Step 5 : Make An Offer!

Submit Offer!So you’ve found your dream home and are really excited to get it before someone else does? Before you let emotions take over, just remember that it is still an investment. Purchasing a home is not something as simple as buying gas, groceries or clothing. It requires research from a skilled professional to find the value, prepare legal contracts and then present your offer to the seller (or seller’s realtor)! When making an offer, make sure your Realtor covers these basics:

Price: You need to make sure that the price you are offering is the fair market value. If the house requires repairs, make sure to factor those into your cost when making an offer. If there are many buyers competing, more than likely the seller will get higher than their asking price so keep that in mind as you set your price. And ALWAYS Continue reading

Short Sale In A Nutshell

Short Sale ManWhether you like it or not, short sales are part of real estate and they’re not going away anytime soon. Roughly 40% of home sales in today’s market are short sales or foreclosures! Distressed properties are well worth their value but before you get involved in the short sale, it is important to really understand the basics.

What is a short sale?
Short sale  is defined as a sale where the debt owed against the property exceeds the property’s market value. The lender normally incurs a loss and must agree to the sale in writing, thus preventing a foreclosure if the home sells.

What are the seller’s benefits?
The number one benefit for the seller is that they will avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy, both of which Continue reading

Important Questions for Fixed vs ARM Loans?

Fixed vs ARMSo after reading the pros and cons of a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage, I’m sure you know which one is the best for you? Before you finalize your decision make sure to ask yourself these important questions:

  1. How long do you plan on staying in the home? If you plan to stay in the house for only a few years, it would make sense to take the lower rate ARM, especially if you can get a reasonably priced 3/1 or 5/1. Your payment and rate will be only and you can build up your savings for a bigger home down the road. Plus, you’ll never be exposed to huge rate adjustments because you’ll be moving before the adjustable rate period begins. Continue reading

Time Grows Short for Congress to Act on Flood Insurance Deadline!

After unanimously passing through the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 8, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 is one step closer to helping the 5.6 million Americans in 21,000 communities who rely on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect their homes from flood damage. But with differences between House and Senate bills to iron out, a short-term extension of the NFIP through Nov. 18 may be needed since the program expires on Sept. 30. Continue Reading →

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Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall MaintenanceToday is the autumnal equinox, which marks the first day of Fall. From here on out, we have nothing but cooler days, longer nights, football, fall foliage and of course the upcoming holiday festivities! But before we get caught up in all the autumn changes, remember that your home has to be readied for the changes as well! Here is a list of things you should take care of before it’s too late:

  1. Examine your roof/gutters/downspouts. You need to clear leaves, dirt and pine needles from gutters and examine downspouts for damage or loose pieces. Check the roof, specially around the chimney, sky light and any other openings in the roof for any leaking problems.
  2. Examine the walkway. Before the land is covered in snow, make sure to walk around the house and find any cracks or loose paver material on your entryway, sidewalk and other walkways. Fix these issues before it gets too slippery and becomes a tripping or falling hazard. Continue reading

Pitfalls of Pricing High!

Pitfalls of Pricing High!With modern technology, real estate information is readily available and buyers are more educated and informed than ever before. The chances of you pricing your home high and selling it to an uneducated buyer are slim to none. Whether you plan to list your home or already have an overpriced listing, consider these dangers as you implement your marketing strategy:

  1. PITFALL #1 – TIME: Historically, the first 30 days on market are the most critical for any home since it’s the greatest potential for new buyer traffic. Often seller’s think that if they start high they can always come down later. Even though the price can be brought down later, you’ve already lost on your best buyers during the 30 days. Another downside is the time the home sits on the market. From the buyer’s perspective, the length of time a home sits on the market can be a sign for red flags since it could mean a possible sign of unmotivated seller or just problems with the home itself.
  2. PITFALL #2 – COMPETITION: An overpriced home not only sits on the market but also helps the competition. It is a cue to the buyers that they can get the same or similar home just down the street for a cheaper price. A buyer will choose a home with fewer amenities and less upgrades if there is a large price difference. Continue reading

Step 4 : Look At Homes!

Search For HomesMillions of new and existing homes are sold each year. There isn’t a shortage of homes but there is a shortage when it comes to finding the best homes that meet YOUR needs. Now that you’ve gotten the loan pre-approval, you must be very eager to go start looking at homes? Before you jump into a car and drive away, consider the following:

  • Is Your “Needs-List” Ready? As I had said previously, you want to have a concrete list of things that you need in your room. There are many homes with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and at the same price but each home will have a different design, location, taxes and interior and exterior finishes. Make sure you know exactly what you want in terms of location, amenities, design and any other features that you may want or need.
  • Where Do You Begin Your Search? The best place to search for homes is online. You can use the advanced search at to find your next dream home. When looking at homes online, you should avoid homes that have no photos or very little information as these can be signs of homes in poor condition or unprofessional real estate agents. You can also narrow or widen your search based on the mapped search feature. Continue reading