Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 3/13/2018

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 

First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  

Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.

Good Communicator

A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  

Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices

Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 2/27/2018

When it comes to buying a house, it usually pays to be flexible. Because if you take a flexible approach to the real estate market, you'll be open to checking out dozens of residences and can improve your chances of finding a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Although flexibility can play an important role in a successful homebuying journey, buyers sometimes struggle with stubbornness. Fortunately, we're here to help you become a flexible homebuyer who can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a flexible homebuyer.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The real estate market constantly fluctuates, and a sector that favors buyers one day may favor sellers the next. However, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can pounce at the opportunity to acquire your dream residence, regardless of when that opportunity presents itself.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may prove to be a quick, seamless process. Typically, you'll want to meet with local banks and credit unions and learn about a wide range of mortgage options. Once you have mortgage information, you can select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

Remember, pre-approval for a mortgage opens the door for a successful homebuying experience. It can help you establish a budget for your dream home by providing you with a set amount that you can spend on a residence. As a result, after you find an ideal house that falls within your price range, you'll have the flexibility to move quickly to acquire this residence.

2. Consider Houses in a Variety of Cities and Towns

Evaluate your homebuying goals – you'll be glad you did. If you understand where you want to live, you can explore houses in a variety of cities and towns that fit your criteria.

For example, if you want to live near family members or friends in a particular area, you can narrow your home search accordingly. Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to live in the same city or town as these loved ones. Instead, you can search for houses in assorted cities and towns near your loved ones and ensure you're never too far away from them.

On the other hand, if you want to buy a home that is close to your office in the city, it may be worthwhile to consider houses both inside and outside the city itself. City living generally is more expensive than living in the suburbs, so you'll want to assess your finances closely before you buy a city house. Or, if you prefer small town living, you can always purchase a more affordable residence outside the city and take public transportation to work.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to help you become a flexible homebuyer. In fact, this housing market professional will offer expert guidance during the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you evaluate many houses and ensure that you can find one that suits you perfectly.

Ready to pursue your dream house? Consider the aforementioned tips, and you can enter the real estate market as a flexible homebuyer.

Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 2/20/2018

The home buying process can be long and daunting. From trying to find the right home to facing rejected offers, it can seem endless. Eventually, you will find the right home and get that offer accepted. Now you must face the next phase what’s called “closing” on a home. What exactly happens at the closing table can vary based on your own situation, but the important thing to know is that the closing table is where the deal is sealed and signed. The home of your dreams will finally be yours!

Find The Location

The location of the closing will be determined beforehand. It’s usually at a lawyer’s office but it could be at a realtor’s office. The attorney who has been chosen will be noted on the closing documents you receive before you get there.   

Get Ready To Write Large Checks

When you’re closing on a home, this is the time that the downpayment is expected along with all of the lawyer’s fees, taxes, commissions, assessments, and other agreements. This money should be presented at the time of closing and there’s no wiggle room on the timing, so be sure you have the cash handy in your account. Often, a bank check will be required to pay these fees along with the downpayment. Your lender will give a a detailed report of the fees that are required before you even head to the closing table, so you’ll have time to prepare.

Do Some Hand Stretches

There will be plenty of pens available at the closing. You’ll be there for awhile signing many important documents, so bring some water. If you don’t have a safe or file folders, you’ll want to get them as well. Depending on how your closing is conducted, a lawyer or other authorized person will be present to explain the legal jargon to you for every piece of paper that you’re signing. Every document that you sign should be saved for your reference and safe keeping. The proof of insurance and the deed to your property are definitely documents that you’ll want to have handy for a long time to come. Your home is one of the largest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so be sure to keep that paperwork in order. 

After Closing Ends

After all of the papers are signed and the walkthrough of the home is complete, you’re a homeowner! In most cases, you’ll be able to call the home your own immediately. In some special cases, there are post-closing agreements that include repairs that couldn’t be done ahead of time, or other transactions that the seller may have agreed with you on at an earlier date. 

In most cases, everything will be taken care of right at the closing table. One of the most exciting moments is when the keys are handed over to you! After a long time of searching, many phone calls, and a lot of work, now you can start putting that elbow grease into your home!

Categories: Buying a Home  

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 1/23/2018

Let's face it – no one wants to deal with a long, arduous homebuying process. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of acquiring your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can enjoy a hassle-free home shopping experience.

1. Consider What You Want from Your Dream House

What separates an ordinary house from a dream residence? The answer to this question varies depending on the homebuyer, and how you answer the question may dictate your homebuying success.

If you enter the housing market with a list of home must-haves, you'll be better equipped than other property buyers to streamline the homebuying process. Thus, you should think about your home must-haves and wants closely.

Differentiate home must-haves from wants – you'll be glad you did. For example, if you have kids, you may need to find a house that's located near top schools. On the other hand, you may want to own a home with a swimming pool. But if you find a top-notch house that offers plenty of great features but lacks a swimming pool, you might not shy away from submitting an offer on this residence.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you should have no trouble finding a house that won't force you to break your budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with local banks and credit unions. These lenders can outline the mortgage approval process and provide you with a variety of mortgage options.

Furthermore, if you have mortgage questions, banks and credit unions are available to provide expert responses. These lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals who can help you make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a house, it pays to receive comprehensive assistance. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you acquire your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with buying a home. However, this housing market professional also knows exactly what it takes to overcome myriad homebuying challenges.

For instance, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent throughout the homebuying cycle. By doing so, a real estate agent can help a buyer get the best price on a residence without the hassle of a stressful negotiation.

Let's not forget about the extensive homebuying expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands all stages of the homebuying process and is happy to share his or her insights with a property buyer. Therefore, if you ever have homebuying questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

There is no need to deal with an anxiety-ridden homebuying process. Take advantage of the aforementioned homebuying tips, and you can keep things simple as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  

Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 1/16/2018

If you plan to buy a house and want to achieve the optimal results, you should perform a home inspection. In fact, there are many reasons why you should allocate significant time and resources to conduct an in-depth house inspection, and these include:

1. You can gain unprecedented insights into a home's condition.

Although you might have fallen in love with a house when you first saw it, a home inspection may make you rethink your decision to purchase a residence. To better understand why this may be the case, let's consider an example.

If you conduct a home inspection and discover a wide range of problems with a house, you have a tough choice to make. In this scenario, you can continue with a home purchase as planned. Or, you may be able to make a viable argument that a seller should perform assorted house repairs or reduce his or her sale price based on the inspection results.

Ultimately, a home inspection provides you with insights that you may struggle to gain anywhere else. And if you perform an extensive home inspection, you may reap the benefits of this evaluation for years to come.

2. You can avoid the risk of paying too much to acquire your ideal residence.

As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything possible to get the best price on a house. But even if you conduct real estate market research, you risk spending too much on a house if you ignore a home inspection.

With a house inspection, you can learn about various home problems, along with the costs associated with such issues. Then, you can use this information to determine whether your initial offer is sufficient, or whether you should request a reduced home price based on a residence's condition.

3. You can limit the possibility of costly home repairs.

Thanks to a home inspection, you can identify home issues that otherwise may lead to costly repairs down the line. You then can use this information to decide whether you can complete myriad home repairs on your own, or whether professional support is needed to perform house improvements. And if you are overwhelmed by the costs associated with many potential home repairs, you can always walk away from a home sale at this time.

Clearly, there are many reasons to perform a home inspection before you finalize a house purchase. If you hire an expert real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you prepare for a home inspection too.

A real estate agent is happy to put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you and is ready to provide guidance throughout the evaluation. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can meet with you after a house inspection, go over the inspection results with you and help you make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase.

JoAnn M. Drabble