Monthly Archives: December 2017

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.

No Second Chances: Our 7-Step Plan to Making a Dazzling First Impression on Buyers

Studies show that we make up our minds about people within seconds of meeting them. So it stands to reason that prospective buyers are doing the very same thing with your house, especially in a red-hot real estate market. More buyers these days are sizing up your space and making lightning-quick decisions about whether it’s worth investigating further—or whether they should hop back in the car and move on to the next house.

So if you want to be sure buyers don’t scurry out the door moments after they arrive, you have to create a fantastic first impression.

Not sure where to begin? It all starts with looking at your home with fresh eyes. Luckily, we’ve broken down seven simple steps you can follow to put your home’s best face forward.

1. ‘Break up’ with your house

If you want to sell your property, you’ll need to distance yourself from it first, says Ronique Gibson, an associate architect and lifestyle expert at Stagetecture.com in Jacksonville, FL. Cut the cord!

“Once you put your home on the market, it’s time to let a professional come in and market it,” Gibson says. “If you stay emotionally attached, the process will be harder and longer.”

2. Focus on curb appeal

You wouldn’t wear soiled sweatpants on a first date—you’d go out of your way to look presentable. So why would you approach the process of selling your home any differently?

Your home’s first impression starts with the exterior, so take a good look at what you’re presenting to the world: What’s the first thing you notice? If it’s peeling paint, dirty windows, and dead plants, you have work to do, says Michael Rosenblum, a broker with Koenig Rubloff Realty Group, a division of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Chicago.

“Ask yourself: ‘If I was buying this home now, what would my expectations be?'” he says.

Remove debris such as fallen tree limbs and leaves. Keep grass and shrubs trimmed, freshen up the mulch in your flowerbeds, and clear away lawn clutter such as yard ornaments, garden tools, and that circa 2007 Big Wheel.

“Putting out some flowers in front of the house or by the front door always makes people smile; it creates the warmth before they even get inside,” says Rosenblum.

Invest in a new doormat, and consider replacing old address numbers and your mailbox if it’s worn or rusty. Patch cracks in the driveway and, while you’re at, give the front door a fresh coat of paint.

3. Ditch as much of your stuff as possible

So now that you’ve addressed the outside, you have to work on your home’s inner beauty. Decluttering is your first priority. So start clearing out the junk and depersonalizing the space—toss or hide mementos, kids’ drawings, and most knickknacks.

“If the seller has all their personal photos out, then the buyer usually gets distracted,” Rosenblum says.

The main goal is for potential buyers to envision themselves in your home, and they can’t do that if your crap is everywhere they look. “All signs of you should be gone,” Gibson says.

That said, take care to find a balance; you don’t want the home to feel sterile—and you’ll want to make sure that none of your rooms are completely empty, a tactic that tends to make a space actually look smaller.

4. Fix the broken stuff—all of it

This should be obvious, but perhaps even you’ve forgotten about that faulty light switch in the upstairs hallway. The thing is, buyers will notice it almost immediately.

So here’s a mini to-do list to tackle those minor issues fast:

  • Check for leaks throughout the house. A drip may not seem important, but it suggests lousy maintenance elsewhere.
  • Check and repair loose door handles and cabinet hinges.
  • Caulk around tubs and sinks.
  • Replace lightbulbs that don’t work. Yes, every single one.

Bottom line: Meet and exceed a buyer’s expectations by paying extra attention to the fine details.

5. Plan a small makeover that packs a punch

You might not want (or be able) to do major renovations before putting your property on the market. But if you focus your attention on the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring, you can boost a tired home’s overall appearance without completely busting your budget.

“Homeowners can easily change out countertops and appliances, or paint cabinetry,” Rosenblum says. You may want to restain the floors or repaint the walls.

Keeping your carpets? Make sure to splurge on getting them professionally cleaned, especially in high-traffic areas—it’ll immediately brighten a room.

6. Appeal to all the senses

Once your home is clean and decluttered, think about how you can engage potential buyers through other senses, Gibson suggests.

“Play soft music during showings, or have a nice water feature outside if you live in a noisy neighborhood,” she says. “Soft throws and textured fabrics will warm up a space. Brewing fresh coffee and baking cookies makes your house smell great.”

Remember not to clean your house the day of a showing; harsh chemicals can be overpowering, and may turn off potential buyers.

7. Keep up appearances—indefinitely

Unless you’re in a red-hot market, your home might not sell immediately after it’s listed. Remember that every week, you might have potential buyers traipsing through—sometimes without much notice from your agent.

That means keeping up all these changes you’ve implemented—and not dragging out the massive toy bins, dog beds, and other daily life items you actually use.

While it might not be easy keeping your house in tiptop shape for days on end, try to remember that the effort you put in now will pay off later—when that one buyer is so wowed by her first impression that she makes an offer you won’t want to refuse.

Original Author: Wendy Helfenbaum
Original Date: Dec 6 2017

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.