Use Your Past Homebuying Experience to Your Advantage

Are you an experienced homebuyer? If so, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, worry-free homebuying experience.

Ultimately, a veteran homebuyer can learn a lot from his or her past experiences, including:

1. How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House

The housing market offers many opportunities for veteran and first-time homebuyers alike. However, a first-time homebuyer may struggle to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. On the other hand, an experienced homebuyer likely knows what it takes to acquire a house at a price that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.

As an experienced homebuyer, it generally helps to think about how you narrowed your price range when you most recently searched for a home. This experience may guide you as you look to establish a price range for an upcoming house search.

Furthermore, a veteran homebuyer may know exactly what types of housing market data to examine before entering the real estate market. By evaluating the prices of recently sold houses and available residences in cities and towns where you’d like to live, you can use assorted real estate market data to accelerate your home search.

2. How to Get Home Financing

If you struggled to get a mortgage for your first home, there is no need to deal with home financing problems once again. Instead, a veteran homebuyer can allocate the necessary time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, it usually is a good idea to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can educate you about myriad mortgage options and help you select the ideal mortgage based on your homebuying needs.

3. How to Differentiate a Buyer’s Market from a Seller’s Market

Regardless of whether you previously bought a house in a buyer’s or seller’s market, you can use your past homebuying experience to help you assess the current state of the housing sector. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

If you notice houses are selling quickly at prices above their initial asking figures, you may be preparing to enter a seller’s market. In this scenario, you may need to act quickly to acquire a great house.

Comparatively, if you find that homes are lingering on the housing market for many weeks or months, a buyer’s market may be in place. In a buyer’s market, you may be able to purchase a stellar house at a discounted price due to the sheer volume of houses that are available.

Before you launch a home search, it is important to note that even a veteran homebuyer may need help at times. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to discover a superb house in no time at all.

Was Your Offer Rejected? Here’s What to Do Next

Buying is home is a lengthy and, at times, stressful process. So, it can be discouraging when your offer is rejected.

If you’ve recently had a purchase offer rejected by the homeowner, don’t worry–you have options.

In this post, we’re going to cover some of those options so you can start focusing on your next move and potentially even make a second offer that gets accepted.

1.  Reassess your offer, not the seller

You could spend days guessing the reasons the seller might not have accepted your offer if they didn’t give you a straightforward answer.

However, your time is better spent addressing your own offer. Double check the following things:

  • Is your offer significantly lower than the asking price?

  • If so, is it lower than comparable sale prices for homes in the neighborhood?

  • Does your offer contain more than the usual contingencies?

Once you’ve reassessed, you can determine if a second offer is appropriate for your situation, or if you’re ready to move onto other prospects with the knowledge you’ve gained from this experience in hand.

2. Formulate your second offer

So, you’ve decided to make another attempt at the house. Now is the time to discuss details with your spouse and real estate agent.

Out of respect for the seller’s time and their timeline for selling the home, you should treat your second offer as your last.

So, make sure you’re putting your best offer forward. This can mean removing those contingencies mentioned earlier or increasing the amount. However, be realistic about your budget and don’t waive contingencies that are necessary (commonly appraisals, inspection, and financing contingencies).

3. Consider including a personal offer letter

In today’s competitive market, many sellers are fielding multiple offers on their home. To set yourself apart from the competitors and to help the seller get to know your goals and reasoning better, a personal letter is often a great tool.

Don’t be afraid to give details in your offer letter. Explain what excites you about the house, why it is ideal for your family, and what your plans are for living there.

What shouldn’t you include in your offer letter? Avoid statements that try to evoke pity or guilt from the seller. This seldom works and will put-off most buyers to your offer.

4. Moving on is good time management

If you aren’t comfortable increasing your offer or if you receive a second rejection, it’s typically a good idea to move onto other prospects. It may seem like wasted time–however, just like a job interview that didn’t go as planned, it’s an excellent learning experience.

You’ll walk away knowing more about the negotiation process, dealing with sellers and agents, and you might even find a home that’s better than the first one in the process!

4 Reasons Why Hiring a Real Estate Agent Is a Must for Homebuyers

Getting ready to buy a new home? You’ll want to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey, as this professional will possess the skills and know-how needed to ensure you can find your dream home quickly.

There are many great reasons for homebuyers to work with a real estate agent, including:

1. You Can Check Out a Wide Range of Homes That Fit Your Needs.

Whether you’re looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the city or a small residence on the outskirts of town, a real estate agent can arrange home showings to ensure you can check out a variety of houses that fit your needs.

Remember, a real estate agent works for you and will do everything he or she can to help you find your ideal residence. This professional will conduct research into homes that meet your criteria and even work with a home seller’s real estate agent to make sure you can view a house at your convenience.

2. You Can Receive Expert Support During the Negotiation Stage.

No homebuyer wants to enter the negotiation stage alone. Fortunately, a real estate agent will help you manage negotiations.

Negotiations with a home seller can become contentious if you’re not careful, but your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get your dream house at the right price, regardless of the circumstances.

3. You Can Get Extra Help with a Home Inspection.

Completing a home inspection is paramount before you finalize a purchase agreement with a home seller. And with a trusted real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding a reliable home inspector who will be able to identify potential issues with a house before you buy it.

Your real estate agent also can help you minimize stress if a home inspector encounters problems with a house.

For example, your real estate agent will speak with a home seller to ensure any home repairs are completed before you finalize your purchase agreement. Thus, you’ll be able to buy a home that you can enjoy for years to come thanks in part to the support provided by your real estate agent.

4. You Can Enjoy a Simple Closing Process.

The closing process often represents the final step before you can move into your new home. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the paperwork that is included as part of this process and ensure you are comfortable with each form you sign.

Your real estate agent, meanwhile, will be with you during the closing process and can explain the importance of each form. Furthermore, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to any concerns or queries and help you feel comfortable throughout the closing process.

Ultimately, your real estate agent may play a key role in your ability to find the perfect house. As a result, be sure to spend some time interviewing prospective real estate agents in your area to find a real estate professional that you can collaborate with during each stage of the homebuying journey.

Key Traits of a Buyer’s Market

For homebuyers, there may be nothing better than searching for a house in a buyer’s market. Typically, a buyer’s market is defined by several key characteristics, including:

1. Shortage of Homebuyers

In a seller’s market, competition among homebuyers remains fierce. Therefore, a homebuyer may be forced to compete against several homebuyers to secure his or her dream home.

Comparatively, a buyer’s market features a shortage of homebuyers, resulting in less competition for quality residences. As a homebuyer, this is ideal because it means that you may be able to improve your chances of securing a great house at a price that matches your budget.

If you’re a homebuyer in a buyer’s market, the ball is in your court. As such, you should take your time exploring the housing market and find a residence that suits your budget and lifestyle perfectly. By doing so, you likely will be able to secure your dream home without having to worry about the stress of competing against other homebuyers or exceeding your budget.

2. Abundance of Home Sellers

A buyer’s market may be a tough time for home sellers. At this time, there may be many homes available, and home sellers might need to reduce the prices of their residences to stir up interest.

Meanwhile, an abundance of home sellers ensures there is a large supply of homes available. This may make it easier for a homebuyer to check out many terrific homes and find one at a below-average price.

Although a buyer’s market presents many opportunities for homebuyers, it is important to avoid taking shortcuts. Instead, a homebuyer should devote ample time and resources to assess homes that meet his or her criteria and respond accordingly.

Furthermore, homebuyers should avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a residence – even in a buyer’s market. If you submit an offer that falls below a home seller’s expectations, you may miss out on the chance to acquire your dream home altogether.

3. Steady Supply of Real Estate Agents

When it comes to shopping for a home in a buyer’s market, working with a real estate agent is a great idea. A real estate agent can provide you with plenty of information about first-rate residences that you can enjoy for years to come. Plus, a real estate professional may be able to offer insights into a home that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, making it simple for you to purchase a top-notch home at a bargain price.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent can offer recommendations throughout the homebuying journey. He or she also will be able to respond to any concerns or questions you have, ensuring you can remain calm, cool and collected as you transition from homebuyer to homeowner.

Employ a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey in a buyer’s or seller’s market. With a real estate professional at your side, you can navigate the challenges of the real estate market and secure your dream house without delay.

How To Find Art For Your Home Like An Adult

Decorating your home as an adult can be a taxing task. Transitioning from a college student to a professional can take some time. Once you buy your first home, you may find that your tastes for decorating need an upgrade. Those old posters and funny magnets have got to go along with your more sophisticated lifestyle. The decor in your home should make you feel comfortable in your surroundings. You should express your own personal interests through the artwork that’s displayed in your home. 

Pieces of artwork shouldn’t just be run-of-the-mill. You need something that will let your personality shine through. You can collect unique pieces in your travels, use personal photographs that you have taken, or simply find things that have meaning for you.

It can be sort of intimidating to dive into a more mature way of decorating but, it can be very rewarding. You’ll also learn a lot about your own style and yourself. Through this self-discovery, you’ll find artwork that you can continue to grow with in your home. Below, you’ll find some tips for choosing the right artwork for your home. 

Set A Budget

Buying artwork can be an investment. If you’re a new homeowner, you may need to hold back on getting expensive art for a few years. Set a limit for how much art you want to buy and what you can afford. There are plenty of ways to get decorating pieces for your home for less money. Many stores offer artwork that can add some character to your walls. Even if these aren’t Picasso originals, they can certainly add some flair to the emptiness of a new house. Everything that adds personality to your home isn’t hanging on a wall either. Your decor includes the small figures on your tables, statues, plants, and more.  

Have Goals In Mind

If you begin hanging artwork without some reason, your decorating scheme could end up being a disaster. Map out a plan for each room. Think of themes, colors palettes, and the vision for the space. You don’t want to make a serious investment in artwork only to find out that it doesn’t fit with your wall color or furniture. When choosing artwork, it’s important to consider each room as a whole. 

Know That Tastes Change Over Time 

If you do invest in an expensive piece of artwork, know that it may not suit your needs forever. That’s OK! You can always sell artwork and find replacement pieces over time. It’s not expected that whatever you hang in your home when you move in will stay there for the next 20 years! Artwork very much flows with our lives, so go with the flow.              

How To Know When It Makes More Sense To Buy Than Rent

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who don’t want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. You’ll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In today’s post, I’m going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.

While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether it’s  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?

Of course, these questions are not objective–you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, you’ll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has it’s associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.

Start considering these questions now and in due time you’ll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, you’ll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.

Get Ready to Buy a House in a Seller’s Market

Purchasing a home in a seller’s market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we’re here to offer expert guidance to ensure you can find the best house at the lowest price, regardless of the present real estate sector’s conditions.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue a home in a seller’s market.

1. Assess the Housing Market Closely

A seller’s market likely features a shortage of high-quality houses. As such, you’ll want to analyze the local real estate sector closely so you can identify your dream home faster than ever before.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This information can help you understand the average price range for homes of all sizes in your area. You also should find out how long these homes were available before they sold to understand the current pace of the real estate market.

Furthermore, you should make a checklist of home must-haves and wants. Once you craft this checklist, you can assess the houses available in your city or town and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

In all likelihood, you’ll need to act fast to acquire your ideal residence in a seller’s market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you submit a home offer, you may boost your chances of receiving a “Yes” from a seller.

A home offer that is contingent on a buyer’s approval for a mortgage often is far from ideal. If a seller receives this type of offer, he or she may be reluctant to accept it, as there are no guarantees a buyer will be able to obtain the necessary financing to acquire a home.

Comparatively, a buyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage can enter a seller’s market with a budget in hand. And if he or she finds a great house, this buyer can submit an offer without having to worry about getting financing at a later time.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of lenders. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you find the right mortgage based on your finances.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A seller’s market can be tough to navigate, regardless of whether you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can guide you along the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will keep you up to date about houses that meet your criteria, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at any time.

Prepare to buy a house in a seller’s market – use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.

Reasons to Accelerate the Homebuying Journey

If you plan to pursue a house, you likely want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience. Although you may take extra steps to err on the side of caution as you explore myriad homes, there may be times when it helps to be an aggressive homebuyer.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you may want to be aggressive and try to accelerate the homebuying journey, such as:

1. You’re facing a tight deadline.

If you have only a certain amount of time to buy a house, it may be a good idea to be aggressive. That way, you can accelerate the homebuying journey and acquire your ideal residence before time runs out.

For those who are facing a tight deadline, you may want to stay on top of new houses as soon as they become available. Fortunately, if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can do just that.

An expert real estate agent can keep you up to date about houses that fall within your price range and are located in your preferred cities and towns. As a result, this housing market professional can help you secure your dream house faster than ever before.

2. You discover your dream home and don’t want to risk losing it to a rival homebuyer.

If you find a house that fulfills all of your homebuying criteria, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. In fact, if you hesitate, you risk losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.

Of course, when submitting an offer on a house, it pays to be realistic. If you analyze the housing market closely, you can understand a house’s current value and submit a competitive proposal right away. As such, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an instant “Yes” from a seller, as well as improve your chances of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.

3. You possess the homebuying confidence and expertise that you need to succeed.

An informed homebuyer should have no trouble assessing the housing market and finding a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations. Thus, this homebuyer may be more likely than others to quickly discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

To build your homebuying confidence and expertise, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything that you need to know about purchasing a house. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure that you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.

Let’s not forget about the housing market insights that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can help you differentiate between a buyer’s and seller’s market, submit a competitive offer on a home and much more. Therefore, with this housing market professional at your side, you can go from homebuyer to homeowner in no time at all.

Ready to start your search for your dream house? Become an informed homebuyer, and you can speed up the homebuying journey.

3 Tips for Finding an Inexpensive Home

Browsing the real estate market may seem like an exhausting process, particularly for those who are searching for inexpensive properties. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to streamline your search for a cost-effective residence.

Here are three tips that homebuyers can use to find inexpensive properties in any real estate market, at any time.

1. Check Out “Fixer-Uppers”

A fixer-upper, i.e. a property in need of substantial upgrades and maintenance, may prove to be a great value.

In many instances, fixer-uppers are priced to sell. These properties may require a lot of repairs, but homebuyers who are ready to work hard and perform a variety of home improvement projects on their own may be able to save money by purchasing a fixer-upper.

Check out the fixer-uppers in various cities and towns. By doing so, you can assess the current condition of a fixer-upper and find out how much maintenance it requires. And ultimately, you’ll be able to determine whether a fixer-upper matches your price range, along with whether you’re up to the task of completing myriad home improvement tasks.

2. Submit Offers on Many Residences

When it comes to buying an inexpensive home, it is important to remain patient. If at first you don’t succeed with an initial offer on a home, be sure to try again.

It may take some time to find a home that corresponds with your budget. But homebuyers who are committed to exploring the real estate market are sure to find lots of properties that they can enjoy for years to come. And even though the asking prices of some homes may appear to be outside of your price range, it never hurts to ask whether a home seller will consider a proposal that is less than his or her initial asking price.

Be prepared to submit many offers on residences as you browse the real estate market for an inexpensive home. If a home seller rejects your initial proposal, don’t be discouraged. Remember, there are many terrific homes that are available, and a diligent homebuyer should have no trouble discovering the right residence at a budget-friendly price.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are ready to assist you in any way possible. Thus, if you work with an experienced real estate agent, you can explore a vast array of inexpensive houses at your convenience.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about any properties that match your price range as they become available. Plus, your real estate agent can offer homebuying recommendations that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, ensuring that you can secure your dream residence at the right price.

Work with a real estate agent as you begin your search for an inexpensive home – you’ll be glad you did. Your real estate agent will go the extra mile to help you find a wonderful house that won’t require you to overspend. As a result, your real estate agent will make it simple for you to go from homebuyer to homeowner in no time at all.

Short Sale Pitfalls to Avoid

You may think buying a short sale is a good deal and many times it can be a good option. Short sales can also be fraught with complications and often can easily fall apart. Here is a list of things to be aware of so your short sale doesn’t become a long shot.

• When a house is placed for sale as a short sale the owner doesn’t always have the authority to sell the house at the advertised price. The owner hopes the bank will accept that price as a short sale.

• The negotiating process is far different than a regular sale. You often will first negotiate with a seller but remember the bank has the final say-so.

• You are making an offer to purchase blind because many lenders will not even discuss a short sale with a seller until a purchase contract is in place. There is no guarantee the lender will even accept a short-sale offer.

• Short sales often are not short at all. They can be long, drawn-out affairs. Be prepared for it to take months.

• Even though the lender may have taken their time on the short sale approval, once approved the lender often require the sale to close within a short period of time.

Due to the way many short sales happen, a buyer may have to put out money for a home inspection, appraisal, credit report and application fees paid to their lender and the sale may not even happen. So while short sales can often be a good deal they can also be a long shot. Take your time, do your research and be sure to work with a real estate professional to help guide you through the potential pitfalls of a short sale.