7 Reasons to Buy a Home

Some people don't need a reason to buy a home, they just want it.That can be enough justification by itself.Other people need some solid logic before they're ready to make the commitment.The following reasons might help you to make a decision.Pride of ownership ... among the most popular reasons given by homebuyers is that they want a place they can call their own and decorate and improve it the way they want.It is a place to feel safe and secure and a place for their family.They can share it with their friends and enjoy living in it.Good investment ... Homeowners have a 80 times greater net worth than renters.By investing in a home that appreciates over time, it contributes to an increasing equity.The high loan to value mortgages that are available combined with the low mortgage rates also contribute to the investment through leverage which has been described as "using other people's money" to control an investment.Interest and property tax deductibility ... Hom…

What's the Difference in Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

Before looking for a home, you need to know how much you can afford. While you may have a number in your head, the lender has the final say. Securing a pre-approval from a lender helps make the home buying process easier and helps to avoid delays. Many buyers confuse the terms pre-qualification and pre-approval. They mean two different things. In simple terms, a pre-qualification is an estimate of what you can afford. A pre-approval is a conditional approval based on the proof you provide.
The pre-qualification is a preliminary step some borrowers take to get a feel for what price home they can afford. Based on your income, assets, and estimated credit score, lenders can estimate what you can afford.
It's important to know, there's nothing binding about a pre-qualification. It's simply a starting point. When you are serious about buying a home, though, you want a pre-approval.
Before you shop for a home, meet with a recommended lender to get a pre-approval letter. Sellers and…

Buy Your Retirement Home Now

Maybe you're not ready to move into it but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take advantage of the present opportunities to acquire the home you want to live in during retirement. The combination of the low mortgage rates, high rental rates, positive cash flows and tax advantages can help you get it paid for by the time you're ready to move into it.Your tenant could literally buy your retirement home for you.  One idea would be to finance it with a 15-year loan that will have a lower rate than a 30-year loan and it will obviously be paid for in half the time. With every monthly rental check from your tenant, you make the payment on the mortgage which includes a portion that reduces debt and builds equity. Even if you don't have the home paid for by the time you retire, your equity will be larger.  Consider you sell your current home which could be paid for by then when you are ready to move into this retirement home .  Taxpayers can exclude up to $500,000 of tax…

A Good Time to Buy a Home

You may have noticed that REALTORS® seem to always think now is a good time to buy and they can usually justify it with solid reasoning.While it can be true in general, a good time to buy has more to do with the individual than anything else.There are four things to consider.It is a good time to buy a home when you have good credit.Since the Great Recession and the housing crisis, lenders have been required to be sure that the borrowers have good credit.This actually benefits not only the lenders but the borrowers because no one wants to buy something that they cannot afford and run the risk of losing it to foreclosure.FHA has the most lenient FICO credit score of 580+.VA requires a little higher at 620 while Fannie Mae guidelines on conventional mortgages require a 700 score.It is a good time to buy a home when you have a good job that gives you the income to qualify for the mortgage and the likelihood that you'll continue to be employed in the future.Two years of steady employme…

Time for a Toilet Upgrade

Whether it is a cosmetic or a mechanical reason for upgrading a toilet, you may not know all the choices that are involved to choose the right one for your home.The current toilet may have cracks or leaks in the bowl or tank.It could be the aggravation of constant clogging or inefficient flushing.Maybe there is damage in the porcelain bowl or built-up mineral deposits that are clogging the inlet holes or syphon tube.If frequent repairs have you on a first name basis with the plumber, it may be time to consider replacing the toilet.There are a lot of things to consider and the following list may help you sort through the choices.Round, oval or compact oval ... There are two basic shapes of toilets: round and oval.The round bowl requires less space and are less expensive.The oval or elongated tend to be more comfortable but require more space from the wall than round ones.Most manufacturers produce a compact oval model also.One-piece, two-piece and wall hung ... Manufacturers make one-p…

Interior Condensation Solutions

Condensation occurs when the air has too much moisture in it which is felt as high humidity.The water deposits on various surfaces that are cooler than the air itself.Several things can contribute to the high humidity such as cooking, dishwashers, clothes dryers, bathing and long showers.If the home has a crawl space under the floor, inadequate ventilation or insulation can cause moisture in the home.  There seems to be a difference of opinions about whether to vent or not vent.  First, determine if you are having a problem and then, weigh the options available to find the best solution.Condensation that forms on windows and other surfaces in your home can cause damage to window trim, frames, drywall, floor coverings and sub-floors as well and the interior framing. To reduce condensation in a home, the moisture saturating the air needs to be reduced.Just as steam from a shower can fog a mirror, warm air holds more moisture.When the air cools, it releases the moisture.There are other t…

Selecting an agent

When a whole lobster was presented at the table of a restaurant, the customer noticed there was only one claw on it.He asked what happened to the lobster and the waiter said, maybe he lost a fight with another lobster.The customer replied to the explanation by saying "then, bring me the winner."There are approximately 1.3 million REALTORS® in the U.S.The July 2019 Existing Home Sales annualized about 5.4 million units with a listing side and a selling side that totals 10.8 million transactions.That means that the average number of units sold per agent is 8.In any given market, 20% of the agents are selling 80% of the homes.260,000 agents are selling 8,480,000 or an average of 32 transactions sides.Some markets are dominated by 10% of these successful agents selling 90% of the market.If that were the case, 130,000 agents are selling 9,720,000 or an average of 75 transactions sides.The question you should ask yourself is who do you want representing you in the purchase or sale…