James Conforti and Domingo Medina - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 9/12/2019

Buying a home that works for both seniors and young children can be complicated, if not impossible. When searching for a new home, itís important to keep in mind the special requirements for every member of your family both now, and as they continue to age.

Parents or other older relatives may need assistance getting upstairs or in and out of a tub. Even if they are fine now, aging is a tricky thing and mobility issues can crop up at any time. Planning for them now can save you money and stress in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum, child-proofing a home is important for small children or new infants, so keep an eye out for sharp edges and remember youíll have to bring strollers, high-chairs, car seats and more so plan for easy-to-open doors. Donít forget that as your kids get older, their needs will change as well: plan for privacy and personal space where you can to save on upgrading your home in the future.

For the best home search, make sure to let your real estate agent know who all will be living with you. He or she can assist in finding homes with the features you need and can provide advice about what things are feasible to change yourself, and what will make a house cost more than your budget in the long run.

Some important features to look for include:

  • ?Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
  • Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? We can help! Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.
  • Wide Doorways: A door without a turning requirement (and those that open wider than a right angle) need to be at least 32 inches wide to ensure that wheelchairs and walkers will fit. Right angle doorways or those that require turning to enter or exit should be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Wide Hallways: For comfortable use by strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs, look for hallways that are at least 42 inches wide. That much space gives you the option of installing handrails on one or both sides. Handrails can help both small children learning to walk, and elderly people with mobility issues.

Thatís the easy part. The hardest room for both the very young and the elderly is the bathroom. Itís a good idea to ensure that your home has a minimum of 2 full bathrooms to allow you to accommodate the needs of all members of your family. Seniors need ADA toilets (also called comfort height) and grab bars, while your small child would need an extra-tall stool to use the taller toilet. Large showers with floor level entrances, seats and grab bars are best for the elderly, but its often easier to wash your kids in a tub, especially when theyíre young. With two bathrooms, you can satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.

Last, but not least, pay attention to faucets, handles, and knobs. Rounded ones can be difficult for both the old and young members of your family. Look for a single handle, lever and touchless options for the best results all around. Donít forget to test cabinets and drawers for weight or friction pull closers since those are more difficult than soft close or magnetic options. Itís okay if the home doesnít come pre-fitted with the knobs, handles, etc. you want, a quick trip to your local hardware store will solve it.

Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.

Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.




Categories: homebuyers   Family  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 1/3/2019

For many homeowners, your most significant financial asset is the home in which you live. Most assume, like previous generations, that their home will play a large part in their retirement plan. What part? That depends. You could sell your home, move into something smaller and use the excess to fund your retirement plans. If your home is paid off, you might plan to live in it until you die. Even if you don't have a plan, everyone has told you that buying a home is a great investment, so it should work out. Right? Not every home is the best bet for your retirement plans. Read to find out how your property stacks up.

Asset or Liability?

Most people think of their home as an asset. It certainly can be, but if youíre planning on selling it to fund your retirement, keep in mind youíll need somewhere else to live. If you have a free option, like staying with your kids, thatís great! 100% asset. If youíre going to re-invest a portion of it into a new smaller home, then its maybe 50% asset and 50% liability. That number varies depending on just how much you plan to spend, and realistically how much the market will bear. 

Equity vs. Home Value

Contrary to popular belief, your investment equity isnít always the same as the home value. If you share ownership with the bank, your actual investment is the home's current market value less what you owe your lender. With the additional fees and taxes, your take away could be substantially less than you thought. This can hurt you when the market no longer supports your previous home value. If your mortgage is higher than you can sell for, you'll end up just losing money.

Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages often are advertised as a way to stay in your house and still have an income during your retirement years. However, much of the time you don't actually receive the entire equity of your home. Lastly, since you're essentially selling your home to your lender, you're giving up ownership of your home. That means your estate and heirs will either have to pay off the mortgage or give up the house. It's always wise to make sure your children or heirs understand that your home is no longer part of their inheritance. 

Location

If this is your forever home, location is the prime feature to consider. This is a double-edged sword though. Leave it too late, and you wonít be able to pay off the property in time for retirement, buy it too early, and your needs could change. The younger generations are prime for moving to new cities and even states, so even if they live nearby now, that could quickly change. You should consider how your body will react to severe or inclement weather (and your ability to handle the maintenance) as you get older. You could end up needing to make a last minute sale. If you can afford an investment property, an alternative is to get a vacation home in the area you want to retire. That way, you can sell your current home for the income and move into your paid-off vacation property in your retirement location. 

Ask your Realtor about the right homes for both your needs right now and those in the future.





Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 7/19/2018

Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers arenít arenít sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesnít come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lenderís decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, weíre going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how theyíre used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If youíre thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things youíll want to do is check your credit. However, if youíve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom youíve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online wonít affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if youíre young and donít have a diverse history of credit payments, youíll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If youíre hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesnít mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you donít have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which youíll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and wonít leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.




Tags: Buying a Home   FAQ   homebuyers  
Categories: Buying a Home   FAQ   homebuyers  




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