Ruth McMahon - RE/MAX On The Move | Hampton, NH Real Estate, Hampton Falls, NH Real Estate


Property taxes are no small thing. They can drain a budget, especially if you buy a house in a city or state that has some of the steepest property taxes in the country. Taxes in these areas may not go down because government officials in these areas know that residents have grown accustomed to paying the high taxes, despite how fervently residents complain about the tax rates.

What you end up paying in housing property taxes might surprise you

Even if you're ready to pay higher taxes because you just want to buy a house in a certain area, you might be in for surprises. One of the biggest surprises is that you might not pay the same taxes that the people you buy a house from paid a few months early. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Homeowner's age - Some counties and municipalities lower property taxes for homeowners after the homeowners reach a certain age. For example, some counties and municipalities lower property taxes after homeowners turn 62 years of age. Check with the tax agency in the area that you are thinking about buying  a house in to find out about rebates and other property tax deductions.
  • Rebates - The former property owner may have qualified for tax rebates that you don't yet qualify for.
  • Weather damage - As regrettable as it is, a recent weather storm could cause so much damage to an area that government officials raise property taxes to help cover the cost of repairing the damage.
  • Other property damages - If only one or more houses experience due to events like strong winds or flooding, these homeowners might be able to get their houses assessed and prove that, because the value of their property has dropped, so too should their property taxes. After the homeowner rebuilds their property, their taxes might go up again.

Educate yourself about local residential property taxes

As with other real estate items, property taxes aren't stable. They change, which is why you might not pay the same taxes that a previous home owner paid. Property taxes rise and lower for a variety of reasons. Financial problems are one reason why property taxes go up. Government personnel mishandling budgets can also drive up property taxes.

Don't sit back and wait for the problem to solve itself should this happen. Instead,attend local city council and other local government meetings that are open to the public. Let your voice be heard. Build momentum by inviting other people to the meetings.

Should property taxes rise for other reasons, stay educated about when the increases will take effect. Also, pay attention to how often property taxes rise in an area. If you have family, friends or colleagues living in the area, ask them how often property taxes go up. This will help you to set financial expectations. It will also help you to know if you should move to the area or look elsewhere for a house.


Many of us take for granted the safety of our homes from asbestos. Some of us have grown comfortable at home and would never guess there could be potential dangers like asbestos or lead paint lurking behind our walls and under our floorboards. Others assume that since these dangers have been known for decades they must have already been taken care of in our homes. Unfortunately, many homes, especially homes built before the 1980s, still contain potentially harmful asbestos. Here's everything you need to know about detecting and removing asbestos from your home.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is a known carcinogen--meaning it is capable of causing cancer. Asbestos has been utilized throughout history for a number of practical uses, dating back to Ancient Greek and Egyptian societies who used asbestos in the embalming process and in candle wicks. In 1900s America, asbestos was used in a range of industries from automobiles, the military, and in building our homes. The benefits of asbestos are many. It is a great insulator and is also fire retardant. So for homeowners trying to keep warm but also concerned about their house burning down, asbestos offered two highly sought after services. It wasn't until the 1970s that the U.S. government began warning about and regulating the use of asbestos.

Risks

In spite of its many uses, asbestos has one--huge--disadvantage: it causes cancer. More specifically asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity). The cancer is a result of inhaling the fibers of asbestos mineral that are released into the air. In extreme cases where asbestos exposure becomes cancer-causing, some common symptoms include:
  • pain or difficulty breathing
  • coughing blood
  • a cough that doesn't go away or worsens
  • shortness of breath

Detecting asbestos in your home

The ways in which asbestos can make its way into the air are innumerable. Sometimes drilling into a ceiling that is blown with asbestos insulation causes the fibers to fall into the home. However, there are other places asbestos has been used in homes such as in flooring, paint, and wallpaper used around wood-burning stoves. According to the EPA, you generally can't tell if something contains asbestos just by looking at it. If the asbestos containing material is in good condition it is recommended that you leave it alone. However, if you are planning a remodel that will disturb the material (work which involves breaking ceilings, walls, or flooring) it is recommended that you seek out a certified inspector.

Removal or repair?

If an inspector deems part of your home unsafe due to asbestos fibers they will help you determine if the asbestos needs to be removed or simply repaired. In minor cases, a contractor will be able to repair the fix that is causing asbestos fibers in such a way that it doesn't need to be removed entirely. In more severe cases, the asbestos may need to be entirely removed by a contractor. It is important that you don't attempt these repairs or removals yourself as they require safety equipment and precautions that only accredited professionals have access to.

Your credit score impacts many of your important life decisions. From your ability to open new credit cards, to taking out loans for cars and houses, your credit will be checked by many companies throughout your life. Credit scores are mostly a mystery to the people who have them. Sure, you can check your credit score for free online, but when it comes to understanding your score, most consumers are in the dark. In a perfect world, we would be taught in high school and college exactly what goes into your credit score, how to build credit, and how to avoid credit missteps. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world and many of us don't find out what makes up a credit score until we're in debt from student loans or credit cards. In this article,  we'll teach you what a credit score is, what it consists of, and how it is affected by your financial decisions. And, we'll do it in an easy-to-understand way that skips all of the jargon and acronyms that are used by banks and lenders. Read on to learn everything you need to know about your credit score.

What is a credit score?

Simply put, your credit score tells lenders how safe it is to lend money to you, i.e., the likeliness of you paying back your debt to them. In the United States, credit scores are awarded by three major companies. Since they use slightly different methods of scoring your credit, your score can vary slightly between them. What they all have in common, however, is that they put together your score based on your financial history (or lack thereof). How do they come about your score?

Parts of a credit score

Think of an Olympic diver who just took a perfect dive. The judges off to the side are going to score her on a few different factors: her approach, her flight, and her entry into the water. They'll award her a number based on her dive and then those numbers are averaged to give her a score. Credit is scored in a similar way. You aren't judged just based on your payments or just based on how long you've had a credit card. Rather, you're judged based on a combination of five main things. For your FICO score (the score used by the majority of banks and lenders) those are:
  • 35% - payment history
  • 30% - current debt
  • 15% - how long you've had credit
  • 10% - types of credit
  • 10% - new credit
As you can see, the most important factors that make up your credit score revolve around how much you owe and if you pay your bills on time. Having high amounts of debt or credit cards that are maxed out (meaning you hit the spending limit), your score can be lowered. Similarly, your score can be lowered every time you miss a bill payment. However, if you do miss a payment and your score is lowered, it can be recovered by making on-time payments. Your credit score is also influenced by the length of your credit history (15%): when you opened your first credit card or took out your first loan. The longer you've been making on-time payments the better. The last two factors that make up your score are the types of credit you have (10%) and new credit (10%). Having many different types of credit (home loan, credit card, student loan, auto loan, etc.) will improve your score so long as you're making on-time payments. However, opening up new credit rapidly is a red flag for lenders that you might be in financial trouble, hurting your score.    

After a lot of thought, you've decided to add your house to the real estate market. However, as a first-time home seller, there's plenty you'll need to know to ensure you can maximize your house's sale price. Here are three tips that every first-time home seller needs to know before you list your house on the real estate market: 1. Be realistic when you price your house. What is your home worth? It's the million-dollar question that every home seller needs to consider, because how a home seller prices his or her house may determine how quickly a residence sells. Ultimately, you'll want to be realistic when you price your house. You'll want to find the sweet spot, i.e. a price that makes your house attractive to prospective homebuyers yet ensures you receive fair value for your residence. To price your residence appropriately, be sure to get your house appraised. Also, you'll want to look at the prices of similar homes that currently are listed on the real estate market or sold recently, as this will enable you to determine the right price. Of course, pricing your home competitively will increase the chances that it will generate a lot of interest. And if you do your homework, you're sure to find a fair price that meets your needs as well as the needs of prospective homebuyers. 2. Think about what you'll want to do with your appliances. Do you want to bring your major appliances (like your refrigerator, washing machine and dryer) to your new address? If not, you'll want to account for these items and include them in the price of your home. Comparatively, you may be able to use your appliances in a home negotiation. For instance, you might seal the deal with a homebuyer who is on the fence about making an offer on your home if you offer to include your appliances in the purchase price. On the other hand, if you're in love with your appliances, you need to be ready to bring them with you to your new home. As such, you may need to lower the asking price for your house to account for the fact that a homebuyer will need to buy new appliances. 3. Take a proactive approach to promoting your house. When it comes to selling your house, you'll want to make it as simple as possible for homebuyers to find all of the information they need to understand why your residence is a great choice. For instance, using high-resolution photographs to showcase your residence online can be exceedingly valuable. You also can eliminate clutter from your home and maintain a clean, spacious residence, one that homebuyers can view at any time. Don't forget to collaborate with a first-rate real estate agent, too. With an experienced real estate professional at your side, you'll be able to promote your home to the right homebuyers at the right time consistently. Use the aforementioned tips to get ready to sell your house, and you can increase your chances of optimizing your residence's value in any real estate market.

A garage door protects your vehicle from the elements of nature. It could keep your vehicle’s paint and body from getting dented during hard storms. If you have an attached garage, you could stay warm longer on cold days and nights, as you’d only have to walk a few feet from the comforts of your house to your vehicle.

To continue enjoying these benefits, you have to know what to look for in your garage door. You have to know how to spot issues like those highlighted below before they become too big for you to handle on your own.

Signs that your garage door needs some TLC

Binding – If your garage door is hard to open or close, you may have a binding problem. Other signs that the door is not binding properly include the door getting jammed, the door not fully closing or the door making loud noises when it is opened or closed. For example, your garage door might start to close then stop closing half an inch from the ground.

Cracks or holes in the garage door – Strong storms, rocks being thrown at your garage door or a vehicle, including a bicycle, ramming into your garage can create cracks and holes. You could have cracks or holes in the door if you see chipped paint or dents.

Uneven or imbalanced garage door – Your door should safely open and close with the automatic opener turned off. Test the door by turning the automatic opener off and raising and lowering the door. If the door raises but does not stay open, it could be off balance.

Pests – The main portion of your house isn’t the only place that pests enter and turn into a cozy dwelling. Pests could enter your house through your garage door. Check your door for nests and small openings.

Sensors – If garage door sensors are missing or become damaged, your automatic door opener may not work properly. This could cause the garage door to lower when someone presses the up lever, the very thing that could lead to a minor or major injury. If sensors are not functioning property or are missing,your garage door could also keep lowering after it has touched an object or the ground.

Dry rolls and tracks – When garage door rolls and tracks become dry,the door will not open and close efficiently. Signs that rolls and tracks are too dry include squeaking, squealing or clanging noises. Repairing this problem should be an easy fix. Simply lubricate the rolls and tracks.

Loose joiners – In addition to lubricating rolls and tracks, make sure that hinges are properly lubricated. Also, make sure that garage door bolts and screws are tight. Loose screws and bolts could cause the door to raise and lower slowly or off balance.

Generally, a few minutes a week is all it takes to check your garage door. More thorough inspections should be conducted annually. You can spot signs that there is a problem with your garage door quickly if you know what to look for. Keep your family safe by repairing the door or replacing parts as needed.




Loading