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Norm Terapak
Norm Terapak
Terapak Realty & Management
Glendale, WI 53217

414-273-4363
Email Me

RISMedia - Home Buying 101


Want to Save for a Down Payment? Skip the Pre-Wedding Shenanigans

Would-be homeowners can easily plunk down savings for a home—if they forgo their friends’ one last hurrah before the big day.

A recent report by Zillow reveals the cost of destination bachelor or bachelorette parties can equal up to one-third of a down payment on a median-priced home. With attendees spending an average $1,106 (for destination bachelorette parties) and $1,532 (for destination bachelor parties), according to The Knot, partaking in just nine pre-marriage celebrations—or three each year for three years—would total 34 percent, or $13,788, of a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home.

Without question, the amount of parties needed to rack up one-third of a down payment varies by market:

Zillow_Bachelor_Party

Bachelor and bachelorette getaways are just one of several stereotypically “millennial” spending choices called into question as of late. Earlier this year, one real estate developer singled out avocados, telling Australia’s “60 Minutes”: “When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each.”

“Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases someone will ever make, and for most first-time buyers, that means years of saving money to afford a down payment,” says Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow. “Attending your friends’ bachelor or bachelorette parties can be a trip of a lifetime. While everyone’s budget and priorities are different, big-ticket expenses like vacations can add up surprisingly quickly—a lot faster than a $19 avocado toast.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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5 Benefits of Choosing a Suburban Life Over City Living

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Choosing the right house for you and your family can be a very daunting process. One thing to note, however, is that the type, style and square footage of your abode are all secondary to location. Location is the one property feature that homeowners can never alter. You can redecorate, upgrade, and add on to a home, but its location will always remain fixed. As you decide whether or not you and your loved ones want to be city dwellers or suburbanites, you should consider these five benefits that can be gained from a commitment to suburban living.

  1. Get More Square Footage for Your Money
    When compared to the average city home, a house in the suburbs will usually provide far more square footage for the money. People living in rural areas enjoy large tracts of land that are sufficient in size for accommodating back, front, and even side yards. Moreover, many suburbs have only recently evolved from areas that were once heavily wooded, which means that they’re often still surrounded by active wildlife and plenty of trees.
  1. Less Noise and Less Pollution
    For some people, there’s nothing like falling asleep to the sound of trains, freeway traffic, and outside conversations. For these individuals, a short jaunt to visit family in the country can be downright maddening. They find it harder to drift off to the sounds of chirping crickets, or even deep and heavy silence. The suburbs are ideal for couples and families who enjoy quiet nights, fresher, cleaner air, and far less nighttime foot traffic near their abodes.
  1. Top-Rated Schools
    Whether or not you have or intend to have kids, it’s important to look for property in neighborhoods with top-rated schools. Not only will this provide better educational opportunities for minor residents living in your household, but it will also increase the marketability of your property and its resale value. For instance, some of the very best places to live in Minnesota are suburban areas with nationally ranked schools. Comparatively, schools in the suburbs are far higher in quality than inner city schools. They also tend to have better standardized test scores and a lesser likelihood of overcrowding.
  1. Enjoy Living in a Tight-Knit Community
    Cities often provide a much broader range of housing options than most suburbs. City residents can live in apartments, condos, family homes, townhouses, and more. There’s also a much higher number of renters in cities than there are in suburban areas. This means that both units and neighborhoods tend to have higher turnover rates, and that residents have much less opportunity to forge long-lasting bonds and establish a strong sense of community. This is hardly the case in the suburbs. Historically, suburban children have the chance grow up together given that many suburban homeowners retain their properties throughout most or all of their lifetimes.
  1. Take an Active Role in Community and Government
    If you love democracy and want to start taking a more active role in the development and maintenance of your community, the suburbs are probably perfect for you. With fewer people living in the region, it’s much easier for residents to assume roles within local government, and to voice their opinions and be heard. This benefit additionally gives property owners a greater ability to take part in decision-making processes for issues that could positively or negatively impact their property values.

While the suburbs lack the high energy and excitement of a bustling metropolis, they do have a number of important amenities for ensuring optimally high qualities of life. Residents can find a wonderful array of restaurants, grocery stores and entertainment venues, right within their own neighborhoods. Best of all, they can enjoy these things while still managing to escape the noise, pollution, and ongoing stresses of living in a densely populated area.

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‘Soft’ Credit Checks: Do They Hurt Your Credit Score?

(TNS)—Lenders use your credit score to determine whether you are eligible for a loan and to decide what terms they are prepared to offer. Credit bureaus keep track of when companies check your score, regardless of the outcome, and checks designated as “hard inquiries” may lower your score.

Understanding what constitutes a hard check versus a “soft” check makes it easier to plan how you intend to apply for new credit lines, thereby minimizing the risk of harming your credit score.

Soft Credit Checks Are Listed on Your Credit Report

A soft credit check, otherwise known as a soft inquiry or soft pull, is any kind of credit report check that doesn’t affect your credit score. Soft inquiries are background checks rather than checks occurring as a result of new loan applications; in some cases they happen without your knowledge or consent.

Common soft inquiries include:

  • When you check your own credit report
  • When a potential employer checks your credit history to determine your reliability and financial status
  • When a financial institute you patronize checks your credit
  • When credit card issuers check your credit to send you a preapproved offer

You can see all of the soft inquiries on your credit report, which lists each check along with the name of the organization that made the check.

Soft Credit Inquiries vs. Hard Credit Inquiries

Unlike soft inquiries, hard inquiries may have an impact on your credit score. Prospective lenders make hard checks when they are making a lending decision, with common examples including:

  • Applying for a new credit card
  • Taking out a loan for a new car
  • Applying for a mortgage

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, so you should always think carefully before making any kind of loan application as it can lower your credit score.

Be Smart About Applying for Loans

A good credit score is an essential part of getting approval for a new line of credit, and it also improves your chances of getting the best rates. It’s important to know what kind of activity has the potential to lower your score.

Many companies check your credit history, but only hard checks made to verify your eligibility for a new line of credit have a direct impact on your credit score. To maintain your credit score, apply only for loans when you really need them. If you are shopping for the best rates, make all of your applications within a short time frame.

©2017 Bankrate.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Real Estate Q&A: What Happens When the Home You’re Buying Can’t Get Insurance Coverage?

(TNS)—Q: We are buying a home and had a “four-point” inspection done for the homeowner’s insurance. The insurer declined to cover the house due to the brand of the electrical panel fuse box. What gives? -Dan

A: Most insurance companies require a “four-point” home inspection before insuring a property. The inspection focuses on the four main causes of most insurance claims: HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning); electrical wiring and panels; the roof; and plumbing. This inspection doesn’t concern itself with cosmetic or other issues outside of the four listed systems.

Certain brands of electrical panels, particularly those installed before 2000, have been found to cause problems and not perform as they should. A fuse is supposed to trip when there is a problem in order to prevent a much larger problem. Many home fires are caused when fuses or panels malfunction.

If the insurer is denying coverage due to a suspect panel, the worst solution, in my opinion, would be to try a different insurer. Just because another company will give you the coverage doesn’t make the panel any safer.

If you are faced with this situation, speak to the seller about replacing the panel before the deal goes any further. If the seller won’t budge, your best bet is to find a different, and safer, home.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

©2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Common Overlooked Expenses of Owning a Home

Homeowners spend an average $9,080 each year on common, yet often overlooked expenses associated with owning a home, including maintenance and utilities, according to a recent analysis by Zillow. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Homeowners Insurance/Property Taxes/Utilities – $6,059
  • Professional Home Maintenance – $3,021

(Note: Homeownership costs vary considerably by location—see chart below.)

Zillow_Costs_Owning

“Determining how much a home will ultimately cost you each year and what you can afford is one of the most challenging aspects of home-buying, especially for first-time buyers,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Before starting a home search, take a good look at your finances to determine a monthly payment range you can comfortably afford. While that big backyard or larger home may be appealing, it is important to consider how much maintaining those spaces could cost you.”

“While it may be tempting for homeowners to think they can cut costs by doing home maintenance projects themselves, hiring a trained professional to take them on can save them time, anxiety and most likely money in the long run,” says Lucas Puente, economist at Thumbtack, which also conducted the analysis. “Across the U.S., buyers should be prepared to spend at least a few thousand a year in home maintenance costs.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

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Copyright © 2017 MetroMLS - All rights reserved. Information is supplied by sellers and other third parties and has not been verified. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Terapak Realty & Management are marked with the BR logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information last updated on 2017-08-16.


Norm Terapak | 414-273-4363 | Email Me
5205 N Ironwood Rd., Suite 205 - Glendale, WI 53217
Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved

 Our focus is on Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties. We are very familiar with Milwaukee neighborhoods on the East side including Riverwest and Bay View but we do cover the entire Metro area of Milwaukee and surrounding  suburbs.  

We can help you with municipalities including Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Glendale, Brown Deer and Fox Point  We are finding more buyers are also interested in Mequon, Cedarburg, Grafton and Port Washington in Ozaukee county which offers a short commute to jobs in Milwaukee.

 We offer expert service for our buyers and competitive commissions for our sellers.  Our competitive commissions are based on price range and our perception of how quickly your home may sell.  We are full service Multiple Listing Service Realtors providing you with many years of experience that will result in an efficient transaction saving you time and money.