Experts have projected that U.S. home prices will appreciate by 5.4% in 2013. If we assume that prices will rise about the same 5% over the next twelve months, here is the difference a buyer will pay if they wait a year. Read more
The latest figures show that 89 percent of buyers purchased their home with the help of a real estate agent or broker. This is a sharp increase from a decade ago in 2001, when only 69 percent of buyers enlisted the help of an agent or broker. Read more
Typically, many buyers are eager to move and get settled in before the school year and holidays begin but that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged. While the spring is considered a peak selling period, I recall looking for a home in the winter months and successfully closing just after the New Year. Read more
With interest rates at historical lows and home prices being more affordable than they have been in decades, many people know that now is a great time to buy a home, but they may be worried about large down payment requirements.
When looking to finance a home, two of the most common questions asked include:
What loan options require a low (or no) down payment?
Is down payment assistance available?
Traditional loan options
While it is true that a 20 percent down payment is still required to avoid mortgage insurance for conventional loans, there certainly are mortgage options that require a low or no down payment. Almost all mortgage lenders offer at least these options: Read more
You’re in the market to buy. You’ve probably given a lot of thought to the type of home you want as well as your budget and buying price range. There’s an additional topic, though, that requires your careful consideration. Which neighborhood is right for you? Read more
Buyers who find a home they’d like to buy soon after they start their home search often pass on it because they feel they haven’t seen enough listings. Months later, when they haven’t found anything to compare to the first home they really liked, they can regret that they didn’t seize a great opportunity when they had a chance.
It takes a leap of faith and complete trust in your real estate agent to make a quick move in a market that’s new to you. You’ll feel more confident when you’ve done your homework and know the reasons why some listings sell for more than others. This is a process that takes time and is time well spent. Read more
After months of searching for the perfect home, writing multiple offers, and dealing with sellers who won’t budge on price, you’ve finally got a contract on the perfect home. It took you and the seller weeks of negotiations and several rounds of offers to get there. But, you have a deal at last.
Or do you?
Too often, getting a signed contract and putting your money into escrow is simply the beginning of what can become yet another round of negotiations. Here are five things every home buyer and seller should know about last-minute credits. Read more
Q: I was under contract to buy a home. It took forever for the mortgage company to get its act together, but we finally got to a closing date. During the final walk-though I noticed that most of the items the seller was supposed to repair were not fixed.
The listing broker said the repairs had been made, but did not have any paperwork proving it, so I decided to cancel the contract. Now, the seller is trying to get money from me for waiting until the last minute to cancel the deal. Can she really do that? I’ve now had to hire a lawyer. This whole mess is costing me money I don’t have! –Hazel
Well, first things first: Some of the definitive answers to your questions will vary slightly depending on the law and standard real estate practices that govern in your state and the specific terms of your contract. Read more
According to the National Association of Realtors, a whopping 33% of all contracts were cancelled in January, 2012. This is up from just 9% in January 2011. NAR says one of the primary reasons for these elevated levels of cancellations is due to low appraisals.
Looking to sell your home or do a refi? Then you may need to boost your appraisal.
While it’s technically the appraiser’s job is to derive a base for your home’s value based on the recent sales prices of homes that are comparable to yours — comparable in terms of location, size, condition, and age (in this order) — you need to do your due diligence as well. Get about 6 comps ahead of time. Start your research on Zillow. Read more
For many, homeownership is still a dream. Moving from renting can seem like it’s an impossible mission.
But if you plan ahead and carefully budget, the goal of homeownership can be yours.
When budgeting how much home you can afford, it’s important to understand and anticipate the costs of owning and maintaining a home. Here are a few things that some first-time buyers forget to include. Read more