Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How hard is your Realtor working for you?

Don't let your Realtor lose you money. Hold them accountable. Ask for a proposal that includes a marketing plan. Make sure that they manage your expectations and vice versa. Know what your home is worth. Most importantly, try to find a Realtor who is going to do this! #IWillSellThisHouseToday

Home buying guide – 5 Essential Tips

Buying a house is once-in-a-lifetime investment. Make sure you make the right decision. Follow this simple home buying guide to get yourself the best deal.

(1) Get yourself an agent

I do not personally like agents. Their fees inflate house prices. Houses are already expensive- add to them the agent fee and you have an overblown budget. Despite my personal feelings, I know how important it is to hire an agent when you are going to buy your first house. Agents can navigate you through the legal mumbo-jumbo and help you find your first home through their local area expertise. Since they have the connections, they can make your purchase smooth and easy.

(2) Find the right home

For many Americans, a home is the most expensive thing they will purchase in their lifetime. When a person decides to buy a home, he essentially needs a place where he would like to settle down. This makes buying a home an emotional decision as well. A real estate agent will show you several homes. This wealth of choice can make your head spin even though prolonging the buying is not a wise business decision. So make sure you find the right home, and soon.

(3) Loan

Unless you have just won a million dollar lottery, or you have suddenly grown very rich, chances are that you’ll need a mortgage to pay for your first home. It makes sense to get a loan pre-approval as there are sellers who will not even consider showing you the place unless they are sure you can get a loan. The FHA sets the minimum down payment requirements. The minimum down payment for a house is less than many conventional purchases. You will have to compare several mortgages to choose the one which suits you the best. Your agent can also help you find a good mortgage.

(4) Negotiate

Some sellers ask sky high prices for their property. This is where your negotiation skills will help you. Your agent will also help you out by compiling data from similar sales which have occurred in that neighborhood for the past three months. You can also find the correct property value through an online property value report which evaluates the true value of a property. One such report can be found for free here from Neighborhood IQ. This data gives you the power to negotiate.

(5) Home inspection

In several states in the US, a home inspection is an essential part of the contract which allows the buyer to cancel the agreement if there is a fault with the house. This gives first-time home buyers a power over sellers who may try to oversell them a house with a faulty foundation or some other issue. It should be mentioned here that the discovery of a fault does not mean a seller is legally required to make repairs. The inspection only gives power to the buyer to cancel the contract. In reality, most buyers ask for repairs, and most sellers agree.

If you are ready to make your first purchase, make sure you start early- the property rates are rising and the sooner you act, the better.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thinking about Refinancing? Here are Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea

Like many homeowners, you probably want a lower interest rate and a shorter mortgage. If you are considering refinancing your mortgage, it can take a lot of effort and time to begin the process. While there are some not-so-pleasing aspects of refinancing, it can be a good financial move if your mortgage payment is lowered.

Under the right conditions, refinancing your home can certainly benefit you in the long run. It all depends on your particular financial goals. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why refinancing is a good idea:

You can get a lower interest rate. Since interest rates are at a record low right now, you can get 30-year and 15-year mortgage rates far below 5%. This is one of the best incentives to refinance because it not only lessens your monthly payment; it also allows you to build equity in your home quicker. You can save thousands of dollars in interest by refinancing, and you can pay off your mortgage debt faster. According to lending companies, reducing your interest rate by 1% is an incentive to refinance.

You can shorten the term of your loan. If you switch from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage, the shorter loan can fit into your budget. Your monthly payment may only increase by a few hundred at the most, and this may be a feasible option for your household. You can use a mortgage calculator to estimate your new payment.

You can lower your monthly payment. If your goal is to have an extra couple of hundred dollars every month for savings, investments or vacations, refinancing at a lower interest rate can accomplish this. You can also save a great deal of money in interest. Keep in mind that lowering your monthly payment can add years to the term of your loan, but it can be extremely helpful.

You can get a fixed-rate loan. Your adjustable-rate mortgage can be refinanced for a lower interest rate, and you can lock into this rate for years to come. You can also plan a fixed payment with more ease every month.

You can cash out your home equity. This can be a savvy move in certain instances. You may want to cash your home equity to invest and start a business. Or you may simply want some money to pay for other expenses or manage debt.

You should also take into consideration the fact that refinancing involves closing costs and other fees. It may cost thousands for a new mortgage, but only you can determine if the costs of refinancing is worth it in the long run. Also, if you are considering moving anytime in the next few years, refinancing will probably not be the best option.

Refinancing means that you need to know the value of your home. You can get a free home valuation report from Neighborhood IQ by clicking here to find out your home’s worth to help you decide if refinancing is a good way to go. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of your unique situation. With careful planning along with knowing the value of your home, refinancing could turn out to be one of the best financial decisions you have ever made as a homeowner. 

Monday, June 24, 2013