For Better Rates and Terms
1. Improve your Credit Score - Qualify for Better
Most families are busy with life, working and everything else. If you've had trouble paying on time, missed mortgage payments, have a BK or foreclosure, no worries - a few adjustments & we may be able to help!
- Get added as an authorized user to family members credit cards - see a score boost in just 2 to4 weeks!
- Use a reputable credit repair specialist (I know a great one). They can contact credit reporting agencies and fight in your behalf to get items removed fast. Seriously improve your score in as little as 90 days.
- Pay down credit card debt to 25% of the credit limit & see a score boost as much as 100 points in 2-4 weeks - this works!
- But before you do all of that, sometimes your credit is just fine the way it is. Talking with a loan professional, like myself - can see if anything is really needed.
Let's talk & see how we can help!
2. Make your move fast - And lock it!
Rates can move quickly, so if you wait too long - you & your family may miss your window to lock in something great.
By way of experience - I've quoted rates on a Friday, the family waited til' Monday - rates jumped by 0.25%. That can change a payment $50-$200 depending on how much you finance. Definately not a position you want to be in.
My suggestion? Of course seek good counsel to make a wise decision, but just don't linger at it. Forget about all the noise on the media & friends saying you can do better. Unless they're paying your bills, take their advice with a grain of salt.
Look at your situation and think...
- Will this help save me money? (If you're reducing your rate / removing PMI)
- Will this help me accomplish my home improvement goals? (If getting out cash)
- How much will I save by paying off these bills? (If debt consolidation loan)
- Will this help me pay off my home faster? (If shortening term)
- Is this new payment afforadble and sustainable?
If you've answered YES to your specific questions - it sounds like you're ready to lock in something great.
If you're ready or you've got more questions, I'm always available to chat.
3. Loose that ARM - Make it sustainable
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) can start out very attractive. "Lock in a crazy low rate and SAVE!! $$"
Home ownership is all about sustainability, but some ARMs can be like a ticking time bomb. Left unchecked, in just a few short years your loan may explode. Explode with a higher rate, higher payment and put you and your families home in jeopardy.
Years ago there used to be large difference between fixed and adjustable rates. But now that gap is much smaller, so it almost doesn't make sense to take on an ARM, unless you have a really good reason to do so.
My suggestion? Refinancing to a fixed-rate loan can help you lock in a "fresh" new rate to make your home affordable and more predictable.
If you've got a HELOC watch out for that recast period. That’s when the draw period ends and you can no longer pay just the interest on the loan. Review your scenario with a trusted loan professional like myself, and see if you can switch to a fixed rate.
If you're ready to review your options, let's get started!
A Prepared Seller Has A Clear Advantage
With a little effort on your part, your home can be sold more quickly and at a better price. The following tips have proved invaluable to owners and are worth your special attention:
- First impressions are lasting! The front door greets the prospect. Make sure it is fresh, clean, and paint the trim.
- Keep lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse. Reseed the lawn and fertilize if necessary, weed the gardens, and add mulch. Deep green grass makes a lasting impression. In winter, be sure snow and ice is removed from walks and steps.
- Decorate for a quick sale. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. Why try to tell the prospect how your home could look, when you can show him by redecorating? A quicker sale at a higher price will result. An investment in neutral new kitchen wallpaper will pay dividends.
- Let the sun shine in. Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be. (Dark rooms do not appeal)
- Do the windows and window screens work well and look good? Have the windows spotless.
- Are the appliances operating properly and sparkling?
- Fix the faucet! Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.
- Repairs can make a big difference. Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from home value. Have them fixed.
- From top to bottom. Display the full value of your attic, basement and other utility space by removing all unnecessary articles. Brighten dark, dull basements by painting walls and adding brighter light bulbs.
- Safety first. Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.
- Pack excess linens and clothing to make closets look bigger. Neat, well-ordered closets show the space is ample.
- Bathrooms help sell homes. Check and repair grout in bathtubs and showers. Make this room sparkle. Don’t let the Handy Man add gobs of caulking when grout is what you need.
- Arrange bedrooms neatly. Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and fresh looking window coverings.
- Have I removed or mentioned to Dan's Realtor Partner any attached items that are not included, such as special chandeliers, shelving or garden plants?
- Am I familiar with similar homes on the market that I may be competing against?
- Have I asked Dan's Realtor Partner for a list of ways I can improve the marketability of my home without wasting time and money?
- Can you see the light? Illumination is like a welcome sign. The potential buyer will feel a glowing evening when you turn on all your lights for an evening inspection.
- Am I ready to disclose any structural defects such as roof, foundation or wiring problems?
- Have I started looking for my new home? Do I know what I want in another home?
- What do I need to do to prepare for my upcoming move?
Ready to pre-qualify on your next home? Start here!
- Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.
- Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.
- Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
- Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.
- Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
- Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.
- Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.
- Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
- Clean your gutters.
- Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.
- Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
- Get your house market-ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
- Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller.
- Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
- Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price.
- The closing date. See if the date the buyer wants to take title is reasonable for you.
- Date of possession. See if the date the buyer wants to move in is reasonable for you.
- The earnest money. Look for the largest earnest-money deposit possible; since it is forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.
- Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure it’s acceptable.
- Repairs. Determine what the requested repairs will cost and whether you’re willing to do the work or would rather lower the price by that amount.
- Contingencies. See what other factors the buyer wants met before the contract is final—inspections, selling a home, obtaining a mortgage, review of the contract by an attorney. Set time limits on contingencies so that they won’t drag on and keep your sale from becoming final.
- The contract expiration date. See how long you have to make a decision on the offer.
- Whenever possible leave your house for showings, if not, follow the tips below.
- Three's a crowd. Avoid having too many people present during showings. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.
- Music is mellow. But not when showing a house. Turn off the blaring radio or television. Let the your agent and buyer talk, free of disturbances.
- Pets underfoot? Keep them out of the way--preferably out of the house.
- Silence is golden. Be courteous but don't force conversation with the potential buyer. He wants to inspect your house--not to pay a social call.
- Be it ever so humble. Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained agent answer any objections. This is his/her job.
- Remain in the background. The agent knows the buyer's requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home when you don't tag along. You will be called if needed. Allow the buyers to take "psychological possession."
- Why put the cart before the horse? Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to the potential buyer before he has purchased the house often loses a sale.
- A word to the wise. Let your Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the customer. They am eminently qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.
- Let your Realtor show your home to prospective customers only by appointment through their office. This will help them close the sale more quickly.
Ready to pre-qualify on your next home? Start here!
For First Time & Seasoned Pros
- Pre-Qualify First!
- Don't start looking for a home until you've talked to a trusted lender like Dan.
- This includes running credit and getting a formal pre-approval letter.
- This will help you know exactly what you qualify for & set your budget.
- This will save you time & frustration by looking in the right price range.
- Shop with confidence & know exactly where you stand!
- Keep your life/ finances the same.
- Avoid opening any new credit - new car loans, new furniture loans, etc.
- If you change jobs inform Dan as quick as possible and we'll explore next steps.
- Source all your money in and out - no random large cash deposits please
- Lenders want to verify all funds in your account - so try & keep it simple
- Never close any long standing credit cards as this can reduce your credit score
- From application to closing try and keep your life the same (if possible)
- Following these tips will keep things running smoothly
- Save up for your down.
- Bonus check at work? Throw it in the bank.
- Money back from the IRS? Save it.
- Close a big deal @ work? Don't spend it.
- Inheritance? Save it.
- Have a little extra income? - Keep it!
- Cutting optional/additional expenses like a eating out, fancy vacations & luxury services can help you to save even more.
- Remember, every little bit of money of down helps give you a more afforable payment.
- Pay down / off consumer debt.
- When you carry a high balance on credit cards, it can take a massive toll on your credit score Paying credit cards down to 30% of their credit line can give you as much as a 50 to 100 point boost in as little as 30 days.
- If needed, we can get your credit file updated rapidly to get you into your home faster.
- So when a bank is qualifying you for a mortgage, that credit card you paid off just gave you a better of a rate, helping you save more money.
- Make sure you've got a solid job / business - know it beforehand
- If you were a bank lending a few hundred thousand to a stranger - how would you feel about a borrower who has new business ventures or spotty job history? Likely you'd be a bit uneasy.
- Typically lenders look for 2 years in the same job or business.
- Self-Employed? Make sure you report all income on your tax returns and reduce your write offs
- Show too little of income & it'll make it difficult for you to qualify for the best loan programs
- To get the best low-down payment / best advertised rates make sure you show max income on your taxes.
But before you change anything - you may be fine the way you are. Get started here or reach out for any questions!
1. Make a list - of the things you want in a home. Pool or no pool? 2 story or One. Be sure of what you want, but be flexible - not every home will be perfect. Decide on whats important and what you're willing to budge on.
2. Call or Email Dan to setup an appointment - Let's get you approved! Pre-qualifying clients since 2004 is Dan's speciality. He knows what banks want & what they don't want, that's the beauty of working with a broker. Talk to Dan first & he'll will find a way to help you reach your real estate goals.
3. Next - Gather your financial records- Grab your bank statements, paycheck stubs & tax returns before your first meeting with Dan (or over the phone). On your first appointment, he'll ask you some questions about your income, assets & credit history. Then, he'll shop it with his preferred lenders and get you fully pre-approved with confidence!
4. Check your email - Next a Realtor partner will send you an email with listings for all your current prospect homes. Which ones do you absolutely have to see?
5. Sit back and let us do the rest!