Buying a Home

Top Real Estate Myths

Top Real Estate Myths

Buyers eager to sell, and sellers who want the best deal, often perpetuate myths that can harm real estate transactions. Some contain a small amount of truth, while others are completely false. Buyers might believe they are entitled to have every currently popular feature tin the home they choose to buy. Sellers might have heard they’ll get back every dollar they invested in remodeling. The right realtor can advise both buyers and sellers on the best way to sell and purchase based on real data and time-honed knowledge of local markets. Here’s what you need to know about these common real estate myths:

1. Sellers Must Change Their Paint To Neutral Before Putting Their Home on the Market.

Generally, this statement is false. Bold colors aren’t always a bad thing, especially if they play up a unique architectural feature. Even if this doesn’t apply, don’t race to cover your handiwork just yet. Offset bold colors...

Look for a Realtor That Does These 6 Things

Look for a Realtor That Does These 6 Things

Some realtors say they prioritize customer service, but end up being too busy to return phone calls, or out of reach when buyers want to view a property. How do you know which realtors are truly committed to your best interests, and which are talking a big game? Look for the following characteristics in your real estate agent:

1. They Anticipate Your Needs.

A good agent will do more than just respond to your requests – they’ll anticipate them. When your agent meets one of your expectations before you voice it, you know they truly care about your goals – and helping you achieve them.

2. They Respond Quickly

Real estate can be a fast-moving business. As such, speedy communication is key. When you place a call to a realtor about an offer or even a showing, you have the reasonable expectation of a speedy response. If you miss out on a home opportunity because you couldn’t get your realtor...

Home Buyer Turnoffs

Home Buyer Turnoffs

There are factors that can kill a home sale. When buyers look at photos of your home online, if they are poor quality or show a cluttered, dark environment, they’ll click on to the next one. If your home lacks curb appeal, buyers will drive right by without stopping. Some features can’t be changed, and homeowners should be aware of their impact on home value. Smart sellers stage their home for maximum impact so it appeals to a wide variety of buyers.

This article will detail the biggest turnoffs in a home and ways sellers can avoid them on the way to a successful sale.

1. Cleanliness

Nothing turns a buyer off faster than an unclean home. Dirt, odors, and stains derail any showing. Many realtors won’t even show a home if it’s not in the best possible condition. Clean everything multiple times. Make sure your house smells new and is free...

How to Avoid Getting Turned Down for a Mortgage Loan

How to Avoid Getting Turned Down for a Mortgage Loan

Home ownership is a dream for many families, but the dream can be derailed if you haven’t planned for obtaining financing you’ll need. When we’re younger, we don’t always think about how our choices will affect our financial possibilities a few years down the road. Some people would love to buy a home for their families, but they don’t think they can qualify for a mortgage, and the idea of getting turned down creates a lot of anxiety. However, there are options, and many people rise above credit issues, lack of liquid income, and other obstacles.

Follow these steps to help ensure you can obtain the funding you need to buy your dream home.

Know Your Credit Score

This step may seem insignificant, but knowing where you stand going in will help you manage expectations. A history of missed payments or frequent late payments, can reduce your credit score and stop an application in its tracks....

How to Come Up with a Down Payment and Still Pay Your Bills

How to Come Up with a Down Payment and Still Pay Your Bills

Saving enough money for that 20% down payment on a home can seem impossible when faced with paying off college, establishing a new career, and starting a family. However, local assistance programs do exist that can help you reach your goal of homeownership. Some employers offer aid. Often a budget makeover can go a long way toward amassing the necessary funds.

Consider these options for raising the money to buy a new home.

Take Advantage of  Where You Live.

The nationwide programs that allowed for zero down payment loans are gone, along with the federal home buyer tax credit and the use of tax credit funds toward a down payment and closing costs. What once was driven by the federal government has moved down to the local level. Options abound for people with varying levels of income, particularly those with limited...

5 Benefits of Buying Instead of Renting

5 Benefits of Buying Instead of Renting

Should you buy a home or continue to rent? Interest rates are increasing and homes are selling for record numbers. Buying a home is expensive. At the same time, rent just keeps skyrocketing, and many people are paying more to rent than they would to own their own home. Is renting just throwing away money you could be putting toward an asset? If you’re thinking about buying a home, here are some of the benefits.

Boost Energy Efficiency

If you’re living in an aging home or apartment complex, the money you’re paying to heat and cool it may be literally going right out the window. If you pay your utility bills, your landlord doesn’t care what it costs you to keep things comfortable inside. They’re not likely to replace windows or install more energy-efficient insulation.

If you buy your home, you can look for one that already has energy-efficient upgrades. Higher SEER air conditioning units save a bundle over...

How to Find a Fixer-Upper That Actually Saves You Money

How to Find a Fixer-Upper That Actually Saves You Money

Sometimes if a home needs work, handy buyers can pick it up at a reduced price. The trick is knowing when doing the work will save you money and when it will cost more to fix problems than to buy one that’s already in good shape. Just because a house has good bones doesn’t mean you should snatch it up. Follow these steps to calculate if that fixer-upper is right for you.

Realistically Evaluate What You Can Do

It looks so easy on HGTV. Contractors knock out walls, replace whole kitchens and landscape acres in 30 minutes of show time. YouTube videos show you how to do anything you might think of trying and Pinterest shows DIY in steps that look foolproof.

There’s a lot you don’t see. Very rarely does a project go exactly as planned. Often there’s no way to know what you’re getting into until you’re already committed. Only plan on repairs with which you have previous experience. Think...

Free Checklist for New Home Buyers

Free Checklist for New Home Buyers

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you most likely have a lot of questions. How do you figure out which homes are in your price range? What will you need to get approved for a home loan? When you start looking at houses, how do you know which one is the right fit? Use the following information as a checklist as you prepare for home ownership.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit is one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing a home. As soon as you start thinking of buying, get a copy of your credit report from the three major credit unions. Your credit report can contain errors that reduce your score and result in higher loan rates. Work to correct any errors and try to remove negative items that aren’t errors.

Decide How Much You Can Afford

Many mortgage companies have free calculators to figure out what home price range you should be shopping in. Lenders weigh your debt against your income...

Home Finance Basics

Home Finance Basics

Your dream is about to come true. You’ve been saving your down payment. You carefully guarded your credit score. You’ve spent months looking at home listings online. Now you’re ready to actively search for and buy a home. You know one of the first steps is to get pre-qualified for a home. 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer there’s a mind-boggling amount of information you have to process before taking that big step. Here’s some of the information you’ll need to finance the home you’ve been dreaming of.

Terms You Need to Know

  • Principal – This is the amount you borrow to buy the home. It includes the purchase price and anything else you finance.
  • Interest – The percentage the bank charges you to borrow.
  • Term – This is how long you take to pay the money back. On a home loan that’s usually between 15 and 30 years.
  • Amortization – Your payments and...

How to Negotiate Like a Pro

How to Negotiate Like a Pro

Right now, desirable properties are moving quickly. Frequently you hear stories of a house that lists and immediately has multiple cash offers for more than the asking price. Does this mean that homeowners can’t negotiate the price of the home they’re considering? If you fall in love with a home, do you have to move fast or risk losing it?

How do you find the line between paying too much and alienating the seller with a low offer? In many situations, the buyer can negotiate a significant sum off the asking price or request seller concessions that reduce the buyer’s closing costs. Here are some of the areas you can negotiate to find the best deal.

Negotiate the Price

The seller wants the most they can get, you want to save as much as you can. Usually the result sits somewhere in the middle. Sellers appreciate when buyers are up front with their offers.

Negotiate doesn’t mean haggle. There’s time between when the initial contract...