Peter DiRusso & Bob Ochs' Blog
There’s a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if you’re ready for homeownership. We’ll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.
Getting your finances in order
There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if you’re financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, you’ll want to look up your credit score.
Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.
The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.
In the meantime, you’ll want to save for a down payment. While it’s possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders won’t pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).
If you have a high credit score and you’ve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.
Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.
Preparing for homeownership
While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. You’ll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.
First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if it’s a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.
If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), you’ll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.
Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting aren’t aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. You’ll have more bills, you’ll have to mow your own lawn, and you’ll be responsible for maintenance of your home.
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:
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.
If you recently sold your house, there may be only a few weeks before you need to relocate to a new address. As such, you'll likely face a time crunch to pack up your belongings and get rid of excess items, including various home appliances.
Although your refrigerator, washer, dryer and other home appliances have served you well for many years, there is no time like the present to sell these items. That way, you can earn extra cash and avoid the hassle of moving these big, heavy items from your current address to your new one.
For home sellers who have only a short amount of time to sell their appliances, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to sell your appliances and maximize their value.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you sell your appliances before moving day.
1. List Your Appliances Online
Create an online listing for each of your home appliances, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in these items.
When you craft an online listing, it is important to include as much information as possible. Therefore, you should provide details about a home appliance's age and condition, along with photos. This will make it easy for a home appliance shopper to determine whether a particular appliance is the right choice.
Also, share your online listing with family members and friends. And if you post your online listing on social networks, you may be able to generate significant interest in an appliance in no time at all.
2. Host a Yard Sale
A yard sale offers a great opportunity to sell home appliances and other items before you move.
Host a yard sale on a Saturday or Sunday and start your yard sale in the morning. By doing so, you can improve your chances of attracting a wide range of yard sale shoppers.
In addition, be open to negotiating with yard sale shoppers. If you maintain flexibility on the price of a home appliance, you can boost your chances of a quick sale.
3. Post Flyers in Your Community
Craft flyers that include information about your appliances and post them in your community. This will allow you to generate interest from local buyers.
Flyers should be clear, concise and informative. They can include information about an appliance, along with contact information that enables buyers to reach you via phone or email.
Lastly, if you need to sell appliances prior to moving day, it often pays to consult with a real estate agent.
In many instances, a real estate agent can offer recommendations and suggestions to help you streamline the moving process. As a result, this housing market professional can make it easy for you to sell home appliances and other items before you move.
Ready to sell your home appliances? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your appliances to the right groups of buyers.
If you live in one state, but are trying to buy a home in another state, you’ll face some obvious challenges. There’s certain steps that you can take to help you get through the home buying process in another state. Whether you’re buying a vacation home, or are in a complete transition, you’ll need to follow a few steps to make life easier for you.
Know How Much Time You Have
First, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re planning to move. If you have flexibility and are planning a trip to the new state before you need to move, that paints a much different picture than a more rushed move. Consider:
- The time it will take to sell your current home
- When the closing will be on the new home
Keep that timeline in mind.
You’ll definitely want to hire a realtor to handle everything for you on both ends when you’re in this situation. A Realtor’s knowledge and experience is definitely worth it to help you.
Get Your Finances In Order
You’ll need to apply for a loan on the home you’re buying in the new state. You should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage in that state. You don’t want all of your important paperwork to be buried in the midst of packing and moving. Also, you’ll need to have that loan secured before you even head to the new state to close on the home. Everything should be in order. This situation may be more challenging for you than a typical home purchase. Since big purchases affect your credit score, you’ll need to hold off on buying a car, furniture, or any major appliances that you may need.
Get As Much Information As You Can
As a buyer who is from out of state, you’ll need to do your homework. Maybe you have visited the state many times before. Perhaps you know nothing about it. The more you know ahead of time, the easier that your transition will be. You’ll need to find recommendations about which neighborhood to search in. You’ll also want to learn a bit more about the lifestyle the area provides for activities like dining, entertainment, and recreation. You can learn a lot in the internet, but talking to locals- even a local realtor- can help you to find the right spot to live in.
Find The Right Realtors
You’ll need to find the right realtors in both your home state and the state that you’re moving to. The seller’s agent will assist you in getting your old home sold. From marketing the listing to home showings to sending you all of the paperwork that you’ll need to sign, a seller’s agent is very valuable to someone who needs to move out of one state and into another.
The buyer’s agent can help you in your new state, communicating with you on new listings and advising you on the neighborhoods that you’ll be the most happy in. Hiring these two realtors may be one of the most important steps in your feat of moving across two different states.
With the resources that are available online, moving from state-to-state isn't as hard as it may seem. Do your research for a smooth transition. Happy moving!