Posted by Tom Mahedy on 12/14/2018

Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.

When it comes to the down payment amount youíll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.

To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.

So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.

However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.

Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?

With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.

The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that donít involve savings $40,000 or more.

So, where does that number come from?

Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that theyíll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.

First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that youíre paying your bills on time and arenít overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, theyíll consider the amount youíre putting down.

If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, youíll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.

First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down

Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you donít have several thousands saved.

On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until theyíve paid off 20% of their home.


So, if youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, donít worry too much if you donít think you can save the full 20% in advance.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Mahedy on 12/7/2018

If you have been looking to give your home a bit of pizzaz, you may be worried about the cost or the time investment. The good news is that you donít need to put in a huge amount of work or money in order to make a big difference in your home. Below, youíll find some of the easiest projects that you can complete in a hurry. Youíll be enjoying a new view of your home in no time! 


Change Up The Mantel


We often grow comfortable with the decor in our homes. Itís a good idea to change those pictures and displays that you have along the top of your fireplace from time to time. For a more dramatic change, you can replace the entire mantel.  


Bring Out The Front Entryway


The entry to your home is all a part of the curb appeal. You can easily paint the front door or part of the entryway to enhance the look of the front of your home. If you want to go even bolder, try and replace the door with something a bit different than what you already have.


Refresh The Paint


Whether you look at the inside or the outside of your home, you can easily bring about change to the look of your home. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Take a tired looking room and change the paint color of the space. Taking things room by room can be less time consuming than trying to take on the entire house at once. If the exterior of your home needs some fresh color, this project can be expensive, yet rewarding as the amount of curb appeal that you have will increase dramatically.       



Try Some New Lighting


Itís easy to get some new lighting fixtures. It could be as simple as switching a lamp or installing a few new light fixtures. For an even more dramatic change, add some dimmer switches or energy efficient lightbulbs. Checking in on the lighting in your home can be beneficial for both your home decor and the practical use of lights. 


Donít forget the outdoors as well. It can be very refreshing for your landscape to have some outdoor lighting that highlights the more dramatic pieces of the outdoor space. 


Plant Something New


If you take the time to plant something new, you can bring a whole new look to the exterior of your home. Whether you take the time to plant one simple bush or are able to place down a whole new flower bed, small changes make a big impact. 


However small your home improvement projects are, they are a part of working towards making your home a better place to live.     

 







Posted by Tom Mahedy on 11/30/2018

If you've lived in your home for more than a couple years, chances are you've grown rather attached to it. Whether you're selling your house because your family has outgrown it or your company has transferred you to another location, you're probably attaching a lot of sentimental value to the price tag. Unfortunately, sentimental value does not translate into dollars and cents in today's real estate market.

The emotions of prospective buyers will often play a role in their decision to make on offer on your house, but they're probably not going to pay more than the market value for your property -- unless there's a bidding war situation going on. One of the best ways to determine a fair and reasonable asking price for your home is to have it appraised by an experienced real estate agent. Their appraisal will be based on objective data, such as the selling price of comparable homes in your area. The location and condition of your home will have a bearing on pricing your home effectively, as will the prevailing market conditions and other factors. Although online estimates can sometimes give you a ballpark figure of what your house may be worth, a local appraisal is more accurate

A common misconception among homeowners is that a $10,000 home improvement expenditure should justify a $10,000 increase in the selling price of a home. Although that concept may seem logical, it unfortunately doesn't work that way in the real estate market. An updated kitchen, bathroom, or roof may make your house more appealing to prospective buyers and help it sell faster, but it probably won't have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the price buyers would be willing to pay. Since each selling situation is unique, however, your local real estate agent is the best person to consult regarding a fair asking price for your home.

Avoiding Home Seller Mistakes

In addition to overpricing their home, another mistake home sellers make involves three related activities: decorating, staging, and attempting to create curb appeal. In spite of a homeowner's best intentions, their decorating and home staging ideas may clash with those of the house-buying public. When you attempt to tackle home staging on your own, several things could go wrong.

  • You could either spend too much or too little on making repairs and sprucing up your home's appearance.
  • You could spend your time and money upgrading inconsequential features of your home, while overlooking the real important changes that need to be made.
In either case, you're missing the mark when it comes to maximizing the marketability of your home. That's why it pays to take advantage of the knowledge, expertise, and objectivity of a professional real estate agent. Their recommendations on pricing and home staging will be based on experience, best practices, objective criteria, and current market conditions.





Posted by Tom Mahedy on 11/23/2018

Selling a house the second time around may prove to be much easier than your initial home selling experience. In fact, a veteran home seller can learn a lot from his or her past home selling experience, including:

1. How to Establish a Competitive Initial Home Asking Price

Setting a competitive initial home asking price is paramount, regardless of a home seller's experience. If a seller establishes a competitive initial asking price from the get-go, he or she can increase the likelihood of stirring up plenty of interest in a house. Conversely, a seller who sets an initial asking price that is too high or too low may struggle to achieve the optimal home selling results.

Think about how you priced the home that you most recently sold. This experience may help you determine how you'll price your current house, as well as enable you to avoid potential pricing mistakes along the way.

Furthermore, it usually helps to look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. If you assess this housing market data, you can see how your house stacks up against the competition and narrow the price range for your residence.

2. How to Promote a House to the Right Groups of Buyers

If you previously struggled to showcase your house to buyers, you can learn from your past experience and avoid making the same mistakes once again.

Ultimately, a home seller should allocate time and resources to enhance the curb appeal of his or her home. If a house features a stunning exterior, it may generate lots of interest from buyers.

It often helps to maintain a clean home interior as well. If you keep your home neat, tidy and clutter-free, buyers should have no trouble envisioning what life might be like if they purchase your house.

3. How to Hire the Right Real Estate Agent

Conduct an in-depth search for the right real estate agent Ė you'll be glad you did. If you meet with a variety of real estate agents, you can find a housing market professional who can help you achieve your desired home selling results.

Don't forget to request client referrals from a real estate agent. Because if you can learn about past clients' experiences with a real estate agent, you can make an informed choice about whether to hire this real estate agent to guide you along the home selling journey.

Ready to add another house to the real estate market? Use your home selling experience to your advantage, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a profitable home selling journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tom Mahedy on 11/16/2018

After you accept a homebuyer's offer on your residence, he or she likely will complete a home inspection. Then, the homebuyer may choose to move forward with the home purchase, rescind or modify his or her offer or ask the home seller to complete home improvements.

Ultimately, a home seller is likely to have many questions following a home inspection, including:

1. What did the homebuyer discover during the home inspection?

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you can boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your house. Plus, when a homebuyer performs a home inspection, he or she is unlikely to find any problems that may slow down the home selling process.

An informed home seller may conduct a home appraisal prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This appraisal enables a home seller to identify potential trouble areas within a residence and explore ways to address such problems.

If you failed to perform a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. For home sellers, it is important to see a home inspection as a learning opportunity. And if a homebuyer identifies problems with your residence during a home inspection, you should try to work with him or her to resolve these issues.

2. Should I stand my ground after a home inspection?

Be realistic after a home inspection, and you'll be able to make the best decision about how to proceed.

For example, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty may address major home problems prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This home seller will dedicate the necessary time and resources to correct home problems and ensure a homebuyer is able to purchase a top-notch residence.

But what happens if a homebuyer identifies problems during a home inspection, despite the fact that a home seller already tried to correct various home issues?

A home seller should consider the homebuyer's inspection report findings closely. If minor home repairs are needed, he or she may be able to fix these problems to move forward with a home sale. Or, if a homebuyer is making exorbitant demands, a home seller may feel comfortable allowing the homebuyer to walk away from a home sale.

3. How should I proceed after a home inspection?

A home inspection can be stressful for both a home seller and a homebuyer. After the home inspection is completed, both parties will be better equipped than ever before to make informed decisions.

If a homebuyer encounters many problems with a residence, he or she will let the home seller know about these issues. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs, offer a discounted price on a home or refuse to perform the requested home maintenance.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal for a home seller, particularly when it comes to home inspections. A real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf and ensure you streamline the home selling process.