RE/MAX Journey



Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 4/16/2019

Getting a mortgage is one of those things that everyone seems to have quite a bit of advice about. While people surely have good intentions, it’s not always best to take the buying advice of everyone you meet. Below, you’ll find the wrong kind of mortgage advice and why you should think twice about it. 


Pre-Approvals Are Pointless


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you an upper hand when it comes to putting in offers on a home. Even though a pre-approval isn’t a guarantee, it’s a good step. It shows that you’re a serious buyer and locks you in with a lender so they can process your paperwork a bit more quickly when you do want to put an offer in on a home. 


Use Your Own Bank


While your own bank may be a good place to start when it comes to buying a home, you don’t need to get your mortgage from the place where you already have an account. You need to compare rates at different banks to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on a mortgage. You’ll also want to check on the mortgage requirements for each bank. Different banks have different standards based on down payment, credit scores and more. You’ll want to get your mortgage from the bank that’s right for you and your own situation. 


The Lowest Interest Rate Is Best


While this could be true, it’s not set in stone. A bank with a slightly higher interest rate could offer you some benefits that you otherwise might not have. If you have a lower credit score, or less downpayment money, a bank offering a higher interest rate could be a better option for you. Low interest rates can have some fine print that might end up costing you a lot more in the long term. Do your research before you sign on with any kind of bank for your mortgage. 


Borrow The Maximum


Just because you’re approved for a certain amount of mortgage doesn’t mean that you need to max out your budget. It’s always best to have a bit of a financial cushion for yourself to keep your budget from being extremely tight. When life throws you a curveball like unexpected medical bills or a job loss, you’ll be glad that you didn’t strain your budget to the end of your means. Even though the bigger, nicer house always looks more attractive, you’re better off financially if you’re sensible about the amount of money you borrow to buy a home.




Tags: Mortgage   mortgage rates   bank  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 4/9/2019

You know that you want to sell your house. However, you're still unsure about how to determine a "fair" price for your residence.

Ultimately, setting a fair price for your home may be easier than you think – here are three tips to help you establish the best price for your house.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market constantly changes. Therefore, a buyer's market today may transform into a seller's market tomorrow.

As a home seller, it is essential to analyze housing market data. That way, you can identify real estate market patterns and trends and plan your home selling journey accordingly.

Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

Also, don't forget to assess the prices of available residences that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you see how your residence stacks up against the competition. It may provide you with the ability to narrow the price range for your home too.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about his or her house's strengths and weaknesses.

Typically, a home appraisal provides a home seller with plenty of actionable insights about the condition of his or her property. The appraisal often helps a home seller prioritize home improvements as well.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will analyze a house over the course of several hours. After an inspector's evaluation is complete, he or she will provide a home seller with a report that offers comprehensive insights about a home's condition.

A home appraisal can provide a home seller with a better idea about how to price his or her house in its current condition. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home improvements that may help him or her boost a residence's value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

It never hurts to get expert support as you try to determine the best price for your house. Thus, collaborating with a real estate agent can make a world of difference for a home seller in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent can provide guidance as a home seller preps his or her residence for the housing market. This professional can respond to a home seller's price concerns and questions and help a home seller determine what constitutes a fair price based on the current housing market's conditions.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently. As a result, he or she can help you stir up plenty of interest in your home – something that may lead to multiple offers.

Ready to list your residence? Use these home selling tips, and you can determine the best price for your house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 4/2/2019

You may be ready to sell your home. However, before you add your residence to the real estate market, you should consider involving your neighbors in the home selling process.

There are many quick, easy ways to connect with your neighbors and ensure they can help you sell your house, including:

1. Meet Face-to-Face with Your Neighbors

Although you've enjoyed many wonderful years in your neighborhood, you may determine that now is a good time to relocate. As such, you should meet with your neighbors to share the news.

A face-to-face meeting with a neighbor usually is a good idea. At this time, you can provide details about your future plans and respond to your neighbor's concerns or questions as well.

Plus, you can ask your neighbor if he or she knows anyone who may be interested in your home. And if your neighbor answers, "Yes," encourage him or her to share the news that your house will soon be available.

2. Provide Neighbors with a Copy of Your Home Listing

Ultimately, you'll want to provide your neighbors with as much information about your home as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for your neighbors to keep colleagues, family members and friends up to date about your residence.

If an online home listing is available, feel free to share a link to the listing via email or social media. Then, your neighbors can copy and paste the link to the listing to share it with anyone they choose.

Also, if your neighbors prefer a paper copy of your home listing, you should be able to provide them with a print-out that outlines your house's features. Be ready to provide paper copies of your home listing to your neighbors at any time, and you can boost your chances of selling your home quickly.

3. Be Available to Respond to Home Selling Concerns and Questions

After you share details about your home with neighbors, it may be only a matter of time before your residence sells. Meanwhile, neighbors may return to you with additional concerns and questions about your residence.

Be available to your neighbors via phone call, text and email. This will ensure you can provide your neighbors with the home information they request, any time they need it.

Lastly, it is important to remember that home sellers should try to do everything they can to promote their residences to the right groups of homebuyers. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can improve your chances of connecting with the right homebuyers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and work with you to ensure you can achieve them. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and respond to your home selling concerns and queries to guarantee you are fully supported throughout the home selling journey.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence.





Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 3/26/2019

If budgeting isn’t your thing, you’ll be glad to discover that it’s quite simple. There’s a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you won’t even think about it. If you’re saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories: 


  • Living expenses
  • Financial goals
  • Personal spending


Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances. 


20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where you’d save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement. 


The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isn’t a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesn’t require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.


A Clear Plan 


These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.


The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.   



Steps


First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, you’ll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, you’ll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers. 


Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.     





Tags: budgeting   saving money  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 3/19/2019

That time is coming if it is not already here. The kids are gone, and it is just the two of you—or, maybe there’s only one of you—and you feel like you’re rattling around the house like a couple of beans in a can. You’re tired of cleaning rooms that you never use. You’ve stopped visiting the basement, and you pretend that it isn’t even there. But you have no idea what things you should consider in purchasing that next “smaller” house. All you’ve ever planned for is that perfect house for the family, so … here are some things to consider.

If you’re still young physically, it’s hard to imagine not being able to do the things you have always done. Unfortunately, time does take its toll. 

Steps and doors...

Consider that you might want to find a single-story place with a master bedroom and maybe one guest room. That would seem simple enough, but unfortunately, not all single-level homes are created equal. The number one challenge as people get older is managing stairs. When you put “no step” in the equation, all the sudden you start to see how many steps are in many single-level homes. For example, there may be steps up to the front door, steps from the garage into the house, single steps from the dining room to the living room, a step into the bathroom, etc. Now you begin to wonder if the architect had “steps” on the brain. 

When buying your family home, you may not have even thought about doors, but there is the possibility of one day needing to use a walker or being in a wheelchair. Now, those standard doorways are a problem. Medical needs might limit you to exiting only through the front door—the only 36-inch door in the house. Oh yes, and there might be steps to get out that way as well. 

Fixed income...

The second challenge that happens as people get older, besides health challenges, is having a limited budget. In most cases, it’s fixed to your retirement income. So, it’s not just about the house payments. Even if you pay cash for your home, you still have gas, electric, and water bills. Take time understanding what those bills currently are, and determine if those will fit your budget. Then, decide if there's your room in your budget for them to up because you know that nothing goes down in cost. 

Time and effort...

Another consideration is lot size. You may really love to work outside in the garden or to have a garden that looks beautiful—even if someone else does the gardening. That is all well and good, but you should consider that there may come a time that it is too big or too costly to maintain. Do you want to move again because you cannot afford to keep up the yard or pay for all the water needed to keep it green? If you live in areas of the country that have lots of snow or ice in the winter, how much of the front walkways can you keep clean so you can come and go? If it is a large front yard with a long driveway and long sidewalks it may be more than you can handle.

These challenges are only a few of the things to consider when downsizing. Let your real estate professional know your needs now … and in the future.




Categories: Uncategorized