The Carroll Group's Blog
Are you ready to finally get that dream kitchen you've always wanted? Make sure you do some planning and research to be sure you have a clear vision of what the end result will look like, and be sure it will function the way you need it to. If you're going to use a professional designer, be sure to discuss in detail what your goals and visions are and don't be afraid to ask for multiple designs or point out anything you don't really like. And keep these things in mind:
Analyze the existing space. You may be in love with the idea of an oversize island with prep sink, but will it fit? Take plenty of measurements to get a clear idea of the dimensions of your planned layout. Will the refrigerator doors have enough room to open? Will you be able to put stools at the counter? It's a good idea to use painter's tape to make an outline of where everything will be and see if you'll be comfortable moving about the space.
Pros & cons. Decide what you like about your current kitchen’s features and what you’d like to see changed. Do you love having your sink under a window? Do you hate the microwave above the stove? This is the time to get rid of the things that make you crazy and add the things that will make your kitchen life easier and happier.
Set your goals. Make a list of all your kitchen remodeling goals. Include everything from simple, easy-to-accomplish tasks like organization and decorative elements to over-the-top, impossibly expensive overhauls. You may be pleasantly surprised and be able to get that glass range hood and pot filler after all! But if you can't get your entire wish list to mesh with your budget it's time to prioritize.
Create a collection of ideas. Print out or dowload photos from websites, clip photos from decorating or remodeling magazines or snap photos of kitchens you come across at the homes of friends and family, restaurants, open houses or home shows. This is possibly the most important thing you can do as it will help you nail down your design aesthetic, along with creating your must-have features list.
Prioritize your goals. Be honest and realistic with yourself and don't just insist you need all the latest bells and whistles. If you don't really love cooking, you may not need the marble pastry counter or the warming drawer. Will those things make you want to cook more often or make more elaborate meals? Don't assume that you’ll suddenly start making more regular use of your kitchen if it has pricey appliances and gadgets.
Be prepared to wait. A kitchen remodel will take time and you may be without a kitchen for several weeks. Be sure you and your family plan adequately to anticipate for periods without the use of your kitchen. A countertop microwave and toaster over just may become your best friends! Keep the end result in mind to get you through the remodeling pain.
All Those Terms!
Interest rates, points, length of term --- it can be daunting when you're looking for a mortgage, whether to purchase or to refinance. It’s true that if you take out a mortgage with a shorter term—such as a 15-year or 10-year fixed-rate loan—you’ll pay less in interest if you pay off your loan in full. In fact, depending on your interest rate and the size of your mortgage, you could save many, many thousands if you take out a 15- or 20-year fixed-rate loan instead of a 30-year version.
When you take out a 15-year fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment—depending, again, on such factors as your interest rate, size of your loan and property taxes and insurance—could be a few hundred or more a month than if you took out a longer-term loan, such as a 30-year fixed-rate version.
So if monthly cash flow is a key issue for you, in the long run, you might do better financially to take out that 30-year loan. This type of loan will give you a smaller monthly payment, freeing up funds for you to spend in other ways. If you want to lessen the amount of interest you'll pay over the life of the loan, and pay the loan of more quickly, you can add extra money to your monthly payment to be put toward principal reduction. Some people round up the monthly payment to an even dollar amount. Even just a few dollars a month helps reduce long term costs. Or many lenders suggest that you make one extra payment per year. It's up to you! Just be sure to put that extra money against the principal, not the interest or escrow.
There are also adjustable-rate mortgages, which are also available for different term lengths. Adjustables are often a great choice for people who know they will be moving within the next 5-7 years. You can save a lot on your monthly payment by locking into a low rate adjustable loan.
Pay in Full?
Relatively few homeowners ever pay off the entirety of their mortgages. Even those who take out 15-year loans don’t always stay in their homes for 15 years or more. Looking at national averages, homeowners often move every five to seven years. This means that the odds are against you ever paying off your longer-term mortgage loan in full—and incurring all of the interest that comes with it. So looking solely at the amount of interest you might save by taking a shorter term loan isn't necessarily the best way to compare mortgage products. If you do have the means to pay the mortgage off in full, be sure to consult a tax professional or financial advisor to be sure it's the most prudent action for you to take.
Need More Information?
Don't hesitate to reach out to me today! While I'm not a lender or banker, I can definitely connect you to some fantastic mortgage brokers who can explain all your options.
Andover, MA 01810
More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts
More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts