Buyer Beware: 3 Home Buying Misconceptions

I’m here to save you pain, buyers. There are myths about the home shopping experience that must be addressed. I like to make the home buying experience as stress-free as possible, so please hear me out on these three big myths about home buying: Myth #1: “That house has been on the market so long I bet we can work the seller down easily.” Not necessarily. Exceptionally high days on market could mean almost anything. The seller could be bullheaded about their price. The seller may not be particularly motivated to sell for emotional or other personal reasons. Don’t forget:

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Be a smarter buyer with this bonus information checklist

  When you’re home hunting, information is power. The more you know before you make an offer, the better. Usually when two homes are equally appealing, digging into the details can make a difference. Here’s a list of “bonus information” that most buyers overlook or forget to ask about while they’re shopping for a house: Homeowner’s association rules: Certain neighborhood covenants may be a deal maker or breaker for you, so if there’s a set of guidelines you’ll be required to adhere to, get them up front. They can cover everything from paint schemes to lawn design and beyond. Utility

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The Truth Behind Renting vs. Buying a Home

  Are you doing the math these days around renting versus buying a home? Trying to decide if you can afford to buy? If so, you’ve probably Googled one of the many “rent versus buy” calculators out there to help you get a handle on your budget. True, they’re helpful, and they can also help clue you in to things like insurance expenses and property taxes, but they overlook a number of key factors in the decision. A mortgage is a surefire way to build wealth. Provided you don’t buy more home than you can truly afford, your mortgage is

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How to Build Neighborhood Connections

If you’ve recently relocated to a new neighborhood, you may find yourself struggling to break the ice with your neighbors. It can be a little daunting to just knock on doors unannounced, and in today’s day of texting and “connections at a distance” could be considered outright rude. Still, neighborhoods are only as good as their neighbors. In a world where so many people recognize neighborhood cars over the faces of people who live around us, there’s a lot to be said for making an effort to connect with the people who live up and down the block. So how

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What You Need to Know about HOAs

  If you’re a first-time buyer and are confused about what a Home Owners Association is (or does), you should definitely ask the right questions before you consider buying. Basically, an HOA is an organization which is designed to protect the quality of life and property values for owners within a neighborhood or shared building. How they do so, though, can vary widely. Typically when you purchase a residence subject to an HOA, you’ll be required to pay monthly dues which often contribute to major repairs or maintenance or the upkeep of common/shared resources. But HOAs can also have a

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What you need to know before you buy a home

  Okay, first-time buyers… it’s time to turn the dream into the dirt you can stand on. Your very own home. I’m sure you have questions. In fact, I’m sure your questions are like most first-time buyers. Which is why I’ve put together this down-and-dirty answer guide for the most common questions home buyers have. What kind of credit score do I need to have? Generally, 630 or above is what you’ll want to have. The better your score, the better the terms will be on your loan. Some lenders may give you wiggle room on this, but it all

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How PMI can make your dream of home sweet home a reality

  (BPT) – In the 2017 housing market, those who choose to pursue the dream of owning a home face several important decisions, such as how much to put toward a down payment. Twenty percent down is typically recommended by most lenders. While 20 percent is not a requirement, paying less can have a big impact on the amount you pay monthly. It is important for home buyers to know that when seeking a conventional loan with less than 20 percent down of the sales price or appraised value of the home, lenders will often require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

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5 mistakes to avoid when buying your first home

              (BPT) – Buying a home for the first time is comparable to the first time you ride a bike. You can learn about how it works from your parents and observe it from a distance, but you really won’t know the ins and outs until you actually sit down on the bicycle and start riding. Like most beginners, first-time homebuyers will likely make a few mistakes as they initially go through the home-buying process in the upcoming year. Here are five mistakes first-time homebuyers often make, and how to best avoid them. 1.

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An affordable way to qualify for a home loan without that big down payment

  (BPT) – For many Americans, the biggest hurdle in buying a home is the 20 percent down payment they think is required for mortgage approval. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, 34 percent of respondents believe they need more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, low down payment mortgages account for a significant amount of home buying annually. Families with down payments as low as 3 or 5 percent have been able to purchase a home thanks to private mortgage insurance (MI) for 60 years. Since 1957, MI has helped 25 million families become homeowners. In

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3 reasons why winter is a smart time to buy a home

  BPT) – Don’t give up on buying a home as winter nears. In fact, December through February may be better for buyers than the busy season in spring and summer. Enjoy less competition and lower prices. Fewer properties are typically available during the winter, as sellers and buyers aim to complete transactions before the school year begins. You can turn that to your advantage. “In winter, there are fewer properties, but it’s less competitive, with fewer buyers per property,” says Greg Jaeger, president of USAA Residential Real Estate Services Inc., and former real estate agent. The more favorable supply-demand

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