What You Tell Prospective Home Buyers

Even the best real estate agents can’t share important facts about your house the way that you can. You know what it’s like to actually live in your house. Only you know if the refrigerator runs after the door has been open for at least a minute. You know if the house makes settling noises late at night. Soft spots in the floor, and how well the house heats during winter and cools during summer are more facts that you’re privy to.

Sharing your house’s inside history, builds buyer trust. But, be careful. As you share facts and history about your house, you might fall in love with your house all over again and start second guessing whether you should let your house go.

Home buyers want to do more than walk thru your house

When house shoppers start asking you about closing costs, if you have pets and when you’d like to move into your new home, it’s time to start sharing important information with them. Doing so could speed up a house sale. Information to share includes:

The personality of the neighbors. Similar to how authors describe the personalities of characters in their bestselling novels, introduce potential buyers to the neighbors. Skim the surface, letting prospects know if neighbors are quiet, social or tougher to get to know. This is where having great neighbors pays off hugely.

Just as you’d let house shoppers know if you have pets, let potential buyers know if most of the neighbors have pets. If pets are well trained, not aggressive and stay in their yards, share this. It could put people who are uncomfortable around large pets at ease, especially if these potential buyers heard dogs barking as they drove up the street to your open house.

Don’t keep house shoppers in the dark

Don’t stop there. Tell house shoppers where malls and hit stores are, including how far these hot spots are from your house. If you live near hot spots, this alone could attract buyers who love being at the center of exciting events.

Although prospects will see key features about your house as they walk through it, they won’t catch everything. Tell people who are interested in buying your house about the extra storage space that buyers can’t see right away and often miss.

Have a finished basement or a finished attic? Let buyers know. It could make the difference between losing a house sale or closing a deal. Buyers may be looking for extra space that can be used as a guest room, extra bedroom or home office.

Show off gorgeous outdoor views. Share stories about renovations you performed on your house since you purchased it. Share stories about experiences you created at the house that caused you to love the house. For example, you could tell buyers that your first child was born in the house or that you started you operated your first business out of the house.

Let house shoppers know where nearby airports and other forms of public transportation like trains, subways and buses are. Buyers may not be a two-car family. Knowing that you live near reliable public transportation could seal the deal.

Talk with your real estate agent about inside history that you’re considering sharing with potential home buyers. Do this before you speak with people who are interested in buying your house. Your realtor may have ideas on how you can present the history, offering house shoppers honesty and engagement.

How to Pay for Your Mortgage Down Payment

One of the challenges that individuals and couples face when buying a house is finding the money to put toward their mortgage down payment. Since you’ll work with a lender to cover the balance of your mortgage, taking on another loan to cover your mortgage down payment may not be what you want to do.

Build your mortgage down payment early

The sooner you decide to buy a house, the sooner you can start cutting back on spending and increasing your savings. This single move keeps you from taking on unnecessary debt. It also teaches you better money management skills.

Expenses that you could trim or cut out altogether to improve your savings include clothes, tickets to live entertainment events like concerts and stage plays and jewelry. Money spent on eating out at sit down restaurants, out-of-town trips and electronics are other expenses that you could cut and invest in your savings.

In addition to cutting back on spending, following are more ways to find more for your mortgage down payment. Use three or more of the steps to make it easier for you to build $10,000 or more in savings.

Open separate bank account – Start a bank account that you use solely to invest in your mortgage down payment. This bank account should not be attached to a debit or credit card. Use the account strictly to deposit money for your down payment into.

Pay off accounts that require you to pay interest – Examples of these accounts are credit cards, computers and furniture accounts that attach interest to your payments. Definitely, pay off high interest accounts as soon as possible. You could make payments 10 or more days before they are due to reduce the amount of interest you pay on the accounts. Similar to how American Express works, try to pay off your total credit card balances within 30 or 31 days. Some credit card companies charge higher rates if you keep balances on a card for two years or longer.

Invest in certificates of deposit (CDs)– If you have an IRA or 401(k), consider working with your financial advisor to purchase CDs. You’ll get a bigger return on CDs if interest rates increase.

Contact state housing agencies – You may be able to get financial assistance from state housing agencies. This help may come in the form of grants or loans. To avoid taking on debt, opt for the grant path.

Sell products and items – Raise money for your mortgage down payment by selling clothes, shoes and household items that you don’t use. Online resellers are just one avenue that you could use to raise money by selling items.

Freelance or take on contract work -The freelance community is growing. All you need is a computer and a skill to start earning money as a contractor. Jobs you could take on as a freelancer include web designer, writer, virtual assistant, life coach or consultant. You could also find money for your mortgage down payment through gigs with taxi and transportation companies.

Despite your current financial situation, you can grow your savings. You can find money to put toward your mortgage down payment. To successfully save your mortgage down payment, you need to focus. You need to track your monthly expenses. If you’re striving to become financially disciplined, you may need to track how much you spend on a weekly basis.

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Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Whether you buy your first home later in life, or directly from college, buying your first home is a major milestone in your life.  For that reason, there are things you need to be knowledgeable about before your purchase is complete. You will want to safeguard yourself so you know that you are getting a home and a loan that you can afford. Here are a few tips from mortgage and real estate pros to help prepare you for the biggest purchase of your life.

Using an Agent

If you are a buyer, then there is no reason not to use a real estate professional. It does not cost you any more money to hire an agent. That agent will do more than find you that perfect house. You will discover that after you find a house is when you will need that agent the most.  The agent will use their expertise to present your offer to the seller and then address issues that may arise between contract and closing.

House Hunting

Remember, location, location, location. This is very important when buying a house.  Location plays a big part in determining the market value of the home. Before you start the house hunting process, make sure you know what neighborhood is a good location for you. Also, it would be good to have an idea of what style home you are looking for. Real estate moves quickly, so if you see a property that you love, you should move on it before someone else does.

Find a Loan that Works for Your

It sure can be tricky business trying decide what kind of loan is right for you.  There are many different types of loans that you should be aware of.  There is an Adjustable rate mortgage which has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. So as the index changes your interest rate and payments may go up or down. There is also a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage as well as a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage. Some state and county maximum loan amount restrictions may apply.

Home Buyer Alternatives for First Timer

Saving for a first home can sometime seem like it’s a hill that too steep, but don’t worry there are assistance programs that can help. The Federal Housing Administration offers loans to people with a credit score as low as 640, low down payments and down payment assistance. There are also VA and USDA loans: Certain active members of the military and veterans as well as qualifying residents of designated rural areas can qualify for a 0% down-payment housing loans that are free of mortgage insurance fees.

How Much Do You Have to Put Down?

It really depends on what type of loan you have. If you have a conventional loan then you may have to put as much as 20% down. It is possible to put 5% down on a conventional loan if you don’t mind paying mortgage insurance.  If you go with the FHA loan you will need at least 3.5 % down.  For people who are relying on others to help with down payments, an FHA loan may be a good option. First time home buyers need to look around and know that there are a multitude of down payment assistance offers by state or local governments.

Closing cost:

There can be a lot of hidden fees in closing costs; first time home buyers should be aware of these costs.  These fees are typically included in the closing costs, including fees for commissions, appraisals, inspections, certifications and surveying.  There will also be fees for government record changes, tax and title services and transfer taxes.