Our Real Estate Blog
Believe it or not, your credit score can make a world of difference as you get ready to search for your ideal house. If you have an excellent credit score, you likely will have no trouble obtaining home financing. On the other hand, if you have a bad credit score, you may struggle to get the financing you need to make your homeownership dream come true.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should try to boost your credit score before you purchase a home, and these include:
1. You can simplify the homebuying process.
Purchasing a home can be challenging, particularly for property buyers who fail to get pre-approved for financing. Luckily, if you request copies of your credit reports, you can find out your credit score and identify ways to improve it. Perhaps most important, you can explore ways to bolster your credit score before you submit a mortgage application and increase the likelihood that you can receive pre-approval for a mortgage.
It usually is a good idea to review your credit reports before you enter the housing market. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you request a copy of your credit report from the three reporting bureaus, you can learn your credit score and plan accordingly.
2. You may qualify for a low interest rate on a mortgage.
An excellent credit score may help you get a low interest rate on a mortgage. Thus, if you have an excellent credit score, you may wind up reducing your monthly mortgage payments.
Of course, a low interest rate on a mortgage may allow you to invest in your home as well. If you use the money that you save on your mortgage to complete home improvements, you could upgrade your residence and increase its value over time.
3. You can select the right mortgage option based on your individual needs.
With an outstanding credit score, there likely will be no shortage of lenders that are willing to work with you. As such, you can review a broad range of mortgage options and choose one that matches your expectations.
If you need to improve your credit score, there's no need to worry. Typically, paying off outstanding debt will help you boost your credit score prior to buying a house.
Furthermore, if you receive a credit report and identify errors on it, contact the bureau that provided the report. This will enable you to make any corrections right away.
And if you need help as you get ready to pursue your dream house, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent too. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top lenders in your area and make it easy to obtain home financing. Plus, this housing market professional will enable you to evaluate residences in your preferred cities and towns and find one that you can enjoy for an extended period of time.
Although you might have a home selling timeline in place, there may be instances where changes to your plan are required. These include:
1. You are listing your home in a buyer's market.
If you add your house to a buyer's market, you likely will face lots of competition from rival home sellers. As such, it may be difficult to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience if you fail to promote your residence accordingly.
To succeed in a buyer's market, you'll need to be patient. But if you can find ways to differentiate your house from the competition, you could maximize your home sale earnings.
Oftentimes, it helps to revamp a house's curb appeal. By mowing the front lawn and performing various home exterior improvements, you can help your house make a positive first impression on potential buyers.
You also should spend some time removing clutter from inside your house. That way, you can make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your home.
2. You are struggling to stir up interest in your house.
After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be several weeks or months before a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence. And if you're committed to optimizing the value of your house, it is important to wait for the right offer before you finalize your house sale.
If your home initially fails to stir up interest among buyers, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many things that you can do to ensure your house hits the mark with buyers.
Generally, it is a good idea to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. This price should account for your house's condition, age and the current state of the real estate market.
It typically is beneficial to consider the homebuyer's perspective as well. Because if you understand why a buyer may be interested in your house, you could discover ways to help you house stand out in a competitive real estate market.
3. You have yet to hire a real estate agent.
Finding a real estate agent who can help you sell your house is key. Yet if you fail to employ an expert real estate agent right away, it may be difficult to enjoy a quick, seamless home selling experience.
Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to assist you in any way possible. If you need a real estate agent who can help you list your house and promote it to dozens of potential buyers, you should have no trouble finding an agent who matches or surpasses your expectations. Or, if you want to find a real estate agent who can offer tips throughout the home selling journey, you can choose from many potential candidates in your area.
Remember, be flexible as you proceed along the home selling journey, and you can increase the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results.
A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.
As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.
To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.
1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.
When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.
Evaluate a variety of local home inspectors. Then, take a look at each home inspector's background and expertise to narrow your search.
In addition, if you feel comfortable with a home inspector, reach out to this professional directly before you make your final hiring decision. That way, you can request client referrals and gain additional insights to help you make an informed selection.
2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.
A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.
Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.
In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well.
For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete myriad property repairs. These insights are exceedingly valuable and can help a homebuyer determine whether a house is a worthwhile purchase.
3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.
After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Then, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to review the report to determine whether to proceed with a home purchase.
A home inspection report contains plenty of valuable insights, and as such, should not be ignored. Instead, a homebuyer should spend time evaluating the report and learning from it. And if a homebuyer has any questions, he or she can reach out to the home inspector who provided the report for answers.
Lastly, if you need help planning a home inspection, you should employ a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you'll have no trouble getting in touch with the best home inspectors in your area.
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Who doesn’t want to find that perfect eclectic wood piece to complete their design? Selecting vintage wood furniture is both a pursuit and an art. Among the myriad pieces that look similar, how can you tell what is vintage and what is a reproduction?
Learn the art
To tell a counterfeit study the real. Know what the real thing truly looks like before you head out to those antique dealers, flea markets, and vintage shops. Go online and look at how the wood should appear, what the hardware looks like, and those other telltale details you'll find in older wood furniture. Then, follow these guidelines:
- Don't just take the dealer's word for it. Get way down on your hands and knees and look under that table for marks, stamps, or signatures. Sometimes all you're looking for is a date. But remember, just because an item lacks a date or stamp doesn't mean it isn't vintage, so go on to the next guideline as well.
- Assess the wood’s age. As it ages, wood darkens and sometimes warps. If the items spent time outdoors, you should see weathering.
- Finishes develop fine cracks and darken or turn yellow or amber over time. If the former owner or dealer refinished the piece, the dealer might be able to tell you when.
- Joints in older furniture typically use dovetails, pins, or dowel construction as a sign that a cabinetmaker built it rather than a factory mass-production.
- Older hardware loses its shine and gains a patina. Drawer pulls often have a post and nut construction, and authentic vintage furniture shows signs of wear and even grime and dust around the pulls and hardware.
Pursue the object
- New and shiny might look pretty, but refinishing can diminish the furniture’s value on the vintage or antique market. This caveat includes the trend of chalk paint to create the shabby chic and farmhouse looks. Nevertheless, if the piece is what you want, its value is in its ability to fit your design.
- Trust yourself. If the piece looks new, it probably is. If you genuinely want vintage, keep looking until you find it. If the piece fits what you want, buy it and don’t worry about its age.
- Haggle. Buy it if you like it, just don't overpay for it. Don't lowball a dealer, but feel free to make an offer more in keeping with your budget or with similar pieces you've seen elsewhere or online.
If you're looking for a home to display your wood pieces, ask your local real estate professional to show you homes in your neighborhood.