Bo Lee - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Bo Lee on 5/20/2018

Since home values are continually on the rise, it makes more sense for many Americans to tap into their home equity for financial security. The home equity line of credit is a great resource that has come back with many benefits. You can finance so many things from home improvement projects to the vacation you have always wanted with a reverse mortgage. There are consequences if you donít turn to home equity with careful thought. You could end up owing more than your home is even worth at a certain point. Thatís not giving you any value. 

Smart Financial Moves

Tapping into a home equity line of credit could be a smart financial move. If you use little to none of the money it can be wise to have extra cash on hand for emergencies, considering rates are so low for home loans. It can help you to be prepared for unexpected financial setbacks. The key is to not use the money unless itís absolutely necessary.

Good Ideas For Home Equity

  • Emergency fund
  • Home renovations
  • Education funds (if youíll be able to pay it back in a timely manner)

Bad Ideas For Home Equity

  • Vacations
  • Car purchase
  • Random spending


If youíre expecting an increase in income and need some extra cash on hand for a purpose, using a home equity line of credit can be a good resource. Also, if youíre selling your home soon, tapping into home equity for improvement projects can help to give you a better return on the sale. 


Home Equity Is Not An Unlimited Source Of Funds


Home values can change drastically with the market and the amount of demand. The amount of equity you may have can change as well, and your repayment amounts can vary drastically based on the state of the housing market. While tapping into home equity will most likely put you in the positive, you could end up in the negative if youíre not carefully prepared.


The Ways To Draw On Your Home Equity


There are 3 main ways to draw on your homeís equity. In any of these cases, you cannot borrow more than 80% of your homeís value from any lender. 


Cash-out Refinance

This loan is exactly as it sounds; you take a set mount of cash out from your home and refinance it at the same time. 

 

Home Equity Loan

This is a loan that is sometimes referred to a second mortgage. This usually has a fixed rate. 


Home Equity Line Of Credit

This loan is like using a credit card. Thereís a maximum that you can borrow, and you use money as you need it. After a certain amount of time, you can no longer draw on the money.  


Refinancing your home will extend the life of your mortgage. Youíll have higher costs but end up with lower rates most often.


Questions To Consider When Thinking Of A Home Equity Line Of Credit

  • Does your home need renovations?
  • Is the loan rate lower than other types of loans like car loans?
  • Do you need to consolidate your debt?
  • Are you facing large bills like medical bills or college tuition? 
  • Are you starting a business?

Used in smart ways, home equity can be a great financial resource for you. Consider your options and plan your finances wisely. Your home is in fact your biggest asset! 





Posted by Bo Lee on 5/13/2018

When youíre buying a home, thereís a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, youíll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.  


The Expense Of Closing Costs


Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, youíll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a sellerís market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much youíll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that youíll incur during the process of buying a home.  


The Cost Of Maintaining A House


Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, youíll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, thereís not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house. 


The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home


You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more. 


Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny


If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If youíre not paying attention during the home inspection, youíll be in for some surprises. Thatís why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.           





Posted by Bo Lee on 5/6/2018

After you complete a home showing, you may face a dilemma. If you like a house following a showing, you may want to set up a follow-up showing or submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a home showing, you may want to continue your house search.

It helps to know what to expect after you attend a house showing. Because if you know what to do following a showing, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.

1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House

Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.

Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.

Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your house search. With a diligent approach to home evaluations, you should have no trouble discovering your dream residence in the foreseeable future.

2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey

When it comes to finding the perfect residence, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. And if you have a plan in place for what to do after a home showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

For example, a home seller could accept a rival buyer's offer to purchase before you have time to consider your options following a showing. But if you have a backup plan in place, you can move quickly to continue your homebuying journey, regardless of how a showing pans out.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about the best course of action at a home showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a home showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

There is no need to worry about what to do after a house showing. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision following a home showing.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
Categories: Buying a Home   showing  


Posted by Bo Lee on 4/29/2018

Want to list your house? Ultimately, you'll want to work with an expert listing agent, i.e. a housing market professional who knows what it takes to get the best price for a residence.

Let's face it Ė hiring a listing agent can be tough, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your search for the perfect listing agent.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to find the right listing agent for your house.

1. Learn About a Listing Agent's Background

Evaluating a listing agent's background often serves as a great first step in the home selling process. It allows you to better understand how long a listing agent has worked in the real estate sector and learn about his or her industry expertise.

In most cases, you should have no trouble finding information about a listing agent online. Or, you can always call a listing agent's office for more information.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about listing agent's background. That way, you can understand this housing market professional's experience, education, networking skills and much more and plan accordingly.

2. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting with a Listing Agent

If a listing agent looks good on paper, invite him or her to meet with you. By doing so, you can gain first-hand insights from this housing market professional and find out what separates him or her from other listing agents.

Prepare a list of interview questions before a face-to-face meeting with a listing agent. This will enable you to get the insights you need to make an informed decision.

Also, evaluate a listing agent's communication skills and personality. If you feel comfortable with a listing agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this individual to help you sell your residence.

3. Get Client Referrals

How has a listing agent helped past home sellers optimize the value of their properties? Request client referrals from a listing agent, and you can receive additional insights into how this real estate professional has supported home sellers over the years.

A top-notch listing agent should be able to provide you with multiple client referrals. Meanwhile, it only takes a few minutes to reach out to a listing agent's past clients and learn about their home selling experiences.

Client referrals can help you accelerate the process of finding the right listing agent. Moreover, they can provide insights into what it is like to work with a listing agent throughout the home selling cycle.

Lastly, be sure to ask past clients how a listing agent approached challenges throughout the home selling process. If a listing agent went above and beyond the call of duty to help past clients overcome myriad home selling challenges, he or she probably will be able to help you do the same.

Selecting the right listing agent may seem impossible at first. But with the aforementioned tips, you can choose a listing agent that will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.





Posted by Bo Lee on 4/22/2018

Making the decision to buy your first home is a big step. One of the most uncertain parts thatís involved in buying a home is that of securing a first-time mortgage. Youíll need to know what types of programs exist to help you on your journey to homeownership. Even if you have owned a home in the past but are now renting your home, you may be eligible for first-time mortgage benefits. 


The first thing you should do is understand your options for getting a mortgage. The Department of Housing and Urban Development often provides you with agents to help you see whether you will, in fact, qualify for a first time mortgage and all the benefits that go along with it. They may also help you to see exactly what programs will work best for you. You can find agencies in your specific area on the HUD website. 


Each state and local municipality have its own resources for those seeking to buy a home as well. These programs may get more specific, helping low-income earners, first-time home buyers and people with disabilities. Of course, youíll need to meet certain eligibility requirements before qualifying for the programs. Your state and local housing offices are other great places to start when youíre searching for benefits for first-time home buyers.   


Save, Save, Save! 


Even before you think you might be ready to buy a home, you need to start saving. Youíll need a significant down payment, especially if youíre hoping to avoid private mortgage insurance or PMI. If you canít swing a 20% down payment, thereís good news: First-time home buyers are eligible for loans that require a lower down payment- as little as 3%! 


Youíll also need a significant amount of savings to pay upfront for closing costs. These fees can come in somewhere between 3 and 4% of the purchase price of the home. It wonít be very pleasant if your bank account is completely empty by the time you reach the closing table. This is why itís a wise idea to save long before you even think you might want to buy a home.      



Look At Your Finances


In the same light of saving money, youíll want to keep your financial health in check in order to prepare to secure your first mortgage. First, check your credit score and see where you stand. You can take the time to dispute any discrepancies you may find on your report. Then, start paying off any credit card balances that you may have. Remember that the higher your credit score is, the better your chances are of securing a mortgage and being approved for a first-time home buyer program.







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