Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/23/2019

Creating an offer to purchase a home may require several minutes, hours or days – it all depends on the buyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to accelerate the process of putting together a homebuying proposal that will get a seller's attention. These include:

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

When it comes to preparing an offer to purchase a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you analyze the real estate market closely, you can gain the housing sector insights you need to craft a competitive homebuying proposal.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, along with how long these residences were available before they sold. With this information in hand, you can determine whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers and craft your offer to purchase accordingly.

Analyze a house's age and condition as well. By doing so, you can account for the state of a house as you put together an offer to purchase.

2. Maintain Flexibility

Although you may be in a hurry to acquire your dream residence, a seller may need time to find a new place to live. As such, you should maintain flexibility as you craft your offer to purchase and be ready to accommodate a seller's requests.

Ultimately, it is important for a home sale agreement to meet the needs of both a buyer and seller. If you consider the seller's perspective as you create an offer to purchase, you may be better equipped than ever before to craft a homebuying proposal that works well for both you and a seller.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – creating an offer to purchase a house can be challenging, particularly for a buyer who is putting together a homebuying proposal for the first time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide who can help you craft a competitive offer to purchase in no time at all.

A real estate agent is happy to provide you with homebuying insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. He or she can offer recommendations and suggestions as you prepare a homebuying proposal. Plus, a real estate agent can help you submit an offer to purchase and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the support a real estate agent provides after you submit an offer to purchase, either. If your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase. Or, if your offer to purchase is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market so you can discover your dream house. In the event a seller counters your offer to purchase, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action, too.

Ready to submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble submitting a competitive homebuying proposal and acquiring your dream house.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/9/2019

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you aren’t asking enough questions. Or maybe you’re concerned you’re not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyone’s situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work you’ll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you don’t waste too much time exploring an option that isn’t ideal for your situation.

In this article, we’re going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if they’d accept a lower offer, it’s still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the seller’s feelings toward the home and whether they’re pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if they’ve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer you’ll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. It’s a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests it’s a family matter, don’t press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the seller’s timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although you’ll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, it’s better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if you’re moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 11/25/2019

The amount of money you will need to ensure you can purchase a house varies based on a number of factors. For example, if you want to purchase a house in a big city, you may need to save more money than you likely would require to buy a residence in a small town. Meanwhile, your decision to choose a fixed-rate mortgage over an adjustable-rate mortgage – or vice-versa – can impact your monthly housing costs. And let's not forget about the costs of home utilities like electricity and water, either.

Ultimately, it helps to put together a homebuying budget before you embark on a house search. Because if you know how much money you have at your disposal, you can map out your house search accordingly. And as a result, you can minimize the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence.

Let's now take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective homebuying budget.

1. Evaluate Your Current Expenses

An in-depth assessment of your current monthly expenses is key. If you conduct an expense evaluation, you can find out how much you spend on various must-haves and wants. You then can take steps to reduce your monthly expenses and increase your savings for a new home.

It also never hurts to consult with a financial planner. If you have a financial planner at your side, you can gain expert insights to help you evaluate your current expenses. Plus, you can work with a financial planner to determine the best course of action so you can eventually buy your dream residence.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions and explore your mortgage options – you will be happy you did. If you assess your mortgage options closely, you can find one that complements your finances. And once you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house.

Generally, it is beneficial to meet with as many banks and credit unions as you can. If you consult with myriad lenders, you can receive extensive insights into many mortgage options. Best of all, you will be better equipped than ever before to find the lowest-possible interest rate on a mortgage.

3. Consider Your Down Payment Options

The down payment required for a home purchase varies, but it commonly ranges between 5 percent and 20 percent of a house's total price. If you account for a down payment as you craft a homebuying budget, you can use this total to plan ahead for the property buying journey.

Lastly, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as you prepare to launch a home search. In addition to helping you find your dream residence, a real estate agent can put you in touch with potential lenders and offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey.

Ready to pursue a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you create a successful homebuying budget.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/21/2019

After you submit an offer on a home and complete a property inspection, there may be only a short amount of time until you close.

Ultimately, it pays to prepare for closing day. If you start planning for your home closing today, you can identify and address any potential problems.

To better understand how to get ready for a home closing, let's take a look at three questions to consider before your closing.

1. What needs to get done before my closing date?

Your closing date may be a few weeks away, but time moves quickly, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to get into a new residence as quickly as possible. Fortunately, homebuyers who understand what needs to get done prior to a closing can plan accordingly.

Typically, a homebuyer will need to secure homeowners insurance and title insurance before closing on a house. Insurance companies are available to provide information about both types of insurance. If you reach out to these companies immediately, you can guarantee that your home and personal belongings will be covered against loss or damage.

You'll need to contact utilities providers as well. That way, you can ensure that your gas, electric and other utilities are good to go as soon as you close on your home.

2. How much are my monthly mortgage payments?

You know that you've been pre-approved for a mortgage. However, if you don't know how much that you'll be paying for your home each month, you'll certainly want to find out sooner rather than later.

Monthly mortgage payments can add up quickly, particularly for homebuyers who fail to budget properly. If you know exactly how much that you'll be paying each month for your home, you can effectively map out a budget.

3. What do I need to bring to my closing?

Homebuyers are required to bring a government-issued ID to a closing. In some instances, you may need to provide a certified or cashier's check to cover assorted closing costs as well.

If you are unsure about what to bring to a home closing, it often helps to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional can help you seamlessly navigate all stages of the homebuying cycle.

Prior to a home closing, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have. This housing market professional will explain how the home closing process works, how long the process generally takes to complete and, perhaps most important, when you'll receive the keys to your house.

A real estate agent also goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide assistance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can help you compare and contrast a broad range of houses, submit a competitive offer on a home and ensure that you can discover your dream residence in no time at all.

Get ready for a home closing – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can prep for your closing date.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/7/2019

Searching for the ideal home is an exciting adventure, but it can also be fraught with setbacks, delays, and disappointments. With a little preparation, however, you can avoid many of the potential pitfalls that could happen along the way.

One of the secrets of successful house hunters is to adopt a positive attitude, but temper it with a dose of realism.

Flexibility is also important, but it pays to be steadfast about your absolute requirements, also known as your "must have" list.

To help ensure a successful house hunting experience, here are a few of the key attitudes and qualities that are worth taking inventory of and cultivating.

Persistence: Although it does happen, it's unlikely that the house of your dreams is going to show up at the beginning of your search. As seasoned house hunters know, it's not unusual to have to look at dozens of houses for sale before finding just the right one. But even when you've reached that turning point, there still may be obstacles, hurdles, and challenges to deal with. The perfect example is a bidding war. What if you're all ready to make an offer on the ideal house, but it turns out that one or more other buyers have their sights set on that same house? That can not only be stressful, but it can stretch your housing budget to its outer limits (and beyond)! On one hand, you have to be willing to walk away from a property that would leave you "house poor", but on the other hand, you may want to consider pursuing a real estate deal that's on the high end of your budget, but financially doable. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent who's a skilled negotiator can help give you an edge when you're confronted with a so-called "bidding war."

Optimism: If you view house hunting as a process which will eventually produce your desired outcome, then you'll be a lot more motivated to go the distance, rather than lower your standards or give up entirely. A positive attitude will help you overcome setbacks, identify workable solutions, and recognize opportunities when they present themselves.

Organization: Whether you prefer the idiom "The devil is in the details" or "God is in the details," the lesson is still the same: Small details can have a big impact. Staying goal-oriented and organized can help propel you forward and avoid frustrations. Knowing your credit score, establishing a realistic housing budget, and scheduling meetings with mortgage lenders will help you stay on course, be prepared, and steer clear of unnecessary delays. It also helps to take notes, create lists, and follow a daily or weekly action plan.

Buying a house is an important priority which can affect the quality of your life in many ways. By staying organized, focused, and positive about your search, your chances of success will be enhanced many times over.




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