Categories
Mortgage Process

First Home Buyer Tips They Don’t Teach You in School

teacher.jpg
You don’t learn about how to buy a house in school. They don’t teach you  what you need to apply for a mortgage, what kind of loan you’ll need, or what PMI is (it’s called private mortgage insurance)

And let’s not mention that you need to shop around for the best deal — or you can hire somebody to do that for you.

So here are some First Home Buyer Tips to help guide you through the home buying experience. 

BEFORE YOU START LOOKING
♦  Have a conversation with your significant other about what you’re millenial 2looking for, what you need and what you can do without. Standing in the living room during an open house with your real estate agent isn’t the time to argue about wanting three bedrooms instead of four.
♦  Know your financial records. What’s your credit score? How much Low Monthly Paymentsoutstanding debt do you have? What monthly payment can you afford?
How much money did you make last year? You’re going to need to know all of this information. Have all of your paperwork ready to go.
♦  Know your limit — if you can’t afford a $450,000 house, don’t go look at $450,000 houses.
♦  Shop around. There are dozens of real estate agents, attorneys, and mortgage officers so don’t settle. These people are going to work for you, their job is to make you happy. You’re going to be on the phone and meeting with them frequently, so make sure you like who you’re working with.
♦  Do your research. When you do decide on a real estate agent, he or she isGet Pre-Approved going to want to know what your price range is, what neighborhoods you’re interested in, if you want to be close to schools, expressways, public transportation, etc. Know what you want and Get Pre-Approved! 

WHILE YOU’RE LOOKING
♦ This is the big one you’ll be glad someone told you about.
Don’t get too attached to a house, because if it the deal doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, you’re going to be devastated.
♦  Be willing to negotiate, it’s a big part of the game.
♦  This goes hand-in-hand with negotiating: put your foot down and don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If the seller is asking for way more than you’re told the house is worth, or if they’re not willing to fix something that is broken or at least negotiate the cost, you have to be ready to walk open houseaway. There will be more houses, trust me.
♦  Don’t just purchase a house by its listing. Go look at EVERYTHING. A lot of houses look different in person than they do on-line, good and bad.

First Home BuyerI have the belief that anyone that deserves to own a home should be able to do so. The American Dream is still attainable for those buyers who do their homework, establish a game plan and work hard to achieve that goal. I’m here to help.

Source: http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/06/buying_your_first_house_things.html

Categories
Select Properties

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.

Categories
Mortgage Process

Four Reasons Why Buying a Condo is Different Than Buying a House

Buying a new home is a delicate dance. From the initial search to the final price negotiations, everything needs to be condotailored to the type of home you are looking for. However, because of their main differences, this process can look very different when buying a condo versus buying a house.

Reason #1: The Homeowners Association or HOA
As all condo owners will know very well, almost all condos come with some type of homeowners association or HOA.

The HOA generally handles common areas like swimming pools, the exterior of the building, and landscaping. Sometimes, the HOA may also beresponsible for holding social events throughout the year.

However, all of this comes at a few costs. The first is money; a HOA cannot operate or pay necessary expenses without charging residents a monthly fee. The second is freedom; most HOAs have rules that need to be followed.

When buying a condo, potential buyers will balance the costs of each HOA with the benefits.

Reason #2: Real Estate Investors
When buying a condo, it’s reasonable to expect a larger number of investors will be considering the property than when buying a home. After all, renting out condos is a big business. As a result, buying a condo places greater emphasis on being Pre-Approved for a mortgage, competing with cash offers, or even competing bids if the condo is on prime property.

Reason #3: The Type of Buyer
Different types of buyers look at a condo versus a home. For starters, condos are generally smaller, don’t have yards, have all landscaping handled professionally, and frequently come with amenities like a swimming pool or fitness center.

While a good majority of potential buyers with children would love a swimming pool with zero maintenance, they aren’t willing to make the trade for a smaller space. This means that when buying a condo, potential buyers will generally be single adults, newly married couples, or retired professionals looking to downgrade to an easier property.

Reason #4: Location, Location, Location
Every real estate agent knows that one factor, above all others, is most important when selling a property: location. Being close to town versus far away from traffic, near downtown excitement versus in a quiet neighborhood, or near shopping centers versus on the edge of nowhere all come into play for a property’s value and desirability.

Generally speaking, condos tend to be closer to urban areas, shopping, and entertainment. This also means that their price per square foot is frequently higher. As a result, owners looking to buy a condo should carefully consult with their real estate agent about the best way to make an offer at a fair price.

Call Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my  FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

Categories
Mortgage Process

3 Tips for Nervous First Home Buyers

ConfusedFirst Home Buyers are rightfully nervous about buying a new home. It’s a big decision, a big change and a big investment. But with rising rents, low mortgage rates, new loan programs targeted to First Home Buyers and an increase in the supply of quality homes, many wanna-be home buyers feel they can’t pass up the opportunity to take the big step in 2015.

Here are 3 Tips for Nervous First Home Buyers to quell your nightmares and help make your dream a reality.Get Pre-Approved
1.  Get Mortgage Pre-Approval – Talk to a professional mortgage officer. The time you spend documenting your financial fitness to buy a home is well spent if the lender gives you a “Pre-Approval” letter, an important tool as you negotiate for a property.

2.  Be Objective – Instead of thinking with your heart, think with your head when mulling over the decision to buy, Don’t be afraid to ask thoseyourself tough, practical questions that will help you make the best choice about buying your first home.

3. Take a Cautious Approach to Home Selection – Hire your own Real Estate Agent. Inventories are expected to rise this spring as snow-bound home sellers begin to put their homes on the market. Choose a Realtor who is working for you, not the seller. Get one that’s honest; one who understands your concerns and has the patience to guide you through the whole home buying process.

If your dream is to own your own home … you might kick yourself later if you let your fears get the better of you. Now is The Time to Buy!

Categories
Mortgage Process

Get Mortgage Pre-Qualification in 2015

If you are thinking about purchasing a new home in 2015, it is important to be properly prepared. A homebuyer must lay down the necessary groundwork before they are able to purchase the home of their dreams. This is why Home Sellers and Realtors© require First Home Buyers to get Mortgage Pre-Qualification before they go too far into the home buying process.

In order to help you better understand what a Mortgage Pre-Qualification is all about, here is more information about the Mortgage Pre-Qualification process.

What is a Mortgage Pre-Qualification? Getting pre-qualified is the first stepFHA MI in the mortgage process, and it’s generally very simple. You supply a bank or lender with your overall financial information, such as your income, paystubs, W-2’s, and credit. After evaluating this information, a lender can give you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify.

When Should You get Pre-Qualified? The best time to get pre-qualified is before you start looking for a home, as soon as you decide you are interested in buying.
Getting pre-qualified will give you a general idea of your home buying budget, how much of a monthly payment you can comfortably afford, and it will allow you to estimate the loan type that is right for you. Also, when you’re searching for a home, getting pre-qualified will help you and your Realtor to know which homes are in your price range.

How Do You Get Pre-Qualified? In order to get Pre-Qualified, you check out different lenders to find out which one is the best “fit” for you. Chose a Loan officer you are comfortable with and one you can trust to guide you through the lengthy home purchase process. There is usually no cost involved, and does not include an in-depth evaluation of your ability to purchase a home.

What’s the Next Step After a Pre-Qualification? After you have been Pre-Get Pre-ApprovedQualified, the next step is to be Pre-Approved. The Mortgage Pre-Approval process tends to be much more involved and much more thorough. In the Mortgage Pre-Approval process, your application will be reviewed by an underwriter and your Loan Officer will have more detailed information to advise you on the best mortgage options available to you.

house puzzle
Call Me at 860.945.9284 to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service and discuss the right mortgage options for your family

Categories
Market Updates

FREE MLS Training. Wednesday, January 7. Noon to 2:00 PM

FREE MLS Training. Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Noon to 2:00 PM

mlsPlease join us for FREE MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Training with Michele Benson of CT Real. 

Michele will discuss recent software changes to MLS. MLS has changed theirmls 2 operating system which effects how Realtors add, edit, search and pull comparable market analyses.

The training will be held in the Norcom Mortgage Training Room, 38 Security Drive, Avon, CT on Wednesday, January 7 from Noon to 2:00 pm.

It’s FREE and all Realtors are invited to attend. Lunch will be served.
RSVP to rick.cignoli@norcom-usa.com  by Friday, January 2, 2015

Categories
Uncategorized

Why An Experienced REALTOR® Is An Asset for Seniors

seniorsSelling the family home is an emotional experience for Seniors.
I remember that it took my widowed Mom several years to clear the “ghost” of memories and finally decide to downsize. My mother-in-law too finally realized that she no longer had the energy to maintain the empty nest that harbored so many loving memories.
Thankfully an empathetic REALTOR® knew what they were going through. Not only had they worked with older adults in the past, but they also had some tips and tricks to help these seniors through the process

Experienced agents know what you’re going through
Making the decision to change homes can be one of the most emotional moments of a senior’s life, but enlisting the assistance of family, friends and a trustworthy real estate agent may be the best way for older adults to make this transition as seamless as possible.
A professional  REALTOR®  places seniors’ emotional needs and emotions first, dedicating set periods of time to understanding why they’re selling, what they would like to get from the transaction and how to best move forward with seniors’ best interests at the forefront of the selling process.

Some agents go the extra mile to provide for Seniors
Quality real estate agents may go beyond the general requirements of selling a house to help seniors transition to their new homes. Yes, they will help sell your property, but they might also help make the move a lot easier by providing information about the next home; referring you to professionals who can assist with financial planning for the future; even arranging for help in cleaning out the clutter that has accumulated over the years. Additionally, these agents may have information regarding community groups, organizations and recreational clubs for seniors in the area of the new home that can make the transition a little easier.

Are you thinking about moving out of the homestead?
Call Me for referrals to an Experienced REALTOR®who can help.

Categories
Market Updates

Why Won’t My Real Estate Agent Answer My Questions?

Home buyers and sellers may sometimes feel that real estate agents or brokers don’t answer their perfectly reasonable questions and concerns. They’re totally justified for feeling this way because, frankly, it’s true.

Buyers and SellersIt may appear that your Real Estate Agent Won’t Answer Your Questions.  It’s not that they don’t know the answer or are giving you the run-around. The fact of the matter is agents MUST be very careful about what they say because there are many Fair Housing Laws that protect the rights of all interested parties.
It’s no secret … real estate agents can’t be forthcoming with some information sought by consumers, even when this information might be critical to their decision process because it’s the law.

Here Are 10 Topics Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Discuss With You:

1.  I won’t answer your questions about other people.  Not the race, color, national origin, religion, familiar status, disability, age, or sexual orientation of neighbors or other principals in the transaction. This would violate federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
2.  I won’t discuss my clients with you.  Not their motivation, urgency for buying or selling, financial situation, or willingness to negotiate. I am required by law and my Code of Ethics to “maintain the confidentiality of clients.”
3.  I won’t disclose my client’s opinion of your home because it may violate my obligation regarding confidentiality. If you or your agent request feedback, however, I will seek permission from my clients to share their opinion of your property with your listing agent, and follow the instructions of my client.
4.  I won’t offer my opinion on legal, tax, or structural matters because I’m licensed real estate agent. I’m NOT an attorney, accountant, or property inspector.  If requested, I will provide you with contact information for licensed attorneys, accountants, or home inspectors that have earned rave reviews from my past clients.
5.  I won’t answer your questions about real estate in another state because I’m licensed only in this state. I will, however, refer you to an agent in that state who can help you.
6.  I won’t discuss your property or its value if I have a present or contemplated interest in the property, unless this interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.home inspection
7.  I won’t disclose details about the property condition of my listing unless there are any “material defects,” that I and and the seller are required by law to disclose. That’s what a home inspection is for.
8.  I won’t answer your questions about neighborhood safety because my response may be interpreted as “steering” you toward or away from a neighborhood, which violates Fair Housing Laws. I can refer you to online resources for information on this topic.
9.  I won’t discuss local schools with you for two reasons: 1) Anything I say may inadvertently violate Fair Housing Laws and 2) Information about school boundaries, policies, or programs may change without notice. I can direct you to various websites that do contain factual information about local schools including public, private, and parochial schools, daycare centers, and nearby colleges and universities.
10. I won’t tell you the contract price for a listing that is “under contract,” but not yet settled. In addition to my obligation to maintain the seller’s confidentiality, there is another very practical reason: If the contract fails to close, public knowledge of the previous contract terms could negatively impact my client in future negotiations.

If you feel that your agent is giving you a runaround, don’t be too quick to judge. Tell the agent how you feel and ask WHY he or she won’t tell you what you want to know.

 ORIGINAL CONTENT BY MARGARET WODA

Categories
Market Updates

Why Won’t My Real Estate Agent Answer My Questions?

Home buyers and sellers may sometimes feel that real estate agents or brokers don’t answer their perfectly reasonable questions and concerns. They’re totally justified for feeling this way because, frankly, it’s true.

Buyers and SellersIt may appear that your Real Estate Agent Won’t Answer Your Questions.  It’s not that they don’t know the answer or are giving you the run-around. The fact of the matter is agents MUST be very careful about what they say because there are many Fair Housing Laws that protect the rights of all interested parties.
It’s no secret … real estate agents can’t be forthcoming with some information sought by consumers, even when this information might be critical to their decision process because it’s the law.

Here Are 10 Topics Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Discuss With You:

1.  I won’t answer your questions about other people.  Not the race, color, national origin, religion, familiar status, disability, age, or sexual orientation of neighbors or other principals in the transaction. This would violate federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
2.  I won’t discuss my clients with you.  Not their motivation, urgency for buying or selling, financial situation, or willingness to negotiate. I am required by law and my Code of Ethics to “maintain the confidentiality of clients.”
3.  I won’t disclose my client’s opinion of your home because it may violate my obligation regarding confidentiality. If you or your agent request feedback, however, I will seek permission from my clients to share their opinion of your property with your listing agent, and follow the instructions of my client.
4.  I won’t offer my opinion on legal, tax, or structural matters because I’m licensed real estate agent. I’m NOT an attorney, accountant, or property inspector.  If requested, I will provide you with contact information for licensed attorneys, accountants, or home inspectors that have earned rave reviews from my past clients.
5.  I won’t answer your questions about real estate in another state because I’m licensed only in this state. I will, however, refer you to an agent in that state who can help you.
6.  I won’t discuss your property or its value if I have a present or contemplated interest in the property, unless this interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties.home inspection
7.  I won’t disclose details about the property condition of my listing unless there are any “material defects,” that I and and the seller are required by law to disclose. That’s what a home inspection is for.
8.  I won’t answer your questions about neighborhood safety because my response may be interpreted as “steering” you toward or away from a neighborhood, which violates Fair Housing Laws. I can refer you to online resources for information on this topic.
9.  I won’t discuss local schools with you for two reasons: 1) Anything I say may inadvertently violate Fair Housing Laws and 2) Information about school boundaries, policies, or programs may change without notice. I can direct you to various websites that do contain factual information about local schools including public, private, and parochial schools, daycare centers, and nearby colleges and universities.
10. I won’t tell you the contract price for a listing that is “under contract,” but not yet settled. In addition to my obligation to maintain the seller’s confidentiality, there is another very practical reason: If the contract fails to close, public knowledge of the previous contract terms could negatively impact my client in future negotiations.

If you feel that your agent is giving you a runaround, don’t be too quick to judge. Tell the agent how you feel and ask WHY he or she won’t tell you what you want to know.

 ORIGINAL CONTENT BY MARGARET WODA

Categories
Mortgage Process

Why Should I Get Mortgage Pre-Approval?

Few experiences are more frustrating than falling in love with a home that’s for sale and then discovering you can’t afford to buy it. The majority of First-Time Home Buyers need to finance their home purchase.  A consultation with a Mortgage Broker is a crucial step in the home buying process because you need to understand your purchasing power before you begin to look at homes.

What Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?
Most Lenders will offer borrowers a Mortgage Pre-Qualification Letter or a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter. But most REALTORS® recommend that you get Mortgage Pre-Approval before shopping for a home. A Pre-Qualification letter will state the amount a lender thinks you can borrow based on your income and your credit profile without any actual documentation. Mortgage lending standards have tightened since the housing crisis and all loans now require full documentation and verification of income and assets. Astute sellers know this and will only accept an offer from a buyer with a full Mortgage Pre-Approval letter that’s based on verified information.
Sellers aren’t the only ones who benefit from you obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval. You’re better off with Mortgage Pre-Approval for two reasons:

  • First, you’ll have gone through the credit check and paperwork requirements for a mortgage, so you’ll have clarity about your ability to finalize a home purchase. If the Application Checklistlender finds a problem with your credit or an error on your credit report, you’ll have time to fix it before making an offer.

  • Second, since your documentation will already be in place, a Mortgage Pre-Approval based on everything other than the actual value of the home you’ll purchase will speed up the process once you make an offer.

How to Find the Right Mortgage Broker
Your REALTOR® might be able to recommend a Mortgage Broker for you to interview. You can also ask friends and colleagues for someone they trust. You should check a Loan Officer’s NMLSNMLS license and read reviews online to be sure you’re working with someone reliable. As a First-Time Home Buyer, you should look for someone experienced with First-Time Home Buyer needs, one help you identify those loan options that fit your particular situation.

What to Expect From Your Broker
The best Mortgage Brokers take a collaborative approach with borrowers and take the time to explain all your loan options. When you feel your comfort level is right, your broker will check your credit report. You should expect feedback about ways to improve your credit profile that might increase your loan approval potential and perhaps improve the terms of your mortgage. You should expect recommendations for how to handle your money between the time you apply for a loan and settlement day. Your lender should provide advice about when to lock in your loan rate and discuss the pros and cons of various loan programs.

What Your Mortgage Broker Expects From You
Your Mortgage Broker needs you to be honest about your finances and responsive to all requests for additional information. They may seem burdensome and unimportant to you, but it is important to the mortgage approval process. The more cooperative you are, the easier the loan process will be.
Your Mortgage Broker will submit your application file to your lender of choice. The lender will analyze your documentation and generate a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter based on your debt-to-income ratio and credit score.  However, you should also consider your budget and your own comfort level with a payment. There’s no need to borrow the maximum amount you qualify for, particularly if you know you plan to spend money on items that don’t show up on your credit report such saving for a college education(s), a new car down the road, or vacations.

Loan ApplicationYour careful planning and preservation of your emergency fund are important for responsible, long-term homeownership. In today’s dynamic housing market, First-Time Home Buyers can own their own home when they demonstrate the financial responsibility to deserve one.