Tips and Advice on Finding the Right Attorney for Your Case

Choosing the right attorney for the job is not as simple as selecting one at random. Much consideration must be given. You should ask yourself a number of questions to guide you in making an educated and well-thought-out choice. 

 While not exhaustive, the following is a list of questions to consider in deciding on the right attorney for your case:

 • What’s your budget? – First of all, it will be important for you to know your budget. Hiring an attorney for just about any cause can be very costly. It is important to know what you are getting yourself into. 

 Make sure you know how much the cost will be before hiring your attorney. Find out if the cost will increase if the case drags on. If it turns out there is additional work for your attorney to do other than what was expected, will it cost more? 

 Weigh the cost of hiring a better attorney versus one who is not as established or educated. Maybe your specific case would not require a higher pay rate. 

 • What’s your problem? – The expertise of attorneys is extremely diverse. Knowing your problem before seeking a lawyer is important. What do you need an attorney for (closing on a home, defense attorney, custody of a child, etc.)? 

 Know your problem, and then find an attorney who specializes in the field. 

 • What’s your time frame? – The time frames for which attorneys are needed will vary from either a short-term (single case) time frame or a long-term (ongoing care) time frame. For many of you, hiring an attorney may be a one-time thing (hopefully). 

 However, for a different group of you, hiring an attorney for ongoing matters such as business-related legalities may be what you are looking for. If you are looking for a long-term lawyer, finding one who is not bogged down in the affairs of others will be important. 

 Knowing that you can call on your attorney at any time will be essential in developing the ongoing business relationship. 

 • What’s their experience? – Experience is something that you may end up paying for. Nevertheless, this will be important to look for. Books only teach so much. The experience will mold and shape an attorney into a true professional in his field. 

 If you want someone who will handle your case well, find someone who has been dealing with matters like yours for a while

 • What’s their track record? – I’m sure when you purchase products online, you take note of the ratings and customer satisfaction. This helps you to know if the product will be a good fit for you. 

 In much the same way, try to locate references on the attorneys that you are contemplating. Maybe a family member or friend has used him before, or maybe you can find information about him online.

 Although it may be harder than finding a product review, do your homework first where you are able. This may prove to be the one point that is most important. 

 • What’s their approach? – This question can be further broken down into three questions:

 1. How do they communicate? – Do they speak well to others and to you? Are they easy to talk to and get answers from? Do you understand them/do they make themselves understandable? 

 2. How do they present themselves? – It will be important that your lawyer presents himself like one. Does he look professional? Does he talk professionally (i.e., Is his speech ethically sound and moral?)?

 3. How do they show they care? – At the end of the day, you want to find an attorney who truly cares for you. If it is clear they truly care about you, they will labor for you until their work is accomplished.

Tips And Advice For First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home might seem intimidating, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. However, If you learn what it takes to buy your first home, it will be easier for you to navigate the real estate market. The following tips will help simplify buying your first home.

 Determine the Home You Can Afford

 Before getting emotionally attached to a beautiful home, consider your monthly budget and determine how much you can afford for a home. Remember to leave an allowance in your budget for other expenses. So, ensure your monthly housing costs (such as insurance, HOA fees, and taxes) do not exceed 25 percent of your monthly take-home pay.

 For example, suppose your take-home pay is $6,000 a month. Your monthly house payment should not exceed $1,500. Remember, homeowners’ insurance and property taxes will also affect your monthly payment. Thus, you will also need to consider those numbers before determining the maximum price of the home you should buy. Every city is different too. If you are looking in a place with a hot real estate market, like Denver, then you won’t get as much bang for your buck compared to a place like Houston. 

 Start Saving

 When saving for a home, here are the primary costs to consider:

 • Down payment: The lender and the type of mortgage you choose will determine the down payment requirement. Some unconventional loans tailored for first-time homebuyers with excellent credit enable them to pay down as little as 3%.

 However, it’s challenging to save for even a small down payment. For instance, a 3% down payment on a $400,000 home is $12,000. So, create your down payment goal, and then configure automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings for a quick start.

 • Move-in expenses: After purchasing the home, you need some cash for upgrades, repairs, and furnishings.

 • Closing costs: You pay these expenses and fees to complete your mortgage, and they often range from two percent to five percent of the total loan. You can request the seller to pay part of your closing costs, and you can save on other expenses such as home inspections by finding more affordable service providers. 

 Maximize Your Credit Score

 A good credit score can make you eligible for a highly affordable mortgage loan. To help increase your credit score before a loan application, ensure you:

 • Know the minimum credit score that will enable you to acquire the mortgage you’re scouting for

 • Check your credit score and report.

 • Correct any errors on your report

 • Pay your bills promptly.

 • Ask lenders to remove any flaws on your credit report. As a goodwill gesture, some lenders will do this.

 Having a low credit score cannot prevent you from buying a home. It would be best if you explored the other options available for you.

 Get a Pre-Approval Letter

 After finding a mortgage lender with the most competitive terms and rates, apply for pre-approval. 

 This process involves giving your lender your financial information so they can appraise your application for the mortgage, determine your eligibility for a loan, and offer you personalized rates.

 Although getting pre-approved doesn’t mean your application will be granted, it prepares you for the final approval once you find a property. Some home sellers also request a pre-approval letter before they accept your offer.

 Find a Competent Agent

 As a first-timer, you will need a competent real estate agent, particularly a buyer’s agent who will help you find the right house, negotiate the deal, and explain to you all the home-buying nuances during the process.

 For first-timers, the good news is the agents’ services are free because the seller foots the sales commission. 

 There is an essential difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent. The former is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and is bound by a particular code of ethics. So consider having a realtor to help you in this process.

 Research the Properties Carefully

 Before you search for homes, ensure you know your needs. Find out about the daily commute. If you intend to set up a home-based business in your new home, find out about the zoning laws. 

 If you would like to start a family in your new home, research the school districts. 

 Apart from the home’s price, consider the home size, location, school district, neighborhood noise, essential amenities, and other vital elements such as whether the home is in a homeowner’s association neighborhood.

 Make an Offer

 Once you find your dream home, it’s time to make your offer to the seller. Specify who pays the closing costs and when your intended closure on the house would be.

 Get a Home Inspection

 Hire a home inspector to investigate the house to determine if it has any structural problems. Consider problems such as a faulty foundation, mold, or termites. Once the inspector determines the house is safe, close the deal.

 You only buy your first home once, and the most important thing is to find a comfortable house in an excellent area, and at a price, you can easily afford. With the above tips, you will navigate your first real estate deal without a hassle.