Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 12/1/2017

Thereís a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.

In this article, weíre going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if youíre ready for homeownership. Weíll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.

Getting your finances in order

There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if youíre financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, youíll want to look up your credit score.

Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.

The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.

In the meantime, youíll want to save for a down payment. While itís possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders wonít pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).

If you have a high credit score and youíve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.

Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that youíll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.

Preparing for homeownership

While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. Youíll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.

First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if itís a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.

If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), youíll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.

Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting arenít aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. Youíll have more bills, youíll have to mow your own lawn, and youíll be responsible for maintenance of your home.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 11/17/2017

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If youíre a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If youíre a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. Itís very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If youíre looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 


First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 


Honesty Is The Best Policy


Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they canít tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that thereís strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  


Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.


Good Communicator


A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isnít active, they will check in, and see where youíre at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that youíre interested in as well. Your buyerís agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor thatís on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  


Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices


Your buyerís agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyerís agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 7/21/2017

Summer boasts sunshine, warm temperatures and, of course, plenty of great homebuying opportunities.

The summer real estate market frequently represents a homebuyer's dream come true, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. There are many terrific properties available summer after summer, and homebuyers who know how to approach the real estate market should have no trouble securing a high-quality residence at a budget-friendly price.

What does it take to explore the summer real estate market effectively? Here are three summer homebuying tips that you need to know:

1. Become an Informed Homebuyer

Although many first-rate residences likely are available at the beginning of summer, the best properties will sell fast. Thus, homebuyers should take a diligent approach as they browse properties in summertime.

Stay up to date about homes in cities or towns where you would like to relocate. Also, examine home listings closely. Consider how long a property has been available, if the price of the property has been reduced recently and other homebuying factors as you conduct your home search.

An informed homebuyer will be better equipped than others to purchase a home that will serve him or her well for an extended period of time. And if you allocate the necessary time and resources to become an informed homebuyer, you may be able to accelerate the process of acquiring your dream residence.

2. Take Advantage of Open Houses and Home Showings

Open houses and home showings give you the opportunity to get an up-close look at a variety of top-notch residences.

Typically, you will be able to set up home showings at your convenience. These events enable you to browse a property, learn about its pros and cons and determine whether this residence meets or exceeds your expectations.

You also can take advantage of open houses, which serve as large, public home showings. An open house may feature dozens of potential homebuyers who visit a property over the course of several hours. As such, an open house will enable you to check out a house's interior and exterior, imagine what life would be like if you purchased a particular residence and decide whether to submit an offer.

3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Browsing residences can be tricky, particularly for first-time homebuyers. But with an experienced real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of buying a house in summer.

Experienced real estate agents are available year-round and are happy to teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a house in summertime. A real estate professional will help you submit offers on houses, keep you up to date about open houses and provide expert homebuying tips and guidance. That way, your real estate agent can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, an experienced real estate agent is available to support you in any way possible. He or she will even respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and make it easy for you to discover a terrific home in summer.

Collaborate with an experienced real estate agent, and you can navigate the summer real estate market quickly and effortlessly.




Tags: Buying a home   summer  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 6/9/2017

The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, youíll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you canít go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, itís something that youíll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, youíll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.  


The Elements Of Your Buying Power


Your Credit Score


This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:


  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened


A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that youíll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan youíre offered can be impacted. Youíll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 


Down Payment


The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that youíll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). Youíll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.


How Your Financial Picture Appears


Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you canít show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that youíll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.


The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that youíll have. If your numbers are good, youíll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, itís a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.




Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 4/7/2017

Rome was not built in the day, and much in the same vein, buying a home may prove to be an exhausting yet rewarding process.

Ultimately, buying a house can be a lot of work. A typical homebuyer may need to commit substantial time and resources to browse the housing market, set up home showings and submit offers on residences. Therefore, homebuyers may experience many ups and downs as the homebuying process moves forward.

What are some of the most common feelings that homebuyers may experience? Here's a closer look at three feelings that you might experience as you search for your dream home.

1. Excitement

Entering the housing market is a time of change, leading to unparalleled excitement.

When you begin your search for the perfect home, you'll likely start with a clean slate. You may be able to move to any city or town in the United States. Or, you can move close to family members and friends. You can even live on your own or with family members and friends.

The possibilities are endless when you start your home search. And with a real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to maintain your excitement throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available. He or she also will learn about your homebuying needs and enable you to narrow your search accordingly. Thus, your real estate agent will help you stay excited as you navigate the journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

2. Stress

Unfortunately, stress is common for homebuyers. As you prepare to check out houses and submit offers on homes, your stress levels may rise accordingly.

Lucky for you, hiring an experienced real estate agent can help you minimize stress levels.

Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries without delay. By doing so, he or she will help put your mind at ease. And if your stress levels start to rise, your real estate agent is available to provide you with the necessary support to help you alleviate stress.

3. Relief

Relief occurs after a homebuyer secures his or her dream home. At this point, a home seller may have accepted a homebuyer's offer, and a homebuyer likely has completed a home inspection that meets or exceeds his or her expectations. As such, a homebuyer only needs to finalize a purchase agreement to acquire his or her dream residence.

With support from a real estate agent, you can reach the relief stage of the homebuying process quickly. Your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the homebuying cycle. As a result, you should have no trouble finding and purchasing your dream home if you collaborate with an experienced real estate professional.

Get ready for the homebuying journey Ė work with an experienced real estate agent, and you can move one step closer to buying your ideal home.




Categories: Uncategorized