RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 2/12/2020

An offer to purchase represents a key milestone in the homebuying journey. Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead to ensure you're ready to submit a homebuying proposal. Because if you know what it takes to put together a competitive offer to purchase a house, you can boost the likelihood that a home seller accepts your proposal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to submit an offer to purchase.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market fluctuates frequently. As such, you may enter a real estate market that favors buyers but slowly shifts into sellers' favor, or vice-versa. But if you examine the real estate sector closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the current housing market's conditions.

If homes are selling quickly at or above their initial asking prices, you may be working in a seller's market. Comparatively, if houses linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market. As you start to craft an offer to purchase a house, you should analyze the real estate market. By doing so, you can submit an offer to purchase that matches a seller's expectations.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Entering the housing market with a budget in hand usually is beneficial. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can narrow your house search and stick to a budget as you pursue your dream residence.

Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. Perhaps best of all, lenders employ mortgage specialists who can respond to your mortgage concerns and questions. If you collaborate with a lender today, you can get the financing you need to buy a house. Also, you can conduct a search for homes that fall within your price range and reduce the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that surpasses your budget.

3. Avoid a "Lowball" Offer

Submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase a home may seem like a good idea at first. Yet submitting a homebuying proposal that falls short of a seller's expectations is unlikely to help you acquire your dream house.

In most instances, a seller will instantly reject a lowball offer to purchase. And if you receive an immediate "No" from a seller, you risk missing out on the opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.

Allocate time and resources to craft a competitive homebuying proposal – you'll be glad you did. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting together a lowball offer that will miss the mark with a seller and force you to look elsewhere to purchase a house.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance as you perform a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. By employing a real estate agent, you should have no trouble crafting a competitive offer to purchase any home, regardless of the housing market's conditions.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 2/5/2020

FHA loans have long been a valuable resource for Americans who want to fulfill their goal of homeownership but who don’t have the benefit of a lengthy credit history and equity.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future but want to explore all of your options in terms of financing, this article is for you.

Today we’re going to talk about FHA loans and how to know if you qualify for one.

What are FHA loans?

FHA loans are issued by private mortgage lenders across the country, just like regular mortgages. The difference, however, is that an FHA loan is “guaranteed” by the federal government.

Lenders decide your borrowing eligibility, and how much you can borrow, by determining risk. If you don’t have a sizable down payment (oftentimes 20% or more) and you have a low credit score, most mortgage lenders will see you as a risky person to lend to.

When you get an FHA loan, however, the federal government assumes some of that risk, allowing you to secure the loan anyway.

This means you can buy a home with a low credit score, a smaller than usual down payment, and save on some closing costs.

How do I qualify for an FHA Loan?

To find out if you qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll head to the same place as a traditional mortgage--a mortgage lender. Oftentimes, you can simply call or visit the website of lenders to get the process started.

As with all things, it’s a good idea to shop around for a mortgage lender. Their offerings will be largely similar, but there might be minor differences that make one better than another for your particular circumstances.

Down payment requirements

To secure an FHA loan, you will need to make a down payment of at least 3.5%. However, this low down payment comes with a price. You’ll typically be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) fees on top of your accruing interest for your loan.

Credit score requirements

While you can often secure a mortgage with a lower credit score through an FHA loan, there are still some requirements. To secure a loan with the lowest possible down payment (3.5%), you’ll need a credit score of 580 or above.

Previous homeowners and FHA loans

A common misconception about FHA loans is that they are only for first-time homeowners. However, you can still qualify for an FHA loan if you’ve owned a home before as long as it has been three years since you’ve had a foreclosure or two years since filing for bankruptcy.

If you meet these three conditions, you should be able to secure an FHA loan through a traditional mortgage lender.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/29/2020

Photo by Paul Brennan via Pixabay

If you're like many prospective homeowners who've been looking at listings lately in preparation for moving forward with purchasing property, you've noticed listings for foreclosures. Some people in your position are attracted by the idea of saving money on foreclosures, while others may simply have fallen in love with a home that just happens to have been repossessed by the lending institution. Foreclosures are sold primarily in two ways — through public auctions and by private sales by the banks that own the property. Here's what you need to know about buying a foreclosed property.

Foreclosed Properties Are Sold As-Is

Homeowners typically at least apply a fresh coat of paint and perform basic repairs before putting their properties on the market, but foreclosed properties are sold as-is. Because most of them have been sitting empty for quite some time, they may require serious repairs. You may think you're getting quite a bargain and wind up having to pay so much for repairs that you actually haven't saved any money. 

Foreclosure Auctions Can Be Tricky

You won't be allowed to see the home prior to the foreclosure auction, so you'll be basically flying blind when you make your bid — and this means that you have no way of knowing what repairs the inside of the home may need to make it livable and how much they will cost. Although you certainly can drive by the property and see what kind of condition the exterior and the yard are in, you legally can't enter it. Another issue with foreclosure auctions is that most of those who attend are professional real estate investors who are very familiar with the auction process who can easily outbid the average inexperienced bidder provided the property is worth what they want to pay. Furthermore, auction sales of foreclosures need to be paid for in cash, and most buyers simply don't have as much free liquid capital as investors do.

A Good Agent Can Help You Navigate a Foreclosure Purchase

However, if you've fallen in love with a particular foreclosure and it's not yet slated to be sold at auction, a good real estate agent may be able to help you purchase it.  Buying a bank-owned foreclosure comes with far fewer obstacles than purchasing their counterparts that are available via the auction process, and a skilled agent can walk you through it. You'll be able to inspect the property and get an idea of what repairs are going to run, which will provide you with protection against unforeseen financial losses. Bank-owned foreclosure sales happen just like their conventional counterparts, and it's also possible to get financing on foreclosed properties in this stage.  




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/22/2020

Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.

Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:

1. Create a List of Questions

A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.

There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.

2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.

Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 1/15/2020

Selling a house may prove to be a long, complicated process. Fortunately, those who craft a house selling strategy can determine the steps they will need to take to accomplish their desired results.

A home selling strategy may prove to be a must-have. Because if you enter the real estate market with a plan in place to sell your residence, you could boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your home.

Ultimately, there are several factors you need to consider as you develop a house selling strategy, and these include:

1. Your Home's Condition

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it generally helps to perform property upgrades. That way, you can ensure your house stands out to dozens of potential buyers.

To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and repair any cracked or damaged siding. These improvements usually are simple to complete and may help you make your residence more attractive than comparable available houses.

Meanwhile, to enhance your home's interior, you should clean as much as you can. With a neat, tidy home interior, your house can make a positive impression on buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.

2. Your Initial Asking Price

The initial asking price for your home may have far-flung effects on your house selling experience. Because if your initial home asking price is too high, you risk alienating potential buyers. Worst of all, your home may linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months, and you may need to lower your residence's price to facilitate a sale.

To price your home competitively, it typically is helpful to study the local housing sector. Find out how your residence stacks up against comparable available houses in your area, and you can determine how to price your home.

You also may want to conduct a home appraisal. By doing so, you can obtain a property valuation to help you decide the optimal initial home asking price.

3. Your Home Selling Timeline

Consider how much time you have to sell your residence – you will be happy you did. If you understand your house selling timeline, you can find ways to maximize the time and resources at your disposal.

If you need to move from your current home as soon as possible, for instance, you may need to be aggressive to promote your residence to buyers. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient, you may be able to take a wait-and-see approach to obtain the best-possible offer to purchase your residence.

Lastly, as you get set to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you what it takes to sell a home in any city or town. He or she will even help you craft an effective house selling strategy, thereby ensuring you can quickly and effortlessly sell your house any time you choose.




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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