Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Many Benefits In Hiring A Realtor

It is true that it is possible to buy and sell homes without using a real estate professional.  Although possible, it is not recommended.  Many who have tried to sell or buy a home without using a professional agent have said that in the end the costs and emotional stress were more than what it would have been if they had hired a professional from the start.  Below you will find just a few reasons why homeowners should not automatically rule out the idea of hiring a real estate agent to help with the purchase or sale of their home.

Improved Access and Convenience

When you do something over and over again you are able to simplify the process; you achieve an exact science in completing the task at hand.  This is what realtors offer to buyers and sellers.  The agent will link the two parties together which offers better exposure for both of them.  An agent works to close offers efficiently and quicker.  Homeowners choosing to buy or sell a home without the help of an agent actually end up missing a great number of interested parties because they lack the same resources that an agent has.

Negotiating is Harder Then It Seems

It is a myth that homeowners save themselves a ton of money by negotiating the sale or purchase of a home on their own.  Negotiating is hard when emotions are involved; both parties believe that their offer has more benefits than the others.  An agent has experience connecting the buyer and the seller.  This allows the messages that they both have to be conveyed in a less emotional manner helping the other to perceive it in a better manner. Real estate agents have proven negotiating skills and have experience in convincing people to come to an agreement.

Real Estate Contract Are Complicated

Anytime a contract is involved it is important to be sure that what is stated is what you had agreed upon when speaking.  Even if you agreed that the appliances were to stay if it is not stated in the contract there is nothing legally binding to ensure that occurs. An agent knows exactly what needs to be included or omitted in a real estate offer and an end contract.   This alone can save buyers and sellers the amount they are paying for theprofessional real estate services an agent provides.

Buying and selling homes is an intricate process.  The steps are compounded with the stress that homeowners naturally feel when big decisions loom overhead.  With all of the paperwork that needs to be done, questions to be answered and deals to be negotiated it is impossible for homeowners to flow through the process without complications. That is why real estate agents are an absolute necessity when buying or selling a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Winter May Be The Perfect Time To Buy A New Home

Have you been thinking about purchasing a new home but are afraid to start looking now because the winter season is right around the corner? This article will bring a new perspective to home buyers that are uncertain about buying a home in the winter.  It is true that the spring and summer seasons are typically the most active seasons for both sellers and buyers.  Winter house hunting does have benefits over other seasons.  Work these to your advantage and you will be moving into your dream home without having to wait until spring comes around again.

When it comes to buying a home in the winter the one main benefit is the lack of competition in the bidding process.  The myth that buying a home in the winter is undesirable leads many sellers and buyers hesitant.  This means that although there are fewer houses on the market the houses that are on the market will have less competition when submitting your offer.  It can be a bit inconvenient and messy to move in the winter but when you think about an offer without the competition of other buyers it diminishes the worry about a bit of untidiness during the moving process.

When buyers are scarce, it is the perfect time to start looking for a home.  Homes during the winter move more slowly; it is truly a buyers season.  Sellers most often have a reason for selling in the winter that makes the need to move their home off the market more crucial.  This means that a buyer is able to negotiate a better deal.  It leaves room for the buyer to ask for money off the asking price, the appliances to stay in the home or any extras the buyer is interested in.  For instance, a client recently purchased a luxury recreational property.  In the offer they asked for the seller to include the family’s golf cart as part of the deal.  These items are easier to negotiate for when the buyers offer is the only one on the table.  This is often the case when buying in the winter.

Another advantage of buying in the winter is that you are seeing the property at its worst.  In the winter sellers don’t have any real curb.  Trees are barren, grass is brown and the flowers have all been cut back.  It also gives you a better chance to inspect for drafts, pipe freezing issues, attic air leaks and other issues that are commonly seen in the cold weather that are hidden from even the most experienced inspectors during the summer season.  You can feel the warmth of the home or lack thereof and really get a feeling for the homes insulation as well.

Mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents are also less occupied during the winter as well which allows you to have more of their attention when buying in the winter.  Mortgages tend to be processed faster with fewer issues because they aren’t focusing on thousands of new mortgages.  Paperwork flows through the proper changes without as many hiccups because people have more time to properly process documentation without the rush that occurs with the spring and summer seasons.

As you can see buyers should not fear starting to look for a new home or their first home in the winter.  Winter is an advantageous time to purchase a home for buyers.  It should actually be considered a prime time for buyers to find the perfect place to live.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

The Many Benefits In Hiring A Realtor

It is true that it is possible to buy and sell homes without using a real estate professional.  Although possible, it is not recommended.  Many who have tried to sell or buy a home without using a professional agent have said that in the end the costs and emotional stress were more than what it would have been if they had hired a professional from the start.  Below you will find just a few reasons why homeowners should not automatically rule out the idea of hiring a real estate agent to help with the purchase or sale of their home.

Improved Access and Convenience

When you do something over and over again you are able to simplify the process; you achieve an exact science in completing the task at hand.  This is what realtors offer to buyers and sellers.  The agent will link the two parties together which offers better exposure for both of them.  An agent works to close offers efficiently and quicker.  Homeowners choosing to buy or sell a home without the help of an agent actually end up missing a great number of interested parties because they lack the same resources that an agent has.

Negotiating is Harder Then It Seems

It is a myth that homeowners save themselves a ton of money by negotiating the sale or purchase of a home on their own.  Negotiating is hard when emotions are involved; both parties believe that their offer has more benefits than the others.  An agent has experience connecting the buyer and the seller.  This allows the messages that they both have to be conveyed in a less emotional manner helping the other to perceive it in a better manner. Real estate agents have proven negotiating skills and have experience in convincing people to come to an agreement.

Real Estate Contract Are Complicated

Anytime a contract is involved it is important to be sure that what is stated is what you had agreed upon when speaking.  Even if you agreed that the appliances were to stay if it is not stated in the contract there is nothing legally binding to ensure that occurs. An agent knows exactly what needs to be included or omitted in a real estate offer and an end contract.   This alone can save buyers and sellers the amount they are paying for theprofessional real estate services an agent provides.

Buying and selling homes is an intricate process.  The steps are compounded with the stress that homeowners naturally feel when big decisions loom overhead.  With all of the paperwork that needs to be done, questions to be answered and deals to be negotiated it is impossible for homeowners to flow through the process without complications. That is why real estate agents are an absolute necessity when buying or selling a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Winter May Be The Perfect Time To Buy A New Home

Have you been thinking about purchasing a new home but are afraid to start looking now because the winter season is right around the corner? This article will bring a new perspective to home buyers that are uncertain about buying a home in the winter.  It is true that the spring and summer seasons are typically the most active seasons for both sellers and buyers.  Winter house hunting does have benefits over other seasons.  Work these to your advantage and you will be moving into your dream home without having to wait until spring comes around again.

When it comes to buying a home in the winter the one main benefit is the lack of competition in the bidding process.  The myth that buying a home in the winter is undesirable leads many sellers and buyers hesitant.  This means that although there are fewer houses on the market the houses that are on the market will have less competition when submitting your offer.  It can be a bit inconvenient and messy to move in the winter but when you think about an offer without the competition of other buyers it diminishes the worry about a bit of untidiness during the moving process.

When buyers are scarce, it is the perfect time to start looking for a home.  Homes during the winter move more slowly; it is truly a buyers season.  Sellers most often have a reason for selling in the winter that makes the need to move their home off the market more crucial.  This means that a buyer is able to negotiate a better deal.  It leaves room for the buyer to ask for money off the asking price, the appliances to stay in the home or any extras the buyer is interested in.  For instance, a client recently purchased a luxury recreational property.  In the offer they asked for the seller to include the family’s golf cart as part of the deal.  These items are easier to negotiate for when the buyers offer is the only one on the table.  This is often the case when buying in the winter.

Another advantage of buying in the winter is that you are seeing the property at its worst.  In the winter sellers don’t have any real curb.  Trees are barren, grass is brown and the flowers have all been cut back.  It also gives you a better chance to inspect for drafts, pipe freezing issues, attic air leaks and other issues that are commonly seen in the cold weather that are hidden from even the most experienced inspectors during the summer season.  You can feel the warmth of the home or lack thereof and really get a feeling for the homes insulation as well.

Mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents are also less occupied during the winter as well which allows you to have more of their attention when buying in the winter.  Mortgages tend to be processed faster with fewer issues because they aren’t focusing on thousands of new mortgages.  Paperwork flows through the proper changes without as many hiccups because people have more time to properly process documentation without the rush that occurs with the spring and summer seasons.

As you can see buyers should not fear starting to look for a new home or their first home in the winter.  Winter is an advantageous time to purchase a home for buyers.  It should actually be considered a prime time for buyers to find the perfect place to live.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

 

7 Myths About Home Buying

First-time buyers tend to make assumptions about down payments and other facts about the home buying process. The truth is that regulations on mortgage financing have changed since the subprime mortgage crisis upended the industry and kicked off a global recession in 2008.

Couple buying a house with a real estate agent
Couple buying a house with a real estate agent

Federal regulations initially tightened lending standards to prevent defaults and foreclosures. The new standards used stricter assessments to determine whether prospective buyers had the ability to repay their mortgages. In January 2014, however, regulators changed those rules after real estate groups and consumer advocates claimed that millions of Americans would not be able to qualify for housing loans. As a result, the proposed 20 percent down payment rule was dropped. Banks now are only required to document that a borrower has the means necessary to afford a mortgage as long as it does not exceed a certain threshold of debt.

Here are some other facts to dispel myths about the home buying process.

Myth No. 1: A Big Down Payment Is Required

According to Bank of America, between 5 percent and 20 percent of a home’s purchase price is required for a down payment. Lenders typically require private mortgage insurance for down payments under 20 percent. The purpose of PMI is to protect the lender if you default on the mortgage. PMI typically costs between .05 percent and 1 percent of the loan amount annually. So PMI of 1 percent on a $100,000 mortgage, for example, would cost $1,000 a year or about $83 a month.

Richard Airey, senior mortgage originator with Finance of America Mortgage, said that the 20 percent down payment requirement “is probably the most common misconception I encounter.” He said loans from the Federal Housing Administration require a down payment of 3.5 percent of the home’s purchase price. Loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture require no down payment for eligible buyers.

For buyers who only have a small down payment, there could be a way around paying for PMI, said David Hosterman, a branch manager with Castle & Cooke Mortgage. “Consumers can choose to do what is called borrower-paid single premium mortgage insurance to avoid having monthly mortgage insurance,” he said. “This is typically an up-front charge the borrower has, which allows them to buy out of the mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. This is typically only allowed on conventional loans.”

He also said national, state and county programs offer grants to home buyers with specific guidelines that must be met. “For instance, some require that consumers complete a home buying class before obtaining the grant,” he said.

Myth No. 2: I Need Perfect Credit

Your credit report is separate from your credit score. Your FICO credit score, which is a measure of your credit worthiness, is based on your credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus. Scores range from 350 to 850. You can qualify for a conventional mortgage with favorable terms at the 720 level and up. First-time home buyers can secure an FHA loan with a credit score of 620 or above.

Buying a home with bad credit is not impossible. “Borrowers can qualify for government loan programs with a FICO score as low as 580,” Airey said. “These loan programs include VA and FHA loans. The USDA requires a 620 FICO score. Conventional financing requires a 640 score or above.”

Generally, better financing terms are available for those with higher credit scores. Buyers with lower credit scores will pay higher interest rates for mortgages.

Myth No. 3: Fixed-Rate Loans Are Best

This myth is based on the belief that mortgage payments on an adjustable rate mortgage can skyrocket along with interest rates. But what’s more important to consider is the length of time you intend to stay in the house.

Katie Miller, vice president of mortgage lending at Navy Federal Credit Union, said a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage works well for those who intend to remain in the home for about that long.

“If you are planning on staying in the home for anywhere from four to seven years, consider a shorter-term fixed rate or even an adjustable rate mortgage,” she said. “For example, Navy Federal offers a 5/5 adjustable rate mortgage that only adjusts once in 10 years and has a lower rate than the 30-year fixed-rate loan. Remember, the longer the fixed rate, the higher the interest rate.”

Myth No. 4: Location Is Most Important

A quiet neighborhood of homes with white picket fences might be one vision of the American Dream, but Miller suggested that savvy buyers instead seek “hidden gems.”

“Some of the best deals are found in areas that haven’t reached their full potential,” she said. “Look at the community you are buying in. Is construction planned? Are there new housing units being built? Try to glimpse into the future and what the area will look like in five to 10 years.”

Myth No. 5: The Home Buying Process Will Be Quick

Once you find the house you want, the next step is to apply for a home loan. A typical mortgage loan generally takes about four to six weeks to close from the time the application was submitted. With an FHA loan, the process could take longer. You also have to allow time for the appraisal and inspection.

Phil Lang, a real estate broker and co-founder of TripleMint, a real estate brokerage based in New York City, said that one of the most common misunderstandings when it comes to buying a home, at least in New York City, is the amount of time the process can take. “In our market, once an apartment goes into contract, it can take over three months to close by the time that someone is able to submit their board package, get approved by the building and line up bank financing,” he said.

Greg Cook, a mortgage consultant with Platinum Home Mortgage Corp., said that the other common misunderstanding involves the additional costs in buying a house, such as closing costs, pre-paid interest, taxes and insurance, which can be as much as 2 percent to 4 percent over the down payment. “Unless the seller agrees to pay all or a portion of these costs, the burden is on the home buyer,” he said.

Myth No. 6: A Clean Home Inspection Means No Repairs

A common assumption is that a good home inspection means that a home will require minimal maintenance and repairs. However, a home inspection report is really a snapshot of the condition of the home, the building materials and the various electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems, said John Bodrozic, co-founder of Digital Home Management. The picture could be very different once a property is lived in and functioning.

“All these systems can be in good condition the day the inspection was done, but immediately at move in, the homeowner still needs to maintain the home with regular seasonal tasks to keep things efficient,” he said. “Changing air filters, draining the hot water heater, cleaning out the vent duct behind the dryer and cleaning the gutters need to be done to avoid surprising fix-it costs, keep the energy bills down and the home healthy and safe.”

Myth No. 7: Properties Are Always Listed on the MLS

Most real estate brokers use the Multiple Listing Service to gather and disseminate information about properties. But there are other ways that homes can be marketed. A company called PocketList, founded by Tom MacLeod, ups the intrigue on a property using a “pocket listing.” The listing will not appear on the MLS and is only accessible to preferred buyers.

MacLeod started the company after he realized that he was not getting access to off-market properties. The company has created a mobile app to connect agents and qualified buyers to pre-MLS and private home listings.

Buying a home requires patience and research. Consumers should review property sales prices and lending options with help from real estate agents who come highly recommended. An agent who is well-informed about local markets can steer you in the right direction and save you money.

Original Source: http://www.gobankingrates.com/mortgage-rates/7-myths-home-buying/