How To Decide If A Home is perfect for your family

Buying a House can be terrifying and exciting at the same time. How do you choose the best location? What if the house has problems you can’t afford to fix? What’s the tiebreaker if you love two places equally?
The first and only way to begin the decision-making process is to grab your calculator. A dream home becomes a nightmare the moment you can’t afford it. “As you calculate, look beyond the listing price,” says Steve Jones, associate broker of Crawford Olson Real Estate in McCall, Idaho. Here’s why: A house with a vaulted ceiling costs more to heat than one with a low ceiling. And a house with a pool means paying to maintain it. All these extra factors can add up.

Full List: How To Decide If A Home Is Right For You

Another less-tangible way to decide if a home is right for you is to trust your intuition, says Pat Trainor, a realtor with Coldwell Banker High Country Realty in Blue Ridge, Georgia. “I believe that most buyers form an impression in the first few seconds after they walk into a house,” he says. Even as a seasoned agent, he says he formulates an impression almost immediately. “Is this a happy house? Or does it depress me? Notice how you respond– and trust your reactions,” Trainor adds.

Trainor says he’s noticed that when a house is a good fit for a buyer, the couple or family will begin to talk about where they ‘d place their furniture. “When a client is doing this, he or she is mentally moving into the home,” says Trainor. The upshot? If you’re viewing a house and find yourself imagining your sofa near the window and your green chair near the fireplace, pay attention. Chances are, the house is a nice match for you.
That said, there’s no such thing as a crystal ball when it comes to house hunting. When the kids leave for college– is inevitable, and wondering whether the house will be too small if you get a dog– or too big. Cindy Jones, also of Crawford Olson Real Estate, says that while it’s important to envision a home’s role over time, making a decision with too many variables in mind can work against you. “Buy the house for the way you are living today,” she says. Adapt as you go.

Another tip? Decide based on how you live, not where you’ll live. A house that offers dramatic mountain views and enormous windows onto a pond can seem like a wonderful place to call home. If you’re rarely home during the day, the views aren’t going to be visible most of the time. Focus on features that will please you indoors. This advice is particularly applicable to high-traffic parts of the house, such as the kitchen. A sleek, minimalist European stainless steel breakfast bar may set your heart on fire, but if you’ve got busy toddlers, a practical kitchen with lots of room and sturdy smudge-resistant cabinetry may be a better match.
Full List: How To Decide If A Home Is Right For You

When you finally do make a decision, should you make an offer right away? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. “I usually advise sleeping on it overnight,” says Trainor. When a market is especially active, the exception can be. “This is a real gut check time. Would you be broken hearted if you lost this house to another buyer? Make an offer if the answer is yes. Seldom will you go wrong if you follow your heart.”.

“I believe that most buyers form an impression in the first few seconds after they walk into a house,” he says. Trainor says he’s noticed that when a house is a good fit for a buyer, the couple or family will begin to talk about where they ‘d place their furniture. That said, there’s no such thing as a crystal ball when it comes to house hunting. “Buy the house for the way you are living today,” she says. A house that offers dramatic mountain views and enormous windows onto a pond can seem like a wonderful place to call home.

Do you have complaints in your solicitors

If you are not satisfied with the service provide by your conveyancing solicitor (during your house sale or purchase) there are avenues you can pursue in order to make a formal complaint.
All issues pertaining to the legal transfer of title (for residential property) by a conveyancing solicitor of licensed conveyancer can be reported to the appropriate regulatory body.

Your First Port Of Call (Your Solicitor).

1. You can complain straight to the conveyancer or the solicitor.
Any solicitor or conveyancer must have a complaints procedure to be followed in the event of misconduct.
Details of how to initiate the complaints procedure can be found on their website or by speaking to the office administrator.

You can also contact the legal ombudsman who will ensure that your complaint is dealt with in a proper manner and will also give you advice on how to lodge your complaint.

If you are still not satisfied with how the solicitor or conveyancer deals with you matter, you can complain to the legal ombudsman as explained above, or to the council of licensed conveyancers. The other alternatives are going to the alternative dispute resolution or going to court.

Bring Legal Action.
Failing that you can always try to bring legal action against your conveyancer with the help of a “Solicitor’s Negligence” specialist.

2. You can complain to the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
If you are dealing with a licensed conveyancer you can lodge your complaint with CLC, if the complaint to the conveyancer did not yield any dividends regarding your case.

The CLC deals with issues of professional misconduct of the conveyancer. The CLC will refer the matter to the conveyancer?s insurers before they can deal with the matter if it is a matter of negligence. The CLC can make the licensed conveyancer pay you compensation of up to ₤ 5000, repay you the fees you put an error or paid made right.
The CLC can also withdraw the conveyancer’s licence or suspend them.

Their Regulatory Body.

3. You can complain to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA).
If one was dealing with a solicitor, one can complain to the SRA- only in instances where your matter has not been resolved by the solicitor or the legal ombudsman.

The SRA investigates and deals with matters of professional misconduct like lying to clients, taking unfair advantage of clients, holding onto clients money, breaking an undertaking given to you, discrimination on grounds of race, religion, age or disability by the solicitor, amongst others. The SRA has powers to prosecute a solicitor, and can take steps against the whole firm or a specific solicitor and the solicitor can be struck off from the roll of solicitors. The SRA does not however make the solicitor pay you compensation. For compensation you can try another method of complaint and a different avenue altogether.

In conclusion, you have a right to complain and you can enforce this right against your solicitor or conveyancer.
The CLC deals with issues of professional misconduct of the conveyancer. The CLC can make the licensed conveyancer pay you compensation of up to ₤ 5000, repay you the fees you put an error or paid made.
The SRA investigates and deals with matters of professional misconduct like lying to clients, taking unfair advantage of clients, holding onto clients money, breaking an undertaking given to you, discrimination on grounds of race, religion, age or disability by the solicitor, amongst others. The SRA has powers to prosecute a solicitor, and can take steps against a specific solicitor or the whole firm and the solicitor can be struck off from the roll of solicitors. The SRA does not however make the solicitor pay you compensation.

Financial Planning Misconceptions

In this era of DIY, we’ve grown accustomed to doing professional-level work on our own, whether it’s concocting “Top Chef”– worthy weeknight meals, renovating our homes or crafting up a storm.

After all, can’t you discover most things nowadays by pulling up a YouTube tutorial?

Not everything can be properly captured in a five-minute video– especially when it comes to something as important as your finances. When your money and future are at stake, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help.
“Some folks think because they picked an investment or two in their 401(k)s that they are qualified [to be their own adviser],” says Holly Wolf, a chief marketing officer for a bank in Chester Springs, Pa., who has worked with professional financial planners for about 20 years. “You may be able to repair your car yourself or fix your own roof, but you probably don’t have the expertise to watch your money like a hawk.”.

When she realized that she and her husband were doing a good job feeding their nest egg– but not enough to help it grow, Wolf first reached out to a planner. “When we started investing, we had no experience and I needed someone to guide us,” she says. “We had the savings part down, but not how to make our money work for us.”.

Not everyone is as willing and ready to reach out for financial guidance: A survey by Charles Schwab found that one in three people don’t seek any outside input when it comes to managing their money.

And, in large part, that could be due to some prevalent myths and misconceptions people have about using a financial adviser.

In honor of Financial Planning Week, we’re helping to bust some of those mistaken notions in the hopes that you’ll be less tepid about seeking advice for your own money goals.

Myth No. 1: Only rich people need financial planners.
“Financial planning is for anyone who wants to organize their finances, set money goals and make a plan to reach those goals,” says Ann Arceo, president of Savvy Duo Financial Planning. “While it’s true that there are some financial planners who target wealthy clients, there are a growing number who provide affordable advice– regardless of a client’s net worth or income.”.

Part of this misconception may be rooted in the fact that people often lump financial advisers into the same category as other professional service providers, such as attorneys, who often charge expensive retainers.
Price is one of the biggest factors to discourage people from seeking help from a financial pro. In a recent TIAA-CREF survey, 44 % of respondents said that they thought good financial advice would cost more than they could afford.

The reality? “There are professionals who work with younger individuals and middle-class families on a fixed-fee or hourly basis,” says Eleanor Blayney, a consumer advocate with the CFP Board.

So if you’re unsure of whether you can afford a planner, be honest about the budget you’re working with and ask about that person’s fee structure. She may be able to recommend someone who can if the planner can’t work with you.
Myth No. 2: My finances are simple– I can just go it alone.

You might not have a lot of different assets to manage, but it’s possible that your finances are more complex than you realize.

Parents with young kids usually recognize that they need to buy life insurance in order to protect their new family. According to Arceo, what they often overlook is disability insurance, which can help cover some lost income if one or both parents are suddenly unable to work due to an unexpected illness or injury.
A financial planner could offer that type of insight, possibly bringing up options you may not have discovered on your own. Plus, even if you truly believe you have an uncomplicated money life, it never hurts to have a second opinion on your progress.

“The idea of having [an adviser] working with you throughout various stages of your life is akin to seeing a doctor over time for annual checkups,” says Erik Klumpp, founder of Chessie Advisors. “The relationship you build with your doctor helps you spot a disease in its early stages, instead of just going to a doctor after you’re in tremendous pain.”.

Myth No. 3: Financial planners help people only with investing.
While investing will likely play a key role in building your portfolio, a good financial planner should be able to help you with your whole money life– including budgeting, insurance, estate planning and retirement planning, among other areas.

In fact, if you find that you’re working with a financial advisor who isn’t providing enough comprehensive advice, don’t be afraid to consider someone new.
That’s what Wolf did.

“I liked [our previous financial adviser] and his performance was good, but he never showed us the big picture,” she explains. “I would ask him if we were on target to hit our retirement goals, and his answer was always ‘yes,’ but he never showed me how. [Our new planner] meets with us quarterly, and we have a very detailed plan for estate, retirement and insurance planning.”.

Myth No. 4: Once I hire a financial planner, I don’t need to do anything.
Don’t think that after just a few meetings your work is done– in fact, you’re probably barely past the paperwork phase. “We can do a lot for you, but we can’t make you spend less and save more,” Arceo says. “You have to be willing to make the effort.”.

“One benefit of seeing a financial planner is getting your affairs organized and streamlined, but that’s only the beginning,” Blayney says. A good financial planner will require your input, and want to partner with you. “After all, it is your life goals that you’re working on,” she adds.
Expect to do some of the legwork required to set your plan in motion. Your planner can’t increase your 401(k) contributions for you, change your tax withholdings, or decide whom to name as beneficiaries on your policies– those are all in your control.

,” says Holly Wolf, a chief marketing officer for a bank in Chester Springs, Pa., who has worked with professional financial planners for about 20 years. Wolf first reached out to a planner when she realized that she and her husband were doing a good job feeding their nest egg– but not enough to help it grow. “We had the savings part down, but not how to make our money work for us.”.
“One benefit of seeing a financial planner is getting your affairs organized and streamlined, but that’s only the beginning,” Blayney says. A good financial planner will require your input, and want to partner with you.