Category Archives: Real Estate Advice & Tips

Avoid Real Estate Regret

Buying a home is a big decision; make sure you don’t suffer from homebuyers’ regret by taking these things into consideration.

  • What is the neighborhood atmosphere at night, when everyone’s home?
  • How long will your commute be?
  • Take a look at the CC&Rs, or the homeowner association rules. Are there any that are a no-go for you?
  • If there are any specialty amenities on the property (like a septic system or pool), you may want to have an expert do a thorough inspection of them.

Avoid homebuyers' real estate regret

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

Money Monday: Homebuying myths you need to avoid

Don’t fall for these 6 homebuying myths

home buying

“Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, and you’ll likely need to do a lot of planning and research before you take the leap. But don’t get snagged by misconceptions. Mortgage expert Tim Manni busts these six common real estate myths to help you find — and afford — your first home.”

  1. Your credit score is “good enough” to buy a home
  2. Loan pre-approval determines your price range
  3. Your home purchase is non-negotiable

Read the three other homebuying myths here, on Yahoo’s personal finance page: “Don’t fall for these 6 homebuying myths.”

 

How Homebuyers Can Overcome Tough Competition

Tips for homebuyers

Source: Kiplinger

Redfin Chief Economist says to win in a hot market, home buyers should take advantage of technology to find homes as soon as they are listed.

Making sense of the story:

  • Arm yourself with tech tools to find available homes quickly. With the variety of apps available today, you can receive listing alerts so that you’re notified as soon as a home in your price range or search area hits the market.
  • Buyers will gain an advantage from whatever concessions they can offer. Instead of a small earnest-money deposit, we’ve seen buyers put into escrow their entire down payment or even half of the purchase price.
    You needn’t waive a contingency for inspection in the purchase contract.
  • Rather, you can agree to pay the seller, say, $2,500, or next month’s mortgage payment, if you walk away.
    Work with a local or reputable lender to get a pre¬approval for your mortgage that includes full documentation of your means to obtain a certain amount of financing in advance of a signed purchase contract.
  • That may give you the confidence to waive a contingency for financing, and it’s almost as good as cash for closing a deal quickly.
  • Because sellers can sell their homes in days but may take months to buy, you can gain leverage by offering to “rent back” their home to them for a certain number of months.
  • Fall can be a good time to buy a home because prices generally peak in the summer and ease up in the fall.
  • There’s a bit less inventory, but many fewer buyers. Plus, sellers who list in the fall are serious because they must leave because of job relocation, divorce or something else that made them miss the top of the season.

Read the full story

Money Monday: Common Home Buying Expenses

When home buyers purchase real estate, they often don’t factor in other expenses that they may incur.

Your new home is certainly a large expense, but have you considered the other purchases that may go hand-in-hand with that home’s cost?

Common home buying expenses for real estate buyers

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, available here.

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.

Money Monday: How to retire debt-free

Retiring already can put a strain on your budget; don’t exacerbate it by being deep in debt on top of it!

Picture from www.ccPixs.com

Here are a few ways to get and stay debt-free:

  1. Start and keep building up your savings — having at least an emergency savings stash is especially crucial.
  2. Spend less than you bring in — live below your means.
  3. Work on paying off your student loans early.
  4. Don’t overpay when buying your home — you need to get an affordable mortgage.
  5. Keep that credit card debt very low.

Read more on all five of these ideas on Money.CNN.com’s article: “5 steps to retire debt-free.”

Money Monday: Financial realities of owning a home

Let’s consider some of the financial realities about owning a home.

homeIn an opinion piece in the Fresno Bee newspaper, the writer made the case for why Congress should keep a tax incentive to encourage Americans to be homeowners. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the author’s points on the financial positives of homeownership were beneficial and worth a read.

  • “Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits over time. In 2013, the median net worth of homeowner families was $195,400, while the median net worth of renters was $5,400, according to the Federal Reserve.”
  • “Homeownership strengthens communities, encourages higher civic participation, boosts children’s educational performance, lowers crime rates, and improves health-care outcomes. Moreover, homeowners bring more stability to neighborhoods because they tend to move less often.”
  • “Homeownership helps provide predictability. Individuals can enjoy steady and consistent housing costs thanks to the tax incentive that allows them to own a home. That’s because a fixed-rate mortgage payment might not change for 15 to 39 years, while rents typically increase 2 to 3 percent a year.”
  • Read more of this article here: “Want to create wealth? This is one way to do it.”