Your At Home Team Blog

How to Buy a Home in a Competitive MarketFinding a home that's the size and in the neighborhood you want at a price you can afford is difficult enough. Toss in the fact that the real estate market is as strong as an ox right now, and the challenge is enough to make you pull your hair out.

Never fear. With a little planning, you can find your dream home AND navigate the negotiation process. Here are the do's and don'ts of buying a home in a competitive market.

DO Get Pre-Approved

If you have managed your credit and finances wisely, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is fairly simple. Meet an experienced mortgage originator and complete the paperwork BEFORE you actively search for a property. That way, if you find a house, you will look far more attractive to the sellers than

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Pros and Cons of DIY ProjectsOne of the first things that a homeowner must make when beginning a home improvement project is who will do the work. The decision to hire a professional contractor or to complete a project personally can be tough to make. After all, there's a lot riding on each home improvement project. Knowing the pros and cons of each option can help you make the right choice.

Pros of DIY

There are many reasons that homeowners choose to do their own home improvement projects.

  • Homeowners who are able to complete tasks themselves can save on labor expenses, which enables them to make home improvements at a fraction of the cost of a contractor or handyman.
  • Many homeowners like the feeling of satisfaction that comes from working on their own home.
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The Pros and Cons of Solar Panels for the HomeSolar panels are now a common sight in many areas but it is important to look into whether or not solar panels can be an efficient source of green energy to address residential energy needs in a specified location. But is it worth the cost and will solar panels benefit every homeowner? In general, what do homeowners need to know about solar panels?

Get more details on solar panel technology for residential use today.

Why Get Solar Panels?

There are a number of advantages to incorporating solar panels to provide energy for the home. First of all, solar panels allow homeowners to generate energy sustainably without the production of gas, smoke or chemical by-products in the process. As nations continue to attempt to curb emissions, solar

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3 Tips to Selling a Vacation Home and Reducing Your Tax BurdenThe sale of a vacation home is subject to capital gains tax. However, a little research can allow homeowners to decrease their tax bill and the amount they may be obligated to pay in capital gains taxes. What options are available for those that own and are considering selling a vacation home in the next few years?

The following tips can reduce, defer and even eliminate some taxes on the sale of vacation home.

How Can Owners Plan Ahead to Save Money on a Future Sale?

If a homeowner is buying a second home as a vacation property, they can take steps to minimize their tax burden when it comes time to sell. Ryan Parker, tax expert, shared:

“We do have a lot of clients that end up selling a property and have a huge tax bill. If you're

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Common Warning Signs of Roof ProblemsAlthough some roofs "suffer silently" for quite a while, it is rare that yours will completely fail without giving you ample warning. Of course, a major wind or hail storm can cause major damage, but under normal circumstances, it will be apparent that you should schedule repairs sooner rather than later.

Periodic Checks Are Important

You normally don't need to wait until water pours through a hole in your roof to know that problems exist up above. There are ways to judge the condition of your roof before you have to get out the buckets. Some of the "detective work" can be done from down below, but for a thorough check, go to the attic and climb a ladder to visually inspect shingles, gutters and overall roof condition from an "up close"

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How to Repair Cracks in a FoundationOwning a home is a big job, and each element of a home’s structure often needs its fair share of attention. Keeping on top of every aspect of a property is an ongoing process, but for some parts of the home, staying aware of its condition can be crucial. 

One of these areas is a home’s foundation, where just like with many other features, it can begin to deteriorate over time. Foundation issues can lead to major home damage and could get very costly if not repaired sooner rather than later.

Signs Of Disrepair

It might seem like a home’s foundation is just a huge slab of concrete and very little can go awry, right? Contrary to that notion, a home often moves and settles as it ages, and sometimes this natural action can lead to big trouble

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What to Do When a Home Has Unpermitted WorkIt may seem that being a homeowner gives a person the freedom to do whatever they want in terms of repairs and renovations, and while that’s true to a certain extent, some work does need approval from outside sources. Cities require that certain projects are permitted in order to ensure the safety of the job and to properly assess property taxes in the future.

Both DIY and professional construction jobs can need permits, and not obtaining one can have some long-lasting consequences down the line. While it may seem cheaper and easier to skip this part of the process, it’s an important piece of the puzzle.

When You’re The Seller

Discovering the gravity of unpermitted work can be shocking, especially if the home is about to go on the market.

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What to Know About Private Mortgage InsuranceAs a homeowner, you probably are all too aware of the amount of that monthly payment. You might not, however, be aware of that breakdown of that lump sum payment until you review the year-end statement from you lender. If you've noticed it at all, you probably simply note an amount that is designated PMI.

What is it? What is it for? Why am I paying this? If you have ever asked those questions, you may also realize that PMI is a required part of most conventional mortgage payments.

What is PMI?

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is an insurance paid by the borrower to protect the lender against default. If you have a conventional or FHA loan and paid less than 20 percent on the down payment, it's likely that you pay a premium each month to

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Should You Buy or Rent Your Next Home?Like so many other questions that pertain to investing large sums of money, deciding between purchasing a home or renting one is a highly-personal choice. To help figure out which one is right for a particular stage in life, individuals should consider the following criteria.

Buying Might be Best If:

Staying in the home for five years won't be a hardship

Purchasing a home entails much more than simply making a mortgage payment each month, and there are other expenses involved in buying a home. Taxes and interest are also added to the regular costs that are incurred when buying a home, and home repairs are another important factor. While property almost always appreciates—which means that a homeowner will often get their investment back—it

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What to Know About 203k Renovation Home LoansIt can be expensive paying for home improvements. Homeowners and nonprofits interested in finding cost-effective ways to finance a home improvement or renovation are looking into an FHA 203k. There are projects both big and small that are covered with an FHA 203k home loan. Do you need to repair a roof, replace a deck or get new appliances? Then this loan is a solution for homeowners looking to make such upgrades or repairs.

Prospective buyers or homeowners looking to rehab a distressed property can take advantage of a 203k home loan whether they live in a Lorton Home or across the country. Understand more about the 203k loan, borrower eligibility requirements, and what repairs or renovations can be paid for with a 203k loan.

How 203k Loans

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