5 Apps to Help You Discover Your Perfect Home

Nowadays there is an app for everything. Whether you’re looking to get in shape, eat healthier or stay organized, there is an app for that, which many people often use. So, why should discovering your dream home be any different? There are apps that will help you begin your search, determine if the sale is financially right for you, and there are even apps that will help you envision yourself in a new home. Here are five apps that will help you discover your perfect home and make sure that it’s a perfect fit for you.

 

Essential Real Estate Dictionary

If you’re nervous about working with a realtor to find your perfect home, don’t be. For all of the confusing jargon that you don’t understand, use the real estate dictionary app. Not only will the app serve as an essential reference guide for all things real estate, buy the seller and agent will think you’re a pro with how much you know.

 

Zillow

If you already know which area you want to live in, this will be the perfect app for you. Drive around the neighborhood to see how much each home is worth or if any of them are for sale. It’s also a great tool if you don’t know where you want to live. You can pretty much drive around any neighborhood, whether it is familiar or not, and find out exactly how much each home is worth and if they’re for sale.

 

Mortgage and Home Loan Calculator

There are a ton of mortgage and home loan calculators in the app store. It’s all about finding the right one for you. The secret is that they all do pretty much the same thing, so stick to the free ones. All you’ll need to do is plug in number and bam, you’ll know your price range.

 

ColorChange

If you’re viewing a house and you absolutely hate the color of the walls, don’t rule it out just yet. The ColorChange app allows you to snap a picture of any room and it will give you the ability to view it with a different color on the walls. This will also be useful once you move into a new home and can’t decide what colors you want each room to be. You can see it before you actually make the commitment in doing it.

 

Houzz Interior Design App

This free app will help you get settled into your new home and will help reiterate the fact that this new home is perfectly yours. You will be given tips and tricks from the internet’s largest database of interior design photos. You can pull certain looks from different ideas and make everything 100% yours.

 

Using these apps will help you find your dream home more easily and efficiently. So get to downloading them and start your search for your new home!

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How To Buy A Home in 2013

Regardless of whether your a first time home buyer or a veteran of the housing market, buying a home can be daunting and confusing. Here are a few tips on buying a home in 2013.

 

1. Find a Lender

First you need to see if you qualify for a home loan and, if you do, how much money you qualify for. You should look at your finances and determine how much you think you can afford, and then meet with a loan officer who will tell you what loan amount you qualify for.

 

2. Find a Real Estate Agent

Next you should find a real estate agent who is familiar with the housing market in Worthington, and who is experienced in buying the types of homes you’re looking at. Additionally, a real estate agent can help you with writing up an offer once you find a home, negotiating with the seller, and with any questions you have about the homebuying process.

 

3. Make 3 Lists

To help narrow down your search and to give your real estate agent direction on what houses to send you, make 3 lists.

List 1: Things you HAVE to have and can not live without

List 2: Things you would like to have but are not a deal breaker

List 3: Things you DO NOT want and will not buy a home if it has this

Keep in mind your lists might change, just remember to communicate that with your agent so they can continue to pull the right homes for you to see.

 

4. Search For Homes Online

Now you can begin the search for your home. You can do some research on your own by checking popular real estate listing sites, such as Zillow or Trulia, and you can also drive around neighborhoods in the area you’re interested in moving to and look for “for sale” signs. If you want or need some help in searching for a home, you can ask your agent to suggest homes for you.

TIP: Most real estate websites have a lot of homes for you to search through. You need to know that not all of the information is accurate. Make sure that you talk to your real estate agent if you see a home online.

 

5. Do some research

The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Yes, the professionals you hire will help you along the way but to be fully prepared do your research. Start by answering these questions…

– How much can I afford?

– How much am I willing to pay?

– How much does it cost to buy a home? (down payment, inspections, closing costs, etc)

– How long does it take to close on a home?

– What is a “request to remedy”?

– Is it a buyers market or sellers market?

– Are there still “steals” out there?

– Am I willing to do a lot of repairs? If so is a 203k loan right for me?

The real estate market can be confusing to navigate but don’t be intimidated! Starting with these tips will help you begin the process of buying a home in 2013.

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Advantages To Buying A Home With Cash

 

Making a cash offer on a home eliminates the need for bidding wars and gives peace of mind to the buyer and the seller. Here’s why:

If you’re in the market to buy a new home, you may have heard about some of the advantages of buying a home outright with cash. According to research by the National Association of Realtors®, almost a third of all residential sales are cash transactions and more than 70% of properties bought by investors and international buyers are cash transactions as well. So, you may be wondering, what exactly are the advantages to buying a home with cash and how can I make a cash offer?

Preparing yourself to be able to make a cash offer on a home requires patience and self-control. Follow these tips to increase your chances of being able to purchase a home with cash:

  • Set aside any unexpected money that comes in (inheritances, bonuses from work, etc.).

  • Lock your money in a long-term CD to earn interest.

  • Look for homes that you can afford with the money you have (the goal is to not have to borrow).

  • Homes outside of the city limits are likely to be cheaper-look there.

  • Manage your spending habits; don’t make impulse purchases.

  • Ask your family and friends for support and help to keep you spending smart.

Here are just some of the advantages to purchasing a property with cash:

  1. Most sellers favor buyers who can offer cash payment. Sellers don’t have to worry about a cash buyer being approved for loans, so it’s a very reliable choice for the seller. Plus, a cash transaction means a quicker and smoother sale. So, cash buyers have greater negotiating power on price, closing time, repairs, and more.

  2. Some sellers will discount the cost of the property if the buyer pays in full, upfront, with cash.

  3. When using cash, and not a loan, the home-buying process is quickened and becomes much easier for both parties. Without loans, there are no stacks of paperwork to fill out and you don’t run the risk of being delayed for approval.

  4. Cash buyers can save money on closing costs, bank appraisals, mortgage applications and fees, title insurance, and more.

  5. There is no risk of loan denial with cash purchases.

  6. Mortgage interest on a typical 30-year loan can double or even triple the original purchase price of a home. Cash buyers don’t have to pay interest on any loans, so they end up paying much less for their homes in the long run.

  7. Cash buyers are able to save valuable time by eliminating the need to search for the optimal lender (which can be hard to find) and gather the necessary documents for the lender.

  8. Cash buyers have a better sense of security about their home. Paying in full and upfront eliminates the chance of losing your home if you can’t afford to repay mortgage loans. Losing a job, becoming injured, or facing other hardships doesn’t affect the cash buyer’s sense of security-no matter what the circumstances, there is never the risk of losing the home to foreclosure.

  9. Cash buyers gain full, immediate, excellent equity in their home. In the case of any type of financial emergency, homeowners can draw on that equity for quick cash.

  10. Cash buyers are able to avoid mortgage applications, which can often prevent a buyer from being able to afford the home. This can happen when a low appraisal of the home causes the lender to reduce the loan amount offer to the buyer, making it impossible for the buyer to afford the home.

When a buyer purchases a home up front with cash, both they and the seller benefit. Financially and emotionally, cash transactions are beneficial to everyone involved in the transaction. Cash transactions save time and money and allow homeowners to be more secure in their purchase. Cash transactions can, in many cases, take away a lot of the uncertainty associated with buying and selling a home.

For more information on the advantages of buying a home with cash, read the original article from Realtor.com here.

Who Pays Closing Costs?

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are a mix of fees from the lender, title company, real estate agent, etc. Depending on your situation, what is included in your list of closing costs might be different. In some cases you can add these fees into your purchase offer, asking the seller to pay some if not all of your closing costs. Talk to your real estate agent about how this will work in your specific situation.

When purchasing a home, there are many costs you might not be prepared for…

  • Home Inspection

  • Appraisal

  • Loan Application Fee

  • Down Payment

  • Closing Costs

  • Moving Fees

  • New Furniture

  • Paint and Updates to the new home

The list goes on, right? So what costs can be covered by someone else? In most real estate markets, closing costs are part of the negotiation process. When you write an offer, you might be able to negotiate part or all of your closing costs to be paid for by the seller. How? It just depends on the situation, the terms of the offer, the amount you are asking for, etc.

So do sellers always pay closing costs for the buyer?

No, not always. But what it typically comes down to is the bottom line number. This means the seller takes your offer and all of the conditions, plugs it into a formula that will tell them what they will net or in some cases what the will owe. If that number is where they need to be and you asked them to pay for your closing costs, you might get them paid for by the seller. Again, it just depends on the situation, the market, the seller, your offer, etc.

So, now what?

Talk to your real estate agent about closing cost. When you go to write an offer make sure you think about closing costs. Do you want that to be something that is negotiated in? Having more money in your pocket after purchasing a home can be great to update, decorate, and fix things in your new home.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

How To Buy A Home in State College, PA

The process of buying a home can be daunting and confusing, regardless of whether you’re a first time homebuyer or an experienced homebuyer. Here are the steps you need to take to buy a home in State College, PA…

 

1. Find a Lender

First you need to see if you qualify for a home loan and, if you do, how much money you qualify for. You should look at your finances and determine how much you think you can afford, and then meet with a loan officer who will tell you what loan amount you qualify for.

 

2. Find a Real Estate Agent

Next you should find a real estate agent who is familiar with the housing market in Worthington, and who is experienced in buying the types of homes you’re looking at. Additionally, a real estate agent can help you with writing up an offer once you find a home, negotiating with the seller, and with any questions you have about the homebuying process.

 

3. Make 3 Lists

To help narrow down your search and to give your real estate agent direction on what houses to send you, make 3 lists.

 

List 1: Things you HAVE to have and can not live without

List 2: Things you would like to have but are not a deal breaker

List 3: Things you DO NOT want and will not buy a home if it has this

 

Keep in mind your lists might change, just remember to communicate that with your agent so they can continue to pull the right homes for you to see.

 

4. Search For Homes Online

Now you can begin the search for your home. You can do some research on your own by checking popular real estate listing sites, such as Zillow or Trulia, and you can also drive around neighborhoods in Worthington and look for “for sale” signs. If you want or need some help in searching for a home, you can ask your agent to suggest homes for you.

 

TIP: Most real estate websites have a lot of homes for you to search through. You need to know that not all of the information is accurate. Make sure that you talk to your real estate agent if you see a home online.

 

5. Do some research

The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Yes, the professionals you hire will help you along the way but to be fully prepared do your research. Start by answering these questions…

– How much can I afford?

– How much am I willing to pay?

– How much does it cost to buy a home? (down payment, inspections, closing costs, etc)

– How long does it take to close on a home?

– What is a “request to remedy”?

– Is it a buyers market or sellers market?

– Are there still “steals” out there?

– Am I willing to do a lot of repairs? If so is a 203k loan right for me?

 

The list goes on. Just make sure you are financially and mentally prepared for the process!

 

How To Win The Multiple Offer Bidding War

The real estate market is picking up here in Pennsylvania! We are seeing homes sell quickly and for top dollar. When the market is this hot we see many multiple offer situations.  Low inventory with high demand will do that!  For the seller, that is great news! For the buyer, you have to make sure you are prepared to go into a multiple offer bidding war. It is best to talk to your real estate agent, but here are a few tips for you…

 

1. Make your offer attractive

You don’t know what the other buyers are offering, if they have any contingencies, if they are paying cash, or if they are asking for closing costs. Try to make your offer as attractive as possible without breaking the bank or leaving yourself without room for inspections or ample time for closing. This could simply mean offering more and asking for less. Your real estate agent can advise you on this.

 

2. Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified

This is a must when purchasing any home. Even if it is not a bidding war, having a pre-approval letter is something the seller will ask for before accepting any offer. With mortgage underwriters cracking down on loans these days, it is very important to get pre-approved.

 

3. Price

Typically when it comes to a multiple offer situation, the listing agent will let each buyer know they need to bring their highest and best offer to the table. Keep in mind this might mean something different for each buyer. Do not over stretch yourself financially just to win a bidding war. Make an offer based on your highest and best purchase price. Highest and best also includes the bottom line. The listing agent will plug in the amount of your offer along with any closing costs or things you are asking for within the contract to show the seller what they will net at closing. Whichever offer presents the highest and best under the most favorable terms typically wins.

 

It is not uncommon to see a multiple offer situation. It just depends on the house, the real estate market, and the demand. Talk to your real estate agent about competing in a multiple offer bidding war. Remember, do not over stretch yourself just to win the war. Make sure it makes sense for you and your situation.