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Things To Be Aware Of Before You Purchase A Home

It cannot be denied that mortgage interest rates are very low at present. Plus, although they are rising, home prices are still affordable. This does not, however, mean that any home is bargain waiting to be snapped up. The buyers currently hold all the cards. However, you must make sure that you make careful considerations before you buy. The potential issues you may uncover when researching a property could be serious. Sometimes, this means that you need to fix a problem, but at other times it means that you shouldn’t buy. Two things are of true vital importance, however.

First, inspect the neighborhood. Does it look like everybody is leaving? Ask people who live in the area whether it is a good place to live. Have a look at how the land is shaped. Foundations could be damaged by rain water if the yard slopes downwards to the property. If you notice any bad smells, there is generally something amiss. Next, check whether there are pests. Ask community members of this, as everybody always knows when someone else has pests.

You should now look at the property itself and how it was treated. Check the property for maintenance as well. If you find that the owners haven’t look after the outside properly, the inside is likely to be the same. Make sure to inspect the wiring. Although you probably won’t be able to identify all of the problems yourself, some red flags are easy to spot. If lights flicker or outlets are warm, there is a chance that the wiring is faulty. If you notice that only a few of the walls have been painted recently, it is possible that the owners are trying to hide something. Check the windows. If a window is condensed or moldy, or it opens with difficulty, that may be a sign of very expensive problems.Never even consider purchasing a property that you cannot see in full. If you notice that walls have been changed or other structural work has been completed, you must find out whether this was done by someone qualified to do that type of work.

In the end, it is only you who can decide whether or not you will buy a property. However, you should always exert due diligence. Do only purchase a property once you have had it inspected by a professional inspector. If an inspector does find significant issues, you can decide whether you want to leave the property behind, or whether you want to bargain and bring the price down substantially. However, always be careful that you do not get tied into a money pit.

Crucial Requirements To Find Selling a House

An Investigation Of The Strategies When Thinking Of Selling a House

A lot of people are actually investing in real estate because they feel that they can earn money through this. If you could buy a house for a certain price today, it’s going to be more expensive in the next couple of yours if the real estate market will be stable. Nevertheless, you’ll have to think about how challenging it’s to sell a property. You could see tons of articles saying that they can actually sell a house easily or there are ads that could tell you that they can sell it in a few weeks or months. You could opt to bring the price down, but this will not be the right thing to do.

Today in the real estate market, the supply completely surpasses the demand, but you could find different methods to sell your house successfully. We will offer you a few simple tips on how to do this.

Think About Curb Appeal

First impression lasts so your house should be appealing enough to seize the interest of a buyer the first time they see it. You should put yourself in the shoes of a customer and assess the curb appeal of your property.

Head out of your home and take a look at it to view its faults. You should make certain that it’s appealing enough to leave a good impression to potential customers and verify all the things that need maintenance.

The first thing that a possible customer would see is the exterior of your property and believe it or not, most of them pay attention on how their new home would look like in the outside. You must prepare and fix everything.

Make Proper Enhancements

You’ll need to make the correct improvements inside and outside of the house to draw in your possible buyers. They really want a total package where they won’t have to make repairs on certain parts of the house.

If you’re the seller, make certain that you check anything that needs to be fixed and make upgrades. Nevertheless, you can’t over improve the house since there are some enhancements that won’t make a huge difference in the value of your property.

Improvements can increase the value of your home and its odds to be sold, but you can’t make an improvement that would not pay in the end. You must do your research and invest in the things that may offer the best return.

Remove Personal Items and Displays

If you say clutter, these are actually the things that you must eliminate from the house when you are selling it. You’ll need to eliminate your personal items, collectibles and art works because it will not help you in selling the house. Eliminate The unneeded things in the house and leave the furniture to make the rooms bigger. The main goal of doing this is to help the customers visualize what they need to do in your house once they bought it. Once they are inside the house, they will start visualizing what they really want to add so eliminate the unnecessary and personal items in your house. It’ll be hard for them to do this if your personal items are still inside the house.

Put a Competitive Price

If you’ll sell a home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, you must put up a competitive price for your property. If you’ll put a low price, it’s going to be similar to leaving money on the table and if you priced the house too high, it’s going to be unappealing to customers. If you’re speaking about home buying, the buyers always look for houses that are very similar to yours and compare the costs. If your house is very costly, the buyer will check out other houses and ignore you. Most customers are relying on home financing so they cannot really afford houses that are very costly. Even though you may sell the house for a lower value if you’d like, you will not be able to get back your investments.

Choose A Real Estate Agent

If you believe that you can sell your house on your own, you’re making a mistake. If you are not a professional real estate agent, do not sell your house on your own, specifically if you don’t have the experience and knowledge to do this.

If you will choose to do this by yourself, it is feasible that you won’t be able to sell your property or you’ll get a bad deal for this. You may get lucky and find a good deal for your house, but selling a house is not about luck because we are speaking about a huge amount of money.

Employ an agent and permit them to deal with everything for you. You’ll have to pay them, but it’s much better than getting a poor deal for your property.

If you’re planning to sell your house, it is best to follow these simple ideas so you will not make any mistakes. It is true that these suggestions are very basic, but you can expect that you could sell your house quickly if you’ll follow all these.

Biggest Mortgage Mistakes

Neglecting to Review Credit Report Long before you begin searching for a mortgage, you should know where you stand in the credit score department. After all, a bad credit score can bump up your mortgage interest rate several percentage points or leave you with no  approval at all. Be sure you check your credit early on (several months in advance) in case any changes need to be made to get it back up to snuff.

2. Applying for New Credit Alongside the Mortgage: In this same vein, be sure to avoid applying for any other type of credit before and during the mortgage application process. Whenever you apply for new credit, you’re seen as a greater credit risk, at least initially. If you happen to apply for a credit card or auto loan around the same time you apply for a mortgage, your credit score might get dinged enough to kill your eligibility or bump up your interest rate.

3. Failing to Look at the Total Housing Payment: A mortgage payment consists of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI). A common mistake made by prospective home buyers is not factoring in their property taxes and insurance premium into their overall mortgage budget. The debt-to-income ratio is used to determine if a borrower will qualify for a certain mortgage payment, is calculated by dividing the proposed cost of PITI by gross monthly income. A $1,200 homeowner’s insurance policy would add $100 per month to an escrowed mortgage payment.

4. Not Seasoning Your Assets: The bank or lender will want to see that you can actually pay your mortgage each month. But without seasoned assets, those that have been in your own account for at least a couple months, you could be out of luck entirely. Some borrowers seem to think they can transfer funds from a relative’s account days before applying, but this simply won’t fly once the underwriter uncovers the paper trail.

5. Job Hopping: Another key to mortgage approval is steady employment and income. An underwriter will want to know that the income you bring in every month is consistent and expected to continue into the foreseeable future. So don’t jump from job to job too much before applying for a mortgage. If it’s in the same field, it shouldn’t be a deal killer, but a career change will lead to problems. If you’re thinking about jumping ship, wait until you’ve closed your mortgage first.

6. Not Getting Pre-Approved: Good preparation is the key to a good mortgage. Before shopping for a home, make sure you can actually qualify for financing by getting a pre-approval. A mortgage-preapproval is more robust than a simple pre-qualification because the bank pulls your credit and looks at your income, assets, and employment. Your DTI ratio will also come into play to ensure you know exactly how much you can afford. With this pre-approval, you will also get a written commitment from the lender that will show home sellers you’re serious about the purchase.

7. Not Shopping Around: But just because you’re pre-approved with one bank doesn’t mean you need to obtain financing from them. Be sure to shop around with multiple banks and lenders and even consider a mortgage broker. A broker can shop your rate with a number of banks concurrently and find you the lowest rate with the best terms. Don’t be one of the many consumers who obtains a single mortgage rate prior to applying. Comparison shop as you would for anything else you buy. And don’t forget to factor in closing costs!

8. Chasing Exotic Loan Programs: Shop around for the lowest rate and closing costs, but not at the expense of your mortgage. Anything that sounds too good to be true most likely is. If the payment seems too low, you might be paying interest-only or even negatively amortizing, meaning your mortgage balance is growing each month. It’s best to keep it simple and go with a loan program you can get your head around, like a fixed rate mortgage

9. Forgetting to Lock Your Rate: Keep in mind that a mortgage rate means very little if it’s not locked-in. If you’re happy with your rate, lock it. Mortgage rates change daily and sometimes several times daily. All those mortgage quotes you obtain are just quotes until you actually tell the bank, lender, or broker to “lock it in.” Once locked, your rate is guaranteed for a certain period of time, be it 7 days, 15 days, or a month. But never assume your rate is locked until you get it in writing!

10. Not Reading Your Loan Documents: Finally, it’s your responsibility to read and accept the terms of your new mortgage. Sure, it might be a pain to go through all the loan documents at signing, but it’s a bigger pain to sign up for something you don’t want or agree with. Take the time at closing to ensure you understand everything you’re signing, and thereby agreeing to. And don’t be afraid to ask questions! Otherwise, you could wind up with a mortgage with predatory terms and no place to turn.

Check out this video on Your First Mortgage and Your Credit Score to learn more about how your credit score affects your first mortgage. Also be sure to read this article, How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage for even more useful information.

Why You Should Pay off Your Mortgage Early

Taxes. For many, the ability to deduct mortgage interest is a key component to their tax strategy. Consider whether you will still be able to itemize deductions without mortgage interest.

Other needs. Aside from the ability to invest excess cash, are there any other more pressing goals on the horizon? Look at your whole financial situation including student loans, credit card debt and whether you have adequate emergency reserves.

Investing. Realistically consider whether you’ll invest the cash that would have been directed towards paying down your mortgage or spend it. Consider direct deposits into your brokerage account or increasing your monthly 401(k) contribution in an effort to “set it and forget it.”

Opportunity cost. By paying off your mortgage early, you’ll save on the additional interest expense that would have been incurred in your regular payments. This savings can be significant, and will increase with the prepayment amount. However, by directing excess cash towards paying down a mortgage, those funds are no longer available for investment. The lower your interest rate, the less you stand to benefit through early retirement of debt.

Life stage. The decision to pay down a mortgage will vary depending on your life stage, risk tolerance and time horizon. If you’re nearing retirement you may have a more conservative asset allocation, and investing the excess cash in the market may mean taking on unnecessary risk. Being debt-free may also become more important later in life.

Time horizon. If you are planning to stay in your home for the long term, it makes more sense to consider overpaying your mortgage than if you don’t anticipate ever paying off the note.

The Bottom Line: As you weigh the options, set realistic expectations and ensure the proper plan is in place to achieve your objectives. Discuss the decision with your financial adviser and tax professional before committing to a strategy. As with all financial goals, it pays to be flexible. If you’re still unsure which direction is best or whether you have adequate reserves, think about opening a dedicated savings account for your excess cash flows and revisit the decision in three to six months. By separating the funds, you will be less likely to spend it on daily expenses while you consider the options.

Check out this great article on how to Save Money By Paying Mortgage Off Early, and be sure to watch this helpful video that can help you answer, Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?

Mistakes Sellers Make When Selecting a Realtor


The problem with the seller/realtor relationship is that they spend a lot of time together; sometimes it start to turn into more of a friendship than a business transaction, but thats what it is: a business transaction. If the relationship moves into anything beyond that, judgment gets clouded and impulsive and emotional decisions rise. Choose a business partner, not a new best friend.

Top 10 Mistakes Sellers Make When Choosing a Realtor

Choosing a friend or family member

Just because they are your friend, doesn’t mean they have the right credentials, knowledge, or experience to sell your home. Don’t use them out of fear that you will hurt their feelings if you don’t. Know that a real friend will understand that the decision to go with someone else isn’t personal, its just business. Aside from the fact, that you don’t want to risk a friendship over problems that are almost sure to arise during the process of selling a house.

Choosing an agent just because they agree with your list price
There are some agents that will tell you they agree with your price just because they want your business, and know that this is the best way to get you hooked.

If your house is priced properly, lots of agents will show it to their buyers. If you price it too high, no one will show the house and it will sit on the market for some time. When you finally do reduce it to its accurate price, it will look less desirable as it has been on the market for quite some time which makes it appear that no one wants it and you, in turn, look desperate. Aside from the fact that pricing your home too high only begins to make the other houses on the block more attractive.

Not getting references
You should be getting references on recent sales, not a client that sold their home with that realtor five years ago. Perhaps at that time the realtor was at the top of their game and working constantly, but recently they have been in the hospital and have just come back to work after three years.

Going with an agent just because of a low commission fee
It should be obvious that in life, you get what you pay for. Usually, a realtor who charges an outstandingly low commission will only put a sign in your front yard and maybe list it on the MLS. Agents put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. There is no incentive for them to work hard to sell it if they know that they are going to earn little to nothing even when it does sell.

All realtors know what they’re talking about
This is far from the truth. While they do go through a lot of training and a difficult exam to become a realtor, it doesn’t take long to do so. Just because someone has a real estate license doesn’t mean they’re great at their job. Same goes with any profession. Just because a dentist has a degree doesn’t mean he’s a good dentist, it just means they were able to pass a test. Do your homework, and check credentials and references. If you don’t, you’ll only have yourself to blame.

The agent listed the most homes in the past year
While thats great that the agent had 24 clients that were willing to list their home with them, but only 10 sold. It’s better to find a realtor that only listed 5 houses that year, but sold all 5 in a timely manner and for a great price.

The bottom line is that the best real estate agent is one that will do the most effective job of marketing the property, communicating, negotiating the best terms and conditions within reason, and be relatively easy to work with.

When to Fire Your Realtor

How to Lose Thousands by Choosing the Wrong Realtor

Is Your Agent a “Post and Pray” Realtor?