Rachel (Hillman) Foy - Hillman Homes



Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 6/19/2019

Home prices may vary greatly throughout the country. But, buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life.

Deciding just how much to spend on your home isnít just a matter of numbers--it also depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you a few ways you can help determine how much is a safe amount to spend on your home so that youíll feel confident moving into the home buying process that youíre making the best decision for you and your family.

Mortgage as a percent of your income

Like most large purchases, buying a home typically isnít dependent on the amount you have in the bank. Rather, it depends on several factors including your income, credit score, and the type of lifestyle you want to maintain.

One of the simplest ways to determine how much house you can afford is to figure out what percent of your monthly income your mortgage and insurance will be.

For most homeowners, a mortgage payment that is 25% of their income or less is ideal. So, if you earn $6,000 per month, you donít want your monthly mortgage payment to exceed $1,500.

This ď25% ruleĒ does have one flaw, however, and that does not--and cannot--account for each individualís financial circumstances.

Letís say, for example, that you earn $6,000 per month, but that you have a large monthly car payment and are trying to aggressively pay off your student loans. You might find that paying another $1,500 toward a mortgage on top of your current bills is bringing you over budget, especially when combined with your other monthly expenses and retirement contributions.

Plan for homeowner expenses

Another caveat to determining how much to spend on a home is that the home itself will require a budget for maintenance. When renting an apartment, repairs are mostly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.

Homeownership, on the other hand, requires you to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional. And, if you neglect these repairs, you might find that they cost you even more in the long run or drive down the value of your home.

Create a comprehensive budget

Throughout a given personís life, theyíll experience raises, promotions, layoffs, medical expenses, childcare costs, and any other number of financial changes. While it isnít possible to foresee all of the financial fluctuations youíll experience in life, it is always helpful to have a comprehensive budget.

What do I mean by ďcomprehensive budgetĒ? The goal of a good budget is to know where each dollar of your income is currently going and to have a plan for each cent that you make. This is a proactive approach to budgeting that will give you an exact number for the amount you can afford when it comes to a mortgage payment.

Within your budget, itís vital to account for things like an emergency fund, retirement, savings for vacations, and so on.

If you take this due diligence, not only will you have a better sense of where your money goes, but youíll also be confident in knowing exactly how much you can spend on a home.




Tags: Buying a home   budgeting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 5/29/2019

Are you a productive homebuyer? If not, you may miss out on an opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

A productive homebuyer understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, this individual may be better equipped than others to purchase a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Ultimately, operating as a productive homebuyer may be easier than you think Ė here are three tips to ensure that you can become a productive homebuyer in no time at all.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

If you know what you want to find in a dream home, you can maximize the time and resources at your disposal.

For example, if you prefer a home in a big city, you can start searching for houses in the city of your choice. Or, if you enjoy the unparalleled serenity of small town life, you may want to focus exclusively on houses in various towns.

You also should consider your day-to-day activities as you kick off your home search. If you attend college classes every day, you may want to find a house close to school. Comparatively, if you regularly take the bus to work, you may want to consider homes that provide quick, easy access to public transportation.

2. Establish a Price Range

Although you know that you want to buy a home, you may have no idea what it will cost to obtain your dream home. However, if you enter the housing market with a home price range in hand, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying process.

Meet with banks and credit unions in your area. That way, you can learn about myriad home financing options and choose a mortgage that complements your finances.

Don't forget to ask bank and credit union professionals for mortgage recommendations and suggestions as well. These mortgage specialists are happy to teach you about many mortgage options and ensure that you can make an informed home financing decision.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will do everything possible to help you optimize your productivity. If you collaborate with a real estate agent throughout the homebuying process, you can increase the likelihood of getting the best possible results.

A real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller's agent on your behalf and help you get the best price on a home. By doing so, this housing market professional will ensure that you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.

Let's not forget about the advanced housing market knowledge that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands the challenges of buying a home and will help you identify and overcome these difficulties. He or she will even answer any homebuying questions, at any time.

Become a productive homebuyer today Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can maximize your productivity as a homebuyer and reap the benefits of a quick, efficient homebuying journey.




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Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 5/15/2019

Attending open houses is common for property buyers in cities and towns nationwide. However, there is no set number of open houses that a homebuyer will need to attend to discover his or her dream residence. In some instances, a buyer may find the ideal home after attending his or her first open house. Or, a buyer may attend dozens of open houses and fail to find a residence that matches his or her expectations.

As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything possible to make the most of an open house. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for an open house and ensure that you can maximize the value of this event.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for an open house.

1. Create a List of Home Questions

You may have learned about a home from a listing. Yet a listing only offers a limited amount of information about a residence. And if you have additional questions about a residence, an open house provides you with a great opportunity to receive responses to your queries.

Craft a list of questions before you attend an open house Ė you'll be glad you did. With this list in hand, you can ask questions about a home and gain the insights you need to help you decide whether a residence is right for you.

2. Perform Research

Try to collect as much information as you can about a home prior to an open house. That way, you can have a good idea about what to expect when you attend this event.

Also, you may want to put together a game plan before an open house. This plan allows you to prioritize different areas of a residence that you want to check out. Plus, it may help you conduct an in-depth review of a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to help you plan ahead for any open house. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you conduct your house search.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. This housing market professional can attend an open house with you and offer immediate feedback as well. In addition, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a residence after an open house, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

Let's not forget about the expert housing market insights that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can offer insights into housing market patterns and trends. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you narrow your home search and ensure that you can find a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Ready to attend an open house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can attend an open house and learn about all aspects of a residence.




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Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 5/8/2019

You may have heard the term ďescrowĒ in your experience with real estate. You might know itís an account, but what exactly does it do for you as a buyer? An escrow account is what your lender uses to make payments on things like property taxes, insurance, and more. The lender collects your monthly mortgage payment, and part of that cash goes into an escrow account. 


This type of account is an excellent option for homeowners because your bills relating to being a homeowner will all be paid without you having to do anything. It makes budgeting a breeze because there arenít any complicated calculations involved. Every month, your lender collects 1/12 of the estimated tax bill and insurance cost for the home. The rest of your mortgage payment covers the principal and interest on the loan of the house.


Are Escrow Accounts Mandatory?


Youíll find that most lenders require you to have an escrow account. The purpose of the account is to keep the home safe as collateral for the loan. The bank has an interest in the proper insurance behind the property. The taxes also need to be paid on time in order to keep the property in good standing. If the taxes arenít paid, a tax lien will be placed against the house. 


Everything In One Place


Youíll receive an annual statement from your lender that will show you how much money was collected and placed in your escrow account. Escrow payments often change because insurance premiums and taxes tend to change quite frequently. The amount being put into escrow may change a few times throughout the year. The lender keeps track of all this for you, saving you some time. 


Bills That Need To Be Paid


Whether you have an escrow account or not the bills that are included must be paid one way or another. Itís a good idea to speak with your lender before you buy a home to find out that bankís procedures around these insurance and tax payments. Property tax and home insurance are items that youíll need to budget for regardless of how your lender does things. An escrow account can be much more convenient for many buyers. 


Escrow is just another one of the many essential terms that youíll come across as a homebuyer. Knowing the advantages and purpose of the account helps you to be informed as you dive into the home buying process. 





Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 3/13/2019

As you go on the house hunt, youíre likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, youíre trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.


The Candles Are Burning Bright


You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, itís not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you donít necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.


Be Your Own Inspector


As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.


The Home Doesnít Appear Cared For


Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that youíll have large maintenance costs when a home hasnít been properly maintained by the previous owners.


Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what youíre looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.            





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Rachel (Hillman) Foy