Maybe it’s not the most fascinating topic of the day. If you’re buying a home, however, and that “time is of the essence” phrase on the purchase agreement is really applied, how easily and quickly your escrow closes is indeed the kind of thing that can keep you up at night. No one likes a […]Proactive Buyers help escrow close on time! — Bill Nickerson’s Blog
You may have wanted to apply for a mortgage at some point but were put off by something negative someone said about this type of loan. Similarly, you may have been encouraged to apply for one based on some false information but met with a quick rejection. Some of the information that bred these misconceptions may not be false but has merely become outdated. Below are some of those misconceived ideas and the truth behind them:
1. You cannot get a loan with a bad credit score
While it is true that most traditional banks will consider you too risky if your score is below 620, other non-traditional lenders will listen to you. Those offering house loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can approve borrowers with a minimum score of 580. Remember, though, that lenders will cover the risk of lending to folks with a low credit score by fixing a higher interest rate. So you might want to clean up your debt before looking for a mortgage.
2. You have to raise 20% as a down payment
In the past, this was true. You had to stump up at least 20% of the value of the property before you approached a lender. Some would require up to 30%. These days you can find lenders who will only ask for 6% to get closing on your mortgage deal. FHA-backed loans will accept even 3.5%.
3. Being pre-approved and pre-qualified are the same thing
Being pre-approved is as almost as good as having the cash to buy a property. Before you get pre-approval, you have to have submitted all required documentation to the lender. Based on your financials, the lender will arrive at a maximum amount they can advance you for the purchase of the property. Your real estate agent can, therefore, use that pre-approval to go house hunting. Getting pre-qualified doesn’t carry this much weight- it only means you have engaged a lender and that you’re ready to begin the application process.
4. The interest rate quoted is what you’ll close with
The rate quoted is subject to change unless you lock it in. Interest rates fluctuate daily, changing severally even on the same day depending on how mortgage bonds trade. From the time you get the initial quote when beginning the pre-approval process to the time you settle on a property and want to close, the rate could have changed by a few points. You can only lock the rate once you’ve identified a home to which you want to commit.
Ask your mortgage officer all the questions you can think of before you close your deal.
There may be snow on the ground but Spring is just around the corner!
In most real estate markets the spring is the most common time to be selling a home, for multiple reasons.
- Supply of ready, willing, and able buyers is the highest in the spring
- Buyers typically get their income tax returns during the spring which can be put towards the purchase of a home
- More daylight meaning homes will typically show better
- Landscaping and curb appeal during the spring is better than the fall or winter months
What can you do to get ready?
Get Pre-Approved Before Spring
You need to be pre-approved for your loan, of course. Why get pre-approved months in advance? In most cases, there are ways to massage your circumstances to get you approved to borrow more, or to get a better rate.
Get your home ready!
Clean & Organize
I know it’s cliché but it’s imperative to give your home a thorough “spring cleaning.” This doesn’t mean wait until spring though. Be proactive and start cleaning now; you’ll be glad you didn’t wait. A huge turnoff for prospective buyers are foul odors. Things such as smoke odors and pet odors can kill home sales.
Begin Packing and Organizing Your Belongings
There’s no way to know for sure how long it will take for your home to sell – it could take a month, or years – and while it may seem crazy to start packing up your stuff before a sale occurs, it’s best to be prepared for any outcome.
Make Repairs and Improvements
The last thing anyone wants to do before they sell their home is to dump a bunch of money into it for an extensive renovation; however, there are minor repairs and improvements that can be made to make a home look fresher for potential buyers. (fresh paint, fresh hardware, etc…)
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First-time homebuyers are sometimes caught off guard by overlooked expenses, which can create an uncomfortable financial pinch. Be sure you consider these one-time and ongoing expenses.
1. Home Inspection
For a few hundred dollars, an inspection can uncover potential trouble such as structural problems or asbestos.
2. Home Maintenance
Experts recommend setting aside 1 to 3%* of the home’s purchase price for annual maintenance. For example, you may need to buy lawn care equipment or replace the roof, furnace, or water heater.
3. Taxes And Insurance
Property taxes and homeowners insurance aren’t always included in mortgage payment calculators.
4. Extra Cash At Closing
Your lender should give you a detailed estimate of closing costs. But beyond those, you may have to pay additional expenses, such as a prorated portion of property taxes or homeowners association fees that the seller has already paid.
5. The Move
Whether you hire professional movers for a few thousand dollars or rent a truck, buy boxes and recruit friends to help, moving costs money.
6. Settling In
You may have to pay utility connection fees when you move in, plus utility costs may be higher than you were used to as a renter. Other costs include lock replacements and decorating expenses.
41 Bouchard Ave, Dracut
Sold for $255,000
How Much Is Your Home Worth In Today’s Market?
3 Bedroom Ranch!
93 Nashua Rd, Billerica
Carlisle line location for this charming move in condition 3 bdrm ranch! This home has been lovingly cared for, for the past 50 years and is ready to welcome its new owners! Cabinet packed eat in kitchen, Fireplace living room with bay window and hardwood floors. All 3 bedrooms boasts hardwood floors. Lower level offers huge potential for added storage or future expansion (completely heated with partially finished room). Large covered deck great for outdoor gatherings. Private backyard with a small stream that runs through it creates a picturesque setting!