July 8, 2019

Top 10 Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

Buying a home is most likely the largest investment you will make and it comes with many big decisions!  Here are the top 10 mistakes buyers make when buying a home and how you can avoid them:

Top 10 Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

1.  Shopping for a house before you are approved for a mortgage.

This immediately puts you behind the ball if a home hits the market that you love, or if you have been wasting time looking at homes you can't afford.  Most sellers in Arizona require a Pre-Qualification Form filled out by a lender with any offers.  A buyer that is prepared and pre-approved for a mortgage can snatch that home from you. 

This can also cause you some heartache!  You may fall in love with a home and then find out you don't qualify for it.  Or you could qualify for it, but end up with a payment much higher than you are comfortable with.  One tough scenario is if you end up with a lender that is not attentive and does not follow through because you didn't have the time to get a referral or shop around.  If this lender cannot complete the loan you could lose out on the house and you won't get reimbursed for the home inspection fee or the appraisal fee.   

Solution:  Take the opportunity to shop around and find a lender that offers a wide array of programs, great rates and great customer service.  Get fully approved right away with a lender.  Take a look at your payment options and determine a home price that fits your budget and lifestyle.  Your lender will also let you know any errors on your credit that you can fix to help your buying position.  Having a lender on your side from the beginning can help put you in the buying strongest position so it will be easier to beat the competing buyers.

2.  Talking to just one lender or bank. 

A lot of buyers simply contact their bank for a new mortgage.  The more you shop around the better you can compare the rates and fees.  Remember that not all lenders are created equal and it could cost you money as well as a new home if the lender cannot complete the mortgage in the timeframe allowed in the Purchase Contract.  It's important to talk to a RealtorⓇ and ask for lender recommendations.  They know of lenders they have worked with before and who can get the job done for you.  Your bank may not be as attentive as a local lender, and with a large bank you may end up dealing with multiple people in departments in multiple states.    

Solution:  Shop around with at least three lenders.  Ask your RealtorⓇ for a recommendation for lenders that they have worked with successfully in the past. 

3.  Not being realistic about your budget. 

It's very easy to fall in love with homes that stretch your budget or that are above your budget!  It's crucial that keep yourself in check and stick with your budget.  Having a higher mortgage payment than you can actually afford puts you at risk for losing your home.  

Solution:  Focus on what your monthly payment and monthly costs will be and determine what you feel comfortable with and what you can afford.  You may qualify for a certain loan amount, but can you realistically afford the payments?  Make sure to factor in other obligations besides the mortgage payment as well, such as HOA fees and maintenance fees.

4.  Using up all of your savings to buy a house. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes buyers make.  Regardless if a buyer is putting down 3.5% or 20%, some buyers drain their savings, their retirement savings and other investments to come up with the downpayment and closing costs.  With no savings to fall back on, it puts you at a higher risk for losing your home if something should happen, such as a loss of job or illness. 

Solution:  Make sure you have three to six months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund/savings account.  Having less than that is risky. Take a look at your budget and cut back on unnecessary expenses in order to save up for a down payment and closing costs, but don't drain your savings. Talk to a lender about low down options.

5.  Making a big purchase right before closing on their new home. 

This one is a biggie!  Lenders pull credit again just before closing to ensure the buyer still qualifies for the loan and that nothing has changed in their financial picture.  Some buyers learn this the hard way and suddenly cannot qualify for the home due to buying a new car, or new furniture or new appliances.  

Solution:  Do not make any large purchases before the home closes and you have the key!  Here are common things that buyers do before closing that cost them their new home:  Top 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make Before Closing

 6.  Making decisions about buying a home based on emotion

Obviously there is going to be some emotion involved in buying a new home.  You need to feel good about the house and see yourself living there.  However, some buyers lead with emotion and forget their original goals.  Some examples are over bidding on a property, fixating on the house over the neighborhood, or moving too fast on a home out of fear of missing out.

Solution:  Try not to get too emotionally attached to properties as you view them.  Make sure you have a game plan together that you can refer to when you start to get emotional.  Having a good Realtor to keep you on track is very helpful.  Remember the key items that you are looking for in a home and what your budget is.  

7.  Waiting until you have 20% down to buy a home

Most buyers think they need 20% down to buy a home.  While putting 20% down does save you from paying monthly mortgage insurance, there are numerous loan programs available the require less than 20%. 

Solution: Talk to your lender and find out what low down programs you qualify for.  You can put as little as 3% down for a conventional loan and 3.5% down for a FHA loan.  Buyers using VA financing are eligible for zero down.  Some downpayment assistance programs may still be available.  There are options out there, check it out!

8.  Waiting for the perfect house. 

The perfect house does not exist, yet some people are not willing to make compromises and instead wait for their unicorn to hit the market.  Meanwhile housing prices are rising and there is a risk that the rates will rise too.  Eventually they could be priced out of the area they want and miss out on a great home!

Solution:  Unicorns do not exist, find a home that checks most of your boxes and fits within your budget.  Be willing to consider fixing up a property to make it fit what you want in a home.  There are mortgage available that allow you to roll the cost of repairs and remodeling into your mortgage.  An awesome lender can help you with this!

9.  Thinking you can't qualify. 

Some people think they cannot qualify for a mortgage, however, there are tons of mortgage programs available that may fit their needs. 

Solution:  Talk to an awesome lender!  FHA offers mortgage loans with just 3.5% down with a minimum 580 credit score.  In addition, there are loan programs that can offer down payment assistance.  Worse case, your lender can let you know what steps you need to take to qualify for a mortgage in the future.

10.  Not considering the hidden costs of homeownership. 

The cost of owning a home is more than just the mortgage payment, there are numerous other costs that a new homeowner will encounter.

Solution:  Talk to your Realtor and your lender and have them help you determine what costs you will encounter.  Your mortgage payment will likely also include taxes and homeowner's insurance, make sure to shop around for insurance quotes. If you are moving from a smaller home or apartment, your utility bills will most likely increase.  Call each utility company to get the estimated costs.  In addition, most recommend setting aside 1% to 3% of the homes market value annually to cover repairs and maintenance expenses.  A home warranty plan can help offset some of these costs.  Click here for more information abut home warranty plans:  Should You Buy a Home Warranty Plan? 

 

Knowledge is power!  It can help you save time, money and your mind! I'd be honored to help you get a game plan together and help you through the home buying process.  Even if you are months away from buying a home, it's never too early to start planning.  Click on the link below to request a phone consultation.  I look forward to connecting!

Phone Consultation with Cinda Rose

 

July 8, 2019

When Should You Contact a Realtor?

Buying a home can be the best investment you ever make, but it can be an emotional roller coaster if you don't approach it with a plan in place!  Today's buyers can easily access properties online and often times these buyers wait until a property they like hits the market to call a Realtor to show it to them.

Why waiting to call a RealtorⓇ is not a good idea:

  • It can cause you more stress and cost you more money if you don't have a solid plan in place.  Buying a home can be stressful and it is important to set yourself up properly from the very beginning to decrease the amount of stress involved.  Failing to get a game plan together can cost you added stress as well as thousands of dollars. If you aren't set up to beat the competition you will miss out on house after house to other buyers.  Completing a buyer consultation with a RealtorⓇ will help you set up a smart, personalized plan to buying a home that can eliminate the most common homebuyer pitfalls.
  • You may struggle to find an available agent, or worse, end up with someone you don't like.  Great buyer's agents have systems and schedules in place and are often not available at the last minute for non-established clients.  In other words, if you haven't had a consultation with the agent, then they may not be able to help you at the last minute.  If you are serious about buying a home then it is important to start building a relationship with a RealtorⓇ now.  Find someone that you have a good rapport with. Even if you are months away from buying, or aren't 100% sure you want to buy a new place, it's important to find an advocate that can guide you through the process.  
  • A lot of people struggle with making big decisions without letting emotions getting in the way.  A RealtorⓇ spends time listening to your goals and what you want to accomplish and then uses that information to help you find the best property for you.  This can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.  When you start to sway off course from your original goals, your agent will help you stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.  Your agent can also help you adjust your plan when needed since some buyers start to change their wants and needs after physically viewing some homes.

  • Your RealtorⓇ may have access to properties that will be hitting the market soon.  Most RealtorsⓇ have a network of agents that they work with that notify them of Coming Soon properties.  In addition, they also have clients that are considering selling their home or they may be in the process of getting their home ready for the market.  You may just find your new home before it hits the MLS.  

When should you contact a RealtorⓇ?  Ideally, once you are about 4 to 6 months out from your target closing date (when you want to be in your new home), then it's time to meet with your agent, more clearly define what you are looking for, and begin the process.  If you are more than 6 months out, it's still not a bad idea to have a conversation with a local RealtorⓇ to discuss your big purchase and how this Realtor can help you.

I'd be honored to have a conversation about being that RealtorⓇ for you!  I am an Accredited Buyer's Representative with advance education and training, as well as experience.  I also have systems in place that help make the home buying process easier for my clients.  Let me help you experience success!!   I look forward to connecting with you!

Schedule a Phone Consultation with Cinda Rose

 

 

 

 

 

July 7, 2019

Top 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make Right Before Closing

After finding the home you want and negotiating the sale, passing the home inspection period and the appraisal hurdle, it would be a shame to do something that could keep you from getting financing on the property while you are waiting to close!  But it happens.

 

How can you avoid this?  Here are the top 5 mistakes buyers make:

 

Having an awesome lender on your side will help you avoid mistakes before closing.  If you would like the contact information for a local lender feel free to contact me.  

 

If you would like to get a game plan together for a successful road to homeownership fill out the request form below.  I look forward to connecting!  

 

 

 

July 7, 2019

Avoid Buyer's Remorse!

No one wants to regret a home purchase!  However, during the process of buying a home, there are many opportunities for you to run into obstacles that could lead you to buyer's remorse.  Here are 7 common stumbling blocks buyers encounter:

 

1. INADEQUATE PLANNING

Before writing your first offer, clarify your priorities, strengths, and weaknesses—AND the seller’s. A true negotiating strategy is about much more than price.  Think beyond step one, anticipating possible responses and counter offers.  With careful forethought and a little creativity, you’ll feel much more confident about your negotiating plan and improve your odds of success.

 

2. GETTING EMOTIONAL

Stick to the facts and remain as objective as possible.  Feelings of personal insult or anger don’t contribute anything of value to a negotiation. (In fact, it’s more likely to cloud your ability to think clearly.) If a seller rejects some aspects of your offer, try to calmly and rationally understand their perspectives.  Remember, the seller is not the enemy!

 

3. IMPATIENCE

Sometimes the negotiating process takes time to unfold.  Stay relaxed and focused on your purchasing objectives.  You may need to be flexible and open to alternative ways to reach them.

 

4. FEAR

While patience is a virtue, don’t let fear paralyze your ability to make decisions. If you find a house that’s a good fit, don’t be afraid to submit an offer. Too often, buyers delay action and the house goes under contract with someone else. (Buyers rarely make this mistake twice.)

 

5. BLIND SPOTS

Your objective is to own a home. Don’t lose sight of that goal by putting too much emphasis on smaller obstacles and distractions that may present themselves during the negotiation process. Stay focused on the big picture.

 

6. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

Learn as much as you can from your Realtor about current market conditions and the home buying process. Knowledge is power, which can be used to your advantage in shaping your negotiating strategy.

 

7. STUBBORNNESS

Negotiations are ultimately about two parties reaching a win-win agreement. Don’t be completely unwilling to compromise. Instead, focus on joint problem solving.  Again, the seller is not the enemy and we must work together to complete the sale.

 

Want to learn more about buying a home?  Fill out the form below to schedule a free phone consultation.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

July 7, 2019

How to Finance a Fixer Upper

Every day homeowners save up money for their down payment as well as their closing costs so they can buy a new home.  But what happens if they fall in love with a home that needs repairs that will require more cash?  Some buyers are not able to come up with more cash to spend on these repairs.  To help solve this problem, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a unique program that allows you to finance these additional expenses when you purchase the house, called Section 203 (k) Rehab Mortgage Insurance.

Traditionally, buyers have needed to fund these repairs themselves after closing, either by using cash, or secure a home improvement loan (usually at a higher borrowing rate) in addition to a mortgage for the house purchase. This limited the amount of people that could purchase a home and then complete repairs and upgrades.

With the 203(k) program, however, borrowers can wrap the purchase and rehabilitation costs into a single mortgage offered at a competitive rate.  Borrowers can select between a fixed- or variable-rate loan, up to 30 years. Like other FHA loans, the down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent.  

STREAMLINED PROGRAM:  The FHA also offers a streamlined program that provides financing up to $35,000 in rehabilitation costs on top of an existing mortgage. It’s a simpler process that helps buyers make their home move-in ready. 


Or, current homeowners can use the funds to make repairs or improvements to prepare their home for sale.  What a great way to make a property shine above the other properties on the market and to get a property ready for a new homeowner to move in. 


There are of course limitations and restrictions and you do have to qualify for the programs.  To learn more about either 203(k) program, visit hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/203k. Or you can contact me and I will put you in touch with a local lender familiar with the FHA 203 (K) program as well as other loan programs. 

Do you have questions about buying a home?  Schedule a free phone consultation today!  I look forward to connecting!

 

 

July 7, 2019

10 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Relocation Move

Whether you are moving across the country, or just across town, relocating to a new area can be an adventure!  With the right game plan in place you can ensure the process will be less stressful.  Here's 10 ways for you to prepare for your big move.

1.  SELECT THE RIGHT REALTOR

Working with a good agent is one of the most important aspects of a successful home purchase.  Key qualities to look for:  experience with relocating clients, strong local market knowledge and solid communication skills.  (An agent with an ABR designation also has special training in representing buyers.)

 

2.  GET PRE-APPPROVED (NOT JUST PRE-QUALIFIED) FOR YOUR MORTGAGE

Pre-approval means your application has already been processed and final approval is only contingent upon an appraisal and other issues. Mortgage pre-approval puts you in a more favorable negotiating position with sellers and allows you to make faster decisions.

 

3.  SEPARATE YOUR NEEDS FROM YOUR WANTS

The difference may seem subtle, but this makes it easier to quickly narrow your options and find the best home for your needs.

 

4.  KEEP DETAILED NOTES

You’ll probably see many homes in a short period of time.  Detailed notes, photos, and listing sheets can help you recall each property after a busy “home shopping” trip.

 

5.  THINK ABOUT SELLING WHILE BUYING

Transferees often face future relocations, so it’s important to consider a home’s resale value. If your agent is pointing out a home’s flaws, they’re probably looking out for your future best interests.

 

6. LEARN THE MARKET

Buyers can gather an amazing amount of information online about the markets they are considering for their new home (although an experienced agent will always have a stronger pulse on local market prices than any website). Do your homework and rely on your agent to add key perspectives.  Check out my blog to learn more about Phoenix's West Valley.

 

7. BE PREPARED TO MAKE FAST DECISIONS

Many markets now favor sellers or simply lack adequate home inventories, causing buyers to quickly regret momentary hesitation on a desirable home. Consider making an offer right away, even if you plan to view additional properties.

 

8. BEFORE PLACING AN OFFER, REQUEST A QUICK CMA

Agents can produce a comparable market analysis on any home in a matter of minutes. This is also where an agent with local market expertise can be a real plus.

 

9. BE PREPARED FOR EMOTIONAL UPS AND DOWNS 

Negotiating an offer can be a draining experience. Try to remain calm and maintain perspective as offers and counter offers are exchanged.

 

10. LEARN FROM HOME INSPECTORS

The level of detail in home inspections has improved dramatically. If at all possible, attend the inspection in person. You’ll also gain many valuable tips about maintaining your home in the written report. As far as renegotiating on repair items, remember that in strong markets, sellers will be unwilling to make any concessions based on the inspector’s report.

 

**BONUS for all of my clients, check out my free personal moving concierge service:  

All Your Moving Needs in One Place!  Free Personal Moving Concierge

 

With the right game plan in place you will be settled in your new home before you know it!  My goal is to help make the process as smooth as possible for you.  If you would like to schedule a phone consultation and get the process started (even if you are months out from relocating it's not too early to contact me) please fill out the form below.  I look forward to connecting! 

 

 

 

July 7, 2019

How to Find the Most Accurate Information for Homes for Sale on the MLS

 

Buyers today are using national home search websites to start their home search.  While they are a good place to start, it's important to understand how these sites receive and update their information about the houses for sale.   You may be looking at outdated information and here's why.

THE SYNDICATION PROCESS

 

A seller's agent starts the home marketing process by creating a "listing" that includes key details and selling points, as well as photos.  This information is usually entered into the local multiple listing service (MLS).  All agents within that MLS share access to the most current details on every listing and may, depending on rule requirements, republish listings on their own websites.

Seller's agents want their client's property to be seen by as many consumers as possible, so they typically use syndication services to republish the listing on various consumer sites, such as Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com.  Even though the listing agent created the original content, their ability to control future updates may be hit or miss.  In addition, some consumer sites sell listing information to other sites, in a process called resyndication, creating further distance from the original source.  On top of that, the national home search portals. like Zillow and Trulia, pull their information from other various public sites. This can create out-of-date and incorrect information. 

 

 

IMPROVING YOUR RESULTS

 

Consumer property websites, or portals, such as Zillow and Trulia are hungry for as many listings and as much content as possible, that's how they attract visitors.  But they may be less than interested, or even capable of, keeping the information up to date.  As a result, buyers often find properties that are no longer available for sale or otherwise inaccurate details, such as estimated values.  If inaccurate data is being used, Zillow's Zestimate can cause for homeowners and potential buyers since this value is not always a good gauge of the properties value.  

 

THE SOLUTION?

 

Work with and rely on a source who can offer the most current and accurate information. As a Realtor I have real-time access to the most complete inventory of homes for sale, along with the most timely details on prices, market status, comparable sales, etc. My information comes straight from the MLS, and you have access to the same list of homes when you use the home search tool on my website.  In addition, I can also give you access to email updates on qualified properties once they hit the market, as well as upcoming listings.  Why waste your time looking at out-of-date information when you can get the information straight from the source?

 

Contact me today and I will help you get a game plan together for finding a new home.  I can also make sure you are set up with a home search that fits your needs so you can save time while looking through homes.  Please fill out the form to schedule a time for us to chat:

 

July 7, 2019

10 Questions You Must Ask Yourself At Each House You View

Buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster for most people.  That's because most buyers begin looking at homes without a plan.  Without a plan you can be hit with a ton of emotions and most people become overwhelmed after viewing just a few homes. 

How can you avoid this?  First you need to make sure you have a clear idea of what type of home you are looking for and what features are a must.  While it's important to keep some options open and your wants may change during the process, for the most part it is essential to stay focused on what is important to you in a new home.

Second, you should ask yourself the following 10 questions while you view each property.

10 Questions You Must Ask Yourself At Each House You View

  1. Do I like the neighborhood and street?
  2. Do I like the way this house looks when first drive I drive up?
  3. When I first walk in the door, how does this home make me feel?
  4. Can I see myself functioning in the kitchen with its current layout?
  5. Is the gathering space large enough for me as well as my friends and family?
  6. Will my furniture fit or will I have to buy new furniture?
  7. Do I see myself enjoying the backyard and does it provide the level of privacy I want?
  8. How will the afternoon sun affect the backyard as well as other rooms in the house?
  9. Does this home have the features that I am looking for?
  10. What will I need to do to this home to make it move-in ready for me?

After you answer these questions it will help you compare this property to the other properties that you view.  You may find your wants changing after you view a few homes and that's ok, we can make adjustments to fine tune what type of new home you are looking for.  The most important thing is to get a game plan together so you can approach your home search focused on what is important to you.  Trust me, it helps make the process easier for you!  With this clarity you will find that it is much easier to know for sure when you find "The One."

If you would like to schedule a phone consultation to get a game plan together for your home search click on the link below, I look forward to connecting!

Schedule a Phone Consultation with Cinda Rose

 

 

June 7, 2019

CHILD & PET-PROOFING YOUR HOME

You've just finished spring cleaning, and summer is approaching quickly. Summer means longer days and later nights, and usually more traffic in your home. With play dates, game nights, and bonfires, there are likely to be more guests in and out of your home than usual. While fun is the priority, safety should be as well. To keep the little ones, children and pets included, safe in your home, follow these steps so you can enjoy a safe summer (as well as all the other seasons): 

1. Protect your belongings

This has two benefits. If you have items that are important to you and could easily break, it is best to store them away so they don't get damaged and no one gets hurt from the broken item in the process. 

2. Make off-limit areas

If you want to prevent children and pets from going places you don't want them, consider installing safety gates. Placing gates in front of staircases and rooms with more breakable items can prevent both children and pets from falling or accessing those items you don't want to injure crawling little ones. 

3. Secure furniture

Sometimes when we get new furniture, we don't think those extra safety screws included to attach the furniture to the wall are necessary. Sadly, accidents involving falling furniture occur much too often because safety anchors are not installed. If you have any furniture that could be pulled down by a child, pick up anchors at your local hardware store. Dressers, televisions, and bookshelves are all items that can easily be pulled down from a child trying to climb onto them. 

4. Use child-proof locks

Kitchens are filled with items that can become dangerous for both children and pets in an instant. Knives, spices, and cleaners can all stay safely out of the hands (and paws) of children and pets by installing child-proof locks on all the cabinets that need to stay off-limits.

5. Don't buy poisonous plants

The first step in avoiding poisonous plants is finding out which ones can be toxic to children and pets. While most plants are kid-friendly, many can be dangerous to pets, even those you wouldn't think could be, such as the Aloe plant.

6. Protect outlets and cords

While our lifestyles continue to become more wireless by the day, children and pets are still at risk in homes where items are plugged in. Ensure that your outlets are guarded and wires are hidden or blocked off. Not only can you prevent risk of shock, but you can also protect the items you have plugged in - like that television that you don't want to come crashing onto the floor!

 

May 25, 2019

5 Ways to Fill the Space Above Your Bed

 

Even if you have a beautiful headboard, the space above your bed can seem empty if left untouched. This space can be tricky to decorate, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it blank. There are plenty of ways to spruce up that space without much work. Here are 5 ways to make the best of that negative space!

1. Add a Set of Shelves

Even if you don’t need the extra storage space, you can use shelves to add small decor that is unique to you. Your favorite books, small planters, or even picture frames are a great way to personalize the shelves.

2. Wallpaper the Wall

If you're worried about adding anything above your bed, consider creating an accent wall with floral wallpaper. Many places sell peel and stick paper so if you decide you don't love the style or you're renting and cannot make a permanent change, you can still try out wallpaper.

3. Make the Room Look Bigger With Mirrors

The best way to make a room look bigger is to strategically place mirrors across from open windows or sources of light. You can also place 2 small mirrors alongside a large central mirror if your bed isn't across from a light source. This will also make your room appear larger while filling empty space.

4. Consider a Tasteful Tapestry or Wall Hanging

Tapestries aren't just for college dorm rooms. If you aren't ready to add shelving fixtures but want something a little more than wallpaper, consider adding a pop of color with a tapestry or a statement yarn wall hanging. 

5. Create a Gallery Wall

Whether it is gridded and organized or statement and staggered, a gallery wall is the perfect way to add a little more 'you' to your bedroom. Frame your favorite family photos or the landscape photos from your favorite vacation. 

Posted in Home Design Ideas