Steps to Buying a Waterfront Vacation Home

With the most recent recession out of the way, people are beginning to look into purchasing vacation homes again. This means waterfront property with a view is becoming a hot commodity again! If you’re looking to purchase a second or vacation home, what are the first things you should consider in a waterfront property? Advanced Waterfront has seen both vacation home successes and horror stories. Here are some helpful steps to take when considering a home on the water.

Choose the Location Carefully

The very first question you’ll want to answer before searching for the perfect vacation home is why you want this home. Are you planning to live there for half of the year? A few months? A few weeks during the summer? This will help shape where you look for a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 86% of vacation home purchasers in 2013 planned to use their vacation home primarily as a getaway with their families, and the vacation home was on average 180 miles away. Does any of this sound familiar? You’ll want a location where your whole family can easily access the home and one that presents activities for all age groups. If you’re looking at the property as an investment, you’ll also want to scope out the growth rates of the community you’re interested in as well as the local economy. Taxes on waterfront property will also generally be higher since the land is more valuable, so keep that in mind as you prepare your budget.

Access to the Water

Of course, when looking for waterfront property, you want to find a home that has access to the water as well as a pretty view. You want to ask a few questions of the properties you’re interested in, such as: does the property have direct access to waterways? Can a dock or boathouse be built according to local building codes? Are there plants, rocks, shallow water, or strong currents that make boating or swimming difficult?

Home Repairs and Maintenance

Another important question to ask your realtor is how much annual repairs and maintenance on properties in the area are; generally, properties closer to the water are more exposed to the elements. There are also repairs unique to waterfront property, such as dock and seawall maintenance, and the installation and repair of septic tanks.

Keep these things in mind when working with Advanced Waterfront, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. We specialize in waterfront real estate in Connecticut and Long Island Sound, and we’d love to offer you and your family a vacation home you’ll fall in love with. Contact us today!

4 Important Things to Know Before Buying Your First Home

Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an incredibly big step in anyone’s life. It represents a huge step toward putting down roots and really calling a place home. It also represents a huge investment that takes considerable time and care to prepare for. Advanced Waterfront understands the significance of that moment and we want to help. To that end, here is a list of important things to have in mind before you seal the deal on your first home.

Consider Your Financial Situation

You might think that this idea goes without saying; obviously, before buying a house people will consider where they are financially. But there may be some obstacles in areas you wouldn’t expect, such as student loan debt. When getting a loan for a home, even student loan debt is seriously weighed in consideration for what kind of rate you can get, or whether you’ll qualify at all. This is particularly important if your loan is in deferment. Consult with your bank as you begin your planning process to learn how you might be affected.

Don’t Be Fooled By Purchase Price

While the purchase price will surely be a factor in your decision and is often part of what initially draws someone to a property, don’t get sucked into the idea that it accurately represents the price you’ll be paying. The purchase price is only one of many fees and costs that you’ll have to cover when you’re closing on a house.

Search With Your Future In Mind

While you can usually pretty confidently say whether you’re in a position to buy a place at a given time, there more to consider than just how well you can afford it at closing. Where will you be in five or six years? Do your current plans for where your life will be suit your plans for your home?

Find A Layout That Works

While it’s easy to get caught up in cosmetic changes and new paint jobs, it’s more important to know that you’ve got a layout that works for you. Paintjobs and wallpaper are easy to replace, but counters, kitchens, and baths less so.

The Advanced Waterfront team in Connecticut and Long Island is ready to help you on your home buying journey. We know you’ll find the home you’ve always dreamed of owning, and we’ll help you settle right in. Check out the many properties we have available now on our website or contact us today for more information!

Valuable Steps to Buying a Lakefront Home

Old Cobblestone Road

Buying a home can be a complicated process. If you’re looking into purchasing lakefront property, this can be especially complicated if you don’t quite know what to look for. If you’re considering purchasing a waterfront home in Connecticut, you can look to the professionals at Advanced Waterfront to help guide you and help you make the wisest investment decision possible. But as you’re searching for a potential home, what are some things to look out for? Here are some steps we follow to help our clients settle into the right home.

Consider the Property and the Location

The number of bedrooms and baths might be the first thing that catches your eye while searching for a lakefront home. But with waterfront property, you might instead focus on the location and condition of the property more than the quality of the home. Homes can always be renovated and styled to fit your tastes, but once you’ve purchased the land the home sits on, it’s yours for good, whether the water on the edge of that property is murky and muddy or crystal-clear. Consider how often you’ll want to spend time on the water and pick a property location that fits your level of activity and lifestyle.

Discover What You Can Do to the Property

Before you purchase waterfront property, you’ll want to find out exactly what you can do with it in the future. Would you want to add a dock or boathouse? Maybe a seawall to help keep the possibility of flooding low? State agencies are often very clear with their rules and regulations and Advanced Waterfront can help you do the research.

Look into the Loan Process Early

Since waterfront property is usually much more expensive than a regular home, the loan process will most likely take a bit more time. Before you even start looking, work with your bank to determine your options and your budget. It also goes with saying that the process can be made a little faster with good credit and a larger down payment.

Work with the team at Advanced Waterfront in Connecticut and Long Island, and we guarantee you’ll find the waterfront property you’ve always dreamed of owning. Check out the many properties we have available now on our website or contact us today for more information!

How to Streamline the House Buying Process

A Smiling Couple Holding the Keys to Their New Home

When deciding to buy a home, the last thing you want is slow progress. While there are aspects of it you can’t control, such as waiting for the mortgage to process through the bank or lender, there are things you can do personally to help find the perfect home quickly and efficiently.

Staying Organized

When searching for the perfect home, you’re bound to come across a few that stand out above the rest. It can help to keep track of their prices, photos of the property, and other information, and you can do this with smartphone apps designed to help keep you organized. Simple apps such as PicNotes can assist by keeping notes and images together in one place. Another more complex app is Haus, developed by an Uber cofounder that provides a lot of information on individual properties and even in some cases what offers the property has already received.

Inspections, Certifications, and Repairs

It’s always good practice while buying a home to ask questions of the buyer about the home and what repairs might be necessary to complete the homebuying process. But depending on the age of the property, it’s a good idea to get specialized inspections and certifications done as soon as possible. These might include termite, radon, and asbestos inspections, underground oil tank and water well approvals or repairs, and flood damage risk reviews. These can take a good amount of time, and inspections are necessary for the loan application process ­– the more comprehensive these are, the more informed you’ll be about your potential purchase, and the faster you’ll find yourself in the home of your dreams.

Along with these tips, it’s always wise to ask your lender for suggestions on how to streamline the lending process. Most lenders are willing to go the extra mile to help you find and purchase the right home right away.

Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Saving to Buy a Home for the First Time

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions and investments you’ll make in your lifetime. While exciting, buying a home can also be very intimidating. From choosing your ideal location to making an offer to the sellers, there are steps you can take to make you’re prepared.

Determine Your Budget
Before you start looking for your dream home, it’s highly recommended that map out and calculate exactly what you can afford. Remember to include factors such as homeowner’s insurance and all your utilities. You may also be required to pay HOA fees which vary depending on where you choose to live.

Start Saving Early
Once you determine your price range, it’s time to start saving for a down payment. It’s common to put 20% down, but many lenders allow as little as 3% down. Keep in mind, if you put less than 20%, you may be required to pay mortgage insurance on top of everything else. If you’re struggling to come up with enough money for your down payment, look for first-time buy programs that offer extra assistance.

Check Your Credit
One of the key factors to being approved for a mortgage is your credit score. There are many sites that allow you to check your score to give you a good idea of where you stand. If you have less than stellar credit, pay off any outstanding debts and consider using and paying off credit cards on a regular basis to improve that score. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid opening any new lines of credit at this time as they have the potential to drop your score temporarily.

Do Your Mortgage Homework
There are several options when it comes to choosing a mortgage. From the standard 30-year fixed rates to potentially riskier adjustable rates, you should check with your lender to explore your options and ensure you’re making a wise investment. Once you determine which mortgage rate is right for you, get quotes from at least 3 lenders to compare costs and fees.

Don’t Forget the Closing Costs
In addition to saving for a down payment, you’ll need to have enough in the budget for your closing costs. These typically range from 2-5% of your loan amount. You can frequently negotiate with the seller for some assistance in this department, but you should set aside enough to afford these fees.

Buying your first home can be overwhelming, but when you’ve done your homework, you’ll be packing those boxes and moving in no time. Next up, decorating your new space!