Our Real Estate Blog
Buying a home may prove to be challenging, regardless of where you decide to search for a house. However, if you are aggressive in your pursuit of your dream residence, you could speed up your home search.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you stay aggressive during your quest to find your dream house.
1. Keep Track of the Local Housing Market
You know you want to purchase a house in a particular city or town, but residences are selling quickly. Fortunately, if you monitor the local housing sector, you may be better equipped than other buyers to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.
Be persistent in your home search. Review the local housing market daily, and if a home becomes available that you want to check out, schedule a showing right away.
Of course, once you find your dream house, don't hesitate to submit an offer to purchase it. Because the longer you wait to submit a homebuying proposal, the more likely it becomes that a rival homebuyer could acquire this residence.
2. Attend Open Houses
An open house provides an excellent opportunity to walk through a residence at your convenience. Then, if you believe a home is right for you following an open house, you can schedule a showing or submit an offer to purchase.
If you attend an open house, take notes when you identify things you like or dislike about a residence. These notes may help you make an informed decision about how to proceed with a home after an open house.
Ask questions during an open house, too. Remember, a seller's agent is on hand during this event, and he or she can provide you with home insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Although you may believe you possess the skills and expertise to quickly discover your dream residence, it never hurts to get extra help. And if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you work diligently to acquire a house that suits you perfectly.
A real estate agent is committed to a buyer's success, and as such, will do whatever it takes to help a buyer accomplish the best-possible results. Therefore, if a buyer wants to purchase a house near a beach, a real estate agent can keep this individual up to date as new beachfront residences become available. On the other hand, if a buyer is operating on a tight budget, a real estate agent will help this individual find a wonderful house that falls within his or her price range.
As you get set to conduct an in-depth home search, it generally helps to prepare for the homebuying journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can take an aggressive approach to accelerate your home search and boost the likelihood of acquiring a house that you can enjoy for years to come.
When it comes to home buying a home, there’s a ton of different information available out there. A lot of what has been presented as “fact” actually is quite false. These misconceptions could keep you away from achieving the very real dream of home ownership. Below, you’ll find some of the most common myths that you’ll find about home buying.
If Your Credit Score Isn’t Up To Par, You Can’t Buy
To get good mortgage rates, having a good credit score doesn’t hurt. You can still buy a home if you don’t have amazing credit. A low credit score means that your mortgage rates will be higher than the average. There are loans like FHA loans, that allow for you to get a loan with a credit score as low as 580. Don’t let a lower credit score discourage you from buying a home. If your credit score is low, there are plenty of things that you can do to help you fix the score in a short period of time.
You Need 20 Percent Down To Buy A Home
This is a long-standing myth about home buying. While putting down 20 percent on a home purchase saves you the extra expense of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), you can still be in the running to buy a home if your down payment is less than 20 percent. There are even some home loan programs that allow buyers to put as little as 0-3 percent down for the purchase of their home.
You Have To Make A Lot Of Money To Buy A Home
Your monthly income is one of many aspects of your financial life that’s considered when you’re buying a home. Home loans can be denied to those who make a large income just as easily as to those who have lower incomes. What matters is the debt-to-income ratio, which tells lenders how much debt a buyer has compared to the amount of income the buyer makes each and every month. Keep your debt down, and you’ll be in good shape to buy a home.
You Don’t Need To Be Pre-Approved To Get A House
Being pre-approved gives you an upper hand in the home buying process. Being pre-approved allows your lender and you to go through the entire process of getting a mortgage. When you find a home that you love, you’re able to breeze through the process of making an offer if you’re pre-approved. The pre-approval process is one of the most important aspects of buying a home.
If you’re prepared with knowledge, buying a home isn’t such a daunting process after all. Find a realtor you trust, understand your finances, and the rest will fall into place!
Although property buyers fall in love with a home for different reasons, there are four factors that generally cause people to prefer one house over another.
For sellers, the cost of making their home more appealing to buyers can vary widely. It depends on how recently they've painted, updated, and made improvements to their property -- both inside and out.
When it comes to owning and maintaining a residential property, one thing's for sure: Deterioration is going to happen! It's also human nature to postpone taking care of needed updates, minor repairs, and issues like fading paint. Even though the condition of your home may feel comfortable to you, prospective buyers will see things through a different lens. If you think you're "too close to the trees to see the forest," your real estate agent can provide you with valuable tips and an objective point of view.
While there are a lot of qualities house hunters look for when they're sizing up a house, here are a few key factors that can make the difference between a quick sale and a home that lingers on the market for months or more.
- Brightness: Inadequate light -- both natural and artificial -- can have a negative impact on the impression your home makes on potential buyers. If you're fortunate enough to have newer windows that let in lots of natural light, then the look and feel of your home will be much more appealing. Heavy drapes can detract from that effect, as can overgrown bushes and trees. Lighting fixtures that are noticeably outdated or glaringly bright will also work against you. Since one of your objectives as a seller is to make your home as appealing and cheerful as possible, proper lighting is a feature that's well worth keeping in mind.
- Cleanliness: A factor that comes in "a close second" to brightness is cleanliness (Some might even put it in the number-one spot). Visible signs of dust, dirt, spills, or smudges can make an otherwise attractive home unappealing to prospective buyers. Undesirable odors can also turn off most, if not all people that come over to check out your house. A solution for some sellers is to have their house cleaner stop by more often to help them stay one step ahead of dirt, grime, and household messes.
- Freshness: There are a lot of ways to create a feeling of freshness in your home, including opening windows (weather permitting), adding a coat of neutral-colored paint to scuffed walls, and displaying fresh flowers in a couple rooms -- especially the kitchen. Baking soda can also help eliminate unpleasant odors in your refrigerator, sink, and garbage disposal.
With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If you’re in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.
Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.
Government options for loans.
Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if you’re looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.
There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!
Plan to Refinance
Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. You’ll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.
Throw It Everything You’ve Got
You’ll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.
For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.
If you don’t have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.
Aggressive debt payoff strategies aren’t for everyone. And that’s okay! However, if you’re looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing it’s been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.
Believe it or not, upgrading your residence's curb appeal won't necessarily force you to break your budget. Now, let's take a look at three cost-effective ways to improve your house's curb appeal.
1. Mow the Lawn
Tall grass and weeds are unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home sale. Fortunately, if you spend some time mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, you may be able to boost your house's curb appeal.
It generally won't take long to perform lawn maintenance tasks. Then, once you complete these tasks for the first time, you can set up a schedule to complete them every week or every other week until your residence sells. That way, your lawn will continue to look great in the eyes of potential buyers.
2. Clear the Walkways
Dirt, dust and debris may make your home's exterior walkways look messy. Perhaps worst of all, these problems may drive prospective buyers away from your house.
On the other hand, neat, tidy walkways could help your residence stand out to potential buyers. If you devote time and resources to sweep and clean your house's exterior walkways, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.
3. Remove Decorations
Although plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes and other home exterior decorations have helped you distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood, now may be a good time to put these decorations into storage. Because if you keep decorations on your lawn, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.
Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make your residence as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. By removing home exterior decorations, you can show off your residence's full potential. As such, you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it for the first time.
As you search for ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal without breaking your budget, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home selling recommendations and can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey. He or she first will help you craft a home selling strategy and promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, once you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you analyze this proposal. And if you accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your home sale.
Ready to list your residence? Upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you can move one step closer to achieving the best-possible results during the property selling journey.