Homes of New Hampshire Realty



Posted by Homes of New Hampshire Realty on 9/20/2017

In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?

It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. Thatís why weíve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.

Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.

Bedroom

Weíll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isnít hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.

If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.

The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and youíll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.

Kitchen

Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.

When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you donít even notice the water tasting differently.

Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure youíre recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.

Living Room

Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on ďstandby modeĒ wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.

Bathroom

Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.

If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.

House-wide improvements

To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure youíre using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when youíre in the room.

When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials. 





Posted by Homes of New Hampshire Realty on 9/13/2017

If youíre hoping to buy a house in the near future, youíll want to focus on saving for a down payment.

Down payments are a way to let a lender know that you are a low-risk investment, and a way to save money on interest over the term of your loan.

If you have your other finances in order--a good credit score and stable income--thereís a good chance that making a 20% or more down payment will land you a low interest rate that can save you thousands while you pay off your loan.

How large should my down payment be?

The larger the down payment you can afford, the more money youíll likely save in the long run. While there are ways to get a loan with no or very small down payments, these arenít always ideal.

First, if you put less than 20% down on your home loan, youíll be required to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI. These are monthly payments that you make in addition to the interest that is accrued on your loan.

So, if you donít put any money down on your home, youíll accrue more interest over your term length and youíll pay PMI on top of that.

What affects your minimum down payment amount?

Lenders take a number of factors into consideration when determining your risk. If youíre eligible for a first-time home owners loan, a veteranís loan, or a USDA loan, your loan can be guaranteed by the government. This means you can likely pay a lower down payment while still receiving a reasonable interest rate.

When applying for a mortgage, be sure to reach out to multiple lenders and shop around for the rates that work for you. Many lenders use slightly different criteria to determine your eligibility to pay a lower down payment.

Other things that affect your minimum down payment include:

  • Credit score

  • Location of the home you want to buy

  • Value of the mortgage

Saving for a down payment

Youíll get the most value out of your mortgage if you put more money down. However, if youíre currently living in a high-rent area, it could mean that itís in your best interest to get out of your apartment and start building equity in the form of homeownership.

If you want to buy a home within the next year or two, there are a few ways you can help increase your savings.

First, determine how much you need to save. Depending on your housing needs and the current market, everyone will have different requirements. Do some home shopping in your area online and look for homes that are within your spending limits. Remember that you shouldnít spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing (mortgage, property taxes, etc.)

Next, find out what a 20% down payment on that home would be, adjusting for inflation.

Once you have the amount you need to save, remember to leave yourself enough of an emergency fund in your savings account to last you a month or two.




Tags: Mortgage   down payment  
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Posted by Homes of New Hampshire Realty on 9/6/2017

Homeowners put a lot of time, money, and effort into maintaining, updating, and decorating their homes. So, when itís time to sell it can be frustrating to receive a lowball offer on your home.

Many sellers arenít sure how to react to a low offer. However, with so much at stake itís important to go into selling your home with a plan.

In this article, weíre going to talk about how to handle a low offer on your home so that you can capitalize on even the less-than-ideal prospects when selling your house.

Every offer deserves a polite response

So, youíve gotten an offer on your home that you consider to be way too low. The first thing you need to do is to detach your emotions from the situation so that you can formulate a polite, but appropriate response.

It is the custom of many people around the world to negotiate. And one common practice in negotiation is to start with a low offer. Therefore, donít be offended if you receive an offer that is low as it likely isnít meant as an insult to you or your home.

We understand that selling can be frustrating, so if you need to vent, talk it over with your family or agent. Together youíll be able to get past the initial frustration and come up with a quick, practical response to the offer.

Counter the offer anyway

Even if you think thereís a small chance that the prospective buyer will raise their offer to fit your requirements, itís still worth providing a counter offer. This will make it clear to the buyer that you have received their offer and considered it.

Failing to provide a counter offer could mean you miss out on a serious offer in some cases, so itís worth the small amount of time it takes to provide.

Donít waste too much time negotiating

So, youíve sent a counter offer and have received a response that still isnít getting anywhere close to what youíre looking for. Now what?

In this situation, itís best to send a concise and cordial message to the buyer that you wonít be able to adjust your offering price any further and then thank them for their time. After this point, it likely isnít worth your time to continue negotiating.

Low offers can be helpful

If youíre getting a lot of low offers and none in the range you hope for, it could be time to reconsider a few things. You might want to try a new approach, such as staging the home or highlighting certain details that you may have missed. If your listing photos arenít up to par you can upload new ones that are higher quality with better lighting.

Next, see if the comparable listings in your area have gone down in price. A substantial change in the local market since the time you listed your property is, in some cases, enough to influence the offers you receive.




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Posted by Homes of New Hampshire Realty on 8/30/2017

Retirement is a period of life that millions of people anticipate with wonder, excitement and positive thoughts. After putting in enough time to earn a pension, older Americans may start a company or devote their services to a charity.

Rewarding home retirement calls for vision

Once retired, people may also spend more time with their grandchildren. Those events might occur more with American retirees who thought about what they would do after they stopped working full-time outside their home.

As with many other life changes, a rewarding retirement doesn't just happen. A rewarding retirement requires vision. Retirees have to consider what they want to do after they are suddenly left with eight to 10 extra hours of free time not once a week but every single day.

Without vision and planning, similar to the type of planning that employers use to define which employees will perform which job functions, retirees could get bored. Retirees could also become less and less active, putting their health at risk of decline.

Retirees plan for a rewarding future

Types of planning that retirees could do to fill their days only take several minutes. Among these planning events are:

  • Consider their passions and hobbies - Spend one or more hours a day engaging in the hobbies and passions
  • Travel - Decide if and when they will go on a cruise, travel to other countries and visit out-of-town relatives and friends
  • Communicate - Make talking with family and friends a part of retirement planning. For example, during these conversations, retirees might discover that they want to start a community or social organization
  • Think about work - Just because retirees no longer work full-time doesn't mean that they are ready to leave the work world completely.

Planning a rewarding retirement is an ongoing process. But, the above planning steps only address how retirees can stay mentally engaged after they leave full-time work. Retirees also need to stay active at home.

Several ways that retirees could stay active at home

To pull this off, retirees might have to make minor adjustments at their houses. For example, retirees might have to:

  • Buy a set of dumb bells and place the dumb bells in a room that they frequently walk through or spend time in (putting the dumbbells in an area that they frequent can encourage retirees to use the dumbbells regularly)
  • Install a balance beam or use a sturdy counter to perform daily stretching exercises
  • Turn their basement into a personal gym, adding an exercise bike, rowing machine, balance balls and a stair stepper or similar exercise equipment

To stay active at home, retirees also need to schedule time to go for a walk, run, bike ride or swim. The type of exercise isn't key. It's the fact that retirees get out each day and engage in some type of physical activity, the type of activity that raises a heart rate.

It won't take long for retirees to know if they are being active enough. Easily going to sleep and remaining asleep may be a sign that retirees are sufficiently active. So too is feeling vibrant and psychologically and emotionally engaged whether they are alone or sharing their lives with someone else.




Tags: retirement   retirees  
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Posted by Homes of New Hampshire Realty on 8/23/2017

One of the requirements of buying a home is for the buyer to provide a down payment equal to somewhere between 3 and 20% of the price of the home being purchased. The reasons behind a down payment may have seemed a bit arbitrary up to this point. Home buyers know they need a down payment, but just how important a down payment is can often be overlooked. Once itís all explained here, it will make a ton of sense to all first-time home buyers. Why Is A Down Payment Important? The larger the amount of the down payment that you can provide, the better it will be for your home loan status. The amount of the down payment provided will affect the type of loan that you get the and amount of the loan that you get for the house you buy. For any down payment that is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, youíll need to get PMI (private mortgage insurance). A smaller down payment may also mean that less of the closing costs will be covered up front. This is definitely something to look into because long term, it may not be a wise decision financially. Think of the down payment as the foundation of the biggest purchase youíll ever make. Check Your Finances If youíre not able to save up for a down payment, it may not be the best time for you to buy a house. The mortgage process makes you take a step back and really check out your finances. Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. If youíre unable to save properly for a down payment, you may not be ready to commit to buying a home. If you havenít been able to save up enough for a down payment, you may not be financially ready to buy a home. Itís a great way to take a look at your financial health when youíre thinking about acquiring a mortgage. A small down payment means that youíre eligible for fewer types of mortgages. Typically a down payment of 5% or less limits you to only a few different kinds of mortgages. This is important to keep in mind when planing your financial future. Also, keep in mind that the larger the down payment, the more keen lenders will be on actually granting you a loan. Renting Could Help You In The Long Term The thought of continuing to a rent over buy a home could be stressful for you. In the long term, however, itís much better to continue paying rent than to risk losing your home due to foreclosure. Being unable to make mortgage payments is a serious thing. The entire process of buying a home starts in acquiring for the down payment.




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