Posted by Steven Sawyer on 6/21/2020

The decision to purchase a second home may be one of the biggest choices you will make in your lifetime. As such, it is important to consider all of the factors associated with a house purchase before you embark on a quest to acquire a second residence.

Now, let's take a look at three key factors to evaluate as you weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a second home.

1. Your Current House

Consider the state of your current house Ė you will be happy you did. If you assess your current residence, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine if now is a good time to start a search for a second house.

For instance, if your home needs a new roof or requires other repairs, you may want to complete these improvements first. After these house repairs are finished, you then can kick off a search for your second house. Perhaps most importantly, you can launch this home search with the reassurance that your current house is in good shape and likely won't require significant repairs in the near future.

2. Your Finances

If you still have a mortgage on your current house, you may want to focus on paying that off first. Once your mortgage is paid in full, you can conduct a search for a second house without having to worry about paying two mortgages at once.

Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, you should still evaluate your finances closely. Ensure you have sufficient finances to cover a mortgage for a second house, as well as your everyday expenses. By doing so, you can hone your search for a second house to residences that fall within your price range.

3. Your Immediate and Long-Term Plans

Think about why you want to buy a second home in the first place. Then, you can determine how this decision may impact your immediate and long-term term plans.

For example, if you want to return to college, buying a second home may affect how much money you have at your disposal that you can use to go back to school. On the other hand, if you hope to get a work promotion in the foreseeable future, you soon may have additional funds to help you make your dream of owning a second home come true.

As you decide whether to launch the search for a second house, take some time to consult with a real estate agent. A real estate agent is a homebuying expert, and he or she can provide housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, a real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and can help you acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Account for these factors before you start your search, that way you can make an informed decision about whether now is the ideal time to pursue a second residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 5/10/2020

Tired of renting an apartment? Buy a house, and you can reap the benefits of homeownership for years to come.

Ultimately, there are many wonderful reasons to start a search for your dream home today, including:

1. You can enjoy the freedom of owning your own residence.

Let's face it Ė nothing beats the freedom of owning your own residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

If you launch a search for your own house, you can find a residence that matches your personality and budget. Plus, you can always decorate and customize your house however you choose. And if you complete myriad home upgrades or maintenance, you may be able to boost your house's value Ė something that may prove to be important if you eventually decide to sell your residence.

2. You can capitalize on various tax benefits.

Believe it or not, buying a house may enable you to reap myriad tax benefits.

The U.S. Tax Code allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage and property taxes. Also, if you study the U.S. Tax Code closely, you may find that you can deduct some of the costs involved in a home purchase.

3. You can pay predictable housing costs for a set period of time.

With a fixed-rate mortgage in hand, you can pay the same amount each month for the duration of your mortgage. This means you won't have to worry about fluctuating housing costs; instead, you'll pay the same total each month Ė without exception.

Of course, homebuyers who choose an adjustable-rate mortgage can enjoy fixed housing costs for a set amount of time too. On the other hand, those who select an adjustable-rate mortgage likely will need to plan ahead for a potential increase in mortgage costs after three, five, seven or 10 years.

Clearly, there's a lot to like about buying a house. For those who want to enter the housing market today, it certainly helps to work with an experienced real estate agent as well.

A real estate agent allows you to take the guesswork out of pursuing a residence in any housing market, at any time. In fact, this housing market professional will ensure you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

In most instances, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, teach you about the ins and outs of shopping for a residence and set up home showings. Furthermore, a real estate agent will negotiate with home sellers on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to any homebuying concerns or queries. This means you can get the expert insights that you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Take the next step to pursue your dream residence Ė employ an experienced real estate agent, and you should have no trouble transforming your homeownership dream into a reality.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 4/26/2020

If a seller is motivated and your offer is the only one that comes in on a home for sale, you may have an easy time getting the home of your dreams. If there are multiple offers on a property, itís a different story. 


If thereís competition, itís simple math that your odds in favor of you getting the home are reduced. You need something that will grab the sellerís attention. Writing an offer letter can be just what you need to sway the decision in your direction. Even if your offer is less than what other people have put on the table, an offer letter is a perfect way to get the attention of the seller.


What To Include


You may wonder what you should include in an offer letter. Youíre charming the sellers in a way, but also giving them an opportunity to get to know you. If someone has lived in a home that they have loved for a long time, theyíll be happier knowing the next occupants will be just as happy living on the property.


What Do You Like About The Property?


You should include a lot of positive things involving the property and your ability to care for and maintain it. Tell the seller about the features you most love about the house. You should let the seller know that they hard work they have done over the years has paid off and you appreciate it. Do you like the skylights? Does a remodeled kitchen get your attention? Is the deck a great feature for you to entertain on? Let the seller know any and everything that enticed you to put an offer on the property in the first place. 


Share Some Of Your Life


You donít have to get overly personal or mushy, but you should include a bit about yourself and why you chose this property among the many you have seen. Maybe you grew up in the neighborhood. Maybe the home is perfect for your expanding family. Whatever the reason is for you to want this particular house you need to let the seller know. 


In addition to personal details, you can include a pre-qualification letter, demonstrating your ability to afford the home. This helps sellers to feel comfortable with your financial background and continued upkeep of the property.  



What Not To Include


While your plans for a property may be grandiose in your mind, donít tell a seller what you plan to do with the proeprty in your offer letter. Itís nice that you want to update the kitchen, or re-do the bathrooms. Itís an insult of sorts to the seller so just omit these items. Keep your offer letter positive and brief and you may be well on your way to securing the property of your dreams.       




Tags: offer letter  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 4/19/2020

If you want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience, it may be beneficial to hone your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. That way, you can speed up the process of finding and buying your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you narrow your house search.

1. Review Your Short and Long-Term Goals

Consider your immediate and long-term goals. By doing so, you can focus on finding a home that falls in line with your aspirations.

For instance, if you want to work in the big city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you have children, you may want to explore houses near top schools and parks.

Be flexible as you consider homes in assorted cities and towns, too. If you are open to homebuying opportunities in different areas, you may be able to quickly find a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

2. Obtain a Mortgage

With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can narrow your home search to residences that correspond to your budget.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, and you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists, and these professionals can help you determine which type of mortgage will suit you perfectly.

Also, you may want to ask questions as you review your mortgage options. Home financing specialists at banks and credit unions are happy to reply to your mortgage questions, and ultimately, help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Finding a home in a particular city or town may be tough, especially if you try to navigate the real estate market on your own. Conversely, if you hire an real estate agent, you can get the help you need to discover your dream house.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will go above and beyond the call of duty to transform your homeownership dream into a reality. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and budget. Next, a real estate agent will provide you with details about available homes in myriad cities and towns. A real estate agent then will help you kick off a home search so you can locate your ideal house.

Of course, once you discover your dream home, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence as well. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will devote the necessary time and resources to ensure you can immediately finalize your home purchase.

Take the guesswork out of finding your dream residence Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of acquiring a terrific house that you can enjoy both now and in the future.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 4/12/2020

If you believe you are coming close to the time to buy your first home, you'll want to be informed. Itís never too early to begin preparing for a home purchase. The more organized you are, and the better you have your financial situation in order the better off youíll be when it comes to the home search. Where should you start? Below, youíll find some key things that you can do to maximize your chances of finding and securing your first home.


Check Your Credit


Your credit score is one of the most critical pieces of your financial picture. A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the better off you are. When youíre getting a mortgage, you want to have good credit. If your credit score is above 740, youíll be eligible for the best interest rates. If your credit score needs help, a higher score will get you the best interest rates available. Once you get your credit score, (Itís free to get through a variety of services.) aim to improve your score. Pay your bills on time. Use less of your available credit (target to use 30 percent or less of your total available credit.) The bottom line is that a low-interest rate will save you a significant amount of money over the life of your loan. 


Refrain From Opening New Accounts


If youíre in the market to buy a home, itís probably best for you to stay away from opening new accounts. Every store has their credit card and offers deals to open an account in store. While it could save you some money on your purchase, opening new accounts has a negative impact on your credit score in the short term. A car loan, for example, will also affect your credit score because it brings your debt-to-income ratio up, which can put a damper on your chances of getting a mortgage for a low-interest rate.


Save, Save, Save


If you want to buy a home soon, youíll need to save up a significant amount of money. These savings will go towards a downpayment, closing costs, and furnishing your new place. Every chance you get, you should be putting money away. Include gifts, bonuses, and any other income thatís outside of your average take-home pay. 


Itís also a good idea to set up a second bank account dedicated to saving for the home. Set up an automatic transfer each month that will go into that account from your primary earnings. You can d this based on how your employer pays you.


Look For A Real Estate Agent


Your real estate agent will be a crucial part of your home search. They will help in everything from finding the property of your dreams to negotiating the deal to sitting by your side at closing. You should do a bit of research to help you find a real estate agent who can assist you in finding the right property for you. 


Ask family and friends for recommendations of agents. You can search for the real estate agentís name online and see what kind of reviews the agent has and contact different agents. From there. You can make a decision.          


Now, good luck with your home search! 





Categories: Buying a Home