Posted by Kim Thomas on 12/8/2020

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

While the home buying process is exciting, applying for a mortgage can be time-consuming. Paperwork is a big part of the mortgage process and the better prepared you are, the more likely it is to go well. In fact, if you are considering getting preapproved for a mortgage, lining the paperwork up ahead of time will be very helpful. Remember, the more information provided to your mortgage lender, the easier it will be for them to get your approval. There are three categories of documentation your lender will want to see, income, expenses, and assets. Here are the documents they will likely require:

Verification of Income

Mortgage lenders will typically verify the income you are claiming in two ways. First, they will want to see your most recent Form W2 or Form 1099 (if you are self-employed) and they will generally ask you to provide tax returns. While some lenders will accept signed copies of your tax returns which you provide, many will also use the IRS income tax verification process to ensure what you are providing is the same as the forms filed with the IRS.

You should be prepared to provide at least a month’s worth of pay stubs to a mortgage lender. Keep in mind, in most cases, overtime pay, bonuses, and other “extraordinary” income will not be counted as part of your gross income by the lender.

Verification of Expenses

Your mortgage lender will need to verify your expenses. Since your mortgage application will ask you to list your debt, you should consider getting a free copy of your credit report for two reasons. First, the information on your application will be accurate, and you can verify the data contained in the report is correct. Should there be any errors, you should take the opportunity to have them corrected.

Your mortgage lender may also want to verify your rent payments for at least the last year. You can provide a copy of the checks used to pay your rent, although the lender may ask you to sign a form allowing them to verify your rent independently of any documentation you provide.

Verification of Assets

You may also be asked to provide verification of certain assets. For example, if you have a stock portfolio, IRA accounts, or other liquid assets, the lender may ask you to provide the most recent statements from the custodian of those accounts. Your mortgage lender will let you know what additional information they may need.

This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the documents your lender may request. Chances are you will also be asked to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other photo identification. Borrowers who have part of their down payment given to them as a gift may also be required to provide a gift letter indicating the funds were a gift and not a loan. The better prepared you are for the mortgage process the faster it will go.




Tags: buyer tips   documents   Financing  
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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 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.




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Posted by Kim Thomas on 10/13/2020

Image by Sandro Porto from Pixabay

On the basic level of supply and demand, a housing shortage leads to higher home prices. But let's look beyond the obvious at a few other considerations a homeowner might want to make in response to a housing shortage, as well as a few tips for the prospective homebuyer. 

More Housing, Same Space

Wondering what the best investment you can make to raise the property value is? Creating extra housing within the existing footprint of the property is one of the best ways to go. Creating an attic or basement apartment in the existing home is one way to go, so is building an entirely new structure to house a granny flat. You could look into garage conversions, see if there are changes that could be made to any existing outbuildings, or break ground and start from scratch. In response to the housing shortage there are many laws being passed to make it easier for homeowners to receive approval for adding additional residences to their property, including simplifying licensing procedures and even overriding some HOAs, including one that just went into effect statewide in California. 

A Great Time to Sell the As-Is Home

A housing shortage doesn't just drive prices up, it can cause buyers to quickly snap up houses with cosmetic flaws that would normally linger on the market. If the thought of doing needed house painting or landscaping feels like it defeats the purpose of selling the home, then now might be the right time to put your home on the market. Additionally, if you'd already been planning to sell your home, but have continually been adding to a never ending list of projects to complete before selling, then now is the time to list, while the market is hot, even if you're DIY home improvements are still a far cry from perfect. 

Getting Into the Rental Market Is a Strong Income Source

If you're planning to purchase and move to a new home, you may want to re-think selling your current one. Although it may be a strong market for selling a home, the rental market could be robust. If you can afford to keep your current home, you may have an ideal income-producing investment on your hands. 

3 Tips for the Homebuyer During a Housing Shortage

If you're looking to buy a home during a housing shortage, don't despair of the shortage. You'll have luck, just expect it to take a bit longer and follow this advice:

  • Work with a top-notch agent. To find the available houses you'll need to work with the agent who knows where to look.
  • Choose where you're most willing to compromise on your 'dream home' in advance.
  • Be ready to move quickly. Have all your paperwork and finances in order, and be ready to go when you find the right place.



  • Tags: buyer tips   housing   seller tips  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kim Thomas on 8/25/2020

    Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

    Homeowners associations (HOAs) exist to maintain the cleanliness and appeal of a community. Whether a home belongs to a HOA is a major consideration for home buyers. Some see it as a benefit, others a deal breaker. Here's what to consider before going with or without a HOA.

    Privacy

    If privacy is a high priority, a HOA may not be ideal for you. Homes that are part of a HOA are usually connected or have very little space between them. If you're looking forward to meeting and becoming friends with your neighbors, you may not mind. In fact, most HOAs will organize community activities to foster cohesiveness between residents.

    Fees

    Monthly HOA fees can range anywhere from $200 to $600. Just as with rent, more desirable locations like New York City and Los Angeles will fall in the higher end of the spectrum, while small towns and rural areas in the lower end. The upkeep required for older homes and more populated communities will also demand higher fees. Amenities such as golf courses, fitness centers, and gated security will also add dollars to your dues.

    Rules

    HOA rules vary widely and are voted on by the community's residents. You'll be restricted on what colors you can paint your home's exterior, what decorations you can place, how late you can use the fitness center, where you park, etc. Some HOAs also have rules on the size and number of pets you can have. You can vote on new rules in the meetings, but don't expect midnight parties to become a thing.

    Conflict Resolution

    One of the premier benefits a HOA offers is resolving disputes. You won't have to write a passive-aggressive letter to your neighbor about their barking dog or parking in your assigned space. Bring it to the HOA, and they should address the issue directly with the offender. On the other hand, if you happen to have petty neighbors, you may find yourself being reported for actions that may or may not be against the rules.

    Home Maintenance

    Another big selling point of a HOA is the convenience. You'll never have to mow your lawn, rake leaves, or clear snow. Most HOAs will cover general maintenance such as HVAC and plumbing repairs, pest control, and landscaping. Again, the quality of these services depends on the HOA itself, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

    The pros and cons of a HOA all come down to your individual values, plans for your home, and the price and quality of the services rendered by the HOA. Read online reviews and talk to your potential neighbors to get an idea of what to expect. 




    Tags: buyer tips   hoa   community  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kim Thomas on 2/25/2020

    As you prepare to embark on the homebuying process, you may encounter a variety of homebuying myths. And if you believe these myths, the risk increases that you may be forced to deal with many problems along the homebuying journey.

    Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying myths, along with the problems associated with these myths.

    1. Buying a house is a quick, stress-free process.

    The homebuying process may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

    A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. As such, he or she can help you identify and address these problems before they escalate.

    Typically, a real estate agent will learn about what you want to find in your dream house and help you plan accordingly. With this approach, a real estate agent will ensure that you can enjoy a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.

    2. Getting a mortgage won't take long at all.

    There are many factors that will dictate your ability to acquire a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations. For instance, your credit score, income and outstanding debt will impact a lender's decision to provide you with a mortgage. And if you have experienced financial problems in the past, they may impact your ability to acquire a mortgage today.

    It generally helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. Because if you have a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search.

    Also, it may be beneficial to shop around for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. If you explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can select a mortgage that suits your finances perfectly.

    3. The first home that you see in-person likely will be the house that you'll end up purchasing.

    The homebuying process offers no guarantees. And if you expect to buy the first home that you view in-person, you ultimately may be disappointed with the final results of your home search.

    Oftentimes, it is a great idea to check out a wide range of houses. By conducting an in-depth home search, you can select a house that fulfills all of your homebuying demands.

    As you search for a home, you may want to work with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events.

    Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. He or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific residence, as well as negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you won't have to pay too much to acquire your ideal house.

    The aforementioned myths can be harmful to any homebuyer, at any time. If you hire a real estate agent, however, you can learn the ins and outs of the housing market and avoid potential hurdles throughout the homebuying journey.




    Categories: Uncategorized