Tricks for first time home buyers

first time home buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be one of the most exhilarating parts of many people’s lives. Many people only buy a home once or twice in their life, making it an incredible experience, if not slightly nerve wracking.

Unfortunately, the downside of only buying a few homes in one’s life is that many people know very little about purchasing a home and miss out on a lot of incredible opportunities that are available.

Here are a few tricks that real estate investors and professional buyers know and utilize to get good deals, analyze homes, and minimize risk.

Understand Renovations

Renovations can be both challenging and fun for new homeowners. However, they can also offer incredible opportunities if you know what to look for. Oftentimes a home that is in need of repairs will sell for significantly less than its ARV, or after repair value. People simply don’t want to deal with repairs, and sellers just want to get the property off their hands.

This means that you can buy a nicely modeled, newer home for say, $200,000. However, you could also buy a beaten up, older home for $140,000, put in $25,000 of repairs, making it equal in both value and modeling to the newer home, and save $35,0000 in the process. This also gives you complete control over what the home will look like, what kind of floors you like, paint colors, countertops, cabinets, etc.

This is also a form of appreciation. If you don’t know what appreciation is, appreciation is when your home’s value increases over time, meaning you can sell the home down the road, pay off your mortgage, and pocket the difference. This can be hundreds of thousands of dollars over long periods of time.

Doing significant repairs, like those mentioned earlier, can force appreciation on your home. This appreciation can be much higher than the amount of repairs put into the home. For example, you could put in $35,000 of repairs, and if the you made the right repairs the home would be worth $50,000 more. This means you just forced $15,000 in appreciation right off the bat. You now have a little cushion in case the value of your home drops.


Many people do not realize how much interest plays into their loan. When you first get a loan on a property, you will be paying more than half of your monthly payment straight to interest. This means that any drops that can be had in interest rates should be taken advantage of. Most people will not shop around for interest rates, believing that 1/2 a percent can’t make that much of a difference. In reality, that 1/2 percent can make a huge difference.

There are many brokers that can help you shop around without pulling your credit a dozen times. Find one that you like and stick with it.

Finding homes

Don’t just use one place to look for properties. Let’s use someone living in Atlanta Georgia for an example. They could use the Georgia MLS, they could try a site like Fizber that offers FSBO sales, they could drive around neighborhoods they like, or they could likely find some kind of local listings in their local paper etc. The point of this is that when you are buying something as important as your first home, it is important to do your research and know exactly what the market looks like and what a good deal is. If you spend time looking on multiple platforms you will better be able to recognize a good deal, and have a better idea of what you are looking for.


Building A Home In Australia

home building

The dream of building a home from scratch becomes a reality for many people. It’s easy to see why: being able to have complete creative control over each aspect of a new home from the first brick laid down to the final dab of paint applied is an attractive proposition.

This is not an easy task and shouldn’t be taken lightly at any stage. Before embarking on a home-building quest it is important to be aware of some key factors that can influence whether the project is a success or a failure. By planning out all costs well in advance and factoring in unpredictable pitfalls, the new home has every chance of being completed on time and on budget.

Using a home builders in Perth company is a good option when building a home as well, allowing Pottier Homes to take the strain so you don’t have to.

Costs of materials

From the oven in the kitchen and the dimmer switch in the bedroom, and the oak floors to marble worktops, every material that is used to create the perfect house needs to be carefully budgeted for. This can lead to some compromises being made, which is never easy. However, it is very important to be disciplined during this phase of planning – by indulging every fantasy that can be dreamt of, there is a danger that costs can spiral out of control before the project has even begun.

Cost of labour

As well as the materials, the cost of manpower needs to be considered with home builders in Perth like Pottier Homes.

From JCB operators digging the foundations to plumbers connecting the pipes, every potential labour cost needs to be factored into the budget. It may soon become apparent that more people are needed than was originally thought. Failure to think about extra labour costs could lead to a half-finished project because too few builders are on the job.

Cost of connecting utilities

Budgeting for the cost of connecting utilities such as gas, water and electricity may seem like a straightforward step but sometimes this is neglected until the last minute. Finding that a completed house cannot have any electricity or water because the budget has been spent is a nasty surprise. Avoid this by making sure that utility connection is the first thing budgeted for in the project

Environmental Protection Laws

When building a home, be aware of government regulations regarding environmental issues. Any new structures need to comply with the standards that are set. This means that homes must be carefully planned regarding their impact. By meeting with the local environment agency and discussing the proposed building, they will be able to determine whether the project poses a risk to the environment and what elements of the house are also deemed to be a benefit.

For example, a project may be rejected if it is decided that the building is to be constructed in an area where endangered species are found to be living. On the flipside, using methods such as solar panels to generate electricity may help a project’s application.

Stamp duty

Buying land and property in any Australian state is subject to stamp duty. The tax amount is a percentage of the value of the home. If you are buying land to build a home then the stamp duty is only applicable to the cost of the land. How much you pay depends on the state the house is being built.

Land boundaries

When planning to build a house, it is vital to contact the local council in order to work out the land boundaries where the house is going to be situated. This helps to ensure that any building that is done does not encroach onto other people’s land or property. Failure to do this could result in legal action being taken, so the boundaries must be fixed before any work takes place.


Making sure that the new building has the proper insurance means that should the worst happen, the entire project is covered.

The natural surroundings need to be evaluated for the risk that they pose to the new building. For example, the correct insurance against flood damage or wildfire damage should be considered.

Failing to cover all insurance bases can derail a project if an accident damages the new house.

Whether building your own home or using a contractor, always make sure to plan as thoroughly as possible.


What You Should Know About Solar Panels

What You Should Know About Solar Panels
When you think about what the important features are when it comes to having a home these days, you need to consider a great many things. However, thanks to the way that technology is making certain items more affordable, if you are considering a perk on any house that can help minimize your carbon footprint, it can help to minimize your electric bill as well. When it comes to solar power it will only be more important as the world moves forward, so consider the following options when you are thinking about solar energy.

Prices Are Falling
There is a general conception out there that solar panels are too expensive to be practical. However, thanks to the technology and infrastructure that has been built up around them, solar panels are actually very affordable. According to The Simple Dollar, solar panels have dropped in general around 75% since 2009, and the costs continue to decrease each and every day.

Panels Last For Years
Thinking about the initial cost and cash outlay can be scary when it comes to solar panels. Even with decreased prices they can easily hit five figures. However, when you think about the cost of energy and how much you can save by installing solar panels, then you should be able to see that within a few years you can get your money back. That means you could have as much as a decade (or two) of pure savings for solar electricity coming into your home after you have paid off the purchase and installation of the panels and system.

Picking the Manufacturer
When it comes to picking a manufacturer then you have to think about all of the issues that anyone needs to consider. What is the product durability? What is the service behind the product? Are you getting a top quality for your intended use? You also have to consider the items specific to solar panels and think about the power, longevity, and the efficiency of the product in converting sunlight to energy. When it comes to a product that you are going to invest a considerable amount of time, energy, and cash into, then you have to be sure the product is going to work for you.

Finding the Right Installer
When you are looking for the right installer, you have to be more careful than anything else. On the one hand you want someone who has enough experience with solar panels to be able to help you now and get the system installed correctly. However, the other thing to remember is that if you are going to have these solar panels installed for the next twenty or thirty years you still need to have someone who will be in business at that time and will continue to provide quality service. What you want to focus on is customer service, the length of the warranty, the installer’s references and location, along with certificates and licenses. Checking consumer reviews is also a smart choice to ensure you are making the right choice.

Regardless of what you do choose to do or who you choose to go with, there are more than enough opportunities out there to get ahead with solar power. The one thing that is most important, however, is to have a solid plan and find the best combination of product and installers that will work for you and your needs.

Stopping the Invasion: 4 Ways to Remove Pests from Your Home

Stopping the Invasion: 4 Ways to Remove Pests from Your Home

Paranoia. We all get it after a home invasion. You may start seeing quick blurs of gray in your peripheral vision, hearing what could have been a scratch or a squeak. Pests are certainly a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous. Rat droppings and various pest excretions can make your family sick. And summer time is the time you need to be on the lookout. According to a company offering pest control in Jenks, Oklahoma, the increased moisture and warm temperatures are perfect breeding conditions for the least desirable creepy-crawlies. To keep your home safe and worry free, not to mention cleaner, consider these four ways to reclaim your habitat.

1) Traps

If you are battling mice or rats, various traps can be your first line of defense. You’ll probably want to start with the typical, old-school, metal mousetrap. Just bait the trap and place it in common traffic areas for the critters. If you can’t handle sadistically waiting for the rat to come across your instant doom trap, there are more humane sticky traps that capture the animal alive. Once immobilized, you can then transfer it to a land far, far away.

2) Baits

If you’re battling smaller, less furry creatures like roaches and ants, baits are a great option. Place them in dark corners and along walls where insects like to hide. The poison not only kills the bugs, but draws them in. This helps get rid of the ones you don’t see. For ants, place the bait near their trail. The ants will carry the bait home to their queen which kills the whole colony.

3) Sprays and Bombs

You may find yourself desperately battling fleas or lice, especially if you have pets in your home. The best way to deal with these tiny, vicious beasts is by spraying your home with poisons like Raid. These sprays should be safe for pets and kids once they dry and can work up to six weeks. Check the bottle for safety information.

You’ll also want to fumigate your home with “bug bombs” if you have the chance. Make sure everyone has somewhere to go for a few hours. Remove your pets from your home. Follow all safety instructions. When you come home, you’ll want to wash dishes, bedding, and any surfaces that were exposed.

4) Combine Efforts

Combining multiple methods is your most effective option, especially in insect infestations. Spray around your walls, doorways, and windows where pests enter your home and put out baits. Though sprays can last for weeks or more, it’s okay to spray as needed to keep your home pest free.

When you’ve exhausted all inexpensive efforts, it’s time to call an exterminator. Your health and peace of mind is worth it!

Learn Four Basic Steps of Installing a Garage Door Opener

Installing your garage door opener is not an easy feat. However, it isn’t impossible. If you are already handy with tools and with little do-it-yourself projects at home, then you might find installing your own garage door opener a fun experiment. If you haven’t tried putting up your own opener, you might want to ask for a little help from anyone at home.

Here are the four steps that you have to follow in order to install your new garage door opener:

garage door opener


1. Check the garage door. Before you start assembling and installing the garage door opener, inspect the garage door and its parts. Ensure that all the parts are working and that there is proper door balance. Check if there are any rusting or broken parts and if there are any wobbly pieces that may need to be fixed before installing a new opener. Test if the door also closes and opens as it should. You may need to have your garage door repaired before you install an opener. This makes sure that you won’t encounter any problem after the opener is already installed. After, you need to prepare it for installation. Lubricate the parts and remove cords that are in the way.

2. Lay out all the parts and start putting everything together. Once you have checked the garage door, it is time to lay out all the parts that came in your opener kit. Check if all the parts on the list are included in the package. Set up motor on a ladder for a quicker installation while you put together the main assembly. Ensure that the ladder aligns the motor to the center of the garage door. Put together the rail and attach them as directed. Slide in the carriage over the rail and attach it to the motor. Then, install the pulley at the end of the rail opposite to the motor. Feed either the belt or chain through the end of the rail, around the pulley, and around the other end of the motor. Finally, attach the belt or chain to the carriage with the screw.

3. Install blocking on the ceiling and locate point of connection on garage door. If you don’t have blocking on your ceiling, you may need to install one. This allows you to attach the motor to the ceiling. The kit already comes with specific instructions on the blocking that the opener needs. Ensure that you are attaching the blocking to the joists in your ceiling. The specific distance from the top of the garage door to the opener motor will be specified by the instructions in the kit. This is why putting up your motor in the first place will make the process easier. Then, attach the bracket and insert the end of the main assembly to the top of the garage door as per the instructions. Lift the motor and mount it on the ceiling with durable straps or angle iron. Lastly, attach the bracket to the garage door.

4. Install the additional features. Before you finish up your installation, install the rest of the features that your garage door opener has. This includes the emergency release rope, light bulbs on the main compartment, the electric safety eyes, and the keypad wall control. Make sure that the emergency release cord is adjusted accordingly so kids cannot reach it. Light bulbs should be suitable for rough use since the opener vibrates with every use. Check with your manual for the most suitable bulb. With the safety eyes, you may need to run down wires to the bottom sides of the garage door and to the eyes. Ensure that you’re following the instructions for the wiring.

About the Author:
Kristy Jones is a DIY fan and enthusiast. She loves implementing life hacking topics especially about home improvements. She loves to declutter the home and would love to volunteer to help others live a clutter-free life. As the lead content curator for A Click Away Remotes, Kristy also contributes on writing other informative articles about basic architecture and house renovation.