Category: Buying

4 Apr 2019

What’s a home appraisal?

home-appraisal
Buying a home is an exciting, scrapbook-worthy event, so of course it's going to come with a lot of emotions. But there's one step in the process where objectivity and rationality take center stage, and that's the home appraisal. It may seem harsh to let a stranger take a few laps around your home and boil your beloved abode down to a single number, but it's actually good to have this unbiased, emotion-free step in the process. Because the house itself is collateral in a mortgage, the bank or lender needs to make sure there's enough value in the house to recoup the investment if the buyer can't pay back the mortgage. Basically, the home appraisal is a way of protecting the bank from overinvesting in...
Continue reading
21 Mar 2019

Ten tips to maintain a good credit score

maintain a good credit score
Do you suffer from FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out? It's that nagging feeling that someone, somewhere, is having fun without you, and it can be crazy making. Whether your Fear of Missing Out is mild or severe, there's one area where FOMO is completely justified, and may even make your life better: credit scores. People with good credit scores get access to all kinds of perks, including: low interest rates on houses, cars, and credit accountsapproval for higher loan amounts with lower interest rateslow to no security deposits on phones and utilitiesmore apartment or home choicesreward credit cards that earn airline miles, cash back, or hotel pointsbetter auto insurance rates The common denominator on all these perks? More money. When your...
Continue reading
8 Mar 2019

Home buying: What is a Homeowners Association?

homeowners-association-HOA
If you’re looking to purchase a home, condo or townhome in a planned neighborhood built post 2000, there’s a good chance you’ll need to become a member of it’s homeowners association (HOA.) And if you’re new to the home buying process, the question “What is an HOA?” may be coming to mind right about now. What is a Homeowners Association? A HOA is an organization that determines the rules of the community it manages and ensures that community rules are followed by all residents. These types of rules may cover issues such as exterior paint color, whether you can have a satellite dish, the size and type of pets permitted, permissible types of fences and types of vehicles allowed to park...
Continue reading
21 Feb 2019

18 tips for first time home buyers

tips-for-first-time-home-buyers
An impulse buy is fun when it's a pack of gum in the checkout lane or a trinket from the clearance bin. But purchasing your first home, even in a hot market, is not the time to make an impulse buy. You want the confidence that comes with step-by-step preparation for this exciting journey. Follow these start-to-finish tips and you'll be a confident and prepared soon-to-be homeowner. Tips for saving for a down payment A realistic budget is indispensable when it comes to buying your first home. You'll need to budget for a down payment, monthly mortgage payments (including property taxes and homeowners insurance), and closing costs. You'll also want extra funds for moving costs and unforeseen repair expenses once you move in...
Continue reading
24 Jan 2019

How to find a real estate agent

how-to-find-a-real-estate-agent
You’ve made up your mind, you’re ready to buy or sell a home. But where do you start? First up on your checklist is finding a Realtor®. But not just anybody, you need to find the Realtor that’s right for you. After all, this person is going to be your biggest ally, your confidant and your self-appointed BFF throughout the home buying process. Choose wisely. Why do you need a real estate agent? Sure, you have the option to buy or sell a home without the assistance of a licensed Realtor, but this isn’t your parent’s housing market. Thanks to the vast amount of information available to you via the Internet, you can search for homes while simultaneously binge watching your favorite show...
Continue reading
6 Dec 2018

What is a good credit score to buy a house?

What-is-a-good-credit-score-to-buy-a-house
One of the keys to unlocking your dream home is understanding the state of your financial health, not wealth. If you will be using a lender to finance your home, you will need to know what is a good credit score to buy a house. While income, savings and downpayment are important, it’s your credit score that will qualify you for a loan and help determine the kind of interest rate you will pay. Before we dive too deep into what is a good credit score to qualify for a home loan, let’s start with the basics to help keep your head from spinning. What is a mortgage? This doesn’t have to be complicated. A mortgage is a loan issued by...
Continue reading
28 Nov 2018

How to buy a house in 2019

how-to-buy-a-house
If you’ve never purchased a home before, the thought of buying your first home can seem like a daunting process. In 2018, we saw low housing inventory levels coupled with buyers’ insatiable demand for affordable housing create a pretty strong seller’s market. Experts are predicting a more balanced market for 2019, citing rising new housing construction to help create a more favorable housing landscape. So how do you navigate the road to home ownership? Here’s everything you’ll need to know about how to buy a house in 2019: Review your credit score Unless you’re paying all cash for your new home, mortgage lenders will want to see a copy of your credit report. Why? Because your credit report is a pretty clear indicator of how responsible...
Continue reading
18 Oct 2018

8 signs you’re ready to buy a home

Owning a home is a big responsibility but also an exciting endeavor. So when you find that house, how do you know you're ready to buy that house? Here are eight signs to help you know if it's a dream or a reality. 1) You’ve got your financial act together. Clean credit report, check. Little or no debt, check. And, there are other ways your financial house should be in order before you can make your move. Do you make enough money or have income from other sources that make the house affordable? Do you have funds for the downpayment and closing fees? It all adds up. Can you cover it? 2) You’re ready to settle down for a while. Before you tour the house that’s...
Continue reading
3 Jul 2018

10 things you must do after closing

From decluttering to packing to labeling and organizing your belongings, there’s a lot that goes into packing up one home and moving to another. But what about all the items that need to be accomplished after you sign your name on the dotted line? Overwhelmed with odds and ends? Use our complete guide to make sure no task is left undone. 1. Turn on the lights Don’t get caught in the dark. Make sure to transfer power, water and gas (if applicable) to your new address. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get on the schedule for cable and internet service, too. 2. Plan for moving day If you have small children or pets, you’ll need to do some planning ahead of time...
Continue reading
5 Jun 2018

Benefits of shopping local when it comes to a mortgage lender

In today’s fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it real estate market, buyers need all the help they can get. Many prospective buyers exasperated from losing bidding war after bidding war are looking for something—anything—that will help their bid stand out. So if you’re about to pick up a pen to compose a heart-wrenching letter to the seller of your dream home, read this first. Would it surprise you to find out that shopping locally for a mortgage is actually one of the best things you can do when it comes to having your bid accepted? “A lot of people think that the highest bid is the one the seller automatically chooses— and ultimately there’s a lot more to it than that,” says Allen Tate Mortgage’s...
Continue reading