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Forgotten Costs of a New Home

When looking to make the leap from renting to owning, many potential homeowners crunch the numbers to see how their monthly rent check stacks up to a monthly mortgage payment. While this is a good starting point, would-be homeowners often neglect to factor in the other costs involved in buying and maintaining a home. Before you make the jump to home ownership, here are some added costs to consider.

Inspections

It’s an unfortunate reality of home ownership: Even before you’ve officially bought the house, you’re already paying added fees. Before a lender will sign off on a loan, most will insist on getting a building inspection. After all, should a buyer fall behind on the monthly mortgage payments, a lender doesn’t want to foreclose on a house that’s about to collapse in on itself. A typical home inspection will cost between $300 and $500 and usually covers things like the condition of the roof, the quality of the foundation and whether the circuit breaker hqessays and electrical system is up to code. However, a building inspection isn’t just a tool used by a bank to ensure that your house is a safe investment. As a new homeowner, an inspection is also a valuable guide to your potential new home. Follow along with the inspector and you’ll learn all the ins-and-outs of the place before you even move in.

Closing Fees

The asking price of the home is only one piece of the equation when buying a house. Once you sign on the dotted line, you’ll also be responsible for the cost of the closing fees. Usually costing a few thousand dollars, these fees pay for things like the lender running credit checks, an attorney filing the paperwork to transfer the property over to you, and a notary to ensure the transfer is legal. While they can add between 2 percent and 4 percent to the cost of a home, these fees usually get rolled into the mortgage itself, which means you’ll be able to spread them out over the length of a mortgage, rather than having to cough them up as a lump sum the day you sign.

Homeowners Insurance

Before you even get the keys to the new home, you’re going to have to prove that you have homeowners insurance. With cars, auto insurance is mandatory because you are a liability to other drivers on the road. Similarly, homeowners insurance is required because you are a liability to your lender should your house go up in flames and the property becomes worthless. The cost for insurance varies widely, and depends largely on where you live and the value of your home. There are also added costs if you live in an area prone to flooding, hurricanes or other natural disasters.

Property Tax

As a renter, you already indirectly paid a local property tax through your monthly rent checks, a portion of which your landlord uses to pay the tax bill. But as a home owner, you’re going to have to pay these fees directly. Usually levied on the state and city level, these fees pay for local services like public schools, roadways and sewers. The local tax office will assess the value of your home and peg these taxes to that value. As a homeowner, however, you usually have means of challenging that tax assessment, which you should make sure to do if you feel your home is being overvalued.

Maintenance

Homeownership comes with certain advantages, but unfortunately there’s no super to call when a plumbing problem occurs or your heat goes out. Maintenance and upkeep is one of the biggest costs you have to face as a new homeowner, especially once you find out that the previous owners left the place in a state of disrepair. While these costs can put the pinch on you, keep in mind that you’ll be living here for years to come, so improvements and maintenance will feel well worth it.

Direct lender payday loans EPA new water reg could bring feds into your backyard

epa gestapo tacticsSeveral Republican lawmakers and even state farming groups and local governments are warning, after a draft rule from the Environmental Protection Agency proposed expanding which waterways are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.

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The concern is that the move could give the feds authority over virtually any stream or ditch, and hand environmentalists another way to sue property owners. In other words, critics say, the government might soon be able to declare jurisdiction over a seasonal stream in your backyard.

If so, good luck getting a permit to expand building space on your property, or marketing your land to prospective developers.

“(The) draft rule sent to the White House for review could direct lender payday loans expand the EPA’s regulatory power to give the agency unprecedented new authority over seasonal streams and ditches on private property,” Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

 

The Truth About Angies List

angies list reviewIf you are a contractor and looking to expand your client base you have several online options to get leads. We’ve decided to review just how effective these online contractor databases are.

The truth about Angie’s List is that even if you are a reputable contractor, or home builder, and have been in business for dozens of years, Angie’s List will not include your corporate listing in their search results.

The only way for a new contractor to start getting leads on Angie’s List is to ask a paying member of their service to write a review on your company. Non-member reviews, while they will show up on your listing, do not count toward visibility. So if you have no paid-reviewer reviews on Angie’s List you do not exist.

Of course they offer a great tool to invite your database of customers to complete reviews, but it opens your customers up to solicitation and re-marketing to competitors. This makes Angie’s List a useless marketing tool for home construction companies of any size. Unless, of course, you’re willing to share your clients with your competitors.

If you have no paid-reviewer reviews on Angie’s List you do not exist

While more costly, we prefer Home Advisor as a home construction lead generation service. It is free to the consumer to search for qualified leads for many home construction services.

As a builder, we pay for those leads – from $30 to $90 each california payday loans. And we can cap the amount of leads we receive each month by budget. Leads over our budget we get sent an ‘approve for an additional fee’ request. Which works just fine.

Our biggest complaint is that the customers are not often qualified enough to warrant the lead costs and find ourselves filing credit requests with Home Advisor. While they offer refunds, they double check the veracity of each claim, and that can open a grey area; what do they consider a ‘viable’ lead.

Home AdvisorMostly this is due to people not ready to build or who are just doing initial research to find certified vendors. This poses a problem for the contractor… do you pay to show up in the search results for people who are not ready to buy your services. If you don’t have someone who is keeping track of all leads then you can blow through your monthly budget very quickly just on general inquiries. This can become quite costly.

The great thing about Home Advisor is that they qualify their contractors to a greater extent than Angie’s List. We were asked to provide all of our building licenses and certifications and they checked on them all. We are also not permitted to be included in searches for areas for which we are not licensed, at least initially. The benefit is that the tail-light contractor who does not have insurance or permits or licenses can not effectively use this service to compete.

So if you are a home contractor or a consumer looking for home contracting services, Home Advisor is a much more robust service with higher quality leads and does not cost the consumer a dime. If you’re a home construction marketer, the choice is clear.

 

 

FAIRFIELD COUNTY HOME & OUTDOOR LIVING EXPO 2013

Meet the Arcanna Homes team at the largest home show in Fairfield County on March 9 – 10, 2013!

We will be there to discuss our panelized building process that can help you build or design a new feature of your home.

This event is the place to be if you are considering a home theatre, kitchen redesign, new flooring, granite countertops, bathroom makeover, new siding, basement finishing or any other home project.

Bring the family – the event offers free entertainment for kids.

Fairfield County Home Show

Join the Arcanna Homes team at the 33rd Annual “Original” Fairfield County Home Show.

Ask us about the panelized home building process and how our ENERGYSTAR certification helps us build new homes that use little to no fossil fuels.

$2 Off

SHOW RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER

February 16-17, 2013
Sat. 11 am – 6 pm

Sun. 11 am – 5 pm

Greenwich High School Student Center
10 Hillside Road
Greenwich, CT 06830

Sponsored by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Fairfield County, Inc. (HBRA). View flyer.

Westchester Home Show Exhibit

The real "Bob the Builder"

The team at Arcanna Homes had a booth at the Westchester Home Show at Pace University, NY on January 12 & 13, 2013. It was an exciting show and many future new home owners stopped by. A noticeable improvement from previous shows and a good indicator of an improving new home construction industry.

The most common question, besides “how much per square foot”, is about building a green new home. Consumers are aware of new advances in solar heating, passive sun-centric orientation and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems and want to save money on energy costs. With Government incentives at an all time high and our new ENERGYSTAR certification, we have some wonderful opportunities ahead to save our country natural resources.

As always, everyone just loves the panelized building process when they see it in action. Truly, when building a custom home with architectural sophistication, there is no better or faster method.

We are looking forward to our next home show, the Fairfield County Home Show in Greenwich, CT, at Greenwich High School on February 9-10, 2013. Hope you can stop by and talk to the real “Bob” the Builder.Click here for directions