4 Common Pitfalls To Purchasing A Foreclosure Property

Due to the mortgage crisis that our country faced over the last several years, there are continually more and more foreclosure properties that are being put up for sale everywhere you turn. Of course, this can be very tempting for homebuyers as people can sometimes get properties for 30% or even less on the dollar.
However, if you are considering a foreclosure property for your next purchase, then there are some common pitfalls that you will need to avoid along the way to protect yourself and your future asset. Let’s review some areas to be aware of before making any serious offers.
1. Avoid Making Emotional Offers: When you are planning on putting a bid down on a property, you need to be extremely confident with the home’s current condition, its true market value, and what will be needed to fully restore the property.
Too many buyers will think that they found a slamming deal and fear that they will lose the home to another bidder. So instead of taking the time to truly do their homework and complete the proper inspections and analysis, they can end up locking up a property for more than it’s actually worth.
2. Estimate Neighborhood Values: Consider what other comparable properties are selling for and talk to a real estate agent who has a working knowledge of the area. In fact, it’s a wise decision to thoroughly review these questions and any other recommendations your Realtor may make:

  • Is this neighborhood a desirable location and how are crime rates?
  • What schools would be available for my kids or future buyers?
  • Were there any other foreclosures or investor sales that could negatively affect the future value of my home?
  • How long do I plan on living there and how could that affect things?
  • What type of appreciation should I expect?

3. Get Preapproved: Before you even start looking at homes, you must get preapproved on a mortgage in order to know exactly what you can afford. Sadly, many buyers can miss out on some phenomenal deals or spend hours of wasted time because they avoid this step. Show banks that you are a serious buyer and have your financing in place!

4. Get Professional Help: Not only should you seek the expertise and of an experienced Realtor, but you may also need guidance from a real estate attorney or financial consultant as well. Each professional can ensure that you are making the right choices throughout the process and can protect you from any issues you may come across along the way.

Remember that there is a lot more than meets the eye when you are trying to buy a foreclosure property. Negotiating with the banks, filling out paperwork properly, and undergoing all the necessary inspections can be a very detailed and tedious procedure.
Therefore, we encourage you to give us a call today to get started. Our agents have years of experience assisting other clients with buying foreclosures for their next home or investment property. Discover how we can help you to make a smart and profitable investment as well!

Get The Best Price On Your Next Home Purchase!

One of the most important aspects to buying a home is to ensure that you purchase for a fair price. Since there are certain key steps that you must follow in order to make a sound decision, it pays to have a knowledgeable Realtor on your side who will be able to help obtain the best and most realistic asking price for a property.

Determining Market Comparables

For example, one of the first ways that your agent will discover the price of a home is by researching local market comparables. In most cases, they will be able to bring up a list of properties sold over the last 6 months within a 1 mile radius. Properties should also not be bigger than 20% of the subject size.
Additional features to consider would be the neighborhood each home resides in, structural differences, bedrooms and bathrooms, overall condition and other amenities such as a pool, a/c, or garage. Other factors, such as if a particular home sold for much lower due to foreclosure is something your agent can uncover as well.

Houses That Have Not Sold

Next, many homes could be on the MLS for 6 months or longer without ever selling. Others that are comparable could have been taken off the market after not getting enough offers or being listed for too high. This is valuable information, because you may be able to get a particular property for a substantial discount or it may not even be worth pursuing.

Neighborhood Reputation & Appreciation

When it comes to buying a house, this is one of the most important reasons to work with a Realtor. Since your agent will have a familiarity with various local market trends and statistics, you will be able to learn what makes a particular neighborhood desirable and also which areas to avoid.
A lot of things can affect a home’s value such as the school district, crime levels, or even other properties located nearby (such as those burnt in a fire or properties that were a bank sale). In fact, sometimes these factors can even differ from block to block!
Your agent will also help you to assess the appreciation rates for various neighborhoods and future development plans that could affect home prices, so that you can get a decent indication of what to expect down the road. This can be extremely valuable information dependent on how long you plan to live at the said property and the length of time the home may need to sit on the market.

Appraisals & Inspections

After you place an offer on a property, you will have the opportunity to get an appraisal and home inspection as further due diligence. Even with an agent, there are sometimes issues that may arise with a property that could affect the home’s value that you were not even aware of.
Some of these problems could include structural issues, plumbing or electrical, termites or insects, mold or even water damage to name a few. Obviously many of these things could impact the price significantly and would either have to be fixed by the seller or renegotiated to get a fair price.
In conclusion, there are a lot of areas to consider when choosing a home and getting a fair price on a property. Since this is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, it is crucial that you protect your interests and ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.
In order to get started researching homes in our local area, contact us right away using the information located above. We look forward to serving you as you search for your next future home!

3 Things To Consider Before Listing As FSBO

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you may feel inclined to list it as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) before working with a Realtor. For many, this is considered one good way to cut back on costs and possibly earn a little more profit on the sale.
However, there are certain aspects you may want to consider before going down this path. Statistically, over 80% of FSBO’s end up being listed with a Realtor at some point. Therefore, it pays to take the time to fully assess whether or not this is the right plan of action for you.

Properly Marketing Your Property

First of all, listing a home for sale can be a very time consuming and difficult process. Unfortunately, this typically is not as easy as posting a sign in the yard and setting up a classified ad in the local newspaper. There is certainly a lot more than meets the eye.
For instance, many FSBO websites will tout that you can obtain a wide exposure to buyers nationally, but this pales in comparison to the results that you can expect from big named sites like Realtor.com, which only agents can post to.
Next, your agent will have a lot of expertise with implementing online real estate marketing strategies that will gain you a ton of locally targeted searches. And in fact, nearly 90% of all searches for real estate related inquiries start online.
Realtors will also have a strong network of both agents and buyers that they work with on a regular basis. This is a business where it pays to network. More contacts equals greater exposure.

Asking Price & Showings

For starters, a lot of FSBO’s will start at the wrong asking price. This is by far one of the most important factors that goes into marketing your home, so you want to do this properly off the bat. But, without being fully invested in your local market and understanding the current trends, it can be difficult to price the home accurately.
As alluded to in section one, selling a home can be a lot of work. Most individuals these days have to juggle a full time job, family obligations, recreational activities, household chores, etc. Where do you find the time for fully investing into the sale as well?
When the opportunity would arise for interested parties to view your property, you would need to schedule individual showings, open houses, inspectors, appraisers, etc., while also trying to stage and maintain your property’s appearance. Miss out on a good opportunity for matching schedules and you can quickly lose interest.

Negotiations & Contracts

If you get to the point where you negotiate with a buyer, it is much more difficult to handle this aspect without a qualified agent. Selling your home can be a very emotional undertaking, so it is easier to set unrealistic expectations, or to even concede on more than necessary when you don’t have a 3rd party buffer.
During most real estate transactions, both the buyer and seller will typically have a set of concessions and contingencies. For a majority of buyers, they will expect to have some type of a financing, inspection and/or termite contingency.
This is set up for their protection, in order to complete their due diligence on the home before moving forward to closing. If other issues are found, this may even been grounds for further negotiation or eventually walking away from the deal.
Or you will be expected to lower the price, fix the issue or offer a concession on something else in order to alleviate the problem. Likewise, you want to ensure that the buyer is not overstepping their boundaries or that you are pressured into giving away more than is reasonable.
In summary, it’s worth taking the time to carefully consider these 3 areas before making any final decisions. If you still decide to take the FSBO route, we sincerely wish you great success. Also, please feel free to share our information with a friend and to bookmark our page for future reference as well!

Make A Wise Real Estate Purchase

In this video we explore some tips for making a wise real estate purchase.

  • Save For A Big Down Payment
  • Don’t Overextend Yourself
  • Consider the Work Involved
  • Really Shop Around

What To Be Aware Of When Shopping For A Mortgage

 Shopping for a mortgage is one of the most important steps involved in purchasing your next home. Since the terms and conditions that you agree to will impact your financial future for years to come, it is vital that you take the necessary time to research and compare the best packages available to you.
Many buyers tend to primarily focus on obtaining the best interest rates; and though this is an extremely important piece, there are a host of other factors to consider. Therefore, let’s discuss some of the other criteria that should be reviewed before signing on the dotted line.
First of all, please be wary of only searching for rates and quotes online. Although there are very reputable companies that can be found using an internet based search, it is wise to also spend time working with local companies and banks that are familiar with the current market. This is a very detailed process, so you should not base your decision on simply one or two sources.
As you have seen from the recent mortgage industry scare, it is typically best to invest in a fixed rate loan. With adjustable rate mortgages, you could be stuck paying higher amounts of interest and maybe even eventually owe more on the loan than the house is worth. Be sure to review this with your mortgage professional before making any final decisions.
Next, along with attractive interest rates may also come additional fees and terms. Be careful that you fully understand what you are signing up for before choosing your mortgage. Although the rates may look somewhat favorable, here is a list of some things to be aware of:

  • Processing Fees—Items such as processing and underwriting fees could be added to the cost of the loan as well. Although you typically will have to pay a few hundred dollars for the application fee, there are other extras that may be attached as an added expense.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)—In order for lenders to protect their own interests, buyers will be required to pay for PMI on a loan until they have built up 20% equity in the home. These fees are calculated based on a person’s credit score.
  • Appraisals—It is becoming more common for lenders to charge this fee upfront before an appraisal is conducted. Unfortunately, you will end up paying for this regardless of whether or not it gives you the evaluation necessary to obtain the loan.
  • Points—Each point equals 1% of the actual loan amount. Many buyers can elect to choose a plan that charges points so that they can acquire a lower interest rate. Lenders will typically charge anywhere from 1-3 points (or even more), and these will be charged as a fee at closing. Whether or not you should choose a plan with points will be dependent on your available cash and how long you plan on staying in the home.

This is just a sampling of what may be included with your mortgage. It is best to find out up front exactly what you will be responsible for with all additional fees included. As long as you are working with a reputable company, you should get a good feel of what will be expected at closing.

Be sure to avoid working with any parties that seem to make unfulfilled promises, suddenly change the terms at closing, ask for more information than is necessary to process the loan, or overall make this an uncomfortable process for you.

There are more than enough resources available to you to obtain a loan that will suit your needs. Additionally, we would be happy to provide any additional referrals and feedback so that you can get set out on the right foot. Please contact us right away for more information on how to get started!

Real Estate Video’s on the Internet

The internet has revolutionized real estate. From text ads a decade ago, to picture ads five years ago. The next big thing to change real estate’s presence on the internet are video tours.

84% of buyers use the internet to aid the buying process. What they typically get are a series of pictures showing various rooms of the house. But it is hard to paint the full picture of a house with just pictures. That’s where video tours come in.

Video tours are essentially open houses over the internet. An agent would appear on a video and act as if he or she were actually showing a house to a potential buyer. Except now, that video can reach millions of people. Videos give much more insight into a house that pictures cannot. They say a picture is a thousand words. It would be fair to say a video is a thousand pictures….Literally.

It is becoming a easy process to post real estate videos on the internet. Sites such as www.ShowYourPlace.com specialize in this. They offer a high quality video of the house that you are selling. Not only that, but its free. All you need to do is upload the video.

Video editing software is not required but it can make things look more professional. Adding contact information into the video or doing a satellite view with Google World Maps are some ways to improve the video. The video can be taken with most digital cameras. To prepare for the video, it is very useful to have a script prepared or a list of what you hope to capture on video.

In this day and age, agents need to offer something special to both separate themselves from the competition and offer value to the customer. Video is that special something.

Foreclosed Houses: Your Must Know In Home Inspections

Foreclosed Home

Foreclosed houses are undoubtedly the choice homes for many people who are seriously considering buying anew house, a second home, or an investment property. But a big part of ensuring that your investment is well-protected is in making sure that you are adequately aware of the condition and state of the property you are going to buy before you make the decision to purchase it.

While buyers know that they should get a home inspection done on their houses, not everybody is aware of how it is done and what it is all about. In fact, very few buyers can even interpret or read a home inspection report. But regardless of this fact, every buyer must still have home inspections done on the properties that they are willing to buy. [Read more...]

How Soon After a Foreclosure Can You Buy Another Home?

A very common question I get is “How soon after my foreclosure can I buy another home?” There are a couple of answers to this question and they depend on how soon and how badly you need a home.

The first option to getting a new home is to simply pick one and buy it with conventional financing. The lender who will be looking at your credit will be very reluctant to finance another home for you. However, with a large enough down payment (20% minimum) and your willingness to pay a higher interest rate, you could have a new home in 45 days. [Read more...]

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