BUYING A HOME
 
Analyize your personal needs.
  • Where do you work?
  • What is reasonable as far as commuting time?
  • Will schools, medical, shopping, church or entertainment be important to you? 
  • What is your Family’s special needs? Personal life style?  Family hobbies?
  • What would your ideal property look like? 
  • What size home do you want?
  • How much land do you really want?
 
How to make it happen.

  • Determine how much cash you can afford to put down at closing, and how much you are comfortable with as a total monthly payment?
  • When evaluating the cost of home ownership do not forget to evaluate the total cost of living wherever your property is located.
  • The things to consider are:
  • Principal
  • Interest
  • Taxes
  • Insurance = PITI (principal interest taxes insurance) for the normal total monthly payment
 
You may have to pay for mortgage insurance which only insures the lender in the event that you default.
 
Other costs include:
  • HOA (Home Owners Asso.) or POA (Property Owners Asso.) fees
  • Utility Bills
  • Cost of Commuting
  • Maintenance of the property
 
Understanding credit.
Normally the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate, but there are other factors that affect your ability to get a home mortgage. 
The four basic questions that will determine your qualifications are:
  • Fico Score
  • Income to debt ratio
  • Length of time on your job.
  • Amount of available cash to put down. 
 
If you have a high rating in all four of these categories you will qualify for the lowest interest rate available and normally the lowest closing cost.
Most Home loans are amortized over a 30 year, or 360 month time frame.
 Example:
  • 100,000 @ 4% = 477.42 principal and interest per month      
  • 100,000 @ 6% = 599.55
  • 100,000 @ 8% = 733.76
  • 100,000 @10% = 877.57
This is an example of how much your credit score and the type of loan you get will affect how much you can afford to pay for your home.  Currently mortgage interest rates are low, therefore, now is a good time to buy a home.
A knowledgeable Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Banker can help you understand your credit and the different types of loans available. They can also help you understand how to improve you FICO score if needed. 
Each person’s special circumstances, as well as the type of property, will determine which kind of loan is best for the individual transaction. If you are working with a knowledgeable Realtor, they should help you evaluate your options and the estimated total cost of owning a specific property. Real Estate is one of the best investments one can make. Owning your own home is extremely rewarding. Ask questions- the more you know about the home buying process the better decisions you will make and the better the quality of life your family will have.
 
WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME 
Things to consider when preparing to sell and move :
  • How much is your property truly worth?
  • What will you have to pay for a replacement property?
  • How long will it take to sell? How long will it take to close on the new property?
  • How will you transition from selling to buying and where will you live if you sell before you buy.
  • Do you have to sell in order to buy?
 
  • Talk to a GOOD LENDER who can help you understand what options are available to you.
  • Plan on making your new purchase so that you can get the best terms available on your new loan.
  • Hire a professional REALTOR who will help you understand the selling process, and what to expect when negotiating with buyers.
  • Your home will have to appraise and pass inspections.
  • Age, Condition, Location, Sq. Ft. type of construction and the size of your tract will effect the value.
  • Become familiar with your market and your competition. If there are 10 homes available in your area, how does your home compare?
 
Your Realtor should do a Current Market Analysis for you.
Try to price your home so it will be shown. Over priced properties just serve to establish the GOOD DEAL on the ones that are at true market value. First impressions are crucial, do your best to have the lawn mowed and if possible have a few flowers, either in the yard or potted. A nice warm inviting front door helps. Inside be sure that there are no bad odors. Even heavy cleansers or over whelming potpourri can turn off a buyer. Fresh clean and warm homey smells or best. Put away the clutter. Freshen up the decorating, make repairs as best you can. Now relax and let the Realtor do their job. Know that you will never please everyone so don’t try. There is a match for every home. Some people like bright colors some want all neutral. Some like lots of pets, others do not want a pet at all. It is part of what a good Realtor does to match up the right buyer with the right property. The more available you make your home for showing the faster it will sell. At least 50% of my successful sales happen without a planned appointment. Keep the property ready and be as accommodating as possible.

Expect people to make strange request and sometime insulting offers. Do not get upset, just let your Realtor explain the bottom line and decide how to respond without turning the buyer completely away. Some buyers just test the sellers but will come around to a reasonable contract terms with some negotiations. Once you are under contract it is time for the buyer to do inspections. Be aware of the terms in the contract regarding repairs, lender requirements and option times.
Be sure that your Realtor is familiar with the market in your area and that she will advertise your home well. Multiple Listing Services are crucial. A nice sign is also very important. 
 
Four things to look for in choosing a Realtor are:
  • Knowledge of the market 
  • Availability
  • Ethics
  • And the way they advertise
We hope this guide helps in your home buying and selling needs.