Negotiation Tips for Buying a Home

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you know how important the price is. The cost of a property is one of the main influences on whether or not you are able to buy it. Luckily, the listed price is far from the final price. In fact, you can lower the price considerably, by using a few negotiation tips.

Take your time

In almost every case, the party that has more time gets a better deal. Try not to be in a rush to close on the property. Make sure you don’t have any deadlines. If you do, the seller will use it against you. If you find out that the seller has their own deadline, don’t be afraid to take your time. As they become more eager to sell the property, the price will come down.

Always ask for something in return

Don’t make any concessions without asking for something in return. It doesn’t make sense to let a chance to gain more from the deal pass you by, and giving an opponent something for nothing can create a sense that they deserve free things from you. This definitely isn’t a position you want to be in.

Listen

Many people negotiate by talking about what they want as much as possible. In reality, this is the opposite of what you should do. Give the seller plenty of time to tell you what they want. Whenever you listen, you gain knowledge, and knowledge is the best tool you can have when it comes to negotiation.

Looking for more information about negotiation or buying a home? Contact us.

Get Your Credit Back On Track So You Can Buy A Home

The holidays are over and the credit card bills have been rolling in. Now is the time to get your credit back on track so you can prepare to buy a home.

Is Credit Score Important?

Yes! Your credit score and credit report will be viewed by the lender before you are able to obtain a mortgage. If your credit score is very poor the lender will decide you are too risky and you will not be able to get a mortgage. With a moderate credit score you will be offered a mortgage but the terms will not be ideal. Therefore maintaining a good credit score puts you in the best position to get good mortgage rates.

Steps to Take

If your credit score has been impacted by your holiday spending you can take steps to make improvements. Consider the following:

  • First, check your credit report. If you don’t know your credit score or it doesn’t seem like it reflects what you expect, you should check the report. Many financial institutions suggest that the report should be checked once a year. Look for errors or identity theft. Contact the National Credit Reporting Bureau if you find issues.
  • The credit card company provides you a credit limit. It is not wise to spend to this limit however. Instead keep your purchases well under the limit so you do not appear to be a heavy user of credit.
  • Make payments on time! Your credit score is lowered when the payments are delinquent.
  • Pay as much as you can. Ideally you would pay off your card each month. If that is not possible pay as much as possible to reduce your balance.

Lenders study your credit score and credit report to verify that you will be able to pay your mortgage on time each month. They use the report to determine your credit history and if you are worthy of a loan. Taking your credit score seriously is important.  Contact us to learn more about being a first time home buyer.

Home Buying Tips: Why You Should Consider Seller Financing

If you’re buying a home in the near future, you’re probably trying to figure out how to finance it. You could take out a loan with a bank of course, but that tends to be expensive and not very flexible. You could try to pay in cash, but that only works if you have the money, which isn’t very likely. There is an alternative that you may not have thought of. It’s actually possible to finance your new property directly through the person selling it. Here are some benefits of seller financing for your next property.

Flexibility

This is by far the biggest benefit of seller financing for the buyer. Banks are very rigid in their expectations, but when you finance through the seller, the opposite is true. For example, maybe you don’t have enough for a down payment. You may be able to convince the seller to accept something of value, such as a car, instead. If you’re in a strong negotiating position, you may even be able to avoid the down payment all together. Perhaps in the middle of the loan, you find that you can’t afford a payment. A bank would send you angry letters, charge you fees, and eventually foreclose. A seller, however, could simply allow you to skip a payment, perhaps in exchange for a little extra the next month.

Negotiation

Seller financing can also help negotiation because it adds several new elements. More things that can be negotiated means more chances for both sides to be happy.

Interested in learning more about how seller financing might be the right choice for you? Contact us. We can help you with that, or anything else that you need.

Home Buying Tips: Close at the End of the Month

Buying a home could easily be the most expensive purchase you make in your life. And even after you’ve obtained the loan and budgeted for all possible costs, a lot of little expenses seem to appear out of nowhere. It would be useful to have a bit of cash on hand for such surprises. If you want to preserve your short-term cash flow, the best time to close would be on the last day of the month.

When you buy a home, you have to pay accrued mortgage interest from the time that you close until the end of the month. For example, if your mortgage runs $250,000 and your rate is 3.75 percent, you’d pay about $376 per month, or $12.53 per day, in interest.

  • If you closed on the first day of the month, you’d owe $376 in interest because you’re paying interest for every day of the month.
  • If you closed on the last day, you’d owe $12.53 in interest because you’re paying only for the last day. You’d save $363.47.

In the long run, all the interest payments balance out to the same total by the loan’s end. So don’t let these savings be the sole reason you close on a particular day. However, the extra cash could come in handy for paying deposits to utility companies, paying off movers or cleaners, or stocking the pantry. You could even add that extra pieces of furniture to the entry that you’ve always wanted.

If you want more home buying tips, or need help in looking for a place to own, please contact us.

3 Important Financial Factors: Buying Your First Home.

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Buying a home can be a taxing affair. It can take a toll on your mental stasis, as well as your wallet. But doing your research will go quite a long way in reducing your anxiety. 

3 important financial factors to consider

1. Credit Report

It goes without saying that you credit is one of the most important factors involving the decision to grant you a mortgage. Your credit report is, after all, a complete record of your borrowing and repayment history with credit card companies and other lenders. Mortgage brokers will be very discerning when it comes to this document, so a positive credit report is a must. learn how to improve your credit score and be on your way into your new home

2. Credit Cards

In tandem with your credit report and score, lenders will look at what they call your “debt to income ratio,” or the amount of money you make versus the amount of debt you have.

Many experts agree that if you are planning on relocating, it’s best that in the months leading up to you securing a mortgage that you get a handle on your credit card payments so that it shows positive on your report. Don’t cancel any cards that are in good standing and show established credit. Also, do not apply for any new cards three to six months before applying for a mortgage. Eliminate all red flags.

3. Employment

If you are trying to secure a mortgage, and you recently accepted a new job, be sure you are prepared to show proof of your new income. The length and overall terms of your employment are always in question when large sums of money are being discussed. So whether you are self-employed, work several jobs, or even relocated for work, providing evidence of your income through pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns is essential. Lenders want proof that you can pay back the money you borrow.

First Time Home Buyers: Be in the Know

1. The purchase price is not the only cost of home ownership.

With many fees and expenses involved with home ownership, it doesn’t end with the purchase price. As a home buyer you have to understand on top of your monthly mortgage payment, there are many other fees and expenses to owning a home that first time home buyers overlook. When your going over the monthly budget and expenses keep these in mind. Some might be included in your monthly mortgage payment and some may not.

  • Home owners insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities (heating costs) (electric bill) (water bill) (condo fees)(garbage removal)
  • Home maintenance

2. Getting Pre-approved for a loan can help with your budgeting and home buying power.

A pre-approval is one of the most important steps for a first time home buyer. This will help you understand how much home you can afford with your current credit rating, income and expenses, and other factors. The pre-approval also shows home sellers that you are a serious buyer and able to afford their home. It gives a confidence to the seller and could set you apart from other home buyers that may not be pre-approved yet. The best part of the pre-approval process is it’s fast, easy and free. Contact us to put you in touch with 1 of our veteran mortgage officers who can get the ball rolling for a pre-approval.

3. There is no such thing as the perfect home.

Most first time home buyers think they’re going to find the perfect home, with the perfect upgrades, in the perfect neighborhood. Unfortunately most home buyers have a huge list of wants that most homes cannot live up to or they can afford. The trick is to make a home wish list that has everything that you want and desire with out holding it 100% accountable. It is also wise to separate your wants and needs. Understand that you might not find the perfect home within your budget. Here are a few quick bullet points on things to know that will help you prioritize.

  • You cannot change the location of the home.
  • You usually can change the floor plan.
  • You can update kitchen and baths, along with many other things.

Overlook paint color, outdated light fixtures,  and grandma’s wallpaper because these are the most simple and inexpensive updates that many first time home buyers take on as projects. If your up for the challenge, buying an outdated home can actually be beneficial. You are going to get in the home at a cheaper price and you will be able to customize the home to your liking. Unless your buying new construction, you can expect to do at least some updating.

4. The economy would love for you to buy a home.

First time home buyers stimulate a lot of local economic activity and growth. Therefore banks and the government are constantly changing rules, credits, loan programs and giving general help geared toward getting a first time home buyer in the home of their dreams. The best resource to see the latest loan programs and local government help is talking to an experienced mortgage officer to see what is available and would work best for you.

Questions to ask your loan officer

  • Do no money down programs exist?
  • What government back programs are available?
  • What are the guideline and income limits for programs available?

First Time Home Buyers: Getting Started

Defining Your Ideal Home  and Neighborhood

The property you buy will be much more than a house; it will be
your home. The following questions can help you describe the things
that are most important to you in your ideal home and neighborhood.

Home Buyer Checklist

The Home Buying Process usually includes many of the following elements. Understand the Checklist and steps you will need to take to go from a CT Home Browser to a Connecticut Home Buyer.

Home Buying Resources

Advanced Home Searching Toolssearch icon page veiw
Browse like a Pro. Feature rich Home Searching tools that are easy to Use. Includes easy glide parameters,distinct mapping, and much more. Make sure you set up an account while your there and receive email updates with the newest listings that hit the market in your search criteria.

Mortgage Calculator
Check out are 19 in 1 Mortgage calculator. calculatorMany different detailed calculations to choose from that you do not want to miss out on. Feature rich with calculations such as “rent vs. buy” “affordability calculator” “how much income do I need to qualify” along with many more. Its a great tool to start understand how much home you can afford and exact payments,along with tax benefits and different payoff scenarios for credit cards and other loans.

 

Check out articles we update regularly regarding helpful Home Buying Tips.

Also feel free to Contact Me anytime to answer any questions you may have and get the home buying process started.

 

 

3 Tips for Buying Your First Home In Connecticut

My-FIrst-Time-Title

Buying your first home will be one of the biggest decisions that you make in your life. While the Constitution State’s draw may be its beauty and history, many young professionals and families would ideally love to live in this beautiful state. However, homes in Connecticut can be somewhat pricey and sometimes over 100 years old. Here are some home buying tips that can make the process of buying your first dwelling in Connecticut easy and stress free.

Prioritize Your Wants and Needs

Typically your first home will not be your dream home, but it can come pretty close if you’re patient and willing to bend on some of those little extras that you may not necessarily need in a home. First time home buyers have a hard time prioritizing. The best way to prioritize is to make a list of what is most important, second important and least important. Would you prefer to be in a more populated area? How close do you want to live to your child’s school? Are you okay with having oil heat? By making these decisions ahead of time, you will be able to sort through hundreds of homes to make the process easier. Keep in mind that winters can be very cold in Connecticut and summers can get up to 100 degrees so finding a house that can be cooled and heated easily are important.

Get Pre-Approved

While you’re in the process of looking for homes, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage so when you find the home that is right for you and your family, can make an offer quickly and efficiently. It can take four to six weeks to be pre-approved so make this a priority and one of the first things you do when you’re ready to buy.

Find a Real Estate Broker

For free, a real estate broker will help you sort through the literally thousands of homes for sale in Connecticut. They can do the hard work for you as they have access to many resources that you don’t to search for the home that is right for you and your family. If you provide the broker with a list of the key points you’re looking for in a home, they will find listings that closely match what you want.

The secret to buying a home in Connecticut is to find a balance between what you want and what you can actually afford. It can feel like a long process but with patience and some hard work, you will find the home you are looking for to enjoy for years to come.

Michelle Manter As a local top producing Realtor, I would Love to get you started on you home buying journey, Michelle Manter Giglietti is here to help. I run a team of all star agents who specialize in first time home buyers. Feel free to Contact me anytime to talk about your real estate goals.
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First Time Home Buyer Resources

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  1. What you need to know
  2. Checklist
  3. Questions to ask Yourself?
  4. Mortgage Calculator
  5. General Home Buying Tips Articles

 

Questions to ask yourself when your buying your first home.

does it fit

Buying your first home is a big deal, and it’s natural to be nervous. It is important to work with a good realtor, so that they can use their experience for your benefit, and you can get the right questions answered before you buy. Some of the questions you should be asking, and the information you want to find out are:

1.) Is the listing price fair and appropriate with the market value? Market values change with time. Have your realtor show you reports of recently sold homes in the same area and of the same size and age. From this information, you can determine if the home you are looking for is priced well or not. If the house has been on the market a long time, it might be a sign that the price is too high.

2.) What are the annual taxes? Make sure you figure this into your budget, so you are sure you can afford the payments.

3.) When can we close? The closing date might be negotiable. The current owner may want to delay closing while they are finishing the sale on their new property, or they may want to speed it up. This is not the same for every home, so if you have a specific date in mind, make sure you discuss it with your realtor.

4.)Are there any easements on the property? Sometimes, a utility company or a neighbor might own an easement on the property. If there is one, find out all the details about it. It may not be an issue, and you can move forward.

5.)What is included in the sale? Many times, appliances, window coverings, area rugs and swing sets are included in the sale price of a home. This is not always the case, so it’s best to find out.

6.)How old is the ____? Fill in the blank with roof, appliances, hot water heater, furnace, well pump, garage door opener, etc. Find out as much information on these items as possible. They may need to be replaced in the future, and knowing their age can help you determine future maintenance costs. In addition, if the items are relatively new, they may still be on warranty.

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Costs for First-Time Home Buyers

Costs for First-Time Buyers

          

  Buying a new home can be a huge, complex undertaking, especially when it’s your first time. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent guiding you along the way.

            In a survey conducted earlier this year by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services (PRERS),  a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE:PRU] company, 75% of respondents highlighted the importance of real estate agents in the process of buying or selling their home, with only 24% saying agents are helpful but not imperative.

            “Americans continue to see real estate agents as having a very important role in helping them price, buy and sell their homes,” said James Mallozzi, PRERS’ chairman and chief executive officer. “Although the data underscores the value real estate agents provide, it also shows that the industry needs to continue to work hard to meet clients’ unique needs.”

            First-time buyers need to look at their financial situation and crunch the numbers to see if this is the right time to buy. Chances are the numbers they see today will be the best they will see for some time, which is why so many are considering homeownership.  

            Still, understanding the money that goes into a home purchase is important. The biggest mistake new buyers make is underestimating the costs of buying a house and maintaining it over time.

            Homebuying requires more than a down payment as closing costs and future expenses will figure prominently. Many experts agree that homeowners should have 1%-3% of their homes’ purchase price in savings for improvements and surprise expenses. Mortgage experts also say it’s wise to have at least six mortgage payments in the bank after a closing.

            While those numbers may not be feasible for everyone, if you are spending above your means on a new home, you may find yourself in financial trouble fast.

            Inspections are important for the first-time buyer, as they list repairs that will be needed for the home. A buyer should put together a short-term and long-term plan based on the inspection so they know how much money they will need in the months and years ahead.

            As renters, people are accustomed to paying rent and basic utilities. As homeowners, you’ll also pay for water, sewer and trash collection. Then there are property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner’s association dues, plus yard care, snow removal and other expenses unique to your location.

            To be sure, buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll make and when done wisely, it can be one of the best decisions of your life. Your real estate agent will help each step of the way, first helping you establish a realistic price point for your home purchase and a clear understanding of your monthly expenses.

 

First Time Home Buyers: Need to Know, Guides, Resources

 

 

Michelle Manter can be reached at 860-716-2227. Prudential Connecticut Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.-

Improve Your Credit Score

Improve Your Credit Score

Those about to start house hunting should check their credit score before things get too serious. There is nothing quite as frightening in the mortgage process as learning that your credit report contains a late payment or other blemishes that can prevent you from buying a property.

The higher your credit score, the better your chances are of financing a home. A credit score of at least 620 will give consumers a fighting chance to secure a home loan; 720 should qualify in most cases.

However, a lower credit score doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t finance a home. Credit score repair begins with your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from the Federal Trade Commission at AnnualCreditReport.com. Check the report for errors.

Don’t panic if your report contains blemishes. There are steps you can take to fix negative marks, regardless of whether the marks are in error or if you’ve missed a payment or two. The simplest thing to do if you’ve missed a payment is to call the creditor and ask them to erase the negative listing. You can also do this with a well-documented letter. There is no guarantee that a lender will do this, but if you’ve been a good customer through the years, this method has proven to be successful.

If you are one of the many who have defaulted on a student loan you can enter into a “rehab program,” which will get your account back on track after 12 months. This may not be the quick fix you need when buying a home but the sooner you do this the better.

For disputing a negative mark that was not your fault, you can try disputing the account with the credit bureaus as “not mine.”

One quick fix used by borrowers to boost their credit score is to have an older family member with a sound credit rating add you as an authorized user on a credit card. This can help increase your score and you wouldn’t even need the card in your possession.

With more loans requiring higher credit scores today, it’s never too early to start fixing credit challenges.

Michelle Manter can be reached at 860-716-2227. Prudential Connecticut Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Down Payment Tips

 

Many people dream of owning a home but don’t think it’s possible because they lack the resources for a down payment and closing costs. Here are tips for securing that down payment.

1) Borrow from your retirement account: Many people have been investing in a 401(k) plan or traditional IRA for years and first-time homebuyers may borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. For those self-employed or if your employer allows it, you also can borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a low interest rate.

2) Ask family: Sure, you may be too proud to ask for money, but if relatives can help you and your family move into that dream home, isn’t it worth it? If you do get help from a family member, the lender will ask you to sign a gift-letter form, attesting to the relationship. The lender may also require your relatives to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.

3) Look for down payment assistance grants: Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to own a home.

4) Come to a lease/purchase agreement: Homeowners who can’t sell their homes in this market may consider a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied toward the down payment. If you go this route, make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are protected.

5) Add it to the wedding registry: Several mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry. This is a great way to celebrate the joining of two people in matrimony.

6) Cut back and save: If none of the other ways will work for you, there’s always the old fashioned “saving for a rainy day.” Try putting aside 10% of each paycheck and make your meals instead of going out for them. If you’re married, save the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put it toward your house. You also may need to forget that vacation this year.

These sacrifices may seem significant but they will be worth it once you’re inside your own home.

Michelle Manter can be reached at (860)716-2227. Prudential CT Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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