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Should You Rent or Buy?

home keysNot sure if it’s better to rent or buy? There is not always a straight forward answer to this question, mainly because it depends on your own personal situation and the real estate market in your area.

Below are a few points to consider so you are able to make up your own mind about which route to go down.

Renting

In this section we are going to give you some facts about why it’s better to rent than buy.

Firstly, there are not as many upfront costs when you to decide to rent. Sure, you have to pay a deposit and the first month of rent, but after that you don’t really need that much money initially, especially when the house or apartment is furnished.

Another reason is that renting is perfect for people who might not intend to live in the area for long, or are still undecided about what kind of house they want to buy. You can easily get a 6 month lease with a landlord, and then once this is up go elsewhere without anything stopping you.

Lastly, it’s always good to know that you won’t be bothered with surprise bills when renting. If the roof needs repairing, the boiler breaks down, or a window has to be replaced, this is all the responsibility of the landlord, and they have to get whatever fixed within a reasonable time frame.

Buying

Now that you’ve heard about why renting is such a good idea, what are buying? Below are a few reasons why this could be the right choice for you.

Without a doubt, the main reason why buying could be a better idea is because you are investing in an asset that you own. When you rent, all that money is going into the landlords pocket and helping to pay their mortgage, but with your own house you are the one benefiting.

Next, you can make changes to anything you want, either on the exterior or interior of the house. So if you want to try your hand at a bit of DIY or you fancy buying some different furniture, then you don’t have to ask permission to do so.

Lastly, if you buy the right house in the right area, then you should be able to make a nice tidy profit for yourself when it comes time to sell. Getting into real estate can be a nice little earner if you get it right, and you could use any profit to buy up more properties.

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Renovate Your Pool Without Spending a Fortune

poolIf you’re pool has seen better days and it needs sprucing up then you might be scared it is going to cost you a lot of money.

While a large renovation project will set you back thousands of dollars, you don’t necessarily have to go down this route, especially if you only want to make a few changes that will make your pool look better just in time for the summer.

So what are some of things you can start doing right away to renovate your pool without spending a fortune? Let’s take a look…

Contact pool renovation companies

You might be surprised at just how competitively priced many pool renovation companies are these days, more so in some areas than others.

For example, in a place such as Costa Mesa, California, where there are many private residences who need this kind of service on a regular basis, pool remodeling Costa Mesa companies are everywhere so make sure you get as many quotes as possible.

LED lights

When you are planning some pool parties for the summer but your pool is looking old and tired, why not try out a few LED lights to make it look more glamorous?

You can get these kind of lights really cheap online and then install them yourself, so you won’t need to hire a professional. Definitely worth a try.

Resurfacing

Another way to renovate your pool without spending a lot of money is to resurface the bottom and sides in order to give it a more modern look. Sure, this does come with a bit of expense, but ultimately if you do it right then it will last for many years to come and won’t need replacing for a long time.

It also cuts down on the amount of small repairs you need to do on a yearly basis, which means you end up saving money.

Water features

A really cheap way to spruce up the area around your pool is to buy some small water features. For example, you could have a water fountain at one end of the pool and a scupper at the other end.

Not only does this give your pool a classic look and feel, but it will also get a lot of compliments from neighbors and friends who you invite round.

Automate

Want to renovate your pool without doing any hard work? Fortunately this is now possible, thanks to a range of automated tools such as systems for controlling the quality of water and robotic pool cleaners that helps you get rid of things such as dirt and leaves.

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How to Double the Value of Your House in New Zealand

houseThe property market in New Zealand is looking strong once again, which means it will soon become a sellers market as people look start buying once again.

One of the great things about this type of environment is that it’s a lot easier to get maximum value for your house, which is in complete contrast to a few years ago where prices were at a historic low.

Why be happy with “maximum value” though, when, with a few shrewd moves on your part you can double the value of your house, giving you the potential to make even more money when it comes time to sell.

Loft conversion

A really easy way to add value to your home is with a loft conversion. This gives you an extra bedroom, which instantly makes the property more expensive in the market and attracts buyers looking to spend more money.

Garden renovation

It’s amazing how some simple changes in the garden adds value to your house. As you are no doubt aware, garden sheds in New Zealand are very popular, so make sure you have one of those. Also, consider getting a greenhouse, some professional work done on the lawn, as well as new fencing and a patio.

Add a conservatory

An alternative to building an extension onto your house is to add a conservatory. Not only does this give your property extra value, but it also adds to the overall appeal of the house, which means it won’t sit around long when listed on the property market. Just make sure the style of the conservatory fits in with the style of your house, as getting it wrong could decrease the value.

Convert the garage

Many people are happy with a driveway for the car and are not necessarily bothered about keeping it in a garage. Because of this, you might want to consider converting the garage into a living space, which is guaranteed to add a lot of value onto the property.

Spend money in the kitchen

If you are going to change one room in the house to add value then it should be the kitchen. Not only do we cook there, but we also talk, watch TV, and have parties in the kitchen, making it the focal point of the house. Make sure all of the appliances are up-to-date, as well as installing great looking cupboards, worktops, and flooring. It’s these type of things that go a long way in doubling the value of your house in New Zealand.

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5 Deadly Financial Mistakes Most Landlords Make

lightningBeing a landlord is tough. There are so many factors to take into consideration, that’s it’s easy to make mistakes and start losing money.

Here are 5 deadly mistakes most landlords make….do you make any of these?

Not getting cheap landlord insurance

There are lots of different companies out there offering landlord insurance, which means the premiums are getting lower every year due to the competition.

This is why you should compare quotes so you can find the cheapest landlord insurance available.

Not choosing the right location

When you are a new landlord, the biggest mistake you can make is buying a property in the wrong part of town. Sure, you might be eager to get going and earning a profit, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect researching the area.

At the end of the day, if your property is located between a crack den and a massage parlor, then you will have major problems trying to find suitable tenants willing to pay your asking price.

Not negotiating with agents

If you have decided to use the services of a real estate agent to do all of the hard work for you, then please be aware that the majority of agents don’t come cheap.

With this in mind, in order to stop agent fees eating into your profit margins, it’s essential that you negotiate as hard as you possibly can. You might be surprised at how much it’s possible to save on the cost of real estate agent fees.

Not hiring quality contractors

Another deadly financial mistake that most landlords make is hiring lousy contractors. Ultimately, there will be a lot of repairs to be carried out over the coming months and years, and if you don’t get quality workmanship, then expect to have your properties literally falling apart.

Ask around for the contact details of a good contractor, and also check for reviews on the internet to see what past customers are saying.

Not having a good credit score

Most landlords get a mortgage to buy their rental properties. However, when your credit score is lower than average, then this means you end up paying the highest interest rates.

For this reason, it’s essential that you do everything in your power to improve your credit score. Avoid getting into a lot of debt, always make payments on time, and even request a copy of your credit report so you can check for errors and then have them removed.

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How to Find The Best Mortgage Broker

listNow that the recent financial crisis has calmed down, many Americans are looking to get on the property ladder. This can be a confusing time, as buying a new home comes with many different factors that you need to keep in mind.

One of the biggest hurdles for many people is getting a mortgage, especially if they have bad credit or a less than perfect financial history. Luckily, a mortgage broker can help you overcome this problem, by putting you in touch with mortgage lenders who are likely to say yes.

With this in mind, here is more information on how to find the best mortgage broker:

They must have knowledge of the local area

Always look for a mortgage broker who specializes in your local area. For example, if you live in the nations capital, then mortgage brokers in the Washington DC area will always be a better choice than going with a national company who doesn’t have much local knowledge.

Don’t choose the first broker you find

While it can be tempting to simply choose the first broker that you find, in reality, it’s a much better idea to shop around and do your research in order to locate the best mortgage broker.

As an example, you should ask friends and family members for recommendations, use comparison websites, and look for reviews on the internet to see what other people have to say.

Also, make sure that you keep a close eye on the fees and payments that a particular broker charges, as finding a company who is affordable should be one of your main priorities.

Get everything in writing

It’s a huge mistake to take any mortgage broker on their word. That’s not to say that they are untrustworthy, but at the end of the day it just makes sense to get everything in writing so you can give yourself maximum protection.

This also helps to clarify exactly what you expect of the broker, so there are no crossed wires or misunderstandings. It can also be a good idea to hire a lawyer to look over the contract between yourself and the broker, to make sure everything is in order and there are no obvious loopholes.

Conclusion

Hiring a mortgage broker is one of the best ways to successfully find the most competitive mortgage loans. Just make sure that you keep the above information in mind, and you will be fine.

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A Simple Mortgage Guide For First Time Buyers

young couple moving houseIf you are looking to get a mortgage so you can buy your first home then it’s easy to become confused and frustrated.

At the end of the day, the mortgage world can be a complicated place. There are so many factors to take into consideration that you can quickly feel like giving up.

Gain a better understanding of mortgage loans by reading our simple guide for first time buyers…

Mortgage calculator

Before you even begin applying to different lenders, you should make use of a mortgage calculator with taxes to get a better idea of what to expect in terms of interest rates and repayment terms.

Credit report

Because your credit report is such an important factor in whether or not a lender is willing to accept you as a customer, then you should request your own copy as soon as possible. Luckily, if there are any mistakes listed on your report then you can request to have them removed, and once successful your credit score should receive an immediate boost.

Don’t be in a rush

The simple fact of the matter is that right now may not be the best time to buy your first home. If you find yourself getting rejected by multiple lenders, then it might be a better idea to wait a year, work on improving your financial situation and then trying again.

The deposit

One of the most important factors when applying for a mortgage is the size of the deposit you are able to offer. Many financial experts agree that if you can offer around 35% as a deposit, then you are giving yourself a great chance of being approved for a mortgage with the lowest interest rates.

If you can’t offer that much then don’t worry, as it is still possible to get a good deal when only offering 10% to 25% if you are prepared to shop around.

Extra costs

One of the major mistakes first time home buyers make is not paying attention to the extra costs which will be incurred when owning their own property.

For this reason, many people start struggling to keep up with the monthly repayments, as they have other costs such as repairs, maintenance, bills, and insurance to contend with.

Conclusion

Make no mistake about it, owning your home is a great experience once you are settled in and have your finances under control. Just be careful about taking on too much financial responsibility, as your dream home can quickly turn into a nightmare.

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