You’re probably well aware that the real estate market is more competitive than ever (due to low inventory, among other things).
Still, it’s not a bad time to buy a house. Mortgage rates are low, home values are on the rise and, in many cases, buying is still more affordable than renting.
Are you considering purchasing a house in today’s fast-paced market? Here are five tips that can help.
Get preapproved. Applying for a mortgage preapproval is critical in a competitive market. Not only can it give you a good price range to shop in, but it can also help sellers feel more confident in your offers (and maybe even choose yours over others).
Be flexible. If you can be flexible on your closing date or willing to waive a contingency or two, it will often work in your favor. Sellers are looking for the easiest, most lucrative sale in most cases. We can discuss what makes sense for you when the time comes.
Make a decent earnest money deposit. Earnest money deposits are “good faith” deposits that indicate how serious you are about a home purchase. A larger deposit may help your offer stand out.
Be prepared to bid more than the asking price. Consider searching in a lower-than-maximum price range so that you have room to bid upward if necessary. In many cases, you’ll need to increase your bid to compete with other buyers, so maxing out your budget from the start probably isn’t the best strategy.
Be patient (but stay alert). In the current conditions, you may not find what you’re looking for immediately. On the other hand, things could start moving quickly at any time. To find success, remember that communication and flexibility are key.
It can be challenging to buy a house in today’s market — but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Reach out today if you need assistance.
Great curb appeal can make a big difference when selling a home. Not only can it make your property stand out from the competition, but it could also bring in higher offers.
An attractive house can also be a benefit even if you’re aren’t planning to sell right now. After all, who doesn’t want to take pride in their home while keeping it in excellent condition?
Do you want to boost your home’s curb appeal without spending a lot of time or money? Take a look at these budget-friendly ideas:
1. Freshen up your door. You don’t have to replace your door to give it a makeover. Try a new coat of paint, new address numbers, upgraded hardware or even just a decorative welcome mat. A brassy kickplate can be nice, too.
2. Update your mailbox. Still stuck with that old aluminum mailbox up front? Upgrade to brick or another stylish look. You can also paint the old box a new color or replace the pole if it’s rusted.
3. Make the porch more inviting. If your front porch looks a little bland, add a sitting area with chairs and a rug or install a bench swing. Potted plants and warm lighting also go a long way.
4. Clean up the exterior. Power-wash the brick and siding, give your shutters a new coat of paint, and fix any holes or stains on the driveway. You’d be surprised what a little deep cleaning can do.
5. Outline your garden. Add a new layer of mulch and install pavers around the outside of each garden area. They make the yard really pop — even without flowers or other foliage.
Planning to list your house soon? Just want to check in? Reach out today.
Down payments can be a challenge to navigate, even for experienced homebuyers.
How much do you need to put down? Do current market conditions change anything for you? Even the most basic questions aren’t always easy to answer.
Whether you’re thinking of buying soon or planning ahead for a purchase in 2022, now is a good time to clear up any uncertainties and come up with the right strategy for your household.
Take a look at these frequently asked questions, and reach out if you need a helping hand.
How much should your down payment be?
The minimum down payment depends on what type of mortgage loan you’re getting. Some loans (conventional and FHA mortgages) require 3 to 3.5%, while others (VA and USDA loans) require zero. Your credit score will also play a role in some cases.
Is a large down payment always better?
It depends on your budget and goals. A big down payment will mean a smaller monthly payment and fewer interest costs in the long run. If it eats into your emergency savings or puts you in dire financial straits, though, it’s probably not the best move.
What should you consider when setting your goal amount?
You’ll want to look at the price range you’re shopping in, your budget and the types of loans you’re eligible for. Talking to an experienced loan officer can help you get an accurate idea of what to expect.
Do you have to come up with all of it on your own?
Many loan programs allow “gift” funds, which means money given to you by your parents or another family member. You’ll just need a letter stating that the funds are a gift, not a loan, before you can use them.
Need help finding your next home? Get in touch today.
Home equity is a powerful thing.
As you pay off your mortgage, your equity — or the stake in the home you actually own — increases. And the more equity you build, the more you stand to gain when you sell.
But even if you aren’t planning to sell your property, equity can be used in a few different ways. Consider these four possibilities if you’d like to make the most of what you have.
With a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC), you can turn your stake in your home into money that you can use for renovations, repairs or any other cost you might be facing.
Buy a New Home
Taking out a home equity loan or other product may give you the money you need to buy a vacation home or investment property. You could also sell your existing home, turn a profit and use those funds toward your next place.
Pay Off Debt
If you have high-interest credit card debts, personal loans or car loans, you might consider using a home equity loan or cash-out refinance to pay them off. This essentially rolls those balances into your new loan (and mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than other loans or credit lines).
Use It Toward Retirement
Equity also makes a great nest egg. Once you retire, you have the option to sell your home, downsize and use the profits your equity gave you to boost your income.
Do you want to learn more about home equity? Are you looking to buy or sell a home? Reach out today for assistance.
Hawaii Island Realtor® Broker,