day, program the system to shift up a few degrees while you’re gone, then set it to turn back down shortly before you turn home so it’s nice and cool. There is no use heating or cooling an empty home.
#4: Check your windows and doors.
Are the windows or doors in your home leaky? This is a great way for air to leak in or out and ultimately cause homeowners to pay excessive amounts in wasted energy. Be sure to caulk leaky windows and seal doors with rubberized weather-stripping on the sides and bottom. If your windows and doors are old and inefficient, consider replacing the windows and doors fully in your home. This will not only allow for energy efficiency, but it will also help add value to your home.
Summer is winding down. Are you ready to make the leap into home ownership this fall or are you ready to sell your home and move into your dream home? I have more than two decades of experience as a Realtor® and can help you start the process and can provide tips along the way. I love working with people around Clark County and am glad to help you with the information you need to start your adventure.
Grocery prices are continually on the rise, housing costs are getting higher and higher, and home maintenance costs can be expensive. Expenses add up quickly, that’s for sure! So, if you’re looking for ways to cut costs and tighten up your spending, cutting your energy costs is a tangible way to keep more money in your pocket. Your heating and cooling bill will likely fluctuate a bit depending on the various seasons, but there are some beneficial ways to save money on your energy bill and here’s how.
Tip #1: Program your thermostat.
Programming your thermostat to a set temperature all the time will help conserve energy and keep the bill lower. Don’t leave it off or set it too low, because it will cost more to heat/cool the house rather than just maintain the temperature. Consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat that will allow you to monitor and control the temperature of your home from your smartphone.
Tip #2: Turn off what you’re not using.
If you’re not using your ceiling fan, turn it off. If you’re not using lights in the room, keep them turned off. Unplug things that you don’t need all the time, like cell phone chargers, computer chargers, or other appliances that aren’t being used. In short: turn off the things that use electricity when you’re not using them, as this will help you keep costs down.
Tip #3: Check your weatherstripping.
Did you know that worn or torn weatherstripping around your windows and doors can cause significant drafts, which leads to significant heat loss? If warm air from your home is leaking out, the furnace will need to work harder to keep the temperature comfortable in your home. So, caulk around doors and windows and replace any weatherstripping that looks like it’s in disrepair.
Tip #4: Use natural light as much as possible.
If you don’t need an artificial light, don’t use it! Open up your windows and let the natural rays of light in. This will not only bring light, but it will also help add additional heat to your home. Keep the curtains open during the day so you can get direct sunlight in your home and close them at night to keep drafts out.
Tip #5: Keep your HVAC system tuned up.
Maintenance of your furnace/HVAC system is important. Regular tune ups will allow the professionals to take a look at the inner workings of your system and find any issues that may be happening with the machine that could lead to a spike in energy costs. Most of all, they will be able to make any repairs that could save you big money in the long run.