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2021 was packed with plenty of activity on the real estate front.  Real estate headlines nationwide reminded us of the significant inventory shortages.  A condition that creates a huge win for home sellers.  On the other hand, homebuyers and realtors hoped for better news. The market did not perform as you might expect during a pandemic. People migrated from coast to coast looking for larger, more functional homes for the new reality of COVID living.  Homes with larger yards and more defined spaces were at the top of the list. Housing that didn’t rely on their employers’ location. Perhaps closer to family and more affordable than their current location. With the beginning of a new year, everyone hopes for better things. It is a time to set new goals and resolutions and put your best foot forward to bring them into realization. Here are some of the best articles of the last leg of the year.  Here’s to new beginnings. Happy New Year! Enjoy!

3 Things To Know Before You Consider Selling Your Land

Average Americans purchase prebuilt homes as opposed to vacant land. Thus, if you’re selling a vacant piece of land keep in mind that you may need to be patient in your efforts to find a buyer.  Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for vacant lots. You just have to know your target audience and how to negotiate for a good deal. As Danny Margagliano, of Team Margagliano in Florida, notes in this extensive article, both a competitive price and knowing your selling points go a long way in finding a buyer quickly. Also, proper knowledge of the property’s history enables you to come up with helpful suggestions as to how an investor can utilize the land to get a high ROI. Investors treasure this kind of information.  And it can be all it takes to convince them to close the deal.

International Real Estate Valuation Principles

Before investing in any property, proper knowledge of its current value and future benefits is essential.  Also, this provides a clear perspective on the returns you are likely to get. It may also help you avoid overambitious expectations. However, the importance of real estate valuation doesn’t end there. It is also necessary during the transfer or sale of property and when buying insurance. In terms of execution, the location of the property and the methodology the property valuers choose to employ play a role. Understanding the basic principles of international real estate valuation, especially when purchasing property abroad, is essential as Bill Gasset, with RE/MAX Executive Realty Massachusetts, writes. It gives insight into worthiness of a particular investment. Since international property laws differ, it will also help you pick out inconsistencies in the valuation reports.

Downpayment assistance

In order to get the monthly payment you want, your mortgage lender may advise you to submit a 20% downpayment. Considering how expensive buying a home is, this can be a hefty amount of money to raise. In some cases, you can get away with paying less than that. But it could mean buying expensive private mortgage insurance. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not tax deductible like your home mortgage interest. But are these the only options? The short answer is “No.” There are various down payment assistance programs anyone can take advantage of. Kevin Vitali, Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties, Massachusetts realtor explains what these programs entail, how to find them a well as the eligibility criteria. This is a game-changer for any aspiring homeowner!

Garage Updates That Can Help Increase The Value Of A Home

The garage is one of the most versatile spaces in any home. Unfortunately, many people overlook using it to its full potential. If there is plenty of “real estate” remaining after parking your vehicles it’s time to brainstorm other ways to maximize that underutilized space. That’s why updating your garage is highly recommended. Paul Sian of cincinkyrealestate.com highlights various ways to accomplish this. His suggestions range from upgrading the lighting and insulation to installing garage-specific cabinetry. An aesthetically pleasing garage door also adds significantly to the curb appeal. Changing the garage flooring is a good move too. Most of these updates are budget-friendly but they can significantly increase your property’s value. 9 Ways to Identify an Overpriced Home Would you bother checking out a property you already knew was overpriced? Probably not! Homes in the same area should have consistent prices. Or at least prices that are logical. It doesn’t make sense for a home to be priced $200,000- 300,000 higher than similar properties in the area. But are there other ways you can identify an overpriced property? Luke Skar of Madison Mortgage Guys explains the telltale signs of an overpriced property. They’re definitely tips that will be helpful for both home buyers and home sellers. Check it out!

Home Equity Loans vs. HELOC

Besides the freedom of decorating your property in personal way, homeownership has many perks. The more money you pay towards the mortgage the higher your equity in the property increases. In case of an emergency, you can apply for a home equity loan to raise enough funds to help you sort out the issue. You may also opt for a home equity line of credit (HELOC). But should you choose a HELOC or home equity loan? How do you know what’s right for your personal situation? Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Realtor, explains the differences as well as the pros and cons of each option. No matter what you settle for, ensure you invest that capital back into the property to continue building your equity.

Building Permits: What You Need to Know

Contrary to what you may want to do, you can’t put up structures on your property whenever and wherever you feel like it. In every municipality there is a department in charge of issuing building permits and regulating construction projects as well as renovations. You’ll need permission before you tear down, build or add any structure to your property. But why are building permits necessary? Vicki Moore, Pacifica, CA realtor, expounds on the importance of building permits, when they are essential, and projects you may be able to complete without necessarily applying for permits.

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