How Much House Do You Really Need?

It might be tough for some to grasp and obvious to others, but you really should only buy as much house as you need.  Americans have been doing anything but!  This could be for social status, personal pride of accomplishment or you really just like large homes.

Here are a few quick reasons why buying a bigger home can be a problem.

Taking on larger debt then necessary.  It is so common these days to live paycheck to paycheck.  You may feel that you can truly afford the larger home, but you could also be saving more.

Bigger homes raise expenses, like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, heating and cooling bills, maintenance and repairs.  It’s easy to figure the mortgage into your budget, but don’t forget – the more house you buy, the greater the daily expenses across the board.

Bigger homes could suffer a large drop in price based on changes in the market.  Changes in the market can happen at any time.  The more you spend, the more you have to lose.

So, how much home do you really need?  Sit down and think about how many rooms you will really put to use.  You may be surprised.

Looking for a deal? Check out these properties.

Not convinced?  Still want that dream home?  Take a look at our Summit Collection.

Great Reasons to Buy a Home

It’s that time of the year… tax season!  Or it was.  If you haven’t gotten them in yet- well, you’re late.  But I’m sure you have and if you’re a home owner, you had a great tax advantage.  Since both mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible, owning your home can save you a significant amount of money each year.  According to National Association of Realtors, home owners saved an average of $2,173 in 2014 due to the mortgage interest deduction.


Why else should you buy?

Hello! It’s a Smart Investment
When you invest in a home, it offers the possibility for appreciation in value.  The equity is all yours!

Planned Housing Costs
You decide how much you spend on your home, including repairs and improvements.  Unlike renters, homeowners with a fixed loan can lock in their monthly housing costs.

Freedom to Make Modifications
Paint or renovation, you can choose to do whatever you want – without permission!

Questions about home ownership?  Ask an Agent.

Home Buying: Don’t Give Up the Good Stuff

Home browsing can be a lot of fun.  I love looking at homes that have been completely renovated with the latest upgrades, in the best neighborhoods and usually a bit out of my budget.  Actually sitting down to sort out what you can afford is a lot less fun.  A little reality check doesn’t mean you can’t buy your dream home, but it does often narrow the options.  In my case, by a lot.

The mortgage you can afford depends on many factors.  Annual income, down payment and interest rate are a good place to start.  My list also includes regular Starbucks runs and Target trips gone wrong.  You may have little league or music lessons to keep in mind.  Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but a mortgage calculator is a great place to start. Figure out what you think you can afford before the banks tell you what they think.  You know better.  Their forms don’t typically include a coffee, wine or sale on your favorite jeans section.  If you don’t want to give up your little luxuries, budget them in.

A well rounded budget should looking something like this:

Income (take-home)


Mortgage (Target Mortgage of Your New Home) // Credit Card // Car Loan // Student Loan // Utilities // Gas/Electic // Phone // Internet // TV // Water/Sewer

Insurance Premiums

Life // Auto // Home // Health

Savings and Investments

Emergency Fund // College Savings // Retirement


Groceries // Child Care // Vacation // Entertainment (movies, dining out, etc.) // Clothing // Gas // Commuting (parking, etc.) // Charitable Contributions // Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses // Your Version of Target Gone Wrong

Once you’ve narrowed down your budget, take a look at our Mortgage Qualifier.  This will give you a good visual of how your monthly payment breaks down and will help you set the parameters of how much you can afford.

Next step, set up a personalized search.  Don’t waste time searching for new listings every day.  Have them sent directly to your inbox!  Still not sure exactly where you want to purchase? Setup and save multiple searches.  Save your favorite homes to visit with your Alta Agent.


How much do you love your pet?

People love their pets.  Animals are often treated as part of the family, so of course they are considered during the home buying process.  With the popularity of pets across the country, NAR decided to do a study on how animals impact home sales from both the buying and selling side.  The following infographic depicts the highlights; find the full report on their site.