Category Archives: Buying Your First Home

7 Ways To Prepare For Buying A Home

If you’re looking into buying a home soon we recommend that you prepare a few things before you make the big purchase. Buying a home is a huge decision and the process can be quite complex especially for first-time homeowners.  It’s best if you can be as prepared as possible with these few things first:

  1. Saving for a Down Payment and Closing Costs

Buying a home isn’t cheap and will take a huge chunk of savings for the down payment. Although many would love to own their own home, not many do because they can’t afford such a large down payment. Ideally, you should have been saving for your home for a couple of years. The good news is that there are a number of different loan options you might qualify for without even having to come up with the usual 20% it takes for a conventional loan. It is important to look at your budget and speak to a professional mortgage broker and real estate agent before starting to look for a home.

 

  1. Obtain Your Credit Report

In order to get the best loan out there it helps to have a pretty high credit score. This will get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. You should have between a 670 FICO and a 730 FICO, which is ideal for getting the best interest rates.

 

  1. Hire a Realtor

The key to finding your home is having a good real estate agent which should be a priority for you when you are first embarking on the journey to owning your first home. Ask family and friends for recommendations or look for local agents in the area you would like to buy a home in.

 

  1. Consult with a Mortgage Broker

Usually, your real estate agent will recommend you a mortgage broker that they work in conjunction with. But if not, you’ll have to find one that will help you with your loan to buy the home. They’ll get you prequalified for a home and then help you through the entire process.

 

  1. Research Local Neighborhoods

Doing a bit of research will help you find your dream home which is why you need to narrow down the different neighborhoods you are interested in and see the price range that the houses are going for.

 

  1. Wants vs Needs

Going out and seeing the actual homes is the fun part but before you go out and do that you’ll need to decide on a list of things you’d like your perfect house to have. This way you’ll be able to search homes that have everything on your list instead of wasting your time looking at every home on the market.

 

  1. Strategize

Sit down with your realtor and figure out a home buying strategy so that the entire process runs seamlessly. Are you looking for a fixer upper or maybe you’ll want to write contingent offers? Your real estate agent can help you figure this all out so that there will not be any surprises.

 

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

5 Ways A Realtor Makes Buying A New Home Easier

A DYI house hunting project may seem like a good idea at first. You have a few ideas of what your dream home should be, so you decide to enlist a friend who knows your personality, your style, likes and dislikes, etc. You have a camera and measuring tape in hand, comfortable shoes on, but it dawns on you that you don’t really know where to start.

Buying a new home can get very emotional and challenging to say the least. It helps to have a realtor working on your behalf to simplify the process and to answer some tough questions that often surface. Consider the following ways a realtor can make buying a new home easier for you:

Neighborhood Knowledge

No one knows a local area better than a realtor, whom among other things, has reliable pricing information, they know why a neighborhood has a high distressed rate including neighborhoods that can suit your price range. Only a realtor can narrow the focus to the top two or three homes for you to consider within minutes.

Code of Ethics

If your realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), he or she will make a full disclosure of any problems with a property and be truthful when advertising it. They know that giving you false or misleading information when you are trying to buy a new home may lead to a hefty fine and a year’s suspension or a three-year expulsion from the association.

Finding Available Homes

Some homeowners want to sell their property privately due to financial difficulty, health issues, or from a divorce matter that needs privacy. Such homes are rarely advertised on websites, and sometimes they sold for a lot less. Working with a great realtor can give you access to homes you might otherwise miss on websites.

Pricing Expertise

Realtors have the experience to know whether a specific home is overpriced or underpriced. They can provide you every relevant information on all the houses on sales that you want to see and will advise you on how well a neighborhood holds its value through their years of carrying out various transactions in different neighborhoods.

Assessing Repairs and Handling Paperwork

Once you have your eyes set on a home, a realtor can recognize a few things that you may not see that need upgrading or repair and they can recommend a reliable home inspector who will provide a detailed report on problems with the house before you make an offer. They are also able to help you determine which of the repairs are worth spending money on and which you can comfortably live with.

A realtor will save you a lot of time and headache of finalizing all the necessary documentation. Thanks to their years of experience, they know the paperwork inside and out, and they remain levelheaded in tough negotiations.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

Nine Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be as exciting as it is demanding. Home ownership is a huge part of the long-term goals of many individuals especially as it provides much needed space for growing families. However, it is important to give this plan some thought as there is no time given to “think about it” after the purchase and there is no refund policy for you too. Hence, you must ask yourself the right questions, so you do not end up making costly mistakes. Here are nine practical and important questions you must ask yourself before you buy a home.

Why am I buying a Home?

This is arguably the most crucial question you must ask yourself as it is vital before you begin considering your options. Do you wish to buy and rent it? Are you going to live in it? Finding answers to these questions will help you determine the size of house that you would purchase and the loan structure that best suits the purchase.

What are your Long-term Career Plans?

Although you may have factored in the financial implications of a home purchase and consider yourself ready to buy a home, your career path may be an obstacle. If there is a chance you could be transferred from your current office location in the next few years, it may be ideal to reconsider your options.

What Kind of Neighborhood do you desire?

While your current situation – nature of job and age could play a big factor in deciding your choice of neighborhood, you might want to consider other factors such as the ease of access to public parks, the quality of local schools, and any other relevant environmental factors if you are thinking about starting a family in few years.

What is the nature of the house?

It would be near impossible to get the perfect house upgrade. The beauty of the wood floors or the amazing nature of the bay window may seem attractive, but you must really take a hard look at how outdated the apartment is and how much time you would invest if you engage in DIY projects yourself. This will help you avoid purchasing a home you could regret in future.

How much Utility can you reasonably afford?

Although your usage will largely depend on your family size, identifying the utilities you need to pay, and all the costs associated with moving into a potentially larger home will help you in making a wise decision.

Are there any environmental issues in the neighborhood?

Look out for any polluted sites in the area that may contain hazardous materials or any other contamination that could lead to emission of unhealthy fumes. You can make use of the Environment Protection Agency website to identify such areas.

What is the Security Situation?

You may be satisfied with the nature of the house and the local schools; however, you must consider the security of the area. In many cases, realtors may not inform you about every detail concerning the crime rate and overall security situation of the area. It is recommended that you contact the local police, ask for relevant security statistics and decide.

What would your Work Commute look like?

Have you found the perfect house already? Your work commute in the morning and evening should play a big part in your decision and if you find out you cannot bear the commute; the house is not one for you.

What is the Condition of the Drainage?

It is understandable for you to fantasize about the patios and visually pleasing lawns. However, the gutters are usually expensive to take care of when there is a problem. When it rains, does water pour over the gutters? Are there functional gutter guards in place? What is the proximity of the water emptying system to your house? These factors are crucial as you take that big step.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

What your Buyer’s Agent Will Do for You

Are you considering the purchase of a new home?  Buying a home is never a simple task.  In order to purchase a home there are a number of elements that go into it.  One thing for sure is that you must have the cooperation of the individuals currently in possession of the home you are looking to buy.  Usually sellers have listed their homes with a seller’s agent as they are looking to find a buyer, so this part is usually a fairly simple part of the process.

Buying a house can be a very taxing and time-consuming process.  It can end with its fair share of problems as well if you don’t choose the right buyers agent.  To decrease the stress that comes along with the buying process, hiring a buyer’s agent is what you need to do. A good buyer’s agent ensures that you buy a house at the best possible price and with minimal exertion.

What does a buyer’s agents do?

Agents are essentially the main broker in such operations and deal in every aspect based on their client’s wishes. Hence, agents must have a great knowledge of everything related to houses, including marketing trends, street smarts, and thorough information about all the areas with houses for sale. Agents are the ones to initially advise you about the kind of property you should look for based on your wishes. After that, the buyer’s agent looks for houses meeting the requirements that their clients have expressed.

Real estate agents must have thorough knowledge of all the locations in which houses are for sale and must have a grab of the market trend prevalent in those areas. While dealing with the sale of the property, the agent is the one who talks and deals with the owners of the property, while representing the wishes of their clients. It is a buyer’s agent’s duties to make sure their client purchases the house they want at the best possible price and with the least hassle.

What you should expect?

It is important that buyers work with reputable agents since agents get a cut out of every single successful deal, they may often try to swindle you by brokering deals without disclosing all the details to you. Worse, agents might end up cheating you out of all the money you are entitled to with charges they might not have told you about before. Not all buyer’s agents are like this, with many being honest and highly efficient at their work. It is your job as the buyer of a home to find an agent that is dedicated to your needs.

Finding the Best Agent

It is necessary to hire the best possible real estate agent you can find. It is advised to always look for agents or real estate agencies that have a very good reputation in the market and a good reputation with previous clients. You need to thoroughly search for the real estate agent that works best according to your needs. Often you can easily tell the intentions of any agent at the very first meeting if you go with the intention of judging them. Many real estate deals end up in legal battles because of agent discrepancies, so make sure you buy the best possible buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s agent makes sure that you buy a house at the best possible deal while feeling the least stress during the process of buying a house.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

Are You Cut Out For Real Estate?

According to the Top National Workplaces survey, real estate was the second happiest industry to work in 2016, and most people tend to agree with these findings. Imagine making a living by looking at houses all day long, having more wiggle room in your schedules than other professionals, where you are in a nutshell, self-employed, you are free to set your working hours, and your salary has no cap.

Qualities To Have As a Real Estate Agent

Real estate professionals have the propensity to inspire trust thanks to their excellent communication skills. They are not only sensitive and mature, but they also can give and receive constructive criticism and feedback, all the while staying calm during a crisis. What’s not to love about this line of work?

Mastering tactics to get more real estate listings, listing leads, and ultimately more money in real estate can prove challenging to a novice let alone a savvy realtor. The idea is to nurture potential buyers along and get them excited about the prospects of owning a home.

There are three known types of real estate listings:

1) Open Listing – allows a homeowner to sell his or her house by themselves and only pay 1 ½ of the selling broker’s commission

2) Exclusive Agency Listing – while the owner can still assert their rights to self-sell their home, in some cases the owner pays a broker to represent them

3) Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing – this listing is the most commonly used ways where the broker has the exclusive rights to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing potential buyer

While listing agreements are negotiable, the most common terms and conditions in regards to the length of listing can range from 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year or more. Selling commissions can be dictated by how fast a homeowner wants their house sold.

However, it is advisable that if the owner wants the agent to generate buzz and attract potential buyers, then he or she must up the total commission. The owner and real estate agent must also agree on the conditions of contract cancellation and expiration. All monies owed to the broker must be paid in full, and the broker should be willing to let the owner cancel the contract at any time if they (the homeowner) are is not satisfied with the overall real estate listing process or with the broker’s services.

The following are various ways that one can get potential real estate listings:

  • Partner with local banks, builders, mortgage providers, plumbers, electricians, marriage counselors, or dentists. They always have a good lead
  • Start advertising your services online
  • Send for sale by owner (FSOB) mail to your client list
  • Checkout vacant, inherited, or divorce homes. Unless an inherited home is in a pristine condition, most people do not want to incur renovations or building cost and are looking for a quick sale. Additionally, most divorcees that list their homes is because they are mandated to do so by the judge to sell their property

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

From Renting to Home Ownership

Reaching the decision of wanting to own a house can be a difficult one considering all the risks involved in it. However, if you have finally decided to buy a house a real estate agent or a realtor can help you.  First however, we should tell you that owning a house has many benefits but a few disadvantages.  As an educated buyer you will want to weigh out the pros and cons before jumping into the home buying process.

There are many steps involved in going from renting to homeownership.

How you can own a home

  • Get your credit score or report

Those who have a fat bank account and can pay the cost of a house upfront don’t need to consider evaluating their credit scores or report. There is a difference between knowing your score and evaluating how that score has been determined.

A credit report is basically the history of the entire loan that you have taken, accounts that you have opened or closed, payment history, and credit balance. On the other end, a credit score is a score given to the actual amount that you possess. Through this, a lender or a renter decides whether a person is worthy of consideration for the sale or rent of their property.

In order to impress lenders, you should have a recommended score of 740 although many individuals with credit scores lower than this have been able to secure a mortgage without too much hassle.

  • Hire a realtor

A realtor is a professional that facilitates the buying and selling of houses. Also called a real estate agent, you should hire a realtor based on your needs. In doing so, you should always hire a buyer’s agent realtor because they are going to represent your interests, not the sellers.

When it comes to hiring the right realtor, you should keep in mind that the ones who don’t ask for a contract are the professionals to go for. This is because there is no need for a contract between you and him if he has a good reputation and works better.

  • Choose the right mortgage option

There are many mortgage companies out there who can provide you with the necessary capital for buying a home. When it comes to finding the right mortgage company which can provide you with low closing rates, you need to do a bit of a research. Eventually, when you find one, you should look whether it is a direct lender or a correspondent lender.

We highly recommend a direct lender because this type of lender would not charge you any additional fee.

  • Know what your desired property is worth

If you have your eyes on a house that you want to buy, then you should see how much it is actually worth. The people who can help you in this are property inspectors. Hire an outside property inspector who can check the house that you are buying and based on several important factors he or she can evaluate the reasonable price of the property.

Check The House Appraisal

In addition to this, the bank which is giving you mortgage can also provide you with a home appraisal.  Once the appraisal’s been done, you can pay the owner the value of the house and move in without any further ado.

Let your Realtor Be Your Guide

After you have gone through the 4 stages stated above, you will be able to own a house undoubtedly. Every person or institute involved in the process is important. However, it is the realtor or the real estate agent who can guide you thoroughly from the start to the end.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

A Guide to Home Buying

Buying a home can be an overwhelming process if you are a first time homebuyer. It pays to do your homework and know the important steps in the home buying process so that you do not feel surprised or overwhelmed. It is the dream of every individual to have his own home. Congratulations to you if you have decided to buy a home for your family.

Real estate transaction are a major financial decision involving lots of money. As you will be living in your new home for years to come, it is prudent to do your homework and make a move only when you have found a house that fulfill your requirements.

Hire a real estate agent to represent you

Many people think that hiring the services of a realtor can be a burden on their pocket. The fact is that the fee of a buyer’s agent is paid by the seller. But this professional provides invaluable help and assistance with his knowledge and experience.

Get pre approval letter from your lender

Many buyers make the mistake of starting their search for a home without this all important document. Pre approval document in your hand is a clear sign for the homeowners that your offer can be taken seriously. Your bid is also preferred over other buyers when you have been preapproved for a mortgage loan.

Search for your new home

Make a list of your requirements and start your search. It becomes easier to conduct this search when you know what you want and for how much. Try to find a house in a neighborhood where there are good schools for the education of your kids. Do not buy a house at a low price if it is too far away from your place of work.

Make an offer

Once you have found the right home, let your agent make an offer based upon price and other terms you have chosen for yourself.

Negotiate and enter into contract

These are two very crucial steps in home buying process. Your offer may not be accepted by the homeowner. Allow your agent to negotiate with the seller on your behalf.  Once the price and terms are acceptable to you, it is time to draw up the contract. This document specifies the time within which you agree to make the payment and also the time within which you need to get the property inspected. Your real estate agent gets incorporated points that you wish to focus upon so that there is no dispute later on. Negotiation and contract are two steps where the expertise and negotiation skills of your agent are tested to the core.

Final details

Once you have got the property inspected, you can review the report one last time before you are ready to close the deal. You arrange the money by getting the mortgage loan from the lender. Discuss the terms of repayment before singing the mortgage deed.

Closing on your new home

This is the last step in home buying process. You hand over the check and take the possession of the property. A title company facilitates closing after studying the title deed of the property.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

The Smart Way to Buy a Home

Buying a house is perhaps the biggest financial decision of your life. You must remain careful and take a wise and informed decision as it is a matter of crucial importance for you.

Why are you buying the property?

There can be many reasons why you have decided to buy a property.

  • You are fed up of living in a rented property
  • You want to pay the EMI of your own home rather than feeding your landlord
  • Your family has outgrown the space available in your present home
  • You are interested in buying a rental property
  • You want a property having a yard
  • You desire to live closer to your workplace

Once you know the real reason behind your desire to buy a property, it becomes much easier to identify and buy the right property matching your requirements.

Can you afford buying a property?

Knowing the answer to this question is very important in arriving at a decision to buy a property. Of course it is a great way of building an asset for your family and an investment into your future. But only you know whether you can easily afford the monthly repayments to the lender for a long time to come. If you are settled in your career and sure of receiving increments in future, you can go ahead and buy a home for your family.

Preparations before buying

You may be surprised to know this but it is a fact that there are some preparations that are necessary to be carried out before you start the process of buying.

Make the green file

If you do not know, green file is a file that contains financial documents of an individual necessary for securing a loan. It includes:

  • Your banking details
  • Financial statements
  • Investments and assets
  • Credit card details
  • Loan details
  • Recent paystubs
  • Tax retunes
  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement account information

Check your credit report

This is perhaps the most important step in your preparation for buying a property. Every lender studies your credit report and pays attention to your credit score before deciding in favor, or against giving you mortgage loan. Ask your credit report from one of the three credit ratings (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) and check your score before you go and apply for a mortgage loan in a bank. It is your credit score that decides how much of a loan the lender will give and at what rate of interest.

Be realistic with your expectations

Many individuals are very happy and excited when starting their search for a new home. All their enthusiasm fizzles out when they find that they are not getting their dream home in the price range that they have in their mind. If you have seen 3-4 houses and feel that you are not getting what you have in your mind, you have to remain prepared to make some compromises. This is exactly how people are able to buy homes for their families. A little compromise on space, location, price, and features is what you should be mentally prepared for. If you are too picky, you will spend a lot of time seeing houses and still not be satisfied with any of them.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

5 Things that Every First Time Home Buyer Must Know

Congrats to you if you have made the decision to buy a home for your family. You will be fulfilling the great American dream and also creating an asset for yourself. Buying a home involves major financial transaction. You do not buy homes every now and then. Any mistake or negligence on your part can not only cost you dearly but also make the procedure tiring and tough for you.

Here are 5 things that you must absolutely know about before buying your first home:

  1. Know how much of a home you can afford

Many individuals become excited after landing a decent job. They are in such a hurry that they start conducting search for a home without knowing how much loan they can get from a bank based upon their financial statements. You are only wasting your and your realtor’s time if you do not know how big a home you can afford to buy.

  1. Location is crucial

Every first time home buyer needs to make an assessment of his requirements. This allows him to shortlist neighborhoods on the basis of amenities available, ease of transport, lifestyle, and the requirements of the family. It is no use starting on your search with your realtor without knowing what you want in terms of location of the house.

  1. Keep in mind your budget

You have saved a small amount of money to be given as down payment to the bank. You can easily calculate the price range in which you can buy a home for your family on the basis of this amount. Do not forget to keep aside money to meet the closing costs as well as the fees of your agent. It becomes easier to see houses that fall within your desired price range and politely refuse the request of your agent to see more expensive homes. Ask yourself if you can bite more than you can chew and you will stay on track when searching home for your family.

  1. Are you ready to pay the EMI’s?

Just because you have some money in your saving account does not mean you will be able to easily afford the monthly repayments to your lender. See what the monthly amount that you can pay comfortably is. Do not commit to until you feel you are ready for this kind of a commitment. Buying a home is easier than repaying monthly installment for a long time period of 20-25 years. Understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage clearly before signing the contract.

  1. Pump in as much down payment as you can afford

Your Down Payment Matters

Money spent on down payment should be considered as a wise investment and not as an unnecessary expenditure. You should offer to pay as high a down payment you can possibly afford to get a lower rate of interest and the confidence of the lender. Some individuals make the mistake of holding on to their savings when they get the facility of a no down payment mortgage loan. If you do not have a solid plan of investment, it is better to pay a large sum of money upfront to your lender.

Final Thought On Buying a Home

Buying a home is a huge transaction in your life. It should be based upon research and understanding of your own requirements and ability to repay the loan. Hiring the services of a reliable and experienced realtor can prove to be a very wise decision when buying a home.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

Don’t Forget this House Hunting Checklist when You Buy a Home

Most buyers feel shy to enquire about small details when they go for a showing. They behave in a very formal manner and feel awkward to look under the sink or behind the closets when they are being shown around by the owner or the listing agent. But there is no need to think you are being nosy and snooping around. After all, you will be paying a huge amount of money to the owner if you decide to buy his property. Is it better to feel awkward later on when you find any problems with the house or feel awkward now? Real estate experts say it is better to reassure yourself now than repent later on. They suggest keeping a house hunting checklist with you when you are touring a property.

Explore the Bathroom When Previewing a Home

Every home buyer has a desire to get a glance of the bathroom. Owners proudly show their bathroom to the visitor but only for as long as they want, not any longer. If you are a smart buyer, make the most of this showing. Excuse yourself saying you need to use the bathroom for a minute. Now you are free to closely examine everything inside the bathroom from the toilet seat and the flush to the bathtub and the faucets. See if the water pressure is nice and the flush is working properly. Some owners consider it as impolite but include bathroom in your house hunting checklist.

Take a Closer Look into the Closets

Owners take potential buyers around their property and show them the closets that look newly painted with new handles. But they do not like it when a visitor tries to take a look inside these closets. Of course you need not go through his belongings but you are well within your rights when you want to ascertain the actual storage space inside the closets. Include spying inside the closets in your house hunting checklist as you are paying for these closets and you are entitled to find out if your storage needs are fulfilled by these closets or not.

Don’t Wait for the Inspection

It is not enough to take a glance inside the attic and the basement when the owner opens the doors to feel assured. A thorough investigation is what is needed to give a clean chit to these two features inside the house. If the excuse for not showing your around inside both the basement and the attic is the belongings of the owner piled against the walls, you can ask for their removal when you make a second visit to the house. In fact, it should raise suspicion in your mind why the homeowner has stockpiled items in the basement and the attic when he is planning to sell the house? There are reasons why you should feel nervous when you see a packed attic and basement in a house.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.