**If you sell your home do you need to have it Energy Certified? http://www.factcheck.org/2009/07/energy-bill-and-existing-homes/**
Do you know how much money are you spending on your Energy Bills? Well, according to Alliance to Save Energy, ‘the average U.S. residential household consumed 10,982 kWh of electricity and spent around $2,200 annually on utility bills’ Yes, that is right, you are probably using more energy that you need to! Just take a look at this blog on the 10 most energy wasting habits people have in their home.
Saving energy is not only about being cleaner and caring about the planet, it is also about using your resources more effectively. So, whether you want to stop wasting resources for the planet’s sake or save on energy (and other) bills, here are some steps you can take towards being more energy-efficient.
- Heating and Cooling
Close blinds on summer to keep your house cool and open them in winter to let sun in. In the colder months be careful with fans because the air coming from them can make your heating system work harder.
Check for air leaks, any cracks in your home will let cold hair come in and hot air escape, this makes your heating system work harder and waste energy in the process. Look around your windows, anywhere wood meets concrete, sill plates, doors and air duct joints.
Make sure to install a programmable thermostat, according to Energy.gov, ‘You could save an estimated 10 percent per year on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat, and by resetting it when you are asleep or away from home, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort.’
Just by pushing the ‘energy saver’ button on some or all your appliances, you will be making a difference on your energy consumption. But if you feel like you want to do more, and if you have the money, you can replace your old appliances for energy-efficient models. We recommend that you get appliances that are certified by Energy Star, here is a list of them. You can also reduce the use of electricity when electronics are not in use by plugging them to an advanced power strip.
If you are about to buy or replace your old car, you can get one that has good mileage, this will help you save money on gas and will reduce the CO2 emissions that come from your car.
We hope to have inspired you to take some steps towards using energy better, and to give you more inspiration, here, read this couple’s story on how they made their home more energy efficient.
Buying a home is one of the most important steps in one’s life, so we have put together some advices hoping that we can help make your home buying process easier.
SAVE FOR DOWN PAYMENT AND CLOSING COSTS
With most loan programs you will need to put between 3% to 20% of the home’s price and this can come in a form of a Gift Down Payment. The one exception to this rule is the VA loan program where you can do up to 100% financing.
**Do you want to know if you qualify for a VA loan? Go here http://davidhaleymortgage.com/va-loans/ **
Other cash expenses are the closing costs. According to Zillow, “…home buyers will pay between about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing fees. So, if your home cost $150,000, you might pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs. On average, buyers pay roughly $3,700 in closing fees, according to a recent survey.”
However, each case is different so you should talk to your Loan Officer, she or he will give you a Loan Estimate which will give you an idea of what your closing costs will look like. Remember this is only an approximation and these numbers may change.
Providing the right documents to ensure your capability to qualify for a Home Loan is very important. Start collecting your financials: W-2’s, paystubs, bank statements and copies of your last two tax returns. Of course, required documents vary from person to person, but these are the basic documents that you will want to gather.
KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
According to Money Under 30 you should “Aim to keep your mortgage payment at or below 25 percent of your pretax monthly income” and “[Try to] keep your total debt payments at or below 33 percent of your pretax monthly income.” (THIS ARE THE IDEAL NUMBERS), however most find this to be too tight for their buying opportunity.
BUILD YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Now that your expenses will increase with a monthly mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and others, it is best practice to have a good amount of money in your savings for emergencies.
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
You don’t want to find your dream home and then find out that you cannot get financing to purchase it! Make sure that you can actually get a loan before you start home shopping. Talk to your family members, friends or co workers and ask if they know a Loan Officer that you can work with.
LOOK FOR A REALTOR
Finding a Realtor that you can trust is very important. Make sure you ask these 9 important questions.
LOOK FOR HOUSES
Your Realtor will most likely put you in a Home Search site or program, so you can get notifications whenever a house fits your criteria. But you can also look on your own; there are different kinds of Home Search Engines, so you have a lot of options out there.
A good Home Search App we recommend is Home Scouting, it has accurate Listings and live, real up-to-date active homes, unlike other Real Estate search sites, it lets you save searches and favorite homes, it’s private and does not sell your name or contact information.
To download the Home Scouting App:
After downloading the app, use this code: 4254716039
We hope these tips help you to get you ready to buy a home, and please do not hesitate to contact David Haley if you have any Home Loan questions. Don’t delay and call today! 425-471-6039
Happy House Hunting!
Enhance your room’s natural light by hanging a mirror on a wall that faces a window, the mirror will reflect the light and your room will look brighter. You can also hang the mirror facing a lamp. Play with the mirror’s placement and see what works best for you.
Colors and Texture
Choosing a different color for your walls and ceilings can change a room’s appearance dramatically; you can choose lighter shades of paint for most of your room and then add contrast with a darker or bolder color for your floor, door and window’s trim. Even if it does not seem like it, texture can be detrimental to or help enhance light in a room, matte finishes are better than glossy ones since they offer a more subtle impression and reflect light as well.
Using bulky and heavy curtains in a room that is already dark won’t let any natural light in. Try lighter, airy curtains and you will see the difference. If you are concerned about your privacy, you can always get blinders in a neutral painted or pale wood finish.
Use brighter Light bulbs
You can replace them with higher light intensity bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) of a lower wattage but higher light output. You can also try different light coloring. Daylight bulbs usually provide a cooler, bluer, more vivid light. Take a look at this blog to learn more about lightning.
Then and Now
Many 20-something and even 30-something young Americans are already in the zone of house- dreaming. Maybe you’re one of those in the zone who’s paying rent or paying off student loan and wondering if it would ever happen that you’d get to own a house. It looked somewhat easy for your folks to procure their first house, some 40 years ago, when they were in their late 20’s. While by historical standards the mortgage rates per month have been kept low, the prices of homes have soared and that makes down payments tougher to cover these times.
If your intention is to establish your first home in an expensive neighborhood, then you should start saving early and for longer for the down payment. Money down for great locations fetch as high as 24% of the purchase price. However,do look around at more affordable locations that will not stretch your budget too far. It will also allow you to establish roots sooner than later. Also, shop around for first-time homeowners’ programs as in government-sanctioned companies that offer easy down payments.
Affording Expert Help in Lynnwood
Helping young people, like yourself, on the goal towards home ownership is one of Dave Haley’s expertise. Many first-time homeowners come in with just their dream and maybe a lot of savings for the down payment and very little else. When it comes to home loans, you must arm yourself with its intricacies, like available options, fixed and adjustable rates, monthly interests, and loan terms.
If you’ve found your target home anywhere in Lynnwood, Bothell, or in Mill Creek region, where communities are lovely and homes are affordable, David can surely find you the best alternatives that will work in your particular circumstance. Let David make mortgage easy for you with a payment plan within your means that allows you to keep your home and your credit score for years ahead.