Joel Margolis' Blog
For many individuals, the homebuying journey often begins with getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Because if a buyer has a mortgage, he or she can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.
Ultimately, there are many signs that now may be the perfect time to apply for a mortgage, and these include:
1. You're ready to upgrade from an apartment to a home.
If you're tired of paying monthly rent for an apartment, purchasing a house offers a viable alternative. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can move one step closer to moving from an apartment to a house.
In most instances, a home offers a significant upgrade over an apartment. Many residences are available in cities and towns nationwide that offer more space than apartments. Plus, as a homeowner, you won't have to worry about dealing with a landlord.
2. You feel good about your credit score.
If you have a strong credit score, you likely are a great candidate for a mortgage. In fact, you may be better equipped than others to get a favorable interest rate on the mortgage of your choice.
Understanding your credit score is a key part of the homebuying journey. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, once you find out your credit score, you can determine whether you are in good shape to pursue a mortgage.
3. A buyer's market is in place.
In a buyer's market, there usually is an abundance of top-notch houses and a shortage of buyers. This means a homebuyer may be able to get a wonderful deal on a house, especially if he or she performs a comprehensive house search.
To find out whether a buyer's market is in place, you should check out the prices of recently sold houses in your area. Also, you may want to find out how long recently sold houses were listed before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and decide whether now is the right time to apply for a mortgage.
If you're interested in getting a mortgage and starting a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support at each stage of the property buying journey.
A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about pursuing a house. He or she will offer insights into the local housing market and ensure that you can conduct a successful house search. And if you ever have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to launch a home search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can take the first step to acquire your ideal residence.
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As a home seller, it is important to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence. Yet determining the right price for a house sometimes is difficult.
If the price of your home is too high, for example, your residence may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time. On the other hand, if the price of your house is too low, you won't be able to maximize your home sale earnings.
Ultimately, there are several things that you can do to determine the optimal listing price for your home, including:
1. Conduct a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal provides valuable insights that you can use to price your house competitively. If you conduct an appraisal prior to listing your residence, you can obtain a property valuation. Then, you can use this valuation to establish the ideal listing price for your home.
As you search for a home appraiser, be diligent, too. Employ a home appraiser who possesses comprehensive industry expertise and can perform a house evaluation at your convenience. By doing so, you may be better equipped than ever before to receive a data-driven house appraisal without delay.
2. Evaluate the Local Housing Sector
Take a look at the local housing sector – you will be happy you did. If you assess the prices of available houses in your city or town that are comparable to your own, you can use this information to see how your residence stacks up against the competition. Plus, this information could help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your residence – something that may lead to a successful house selling experience.
Don't forget to evaluate recent home sales in your city or town as well. This information can help you determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is currently in place.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to price your residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it easy to determine the optimal listing price for your residence.
A real estate agent typically will meet with you and learn about your house selling goals. Also, he or she can provide tips to help you upgrade your residence before you list it. A real estate agent can even offer a listing price suggestion.
Furthermore, as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible. If you are uncertain about whether to accept a buyer's offer to purchase your residence, for instance, a real estate agent can provide an expert recommendation. Or, if you have questions about the home closing process, a real estate agent can answer them.
Want to optimize your home sale earnings? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish a competitive price for your house and increase the likelihood of enjoying a profitable home selling experience.
If you are planning to buy or sell a home soon, it is essential you know whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market. But how do you determine that?
A buyer’s market is a situation where the supply of houses is higher than its demand, giving buyers an edge over the sellers in price negotiation. It is equally a situation where the available homes for sale exceed the number of buyers looking to buy homes. If you are considering buying a new home, then a buyer’s market is the right place to start as it is the perfect time to make that result-oriented moves. You might be able to buy a high-end property at a discounted price than you would buy in a seller’s market.
On the other hand, trying to sell your home on the buyer’s market will make your property languish in the market for an extended period of time before you can get a buyer as a result of a large pool of available homes in the market. Too much supply will cause you to reduce the listing price or offer some discounts to secure a buyer.
A seller’s market is also a situation where the demand for houses is greater than the supply. This means that there are too many buyers looking to purchase homes which are less than the available homes on the market. Invariably, there would be many buyers chasing after a few houses, which causes rivalry or price war among bidders.
A seller’s market is a place to sell your property as you could get a selling price that is bigger than your listing price since more people are looking to buy homes. Better still, you could secure a sales price that is higher - that is the bottom line.
Here, the seller has all the advantages over you if you are buying a property in the seller’s market. If other buyers are interested in the property you are bidding to buy, you might not succeed getting it at a lower price. You could even lose the opportunity of purchasing the property if another bidder offers a premium.
As a result of this singular reason, seller’s market is sometimes referred to as renter’s markets. Thus, prospective buyers will keep on renting until they save enough money that is larger than the down payment, then they can compete with other buyers in the market.
Different Markets, One Professional
Whether it is a seller’s or buyer’s market, a local real estate agent can assist you by bringing a plan for securing the best transaction. If you are buying a property, they will know the right amount of money you have to offer in order to compete favorably with other home buyers. Likewise, if you are selling, they will know exactly what price to ask for.Working with a trusted agent - who will not push you to offer what you are not prepared to, or rush you into making a hasty decision - is the key to getting the best deal in any of these markets.
Sharing living expenses with your partner or roommates can be a difficult and confusing issue for many.
Life would be made much easier if there was just one bill to pay on your home that includes everything.
Recently there have been attempts to bring such a suction into fruition. Many homeowners and renters have turned to apps that help them split expenses, or have signed up for mortgage agreements that cover stray expenses like property tax and private mortgage insurance.
In this article, we're going to give you a few tips on splitting the bills in your home to make things easier for you, your spouse, and your roommates.
Who pays what?
Many young couples are often left wondering who should pay which bill, especially when you share so many services.>
However, there's a big difference between sharing a Netflix account and sharing a car. One solution is to use the bills that report to credit agencies for whoever needs help building their credit score.
Putting credit cards under the person with the lowest score’s name can help them build credit even if they're simply listed as an “authorized user” which means you can take advantage of good interest rates and build credit at the same time.
Paying the mortgage
It can quickly become tiresome having to write two different checks each month for your mortgage or rent. To solve this problem, you can either alternate payments (you pay a full month’s rent or mortgage one month and your spouse pays the following month), or you can choose to pay bi-weekly, which will help you pay off your mortgage sooner.
The best apps to use
If you live with your spouse, you likely aren’t overly concerned with splitting all of your expenses 50/50. Chances are whoever has the higher income will foot the bill for the larger expenses.
However, if you have roommates there’s a bigger chance you’ll want things to be split evenly between you and the other members of the household. That’s where apps come in handy.
First, sit down with your roommates and go over all expenses. Write down each bill that you share: rent, heat, electricity, cable, internet, gas, insurance, and so on.
Then, decide who is responsible for making the payment on those bills. Even if you decide to split them all evenly, one person will have to be responsible for sending out the check each month.
Once you’ve determined which bills you have and who is going to pay them, it’s time to find out how you’re all going to contribute.
One way is to open up a shared account. Doing so can be messy, however, if you’re using that account for multiple bills. Some banks and services also charge a portion of the transfer, so you’ll each be losing money each month, and the amount depends on how many bills you have.
Some apps and services you can use to split bills and transfer money include Splitwise, Mint, PayPal, and Chase’s QuickPay. The benefit of apps that don’t transfer money is that they are often free and don’t collect transfer fees. So, if you’re comfortable with handling money by hand, you could save in the long run.