Keller Williams Innovation, Brokerage
Whether you are not married, just married, and been married for a number a years, it is always good to have a place you call home. What better to do, then to own that home as well. So, a question to ask you is...
Are You Looking To Purchase Your First Home?
I know that some people choose to purchase their first home together before getting, while others wait until after getting married, and some need to wait a bit longer to be able to purchase for the first time. No matter the case, you need a Realtor to help you along the way. Shameless plug, but my husband is the best Realtor to help you in every way possible to be able to get you well on your way to purchasing your home.
The decision to purchase your first home is one of the biggest and best decisions you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest (and most emotional) investment most people will ever make. So, how do you know if it's the right time for you to buy your first home?
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding a good buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.
A home purchase is an important step in the path to long-term wealth. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that provides specific financial advantages, including equity buildup, value appreciation potential and tax benefits. It's also an automatic savings plan that you cannot get from renting!
Here's the most important rule for keeping your stress to a minimum: you don't have to know everything. Your Keller Williams agent is ready to help you through every step of the process.
Step 2: Hire Your Agent. When you're looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help you make your dream come true.
A great real estate agent will:
Educate you about the current conditions of market.
Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
Coordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
Negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
Solve any problems that may arise.
Step 3: Secure Financing. Ultimately, your lender will pre-approve you for a certain amount, but YOU will decide what you're comfortable paying every month. Remember, your lender only sees your finances on paper. It's up to you to decide how much you're willing to stretch your budget in order to get into your dream home.
Be sure to follow these six steps to financing your home:
Choose a loan officer.
Make a loan application and get pre-approved.
Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer agreement.
Get an appraisal and commitment.
Obtain funding at closing.
Step 4: Find Your Home. So you are pre-approved and ready to begin your search. But how or where do you begin? There are a lot of homes out there and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. A great agent will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
What do I want my home to be close to?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighbourhood stability a priority?
Would I be interested in a condo?
What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
You'll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Step 5: Make an Offer. Once you've found a home you love, the next step is making a compelling offer. While emotions are probably in high gear once you've found a home you love, it's important to remember that a home is an investment. Your agent will research similar properties in the neighbourhood to help you determine the market value, and fair price, for your home. Look to your agent to explain and guide you through the offer process.
The three basic components of your purchase offer are price, terms and conditions.
Price is the dollar amount you are approved for, willing and able to pay.
Terms cover the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Conditions that allow you to do your due diligence; ie. financing and home inspection.
Step 6: Perform Due Diligence. Just because you love a particular property doesn't mean that it's perfect. In fact, this is where reason has to trump emotion. You'll need to have a property inspection (which we highly recommend you attend) that may expose hidden issues.
Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage. This can come from water damage, shifting ground, or poor construction when the house was built.
Don't sweat the small stuff. It's the inspector's job to mark everything discovered no matter how large or small. The inspectors report may be long, but, things that are easily fixed can be overlooked for the time being.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist and if the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you may want to consider your options.
Step 7: Close. Once you've made your offer and have completed the inspection process, you're in the "home" stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don't put your closing date, or your mortgage at risk, you have a few pre-closing responsibilities that you'll need to be mindful of. These include:
Staying in control of your credit and finances. If you are tempted to make any large purchases during this time, it's best to talk to your lender first.
Keeping in touch with your agent and lender, returning all phone calls and completing paperwork promptly.
Communicating with your agent at least once or twice a week, and verifying with your lender that all mortgage funding steps are completed.
Step 8: Protect Your Investment. Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, but just like any big process, there's a maintenance plan! It's now your responsibility, and in your best financial interest, to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home's systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear.
And remember, just because the sale is complete, your relationship with your agent doesn't need to end! After closing, your agent can still help you – providing information for your tax returns, finding contractors and repair services, and even tracking your home's current market value.
Selling a Home
Getting ready to get into the real-estate market?Most sellers today are nervous and unsure. They wonder: How do I prepare my home for sale most effectively?
Your Strategic Sales Plan.
Consult with an expert, local real estate agent to ensure your house is priced competitively and well-staged. Why? Because while there are always three factors to getting a home sold—location, price, and condition—only two are under your control: price and condition. Of the two, which is more significant? Price. Remember that price will correct bad condition, but condition will never overcome a bad price.
Act fast. You’re in a race against time—the best price you’ll get in today’s market is the one you get now. If you wait, it will be lower. And every month the price on your home decreases, your costs remain the same. For example, Keller Williams research shows that sellers who listed their home at the price the agent originally recommended, sold the home 38 days faster. This is over a month of mortgage and tax payments! For a home that cost $200,000 at time of purchase, with 20 percent down and an interest rate of 6.5 percent, selling a month sooner results in a savings of $1101.31 for the mortgage alone, not including the taxes and insurance that the homeowner would be paying during this time.
Don’t think about where the market has been, keep your focus on where it is going. The price your neighbour down the street got six months ago is not relevant in a market where your house is competing with others from all across town. Again, a local real estate agent will have the kind of long-term, wide-ranging data that will help you decide how to pinpoint your price with precision.
Your Smart Buy.
Move up. Whether you are moving to an area where prices are in a downturn, or dreaming of nicer, bigger, home in your own town, selling your house now can get you into the home of your dreams. Falling home prices are a great opportunity for a savvy homeowner looking to move up. Even though your house price may be lower, the smaller loss at sale can be made up by greater savings at purchase. For example, let’s take that same $200,000 home, and imagine that it has decreased in value by 5 percent, reducing the sales price to $190,000. At the same time, let’s imagine that you would like to move up and the $400,000 home you have been eyeing has also decreased by 5 percent. That’s a savings of $20,000, and it is a home that is likely to be better positioned for appreciation when the market rebounds.
Bottom line: don’t pit yourself against the market, work with the market to get the most out of your house sale.
I know that not everybody is able to purchase a home, especially if you have just had a wedding and all the expenses associated with your wedding. If leasing (renting) is a better option for you at the moment, I can also assist with that. I know that some Realtors wont bother with helping people find a rental. but I am happy to help you in any way I can.