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Open House Tips for First Home Buyers

In the real estate open housemarket today, there is little chance that as a prospective buyer you are entering a house before you’ve seen pictures of it online. While these shots can give you a good idea of whether or not you like a house, visiting it is still a primary requirement. An Open House can be a great opportunity to see a property in a more informal setting, letting you explore a bit on your own.

Check Out the Neighborhood   The first thing you should look into intentlyScope-out the-Neighbors.png doesn’t even concern the house at all. Explore the streets surrounding the house and take note of those who live there. Well-kept yards and kids playing outside can be signs of a great neighborhood while overgrown lawns and a lack of activity may be bad signs. Especially if a family is part of your plans, the neighborhood could be a crucial factor and is something that is difficult to get a feel for without visiting.

Check out the Curb Appeal   Once you arrive at the house, take a look at thecurb appeal outside before you head in. Does anything need repair or new paint? Does the roof look sturdy and intact? Chances are most things you notice will be cosmetic fixes, but if anything does jump out at you, you’ll be happy you took a look. Further, taking a lap around the house will let you know what level of privacy you have. Some people like to be able to always chat with their neighbors while some want to be left alone. Whatever your preference, it is good to know what you are getting into beforehand.

Check Out the House   Finally you should enter the house. Do a full tour and explore everywhere you are permitted. From the basement to the attic, you should look everywhere. It is always a great idea to take a tape measure with you to look at sizes of specific areas and the dimensions of drawers and cabinets. While you do not want to be overly pessimistic, it is vital to examine the home with a critical eye. Even the smallest spot of mold, for example, could be a sign of a bigger problem. Structural shortcomings can be tricky to spot as well, but are extremely important. foundation cracks, leaky walls and windows, and uneven floors can all easily go unnoticed, especially in darker areas like the basement. Besides crucial issues, there are some other factors to consider, many of them intangible. Things like the flow of the house and the way light enters are virtually impossible to tell through pictures, but can make a difference in person.

Check Out the Competition   Another great area to focus on is the people around you: the sellers, their agent, and other potential buyers. While you always want to remain extremely polite, you are certainly entitled to ask questions of the sellers and their agent. While they will put a positive spin on things, getting them talking about their reasons for moving can provide extremely valuable insight. Ask their opinion on the neighborhood, schools, etc. Also, keep your ears open to other buyers. They may know more about certain aspects of the area or point out something you may have missed. You should take advantage of every potential information source at your disposal.

Look At the Big Picture   While we focus on a lot of small things here, it is still very important to consider the bigger picture. Things like layout, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage are all extremely important. However, chances are you are aware of all of these things before you visit the property. Even so, verify all of the details listed online to be sure there are no surprises later on. Between what can be discovered online and what you’ll see in an Open House, you should be able to get a great idea of whether or not you are ready to proceed with an offer.

Call Me to discuss to discuss the right mortgage option for your family.
Take advantage of my FREE Jumpstart Mortgage Pre-Approval service and be ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams.

“When You Work With a Professional, You Get Professional Results”

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What Millennial Homebuyers Must Have in Their New Home

The Spring 2016 Buying Season is here! Millennial Home Buyers are starting to stray from renting. Instead, they are searching for their first home. There are some specific requirements that this generation wants that may be different from previous generations. To sell a home to a Millennial, here’s what they consider home “must haves.”

A Good Location
Younger homebuyers without children tend to see a good location as one that is near public transportation and/or has a good walking score.  This is different from their parents that likely didn’t mind a longer commute with more privacy.  Young homebuyers that plan to have children may also want something that’s a little more residential but still close to the amenities they enjoyed as single persons.

Online Photos
Today, most people start their search for a home online. Making sure that the home has professional looking photos is key to capturing the interest of millennial homebuyers.  Factors such as lighting, angle, and general cleanliness are all important for a photo to come out looking its best.

Open Floor Plans
Many young homebuyers don’t feel the need for a formal dining room.  During festive occasions, most people are now spending their time in the kitchen and the common living room. There is a desire to have more of a flow when they are entertaining instead of having rooms sectioned off for specific purposes.

Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms
As mentioned before, the younger generation entertains more in the kitchen, which requires a nice big space. In addition, kitchen and bathrooms are often very expensive to renovate and change. Millennials often have limited budgets and spend their money on a down payment and furnishings instead of updating.

Low Maintenance
Making a home as low maintenance as possible is excellent for millennial homebuyers. Wood floors and granite countertops are a plus since they’re much easier to clean than carpet and easily stained surfaces.

Encourage your Millennial Home Buyer to call Me to discuss the right mortgage option for their family and to take advantage of my FREE Jumpstart Mortgage Pre-Approval service. I’m here to help.

“When You Work With a Professional, You Get Professional Results”

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Mortgage Process

Mortgage Underwriting: Understanding How It Works

Mortgage Underwriting is the process of verifying information about your employment, income, assets, debts, and credit history to determine if you can afford to pay back the mortgage loan you are applying for.
Mortgage Underwriters also verify that the size of the mortgage you’re applying for is reasonable compared to the value of the property you’re buying or refinancing.
Low Monthly PaymentsSound underwriting helps ensure that you qualify for a mortgage loan that you can afford to repay and it gives lenders the confidence to make mortgage money available to people who want to buy or refinance a home.

The Mortgage Underwriting process is basically divided into three parts:

1:  Gathering and Verifying Your Information
Your lender, or your lender’s loan officer, collects and verifies your personal information, from your employment history to your outstanding debts.
You’ll be asked to give your lender permission to independently verify your information and obtain copies of your credit history.
Here’s a short list of the information you will need to begin underwriting your mortgage.
♦   Employment: You’ll be asked to document your current employment status and provide your job history, including the length and terms of employment.
♦   Income and Assets: Income is used to calculate the size of the mortgage you can responsibly afford and the size of the down payment you’ll need. Expect to provide proof of your primary income, such as copies of your W-2. You’ll also be asked to document other income sources and assets the underwriter may be able to use to evaluate your mortgage eligibility. Assets can include anything from bank accounts, retirement funds, investments and rental property, to your car.
♦   Debts: A list of your current debts – such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans – is needed to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Underwriters use this ratio to determine if your available income will enable you to continue paying your outstanding debts and a new mortgage payment.
♦   Credit Report: Your credit report from  independent credit bureauswhat-is-good-credit-score(Experian, Equifax,  and TransUnion) includes a record of your previous credit transactions … aka your credit history: plus a credit score based on proprietary formulas developed by the respective bureaus This information is used to help determine your creditworthiness and the likelihood that you’ll repay your mortgage. 

2:  Verifying Property Information
The appraised value of the property is another critical factor for determining how much you can borrow. Your lender will have the property you hope to buy professionally appraised to assess its physical condition, the condition of the surrounding site and neighborhood, and its value. 

3: Putting It All AltogetherApproved
Finally, the Mortgage Underwriter reviews all of your information, either manually or with the help of an automated underwriting system to determine
a.)   your financial capacity to repay the mortgage, and
b.)   whether or not the mortgage you’re applying for, and the house you hope to buy or refinance, meets your lender’s requirements

Follow this blog to learn more about how things work in the mortgage industry or visit My Home by Freddie MacSM  for additional information.

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36 Longview Ave. Watertown, CT For Sale

Let’s Be Neighbors!

36 longview
Well maintained ranch in quiet cul-de-sac. 3 BR, spacious LR/DR combo with FP. Eat in kitchen leads to oversized deck and big back yard. 1 car garage.
Nothing to do but move right in.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/36-Longview-Ave_Watertown_CT_06795_M33979-59429

I live next door to this desirable home. I’d be happy to be the first to welcome you to the neighborhood.
Call
Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service. Then call your Realtor to schedule a showing and be ready to make an offer.