5 Home Buyer Incentives

In any market there are sellers who are driven to get it over with, and just want to move. Often times these deals are driven by incentives, which inspire sellers to make their homes more attractive. Some sellers even have to put a little more effort during the slower months when homes don’t move as quickly.

If you are wanting to sell your home, but are concerned it could be a difficult one to sell, try offering buyers something that will be difficult to walk away from. Below are several ideas you might not have thought of, which can be offered from the start, or thrown in along the way to keep the buyer close.

Buying the interest rate down

Very rarely does a home buyer not need a mortgage to buy their house, but for the rest of us that do this one’s for you. Banks look into several factors before loaning money, such as the condition of the market, and when you apply. When you want to get a low rate, you usually will be forced to pay an upfront fee, called a point. Paying this upfront is called “buying down the rate,” and sellers have the power to do this for the buyer too.

Let’s say the bank offers the buyer three percent on a30-year fixed mortgage, the buyer or seller can then pay one percent of the loan amount to receive an interest rate in the ballpark of 2.75 percent. This is lower payments for the buyer, which could save him tremendously in the long run. The savings could be even greater if you have a higher rate on y our 30-year note.

Include window coverings and furniture

Buying furniture if you have none can be quite an expensive ordeal. Some homeowners will renovate their homes, and then pick furniture that best fits their new look. It’s also not uncommon for buyers to offer to buy the furniture inside.

If your home has specific furniture that might not fit well...

Your last Minute Real Estate Tax Breaks For Buyers

2016 is right around the corner and so are the taxes that come along with it. Prepare yourself for 2016 by knowing what burdens you’ll have and what real estate tax deductions you can use to save you some money.

In 2015, the senate approved several tax extender bills into 2016. Many tax deductions and credits had expired, and they extended them to roll into 2016 to give us taxpayers a break until the end of the year. The bill they’ve passed makes a few amendments to the IRS tax code, changing what you will owe. Most of these breaks are targeted for special interest groups, but fall upon us as well.

If you own a home, or are looking to close on one, your tax pictures could be different than what you expected for 2016. Here are a few of the tax breaks that could benefit you.

Mortgage debt forgiveness

When a lender writes off any or all part of a forgiven debt, that amount is then passed back to the borrower as taxable for federal income tax purposes. This rule applies to ass debts include home mortgages. In 2007, congress passed the mortgage debt forgiveness act, which called for an exemption.  

The rule called for homeowners who qualified (given they’ve lost their homes) don’t have to pick up their forgiven debt as income on their tax returns. This was only supposed to be a brief law, but has been extended a few times, and they’re debating extending it again into 2016.

Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums

As most markets today are tougher than previously, buyers find that lenders require Private mortgage insurance, to protect them in the case of default. Here’s the thing – as PMI is required, you usually can’t write it off, and unlike the interest you pay on your mortgage. Mortgage insurance payments are typically not deductible for tax purposes.


First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Each of us has all bought something from an impulse buy. We buy it because we wanted it then, in that moment, and later regret it. From the trucker hat in the gas station, to the barely played guitar that sits in the corner of our room; these items all make us question why we bought it in the first place. None of these are life changers though, but what if one was? What if you bought something that could change your life if you couldn’t afford it? This often happens with first-time home buyers.  The process can be daunting and confusing, but having your agent in your corner will make this process no problem. The best thing you can do is to protect yourself from first-time buying mistakes.

Getting emotionally attached

Buying the most expensive item you probably have ever bought will come with some emotional attachment, but don’t let it become too prevalent. If you lose a house for whatever reason, you could spend a while mourning about the house you lost. Do yourself a favor and remember, it’s just a house, it doesn’t love you back.

Finding the home yourself

Yes you can look around all you want, but let you agent do most of the work. They know what you’re looking for (hopefully), and can even find homes that haven’t even been put on the market yet. Make them earn their dollar, because they are the professionals again not you.

Go directly to the listing agent

Do NOT go directly to the listing agent yourself. This is highly frowned upon, unless you know them personally, or have worked with the before. Your agent should go to the agent before you do, so let them.

Assuming the rules don’t apply to you

One of the best parts of owning your own home is,...

Why You Should Buy in the Fall

The real estate market goes through its hot and cold cycles just like the seasons; they heat up during spring and summer, and cool down during the fall and winter. Don’t let the seasons dictate when you buy though; there are plenty of advantages to buying during the fall.

Old spring homes can be quite the deals in the fall

The ideal time to put a home on the market is during the spring. They are full of confidence and excitement, which often leads to pricing their homes too high. In this case, it’s not common to find the price drop during the summer. If it is still too high by Labor Day, the sellers will have to drop again, giving the buyers the deal they’ve been waiting for. Getting a spring home for a great deal couldn’t be any sweeter.

Fewer buyers in the market

Most families are already in their new home by the start of a school year, which takes out a good portion of the competition. Without majority of the competition, this gives you a better chance, and breathing room. Open houses will be less crowded, and if you really love a house, you can make an offer right then and there.

Motivated sellers want to sell by the end of the year

Sellers usually want to sell by the end of the year for the tax reason. Because they are looking to save some money, they are now thinking of their home as an investment, and want to make the best deal for them possible. Just to be certain, always ask the seller why they are selling and when their ideal sell date is. Be sure to look for the listings that offer benefits for closing before December 31st.

Motivated sellers have their homes listed by the holidays

Sellers cannot stand the idea of their potential sale to be dwindling...

How to Lose the Bidding War, But Still Win the Property

Buying real estate can be a competitive task, especially when there are more buyers than sellers. If your pockets aren’t as deep as others, your offer will probably get rejected a few times. Don’t worry though; you can take this rejection and finally get the home you want. Here are a couple reasons why your initial offer could eventually close to deal.

Use a second offer as plan B

If the seller does not choose your offer, and accepts your competition over price and minor contingencies, it wouldn’t hurt to request them to use yours as a backup offer. Just by asking, you could be number two in line if the other deal falls through.

Just within reach

The moment a seller makes the first move after accepting an offer, they are already in moving mode. They can see an empty house and the moving trucks in the driveway. If the buyer backs out last minute for whatever reason, the seller will probably accept the backup offer to keep the process moving forward.

Chances improve after inspection

There have been numerous inspections that have failed the test, and the buyer walks away because the seller doesn’t want to deal with it. These issues aren’t going anywhere; which plays favorably to you because the seller is more willing to accept the backup offer instead of no offer.

Loan qualifications are tougher now

As the standards for getting a loan rise, some buyers will not qualify, in turn backing out of the deal. This is where you come to save the day.

Make a one month time limit

The longer the transaction process takes, the more likely disagreement is afoot. Set yourself a month time limit for your backup offer...

5 Things Every Home Buyer Must Know When Financing a Home

If you plan to buy a house and get a mortgage, there are a few things you should definitely know. If you are a first-time home buyer it can be overwhelming, but these five tips will get you on your way.

Know the full cost of owning a home

First thing you should know is there are four payments that will go towards your house – principle, interest, taxes, and insurance.

The principle and interest are your monthly expenses. You pay off the amount of your loan month by month with the principle, and the interest is the fee for borrowing the money. The taxes are an annual property tax determined by the county you live in. Usually it is about 1.2 percent of your home’s value of that year. Homeowner insurance is a requirement when you have a mortgage. You can choose which insurance company you pay to, but this insurance usually costs anywhere from $700 - $1,300 a year.

If you choose to live in a house that is included in a home owner’s association you will have monthly dues. These can also run you $100 - $1,000 a year.

Know your credit history

The best weapon you can have when buying a house is a killer credit score. It’s simple, the better your credit score, the better mortgage deals you receive. Lenders look favorably upon strong credit scores and will give you more money for a lower interest rate.

If you do not have any credit, you should consider getting some. When you open a line of credit, your score will drop 5-15 points immediately, but it takes a few months of on-time payment to boost it up again.

Match mortgage products to your budget and timeline

It’s a good idea to know where every dollar is going. Make a written budget plan and delegate how much you can spend on the house and what is left over to spend on daily...

Buying a House in a Good School District Matters

Despite whether you have kids or not, buying a house in a good school district can still benefit you. The obvious benefits of better teachers, test scores,  and books are always there, but what you may not know, is that these good school districts can preserve the value of your home, and ensure a good turnaround time should you decide to sell.

Never overlook the value of a good school district, but keep in mind the pros and cons of them too. There are a few costs to evaluate when trying to find a good deal on a home, and finding a good education for your children. Finding a more expensive home in a public school district is often times a better deal than what could be found in some places for kids to attend private schools.  

Finding a good public school

It’s no surprise most buyers look for homes in good school districts; it’s a big factor in the big decision. But how can you be sure if this school district is c0onsidered one of the good ones? This is determined by the age of the school, condition of the property, student-to-teacher ratio, and standardized test scores.

The bigger picture

It’s not so easy to directly connect a school district and a quality home. If a school district isn’t ranked in the upper tiers, it doesn’t mean the quality of the local education is poor. Also consider private schools. Should you wish for your child to go to private schools, it is definitely possible to find a fairly priced home. When you do the math though, it can be quite expensive with a thousand dollar a month tuition bill, and a mortgage payment. Don’t forget all the other bills and unexpected things life can throw your way.

For example, a homeowner with a $1,300 mortgage payment on a $300,000 house, who is also paying $1,000 tuition payment, can also afford a more expensive home with a...

Buying a House? Do These Five Things First

Are you considering buying a house? This is one of the biggest decisions of your life, with a ton of questions to be answered, and even more loose ends to secure. What you will want to do first is to make a checklist to start the right way. Here are five tips to make sure you do before taking the plunge.

  1. Checklist – Everyone can benefit from a check list. No matter how small, no matter how large, checklists help even the most organized people get everything in line. When buying a house, this is no different.
  2. Do your homework – IF you want to walk in late and without studying, you’ll be the one who is setting up to fail. No matter what you’re going to buy, know what you’re looking at. Whether it’s a small one-story ranch, or a multilevel mansion; know the features of each so you are prepared to ask the owner or agent about the property. Without knowing what you’re looking at, it’s difficult to know if you truly like it or not.
  3. Look at your credit score – Nothing scares away mortgage lenders like a bad credit score. Take a look at it to see if you have any bad marks, and fix them if you can. The typical score of 580 is what most bankers like to see, and will give you a decent interest rate. As always, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be.
  4. Get a pre-approval for your mortgage – This is to safeguard you when you walk in any house that catches your eye. You probably cannot afford it without the mortgage anyway. Eliminate the worry of house shopping by knowing you CAN get this house.
  5. Don’t forget loan fees – Closing costs are almost unavoidable, and often forgettable. Allocate anywhere from 10% - 20% for closing costs, and if you can get the seller to cover them then that’s a home run.

Those are the five major things you should do before buying a house, but there are a couple little side things you can do that won’t...

3 Tips to Create an Offer Sellers Can’t Pass Up

Whenever putting in a bid for a house, some offers are more attractive than others. I’m going to show you how to draft an offer that will put you in a good competitive position to get the house you want. This offer not only has to be made, but it has to be accepted before you can call this home yours.

These tips won’t guarantee you will get the house, but they will help you become a leading candidate.

  1. Carefully consider your approach – If this property’s listing price is a good starting point, reconsider. Talk to your real estate agent and find out what similar properties in the area have sold for. Your best bet is to check in the past three months, as those will give you more accurate numbers. This will give you a better idea of where your offer stands in comparison to the seller’s asking price, and the market price.

How will you be paying for this place? Will you pay cash or finance it? Cash offers usually get you’re the best deal because it’s straight cash. No mortgage holes and loose ends to tie up. If you choose to finance it, but are offering a quick close, (less than 30 days), your agent can probably use that to leverage a better deal for you.

Be careful of throwing a lowball offer on the table. Ask your agent how this could play out. Sometimes it’s a great start to begin negotiations, but other times it can send the wrong message and totally derail the negotiation. It’s all dependent on the seller and the market.

When you are ready to submit your offer, back it up with all the details the seller wants to know. Your goal is to get the seller to believe this is the best offer on the table. They will need the completed offer paperwork; all the signatures from everyone involved, and if you are asking for concessions, make sure they make sense.

  1. Weigh the pros and cons of your request for repairs – asking for concessions is part of most offers. If it’s...

3 Home Buyer Tactics to Get the House You're After

 Before putting in an offer, we worry if ours is the one the seller is going to choose ours. Homes are moving quickly in today’s market. It can be quite cutthroat out there when multiple people are after one particular house.  I’m going to let you in on a few tips that will raise your odds of getting that house you want so badly.

Make your offer a “sharp” one

This means make sure the seller knows you’ll do almost anything it takes to get their house. The true definition of a sharp offer is to match the highest bid, and then raise it by five percent, sometimes ten.

Offer to buy out the winning buyer

We have all heard of sore losers, who just didn’t get what they wanted and sometimes even track down the winning bidder and try to negotiate with them. How this could work is to track down the buyer, and offer to pay them their earnest money deposit (occasionally up to three percent of the purchase price) as well as any expenses in return for letting you take over the purchase.

Write a letter to the new homeowners once they close

If you found yourself on the outside of that awesome house looking in, this is your last ditch effort. This is where you want to make contact with the new buyer, either knocking on their door or writing them a letter. In this conversation you explain how you missed the house of your dreams and would like to buy it directly from them, and make sure you make an offer they can’t refuse. It must cover their costs of moving again, and put a little back in their pocket for the trouble. This could finally motivate them to take your deal.

If none of these work, then you’ve lost. It’s time to go find that next house and get on with your life. Remember this experience though and use it to your advantage...

3 Strategic Moves for Competitive Home Buyers

As a home buyer there are actions you can take which can put you ahead of all the other buyers. It’s a competitive market, and depending how bad you want that house, you must play it smart. If you’ve been in the hunt for a couple months and have submitted multiple offers without any bite, it’s time to step your game up. The goal is to actually purchase the home you’ve been after, despite all the fun and learning experience you’ve had in the process.

When you know you’ve found your dream house, it’s time to buckle down and get serious. Getting serious means you will be uncomfortable through this ride, as well as nervous, and financially exhausted. As gloomy as this may look, take note that this is part of the course, and it will be all worth it in the end. To make it a bit easier for you, here are three strategies to give you the upper hand over other buyers.

Find out what’s important to the seller and give it to them

The seller has what you are after, so you need to figure out what it is they’re after, and deliver it on a silver platter to them.  Ask your agent what their story is, why are they selling? Are they staying in the neighborhood, or going out of town? Once you know some of their background, put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you would want.

For example, if you somehow find out they are in contract to buy a home, try tempting them with a clean sale to get it over with. Have your inspections, and appraisals completed in a week, and do away with your contingencies so the seller knows this can be a sure deal with you.

If they are trying to find a new place to live before they sell, try “renting back” after the closing. This will let them stay in the home while their money is in the bank, their debt is relieved, and they don’t feel the pressure to move out immediately.


5 Ways to Spot Sloppy Work When Buying a Flipped House

Buying a newly renovated and flipped house can be one of the best things you ever do, but be sure to do your homework. If you watch HGTV, buying these houses is almost a norm, and it looks so easy; real life isn’t like this.

What most fail to realize is flippers goal is to unload their property as quickly, and inexpensive, as possible. Often times there are shortcuts involved, which can lead to problems down the road. Here are give ways to make sure your flip doesn’t end up a flop.

  1. Suss out the sellers

Flipping homes is a profession, so there are people out there who do this all day, most every day. There will be a bunch of buyers can attest to the work they’ve done. Find out their names and check on their experience. If you don’t know your seller, you can go right to the county’s assessor’s office to find out the name on the deed. A little light internet researching should finish the rest. If they do happen to have a good amount of experience, a local real estate agent or home inspector will probably know them, and then will tell you the quality of their work.

  1. Do you due diligence

Everyone knows you should have your prospective home inspected before buying it. This is exponentially true when buying a flip house. If anything appears as a potential problem, hire an inspector in that particular area, whether it be mold, termites, pests, lead, or cracked floors.

  1. Find out when it was built

Knowing how old the house is tells you the odds of structural work. If it is older than 75 years or older, it probably has had at least one foundation repair. If it has not had a foundation repair then get a structural engineer in there to inspect it right away. If the home is newer and built in the 80’s and later, it most likely has had walls removed to fit the “open” concept.  Since knocking walls down was probably happening at some point, you’ll want to make...

6 Reasons to Make a Larger Down Payment


When you are about to purchase a house it is no secret you must have a down payment. The more you put down, the more than bank likes you. This tells them, this person has some cash, and is less likely of a risk for defaulting. For you, the more cash you hand over in advance the quicker you can pay off your house, and how much your mortgage payment is. So if it is in your budget to make a down payment that is larger than the average, is it a smart move to do it?

  1. Easier Approval: Having more of a down payment shows a good sign of borrower strength, and shows lenders you know what it takes to save. The chances approval rise dramatically with a large down payment. Also, if you are in a situation where there are multiple offers, offering the seller more upfront can be the X-factor in outbidding everyone else.
  2. A Lower Interest Rate: Mortgage companies, banks, lenders of all kind typically give better interest rates when your loan-to-value ratio is lower. The increase in your down payment lowers this ratio, which in turn lowers risk. Since having a low interest rate will save you a ton in the long run, you win also. Another factor that lowers your interest rate is your credit score. Be sure to know where you stand before you apply for a loan.
  3. Lower Monthly Payments: More down payment up front means less of a mortgage payment down the road. Save up now to pay less later.
  4. Mortgage Free Sooner Than Later: Since you are paying more of the cost now, you can pay the entire mortgage sooner. You will undoubtedly have lower monthly payments, and could even use those savings to pay off an extra principal payment. There are tons of advantages for this.
  5. No Need for Mortgage Insurance: When you have small down payments, lenders will recommend you get mortgage insurance. This protects the lender if you default on your mortgage. The premiums are a cost that you avoid by making...

Where to Stash Your Down Payment

When you are ready to buy a house, everyone knows you must have a down payment. This requires a giant lump of cash. Where do you put it while you are saving though?

 In order to protect yourself, you’ll want to place it in “cash equivalents”. These are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the U.S. Government. But don’t trust the government with your money, they suck at handling money, but I digress. This money won’t give you much of a return, but it will be readily available when you need it.

 Listed below are some RISK-FREE savings options.

 Online Savings Accounts

Definitely consider an online bank account since they have the best interest rates. If you do your banking online you won’t have to work around the banks hours. This also makes banking so much easier because of automatic transfers and direct deposits. Checking your account info is also a breeze because you can do it from your phone.

You will also be less likely to go grab it out of the bank and spend it elsewhere. This way the money can stay in the bank and be used as you intended.

The following websites were ranked as some of the best savings accounts: GE Capital Bank, MySavingsDirect, Barclays, iGoBanking.com, and Ally Bank.


Just like savings accounts, most CD’s are FDIC insured. Unlike savings accounts, you can be penalized for withdrawing early. Investing in a short-term CD is an option if you feel you might withdraw it early. However, the longer you sign up for the better the interest rate.

Another option with CD’s is called laddering. Laddering allows you to divide up your time periods for a certain amount of cash. You can lock up a chunk of cash with three months, and another chunk for a year or more.


Escrow: How Much Do You Really Know

Escrow is a big factor in home ownership, so don't be caught off-guard when closing day finally comes. So when you are about to buy a house or refinance a property, you will receive a good faith estimate close to when you "go into" escrow. This estimate includes a line item for the escrow account information. What this essentially is is an extra fund used to pay for property taxes and insurance.


Back in the dark ages when a person wanted to buy a house, they would get a traditional home loan. However, the payments towards property taxes and insurance would come out of their own pocket. It wasn't uncommon that during tax time homeowners would be falling a bit short on their payments.


Because this happened quite frequently, mortgage lenders began offering, and sometimes requiring, the borrowers to pay these taxes and insurance payments into a separate account. This became known as an escrow account, and as the payments became due, the mortgage lenders would pay them for the borrower.

The mortgage lender would also use this fund to collect interest. When you consider the amount of houses needing an escrow account in one area, pool them all together, the lender will be earning a ton of money. As this system became more integrated, some mortgage lenders started to make the borrower have their money upfront. Occasionally, the borrower would receive a quarter-point discount on a mortgage interest rate for escrowing their taxes and insurance.


During closing time, buyers would have to throw down a significantly large amount of cash to begin an escrow account, sometimes up to six months’ worth of taxes and insurance. Chances are they are not thrilled about the interest lost by not having these funds invested. Since these issues are real, a good portion of borrowers choose not to escrow these monies when the lenders give them the option.


What's Best for Buyers?


Generally this is a smart move for...

4 Mental Traps to Avoid When Buying Your Next Home

Do you think you are ready to buy a house, but worry about all the details you could miss? Maybe you are a bit too excited. Before you sign over your John Hancock, stop for a minute and self-diagnose yourself if you are falling in one of thsese common homeowner traps.

1.       Assuming that buying is always better than rentingMost people believe that renting a home is like throwing money away. This is just an opinion, nothing more. The decision to buy against renting needs to be based on several factors. Factors like your tax bracket, the amount of time you will be spending in the residence, the average prices in your area, and the mortgage rate for which you qualify. There are more but those are just a few. As an example, let’s say you play to live somewhere for three years and the home will cost $100,000. Essentially this is costing you $,1000 a month. In this case you may just want to buy something. On the other hand, if you want a house that’s $650,000 and you could rent for $,1000, this might be the better choice.

2.       Believing your current needs reflect your future needsLet’s imagine you are in a relationship with a significant other. You both enjoy traveling and don’t want to spend a ton on keeping your home maintained. You will probably land on a small home that fits both of your needs, and ignoring the ones that are not in a decent school district. When you are buying a home, think about the future, not the present. You had better buy the home you will want to be living in in five to ten years down the road. You might make a family in the meantime and that extra space will be crucial! Do not neglect other factors like HOA fees, proximity to jobs, school districts, yard size, and neighborhood safety. Your wife asks you to build a swimming pool, but in three years, your youngest child goes off to college and you want to travel like you all used to. Who has time to upkeep a pool when you’re...

Should You Wait to Make an Offer on a New Listing?

It’s sensible and smart to not be the first bid for every now listing, but how long is long enough to wait to enter your bid? And how do you know when to simply pass, or proceed in making that bid on your dream home.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Pace is determined by the market and the seller’s motivation/determination.  But you shouldn’t wait too long when you find your next potential home.

Do your homework and get to know the neighborhood. Find when all the neighboring houses sold and for how much. Make sure to have your mortgage preapproval letter ready as well.

If you are a buyer and know you WANT this house, do not wait. Go for it!

Use caution with early offers

Most sellers begin to believe they have priced their homes too low when offers start coming in fast. But we all know the first offer is the best offer. They usually tend to become worse with time. Real estate agents’ jobs are to sell properties at the highest price, in the shortest amount of time.

Make a fair proposal

A house’s greatest interest is when it just gets to the market.

Here’s a good example: a family is looking to buy a house, but had lost several contracts previously to cash buyers. Finally they found a good home and waited 10 days to bid $10,000 below the asking price. The family did their homework and knew the true value of the home, and what they were willing to offer. The seller asked to meet them in the middle and only go down by $5,000. A deal was made and both parties win.

Show your appeal

Besides being fair with your bid, make one that is appealing. Make yourself look appealing, by not needing to sell your current home before buying this home. You want to look like a perfect candidate. It also helps to groom yourself and not look like a bum....

Buying a Home After a Separation

Buying a Home After a Separation

Breaking up with a long-term partner is never easy, and divorce can be worse. It’s even worse when it involves dividing up belongings, dealing with emotions, and giving up things that we hold sentimental value to.  The usual knife in the hart is losing the home.

Often times people go through post-divorce grief. This is where people sink into a depression and live in a space, merely existing. They do not decorate their new home, refuse to paint, entertain, etc. It’s just a habitable couple of rooms. Not only are they sad about losing a relationship, but they are sad about losing their dream home.

In order to recover, one must recognize their own role in the loss and forgive themselves. They must not see selling their home as a failure defining them or their ex. Once the emotional work is taken care of, it’s time to take care of your financial life. Your credit might take a little hit, so you should work on that a bit. The moment you begin in search of your new dream home, and put in actual effort, you’ll be surprised how life begins to open up again.

Now that you’re beginning again, look for a home that is reasonable. It’s not advised to go buy a home with a huge mortgage only to destroy your credit after you built it up again. There’s a god chance you’ll be downsizing after this separation. So let’s take a look at five tips to make this transition easy.


  1. Trust the process – Honesty is the best way to connect with your real estate agent. Open up to them and let them become a part in your success.
  2. Create your own story – Everyone lives their own lives, and just because it took a friend of yours a couple years to find a home after their divorce doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.
  3. Relax and chill – Your home is out there, it just needs to be found and have your personal touch.
  4. Don’t focus too much on size –...

5 Tools Every Single Homebuyer Should Use

We have all heard the saying, “work hard, play hard”, but now is this time to work smart. Working smarter yields faster results with less effort spent. Apply this to when you are ready to buy a home and it will be easier than what you are led to believe. Are you ready to buy a home? Good! This procedure is filled with a plethora of information.

                 It can be quite intimidating to buy your first home, but with these tools in your repertoire, it won’t be so difficult.

  • Educate yourself- Spend some time learning the steps in the process and learn your rights. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website has some information for people interesting in buying a home. They have info regarding your rights, predatory lending, etc. Once you learn about the industry you will learn all the vocabulary and won’t feel so lost.
  • Calculate cash- We all know buying a house is a serious investment. Knowing your power of the purse is crucial to having a smooth ride. There is nothing worse than finding your dream home priced at $300,000 and only being able to spend $250,000. Find yourself a mortgage calculator and avoid this let-down.
  • Location is everything- Everything about the home is important, size, design, layout, but most of all is the location. Is a good school near? Is there a park around the corner? Am I in a safe neighborhood? Your home is part of a community, and learning the characteristics of this neighborhood is critical before you purchase.
  • Pay attention to safety- Safety is always a major concern when choosing a neighborhood. You should learn all the details about your target neighborhood before you sign your name on the final paper.
  • Make a plan- Lastly; help yourself out by making the websites you find helpful along the way in your favorites. This way they aren’t lost when they need to be found.

Having a smarter...