Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tiny Homes: The Pros & Cons

The tiny house trend is a big movement. Everyone from millennials to retirees is opting to live small, but that doesn't mean the lifestyle is right for you. Consider these pros and cons before you downsize. 

What consitutes a tiny house?
Generally, tiny homes measure between 100 and 500 square feet. Many are portable, but some city ordinances and housing divisions require homes to be set on a foundation.

What are the pros?
People are drawn to tiny houses for a number of reasons. Owners of tiny homes often cite price as the deciding factor. Tiny homes range from $10,000 to $60,000, depending on the manufacturer. Even a top-of-the-line custom unit typically costs less than $100,000.
Other perks include the freedom of mobility and the ability to live more sustainably. There's also the added flexibility to use the structure as a rental unit, add-on expansion or mother-in-law suite.

What are the cons?
Of course, not everyone is willing to contend with the realities of owning a tiny home. For instance, despite their low sales price, there are hidden costs that can sneak up on potential buyers. From construction crew markups and shipping fees to property taxes and plot purchases, the final figure can add up quickly.
What's more, unless you have enough liquid funds to make a cash purchase, financing for tiny homes can be difficult, and there are also obvious drawbacks such as space restrictions that complicate hosting guests and storing nonessentials.

No doubt our collective desire for simplification and financial freedom has birthed the tiny home movement. However, before you commit to one, it's important to educate yourself about the complicated regulations and overlooked nuances of owning a tiny home.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

5 Signs You're Ready To Sell Your Home


Have you outgrown your home? Or has your home outgrown you and your household? Fewer and fewer families expect to stay in their first or second home for the long haul. Here are some factors to determine if you're financially and emotionally ready to sell your house:

Growing or shrinking household -- Are you about to welcome a new baby or take in aging parents? Maybe you're sending your youngest off to college. In any event, if your living space has become too cramped or grown beyond your needs, it may be time to make a move.

Plenty of home equity -- Subtract the value of your home from the amount you have left on your loan. What's left over is the equity -- or the amount you'll have post-sale. After you sell your home, you'll be a buyer again, so having some funds to put down is key.

Interest from potential buyers -- You'll want to list when you know buyers are looking. Some experts say late spring is the ideal time to sell, but peak seasons vary by region. Milder weather can increase buyer interest, but that also means more competition from other sellers.

Changing circumstances -- Location matters. Whether your neighborhood dynamics are changing, you're unhappy with the schools in your area or a new job significantly increases your commute, your community needs to fit your lifestyle.

Home improvements -- Renovations may be a wise investment, but it's best to avoid listing your home in the middle of a project. If you plan to sell your home as is, completing some minor home updates such as new paint and fixtures can be a huge selling point.

Moving is a big decision, one that requires careful consideration. If your needs have changed since you bought your home, don't hesitate to get in touch.