Lauren Brooks' Blog
If you believe you are coming close to the time to buy your first home, you'll want to be informed. It’s never too early to begin preparing for a home purchase. The more organized you are, and the better you have your financial situation in order the better off you’ll be when it comes to the home search. Where should you start? Below, you’ll find some key things that you can do to maximize your chances of finding and securing your first home.
Check Your Credit
Your credit score is one of the most critical pieces of your financial picture. A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the better off you are. When you’re getting a mortgage, you want to have good credit. If your credit score is above 740, you’ll be eligible for the best interest rates. If your credit score needs help, a higher score will get you the best interest rates available. Once you get your credit score, (It’s free to get through a variety of services.) aim to improve your score. Pay your bills on time. Use less of your available credit (target to use 30 percent or less of your total available credit.) The bottom line is that a low-interest rate will save you a significant amount of money over the life of your loan.
Refrain From Opening New Accounts
If you’re in the market to buy a home, it’s probably best for you to stay away from opening new accounts. Every store has their credit card and offers deals to open an account in store. While it could save you some money on your purchase, opening new accounts has a negative impact on your credit score in the short term. A car loan, for example, will also affect your credit score because it brings your debt-to-income ratio up, which can put a damper on your chances of getting a mortgage for a low-interest rate.
Save, Save, Save
If you want to buy a home soon, you’ll need to save up a significant amount of money. These savings will go towards a downpayment, closing costs, and furnishing your new place. Every chance you get, you should be putting money away. Include gifts, bonuses, and any other income that’s outside of your average take-home pay.
It’s also a good idea to set up a second bank account dedicated to saving for the home. Set up an automatic transfer each month that will go into that account from your primary earnings. You can d this based on how your employer pays you.
Look For A Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be a crucial part of your home search. They will help in everything from finding the property of your dreams to negotiating the deal to sitting by your side at closing. You should do a bit of research to help you find a real estate agent who can assist you in finding the right property for you.
Ask family and friends for recommendations of agents. You can search for the real estate agent’s name online and see what kind of reviews the agent has and contact different agents. From there. You can make a decision.
Now, good luck with your home search!
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Before you list your house, you'll need to establish a competitive price for it. That way, you can increase the likelihood of stirring up plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices for pricing your home.
1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market
The current real estate market's conditions can impact your ability to sell your residence. However, if you study the real estate market closely, you can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and plan accordingly.
In a buyer's market, the number of home sellers exceeds the number of homebuyers. As such, you likely will need to establish an aggressive price right away to separate your house from the competition.
On the other hand, a seller's market favors home sellers over homebuyers. If you're operating in a seller's market, you may be better equipped than ever before to earn a significant profit.
To differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market, examine the prices of recently sold homes and available homes in your area. This housing market data can provide deep insights into the current state of the housing market. Plus, this data can help you understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
Ultimately, a home appraisal can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time.
During a home appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your house both inside and out. Then, this appraiser will offer a valuation of your property based on his or her findings.
A home appraisal involves an evaluation of the current condition of your home, your house's age and your neighborhood. Therefore, if you complete a home appraisal, you should have no trouble using the appraisal results to help establish a fair price for your residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a house, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive expert insights into all aspects of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent is happy to meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will offer home pricing recommendations, ensuring you can make an informed decision about how to price your house.
In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can enjoy a seamless home selling experience. This housing market professional will promote your residence to large groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and put together an engaging and informative home listing. Also, a real estate agent will always keep you up to date about any offers on your home.
Looking to list your home in the near future? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can establish a competitive price for your residence and boost your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.
The home selling trends for 2020 are predicted to skew toward the millennial generation given the most recent statistics of age demographics. While the exact definition of millennial varies, the term usually refers to anyone born between 1980 and 2000 (give or take a few years in either direction).
Given the relatively large time span of this generation, there's a fairly wide gap when it comes to how they search for homes. We'll give you more information on how home sellers can capitalize on this trend rather than fall victim to it.
Prioritize Your Listing
Millennials aren't usually wandering around their dream neighborhoods just hoping to catch a glimpse of an Open House sign. In fact, chances are they're doing a lot of research online before they even consider hiring a real estate agent.
When more than 80% find their home on a mobile device and nearly 100% find their home through an internet search, you need to have an online listing that really speaks to them. Your photos need to be impeccable and your descriptions need to be chockful of the most popular keywords. You may even want to take some high-quality video footage of the inside and outside of the home.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
Millennials do care about how big the home is, but they may be more interested in how close the home is to a good school system (especially the older millennials). They may be looking for reassurance as to the quality of the neighborhood or how long the standard rush hour will delay them.
If you're planning on doing a little renovating before you put the home up for sale, concentrate on the design flow of the home. For most sellers, it's recommended you put an emphasis on the home's patio, pantry, and garage space as a way to attract more buyers. It's the functionality that millennials are concerned with, which would explain why things like laundry rooms are more exciting to them than a huge master bedroom.
You may also want to invest a little money in your exterior lighting, as it can be a good way to improve both the look and safety of the home. And if you want to keep your price tag down, millennials are besotted with Style on a Budget decorating, giving you a chance to flex your creativity without having to buy spend too much money.
Home sellers can talk with a real estate agent to find out if their home is likely to be coveted by millennials or not. It just helps to know what they're looking for before you start inviting people on the property.
If you intend to purchase a house soon, it helps to prepare for the home buying journey. In fact, if you identify potential issues before you start your quest to find your dream home, you could avoid them during your property search.
Now, let's take a look at three common issues that plague homebuyers, along with tips to address these problems.
1. Lack of Home Financing
In some instances, a homebuyer will check out residences and find one that matches their expectations. Next, this buyer will submit an offer to purchase a home that ultimately gets accepted. At this point, however, the buyer may discover that they lack the necessary financing to acquire this home.
Entering the housing market with financing in hand is ideal. If a buyer gets pre-approved for a mortgage, they will know precisely how much money is available for a home purchase. As a result, this buyer can map out their home search accordingly.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, it helps to meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about his or her mortgage options. Plus, they can help you make an informed mortgage selection.
2. Tight Home-buying Timeline
If you have only a limited amount of time to move from your current address, you may rush to purchase a house. In this scenario, you risk making a rash home purchase – something that may prove to be problematic both now and in the future.
For buyers who face a tight home-buying timeline, there is no need to stress. If you make a list of home-buying tasks you need to accomplish, you can take a step-by-step approach to the property buying journey.
3. Unrealistic Home-buying Expectations
You may expect to buy your dream residence without delay. Yet the real estate market offers no guarantees. And in certain instances, it may take many weeks or months before a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase.
To establish realistic home-buying expectations, it usually is a good idea to work with a property buying expert. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and they can provide home-buying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
A real estate agent is committed to a homebuyer's success. As such, he or she will work with a homebuyer and help them prepare for the housing market. A real estate agent will also set up home showings and provide feedback about available residences in a buyer's preferred cities and towns. And if a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual put together a competitive home-buying proposal, too.
When it comes to purchasing a home, you should plan for the best - and worst-case scenarios. If you consider the aforementioned home-buying issues before you begin your house search, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property buying experience.