Buying a Home

Why Is There So Much Paperwork Required To Get A Mortgage?

Why is there so much paperwork mandated by the lenders for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today? It seems that they need to know everything about you and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form.

Many buyers are being told by friends and family that the process was a hundred times easier when they bought their home ten to twenty years ago.

There are two very good reasons that the loan process is much more onerous on today’s buyer than perhaps any time in history.

1. The government has set new guidelines that now demand that the bank proves beyond any doubt that you are indeed capable of paying the mortgage.

During the run-up to the housing crisis, many people ‘qualified’ for mortgages that they could never pay back. This led to millions of families losing their home. The government wants to make sure this...

3 Reasons Why You Should Move Before School Starts

It’s almost time for school to start up again. Are you in a great school district?

Find out your schools’ scores here: https://bit.ly/2sxHyDX

If you have school-age children, it’s important to be sure that you are in a highly rated school district before school starts. Here’s why:

  1. If you move before school starts, your child will not have to deal with the stress of moving schools, making new friends, meeting new teachers, etc.
  2. Moving to a higher-ranking school district opens the door for a better education for your child. You are not only investing in a home, you’re investing in their future.
  3. Once your child is no longer in school and it is time to sell, you will have an excellent selling point for your home, because everyone wants the best for their kids.

If you are looking to move for access to better schools, here...

Thinking about buying soon? Make sure your credit is in order

There’s no more important time to work on your credit score than when you’re about to apply for a mortgage. Improving your credit can save you a ton of money—we’re talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Here are the actions you can take that will have a notable impact on your score.

Pay down your credit card balances Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization should at least be less than 30 percent of your limit, and it’s even better if you can get it below 15 percent. This rule applies to both individual cards and your overall credit limit.

It may even be worthwhile to use some of the cash funds you were planning to use for a down payment to pay off credit card balances.

Do no harm While you certainly want to improve your score if possible, at the very least you’ll want to keep it steady. Avoid opening new...

Dealing with Financing

Dealing with financing image

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can't afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual...

One-Story Versus Two-Story home: Which is Better?

When house hunting, this question is worth considering—and the answer isn't as simple as you might think. The number of floors in a home affects not just the way it looks, but also how easy it is to navigate and maintain, how much you'll pay for heating and cooling, and much more.

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5 Tips for Buying a Home

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet...

Great Ways to Make New Friends When You Move

Making Friends When you Move

Friends-Workout

You’ve made it! You’ve successfully moved to a new city or town, and after tackling the most urgent post-move tasks, now you begin to wonder how to make friends in a new city.

You’re probably well aware of the common advice on how to make new friends in a new city: find the courage in you to say YES to new adventures and think twice before turning down invitations to meet new people, even if those invitations include doing something outside your comfort zone – that is, something you wouldn’t normally do.

Of course, following that advice is much easier said than done. In reality, making friends in a new city can sometimes be...

6 High-Tech Newbies for Your Home

Each January, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) showcases cutting-edge technology by companies from around the world. This year, home automation showed up in a big way, including these unveilings for tech-loving homeowners.

1. Smart Mirrors

As if smartphones and smart televisions weren’t enough, mirrors are also becoming a “smart” product, including three very different options:

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

There has been some discussion recently on home prices in relation to mortgage rates. Some believe if there is a rapid rise of mortgage rates, home prices should decrease. Logically it makes the most sense for the price of the house to drop when interest rates are rising, but this is not always the case.

This theory of home prices decreasing is typically discussed by future home buyers. As a buyer you would like to think if you are paying higher rates on your mortgage, you should be able to see a decrease in cost somewhere else. Unfortunately, these rates are rising because the economy is in better shape. As the economy succeeds, incomes rise, rates go up, as well as the price of the home.

A recent study by the John Burns Real Estate Consulting found mortgage...

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.

1. Why am I Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the...