May 7th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Choosing the neighborhood for you

Finding the right home also means finding the right neighborhood. You might find the perfect house, but the surrounding area can quickly change the way you feel about it. There are many factors to think about, from school districts to public transportation to the proximity of your neighbors and grocery stores. Different homeowners have different needs when it comes to location, so here are a few things to focus on that will get you headed in the right direction for finding your ideal neighborhood.

  1. Affordability – Though it might be tempting, it is important to not shop for houses in a location outside your price range. Make sure that you and your real estate agent know what price range you’re searching for before you start looking. (more…)

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April 16th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

how to come up with a down payment

One of the first steps a prospective homeowner must take before buying a home is to come up with the money for a down payment. To buy a home today, the purchaser needs at least 3.5 percent of the purchase price for a down payment. Depending on the price of your ideal home, this could range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand. The more money you’re able to put toward a down payment, the lower your mortgage payment will be. It’s in the homebuyer’s best interest to have a substantial down payment saved when starting the buying process.

Coming up with a down payment can seem like an impossible task to many, but it might be easier than you think. With a little creativity and planning, you could have a down payment saved for your dream home before you know it. Below, we’ve outlined a few creative ways for you to come up with your down payment. Don’t delay, start saving today!

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March 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Choosing the right home loan

One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the home-buying process is choosing how you will finance your new home. Several options are available, and factors such as down payment percentage and your credit score are important considerations.

One popular mortgage option is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loan. This type of loan is most frequently obtained by first-time homebuyers or individuals with less than excellent credit. Find out if an FHA loan is right for you by reading the following summary.

What is an FHA loan?
FHA is a government agency operating as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It aims to promote access to homeownership and maintain stability in the housing market. The FHA was initially created by congress in 1934 and is currently the largest mortgage insurer in the world. The FHA program was established as a New Deal program during the Great Depression. Although often referred to as an FHA loan, the FHA doesn’t actually borrow the money to lend to home buyers. Instead, the FHA insures mortgages that meet a set of standards. By insuring the mortgage, buyers are able to obtain better terms and conditions than they would had they taken out a private mortgage. For a loan to be FHA-backed, it needs to come from a private lender authorized to deal in FHA mortgages.

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March 12th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Second home questions

Choosing to buy your first home is a monumental decision, if you’re considering buying a second home, put as much thought and care into that decision as you did the first time around. As a seasoned homeowner, you know the work that comes along with owning your home. Consider if you’ll be prepared to make the same commitment with a second home. To help you determine what’s best for you, we’ve put together a few questions to consider before you make the leap into second home ownership.

  1. Why do you want to buy?

What is your motivation for a second home? Is it a vacation home, potential rental opportunity, or maybe a place to retire? By defining your motivation, you’ll be able to find a home that is suitable to your needs.

  1. How will you pay (cash or financing)?

Buying a second home is financially different than buying your first home. Typically, you’ll need a considerable down payment in order to buy. Lenders may require up to 25 percent down.


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February 26th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Home appraisal process

Most buyers and sellers know a home appraisal is required as part of a real estate transaction. Not all of them realize, however, that the appraisal’s results pretty much run the show. The only exception is an all-cash deal.

An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home’s worth. In all 50 states, home appraisers are required by law to be licensed or certified. Each appraisal encompasses a variety of factors. Typical data for a single-family home include recent sale prices of similar properties nearby, amenities, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floorplans, and condition of the property’s interior and exterior. Proximity to transportation and the community’s school district might even be factored in. Appraisers consider these and other information to determine the home’s fair-market value.