Sandy Bliven - RE/MAX South County



Posted by Sandy Bliven on 7/11/2019

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.




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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 6/20/2019

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.




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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 5/23/2019

Ready to buy a condo? With help from an expert real estate agent, you can make your condo ownership dreams come true.

An expert real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can purchase a top-notch condo at an unbeatable price. In addition, this real estate professional will make it easy to discover a superior condo without delay.

Ultimately, an expert real estate agent can make a world of difference during a condo search. But it is important to note that there are many factors to consider as you evaluate a real estate agentl.

Key factors that a condo buyer should consider when he or she assesses a real estate agent include:

1. Industry Experience

How many years has a real estate agent worked with condo buyers? Has a real estate agent been successful in his or her efforts to help condo buyers? And how will this housing market professional handle difficult negotiations with a condo seller? These are some of the questions to consider as you examine a real estate agent's industry experience.

When it comes to assessing a real estate agent, industry experience is key. A real estate professional who understands the ins and outs of buying a condo should have no trouble helping you purchase a superb property that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Communication Skills

How a real estate agent communicates with his or her clients says a lot about this professional.

If a real estate agent strives to stay in touch with clients via text, phone and email, this housing market professional likely will be able to keep a condo buyer informed at each stage of the property buying cycle.

On the other hand, a real estate agent who fails to prioritize effective communication may struggle to help a condo buyer. This housing market professional may be unavailable if a condo buyer has concerns or questions. As a result, a condo buyer is unlikely to get the support that he or she needs to make an informed property buying decision.

Meeting directly with a real estate agent can give you a better idea about his or her communication skills. If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face discussion, you may want to consider moving forward with this housing market professional.

3. Client Referrals

What are previous condo buyers saying about a real estate agent? Request client referrals from a real estate agent, and you can find out how he or she has supported condo buyers in the past.

Client referrals enable you to understand what it's like to work with a real estate agent and can provide you with insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Moreover, client referrals can help you accelerate the process of choosing the right real estate agent to guide you along the condo buying journey.

For condo buyers, there is no need to worry as you prepare to enter the housing market. Instead, use these tips, and you can find a first-rate real estate agent who will ensure you can purchase your dream condo.




Tags: condo   Buying a home   buyer tips  
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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 5/2/2019

You know you want to make your homeownership dream come true sooner rather than later. At the same time, you still have no idea about how you'll acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Navigating the housing market can be tricky, especially for those who are operating with limited finances at their disposal. Lucky for you, we're here to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey and ensure you can discover a wonderful residence at a price that won't break your budget.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you buy your dream house at the lowest-possible price.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The real estate market may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, homebuyers who collect and review housing market data can become real estate experts in no time at all.

Ultimately, homebuyers who know the ins and outs of the real estate market may be better equipped than others to get the best price on a house. These buyers can identify patterns and trends within housing market data and determine whether they're operating in a buyer's or seller's market. Then, once a buyer finds his or her dream house, this individual can submit a competitive offer to purchase that meets the needs of all parties involved in a home sale.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Getting pre-approved for home financing allows you to enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence. Thus, you'll be able to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a residence – and avoid overspending on a house – if you obtain pre-approval for a mortgage.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. That way, you can get the information you need to make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is essential for a homebuyer who wants to purchase his or her dream house at the right price. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can avoid paying too much for your ideal residence.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a personalized homebuying strategy, one that allows you to quickly and effortlessly discover a high-quality and affordable residence. After you find your ideal house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase too. And if a seller accepts your homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will guide you along the final stages of the property buying journey.

Ready to make your homeownership dream a reality? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can find a top-notch house at a price that matches your budget.




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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 3/14/2019

A home inspection report may prove to be a difference-maker for a property buyer, and for good reason. With an inspection report in hand, a property buyer will need to decide whether to proceed with a home purchase or rescind a homebuying proposal. Therefore, a property buyer must allocate time and resources to review a home inspection report so he or she can make an informed homebuying decision.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why a homebuyer should trust the final results of a property inspection report, and these reasons include:

1. A home inspection is conducted by a property expert.

A home inspection is conducted by a property expert who will perform a deep evaluation of a house. As such, a home inspector will provide a homebuyer with a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.

For homebuyers, it often is beneficial to search for a top-rated home inspector. This inspector likely will provide an in-depth report that outlines a house's strengths and weaknesses. A homebuyer then can use this report to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a house.

2. A home inspection is used to assess all aspects of a house.

A home inspection generally takes several hours to complete. During this evaluation, a home inspector will look at a home's foundation, heating and cooling systems and other aspects of a house. By doing so, a home inspector will be able to identify any underlying issues with a residence.

It usually is beneficial to ask questions during a home inspection as well. If you strive to learn from a home inspector, you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision about whether a house is right for you.

3. A home inspection offers insights that property buyers may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Although a homebuyer may visit a house more than once before submitting an offer to purchase, a home inspection represents a learning opportunity unlike any other. A house inspection enables a homebuyer to examine a residence both inside and out with a property expert. Then, this buyer will receive an extensive inspection report that he or she can review prior to finalizing a house purchase.

If you're preparing to search for a home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will be able to guide you along the homebuying journey. And once you reach the point where you need to conduct a house inspection, a real estate agent will help you find a top home inspector in your city or town.

Of course, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions too. As a result, a real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of buying a house.

Ready to find and purchase a home? Before you finalize a house purchase, perform a home inspection – you'll be glad you did. Because if you review a home inspection report, you can determine the best course of action relative to a home purchase.




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