Buying your first home? Maybe you have done this before and just assume lending is pretty straight forward? Avoid these common mistakes that can blindside a buyers mortgage and closing day!
Lending is a complicated business with a number of moving parts and many rules that can make the difference between a happy closing day or no home at all. There are so many things that can effect your loan process and your road to a successful closing day. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes that buyers make.
Here are a few more things to avoid so that you can keep loan and purchase on the rails through to closing day!
Big Purchases on Credit. It is tempting to buy the furniture for your new home or a new car for the garage before the sale closes. Take care if you are making these purchases on credit. Large purchases on credit can have a major impact on your credit profile which effects your mortgage application. It’s a better plan to wait until after closing or pay cash for these transactions or you may be putting that furniture in a different living room than you originally picked them out for.
No 90-Day Same as Cash! Many times you may be tempted to make a furniture or appliance purchase for your new home. Often these can be done now and no payments for 90 days or even longer. Don’t be fooled. These purchases still affect your credit and can destroy your loan process. Remember, just a small change in your credit picture might be just enough to keep your loan from moving forward.
IRS, State and Local Liens. You’ve heard the old saying “Death and Taxes”. Back taxes and liens can derail your attempts to get financing for a mortgage so be sure to have your books in order before filing your loan application. There are a number of searches done against your social security number just before closing and this is where liens against you sometimes appear, even though they are NOT on your credit report.
Changing jobs, become self-employed or quitting a job. Changing jobs will change the qualification basis and if you move into a different line of work or take a lower paying job, this may disqualify you from moving forward with your purchase. Also going from an employee to self employed changes everything. Of course you need a job so don’t quit yours.
Don’t Spend your Money! Especially your funds set aside in your bank account for your closing day. Often these funds need to be on deposit for a couple of months to be “seasoned” and allowable for your purchase. If you spend it, you may have problems having new funds seasoned in time for your closing day. Also many times your loan will require a certain amount of “reserve funds” in your account and trying to get those funds into your account at the last minute can be catastrophic.
Large Deposits. You would think more money is a good thing, right? But large deposits are handled differently and require sourcing, which can get complicated. Always ask your loan officer before you make a large deposit.
Changing Bank Accounts. You will not want to change bank accounts during the loan process. Making a move like this will change your financial picture and quite possibly slow down the process or cause your loan to be denied.
Never Co-sign. Don’t do this for anyone during the loan process. Co-signing will not only change your credit picture, it will also change your debt ratio. The smallest change in debt ratio may ruin your chances for a loan approval.
Late Payments, Missed Payments. Credit Inquiries. Of course pay your creditors on time and avoid having your credit report pulled during the loan process. Late or missed payments will decrease your credit score and so will excessive credit report inquires. Sometimes just a few points on your credit score make the difference between a happy closing day or no closing day at all.
Overpaying. Before your bank will approve your mortgage they will appraise the home you are purchasing. If they feel you are overpaying they are likely to decline your mortgage application. If you find yourself in this situation consult with your agent on renegotiating your offer to be more in line with the bank’s appraised value.
Purchasing too close to Foreclosure. If you are making an offer on a house which is facing foreclosure be sure to have a closing date set before the foreclosure date. Have your agent work with the lender to structure closing before the house goes back to the bank and into foreclosure
Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). CLUE is a database of insurance claims for both people and property. Your home insurance rates are determined by the information about you and the property you plan to purchase which is contained in this report. Past claims for water damage, falling trees and even dog bites from present and past owners can multiply your insurance rates. Consult your agent about the CLUE report for your future home as soon as possible once your home purchase offer is accepted.
As always, work closely with your lender. Share everything with your loan officer so they can navigate through the process and guide you through the rough spots and onto closing. It’s better to know about potential issues up front and not be surprised just before closing with bad news. How a great loan officer helps you! and Other missteps that keep you from closing.
If you are just starting the process and want to know more about how the buying process works, connect with us. We will be happy to meet with you and walk you through the buying process, help you find a lender and get you on the path to home ownership.
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Buying your first home is a BIG DEAL. But it may not be as “scary” as you thought!
We have helped tons of first time home buyers get into their first homes. Time and time again, the concerns, misconceptions and fears we discuss are the same.
Here are just 3 we hear all the time and often the reasons buyers decide they need to wait or that it “just wont for for them”.
We are here to tell you, its not as hard you think and when you work with someone like us, we will get all of the questions answered and guide you through the process each step of the way. Believe us, whatever you worried about or are afraid to ask, we have dealt with it before and can help you too!
If you are curious about buying and want to know more, let’s connect! We are here to help you Make Awesome Happen.
Also be sure to watch our First Time Buyer Play List on YouTube for more helpful information about buying your first home.
Saving money can be such a challenge for most of us. When it comes time to buy a home or invest in real estate it can become even more of a struggle. With mortgage financing, we must be sure to keep our debts low, while having enough assets on hand to get our loan approved. We will need to consider the budget for new mortgage payments while paying of credit card or consumer debts each month. AND we must be mindful about putting money away into a 401K or other investments and maybe having a little extra to enjoy life.
Below are 7 simple rules for saving your money and paying off debts. Following these rules will make it easier to get where we’d like to be financially before taking the steps to get your dream home.
1. Automate It!
Most places of employment offer direct deposit. Use that to your advantage. Set your direct deposit up for a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into several different accounts. One for your 401K, another into a savings account for the purpose of emergencies, also an account to save for home projects, vacations, etc. Then, set up your bills to be paid automatically. It would be beneficial to check with your loan holders to see if that would be an option. Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you can’t see the money then you won’t have the temptation to spend it.
2. Know How to Prioritize
Should you start paying down debt or saving first? Which debts should you start with? You need to know how to prioritize and compare the numbers. First, start by checking the interest rates on your loans and credit cards. The higher the interest rate, the more of a priority that should be to pay off. Save any extra money you get. Tax return? Put that into savings! Get a raise at work? Automatically deposit that extra percentage into savings each month. Eventually, you will have enough in that account for a nice down payment on your home.
3. Imagine Your Future Self
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Owning your own home? Not drowning in debt? Studies show if you imagine where you’d like to be in the future that will motivate you to take the necessary steps for the purpose of achieving those goals.
4. Stop Unnecessary Spending
Take a good look at your finances and what you spend money on regularly. Do this with the intention of determining what can be dropped or scaled back on. Maybe a gym membership that you pay for monthly and only go once every 3 months or so. Another common unnecessary expense is cable TV; streaming services are cheaper, and they have a great selection. Additionally, rather than getting a coffee at Starbucks every day, make your own coffee at home. You may be surprised to know that could save over $100 a month. Also, eat meals at home instead of going out to eat. Even dropping one expenditure mentioned will make a huge difference on your bank account.
5. Reward Yourself
You can’t live your life to save and pay down debt. Every now and then you need a reward for all your hard work. Use that as a motivation to save. Got a bill paid off? Get yourself something! Reached your goal on an amount of money you wanted to save? Treat yourself! Be sure to make these rewards sensible, but you could be getting perks while saving and paying off bills.
6. Take Advantage of Bank & Credit Cards Offers & Rewards
Take a good look at your credit card rewards, it may surprise you what they offer. There may be an opportunity for you to receive a percentage of what you spend in cash back. Who wouldn’t benefit from that? Make sure your bank account doesn’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee. If it does, research how to waive it or get a different account.
7. Start Young (Its never early or late to Start)
If this applies to you, pay attention. Starting off at a young age will set you up in the future. Even if you’re working at your very first job, you can start taking the necessary steps. Apply the rules above and your savings will grow faster than you could ever anticipate.
By following these rules, you can save, pay off debt Whether your goal is to save for a home or prepare for the future, it’s all possible with a little hard work and knowledge on your side.
Think that your credit is hopeless and that you may never be in a position to buy a home? Don’t! There is always a way with a good plan and a good team. We have helped so many buyers get into homes when they thought it would never be a reality for them. We have a great team that can help you build the roadmap to get there. Want to know more about how to get started? Let’ Connect
Credit: NPR Public Radio – https://www.npr.org/2018/12/12/676120025/get-started-saving & http://time.com/money/4266906/save-for-new-home-tips/
As a first time home buyer, real estate might seem like a crazy rules where the policies are made up and the norms don’t matter. As a disclaimer, the best policy is to TRUST your realtor. I know… it’s crazy to put your financial future into the hands of a trained professional. With that being said, here is a list of tried and true do’s and don’ts when diving in to real estate.
Do Your Homework
When you are buying a home, you have to have some idea of what you want. Do you want a rancher on a few acres or a cute bungalow in the old district? What sort of amenities do you want to have near you? Are community centers or events important to you? Do you prefer a neighborhood with a mix of cultures and backgrounds? These are the sort of questions you are going to be asked (if you picked a good agent 😉), because these questions will help them narrow down the perfect place for you.
Do Have Your Documents Ready
After you make that first call with the realtor, you will quickly realize that you needed more financial documents than you thought you had. It will seem like its too much, or that it’s unending and that they are asking for the same ones over and over again. That’s what it takes to have a professional take care of this for you. They are trained to work within the confines of Real Estate Law and they do the grunt work for you. Do get your credit report, do have several months of bank statements ready, as well as employment records.
DO. NOT. GET. CRAZY. WHILE. IN. ESCROW.
After you worked so hard and dealt with your lenders crazy demands and got through the inspection period and FINALLY put in an offer on your dream home- don’t ruin it all. When you send in all those documents to your lender you are painting a portrait of your finances. If you do something bananas like buy a car, get a credit card, max out your other cards, etc. etc. you will ruin that beautiful picture of yourself. While in escrow they are going to look for any discrepancies, don’t give them any reason to kick your offer back.
Do Stay In Touch With Your Realtor.
When your agents are working behind the scenes and taking care of all the little things that come up, they often need a question answered as soon as possible. When you don’t get back to your realtors in a swift manner, it could mean the difference in getting an offer accepted or missing out. Real Estate is a fast paced industry and you have to remain in good communication to keep things going.
Do Get a Home Inspection
Well, we pay for yours. But if you decide to buy or sell with the other guys, get that dream home inspected. It would be horrible if you move in and things start breaking all around you like in the Money Pit. You want to know, for sure, what shape the plumbing is in. As well as; the siding, chimney, septic, insulation, foundation. It is important for you as a buyer to do your due diligence and possibly the best way to do that, is to have the house inspected by a professional.
If you have any other awesome bits of advice for newbies, put it in the comments! We would love to hear from you!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen!
You already know the answer if you’re reading this on our blog. Of course you do! I have summed up a few reasons that will illustrate the why’s. Real estate is a complicated industry with lots of specifics and exclusions and but’s and why’s. I had to be specially trained to understand the depth of legal accountability that I am being held to as an agent so that you don’t have to worry about it.
We Aren’t Lawyers
We did, however get trained to act as your agent legally and navigate all the laws pertaining to real estate. There are tons of forms and processes that can leave the best of us spinning on a busy day. The best part of having a Realtor is that we handle this stuff for you. When you’re buying a home, you certainly don’t want to focus on the paperwork. We want you to think about the fun updates you might do- the remodeling or paint schemes. Let us handle the crazy paperwork.
We Know People
Did you know that 80% of buyers get their homes with the help of their agent? Think about it, that’s 80% of the buyers you might miss out on if you are selling your home by yourself. We are in an industry that relies on being connected, we know other agents, we know people who might just be looking for the same kind of home you are selling and wee know about listings before they hit the market. And most importantly, we create the visibility your home needs to be sold. This is what we specialize in, It isn’t houses and documentation, it’s people and marketing. As an agent, We are your best resource to sell your home.
We Have Tools
As Realtors, we have more tools at our disposal to help you buy or sell. We know about the market and it’s past and future trends. An important part of representing you is advising you when might be the best time to buy or sell. We have knowledge of the area that you might not be privy to. Such as which developments are in high demand, which one’s have certain attributes or how your home compares to your neighbors.
There are a whole lot more reasons that you need a Realtor, Check them out here. If you have any questions about having an agent, buying or selling, Let’s Connect!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen!
The Fear of Real Estate
We are making our YouTube videos a priority this year. Each month we will to cover several topics relating to a single theme. This month is for you, first time home buyers and the first video segment this month is about the fears of getting started. Our primary goal is to inform you, so that you conquer those fears and get on the road to home ownership. Enjoy the video and stay a while and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!
When buying a home for the first time you most likely want to save money any chance you get. It can seem like an overwhelming and never ending drain on your bank account. When you finally close on your new home you probably won’t want to even think about any more paperwork or transactions, but a quick trip to the County Assessor’s office to file a homeowner’s exemption will save you so much money each year in property tax.
What is it ?
An exemption that reduces the taxable value of your home up to a maximum of $100,000 in value.
Why do I need it?
By reducing the taxable value of your home, your taxes are much LESS and you SAVE! If you have a mortgage, this savings will likely reduce your total monthly mortgage payment.
If you live in your home at least 6 months out of the year as your primary residence, you qualify!
When do I need to file?
You must file by the 15th of April in 2018!
Where do I file?
The county assessors office for the county in which you reside.
Remember: Idaho is a non-disclosure state and this means that you do not have to share the value of your home with the county when you apply (what you paid for it)
If you are not sure about your home owner exemption status, give us a call and we would be happy to help you! We are here to help!
Now that 2018 is finally here, resolutions and goals seem to be all anyone is talking about. If one of your resolutions is to be a first-time buyer then here are a few tips to help you make that a resolution that doesn’t fall by the wayside. Maybe your resolutions don’t involve buying, maybe it is to sell your home or to build equity with your existing home or investing in your home. In any case here is an abbreviated list of some routes to consider. (Full Article)
For the first time buyers
Buying a new home is scary, but taking the first steps toward an organized and planned out purchase is half the battle. Having a structured plan and timeline gives you a set of instructions that you can follow. Near the top of the list you create should be finding a reputable and thorough realtor to take the mystery of purchasing and turn it into an understanding of the process. Regardless of when your planned purchase date is, NOW is the best time to start working on your credit. If you’re one of the majority who has room for improvement, the sooner you start working on it, the better. And speaking of now, remember that you are going to need a down payment for your purchase.
For the First time Sellers
Maybe you don’t plan to be a first-time buyer, maybe selling is on the top of your 2018 goals, then you need to start planning too! When you prepare your home to be sold, you need to make sure that you take care of all those repairs you’ve been putting off. Along with fixing, you need to start getting rid of the extra and unused stuff that has been accumulating. Personally, I don’t want to pay to ship the contents of my junk drawer or those broken things that I keep meaning to fix. Throwing away (donating, selling) is hard but once you’ve cleared out the clutter, you’ll be happy you did and it’s one less thing you need to worry about.
Trying to Add Equity
One of the most effective ways to add equity to your home is to bring your principle down. You can do this in several ways. Refinancing your home might be a good choice. Either for a shorter loan term or for a lower rate. Another way to bring down your principle is to pay more. That simple. Maybe you pay more each month or you make an extra payment. Either way you’re going to have to pay more.
Investing in Your Home
Investing in your home can be one of the more gratifying options. Most of us like to see transformations. And making your home more beautiful is always exciting. Make sure when you chose a project that you select one that has a good return of investment. It would be a good idea to do some homework and find out the most sought after home features. One type of renovation that will almost always yeild a good return of investment is increasing your home’s energy rating.
No matter what topic made your 2018 Real Estate goal list, we hope you were able to find some of this advice helpful. If you did, or have any other ideas- Reply and tell us all about them. Please don’t forget to check out the full Windermere article for any extra info.
LET’S MAKE AWESOME HAPPEN!
If you’ve been outside anytime during the last week, you no doubt noticed the smoke. It’s fire season again in the Pacific Northwest. Before we talk about the multitude ways to help keep your investment safe from fire, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of those firefighters away from their families. Thank You! On to business.
When you decided to purchase a house and make the emotional commitment of being a home owner, I truly doubt you ever thought that a fire could happen to you. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015 there were 501,500 structure fires in the U.S. resulting in just over 10 billion dollars in damages and 2,685 deaths. No one wants to be a part of this statistic.
Smoke alarms probably seem like a no-brainer, but there maybe you forgot to test them or check the batteries. It is recommended that you test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Another thing to remember when putting in new alarms, smoke rises. Smoke is less dense than air so it rises, which is why smoke alarms are on the ceiling or no further than 6 inches from the ceiling on the wall.
typically associated with businesses, schools and hospitals but fire extinguishers are recommended for the home as well. The best places to keep your home extinguishers are anyplace that you would expect something to combust. Obviously the kitchen, but also in places like the garage or down in the basement by the furnace. You, the homeowner are also encouraged to have a fire extinguisher for every floor. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to run upstairs to get the fire extinguisher.
Know your types of extinguishers!
There isn’t one fire extinguisher that works on all types of fires. And speaking of types of fires, there are 6. SIX! with 5 different types of extinguishers, the location of the fire will most likely dictate the type of fire. I am not going to go in depth with all of the types and appropriate applications. But for the sake of the homeowner, you’ll need to determine which one is right for the different areas of your home. It is worth noting that the dry powder type of extinguisher (also known as the ABC type) is not recommended for small spaces such as homes and offices. If inhaled, it can be very damaging.
Know how to use the extinguisher
Having an extinguisher is just half the battle. If you want to be effective in stopping fires before they do real damage, you need to know how to use them. remember the acronym PASS. P-pull pin A-aim at the base S- squeeze the trigger S- sweep back and forth. Here is a short video illustrating the proper technique.
Emergency Escape Route
I remember when I was young, I always thought it was silly to do a fire drill at home. It wasn’t until I grew up and had babies of my own and realized that you absolutely need to practice. If you live in a home with multiple stories, get a window ladder. You wont always be able to use the stairs. Some advice I would like to pass on. If there is a fire in your home. Do not get dressed. Don’t try to find valuables. Don’t search for pets. Just get your children and leave the house. Most likely the animals will find a way out on their own. They have instincts that guide them away from fire. Your valuables are worthless if you do not have someone to share them with. Keep your family safe.
Keep combustibles away from outlets and other electronics.
It makes sense when you think about it retrospectively. But how often do we push furniture up against outlets or not think about the power strip we have had around since the 90’s. Sure it might work just fine. But newer electronics like power strips are being made safer and besides, after years of use (or maybe abuse) it’s not exactly as safe as it used to be. Outlets, extension cords, open or lose wiring. Check them. As for your electronics, I’m sure you’ve noticed that after using tv’s or laptops they get warm (maybe hot) to the touch. With the right combinations of factors, you could have a fire on your hands. Keep electronics off when they’re not being used. While the electronics are in use, keep them away from combustibles.
Keep the dead and dry stuff away from the house
Not all fires start from inside the home, some start from your yard or property. As homeowners, you are advised to trim back or remove completely, any dead trees or shrubs, or any dried up debris. These types of organic materials serve as kindling in wildfires, and they pose a threat to your home as well!
If we forgot something or you know a good way to keep your home safe, please say so in the comments! We love hearing from you. Stay safe out there in the heat and smoke!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen
Independence Day is just around the corner and we’ve come up with some tips, tricks and design ideas to help you be the BBQ champion. Some of my favorite childhood memories were any given summer outside, circled around the grill with friends and family. Here’s to you and yours. Here’s to turning those summer days in to wonderful memories.
Clean your Grill!
The key to having almost anything ready to use, is cleaning it up after you use it. But if you are like me, sometimes the food coma sets in and cleaning up is out of the question. Here are some ways to keep your grill ready for a cookout at a moments notice.
- Leave your grill on for a few minutes with the hood closed. This is a super easy, coma-friendly way to burn off any excess foods and fats left on the grill.
- Give your grill a good scrub with something abrasive. Grill brushes, tin foil, abrasive sponge. Put a minute of elbow grease in to it to remove any charred junk.
- To ensure a non-sticking grill when you fire it up the next time, spray on some non-stick spray or a bit of vegetable oil. I’ve even heard that rubbing a 1/2 onion on the grate can do the trick.
- That’s it. These easy steps will have your grill laying in wait, ready to pounce at any moment to help you keep your throne of Grill King- or Queen!
If you hate following instructions like me, here is the video version from diy network: How to clean your grill in 15 minutes
Here are a few hacks to make serving, eating and cleaning up after your festivities easy as pie!
Here are some recipes that we either love or want to make this summer. And I may be a bit biased for bourbon. Not sorry. Photos and titles are linked.
Yes. All of those!
These look amazing. I cant wait to make these. Ribs are such a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re messy, they’re not exactly on the skinny menu, but Lord they are delicious.
You read that correctly. Made these last year for a family gathering. I wish I had made more, there wasn’t nearly enough to go around twice.
This is another recipe I am looking forward to using this Independence day. I hope it has as much kick as they say.
BBQ Grill Station Ideas
Maybe this summer your mind is set on remodeling or updating your back yard. Here are some BBQ stations that are functional and add to your back yard setting.
These concrete counter tops have plenty of room for prepping. I really like the clean and fucntional design, as well as the low cost of concrete.
This one is really great too, I think the portable design is perfect for a more laid back yard. And having a sink nearby is such a smart idea. You handle tons of raw meat when you grill, and being able to wash your hands is an obvious way to prevent food-born illnesses. It even has a built in chopping block…. ok, ok. It’s a cutting board. A girl can dream right?
If putting together a large permanent station isn’t something that your bank account will allow, this might be a good solution. You can set up a semi-permanent station by using cinderblocks and paver stones to accomplish a similar built-in feel. This way you won’t spend a fortune and you will still have all that work and prep space.
We hope you enjoy these tips and tricks. If you’re feeling motivated, we’d love to see how your projects are coming along. And feedback on the recipes is always encouraged. Enjoy!
From our family to yours, We hope you have a wonderful and proud Independence Day!
God Bless America!