Posts Tagged with homebuying
By Monica O’Neill
Many homebuyers now and into the foreseeable future will face tight lending standards and the need to improve their credit score to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for mortgages. Be aware of the following steps your prospects can take for some speedy credit repair to gain lender approval and the best possible rates, especially if they are months away from a purchase:
Credit Card Wisdom
• Paying revolving credit cards down is generally more beneficial than paying down student, mortgage or auto loans.
• Always leave a 30 percent or higher gap between what you owe on the card and the card’s limit. Lenders look for this minimum gap.
• Use cards with care even if you pay off balances each month. Depending upon statement dates, the lender may see big balances.
• Pay down the cards closest to their limits first for speedier credit repair. The lending bank will then see the “gap” it wants to see.
• Do not ask a creditor to lower credit limits. Generally, carrying smaller balances on several cards is better than one large balance on one card.
• Check your credit card limits to make sure the report is correct. Limits may not be reported on all cards.
• Never make a late payment on credit cards or any loan.
• Protest any unjust negatives such as late payments, collections that are not yours and any items not reported as “paid as agreed” if you paid on time and in full.
• Protest items listed as unpaid that were included in a bankruptcy, and items older than seven years (10 for bankruptcy).
• Focus first on the larger, newer negatives listed on the report.
Don’t worry about smaller items like incorrect address information or an old employer listed as current unless there’s the possibility of identity theft or the file is mixed with someone else’s.
By Megan Gates
Buying a home is an important decision and that step should not be taken without doing your research. An educated buyer is in the best position to make the right decision about this major purchase. If you are knowledgeable about the housing market and procedures your transaction will go much smoother.
The best advice for prospective homebuyers is to hire a real estatebroker. Again, research the brokers in your area. Talk to several and go with one you feel has a grasp of what you are really looking for in a home. Three items to look for are; an understanding of the market, knowing their client’s needs and finding properties that are great investments. A good broker will take the guesswork out of purchasing a home.
One item your broker can do for you is to help you understand property evaluation. A recent broadcast of “Eye on Real Estate with Dottie Herman” discussed the three most important aspects to buying a home. Herman is the CEO and President of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
The value of a home is different for each buyer based on how they are planning to use it. Herman states that lifestyle, transportation needs and schools. This value will be different for a family with children or a family with no children. The value in their eyes will be different.
Herman states that many sellers believe the cost of the house is what they paid for it plus improvements and renovations made during their tenure. By improving the home they are increasing the value of the home even though the cost of the home may remain the same. Herman emphasizes, “Cost and value are not what the price of the home should be or shouldn’t be.”
Price/Fair Market Value
The fair market value price is what the property is worth at today’s financial level.
Hey all, here is a good article that I found from RISmedia, posted by Susanne on May 10, 2012 entitled:
5 Basic Steps to Make A House Your Home
Are you looking to buy your home for the first time? Congratulations! While it is an exciting time knowing what you are in for can ease the process exponentially. Below are a few steps you can take to find your dream house, and make it into your new home.
Learn About Homeownership
Owning a home requires a large investment of time, money and energy, so make sure you are careful when making your decision to buy. To answer all of the questions you may have, participate in a first-time homebuyer class at a logcal non-profit agency in your community. Being well-informed will make you feel confident and in control before making any major financial decisions.
Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
One of the most important steps for evey homebuyer is to determine exactly how much home you can afford. By looking at your income and current monthly debts, you can determine your ideal monthly payment. From there, you'll be ablel to narrow the focus of your house search to homes in your price range. Be sure to include down payments and other upfront costs in your calculations.
Shop for a Home
Condo? Single-family home? A fixer-upper or new construction? Knowing your housing needs - and selecting a real estate professional - before you start looking will help focus your time and energy. Plus, they will work on your behalf to pre-screen houses and guide your through negotiations. Working with a real estate professional can be useful when making an offer on a house - they will be available to answer your questions.
Find the Right Mortgage
Finding the right mortgage is about more than a rate and terms - it's about findint the right financial partner.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
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(04-15) 07:01 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --
Five years after the U.S. housing bust sent sales and prices plunging, the spring home-buying season is pointing to a long-awaited recovery.
Reduced prices, record-low mortgage rates, higher rents and an improving job market appear to be emboldening many would-be buyers. Open houses are drawing crowds. A wave of foreclosures is leading investors to grab bargain-priced homes.
And many people seem to have concluded that prices won't drop much further. In some areas, prices have begun to tick up.
Interviews with more than two dozen potential buyers, sellers, brokers, Realtors and economists suggest that confidence is up and that sales will move slowly but steadily higher.
"The biggest challenge that we've had over the past four years is fear — fear that the economy is collapsing, that property values are collapsing, that the world is coming to an end," says Mark Prather, a broker at ERA Buy America Real Estate in La Palma, Calif. "The fear factor is all but gone."
Prather says the number of prospective buyers who contacted his company last month was about 35 percent more than a year ago.
The spring buying season got an early lift-off from an uncommonly warm January and February — a winter that was the best for sales of previously occupied homes in five years. Permits to build houses and apartments rose in February to their highest level since 2008.
Anytime that you purchase a home, whether it needs love or if it is move-in ready, you already need to be considering the resale of that home, no matter what your plans for the future might be. This will better enable you to make the right choices at the right time. Making good buying choices will help you make good selling choices later, and you wouldn’t want to make a purchase that will not return your investment plus a profit later.
The price of a house that needs some attention is one of the main draws behind purchasing a fixer upper. A large number of buyers are looking for something that is move-in ready so the competition for fixer-upper properties won’t be as high. Many people are not willing to look beyond a building’s flaws to see its amazing potential, and sometimes you can find killer deals on overlooked homes because of some torn up carpet and a few broken windows. There is also the ultimate advantage of being able to transform the home with your own ideas and visions, giving it the character you’ve always wanted in a home without spending a fortune.
Since the price of many fixer uppers seem so affordable up front, many people focus on “today’s costs” and don’t think about the costs of tomorrow. While many common issues with fixer uppers are relatively inexpensive to solve, some are not. Painting, replacing carpet or adding a deck are pretty affordable, while replacing HVAC systems or re-roofing can get pricey.
Email AlertsSend to a FriendPost to FacebookPost to Twitter RSS Technically speaking, April 15th is tax day. But for Americans who expect a refund - including many homeowners who want to cash in on real estate-related tax perks - filing sooner holds the promise of getting that check in hand, stat.
If you count yourself in that number, here’s a handy guide for 9 pieces of paper you should be sure to round up as you prepare to file, in order to reap every penny of the tax rewards you’ve earned by virtue of owning a home.
Mortgage Interest Statement - IRS Form 1098. The meatiest real estate tax deduction on the books is the one that allows you to deduct 100 percent of the mortgage interest you paid in a year - including prepaid interest or points you might have paid at close of escrow, if you bought a home last year. By now, you should have received in the mail a Form 1098 from your mortgage lender that reports how much that interest totaled up to in 2011. If you itemize your taxes and claim a mortgage interest deduction, you must include this form with your tax form when you file. (If you haven’t received yours yet, most lenders that have online account management services also post the form digitally in your secure account on the web. Just login like you would to make your monthly payment, and look for a notice that says you can now download your 2011 Form 1098.)
Property Tax Statements. In addition to deducting your mortgage interest, if you own a home you are eligible to deduct the property taxes you pay to your local city, county and/or state.
But when it’s approaching the time to buy, refi or even rent a home, relatively small credit score differences can stop you from getting your dream home, and can cost (or save) you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan.
If you’re at a time in your life where it makes sense to invest some time and effort into optimizing your credit score, here are five common credit myths we’d like to help you bust without further ado:
Myth #1: Having lots of cash, a great income, or tons of equity, makes your FICO score less relevant.
Fact: No matter how much cash you have, if you want a mortgage, you must meet the lender’s FICO score guidelines. Of course, if you’re flush with cash, it should be relatively easy to make your monthly payments on time. But if you have come into cash relatively recently or you’re coming off a rough financial patch, lenders don’t not look at your credit score on the theory that your other assets diminish your credit riskiness. Most lenders want nothing more than to avoid having to foreclose on a home, even if the homeowner has other assets.
And the best predictor of whether you’ll default on a loan in the future is how you’ve handled your credit in the past, so your credit score will drive whether you qualify for a home loan and what interest rate you’re charged, no matter how much you make.