Home Renovation

Pop quiz: What’s the average age when most people buy their first home? Thirty-four, according to the credit reporting company Experian. And if you’re near that age and thinking of buying a home, the decision to proceed probably has a lot to do with your life’s journey thus far.

“Homebuyers in their 30s tend to be more financially mature,” says Phong Truong, a Mortgage Advisor with The Financial Suit Team of NEXA Mortgage in Houston, Texas. “They usually have a larger amount of savings and a partner who’s involved with the purchase. Plus, they’ve had time to establish credit, which can qualify them for a better mortgage rate.”

If you’re in your 30s and thinking about buying your first home or upgrading to a larger house, here are crucial things to consider to make your homebuying dreams a reality.

Is it the right time for you to buy?

The best time to buy a home depends on two personal and crucial questions.

“First, can a buyer commit to being in one location, in one home, for the next five years or so?” asks Khai Tran, Team leader of CGP Realty Group, in Houston, Texas. Ask yourself what your near-future goals are, as well as where you want to be in the next five to 10 years.

“Secondly, can a buyer commit to the upkeep that’s required on a home?” adds Tran. “If the answer to these questions is yes, then it might make sense to buy.”

If you’re renting, crunch the numbers on buying a home or condo, says Hien Le, a Realtor with CGP Realty Group in Houston, Texas. In many areas of the country, it can be cheaper to buy than rent. (Check out FREE Home Pre-Qualifier to see How much you can afford for).

Do you already own a home?

Did you buy a starter home in your 20s? Phong suggests looking at your home’s value and your mortgage balance. Those figures will help you to decide if you have enough equity to sell your current home and buy another one.

“It can make financial sense to upgrade, considering that most of the time, real estate appreciates,” adds Phong.

What kind of home do you need?

Buying your first home? Khai Tran, team leader of CGP Realty, a Houston, TX-based real estate group, urges all 30-something homebuyers to drill down on whatever is likely to serve their future needs.

“I find that people in their 30s tend to be trying to create deep roots in a city or neighborhood,” says Tran. “And they tend to focus on trying to find long-term perfection in their home, more so than any other age group.”

So think about whether or not the home you have your eye on will still work if you change jobs. Is it located in a good school district? Does it offer enough space for a home office? Many homebuyers in their 30s also look for comfort and convenience, such as being close to a grocery store or restaurant.

You don’t necessarily need to be looking at a forever home, however. Your life will invariably be different in your 50s and 60s.

Consider going big

About 20% of millennial homebuyers are looking for a large home to accommodate family changes, such as marriage or children, says Tran.

“You’re in a growth stage in your 30s,” adds Hien Le. “In your 20s, you buy an affordable home just so you can get a stake on the market, keep control of your expenses, and build your savings. In your 30s, you need to buy what you need to raise a family.”

Homebuyers ages 31 and 40 had a median income of $105,600 in 2019, according to a National Association of Realtors report. Almost 70% of buyers in this age group are married couples, and 30% have children.

So if you can afford it, buying a larger home may be a good idea. But, if you can’t, take a step back.

“If you’re buying more than you need in proportion to your income, it’s stressful and a disadvantage, because you’re not saving money,” says Tran.

He recommends keeping your mortgage payment at a third or less of your income.

Financial considerations

Getting a mortgage pre-approval is an essential first step in your home buying process—especially if you’re purchasing a more expensive home.

“Many people have no idea how their credit looks, or why it can look different to a lender versus reviewing it on their own,” says Truong. “Having a mortgage advisor consultation can provide a clearer picture and allow a homebuyer to make a smarter financial decision.”

Also, make sure you can afford the down payment for a new home, while retaining an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs, such as repairs.

If buying a first home or upsizing is a possibility in your near future, congratulations!

“Getting your ducks in a row in your 30s will pay dividends in the coming decades of your life,” says Tran.

Ready to buy? Get started today by requesting a no-obligation consultation with one of our mortgage advisors at The Financial Suit Team!

Click here to Book a Quick 15 Minute Mortgage Session with Phong Truong or Get Pre-Approved Now!

10 Thanksgiving Home Decor Ideas to Express Your S...

Thanksgiving home decor

Thanksgiving is one of the best social occasions of the year. Friends and loved ones gather over a hot meal to catch up and remember the things that truly matter. For many people, Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season and a chance to show off their design style at the turkey dinner party.

The tradition of “the Thanksgiving meal” is what makes it so special. That paired with some innovative design options can help you really wow your family this year. Check out these 10 unique home decor ideas for inspiration on your next Thanksgiving design masterpiece.

1. Indian Corn Wreath

Indian Corn Wreath

An Indian corn wreath is a fall decor piece sure to turn heads. It’s a vibrant alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving wreath and holds high cultural significance to the holiday and its indigenous founders.

The wreath can be crafted to fit many design styles, so feel free to make it your own.

2. Pheasant Feather Centerpiece 

A pheasant feather centerpiece is a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving banquet table. The feathers can be bunched together with pinecones, greens, and other earthy decor or paired with an elegant bouquet for a more upscale design.

3. Wheat Cloches

Cultivate an authentic harvest ambiance by incorporating wheat into your Thanksgiving decor. Rustic bundles of wheat coupled with the sleek cloche design makes this decor so eye-catching.

4. Gooseberry Branches

Gooseberry Branches

A simple gooseberry branch in a tall, clear, or colored vase can do wonders for your Thanksgiving table decor. It’s a minimalistic approach to the traditional over-the-top holiday festivities, which can prove refreshing for the entire family.

5. Wire Cornucopia

Wire Cornucopia

The cornucopia is a Thanksgiving staple. It celebrates abundance and prosperity. You can spice up your decor by putting a twist on the design. Instead of the traditional cornucopia, opt for one made of wire and fill it with a stunning fall bouquet for an industrial look.

6. Pumpkin Place Cards

Pumpkin Place Cards

Presentation is everything. Make your guests feel at home with individual mini pumpkin place cards. You can paint them white or gold for a more awe-inspiring effect.

7. Extravagant Fall Planters

Extravagant Fall Planters

Make your home stand out with extravagant fall planters to commemorate the season. Mix and match seasonal plants to create a textured and vibrant color scheme.

8. Table-Top Thanksgiving Tree

Table-Top Thanksgiving Tree

A small table-top Thanksgiving tree is a sweet addition to the holiday tradition. You can choose to hang party favors on the tree so each guest can have a keepsake to take with them or give each member the chance to hang gratitude leaves.

9. Apple and Eucalyptus Table Runner

Apple and Eucalyptus Table Runner

If you’re going for a more natural and elegant theme for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, an apple and eucalyptus table runner will give you the look you’re going for. You can pair it with neutral tablecloths, white candles, and copper table decor for a refreshing feel.

10. White Pumpkin Vase

White Pumpkin Vase

A simple white pumpkin vase can do wonders in terms of decor. It serves as a more polished alternative to the traditional pumpkin decor and can be repurposed throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Make this Thanksgiving your most memorable one yet by decorating with our 10 ideas for home decoration. Whether you want to show off your love of the holiday, or just enjoy some rustic charm, we have something that will fit your style and make everyone feel at home on Turkey Day. Which of these tips do you think is the best way to express my personal style?

When It’s Time for Your Next Flip, Keep These Ti...

When It’s Time for Your Next Flip, Keep These Tips in Mind

Originally printed in whoisonthemove.com

The fix-and-flip market is red hot right now, and real estate investors are reaping the benefits.

House flipping is when a real estate investor buys a property and holds onto it for a short time before selling it (the flip part) in the hopes of making a profit. Instead of buying a home to live in, the investor is buying a home as a real estate investment.

Sometimes, flipping a house includes a lot of repairs or renovations. Other times it’s owning the property until it can be sold for more than the purchase price plus the after-repair value (ARV).

The goal is to buy low and sell high, invest sweat equity to cut costs and earn a profit in a relatively short amount of time — usually within months or a year.

Houses in areas with rising home values are ripe for flipping, especially when investors can buy run-down homes at a steep discount and then renovate them to today’s tastes. So, a savvy fix-and-flip investor must be prepared in order to capitalize on the real estate opportunities that exist in the market.

Financial Suit Team of NEXA Mortgage offers a wide variety of fix-and-flip property loans for real estate investors looking for bridge loans, a cash-out refinance, or a loan for heavy rehab or new construction. Over the past 10 years, we have worked with thousands of fix-and-flip investors of varying experience levels, and we have developed loan programs and in-house construction management to give these investors the best chance to profit.

Based on our experience and our investors’ expertise, here are five of the most important basics that fix-and-flip investors should remember, whether it’s their first flip or their 500th.

Understand fix-and-flip financing

Whether it’s a light flip that requires mainly aesthetic changes or a heavy rehab with major upgrades, a fix-and-flip loan gives you access to the capital you need.

Most fix-and-flip loans differ from traditional mortgages in two ways. First, they are short-term to cover the amount of time it takes to completely rehab and sell the property. Our typical fix-and-flip loan is 12-24 months. Second, our lending partners and other funding sources offer interest-only loans, unlike traditional mortgages where borrowers pay both principal and interest.

Of course, with flipping a house, you need to run the numbers based on loan terms like purchase price, origination fee, and interest rate. Unlike with a primary residence, you need to make sure these costs plus rehab leave money for a healthy profit. It’s also important to know how construction draws work – how long they take, are you paying interest on undrawn construction funds, and more – so you can manage cash flow throughout the life of the loan. The best private lenders, like Lima One, will ensure the numbers and the process work before extending you a loan.

Location, Location, Location

You may love the fix-and-flip you just purchased, but will your potential buyer?

Home shoppers aren’t just looking for a home that meets their needs. Families are looking for a neighborhood with access to great schools. Retirees are looking for more serenity. A young single may want nightlife. Before you invest in a property, know what the surrounding area looks and feels like. Get a feel for what it will look like in 10 years.

Know what kind of people are moving into the neighborhood, and make sure your project fits their desires and budgets. This takes more than a desktop appraisal view of an area—especially in times when home prices are volatile.

Location doesn’t just determine where you buy—it also impacts what rehab you do. You’ll have trouble selling a home with luxury-level bathrooms and kitchens in a neighborhood where most houses sell for market value. Keep your rehab expectations (and budget) in line so that the final sales price befits the neighborhood. This will give your investment the best chance of success.

Create a realistic renovation timeline

No matter what you’ve seen on HGTV, fix-and-flip projects take time. You need to account for the time it might take so you can budget and schedule accordingly. Too often, first-time flippers have very unrealistic timelines on how long it will take to get a house ready to flip.

Even seasoned flippers can’t chart out a timeline that works every time because of factors from weather to labor shortages. The COVID-19 pandemic incited additional unusual delays due to government permitting office closures and construction supply shortages. And although the housing market is moving very quickly right now, you don’t have a guarantee that your property won’t sit on the market for a few months.

While it’s fine to create an ideal timeline, your budgeting and planning process needs to account for contingencies and delays. If your entire profit opportunity is based on a tight timeline, then you’re risking a complete failure of a flip. Don’t make that mistake.

Make a budget and keep it

Before you even purchase a property, know how the numbers work. Does the purchase price leave enough room for the right rehab to make the property a hot seller? Can you do an aesthetic flip focused on new countertops and fixtures, or do you need to do more like taking down walls or adding square footage? Make sure there’s enough difference between your costs (purchase, rehab, and others) and the ARV of the home to make the flip worth your time.

Once you get started, ensure that you run it like a business. Track timelines and expenditures so that you can keep the project on track. Schedule contractors and sub-contractors early so you don’t have long delays where the house sits empty, because these kinds of time gaps cost you money. It’s not enough to make the numbers work at the outset—you need to manage the project to your budget to ensure your ultimate profit.

Pick partners you can trust.

The shows on TV make celebrities out of flippers, but the truth is that any fix-and-flip investor needs a strong network to succeed. You’ll need to find general contractors, real estate agents, insurance providers, lenders, and others that can use their expertise to help you complete your flips quickly and profitably.

At the Financial Suit Team of NEXA Mortgage, we are committed to being that kind of partner for real estate investors. That’s why we work to provide the best fix-and-flip financing solutions for real estate investors across the country. We know funding quality fix-and-flip projects is a keyway to accomplish our mission of building, improving, and stabilizing neighborhoods nationwide.

When you’re ready to find the right lender to partner with on your next fix-and-flip investment, you’ll find that our team of experienced professionals guide you to the right loan for your strategy so you can capitalize on your next investment.

Our quick online pre-qual application is simple and easy to complete. You’ll be guided through the process step-by-step, and document tracking is a breeze. So, take the first step toward your next FixNFlip by contacting us or get pre-qualified today.