Addie Finley's Blog
Obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of analyzing various mortgage options and choosing one that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers secure the ideal mortgage.
1. Assess All of the Mortgage Options at Your Disposal
Both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available, and homebuyers who understand the pros and cons of these mortgage options may be better equipped than others to make the right mortgage decision.
A fixed-rate mortgage ensures a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage enables a homebuyer to budget for monthly home payments over the course of three decades. And in many instances, a homebuyer may be able to pay off a fixed-rate mortgage early without penalty.
On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage may start out with a lower monthly payment that escalates over the course of a few years. An adjustable-rate mortgage, for instance, may allow a homebuyer to acquire a home that surpasses his or her initial budget thanks to a lower initial monthly payment. However, after the first few years, the monthly mortgage payment may increase, and a homebuyer will need to plan accordingly.
Assess your mortgage options closely – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you can boost your chances of selecting a mortgage that works well based on your current and future financial needs.
2. Evaluate Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may impact his or her ability to get the right mortgage. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can analyze his or her credit score without delay.
You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, with your credit report in hand, you can better understand how potential lenders may view your mortgage application.
Of course, if you receive a copy of your credit report and find glaring errors, be sure to let the credit bureau know immediately. This will enable you to get any mistakes corrected and ensure these problems won't slow you down as you pursue your dream residence.
3. Consult with Potential Lenders
Although getting a mortgage may seem like an uphill climb at first, consulting with potential lenders may prove to be exceedingly valuable, especially for a first-time homebuyer.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to educate you about assorted mortgage options. These lenders can teach you about the ins and outs of various mortgage options at your convenience.
Lastly, if you need extra help in your search for the perfect mortgage, real estate agents may be able to offer assistance. These housing market professionals can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about lenders in your area so you can move one step closer to securing your ideal mortgage.
Ready to get a mortgage for the first time? Use these tips, and you can accelerate the process of obtaining a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
New technologies are constantly being produced that are designed to make our lives easier. Technology around the home is no different.
America recently underwent a boom in residential solar power, a trend that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. And, big tech companies like Google and Amazon are trying to nudge their way into the smart home technology sector with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Many of these tools and technologies are great for convenience around the house. Amazon Dash buttons let you reorder common household goods like paper towels and laundry detergent with the touch of a button in your pantry when you run low.
However, some forward-thinking homeowners are looking towards home improvements that can increase the resale value of their home by making it more desirable to potential buyers.
In today’s post, we’re talking about the latest tech that homeowners are buying to give their home an edge over the competitors in the real estate market.
Read on to find out which technologies can make a difference and which ones will soon be obsolete.
Smart home technology
Our phones have gradually become all-encompassing devices that help us organize our lives, and smart home tech companies hope to do the same thing with your home.
There is no shortage of competition for access to your home in the form of remotely controlled lighting, sprinklers, HVAC, and more.
And, while some state of the art systems might attract potential buyers, it’s important to remember that smart home tech is a fledgling industry.
That means that the tech is constantly evolving and might not be relevant or useful to potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home. (It would be like trying to sell an iPhone that is 4 generations too old for anyone to want it anymore.)
While home security technology is still rapidly changing, there is a benefit to having a system installed that can help woo potential buyers who are concerned about the safety of their family.
Aside from safety, this tech can also be just plain convenient and time-saving. Smart door locks can sync with your smartphone to unlock when you arrive at your home and lock when you leave, shaving a few seconds off of your daily routine.
One benefit of installing solar panels on your roof is that you can then show potential buyers physical evidence of the amount of money they can save each month on their utility bills.
However, it should be noted that there are some exciting new residential solar solutions coming to the market in the near future--one example being Tesla’s solar roof that looks almost exactly like a regular roof but generates electricity for your home.
So, when considering new technology for your home to boost its resale value on the market, remember that technologies are still changing. Keep your timeline for sale in mind, and try to avoid tech that will be obsolete before you plan on putting your home for sale.
Successfully selling your home in the shortest period of time is generally an achievable goal, but there are many potential pitfalls to be aware of. Although one of the most important steps you can take involves hiring an experienced, proactive real estate agent, your own attitude and beliefs can have a major impact on things like the final selling price and how long your house stays on the market.
While your real estate agent can provide valuable guidance, advice, and marketing help, there are certain things that only you, the home owner, can do. Maintaining a positive outlook is one of them.
If you have self-defeating attitudes and beliefs, you may be undermining the sales process and keeping potential buyers at a distance. Here are a few examples of how your own negative attitudes can be a major stumbling block to getting your house sold quickly and for an optimal price.
Unrealistic beliefs: Sometimes sellers are so emotionally connected to their homes that they're unable to relate to the viewpoint and perspective of potential buyers. Pricing, for example, should be based on objective criteria and comparative data, rather than emotional attachment or perceived value. If the price you're asking for your home is significantly above the actual market value of your property, then that will raise red flags in the minds of both prospective buyers and mortgage lenders. Although you want to get the highest possible price for your family's home, it has to be based on a realistic range that would be acceptable to both buyers and lenders.
False expectations: Homeowners who expect prospective buyers to recognize the intrinsic value of their home, even though the paint is peeling and the bathrooms have never been updated, are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure! When you factor in human psychology and the competitive nature of the real estate market, it becomes apparent how vitally important first impressions and overall presentation are to the marketing a home.
Pessimism: Although positive thinking, alone, is not going to get your house sold, it can help give you that extra boost of energy and motivation to make sure your home is clean, organized, and visually appealing. Pessimism, on the other hand, can cause you to be less thorough, attentive, and conscientious about keeping your home immaculate, fresh, and ready for potential buyers. If there's any hint of the house being unclean, in disrepair, or cluttered, then you've lost your opportunity to make a positive first impression.
Finding and working with a real estate agent who's got a solid sales record and a proactive approach to selling houses is among the key ingredients to getting your home sold quickly and for the best possible price. Although they'll be doing the lion's share of work when it comes to marketing your property and coordinating the details, your support and cooperation plays an important role in the ultimate success of their efforts.
If you add your house to the real estate market but fail to garner buyers' attention, now may be a good time to revamp your home pricing strategy. Otherwise, your home may remain on the housing market for many weeks or months before it finally sells.
Generally, there are several factors you need to consider to determine if you have priced your residence appropriately. These factors include:
1. The Current State of the Housing Market
The demand for houses in your city or town may have far-flung effects on your property selling experience. For example, if there is significant demand for houses in your area, the real estate sector favors sellers. Or, if there is minimal demand for homes in your city or town, the real estate market favors buyers. And if you do not price your house appropriately in a seller's or buyer's market, you may struggle to stir up interest in your home.
It often helps to price your house based on the current state of the real estate market. By doing so, you can establish an initial asking price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.
To assess the current state of the housing market, evaluate the prices of recently sold residences in your city or town. You should find out how long these houses were available before they sold, too. Once you have this housing market data in hand, you can determine whether a seller's or buyer's market is in place and price your house accordingly.
2. Your Home's Age and Condition
The price you originally paid for your home is unlikely to match your house's current value. Fortunately, if you evaluate your residence's age and condition, you may be better equipped than ever before to set a competitive initial asking price for your home.
Sometimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal before you list a residence. An appraisal enables you to receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's age and condition, along with various real estate market factors. Then, you can use this valuation to determine the optimal initial asking price for your house.
3. Your Home Selling Timeline
If you are in a hurry to sell your home, you should establish an initial asking price that will grab buyers' attention. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient during the home selling journey, you should not settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house.
When it comes to establishing a home selling timeline and determining how to price your residence, hiring a real estate agent may be beneficial. A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. As such, he or she will work with you to ensure you can price your home competitively.
For those who want to streamline the home selling journey, it typically helps to start with a competitive initial asking price for your house. If you consider the aforementioned factors, you can boost the likelihood of pricing your home appropriately from day one of the house selling journey.
Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the homebuying journey, such as:
1. Determine Where You Want to Live
There is no shortage of high-quality houses available across the United States. Now, you just need to determine where you want to reside, and you can hone your house search accordingly.
Think about your long-term plans as you consider where you want to live. For instance, if you enjoy life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in or near the city of your choice. On the other hand, if you want to start a family in the near future, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
Ultimately, it helps to narrow your home search to a few cities and towns. Because if you know where you want to live, you can quickly navigate the homebuying journey.
2. Establish a Budget
A budget is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time. If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can search for residences that fall within your price range.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different types of mortgages. Then, you can select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Don't forget about home inspection, closing and other property buying fees, either. If you account for these property buying costs, you can ensure you have the necessary funds available to cover them.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a homebuyer. He or she is happy to teach a homebuyer about the ins and outs of the real estate market. As a result, a real estate agent will help you become a homebuying expert.
Typically, a real estate agent offers recommendations and insights throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and help you establish homebuying expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you kick off a search for homes in your preferred cities and towns. When you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home. And if your offer to purchase is approved, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final stages of the homebuying journey.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can provide assistance any time a homebuyer has concerns or questions. A real estate agent strives to help you make informed homebuying decisions. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to educate you about the homebuying cycle and ensure you are ready to find and buy your ideal residence.
Simplify the process of finding your dream home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can prep for the homebuying journey.