Real Estate – Identify Needs And Planning Budget

Buying a home is a dream for all of us. If you have decided to buy a home, you will now need to rationally think about all aspects of this purchase. Cost of buying a home is huge, so this decision will affect you personally, as well financially. Before you go ahead and start hunting in the market for a great home, you can list out your needs and plan your financial budget.

When you are thinking about your needs, few things you should look at are,

– The number of bedrooms you need.

– Open areas like gardens, pools, etc.

– Garage depending on your present transport and future needs.

– Size of your home.

Once you have thought about these issues and discussed them with your partner and kids, you can now put down simply a short description of what you wish to buy. Next step, in the home buying process, will be budgeting the purchase. If you budget well, you can cut costs by paying a decent amount up front, then park some money for moving in expenses, utility installation in the new home, maintenance costs etc.

You can do a thorough analysis and plan your budget before buying a home, in two steps. In the first step, make your monthly budget, pre-purchase. Every day, you should write down your expenses on a day-to-day basis. Even if you have to take a small notebook, carry it around so that you know your expenses to the last dollar. Add your fixed costs like rents, insurance premiums, taxes etc. Also, list out all your income from all sources. Now, you will know your income and expenses. If you have not begun to put in some savings, it’s high time now. After doing this exercise for three months, you will know the extent of your income, expenses and what amount you can save.

In the second step, you have to make your budget as a homeowner. Just transfer all the details from step one here. You will need to add few more costs now to that budget. You should add toward expense side, following items,

– Mortgage payments including interest, principle, and taxes.

– Maintenance expenses which will be roughly 1% of your cost of the home, annually.

– Utility payments like gas, electricity for the new home.

Now, you will get a real picture of how much you will have to spend and how much you will be able to save. If you see that you are able to save some money, every month, its great. In case you find that you won’t be able to save anything or if you can’t match income and expenses post your purchase, its time to reconsider your decision.

You can now either re-plan your purchase and buy a smaller home or postpone the purchase to a later date. Else, if you see that there are some expenses, which you can cut down. So that you can increase your savings and direct them for payment of mortgages, identify them clearly.

Planning your budget will enable you to buy your dream home, one that you can offer without any hassles of delayed payments.

Expert Tips When Buying a Luxury Home in Costa Rica

When your bank account is eager to get its hand on a historic estate, a home next to a golf course, a lake house property, or other luxury home options that you have. Read on since the following tips might help you get your dream luxury property:

Tap a Local Expert

You want to work with a local buyer agent who knows the ins and outs of the area. These real estate experts may have access to or contacts with luxury homeowners or brokers since open houses are fewer with luxury homes.

Unlisted Luxury Properties

In order to protect the privacy of their homeowners, luxury properties are often unlisted. You might only be able to check out these properties through connections of certain realtors. You will also not be able to see them on large real estate websites so digging for info online will not be as easy.

Using Your Bank Connections

If you are planning to purchase a luxury home, your best choice is to work with a bank which has your portfolio for some time now. You also need to know the big difference between pre-qualification notices and pre-approvals.

Look Beyond The Photos

Do not be satisfied with the nice photos your agent will show you. Ask that you need to see the property personally. It might also help to check the surroundings via Google earth.

Document Everything

Make sure that you have a complete financial documentation. If the work is too difficult for you, hire an accountant or a lawyer to make sure everything is on black and white.

Look Ahead

Make sure you know what development plans are to pop around the area. You might not enjoy the seclusion you want if a resort is soon to come nearby. Also, know the timelines like if there will be construction delays so you can plan out the finances well.

Finding Affordable Real Estate In Costa Rica

Finding a real estate property in Costa Rica may be easy, but finding an affordable real estate property certainly warrants professional help – be it in the top markets of Cotsa Rica or in other markets. Real estate agents are professionals who help people to buy and sell homes. They can guide people to find their dream homes. Through their experience and up-to-date knowledge of the market, they can easily locate affordable properties and guide you towards owning the said property.

In what all ways real estate agents help us save money on our property investments? There are five broad ways, let us discuss them one by one.

1. Knowledge base.

Real estate agents possess in-depth knowledge about geographical locations and the rates of the properties in any location. Thus, they will be able to provide you with a variety of choices from which you can select the best one according to your budget and other requirements.

2. Masters of a bargain.

If you try to locate a property on your own, chances are that you may feel frustrated because of the time and effort involved and, of course, heavy bargain! Real estate agents are masters of bargaining and they can bring down the cost with ease to a level which suits your budget.

3. Protects from traps.

Just like any other field, real estate also has its own traps, specifically set for people looking for a cheap deal. So, even if you manage to identify an affordable home, it may be because the location is a site of violent crime or the quality of the property is low or due to such other reasons which are not understood prima facie. Real estate agents, on the other hand, will have all the required information about every location and thus can help you sidestep all these traps.

4. Funding.

Another important area where real estate agents can be of help is funding. Many of the agents also help people to get a bank loan to meet the expenses to buy the house. If you tell them your requirements equivocally, they will consider different options and will come up with the most suitable bank loan that is cheap at the same time completely suited to the deal at hand.

5. Miscellaneous others.

The real estate agents have a thorough knowledge of the real estate markets and the swings and moods of the economy. They are aware of the tax laws and can be intermediaries in price negotiations. This will, in turn, help you to avoid any pitfalls that can make the difference between success and failure of a deal.

But do they charge exorbitant amount as fees? Not really! The professional charges for the services of these agents have come down with many of them operating from home and through the Internet. This helps them to save on office rent and other allied expenses. This savings in cost is then passed on to you in the form of reduced professional fees. This makes your total investment very much affordable.

Top Questions To Ask When Buying A Home in Costa Rica

There are several important questions to ask when buying a new home in Costa Rica. Buying a new home is an intensive process. Potential home buyers want to make sure they purchase the correct home. Here are some important questions to ask when buying a new home.

Do you have a steady source of income? This might seem like a no-brainer, of course, you need a steady income. However, some people are risk takers or impatient and can not wait to buy a home with or without a steady income. This is part of the reason for our current crisis in the credit markets among other things. Potential homebuyers should make sure that they have been consistently employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years and they should make sure that their future employment prospects are stable. There are other important to ask as well.

Do You Have a Good Record of Paying Your Bills?

Your credit score will show evidence of this. If prospective homebuyers pay your bills on time, you will have an easier time qualifying for a home loan. Also, the interest rates will likely be lower. So make sure that you are good about paying your bills.

Do You Have Other Outstanding Debt?

If you have other outstanding debt, this will affect your ability to buy a home. Prospective homebuyers should eliminate your debt as much as possible before attempting to purchase your home. Having zero debt would be ideal. It would be even better if you could pay for your new home with cash.

Do You Have Money for a Down Payment?

This is important because having a down payment will lower the cost of the loan overall. If you have at least 20% down, you should way lower interest rates than someone who does not.

What Type of Loan is Best for my Financial Situation?

There are many different types of home loans. Prospective homebuyers can get adjustable rate mortgages, fixed rate mortgages, interest only loans, and negative amortization loans. Each of these loans has their strengths and weaknesses. It is up to the potential homebuyer to do their research as to which loan program would work best for them.

What Are The Origination Costs?

If a prospective homebuyer is working with a mortgage broker, there is a chance that their will be origination fees. Origination fees are extra charges in addition to the purchase of the home. The origination fee usually pays the person that you are getting the loan from. Also, there is a chance that they could add extra interest to your loan to get paid.

Where Co You Want to Live?

Determining where you want to live is important to know before the house hunt gets underway. Knowing where you want to live will help determine everything else. This will give you an idea of the cost of the homes you are looking at. This will help set a price range as well. This is important to get an appropriate home loan.

All of these questions will help the first time buyer.

Costa Rica Luxury Homes

If you have the capacity to invest in Costa Rica luxury homes then it is suggested that you do it now before prices of local real estate go up due to extensive demand from baby boomers and other investors. San Jose Costa Rica, the capital city, is one of the best areas for luxurious properties in the country.

There are a variety of Costa Rica real estate projects that you can invest in like the upscale residential homes, condominiums as well as the Costa Rica beach properties. While most investors are looking at the prospect of making Costa Rica luxury homes their second homes, most have decided to settle in the country for good.

Among the many reasons why Americans prefer Costa Rica (aside of course from the clean and healthy environment of the country) is the proximity of Costa Rica to the United States. Costa Rica is also very attractive to retirees because of the low cost of living. Retirees find it sensible to invest their hard-earned money in Costa Rica properties because they can live a good life here and get by comfortably even with their meager pensions. The country is also known for affordable and quality healthcare.

Some investors have foreseen the ease with which they can travel between Costa Rica and the United States, making it easier for them to live their regular lives in the US and then go back to Costa Rica for some relaxation and recreation.

Costa Rica boasts of a large foreign community, with over 20,000 Europeans and Americans already settled all over the country. The friendliness of the Ticos or the Costa Rica residents is also another factor that has encouraged more people to stay permanently.

If you are planning to retire in Costa Rica then you may want to get a residency status. This is possible through the following categories:

Pensionado status-this requires that a retiree has a permanent source of a pension amounting to at least $600 every month.

Rentista status-this requires a regular income of at least $1,000 every month for a period of five years.

Inversionista status-this requires an investment of at least $50,000 (for tourism or export business), $100,000 (for reforestation business or project) and $200,000 (for other types of business). Whichever category you will fall under, you still have to renew your cards once every two years for a meager fee of $100. Any of the said statuses allows you to operate a business but not to get employment. Any income you earn outside of Costa Rica is not taxed by the government.

If the price of a Costa Rica luxury home seems too high for you at the present time, wait until it skyrockets to unreasonable rates due to an increase in demand. The same thing happened to beach properties in Costa Rica Dominical. So if a luxury home in paradise is a priority for you and you can afford it then do your research and fly into Costa Rica to look for that property you are yearning for. The market for Costa Rica vacation homes and Costa Rica rental homes as not going anywhere, so the prices are expected to continue rising, especially for luxury Costa Rica beach houses.