Top Ten Things to Know When Buying a House

Owning a home is the American dream but home ownership also comes with many responsibilities and some headaches. Here are the top ten things you should know when buying a house.

First, there’s a high transaction cost associated with buying and selling property and you’ll pay capital gains taxes if you buy a house and live there for less than two years. Even in a roaring real estate market you could end up losing money if you sell your home two years or sooner from the time of your original purchase. Buy a home only if you can commit to staying longer than two years.
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Buying a House in a Buyer’s Market Part Two

In “Buying a House in a Buyer’s Market – Part I,” we explored the importance of timing when it comes to buying a house in a buyer’s market. Finding the right house at the right price should be a buyer’s first and final goal with a long term plan of living there as a means of riding out bad market conditions that can occur. This time we’ll take a look at how technology and an experienced buyer’s agent, negotiating effectively and avoiding gimmicks are also essential when it comes to buying a house in a buyer’s market.Continue reading

Buying a House in a Buyer’s Market – Part One

With falling housing prices, mortgage rates at all-time lows, millions of houses for sale and anxious sellers, many wonder if now is the best time to buy a house or not. In some cases, sellers aren’t just anxious, they’re down right desperate and with the number of sellers far outnumbering the number of buyers, things aren’t as clear-cut as they seem. In fact, this buyer’s market is complicated. Buy too soon and the figures could reduce by the time a buyer secures his mortgage, resulting in negative equity. Wait too long and someone could buy the house you’ve been eyeing for months out from under you. And you don’t want to get sidetracked by market forces that aren’t under your control either. Here are some strategies for buying a house in a buyer’s market.Continue reading

Qualifying for a Mortgage with 1 Person of a 2 Income Household

A common question home loan applicants have regarding income qualification of a purchase or refinance home loan is, “Do we make enough income to qualify for a purchase or refinance home loan using just one of our household incomes?”
Using just one of the household incomes can come into play in many scenarios when getting approved for a home loan. For example, Jim, in Arnold, MO is a painter but it is difficult to verify his income or, Mike, in Kansas City, is in transition between jobs but is married and his wife has stable employment. For underwriting purposes, using just one of the household incomes that can be verified may be the best route to get approved for a new home loan, while still maintaining both parties ownership rights to the home. Especially, if it is difficult to document one of the household incomes.Continue reading

Buying a Home After Foreclosure

If you’ve experienced foreclosure you might think you’ll never be in a position to buy another home again. Foreclosure certainly impacts your credit score but it’s only a matter of time before you can once again apply for a mortgage. The question many people have is how long they have to wait before buying a home after foreclosure. How long depends on the circumstances of your foreclosure, your ability to increase your credit score, the type of loan you’re prepared to apply for and the foreclosure waiting period.Continue reading

Getting Ready for Home Appraisal – Part Two

In “Getting Ready for Home Appraisal – Part I” we explored the importance of having the right mindset and having your paperwork in order when it comes to preparing for your home’s appraisal. This week we’ll examine other important ways you can get ready for your home’s appraisal.

A big part of preparing for a home appraisal is having your home in order and the time to have any corrections and repairs made to your home is beforehand. Even if you intend to have repairs made but haven’t had time to complete them, having proof of an estimate or scheduled repair to show the appraiser can work to your advantage. Though you and your family may have lived for months with a leaky faucet, damaged window screens, dead smoke detectors or in rooms with poor paint jobs, leaving these maintenance jobs undone can dent the appraisal value of your home. And don’t underestimate the power of curb appeal. A tidy lawn and clean landscape may be the first impression an appraiser has of your home.Continue reading

Getting Ready for a Home Appraisal – Part One

When the time comes to get ready for a home appraisal it’s important to keep in mind there are factors you can and cannot control. While you can’t control the location of your neighborhood and the value of other homes on your block, you can control what the appraiser sees when he walks up to the front door. Like many things in life, good preparation, careful attention to detail and a dose of fortunate circumstances all play a role in successful home appraisals and there’s a lot you as a homeowner can do to give yourself the best chance for a favorable appraisal. Here are some tips.Continue reading