Need Mortgage Help?
866-515-1212
Fast Mortgage Rate Quotes

Five Preventable Reasons Home Sales Fall Through

Comments Off on Five Preventable Reasons Home Sales Fall Through
Bookmark and Share

Five Things to Avoid When Purchasing a HomeFive Ways To Blow The Deal

Here are some things that can derail a real estate transaction. Home sales are complicated transactions, so it is important to know how to keep transactions moving along smoothly.

When you are preparing to buy a home there is a logical order of events that lead up to closing. Each phase should be approached with a methodical and careful determination. Here are five common reasons that sales fall through.

Procrastinate On Securing Financing

Buyers this means you! Getting financing is an extended process that has at least three stages before you can move to closing. Put it off if you want to not be taken seriously by realtors and sellers. If you do get a seller, you have the perfect opportunity to pull the rug out from under them by not having a source of funding when it is time to close. Make financial pre qualification a priority, it takes time and is bound to throw up some obstacles before you get the thumbs up.

For sellers, if you want the sale to fall through just go ahead and work with anybody, regardless if they have been preapproved or not. It is like rolling the dice when it comes time to close. And of course there is that extra six to ten weeks to get financing from scratch it will take close assuming they can qualify.

Try to work only with buyers who are taking it seriously. At the very least your prospects should have already secured preapproval from a lender. Finding a cash buyer might seem ideal but they often will attempt to use this position of strength to negotiate a discounted price.

Low Appraisals Can Be Like A Bucket Of Cold Water

When the appraisal comes in low it might sting a little bit, or a lot! As much as you want to get the price you had your heart set on, you may have to swallow your pride unless you are prepared to wait a long time, i.e., until the market catches up with your ego.

The Home Inspection And Title Red Flags

There are two ways in which you are at risk when you agree to purchase a home. If it is a new-built home you will by definition not have any unexpected claims to the title of your home and new homes usually come with a warranty.

In previously owned homes this is a different matter all together. Previous owners may have some claim over the property and wear and tear accumulates on the structure and fittings over time. Make sure to follow up closely on the title search and all recommended building inspections.

Rigid Response

When you allow the seller to make the sale conditional upon the sale of their home you multiply the risk of the whole process dropping through the floor. The sale of your home will go through a lot more easily if there is no chain of other sales that have to first take place. Avoid including this contingency in your contract and give preference to buyers who do not demand it if you want to significantly speed up your selling process.

Scare Your Buyer Out Of Closing

As a seller you should definitely stay away from nervous buyers. If you can have your choice, select the buyer who is the most confident and comfortable with the transaction. Prequalification and larger deposits are again important indicators of intentions and confidence.

An experienced realtor can help guide you through all of these potential pitfalls. But, whether you are a seller or a buyer, it does help if you have done your own homework and have a good conceptual understanding of the things that cause home sales to fall through.

Moving To A New Home Essentials List

Comments Off on Moving To A New Home Essentials List
Bookmark and Share

movingAn Alphabet Of Things You Need On Moving Day

Here is a semi-alphabetical list of all of the things that you absolutely need to take with you on moving day. When you are moving house it is one of the most stressful times that a family can endure. Make it a little easier to get through the day and on to a new life in you new home with this list of all you will need to have and maybe a few things that you had not considered.

Lists are helpful in moving to a new home and throughout life, use this example and see if you can come up with anything additional that will be essential to your personal situation.

A List For Moving Into A New Home

A is for the portable alarm clock to awaken you in new surroundings.

B is for the beverages such as juice and bottled water that will quench your thirst in strange surroundings.

C is for the basic cleaning supplies, because empty homes often have dust and dirt waiting to surprise the new occupants.

D is for the dishes and food for pets that have had a tough-enough day already.

E is for the easy-to-make meal staples so that you can eat after a crazy day.

F is for the flashlight or headlamp you need to find the circuit breaker in the dark.

G is for the gadgets of the modern kitchen. This includes any basic cookware, your microwave oven and if you don’t have an electric kettle, now might be the time to get one.

H is for how you are going to eat your food. Make sure that enough plates, utensils and cups go with you and not into the moving boxes that might arrive late.

I is for all of your important identification cards and records.

J is for the jolt your portable electronics get from spare batteries. (Yeah, that’s a stretch)

K is for all of your keys.

L is for linens sheets and pillows.

M is for money, meaning cash, credit cards and checkbook.

N is for a list of your important contact phone numbers.

O is the shape of that extremely versatile roll of duct tape that will hold your life together on this crazy day.

P is for pen and paper to write notes and even more lists.

Q is for at least one roll of quilted softness you will miss desperately if you forget your toiletries to include essential paper supplies.

R a portable radio for news and entertainment while you await the cable guy.

S is for a shower curtain.

T is for a small and portable tool kit that includes a sturdy pair of scissors.

U is for UV protecting sunblock. Waiting outside is always a possibility on moving day.

V is for vital prescription medication you take daily plus a basic first-aid kit.

W is for the instant coffee or teabags to wake you up.

X is for those extra changes of clothing.

Y is for tasty snacks and a personal treat or two.

ZZzzzzs are what you will be soundly making, knowing that you pulled it off, with all the things in hand that you needed to survived the day you moved to your new home.

The Moving List

  • Alarm Clock
  • Bottled Drinks
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Pet Food And Bowls
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Basic Cookware
  • Microwave
  • Electric Kettle
  • Cups Plates And Utensils
  • Id And Personal Documents
  • Spare Batteries
  • Keys
  • Sheets And Pillows
  • Cash Credit Cards And Checkbook
  • Contact Numbers
  • Duct Tape
  • Pen And Paper
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Portable Radio
  • Shower Curtain
  • Tool Kit Including Scissors
  • Sunblock
  • Prescription Medicines
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Coffee Or Teabags
  • Extra Changes Of Clothing
  • Snacks And Treats

Reasons For Buying In A Good School District

Comments Off on Reasons For Buying In A Good School District
Bookmark and Share

Before You Purchase Your HomePublic Schools Impact Everyone

The relationship between school districts and home values is an important and complicated one. Although you might want the house that is right next door to the local school you will find that having one nearby will be evaluable for your present or future family.

Whether you have children of school age or not you will find higher home values in districts that are known for the quality of their school districts. Good schools create demand and that increases district property taxes, which in turn increases the resources available to the school district.

Interestingly, poorer public school quality will tend to increase enrollment in private schools for those who can afford it. Again, this tends to feed back in the opposite direction and make the public schools even less appealing for that community.

How Close Is Too Close?

The issue with being too close to a school is that there will be issues with students milling around, possibly on your front lawn and parents parking and loitering to pick up and drop off their kids. As well as the disruption to your lifestyle this will negatively impact your home’s value, compared to the average real estate values in your neighborhood.

The Public Record Of Public Schools

The quality of education you can give your children is one of the most important factors in choosing an area in which to settle. There are volumes of data and statistics that disclose the innermost details of public school successes and failures. You owe it to your family to look into it very closely.

You can look at the age of the school building as an indicator of quality, as long as you also consider the condition. A historic building superbly kept may be at least as appealing as a brand new building. It is a balance between the building age and facility condition overall.

The ratio of students and teachers is critical as more teachers giving attention is vital to helping your child to learn. In districts with more students and less teachers you get larger class sizes and it comes down to the natural ability of your child to take in knowledge unassisted and in spite of the distractions that are ever-present.

Whatever else you might think of standardized test scores, the fact that they are published and give a fairly equitable comparison of results is a good indicator of school quality. Test results are a strong factor in determining whether or not a district is considered to have high quality schools.

A School District Makes A Community

While there are certainly other considerations in determining where you choose to purchase your next home the quality of the school district is a very important part of the process. Because of the benefits that good schools give to the community at large, make sure that you factor it into your search for a suitable property whether you presently have children or not.

Saying Goodbye To A Beloved Home

Comments Off on Saying Goodbye To A Beloved Home
Bookmark and Share

moving-with-childrenChange Happens

There are times when the decision to move is forced upon you and, given the choice, you would stay put. These can be especially painful when you have been particularly comfortable and settled in that beloved residence.

But life is a constant process of change and, at the point of moving all you can really do is to gather the things that can be held and look to the future in your upcoming home with the best of the past held in memory.

Take Some Artifacts And Souvenirs Of Your Time

When you cannot take it with you grab a piece to take with you. It is surprising how soothing a memento of a love that was lost can be. Whether it is the doorknocker or a tile perhaps.

Of course, do not take anything that is expected to remain as it could cause unpleasantness with your buyers. Have your agent advise what is fair game and perhaps even include it in the negotiation if you can.

Take Lots Of Pictures

Take memories in photo form take as many pictures as you can to capture the character and feel of the home, so you can remember it as the abode that you loved. If you have prepared it for sale it will likely be as well groomed and charming as you can possibly make it; that is the perfect look for the contents of a special photo album.

Take advantage of this condition to record all that you wish to remember. This can be expanded upon by recording video, particularly if you have some sort of event such as a dinner party to commemorate your transition.

Continue The Bonds

Hold on to those neighbors and friends. If you have been settled long enough and comfortably enough to develop friendships with your neighbors now is the time to extend the relationship.

If you have not been a fan of social media sites it might be a good time to reconsider. By moving the friendships online they will stick with you regardless of where in the world you go.

Hold A Going Away Party

Invite all of your friends and neighbors, either for a dinner party or a bash that gives you a platform to toast your move and your new adventure in moving. This is another opportunity to take pictures, make memories and tighten the bonds of friendship.

Personal Rituals

Moving can be such a hectic process. Take time at the end to take in what is happening. Do not get so wrapped up in making it happen that you suddenly find that you never really said goodbye.

The way to avert this situation is to take time at the end to have a short ritual of saying goodbye to your home. When all rooms have been cleared stop and take a deep breath, step into each room and say goodbye to each in turn.

Life changes and we may have to move on from a comfortable and beloved home. The best course is to accept the situation and move ahead with the best of the past held within our hearts.

The Most Dangerous Room In Your Home The Bathroom

Comments Off on The Most Dangerous Room In Your Home The Bathroom
Bookmark and Share

Safety in the Home / BathroomWhat could possibly go wrong? Water and electricity combined in one small, humid room. That is what you get with the bathroom hazards that make it the most dangerous room in your home. Wet floors and tub surfaces make an easy launching point and a hard landing.

Bathrooms Are Hazard Rooms

The most common hazards are clearly slip and fall accidents. For younger occupants the most dangerous area is the shower stall or the tub. For elderly residents it tends to be around the commode. These can result in sprains, bruising dislocated joints, cracked teeth and even broken bones.

This is not to underestimate the hazards in the rest of the home. Kitchens and stairways are particularly fraught. However, according to the centers for disease control, it is the bathroom that is the most hazardous, accounting for one third of all injuries and deaths.

Anything And Anyone

Age is relevant to this issue but don’t let that make you think that only special age groups are vulnerable. For elders the hazard is most severe both because of the hard surfaces that cause injuries and because of the difficulty associated with healing in old age. Anyone, in any condition can have an accident in the bathroom because of the unique mix of activities and water involved.

Simple commonsense additions such as bath mats can make the difference. Still, everyone can benefit from having adequate rails in the more slippery parts of the washroom of your home.

Do Not Let It Happen In Your Home

These are accidents that are predictable and largely preventable by the installation of non-slip matting and copious handrails. The addition of shower chairs or benches can make it easier to safely bathe and to enter and exit the tub or shower stall. A shower bench is a wide seat that can straddle the wall of a standard tub. This enables the user to slide across safely without risk of falling.

While it is true that there are hazards throughout the home, such as gas leaks, carbon monoxide among many others, the likelihood of slipping and falling in the bathroom is much higher. When you are aware of this you can address the risk with railings, seating and non-slip matting.

6 Signs This Home Is The One

Comments Off on 6 Signs This Home Is The One
Bookmark and Share

Before You Purchase Your HomeOne of the biggest questions you’re faced with when shopping around for the perfect home is which one is the best one. Fact is that numbers are the easiest aspect of shopping for a new home because you know exactly the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you can get for your budget and you probably have already calculated the square footage you can afford.

It might be that you may get this weird feeling during your home search that goes beyond just the number of bathrooms and living spaces or any other numerical requirements, something similar to dating where you’re just confused as to if the girl you’re dating is indeed the perfect one for you.

It Becomes A Benchmark Against Other Homes You Have Visited

You may have visited this home previously earlier on in your home search, and chances are that you even liked it, but just wanted to see what else is out there. But when you find yourself visiting other homes for sale, but constantly referring to that specific one by saying the design isn’t as good or landscaping doesn’t flow well, that may be the perfect house for you.

You Are Reminded Of Other Homes You Have Loved

There may be a few things you love about a house such as bathrooms with two windows or a coconut tree in the front yard. You probably didn’t include these features in your wish list, but when you find a house that reminds of these things, it probably means that you’re ready to turn your infatuation into reality.

You Are Convincing Yourself To Buy It

In most cases when we’re looking to buy something, we ask for advice from others. But in reality, we are hoping that the answers or suggestions they provide are the ones we want to hear. This applies to home shopping as well, where if you find yourself coming up with a ton of reasons to buy a home, it is probably the one.

You Can See Yourself Living There

When you visit a home and you automatically start imagining in what corner your bed will go or where to hang your prized possessions, this may be a sign that you’ve got a good feel for the house and it is the one.

It Has Got Great Potential

No house is perfect, with some that possess more imperfections than others. There are some things that you cannot change no matter what about a house such as its location, but if there are some things that you don’t like about a house that can be easily changed such as the carpet, paint, etc, you may be ready to seal the deal.

You Just Don’t Want To Leave

you can convince your real estate agent only a certain number of times to show you a house, before they’ll want you to seal the deal. If you find yourself constantly driving by or showing up at just about every open house of a specific house, chances are that you have yourself a winner.

Patio Pavers – A Primer

Comments Off on Patio Pavers – A Primer
Bookmark and Share

patio-pavers-basicsPavers have been used for several years to improve the comfort of the exterior of homes, and for creating places for memorable get-togethers for families and friends. These do-it-yourself landscaping materials are also used for laying pool surrounds, paths, steps, driveways and patios around the yard.

Typically made from stone, clay or concrete, pavers can also be made of recyclable materials also known as composite pavers. These types of pavers are extremely versatile and can be dyed to literally any color, and can even be molded to resemble flagstone, cobblestone, clay bricks, etc. In most cases they are available in a rectangular shape, but other shapes such as interlocking, hexagons and irregular shapes are also available.

Composite Patio Pavers

Crafted from flat tires and used plastics, composite pavers use less energy and release less carbon during the manufacturing process compared to brick and concrete pavers. These types of patio pavers are extremely lightweight, which makes them a great choice for resurfacing wooden decks and green roofs. In addition, composite pavers are able to cut easily when mated with circular saws of several types.

Brick Pavers

Made from clay, these pavers are fired to extreme temperatures in an effort to harden them. Furthermore, they are available in several colors and shades from white and yellow to red and brown. Often times, used brick can be had at a cheaper cost, and although it’s aged look is appealing, take note that you might need to separate the old mortar from it prior to using it.

Stone Pavers

These types of pavers are generally made from several stone varieties such as bluestone, limestone, granite, marble or travertine and cut to standard thicknesses and sizes. Colors can vary from light to dark, but for the most part are earthen. While concrete look-alikes are generally cheaper than real stone, you can’t go wrong once you see them. Adding to this, stone pavers can be had in several finishes and in larger sizes such as saw cut, tumbled, bush-hammered, acid-etched, which are all recommended for slippery surfaces.

Patterns and Layout

Pavers can be setup in several patterns and layouts including curved and rectangular. Curved designs require more effort in terms of cutting and fitting, and consider getting a table style brick saw for larger home projects.

Installing Pavers

Patio pavers can be bedded, dry-laid or setup upon a concrete slab, where some of these tasks can be carried out by a do-it yourselfer. Regardless of the installation, you will first need to layout the area to be paved, and then mark it with something as handy as a garden hose or marking spray.

Next, you will have to excavate to gather several inches of gravel and sand, but do not dig down more than what’s needed. After this, you will have to level the excavated surface and lay a landscape fabric to prevent weeds. Then level it further and set the bricks. You can use stalk-in boards to edge patios and dry-laid paths, and it is important to edge to prevent the patio pavers from getting out of place.

Construction Costs Learn the Basics

Comments Off on Construction Costs Learn the Basics
Bookmark and Share

Home Construction FinancingGenerally, homeowners looking to build their own home use square foot pricing to determine the overall costs so it is important to understand what it is and how it works. This method is a way to roughly compare the costs of construction for two similar houses, houses with different features and in different parts of the country. But this is not really a reliable method to evaluate building costs of a particular home design, but can provide you with a rough idea.

Construction Costs In House Design

In most cases, the effects of the complexity of a home on the cost of construction is misunderstood, and is often one of the main reasons for a nasty surprise for home plan buyers. Simply put, it is easier to build a simple house than a complex house, but what exactly defines a complex building plan?

For the most part, it’s the amount of roof and foundation to the area of the house and the function of the house. So a French country design will be different than a colonial style design in that it is fewer complexes, and every intersecting roof, angle, bay window, level or porch change adds complexity to a house design.

Size Of The House Design

The fact is that bigger houses cost more, but more important than the size of the house is the cost per square foot or where that size goes, and this will vary greatly across rooms. An area such as a kitchen will obviously require more square footage and cost more owing to the fact that it will be appointed with several things such as flooring, cabinets, appliances, countertops, expensive finishes, et cetera.

If you reduce the space from low cost per square foot areas such as bedrooms in an effort to bring the size of the house down, you will find that doing this has not affected the overall costs of the home that much.

Fixtures And Finishes

Flooring, cabinets, and countertops make up for roughly 30 percent to 40 percent of the cost of the house. It is very easy to lose control of the total cost of these items owing to the fact that there are so many in this category. So the best thing to do is especially if your budget is tight is to put the nice stuff into the master bath and kitchen and the cheap stuff in other areas of the home. It is a good idea to make a list of items at the beginning of the project and stick to it to prevent going overboard on shopping day.

Budget

It is important to keep a track of your budget because small things can add up fast and before you know it. To avoid a budget creep, it is best to be patient and plan accordingly. Start with a clear plan with regards to the quality you expect and the level of finish and always maintain a realistic budget about your project, and communicate this with the professionals involved in your project such as an architect and interior designer.

The Anatomy of a Real Estate Purchase

Comments Off on The Anatomy of a Real Estate Purchase
Bookmark and Share

Home Purchase ProcessBuying real estate can be an overwhelming process right from the first steps, processes and details both for first time buyers and seasoned homebuyers. If you’ve never been this road before, you probably don’t have the slightest clue as to what to expect or how the process begins. Fact is that things work differently in every market, so it is best to speak to your real estate agent on how the process works in your area, but here are some of the common steps in most communities.

The Initial Offer and Contract

When you find the home you desire, the first step is to draft a purchase offer and sign a real estate contract. It may seem pretty early to start signing legal contracts, but by doing this you are you are making a commitment with the seller to start the sales process of the home.

There may at times be “outs”, contingencies associated with many real estate contracts, but most of them will be contingent on loan approval, disclosure review, inspections, appraisals, etc. These types of contingencies are a way to get out from the contract in the event of a disagreement.

Reviewing Disclosure Documents

According to the law, you the buyer must be provided with several documents including a preliminary title report, disclosure documents, copies of specific documents and city reports. Apart from providing these documents, the seller is required to reveal to the buyers and flaws or issues of the house that would affect the value of living there.

The seller would also have to complete a transfer disclosure statement, which will list a series of yes or no questions about the property, location and their experience while living here.

Things such as leaking windows, work done without permits, city violations would have to also be disclosed by the seller. This vital information will provide additional insight into the property you are about to purchase. The seller’s real estate agent is more than likely to reveal any major issues with the specific property before the contract is signed. But if something is disclosed during the review process that you don’t like, you can cancel the contract.

Appraisal

In most cases, a buyer will put a certain amount of money down towards the purchase price of the home, with the remaining coming from the bank in the form of a mortgage. But the bank isn’t going to hand you that money before being assured that the specific property is worth the loan amount, which is one way of making sure that the contract price is actually what the home is worth.

To do this and paid for by the buyer, the bank sends out an unbiased third party appraiser to confirm this information, and if the information doesn’t match up or is false, the bank can reject the loan or change the terms.

Inspections

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, and a property contract entitles you to a property inspection. The home inspector will do a thorough inspection of the home from the foundation to the roof, and provide you with a comprehensive report, which is basically your last chance to approve the property as a whole.

Commitment or Loan Approval

Apart from ensuring that the property is worth the same as stated in the contract, the bank will want to completely approve your income, credit and debt history. In addition, the bank will also want to peruse the preliminary title report to ensure there are no liens registered against the property. This process can be a long one and could take up to a month, and should result in a full loan approval or loan commitment.

Final Check

a few days before the banks closing, it is a good idea to revisit the property to ensure it is in the same condition as you last viewed it. Things to look out for are fixtures included with the sale and any modifications.

Closing The Real Estate Purchase

In most cases the buyer and seller don’t meet for the closing, which generally happens at an attorney’s office. Regardless of the location of the closing, if you’ve taken out a mortgage, be prepared to sign off on several documents and also present your photo ID. Before the closing, you should receive a closing statement to review from your attorney or real estate agent, which will highlight the final closing numbers.

Impress Your Architect With Your Knowledge Of Construction Vocabulary

Comments Off on Impress Your Architect With Your Knowledge Of Construction Vocabulary
Bookmark and Share

Construction VocabularyBasic Home Construction Vocabulary

Speaking about design and architecture can be difficult to understand at times, but one of the smartest things residential architects and builders have done in recent times is simplifying the language to stop talking like college professors and start talking like regular people. Even then there are times when they lapse and end up using confusing terms, but there are some things that can be simplified to make designs more successful. So here are a few outside and inside parts of a home that can be explained in a much easier way.

Roofs Are A Big Deal In Construction

Roofs are either flat or not, but flat roofs are referred to as just that, whereas non-flat roofs are sometimes called pitched roofs. Describing pitched roofs can be a little more confusing, but the two most common types are hip and gable. Roofs that feature a triangular design at the end are called gabled roofs, whereas roofs that look similar to a pyramid are known as hipped roofs. There are also hybrids and combinations of these two types of these two types of roofs, but are yet uncommon. Everyone knows what a peak of a roof is, but a roof peak that is a uniform, horizontal line is also referred to as a ridge.

A hipped roof may come to a point or have a ridge at the top, but the corners or tips will have more edges that run in an angle towards the ridge at the top, which are known as hips. But all the bottoms of roofs have some sort of edge and when that edge is straight, it is referred to as an eve, and a rake when the edge is the end of a gable. Impress your architect by learning to identify a hip and gable roof and a few roof parts.

Window Parts And Styles

The most common types of window styles are casement and double hung windows. Windows that slide up and down are known as double hung windows, which also have a movable top and bottom half. These types of windows are usually seen on American Colonial Heritage homes Contrarily, casement windows are usually operated by a hand crack, and feature a hinge on one side similar to a door. European style homes are usually fitted with these types of windows.

There are also several other common styles of windows such as sliding, fixed, awning, but regardless of the style, they have a few parts in common. The movable part of any window that is separate from the frame is called the sash, which is attached to the home. Repairing these types of windows is generally easy, and can be done by leaving the frame intact and simply replacing the sash. The sill is the bottom of the frame whereas the head is the top of the frame, and the sides are known as jambs.

The grids in the middle of the windows, which we normally refer to as bars, are called muntins, which should not be confused for mullions. These are just some of the common design terms that are sure to impress your architect.

Mortgage Rates