Our Real Estate Blog
Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, assessing a wide range of home loan options and making the best-possible decision can be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is evaluating these options for the first time.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you perform a deep analysis of home loan options and make an informed decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate different home loan options.
1. Find Out How a Home Loan Works
The home loans that one lender offers may differ from the options provided by another lender. As such, you'll want to learn the ins and outs of each available home loan to guide your decision-making process.
Understanding how a home loan works may make it easy for you to discover your dream house too.
For example, if you get pre-approved for a home loan, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. You then can use this amount to narrow your house search, which may lead to a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
2. Understand All of the Costs
The total amount that you pay each month under the terms of a home loan agreement may vary based on a variety of factors. Fortunately, if you understand all of the costs associated with a home loan, you may be able to find a loan that matches your finances.
Review all of the paperwork associated with a home loan as well. That way, you can find out the length of a home loan agreement and other relevant home loan information and proceed accordingly.
3. Get Expert Home Loan Insights
There is no such thing as "bad" questions about home loans. And if you're uncertain about how to proceed with a home loan, you can always receive expert guidance from a lender.
Oftentimes, lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable home loan specialists who can respond to your concerns and questions. If you meet with these specialists, you can get comprehensive home loan insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
As you get ready to pursue a home loan, you also may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area and secure a home loan in no time at all.
Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either.
A real estate agent will serve as your guide to buying a house. He or she will help you hone your home search, explore top-notch residences in your city or town and find a residence that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream house.
Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can secure a home loan and take the next step toward purchasing your ideal residence.
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The home appraisal is the process of re-evaluating or revaluing your property to determine the market value either because you want to put the house up for sale or because you want to refinance your mortgage. When you put up your property for sale, you want to have it appraised by a professional as this will give you a fair idea of how much your property is worth.
Financial institutions giving out loans order a home appraisal to ensure the value of the house they are taking as collateral is equal or more than the amount they are providing as a loan. The evaluation helps lenders to avoid losing money if they decide to sell off the property due to failure by the borrower to pay up at the specified time, also known as foreclosure. A certified professional handles a home appraisal and usually has years of training and experience. After the assessment, the expert is expected to give an unbiased opinion about the value of your property. Some things would present your house in a better light and impact on how valuable your property is.
Fix All Damaged Safety Equipment
Ensure all safety equipment that is not working is fixed before the day of appraisal, as lack of these would make you lose points during the inspection. Ensure safety equipment like smoke alarms, security alarms, water heater straps among others are present and functional in your property.
Document Your Renovations
Inform your home appraiser of recent renovations you may have done on the property, the time when you did them and the cost of such repairs. The appraiser might not notice all the changes since it’s not their house, which is why you should bring it to their notice.
A Little Touch Up
Houses with cracked walls, a leaking roof, water-stained walls, signs of pest infestation, damaged floors, or moldy smell will get valued at a lesser amount. Repaint your walls, replace your leaking roof, fix any broken kitchen cabinet, change the doorknobs and generally improve on the appearance of your property. Also, take a walk around and assess the visual appeal yourself to know the things that need fixing ahead of time.
The $500 Rule
Appraisers value property in $500 increments. To be assessed at a higher amount, it’s better to have things like broken doors, damaged floors, old wallpaper, leaky faucets, broken windows repaired immediately. By doing this, you will recover the amount you spent on such repairs in your home appraisal report.
Check Your Yard
You want to take a walk outside your property and do a thorough scan of what might devalue your property, and have it fixed before the home appraiser arrives. Keep your grass and shrubs neat, add some colorful flowers, remove dried leaves littering the yard and whatever clutter will make your yard less attractive. Houses with a welcoming curb appeal receive better appraisals and are considered more valuable in the market.
Your seller's agent can help you prepare for your appraisal so heed their advice.
No matter how you look at it, putting your home on the market is a life-changing experience!
Not only will it change your future circumstances, but it will have an impact on your day-to-day routine, right now.
If your home is actively being shown by real estate agents, there are a few things you may need to do on a regular basis to make the best possible impression on potential buyers:
Keep it clean: Ordinarily, most homeowners aren't inclined to thoroughly clean their house every day -- or "at a moment's notice." Very few people have the time or motivation to keep their home's immaculate on a constant basis; it's exhausting just thinking about it! However, when your house is being viewed by prospective buyers, cleanliness -- or the lack, thereof -- will be noticed. Although "old habits die hard," it may be necessary to enlist the help and cooperation of your children (and spouse) in keeping the house looking presentable at all times. While it's unrealistic to expect your home to look immaculate day after day, it might be necessary to establish some new rules and standards for your family to follow about picking up clothes, toys, snack wrappers, and food residues. If you can maintain a "semblance of order" on an ongoing basis, then it shouldn't be too difficult to prepare your home for the next showing. While you'll usually get at least 24-hours notice before a house showing is scheduled, there may be the occasional request for a same-day visit.
Appearances count: "Keeping up Appearances" is more than just a popular British sitcom; it's a necessary goal for anyone hoping to sell their home within a reasonable period of time. Doing your best to stage your home in an attractive, inviting way is a key ingredient to a successful home-selling strategy. Setting priorities for curb appeal will also help you put your best foot forward in a competitive real estate market. Although many aspects of home staging are based on common sense and simple home decorating principles, it's difficult to be objective when your family's home is involved. There's certainly a lot of credible information online concerning the benefits of reducing household clutter and leaning toward neutral paint colors, but you can also turn to your real estate agent for tips on enhancing your home's curb appeal, interior appearance, and overall marketability.
Unless the home you're selling is relatively new or completely updated, there are a lot of decisions to make about how much time, energy, and money should be spend on upgrades, repairs, and enhancements. While everyone's situation, budget, and timetable is different, it's usually necessary to correct issues that might be considered a glaring problem or a deal breaker. Sometimes those issues don't come to the forefront, however, until you get specific feedback from agents and prospective buyers.
The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.
The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.
But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.
Understanding the warranty
A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.
In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.
Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.
To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.
We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.
Extended warranty warning
Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.
Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.
Warrantied items you may not know about
Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.
Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.
Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”
Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.
Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.
Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.