How Your Credit Score Affects Buying a House

You’re ready to purchase a home - but have you looked at your credit score lately? Your credit score as a home buyer is not only one of the most important variables when applying for a mortgage, it is also the first thing a mortgage lender will check to see if you qualify for a loan. Your credit score affects how much you can borrow, the kinds of mortgages for which you can be approved, and your mortgage rate. The minimum acceptable credit score depends on the type of home loan you qualify for, but conventional financing for buying a home usually requires a minimum credit score of 620.  Pricing Based on Risk Mortgage lending is based primarily on risk-based pricing. Lenders increase the cost of your mortgage for each risk associated with your credit profile. The lower your credit score, the higher the rate you will pay for a mortgage. For example, the difference between a 750 credit score and a 625 score can add one half of a percent to your loan rate. On a $200,000 30-year mortgage wit…

So Your Property Won’t Sell: Next Steps

When you’re trying to sell a home that hasn’t had any offers or there hasn’t been any movement, it can be a stressful situation. The pressure can feel desperate, particularly if you have already purchased another house or are currently living out of state. If you have not yet found a buyer, it is important to take a step back and access exactly why your house isn’t selling. 
Consider the market. Does the current market favor buyers or sellers? Talk to your agent to about the median number of days on the market in your neighborhood for comparable homes. 
Adjust your expectations. You might think your house is a great deal but now is the time to look objectively at your house situation. How does your house stand up to the comparables in the area? It is crucial that, as a homeowner, you are honest in your assessment. Sometimes vanity or pride can end up costing you money. 
Rethink the price. Beyond the housing market temperature, the most likely reason for the lack of offers is the home pri…

Do I need a REALTOR®?

In the modern world, it seems like you can do anything online. But what about buying or selling a home? While it may be possible, there are many benefits to using a REALTOR® to navigate the turbulent housing market. While you might have good intentions, using your own resources to buy or sell a home could end up costing you a lot of time and money and unneeded stress. Here are a few benefits to hiring a realtor:  
Expertise - Your REALTOR® is a licensed expert. Buying or selling a home is complicated. There are a lot of forms, disclosures and legal documents that are involved and need meticulous attention to detail. In addition, real estate has its own complicated language and jargon that can be confusing if you are not well versed on the terminology. REALTORS® have valuable education and field experience that will get you the best deal possible and give you peace of mind.
Local Knowledge -   Every region is different so it’s important to have someone who knows the ins-and-outs of a par…

3 Tips When Selling Your First Home

Selling your home for the first time includes many moving parts. From staging the home to showings, it’s important to understand these moving parts and be ready when it’s time to sell. When the house for sale sign goes up, you’ve made the decision to sell and look for a new home. Buying your first home may have felt exhausting but selling this house is a little bittersweet. Are you selling your first home? Here are some tips from a trusted real estate agent, Nancy Hibler.
Pricing Your Home When you are ready to list your home for sale, make sure the price of your home is accurate. Find a listing agent to help deciding on an appropriate price. A listing agent will compare other properties and give an estimate on comparative market analysis. Stay away from choosing a family member who only dabbles in real estate from time-to-time. Find an agent who has experience and sells a large number of listings, preferably listings in your neighborhood.
Home Staging Prepare your home for showings by ha…

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

It’s something we’re sure at one time or another, you’ve imagined. You take a house, a house that many would see as decrepit and decaying, and turn it into something extraordinary. You’ve seen it done on countless shows on the always entertaining HGTV channel. You might have even had first-hand experience on how a drastic interior renovation can be successful. But no matter what first might have introduced you to this concept, one thing is certain: people’s love and fascination with buying a “fixer-upper” home are not going away any time soon.
But sometimes, a television show, or one person’s successful project, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success for your own “fixer-upper.” Any number of unforeseen complications can arise with any large undertaking, and unfortunately, big complications often translate into big expenses. Many homeowners like you, or those considering purchasing a “fixer-upper” may be asking themselves, “is all that trouble really worth the end result?
Here are the Pro…

Why You Need a Home Inspector on Your Side

Buying a new home is one of the most costly — if not the most costly — purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s a big decision, and the process itself can be stressful for homebuyers. That’s why it’s important to have good, knowledgeable professionals in your corner, like your realtor and a reputable home inspector. Working with a home inspector is kind of like hiring a house doctor to perform a checkup. The home inspector will examine the house from roof to foundation and everywhere in between, paying special attention to major systems such as plumbing, electrical, and heating. Here are a few reasons you should work with a home inspector:
Ensures Safety A quality home inspection can detect potential safety issues lurking in your new home, such as radon, carbon monoxide, and mold. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that releases naturally front the ground, sometimes in dangerous amounts. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. If too much radon is detected …

Questions Every Homebuyer Should Ask Their REALTOR®

Buying a home can be exciting, overwhelming, and stressful all at once. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have done this before, you’re likely to have at least a few questions for your REALTOR® regarding the process. Here are just a few of the essential questions to ask your REALTOR® before you sign on the dotted line.

How old is the roof?You should ask as many questions as possible about the condition of the home if that information hasn’t already been offered up. Asking about the roof is one of the more important questions to ask. Knowing how old the roof is will give you a good idea of how soon you may need to get it repaired and replaced, and that is something you should factor into your budget if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.
What’s the history of the house?There are potentially a lot of things that could have happened to a home over the course of many years. Ask your REALTOR® whether the home you’re looking at has ever had a pest infestation, such as termites…