Posted by Marie Presti on 11/15/2020

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The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complex, particularly for an individual who fails to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to get ready to pursue your dream house, such as:

1. Make a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget will give you a good idea about how much money you have at your disposal to find your ideal residence. Thus, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can hone your house search to residences that fall within your price range.

As you craft a homebuying budget, you should consider both your house mortgage and closing costs. That way, you can prepare for myriad costs that you may encounter as you try to acquire your dream house.

You also may want to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can help you budget for a home purchase. Perhaps best of all, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You know you want to purchase a house, but it usually is beneficial to understand what you want to find in your dream residence. If you put together a list of home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Consider your short- and long-term aspirations prior to launching a home search. For instance, if you need a home that is close to your office in the city, you may want to check out residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you aspire to own a residence that includes a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, you should explore homes that offer this feature.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire, especially for an individual who wants to seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your dream residence.

Typically, a real estate agent learns about a buyer's goals and crafts a personalized homebuying strategy based on his or her aspirations. If you want to purchase a budget-friendly house as quickly as possible, for instance, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your goal. Conversely, if you are operating on a tight homebuying budget, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you find a first-rate house that won't put you in the red.

Let's not forget about the homebuying expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands all aspects of the homebuying journey and will share his or her industry insights with you. Therefore, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to them at your request.

Those who understand what to expect during the homebuying journey can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at an affordable price. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you could reap the benefits of a successful home search.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 11/8/2020

If youíre a first-time buyer, odds are youíve never seen or heard much about mortgage applications. However, for something as important as buying a home, it pays off to go into the process knowing what to expect.

Mortgage applications arenít all that complicated in and of themselves. Most of the time, your chosen lender will walk you through the process and answer any questions that arise. However, complications do arise when it comes time to provide documentation on things like your income.

To make things easier for your first application, Iíve put together this list of frequently asked questions that first-time buyers often have about their mortgage application process.

Will applying for a mortgage hurt my credit score?

Mortgage lenders will run a credit inquiry to help determine your lending eligibility. There are two types of credit inquiries: hard and soft. A soft inquiry is a quick credit check that doesnít affect your credit score. A hard inquiry, on the other hand, does. This means your score will be lowered slightly for a few months and then will bounce back.

Mortgage lenders run both types of inquiries. For quick, pre-qualifications, lenders typically run a soft inquiry. Then, as you progress through the approval process, theyíre run a detailed credit report (hard inquiry).

What information should I have available?

Lenders will ask you for various documents. The most common things they will ask for include proof of income in the form of  W-2 forms from the previous year and your most recent pay stub. They will also require a record of your other debts, including student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and any other outstanding debt that you owe. Finally, they will ask for an inventory of your assets. This could include investments, properties, auto titles, and more.

What if I donít work a conventional job?

People who are self-employed or have unconventional income can still qualify for a loan and will still be required to show proof of income. Lenders may ask for Form 1099 records, tax returns, or any other record or proof of income you have available.

How long does it take to complete an application?

Mortgage applications can be completed as quickly as you gather the required documentation. However, thereís more to getting approved for a mortgage than filling out an application. There will be time needed to process the application, and underwrite your mortgage. This entire process typically takes between 30 and 45 days.

Is it safe to apply for a mortgage online?

Most lenders allow you to start the application process online and their online portals are typically secure. Make sure you check your browser window to ensure that the connection to the site is secured, and you should have nothing to worry about.

Keep in mind that most online applications are designed to get you  prequalified and on your way to getting a mortgage. So, if you want to avoid getting calls from the lender, you might not want to enter any data until you know youíre interested in borrowing at this time.





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Posted by Marie Presti on 10/25/2020

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

There are many parts and pieces that go into relocation. Finding the perfect home is, of course, an important step in the process. But once you have found a residence in your new city or town, it is crucial to consider other home-ownership factors that will affect your monthly and annual expenses. As part of your relocation preparation, research what other fees and bills you may need to pay outside of your mortgage. 

If youíre moving to a new state, review the escrow process and any new, or different, closing costs that may increase the amount youíll owe. Understand what annual property taxes will be assessed and fees you will be responsible for. Homeowners Associations may also function differently in your new city or state. Closely review all paperwork and research what costs are normal for the area. Know what your requirements are as a homeowner, so you donít agree to anything outside the norm or incur fees from not aligning to your contract.

Utility costs vary from city to city and state to state, but even within the same city, prices can be different from neighborhood to neighborhood. While youíre house hunting, include a visit to the electricity, water, gas and trash company websites that service the homes youíre considering. For electricity and water, learn what the costs are per unit, time of day and any special programs available for conservation. See what bins your new trash company offers and how much they charge per month. There might be different sizes available to you at different pricing, along with compost or yard waste bins and lower to even free rates for recycling. Your new city may also have monthly fees for general upkeep of parks, greenbelts and other public services.

When you consider the monthly mortgage payment you can afford, itís smart to take these other costs into account. You might be able to make a mortgage payment, but a high electricity or water bill might put your monthly outgo outside your budget. Itís easy to forget about these little (or big) costs. Make your move easy and successful by planning for monthly and annual costs outside of your mortgage.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 9/27/2020

If you intend to buy a house, it generally is a good idea to establish realistic property buying expectations. That way, you can plan ahead for the homebuying journey and avoid potential problems that otherwise may prevent you from achieving your desired results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you manage your expectations as you pursue your dream residence.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

With homebuying criteria, you can determine exactly what you want from your dream residence. Then, you can narrow your house search and speed up your quest to discover your ideal home.

Think about where you want to live. For instance, if you prefer the hustle and bustle of the big city over life in a small town, you may want to hone your house search to properties in the city of your choice. Or, if you have always dreamed about owning a home near the beach, now may be the ideal time to transform your dream into a reality.

Don't forget to consider the features you want from your dream home too. Make a list of home must-haves and wants, and you can streamline your home search.

2. Set Homebuying Goals

Establishing homebuying goals can help you build a roadmap for your home search. This roadmap then will enable you to identify potential homebuying hurdles and resolve such issues before they escalate.

Homebuying goals can guide you along the homebuying journey. You can create as many or as few goals as you'd like, and by doing so, simplify your search for your ideal residence.

In addition, it is important to be flexible with your homebuying goals. And remember, if you fail to accomplish a homebuying goal by a specific date, you can always adjust your homebuying roadmap as needed.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about what to expect during the homebuying journey, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you establish realistic property buying expectations from day one.

A real estate agent first learns about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will put together a personalized homebuying strategy for you and ensure you can complete a successful property buying journey.

As you search for your dream home, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that meet your homebuying criteria. He or she also will help you submit an offer to purchase on any house you want to acquire. And once an offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final steps of the property buying journey.

Ready to begin your search for your dream residence? If you understand how to manage your homebuying expectations, you should have no trouble achieving the best-possible results at each stage of the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 9/13/2020

Buying a home is one of those things in life that requires you to take a certain order of steps to complete the process. First, youíll need to save up some money for a down payment and all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Next, youíll take a look at what you can afford and perhaps get pre-qualified. Then, youíll hire a realtor and begin searching for properties. Finally, youíll make an offer, sign for the mortgage and close on the home. After that, youíll probably buy some furniture and paint the walls to make yourself feel at home. 


Would you ever dream of making that big home purchase without actually seeing the property first? One of the most time-consuming parts of the home buying process is that of viewing homes and visiting property after property. 


There are actually many reasons that a buyer might buy a property without seeing it first. With the Internet, itís fairly easy to get an idea of what a house might be like. Too, if youíre an investor, itís sometimes worth the gamble to scoop up a property at the right price in order to score a great deal. 


Itís also usually not detrimental to buyers who are trying to get a home in a high competition market to go after places they really love immediately. The early bird does get the worm, right?


Foreclosed Properties 


Properties in distress may be in poor condition, but for the right buyer can be a great deal. Banks want to get rid of these places as soon as possible due to the expenses incurred by keeping them. 


Pre-Construction Properties


Not all properties that are bought sight unseen are fixer uppers. Some properties can be bought in the pre-construction phase. These homes havenít been built but are already on the market available for purchase. Many times, buying properties this way can be cheaper than buying the new construction home after itís built. 


The Risks


There are obviously many risks to buying a home sight unseen. First, pictures can be deceiving. You never really know what youíre walking into until you see it. Photographs can easily hide major damage. Until a home is physically inspected, you may not know what the costs will be to repair it. 


The same risks apply to new construction homes. The layout of the home may not be what youíre looking for, or the home may not include the features that you want.


When you do decide to buy a home sight unseen you need to weigh the risk versus the reward in the transaction. It can be a valuable decision, in the long run, to take a chance on buying a home that you havenít been able to physically inspect.       

 





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