Buying Home – Buying Home

Buying a home is one of the most exciting and stressful experiences in most people’s lifetimes. Because the interest rates were lower, and there were more financing options, more Americans than ever have been able to buy homes since the year 2000. The word “home” has deep meaning to most people, so it seems only natural that this should be a well-considered endeavor.
Question number one is whether or not you really can afford on-going monthly payments for the size / location home you desire. If, for example, you’re having trouble with rent, you’re probably going to struggle with mortgage payments too. Similarly if you have a bad credit history or if you’re not working a dependable job, it’s going to be hard to secure a reasonable mortgage.Having said that, if you feel confident about buying, many websites offer online mortgage calculations. So if you find a few listings that sound like they’re perfect, in an area you want to live, plug in the purchase price listed. Note that most mortgage calculators will allow you to figure by various lengths (10, 20, 30 year), fixed or variable rates, and some will even help you calculate annual taxes! Based on this information you can shop smarter. Do remember, however, that the mortgage is just the beginning – all your utilities including water get added on to that.Next make your wish list – all the things you want in a home. Siding or not? Driveway or not? Fenced yard or not? Think long term, including potential family growth. For example, you might love big, old homes but these houses require more upkeep and maintenance that gets difficult as one gets older. Remember you’re buying for 30 years, not just today. On the other hand, older homes typically reside in well-established communities and may have lower property taxes.
Then there’s location. Where you live determines school district, taxes, building regulations etc. Know your potential neighborhood. How easy is it to get where you want, when you want to get there? How well are the roads maintained? All of these little things affect how happy you will be in your home for the years ahead.After all this minutia you’re ready to find a real estate agent. In this case, networking and word of mouth really does help. You want an agent who knows your area, who listens to what you want, and provides you with information in a timely manner. For example, a good agent will know what homes are selling for in a specific neighborhood, and can therefore tell you if a specific house is overpriced. Additionally a good agent walks you through the whole process of home buying from pre-qualification to signing final paperwork, professionally, checking each step of the way that the buyer understands any issues or concerns.As you look at houses with your agent, try everything. Check the water pressure, look for cracks and watermarks, think about the layout and your lifestyle (does your furniture fit?). Overall, try to see yourself in this space for a long time and see how you feel after pondering that. It’s recommended that you review at least 15 homes before buying, and even then getting a home inspection before making an offer final.

Homeschooling Help – Four Important Resources For Parents – Homeschooling

Homeschooling parents have a wealth of information available to them today that many homeschoolers did not have several years ago. The blaze of added homeschoolers across America within the last few years has opened up many doors. If you have Internet access, you are only a few clicks away from many great resources. In addition to the Internet, there are lots of local resources as well, that should be utilized when needed. Here are just a few of the most important and valuable resources.Homeschool Resource #1: Your public library. If you have access to a public library but don’t have a library card, now is the time to go get one. This is probably one of the most valuable resources to any homeschooling family. You can supplement your reading materials with books from the library that your child finds more interesting. You will most likely also be able to hook up with a local homeschool group in your area, too, as many of them choose to meet at public libraries for their monthly meetings. As equally important, you will be able to find reading material for yourself, too. And finally, in the children’s section, you can sometimes discover they carry textbooks from public schools (who have usually replaced the textbooks and donate the old ones to the library). These are great for creating additional worksheets and lessons in areas your child is struggling.Homeschool Resource #2: Your school or school board office. If your child has been in a public school and you are removing them to homeschool them now, you will often find the principle will be happy to help you make the transition. Many will provide support and any resources you might need to get started with homeschooling (such as textbooks to borrow, curriculum guidelines, state requirements, etc.). Your local school board office should be willing to provide any helpful information as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help. If these school officials aren’t willing to help you, don’t get discouraged. Just use some of these other resources available to you.Homeschool Resource #3: The Internet. In a matter of seconds, you can do a search online and find endless homeschooling helps. You’ll find online groups, at places like Yahoo! Groups. There are free resources, like printable lesson plans and activities for your kids. There are many websites that also create resources like lapbook lesson plans that you can download for a small fee. Be sure you have a budget in place for school supplies and stick to your budget when using such resources.Homeschool Resource #4: Personal network of support. While your main concern is probably ensuring your child gets the best education at home, don’t forget about yourself. Homeschool is fun sometimes, and challenging at best. There will be days when you feel alone, and other days when you feel inadequate to do the job. During times like these, you need a strong support network that you can turn to for advice or support. This will probably be your most valuable resource of all.