The Pros & Cons of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

For those wanting to enter the ranks of home ownership, getting a mortgage is probably your first step. While most realty and mortgage websites will guide you in the direction of a 30-year-fixed mortgage, for those who would like to speed up the process of gaining equity in their homes, a 15-year-fixed mortgage is an available option. In this piece, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Because we’d all like to get the bad news out of the way, we’re going to start with the cons of going with a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Cons of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

Higher Monthly Mortgage Payments
Obviously, if you’re cutting the time it takes to buy a home in half, the money has to come from somewhere. This increase in your mortgage may mean you can’t save or spend nearly as much as you normally would in the meantime.

You Can’t “Afford” As Much House
Most people, even without doing the exact math, could give you a rough idea of the amount of house they could afford based on their income. Those same people will likely be sadly surprised to find that a 15-month-fixed mortgage provides much less wiggle room in their budget as well as much less house.  

Tax Disadvantages
Because you’re paying off your house twice as fast with less interest, you may end up missing out on as many mortgage interest tax deduction dollars.

Now that the bad taste of the medicine is out of the way, let’s look at the advantages of a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Pros of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

Lower Interest Rates
As lenders aren’t as nearly as susceptible to risks on a 15-year-fixed mortgage, this usually makes interest rates lower. Lower interest rates over the course of your mortgage plan means that you’ll actually pay less in the long run.

You’ll Build Up Equity Faster
As you pay a higher mortgage payment every month, you’re on your way to bonafide home ownership that much faster. While these higher mortgage payments may be harder to weather for those 15 years, at the end of it, you’ll own your home outright and will be able to quickly grow your savings.

The ultimate decision on which type of mortgage to go with depends on many different factors. Whichever decision you go with, know that the home building process is one less thing to worry about with help from your friends at Perry Hood Properties.

4 Ways To Maximize Space In Smaller Homes

Whether you live in a smaller home out of choice or necessity, making the most of every square foot is the key to making the space livable. In this piece, we’re going to look at some clever techniques for making even the smallest spaces as functional as possible.

1. Downsizing Material Goodskeep or sell itemsWhile we like having “stuff,” there are only so many items crucial to our happiness. Living in a smaller home or apartment makes minimizing the number of items we have a necessity. Start downsizing your belongings by getting rid of duplicate and single-purpose items. Fortunately, we live in an age when selling these items has never been easier. Using Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for local transactions, remembering to always practice safety by making transactions in a mutual space — never giving out your address or location.

“But how do I begin to tackle downsizing?”

  • Don’t tackle your entire house in one go. Go from space to space.
  • Don’t think “will I use this?” but rather “when was the last time I used this?”
  • Ask yourself “do I like this item?” or “does this item bring me joy?”

Some find the act of downsizing stressful, but the end result is often quite liberating. For additional questions to ask yourself when deciding what to keep, Apartment Therapy has offered up their 5 questions to ask yourself when deciding to keep or purge

2. Go Vertical With Storagehigh shelf reachingMany homes have walls that stretch higher than we can humanly reach. Why not put this space to good use? By creating storage in the form of floating shelves or cabinets in higher places, you can free up a lot of living space. A good rule of thumb is to store items according to the frequency of use. Store frequently items where they can be easily accessed with lesser-used items stored in higher places. You may need to get out a step-stool to retrieve these items, but this also helps keep clutter out of eye-level. Out of sight, out of mind.

3. Use Double-Usage Furnitureunder bed storageFurniture can quickly clutter a smaller home and lead to usable space. Maximize the usefulness of every cubic foot in your home by using furniture that serves multiple purposes. Look for nightstands with lower shelves, desks with large storage drawers, and bookshelves that can be used as room dividers. If you’re in the market for a bed frame, look for frames with large storage solutions underneath either in the form of drawers, shelves, or space for items. Consider a comfortable sleeper-sofa in guest rooms or even in living rooms in houses where guest room options aren’t available. Give your furniture multiple jobs.

4. Only Use Furniture That Fits

blue mid-century couchOversized furniture can have a luxurious appeal in larger homes but quickly fills up smaller homes. When shopping for sofas, consider appealing sleek mid-century styles that don’t fill up rooms with extra unused fluff. Massive dining room tables may give off the vibe of elegant dining, but if you’re not actually using that amount of table space for dining on a regular basis, go with a smaller option. Smaller dining tables also mean less space for clutter to accumulate.

If you can only declutter and organize your small space so much, perhaps it is time to consider upgrading to a larger home. Let the home building experts at Perry Hood Properties help you build your next dream home.

4 Tips On Getting To Know New Neighbors

Purchasing a home is a huge financial investment, but let us not forget that you’re also joining a new community — albeit a neighborhood community. Though you may be fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where new neighbors are lined up to greet you with a basket of cookies, many people’s busy lives have made reaching out to new neighbors an afterthought. Still, you’re laying roots here, so wouldn’t you like to know the people living among you? After all, there are few things more awkward than sharing an awkward nod with your neighbor of many years because you never took the time to learn each other’s names. In this piece, we’re going to look at some ideas on how to become better acquainted with your new neighbors.

1. Scope out your neighborhood with leisurely walks.

If you have a dog to walk or you’re an avid jogger, you may have already surveyed your neighborhood on foot. Even if that’s the case, concentrating on your dog or noise-canceling headphones may keep you in your comfortable bubble. In order to get to know your neighborhood better, make an effort to take the occasional walk without the headphones or the dog. Acclimate yourself with the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Some of the best times may be in the morning when you may appear less threatening. The morning is also a good time as you may catch some neighbors while they’re getting their paper, moving trash bins, or going to work. The evening around dusk may also be a good time to take a walk. If your neighborhoods don’t seem too rushed, feel free to introduce yourself, making sure to say that you’re new to the neighborhood.

2. Strike up a conversation with commonalities.

Meeting new people can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, when it comes to meeting new neighbors, you already have the advantage of having something in common — you both live in the same neighborhood. Feel free to ask them what brought them to the neighborhood, what they think of the area, and what they do for leisure nearby. You can extend the commonalities by asking them about any concerns they may have, how they handle their trash and recycling, asking about family and pets, and if there are any parks nearby. There’s a good chance that you have quite a bit in common just by way of living in the same neighborhood. You may even already have several mutual friends!

3. Continue the conversation by looking for uncommon commonalities.

While meeting new neighbors can be fun, you will eventually need to find more to talk about than just the neighborhood itself. While talking about what you have in common, keep an ear out for what some refer to as “uncommon commonalities.” Uncommon commonalities are unique things you may have in common on which you can build a relationship. If they have they attended a college out of state and you know someone who attended that college or you did so yourself, you’ll have that unique thing in common. Being in marching band in school, being a diehard Seinfeld fan, or any other nugget you can expand will help you forge a unique relationship with a new neighbor.

4. Maintain the relationship with regular communication.

By this point, asking your new neighbor for their contact information shouldn’t be too awkward if for no other reason than that you’re neighbors. However, don’t just stow their contact information in your mobile device and never use it. Use it to invite them and their family over occasionally for backyard cookouts, touch base on a new neighbor you’ve seen move into the neighborhood or any other relevant occurrence. Also, actually speak to them when you see them out and about — more than just the awkward nod acknowledging their existence. Make sure to gauge their comfort level with your communication and respect their privacy while remaining a warm and friendly neighbor.

6 Valuable-Enhancing Renovations For Your Home

Just perusing through houses in your price range, even if you’re a complete novice to home buying, you’ll soon develop a checklist of home attributes that make a home appealing to you. These would-like-to-haves of a home are not only preferences but their absence can be a deal-breaker for potential buyers. In this piece, we’re going to look at a few zones in your home that you may consider renovating if you’d like to increase your house’s value

1. Bathroom

While it may have something to do with it being a place where you’re at your most vulnerable or possibly where quality is most evident, but the condition of a bathroom is incredibly important to potential buyers. Many homebuyers are always looking to upgrade their bathroom experience from one home to the next and may even want to feel pampered, making the need for bathroom facilities to be of a higher caliber than you’d expect. Don’t feel like you’re throwing your money away on bathroom renovations as you’re almost guaranteed to recoup nearly all of the necessary expenses.

2. Garage Door

More than just a device meant to close off the front of your garage, your garage door is also frequently one of the most prominent determiners of a house’s curb appeal. Not only will a new garage door make your home look great from the street, but the smooth operation of a recently-installed garage door can add a certain freshness to any home tour. This often overlooked renovation also happens to be one of the most affordable, considering its impact, usually ranging between $2,000-$4,000. According to one study, homeowners recouped as much as 98% of the price of the garage door replacement.

3. Kitchen Remodel (Even a Minor One)

While an extensive kitchen remodel can nearly break the bank, a minor renovation to your existing kitchen’s aesthetic is not only manageable but can add great appeal to your home. You don’t always have to install granite counters or completely install new cabinets as existing countertops can be resurfaced and kitchen cabinets can receive new life with new doors, paints, or stains. If your home is on the upper range ($500,000 in value or more), it is recommended to splurge on kitchen renovations in order to keep it competitive in the housing market, but even the most basic detail enhancements can make an average home feel slightly above average

4. Home Exteriors

Even if the inside of a home is incredible, the first impression of a home is often set by the home’s exterior. In order to make your money go further when it comes to attempting to sell your home, one place to definitely not overlook is your home’s siding and paint. Replacing the siding on a home or giving your home a new paint job is a fairly inexpensive way to breathe new life into what may feel like a dated residence. Some other exterior aesthetics to consider are a few landscaping features to make the outside of the home stand out. Landscaping requires a bit more maintenance but helps give the impression that homeowners are attentive to the house. Overall, you want to aim for a welcoming feeling to your home for prospective buyers instead of waiting to them impress on the inside.

5. Patio or Deck Renovations

Home buyers want to picture themselves living their lives in your home which is why helping them see the potential of the outdoor spaces is a must. Either renovating existing patios or even building new deck or patio structures can be a major selling feature for those who love to spend time outside. Renovating outdoor living spaces also helps any home feel larger as it provides another location for leisure on the property. Whether you want to build a firepit from pavers or overhaul an existing deck, this is money well spent when it comes to enhancing livable space on your property.

6. Replacing Windows

If your windows are dated, they not only look too hot to buyers, but they’re also grossly energy inefficient. Because most people are not incredibly selective when it comes to the brand or model of windows they want to use in a home, this allows you to make a renovation that will appeal to most every home buyer. Even if you’re not selling your home, the money you’ll save in energy bills will nearly pay for your window replacement. It’s best to stick to the following saying for window replacement: when in doubt, change it out.