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Project management certifications have claimed a place in every top IT certification list for years. That’s because project managers are important to IT operations of all kinds. Whether you are interested in becoming an IT project manager or just want to add project management to your list of soft skills, these five leading certifications will help you add to or boost those skills and, in turn, increase your value.

If there’s a single set of soft skills that’s been fixed on the IT radar for the past decade or so, to the point where it’s become almost as sought after and every bit as valuable as top-level credentials, it must be project management. Thanks in large part to the immensely popular and widely pursued Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), this area has become an incredibly valuable merit badge for IT professionals of all stripes. That’s because it enhances and expands on the value of just about any other kind of technical credential.

Project management has everything to do with planning, scheduling, budgeting for, and then executing and reporting on projects of all shapes and sizes. In fact, anything and everything that IT does can be understood or handled as a project of some kind. It applies to one-of-a-kind activities that happen only once or very seldom (think hardware or OS upgrades or migrating from older to newer platforms or infrastructures). Ditto for a recurring series of activities that repeat regularly (think security patches, software updates or other regular maintenance tasks). Thus, project management is incredibly important and valuable to IT operations across the board.

According to PMI’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th Edition [pdf], IT professionals who hold a PMP report median base annual salaries in the U.S. of almost $116,000. The top 25 percent of survey respondents report base salaries of at least $139,000. Depending on such factors as complexity and size of projects, location, fields of expertise (e.g., IT, construction or healthcare), and experience, salaries for some PMP credential holders can be much higher still.

Robert Half’s Technology & IT 2019 Salary Guide lists project management as a hot certification, with salaries varying slightly by technology area. It cites a salary range of $93,000 to $157,500 for project managers in application development environments. Project managers engaged in consulting and system integration roles can expect to earn $96,250 to $163,500 nationwide. This explains nicely why PMP appears in nearly every top 10 list of popular, targeted or most desirable certifications since the early 2000s. It’s no surprise that Robert Half also lists the PMP credential, along with Agile and Scrum certifications, as “highly valued technology certifications” trending up in the IT industry.

To deliver you an idea of which project management credentials employers look for in prospective candidates, we conducted a quick survey on some popular job boards. Clearly, the PMP is the overall favorite and remains our No. 1 pick for must-have project management certifications. PMI’s entry-level project management credential, the CAPM, also made our top five. The CSM from Scrum Alliance, along with ASQ’s Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt credentials, round out those picks. It’s also worth noting that job postings for project managers increased by 20 percent from 2018 across all project management certifications.

Job board survey results (in alphabetical order, by certification)

Certification SimplyHired Indeed LinkedIn Jobs LinkUp.com Total
CAPM (Project Management Institute) 593 718 1,187 381 2,879
CSM (Scrum Alliance) 3,550 4,916 9,286 3,052 20,804
CSSBB (ASQ) 998 1,231 1,817 848 4,864
CSSGB (ASQ) 1,205 1,457 1,966 842 5,470
PMP (Project Management Institute) 13,683 18,311 28,064 9,096 69,154

CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management

CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management

The same organization behind the more senior Project Management Professional (PMP) credential also backs the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). In fact, the CAPM is properly considered a steppingstone credential for those who wish to attain PMP status by stages, rather than in a single giant leap. That’s why PMI describes the CAPM as a “valuable entry-level certification for project practitioners” that is “designed for those with little or no project experience.”

The PMP requires three to five years of documented on-the-job project management experience, depending on the educational background of each applicant. On the other hand, the CAPM requires only a high school diploma and either 1,500 hours of documented on-the-job experience (about nine months of full-time work) or 23 hours of project management classroom training prior to taking the exam. The education prerequisite can be met by completing PMI’s Project Management Basics online course which costs $350 for PMI members and $400 for non-members.

Nor does the CAPM require continuing education (which PMI calls PDUs, or professional development units) as does the PMP (60 PDUs every three years) to maintain this credential. To recertify, CAPM holders must retake the test once every five years.

The CAPM is one of a small set of entry-level project management certifications (including the CompTIA Project+) that IT professionals interested in project management might choose to pursue. Remember, though, that it is just a steppingstone to the PMP.

Unless you work in a large organization where a project management team is in place that includes junior as well as senior positions, the CAPM by itself is unlikely to provide a ticket to a project management job. However, it’s ideal for IT professionals for whom project management is a part-time job role or who want to grow into full-time project management.

CAPM facts and figures

Certification name Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Prerequisites/required courses High school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent, plus 1,500 hours of project management experience or 23 hours of project management education

Certification valid for five years; candidates must retake test to maintain credential.

Number of exams One (150 questions; 15 questions are unscored; three hours to complete)
Cost per exam Computer- or paper-based exams:

PMI member: $225 (retake $150)

Nonmember: $300 (retake $200)

Exam available in online proctored or center-based test (CBT) formats.

Exam administered by Pearson VUE.

URL www.pmi.org/Certification/Certified-Associate-in-Project-Management-CAPM.aspx
Self-study materials PMI maintains a list of self-study materials on its exam guidance webpage, including the Exam Content Outline [pdf], trial exam questions [pdf] and the CAPM Handbook [pdf].

Numerous books are available, including:

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) – Sixth Edition; Sept. 22, 2017; Project Management Institute; ISBN-10: 1628251840; ISBN-13: 978-1628251845 (available for free download to PMI members)

CAPM test Prep, Third Edition, by Rita Mulcahy, Sept. 2013, RMC Publications, ISBN-10: 1932735720, ISBN-13: 978-1932735727

CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-in-One test Guide, Fourth Edition, by Joseph Phillips; April 23, 2018; McGraw-Hill Education; ISBN-10: 1259861627; ISBN-13: 978-1259861628

CSM: Certified ScrumMaster

As companies seek to deliver more for less, many adopt Agile methodologies to streamline processes, build quality into products and ensure that final builds meet customer requirements. As Agile methodologies have become more popular, it’s no surprise that we see increased demand for IT practitioners qualified to manage projects in Agile environments.

While different Scrum master certifications are available, our pick is the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from the Scrum Alliance. This nonprofit encourages adoption of Scrum and Agile practices, promotes user groups and learning events, and provides resources for professional development. The organization boasts more than 500,000 certified practitioners worldwide.

The Scrum Alliance provides a support system for Scrum practitioners, including Scrum Gatherings, user groups, virtual communications, coaching, online training and much more. In addition to community and advocacy activities, the Scrum Alliance offers numerous Scrum-related certifications at the foundation, advanced, professional, elevated (guide) and leadership levels. Scrum Alliance certifications are designed for team members engaged in Scrum master, product owners and developer roles. The Scrum master and product owner tracks offer credentials at the foundation, advanced and professional levels which the developer track only offers a foundation and professional level cert.

  • Scrum Master Track: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM), and Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master (CSP-SM)
  • Product Owner Track: Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) and Certified Scrum Professional – Product Owner (CSP-PO)
  • Developer Track: Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) and Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
  • Elevated or guide credentials: Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Certified Team Coach (CTC) and Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • Agile Leadership: The Scrum Alliance also offers the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) program, a credential based on a combination of education and validated practice. There are two credentials – the Certified Agile Leadership I and Certified Agile Leadership II.

For project managers getting started as Scrum practitioners, the CSM makes an excellent entry-level credential. Not only must candidates demonstrate an understanding of Scrum principles and values, but they’ll learn how to implement and apply Scrum in practice. The Scrum Alliance provides CSMs with multiple resources, plus checklists and information about the servant-leader role of the Scrum master.

Certified ScrumMaster facts and figures

CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

Globally recognized, ASQ certifications attest to candidate expertise, mastery of industry and regulation standards, and mastery of the ASQ Body of Knowledge. Currently, ASQ offers 18 credentials, three of which specifically target project management: the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) (expert level), the Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) (professional level) and the Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) (entry level).

The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt is ASQ’s highest Six Sigma credential. The CSSBB aims at experienced practitioners who understand Six Sigma methodologies (including the DMAIC model), tools, systems and philosophies. CSSBBs can lead teams or manage team dynamics, roles and responsibilities.

The path to CSSBB certification is rigorous. In addition to passing a comprehensive exam, candidates must complete two projects that employ Six Sigma tools and processes, resulting in project improvement and a positive financial project impact. An affidavit is also required to attest to the veracity of the project. Alternatively, candidates with at least three years of experience in one or more of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge areas need only complete one Black Belt project.

CSSBB candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of the ASQ Black Belt Body of Knowledge, called standards:

  • Organization-wide Planning and Deployment (organization-wide considerations, leadership)
  • Organization Process Management and Measures (impact on stakeholders, benchmarking, business measures)
  • Team Management (team formation, facilitation, dynamics, training)
  • Define (voice of the customer, business case and project charter, project management tools, analytical tools)
  • Measure (process characteristics, data collection, measurement systems, basic statistics, probability, process capability)
  • Analyze (measuring and modeling relationships between variables, hypothesis testing, failure mode and effects analysis, other analysis methods)
  • Improve (design of experiments, lean methods, implementation)
  • Control (statistical process control and other controls, maintain controls, sustain improvements)
  • Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Framework and Methodologies (common DFSS methodologies, design for DVX, robust designs)

The CSSBB is valid for three years. To recertify, candidates must earn 18 recertification units or retake the exam.

CSSBB facts and figures

Certification name Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
Prerequisites/required courses Two completed projects with signed project affidavit, or one completed project with signed affidavit plus three years of experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge
Number of exams One: computer-based (165 questions, 4.5 hours) or paper-based (150 questions, 4 hours)
Cost per exam $438 members, $538 nonmembers (retakes $338)

Exams administered by Prometric.

URL https://asq.org/cert/six-sigma-black-belt
Self-study materials ASQ maintains a comprehensive list of test prep materials, including training opportunities, question banks, interactive trial exams, books and other recommended references.

CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt

The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) by ASQ is a professional-level credential targeting experienced Six Sigma practitioners. Often, a CSSGB works under the direction of the more senior CSSBB or as an assistant. CSSGBs identify issues and drive quality and process improvements in projects.

To earn the credential, candidates should have at least three years of experience working with Six Sigma processes, systems and tools. The work experience must have been full time and compensated; an unpaid internship, for example, doesn’t count. In addition, work performed must have been in at least one of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge competency areas.

In addition to work experience, candidates must pass an test that tests their knowledge of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge. Currently, the Green Belt Body of Knowledge includes six competency areas:

  • Overview: Six Sigma and the Organization (organizational goals, lean principles, design methodologies)
  • Define Phase (project identification, customer voice, project management basics, management and planning tools, project business results, team dynamics and performance)
  • Measurement Phase (process analysis and documentation, probability and statistics, statistical distributions, data collection, measurement system analysis, process and performance capability)
  • Analyze Phase (exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing)
  • Improve Phase (design of experiments, root cause analysis, lean tools)
  • Control Phase (statistical process control, control plan, lean tools for process control)

Overall, this is an excellent credential for those who have some experience but are not quite ready to take on the roles and responsibilities of a Black Belt.

CSSGB facts and figures

Certification name Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)
Prerequisites/required courses Three years of experience in one or more of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge areas

Experience must be a full-time paid position (internships do not meet the experience requirement)

Number of exams One: computer-based (110 questions, 4.5 hours) or paper-based (100 questions, 4 hours)
Cost per exam $338 members, $438 nonmembers; retakes cost $238

Exams administered by Prometric.

URL https://asq.org/cert/six-sigma-green-belt
Self-study materials ASQ maintains a comprehensive list of test prep materials, including training opportunities, question banks, interactive trial exams, books and other recommended references.

PMP: Project Management Professional

The Project Management Institute (PMI) not only stands behind its Project Management Professional certification, it works with academia and training companies to ensure proper coverage and currency in the various curricula that support this and other PMI credentials. Boasting more than 500,000 global members and 750,000 PMP certified professionals around the world, PMI’s PMP remains one of the most prestigious project management credentials available. (Note: The PMP’s precursor, the CAPM, is covered in an earlier section of this article.)

That’s why you can obtain college- and university-based PMP training from so many institutions. It’s also why you may sometimes find PMP coverage integrated into certain degree programs (often at the master’s degree level).

The PMP credential is coveted by employers seeking the most highly skilled project management professionals. Developed by project managers, the PMP certification is the highest level offered in PMI certifications. It is designed to ensure that credential-holders possess the skills and qualifications necessary to successfully manage all phases of a project, including initiating, planning, scheduling, controlling and monitoring, and closing out the project.

PMP certified projects managers are also well versed and skilled in managing all aspects of the triple constraints – time, cost and scope. Employers depend on the skills of PMP professionals to manage budgets, track costs, manage scope creep, identify how changes to the triple constraints may introduce risk into the project, and minimize such risk to protect the project investment.

The standards for PMP certification are rigorous. Beyond passing a comprehensive exam, credential holders must first demonstrate and certify that they have the skills and education necessary to succeed in the project management field. Credential seekers should be ready to provide documentation for items such as education, projects worked on and hours spent in each of the five project management stages – initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing out the project.

While it’s difficult to achieve, the rewards for PMP credential holders can be significant. According to PMI’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, 10th Edition [pdf], PMPs in the U.S. earn an average of 23 percent more than their non-credentialed counterparts. The survey reports median salaries of PMPs in the United States at $115,000, as opposed to $92,000 for non-PMP certified project managers.

For those interested in program management or wishing to specialize in a project management area, PMI offers several interesting additional credentials:

The PMP remains a nonpareil certification for IT and other professionals whose responsibilities encompass project management. It is the standard against which all other project management credentials are judged.

It should be noted that, after meeting the prerequisites, candidates are also required to pass a rigorous exam. Candidates must obtain an eligibility ID from PMI before they can register for the exam.

PMP facts and figures

Certification name Project Management Professional (PMP)
Prerequisites/required Courses Required courses: None

Prerequisite skills: Four-year degree, 4,500 hours in leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education

OR

Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or equivalent), 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education

Note: Credential holders must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) per each three-year cycle to maintain certification.

Number of exams One (200 questions, 4 hours)
Cost per exam Paper* and computer-based exams:

PMI member: $405 (retake $275)

Nonmember: $555 (retake $375)

*Paper-based test only available if candidates lives more than 150 miles from testing center or if testing center is not available in the country of residence and travel would provide an undue burden.

Exam administered by Prometric. Eligibility ID from PMI required to register.

URL www.pmi.org/Certification/Project-Management-Professional-PMP.aspx
Self-study materials PMI maintains a list of training resources on the PMP test guidance webpage, including links to trial questions, the PMP test Content Outline [pdf] and the PMP Handbook [pdf]. Additional training materials (quizzes, publications, books, practice guides and more) are available from the PMI Store.

Numerous books are available, including:

Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) – Sixth Edition; Sept. 22, 2017; Project Management Institute; ISBN-10: 1628251840; ISBN-13: 978-1628251845 (available for free download to PMI members)

PMP test Prep: Accelerated Learning to Pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam, Ninth Edition, by Rita Mulcahy; Feb. 1, 2018; RMC Publications Inc.; ISBN-10: 1943704040; ISBN-13: 978-143704040

CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-in-One test Guide, Fourth Edition, by Joseph Phillips; April 23, 2018; McGraw-Hill Education; ISBN-10: 1259861627; ISBN-13: 978-1259861628

Practice exams: PMP test practice questions and Study Guide, Ninth Edition, by J. LeRoy Ward and Ginger Levin; June 28, 2018; Auerbach Publications, ISBN-10: 1138440299; ISBN-13: 978-1138440299

Beyond the top 5: More project management certifications

Project management is truly a white-hot area for both certification seekers and employers. Several other project management certifications are available, for general IT project management as well as software development project management.

Honorable mention goes to the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) project management certifications, such as the Professional in Project Management, Associate in Project Management and Certified Project Director. The Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner qualifications (featured in the 2017 top-five list) are also excellent credentials and worth honorable mention.

The CompTIA Project+ credential (featured in the 2017 top-five list and honorable mention in 2018) remains a well-known entry-level project management certification for those starting their project management careers. ASQ’s Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) is another entry-level credential worth exploring, particularly if you’re interested in eventually moving up to the more senior Green and Black Belt credentials.

Most graduate business, management and management information systems (MIS) programs offer project management training to students, and some offer certificate programs outside the project management organizations as well.

You’ll also find training and occasional certification around various project management tool sets. For example, some Microsoft Learning Partners offer courses on Microsoft Project, and you can find a dizzying array of project management packages on Wikipedia’s comparison of project management software page.

The CAPM and Project+ remain the best-known entry-level project management certifications, with the PMP as the primary professional target and capstone for would-be professional IT project managers. Don’t forget to consider PMI’s related certifications as well. For project managers seeking entry into the realm of Scrum, the CSM is the best entry-level cert for Scrum practitioners.

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Killexams : Buying a House: What Does PMI Mean? No result found, try new keyword!PMI protects the lender in the event that the homeowner defaults on the loan, but doesn’t protect the homeowner from foreclosure. The average range for PMI premium rates is 0.58 percent to 1.86 ... Wed, 05 Oct 2022 07:48:00 -0500 text/html https://www.kansas.com/news/business/article266861486.html Killexams : How to Buy a House: A 9-Step Guide to Navigating Your Purchase

Since 2011, the average price of a house in the U.S. has more than doubled — rising from $176,000 in 2011 to $358,000 in 2022.

Though home prices have recently dipped for the first time in more than a decade, inflation, growing student loan debt and high interest rates have made the dream of homeownership more challenging for each generation — especially in a booming real estate market.

But it’s not impossible. We’ll walk you through the process of buying a house step by step.

How to Buy a House: 9 Steps for First-Time Buyers

While the road to buying a house has become more riddled with potholes and speed bumps, it’s still one you can navigate with the right savings plan, a decent credit score and a little professional guidance.

Think you’re ready to embark on your home buying quest? Here’s how to buy a house in nine simple steps.

  1. Whip your credit score into shape

  2. Save for a down payment

  3. Figure out your price range

  4. Get preapproved for a mortgage

  5. Hire a real estate agent

  6. Shop for your dream home

  7. Make an offer they can’t refuse

  8. Get an appraisal and home inspection

  9. Close on your new home

1. Whip Your Credit Score Into Shape

A strong credit score is crucial to securing a low interest rate on your mortgage.

Over 30 years, the most common length of a mortgage, paying just 1 percentage point more in interest could cost you big time. For example, if you bought a house with a $200,000 fixed-rate 30-year mortgage at a 5% interest rate, you’d pay an extra $40,000 in interest over 30 years than you would have at 4%.

At a minimum, your credit score should be 620. Some mortgage lenders may approve you for a loan if your score is under 620, but prepare for astronomical interest rates and larger down payment requirements. An above-average credit score falls within the 680 to 740 range. Anything above 740 will secure you the best interest rates available.

If you have poor credit, don’t rush to buy a house just yet. You can improve your credit score over time by paying off debts (especially credit cards), lowering your credit utilization and diversifying your credit portfolio responsibly.

Paying off debt is especially important because lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is your monthly debt obligations (including your estimated future monthly mortgage payment) divided by your pre-tax monthly income. Lenders look for a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower.

Pro Tip

Making just one extra mortgage payment a year can have a big impact on how much interest you pay over the life of your mortgage, too.

2. Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment while also paying off debt is challenging, but if you want to be a homebuyer, you may need to do both.

The age-old wisdom is that you need to save 20% for a down payment. But with the average  home sale price at $358,000 as of 2022, that would make the average 20% down payment $71,600. And in 2022, most first-time homebuyers do not have that kind of cash lying around.

In accurate years, it has become more common to put as little as 10%, 5% or even 3.5% down. FHA loans, which are popular among first-time buyers  require only 3.5% down when your credit score is above 580.

Pro Tip

Some lenders even offer zero-down mortgages for properties in specific areas.

VA loans — reserved for members of the military, veterans and some surviving spouses — require no money down but typically require a funding fee, which varies based on the price of the home and whether the borrower has a down payment.

There are benefits to putting 20% down, however. When you put 20% down, you usually avoid having to carry private mortgage insurance, or PMI.

VA loans do not require PMI even if you put 0% down. A larger down payment can also make your offer more attractive in a competitive market.

3. Figure Out Your Price Range

How much house you can afford and how much you should actually spend on a house may be two vastly different numbers.

The golden rule: Never set your sights on a house that you could afford — but that will cause you to make other sacrifices you’re not jazzed about, like cutting vacations or ruling out education.

Similarly, if you or your significant other (if you’re buying with a partner) both work, but one of you is considering a career change that could result in less income or becoming a stay-at-home parent, you should not budget using your current combined income.

Be conservative. Your home shouldn’t cost more than three to five times your annual income, but if any part of you that suspects your income may decrease in the next 10 years, stay closer to three times your income than five.

Pro Tip

Housing expenses — including your mortgage payment, homeowners insurance and property taxes — generally should not exceed 30% of your monthly income.

An aerial photo of houses in a cookie cutter neighborhood.

4. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Before shopping for houses, you should shop for a lender. You can compare mortgage rates online and interview prospective lenders to find the best deal.

Ask friends, family and your real estate agent (if you already have one) for recommendations and try your own financial institution. But, ultimately, go with the mortgage lender that will offer you the best interest rate on your home loan.

Then ask that lender for a preapproval letter. This is different from being prequalified. Lenders can typically prequalify you with just a few data points that they don’t verify to deliver you a ballpark range of the loan amount and interest rate they might offer.

But a preapproval letter is an official document that says the lender is committed to giving you a home loan, assuming nothing changes in your finances. Getting preapproval takes more work, because the lender will send all of your financial documents (W-2s, pay stubs, tax returns, etc.) to an underwriter for verification.

A lender may preapprove you for a higher amount than you’ve budgeted for. Remember: Just because they are willing to deliver you that much does not mean you have to spend that much.

5. Hire a Real Estate Agent

The beauty of the homebuying process is that the seller will typically pay your real estate agent fees, so hiring an agent doesn’t cost you a thing, though some sellers may lower the price slightly if you purchase without an agent.

Ask family members and friends for recommendations on real estate agents, and always hire a buyer’s agent. These home buying tips include several recommendations for hiring a good real estate agent who will find you the best deal on your dream home.

6. Shop for Your Dream Home

This is the most exciting step. Now you can actually set foot inside of homes and envision your life inside them. Visit open houses and go on private tours with your real estate agent, but also research houses on your own on sites like Zillow and Trulia.

But don’t be distracted by fresh paint and that hot tub in the backyard. When you’re house hunting, have a sharp eye for what really matters. If possible, bring along friends or family who know what to look for in a new house.

Cosmetic things like ugly carpet and questionable wallpaper can be changed relatively cheaply. The structural components are what you should be most concerned with. Some questions to think about when you tour a home:

  • How’s the plumbing? If there’s a well or septic system, are they in good shape?

  • How old is the HVAC system? Does it have any issues?

  • Can you get hot water fast? What’s the water pressure like?

  • Do you notice any leaks or signs of water damage?

  • Does the basement show signs of flooding?

  • Is the foundation solid? Or are there issues that might require costly repairs?

  • How old are the appliances? Will they need to be replaced soon?

  • What about the exterior? When was the roof last done? Is the siding in good shape? Are the windows going to drive up your energy bill?

  • What’s the neighborhood like? Do you feel safe where this house is? Is there a lot of noisy traffic? Is it conveniently located near restaurants, shopping, hospitals and parks?

  • If you have or want children, are there good schools nearby?

7. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Once you have found a house that fits your needs and is within your budget, you and your real estate agent will submit an offer. Be prepared to negotiate the purchase price, especially if you envision needing to do some remodeling.

Your real estate agent likely has a number of tricks up her sleeve to make your offer more appealing — but then, so does everybody else’s agent.

The seller may make a counteroffer. You can counteroffer right back until you land on a contract that you both find pleasing.

You might have to put up “earnest” money as a show of good faith to the seller that you are serious about moving forward with the sale. You’ll get this money back if the sale falls through because of issues with the appraisal or home inspection. If you purchase the home, the money is applied to the price of the home.

At this point, the house will go into escrow while you secure financing, get the house appraised and coordinate a home inspection ahead of closing.

A wooden house has a magnifying glass next to it meant to represent a house inspection.

8. Get an Appraisal and Home Inspection

Your lender will typically coordinate the home appraisal to determine what the house is worth. If the house is valued at less than what you offered to buy it, the contract will likely need to be revised, because it is not a good investment for the lender.

It is your responsibility to coordinate the home inspection. Though not always legally required, a home inspection is something you should absolutely do. A home inspector will investigate the property, checking for structural issues, HVAC problems and issues with the roof and major appliances. The average home inspection costs between $300 and $400.

Pro Tip

You might need to hire specialized inspectors to test for pests, radon, mold and asbestos and to inspect pools, chimneys and sewers. These inspections can be more expensive.

9. Close on Your New Home

A few days before you officially close, you should do a final walk-through of the house to ensure everything is as you expected. Check that all agreed-upon repairs were made, and if the contract specified that certain appliances would be left behind, like the washer and dryer, verify that those are still present.

On closing day, drink lots of water and maybe do some hand and forearm stretches because there’s going to be a lot of paperwork to sign.

This will also be the day you write a massive check for the down payment and any closing costs that you’ve agreed to cover. It can be painful to watch that paper rectangle slip away from your fingers, but it’ll all be worth it when you are christening your new home with a glass — or whole bottle — of Champagne.

When closing, you need to bring your checkbook, any required identification (driver’s license or passport, for example) and maybe even a thank-you card for your real estate agent.

All told, the process of buying a house takes, on average, 40 to 45 days from application to closing. But considering that there are a lot of steps before making an offer, be prepared for months of hard work.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House

Following the above step-by-step guide will keep you on the right path when buying your first house, but it’s still possible to make mistakes. These common mistakes are easy to avoid.

1. Not Having a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents can get you into homes you might not otherwise find, help you negotiate and spot unfavorable terms in contracts. Plus they probably won’t cost you a dime as the buyer.

2. Forgetting the ‘Extras’ When You Calculate Your Housing Budget

When you’re making your budget, it can be easy to see the cost of a house online and assume you would pay the listing’s estimated monthly payment.

However, those estimates assume your credit report is immaculate and you are putting 20% down. If you’re calculating expenses on your own, don’t forget that you will pay more than just the cost of the house. Plus there’s homeowners insurance, PMI, property taxes and, of course, interest.

3. Skipping the Home Inspection

If you forgo an inspection and issues surface shortly after your purchase, you are out of luck. You’ll be paying out of pocket, and the seller is not liable.

4. Buying Outside Your Price Range

Even if you’re approved to borrow X amount, you should not buy a house for that amount if you don’t feel comfortable spending that much.

Remember: You are likely signing a 15- to 30-year commitment. Make it a number you’re comfortable with.

Timothy Moore is a freelance writer for The Penny Hoarder. Senior writer Robert Bruce contributed to this article.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 23:42:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.aol.com/buy-house-9-step-guide-114206770.html
Killexams : Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) to Host Webcast of 2022 Third-Quarter and September Year-to-Date Results

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 13, 2022--

Regulatory News:

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) will host a live audio webcast at www.pmi.com/2022Q3earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET, to discuss its 2022 third-quarter and September year-to-date financial results which will be issued at approximately 7:00 a.m. ET the same day.

The webcast will be hosted by Emmanuel Babeau, Chief Financial Officer, and will include discussion of PMI’s financial results and a question-and-answer period with the investment community and news media. The webcast will be in a listen-only mode.

The audio webcast may also be accessed on iOS or Android devices by downloading PMI’s free Investor Relations Mobile Application at www.pmi.com/irapp.

An archived copy of the webcast will be available until 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 18, 2022, at www.pmi.com/2022Q3earnings.

Slides and script will also be available at www.pmi.com/2022Q3earnings.

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is a leading international tobacco company working to deliver a smoke-free future and evolving its portfolio for the long term to include products outside of the tobacco and nicotine sector. The company’s current product portfolio primarily consists of cigarettes and smoke-free products, including heat-not-burn, vapor and oral nicotine products, which are sold in markets outside the U.S. Since 2008, PMI has invested more than USD 9 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. This includes the building of world-class scientific assessment capabilities, notably in the areas of pre-clinical systems toxicology, clinical and behavioral research, as well as post-market studies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the marketing of versions of PMI’s IQOS Platform 1 devices and consumables as a Modified Risk Tobacco Products (MRTPs), finding that an exposure modification orders for these products are appropriate to promote the public health. As of June 30, 2022, excluding Russia and Ukraine, PMI's smoke-free products are available for sale in 70 markets, and PMI estimates that approximately 13.2 million adults around the world had already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. With a strong foundation and significant expertise in life sciences, in February 2021 PMI announced its ambition to expand into wellness and healthcare areas and deliver innovative products and solutions that aim to address unmet consumer and patient needs. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221013005718/en/

CONTACT: Philip Morris International

Investor Relations:

New York: +1 (917) 663 2233

Lausanne: +41 (0)58 242 4666

Email:InvestorRelations@pmi.comMedia: David Fraser

Lausanne: +41 (0)58 242 4500

Email:David.Fraser@pmi.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA NEW YORK

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TOBACCO RETAIL SPECIALTY

SOURCE: Philip Morris International

Copyright Business Wire 2022.

PUB: 10/13/2022 10:57 AM/DISC: 10/13/2022 10:57 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221013005718/en

Copyright Business Wire 2022.

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