Category: Home Buyers (5)

new home

April is new homes month. And one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses.

In a previous analysis, we used data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to offer proof. The AHS classifies new construction as homes no more than four years old.

For routine maintenance expenses, 26 percent of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11 percent of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. In fact, 73 percent of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.

Similar findings are available for energy expenses. According to the 2011 AHS, on a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent 81 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent less: 68 cents per square foot per year. For homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 50 cents per square foot per year. Owners of new homes spent just 34 cents per square foot per year.

The 2011 data show similar results for various other utilities. For water bills, homeowners averaged 28 cents per square foot per year, while owners of new homes averaged 22 cents. For trash bills, the median for all homeowners was 15 cents per square foot per year, while for new construction the median was 13 cents per square foot per year.

These data highlight that a new home offers savings over the life of ownership due to reduced operating costs. And in fact, these reduced costs result in lower insurance bills as well. The median cost for all homeowners of property insurance is 39 cents per square foot, while it is only 31 cents per square foot for owners of new homes.

These reduced expenditures represent one of the many reasons that the current system of appraisals needs updating to reflect the flow of benefits that come from features in a new home.

For more information about purchasing a newly constructed home, please visit http://www.calcagni.com/newconstruction

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

New Year

Everyone makes resolutions around this time every year – from taking up a long-delayed painting project, to finally remodeling that kitchen, or finally making up your mind about packing up and selling the place.

The web is full of real estate resolutions, so as we ease into the New Year, we’ll present a punch list of the best of these 2014 pledges:

Purge – Get rid of stuff you don’t want buyers to see and stuff you don’t want to move to your new home. It’s probably too cold, wet or snowy to hold a garage sale right now, but you can donate items for a tax deduction.

Just buy – You will never get there until you take that first step. Assuming that you have the capital to work with, now is the time to buy! Choose a property that you know will profit you one way or the other. It can be through rental or equity buildup or renovation for flipping – whatever it is, take that first step.

Remodeling? – Determining your return on investment should be one of the first things you research before starting any remodeling project. If you plan on selling your home someday, keep in mind that 80 percent is the ideal return on a remodeling investment. A few suggested improvements that can bring the greatest return on investment include kitchen improvements, new siding, a bathroom addition, and replacing windows.

Refinancing?
– Taking advantage of the current low interest rates might make refinancing a good option for you. A recent study indicates that more homeowners are switching from a 30-year fixed rate mortgage to 15-year fixed rate mortgage and bringing additional funds to closing to reduce their mortgage amount.

Finally – Potential homebuyers should resolve to shop around when looking for a home loan. They say lenders vary, often significantly, in the fees they charge and the interest rates they levy so keep searching until you find a lender that offers both good service and good rates.

To put your home buying or selling plans into action, contact one of our local REALTORS today- www.calcagni.com 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Close up of a welcome mat in front of an inviting house

Ready to buy your first home, or move up to a larger home for your expanding family?….
Home sales in Connecticut seem to be finally warming up after a five-year chill, as demand gradually builds among first-time home buyers and existing homeowners seeking more room. Historically low mortgage rates, rising rents and relatively positive economic indicators are enhancing consumer confidence and driving the trend, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).

As demand grows, home prices for a median existing home are expected to rise as much as 5 percent nationwide in 2013, according to the NAR. This should encourage existing homeowners who’ve been patiently sitting on the sidelines to consider putting their homes on the market.

Even though the outlook is looking brighter, the hurdles to buying a home in today’s market are significantly higher than they were a few years ago.

Lenders are paying close attention to buyers’ ability to repay a loan, according to FindLaw.com, the nation’s leading legal information website. The generally accepted principle is that no more than 30 percent of a household’s take-home income should go toward the principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

Here are some tips about buying a home within the next six to nine months:

  • Start planning now. Even if you’re a year or more away from buying a home, start preparing now. Build up your cash for a down payment plus other expenses that come with owning a home. Check your credit report for accuracy. Pay all your bills on time and zero out all credit card debt. And don’t take on new debt, like a large car payment.
  • Get a pre-approval letter. Home sellers want to know that you can get a loan to buy their home. It’s OK to window shop, but don’t make any offers unless you are certain you can obtain financing. After shopping around for a financial institution, get pre-approved for a home mortgage. Showing a seller a pre-approval letter will increase your chances of your offer being accepted. And don’t be surprised if the seller or his real estate agent contacts your loan officer to verify that you’ve been pre-approved.
  • Build a strong buying position. As the home market warms up, bidding wars will become more common. However, the highest bid doesn’t always win in today’s housing market. Instead, home sellers want to know the deal will go through with smooth sailing. So, today, the highest value is being placed on non-contingent offers (not contingent on the sale of your home), pre-approved financing, higher-than-normal earnest money deposit and personalized bids (share with the seller why the home would be a perfect match for you and your family).
  • Get a lawyer. In some states, the law requires that a real estate attorney be part of the process of making an offer and reviewing loan documents as part of the closing, according to FindLaw.com. Where a real estate attorney isn’t required, buyers and sellers should consider seeking legal assistance for relatively more complicated real estate transactions, such as purchasing a property directly from the homeowner, the purchase of a rental property, a short sale or the purchase of a foreclosed property.
  • Learn about the neighborhood. When you buy a home, you’re also buying into a community. Start your home search by first targeting a neighborhood where you want to live. Avoid neighborhoods where homes are not being kept up, or yards are full of old cars and junk. Check out the schools, too. Great schools attract families, and keep up home values. Avoid busy streets, homes under flight patterns or near railroad tracks. And contact the local police department for crime statistics and the location of nearby sex offenders.
  • Keep your emotions in check. If you’ve found a home you like, don’t fall in love with it yet. Make sure your offer is contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection conducted by an inspector that you hire (not the seller).
  • Save some extra money. Whether you’re buying your first home or your third, moving and getting a household established can cost more than you anticipated. Make sure you save enough extra money to redecorate your new home to fit your lifestyle, and to pay for unexpected repairs.

For more information, contact one of our real estate professionals at www.calcagni.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

Check out today’s issue of the Record-Journal and look for an article written about Calcagni Realtor Daniela Volo & her clients’ national TV debut on HGTV’s House Hunters! …

Daniela Volo, a real estate agent for Calcagni Associates in Wallingford, photographed Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Volo will be featured in an upcoming episode of the HGTV show “House Hunters.” (Photo courtesy of Dave Zajac/Record-Journal)

Click the link below to read the story online, which tells about Daniela & her clients’ real estate adventures as they set off on their home search, which included viewing more than 80 homes, some of which were unique, stately and historic homes! (3 of which will be featured on the show).
 http://bit.ly/KPGBMv
(Episode is set to air at the end of July- we’ll keep you posted!)