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Tips on Home Buying

by Nancy Heim-berg

Buying a home is a time filled with many emotions, questions, a little stress, and plenty of excitement. To make your house hunt go smoothly follow these tips on home buying:

  • Buy a home that you can afford. The best way to determine what price range you should shop in is to get pre-approved. A pre-approval means that a financial institution has looked at your employment, income, credit history and debt to determine your credit worthiness. While a pre-approval is not the final word in the financial aspects of your home ownership, you can feel confident shopping within the range that your financial institution provides. With that said, it is also wise to look slightly above your range. This sometimes means that you can get a better house with more amenities for a decent price. Even if your real estate agent isn't able to negotiate a lower price, every $1,000 only adds $6 - $7 to your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Do your homework before putting in an offer. Knowing a little bit about the market, the neighborhood and the surrounding homes can help you make a better decision. For example, you may want to buy a home in a great school district. Since this is an important factor to many people, homes in an area with a strong school district have a better resale value.
  • Insist on a home inspection. Most homebuyers are in the home on one to three occasions for approximately 30 minutes each time prior to putting in an offer. Not only is that not enough time to completely assess the home, most people are unaware of what items are crucial to look at. Hiring a licensed inspector helps to ease the fears of hidden concerns by performing a thorough examination. The inspector will look at all of the mechanical systems and structural components in the home.

While purchasing a home can be filled with anxious moments, having a real estate professional and using the tips on home buying can save you the stress of going in uninformed and under-represented. The joys of home ownership are definitely worth taking the time to study and select the right people to help you through every step of the process. Welcome home will soon become your favorite phrase!

Nebraska Employment Rate Recovery

by Nancy Heim-berg

A strong agricultural economy, healthcare sector, and a government jobs expansion are to thank for the Nebraska employment rate recovery. While employment had slumped to a loss of 33,000 jobs in a two year period from 2008-2009, those jobs and more have now been recovered thanks to a growth in metropolitan areas.

The financial services and retail sectors have experienced tremendous recovery fueled in part by the agricultural sector. While the size of farms increasing might not add directly to the Nebraska employment rate recovery, the money that is made from these large agricultural areas helps to bring jobs in other areas. With money to spend, farmers have helped to increase employment in areas such as leisure and hospitality, healthcare, vehicle sales, and food service.

Gaining an average of 750 jobs per month since January 2010, Nebraska set a preliminary employment record in May and then surpassed that in July. New records show that over 970,000 people in Nebraska are now employed.

With neighboring states like Colorado and Missouri coming in with 7.1% unemployment and Illinois and Nevada coming in with over 9% unemployment, the 4.2% rate that Nebraska has risen to is truly something to celebrate. While Nebraska is now rated number three in a CNN lowest unemployment poll, there are still a few sectors that have not met their pre-recession employment numbers.

  • While manufacturing and construction have regained some momentum, employment levels are not yet what they were before the recession. As buyer confidence grows, these jobs will experience an increase in employment.
  • Airline travel has declined almost 12%, reaching a level that hasn't been seen since 2004. While personal travel is one item that is often cut when the budget is tight, businesses are also not sending employees on discretionary trips during a time when money is an issue. This area is also expected to rebound quickly.
  • While the economy isn't the only factor in the decision to have a baby, Nebraska's birth rate, and all sectors related to it, continue to come in with numbers below the pre-recession total.

Nebraska continues to use its strong sectors to bring jobs into the other areas, so they are slowly rebounding as well. Economists are confident that the Nebraska employment rate will continue to recover and that the recovery will move further out into rural areas and sectors that have yet to fully feel the effects of the rebound.

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Heim-Berg Team
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