NOLA MATTAR
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Real Estate Considerations for Your Family

You have grown out of your current space. You want a neighborhood with better schools, more services, and more community activities. You need a bigger home to give your family the space that they need to function. Recent studies show that about 64 % of people wish that their home were larger. The two top concerns were price and finding the right neighborhood.
 
What ever the reason that you are choosing to purchase a home; there are several things that you should keep in mind. While some of these factors may be out of your control due to the constraints of budget and housing availability, a priority list is important to determine which factors and characteristics are most important to your needs.
 
1. Neighborhood. Buying in a good neighborhood helps make sure that your property goes up in value. Besides that, it will be important to consider the ages of your children as well as the ages of the children in the neighborhood. It also should be a place that you will feel that your family is safe.
 
2. Bedroom/room space. This is important if you are planning on more children, you need a playroom or are in need of a home office or a guest room.
 
3. Bathrooms. Make sure that you consider the number of bathrooms that you will need in the future as well as the amount of space that you have in each bathroom. You don?t want fights in the morning with children who are getting ready for school.
 
4. Family Room. Over time, your family room will change in its need. As a young family, it will be a playroom. As your children get older, it will be the hangout room. If the family room is too small or the children are too loud, consider a finished basement as an option for a hangout.
 
5. Schools. Kindergarten is right around the corner if you have young children. Make sure to visit the neighborhood schools, talk to the principal, teachers, and parents in the neighborhood. Look online to see standardized test scores. A good real estate agent will provide you with information about schools.
 
6. Crime. The neighborhood may look safe, but it could be riddled with incidents of theft or vandalism. Call local law enforcement agencies to see if the neighborhood you are considering has any specific crime problems.
 
 

What Makes Real Estate One Of The Best Investments In The World

For decades people have been successfully investing in real estate and becoming millionaires. But what is it that makes real estate such a good investment? Why have so many people become rich from investing in real estate? What factors make it one of the best investments on the planet?
 
 
Is it a safe investment?
 
Real estate values rarely go down over time, even without major improvements to a property. If you just maintain a house over time its value will most likely go up. Just image or ask what your parents paid for their first house, it may easily be worth 10 time what it was bought for. Real estate is also one of the only investments that you can get insurance for. This greatly reduces the possibility of a major loss. In fact real estate is such a safe and great investment that banks will actually loan you money for it.
 
 
Borrowing money for investing
 
This could be the biggest reason real estate is such a great investment. Using the banks money will allow just about anyone to be an investor. Most transactions will require the investor to have some cash on hand, but an investor can typically borrow 80%-90% of the money needed to purchase investment property. Leveraging the banks money will just totally skyrocket your ability to invest. This just proves what a great investment real estate is.
 
 
Making money from renting
 
There are several ways to create wealth from renting out a property. Monthly cash-flow; renting your investment to a tenant will make you money month after month just from rental income. Over time you are able to charge more rent while your mortgage payments will remain the same. Property value will almost always go up and over time and all the while you are paying down on your investment increasing your equality over time. Renting property is safer than flipping and may take longer for you to build wealth.
 
 
Making money from flipping
 
Buying wholesale and then selling property at retail or market price is also a very popular way to invest. Finding houses to purchase wholesale may be fairly easy because a lot of homes need to get sold fast and the best way to sell fast is to reduce the price. It doesnít take much to purchase a property $15,000 or more under itís market value. Just a few flips a year part-time can make you more in one year than some full-time working salaries. Flipping can build wealth faster but is also riskier than renting.
 
 
Real estate is truly a one-of-a-kind investment and one of the best ways to acquire wealth anywhere in the world. Whether you flip or rent your investment, real estate will continue to make millionaires time and time again.
 
 

Is Homeownership Right for You?

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial and lifestyle decisions you will make, so it pays to make an informed decision by first looking at the main advantages and disadvantages of homeownership.
 
 
Is Homeownership Right for You? Do you enjoy moving often? Do you prefer using your savings for such things as vacations, retirement or starting your own business? Do you enjoy not having to worry about regular maintenance and repairs?
 
 
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be ready to own a home yet. While you probably have a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home, you also have to consider your reasons for not wanting to.
 
 
Remember that buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you'll ever make, so prepare yourself to make a knowledgeable decision.
 
 
Although buying a home almost always seems like a great idea, it is important to understand what homeownership involves. Of course, being a homeowner is something to be proud of but it also means having to invest money, time and energy and take on added responsibilities. So, before you decide to buy a home, make sure you're ready.
 
 
When most of us consider becoming homeowners, we immediately think of how wonderful it will be. It is true that there are a lot of good reasons for wanting to buy a home. Here are some of the main advantages of owning a home:
 
 
Financial Security. If housing prices rise, your home can provide you with some financial security due to capital appreciation.
 
 
Flexibility. You can decorate or renovate your home to meet your own family's personal tastes and needs.
 
 
Stability. Having a place of your own.
 
 
Although it is nice to think about the positive aspects of owning a home, it is important to consider the downsides as well. Here are some of the main disadvantages of owning a home:
 
 
Financial Stress. Coming up with the down payment, meeting regular mortgage payments and other ongoing costs will tie up a lot of your cash, and can put considerable stress on your finances.
 
 
Maintenance. Keeping your home in good shape requires time and money.
 
 
Higher Costs. You may pay more each month for housing than you did as a renter. There are also extra costs for maintenance and property taxes.
 
 
More Responsibility. You alone are responsible for payments, repairs and maintenance.
 
 
Now that you have an idea of what to expect, the worksheet below will help you determine if homeownership is right for you.
 
 
 
 
 

Bi-weekly and weekly payments

Most mortgages have the option to allow payments to be made on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This option may be desirable for two reasons. The first is it can save you money as you can expect to pay off your mortgage about 4 years sooner. This can save you dramatically over the life of your mortgage. The other reason why these options are so popular is that if your employer pays you on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you can simplify your budgeting by making the payment line up with the way you paid.
 

Making Extra payments

Paying extra amounts on your mortgage can make a big interest saving over time. When we select a mortgage company, privilege payments options are something that we look for. A 20% privilege payment will allow you to pay off up to $20,000 per year on a $100 000 mortgage. It is important that the privilege payment also be flexible to allow you to pay smaller payments on the mortgage and as often as you wish. An extra $1000 periodically paid on a mortgage can help you become mortgage free faster.
 

Reducing the CMHC fees on your purchase

When you require a mortgage for more than 75% of the purchase price of a property, that mortgage must be insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) or GE Mortgage insurance. The premium charged by these company`s decreases as the down payment increases. When you finance your property at 95%, a premium of 2.75% is added to the mortgage. By increasing the down payment to 10% of the purchase price the premium can be reduced to 2.5%. If you can put down 25%, you can avoid any additional insurance fee. Depending on your situation there are ways that you can structure this financing to avoid the CMHC or GE insurance premium.
 

Advantages of Bigger Down Payments

As mentioned above, when you put a 25% down payment on your purchase you can avoid the CMHC premium. More importantly the larger the down payment, the lower the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage. It is important to note that it may not be wise to stretch yourself to increase your down payment and end up borrowing on credit cards or a line of credit at a higher rate.
 

Short Term Rates vs. Long Term Rates

The options for mortgages available can be very confusing for most mortgage shoppers. Terms for mortgages vary between variable and fixed rate, 6-month terms to 10 year terms. Taking a variable or floating rate mortgage can have savings. Typically the shorter the term or guarantee of the rate, the lower the rate will be. This does not always happen, depending on the market place and the economy, but history has shown that short-term rates tend to be lower than long-term rates. The up side of variable rate is the strong potential for interest rate savings. The down side is the fact that you are accepting the interest rate risk without a guarantee. If you are considering a variable rate mortgage you need to look at your own risk tolerance, and your cash flow available to deal with potential increased payment. Considering projections of rates and where we see interest rates heading can also be important in this decision. Make sure you talk to an expert when you are making this decision.
 
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