How Can Realtors Help Find Your First Home?

Most people don’t realize it but curb appeal is so important when selling a home. Think about it, are you more inclined to buy a run-down beat up old house that you have to put tons of time and effort in to getting it running again? Wouldn’t you rather buy a beautiful home you were excited about and could already see yourself living in?

Generally speaking it is a good idea to have a polished house ready for showing. If you have to paint it, do so. People are more attracted to buying newer things that are already in good condition to eliminate the work for them. This relates to many different areas of the house, but the exterior of the house is most important because it is the first impression your potential buyers are going to have of the property.

Also it is a good idea to have your lawn mowed and your landscape finished. This is going to create more appeal because it will bring your property to life and make it look more put together. You will be able to give them imagery of what it will be like. This creates opportunity for conversation to get to know the potential buyers and have them get to know you.

It is important to have a well maintained driveway because that is one of the things that frames your house. Your house can look years younger if your driveway is in good shape. It is also one of the first things they see when they arrive at their showing. Anyone appreciates a new waxed walk way or pressure washed driveway.

Driving up to a house even if it isn’t the best house in the world will profit majorly just from the condition it is in and showing the potential buyers it is worthy of their residency.

All of these things are going to help your house sell for more money than it would without curb appeal. The better it looks, the more eye-catching it is going to be. The more eye-catching it is, the more people are going to be attracted to it. The more attracted to it people are, the more interest there will be for people to buy it. And the more interest there is, the faster it will sell.

Curb appeal is majorly important in selling a home not only to show that the house is worthy of being kept in good condition, but also to be selling something that has quality and can hold value.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Avoiding the Emotions When Buying a Home

When you are buying a home it is easy to let your emotions drive you. This is good sometimes, but there are times when this can be a very bad thing. Wrong decisions can easily be made when you are letting your emotions take over. The last thing you want is regret when you are buying a house. It is a decision that will take you until you get your next home, so it is a big one. Making rational decisions is usually the best option. There are three emotional pitfalls that people easily fall into when buying a home. This article will list and detail those pitfalls and tell you why these things should be avoided.

You often hear home owners talking about how they fell in love with their house. This may be the case, but this can easily be turned into a pitfall. It is easy to fall in love with a great house and then not be able to afford it. This can crush the home buyers experience and change their attitude for the rest of the shopping period. This is something you want to avoid. One way to avoid this is by getting pre-approved. If you do this, then you know what your price range is from the start. You can then shop in that range and never have to fall in love with a home you cannot afford.

After you find the dream home that you can afford, you can make an offer on it. But what if someone else wants the same house? They may make an offer that is better than yours and it can turn into a bidding war very easily. This can end up with you paying more than the home is actually worth. If you let your emotions drive you through the bidding war then this is an easy pitfall to get into. You either have to be logical about it, and do the numbers yourself, or have someone tell you when you should stop. The bidding war can be bad if you let your emotions take over. You do not want to pay more for the house than you have to.

Another pitfall comes in the form of repairs. If you are buying a home that is pre-owned, then there may be repairs that need to be done. This can be a good thing, but you need to look at yourself and ask if you can really do everything. Just because you are in love with a house does not mean it is best for you right now. Having a home that needs repairs will be very bad down the line and you want to fix everything as soon as possible. If you cannot do this, then the home may not be right for you.

These three things are crucial to remember when you want to buy a home. When you fall in love with a home, then you know it. But, being rational about everything is definitely a good thing to do. Remember to avoid these things and you will be fine.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller’s market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer’s market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer’s are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer – all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can’t sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller’s market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer’s market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It’s completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don’t blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer’s market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: „I’m going to send that buyer a message.“ If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is „I don’t want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me.“ In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It’s all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their „messages“, are going to buy a home – just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can’t understand why their home hasn’t sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you’ve chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, „why isn’t it selling?“ is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it’s totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year’s market, not even last month’s market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it’s best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it’s a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won’t. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It’s part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I’ve had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I’ve seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn’t suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it’s too late. The home is now referred to as the „duck home“, or the „doll home“, or the „pink home.“ Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don’t let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the „perfect home.“

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you’ll never meet. The key word here is „cooperation.“ We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else’s schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How a Foreign National Can Buy Real Estate in America

Opportunities for real estate investment for foreigners is wide and varied in the United States. It doesn’t matter where you’re from and what currency you’d be using to purchase a property, you have a property waiting for you.

There are generally three kinds of real estate investment available to foreigners. These investments include the commercial estate investment and residential property investment. Residential properties are further classified into single family properties, apartments or condominiums and recreational properties. Regardless of what kind of real estate you are interested in, there are all sorts of tax ramifications, financing options and legal requirements that you have to deal with.

Why Should You Invest in the U.S. Real Estate Market?

You’ve probably heard of the increasing number of foreign real estate investments in the United States. This is not surprising. With the troubles that the real estate investment market is facing in the United States, greater opportunities in real estate investment were opened to foreign investors.

With the dollar’s value in its all time low, foreign investors are finding real estate bargains all over the United States. There are no shortages of deals in this market. More and more distressed properties are being sold everywhere and foreigners are pouring in millions buying these foreclosed or distressed properties. The United States real estate has become a fairly attractive long-term investment for foreign investors.

In November of 2006, the National Association of Realtors released a report entitled „Foreign Investments in U.S Real Estate: Current Trends and Historical Perspective“. The report showed that there has been a steady increase in foreign real estate investment in the United States. This is especially after the euro and the loonie became stronger in the face of the continuous devaluation of the US dollar. Prime bargains were opened to foreigners. Many foreigners have now looked into the possibility of retiring or settling in the United States.

If you’re a foreigner, you would find a lot of reasons why you should invest in the United States real estate market. Aside from the fact that the floating exchange rate has given you a lot of leverage over the bargaining table, the financial market is a pretty good reason why you should invest in the US real estate.

The financial market in the United States in relation to the real estate market is quite liberal and the restrictions against foreign investors are pretty reasonable. This is ideal for foreign companies that are seeking to invest in the real estate market in the United States in order to avoid tariff restrictions and are considering setting up an office or a company in the United States.

Furthermore, despite the devaluation of the US dollar and the wide foreclosures of a lot of property, the real estate market remains to be stable, though slightly shaky, due to foreign investors‘ capital appreciation. Domestic real estate buyers may not necessarily share the same opinion, but the market has remained to be strong for foreign real estate buyers. This may be largely credited to the fact that there is minimal risk for them.

Why are Foreign Real Estate Investments Safe and Profitable?

There are a lot of investments you can make, but the safest you can make right now is investing your money in real properties. This is another good reason aside from the fact that you can make a pretty nifty profit, if you like, particularly now with the widespread property foreclosures and seemingly continuous US dollar devaluation. This is especially true if you are going to use the euro or the loonie when making your investment.

But why is US real estate investment safe for foreigners?

It is undeniable that stock investments are not a safe avenue at this point. The recession has not only affected the US economy; the same recession has greatly affected worldwide stock investments. Stocks values are dropping. It is also a fact that even without the current economic situation, stock values fluctuates.

On the other hand, real estate investments are pretty stable if you would compare it to stock investments – or even bond or mutual fund investments. With real estate investment, you’d be putting your money in an investment that would grow in value as years go by.

What are the Benefits of Foreign Real Estate Investment?

US state government supports foreign investments and along this line has formulated various tax breaks to encourage foreign investment on real estate. Many of these tax breaks are not available in many countries. In fact, most countries would frown at foreigners owning real properties within their territory.

Foreign real estate investment in the United States is open to everyone. As long as you can afford to buy the property or at least comply with the mortgage requirements and payments, you can secure for yourself a pretty good property in the United States. Again, with the current economic situation of the United States, this is the perfect chance for you to make an investment.

Another great benefit that you can take advantage of is the availability of mortgage financing. Lenders have opened their doors to foreign investors who are looking into purchasing a property. So, you don’t have to actually deplete your bank account. You can actually secure a mortgage loan and gradually pay it off.

I’m Canadian, What Are My Financing Options?

There is a steady increasing rate of Canadian real estate investors in the United States; and accordingly, the government has made certain that they have attractive financing options available to them.

If you’re Canadian – or if you’re a foreigner – you’d find a lot of reasons why you should buy a piece of real property in the United States. For Canadians, the parity of the currencies or the apparent devaluation of the US dollar is a pretty good reason itself. But how do you finance your purchase?

There are various financing options available to you depending on which state you are in. In Arizona, for instance, you’d get favorable financing terms if you are purchasing a property for recreational purposes, that is, you do not derive any income or benefit from your purchase or ownership. You will be required, however, to sign up a disclosure agreement and give a 30% down payment for your loan. To qualify though for a loan, you may be required to show availability of liquid reserves for a period of three to six months. You may also be required to present a minimum of 3-month bank statement.

If you are purchasing a property for investment, you’d probably meet stricter terms. Requirements may be more stringent. For instance, you could be required to give a down payment of more than 30% and you may be required to show one year worth of liquidity reserves.

Regardless of your reasons, if you feel like you can fulfill the requirements of a financing loan, you can then proceed to actually applying for a mortgage loan. Also, keeping yourself updated with the financing terms flux may be a wise idea.

Understanding the Tax Ramifications of Real Estate Investment

The first foreigner to have ever bought a real estate property in the United States was Peter Minuit. This opened the doors to foreign real estate investors. After a couple of centuries later, foreign real estate investment has grown into huge proportions, accounting for billion-of-dollar worth of industry.

The low risk attached to US real estate market, the availability of countless properties, and the steady market liquidity attract foreign investors in droves. The initial snag, however, is the process of understanding the legal ramifications of foreign real estate investment.

What you have to understand is that foreign investment in the United States can take a lot of forms. A foreigner has various options. He can acquire direct interest. He can acquire an interest in the real estate through a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company. The latter is the typical structure used by foreign investors.

Limited partnership or Limited Liability Company offers financial protection or indirect asset protection, especially in cases of bankruptcy, law suits and taxes. Foreign investors are generally taxed on the property as if they hold the property in direct interest.

Ideally, you should secure the services of a real estate accountant to help you out with the tax ramifications, but it would help if you, at least, know the basics before you actually talk to an accountant.

There are tax consequences that you have to deal with when you buy a real estate in the United States. You would need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number which you will use with all your tax transactions. Your investment in real estates can be treated as a portfolio investment and will be accounted for as an investment income which can either be fixed or a periodic income. This is typically taxed at 30% on gross revenues. This tax though does not apply though to all foreign investors. Tax rates would vary depending on the tax personality the foreign investor opted for. For instance, a corporation would be taxed differently.

Other things that you should take note of are availability and requirements of tax refunds and state tax laws on real estate properties as they may differ from federal laws, among other things.

By knowing all these things, you may save yourself from a lot of hassles when you finally approach a real estate accountant. You’d be in same wavelength when you finally get down to talking business. It is, however, very important that you secure the services of an accountant. You’d have an easier time dealing with the taxes ramifications. You’d also have assistance ensuring that you comply with all the accounting aspect of your investment. This is especially true if you are purchasing a real property for investment purposes.

Do You Need to Secure the Service of a Real Estate Lawyer?

If you are considering buying a property in the United States, you need to secure the services of a real estate attorney – someone who could help you with the legal issues concerning your purchase. It is tempting to forego securing the service of a lawyer to save money, but this could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure that you have an experienced and trustworthy lawyer to help you out. Make sure that you have thoroughly checked out his credentials, profile, history of successful cases handled by him, and other factors that would influence your decision. You could check online and look for a lawyer working within the state where you are considering purchasing a property.

Functions of a Real Estate Lawyer

There is no actual distinctive function for a lawyer in a real estate case. However, you would really need the assistance of a lawyer for various tasks. A real estate lawyer would review the sales contract for you. He would also check on the title and other documents relating to the property. A lawyer would also review your mortgage contract and make the necessary adjustments or corrections. You could also get him to review with you the legal and tax issues concerning the purchase. A real estate attorney could also make the necessary adjustments relating to various expenses and costs involved in the purchase. He would assess your eligibility for tax refunds and draft the documents and statements relating to this.

Putting it simply, a real estate lawyer will be your watchdog. He would guide you through the whole process of purchasing a real estate in the United States in order to make sure that you will be legally protected. You will have a capable and trustworthy liaison to help you out with the contract. He will also face legal disputes if any arise.

Tips on How to Invest in Real Estate Successfully

Now, if you’ve fully bought into the idea of real estate investing in the United States, you might just want to know how to go about investing in real estate successfully. If you want to be successful in this venture, the first thing that you have to avoid is overanalyzing. Of course, it is a good idea to carefully think through your actions but it is a bad idea to overanalyze your investment to nonexistence. You might lose a great opportunity.

Before you purchase the property though, it might be wise to check the property value. If it sits well with you and you can reasonably afford the property, go ahead and make the purchase.

If you are considering the property for a quick flip, make sure that the property is in perfect condition and in good area. This is to ensure that you could double or actually triple your return of investment. If you can inspect the property yourself, do so. If not, a good and trustworthy agent can help you with this task.

Another important thing to remember when you’re buying real estate is good financing. You should take your time to carefully consider all your financing options. Foreign investors can email in their queries to various lending institutions. It is a good idea to make sure that you’ve had their terms and rates on paper because they tend to change these terms and charge you with a lot of junk. Your real estate agent can help you with reviewing the escrow charges.

The bottom line, however, is that it is very important that you do your homework before you actually buy a real property. Investing in real properties in the United States can be profitable especially during these times. In fact, it may be the wisest and most perfect investment you can make right now.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Quality Real Estate Agents Keep It REAL!

One of the essential conflicts, at least, potentially, of real estate representation, and being a professional, real estate agent, is the competition, between, an agent’s need to make a living (because only if he sells, will he earn a living/ commission), and the responsibility to proceed, in an ethical manner, and maintain the utmost degree of integrity, and prioritizing his client’s needs, privacies, and best interests. Far too often, we witness, someone taking, lots of time, and paying attention, to creating an attractive, conducive atmosphere, to inspire, being hired by a homeowner, rather than fully informing his client, of the possibilities, and effectively preparing an individual. Isn’t it about time, for real estate agents, to keep it, REAL? With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and how it might help the overall process.

1. Relevant; reasoning/ rationale; ramifications; realistic; rational: Many homeowners become their own worst enemies, because, they permit their emotional attachment, to their homes, outweigh, a rational, realistic consideration, and review. Responsible agents, provide relevant direction, and explain, much of what, should be anticipated. They explain their reasoning and rationale, and why, they believe, this approach, is best. It’s important to realize, the potential ramifications, realistically. Clients need, and deserve, representation by an agent, who is realistic, rational, and wants, to reduce the stress, and tensions, of the real estate transaction period.

2. Empathy; energize; excellence; endurance: Great agents consistently, listen effectively, and learn from every conversation and experience, so they might proceed with the utmost degree of genuine empathy! Often, clients are overwhelmed by the process, and need energizing. Nothing, other than demanding one’s utmost degree of personal excellence, is acceptable. Since there are often, bumps, along the road, your representative must be prepared, and create an atmosphere of endurance, and insights!

3. Attitude; aptitude; attention; articulate: A positive, can – do, attitude, combined with a well – developed, relevant aptitude, and skill – set, make the process easier, and less stressful! When one pays attention to details, and commits, to his client’s needs, and addressing fears and apprehension, he begins, to make it REAL! Seek an agent, who is ready, willing, and able, to articulate, clearly his ideas, and perceptions!

4. Listen; learn; leadership: A quality agent must effectively listen, and learn, from every conversation, and experience, and demonstrate valuable leadership, through the entire transaction process. While there may be ups – and – downs, great agents, ease the overall experience.

A client needs, and deserves, great representation, by an agent, who is willing to keep it, REAL, in his client’s best interests. Wise homeowners select carefully!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips for Getting New Clients As a Realtor

Admit it or not, finding clients on the vast real estate market is very challenging. It is challenged by the existence of big real estate firms which employ hundreds of experienced real estate agents on their teams. If you are a newbie, you could easily be swallowed by the efforts exerted by the established firms. But have you ever think that they also started out as rookies in the field? If you are in this situation, here are some tips to at least give you a leverage on finding the right clients for you.

Create your own circle of offline connections and influences. As much as the online world is essential to widen your connections, the offline connections and influences is equally essential. Start with your family and friends. Then add your past classmates even those from your elementary days whom you still remember. Your teachers can be great additions. Move on to those whom you are tapping services as professionals such as your doctors, dentists, hair stylists, pet groomers and fitness coaches. The parents of your children’s classmates and friends can also expand your offline connections. If you have business contacts, add them as well. Don’t forget your neighbors. They can be great sources of referrals.

Build a better online network of friends. Through social media, you, as a real estate agent is bestowed greater power to enhance online connections. Your network can be a greater web of interconnected persons starting with your family members down to their own friends, acquaintances, friend of friends, and so on. Before you notice it, your network has expanded to include professionals of diverse titles not only in your locality but also in adjacent towns and nearby cities. If you think they are not relevant, you may be wrong with the impression. Anyone in your online network of friends can always be a great source of referral even those who you seldom see to be adding activities in their social media accounts.

Send mailers, both online and offline. Now that you have established both your online and offline connections, it is time to introduce yourself as the rookie real estate agent. For offline mailers, be sure to have a formal tone. Give your full name, license number, the firm you are connected too, its address, and contact numbers of you and the firm. Inform them of the services you are offering.

For online mailers, the same can be followed. But since it is an electronic form, you may want to add some enhanced graphics and video.

Create your own website. For personal branding, having an own website is an essential. This is where you can provide listings, value added services, frequently asked questions, and even informational articles that can help spark the interest of your potential clients. Support it with a blog, and connect it with your social media accounts in different real estate online platforms.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Qualifying for a Home Loan in 2019 – What Requirements and Guidelines You Need to Know

1) How much of a Down Payment do I need to come up with?

In the recent past, people used to think 20% down was necessary to qualify for a home loan or to have a reasonable mortgage payment. For the most part, this is no longer the case. There are many types of mortgage programs that allow for low down payment options or no down payment in some cases. You also don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify for these programs either.

FHA Loans are one of the most popular types of mortgages applied for in today’s market, this is mainly because of low down payment options and the flexible qualifying requirements. Without down payment assistance, you just need a minimum of 3.5% down. A lot of people think FHA is strictly for first time home buyers, but that is not true. it’s a government-backed home loan, but they don’t require you to be a first time home buyer. FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration.

Conventional Loans have been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years and will soon replace the FHA loan program as the most popular loan product on the market. Conventional loans allow for a minimum down payment as low as 3% down and also allows for several creative ways to buy out the monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). This strategy helps reduce the monthly payments while increasing your buying power.

Minimum Down Payment requirements for each loan type below:

VA Loans – No Down Payment required

USDA Loans – No Down Payment required

FHA Loans – Minimum 3.5% Down Payment required

Conventional Loans – Minimum 3% Down Payment required

You can use gift funds for any of the programs listed above. Also, If you are a first time home buyer be sure to ask your loan consultant if you qualify for any down payment assistance program.

2) What Credit Score do I need to qualify for a Mortgage?

Aside from income verification, one of the biggest determining factors in qualifying for a mortgage is your credit score. The higher the credit score the better your chances will be in qualifying. When a mortgage company or bank checks your credit for a mortgage application they will pull what is known as a tri-merge. That is when a credit report is combined with data and individual scores from the 3 major credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The middle of the 3 scores will be used to determine your qualifying score. Ideally, you want to have a middle credit score of 680 or above. In most cases, the higher your credit score is, the better your rate and terms will be as well.

There are minimum credit score requirements for every loan program, but to ensure you get qualified for the most competitive terms it is important that you do everything you can to learn how to increase and improve your credit.

Below are the minimum credit score requirements for each loan program:

VA Loans – 620 (some lenders may allow for as low as 580+)

USDA Loans – 620

FHA Loans – 580

Conventional – 620

3) What are the Income Requirements and Guidelines for a Mortgage?

Proving your ability to repay the loan is one of the most important requirements in the qualifying process. That is why showing sufficient and consistent income documentation is crucial when going through the pre-approval or qualification process. If you are a W2 employee and paid a salary then the verification process is fairly simple. However, can be more difficult for people that receive and/or rely on commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc. For borrowers that are self-employed and/or receive a 1099 it can be even more difficult and complex especially since you can have a lot more write-offs and deductions when you’re self-employed.

First and foremost you need a 2-year work history to even qualify using any income source. However, for full-time hourly or salaried employees that doesn’t mean you have to be at the same company or industry for 2 years. That used to be a requirement but not anymore unless the lender/bank has their own overlay. If you receive and want to use commission, bonus, overtime or other types of income then you have to show a minimum of a 2-year history and the bank/lender will use a 24 month average for qualifying purposes. Self-Employed borrowers are now able to qualify with 12-24 months bank statements for certain nontraditional (non-QM) loan programs.

Qualifying Income Sources:

* Full-Time W2 Income/Salary

* Income from Part-Time Jobs (must be at the job for a minimum of 1-2 years in some cases)

* Income from a second full or part-time job

* Overtime, Commissions, Bonuses (must average over 24 months)

* Seasonal (must prove 2-3 years consistency)

* Self-Employed Income

* Bank Statements (12-24 months)

* Permanent Disability

* Retirement/Pension

* Child Support/Alimony (Sufficient documentation required)

* Asset Depletion

What are the Required Documents Needed?

There are specific required documents needed that your loan consultant will request in order to process your loan approval. You should at least have the below list of documentation readily available and be ready to provide more depending on your particular situation.

* Complete Federal Personal and/or Corporate Tax Returns for the past 2 years (ALL SCHEDULES)

* W2’s for the past 2 years

* 1 Month worth of Pay Stubs

* Bank Statements (may need anywhere from 2-24 months)

* Retirement/Pension and/or Social Security Award Letters

* Disability Award Letter

* Divorce Decree

* Business License

* Asset Documentation

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

What You Need to Know About Buying House in Summer 2018

The sunniest time of the year when sun is shining brightly is surely a great time for exploring new neighborhoods and visualizing future patio parties during viewings. If you are planning to buy home this summer then it is important to understand the housing market prior starting any serious shopping. You must have to know what housing market is like for buyers now and what you can do to end up the best home with best price that fits right in your budget.

Owning a home is an investment in your future and with that in mind you wants to make sure that you are making educated decisions so that you could get the best possible deal. Housing market in 2018 should be just as strong this summer as it’s been all spring. List prices and existing home sales have risen this year but there are perks to house hunting right now, too. We present you some of the facts and tips to help you get the most out of this year’s summer housing market.

SUMMER MARKET FACTS

DURING THE SUMMER PRICES DROP: Although summer is busy home-buying season but still it is not crazy as prices drop from May through October. Anyhow if you hang out until late August then you could find a really great deal-that is when nearly 14 % of listings get a price cut.

Private Mortgage Insurance Is GETTING MORE Reliable: PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance getting cheaper after PMI lenders MGIC and Radian lowered their rates this spring; it is great financing news for homebuyers. That’s going to cause most of these PMI companies to be competitive with each other which in result going to bring them all down. Less than 20 % of down payment makes the home buyers to get PMI. It means it will be cheaper for some buyers to get into homes sooner.

HOMEBUYING TIPS FOR SUMMER 2018

DON’T DISCOUNT OLDER LISTINGS: At the times when homes are flying off the market within days due to strong competition, it is easy to think a listing that’s a week or so old is a red flag. But keep in mind that it is not always the case. It is often because buyer got cold feet and pulled out of a deal on a perfectly good house. But thanks to the assumptions home buyers make about older listings in busy markets, the delay can cause the price to come down.

There are just more of these in market. The number of homes in market is shrinking but still there are 8.3 % more fixer-upper among them than there were six years ago. If you are dead-set against a fixer-upper to be prepared to move quickly then there is only ever going to be a couple of options at a time. And when new listings come up it’s going to be pretty ferocious.

GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The plus point of competitive market it gives you temptation to make an offer on any available property that fits your criteria but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood, you may never want to purchase the house. It is better to take some time and do community scouting before making an offer. You can even find out what your future neighbors have to say about the area by communicating with them.

MAKE THE STRONGEST OFFER: To stay in the market make the strongest offer, even your offer is not the highest because now is not the time for low ball-offer. No doubt, coming up with cash offer could be tough for many home buyers but there are some ways to make a strong offer that don’t require gobs of money. Substantial eventualities like a shorter closing or inspection period and writing a great offer letter can help make your offer stand out.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Advantages and Disadvantages to an MLS Search

MLS searches (or Multiple Listings Service) are based off the principle; „Help me sell my inventory and I’ll help you sell yours.“ It is a unique concept, though one not many other industries use. Real estate brokers acknowledge the advancements in technology once MLS searches became popular, and are willing to present the advantages and disadvantages of MLS queries to interested parties. The decision of utilizing this service is ultimately up to the potential buyer.

No For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Options

One of the big disadvantages to MLS searches is they do not include homes sold by the owner, unless the seller has negotiated a certain percentage of the commission to the realtors. If interested in FSBO’s, the buyer must search potential neighborhoods for FSBO signs and negotiate a price within their range. If the buyer does not know much about negotiating prices, or how much homes are worth, MLS queries still provide some contribution for comparison purposes. If excessive research is undesirable to the buyer, then MLS queries provide another benefit.

Less Research for the Buyer

Buying a home might already be considered a stressful process for some. MLS searches can cut down on some of that stress because it reduces the research the buyer must conduct. There are already so many other aspects a buyer must remember to look into, including the community, crime rate, demographics, school districts, job outlooks, among others. MLS queries place hundreds of homes from the participating brokers into one database, with hundreds of fields with which to search the properties. Knowledgeable brokers with years of experience determine these popular search fields; whereas if the buyer conducts the research by himself or herself, he or she may question whether the information they find is accurate.

The Internet Outdates MLS Queries

The younger generation might claim the Internet is called the „Information Highway“ for a reason. While it is true certain states have their MLS queries readily available on the Internet, not all states have this accessibility. It is also important to consider that information researched on one’s own time might not be as accurate as the MLS searches provided by real estate brokers.

A Trusting Community

As mentioned earlier, all MLS queries are based off the „You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours“ premise. In other words, there are no hidden agendas. All brokers participating in MLS queries are trying to provide the buyer with the greatest number of options. They keep the buyer’s requirements in mind and try to create satisfactory customers.

Ultimately, the decision to use MLS searches or to conduct the research on one’s own is up to the potential buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Create The Best Real Estate Listings

When someone is trying to find a new home, they may look up real estate listings. These listings may hold information that is crucial to picking out the right place to view. Some people will look through pages of listings and make a short list of homes there would like to view in person. Find out what makes a good listing and how to sort them out.

One of the first things that a person will look for when hunting for a home, is the location. They may type in a city and a certain area that may be important to them. If nothing really pops up, then the person could change cities or broaden their search.

Pictures of some listings are important to help lure people to it. Many people will scroll down the list of homes in the area and may stop only at the ones that are appealing. This photo is important in capturing the essence in the rest of the ad. If someone is taking a picture of their house or condo, they should pick the best picture from the outside and use that for the main cover.

On the inside of a listing, there will need to be lots of important information disclosed to the buyers. This information could include the size of a home along with measurements in each room. Number of bedrooms is important as well as the number of washrooms present on each floor. Some people will type in specific items about their needs in order to refine the search.

Main features will be highlighted in a section about the listing. This information may include some top features in the home. Things like AC, central vacuum and a fenced backyard could be ideal choices for someone who is looking. Some people want to know if the basement is finished and what aspects of the listing are new.

If there are any new features or work that has been done, a listing is the place to highlight it. New flooring, a new roof, windows and furnace could be of importance to a buyer. Someone searching through many listings and advertised homes may find that just a few have some of the things they are looking for.

Pictures taken in the rest of a home, can help to take people inside the home for a quick glance. Homeowners may snap photos of all the best qualities of any inside and outside highlighted spots. These images can help to create an image of a listing that some viewers will want to see. If there is something outside that looks special in the home, that shot could be taken and posted on a listing. A great deck, pool area, or garden could be an image used to post in a listing.

When real estate listings are used to help people find homes, they can help to narrow down a search. Buyers can use sites that help them key in on specific locations, sizes and features. Pictures and additional information can prove to be important when hunting for a new place to live.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg