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Posted by Alferes Realty, Inc on 11/6/2018

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who donít want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. Youíll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In todayís post, Iím going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.


While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether itís  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, itís a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?


Of course, these questions are not objective--you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, youíll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has itís associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.


Start considering these questions now and in due time youíll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, youíll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.




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Posted by Alferes Realty, Inc on 10/16/2018

A home inspection may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for a homebuyer who is on the fence about whether to purchase a particular house. In fact, a house inspection may raise a number of questions that a buyer will need to consider to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase.

Some of the key questions that a homebuyer needs to consider after a house inspection include:

1. What do the inspection results reveal about the overall condition of a house?

A home inspection represents a learning opportunity for a buyer. After the evaluation is finished, a buyer will receive a report that outlines a home inspector's findings. This report usually is available within 24 to 48 hours of an inspection and can make a world of difference to any buyer, at any time.

As a homebuyer, it is essential to review the results of a home inspection closely. That way, you can learn about any underlying issues with a home and map out the best course of action.

If you find that a home has a variety of problems, you may want to ask a seller to complete myriad house repairs before you finalize your home purchase. Or, if you are satisfied with a home after an inspection, you may want to continue with your house purchase.

Keep in mind that you can always walk away from a home sale after an inspection too. In this scenario, you can simply reenter the housing market and continue your search for your dream residence.

2. After reviewing the home inspection results, am I comfortable with a house?

Oftentimes, it helps to consider the prices of possible home repairs after you complete an inspection. If you analyze these potential costs and find they exceed your budget, you should plan accordingly.

Home repairs sometimes can be expensive and time-consuming. As such, if you are uncomfortable completing a broad assortment of home repairs on your own, you'll want to account for these repairs as you decide how to proceed with a house following an inspection.

3. Is a house a viable long-term investment?

The decision to purchase a home is a life-changing choice. Therefore, you should consider the results of a home inspection to ensure you can maximize the value of this potential long-term investment.

Remember, a home inspection gives you an opportunity to assess any structural issues with a house prior to finalizing a house purchase. If you have any concerns about a possible home purchase following an inspection, you should address these concerns before you complete your transaction.

When it comes to conducting a home inspection and reviewing the assessment results, it generally is a good idea to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you find an expert home inspector to analyze a residence both inside and out. Plus, a real estate agent will offer tips about what to do following an inspection and ensure you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Alferes Realty, Inc on 10/2/2018

Whether you're looking for your first house, a vacation home, or a retirement condo, there's always an element of excitement in finding a new place you can call your own!

Although buying and selling real estate can be stressful, especially if you've never done it before, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help keep things on an even keel.

Similar to planning a vacation or a cross-country trip, you'll want to avoid missed connections, frustrating delays, and wasted time. When it comes to buying a home, a little research, planning, and expert advice can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth journey. Here are a few specifics:

Check your credit score: Your credit rating has a major impact on your ability to successfully apply for a mortgage and be offered a relatively low interest rate. Knowing your credit rating can help you understand your options, avoid unexpected surprises, and take action to correct errors in your credit report or improve your credit profile.

Prepare a wish list: One of the keys to getting what you want in a new home is to clarify and prioritize the features that matter the most to you. Your checklist can include everything from lot size and architectural style to the reputation of the school district and proximity to stores. Some house hunters also place a high value on features like a fireplace, screened-in porch, and an open floor plan.

Find a good real estate agent: A buyers' agent can provide you with an immense amount of help in finding properties for sale that meet your specifications. They can also provide assistance, advice, and guidance on the many steps involved in going from loan applicant to new home owner. An experienced agent can also negotiate the best possible deal, in terms of price, seller concessions, and other advantages.

Meet with mortgage lenders: A crucial step in preparing to become a homeowner is understanding the mortgage application process, knowing how much banks would be willing to lend you, and determining an affordable price range. Meeting with lenders is also the first step to comparing interest rates and choosing a financial institution that would best suit your needs. Here's a helpful tip from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: "Getting a preapproval letter helps you show sellers that you are a serious buyer Ė but it doesnít commit you to a lender."

When it comes to searching for and buying a house, probably the best advice anyone could give you is "stay the course!" Let's face it: It's easy to give up, get discouraged, or settle for a home that's less than what you really want. However, when you adopt a "stay the course" mindset, you'll do a better job of staying motivated, focused, and well organized until you find just the right home for you, your family, and your future!





Posted by Alferes Realty, Inc on 9/25/2018

Home appraisals are an important part of the buying and selling process. Lenders use appraisals to make sure that the home is worth what the borrower is paying. A homeís appraisal value is based on a number of factors, all of which weíll discuss in this post.

Whether youíre a buyer, seller, or are just learning about the process of buying a home so youíll be better equipped in the future, this article is for you.

How is a home appraisal different from an inspection?

While home appraisals and inspections are performed by licensed or certified professionals, they have to different functions. An inspection ensures the safety of a home, as well as whether or not it will need repairs in the immediate or near future.

Appraisals, on the other hand, aim to value a home based on its property value, the size of the property, and the location of the property. The condition of the home is a factor in valuing a home, which is why some people confused appraisals with inspections.

Who pays for appraisals?

Like most closing costs, a home appraisal is a burden that falls on the buyer. Typically, the lender you choose will work with will actually order the appraisal. The cost, which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars, can be added to your closing fees. You can find the cost for an appraisal listed on the Closing Disclosure document provided by your chosen lender.

Which factors determine the homeís value?

To appraise the house itself, appraisers will look at the condition of the home. Theyíll also weigh the features of the home in their valuation--things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, for example.

However, the two key characteristics of a home that contribute to its value are its age and size.

Which external factors contribute to the homeís value?

As you might suspect, the location of your home matters greatly when it comes to appraisals. Homes are appraised based off of average prices for their neighborhood and region.

Other location factors include how accessible the home is, if itís located on a waterfront, and whether it has desirable views.

When does a home get appraised?

While your experience may vary based on your specific circumstances, most appraisals occur after a buyer has signed a purchase contract. One this is done, the lender will take the steps necessary to order and process the appraisal.

How long is the home appraisal process?

Once the buyer has signed a purchase contract, the appraisal is usually completed and processed within 7 days. The appraisal report will be sent to the lender. This report contains the appraised value of the home. Buyers are entitled to a copy of this report, and should keep one for their own records.




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Posted by Alferes Realty, Inc on 9/4/2018

An ambitious homebuyer goes above and beyond the call of duty to find a great residence at an affordable price. As such, this individual is better equipped than others to streamline the homebuying journey.

Anyone can become an ambitious homebuyer. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly discover your dream residence.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Buying a home can be simple, particularly for those who establish property buying criteria. If you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can hone your search to residences that match your expectations. Then, if you find a house you want to buy, you can move quickly to acquire this residence.

As you craft homebuying criteria, it often helps to evaluate your short- and long-term aspirations. For example, if you strive to live close to the beach, you may want to pursue residences near top beaches in various cities and towns. On the other hand, if you require a house that includes a central air conditioning system, you can search for residences that boast this feature.

2. Develop a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, as it will help you search for houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, a budget limits the risk that you will be tempted to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal house.

Generally, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage selection. Best of all, banks and credit unions can respond to any of your mortgage concerns or questions, at any time.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to speed up your home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to discover a terrific home that can serve you well for years to come.

A real estate agent understands the importance of conducting a comprehensive home search. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a home that suits you perfectly. From setting up home showings to helping you craft a competitive offer to purchase, a real estate agent is prepared to assist you in any way possible.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance as you get ready to close on a home. The weeks and days leading up to a home closing can be worrisome, but a real estate agent will provide tips to alleviate stress. As a result, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.

Want to navigate the homebuying journey like an expert? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an ambitious homebuyer and find and purchase your dream house in no time at all.




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