Making the Most of Your Real Estate Agent's Expertise

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Making the Most of Your Real Estate Agent's Expertise

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but there is a lot that has to be considered if you want to make sure that your investment is a solid one. For example, while it isn’t required, it is a good idea to have your real estate agent hire an independent inspector to have prospective homes personally inspected for safety and condition before making an offer. Learning how your real estate agent can best help you before actually hiring an agent will ensure that the person you work with has the experience and ideas needed to get the results that you want. On this website, you can expect to find out how to find a great real estate agent and how you can best tap into the talents.

Looking For An Apartment? Make Sure You Can Afford It First

If you are getting ready to move out on your own for the first time, you likely have many questions about apartment rentals. The most important consideration is financing. Here are three tips to get you started.

What Is Your Budget?

Before you do anything, you will first need to determine what your monthly income is. It is important you don't overestimate how much you make each month. Your budget should be based on your normal salary only. For example, if you sometimes get overtime, you don't want to count that money in your budget. If you count on overtime money, you'll run into trouble if the overtime should suddenly stop. Overtime, bonuses, and occasional payments or commissions should only be viewed as an unexpected bonus. Don't forget to base your monthly income on your take-home salary, not your gross salary before taxes. Determine what monthly bills you currently have or expect to have in the very near future. Car payments, car insurance, student loans, and credit cards are common expenses for young people just starting out. Then, estimate how much money you will need for food, clothing, gasoline, and other household expenses, such as paper products. After you have finished adding up all your expenses, subtract that figure from your net monthly income.

How Much Rent Can You Afford?

Experts typically recommend no more than 30 percent of your monthly gross income go to housing. For students, experts recommend no more than 43 percent go to all monthly debt combined, including housing, utilities, and other financial obligations. If you live in a high cost of living area, you may be dismayed to find you cannot afford very much. This is often why young people have at least one roommate to help them offset the costs. The important thing is you don't end up house poor, which means you have somewhere to live but no money left over for emergencies or meeting your financial obligations. You want to build your credit, not destroy it.

How Much Money Do You Have Saved?

Moving out from your parents won't be cheap. Apartment rentals will require at least one month rent to go towards a security deposit. Some landlords and rental companies require two months or even more, especially if they are fearful of damages. You will also need the first month's rent, and while it doesn't happen often, some landlords require the last month's rent as well. If utilities are not included, you may need to pay a deposit with the utility companies to start service.