1. Owners: Accelerate paying your mortgageoff. During the bubble era, many homeownerswere comfortable with, so long as they could affordthe payment. It was not unusual for homeowners torefi their mortgages every year, pulling cash out foreverything from cars to college tuition. After theburst, homeowners who have witnessed friendsand neighbors lose their homes are exhibiting anew level of interest in paying their homes off - allthe way off.
2.Renters: Renegotiate your rent. Most resolution-setters looking to save more cash start with cuttingout their daily latte and canceling cable. Buthousing is your largest expense; saving therecan be the equivalent ofcutting out dozens of lattes –in one fell swoop. If you areseeing rents in your buildingor around town that makeyours seem high, and find therents currently being charged are lower than yours,these are good signs you might be paying above-market rent. If thats the case and/or if you see ahigh number of vacancies in your building, youshould have no qualms about contacting yourlandlord and renegotiating your rent.
3. Sellers: Create urgency for buyers, and get yourhome sold. If your home lingered on the marketlast year, you may need totake the bull by the hornsto get it sold this year. Cutyour price to a level slightlybelow the recently soldcomparables; even if youvecut the price before, this can create a pricing "sweetspot" where buyers recognize the value and getconcerned that such a good deal wont possiblylast. Same with condition - primp and spruce yourhome so that it shows so much better than theother homes in your area that buyers will see thatthey feel compelled to leap off the fence.
4. Buyers: Qualify for a mortgage to buy a home. Manywould-be buyers have mentally disqualifiedthemselves, despite the great economic climate forbuying a home, because they have heard it is so difficultto get a mortgage. The fact is, with a 620 credit score anda 5 percent down payment (plus closing costs, in somecases), an insured loan can finance the purchase of yourhome. Start with the basics – pull your credit reportsfrom Equifax.com and check themfor errors, following theinstructions to dispute anyinaccurate information thatmight drag your score down.Dont talk yourself out of evenapplying for a home loan; instead,get a professionals opinion about yourpurchasing power and their help in gettingyourself ready to buy.
5. Owners: Pay your property taxes. Coming outof the recession, many a cash -crunchedhomeowner has held onto their homes by the hairon their chinny-chin-chin, through joblosses, reduced income and rising mortgagepayments. Theres a major contingent who havebeen able to keep their mortgage current, but havefallen behind on their property taxes. I know this istough, because youll have to start paying yourcurrent taxes, plus chip away at the back taxes, butit is possible - just treat it like any other financialproject and start devoting whatever you can to thedelinquent taxes on a monthly basis. Also, makesure you have budgeted a monthly savings amountto cover your current taxes, even if you only paythem twice a year, to avoid falling further behind.
Randy BettInvestment Realtor/Author/InvestorReal Estate Professionals Inc.Better Group Real Estate202-5403 Crowchild Trail NWCalgary, AB T3B 4Z1Phone:403-774-7464 Ext:1Fax:403-208-0082Toll Free fax:888-711-6801