comey, Author at Comey & Shepherd Realtors

All posts by comey

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Summer

Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners are granted the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their home over the last couple of years for fear that they would not find a home to move in to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you to decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. Buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 43 days. (Last numbers available.)

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, it will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to start living the life you desire.

Source: KCM blog

3 Common Moving Nightmares (and How to Prevent Them)

Problems can occur at every stage of the relocation process, but the most common moving nightmares fall into three categories. Here’s how they typically play out — and how to avoid them.

Bad movers

Many moving horror stories involve rogue or incompetent movers.

  • The movers are late or don’t show up at all. The agreed-upon time comes and goes, but you see no sign of an approaching moving truck. Regardless of the excuses you receive, the inevitable result will be lots of stress and wasted time.
  • The movers are careless or inexperienced. If your movers arrive late or lack the proper equipment to handle your items safely and efficiently, your relocation can quickly turn into a nightmarish experience.
  • The movers are scam artists. In the worst case scenario, you may fall victim to moving scams. Rogue movers will often request much more money than previously negotiated, based on alleged extra services. They may also hold your belongings hostage until you pay an extra “fee” as ransom or steal your more expensive belongings and discard the rest.

The good news is that there is an easy way to avoid such nightmares. All you need to do is carefully research your movers before hiring them to make sure you are dealing with licensed and experienced professionals you can trust. It’s also a good idea to purchase appropriate insurance for your belongings, just in case.

Traffic problems

Heavy traffic or road accidents can also turn your move into a real nightmare.

  • Traffic jams. The moving truck is delayed, and there may not be enough time to proceed with your move as planned. You may have to postpone the relocation to another day, or you may miss your flight.
  • Traffic accidents. If there has been an accident on the road, the moving truck will have to wait until the damaged vehicles are removed and normal traffic is restored. However, the scenario could get much worse: You may lose all your possessions or receive them badly damaged if the moving truck crashes, catches fire or gets trapped somewhere because of adverse weather conditions. It’s even possible that thieves could break into the vehicle and steal your goods.
  • Breakdown. If the moving truck breaks down on the road, you’ll have to wait for the moving company to send another vehicle. What’s more, your items can easily get damaged while being transferred.
  • Parking issues. The moving truck has to circle the neighborhood for hours until an appropriate parking space is vacated, or the movers have to park far away from your home’s entrance. In such cases, you’ll not only lose valuable time but also have to pay an extra fee for the delay or an additional long-carry fee.

Of course, there’s nothing you can do to prevent traffic accidents or breakdowns. But you can at least reserve a parking place directly in front of your old and new homes, and choose a moving company that has experienced drivers and several moving vehicles in good condition.

Poor organization

Moving involves a lot of loose ends, and even the smallest oversight can result in a disastrous move.

  • Packing chaos. You realize you’ve packed more items than previously discussed with the movers, and some items can’t be loaded onto the moving truck. Or maybe you don’t label the boxes properly. Worst of all, you may not be ready when the movers arrive. All these packing mistakes result in lost time and money.
  • Furniture troubles. If your large furniture doesn’t fit through the doors, you may have to leave treasured pieces behind or request hoisting services that will cost you dearly and delay your move.
  • Paperwork problems. If you forget to transfer the utilities, you won’t have electricity, gas and water on move-in day. If you forget to change your address, you won’t have your mail delivered to your new home. If you forget to update your driver’s license and car registration in time, you’ll be fined. Not taking proper care of your documents will most certainly get you in trouble.
  • Overspending. If you book your movers at the last moment, require too many extra services, fail to create a realistic moving budget or pack all your items without sorting them out first, you’ll end up paying much more than you expected.
  • Safety issues. Make every effort to prevent injuries and accidents on moving day, as getting hurt is one of the worst things that can happen during your relocation endeavor.

The only way to avoid problems when moving house is to plan each phase of your relocation adventure in meticulous detail and stay one step ahead all the time. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing any of these all-too-common moving ordeals.

Source: Zillow.com

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Determine Your Price

“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present.

Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

2. Submit an Offer

“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer.

3. Negotiate the Offer

“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

4. Act Fast

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a Comey & Shepherd real estate professional who is an expert in his or her market on your side is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dream of homeownership a reality!

Source: KCM blog

Real estate ready: Smart tips for first-time homebuyers

(BPT) – Today’s first-time homebuyers face a variety of hurdles when trying to enter the real estate market. While interest rates have declined recently and there are signs that more inventory may be coming onto the market, many buyers continue to feel frustration in finding and financing a home.

Additionally, high levels of student loan debt and entry-level jobs that didn’t pay as much as expected have made homeownership financially difficult for millennials. Many have opted to move in with their parents, and since then have been saving money to purchase a home.

Although being a first-time homebuyer is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. Whether you’re purchasing a home for yourself, with your spouse, or because you’re growing your family, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth process and happy outcome so you don’t have to delay your decision to buy a home.

Explore what you can afford
It’s important to purchase a home that is within your means, but it’s often difficult to know what you can actually afford. Start by using the Shop by Payment feature at Vylla (www.vylla.com.) If you know what you can afford for rent, use that as a guide for your search to see how it translates into monthly mortgage payments. Many renters are surprised to find out they can become homeowners for about the same monthly amount they’re currently paying their landlord.

Save for closing costs
There are some “hidden costs” associated with buying a home. Closing costs, or fees included at the closing of a real estate transaction, can include a number of charges such as appraisal and attorney fees, recording fees, title and escrow charges. Buyers and sellers often split closing costs, and buyers can typically expect to pay 3 to 4 percent of the cost of the home in closing costs. That means if you buy a $200,000 home, estimated closing costs will be between $6,000 and $8,000. Working with a transparent real estate and mortgage company will also help you manage costs to ensure there are no surprises along the way.

Manage debt and down payments
You may have heard that you need to eliminate debt and save 20 percent down to purchase a home. Although those are good goals, there are more flexible loan products available today for many types of borrowers. Many lenders have loan programs that make it possible for borrowers with some debt or less-than-perfect credit to qualify for mortgage loans, eliminating some of the barriers first-time homebuyers face. You may be able to qualify for a loan with a down payment of just 3.5 percent.

Research neighborhoods
Housing varies greatly from city to city, and even block to block. It’s important to research the areas you want to live in to ensure you’re happy and making a good investment. This will be unique to each homebuyer, but it may be important for you to consider school boundaries, population demographics, crime rates, access to resources like public transportation and commute times to work.

Streamline to reduce stress
Many homebuying steps are disconnected, which can cause a lot of stress. Consider a one-stop platform like Vylla.com that seamlessly integrates the mortgage process with home search and home purchasing steps to provide everything under one roof. Plus, you can work with a single point of contact who works with real estate agents, title and escrow services and more for a seamless experience.

Think long-term
Although your first home won’t likely be your last, it’s important to think long-term when making such a big investment. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average amount of time a homeowner stays in a house is 10 years. You want something that you plan to live in for at least the next few years, as well as something that suits your future plans. Don’t just think about what you want now; try to visualize your life down the road and make sure this house fits the vision as much as possible.

A few smart steps can make the first-time homebuying experience easy and stress free. With a little proactive planning and a few good resources, you’ll have keys to your home in hand in no time.

Easy DIY projects to enhance your yard and garden

(BPT) – Itching for summer to arrive, when you can get out and enjoy your yard? Why not plan a DIY project to improve your outdoor space, while encouraging everyone in the family to get outside and have fun together?

Here are some projects to consider, and the prep work involved.

Check your deck

Does your existing deck need repair? Check for loose balusters, rocky railing or other issues needing attention. If you want to resurface your deck or build a new deck, measure the area and research how much decking you’ll need. Fortunately, there are free online deck plans and design tools available, especially on your favorite home improvement center’s website or at treatedwood.com. Many include cost calculators to help determine your expenses. Check with your local municipality for building codes and a building permit before beginning construction.

When choosing materials to create the deck of your dreams, not just any wood will do. Wood is now available that is treated with more environmentally-advanced preservatives, with stabilizers that can weather the elements while still retaining the beauty of real wood. Ecolife pressure-treated wood is ideal for decking, deck framing, railing, joists and beams. Ecolife’s advanced wood stabilizing preservative system makes wood look better longer and repels water for up to two years, providing maximum protection and enhanced performance for outdoor projects exposed to harsh sun, drenching rain and heavy snow.

For projects that come in contact with or are within 6 inches from the ground, such as support posts, stair stringers and ledger boards, a higher retention level of preservatives is required to fight against fungal decay and termite attack at ground level. Both Ecolife and ground contact wood are treated to required levels to protect against fungal decay and termite attack.

Enhance your garden

To increase your yard’s beauty while encouraging plant and flower growth, make simple wooden structures for your garden that can be completed in a weekend. The easiest project is a trellis, which can be any size latticework designed for climbing plants to grow up them. Similarly, an arbor combines two trellises with an overhead arch to create a passage or gateway. An arbor beautifully embellishes any path or walkway with flowering plants growing up and over it.

A pergola takes that idea one step further, creating a scaffolding of overhead wooden beams for your yard, patio or deck that can be used for installing a ceiling fan, hanging plants or flowers, or a sun shade.

The gazebo resembles a mini “house,” usually raised from the ground, which can be screened in if desired. Gazebos are wonderful little retreats to enjoy the outdoors while still feeling the comfort of seating and other furniture, along with a roof for keeping out the elements.

Raised gardens

For the green thumb in the family, raised planter beds decrease the back-breaking work of planting and weeding, while keeping out neighborhood critters. Attach chicken wire or other screening to discourage smaller animals from munching on your garden.

Outdoor furnishings

Love to grill and eat outdoors? Why not build your own benches or picnic table? They provide a wonderfully rustic look as well as being sturdy. You can add removable cushions for comfort.

Playtime

Nothing could be more fun for kids than watching or helping to build a play set, sandbox or treehouse. If kids help, educate kids about safety rules that you follow, such as wearing gloves, goggles and a mask while working with wood.

Add privacy and beauty

A well-designed stained or painted fence can enhance the look of your garden, patio or deck while adding privacy and keeping out neighborhood animals. A variety of fence styles are available to serve many purposes. From containing pets to providing safety for your children, fences can help block wind and noise, enclose HVAC and trash bin areas and add curb appeal. All you need are posts, pickets and backer rails or fence panels to complete your project.

If you’re new to building, start with smaller projects like a trellis or sandbox. Once you’re more confident or have experience, consider larger, more complex projects you’re dreaming about. Engage the family in brainstorming ideas to make your yard and garden a great place to hang out together. For more information about Ecolife, visit treatedwood.com.

4 top tips for low-maintenance landscaping

(BPT) – A lush lawn and garden boosts your home’s curb appeal, but it also takes a lot of your free time. You want to spend that time enjoying the space, not taking care of it. The solution? A few low-maintenance strategies to keep your yard looking great while maximizing your relaxation time.

1. Install an automatic irrigation system

With an automatic irrigation system, you don’t even need to be home to water your lawn and garden. You can spend all that extra time kicked back on your front porch enjoying the view of a luscious green lawn. Automatic irrigation systems are also cost-effective – providing water to your lawn exactly where and when it’s needed. Random dry patches or wet sidewalks and driveways will be a thing of the past.

2. Choose perennials

Flower beds are the perfect complement to a lush, green lawn. Plants like coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and Russian sage come back year after year and don’t need to be replanted.

3. Strategically placed mulch

Mulch is one of the best investments you can make in your yard. When it breaks down over time, mulch fertilizes your plants and can prevent weeds. It adds a pleasant aroma to your outdoor spaces and doesn’t require watering.

4. Follow lawn care best practices

Save yourself the extra hassle by following basic lawn care best practices. For example, keep your grass-cutting blades sharp, avoid cutting the grass too short and mow when the grass is dry. Additionally, grasscycling – leaving grass clippings on the lawn after cutting – helps fertilize the lawn and creates less work for you.

There may be no such thing as a maintenance-free lawn, but choosing the right tools and techniques can make your life a lot easier.

Source: Brandpoint.com

Small Kitchen? Try These 9 Tips for Making the Most of Your Limited Space

Transform your standard-issue rental kitchen with these tips.

Is there some kind of law that requires rental apartments to supply no more than a single square of kitchen counter space to each unit?

Between the white walls, scarce and often outdated cabinets, and a lack of amenities, it’s rare to find a solid kitchen in the world of yearlong leases.

But no good makeover starts with a beautiful subject, right?

All you need to transform that bleak little kitchen into a well-designed, functional space is a bit of imagination, some basic home maintenance skills, and a few solid pieces.

Here’s where to begin.

Donate first

Before moving into your new space, make sure to get rid of all those things you don’t need anymore.

Have you actually used that discounted bundt pan in the past year or two? If not, donate to your favorite local charity shop. Someone else might get use out of it, and you’ll be saving yourself from more clutter in your new home.

Think vertically

Vertical storage is a tried-and-true method of using space, and the kitchen holds some unique opportunities for making the most of it.

Hanging pot racks, magnetic knife strips, mounted dish-drying racks installed above the sink, and rods with hooks for towels, aprons, small tools and oven mitts are all excellent ways to keep clutter in its place — and keep the surfaces and lower area of the room free.

Find beautiful cleaning tools

The ugly truth is that a lot of everyday items just make sense to keep out — but that doesn’t mean they have to be such an eyesore.

Skip the plastic and get yourself a classic wooden broom, natural fiber dish brush and a glass soap dispenser. These items don’t cost much, but they add a softer look while also getting the job done.

Tap into change

Just because your place didn’t come equipped with a dishwasher doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Installing a quality faucet with a pull-down sprayer can make your chores less of a chore (and, as long as you swap it back before you move out, it shouldn’t violate your rental agreement).

Have space and the budget for something more? Portable dishwashers are a massive timesaver. From small countertop models to wheeled butcher-block-top options, there are sizes that fit into almost any space and require nothing more than your standard sink to function.

Live the island life

A kitchen island is a versatile tool for almost any space — even the tiniest micro apartments!

Whether you choose a larger center-of-the-room-style piece or a small butcher-block number, these additions create more counter space and storage, all in one piece.

Bonus: If your island has wheels, it can serve as a portable bar for your next party. (Hey, if we can call bingeing our favorite shows with a few of our closest friends a “party,” so can you.)

Light it up

Another timeless tip: Good lighting is everything.

If your kitchen is dedicated to getting things done and starting your day, invest in cool lighting — the kind that washes everything in a bright, sunlit glow. A refreshing, cooler light wakes us up and creates an invigorating feeling.

If you’re more of a romantic and enjoy taking your time in the kitchen, keep relaxing, warm lighting around so that you can let the day melt away as you sip your merlot.

For those who prefer a bit of both, app-enabled bulbs can customize the mood for any occasion, and some even use every color of the rainbow.

Think (temporarily) BIG

If there’s one common complaint about renting, it’s the stark white walls. Removable wallpaper adds a touch of personalization and won’t break the bank — or at least, it doesn’t have to.

To keep costs low, stick to one accent wall. Finding a large-scale print will make the space feel larger, and layering a sizable mirror on top will maximize the look and any light.

Curate unique displays

One of the best ways to keep an assortment of oddly shaped kitchen items is to dedicate either one section of the room (think: the top 12 inches of the walls) or one wall to showing them off.

Whether it’s your grandmother’s antique creamer collection or the jumble of cookie cutters that won’t fit into your drawers, making them into a vignette adds a layer of personalization to your space while also providing covert storage in plain sight. Easy-to-install hooks or some simple shelves are great ways to achieve this solution.

Keep it alive

Every room deserves a plant. Not only do they look good, but they also improve the quality of the air around them. If you don’t have the floor or counter space to spare, a hanging plant will do the trick.

No natural light in your kitchen? Or perhaps you’re better at killing plants than keeping them green? No matter — there are plenty of realistic artificial plants these days, which means everyone can benefit from the organic shapes of ferns, succulents and the ever-popular fiddle-leaf figs.

Have pets? Make sure to check the toxicity of your plants before choosing their placement.

No matter how uniquely challenging your space might be, there are solutions waiting for you to find them.

Source: Zillow.com

What Makes a House a Home For You?

We frequently talk about why it makes sense to buy a home financially, but more often than not the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling ones.

No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of a home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones.

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day!

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home!

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t do all of these things in your own home?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.

 

Source: KCM Blog

Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About Real Estate Agents

Do you need one? Do they pocket the whole commission? Let’s set the facts straight.

Buyers and sellers often enter the market with misconceptions about real estate agents — how we work, how the process works and what the agency relationship is all about.

It’s helpful to point out, without getting too far into the weeds, that in any one real estate transaction, there are most likely two agents: one for the buyer and one for the seller.

Here are five myths (and five truths) about working with both buyer’s and seller’s agents.

1. Agents get a 6 percent commission, no matter what

Most people assume that their agent is pocketing the entire commission. That would be nice, but it’s just not accurate.

Truth

First, it’s helpful to know that the seller pays the commission, and they split it four ways: between the two brokerages and the two agents.

Finally, the brokerage commission isn’t fixed or set in stone, and sellers can sometimes negotiate it.

2. Once you start with an agent, you’re stuck with them

If you’re a seller, you sign a contract with the real estate agent and their brokerage. That contract includes a term — typically six months to a year. Once you sign the agreement, you could, in fact, be “stuck” with their agent through the term. But that’s not always the case.

Truth

If things aren’t working out, it’s possible to ask the agent or the brokerage manager to release you from the agreement early.

Buyers are rarely under a contract. In fact, buyer’s agents work for free until their clients find a home. It can be as quick as a month, or it can take up to a year or more. And sometimes a buyer never purchases a house, and the agent doesn’t get paid.

Before jumping into an agent’s car and asking them to play tour guide, consider a sit-down consultation or a call, and read their online reviews to see if they’re the right fit.

Otherwise, start slow, and if you don’t feel comfortable, let them know early on — it’s more difficult to break up with your agent if too much time passes.

3. It’s OK for buyers to use the home’s selling agent

Today’s buyers get most things on demand, from food to a ride to the airport. When it comes to real estate, buyers now assume they need only their smartphone to purchase a home, since most property listings live online.

Truth

First-time buyers or buyers new to an area don’t know what they don’t know, and they need an advocate.

The listing agent represents the seller’s interests and has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the best price and terms for the seller. So, working directly with the selling agent presents a conflict of interest — in favor of the seller.

An excellent buyer’s agent lives and breathes their local market. They’ve likely been inside and know the history of dozens of homes nearby. They’re connected to the community, and they know the best inspectors, lenders, architects and attorneys.

They’ve facilitated many transactions, which means they know all the red flagsand can tell you when to run away from (or toward) a home.

4. One agent is just as good as the next

Many people think of “agent” as a generic term and that all agents are created equal.

Truth

A great local agent can make an incredible difference, so never settle. The right agent can save you time and money, keep you out of trouble and protect you.

Consider an agent who has lived and worked in the same town for ten years. They know the streets like the back of their hand. They have deep relationships with the other local agents. They have the inside track on upcoming deals and past transactions that can’t be explained by looking at data online.

Compare that agent to one who’s visiting an area for the first time and needs their GPS to get around. Some agents aren’t forthright and might be more interested in making a sale. Many others care more about building a long-term relationship with you, because their business is based off referrals.

5. You can’t buy a for sale by owner (FSBO) home if you have an agent

In a previous generation, sellers who wouldn’t deal with any agents tried to sell their home directly to a buyer to save the commission.

Truth

Smart sellers understand that real estate is complicated and that most buyers have separate representation. And many FSBO sellers will offer payment to a buyer’s agent as an incentive to bring their buyer clients to the home.

If you see an FSBO, don’t be afraid to ask your agent to step in. Most of the time the seller will compensate them, and you can benefit from their knowledge and experience.

 

Source: Zillow.com

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership: Down Payment, Credit, and Affordability,” which revealed that,

“Consumers often think they need to put more money down to purchase a home than is actually required. In a 2017 survey, 68% of renters cited saving for a down payment as an obstacle to homeownership. Thirty-nine percent of renters believe that more than 20% is needed for a down payment and many renters are unaware of low–down payment programs.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:

“Most potential homebuyers are largely unaware that there are low-down payment and no-down payment assistance programs available at the local, state, and federal levels to help eligible borrowers secure an affordable down payment.”  

These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners. For example, “30% of homeowners and 39% of renters believe that you need more than 20 percent for a down payment.”

While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream homes, they do not realize that there are programs available which allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

Similar to the down payment, many either don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

As you can see in the chart above, 51.7% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

Source: The KCM Blog