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 depends

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Use free floor planning tools to visualize your home

When marketing a listing, lots and lots of photographs help give buyers an idea of what the home is like before they tour the property. Professional photos online increase the amount of qualified interest in a home. But one often overlooked piece of information you can provide to help buyers is an accurate floor plan. Up-to-date, detailed floor plans give buyers context for all those photos presented with your listing. While photos tell buyers how the rooms look, the floor plan can help them understand a bit more about the flow of the home, the relative location of the home’s

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How to “Read a Neighborhood”

Like most things in real estate, neighborhoods are constantly changing in value. In some cases they can improve rapidly and decline gradually, but more often than not they change slowly, over time. Ideally, you want to buy property in neighborhoods as they’re appreciating. You certainly don’t want to pay top dollar in a neighborhood which is in decline. So how can you tell which direction things are heading? Home values over time are one way to tell, but they tend to lag behind the trends. Values reflect what the current situation is… they don’t predict the future. While you definitely

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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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