Larry Costa REALTOR®'s Blog
The homebuying journey may be complicated, particularly for those who fail to plan for it. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to boost your chances of enjoying a successful property buying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you start a successful homebuying journey.
1. Establish Criteria for Your Home Search
Create homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. With homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.
Think about the features you want to find in your ideal house. For example, if you want to own a residence that boasts a luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you can search for houses that offer this feature. Or, if you want to purchase a home that includes a central air conditioning system, you can hone your house search accordingly.
Don't forget to consider where you want to reside too. If you prefer big city life over small town living – or vice-versa – you should account for this factor as you kick off your house search.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Obtaining a home mortgage is key, especially for individuals who want to streamline the homebuying process. Luckily, banks and credit unions are happy to help you select the right mortgage based on your individual needs.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly mortgage specialists who can take the guesswork out of home financing. If you meet with these professionals, you can learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Navigating the homebuying journey on your own may prove to be exceedingly difficult, regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market. However, if you hire a real estate agent, you can simplify your house search and discover your dream residence without delay.
A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her expertise with you. That way, you can work with a real estate agent to become a housing market expert.
In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive support throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will craft a custom homebuying strategy for you based on your property buying goals. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Finally, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.
For those who want to enjoy a quick, easy homebuying experience, it usually is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can launch a successful homebuying journey and take the necessary steps to acquire your dream residence any time you choose.
Want to add your condo to the real estate market? As a condo seller, you'll want to do everything possible to prep your residence so you can streamline the property selling process. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.
Here are three tips to help you simplify the condo selling process.
1. Conduct a Property Appraisal
What you paid for your condo a few years ago is unlikely to match what your residence is worth today. Therefore, a condo seller should conduct a property appraisal to understand the true value of his or her residence.
A property appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable for a condo seller. This appraisal ensures a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out and help you uncover any problems with your condo. Then, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to complete any condo repairs or mainteanance to boost your property's value.
With a property appraisal, you can learn about your condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. You'll also be able to establish a "fair" price for your home based on your property's condition.
2. Declutter Your Condo
For condo sellers, decluttering a property is paramount. With a clutter-free condo, you can make it easy for condo buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.
To declutter a condo effectively, you'll first want to remove any personal belongings from your property. Antiques, photographs and other personal belongings can be put in storage until your condo sells.
Furthermore, don't forget to clean your condo's interior as much as possible. A pristine interior can boost your condo's chances of making a positive first impression on property buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.
If you need extra help with condo cleaning, don't hesitate to hire a professional cleaning company. By doing so, you may be able to transform an ordinary condo into an awe-inspiring property.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a condo, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Conversely, work with a real estate agent, and you can take the guesswork out of selling your condo.
A real estate agent with condo selling experience understands what it takes to promote a residence to the right groups of property buyers. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure you can move quickly and effortlessly through the condo selling process.
For example, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and open houses. These events will make it easy to showcase your residence to property buyers and increase your chances of receiving multiple offers on your condo.
A real estate agent also serves as a housing market expert. He or she will be ready to respond to any condo selling queries, at any time. That way, you can receive the support you need to make informed condo selling decisions.
Leverage these tips, and you can simplify the condo selling process.
Photo by Gino Crescoli via
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may be a common term in home buying, but not every home buyer understands exactly what it will mean for their finances. This short guide will give you the basics, so there are fewer surprises down the line.
What Is PMI?
PMI is a type of insurance that lenders purchase in case the homeowner defaults on their loan. While the lender will take possession of the home if the owner can't pay their mortgage, they still have to cover the costs of a home sale (e.g., hiring a real estate agent, paying closing costs) as well as possible depreciation. It's the lender who takes out the PMI policy, but it's the homeowner who pays for it.
Who Needs PMI?
Lenders typically require homeowners to pay PMI if they're unable to put down at least 20% of the home's purchase price. So if the home is $100,000 and the buyer can only put down $10,000, they would need to pay for PMI. Because very few owners are able to come up with such large sums, PMI is a common part of home buying.
How Much Is PMI?
Like most insurance policies, PMI can range in terms of total costs. The standard amount is .3 to 1.5% the total cost of the home per year. Homeowners aren't expected to pay the insurance company directly. Instead, PMI payments are rolled into the house payments, and the lender uses the designated amount for PMI to pay the insurance company.
How Long Will a Homeowner Pay PMI?
Homeowners will continue paying PMI until they reach 20% equity in their home. This is just one of the many reasons why homeowners are encouraged to put as much money as possible into their initial payments. The sooner they start tackling the principal of the loan, the less they'll pay in interest and PMI. That per-year percentage can really add up over time — especially if your interest rates are on the higher side.
Why Is PMI Necessary?
PMI was designed as a way to prevent lenders from having to raise interest rates. If lenders had to absorb the losses from every default buyer without the help of PMI, they would have to spread the costs out to everyone. PMI is based on the premise that homeowners with less equity in their home (i.e., under 20%) are more likely to default. This way, not everyone has to shoulder the costs with higher rates spread out across the board.
If you want to know more about what PMI will mean for your finances and how you can mitigate its effects, contact me today to learn more about what you can do.
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