Steven Sawyer (Central NH) - Exit Realty Group



Posted by Steven Sawyer (Central NH) on 4/15/2018

Preparing to buy a home is a long and stressful process for many. You’ve spent months, or even years, saving for a down payment, planning your future, and building your credit to ensure you get the best possible interest rate on your loan.

Then you find out, when getting preapproved for a mortgage, that your credit score dropped by a few points. So, what gives?

There’s a lot to understand about how credit scores affect mortgages and vice versa. In today’s post, I’m going to attempt to cover everything you need to know about how applying for a mortgage can affect your credit score so you’ll be prepared when it comes time to buy a home.

Prequalification, preapproval, and credit checks

There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be preapproved or prequalified for a loan. Some of it is due to the jargon that is used in real estate transactions, and some of it is just a marketing technique on the part of lenders.

So, what does it mean to be prequalified and preapproved?

The short version is that getting prequalified is a quick and easy process to determine whether you’re eligible to lend to and how much you’re likely to receive. It involves a quick review of your finances, and often includes either a self-reported or soft credit inquiry.

A “soft inquiry” is the type of credit check that employers typically use for a background check. It doesn’t affect your credit score, as you are not applying to open a new line of credit. In fact, many lenders’ process for prequalification is a simple online form that doesn’t even require a credit check. We’ll talk more about the difference between soft inquiries and hard inquiries later.

The simplicity of prequalification makes it a simple and easy way to get started. But, it isn’t always accurate in how well it predicts the type of mortgage and loan amount you can receive. That’s where preapproval comes in.

When you get preapproved for a loan you fill out an official application (you often have to pay for these). This will request documentation for your finances and assets, and will ask your approval to run a detailed credit report.


These credit reports are considered “hard inquiries” and are a vital step in getting approved or preapproved for a mortgage. However, they also, at least temporarily, lower your credit score.

Why hard inquiries lower your credit score

When any creditor, be it a bank or credit card company, is determining whether to lend to you, they want to know that you are a safe investment. To determine this, they want to know how frequently you pay your bills on time, how much you owe to other creditors, and how financially stable you are right now.

When you make multiple inquiries in a short period of time, it’s a red flag to lenders that you might be in trouble financially. Thus, hard inquiries will lower your credit score for 1 to 2 months.

Applying to multiple lenders: the silver lining

When borrowers apply for a mortgage, they often shop around and apply to multiple lenders. While it may seem that all of these hard inquiries will add up and drastically lower their credit score, this isn’t the case.

Credit bureaus take into account the source of the inquiries. If they realize that you are applying for mortgages, they will typically recognize this as rate shopping and group these applications together on your credit report, counting them only as a single inquiry. This means your score shouldn’t drop multiple times for multiple mortgage preapprovals that were made within a small time frame.

Now that you know more about how mortgage applications affect your credit score, you can confidently shop around for the best mortgage for you and your family.




Tags: Mortgage   credit score  
Categories: Mortgage   credit score  


Posted by Steven Sawyer (Central NH) on 4/8/2018

If you have plans to buy a house as quickly as possible, it is important to maintain flexibility. That way, you can adjust your homebuying timeline at a moment's notice.

Ultimately, there are many instances where you may need to modify your homebuying timeline, and these include:

1. You are struggling to identify your dream home.

It generally is beneficial to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria. These criteria can help you hone your house search and may be modified as you attend home showings and open house events.

Also, think about where you want to purchase a house. If you would prefer to own a home in a big city, you can tailor your house search accordingly. Or, if you want to live in a small town, you can focus exclusively on residences in areas that match or exceed your expectations.

Even with homebuying criteria in hand, however, changes to your homebuying timeline may be required. But if you remain patient and persistent throughout the homebuying journey, you can eventually discover your dream house.

2. Home sellers are rejecting your offers to purchase.

Once you find your dream residence, you may submit an offer to purchase it. Yet if your offer fails to hit the mark with a home seller, you are unlikely to receive an instant "Yes."

If you find that your offers to purchase houses are rejected time and time again, you may need to adjust your homebuying timeline. Furthermore, you may want to rethink your homebuying strategy.

To submit a competitive homebuying proposal, you should consider a house's condition and age, as well as the current state of the real estate market. This information can help you craft an offer to purchase that accounts for a variety of factors and likely will meet the needs of both you and a home seller.

If a home seller rejects your offer to purchase a house, there is no need to worry. Remember, the real estate market offers many opportunities, and homebuyers who are diligent can continue to search for the right house at the right price.

3. You have yet to find the right real estate agent.

A real estate agent may hold the key to a successful homebuying journey. He or she can help you set realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

If you need to adjust your homebuying timeline, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal.

Ready to streamline your home search? Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to pursue your ideal residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Steven Sawyer (Central NH) on 4/5/2018

Curb appeal is a difference-maker during the home selling process. If you understand how to upgrade your residence's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you improve your house's curb appeal.

1. Prioritize Lawn Care and Maintenance

If your lawn is covered in weeds and high grass, it may be overdue for a trim. Fortunately, you can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home lawn care and maintenance tasks to upgrade your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.

Of course, if you want expert lawn care assistance, you can always hire a home landscaping company. A typical home landscaping company employs friendly, knowledgeable lawn care specialists who can help you improve your lawn and bolster your house's curb appeal.

2. Eliminate Clutter

Lawn decorations may help you differentiate your home from others in your neighborhood. At the same time, these decorations may actually diminish the appearance of your home in the eyes of potential buyers. Also, lawn decorations may make it tough for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

Remove lawn decorations, because if you have a clutter-free lawn, you can show buyers the true size and beauty of your lawn. And as a result, buyers may fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

3. Perform Home Exterior Repairs

If you notice cracked or chipped siding or other home exterior issues, don't wait to correct these problems. Because the longer you wait to perform home exterior repairs, the longer it may take to sell your residence.

For those who are uncomfortable about completing home exterior repairs on their own, it may be beneficial to hire a contractor. This professional will dedicate the necessary time and resources to ensure your home's exterior will impress buyers.

As you search for ways to improve your house's curb appeal, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In addition to offering recommendations about how to bolster your home's overall appearance, a real estate agent can serve as an expert guide along the property selling journey.

A real estate agent is happy to help you list your house, promote it to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. Plus, if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal. A real estate agent will even negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf so you can maximize your house sale earnings.

Spend some time upgrading your residence's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. If you can improve your home's curb appeal, you may be able to stir up lots of interest in your residence and reap the benefits of a quick, seamless house selling experience.





Posted by Steven Sawyer (Central NH) on 3/25/2018

If your home is on the market, you may wonder why it hasn’t moved off the market. There are many ways to make adjustments to the price of your home, but if not done correctly, you could sabotage the sale of your home. Let’s say that you have your home as an FSBO (For sale by owner.) Buyers may wonder what’s behind the price of the house. Does the seller genuinely want to move the home to the sold category quickly? Why has the home been for sale so long? 


You could face the same problems if you’re working with an agency. The difference is that s a seller, the agency is by your side, helping you to make the right decisions when it comes to pricing your home.


Realistic Expectations


You need to be realistic when pricing your home as a seller. Of course, you want to make a return on your home. Of course, you think your home has great value. The critical point is that you need to understand the state of the market along with the neighborhood your home is located. So much goes into the pricing of a house. 


Investigate


Along with your agent, you can do some investigating to see where some improvements could be made in marketing your home. Look at the following:


How has the house been received on the MLS?

Are the significant benefits of the home highlighted?

How many open house opportunities did buyers have?

Are there good pictures of the house online? 

Do the signs leading to the house stand out? 

Can you add anything to the marketing of the home like a virtual tour? 


While real estate agents have general guidelines as to how a home at a certain price point should be marketed, you can always be your own advocate.


The Consequences Of High Pricing


If you price your home too high, there are some consequences. Your home will stay on the market for an extended period of time if it's overpriced. Buyers will wonder why the house has been listed for so long, wondering if there’s something wrong with the property. Buyers will wait even longer to bite on the home in these circumstances because they are waiting for a price drop. 


The Solution


The best thing you can do in this circumstance is to take your home off the market. Work with your real estate agent. He can let you know whether it’s a good time to re-list the home. Perhaps you can make some improvements to the property in the meantime. A fresh listing and a clean look at the house may help buyers to find the property more easily at a price that pleases them!      




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Steven Sawyer (Central NH) on 3/18/2018

Houses today are built larger than ever. In spite of all the extra rooms, homeowners still have one common complaint: not enough storage space.

When house hunting, buyers often name storage space as one of their key concerns. As nest-makers, we often find it difficult to part ways with toys for our kids, exercise machines that are collecting dust, or old appliances that “still work” but no longer worked for us. That leaves homeowners with two options: rent a storage facility or make room.

Taking on an extra monthly bill just to store things that you aren’t using isn’t an idea that sits well with most homeowners who are already inundated with monthly expenses. But how can you create more space in your home than you already have? The answer lies somewhere up near the ceiling.

In this article, we’ll talk about the vertical space in your home and how to take advantage of it without making things appear cluttered.

When and when not to use vertical space

Before we give you vertical storage tips, first let’s talk about where you don’t want to stack the boxes high.

Rooms where you have guest and the places in your home where you spend the most time aren’t the ideal place for vertical storage. The living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all places where you need room to breathe. We often recommend light colors, open windows, and mirrors to improve the usage of space in these rooms. However, there are other places in your home that aren’t frequented as often.

“Where am I going to put this thing?”

That’s a questions many of us ask ourselves when we make a new purchase. Let’s start outside the house and work out way in, hitting all of the best areas to store things.

The garage or shed

If you have a shed or garage, odds are there’s a lot of space up toward the ceiling you aren’t using. A good way to take advantage of this is to use shelving and hooks for your tools.

If you’re a cyclist but can’t figure out where to store your bikes during the winter, consider buying hooks so that you can store them up out of the way of the more useful winter items like shovels and snow blowers.

Kitchen storage

Kitchen cabinets can get cluttered easily. Inside your cabinets, try using stacking shelves to make it easier to stack high things like plates and bowls. For frequently used utensils, pots, and pans, and knives, consider installing a hook board on the wall above your counter. This will open up room in your cabinets and make your frequently used kitchen tools more accessible.

Bathroom storage

The bathroom closet can be a scary place. It is often home to countless cleaning objects, dirty laundry, towels, and more.

One great way to open up a lot of space in the bathroom closet is to hang laundry baskets on the interior of the closet door, or to hang mops, sweepers, and vacuums on the interior of the door for easy access.

Now that you know the benefits of vertical storage, think about how you can use it in your home to save space.




Categories: Uncategorized