Mark Galante's Blog
The homebuying process sometimes can be tough to navigate. Fortunately, we're here to help you achieve the optimal results throughout the homebuying cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that every homebuyer needs to consider as he or she pursues a home:
1. What is my "dream home" definition?
If you know what you want to find in your "dream home," you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your home search. Thus, it generally helps to establish a list of home must-haves and wants to guide you along the homebuying journey.
As you check out a broad range of houses, don't forget to update your list of home must-haves and wants too. By doing so, you may be able to further accelerate your home search.
2. What can I afford to pay for a home?
The prices of homes vary based on location, size and other factors. As such, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage to ensure you know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be fast and simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal.
Of course, you should ask plenty of questions any time you meet with mortgage specialists. This will enable you to evaluate myriad mortgage options and choose a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.
3. How can I quickly and effortlessly achieve my homebuying goals?
The homebuying journey differs from buyer to buyer. However, homebuyers who work with real estate agents typically can boost the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she can teach you about the real estate sector and help you narrow your home search. Also, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will offer unbiased recommendations to ensure that you can make an informed homebuying decision.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying cycle, either. A real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses that match your homebuying criteria. In addition, he or she will set up home showings that enable you to check out residences in-person. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is ready to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to make your homeownership dream come true.
There’s a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if you’re ready for homeownership. We’ll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.
Getting your finances in order
There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if you’re financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, you’ll want to look up your credit score.
Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.
The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.
In the meantime, you’ll want to save for a down payment. While it’s possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders won’t pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).
If you have a high credit score and you’ve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.
Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.
Preparing for homeownership
While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. You’ll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.
First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if it’s a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.
If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), you’ll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.
Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting aren’t aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. You’ll have more bills, you’ll have to mow your own lawn, and you’ll be responsible for maintenance of your home.
Ready to purchase your dream home? Before you finalize a home purchase, it may be worthwhile to schedule a home appraisal.
With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. The home appraiser then will offer a property valuation.
In some instances, a home offer may be appraisal-contingent. And if the home appraisal valuation falls below the amount of a buyer's offer, the buyer may request a renegotiated price.
A home appraisal may prove to be an important part of the homebuying process. As such, it is paramount for homebuyers to understand what an appraisal is all about and determine whether to conduct an appraisal.
To better understand home appraisals, let's take a look at three home appraisal facts that every homebuyer needs to consider.
1. An appraiser's valuation is his or her opinion of what a residence is worth.
Typically, a home appraiser will use a broad assortment of housing market data as part of a home assessment. The appraiser also will look closely at a residence as part of the home evaluation process.
Although a home appraisal is based on housing market data and a home assessment, it is essential to note that a home valuation is an appraiser's opinion. Therefore, two home appraisers may examine the same housing market data and the same house and come up with two different home valuations.
2. The homes in a neighborhood may affect the valuation of a residence.
Believe it or not, a home's value may be impacted by those around it. Thus, if you intend to buy a home, it often pays to evaluate the neighborhood to better understand whether a house's value will decline, stay the same or increase over time.
Furthermore, what you spend to improve a house is unlikely to raise a house's value proportionately. And if you spend $20,000 on home improvements, there are no guarantees that these home improvements will add $20,000 to a home's valuation.
3. A home appraisal and a home inspection are two very different things.
A home inspection often is considered a must-have during the homebuying process, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
During a home inspection, a property expert will ensure there are no structural issues with a home and identify any problem areas. Then, a homebuyer can move forward with a home purchase, rescind a home offer or submit a counter proposal based on a home inspection report.
On the other hand, a home appraisal enables a property expert to evaluate the house in its current state. A home appraiser will compare and contrast a home in relation to others in the area and offer a valuation.
If you need help determining whether to conduct a home appraisal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. With a real estate agent at your side, you can determine whether to set up a home appraisal prior to finalizing a home purchase.
The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.
1. Be Diligent
A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.
2. Know Where You Want to Go
Establish homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.
Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.
Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.
When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.
With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.
2. Understand a Home's Condition
A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.
To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.
The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.
Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.