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To make the Purchase and/or Sale of Your Home a Pleasurable, Stress Free, Fun and Exciting Experience. To Provide our Clients the Best Possible Service, Quality and Value.
BEGINNING TIPS FOR THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER
If you know someone who's buying a home for the first time, they're about to make one of the most meaningful-and largest-purchases of their lives. If that's making them nervous, here are some pointers you can give them to help them stay calm:
1. Decide what you're looking for with the help a Real Estate Professional.
First time buyers often think that if they just look long enough, they'll find the perfect home. But with so many variables-location, style, size, features, condition-perfection isn't always a realistic goal. Holding out for perfection can cause you to miss out on a terrific value or favorable mortgage rates. Instead, rank your needs and pick the home that meets most of them.
2. Look at your financial picture.
First, determine how much money you have for a down payment and closing costs. Typically, you'll need to put down 20% of the purchase price, although there are options for low down payment (5% or less) mortgages. Closing costs usually run 2-4% of the selling price but the seller might absorb some of these. In addition, check into state or local programs for the first-time buyers. Most people can also use their IRA retirement funds without penalty, up to $10,000 each for husband and wife. But talk to a tax spcialist or the IRS on this one.
3. Meet with a Loan Officer and apply for a Mortgage PRE-APPROVAL
Having this will make your offer more attractive to the seller. It will also let you know how much house you can afford based on two ratios: The Front Ratio is your total mortgage payment-principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI)-plus any condominium or homeowner association (HOA) fees-divided by your total gross income. This ratio should be below 28%. For example, a gross income of $4000 per month and a total mortgage payment of $1080 has a front ratio of 27%. The Back Ratio adds any car payments, credit card and other loan payments to the total mortgage payment-and divides that by your total gross income. This ratio should be below 41%. So, adding a $220 car payment and $100 credit card payment to the above example, gives a back ratio of 35%.
4. Take Notes on each of the homes you see.
Compare neighborhoods, square footage, number of rooms, real estate taxes, condition and how it rates on your checklist of key features. You may want to bring a digital or video camera to help you remember specific features of interest.
5. Do a Home Inspection.
Make your offer contingent on both the securing of a mortgage and the completion of a home inspection. Most important of all, don't hesitate to call your Real Estate Agent or Mortgage Professional with any questions you may have along the way.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going FSBO
Thinking about selling your home on your own? There are a few things to keep in mind as you decide whether to work with a real estate professional. At what level do you price your house? Real estate professionals can provide a comparative market analysis that includes the sale prices of similar neighborhood properties. That could prevent you from losing a sale or losing thousands of dollars in profits due to an inaccurate asking price. Newspaper advertisements, open houses, and lawn signs are not enough to generate buyer interest. By working with a professional, you would have access to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and benefit from widespread exposure among many realty proferssionals in the area, as well as, extensive Internet Marketing of your home. Can you assemble the appropriate documents, handle contingency clauses, orchestrate the closing, or assist the buyer in securing financing? You should consider hiring a professional if you want to avoid agreeing to a price reduction because you are not paying a sales commission.
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