Caroline Bianchi's Blog
As a homebuyer, it is easy to envision finding the perfect house, submitting an offer on it and acquiring it right away. However, it is important for buyers to consider the worst-case scenarios as well.
A buyer who understands the worst-case scenarios that he or she may encounter during the homebuying journey can plan accordingly. That way, this buyer will be better equipped than others to avoid various homebuying worst-case scenarios altogether.
Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying worst-case scenarios, as well as how buyers can avoid these situations.
1. You find your dream home, but it falls outside your price range.
If you enter the housing market without a mortgage in hand, you may need to act quickly to acquire the necessary financing to purchase your dream house. But once you kick off a search for a mortgage, you may find that the cost to acquire your dream home falls outside your budget.
When it comes to getting home financing, it often helps to be proactive. Fortunately, if you meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search, you can determine exactly how much money you can spend on a residence.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals. With these mortgage experts at your side, you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage at your convenience.
2. You discover a wide range of problems during a home inspection.
A home inspection likely will be completed in the days after a seller accepts your offer on a residence. And in some instances, an inspection may force you to reconsider whether you want to purchase a house.
If you encounter problems during a home inspection, you still have lots of options. You can ask a seller to perform assorted home repairs or reduce your offer. Or, you can walk away from a home sale and restart your home search.
For homebuyers who are worried about any problems that they encounter during a home inspection, it is paramount to look closely at all of the aforementioned options. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.
3. You employ a real estate agent who fails to help you achieve your homebuying goals.
Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. But if you fail to conduct an extensive search for the right real estate agent, you may struggle to accomplish your homebuying goals.
When choosing a real estate agent, you should learn about this housing market professional's industry experience. It also helps to meet face-to-face with a real estate agent and discuss your homebuying goals with him or her. This will enable you to determine whether you're comfortable working with a particular real estate agent.
Enjoy a quick, stress-free homebuying experience – consider the aforementioned worst-case homebuying scenarios, and you can minimize the risk of potential pitfalls throughout the homebuying journey.
FHA loans have long been a valuable resource for Americans who want to fulfill their goal of homeownership but who don’t have the benefit of a lengthy credit history and equity.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future but want to explore all of your options in terms of financing, this article is for you.
Today we’re going to talk about FHA loans and how to know if you qualify for one.
What are FHA loans?
FHA loans are issued by private mortgage lenders across the country, just like regular mortgages. The difference, however, is that an FHA loan is “guaranteed” by the federal government.
Lenders decide your borrowing eligibility, and how much you can borrow, by determining risk. If you don’t have a sizable down payment (oftentimes 20% or more) and you have a low credit score, most mortgage lenders will see you as a risky person to lend to.
When you get an FHA loan, however, the federal government assumes some of that risk, allowing you to secure the loan anyway.
This means you can buy a home with a low credit score, a smaller than usual down payment, and save on some closing costs.
How do I qualify for an FHA Loan?
To find out if you qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll head to the same place as a traditional mortgage--a mortgage lender. Oftentimes, you can simply call or visit the website of lenders to get the process started.
As with all things, it’s a good idea to shop around for a mortgage lender. Their offerings will be largely similar, but there might be minor differences that make one better than another for your particular circumstances.
Down payment requirements
To secure an FHA loan, you will need to make a down payment of at least 3.5%. However, this low down payment comes with a price. You’ll typically be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) fees on top of your accruing interest for your loan.
Credit score requirements
While you can often secure a mortgage with a lower credit score through an FHA loan, there are still some requirements. To secure a loan with the lowest possible down payment (3.5%), you’ll need a credit score of 580 or above.
Previous homeowners and FHA loans
A common misconception about FHA loans is that they are only for first-time homeowners. However, you can still qualify for an FHA loan if you’ve owned a home before as long as it has been three years since you’ve had a foreclosure or two years since filing for bankruptcy.
If you meet these three conditions, you should be able to secure an FHA loan through a traditional mortgage lender.
The year’s end brings a lot of joy, a lot of stress, and hope for the new year. One thing that you may not consider at the end of the year is buying a house.
There are pros and cons to buying a home at the end of the year. The positive being that you can get a home for a better deal. The negative is that there is often a limited selection of homes. There’s much more to this.
Sellers Avoid The End Of The Year
Sellers tend to avoid listing at the end of the year. It could be because of wintry conditions, short days, or the notion that buyers won’t bite at this time of year. People who are selling at the end of the year are highly motivated. They need to move their property fast for one reason or another. Life circumstances like a death in the family, a job change, or divorce can lead to the need to sell at this time of year. As a buyer, you can take advantage of the need for these sellers to get a property off their hands.
The limited selection of homes is perhaps the most significant downside to searching for a home over the holidays. The limited supply problem is where your real estate agent will come in handy. Your agent can access expired listings. These are homes that were formerly for sale and have faded off the market. The seller may have decided not to sell, were lacking offers, or just didn’t pay enough attention to marketing their listing and let it fall by the wayside.
Your real estate agent can also contact other agents who tend to work in a preferred neighborhood or area. Your agent can get the inside scoop on homes that aren’t listed for sale yet but are being prepped to go on the market. These properties are known as “coming soon.”
Another significant advantage to buying a home during the holiday season is that there’s not a lot of competition. This means you can possibly avoid bidding wars, get a home at a better price, and even find sellers who have their homes on the market for less than you would during a peak season.
Easy Access To Realtors
Another advantage to buying during the holiday season is that of easy access to real estate agents. These professionals are less busy during this time of year, meaning they have more time to spend with each client. You can often get an agent’s undivided attention. Open access to an agent means that you can get to see more home showings with the listings that are available and be able to look at the homes in detail.
In real estate, cash is power. It’s not exactly the amount of money that you have been approved for by a lender. This type of “cash” is what you can pull directly from your account to buy a property on demand. It can be difficult to compete with cash buyers especially in tight real estate markets. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you match up against any cash offers that you may be competing with when you buy a home.
Make Your Offer Look Attractive As Possible
First, you should always have a pre-approval letter from your lender. This lets sellers know that you’re a qualified buyer. You should also get your lender or realtor (or both) to provide some financial information about you along with your offer. This helps to add to the case that you’re a dependable buyer.
Let Things Move Quickly
If you allow your lender to send an appraiser to the property as quickly as possible, this will give you an advantage in the home buying process. You want to reduce the amount of time that it will take to close on the house. That means you should consider cutting down on both the appraisal and contingency time. You could even consider waiving any contingencies if you feel comfortable.
To speed up the process, even more, you should pre-order an appraisal in advance. You can do this before your offer has even been written. It can be difficult to arrange this, especially with larger scale lenders, but it’s always worth a try. Once the offer is written, the lender can relay to the seller that an appraisal has already been scheduled.
You’ll also want to get the inspection done fairly quickly. You only have a short window of time to get the inspection done. The quicker you get this done, the more serious of a buyer you appear to be. You should have the inspector who you’ll use ready before you even put an offer in on a home in order to expedite this part of the process. Usually, inspectors don’t take terribly long to schedule appointments knowing that their clients have short windows to get inspections done.
Make A Strong Offer
Making a good offer could mean paying extra for a home you love in order to compete with cash offers. Spending more money helps to win. Here’s why: Sellers almost always will give a cash buyer a bit more of a discount since they’ll be getting all of the funds up front. If you love the house and plan to live in it for years to come, the extra money you spend will be well worth it.
Write An Offer Letter
An offer letter adds a bit of a personal touch to the number you put down as a buyer. Here, you can tell the seller who you are and why you love the home. It can be emotional to sell a property, but a seller will feel more comfortable knowing that the home is going to someone who will appreciate it.
If you want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it generally is a good idea to establish a property buying plan. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to make your homeownership dream come true.
As you prepare a homebuying strategy, there are several factors to consider. These factors include:
1. Your Dream Home Definition
There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a dream home. Instead, this definition varies from buyer to buyer. But if you define your ideal residence, you can narrow your house search accordingly.
Think about the features you require from a home. For instance, if you want a house that offers multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide you with the space you need. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts a deluxe swimming pool, you can search for a residence that offers this feature.
Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can search for homes in a select group of cities and towns.
2. Your Homebuying Budget
You likely have only a finite amount of money that you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you establish a homebuying budget, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you start a house search. These financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of home financing options.
Don't hesitate to discuss your home financing options with a variety of banks and credit unions, either. If you check out myriad home financing options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
You may want to create a timeline for buying a house. With this timeline in place, you will know precisely how many days, weeks or months you have to find and acquire your dream residence.
If possible, you should maintain a flexible homebuying timeline. There is no telling when problems may arise as you search for your dream house. And if your homebuying timeline is flexible, you can adjust it at any time.
For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find a great home at a budget-friendly price. Plus, he or she can offer expert guidance as you craft a property buying strategy.
Also, as you navigate the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to any concerns or questions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying tips and recommendations that you may struggle to receive elsewhere.
Ready to transform your homebuying vision into a reality? Craft a homebuying strategy today – you will be glad you did. Once you have a homebuying plan at your disposal, you can navigate the property buying journey with poise and confidence.