Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 3/4/2018

Your credit score can play a major role in your ability to get the financing that you need to buy a house. As such, you'll want to do everything possible to improve your credit score before you enter the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to boost your credit score.

1. Pay Off Debt As Quickly As Possible

Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau, and you should take advantage of this perk so that you can learn about your outstanding debt.

If you have lots of outstanding debt, you'll want to start paying this off as quickly as possible. Because the less debt that you have, the more likely it becomes that you can get a favorable mortgage from a credit union or bank.

Don't wait to begin paying off outstanding debt. If you pay off even a small portion of your outstanding debt regularly, you can move closer to getting the financing that you need to acquire a terrific house.

2. Avoid New Credit Cards

A low credit score can be worrisome, and it may cause you to consider a variety of options to manage outstanding debt. However, if your credit score is low, there is no need to take out additional credit cards.

New credit cards may seem like viable short-term options to help you cover various expenses while you pay off assorted outstanding debt. But these cards are unlikely to help you resolve the biggest problem Ė paying off your outstanding debt to bolster your credit score.

Instead of signing up for new credit cards, it often helps to cut back on non-essential bills. For instance, if you don't need cable, you may be able to eliminate this expense and use the money that you save to pay off outstanding debt. Or, if you have first-rate items that you don't need, you may want to sell these items and use the profits to pay off myriad bills.

3. Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low

Once you have paid off your outstanding debt, you'll want to keep your credit card balances low.

It often helps to have one credit card that you can use in emergencies. If you keep one credit card and get rid of any others, you may be better equipped than ever before to maintain a high credit score.

Lastly, if you require additional assistance as you prepare to kick off a home search, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you narrow your home search to residences that fall within a specific price range. That way, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire a house.

Increase your credit score Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can raise your credit score before you launch a home search.





Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 12/24/2017

Want to buy a house for the first time? Create a budget, and you can move one step closer to transforming your homebuying dream into a reality.

Now, let's take a look at three budgeting tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.

1. Don't Wait to Start Saving for a Down Payment

In most instances, a down payment on a home ranges from 5 percent to 20 percent. With a large down payment, you may be able to reduce your monthly mortgage expenses.

A lender may be more willing to provide you with a favorable mortgage if you can afford an above-average down payment. This means if you have plenty of money for a down payment, you could save money over the life of your mortgage.

2. Take a Look at Your Outstanding Debt

Student loan charges, credit card bills and other outstanding debt may make it tough for you to get the financing that you need to buy a house. Fortunately, if you pay down your outstanding debt as much as possible, you can boost your chances of buying your dream house.

Evaluate your current spending and make cuts if possible. For example, if you dine out several times a week, it may be more cost-effective to buy groceries and cook your own meals. Then, you'll have extra money that you can use to pay off outstanding debt and save for a house.

3. Understand Your Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? If not, you may be missing out on opportunities to eliminate outstanding debt and increase your home savings.

You are eligible for a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can receive insights into your credit score.

If you obtain your free credit reports and find outstanding debt, you should try to pay off this debt sooner rather than later. Because the longer that you wait to pay off outstanding debt, the longer it may take you to acquire your ideal residence.

Furthermore, if you discover errors on a credit report, contact the reporting bureau immediately. This will enable you to fix any report errors before you get a mortgage.

If you need additional assistance as you map out a homebuying budget, it often pays to collaborate with a bank or credit union. In addition to providing you with multiple mortgage options, a lender will offer expert recommendations to help you budget for your first home purchase.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional is happy to help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area. And when you're ready to kick off your inaugural homebuying journey, a real estate agent can provide you with the support you need, precisely when you need it.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish an effective homebuying budget.




Tags: Buying a home   budgeting  
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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 12/17/2017

Thereís few things in life that are more exciting than closing on your first house. All of the money that you saved and the paperwork that you have filled out has finally come together so that you can now say youíre a proud homeowner. 


Before you start planning your housewarming party, thereís a few things that you need to do with your new home and its contents.


Copy The Closing Paperwork


Undoubtedly, there were dozens of pieces of paper that were handed to you during the closing on your new home. You should have an extra copy of everything that was signed. While the local registrar of deeds probably has a copy of everything filed there as well, itís always a good idea to have extra copies of these papers.


Lock The Doors With New Keys


Youíll need to change the locks when you move into a new home as soon as possible. Many different people had the keys to the home while it was still on the market. Also, before the home was even put up for sale, family members could have passed sets of keys amongst family and friends. The lock category also includes securing sliding doors, electrical boxes, and windows accordingly. 


Put Your Name On It


Youíll need to place your name on a variety of things including your mailbox, the trashcans, the buzzer, and anything else that is property of you and your new home. If it wonít pose a privacy issue for you, itís better to claim whatís rightfully yours early on to ease confusion. 



Put Up Curtains Or Cover The Windows


Thereís probably 1,000 other things that you would rather do when you move into a new home than put up some curtains. Yet, this is so important to your privacy. Without curtains or window treatments, all of your home and its contents are exposed for the outside world to see. Until you have a chance to settle in, you can even use boxes or towels to cover the windows. This is used initially for a security measure to deter thieves and nosy neighbors.


Meet The New Neighbors


ItĎs a good idea to know who is living around you. For one, youíll be aware of any suspicious activity thatís happening in case you see strange people hanging around the area. Itís good to know who you live next to and what you might have in common with them. At the very least, youíll have a new friend. They might even water your plants while youíre away on your next vacation. 


Donít forget to change your addresses as well. Thatís always one of the biggest hassles about moving. Take the right measures for safety and comfort when you move into your new home for a smooth transition




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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 10/8/2017

Owning a home seems like a logical step in the game of life that most people take. Itís a good investment and better for your finances than renting. Just because it seems like the right thing to do, doesnít actually mean that it is the right thing to do for you and your situation. There are a few clear-cut signs that youíre just not ready to buy a home. 


Your Income Is Too Low


Even if you think that you make enough money to buy a home, you need to take a look at your own finances before you start looking. Youíll need a large sum of money upfront to buy a home, so saving will need to be our thing. Between closing costs and the 20 percent down payment that you should have to buy the home, you donít want to spread your income too thin. Financial experts recommend that your monthly mortgage payment isnít more than around 30 percent of your monthly income. 


Debt Has You Pinned Down


Even if you do have enough money to buy a home and make monthly mortgage payments without worry, you may have too many other bills to pay. If you have massive amounts of student loan debt, maxed out credit cards, or other large loans, you may want to think twice before you buy a home. Lenders will look at whatís called your debt-to-income ratio. Your load of debt should be 38% or less of your monthly income. If you have too much debt, it may not only strain you financially, it could prevent you from getting a loan altogether.


You Started A New Job


Lenders like income and job history to be consistent. If you are coming off a period of unemployment or have just started a new job, you could look like an unstable lender. Lenders typically like people who have been doing the same job for about two years or more. If the stability of your income looks uncertain, you may not just look bad to lenders, but you could put yourself at risk as well. 


Your Savings Is Depleted


You need more than just the down payment saved up to be in a good place to buy a home. There will be plenty of things that youíll need once you move into a new place including furniture to repairs to renting a moving truck. You should have some additional money on hand in case of an emergency as well. 


Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. You should be absolutely sure that youíre ready for the commitment before you dive in.





Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 9/24/2017

Purchasing a home represents a life-changing decision, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Instead, a homebuyer will want to consider the pros and cons of buying a particular residence, along with the benefits of purchasing a house in the first place.

Ultimately, there are many benefits of buying a house, including:

1. Predictable Housing Costs

For many renters, it can be difficult to determine how much housing costs may vary year to year. Plus, renters may be forced to move from one location to the next as soon as a lease expires Ė something that could prove to be both time-consuming and costly.

Homebuyers can reap the benefits of predictability, and for good reason. Typically, a homebuyer will be able to pay predictable mortgage costs for the life of a home loan. This individual also won't have to worry about committing substantial time and resources to move regularly. On the other hand, a homebuyer will be able to relocate to a house that he or she owns and enjoy this property for years to come.

2. Home Appreciation

A home offers a terrific asset, one that may increase in value over an extended period of time.

Typically, a well-maintained home will become more valuable over the years, particularly for homeowners who keep their residences looking great. This means if you ever decide to sell your home down the line, you may be able to receive offers that exceed what you initially paid for it.

3. Exceptional Privacy

Finding a place to call your own can be tough. However, homeowners can enjoy unprecedented privacy, as their residences enable them to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the outside world any time they choose.

A home offers a wonderful place where you can relax with family members and friends or on your own. And remember, you can always modify your home to further increase your privacy as well.

4. Unparalleled Security

If you rent a property and break your lease, your landlord can kick you out of your home. Comparatively, if you purchase a house, you own the property. This means you will always have a roof over your head and can rest comfortably in your very own place.

Buying a home can instill a sense of pride in an individual. Furthermore, a homeowner can take solace in the fact that his or her residence is a safe place and enjoy it day after day.

Ready to purchase a house? Not so fast. You'll first want to contact a real estate agent who can guide you through each stage of the homebuying process. That way, you can receive support from a friendly, expert real estate agent and ensure that you can secure your dream home quickly and effortlessly.

Reach out to a real estate agent today Ė you'll be happy you did. With a real estate agent at your side, you can navigate the homebuying process and find your ideal house.




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