When purchasing a home, your mortgage pre-approval is based on your current financial situation. That’s why once you are pre-approved, you should avoid making big changes to your finances. Here are several things you’ll want to avoid doing while you’re in the process of financing a home purchase:
1. Taking on more debt. Talk to your lender first before you open any new credit accounts, request a credit line increase or co-sign on a loan. As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid taking on any new debt before you close on your home.
2. Changing your job. Your pre-approval is based on a number of factors, including your employment status and pay.
3. Making a big purchase. Check with your lender before making any big purchase, either with credit or with cash. Wait to purchase furniture and other big-ticket items.
4. Making late payments. Stay up to date on all of your credit obligations and utility payments. Now’s not the time to have overdraft your checking account.
The property disclosure report is an important document in any real estate transaction. In it, sellers must reveal any issues relating to a property that could negatively affect its value.
That’s why it’s so important for home sellers to set aside some time to fill out these forms thoroughly and accurately. Sellers are required to disclose any physical issues with a home, such as a leaky window or basement that’s prone to flooding. If the home was treated for termites, that should be on the form. Anything the seller knows about that could affect the property’s value or the home buyer’s enjoyment should be included when filling out a seller’s disclosure form.
These forms aren’t a substitute for a home inspection, of course; home buyers still should have a thorough inspection of any property they are thinking about purchasing. But buyers also should carefully read the property disclosure report as well. While disclosure statements are designed to protect home buyers from purchasing a home with hidden defects, they also can protect sellers from future legal action if the buyer alleges the seller hid a defect in the property. The bottom line: If you know it, disclose it.
When it comes to buying a home, there are two very important people who can help guide you through the process. The first is your lender. Your loan officer can help you determine how much home you can afford and help you review your loan options. If you qualify for a home loan, your lender can provide you with a pre-approval letter, which allows you to start shopping for a home and making offers. Most sellers will not accept formal offers from buyers who are not pre-approved for a home loan.
The second person who will help guide you through the home buying process is your real estate agent. Most home buyers work with an agent. Having a real estate agent by your side can help you make educated choices among the homes you view. When buying a home, it’s easy to let your emotions influence your decisions. Your agent can provide you solid advice based on years of working in real estate to help guide you through the home buying process and help you make the best choice for you and your family.
Thinking about buying a home? Mortgage rates have been bouncing around near all-time lows for quite a while now. Historically speaking, rates still remain incredibly low. Many home buyers today think that mortgage rates this low are the way it’s always been. Not by a long shot! In the early 1970s, mortgage rates hovered between the mid-7 percent range and high 8 percent range. And how about the 1980s? In the early years of that decade, mortgage rates rose to more than 18 percent.
Today’s mortgage rates remain super low, stretching your home-buying dollars. According to the research firm Capital Economics, the average mortgage payment nationwide is still significantly lower than it was in 2006. With continued low mortgage rates projected, the National Association of Realtors is predicting another great year for housing nationwide. The association’s economist is predicting existing-home sales to reach 5.5 million in 2017, up from 5.36 million in 2016. (That’s great news considering 2016 was the best year for existing home sales since 2006.)
Whether you’re buying or refinancing, locking in today’s low rates could be one of the smartest financial moves you ever make. Check out just how far your home buying dollars can go today!
Selling a home can be a nerve-wracking process. It’s your baby, after all. You have been there through all the growing pains, from painting the walls your favorite shade, to upgrading the bathrooms and putting your finishing touches on the window treatments.
When you put your home on the market, however, you want your house to be home sweet home to someone else, which means making it shine for a broad base of prospective homebuyers. Here are three ways to make your home stand out in a crowd.
Keep it neutral
You may be understandably proud of your rare collection of cuckoo clocks, but this can be a serious distraction for those touring your home. At the same time, you don’t want your home to be a blank slate. Studies reveal that houses show better when they are staged with furniture, as staging helps people imagine themselves living in a particular space. Your home is a reflection of your personality, which is completely normal, but personal tastes don’t appeal to everyone. Keep decorations neutral, tasteful, and understated.
Keep it nice and tidy inside and out
Cleanliness goes a long way when it comes to making a home stand out. Before a showing, make sure your home is clean and organized by vacuuming carpets, picking up toys, and clearing any clutter. The same goes for the outside: cut the grass and clean up any landscaping beds before potential buyers stop by.
Showcase your home’s best features
You don’t need a pricey renovation or all new carpeting to get a great price for your home. If your budget is tight, focus on your home’s unique features. Play up fabulous woodwork and crown molding, or remove heavy window treatments that hide a spectacular bay window. Your real estate agent can help you determine the best way to showcase your home’s best features.