Posted by Kim Thomas on 1/26/2021

The process of closing on a home can seem lengthy and complex if itís your first time buying or selling a house. There are several costs and fees required to close on a home, and while itís up to the individuals to decide who covers what costs, there are some conventions to follow.

In this article, weíre going to talk about closing costs for selling a house and signing on a mortgage. Weíll discuss who pays what, and whether there is room for negotiation within the various fees and expenses.

But first, letís talk a little bit about what closing costs are and what to expect when you start the process of buying or selling a home.

Closing costs, simplified

If youíre just now entering the real estate market, the good news is you can often estimate your closing costs based on the value of the property in question. You can ask your real estate agent relatively early on in the process for a ballpark figure of your costs.

Closing costs will vary depending on the circumstances of your sale and the area you live in. In some cases, closing costs can be bundled into your mortgage, such as in ďNo Closing Cost Mortgages.Ē However, avoiding having to deal with closing costs often comes at the expense of a slightly higher interest rate.

If you are planning to buy a house and have recently applied for a mortgage, laws require that your lender sends you an estimate of your closing costs within a few days of your application.

Now that we know how closing costs work, letís take a look at who plays what.

Buyer closing costs

In terms of the sheer number of closing costs, buyers tend to have the most to deal with. Fortunately, your real estate agent will help you navigate these costs and simplify the process.

They can range from two to five percent of the cost of the sale price of the home. However, be sure to check with your lender for the closest estimate of your closing costs. Itís a good idea to shop around for mortgage lenders based on interest rates as well as closing costs charged by the lender.

Here are some of the costs you might be asked to pay as a home buyer:

  • Appraisal fees

  • Attorney fees

  • Origination fees

  • Prepaid interest or discount points

  • Home inspection fee

  • Insurance and Escrow deposits

  • Recording fees

  • Underwriting fees

Seller Closing Costs

While the seller pays a larger amount of closing costs, sellers still have obligations at closing that can be just as expensive. The biggest expense for sellers is to pay the real estate commission. Commission usually falls in the vicinity of 6% of the sale price of the home. This covers the commission of both the sellerís and the buyerís real estate agents. 


The main takeaway? Buyers and sellers both share the burden of closing costs. While the buyer has more expenses to take care of, the seller pays for the largest costs.





Posted by Kim Thomas on 1/12/2021

Buying is home is a lengthy and, at times, stressful process. So, it can be discouraging when your offer is rejected.

If youíve recently had a purchase offer rejected by the homeowner, donít worry--you have options.

In this post, weíre going to cover some of those options so you can start focusing on your next move and potentially even make a second offer that gets accepted.

1.  Reassess your offer, not the seller

You could spend days guessing the reasons the seller might not have accepted your offer if they didnít give you a straightforward answer.


However, your time is better spent addressing your own offer. Double check the following things:

  • Is your offer significantly lower than the asking price?

  • If so, is it lower than comparable sale prices for homes in the neighborhood?

  • Does your offer contain more than the usual contingencies?

Once youíve reassessed, you can determine if a second offer is appropriate for your situation, or if youíre ready to move onto other prospects with the knowledge youíve gained from this experience in hand.

2. Formulate your second offer

So, youíve decided to make another attempt at the house. Now is the time to discuss details with your spouse and real estate agent.

Out of respect for the sellerís time and their timeline for selling the home, you should treat your second offer as your last.

So, make sure youíre putting your best offer forward. This can mean removing those contingencies mentioned earlier or increasing the amount. However, be realistic about your budget and donít waive contingencies that are necessary (commonly appraisals, inspection, and financing contingencies).

3. Consider including a personal offer letter

In todayís competitive market, many sellers are fielding multiple offers on their home. To set yourself apart from the competitors and to help the seller get to know your goals and reasoning better, a personal letter is often a great tool.

Donít be afraid to give details in your offer letter. Explain what excites you about the house, why it is ideal for your family, and what your plans are for living there.

What shouldnít you include in your offer letter? Avoid statements that try to evoke pity or guilt from the seller. This seldom works and will put-off most buyers to your offer.

4. Moving on is good time management

If you arenít comfortable increasing your offer or if you receive a second rejection, itís typically a good idea to move onto other prospects. It may seem like wasted time--however, just like a job interview that didnít go as planned, itís an excellent learning experience.

Youíll walk away knowing more about the negotiation process, dealing with sellers and agents, and you might even find a home thatís better than the first one in the process!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kim Thomas on 11/17/2020

If you intend to purchase a house soon, it helps to prepare for the home buying journey. In fact, if you identify potential issues before you start your quest to find your dream home, you could avoid them during your property search.

Now, let's take a look at three common issues that plague homebuyers, along with tips to address these problems.

1. Lack of Home Financing

In some instances, a homebuyer will check out residences and find one that matches their expectations. Next, this buyer will submit an offer to purchase a home that ultimately gets accepted. At this point, however, the buyer may discover that they lack the necessary financing to acquire this home.

Entering the housing market with financing in hand is ideal. If a buyer gets pre-approved for a mortgage, they will know precisely how much money is available for a home purchase. As a result, this buyer can map out their home search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, it helps to meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about his or her mortgage options. Plus, they can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

2. Tight Home-buying Timeline

If you have only a limited amount of time to move from your current address, you may rush to purchase a house. In this scenario, you risk making a rash home purchase Ė something that may prove to be problematic both now and in the future.

For buyers who face a tight home-buying timeline, there is no need to stress. If you make a list of home-buying tasks you need to accomplish, you can take a step-by-step approach to the property buying journey.

3. Unrealistic Home-buying Expectations

You may expect to buy your dream residence without delay. Yet the real estate market offers no guarantees. And in certain instances, it may take many weeks or months before a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase.

To establish realistic home-buying expectations, it usually is a good idea to work with a property buying expert. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and they can provide home-buying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent is committed to a homebuyer's success. As such, he or she will work with a homebuyer and help them prepare for the housing market. A real estate agent will also set up home showings and provide feedback about available residences in a buyer's preferred cities and towns. And if a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual put together a competitive home-buying proposal, too.

When it comes to purchasing a home, you should plan for the best - and worst-case scenarios. If you consider the aforementioned home-buying issues before you begin your house search, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property buying experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kim Thomas on 11/10/2020

Buying a new home can be an exciting but anxiety-inducing experience. With so many things to consider, it can be difficult to keep track of the things that matter most to you.

This process is complicated further when you discover a second or third home that you like as much as the first and youíre trying to decide which one to make an offer on.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about how you can effectively compare houses to ensure that youíre making the most sensible, long-term decision for you and your family.

Itís all about the spreadsheet

Today, our method isnít going to rely on any fancy new apps or paid tools. Everything you need to accomplish your spreadsheet is a tool like Google Sheets (itís like a free version of Excel) or a simple pencil and notebook.

The columns of your spreadsheet will be made up of the factors that will influence your decision. This will include the obvious details like the cost and square footage of the home, but also finer details like its proximity to key places in your life.

The rows of your spreadsheet will be the properties youíre comparing. Now, it may be tempting to start listing every house on your radar in the columns of your spreadsheet. However, I think itís more time-effective to only include the homes that youíre likely to make an offer on. This means doing some hard thinking and having a conversation with your family about your realistic goals for buying a home.

What is most important to you in a home and neighborhood?

Letís turn our attention back to the top row of your spreadsheet. We want to fill that section with around 10 factors that are most important to you in a home and the location the home will be in.

In this section, you can include the estimated cost of the home and the estimated monthly expenses for owning that home (utilities, taxes, etc.).

Hereís the secret weapon of our spreadsheet, however. Rather than listing the actual cost of the home in this row, weíre going to give it a rank of 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the house is a lot more expensive than you want. A score of 5 means the house is the ideal cost. A 3 would be somewhere in the middle.

Weíre going to use this 1 to 5 ranking system for all other factors on our spreadsheet as well.

Next to these costs, youíll want to add other important factors to your home buying decision. Does it have the number of rooms youíre looking for? If a backyard is important to you, does it provide for that need?

In terms of upgrades, how much work will you have to do on the home to make it something youíre satisfied with? For DIY-minded people with time to spare, home improvement might be a welcome concept. For others, it simply would take too much time to accomplish everything you want. So, when you fill out the ďUpgradesĒ column of your spreadsheet, make sure you determine a system for ranking the homes that suits your needs.

House location shouldnít be overlooked

Itís a sad truth, but in todayís busy world, the average homeowner spends most of their time away from home, whether theyíre at work, commuting, or bring their kids to and from after school activities.

Youíll want at least one column on your spreadsheet to be devoted to location. When ranking the location of a home, consider things like commuting time, distance to schools, hospitals, parks, and grocery stores. All of these things will have a larger impact on your day-to-day life than small details of the house itself.

Ranking the homes

Now that you have the first row and column of your spreadsheet built, itís time to fill in the details and tally up the totals. These numbers will help inform your decision as to which house is really right for you.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kim Thomas on 7/21/2020

Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.

Vacation properties neednít be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.

In todayís post, Iím going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether youíre months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.

1. Consider locations

The most important aspect of any vacation home is that itís located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether thatís a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.

If itís your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if youíre moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?

On the other hand, if you donít intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your familyís vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.

2. Spend a week at your destination before buying

Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place theyíve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you donít want to spend several weeks or months there after all.

It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isnít enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.

To prevent buyerís remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.

3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect

Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they arenít using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.

Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; youíll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think arenít suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.

If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.




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