Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tips for getting a house ready FOR SALE

Money and time...the two things that are important in putting together your house to go up for sale.It just shows the time and effort you invested in this venture, and what is does in return, is help the potential buyer imagine themselves living in your home. You certainly do not want them to walk away thinking how nice the house would have looked if things were in good order.
 It is my rule of thumb however, that you do not spend too much on the house prior to sale, that may not be recouped during the sale of the home. Making repairs are essential and keeps the value of your home in the higher price range within the comparable market analysis. Try to focus on the inexpensive repairs to make your home attractive to buyers. Usually with home sales appliances are left behind, but purchasing new ones to give has great bearing to the potential buyer, who may have to purchase everything, or hope theirs will work properly at a new location.
 The landscaping has been a great way to sell the home faster when it is treated and trimmed for the eyes to see. It has great bearing also to a potential buyer, who can see the time and effort necessary for them to enjoy the same outcome when they take over the property. Also, be careful not to show the outside flaws of the house wear and tear, by not sealing in the cracks of the property, repairing the porch steps and/or railings, and last, but certainly not least,  ignoring to have a fresh coat of paint to the house will almost always deter the buyer from getting the sold sign placed on your house because of the extra cost he would have to inherit.
  The inside of the home should be immaculately clean.....at all times. Remove the clutter and even get rid of some possessions that have been lingering for some time . Your home will look larger and the potential buyer can see what he can keep and replace too because of this effort!
 While this can be a chore, it will be better to have it done before the sale instead of after, according to recent sellers.
Finally, people still love to see new things in homes....nice bathroom towels, flowers, centerpieces, and other decorative items to make your home more inviting to them....a good reason they would not want to leave without placing an offer on your property!
Do these tips which properly and up to three months to complete, to be ready for the market to see and be SOLD....!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not another bidding war.....! Ugh...!

  The worst situation as a first time buyer needs to be in is a bidding war. The time it takes to find the house of your dreams is already adventurous enough, however, to make an offer with the hopes of the seller agreeing to it at first, is truly a blessing, but to have more offers come in after you or even before you, it can be daunting and very stressful.
    Unfortunately, this is becoming the new normal for real estate as sellers are becoming more savvy, in making sure they can get more in profits, by allowing bidding wars to occur, and receive the highest and best price possible. This strategy can easily be done by allowing the house to go up for sale below market value thereby allowing buyers to come in and start the process of bidding for the house they would like to buy at right a bottom price. The key is to not to go too below the market value, yet not so high where it blends in with the rest of the market either. Some buyers think this is totally unethical and behaving inappropriately and therefore sounds off wherever they go! It is unfortunate yes to an point,but this is how the real estate environment has become therefore we have to just learn the new ways of business with this kind of sell or purchase. The best advice I try to give the first time buyers is to not look for the low clearance priced houses if you can help it, because those are the ones that have the bidding wars. If they still persists then I warn them that the negotiation is no longer with the seller in this situation, but to other buyers who are bidding. Once they realize that they seem to listen to me more when I request that they no matter what will be able to walk away from the sale, and not pay for an house that his now overly priced, and with negative equity because of it.
   I also tell my buyers do not fall in love with a house before you actually own it. If you do, then you will more then likely be willing to pay more that what it's worth....yes I am a licensed real estate agent telling you this BUT, the commission is the commission....YOUR house is your house that will become your asset of sweet dreams, or an deficit of  nasty nightmares...you choose.  Also as an agent I educate my buyers by finding out what the house is worth. This will be able to help them, although sometimes you can run into a few outliers ( ones that stand out from the rest) because they exceed thea expectations of the houses found in that particular neighborhood.
 Finally you have to ignore all other bidders and stick to your guns with what you have in your hand; know when to hold and of course, when to fold. It works in almost every type of business decision you will ever make. So what there are 5 bidders, you are one bidder making one decision, allow that decision to be what you can live with and enjoy you dream house!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Using your VA Loan for Foreclosures....!

It is time to branch out into deeper waters with your VA loan. Why not, every one is taking advantage of the market in its downturn, and you too are deserving when it comes to making a good deal. The VA loan has the 100% no money down payment insured from the government to qualified veterans, to stimulate the economy through the low cost housing, with interest rates lower than your normal conventional loan. The market is flooded right now, with bank owned properties up to 20-30% off the loan amount owed on the property. In addition, the VA will let you have the seller pay up to 4% in closing costs. For example, if you buy a $300,000 home with a VA loan, the seller can pay up to $12,000 in closing costs, in addition to fixing up the property for all non-structural related improvements up to around 5,000!
   This is an excellent benefit for the veteran because you do not need a down payment and if you are an medically discharged veteran who receives at least 10% medical per month from the VA, it is not required of you to pay the VA funding fee, which is normally 2.15% of  the loan amount for all first time home buyers.
What does it take to qualify for a VA loan? At least 181 days of active duty, active or discharged, honorable or medically discharged under honorable conditions, and around 45% debt to ratio. If your medically discharged and do not work however, get enough medical money per month from the VA to ratio for the home loan, then we can use that income as well.

Enjoy looking for a home in the community of foreclosures!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Buyers Guide for a VA and FHA Loans

There are some many opportunities for purchasing a home for first time home buyers. The purchaser is encourage to do a little homework so both parties, the buyer and the seller, can enjoy there experience. If you are obtaining a FHA or VA loan to finance your purchase you must include that information in that offer. This is necessary because government loans place additional financial performance obligations on the seller.
 That is why so many times times the seller will refuse these loans because of their obligations, therefore placing the buyer in a situation he may not have anticipated. For example, VA and FHA loans prohibit buyers from paying certain types of fees that are often charged by lenders, escrow companies, settlement agents, and title companies. They are fees that as a buyer of these loans you are not allowed to pay them. However, the end result is that the seller ends up paying them. Keeping this in mind, the seller would more than likely be less negotiable on the sale price.
   The home appraisal inspections on VA and FHA loans are more detailed than the conventional loans and therefore more expensive. The home inspections are still encouraged, and these additional costs the seller would not be obligated to pay for in conventional financing; so the buyer should include a maximum figure for these repairs. If not then the seller would be in a position of signing a blank check;  therefore sellers will refuse. The best solution is to add a clause to offer that goes something like this: "If required repairs cost less than the maximum amount allowed, the excess will be credited toward buyers closing cost."
   This will give some assurance to the seller that he is managed fairly in the buying transaction, and get the best offer for his home. Unfortunately, many sellers do not want to negotiate selling their homes using VA and FHA loans because of the reasons mentioned. Yes this is discriminatory however, they say immediately, "Don't even bother making a bid." In some cases, I have talked with several real estate agents, and they agree that these loans are at the bottom of the list, because of misconceptions about the riskiness of these buyers, mixed with some realities of piles of paperwork and stringent inspection standards that sellers do not want to take extra time for VA bids.
  This has caused delays and denials for some tens of thousands of veterans or active duty personnel across the region, in buying a home. This has become more evident in the housing boom we are having now simply because the seller does not believe the loan will go through or that it takes too long to process.
    We need to educate our consumers  more on this opportunity, especially since we are having a strong influx of veterans coming home again.  Our military personnel need to feel welcomed back into their country he has fought so hard for, in making it safe and proud for us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Benefits of a VA Loan

VA guaranteed home loans are made by private lending, institutions, such as a mortgage company, savings and loan, credit union or bank. So what is the big deal about an VA loan when they are go through the same process as other loans....or do they?
 Unfortunately for the average consumer, we do not enjoy half the benefits of a VA loan. For example, the VA guaranty on the loan protects the lender if the payments are not made. It is intended to encourage lenders to offer veterans loans with more favorable terms such as no down payment. The amount of the guaranty depends on the loan amount and whether the veteran used some entitlement previously. The VA guaranty amount varies with the size of the loan and the location of the property. Two married veterans who have never used the Certificate of Eligibility, are not entitled to a double guaranty or loan amount. The same loan amounts and guaranty percentages apply.
The VA guaranteed loan can be used to buy a house, condominium in a VA approved project, an cooperative unit (co-op) in a VA approved project, to build a home using a VA approved builder, improve a home by installing energy efficient features, refinance an existing home up to 100 percent of the VA established value or refinance an existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate, and finally to buy a manufactured home and or lot.
After all those possibilities and options of using a VA loan, there are still more benefits to enjoy! Here are some of the benefits they have that we as consumers do not;
1. NO down payment (unless required by the lender and that is because the price more than the reasonable value of the property determined by the VA).
2. Negotiable fixed interest rate competitive with conventional mortgage interest rates.
3. The Buyer is informed of the estimated reasonable value of the property (Notice of Value (NOV)..
4. Limitations on closing costs.
5. No income or asset limits.
6. VA mortgages are assumable.
7. Not limited to first time buyers.
8. The benefit can be used again.
9. Forbearance extended to VA homeowners experiencing temporary difficulty.
10.No income or asset limits.

These are some of the benefits the VA loans have to offer for our men and women in the Armed Forces. Sounds tempting enough to join...? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The starting process of VA loans

There are some many types of loans on the market for first time home buyers, and the seasoned ones alike, however, the VA loans are the only loans that are not given to consumers freely; you have to serve this country in Armed Forces.
   The National Association of Realtors saw the need to bring more to the community of people serving in the Armed Forces by implementing a certification class called H.O.M.E.S. It means, Housing Our Military with Excellent Service. In today's world of technology and social media, somethings will always remain the same; the government requires a lot of paperwork and proper documentation to get all services rendered under their governmental programs.
  It holds true especially for the VA loans, the military must have all things in order before the process can  begin. Military people want to work with real estate agents who are willing to go the extra mile while waiting for their due diligence on both sides of the equation; the military member and the Bank Loan office.  That is why it is important to know the process to get started with the military member and or family from the beginning to obtain an loan approval. The military member need to have DDT forms which are given when they leave active duty and are necessary to receive the Certificate of Eligibility for VA loans.
   The eligible veteran must also meet credit and income requirements in order to qualify for a VA- guaranteed loan. The COE or Certificate of Eligibility is the only reliable proof of eligibility for the lender. We as real estate agents also have to be aware of one important factor: NOT ALL veterans are in the military and NOT EVERYONE in the military is a veteran.
   When the program called the Automatic Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) program is used, it enters basic identifying information for the veteran into an automated certificate program and the system generates a certificate, which the lender may download and print. If the program is unable to issue a certificate, it does not mean the veteran is not eligible, only that the program does not have sufficient information.
   Finally, if the veteran is unable to to received the certificate in this program or when his entitlement must be restored, a veteran can request it from VA, by submitting VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility along with evidence of service to:
                                                                Winston-Salem Eligibility Center
                                                                 P.O. Box20729, Winston- Salem, NC 27120

This is the starting process of receiving a VA Loan.