Best Area in Which to Purchase

Best Area in Which to Purchase

Excellent buyer video explains how to choose a great place to live.

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4 Strong Reasons to Buy a Home Now

In nearly every major metro market, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent. Rents have been on the rise the last few years and are predicted to continue to rise. Meanwhile, home affordability is at record highs, which means that buying a home is more within reach to the median income family. Read more at 4 Strong Reasons to Buy a Home Now.

Four Easy Steps To Save For A Down Payment

With interest rates down and inventory up, many savvy consumers are taking a good, long look at investing in a home of their own. The benefits are big and the rewards buying a home long-reaching. For some consumers – a down payment is the only thing standing between them and the dream of home ownership. In today’s economy,
it’s not always easy to save the necessary funds to not just get into a house of your own, but get a decent interest rate as well. Here are some four simple things you can put into your personal or family action plan for saving that down payment money in less time. Saving for a home of your own can be challenging, but it can be exciting too. The
feeling of reward and accomplishment is extraordinary. Start with these four steps and very soon you too can enjoy the long-term benefits of setting down roots and investing in your future.

1. Get in the know. Like any good budget or savings plan, the first place to start is to decide where you are NOW with your credit score, your monthly bills and assets. Contact me or a trusted mortgage professional to see how much home you qualify for and how much you’ll need to save to buy your home. We can help you take a look at things like credit scores, loan requirements and interest rates now so you can be simultaneously doing ALL the things right during this savings period to make sure the most favorable rate and terms.

2. Set a deadline. I know deadlines seem ominous to some, but they can be powerful motivators to carry out great goals. (And buying a home is a pretty big goal!) Again, once you know where you are – it will make setting a timeline easier. For some, step one of the savings plan may be paying down or even off some past debt with high interest – which could back up your time-table. Together, we can help you figure out which direction is best for you.
3. Create a “Down Payment” account. Ever see those little ceramic pots with “House Fund” or “Vacation Fund” on them – or the piggy banks with the “do not open ‘till holiday shopping time” labels? By opening a savings account just for your future home buy, you help lessen the likelihood of tapping into that money for other things. Check with your bank, or even local credit unions to see if they offer any special interest rates or programs for first time home owners looking to buy.
4. Take a good, long look at your monthly bills. Do you have credit cards or revolving credit with high interest rates and high monthly payments? That’s doing two things to hurt your cause. First – those interest rates are costing you big and just money out the door. Secondly, those high payments are bad news for your debt-to-income ratio. You may have to tackle those bills first and get them behind you. Make a list of your creditors, how much you owe, the interest rate and the monthly payments.

“Know that I’m always here to help. As a Real Estate Professional and Neighborhood Specialist, I can help you customize a savings plan all your own so that you can be sure your family is heading in the right direction every step of the way! Call or email me today.”

Exterior Paint: Making Your Home Look New Again

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One key to how long an exterior finish lasts is how well the surface is prepared. But equally important is the choice of the paint or stain itself. Using high-quality materials, matching them to your house and climate, and conducting regular maintenance will extend the time between coatings.

Acrylic latex paints

Acrylic latex is the favored choice, both of pros and do-it-yourselfer. These water-based paints come in an endless range of colors and three popular finishes. Flat paint, commonly used indoors, offers the least protection against the elements. Satin, with its slightly higher sheen, is a good choice for wood siding. Semi-gloss or gloss offers the most protection and works well on high-use areas like window and door trim.

Pros: Latex paints are easy to work with and clean up with water. The paint film remains flexible even after drying, so it breathes and moves slightly to accommodate changes in temperature, or even house settling, without cracking. In addition to wood, latex can also cover siding made of vinyl, aluminum, fiber cement, stucco, brick, and metal.

Cons: Unless you’re using “green” products, expect to smell paint fumes from the moment you open the can until the paint dries completely. These odors, produced by volatile organic compounds, are toxic in high quantities and give to air pollution.

In general, latex paint doesn’t bond well to previous coats of oil paint unless you prepare the surface very well. That means stripping nearly all the old paint off the wood first, a time-consuming and expensive job. It’s often smarter to stick with oil if you’ve got oil, and latex if you’ve got latex.

Oil-based paints

Oil paint, long prized for its durability, used to be the gold standard for exteriors and some high-traffic house trim such as handrails, doors, and floors. But these days it plays second fiddle to latex.

Pros: Oil paints dry hard and get harder with time. That makes them perfect for high-traffic uses: porch floors, steps, metal handrails, even your front door.

Cons: Over time, oil paint can become brittle and crack, producing an “alligator” look. (Some people actually like the effect.) Oil paint can never be applied on top of old latex paint; the two won’t bond properly.

Toxic solvents are required to clean brushes and other equipment that come in contact with oil paint. The average can of oil paint has more VOCs than a can of conventional latex paint. Low-VOC oil paint is available, but even these products contain more VOCs than low-VOC latex paint.

Why Could a Home Short Sale Take Long to Be Approved?

There are a number of decision makers involved in a short sale. And it’s a fact – the more parties involved, the more complex the decision process becomes because all parties must be in alignment before a home can be sold. Image

  • Ultimately, the decision rests with the investor, who is the owner of the loan. For instance, most large bank own  a very low percentage of the loans they service. The higher percentage is owned by investors (Fannie, Freddie, FHA, private investors, etc.). Most of the time, banks are under contract to handle the servicing for those investors., so in those cases they are acting not as the owner but as the investor’s agent with their fiduciary interest in mind. Each of these investors will try to decrease their losses and their unique contractor guidelines must be followed.
  • In addition to the investors, there are other interested parties, too – such as mortgage insurance companies and second lien mortgages holders.

Who Can Buy a HUD Home?

Almost anyone! If you have the cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. HUD Homes are initially offered to owner-occupant purchasers (people who are buying the home as their primary residence). Following the priority period for owner occupants, unsold properties are available to all buyers, including investors.

What About Financing?

HUD does not give direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must get financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not give direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-INSURED MORTGAGE to finance the purchase.

What is a 203K Loan?

–This is the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single-family properties. Image

–The program operates through FHA-approved lending institutions, which give applications to have the property appraised and have the buyer’s credit approved.

–To buy a dwelling and the land on which the dwelling is located and rehabilitate it, and to refinance existing indebtedness and rehabilitate such a dwelling, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property.

The best feature of this loan is that it can be rolled into the mortgage.