Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc

Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 1/2/2018

If you’re hoping to buy a house in the near future, you’ll want to focus on saving for a down payment.

Down payments are a way to let a lender know that you are a low-risk investment, and a way to save money on interest over the term of your loan.

If you have your other finances in order--a good credit score and stable income--there’s a good chance that making a 20% or more down payment will land you a low interest rate that can save you thousands while you pay off your loan.

How large should my down payment be?

The larger the down payment you can afford, the more money you’ll likely save in the long run. While there are ways to get a loan with no or very small down payments, these aren’t always ideal.

First, if you put less than 20% down on your home loan, you’ll be required to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI. These are monthly payments that you make in addition to the interest that is accrued on your loan.

So, if you don’t put any money down on your home, you’ll accrue more interest over your term length and you’ll pay PMI on top of that.

What affects your minimum down payment amount?

Lenders take a number of factors into consideration when determining your risk. If you’re eligible for a first-time home owners loan, a veteran’s loan, or a USDA loan, your loan can be guaranteed by the government. This means you can likely pay a lower down payment while still receiving a reasonable interest rate.

When applying for a mortgage, be sure to reach out to multiple lenders and shop around for the rates that work for you. Many lenders use slightly different criteria to determine your eligibility to pay a lower down payment.

Other things that affect your minimum down payment include:

  • Credit score

  • Location of the home you want to buy

  • Value of the mortgage

Saving for a down payment

You’ll get the most value out of your mortgage if you put more money down. However, if you’re currently living in a high-rent area, it could mean that it’s in your best interest to get out of your apartment and start building equity in the form of homeownership.

If you want to buy a home within the next year or two, there are a few ways you can help increase your savings.

First, determine how much you need to save. Depending on your housing needs and the current market, everyone will have different requirements. Do some home shopping in your area online and look for homes that are within your spending limits. Remember that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing (mortgage, property taxes, etc.)

Next, find out what a 20% down payment on that home would be, adjusting for inflation.

Once you have the amount you need to save, remember to leave yourself enough of an emergency fund in your savings account to last you a month or two.

Tags: Mortgage   down payment  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 12/26/2017

After you accept an offer on your house, it is only a matter of time before you need to move out. This means a home seller will need to start packing up his or her belongings and figure out which items need to stay and which items need to go.

Ultimately, it often pays to leave high-quality items behind as part of a home sale. And if you include top-notch items as part of a home listing, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to receive multiple outstanding homebuying proposals.

Determining which items to leave behind as part of a home sale can be simple. In fact, here are three of the most common items that home sellers choose to offer in a home listing:

1. Refrigerator

If you intend to move into a house that already has a refrigerator, there may be no need to bring your current refrigerator to your new address. Thus, you can include your current refrigerator as part of your home listing.

A refrigerator that looks and performs great may be worth several hundred dollars. Therefore, this appliance could become a key part of a tight negotiation with a homebuyer and may help you move closer to finalizing a home sale agreement.

Of course, if you include your refrigerator in your home listing, you also won't have to worry about moving this big, heavy appliance to your new address.

2. Washer and Dryer

Your washer and dryer have helped you keep your clothes clean and dry for many years. Now, these appliances may prove to be exceedingly valuable to a homebuyer who wants to avoid the hassle of shopping for a new washer and dryer.

If possible, it may be worthwhile to include a washer and dryer in a home listing. Plus, you can include information about the age and condition of your washer and dryer to help your home listing stand out from others.

3. Big-Screen TV

A big-screen TV that served as the centerpiece of your living room or man cave may be tough to move. Thankfully, you can include this item in a home listing and make it simple for a homebuyer to enjoy a wonderful TV as soon as he or she buys your house.

Determining which items to leave behind as part of a home sale sometimes can be tough. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get expert assistance as you put together a home listing.

A real estate agent is happy to provide comprehensive support throughout the home selling process. He or she will learn about your home and help you craft a home listing that highlights your house's features. In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more.

When it comes to selling your house, don't hesitate to leave various first-rate items behind. By doing so, you may be able to make your home more attractive to potential homebuyers and boost your chances of a fast home sale.

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Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 12/19/2017

If you want to promote your house to potential buyers, there is no shortage of options at your disposal. In fact, some of the proven ways to showcase a residence to potential buyers include:

1. Home Listing

A home listing can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal. But if a seller allocates the necessary time and resources to create an effective home listing, he or she should have no trouble stirring up interest in a residence.

Oftentimes, an effective home listing includes accurate information about a home's age and condition. The listing also should be both informative and engaging.

The ideal home listing should be shared with a seller's family members and friends too. That way, a seller's loved ones can offer details to lots of potential buyers about a residence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a fast home sale.

2. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are exceedingly valuable to home sellers. These networks enable sellers to share details about their residences, as well as respond to potential buyers' concerns and questions.

If you decide to share details about your home via social media, it often helps to include high-resolution photographs of your residence. With these photographs, a seller can showcase various areas of a home and help a buyer determine whether to set up a date and time to check out a residence in-person.

Furthermore, don't forget to post to social media regularly. Because the more frequently that a seller shares details about his or her home across social networks, the more likely it becomes that a potential buyer will learn about the residence and schedule a home showing.

3. Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to promote your residence to potential buyers, there is no need to worry. Dozens of real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can guide you along the home selling process.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals, as well as your residence. Then, this housing market professional will offer home selling suggestions and help you map out a successful home selling strategy.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. He or she also is unafraid to speak from the heart, and as such, will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can respond to your home selling queries. This housing market professional will even educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you can make informed home selling decisions.

Ready to promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers? Use the aforementioned options, and you can improve your chances of stirring up substantial interest in your house.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 12/12/2017

Shopping for a house is a high-stakes game. If you’re a first-time buyer, it can be difficult to gauge the value of various components and features of a home. Appraisals are designed for just this reason.

However, an appraisal is a subjective tool to determine a rough estimate. Furthermore, there are a number of things you can’t learn from an appraisal--such as how convenient the home would be for your work commute.

In this article, we’re going to help you, the homebuyer, determine the true value of a home as it would mean to you in your everyday life. Read on for tips on finding out the value of that home you’ve been dreaming of and deciding whether it’s really the best home for your budget.  

Appraisals are a baseline

When lenders are in the process of approving your home loan, they’ll want to decide whether the home you’re buying is worth the amount you’re paying. To achieve this, they’ll typically hire a third-party appraiser.

Find out from your lender which appraiser they use and read their online reviews. This will ensure that they’re a trustworthy source of information. Also be sure to check that the appraiser is certified and that they work with a diverse range of clientele (not just your lender!).

Since you’ll likely be paying the appraisal fee as part of your closing costs, make sure you’re happy with the appraisal and appraiser.

Key appraisal factors

After the appraisal, consider getting a second opinion or inspection of any of the key components of your home that may impact the appraisal. Some of these factors include:

  • The roof, HVAC system, and septic systems

  • The energy-efficiency of the home

  • The current market value in the area

  • The general upkeep of the home--a few cosmetic problems shouldn’t affect the home value much, but serious neglect can cause long-lasting and expensive issues like mold, water damage, pest invasion, and more

What an appraisal can’t tell you

Now that we’ve discussed the nuts and bolts of home value, we have to venture into what value means to you and your family. You’ll need to ask yourself a series of questions, and some of them won’t have a cut-and-dry answer.

First, how well does this home fit into the work life of you and your spouse? Will it mean a shorter commute, and therefore lower transportation costs and more free time? Putting a dollar value on an extra thirty minutes not spent in traffic can be difficult, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to take part in.

Furthermore, does the house have features that will make it a better asset in years to come? Energy-efficiency, proximity to in-demand schools, businesses, etc., can all be selling points for future buyers that are willing to pay more for your home.

Using a combination of a certified appraisal and some introspection, you should be able to come to a confident conclusion as to the value of the home as it means to you and your family.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Coldwell Banker Murray Real Estate, Inc on 12/5/2017

A vacation is a time to rest, relax, and stop worrying about all of the things you have to do around the house on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s hard to relax if you spend the whole vacation worrying about your home.

Home intruders prey on people who are clearly away from their home. It’s much easier to plan a break-in from a house you know is empty for an extended period of time than trying to figure out when someone won’t be home.  

There are a number of ways to improve your home security to ensure your home and belongings are safe while you’re on vacation. In this article, we’ll provide you with a list so that you can relax and enjoy your time away from home.

1. Ask a favor from the neighbor

Being friendly with the neighbors has a lot of benefits. You can borrow their tools or ask for a hand moving something. When you go on vacation, ask your neighbors to bring in your mail for you. An overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that you’re away from home.

Make sure your neighbor has your cell phone number so they call you if anything seems out of place--like if they notice a strange vehicle in your driveway.

2. Get a house-sitter

If you have a relative in the area, maybe a niece or nephew, ask them to stay at your home while you’re away. If they live with mom and dad, they’ll probably be thrilled at the chance to have their own place for the weekend.

As an added bonus, they’ll be able to feed your pets, water your lawn, and take out the trash for you while you’re away.

3. Don’t advertise that you’re away

Most people these days have grown comfortable posting their whereabouts on social media. However, doing so when you’re away is an easy way to tip off would-be burglars that your house might be empty for a week or more.

4. Buy a cheap security system

You can find dozens of security cameras for under $60 on Amazon. When asked, 60% of burglars said the presence of a security system made them decide to move on to another home.

Complement this with a sticker that says you have a security system in place. It could be the one-dollar sticker that makes a would-be burglar decide to leave your house without breaking in.

5. Remove spare keys

Many people leave spare keys in obvious places because it’s easy to describe to people who might need to get in. However, if it’s easy for welcome guests to find it’s also easy for unwelcome guests.

6. Double check doors and windows

When making your to-do list for vacation, be sure to include double checking the locks on your doors, windows, and garage. Almost 30% of burglaries occur when someone enters through an unlocked door or window.

This also applies to any vehicles that you might be leaving in your driveway during your vacation. Remove valuables from the vehicle and place them inside your home in a safe place.

Tags: Home Security   vacation  
Categories: Uncategorized