Kathy Murray's Blog
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.
The right time to purchase a home varies from person to person. Meanwhile, buying a house is one of the biggest decisions an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important to weigh your options closely to determine if now if the right time to buy a house.
There are several things you can do to get ready to pursue and buy your dream home. These include:
1. Make a Plan
Think about the steps you'll need to take to go from homebuyer to homeowner. Then, you can craft a plan to put these steps into action.
Also, it often helps to create a list of homebuying criteria. This list will help you narrow your home search and speed up the process of finding your ideal residence.
You should stay flexible as you conduct your home search too. The housing market fluctuates constantly, and if you maintain flexibility, you'll be ready to adjust your homebuying strategy as needed.
2. Get Home Financing
It usually is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home.
Banks and credit unions are available to teach you about all of your mortgage options. Thus, meeting with these financial institutions will enable you to learn about different types of home financing and make an informed mortgage selection.
Of course, you should not hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your queries. Therefore, if you are unsure about which mortgage option is right for you, these mortgage specialists can help you evaluate all of your options.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent offers expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will help you find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, help you prepare for a home closing and much more.
In addition, a real estate agent can provide plenty of support during your house search. He or she first will help you craft an effective homebuying strategy and search for properties that meet your criteria. Next, a real estate agent will set up house showings and keep you informed about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. And if a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, a real estate agent will help you set up a property inspection and finalize your house purchase.
For those who are ready to purchase a home, it helps to be prepared. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as an informed property buyer. As a result, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to enjoy a quick, successful property buying experience.
Home feeling a little dull? You can clean and liven things up in a single day, and make your home into a welcoming, comfortable oasis. Whether you are coping with outdated decor, too much clutter or just need to liven things up, this list can help you pull things together quickly. You'll be guest ready in no time, and able to fully enjoy your home when you take the time to refresh things occasionally.
Start with a quick cleanup: You don't need to clean everything, but removing items from counters, corralling clutter and vacuuming can go a long way towards making the space look fresh and clean. Give yourself and your helpers an hour to throw away trash, outdated items and to put things away and you'll have a great base to work from.
Check the season: If you are still rocking 4th of July decor in November, your home will look a little dated. Remove items that are not in season and replace with ones that are -- if possible, decorate for the holiday or season that is on the way and you'll get the most impact from your time.
Add flowers: Pick up a live plant or fresh flowers to display to instantly brighten and freshen up a room.
Add scent: Your space impacts all of your senses, and if your home is feeling a little flat or musty, it could be because it has been closed up for too long. Open windows for an instant breeze of fresh air and refresh the indoor air quality. Consider adding scent with a candle, wax melts or diffuser to add more interest and make your space more inviting.
Replace bulbs and filters: You may not reailze it, but even a single blown bulb makes your home look darker and uncared for. Track down any missing bulbs and replace them for maximum impact. If needed, choose a higher wattage bulb to brighten things up even more. This is also an ideal time to change your air filters -- your home will smell better and you'll have better air quality and heater performance, too.
You can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your home in just a few hours -- and enjoy the results of your hard work for weeks to come. Set aside some time each season or before each holiday to refresh and restore your home; you'll love living in an attractive and comfortable space year round.
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