Posted In:Real Estate Archives - Pligg

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A Simple Guide To Buying A Home With Bad Credit

November 8, 2017 - By 
buying a home with bad credit

Preparing to buy a home should be an exciting time in a person’s life. It’s a big step, and should be one that you take confidently.

If you have a low credit score, however, you may feel like home ownership will be out of your reach or more difficult to achieve. That may have been true once, but it isn’t the case anymore.

Potential home buyers now have lots of financing options that can help them secure their dream home, even if they don’t have the best credit history financial standing.

Buying a home with bad credit is now a real possibility, but you have to know the right steps to take. Read on for our simple guide, so you can eventually be ready to buy the house of your dreams.

1. Determine a Realistic Budget

Buying a home with bad credit is possible, but you have to be honest with yourself about how much home you can afford. If you’re already standing on uneven financial ground, the last thing you want to do is take on more debt than you can handle.

Start by looking at the numbers. How much do you make each month? How much do you have saved for a down payment? How much are you already paying toward other debts?

It’s also important to remember that the listing price is not the only cost associated with buying a home. There could be closing costs, a home inspection cost, and moving costs that you will have to pay. Factor those into your overall budget so you don’t end up spending more than you can realistically afford.

2. Consider a Co-Signer

If you think that your bad credit may stop you from getting approved for a mortgage on your own, consider asking someone with a more secure financial standing to co-sign your mortgage.

Your co-signer should be someone that you have a close, trusting relationship with — such as a spouse, parent, or sibling — and he or she should be willing to take on the financial responsibility of co-owning the property.

A co-signer will likely have to share their credit report, income information and other qualifications with the lender, so be sure you’ve prepared them to do so.

3. Explore Mortgage Lenders

Traditionally, if you wanted a mortgage loan you had to go to a bank. Now, however, mortgage lenders are becoming a popular option because they can make it easier for everyone — even those with bad credit — to buy a home.

Mortgage lenders can offer non-conforming loans that don’t have to meet a bank’s stricter criteria for funding.

They are willing to work with potential home buyers who don’t have a great credit score and can find financing options that enable those people to buy a home like they’ve always dreamed about.

Want to Know More about Buying a Home with Bad Credit?

Our lives are more complicated than they used to be, and between student loans and credit card debt, it’s common for your credit score to take a hit. But that shouldn’t — and doesn’t have to — stop you from being able to buy a home.

For more information about buying a home under any financial circumstance, please explore our blog.


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3 Digital Real Estate Marketing Strategies That Work

November 8, 2017 - By 

Marketing is never easy.

From messaging to target markets, picking the right strategy takes time and effort.

Luckily, with digital marketing, you can get a lot done at a low cost. You just need to be willing to put in a little effort.

There are a ton of digital real estate marketing strategies out there. Finding the right options for your business might take some time and a little trial and error.

To get you started off on the right foot, let’s a take a closer look at three digital real estate marketing strategies that work.

1. Social Media – A Digital Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Social media is one of the most powerful tools in a real estate agent’s toolbox.

In fact, studies show that social media actually has a 100% higher conversion rate than outbound marketing.

An effective social media strategy will help you to build better brand recognition and loyalty. In the process, you’ll also forge real relationships with your customers.

If social media feels like a mystery to you, don’t worry. It’s much simpler than you think. While there’s no “secret sauce,” your best bet is to simply share and connect with people in your community.

Don’t make it salesy. Keep building relationships and using the approach that made you an effective agent in the first place.

2. Help Out Your Clients

Some of the most effective digital marketing is what’s referred to as inbound marketing. With inbound marketing, the goal is to draw customers to you through interesting and helpful content.

Many industries – real estate included – are prime candidates for effective inbound marketing.

Purchasing and maintaining a home are processes that many people find intimidating because there’s so much involved.

As a real estate agent, what information could you provide to buyers, sellers, or homeowners?

Use blog posts, video, and social media to dole out tips and tricks on home buying and selling. This is a great way to let people in your area know that you know what you’re talking about.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital real estate marketing techniques out there. With an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, it’s hard to go wrong with the medium.

Email marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. At its core, email marketing is simply a process of capturing email addresses from prospects and slowly converting them into buyers.

Capturing names is vital, even if it’s just a simple request to “stay in the loop.” If you need inspiration, check out how this site is doing it.

If you want to really take advantage of email marketing, try offering a free guide or discount. Then take them through a series of emails that offer useful information and warm them up to your brand.

Putting It All Together

What digital real estate marketing strategies are you using?

We’ve touched on a few of the most effective digital marketing techniques for realtors, but there are many available.

Get started today by putting these suggestions into practice. You can also browse our site and read more helpful tips about digital marketing.


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5 Exciting Real Estate Technology Trends on the Rise

September 14, 2017 - By 

Are you worried that technology will eventually make real estate agents obsolete?

The good news is that a growing number of buyers continue to hire real estate agents. In fact, in 2016, 87% of buyers worked with an agent.

For agents to continue to be a necessity, understanding real estate technology trends is a must. Realtors® need to be ready to embrace these digital changes.

Want to capitalize on these trends? Want to ensure you’re in the know with the latest and greatest technologies?

If so, we’re here to help!

Read on to learn about 5 real estate technology trends that are on the rise.

1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is widely popular in the gaming industry. The same technology is positioned to change how buyers interact with a home. With the use of VR, buyers can tour a home without stepping foot inside of it.

This will completely change the experience of buying a home.

In the past, buying a home without seeing it physically was risky. VR removes the challenges associated with long-distant home purchasing.

The technology will also allow buyers to experiment with the home. They can choose different styling options, floor plans, and more.

2. Smart Homes

The smart technology industry continues to improve. The idea of a fully automated home is no longer a thing of the past.

With smart technology, home owners can use:

  • Automated door locks
  • On-the-go temperature controls
  • Smart lighting
  • Smart appliances

These devices boost quality of life, home functionality, and improve energy efficiency. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the demand for smart technology is growing.

As a real estate agent, you’ll need to understand and market this technology.

3. Automation

As an agent, most of your daily tasks require a human touch.

You have to create posts on social networks. You have to create emails to keep in touch with prospective clients.

With automation, you can spend less time marketing yourself. Instead, you can dedicate more of your time showing homes.

This trend will make agents more efficient in their daily work.

4. Big Data

How many posts have you seen where friends and family members check into restaurants? While this data seems useless, geographical check-ins are quite useful.

Social media companies, such as Facebook, use this data to tailor digital marketing and advertising. By looking at consumer behavior, companies can determine:

  • Where customers live
  • Potential buying/selling behaviors
  • Income
  • Marital status

As a Realtor®, Facebook is a gold mine of data. You don’t even need to know how to code. You can use social networks to connect with prospective buyers and sellers.

With big data, the days of mass-mailing postcards are of the past.

5. On Demand Services

These days, consumers expect instant gratification. With the click of a button, we can find a local cab or order grocery delivery.

With the continued growth of on demand services, real estate agents need to focus on providing instant gratification.

Instant connections are a must. Consumers want to know that there is an agent from Power House Real Estate who is available to meet within the next 2 hours.

There are several companies, such as CurbCall and the Real app, that are exploring instant real estate services.

Real Estate Technology Trends: Wrap Up

As an agent, staying on top of real estate technology trends is a must. As new digital technology is available, consumers expect Realtors® to be in the know.

As an agent, you’ll also want to embrace digital downloads. At Pligg, you can find a wide variety of downloads.

Our site provides graphics for your real estate website as well as real estate eBooks.

Check out our site today and get to downloading!


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4 Things to Know Before Browsing Property Listings

August 30, 2017 - By 
property listings

Searching for online property listings can be overwhelming. Broadly entering a town or city into a property search engine will produce thousands of results and wide-ranging outcomes.

The good news is that there are tips and tricks that can pave the way for an effective online property search. Prospective buyers and renters can even utilize technology, such as virtual reality, to browse properties from the comfort of home.

Read on to learn 4 things to know before searching property listings.

1) Understand Market Conditions

The housing market is extremely competitive in the United Kingdom.

Market conditions in the U.K. have tightened due to various factors. For one, the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has created uncertainty in the real estate market and made property owners reluctant to sell.

In the latter half of 2016, housing transactions fell by nearly 1%.

As a result of shrinking supply, home prices have increased. At the same time, government regulations have made it harder to secure a mortgage, further dampening the market.

All of these market factors affect a property search. Prospects of securing a mortgage, number of available properties, and pricing trends are all very important to a property search.

For example, market conditions will steer an individual’s decision to buy or rent, or even enter the real estate market at all.

2) Determine the Price Range

Before starting a property search, it is absolutely essential to determine a price range. This may mean a few different things depending on whether the property is being rented or bought.

As alluded to above, it can be difficult to obtain a mortgage. Prospective buyers should contact a mortgage lender before starting a property search and obtain a pre-qualification amount.

If the property is being rented, a thorough analysis of personal finances must

3) Narrow the Number of Property Listings Down to a Reasonable Amount

The best way to do this is to set search criteria. There are a number of variables to tailor a property search to the buyer’s needs.

For instance, how many bathrooms and bedrooms are desired? What is the bare minimum for property size?

Other criteria may be whether the home has a basement or garage. Every prospective buyer or renter has a wish list and any good property search will ultimately be tailored to it.

4) Think Outside the Box

Traditional property search engines are not the only way to buy or rent. There are a number of for sale listing services that features homes from sellers without a real estate agent.

The sellers or landlords take their own photos, are responsible for showings, providing detailed information on the home, and reaching a final agreement on sales price or monthly rent.

One good example is www.heart-is.co.uk, which is a website designed to pair landlords and tenants. If traditional property searches are not producing the desired results, there are other effective options out there.

Wrapping Up

Clearly, there is a lot that goes into a property search. Before beginning, a solid foundation must be laid in order to create an effective search.

If there are any questions, please visit our support area to receive additional assistance.


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5 Moving Checklists to Help If You’re Moving to Tampa

August 24, 2017 - By 
tampa

The word is out about Tampa Bay. In fact, according to a recent article in WalletHub, Tampa ranks number 14 in the best cities to live in the entire country!

That’s the highest of any city in Florida, leaving popular destinations like Miami (which came in at number 54) in its dust.

One of the only downsides of moving to Tampa is that it’s a bit of a hassle getting there. However, with the help of a moving company, you can cross that downside right off of your list.

And speaking of lists, here are five checklists, organized by timeframe, that will help you prepare for the big move:

1) Two Months to Go

Get to know the area. Sure, you’re moving to Tampa, but there’s so much more to it than just the city. They call it “The Bay Area” for a reason. Research other awesome places like St. Petersburg and Ybor City.

If you have kids or plan to some day, get to know the school systems, particularly in your neighborhood. Consider the decision between private and public schooling based on what you’ve been able to determine.

Leave behind clutter. While a moving company will help you with the boxing and hauling process, two months out is a great time to start sorting your stuff into piles of what you plan to bring to your next life, and what you can do without.

2) One Month to Go

Take care of clerical business like an official change-of-address with the Post Office. Do this now. It may seem early still but the next 30 days are going to fly by.

Now is a good time to have the realtor assisting with moving to Tampa send you measurements for the new place. As you begin the packing process you are going to want to know if it’s worth bringing a couch that will never fit through the door.

Find a new primary care physician in the Tampa area and have your records transferred over to their office. If you see specialists, you may want to repeat the process for them as well.

3) Two Weeks to Go

Not to judge, but you probably should have done this already but it ought to be said: If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to give your two-week’s notice to work.

Get a routine car repair. Get the oil changed and the tires rotated, especially if moving to Tampa means a long drive. Keep in mind that Tampa is the fifth most humid major city in the country. Make sure your car is equipped to handle that.

Now is a good time to get on the same page with professional movers, particularly ones who are used to the process of moving to Tampa.

4) One Week to Go

You should hopefully be finished with packing up the house by now. With one week left now is the time to pack your actual suitcases.

Add specifics to boxes to help the moving company like “fragile”, as well as the rooms that the different boxes are meant to go in.

Do a major trip to Goodwill or another charity organization. Donate everything you don’t need that you wouldn’t consider trash.

5) Moving Day

Take stock of everything. Count all the boxes. Make a list of all the furniture. Check this list again in Tampa.

Go over everything above once more to be certain you’ve forgotten nothing. Consider doing this the day before as well.

This is sappy, but take a photo. This will always be your home, no matter how many you have in the future.

The Move to Tampa

The transition to Tampa is an easy one. Between the year-round summer weather, the museums, and the booming job markets, this should be a pretty easy place to find your footing.

With the right attitude, the right checklists, and most importantly the right moving company, your move to Tampa will be a breeze.


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5 Real Estate Books Every Agent Should Own

August 18, 2017 - By 
Real estate

Every successful real estate agent has a collection of real estate books they swear by.

A good book can be a treasure chest to anybody looking for business success. In it, one can find the secrets of going from a struggling salesperson to a multi-millionaire.

Reading the right books can be the difference between success and failure. Make sure to check out these brilliant guides to the world of real estate.

Think And Grow Rich

Whether they’re looking for a vacation in Italy or a ticket to the NBA finals, everybody wants to be rich. For a person with the drive, Napoleon Hill’s best seller can make it happen.

The book places a lot of emphasis on visualizing success. This is something every real estate agent does: after all, how can your prospects picture living in a house until you can?

There’s a reason so many people in so many fields have brought this book: because it’s a great way to become a financial success.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Today’s world is almost entirely based on the first half of this book. After all, isn’t it independence that leads people to find creative ways to make money online?

But beyond its three independence-based behaviors, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers a roadmap to success through interdependence. Real estate can be incredibly collaborative: a book that gives agents a road map to succeeding together is essential.

How To Win Friends And Influence People

You’ve probably been there: you’re in the process of making a sale and your prospect finds a flaw in the house. Maybe it’s major, maybe it’s minor.

Either way, it ends with you hearing that most dreaded phrase in the world of sales: “we’ll think about it.”

One of the reasons Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece is one of the most important real estate books on the planet is that it’s devoted to helping you overcome that speed bump. If you follow its advice, you’ll vastly increase your sales numbers.

Real estate is about influence. That makes this book absolutely essential.

Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard

The ups-and-downs of the market make real estate a tough industry. One minute, you’re selling houses like a pro. The next, the market crashes and you don’t know what to do.

The most successful real estate agents are prepared to deal with changes. It’s the way so many survived the 2008 Real Estate Crisis while so many others floundered in the face of change.

It’s not easy to adjust to a changing market. Read this book to make it easier.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

Hyperbolic title aside, Gary Keller’s book is about more than just making money. It’s about constant improvement in real estate.

What separates good real estate books from bad ones is their purpose. While most claim they will make you more wealthy, this one provides a road map to making that wealth possible.

More Real Estate Books

Reading is one of the best ways to succeed in real estate. While no book will make you an instant millionaire, there are plenty to help you help yourself.

You can find these books and more at an affordable price. Browse this extensive collection of E-books and audiobooks to make it happen.


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Is VR Real Estate Tech Really an Industry Game Changer?

August 17, 2017 - By 
Virtual Reality VR Realty

Virtual reality (VR) technology has taken the world by storm.

While it may have gotten off to a shaky start, some estimates say the market will pull in $108 billion by 2021.

Plus, companies like YouTube and Google are now jumping in on the trend. This makes it a great reason to see what it can do for your real estate business.

VR has the power to change the world of real estate. Keep reading to find out why, and to get an update on the latest VR real estate trends.

Why VR is Changing Real Estate

VR is a business-changing trend in more sectors than just real estate. It has the capability of shaking up almost every industry.

For real estate, the implications are especially huge.

This is because it removes the location-related problems you face every day. VR has the power to make the wide world of real estate a little smaller—and easier to manage.

The Latest VR Real Estate Trends

Conducting Walk-Throughs Long-Distance

The possibility of long-distance walk-throughs is perhaps the most exciting VR real estate trend.

Thanks to this immersive technology, you can walk prospective buyers through a home even if they’re located thousands of miles away.

That means no more rushed scouting trips for stressed-out buyers trying to plan their move. You get more time to find them the perfect property, and they get a better buying experience.

That’s just one way to close more deals through VR.

Using Headsets to Fill a Space

Some buyers are just not that gifted when it comes to imagining the potential of a space.

All it takes is a mismatched paint color or outdated flooring to turn them off to an otherwise perfect property.

That’s where VR comes in. Just pop on a headset and switch out the features your buyers don’t like. That way, buyers can really picture themselves in the home and not get distracted by bad wallpaper or an outdated light fixture.

This can be especially helpful for large commercial properties. An empty floor may not look like much at first. However, if you can use VR to fill it with a contemporary open office layout, it may make the difference in your sale.

Embracing Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is another fun outgrowth of VR technology.

This type of tech overlays extra details or more information for viewers, usually through the use of an app. That’s great news if you’re reluctant to purchase VR equipment for your company.

Instead, your buyers could have instant access to stats like appliance age, property tax history, and any recent repairs.

They can do it all through an app on their phones. You could even embed a QR code on your for sale signs that gives passersby a virtual one-sheet—instantly.

Connecting with Customers Online

Maintaining a healthy online presence goes hand-in-hand with embracing VR. If your buyers can virtually view a property online, they should also be able to take the next steps in the transaction in an online environment.

This is especially true for rental companies. For example, thanks to an up-to-date website, no matter where you are in the world, making a down payment or booking rentals in Whistler is easy.

Stay Up to Date on Everything Tech

At Pligg, we offer insights, courses, and deals for everything new in the tech world.

With our help, you can become a pioneer in augmented reality in no time. Visit Pligg today to stay plugged into our changing digital world.


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5 Surefire Ways to Rapidly Sell Your House

August 7, 2017 - By 
sell your house

When it comes to selling your home, the first ten days are the most important. The longer that your home sits on the market, the less likely it is that it will sell without you having to drop your asking price.

The longer a home sits unsold, the more likely buyers are to wonder why it’s not selling. They will think there is something wrong with it that’s driving other buyers away.

That is why it’s so important to sell your home quickly. These tips will make sure you sell your home lightning fast!

1. Store that Clutter!

Buyers are way more likely to be interested in an uncluttered home. Shelves and tables overflowing with clutter make the rooms in your home feel smaller.

This also goes for extra furniture. While you may get good use out of the extra seating and end tables in your living room, too much furniture makes rooms feel cramped.

Consider putting some of your extra things into storage while you are showing your home.

2. Clean Homes Sell Faster

Your home should be spotless for every showing. Dirty floors or a moldy shower can actually lower the price that buyers are willing for your home.

A messy or dirty environment puts buyers in a bad mood and makes them think more negatively about your home.

3. Stage Your Home Inside and Out

Once you’ve tidied and cleaned, it’s time to stage your home.

Staging basically gives your home a makeover. You need to redecorate in a way that is appealing to buyers.

This can include repainting rooms in more neutral tones. You can buy cheap decorations such as flowers, fruit, and decorative soaps and towels for the bathrooms.

Staging your home’s outside is also important. Planters with bright flowers, a well-mown lawn, and good outdoor lighting all make your home look great. Some quick landscaping can make potential buyers feel more positive about your home before they even open the front door.

4. Have an Open Schedule

The more opportunity for people to come see your home, the more likely it will be sold.

You should try to have a very flexible, open viewing schedule. Weekends are absolutely key. It’s when most people will want to view homes, so make sure you are completely available.

It may be frustrating to have to organize your schedule around viewings but remember: if you sell your home fast, it won’t be a problem for long.

5. Price Your Home Competitively

You might be wondering, “What’s the most important tip to sell my house now?”

Competitive pricing.

Pricing a house too high will turn off many potential buyers. If they think it is out of their budget range, they won’t bother coming for a viewing.

A house with an attractive price, on the other hand, brings in more viewings. And when you’ve used the above tips to stage your house, buyers who have fallen in love with your home will submit competing offers.

Find an agent who can market a competitive price without dropping too low. You still want to sell your home for as much as possible!

Bringing It All Together

These five tips are key to selling your home fast. An open viewing schedule and competitive pricing will entice buyers. Clearing clutter, cleanliness, and a well-staged home will make them fall in love.

With the right agent and the right attitude, you can start getting ready to sell your home fast, today!


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3 Things to Absolutely Avoid Doing When Selling a House

July 17, 2017 - By 

If being a first time home buyer is an exciting first step to building a life, being a first time home seller is a new and stressful event you might have never expected.

Selling a house involves a lot of stress and considerations. Because of that, it’s easy to make small mistakes.

But even small mistakes can add up. And some of them can stop you from ever selling your house for what it’s worth.

The sooner your house is sold, the sooner you can focus on moving into your new house and starting your new life.

That means you absolutely cannot afford to delay. Every decision needs to be the right one.

So if you’re putting your house on the market, you need to remember these tips.

Don’t Mess Up Your Presentation

If your focus is selling a house fast, that means you should do everything you can to entice future buyers of your home.

Presentation is absolutely essential to making a sale. People don’t want to buy a house if during the tour they see it as beat up, filled with old furniture, and foul smelling.

And though you may think some of the clutter in your kitchen shows that your house is lived in, the human mind is more simple.

When you’re trying to sell your house, remember to make it look and smell perfect.

That means moving old furniture into the garage, showing your house’s storage potential to buyers, and using scents like vanilla and citrus to make people happy the moment they set foot in your house.

Don’t Get Killed on Commission

If you’re selling your house for $200,000, you probably want the full $200,000 for it.

But the average real estate broker will make that difficult with the high commission rates that have become standard in the industry.

With the average 6 percent rate given to brokers, the sale of a house for $200,000 will net you a less-than-impressive $188,000.

Look for companies that will buy your house or help you sell without demanding high commission or fees.

Organizations like Global Citizens HQ provide a platform that connects home sellers and investment property buyers without demanding a commission fee.

Don’t Celebrate Selling a House Until It’s Over

When your house is under contract, it’s easy to celebrate having made a sale right away.

Unfortunately, being under contract doesn’t mean you’re going to close.

Although 75% of homes under contract make it to closing, that still means a quarter of all houses under contract are not closed upon in that deal.

There are a number of reasons for this. Bank issues, problems with your timeline, or property issues that are out of your hands can all torpedo your deal.

This doesn’t mean you’re going back to square one. Often times these disputes can be resolved over time. But celebrating prematurely can leave you unprepared for the coming weeks or months in your home.

So keep your head on straight and remember: it ain’t over ’till it’s over.

 


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A Complete Guide for First Time Home Buyers

June 28, 2017 - By 
couple with keys

Taking the plunge to buy a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in life. Of course, it’s a hectic process, but those who are financially organized and prepared will get through it more easily.

Before buying a home, it’s important to determine your long term goals and see how the ownership of a home fits into those goals.

Experts usually advise first-time buyers to find a home when they’re ready to settle down and need at a place to live for at least five years. Plus, it helps to be financially ready when making this move.

If you’re unsure about the specifics of buying a first-time house, here is a simple home buyers guide to help with that.

1. Financial Readiness Is Important

Before house hunting, find out how much a lender will be willing to give you to purchase your first home. Some factors that will affect your mortgage include job history, monthly income, and current debts.

Also, you need to clarify how much you can afford when applying for a mortgage. The lender will require you to have a good credit score and a history of making timely bill payments.

Typically, getting pre-approved for a loan is important before placing an offer on a potential home.

2. Finding a Home

First, identify the location where you would like to live. Checking the prices of comparable homes in that particular area helps to get an idea of the potential monthly mortgage payments.

Consider getting the help of a real estate agent to help with the search, especially if you don’t much about the area. It’s not advisable to walk into an open house without an agent. You should look for a house that you can add value to. This will boost your equity.

If the house meets those big requirements, such as size and location, it’s never advisable to reject it due to a few physical flaws that can be fixed over time.

3. Home Inspection

When you finally have a few potential options, enlist the help of a home inspector to check the plumbing, flooring, roofing, walls, and basement of the home. Some homes might appear flawless but have several problems that a professional inspection will help to identify.

The overall safety, quality, and condition of a home are important. An inspection will help to know the possible repairs that a house needs if you settle for it. In some cases, it can give you a reason not to buy the home.

If the home needs repairs, a buyer can use this as a bargaining edge to get a discounted price or ask the seller to make the repairs.

4. Making an Offer and Closing

At this point, a professional real estate agent will help to determine the amount you should offer for the new house. The seller can accept or issue a counter-offer. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the seller to get a price you think it’s reasonable for the house.

Remember to factor in the closing costs (roughly 2 to 5 percent of the home price), immediate repairs, and commuting costs. The closing process involves signing a lot of paperwork, and a real estate agent serves as a home buyers guide to help you understand all the relevant details.

Getting a home appraisal and private mortgage insurance might also be necessary.

Home Buyers Guide – The Bottom Line

Buying a home can be an intimidating process for first-time homebuyers who are unsure about their options. As long as you have reasonable debts, a good credit score, and a solid job history, there are different conventional FHA VA loans you can qualify for.

Sometimes all it takes to get a new home is a preparedness and adequate due diligence. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio and factor in the down payment to determine how much you can afford to pay upfront every month.

When you’re ready, compare mortgage rates from different lenders, get pre-approved, and hit the market to find your new home.


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5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying A New House

June 27, 2017 - By 
Buying a house

Buying a home is often one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life.

That’s why it is imperative to do as much research as possible before buying.

Here are 5 things that will help any potential home buyer to understand this monumental purchase.

1) Ask Yourself: Is Buying Right for You?

While buying a house might seem like one of life’s major stepping stones, it is by no means a requirement.

There are many benefits to owning a home. There is the financial investment, the potential for being cheaper than renting, and the stability of payments.

But there are cons as well. It’s a huge, long-term commitment with not a lot of flexibility.

A homeowner can expect to pay a lot in interest, repairs, maintenance, and renovations.

How important is mobility to you? Does buying make sense financially? Will you be able to afford the extra expenses?

Understand the pros and cons, evaluate your personal priorities, and then make the decision on whether to buy or not.

2) Learn Everything You Can

If you decide that buying is the right choice, it’s time to do your research.

First, you have to find a location that meets all your needs (present and future).

Once you find a house that you love, it’s time to do some digging.

Find out how long it’s been on the market, the house’s sales history, copies of bills (think taxes, insurance, etc), how long previous owners lived there, and any other relevant information you can think of.

You should know all about the house itself, but also about how the buying process works. There are numerous resources to help you understand the complicated process of buying a home.

With a purchase this big, you can never know too much.

3) Understand Your Financials

Buying a home is a huge investment.

You need to understand what you can afford, how much you have saved, what sorts of loans you need, and what interest rates you could face.

To get the best mortgage rates you should have good credit and a reliable income.

Keep in mind that providing a down payment can reduce your mortgage payments and decrease your interest rate.

Get used to creating and living on a budget before you commit to a mortgage and homeownership.

4) Think in the Long Term

Understanding your financials and your priorities should extend into the future, not just your current situation.

Do you plan on starting a family? How much other debt do you have to think about? Do you have job security? Is this house the house you will want in 10 years?

For a long-term commitment such as buying a house, it takes a long-term understanding of your priorities.

5) Use a Realtor

Obviously, this whole process can get confusing and overwhelming.

There are many real estate companies that can provide you with advice and guidance.

These companies and realtors can help in a myriad of ways.

They can:

  • Find potential homes
  • Have knowledge of certain areas
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Give guidance and advice
  • Understand market conditions
  • Handle paperwork
  • Answer your questions

Bottom Line

Buying a home is exciting, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming all at once.

Hopefully, some of these tips will help you in your process of becoming a homeowner.

 


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Here’s Why Your Real Estate Closing Could Be Delayed

March 22, 2017 - By 
under contract

Don’t pop the celebratory champagne yet. You may think you’ve sold your house and it’s time to start packing. However, only 75% of houses that are under contract make it to actual closing. Why is this? And

Why is this? And what does under contract mean?

Simply put, if the house is under contract, that means the buyer and the seller are under a binding contract with each other and committed to the transaction under the conditions listed in the contract.

However, when those conditions are not met, the contract falls apart and may not make it to closing. This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is far from the case.

Here are 3 of the most common things that can delay your closing, even when under contract.

Bank Appraisal

This is one of the most common (and certainly one of the most frustrating) delays for everybody involved.

The buyer and the seller work hard and battle back-and-forth. After a certain amount of tug-of-war, they agree on a price. Everything is wonderful, right? Wrong.

The bank steps in and does their appraisal, and decides that the house needs thousands of dollars in repairs before they can agree the house is worth the figure that you worked so hard to arrive at.

Sadly, there is almost nothing you can do. All you can do is work with a realtor who will stay in constant communication, and make sure the bank appraisal is done in a timely fashion, so any issues can be addressed.

Unrealistic Timelines

There is some unfortunate irony here. If you try to close your house too quickly, you may delay the process in a big way.

This can often happen with some of your more motivated buyers or sellers. Maybe somebody needs to move quickly because they landed a new job, or they’re having a baby, or maybe there’s a family illness and they need to relocate. In any case, they need to close and they need to do it in 30 days.

To properly close a deal, you really need 45 to 60 days. Trying to do it in less time (say 30 days) is possible, but not realistic enough to count on. It can lead to sloppy work, or poor communication.

Instrument Survey Discrepancies

Again. This is massively frustrating. Everything looks great, and then a survey is performed on the property, and you realize that your garden is, technically speaking, encroaching into your neighbor’s property. This is bad.

These issues can’t be solved until the included parties sign an affidavit to indicate the consent and understanding of the dispute or encroachments. This takes time… Time that you would rather spend living in your new home.

As you can see, a lot of these problems come from out of nowhere and it’s hard to predict them. In most cases, you can’t predict them. But, what you can do is work with an experienced realtor who knows how to properly budget, time, and set realistic expectations. Assuming a storm is coming is the best way to prepare for one.


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Rent vs. Buy a Home: How to Know Which is Best for You

March 8, 2017 - By 
Home loan repayment calculator

The thought of moving into a home is bound to be exciting.

However, you may be unsure whether to take out a mortgage or rent a property, and that’s understandable. Both options are a big personal and financial commitment.

And, each option will have different advantages and disadvantages, so it is important you review them carefully to make an informed decision.

The Advantages of a Mortgage

The biggest benefit of taking out a mortgage is the fact you will own the property. That means you can design and decorate it any way you choose.

It may also be worth buying your own home if you plan to remain in the property for five years or more. By staying in the home for a lengthy time, you will are more likely to recoup the transaction costs at a future date.

It also is important to note you will be required to put down a deposit on the property, with many banks requesting a minimum deposit of 20%.

So, if you have considerable savings in the bank or the means to save a 20% deposit, you could be an ideal candidate for a mortgage.

If you are lucky enough to find a mortgage with a low-interest rate, you will decrease the amount of money you will have to repay on the loan, so it could be a worthy investment.

If you would like to learn more about a property’s mortgage rates, we recommend using a home loan repayment calculator to estimate your minimum monthly repayments and the amount of interest you will need to pay.

However, if you choose to rent, those monthly payments will go straight to the landlord instead. They will likely use the money to pay the mortgage on the property. So how can it be better to rent?

The Advantages of Renting

After reading about the advantages of a mortgage, you may have decided whether purchasing a property is the right financial path for you.

However, it is important to note that there are many benefits to renting, too.

Buying a mortgage can be expensive. Not only will you be tied to minimum monthly repayments, but you will also be required to put down a deposit on the property.

Renting can be a more affordable alternative to a mortgage, as people with limited funding can move into a property without the lengthy financial commitment.

It may also be worth renting a property if you are unsure about your current employment situation.

If you are currently fearing redundancy or believe you may soon be parting ways with the company, stop. Right now might not be the best time to embark on a big financial commitment like home buying.

Also, if you are currently experiencing a life transition, such as a divorce, it could be a wise move to initially rent a property over buying a new home.

Conclusion

There are many pros for renting or buying a property. The decision will be determined by your personal and financial circumstances, as well as your own risk tolerance.

Just ensure you are 100% confident in your decision before you sign on any dotted line.


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Looking to Sell Your House Fast? 6 Things to do First

February 9, 2017 - By 
how to sell a house fast

Selling your home can take ages. Sellers can expect to show the home to at least 20 potential buyers before the offers start coming in, and even then it’s not a done deal.

That’s why lots of people look to sell their home quick. You’re busy enough as it is without trying to juggle tons of viewings.

So how can you speed up the selling process? We’ve got a few great tips!

Get Cleaning

The cleanliness of your home during viewings is crucial. If your home is cluttered or dirty, it will give viewers a negative impression.

If your house is dirty or cluttered, it can actually knock thousands of dollars off of its market value. This means you’ll be waiting longer for an offer you’ll accept.

Minimize the Personal Touches

You may think that having family photos, children’s drawings or other personal decorations will make your home seem more attractive to families. Wouldn’t buyers want to know the home was great for your family?

In actuality, very personal decorations make buyers less interested. They want to imagine themselves in the home while they are viewing it. Seeing pictures of another family breaks this illusion.

Paint It Like a Show Home

Repaint the rooms in your home to be more neutral tones. This makes sure that buyers are focused on the actual rooms, rather than the walls.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about color choices turning off buyers.

A bit of paint also goes a long way when it comes to sprucing up doorframes and runners. Pay special attention to your front door. It will be everyone’s first impression.

Clear Out The Furniture

If your furniture is oversized, or you simply have too much of it, it can make your space seem much smaller.

Reducing the amount of furniture in each room during your viewings can help your home sell faster.

Show Off Your Storage

Resist the urge to hide your clutter away when potential buyers come for a viewing. Buyers are going to be interested in the storage space available.

This means you need to clean and organize all your closets so they are presentable.

Don’t Forget Scent

The way your home smells can have a huge effect on what buyers think of your home.

Make sure that you don’t cook anything that smells too strong before a viewing — no tuna!

The smell of cleaning products is okay, but to really entice buyers you want it to smell homey. Try baking cookies, or lighting a scented candle while you prepare for the viewing.

Get Landscaping

It’s not just the inside of your home that matters.

Your front yard will be the first thing that buyers see of your home. If they aren’t impressed,  they will already be starting the viewing on a negative note.

So make sure that the outside of your home sparkles!

Wrapping Up

These tips will help you get your home sold faster.

Looking to sell without all the hassle? Good news: we buy houses, Houston!

Get your cash offer today and see how quickly you can sell!