Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 9/10/2018

If you plan to buy a home in the near future, there is no harm in attending an open house. However, for those who want to get the most out of an open house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to attend an open house.

1. Review the Home Listing

Although you may have already reviewed a home listing, it may be a good idea to take a second look at it. That way, you can double-check to ensure that a residence matches your expectations prior to attending an open house.

As you review a home listing, think about your short- and long-term plans too. If you believe a home corresponds with these plans, now may be the right time to check out this residence in-person.

2. Examine Your Homebuying Budget

When it comes to preparing to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to assess your homebuying budget. By doing so, you can ensure a residence falls within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you launch a home search. If you have a mortgage at your disposal, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home. And as a result, you can set up home showings and attend open houses for residences that match your budget.

3. Prepare a List of Questions

An open house provides an opportunity to walk around a residence and decide whether it is right for you. It also enables you to receive comprehensive insights into a home. Thus, you should put together a list of questions to ask during an open house.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially if you're on the fence about buying a particular home. And if you enter an open house with a list of questions in hand, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine whether to submit an offer to purchase.

Lastly, as you prepare to pursue your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can obtain expert guidance throughout the property buying journey.

A real estate agent can help you prepare for any open house, at any time. He or she first will meet with you, discuss your homebuying options and help you map out a homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events for residences in your preferred cities and towns. And if you discover your dream home, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.

For those who want to take the guesswork out of buying a home, it helps to work with a real estate agent. Contact a local real estate agent today, and you can receive plenty of assistance as you search for your ideal residence.




Categories: Open House   Buying a Home  


Posted by Colleen Griffin on 8/13/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but youíll never know what itís like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there arenít many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.


Check Out The Neighborhood


You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.


Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 


Test The Plumbing


If you have a chance as youíre walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but itís important. You donít want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isnít so hot! 


Check Out How The Windows Work


A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   


How Is The Storage Space?


Look around the homes that youíre considering and see how much storage space youíll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your familyís lifestyle.    

 






Posted by Colleen Griffin on 7/30/2018

What Is The Disclosure Statement?


Disclosure statements are used in many of lifeís situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a sellerís disclosure are:


  • Water in the basement
  • Updates made to the home
  • Known pests
  • Paranormal activity
  • Death on the property
  • Past fires
  • Nearby major construction projects
  • Title 5 sewerage issues 


Disclosures Serves As Protections


The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyerís perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying. 


On the sellerís side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.


How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure


Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted.  The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasnít properly presented on the statement.  


How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?


The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.  


Whatís Disclosed To Buyers?


The disclosure doesnít have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that youíre selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.


Itís easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the cityís zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family. 


Problems that youíll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions. 


Remember that the disclosure doesnít substitute the buyerís right to a professional inspection of the property. Itís important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure theyíre making a good investment.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 7/23/2018

Dotting the I's and crossing the T's on a home loan application may seem like a daunting task, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer. However, those who know what to expect when they fill out a home loan application may be better equipped than others to obtain a home loan that matches or exceeds their expectations.

When it comes time to fill out a home loan application, you'll need to provide a variety of information, including:

1. Personal Information

Allocate the necessary time and resources to provide as much personal information as possible on your home loan application. That way, you can make it easy for a lender to create a file for all of your home loan information.

Typically, your lender will ask for your Social Security number, date of birth, current housing information and school information. Provide accurate personal information at all times, and if you're uncertain about how to answer certain questions, consult with a home loan expert for additional support.

2. Employment Information

Where have you worked, and how much have you earned while you've worked for various companies in the past? As you complete your home loan application, you'll need to provide employment information to verify your current and past employment and income.

Usually, a lender will want you to provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers for any employers over the past two years. This will allow a lender to verify employment as part of the home loan application process.

You also will need to offer copies of your two most recent pay stubs to a lender. This will enable the lender to confirm your current income.

Lastly, if you are self-employed, you likely will need to provide a lender with a profit and loss statement for the past two years.

3. Financial Information

Tax forms, bank account information and asset details are some of the key parts of the financial information section of a home loan application.

Ultimately, the financial information section helps a lender verify if you have any outstanding credit lines, rental property and much more. This information will help a lender make an informed decision about your loan application and determine how much you are eligible to receive toward the purchase of a new house.

If you ever have questions at any stage of the home loan application process, don't hesitate to reach out to a home loan expert for help. This professional will be able to offer comprehensive insights to help you complete a timely, accurate home loan application.

In addition, your real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with various lenders in your area. With this housing market professional at your side, you can learn about different lenders and find one that can help you get the right home loan.

Finalizing a home loan application may seem like an uphill struggle. But if you act as a diligent homebuyer, you should have no trouble reviewing all sections of a home loan application. And as a result, you can provide a lender with relevant information and boost your chances of getting the perfect home loan.




Categories: Buying a Home   home loans  


Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/25/2018

Ultimately, there is no surefire amount that you should spend on a house. The real estate market varies in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, the prices of houses fall across a broad range. Also, the condition and age of a house Ė as well as a homebuyer's budget Ė may dictate how much an individual is willing to spend on a particular residence.

As you search for your dream house, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Because if you have a homebuying strategy in place, you can determine exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your finances in order before you kick off a house search.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, your credit score may have far-flung effects on your homebuying budget. And if you fail to review your credit score before you embark on a house search, you may miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream house.

A low credit score may make it tough to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal residence. Thus, you may want to check your credit score and find ways to improve it before you begin a house search.

You won't have to break your budget to get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In fact, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the aforementioned credit bureaus. Request a copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score.

Of course, if your credit score is low, you can always improve it by paying off outstanding debt. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that provided the report so that you can get these issues corrected.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage makes it easy to enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage sooner rather than later.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. Don't hesitate to ask these specialists about assorted mortgage options, and you can select a mortgage that perfectly matches your finances.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can make it simple to pursue your dream house. This housing market professional will help you narrow the price range for your dream house and ensure you can discover the perfect house without delay. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home.

Ready to start a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can simultaneously look for your dream house and avoid the risk of paying too much to purchase your dream residence.







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