Homebuying

How to Make an Offer

After weeks, and maybe months you have finally found the house you want to spend your life in. Now you need to make an offer. But how does one make an offer to ensure they get what they want? Since this is one of the biggest items you may ever buy, you’ll want to know what you’re doing. 

You will have tools and professionals on your side to keep your finances in order, and make your offer stand out, while protecting your money. From down payments to contingencies, escrow accounts to counter offers, here’s how you can sift through each phase and get the dream home. 

  1. Do your homework

In order to find a fair price you’re willing to pay you need to mw the local market and the seller. The best tool here is your real estate agent, hopefully they know what they’re doing. The next thing you can do is go online to real estate sites and search by zip codes. 

You’ll look at comparable home sales and that’ll give you an idea where the market is. Inquire about the history of the property and if any major additions, repairs, or undertakings have taken place, and when. Find out when the previous owner bought it and for how much. 

Then after all this research ask your real estate agent what they think is a fair price. They may have the most accurate price. 

  1. Have a lender in your corner 

Not many of us can pay cash for a house, so we need to get a mortgage and the sellers want proof. You’ll need to get pre approved by a lender. They’ll write out a certain amount you qualify for, and certain terms and conditions. A seller will ALWAYS take an offer from a buyer is who pre approved over one who is not. 

  1. Bring in the pros 

Unless you are a genius, you’ll want some professional help in this process because of house difficult it is. There’s so many moving parts and...

How to Buy A Home the Smart Way

If you’re about to take the plunge into buying a home, you’ll want to be ready for what’s about to come. It can be a breeze of a process, or a long, drawn-out, painful one if you don’t do it right. It’s best to buy a home quick and smart. Usually, it can take anywhere from two to three months, sometimes longer, and sometimes shorter depending on what type of market you are in. Check out how we advise to buy a home quickly and wisely. 

  1. Let Uncle Sam help

Saving for a downpayment is one of the toughest parts of buying a home. Luckily, the government offers more than 2,200 down payment assistance programs. These are programs offering grants, tax credits, and low-interest loans. A ton of buyers don’t even know these are available to them, or think they are next to impossible to get. Good news for you, they’re not that difficult to get. 

You’ll need to meet specific eligibility requirements regarding income, occupation, or credit, but buyers who use these tools save an average of $17,766 between upfront costs and lower monthly mortgage payments over the life of a loan. 

  1. Be watchful for new listings

Check the real estate websites every day to see if any new homes pop up in your area. Another tool is asking your real estate agent to set up an automated email service that alerts you to new homes that hit the market. 

Watching new listings will give you the advantage over your competition because you’ll be ready to make an offer before your completion even pulls in the driveway. 

  1. Consider a foreclosure

Many potential buyers pass right over foreclosures or bank owned properties because they are weary of the homes condition. Yes, a valid reason, but this is where the real deals are made.Despite the fact that banks won’t fix any problems found during inspections, there are still huge...

Real Life Lessons When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be one of the biggest events in your life, so make sure it's one of the best choices you make. They can be pleasant experiences, or they can be complete disasters, or maybe somewhere in the middle. The best way to make sure you don't end up in the disaster category is by avoiding the most common life lessons among first-time home buyers.

Clever staging? Or Excellent hiding?

When homes are listed on the market they are staged as best as possible and are expecting multiple showings where potential buyers walk through and inspect the house. Buyers often see the home once or twice and commit to buying it. Once they've bought it and the stage is taken down they can see what they've really purchased. It's even recommended you walk along with the inspector and check everything they are looking at. Ask for receipts of new improvements or repairs.

In the disaster case the staged home shows flawlessly, and you end up buying a POS.

The lesson to learn here is to visit the home multiple times before you commit to buying it. Inspect the home each time and look for flaws you may have missed the previous visit. This will lessen the likelihood of buyer's remorse.

The home is great but...

Sometimes buyers will buy a home just for the home itself. It's important to choose the right home that is surrounded by the perfect neighbors, and community. If you don't fit in with your neighbors due to age differences, and the surrounding communities don't interest you, you'll wish you would have chosen a different place to call home.

The lesson here is to look for all the amenities that you can, and will enjoy once you buy a certain house. Once you can see yourself living with in the community, you know that is the right house for you.

Power lines...

Needing A Buyer's Agent When Buying New Construction Homes

Buying a construction home seems easy enough right? One would think it only consists of picking out the floor plan, the lot to build on, and watching it erect. No sellers, repairs, and no drawn-out negotiations right?

It’s not quite that easy, it’s imperative to have a professional when dealing with any real estate transaction no matter how simple the process seems.

A professional agent gives us a sense of security and peace of mind when they are watching over your transaction. There are plenty of reasons to have an agent when buying a new construction home.

Helps you find a reputable builder

An experienced agent is well versed in the market and knows which builders are the good ones. If you are clueless about the market this is where your agent is a huge help. They will know who provides a good product, excellent warranties, and a quick repair time when something goes wrong, and an overall quality house. Knowing you will have a quality house is one less stress in your life.

Go to bat for you

Buying a construction home typically takes a bit longer than buying an existing home. It takes time to pick a lot, choose your floor plan, have inspections, and finally close. There are a few mishaps that can and do arise. Common issues can be construction delays, permit issues, and perhaps financing concerns. A quality agent will make these headaches disappear.

Help review your contract

Buying existing homes is not the same process as buying a construction home. Your agent will guide you through the process while helping you understand what is going on. With everything like money requirements, floor plans, requesting changes, and timelines to keep in mind, it can be overwhelming. Your agent is the party who represents your best interest and makes sure...

Pitsfalls to Buying Homes In Winter

Winter isn’t exactly known as the best time to buy a home, but it can be a great time to steal a deal on a home. Be careful though, there are several mistakes that can happen during your winter purchase, so watch out for these.

Too much Holiday debt

Holidays are meant for buying, but be careful not to accumulate too much debt. During your process of buying a home, do your best not to add to the debt you’re already about to undertake. Even if you have good credit, adding to debt through holiday shopping will change your debt-to-income ratio, which could change your monthly payment, or even disqualify you from your preapproval.

Forgetting to see the big picture

Homes aren’t always the most appealing during the winter with their leafless trees and dead lawns. It’s important to visualize what a home would look like during their better months when they have leaves, and the yard is in shape.

Oblivious to closing date delays

Winter home closings are important because there are usually always dates to be paid attention to. There are a lot of concessions buyers ask for that cannot be completed due to too much snow, or too low of temperature. This can pose quite the problem when the closing date is fast approaching. Pay attention to dates, and keep a realistic idea of when repairs can be completed against when the closing date is.  

Making lowball offers

Don’t think you can get whatever house you put an offer on just because the season is winter. Yes, real estate is slow in winter and buyers aren’t offering like they are in summer, but this often means inventory is lower too. So because inventory is lower, so are buyers, and the competition out there isn’t much different....

Buying a Home In Slow Month's Can Benefit You

One of the best times to buy a home is in the fall and winter months. The competition is lower, sellers are motivated, and year-end tax benefits. Here are several reasons you’ll want to consider buying a home in the down months of the real estate world.

Excellent Prices

The end of the year typically doesn’t send consumers out to buy houses, but more so gifts for themselves and their families. You don’t have to be like the rest of the consumers though, you can be different. With most of your community out buying TVs and toys, you will be one of the few in the housing market. The homes will still be there, but at that point there is less demand; which means fewer offers and no bidding wars.

Elastic schedules

The awesome thing about winter months in real estate is you don’t have to wait until the weekend to see all your potential homes. Since times are slow agents and home owners have time on their hands to show homes.

Motivated sellers

When homes are on the market late in the year, there is usually a reason why. Such reasons include financial hardships, change of circumstance, job relocations, etc. Either way, this gives you the leverage in negotiating. The best thing you can do for yourself here is lowball the offer and ask for a closing date that caters to your needs.  

Tax benefits

Buying a home late in the year is good for your bottom line come tax season. Closing before December 31st allows you to deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan, and interest costs, and in the meantime you watch your equity grow. These money savers are quite helpful in the beginning stages of homeownership as you pay off the interest.

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Private Mortgages are the Secret Buying Weapon

The driven portions of millennials who want to own a home have that as a life goal. The National Association of Realtors took a study this year and found that roughly 35% of the home buying market is millennials, and most of them desire to own their own home(s) one day.

We all know buying a home is no simple task, especially for the first-timers. Today’s new buyers are facing a ton of student debt, massive credit card bills, and a shortage of homes making the price skyrocket to ridiculous numbers. It can be done, but it’s not easy. The only thing home buyers have on their side at the moment is historically low interest rates. One way around the arduous process is to find yourself a private mortgage note.

What is a private mortgage note?

Private notes are the other option outside of a traditional mortgage. It’s a private lender supplying money to buy a piece of property. The cool thing is, there is no bank!

The mortgage note is a legally binding document detailing the parameters of the mortgage. It’ll include the pu8rchase price, the repayment schedule, and interest rate. When the bank gives a mortgage note, they hold on to the note and collect the monthly payments. When it’s a private note, the lender receives the monthly payments while holding on to the note.

Typically, it is only homeowners who have paid their mortgage off in full and have a large pile of cash who can offer buyers private loans. If the private lender chooses, they may sell their note to another person or company. As the buyer you are entitled to interact with either group. The advantage of private notes against a traditional note is the private note won’t have as many requirements and restrictions.

Millennials & Private Notes

A millennials secret weapon in today’s housing market is a private note. Most banks are...

What to Know About For Sale By Owner Homes

When you are on the hunt to buy a home, you’ll see tons of them on the market. On occasion you might see a home “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), or even a friend or relative who wants to sell you their house directly.

This could be tempting since there wouldn’t be agents involved, and it would just be a simpler process overall; but this isn’t quite the case. Here’s where buying a FS BO could get tricky.

A lot of sellers work with your agent

Sellers who have a brain already know that buyers are working with an agent, or have been for a long time, and are planning to pay the agent once the home buying process has concluded.

The agents serve as the buyers advisers throughout the process. If you happen to fall in love with a FSBO house, tell your agent and ask them to make the first contact. They will still do what needs to be done, ensuring they get paid in the end, and you have a home.

Don’t think of the home any differently

If you find the home of your dreams, and its FSBO, don’t treat it like it’s less than a house that’s being sold traditionally.

What you want to keep in mind is that you will meet the owner face-to-face. Selling a home is a personal task, more so than selling your car, and just because emotions might run high, don’t let it intimidate you when you meet the seller.

Keep your eye on the prize. Keep your eye on your future possible home.

Laws are laws

FSBO’s still must obey the seller disclosure laws. They are still bound to every other law in real estate. Do your duty and inspect the home, ask for the right repairs to be made, and the home could be yours soon.

One issue with FSBO homes is that the sellers aren’t well versed in the entire process of selling a...

3 Ways to Protect Your Escrow Deposit

So you have finally decided to pull the trigger and make an offer on a home, the seller chose to go with your offer over everyone else’s, and signing the contract is days away. Now you have to show you are serious about it by putting a stack of money down.

The amount of money you put down is ultimately up to you, but some states have requirements, varying anywhere from 3 to 10 percent. This is a good-faith act signaling to the seller you are committed to following through on the deal. Once the money leaves your hands (or bank account) it can’t be touched without written consent from both the seller and buyer. The close of escrow, the earnest money deposit is applied to the balance of the down payment.

Your deposit is obviously negotiable, but if you try and go short, it may turn off the seller quickly. A lot can happen from the time you put down your deposit and close escrow, so here are a few ways to protect your deposit.

Know the property

Every home gets an inspection before it’s sold, and it’s your duty to make sure you protect yourself from buying a black hole home. Ask your agent to insert a contingency to make sure you are protected from these types of homes.

Older homes get special attention to roofs, foundations, and everything considered “major”. Specialized inspectors are an option if you so choose to go that route. They come in the form of HVAC inspectors, termite inspectors, pool inspectors, structural engineers, etc.

Small condos even warrant having expert inspectors from time to time.

If problems arise, you need to decide if it is worth it to you or not. How bad do you want this house? Inspection contingencies sometimes are as broad as the ocean and allow for buyers to sail away with their deposit. Most of these are known as “cold feet” contingencies.

Get it in writing...

I Bought a Condo

I bought my own condo earlier this year, and some people (mostly my own age – millennial) think I am crazy. They have the idea that buying a home is what you do once you are ready to settle down. They would rather pay rent than own something, but the way I look at it, rent is money you will never see again. At least your mortgage comes back to you once you sell what is yours.

This is making the most of my money, by investing in a property and not wasting thousands of dollars by giving it to someone else.

Yes buying a home can be scary because the numbers are so big, but think of it as money sticking to the side walls of your house. It’s not really leaving, well a little of it is because it is interest for your loan, but you will reclaim most of it when you go to sell.

I never thought I would have the purchasing power in my 20’s to buy a property. Through a lot of hard work and sacrifice I managed to save enough for a hefty down payment. Now, to get a loan was the problem. There are several types of loans you can get. Traditional, government backed, secured, open-ended etc. I was lucky enough to get a private loan, meaning I didn’t have to deal with the banks and contribute to making them richer.

Depending on which type of loan you get determines how long you will (want to) stay in your new home. Some loans will have you pay an absorbent mount of interest, while others will have you pay little interest and more principle. Your best loan is the one that pays little interest, and more principle.

My condo was a fixer-upper from the start, and I knew it would require a lot of work. Having a roommate there will help with the cost of it all, but it also comes at a price of having less space.

Lessons learned

MY advice to you is to get yourself a quality, dependable real estate agent. You don’t want to go through the process feeling alone. Having a good agent makes...

Three Deal Breakers for Home Buyers

When searching for a home, everyone has in mind exactly what they’re looking for. Home buyers hunt and walk through dozens of homes before even finding one they kind of like. Then it finally happens, they find the one they love. During the hunting process home buyers are searching for aspects of the home that they can change or alter to improve the value. Sometimes they may even love a home, knowing they can’t change some parts of it.

Here are three significant considerations to consider before deciding whether to put an offer on a house you love or not.

Location

The old real estate cliché, “location, location, location” isn’t at the top of importance just because. It’s one of the most important factors of a home, and unless you plan on making it a historical spot, you cannot change this aspect.

If the home sits on a busy road, across from a popular shopping center in town, or next to the highway, take this into consideration. This home will always be worth a little less than a similar home nearby.

If you are willing to sacrifice to get into the school district or neighborhood you’ve always dreamed of, keep on looking. Once you get the location, nobody but Uncle Sam can take that away from you.

Floor plan

Old homes with closed off kitchens are out in today’s market. It’s a thing of the past. People today want open kitchen plans that look into other rooms. If you think you can just open up the kitchen to allow people to see into the family room, think again.

To make this change will require a lot of construction, money, resources, and is quite a project. It also takes a significant ant amount of time. Think about it, you will be making architectural drawings, tearing out a wall(s), putting up temporary walls, installing beams to carry wider loads, and risking your kitchen...

Think About the Exterior Before Buying

It isn’t difficult to become fixated on one particular house when house hunting. When you find the one you love you will be willing to do almost anything to get it. Before you set your heart on a particular home, take a second look of the outside before making an offer. Any home isn’t truly a great home unless it can pass an extensive exterior test. Below is what you should look for on the outside.

Trees a foliage

The first thing you want to look at are trees and foliage. Are the trees close to the foundation of the house? If they get too big their roots can cause problems. IF the tree was removed, the roots left behind will rot and create problems as well. Consider calling in a foundation expert during the inspection  

A lot of trees grow so large their limbs grow over the home, sometimes causing damage to the roof shingles. Critters, like squirrels, opossums, or other rodents can use these limbs to seek shelter in your home, and then you have a bigger problem.

If you know this is the house you want, you may want to ask the seller to trim foliage away from the home. This will eliminate the possibility of termites, or carpenter ants.

Foundation

Cracks in your foundation are a huge problem because it allows in moisture. This allows for leaks in your foundation and water destroys most household features. Moisture creates mold which is never good, and can erode the concrete in your foundation. Check this area very carefully, and if there is a problem, try to make sure it is fixed as part of the negotiation.

Pool

If a pool comes with the house there are a few “must ask” questions – how old is the liner? Has it been resurfaced? How old is the equipment?

Either way, have a pool company do a proper inspection so you know what...

Questions to Ask When Buying New Construction Homes

If you are searching around the market for a brand new home, you are in luck; they are being built at an 18 percent increase from the previous year, which is about 840,000 new homes. The biggest downfall to buying a new home is the price tag attached. The average price of a newly built home in 2015 was $351,000.

The market is what it is, and there are still ways you can save when you purchase a new home. It’s a lot like car shopping and you need to have a strategy to get the best deal. Ask builders these questions in order to find the right home for you.

What financial incentives do you offer for using your preferred lender and Title Company?

Builders don’t often set a precedent for negotiation sales prices. This is because if a home is listed at $400,000 and sells for $390,000, the next buyer in the lot over will want to buy that home for $380,000. However, it is not uncommon for builders to offer incentives for those who use their preferred lender and title company.

They may even knock off a big chunk on the price tag. They have also been known to sweeten the deal by negotiating prices on finishes like adding hardwood floors instead of carpet.

It’s not a bad idea to keep shopping for a lender with different quotes in the meantime. Interest rates aren’t the only thing you are shopping for here; compare each loan estimate terms to make sure the deals match up.

What are standard finishes?

When you walk through the model home in the development, keep in mind this is the high-end version of the home you are considering. The models are spruced up and are there to entice the buyers. So you should which options are standard, which are upgrades, and what the cost is for those upgrades.

The best sway to cut your cost is to move into a home without the upgrades. Then you can either hire a contractor, or do the work yourself...

Keys to Buying A Flipped House

A lot of home buyers assume a flipped house is in perfect condition when they buy it, because well it is new. They are paying top dollar because everything in it is assumed to be new and ready to go. This doesn’t mean it won’t have its hassles.

DIY network makes flipping houses look like a piece of cake and that every one of them turns into a happy ending. What they don’t show you is several months, a year down the road about how the home is withstanding the daily wear and tear.

A good amount of the time property flippers try to minimize the time spent on homes so they can move on to the next one, and this often leads to cheap repairs. It’s totally common for them to find unexpected problems with one home that will put them over budget, and make their renovation subpar.

If you are buying a flipped home, or one that the seller purchased less than a year ago, taking into consideration these tips so you don’t find yourself in between a rock and a hard place.

Attention to detail

Don’t get enthralled in the new appliances, marble baths, and other bells and whistles. Look at the details closely to see what kind of work was actually completed. You will see shortly if it is quality or not. These little things will show you:

  • Light switch plates that aren’t flush with the walls.
  • Crown molding that isn’t perfectly matched at the corners.
  • Gaps between the countertops and walls.
  • Gaps in bathroom tile.
  • Doors and cabinets that don’t close completely.

These cosmetic faults are a strong indicator if there are larger issues that lay underneath. If the renovator was careless enough to not do the small things right, chances are they did the same work with the larger projects that would cost major bucks to repair.

Get an inspection

Because most buyers assume...

7 Ways Buyers Can Compete with Investors

If you are in the market to buy a house and are worried if you can go toe-to-toe with real estate investors, worry no longer; there are multiple tools to gain to competitive edge. Investors main goal is to get a house for a great deal by offering all-cash offers, while submitting a lowball bid. If you can muster the funds to offer a realistic offer, be preapproved, and show this is your dream house, you can surely stand against them and win.

Offer strong

Buying a house more-than-not turns into a bidding war, and the simplest way to win, is to offer more money.  Cash buyers always want to offer less because they have cash. If you are competing with a cash offer, you will have to offer more than the competition, maybe even above the asking price.  

Don’t skimp on earnest money

The word “earnest” might seem a bit dated, but the concept it represents of “putting your money where your mouth is” will never grow old. This money is sent into your escrow account shortly after signing the purchase agreement, and will tell the seller you are serious. You stand apart because investors don’t often put down their earnest money, because their money is spread across multiple deals and they want to keep as much as they can on hand.  Usually this earnest money will cost you 1% of the purchase price, but it’s not uncommon for buyers to offer 3%.

Get a preapproval, or a pre-underwriting letter

Being preapproved for a loan is essential if you are competing with an all-cash buyer. Your lender will write you a preapproval letter stating you are qualified to borrow and certain amount of money. You can take it up a step by presenting a personalized letter from your mortgage adviser stating what great people you are.

To speed it up even further, get yourself a pre-underwriting...

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

Numbers can dictate the path of our lives whether they are real or superficial. The same way we need high GPA’s in high school to get into college, we need high credit scores to get a loan. It’s no secret life happens and people make mistakes with damaging effects to that score.

In today’s market, bad credit isn’t only a three digit number. It can be timing too, like overdue late charges, or a somewhat recent short sale or foreclosure. Here are a few ways to get around this life-report card in order to get a loan.

Save a large down payment

Buyers with a credit score of 580 or below will need a large down payment. IF you’ve got a score that’s a bit higher, you can use that large down payment to compensate for your score, meaning you will need a minimum of 20% down.

With a large down payment, you are telling the lender you have sizeable cash, despite what your credit history says. Your loan-to-value ratio is lowered, and you instantly have more equity than you would have with a lesser down payment. They want to see buyers with large down payments because the more they have invested in the home, the less likely they are to default, at least in theory. All this makes you less of a risk.

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Is It a Good Idea to Buy in a Foreclosed Neighborhood?

If you are considering real estate investments, one option is always foreclosed homes. REO homes are real estate owned homes that have been foreclosed upon and are often significantly cheaper. Here are some reasons you may (or may not) want to buy in areas with high level s of foreclosed homes.

Benefits

Affordability – when banks own these homes, they don’t want to hold on to them for as short as possible.  Every month they own it, is another month spent paying taxes, upkeep, and whatever else the home might need. They usually will offer these homes at greater discounts in order to get rid of it, often meaning smaller mortgage payments.

If the neighborhood is filled with REO’s, then the surrounding houses will be sold cheaper, even if they aren’t REO’s.

Options – REO’s come at a variety of prices, and sizes. You will be able to find almost anything in your price range when shopping through REO’s.

Value appreciation  Buying a foreclosed home that needs some work will surely benefit from the repairs and upgrades you install. As long as the repairs hold up, you can sell the home for considerably more than you bought it for.

Even buying a non-foreclosed home in a high foreclosure area has benefits. You might have to wait a while for other buyers to buy those homes in order to see price appreciation.

Giving back – it’s no secret foreclosures hurt the overall neighborhoods value, so when you put the work in your foreclosure with the aims to improve it, you are helping out the community. You are a key part in leading the recovery. If your neighbors appreciate what...

5 Steps to Avoid Buying a Money Pit

If you are buying a home, but have a bad feeling that it could be costlier than it appears, you may be right. Don’t buy a home that will turn into a money sucking black hole. A black-hole-home is a home that turns out needing what seems to be an endless amount of repairs, costing you a pretty penny frequently. Homeowners have lost their minds over these homes.

There are strategies that buyers can act to prevent their future home from becoming a bust. Here are the five steps to avoid this disaster.

Attend inspections

Be present at all the inspections; from the overall home inspection, to the pest inspection, roof, and other inspections. The inspector will physically show you what the problem is, and what needs to be done to fix it. They’ll tell you how urgent these issues are, and what they might cost. While being there you have the ability to ask them questions, which is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Read reports and disclosures

Reading what they’ve reported is crucial to knowing if you’re buying a money pit or not. You will not only want to read all the reports by inspectors, but any provided by the seller. In their reports you will want to read up on any repairs they have made, repeated repairs, water and leaky issues, or anything else that is essential to a home functioning properly.

Take note of which repairs have greater urgency and which ones will be costlier. Talk to your agent if there are any questions they can answer, and lead you in the best direction.

Get multiple repair bids

Even though the inspector gave you a “price”, it’s rarely accurate. Home buyers find themselves in the middle of the black hole once they see all the repairs stacking up. In order to get the best deal possible, it’s best to get multiple repair bids from reputable contractors....

4 Numbers That Determine Your Buying Power

Buying a house is a lengthy process, and there is a list of things to consider before signing your name for the last time. While you are sizing up the house, mortgage lenders are looking at a few specific numbers that could paint another financial picture for you. You will want to have a sense of how you stand in these four areas before you even begin your house hunt.

Credit Score

This score is the most basic way lenders analyze you, looking at your creditworthiness, which is your ability to pay back your loan each month. Five factors determine your credit score, with each having its own importance. Here’s how it breaks down: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), credit mix (10%), and new credit (10%).

Having a low credit score doesn’t always mean you don’t qualify, but it does make this more challenging. Your interest rate is also determined by your score, having higher payments for lower scores. On the other hand, having better scores makes payments less expensive.

Down Payment

Cash will remain king even though times are changing. The more money you can put down upfront the more buying power you have in the end. There are many benefits to having the prerequisite of 20% down. Putting the 20% down, or more, can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI), and let you be able to negotiate for lower interest rates.

It all comes down to how committed you appear, and how financially ready you are to make a giant purchase.

Debt-to-income Ratio

Having a good steady income is excellent, but it isn’t everything when determined your mortgage qualifications. Lenders are looking for assurance you can pay your mortgage back on top of all the other expenses you have. They will begin looking at your front-end ratio, or housing ratio – your monthly house...

7 Incentives for Buy A Home In December

Buying a home in December is uncommon, but not a bad idea. The buying competition is lower; sellers are a bit more motivated, and the tax at the end of the year benefits. If you are in the market and it’s nearing the end of the year, take a look at the benefits of winter buying, call your agent and let him know you want to pull the trigger.

Bargain Prices

December is a month in which people are frantically shopping, and attending holiday parties which aren’t always for home buying. Let this work in your favor – the marketplace with have fewer buyers, and the homes on the market will be priced to sell, and that means less offers to take away from yours.

Motivated Sellers

When homes are on the market in December, there’s a reason. It could be a few reasons; job relocation, financial troubles, changes of circumstance, or just want to move. In any case, this gives you leverage to negotiate a good deal for yourself. Try lowballing them, and see if you can find a closing date that works best for you.

Tax Benefits

Buying a home this year will look good on your bottom line when tax season rolls around. Closing by Dec. 31st means you can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points of your loan, and interest costs, the entire time building your equity. The money savers are in the deductions during the early years of your loan when you are mostly paying interest.

Vendor Availability

Moving companies are quite slow in December, which lets you book them in short notice. You can also get the prime time moving slots, and request a little extra effort on their part like bringing blankets and packing materials. You can also use this strategy for other services like repair men, inspectors, etc.

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