Taking the Fear out of the Mortgage Process

 

Taking the Fear out of the Mortgage Process | Simplifying The Market

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need to have saved for a down payment (the average down payment on all loans was 11% last month, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income and good credit history.

Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals, all of which perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

https://goo.gl/sylSJD

Posted on October 31, 2016 at 5:02 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, Helpful Articles | Tagged , , ,

Starting to Look for a Home? Know What You WANT vs. What You NEED

In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses.

http://https://goo.gl/0PD3ql

Posted on October 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, Helpful Articles, new home | Tagged ,

Yes Curb Appeal Matters in a “HOT MARKET”

images

In todays “HOT MARKET” it is still a matter of importance before listing your home to remember – You only make a first impression once.

Many sellers are under the assumption that their home will sell as it is.  This may be so, but do you want to risk not getting the highest price possible.  This all starts with the first impression.  This first photo seen on line is usually the outside of the home, this first thing a buyers see when driving past the home is the exterior.  Why not take the extra effort in making  the curb appeal of your home the best you absolutely can before listing your home.

Here are a few simple suggestions that will not break the bank but will have a tremendous effect on the curb appeal of your home.

Entrance

  • Repaint the front door and replace the hardware
  • Update the house numbers
  • Add or update light fixtures by the entrance
  • Rinse or sweep the driveway regularly and reseal holes and cracks

Roof

  • Check your roof for any missing or badly curled or damaged shingles that need to be replaced.
  • Clear all gutters and downspouts of any debris

Landscaping

  • Trim any overgrown shrubs, remove weeds and tidy up planting areas.
  • Add colorful flowers and shrubs where possible
  • Add new barkdust if this is something that you already have in place.
  • Keep the lawn trimmed

Fence

  • Walk the fence looking for loose slats or missing components. Make sure all the latches and gate are working properly
  • repaint if necessary

Overall

  • Wash everything- the windows, front door, porch and garage doors.
  • Pressure wash the driveway and sidewalks and siding.

These are just a few simple things that will help improve the overall curb appeal of your home.

Remember Selling your home is work and buying a home is fun, make your home stand out to the buyers.

 

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, Helpful Articles | Tagged , , ,

Appraisal Woes in 2016?

“The fourth quarter RESI found that title agents continue to believe that property valuation issues will be the most likely cause of title order cancellation over the coming year.”

So far this year I have already had to deal with a low appraisal and I have had other agents comment on the same issue, especially when the appraiser has been out of area appraiser. This caught both myself and the listing agent off guard as we both had supporting comps that supported both the listing price and the offer price.

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.”

WORD FOR THE WISE

If you are listing your home and expect offers above listing price, be prepared for the conversation that the appraiser may not show the same value as the offer presented.  Make sure there is a significant down payment and that you have a plan in place for negotiation in this situation.

If you are a buyer and you not putting a significant down payment down on a home, your agent had better be sure that the offer is supported by comparable comps and as recent as possible. Another buyer beware opportunity for the buyer to avoid the pit falls of not getting the home you love because of the appraisal.

Bottom Line

“Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. ” According to an article by Keeping Current Matters.

Let’s get together and discuss how this may impact the sale of your home.

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 4:25 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, clients, Helpful Articles, new home owners, Uncategorized

“Harvard: Why Owning A Home Makes Sense Financially”

Harvard: Why Owning A Home Makes Sense Financially | Keeping Current Matters

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.” 

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact a local professional who can help evaluate your ability to do so.

 

Posted on February 17, 2016 at 10:14 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, clients, Helpful Articles, new home, new home owners, Real Estate Activity

Did You Know?

https://bcmthekeytoyournewhome.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/did-you-know

"For years, first-time home buyers have made up around 40 percent of all buyers. However, since the recession, this percentage has been shrinking. In 2015, they made up just under 30 percent of the market share, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. "

As a Realtor in the Portland and SW Washington markets, I have realized the need to help get new buyers educated in the process of buying a home. In a market that is growing as rapidly as our's is, first time home  buyers need to know the ins and outs before even looking for a home.

This article discusses this very topic.

 The ‘Missing Link’ in Housing

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, January 05, 2016

 

For years, first-time home buyers have made up around 40 percent of all buyers. However, since the recession, this percentage has been shrinking. In 2015, they made up just under 30 percent of the market share, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. 

For years, first-time home buyers have made up around 40 percent of all buyers. However, since the recession, this percentage has been shrinking. In 2015, they made up just under 30 percent of the market share, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  

As a Realtor in the Portland and SW Washington markets, I have realized the need to help get new buyers educated in the process of buying a home. In a market that is growing as rapidly as our's is, first time home  buyers need to know the ins and outs before even looking for a home.

This article discusses this very topic.

 The ‘Missing Link’ in Housing

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, January 05, 2016

 

For years, first-time home buyers have made up around 40 percent of all buyers. However, since the recession, this percentage has been shrinking. In 2015, they made up just under 30 percent of the market share, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Read moreDos and Don'ts for a First-Time Home Buyer

The decrease of first-time home buyers will have broad economic implications, housing analysts say. Without first-time home buyers, an entire cycle of home ownership is stalled. Current home owners are usually unable to sell their homes and move up. And without move-up transactions, many older people can’t sell and downsize for retirement. 

“In terms of the real-estate recovery, the missing link is first-time home buyers,” says Rob Chrane, founder and CEO of Down Payment Resource. “They’ve been at record lows. Part of it is legitimate reasons. Part of it is just ignorance.”

It’s not that millennials don’t show an interest in home ownership: according to a survey conducted by Fannie Mae, 56 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 plan to buy a home next time they move. 

But housing analysts say that the real estate industry has an important part in bringing them into home ownership by driving home the financial benefits and teaching them about ways to make homeownership possible.

“Ignorance about the process, concern about the economic outlook, and some skepticism about ownership are all hobbling the return of first-timers,” according to a recent article by MarketWatch. 

Only 23 percent from Fannie Mae’s survey said they were familiar with low-down payment programs, such as those offered by the Federal Housing Administration. Consumers believed on average that they need 16 percent for a down payment in order to qualify for a mortgage, according to the survey. Lower-educated and lower-income consumers, renters, African-Americans, and seniors were more likely to assume they needed a higher down payment to qualify for a mortgage.

But in reality, homes can be purchased with as little as a 3 percent down payment. Rules enacted in 2015 that decreased the amount of mortgage insurance borrowers must pay on FHA loans and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lowering down payment minimums may have boosted first-time participation slightly, say housing analysts. 

Chrane urges the real estate industry to educate would-be buyers on the possibilities to home ownership. 

“There are more options out there than they realize, and they really need to look into them before they give up,” says Chrane. 

Source: “Why First-Time Home Buyers Are Staying on the Sidelines,” MarketWatch (Dec. 31, 2015)

If you would like to attend my home buyers seminar on January 12,2016 please contact me at http://bradmulliner.com/contact-me/.

The decrease of first-time home buyers will have broad economic implications, housing analysts say. Without first-time home buyers, an entire cycle of home ownership is stalled. Current home owners are usually unable to sell their homes and move up. And without move-up transactions, many older people can’t sell and downsize for retirement. 

“In terms of the real-estate recovery, the missing link is first-time home buyers,” says Rob Chrane, founder and CEO of Down Payment Resource. “They’ve been at record lows. Part of it is legitimate reasons. Part of it is just ignorance.”

It’s not that millennials don’t show an interest in home ownership: according to a survey conducted by Fannie Mae, 56 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 plan to buy a home next time they move. 

But housing analysts say that the real estate industry has an important part in bringing them into home ownership by driving home the financial benefits and teaching them about ways to make homeownership possible.

“Ignorance about the process, concern about the economic outlook, and some skepticism about ownership are all hobbling the return of first-timers,” according to a recent article by MarketWatch. 

Only 23 percent from Fannie Mae’s survey said they were familiar with low-down payment programs, such as those offered by the Federal Housing Administration. Consumers believed on average that they need 16 percent for a down payment in order to qualify for a mortgage, according to the survey. Lower-educated and lower-income consumers, renters, African-Americans, and seniors were more likely to assume they needed a higher down payment to qualify for a mortgage.

But in reality, homes can be purchased with as little as a 3 percent down payment. Rules enacted in 2015 that decreased the amount of mortgage insurance borrowers must pay on FHA loans and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lowering down payment minimums may have boosted first-time participation slightly, say housing analysts. 

Chrane urges the real estate industry to educate would-be buyers on the possibilities to home ownership. 

“There are more options out there than they realize, and they really need to look into them before they give up,” says Chrane. 

Source: “Why First-Time Home Buyers Are Staying on the Sidelines,” MarketWatch (Dec. 31, 2015)

If you would like to attend my home buyers seminar on January 12,2016 please contact me at http://bradmulliner.com/contact-me/.

 

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, Helpful Articles | Tagged , , , ,

Portland homes selling in less than a month in Q3.

Portland homes selling in less than a month in Q3.

Still not sure whether or not it a good time to sell your home?  Homes are definitely selling quickly as long as they are price right. Yes this is still a sellers market in most areas around the Portland market and with the lack of inventory it appears that it is going to remain this way for a while.

SEATTLENov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Matthew GardnerWindermere Real Estate Chief Economist, found Portland homes were on the market an average for just 27 days in the third quarter of 2015. This represents a drop in 10 days from the second quarter. Multnomah and Washington Counties also saw homes sell in less than a month.

“The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 92 days, with thePortland market in particular dropping from 37 to 27 days. This shows that the hot Portland economy is causing the demand to keep supply flying off the shelves,” said Gardner. He added one caveat, “There was a decline in state employment in September and the unemployment rate did rise, but I do not see this as a trend so much as a temporary blip.”

Looking at how the situation compares to the same time last year, the supply shortage drove home prices 6.1 percent higher year-over-year to $309,565. “What’s more impressive, sales activity rose by 21.6 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2014, exceeding the 20.9 percent year-over-year growth rate that we saw in the second quarter,” said Gardner.

As a result, Gardner believes that the housing market has tipped even further in favor of sellers. For Portland area buyers, this means it’s more important than ever to do the prep work to be able to move fast when buyers find a home they wish to buy:

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage in advance (unless making an all-cash offer), and be ready to document the funds to be used for a down payment.
  • Retain an experienced buyer’s agent, who knows the local area and whom you trust. Go with them to see properties within 24-48 hours of listing.
  • Have advance discussions on what to write into offers: escalation clauses, quickness of home inspection, and even offering to rent the home back to the seller after the sale to give them more time to move. If the buyers and their agent have already confirmed those decisions, they can move faster in writing up the offer when the time comes.

Matthew Gardner joined Windermere Real Estate in July 2015 as its national Chief Economist with over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.  Gardner has watched the Oregon economy and housing market for his entire career, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics.

To read more from the third quarter Gardner Report and about Matthew Gardner, visit http://www.windermere.com/blogs/.

About Windermere Real Estate

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in AlaskaArizonaCaliforniaColoradoHawaiiIdaho,MontanaNevadaOregonUtahWashington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 77,000 sides for more than $27 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation, which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 30 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visithttp://www.windermere.com.

If you are a looking at buying a home, in this article there are some great tips that you should do the make the process go smoother, or you can visit http://bradmulliner.com/buying-and-selling-tips/ for more information.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151111/286564

SOURCE Windermere Real Estate

RELATED LINKS

http://www.windermere.com

About these ads

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here.

Tell me more | Dismiss this message

Posted on November 13, 2015 at 7:27 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, clients, Helpful Articles, new home, new home owners, Real Estate Activity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Guidelines for FHA condo certification: “Know before you Owe” home buyer tips

Guidelines for FHA condo certification: “Know before you Owe” home buyer tips.

As I am out helping buyers and sellers, there are many questions that come up when researching condos. This article is a great tool to use and understand how a condo becomes FHA certified, http://fhareview.com/the-guidlines-fhaapprovalguidlines/. This is just one of the many web sights that you can go to to get information regarding condo certifications.

If you know a specific condo and you want to check to see if it is certified you can always go to https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm. Knowing if your condo that you are interested in buying before you go and see it may save you time if it is not FHA certified.

As always “Know before you Owe” and do your own due diligence before buying a new home.

For more helpful articles on buying or selling your home please visit https://wordpress.com/stats/day/bcmthekeytoyournewhome.wordpress.com

Posted on November 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Can a Bill I Never Received Wreck My Home-Buying Chances?

In the early stages of getting prepared to purchase you new home, you will at some point need to look at your credit history.  This is a great article with some different web sights that can give so insight to this situation. This is espcially helpful if it is your first time buying a home as you may have several questions to how the process works.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/can-a-bill-i-never-received-wreck-my-home-buying-chances/?identityID=54e66fd2c43087d8c30002ea&MID=2015_0710_WeeklyNL&RID=2884743822&cid=eml-2015-0703-WeeklyNL-blog_2_credit_menace-blogs_finance.

If you are a first time buyer and have questions about the home buying process, feel free to contact me at bradleyc@windermere.com or www.bradmulliner.com. I would love to answer your questions.

Posted on July 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips

Stay Put and Remodel — or Move?

Stay Put and Remodel — or Move?

Here are seven strategies to help your clients decide whether to list their home or make renovations that will help make their current house meet their needs.

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year ushers in new resolutions, which often includes changes on the home front, but deciding what to do with it can be tough for home owners, financially and emotionally.

As the real estate market rebounds and buyers increase in number, help your contacts make a well-informed decision on the direction they should take with their home. Your insight is valuable when customers are torn between selling in order to upgrade and remodeling their current space to add value and meet their needs. Even those who don’t list and sell with you now may do so later, and even refer friends and family because of your attentive service.

Here are seven key steps to help clients arrive at the best solution:

1. Ask home owners to share what bothers them most about their home, such as the traffic pattern, lack of a certain room, or absence of light.

Help clients analyze how they use their house and determine what features are missing that they want. Changes can often be made within an existing footprint, even without adding square footage. Walls can be taken down, doors removed or changed, and windows enlarged. Home owners who have been in their house for years are often only using certain rooms because of a pattern they established early on.

“Many fail to use 30 to 40 percent of their space,” says contractor Randy Tapper of RHT Design and Construction in Deerfield, Ill. He tries to guide clients toward changing their layout, so they use all spaces, before he suggests adding. Architect Duo Dickinson, author of Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want (Taunton Press, 2011) concurs, and says removing walls and adding openings rather than increasing the home’s footprint can tackle a great percentage of challenges.

2. Help home owners study how their house is sited.

Discuss together the land your clients’ house sits on — both the topography and condition — as well as how it’s oriented toward views. If the site always leaks ground water, has absolutely no trees (or terrible ones), or includes hideous views, then remodeling likely won’t fix your clients’ issues, Dickinson says, and selling becomes a more viable option.

3. Ask clients to talk about their neighborhood.

If they’re very attached to their neighborhood, including the area's retail, schools, and, perhaps, proximity to major thoroughfares, it may be worthwhile for your clients to “build their way out of their home or site’s challenges — and stay put,” says Dickinson.

Sometimes, pleasant memories, such as where they raised their children or watched a daughter marry in the backyard, may outweigh the option of moving.

4. Remind clients to factor in their time frame and family needs.

If your clients plan to be in their house a long time — at least five to 10 years — making significant changes, such as adding rooms, building a sunroom, or finishing a basement, may provide a worthwhile payback and incentive. If, however, they’re empty nesters and ready to downsize, then remodeling may not be the most prudent financial decision. Here’s where a good financial planner can help them assess their home’s value in relationship to the rest of their assets and needs; a mortgage lender also should be tapped to discuss the costs of a new mortgage, if they need one.

But, exceptions abound, even for empty nesters. Some may decide to stay put. If their children and grandchildren visit regularly, they may decide that remodeling, or even adding on, will be the magic bullet for them to enjoy their home for years into the future.

5. Suggest that clients consult contractors, designers, architects, or structural engineers, and get multiple bids, for a realistic estimate of what changes might cost.

It’s worth paying professionals for an hour of their time; some will even provide it gratis, says Dickinson. These professionals can look at a home owners’ current house, listen to what they want, appraise its condition –—including what an untrained eye may not see — and estimate costs of new work.

In addition, if the house was built more than 30 years ago and hasn’t been updated, it may require new wiring or plumbing, a new HVAC system or roof, and better insulation. A new survey may also be worthwhile depending on what changes might take place, especially if it’s dated.

6. Compare the appraisal and remodeling costs with other neighborhood homes for future resale.

Even though home owners should base decisions in large measure on enjoyment and not wholly on resale value, it’s smart to have an idea of how changes will affect the house compared with others nearby, says real estate attorney and Brooklyn Law School Professor David Reiss.

It’s never smart to overbuild for an area. The type of improvement can also affect the value. Remodeling changes may add to the house’s worth without changing real estate taxes, while an addition will probably cause an uptick in taxes.

Help home owners by showing recent comps for homes of a similar size and quality and in a similar area, says Dickinson.

7. Seeing is believing: Besides showing clients comps, take home owners to see what’s available in their price range in neighborhoods they like.

A new house may offer a better layout, the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, an updated kitchen, or a nice yard. But clients should also remind clients that even the home they buy may need some remodeling tweaks, like new paint, carpet, or an overhaul of an outdated master bathroom. Help your home owners factor in the cost and time of these changes as they weigh their final decision.

Here, too, it might prove worthwhile to bring in a contractor or architect to estimate costs of any big changes such as new insulation, removing some walls, or finishing the basement.

Dara Shlifka and her husband Aric went through these paces when they decided they needed additional space for a home office in their 1968, Colonial-style, 2,400-square-foot suburban Chicago home. Initially, they were convinced they’d move, since remodeling and bids for additions came in sky-high — $250,000 and above. They house-hunted in a broad price range, from $400,000 up to $800,000, Dara says. But before they found a house, they asked one more contractor for ideas. He suggested converting their living room to an office and building a 600-square-foot addition with a bigger kitchen and a new family room, powder room, and laundry and mud rooms, and his bid came in at only $120,000, which convinced them to stay. “We’re almost done, but already I feel I’m living in a different house,” she says.

Bottom line: Advise home owners to make this big decision carefully based on all of the facts. In the end, they’ll be happier, and happy clients are your greatest asset.

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm
Bradley Mulliner | Category: Buying/Selling Tips | Tagged