Matthew Walsh's Blog
Entering the real estate market and buying your dream home may seem simple at first. However, problems may arise that make it tough to secure your ideal house at a price that matches your budget.
When it comes to finding the right home at the right price, it helps to prepare. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to enter the housing market and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly discover your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the homebuying process.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
Purchasing a house is rarely easy, particularly for a property buyer who has no idea how to kick off a home search. But if you establish homebuying criteria, you can speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Allocating time and resources to create homebuying criteria is essential because it forces you to consider where you want to live and what amenities you want to find in your dream residence. Plus, once you have homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can start your home search and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
2. Obtain Home Financing
Home financing is paramount, particularly for property buyers who want to avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase a house. Thankfully, banks and credit unions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you secure the financing you need to buy a home.
Typically, a lender will meet with you and outline your mortgage options. It also will explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and respond to any of your mortgage concerns and questions. Then, after you review your mortgage options, a lender will help you make an informed home financing decision.
Don't wait to get home financing, either. If you have home financing in hand when you launch a home search, you may be better equipped than other buyers to quickly submit an offer to purchase a home.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to avoid challenges throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert and is happy to assist you as you proceed along the homebuying journey. If you are interested in houses in specific cities and towns, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about residences that become available in these areas. Or, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. Best of all, if you have homebuying concerns, a real estate agent will address them right away.
Ultimately, buying a house can be easy. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the homebuying cycle.
Generally, the length of the homebuying journey depends on the individual. In some instances, a buyer will purchase the first house that he or she views in-person. Or, in other cases, it may take a buyer several weeks or months to find a house that matches his or her expectations.
There is no need to rush the homebuying journey. But if you know what to expect when you pursue your dream house, you may be able to seamlessly navigate the property buying cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the homebuying journey.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you know where you want to live and what you want to find in your ideal residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly. And as a result, you may be better equipped than other property buyers to discover a great house at an affordable price.
As you put together homebuying criteria, it is important to consider your long-term plans as well. For instance, if you enjoy city life and want to spend as much time as possible in the city, a house in the city may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to raise your family in a small town, you may want to hone your search to houses in small towns.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A home purchase likely will require you to obtain a mortgage. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available nationwide, and these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Meet with several banks and credit unions so you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you're on the lookout for your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns – and much more.
Typically, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you find and buy your dream home. He or she initially will learn about your homebuying goals and develop a custom homebuying strategy for you. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you craft an aggressive offer to purchase this house.
Let's not forget about a real estate agent's homebuying expertise, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed home purchase.
Simplify the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble finding and acquiring your dream house.
Although being a first-time buyer can seem overwhelming, there was one advantage to the entire process: You didn’t need to sell another property. If you would like to move out of the home that you’re currently living in and are in the process of buying a new place, your life is about the get complicated! Hold tight to your realtor and get ready for quite the ride.
Since it’s often unrealistic to pay two mortgages at once, there’s a certain way that you must complete the transactions so as not to cause a huge financial headache when moving from one place to another. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to deal with buying a new home and selling your current one simultaneously in most cases.
The good news is that it can be done! Read on for tips to find out how you can make the process go as smoothly as possible.
First, you’ll want to understand the housing market that you’re in. You’ll know what strategies you need to employ if you understand the type of market that you’re dealing with. If the two homes are in completely different areas, this research will be even more important to you.
While you’re searching for a new home and selling your current one, you’ll want to leave your options open. That means not locking yourself down to just one home. Of course, you’ll only put in one offer at a time, but knowing what’s out there for you to buy is important in case the purchase falls through on the first prospective home. This way you won’t have much chance of being “stranded” once your old home sells.
You want your home to be sold in a timely manner. This means that your old home should be well-priced and ready to sell. Work with your realtor on staging, pricing, and holding open houses. The more effort that is put into marketing your home, the better chance you’ll have of selling it. Extra time on the market means that you’ll have a bigger headache when it comes to buying your new home. Selling quickly is not a bad thing so long as you have some other place to live. You can also put a contingency in the sale stating that you need to find suitable housing before you can move. Realtors can do a lot when their sellers are cooperative and proactive.
Should You Buy First?
If you sell your home first, you’ll have an easier time getting a mortgage on a new home. The problem here is that you’ll need to find some sort of temporary housing before you even head out on the house hunt.
If you buy a home fist, your buying power may be less than if you sold your current home. Your debt-to-income ratio will be higher, giving you less money to spend on a new home.
While buying and selling a home simultaneously can be complicated, if you strategize correctly, you’ll be able to go through the entire process with ease.
For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:
1. You can determine if a home is right for you.
Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.
During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.
Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.
2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.
A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.
You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.
3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.
As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.
Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.
A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.
The gig economy has exploded over the past decade. Today, around 36% of the US workforce is freelancing and many more or self-employed small business owners.
While being your own boss does afford you great freedom to set your hours and often work where you want, you may face extra scrutiny when trying to get financing to buy a home.
Because your income comes from many sources and you may do your own bookkeeping, it's more challenging to prove your income. But fear not. Freelancers can get financing. You just need to be prepared.
Note that every lending institution may be a little different. But here's your quick guide for home financing for freelancers and other self-employed professionals.
1. You may need to work at freelance a little longer
If you just left a nine to five and started freelancing six months ago, you do not yet have the track record of consistent income that a loan officer will be able to see. The loan officer needs to know that you have the money coming in to pay this loan.
In most cases, loan officers like to see applicants who've been successfully freelancing for at least two years.
2. Clean up your bookkeeping
Are you the kind of person who pulls out a box of receipts on April 14th and then scrambles for the next 18 hours trying to account for last year? You may struggle with a loan officer. They need to see well-organized records of incoming and outgoing, just like any business.
You don't have to take an accounting course. But anyone should be able to follow behind your numbers on a spreadsheet to see exactly how you reached the figures that went on your tax return.
3. Get a CPA signature
You may need to get the signature of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on your books for at least the last six months. But please don't do this before they ask for it because it will cost money. The more disorganized your financial records, the more it may cost.
If you'd be embarrassed to show your bookkeeping to a CPA, please see the tip immediately above. You can do this.
4. Make your case
If your income fluctuates wildly or has dropped in the most recent year, that may be a red flag for a loan officer. Even if they don't ask about it, make sure they know why that dip occurred.
Perhaps you were taking care of an aging parent or a sick child. Some of your income may have been delayed for some reason. Be prepare to explain the ebb and flow of your income.
Don't appear to be a victim of circumstance. But do communicate irregularities that don't reflect the success you're experiencing as a freelancer.
5. Have a strong savings
Freelancers' income varies from month to month, but your mortgage payment does not. Show that you're stable and have a backup plan. These savings should be in addition to a down payment.
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