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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Prepare for a Home Purchase in the New Year


Are you thinking of buying a home in 2018? Here are a few tips that can help.

Looking to buy in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Perform a full home search 
Looking to sell in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

The new year is just around the corner and today I’ve got a few tips to help you prepare to buy in 2018. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what your timeline is, the best thing you can do if you’re thinking of buying is to begin the process as soon as possible. But that doesn’t mean that you need to make any major decisions or lock yourself into anything before you’re ready. There are a few steps you can take that will simply help you be better prepared when it does come down to getting serious. First of all, have an idea what your credit looks like. You may have a few things on your credit report you aren’t even currently aware of. There are free sites you can use to help you check on your score so that there aren’t any surprises when you need to move forward with your home purchase. The next thing you should do is talk to a lender. If you don’t know who to talk to, I’d be happy to give you some recommendations. Talking to a lender early on will set you up for a more efficient home buying process. Lenders will be able to show you some real numbers and give you an idea of what your payments might be like.


When buying a home, take plenty of time to prepare.

Once you’ve talked to a lender, you should interview some real estate agents. Too many buyers fail to be their own advocate when choosing an agent. It’s very important that you get to know more than one agent so that you can make an informed decision about which professional would best fit your needs. When interviewing an agent, have them do a consultation. Also, make sure you’re comfortable with them as a person. The right agent will be able to give you an idea of what you can expect from the rest of the process. After you start working with an agent, they should start sending you listings based on your criteria. Finally, if you’re thinking of buying a home, get out and look. Doing so will give you a better idea of what you like and should expect from the market. Buying a home doesn’t have to be a super fast process. Take your time and be well prepared. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What Does the Fed’s Recent Announcement Mean for You?


Now that the Fed has announced they’ll start reducing their balance sheet, you should consider buying or selling sooner rather than later.

Looking to buy in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Perform a full home search 
Looking to sell in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

As you may have heard already, the Federal Reserve had a meeting on September 20th. At that meeting, they announced that they are going to start reducing their balance sheet. This means they’ll start reducing their massive holdings of the mortgage-backed securities they bought during the height of the economic crisis. What does this mean for buyers and sellers? The first thing to keep in mind is this isn’t an immediate situation. This program is getting ready to start, but the Fed owns $3.5 trillion in these securities, and they’ll only be selling back $10 billion a month initially.


Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s a good idea to think about how this might affect your situation.

If you’re planning on buying a house and getting a mortgage loan to do so, the monthly amount you’ll be paying on that mortgage will be affected in a huge way by how much the interest rate is. Over time, the Fed reducing their balance sheet will increase borrowing costs for consumers, which in this case means interest rates. Essentially, if you wait as long as six months to a year from now to buy, it will either cost you more to buy or you’ll be able to afford less house. If you’re considering selling your house a year or two down the road, you want to think hard about doing it sooner rather than later because of the effect this decision is having on buyers. If you wait, they won’t be able to afford as much house or they’ll have to purchase at a lower price. This is especially true if your house is in the upper price ranges of your area or it’s considered a move-up house for buyers. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s a good idea to think about how this might affect your situation. If you have any other questions about this subject or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in our area, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How Title Insurance Keeps You Protected From Unforeseen Problems


What is title insurance and why is it so important? Today, I’ll be explaining why title insurance is essential for homeowners.

Looking to buy in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Perform a full home search 
Looking to sell in the Stafford/Fredericksburg area? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

What is title insurance and is it something that you need when you purchase a property? Title to a property describes the rights the owner has with regard to that property. In a nutshell, title insurance provides protection for the owner of a property in a case when an issue arises regarding their ownership and the rights provided by title. This policy can help to cover homeowners in a number of circumstances. For example, what happens if someone receives a contract to sell their property only to discover during the contract period that there is a lien they didn’t place on the property dated before they even bought the home? Having purchased a title insurance policy when closing on the home in many cases will allow the seller to move forward with the sale without jeopardizing their contract. The title insurance company signed off on the title at the time of purchase and will stand in for the seller to insure it’s marketability. There are many other situations where title insurance can provide coverage as well. Another example is a situation wherein a buyer had a survey done to determine the property’s boundary lines prior to closing. After the fact, the boundary lines come into question or an encroachment is discovered from a neighboring lot. Having the combination of a survey and title insurance will provide protection against these issues negatively affecting your interest.


IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE PROTECTED FROM THE UNEXPECTED.

Situations like the ones above (and many others) bring the ownership interest the buyer has in the property into question. Title insurance is there to help guarantee that the ownership and rights a buyer receives when buying their property are protected. Ultimately, no one expects to need this kind of insurance. Nevertheless, it is important to be protected from the unexpected. I receive a number of requests each year from title companies asking for the seller’s title insurance policy due to something unexpected being found during the title search. In most cases, once the seller provides the policy the sale continues forward without issue because the insurance policy stands in for the seller. If no policy was in place the sale could be delayed, cancelled and the seller could be stuck with a sticky situation and no safety net in place. Consider if you were to drive without auto insurance. People don’t get in their car anticipating a crash—but things sometimes happen. This is also the case with title insurance. You may never use it, but you don’t want to be without it when you need it. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.