RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 2/13/2020

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




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Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 2/6/2020

Looking to put together an offer on a house? Ultimately, you'll want to submit a competitive first offer. By doing so, you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream residence.

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, however, it is important to understand what differentiates a "fair" proposal from a subpar one.

To better understand how to submit a competitive proposal, let's take a look at three best practices that every homebuyer needs to consider before making an offer on a house.

1. Evaluate the Housing Market

If you plan to buy a house, you'll want to examine the real estate market closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

For example, if you find there is an abundance of high-quality houses available, you may be entering a buyer's market. In this market, there likely is a shortage of homebuyers, which means a competitive offer at or near a home seller's asking price is sure to grab this individual's attention.

On the other hand, if you notice that homes are selling quickly in a city or town, you may need to prepare for a seller's market. If you pursue houses in a seller's market, you may need to act quickly due to the sheer volume of buyers competing for the same residences.

Clearly, a comprehensive housing market analysis can make a world of difference for homebuyers. With in-depth housing market insights at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to submit a competitive first offer on any residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

What good is a competitive home offer if you cannot afford to buy a residence? If you secure a home loan, you can narrow your home search to properties that you can afford. Then, you'll be able to submit a competitive offer that ensures you won't have to break your budget to purchase your dream residence.

Also, if you're unsure about how your financial situation will impact your ability to buy a house, you should consult with banks and credit unions in your area. These financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a home loan, establish a homebuying budget and much more.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, it pays to receive expert homebuying support. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent who is happy to help you put together a competitive home offer.

A real estate agent can provide housing market data that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, this housing market professional can offer unbiased home offer recommendations to ensure you can get an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

Collaborating with a real estate agent is a great option for homebuyers in all cities and towns. Reach out to local real estate agents today, and you can get the help you need to submit a competitive offer on any residence.




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Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 1/23/2020

Everyone defines the term "quality of life" differently, but if you asked 100 people, you'd probably hear a lot of similar answers.

According to a Gallup study entitled "The State of American Well-Being," the  basis for a good quality of life includes having a sense of purpose, feeling good about what you do every day, having supportive relationships, being motivated to achieve your goals, being able to effectively manage your finances, having the energy and health to pursue your interests, and sharing a sense of community pride. Feeling safe and liking where you live were also key ingredients in the formula for a high quality of life .

The Gallup/Sharecare report focuses on several aspects of community life, such as the role local governments play in offering amenities and resources to citizens. The study concluded that "communities that invest in active living, including bike paths, parks, walkability and public transit, have residents with better health and well-being outcomes."

While factors such as the quality of school districts and low crime rates are often foremost in the minds of house hunters, there's also a lot to be said for communities that offer public recreational facilities, educational programs, cultural events, and services that promote health, safety, and a clean environment.

Advantages that can help make one community more desirable and family friendly than another can range from free outdoor concerts and public tennis courts to the availability of farmers' markets and clean, updated playgrounds. Other features which can positively impact the quality of life in a community include well-maintained roads and bridges, the availability of dog parks, community parades, and programs to encourage the proper disposal of drugs, electronics, household chemicals, and recyclable products.

At the neighborhood level, quality of life is often measured by factors like noise, the condition of nearby properties, the overall safety and security of the area, and the amount of street traffic. Clean air, mature trees, and friendly neighbors can also contribute to a wholesome living environment that can be enjoyed for generations.

While there are many advantages to designing your own home or buying new construction, one might need to make short-term sacrifices when it comes to things like noise, neighborhood aesthetics, and other temporary inconveniences. Your real estate agent or home builder can probably fill you in on things like construction timetables and project completion dates.

If you're in the market for a new home, it's always a good idea to clarify in your own mind what you and your family needs to feel comfortable, happy, and secure. Creating a priority list of needs, desires, and preferences not only helps you stay focused in your real estate search, but also increases the probability that you'll be satisfied with your new home on a long-term basis.





Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 1/9/2020

Buying a house should be a fast, seamless process. However, problems sometimes may arise that prevent you from acquiring your dream house in a timely fashion.

Ultimately, it is important to be proactive to minimize the risk of encountering time-consuming hurdles during the homebuying process. Fortunately, we're here to help you identify and address such problems before they can slow you down.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you pursue your dream residence.

1. Enter the Housing Market with a Plan in Hand

An informed homebuyer is better equipped than others to enjoy a successful homebuying journey. In fact, this buyer should have no trouble narrowing his or her homebuying criteria to speed up the homebuying cycle.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to consider what you want to find in your dream residence. That way, you can enter the housing market with a list of homebuying criteria in hand and tailor your house search accordingly.

Remember, it is your duty as a homebuyer to do everything possible to find your ideal residence. If you narrow your house search, you can focus on finding a home that matches your expectations. And once you discover your dream house, you can quickly submit a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Get Your Home Financing in Order

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. If a homebuyer receives pre-approval for a mortgage, this individual will know exactly how much he or she can spend on a residence. As a result, this buyer can explore residences that fall within a specific price range, increasing the likelihood of a fast homebuying journey.

To obtain a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about a broad array of mortgage options. Perhaps most important, each lender can help a homebuyer weigh the pros and cons of assorted mortgage options and ensure a buyer can make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

There is no need to let problems escalate that otherwise could slow down the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire an expert real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate the homebuying cycle.

An expert real estate agent understands the ins and outs of buying a house, and as such, will make it simple for you to streamline the homebuying process. He or she will offer lots of recommendations as you pursue your dream house. Plus, when you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.

The homebuying journey can be long and complex, particularly for a homebuyer who chooses to work alone. But if you employ an expert real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Ready to acquire your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering time-intensive obstacles as you search for your dream home.




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Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 1/2/2020

If you plan to pursue your dream house, it generally helps to evaluate housing market data. In fact, there are many reasons why homebuyers should assess real estate market data, and these include:

1. You can learn about mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage interest rates rise and fall frequently. As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything you can to identify the lowest-available mortgage interest rates. And if you study the housing market, you may be better equipped than ever before to do just that.

In addition, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can help you track mortgage interest rates and provide you with mortgage insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage and ensure that you have finances in hand when you pursue your dream residence.

2. You can reduce the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

Let's face it – you want to buy your dream house, but you don't want to break the bank to do so. Fortunately, if you understand housing market data, you may be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

Examine the prices of available houses and recently sold homes in areas where you want to live. By doing so, you can establish a price range for your dream residence and find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

3. You can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complicated, especially for those who fail to prepare for it. Luckily, housing market data can give you a better idea about what to expect as soon as you kick off your search for your ideal house. Then, you can use this information to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles faster than ever before.

For those who are unsure about how to collect and analyze housing market data, there is no need to stress. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the help the you need to discover your dream house.

A real estate agent can provide you with the right housing market data, at the right time, every time. He or she also will allocate the necessary time and resources to explain the importance of assorted housing market data and paint a picture of the current state of the real estate sector. That way, you can take a data-driven approach to buying a house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and ensure that you can find a terrific house that matches your budget.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use real estate market data, and you can become an expert homebuyer in no time at all.




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