Annie Hart Cool - Sotheby's International Realty ģ



Posted by Annie Hart Cool on 6/5/2019

The homebuying journey should be fast and seamless, but problems may arise that prevent you from accomplishing your desired goals. For example, if a buyer with a poor credit score fails to get financing before submitting an offer to purchase a house, this individual may struggle to acquire his or her dream residence. Or, if a buyer fails to evaluate various housing market data, he or she may miss out on opportunities to purchase the right house at an affordable price.

There is no need to worry about homebuying crises. Lucky for you, we're here to guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can mitigate problems that otherwise may make it difficult for you to buy your dream house.

Avoid homebuying crises Ė here are three tips to help you minimize the risk of encountering problems during the homebuying journey.

1. Learn About the Local Housing Market

The housing market is complex, regardless of whether you are pursuing residences in small towns or big cities. Fortunately, plenty of housing market data is available to help you understand real estate patterns and trends. This information can help you map out your homebuying journey based on the current housing market's conditions.

Typically, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. This information highlights whether house sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial asking prices and may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one.

You also should examine the prices of available houses that match your homebuying criteria. That way, you can hone your home search and accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Believe it or not, it usually does not take long for a homebuyer to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, banks and credit unions can quickly teach you about different home financing options and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.

If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget. Then, when you discover your dream house, you can submit an offer to purchase with home financing in hand.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire, especially if you want to limit the risk of potential crises during the homebuying journey. With a real estate agent at your side, you can identify homebuying problems and resolve these issues before they escalate.

Generally, a real estate agent will support you at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and your homebuying goals. Then, a real estate agent will create a personalized homebuying strategy to help you accomplish the optimal results. And if you have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Prevent homebuying crises Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Annie Hart Cool on 5/15/2019

In real estate, cash is power. Itís not exactly the amount of money that you have been approved for by a lender. This type of ďcashĒ is what you can pull directly from your account to buy a property on demand. It can be difficult to compete with cash buyers especially in tight real estate markets. Below, youíll find some tips to help you match up against any cash offers that you may be competing with when you buy a home. 


Make Your Offer Look Attractive As Possible


First, you should always have a pre-approval letter from your lender. This lets sellers know that youíre a qualified buyer. You should also get your lender or realtor (or both) to provide some financial information about you along with your offer. This helps to add to the case that youíre a dependable buyer.


Let Things Move Quickly 



If you allow your lender to send an appraiser to the property as quickly as possible, this will give you an advantage in the home buying process. You want to reduce the amount of time that it will take to close on the house. That means you should consider cutting down on both the appraisal and contingency time. You could even consider waiving any contingencies if you feel comfortable. 


To speed up the process, even more, you should pre-order an appraisal in advance. You can do this before your offer has even been written. It can be difficult to arrange this, especially with larger scale lenders, but itís always worth a try. Once the offer is written, the lender can relay to the seller that an appraisal has already been scheduled.


Youíll also want to get the inspection done fairly quickly. You only have a short window of time to get the inspection done. The quicker you get this done, the more serious of a buyer you appear to be. You should have the inspector who youíll use ready before you even put an offer in on a home in order to expedite this part of the process. Usually, inspectors donít take terribly long to schedule appointments knowing that their clients have short windows to get inspections done.  


Make A Strong Offer


Making a good offer could mean paying extra for a home you love in order to compete with cash offers. Spending more money helps to win. Hereís why: Sellers almost always will give a cash buyer a bit more of a discount since theyíll be getting all of the funds up front. If you love the house and plan to live in it for years to come, the extra money you spend will be well worth it.         


Write An Offer Letter


An offer letter adds a bit of a personal touch to the number you put down as a buyer. Here, you can tell the seller who you are and why you love the home. It can be emotional to sell a property, but a seller will feel more comfortable knowing that the home is going to someone who will appreciate it.

  






Categories: Mortgage  


Posted by Annie Hart Cool on 5/8/2019

Buying a home as a single individual comes with its own set of unique experiences and challenges. Some are to be expected, like financing with a single income. While others not so much, like a more competitive market.

You know that financing will be based on your sole income. However, the vast majority of homeowners are couples who have dual incomes. Your eligibility is going to be very different than that of a couple and for some home buyers when they receive a lower number this comes as a shock. Expect to see numbers that are on the lower side of those who apply as couples.

Since you are on a sole income you may want to look into various loan types such as those that offer low-interest rates and lower down payments. Two to look at are first-time buyers programs and FHA loans.

When comparing options watch the lenders fee in comparison to the interest rate. Where you may have low-interest rate it might come with a higher lender fee. Do the math on these ratios to get a true value of each.

Before applying for mortgage approval, clean up your budget and handle any existing debts, especially expensive ones. Pay off card balances, refinance student loans, and swap out expensive monthly car payments for one that is more reasonable.

Draw up a budget and get really clear on just how much house you can afford month to month. Include the cost of house ownership and maintenance in your budget in addition to the cost of future monthly mortgage payments.

As a sole earner having savings is incredibly important as you donít have a second income to rely on. In addition to setting aside your down payment (as close to the recommended 20% as you can), build up a nest egg of three to six months worth income should anything misfortune arise.

Start the buying process well prepared with the right mindset. Smaller houses make up a lower percentage of the housing market and cheaper homes are competitive when it comes to the buying process. Be ready for a search that might go a little longer and a buying process that needs you to move a little faster than traditional ones.

Bring a trusted friend or family member with you to home viewings to have a sounding board for your decision process. Itís easier to get swept away emotionally when you donít have a partner to hash out the gritty details with. Find someone who can come to each viewing with you so that you can compare the different homes proís and conís together.

Buying a home as an individual is a unique process but it doesnít have to be a difficult or lonely one. Ask for feedback from your realtor, bring a trusted friend and know what to expect from the buying process as a sole income earner.





Posted by Annie Hart Cool on 3/27/2019

Your credit score is a fundamental component of a mortgage lenderís decision to approve you for a loan. It can also affect the interest rate and loan amount you can secure.

Along with your income history and down payment, a solid credit score is one of the three most important things youíll need when it comes to buying a home.

Credit scores themselves, however, can be a complicated business. And finding out what score you need to buy a home and how to achieve that score can also be a complex topic.

So, in this post weíre going to break down some credit score basics as they relate to buying a home.

Types of credit scores

You may have heard of the three main credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Each of these bureaus keeps a detailed credit history for everyone in America (except for those who have yet to open a line of credit or take out a loan).

Since each credit bureau may have slightly different information available data to draw from, your credit scores from each company may vary.

However, when it comes to buying a home, most lenders use a standard scoring model called a FICO score to ensure that all mortgage applicants are treated fairly when they seek a loan.

Things are further complicated by the fact that there are several different FICO scoring models designed for different types of credit. So, if youíve seen your FICO score when applying for an auto loan, it may be a different score than you will see when applying for a mortgage.

Build credit; raise your credit score

All of the types of credit scores and scoring models can be confusing. But what you mostly need to worry about is how to boost your score.

Your credit score will be based on five main factors:

  1. Making on-time payments

  2. The percentage of available credit (not maxing out your cards)

  3. Having diverse types of credit (auto loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.)

  4. Not opening new lines of credit frequently (a red flag that youíre struggling financially)

  5. The length of your credit history, or how long youíve been consistently paying your bills

What score do you need to buy a home?

There are several different mortgage types available for buyers. First-time homeowners, veterans, people seeking to buy a home in a rural area, and any other number of circumstances can help you qualify for mortgages even if you have a low credit score.

A general rule, however, is that itís always better to apply for a mortgage with a high credit score to help you secure the best possible interest rate. 

Some programs do have minimum credit scores that they will accept for a mortgage. FHA loans are one common example. The Federal Housing Authority guarantees loans for people across the country who are hoping to buy their first home (or who havenít owned a home in the last three years). Their guarantee is what enables lenders to safely approve mortgages for borrowers with low credit scores. The current requirement for an FHA loan is a credit score of 580 or higher for a mortgage with a 3.5% down payment. You can secure an FHA loan with a lower credit score, but youíll have to make a larger down payment.


There are several other options available for hopeful homeowners when it comes to mortgages. But, if you arenít planning on moving in the next few months and your credit score could use some work, now is the time to start focusing on building credit.





Posted by Annie Hart Cool on 3/6/2019

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.       

 





Categories: buying tips  




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