Vastu Shastra is an ancient art that creates spiritual health through the architecture of your home by promoting harmonious balance and the management of positive and negative energies. It's based on the belief that all things, living and inert, have energy vibrations.
One of the biggest questions we get is when should new home owners go ahead and start landscaping their yard? There is a very important factor that you must consider when deciding when to install your landscape and that is sub-surface settling.
That's right, sub surface settling meaning settling of soil below the surface. Why is this important? When you build a new home you have to start by building a foundation. Building a foundation means you have to rip up the earth with excavators then pour the concrete for the foundation. This means that the soil around the foundation will become unsettled or loose until it settles again. This soil that sat for many years, was at one time rock hard, but now it has been fluffed up and is no longer compacted.
When you put your landscape on top of this soft sub-surface soil, even if the surface is packed, you can have the entire area sink. We have seen landscapes worth tens of thousands of dollars sink 2 feet due to house settling! 😱Beautiful brick patios, fences and fence posts, 600 pound trees etc., etc...all sunk, leaving the owner to remove the new home landscaping and start over again. What a waste of time and money ! 😭😭
We tell new homeowners to wait at least 1 full year after their home is built to before starting landscaping to allow for house settling. In that time you can soak the area within 6 feet of the foundation all around the house. Take a garden hose and thoroughly soak the area on a weekly basis, then sit back and watch it sink. After the settling you will have to add more soil to bring the area back up to level.
Getting a pre-qualification is one of the first steps you should take when you want to buy a home. When the bank pre-qualifies you for a mortgage, they take a look at your stated income and debts, then tell you how much they’d be willing to loan you. It gives you a great starting point to shop for a home.
However, you shouldn’t mistake this for a guarantee of a loan for that amount. It’s only an informal assessment. Learn more about pre-qualifications before you go home shopping.
Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval
Most people get confused by the difference between a pre-qualification and a mortgage pre-approval, and this can cause them to make some major mistakes.
In a pre-qualification, the bank doesn’t verify any of your information. They take the income you say you earn and give you a quick estimate based on that. Since it’s not a formal agreement, a builder or home seller may not accept your offer based on a pre-qualification alone.
The pre-approval process, on the other hand, requires a more thorough vetting. You state how much you earn, but the bank also requires you to show proof of income, including tax forms and pay stubs. Banks also officially pull your credit reports for pre-approval. The pre-approval is also more formal. You’re not yet committing to using that bank for your mortgage, but they’re guaranteeing they’ll loan you a certain amount of money at a certain interest rate. This is assuming there are no significant changes to your financial situation before you formally apply for the mortgage.
Essentially, the pre-approval gives you a closer look at the reality of your situation.
How a Pre-Qualification Can Help You
Pre-qualification helps you understand how much home the bank thinks you can afford. It may cause you to realize the expansive estates you’ve been looking at are far out of your price range. You may also realize the bank thinks you can afford a lot more than you expected.
What You’ll Need for Pre-Qualification
Most mortgage lenders have a simple application for pre-qualification. You may want to look at your old tax forms or pay stubs to more accurately calculate your income, but the bank isn’t likely to require them. If you want an even more accurate pre-qualification quote, you can order a copy of your credit score. The bank will then use this to tell you which tier you fall into.
What the Pre-Qualification Doesn’t Include
Most of the time, a pre-qualification doesn’t factor your credit score into the equation. They assume you have reasonably good credit. If your credit score is low, though, you may qualify for less money than they originally stated, or you may not even qualify for a mortgage at all.
The pre-qualification also isn’t taking a close look at your income. Some applicants are later surprised to learn the bank doesn’t include bonuses or overtime pay in their calculations. If you factored these into your income statement for the pre-qualification, you may find yourself getting far less money than you expected.
Finally, the pre-qualification only estimates the potential loan amount the lender will give you. In an actual mortgage application, banks set a maximum monthly payment they think you can afford. This payment includes a pro-rated amount for property taxes and homeowners’ insurance. If you purchase in an area with high property taxes, you may qualify for less money. Not being able to factor property taxes into the equation sometimes leads to overestimation.
When You Get Serious About Buying
Pre-qualification works well for those who are just starting to think about buying a home. It gives them a general sense of what home options are affordable, but there’s nothing official involved.
If you’re closer to being ready to buy a home, though, you’ll probably be better off with a pre-approval. This is more formal and more accurate. You’ll also be locking in current rates without committing yourself to the rates. If rates go down, you’ll be able to get the better deal. Having pre-approval also makes you seem more serious to the seller. Once you’ve found the right home for your family, you’ll be able to move quickly.
A mortgage pre-qualification may be helpful in guiding your home buying decisions, but be careful not to take it too literally. Use it as a guideline, but get a pre-approval if you are ready to buy.
Spring is a great time to do some around the home maintenance so you can kick back and enjoy the summer!