If you are considering purchasing a home in San Ramon or surrounding communities most likely you will need a home loan. The very first step in looking at properties is to get preapproved for financing. This puts you steps ahead of others that have not done their financial homework, and it shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer with your financing in place. [Read more…]
You’ve toyed with the idea of buying a furnished home or even renting one but you’re either arguing with yourself or maybe a partner or spouse about whether that’s really a good idea or not? Here are three great reasons to consider buying a furnished house, especially in Hawaii.
If 2021 is the year you are going to be a homeowner or perhaps you’re going to sell your house and purchase a new one, start now before you’re even looking at any homes.
Let’s start with first-time homebuyers; if you’ve never purchased a property before but you’re tired of renting in 2021 is your year to be a homeowner, start now, immediately, by saving up some money and getting your credit in good condition. [Read more…]
That is, if you have the cash to purchase a property, is there any reason why you wouldn’t pay cash?
In today’s hot market, especially in the Oakland and Tri-Valley area, cash offers can be king but, there are reasons why you might not want to pay cash. I know that many sellers are more likely to accept an offer of cash, but the seller will get the money regardless of whether it is financed or all-cash. Cash offers can tend to close quicker but you really needs to look at all of the details of a purchase and sale agreement including terms and contingencies.
Today, about 30% of US homebuyers pay cash for their properties. That’s still in the minority. There may be some good reasons not to pay cash.
If you just have enough cash to pay for a house, you may not have any left over for repairs or emergencies. If you have the cash, it might be a good idea to set it aside so that you have at least three months of housing and living expenses should something unforeseen happen was losing a job or having medical issues. If all of your money is tied up into the house, you might end up losing the house to pay for unforeseen items.
A great mortgage.
You might have qualifications for an excellent mortgage. According to a recent study by Money magazine, Generation X and millennial’s are considered to populations with the most potential for growth as borrowers. Taking on a little bit of debt, especially for tax purposes great terms might be a better option for your finances overall.
A better investment.
Buying real estate is an excellent investment that if you have all cash, you might make a better investment than putting it elsewhere. Maybe investing in the stock market, mutual funds or a personal business might be a better option for you in the long run.
Most homeowners will receive some sort of mortgage tax breaks on the interest paid to the lender. Depending on how much you owe and your terms, you could be deducting quite a bit on your taxes.
Home values have no guarantee of increasing even though overall, the trajectory is good. Home prices rise and fall with the economy so unless you’re planning on hanging onto the house for 10 to 30 years, you might be better off investing that cash elsewhere.
I’m not telling you to not get a mortgage or to not pay cash, but there are pros and cons to both. It’s important to talk to your financial advisor and even a lender about the best options for you at this stage in life.
Ready to get started looking at homes? Give me a call anytime.
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Moving can be a pain, but with these quick tips you can move and relocate easier than ever before. But the key is starting early. Here are my top 10 moving hacks.
If an Offer is Rejected, Can the Buyer Know Why?
When an offer is rejected most of the time the buyers want to know why and if an offer is rejected because of higher-priced offers, buyers may want to know what those other offers look like. So is it okay for the buyers to first of all, no why their offer was rejected or see the other offers? [Read more…]
You may have been toying with the idea of upgrading your home or upsizing for several months now, maybe even several years, how do you know you’re really ready to take on a different house? While nobody really loves the thought of moving, sometimes the idea of more space is really what will prompt you to make the move. As an agent, I’ve seen a lot of different families and experience a lot of different situations so if you’re considering moving or upgrading your home your five signs to know that you’re ready for that move. [Read more…]
Buying a house, they said. It will be so easy, they said. Until all of a sudden, you have these hidden costs and fees popping up all over the place. I don’t want you surprised at all with any of the costs or fees involved in buying or selling a house but you do need to know that buying a house does require some money.
There are many billboards, signs and advertisements out there touting the you can buy a house with zero down and no money. Do you really want to be a homeowner if you have no money in the bank? That’s a serious question that deserves some serious consideration.
Now, I’m not saying that you need hundreds of thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars in order to be a homeowner but there are certain costs and fees associated with buying a house that all homeowners, especially first-time homeowners can tend to be surprised about. I want you aware of everything and doing your homework, including reading this blog post, will put you in a better position financially.
Here are some hidden costs to buying a home.
Out-of-pocket home inspection costs.
This is one of the expenses that will not be included in your closing costs. Unless your real estate agent or financial lender has done some creative consolidating, chances are you’ll need to pay for your home inspection out-of-pocket. This means you’ll need to write a check or give a credit card to the home inspector while they are there before or right after the home inspection. Home inspections tend to run anywhere from $350-$800. On average is about $400. If you can’t afford a home inspection out-of-pocket, you probably should not be buying a house. The home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process and not understanding everything you can about the home from a professional’s point of view could lead to some costly mistakes in the future. Make sure you have this money set aside for the home inspection.
The appraisal fee.
When borrowing money your lender will want to make sure that the home you are purchasing is worth the amount you are borrowing, which is why they’ll need to order an appraisal that you’ll need to pay for. The lender will typically hire an independent certified appraiser to assess the property value of the home. It will document varies features that make the home valuable and they can typically run between $250 and $600. This upfront fee will be charged directly to the borrower by the lender and may or may not be included in the closing costs.
Some lenders will require that an escrow account be set up in conjunction with a mortgage loan agreement. This will house money to pay ongoing property related expenses on the homeowners behalf including homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and property taxes. There also may be an additional deposit required at closing for this account. Be sure to check with your lender or your real estate agent about these additional fees.
Potential survey costs.
Not all homes will require a survey but it may be required so everyone knows exactly where your property’s boundaries are. This could be several hundred dollars but again, not required however, you will be paid directly to the surveyor.
Earnest money deposit.
When you first make an offer on a home you’ll need to write a check or money order for an earnest money deposit. This holds the property as the first right of refusal to buy the home. This could be anywhere from 1% to 5% of the purchase price of the home so this is a good chunk of money that could be several thousand dollars. This will go toward your down payment at closing. This money will not be deposited until mutual agreement is secured on the purchase and sale contract.
When you finalize the sale on your new property closing costs will include a variety of courier fees, escrow and title company fees, appraisals, lending fees, points etc. and may or may not include some of the previous points as well. This could be anywhere from $5000-$20,000 based on the price of the home. This can be rolled into the cost of the home if the property can bear the value however, talk to your lender about this so that you’re not stuck with a $10,000 bill that you didn’t know about.
Buying a home should be fun but understanding all of the details about the transaction and the lending practices will help you be better prepared for the entire process. For more information or to get started or to answer any questions you might have about homebuying in the Tri-Valley area contact my office today.
Finalizing documents after closing or signing is one of the most exciting and sometimes terrifying things in the buying process. However, there are some things you don’t want to miss when buying a home. Before grabbing the keys from your agent you want to make sure you do these five things, which most reputable real estate agents will verify ahead of time but it’s important to understand them on your own.
Here are 5 Things Buyers Must Do Before Moving In
#1. Make sure that all the contingencies have been satisfied.
Your agent, as long as they didn’t start yesterday, should walk you through all the different contingencies throughout the process. This means that your financing must go through, the sale of the previous house if applicable, your home inspection, and appraisal all need to be satisfied before you move in.
#2. Final walk-through.
If you had anything done during the home inspection, or even if you didn’t, a final walk-through is crucial to the buying process. The sellers legally have to leave the property similar to the last time you sought meeting they can’t trash the property when they move out. You also want to make sure that anything requested on the inspection report is completed. You need to verify that the home is in the condition agreed upon in the contract and if there are any issues that don’t match up with the contract, it’s better to take care of them now before you close on the property.
Related: How an Offer Gets Accepted
#3. Verify a clear title.
This is what title insurance is four and before you can take title to the property and establish legal ownership, your mortgage lender and title company will perform a title search. This means that they will cover everything from top to bottom to verify that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. While insurance covers any discrepancies if found later on, it’s important to get this cleared now.
#4. Final mortgage approval.
Before you can close you want to make sure that your mortgage has been finalized and approved. There are so many facets to a real estate transaction that we need to make sure everything lines up perfectly in order to close. This means your financing as well. The underwriter will check your final credit score, review the home appraisal, and ensure your financial legitimacy so that you can start making payments when your mortgage comes due.
#5. Gather items for final closing.
You’ll want to make sure that your closing disclosure or final settlement statement is accurate and everything is correct including your interest rates, loan terms, closing costs, how much you’re paying for the house, and any other details even including how your last name is spelled and that your address is correct. You’ll also need to bring certain documentation to closing such as proof of homeowners’ insurance, any home inspection reports, any additional documents that escrow is requesting and a government-issued photo ID.
Once all of these issues are satisfied you can sign the final documents and either that day or a couple of days later you will finally close and be handed the keys. You cannot get the keys and tell escrow closes the transaction and the deed is recorded with the county in which the property is located.
If you have other questions or would like to start the process of opening escrow on a new property in Tri-Valley area give me a call at any time.
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