Surviving the Hot Summer Heat at Home

Intense heat and humidity can make it impossible to sit comfortably, let alone sleep throughout the night. A quick and obvious solution is an air conditioner. However, even small window units use up tons of energy and increase monthly electric bills. So what would be an environmentally-responsible solution? Check out the the DIY tips below to keep cool throughout the day and night.
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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Surviving the Hot Summer Heat at Home

7 Common Closing Costs to Consider When Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home is an expensive proposition, but for many buyers, the realization that a host of closing costs need to be paid before the sale can go through is often a concern when it comes to ensuring there is enough money set aside to go through with the transaction.

In simple terms, closing costs are the fees associated with the acquisition of one’s new home that have nothing to do with the final sale price. These costs are in addition to the actual purchase price and include everything from legal fees to land transfer taxes to moving expenses.

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To ensure no financial surprises pop up when it’s time to buy your home, here are some of the most common closing costs that need to be considered.

Legal Fees
A real estate lawyer will be needed to assist you in drafting the deed, preparing the mortgage and conducting various searches related to the property. While the cost of a lawyer varies, you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for their services.

Title Insurance
Almost all lenders require that a homebuyer purchase title insurance to protect against losses in the event of a property/ownership dispute. Title insurance is basically an insurance policy that protects the homeowners from problems related to the title to their home, such as title fraud, undischarged liens, zoning issues and survey problems. Homebuyers can expect to pay between $150 – $400 for title insurance at closing.

Interest Adjustments
Unless you are purchasing a home on the first of the month, odds are your mortgage payment won’t be due until the following month. However, you’ll still be required to pay interest on your mortgage up to the first theoretical payment date at closing. It’s important to ask your mortgage lender how your IAD (interest adjustment date) is calculated so you’re prepared for this closing cost.

Prepaid Utilities Adjustments
A buyer must also reimburse the previous owner for any utility payments they may have already paid for the upcoming year. While this means you won’t have to pay for these utilities yourself for a while, it’ll add to the closing cost pile and can run hundreds of dollars.

Property Survey
A land or property survey is a legal written and or mapped description of the location and dimensions of the land that you’re acquiring. This is another requirement of a lender and is necessary for any transfer of ownership. A property survey will reflect all dimensions of the house and include anything that was added since the house was originally built, such as a new addition, deck, fence or pool. It can also point out any encroachments, such as a neighbor’s fence. This will generally run somewhere between $500 and $1,000.

Down Payment
The most important closing cost of all, the down payment can be anything you’ve negotiated with the seller and your mortgage lender, but typically falls around 20% of the purchase price. If you’re selling a home as well, and the deal hasn’t been finalized, you may need to acquire bridge financing. This will cover the cost of the down payment for a short period of time, with only interest paid at closing. Otherwise, prepare to buy your new home with whatever money you’ve been saving.

For more information about closing costs, contact your local office today.

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

7 Common Closing Costs to Consider When Purchasing a Home

Paying Off Your Mortgage

If you are looking to pay off your mortgage earlier than you initially planned, there are multiple ways to get this done. Before you begin, check with your bank to make sure there are no hidden fees or charges for paying early.

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Refinance your Mortgage

A good way to put a dent into paying off a 30-year mortgage is to refinance it into a 20-or-15-year loan. 15-year mortgages are the most popular, as there is considerably less mortgage interest in the long run. Be sure before making the change that you are financially able to do so, as changing to a 15-year loan commits you to higher monthly payments. If you are unsure about your financial ability to change to a 15-year, try staying on your 30-year loan and make payments as though you are on the 15-year one. This decreases the amount of time on your mortgage without adding the risk of a late payment.

 

Add a Little Extra

One of the best ways to pay your mortgage off early is to pay a little bit more where you can afford it. You can either do this by adding a set amount every month, or even just by rounding up every month. Even adding an extra 6 dollars to your monthly payments on a 200,000 dollar 30-year loan will save you 4 payments in the end. Make sure before doing this that you check your contract for any prepayment penalties.

 

Unexpected Money

Adding a little bit extra every month is great, but another option to keep in mind is adding any unexpected or extra cash flow to your payment. This can include anything from tax refunds or work bonuses to inheritances and investment earnings. This way it doesn’t feel like you are paying as much as long as you do not rely on that money.

 

Bi-weekly Payments

In Australia, people make bi-weekly half-payments on their mortgages. Why does this make any difference? Well, there are 12 months in a year, so most people will be paying 12 months worth of their loan. Someone who is paying half of their loan every other week, however, will be paying 13 months of their mortgage since there are 52 weeks in a year. This allows you to pay more of your loan off without feeling like you are paying more than you were before.

 

Other Options

These are great ways to cut down on the amount of time you have a mortgage, but there are many other ways as well. These include doubling up on your monthly payment 4 times a year and a money merge account. Money merge accounts should only be used by people who really understand cash management. If using any of the above options, it’s a good idea to get statements from your bank showing how much is still owed and also to make sure that any extra payments are going towards your principal and not being saved until the following year.

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Paying Off Your Mortgage

Firework Safety Tips

The month of July is filled with celebrations and of course, fireworks! If you are planning on using fireworks, check out these safety tips to keep everyone and yourself safe.

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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Firework Safety Tips

Neighborhood Spotlight – Westminster, MD

Thinking about moving? Carroll County, Maryland has a diverse selection of neighborhoods and locations to choose from. Located at the seat of Carroll County is Westminster. Westminster, Maryland, provides a balanced quality of life and well-established neighborhoods.

Westminster real estate is a popular choice among home buyers due to the town’s active community and year round family-fun events. Every year, the city hosts the Carroll County Fair, the Maryland Wine Festival, Common Ground on the Hill, and art festivals. Plus, Westminster is only a short drive to Washington D.C., Baltimore City and Philadelphia.

SERPENT RIDGE VINEYARD    winebottles

Visit Westminster’s first vineyard winery. The winery specializes in handmade wine from grapes grown in the Serpent Ridge Vineyard, select Maryland vineyards and other carefully chosen sites. Serpent Ridge consists of a little over 2 acres of grapes, which encourages a very hands-on approach to wine making. The bottles are sealed with a Zork, an innovative approach to bottle closures.

TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE PARK

If you own a dog, or are an avid dog lover, be sure to visit the Bennett Cerf Dog Park. The dog park is a large one acre fenced in area where dogs are permitted to be taken off-leash to exercise and socialize with other dogs in a safe environment. Adjacent to the dog park is a walking trail, baseball field and picnic pavilions.

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HAVE A SWEET TOOTH?   starry

Make sure you check out Starry Night Bakery. This creative cafe and bakery not only makes delicious baked goods but also hosts open mic night for local artists. Starry Night Bakery was featured on the Food Networks hit show, Cupcake Wars. 

If you are considering moving, why not consider moving to Westminster? Contact your local Homesale Agent to help locate your next home in Westminster, Maryland.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Neighborhood Spotlight – Westminster, MD

5 Tips to Refresh Your Deck

June IOV Ecard

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty wants to give you the opportunity to complete your dream renovation, CLICK HERE to find out more information on the BHHS $50,000 HGTV Fixer Upper Sweepstakes. You have from now until June 15th to enter.

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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

5 Tips to Refresh Your Deck

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value

Renovating your home is exciting but it does come with a few surprises and overlooked expenses. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty wants to give you the opportunity to complete your dream renovation, CLICK HERE to find out more information on the BHHS $50,000 HGTV Fixer Upper Sweepstakes. You have until June 15th to enter. In the meantime, here are some ideas on how to increase the value of your home!

May IOV ECard

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value