Buying a Home Is Easier Than You May Think


Buying a Home Is Easier Than You May Think

One of the comments I hear from prospective home buyers is they cannot finance a home right now.  Let’s be honest, there are many hoops to jump through when buying a house, especially when it comes to obtaining a mortgage.  But it is easier than you may think.

If you are even remotely interested in buying a home now or in the foreseeable future, I suggest that you meet with a REALTOR® to discuss the steps you may need to take to make it happen.

Obtaining a mortgage is a big step in buying a home, but there are programs out there that will work for you.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Home Loan Program may be just what you are looking for.

The U.S.D.A. program allows for 100% financing and has flexible credit and qualifying guidelines.  The minimum credit score at the time of this writing is 620.  If your credit score is currently below that number I would encourage you to talk to a REALTOR® who can get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can provide guidance on the specific steps to take to increase your score.

In addition to 100% financing the program allows for closing costs to come from other sources than your bank account.  Sources could include seller contribution and/or gift funds.

There are fees associated with the loan program but those fees can be rolled into the mortgage.

There are some restrictions, such as location of the home and income limits.  These limits can be provided by your REALTOR® or mortgage officer very easily.  For example: In Frederick County, Maryland for 2017, the income limit for a family of up to four is $108,550; five or more family members is $143,300.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

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Finding the Right Mortgage Officer


Finding the Right Mortgage Officer

Anyone who has bought a house will tell you that finding the right REALTOR® and the right mortgage person is absolutely critical.  If you talk to a REALTOR®, they will tell you that you should select your real estate agent first; if you talk to a mortgage person they will say you should select your mortgage person first.  In reality it doesn’t matter which one you select first as long as you select people who are going to do a good job for you.

There is one factor that is critically important when selecting a mortgage person that I think warrants discussion.  If you are like millions of people in this country who may have less than stellar credit, or do not have a gazillion dollars to put down, it is important to have a mortgage person who can guide you in making those decisions.

All too often I have clients who talk to a mortgage person only to be told that they do not qualify for a mortgage without telling them what they need to do to correct the matter.  The good news is that there are some mortgage officers who have the computer programs and the desire to provide this information to clients.

I have had clients who thought they needed to have no debt in order to buy a house and have used all their money to pay off credit card debt but then did not have the money for closing costs or down payments.

Before you make that decision I would encourage you to talk to a mortgage person or a REALTOR® who can get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can advise you on what to pay down and what not to pay down.  It really does matter.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

Fun Facts and Inspiration for May 30


Fun Facts and Inspiration for May 30

 Inspiration…

“The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.”

                                                                                                Kahil Gibran

Did you know that…

After the “Popeye” comic strip was launched in 1931, spinach consumption went up by 33% in the United States.

Elephants communicate in sound waves below the frequency that humans can hear.

The bands on hats traces back to the custom when knights wore their lady-loves scarves around their helmets.

To ensure continuity of government, Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution.

During World War II sugar was in in short supply making it difficult for theatres to obtain candy.  As a result, they turned to popcorn which is not the best-selling snack at movie theatres.

Men can read smaller print than women can; however, women can hear better.

The Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal is farther East than the Atlantic entrance.

In real estate, signing with a real estate agent as a buyers’ agent is the only way a buyer has true representation.  Until that contract is signed, the agent is most likely working for the seller, even if they are not the listing agent.  I have said this many, many times, if you are in the market to buy a home, always, always, always sign a contract with an agent so you have representation.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

Avoiding Closing Delays in Real Estate


Avoiding Closing Delays in Real Estate

 Buying or selling a house is hard work.  It’s important to remember that having a contract on a house is not the same as closing on a house.  Buyers’ will often lose the steam or urgency once they have a contract and not stay focused on getting to the closing table.

Your REALTOR® should ensure that the schedule stays on track until you sign at closing. Here are some tips to help buyers understand what needs to be done.

I have repeated myself to buyers a gazillion times. It is important that when you are ready to buy a house that you allow yourself enough time.  All too often, I heard from prospective buyers who decide they want to buy a house. They are renting and their lease is up in 30 days and they want to take the leap and buy. My suggestion is that if you are even thinking of buying in the future, that you talk to a REALTOR® as soon as possible. This will help to avoid any hidden pit falls that may occur.

Once you talk to a REALTOR® your next step is to talk to a mortgage officer to determine the dollar amount of the home you can buy. It makes no sense for a REALTOR® to show you a home priced at $650,000 when you can only buy a home priced at $450,000.

Once you have a pre-approval start gathering documents that the lender may require. They will also need updates throughout the process. The next step is critically important – keep your finances stable. Now is not the time to change jobs or make any expenses that are not necessary.  Before changing anything that will affect your finances, talk to your mortgage officer.

One of the most important issues to remember is to allow enough time to complete the steps necessary. For example: often buyers are anxious to get to closing so the agent indicates in the offer that they will go to closing sooner than they can complete several steps. Getting a home inspector will take time to set up an inspection.  Appraisals will take longer than most people expect. A VA loan will require their appraiser and that make take even longer.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Five Mistakes Buyers’ of Real Estate Should Avoid


Five Mistakes Buyers’ of Real Estate Should Avoid

 Buying or selling real estate is a complicated transaction that needs the guidance of a REALTOR®.  Add in the personalities of buyers’ and sellers’ and you have all the makings of a sitcom or worse.

I have said it several times in this blog, wither you are buying or selling it is imperative that you have the advice of a real estate professional – a REALTOR® – to walk with you every step of the way.

Here are five areas that buyers often make when buying a home:

  1. DELAYING – There is a saying in real estate: “The house you looked at today and want to think about until tomorrow, may be the house someone looked at yesterday, and wants to think about until today.”  Buyers’ need to be mindful that sellers are anxious to sell their home and they want to work with a buyer that is ready, willing and able.  If a buyer wants to buy a particular house, I stronger encourage them to be prepared and be ready to make an offer that will convince the seller they are serious buyers.
  2. SUBMITTING A LOWBALL OFFER – Submitting a lowball offer can many times backfire for the buyer. I recently had a client who insisted on submitting a lowball offer.  It made the seller so mad they not only would not counter offer, they would not accept any other offers we were willing to make.  Even if they would accept another offer, or counter an offer, it is possible that while these counters were taking place, another buyer could make an offer that was acceptable to the seller.
  3.   MAKING AN OFFER FOR THE PREAPPROVED AMOUNT – Almost all transactions involve some back and forth negotiating. One mistake buyers do not want to do is make their offer the maximum amount that the mortgage company will loan them.  It gives the buyers nothing to negotiate with.  On the other hand, I had a client a few years ago who was selling his house.  A buyer contacted me and wanted to make an offer.  Apparently, he wanted to impress the sellers and provided me with a preapproval letter for more than they were asking for the house.  Needless to say, the sellers did not come down on the price of their house.
  4. WAIVING INSPECTION CONTINGENCIES – I have said it many times, and advise every buyer I deal with, “You absolutely must have the house inspected by a licensed inspector.” If it is a tight market and you want to have it inspected, but do not want to include a contingency in the offer, you run the risk of losing your earnest money if you decide to back out of the contract. Even new construction should be inspected.  I will say it again, “You absolutely must have the house inspected by a licensed inspector.”
  5. NOT PRESENTING YOUR OFFER IN A FAVORABLE LIGHT – Sellers are looking for buyers who are serious and excited about buying their house.  If the sellers make a counter offer and the buyers do not respond in a reasonable period of time, it gives the sellers the impression that they are not serious about buying their home, especially in a seller’s market.  If there are multi offers on a house, sellers will often accept the offer of the person(s) that they feel they can work with the easiest, that includes the buyers and their agent.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Picking an Agent


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About

Picking an Agent

 As in any profession there are good agents and some “not so good” agents.  But what separates the good from the not so good?

If you asked 100 agents about what makes a good agent, you would most likely get 100 different answers.  And their response will most likely be whatever they are either good at or what they like to do.

Some agents are experts in a given market area and can recite facts of properties currently on the market in a 25 mile radius (slight exaggeration on my part).  Others can suggest staging of a home that makes it look like it is ready for a photo shoot for a magazine.

But if you ask clients you will get a very different response.  Although clients want agents to have a reasonable knowledge of what’s on the market, most clients do not expect an agent to pull everything from memory.  What most clients want from an agent is someone who will listen to the concerns of the client, communicate with them and walk them through the process of buying or selling a home – step by step. That includes many facets of real estate.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

OPEN HOUSE – Sunday May 7 – 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM


This weekend, May 7th, I will be holding an open house at 6330 Spring Forest Rd in Frederick.

This colonial style 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house has 3,000 square feet of living space on over a quarter acre of land.

The open floor plan has a family room with double doors leading to the patio in the back yard.

If you, or anyone you know, may be interested in seeing this property, stop by the open house this Sunday.  If you have any questions, or would like to set up a private showing, contact me today.

Roland

Whether you are a first time home buyer, moving up, scaling down or an investor in real estate, this blog has something for you!

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