How to Figure a Mortgage Payment – A Quick and Easy Way to Calculate Payments in Your Head

There are several ways to calculate monthly mortgage PITI payments. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes (property taxes) and Insurance (home owner’s insurance).

o You could use a long, complex formula like: P = L[c(1 %2B c)n]/[(1 %2B c)n – 1] Does that sound fun to you? Me neither.

o You can use an on-line calculator. They are all different, though. Some are good, some are not. But if you are out house shopping and do not have internet access – not an option.

o You can even use a special, hand-held realtor calculator that will prompt you step by step to enter all the variables like: home price, down payment amount, interest rate, length of the loan, etc., then it will calculate the monthly mortgage PITI payment. However, these calculators are expensive, and unless you are a realtor, you will no longer need it once you find your home or refinance – not a cost-effective option.

You need a quick and easy way to figure your payment in your head, or maybe with the calculator in your cell phone.

Believe it or not, there is a way. It is very straightforward and will give you a ballpark estimate of your PITI payment.

Are you ready for this? It is super simple – just a one step multiplication problem. OK. Here it is. To estimate your monthly mortgage PITI payment multiply the amount of your loan by .008 . That’s it…seriously! (As long as mortgage interest rates don’t change drastically from what is available in Jan 09)

o If you are going to buy a $200,000 house, and you can pay $10,000 down, your loan amount will be about $190,000.

o The math looks like this: $190,000 x .008.

o Plug those numbers into your calculator.

o Your monthly mortgage PITI payment will be about $1520 per month.

Be advised, this figure is only an estimate – a simple way to get an estimate when you are not able to get to a computer. If you are in contact with a realtor or loan officer, they can give you a much more accurate idea of your monthly mortgage PITI payment.

Budget Home Decorating – Get a Designer Home Makeover Without the Designer Price Tag

Give your home a designer makeover without the designer price tag with these budget-friendly home decorating tips:

1. Get inspired. The first step is to get loads of inspiration and ideas. Go to your local library and check out a few magazines on interior design and home decor. Depending on your personal taste, you might consider the following titles: ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, Dwell, LUXE, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, and Cottage Style. Also check out any design magazines that are specific to your region.

Now flip through those magazines just to get ideas. Take note of the design elements that you like most. Which colors, textures, and patterns are particularly appealing to you? Jot down any and all of those designer tricks that you find aesthetically pleasing and that you could incorporate inexpensively into your own space: stacked books that double as end tables, collections of antique jars on a mantle or mismatched pewter frames in an attractive grouping, for example.

When something speaks to you, sketch it in your “design notebook” or just jot down the idea. You might not be able to use the idea in your space right away, but when you need fresh inspiration, you’ll have it.

2. Dress the walls. A quick coat or two of paint can do wonders for any space, and it’s an easy project to do by yourself in an afternoon (or two). Just a few hours of work can yield dramatic effects – elevating a boring, blah room into a cozy, warm space. And even if painting isn’t your favorite part of the home decorating process, it needs to be done first so you can make sure all of your other design elements will match or coordinate with the room itself.

Wall tiles, wall flats, fabric panels, and vinyl embellishments are other attractive and affordable options to quickly and dramatically change the look and feel of a space, particularly if you are renting and need a more temporary and removable option. A quick Google search will give you a variety of choices in a wide range of price points.

3. Dress the windows. Behind paint, the right window treatments can give you the second biggest bang for your buck. Your choice of fabric can make all the difference in your room. For drama, choose strong colors and patterns with heavier textures. For a light and airy room, opt for sheer draperies in pastels.

While the right window coverings are important, they don’t have to be super expensive. Browse your local Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Target, Kmart or Macys. You can often find especially deep discounts online at Amazon and Smart Bargains.

Another affordable option is to make the window coverings yourself. Roman shades are do-able for even the non-seamstress. Search for your chosen project on YouTube, HGTV or the DIY Network for step-by-step video tutorials.

4. Dress the big stuff. Since we’re on a budget here, we won’t be buying new furniture, so consider livening up your space with quality slipcovers. These can have a dramatic effect and are particularly ideal if you have quality furniture with some cosmetic blemishes.

You can generally find slipcovers at your local department stores or at discount bed and bath superstores. The nice thing about slipcovers is that they make it a cinch to change the theme or color scheme of a room to correspond with the changing seasons – or your changing moods. The downside: furniture covers are really only a practical option if you don’t have young kids or pets that lie around on the furniture. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time straightening and tucking.

As an alternative to slipcovers, you could have your furniture reupholstered, which may be less expensive than you think, depending on the piece -or, if you’d rather opt for a new piece of furniture, you can do it without spending a whole lot by keeping an eye on your local Craigslist, your city’s Freecycle site, or even furniture store clearance sales.

5. Go nuts with accessories. This is the fun part. Use your personal sense of style and taste (coupled with the new ideas and know-how from your designer’s notebook) to add inexpensive pillows, sconces, candles and candle holders, art, photo frames, floral arrangements, throw blankets, decorative fruit bowls, fresh towels and other home décor elements. Dress up your dining room chairs with skirts and chair covers, add a dramatic table runner and an elaborate handmade centerpiece.

Where to find those budget-friendly items? Turn to your local department stores as well as secondhand stores. Watch the online clearance bins and stroll the flea market. Walk into your local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for ideas, which are generally on display throughout the store. You might even be able to take a class in the store on how to create some of the floral displays or other home accessories you see on display.

When you’re online, be on the lookout for eye-catching ideas you can do yourself. (Stumbleupon and Pinterest are fantastic tools for uncovering hidden DIY gems.)

If you don’t have the money to do every room in your house, start small – either with paint or a new slipcover; a new pillow or a new DIY project. The trick to home decorating on a budget is to do what you can, when you can.

What You Can Expect From A Luxury Home

Most people define luxury majorly in terms of price but there is so much more to luxury than just the amount of money you spend. It is very hard to define luxury homes in an exact way because this is something made up of several factors. If you are looking for a posh home to buy, there are some general qualities expected within it and they are what together create the luxury that is the home. Below are some of the features that such homes tend to have in common.

Prime location

Luxury homes tend to in coveted locations like on the beach or overlooking a sea for that matter. Others are in secluded mountainous areas or atop one while others may be overlooking a beautiful city. It all depends on whether you wish to have your home in the city or the country but generally they will be prime located attracting high end buyers for that reason.

High price

Like mentioned earlier price does interpret luxury and most homes under this category will be highly priced. Different areas attract different prices but you cannot expect to pay anything lower than half a million when looking for a luxurious home to and the prices can go way up into tens of millions depending on the magnitude of the property.

Exquisite amenities

Luxury home carry the most exquisite amenities in that you can conduct your life right from your home without needing other services out of it. Most will have a gym, spa, swimming pool, Jacuzzis, arcade rooms, movie theaters and even decontamination rooms. Some luxury homes come with outrageous amenities and they are what attract the buyers because they make the property unique, self-sufficient and convenient in every sense. They are some of the factors commanding prices apart from location.

Premier quality

Luxury homes have everything selected with care from the appliances, finishes, design and even materials used for construction and décor. They are all cut above standards so you the buyer can have something to pride yourself in. Hardwoods, marbles, crystals and Venetian plasters among others are common components in the homes.

Exclusivity

High end buyers including high profile individuals and celebrities treat their homes as serene refuges hence privacy is given center stage in luxury homes. If the home is not located in a secluded land large in size, then privacy will be achieved using foliage covers, high walls and tightly gated entrances sometimes complete with guards to keep the peace.

Luxury homes without doubt have so much to offer to buyers; as long as you can buy it, you can enjoy it. Some buyers actually look for homes that have interesting stories or histories behind them to give them that edge that everyone yearns for. Whatever the choice you make, you can definitely expect much more from a luxury property than a standard normal home. The choices are numerous so finding your ideal luxury home should not be too much of a task.

How To Sell Your House By Yourself: A Short Guide

Selling your house is something you’ll have to do maybe just a few times in your life. And unless you know a local real estate agent who will sell your house for free or a hugely discounted commission… it can be a real pain in the rear and an expensive process for you as well.

So… you landed on this page about “How to sell your house by yourself ” because of a few reasons I’m guessing…

  • You have no or very little equity in your house so you can’t afford to pay a real estate agents commissions
  • You have equity but want to try to save money selling the house yourself before you resort to hiring an agent
  • You’re in foreclosure (or heading that way) and just need to sell fast without incurring thousands in agent commissions
  • You can’t wait the months and months it sometimes takes to sell a house in your area, so you want to try to sell it more quickly

Whatever one you land in… there are ways to sell your house yourself in your local real estate market.

Since 2013, the housing sector has been experiencing a major recovery. Selling your house at this time will definitely be profitable if you do it right. In most cases, it is about using smart marketing strategies and being realistic about your expectations on what you want to achieve with this sale.

This article will provide some guidelines to help you sell your house yourself.

How To Sell Your House By Yourself – Let’s Dive In

Know The Real Estate Market Well

The first and most important step is doing a market research on your neighborhood. This step involves visiting various home marketing sites (Zillow, Eppraisal, Redfin, etc), calling a real estate agent or two to see what your home is worth, or reading about the various market pricing techniques. Proper homework on these issues will allow you to come up with a right price for your house and also helps you to avoid making certain selling mistakes.

If you don’t want to hassle with trying to come up with a home value yourself… contact a local cash home buyer. They’ll be able to give you an honest fair valuation of what your house is worth in its current condition. And most cash homebuyers can make you a fair all-cash offer on your house within 24 hours, to give you that option of selling quickly (most cash homebuyers can close within 14 days).

Assess the market

This step is almost similar to conducting market research, only that in this case, you are bound to your neighborhood and similar houses. Are there lots of houses for sale in your neighborhood? If so, what is the average that they are listing for? Are there lots of foreclosures in your neighborhood? That may drag your house price down.

Assess the house

As a seller, your house should be in top condition or shape in order to sell at a good price. Identify certain unique characteristics about it and emphasize them during the marketing. For example, a house with garage parking may be more attractive to buyers compared with one with driveway parking.

Also, does your house require repairs? Does it need to be repainted inside or out? How is the condition of the roof? Is the landscaping in good shape? Is the house outdated at all? (you know, those popcorn ceilings. All of these things can make the house more attractive or less attractive depending on the buyer… which changes the price they’re willing to pay.

After all of this… come up with an asking price for your home that is fair… isn’t so high it’ll take you 12 months to sell the house… but is attractive so you get a frenzy of buyers who are ready to buy it quickly.

Use Photos or Videos

Buyers are obsessed with media. Taking walk-through videos of the house and using the videos to advertise will enable you to reach a wider market. In fact, these videos are considered more transparent than taking photos. However, this should not stop you from using the latter option since it is more affordable compared to the video.

So take some great pictures. Take a picture of every room in the house that helps show it off. Take a picture of the house from the outside in a few different angles… people want to see the house before they ever show up to see it. So having great pictures of your house online could be the difference between getting the right buyer quickly… and waiting months and months to sell.

Get Your House “Listed” On The Local MLS And Market It

You can find no or low fee real estate brokers these days who will charge you a few hundred bucks to put your house on the local MLS. This gets your house in front of all of the real estate agents quickly (so be prepared to pay those “buyers” agents a 2-3% buyers broker fee if you plan to have their support in helping you find a buyer.

Place ads in the local newspaper, signs on the roads, and hold an open house.

All Of This Sound Like A Lot Of Work To Sell Your House Yourself?

It can be.

And in the end, many homeowners think they’re saving money and time by marketing the house themselves… when in the end it costs them more money to go that route.

When you sell your own house here are some things you need to consider…

  • If you’re not a good marketer or aren’t ready to spend a bunch of time marketing your house right… selling it yourself may not be your best bet
  • If you don’t do a good job preparing the house and the marketing materials… and working with buyers to really build the value of your house in their minds… you may actually sell the house for 3-8% less than you may get for the same house an experienced person marketed the house for you
  • Too many sellers never think about holding costs or opportunity costs… every month that your house doesn’t sell means another mortgage payment, tax payment, insurance, utilities, etc. If your mortgage payment is $1,500/mo… and $1,300 of that is interest… if it takes you 7 months to sell your house… that cost you an extra $9,100 (not to mention taxes and insurance you paid during that time). So, if you were able to sell that house more quickly… would it make sense for you to provide a buyer a discounted price today so you can close quickly and move on? Something to think about.

A local cash home buying company can give you a fast offer for a fair price.

Calculating the Real Value of Your Home Without an Agent

Selling your home without an agent can be a huge decision. It can feel like a giant mountain of a task for first-time sellers. Selling your own house by yourself might sound empowering and there’s no doubt that it’s a challenge to sell your home by yourself as there’s a lot that goes into the process that a typical homeowner might not know. But thousands of people are doing it and once you know the process, it’s actually very doable.

If you are planning to sell your own house and getting ready to put your property on the market, the biggest fear that you might have is – selling your home below its market value and losing money. But what is the right price for your home? A home’s fair market value defines what you could expect to receive if you were to sell your home on that day. This value can differ while you are asking different estate agents and realtors. But why take their word for it?

If you don’t know how to determine the market value of your house, you are not alone. Most of the homeowners are absolutely clueless about their home’s true worth.

Don’t be an average homeowner.

Here’s how to know the real value of your home if you are selling it without an agent:


Factors that determine a home valuation

  • Location
  • Safety
  • Number of rooms
  • Curb appeal
  • Square footage
  • Type of the property
  • Age of the property
  • Upgrades and improvements
  • Market trends
  • School district
  • Construction and repair

Use online valuation tools

There are numerous websites available on the internet that can give you an estimate of your home’s worth such as Zillow, CoStar, and Redfin, etc. You can use these sites, along with other methods, to build a rough estimate of your property’s market value. To achieve accurate results from these websites, you need to provide honest information about the property. You can also include the remodeling or upgrade work that you might have gotten done after you purchased the property.

Square footage

This is a very basic, yet effective method of evaluating the worth of your home. Locate the recently sold properties in your area that are similar to your home in size, features, age, and square footage. Find the mean sales price of these properties by adding up the total sales price of each property and dividing it by the number of properties. Repeat the same step for the square footage of the properties. Divide the mean sale price by average square footage to calculate the average value of the properties per square foot. Finally, multiply the average value of the properties per square to the number of square feet in your home. This will give you a very accurate estimate of the fair market value of your home.

Mean sales price = Total sales price of all properties / total number of properties

Mean square footage = Total square footage of all properties / total number of properties

Per square foot value = Mean sales price / mean square footage

The market value of your home = Per square foot value * Number of square feet in your home.

Perform a market analysis

If you hire a real estate agent, they usually perform a market analysis for you to evaluate your home’s worth. But since you are selling our own house, you’ll need to run a comparative market analysis by yourself. To make sure that the price point that you’ve set for your home is fair, you should study the market trends and prices of the properties around you in your neighborhood. In your market analysis, match your property to comparable properties in your neighborhood in terms of features, to get an estimated value of your property.

Hire an appraiser

Home appraisers tend to give the most accurate home valuations so retain a home appraiser to conduct an appraisal of the property. An average home appraiser costs about 300$ to 500$, depending on the size and location of the property. While estimating the value of your home, appraisers consider trends in the market and comparable properties sold or listed recently. In addition to this, appraisers also research public records, gain further information about the value of your neighborhood and complete a far more thorough inspection of your home.