Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 23, 2020

Credit and Finance Tips

While the lending institution works with the underwriter (who will eventually fund the loan) several "snapshots" will be taken of your finances and all credit accounts. This means that anything new you put on a credit card, such as furniture for your dream home will cause a blurred picture of the overall totality of your finances. All bank accounts, credit cards and general finances should sit still and remain dormant for a time, until escrow closes. Do not charge anything and/or co sign for anyone, as this will contribute to your personal debt ratio. Anything that you could end up being financial responsible for will be counted as a debt when your debt to income ratio is calculated. Your credit will be run a final time just before final funds are dispersed. Routine of bills and daily living expenses are the exception.

Jan. 9, 2020

Will You Need Cash Up Front

Yes. Two important processes that need to be initiated are a home inspection and an appraisal. For your protection it is strongly advised that you hire a professional home inspector to examine your potential purchase; which can be paid out of the escrow at the close of the transaction. A certified home inspector will produce a detailed written report for you. The home inspection should be done first so if unexpected issues arise, and you no longer want to purchase the home, you have not yet paid for the appraisal. The appraisal is required by the lender to insure the value of the purchase equals or exceeds the investment. If you are paying cash, you are not required o have an appraisal. 

Dec. 26, 2019

When You Find The Right Home

After finding the perfect home, you will sit with your agent and work up an offer. They will work with you to ensure it states your specific terms. Do you want to leave the refrigerator? The swing set? The pool equipment? You may ask for a blank copy of the standard RPA(Residential Purchase Agreement) to read ahead of time. At this point the seller may accept your offer or come back with a counter offer. If a counter offer comes back, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you want to accept it, or to counter back with your own modifications. Your offer will need to be accompanied by earnest money, a check made out to the title company which will only be cashed upon an accepted contract. This check will be given to the title company when your offer is accepted and will be credited to you in closing costs. When an agreement is reached on both sides and all documents are signed, you are both then under a legally binding contract and protected by it.

Dec. 12, 2019

Searching For Your Dream Home

First, your realtor will put your specific search requirements into the computer, then using the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) they will be able to print out a list of the homes that match your basic desired profile. Next, appointments will be made to look at potential homes. Grab a notebook, and take notes each time you visit a home that seems like a possibility.

General

  • Is the asking price comparable to other houses in the neighborhood?
  • Is the existing mortgage assumable? At what rate?
  • What will the required down payment be? The new property tax amount?

Outside

  • What is the age of the home and it's required maintenance?
  • What is the structural condition?
  • Are there any visible major repairs needed?
  • Does the yard meet your needs?

Inside

  • Is the floor plan comfortable for your daily life?
  • Is there enough storage and closet space?
  • Are bathrooms suitably located? Exits/Entrances?
  • Adequate insulation? Storm windows? Green features?
  • What appliances are included in the sale? How old is the water heater?

 

 

Nov. 21, 2019

Before You Start Your Home Search

How will you know the right home? Its not always as easy as you may think. Considering the following topics before you begin your search may help you be more decisive when the time comes to choose a home.

Geography

  • Will you be looking in urban, suburban, semi-rural or rural areas
  • How much personal space do you need? A nice yard, an acre or more?

Neighborhood

  • Are the homes well maintained
  • How far apart are the houses
  • Any neighborhood restrictions on pets, parking, lawns etc.
  • Are vehicles primarily parked in the driveway, garage or on the street
  • What churches are nearby
  • Are there emergency personnel stations close
  • How close is the nearest hospital

Schools

  • Are public, charter and private schools available
  • Is there a school bus route nearby

Work

  • How long will your daily commute be
  • Are there commute options available 

Recreation and Entertainment

  • Types of indoor and outdoor sports activities
  • How far is the nearest library
  • What is available for entertainment

 

 

Nov. 14, 2019

How To Choose a Lender

There are numerous loan programs and government backed loans offered by a variety of lending institutions. Your lender will be familiar with many of these options; however, you should do your homework. Research which ones have special offers to find the one best suited for you. Here is a list of common questions to ask, as you interview and consider your lending options.

  •  Do you have "in house" underwriting? 
  •  What is your expected turn around time for approval?
  •  What are the current rates for the programs you work with?
  •  Are both fixed and adjustable rates offered?
  •  What are the other fees a lender may charge me?
  •  Is there a maximum limit on a rate change?
  •  Do you currently have any special offers?
  •  How much cash will I need to begin?
  •  Are there "points"? (ask lender to explain what that is)
  •  Can the term of a loan be extended?

 

Oct. 20, 2019

10 Mistakes Buyers Make...and How NOT To Make Them

Buying a home especially as a first time home buyer can be overwhelming, let us help you navigate the most common mistakes that are made and how to avoid them.

  •  Choosing the wrong agent that is not committed to listening to you needs
  •  Not knowing how much you can afford
  •  Not having a pre approval letter
  •  Falling for the "Perfect Home" trap
  •  Underestimating the cost
  •  Assuming foreclosures are the best value
  •  Not matching your long term goals
  •  Choosing the wrong neighborhood
  •  Not getting the necessary home inspections
  •  Deciding you do not need a Home Protection Plan

 

Sept. 13, 2019

Prime Home Selling Season

Fall is fast approaching and although it isn't historically a popular time to sell. With the changing financial and real estate climate October, November and December can actually be great months to sell, because there is less competition. Now is the time to plan for it if you've ever considered putting your home on the market while interest rates are at and all time low thanks to Brexit. CLICK HERE to view our article Prime Home Selling Season

Aug. 23, 2019

One of The Biggest Investments You May Ever Make

Buying a home can be a daunting process. You want and need to know what kind of home you can look for and what will fit into your budget. You will need to consider what up front fees and expenses will most likely come your way. These will be costs that need to be covered out of pocket, in addition to any required down payment. Cost may include a home inspection, a terminate inspection, an appraisal, and fees for your loan processing (often built into the loan) just to name a few. Your lender will assist you in all financial aspects.

July 29, 2019

Pre Approved vs Pre Qualified

You are ready to buy a home, and now the next very important step is being per approved! This term is often used interchangeably with pre qualified, though they area two very separate terms. Becoming pre qualified is the step before being pre approved. Pre qualification is an estimate of how much you can afford in a mortgage payment based upon the information you provide the lender. Pre approval is a firmer commitment on behalf of the mortgage company after they have run a credit check, checked employment verification and researched your payment history on other loans. With a letter of pre approval from your lender, you will advance on to looking at properties and then entering in to the negotiating phase of purchasing. The letter becomes the item which assures the seller that your offer is viable. This is very important in a competitive market especially when the seller may be considering multiple offers.