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3 Smart Tips For Improving Your Credit Score Prior To Applying For A Home Mortgage

3 smart tips for improving your credit score prior to applying for a home mortgage

3 Smart Tips For Improving Your Credit Score Prior To Applying For A Home Mortgage

Not everyone buys a home very often and in fact many might only own one to three homes over their life time.  As a result when buying a home, buyers should make sure they get the best pre-approval amount they can so that when they do buy they are getting the best home that meets their budget at the time.  By striving for the best home you can afford now and will suit your needs for some time to come there will be less need to upgrade to another home because your current home was only a “starter home”.

There is a caveat with that in just because a mortgage lender approves a mortgage for the highest amount of money that can be had that does not necessarily mean homebuyers should buy at the top of that range.  Homebuyers need to analyze their current and future financial situation to make sure they can afford the home they buy today.  If in the future the homeowner plans on having a larger family, wishes to change careers, or something else that effects their lifestyle then that should be part of the consideration when buying a home today.  Homebuyers should not end up in a house poor situation where they cannot afford to pay for the home as well as the upkeep resulting in a loss of home value over time.  Always consider how much home you can afford today as well as in the future as part of your home shopping process.

Credit Score and Mortgage Amount

There are a number of...

Buying A Home With Pets In Mind

buying a home with pets in mind

Buying A Home With Pets In Mind

Pets are an everyday part of life for their human companions.  Pets like humans also have individual needs that every house may or may not meet.  When buying a home with pets in mind knowing what one should be looking for and what considerations should be made for our furry friends is on the top of many home buyers list.  This article takes a look at the different considerations pet owners should take into mind when buying a home.

Type Of Pet

The type of pet a homebuyer has will dictate some of the needs for a home.  Bird and reptile owners who keep their pets indoors a majority of the time may not have as many requirements for a home as those would dog or cat owners who may let their pets outdoors unsupervised or who have free roam of the house.  The health and age of a pet also play into home needs as an older pet who cannot walk around as much as they could may need fewer stairs and a flat yard in order to best accommodate their needs.

The size of your pet plays into this as well particularly in the case of dogs.  Larger athletic dogs need more room to run around and burn off their energy and a larger yard might be important to owners of large dogs.  For smaller dogs, cats and rabbits that may be allowed to roam free in the yard, having a yard that is open and in an area that does not attract predators like coyotes, bears, raptors and more is important to consider. 

Landscaping Considerations

As noted above the way a yard is setup and situated should be considered when buying a home with pets in mind.  A steep hilly yard may not be good for smaller dogs or dogs who have joint or back problems. ...

Marketing Strategies Expert Realtors Use To Help Sell Your Home

marketing strategies expert realtors use to help sell your home

Marketing Strategies Expert Realtors Use To Help Sell Your Home

Selling a home is not a simple matter of taking a few pictures, putting it up on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and then the home will sell.  It takes much more effort to effectively get a home sold than just taking a few pictures and throwing the information about the home on a few websites.  Expert Realtors know these techniques like the back of their hand and must be continually flexible in their strategies in order to sell any type of home during any time of the year or during any market condition.  While these strategies presented here do represent what expert Realtors will do, only by working with one of these expert Realtors can home sellers realize all the benefits of these time tested marketing strategies.

Every Real Estate Market Is Different

First thing to realize is that every real estate market is different.  Even within the same metropolitan area different locations will require different marketing strategies.  Hot neighborhoods where properly priced homes sell in a matter of days can be right next to neighborhoods where homes take weeks or months to sell.  Realtors who work in the local area understand the local differences between neighborhoods, cities, and localities and know that while some strategies will work in one area a totally different strategy may be needed in the neighborhood next to it.map locations

Home Pricing As A Marketing Strategy

Believe it or not home pricing is an area that is of importance...

Podcast #10: Luxury (Jumbo) Mortgages Explained

podcast #1- jumbo mortgages explained

For this podcast about Jumbo Mortgages for purchasing a luxury home I sat down with Walt Wollet of Summit Funding. During our conversation we discussed the jumbo mortgages, the application process, credit score and down payment requirements and more. This podcast is helpful for those wanting to buy a luxury home through the use of jumbo mortgage financing.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Listen via YouTube:

You can connect with Walt Wollet on LinkedIn, Facebook, and at SummitFunding.net.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn...

What To Clean Up When Preparing Your Home For Sale

what to clean up when preparing your home for sale

What To Clean Up When Preparing Your Home For Sale

Getting a home ready for sale involves many different things in order to present the home in the best possible light to all potential home buyers.  Unless you are selling your home as-is proper presentation ensures buyers look primarily at the features of the house so they can determine whether or not the home will work for them.  Distractions from an unclean house means buyers may decide to look elsewhere under the impression that an unclean house was not well cared for in other ways.  A clean home also looks great with high definition pictures for buyers who are looking on the internet for a new place to call home.  Cleaning ones house prior to putting it up for sale and keeping it clean during the showing process is a critical staging step that all homeowners should do and the following areas are important areas to clean up.

Floors and Carpeting

Starting from the bottom and working up the first thing to clean would be carpet and flooring.  For carpets that are not heavily soiled, stained or torn having the carpets steam cleaned and deodorized will go a long way to freshening up a home.  If carpets have stains, deep odors contributed by pets, smoking that will not come out with steam cleaning or large tears and heavy wear then new carpet should be installed.  New carpet with neutral colors will help improve the look of a home and home buyers will appreciate getting a home with new carpet installed. 

Hardwood flooring with minor wear which still retains its color can be refinished...

Why Home Buyers Need Their Own Representation

why home buyers need their own real estate agent

Why Home Buyers Need Their Own Representation

Buying a home is a complicated process that commits a homebuyer to living in the same place for a number of years and paying a mortgage over a long term while living in that house.  If there are mistakes in purchasing a home then the buyer is not able to simply return the home and get all their money back as if it were a pair of pants that did not fit correctly and can be returned to the store no questions asked.  In the event of some major concealment by a home seller a home buyer may be able to sue the seller and demand that they take the home back.  The buyer may be able to recover money from the home seller assuming they have money to give back to the buyer.  Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming so the desire to sue to undo a home deal is not something that a home buyer will be able to quickly settle and move on.

With the home buying process being as complex as it is working alone without your own real estate agent means dealing with the complicated paperwork and negotiations without the help of a trained experienced professional.  A YouTube video or blog article while providing some answers is not the same thing as having a local real estate expert with the experience to be able to guide a home buyer through the different situations that can come up.  This article explores some areas where home buyers can benefit from a real estate agent who represents their interests exclusively.

A Buyer's Agent will Represents Your Best Interests

The real estate agent who is the listing agent...

How To Sell A Luxury Home For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

how to sell a luxury home for sale by owner fobs

How To Sell A Luxury Home For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

When it comes to selling a home for sale by owner (FSBO) there is a large amount of work for the homeowner to get right in order to have a successful sale.  Add on top of that the fact a homeowner is trying to sell a luxury home on their own the amount of work then is much greater as well since luxury home buyers are expecting more than what is normally done for a non-luxury home.  If a homeowner were to miss some of the critical steps/procedures required to sell their home FSBO or do something that would not normally be done with a luxury home (like hold an open house), the homeowner runs the risk of not only not selling their home but having to drop the price dramatically in order to attract buyer attention.  With that in mind here are some tips on how best to sell a luxury home FSBO.

Pricing A Luxury Home

Pricing a luxury home is one of the most important aspects of the process.  Price a luxury home too high and buyers will ignore your home since better values can be had elsewhere.  Price a luxury home too low and while a quick sale will result, the homeowner will be walking away from money they could have instead put into their pockets.  Sources like Zillow and their Zestimates are generally not that accurate when it comes for pricing a luxury home for sale.  Zestimates are good for giving an estimated price of...

Tips For Picking Real Estate Professionals When Buying or Selling Your Home

tips for picking real estate professionals when buying or selling your home

Tips For Picking Real Estate Professionals When Buying or Selling Your Home

When buying or selling a home there are a number of different professionals involved in the process.  These professionals are involved in critical parts of the real estate transaction that in order to be successful having the best and brightest is important.  One of the main reasons for bringing in the best professionals possible is that the buying or selling of a home is usually one of the largest transactions a person will have in their lifetimes.  As a result home buyers and sellers would like everything to go perfectly so that their investment in a home can keep itself going over the long haul.  With that in mind the following tips below will help home buyers and sellers choose the best professionals to help make sure the transaction is a successful one.

Picking The Right Home Inspector

Whether you want a home inspection for buying a home or prior to listing your home for sale picking the right home inspector is important.  Your home is a long term investment and therefore you want to make sure the home you are buying is properly evaluated or as a seller you want to make sure the home you are selling is putting its best foot forward when it comes time to sell.  By taking care of home inspection before listing your home for sale you make it less likely you will have to scramble around to find contractors in order to get things done before closing.

If you live in a state where home inspectors are required to be licensed...

What Is A Tiny Home?

information about tiny homes

What Is A Tiny Home?

You may have heard of the Tiny Home movement and been curious about what exactly is a tiny home and why would anyone want one.  A tiny home generally is a home that is generally under 500 square feet.  Tiny homes contain all the features of a regular home including bathroom, kitchen, dining and sleeping areas.  Tiny homes are generally designed to be energy efficient and usually built with green materials.  One of the goal of the tiny home movement is to reduce the environmental impact of housing both in terms of the actual building of the home as well as through reduced energy consumption while the home is in use. 

Not only is money saved through energy efficiency but the total overall cost of the tiny home can be much lower than that of a traditional house.  The average cost of a tiny house can start at $5000.00 and go up to $70,000.00 which is much cheaper than the average suburban home.  At the lower end of the pricing scale many may not even need a mortgage, whereas at the higher end a mortgage may be desired. 

Tiny homes are generally built to last as long as a traditional home would.  Some tiny home owners have built the homes themselves using kits that contain most everything needed to assemble the basic home.  Additionally tiny homes builders and developers are working to put tiny homes on wheels so construction worker building a tiny homethey are more mobile.

Tiny Homes and Zoning

Since tiny homes is a relatively new movement in relation to the current housing market many cities and municipalities...

Luxury Home Buyer's Guide To Getting A Mortgage

luxury home buyer's guide to getting a mortgage

Luxury Home Buyer's Guide To Getting A Mortgage

Purchasing a luxury home requires a slightly different approach than if one were buying a non-luxury home.  Generally a luxury house is considered luxury because the price is higher than $500,000.00 and offers luxury amenities not commonly found in non-luxury homes.   While the $500,000.00 is a general guideline that does not mean that amount applies the same to every area in classifying a home as luxury.  In the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market homes $500,000.00 and above generally will be considered to be luxury homes.  Other areas may be different based on the real estate market in those locations since real estate is all about location.

Buying A Luxury Home With A Jumbo Mortgage

If you plan on purchasing your luxury home with cash then this may not apply to you.  However with mortgage interest rates as low as they are, borrowing money to purchase your luxury home while at the same time using your cash in different higher rate of return investment may make sense for you.  Additionally you may qualify for the mortgage interest tax deduction which could reduce the amount of taxes you owe each year you pay interest on your mortgage. 

Luxury mortgages are a little different compared to mortgages for non-luxury homes.  When borrowing more than $424,100.00 to purchase your luxury home the mortgage loan product used for those types of loans are called jumbo loans.  Jumbo mortgage loans are called...

A Look Back At Some Of The Great Real Estate Articles From 2016

a look back at some of the great real estate articles from 2016

A Look Back At Some Of The Great Real Estate Articles From 2016

The year 2016 saw many real estate related articles published with the intent of informing readers about various issues in the real estate area.  Some articles while trying to be informative may miss the mark and instead up trying to sell something rather than inform.  Many other articles though succeed in informing readers so that they have the latest and greatest knowledge needed to help them with their real estate.  In this article I highlight some of those great articles from 2016 and hope you enjoy them as much as many others did. 

best articles from 2016 for home sellers

best Articles from 2016 for home sellers

Best Way To Remove Wallpaper 

One of my favorite articles from 2016 was a very helpful post from Bill Gassett, one of the top real estate agents in Southborough Mass. One of the things Realtors are constantly doing for their clients is recommending improvements that can be made that either help the salability of a home or bring more money. One of the features that impacts the sale of a home in a negative way more than any other is wallpaper. Unfortunately, wallpaper dates a home! It is a very personal choice that is almost always a love or hate thing. Far more often, however, people hate wallpaper. A good real estate agent should be able to communicate this effectively...

5 Reasons Why Your Pending Home Sale Can Fall Apart

5 reasons why your home pending sale can fall apart and how to prevent that

5 Reasons Why Your Pending Home Sale Can Fall Apart

5 Reasons Why Your Pending Home Sale CAN Fall Apart And How To Prevent It

Selling a home is not a fast activity like going to a store and buying a new television.  In most cases you go to the store pick out what TV you want and after paying for it you can leave and enjoy the TV.  Selling a home on the other hand is a more involved process.  The instant an offer is accepted by the seller there still is a period of time where the deal to purchase the home can fall apart.  Here are the main areas where a home sale can fall and how to avoid those pitfalls.

Appraisal

Every house that is going to be purchased with the use of a mortgage loan needs to be appraised in order to ensure the amount being lent to buy the home is not more than the actual value of the home itself.  Mortgage lenders are able to lend for long term periods and with low interest rates due to the fact that if the borrower can no longer pay for the mortgage loan the lender can foreclose on the property.  After foreclosing on the property the lender should be able to recover some if not all of the money lent for the purchase of the home. 

The mortgage lender will order an appraisal to be performed by a licensed appraiser.  The appraiser will look at the condition of the home as well as look at the updates and upgrades that have been made.  Through the appraisal process the house is compared with recent sales of homes which are similar to the home being evaluated and provide an opinion of the home’s...

Why Every Home Buyer Needs A Mortgage Pre-Approval

why every home buyer needs a mortgage pre-approval

Why Every Home Buyer Needs A Mortgage Pre-approval

Just as you would not go shopping for groceries without cash in your purse/wallet or without knowing you have available credit on your credit card you should also not got shopping for a home without knowing if you have been pre-approved or not for a mortgage.  Just as no one wants to go to the store and find out their credit card has been declined or that they are short on cash to purchase their items, viewing homes to purchase without knowing if you can afford it can also lead to great disappointment.   Thinking that you can get a preapproval at any time with enough time to make an offer and you could end up losing out on a house you really like and/or realizing you may have never been able to get pre-approved for an amount to buy a particular house in the first place.   Cash buyers keep note, while you may not need a pre-approval since you have sufficient cash to purchase a home you still may be required to show that the cash is readily available.

What A Mortgage Pre-Approval Can Tell You

Even if you have a great credit score that does not mean you should wait until the last minute to get a mortgage pre-approval.  The mortgage pre-approval is the first thing you should get before you even look at the first home.  A big issue you can run into when viewing homes without a mortgage pre-approval is that you find a home that you really like, but once the pre-approval is run you find out the pre-approval is not enough for the home you like.  A mortgage pre-approval will let you know how much home you can afford and save you some stress down the line.

Also a pre-approval is not just about your credit score but also factors...

5 Smart Strategies For Selling Your Luxury Home

smart strategies for helping to sell your luxury home

5 Smart Strategies For Selling Your Luxury Home

Selling a home involves quite a bit of preparation in order to make sure you are presenting the best possible product.  When it comes time to sell the home you will need to think of it as a product since ultimately that is what it is in the buyer’s minds until they buy it and make it their home.  Taking it one step further a luxury home is also a product, but one that needs to be elevated much more since buyers for luxury homes are looking for specifics in a home and want something that will justify the price.  The following strategies are designed to help luxury home owners elevate their home so that when buyers feel like they are seeing a true luxury home.

Marketing

Luxury Home Photography and Video

As a Cincinnati, Ohio Luxury Realtor I have been asked about what differences are there in marketing a luxury home versus marketing a non-luxury home.  The differences can be minor such as having more pictures of a luxury home versus a non-luxury home.  One of the main reason a luxury home has more pictures is usually because luxury have more features and amenities to show off compared to non-luxury homes.  Buyers looking for those luxury features and amenities will first want to see them in pictures before they decide a home is worth visiting in person.  If the pictures can’t keep the buyers attention then the luxury real estate agent may not doing their job.

Photography and videos of a luxury home must be top notch and your typical point and shoot cameras or low light cell phone camera pictures will not deliver that quality. ...

What Is A Real Estate Survey?

what is a real estate survey

What Is A Real Estate Survey?

When it comes to buying a home or other real estate sometimes it may be necessary to have a survey performed on the property.  A survey is normally done by a licensed Surveyor who will examine the deed and any plat maps associated with the property you want to purchase or currently own.  (A plat map is the map used to show where the boundaries for each parcel of land.)  After the deed and plat maps have been examined the Surveyor will then go to the land in question and physically begin to observe and mark out the boundary lines in order to determine the exact location of the plot.

How Exactly Is A Survey Done?

As noted above a land survey is done by initially looking at the deed and plat maps to roughly determine where the property boundaries are.  After review of the deed and plat map the Surveyor will start the process of using the deed language and plat maps to mark out the boundaries of the land.  The actual determining of the boundaries of the land is done with equipment such as measuring tape, GPS devices, tripods, levels, theodolite (a device for measuring angles) and more.  Surveys will also show what easements, right of ways, utility line information and more are located on your property.  Having that information is valuable when it comes to deciding if a certain add on structure can be placed on the property.

The end result of a survey is usually a survey map that shows the details of the boundaries of the property as well as any improvements on the land.  Where the buyer or the land owner need to know the physical location of the boundary lines the Surveyor will...

Do I Need Title Insurance When I Buy A Home?

do I need title insurance when I buy a home?

Do I Need Title Insurance When I Buy A Home?

When it comes time to close on the house you want to buy you may be asked if you want to buy a title insurance owner’s policy at the closing table.  Unfortunately title insurance oftentimes is presented late at the closing table after you have signed too many documents and in addition you are being asked to pay extra for homeowner coverage of title insurance for which you have little information about.  By understanding what title insurance is and what it covers you can go into the decision about purchasing it better informed.

What Exactly Is Title Insurance?

Many people already know that insurance protects them from loss or liability for things like your home, your cars, your business, your career and more.  Title insurance protects you from a claim against the title of your home.  In other words title insurance will protect you in the event someone claims to be a prior owner or have a prior right on the land or home you now own and now wants to kick you off of the land or wants you to pay money for a debt that is not yours.

Many of you might be thinking how can someone come and kick you out of the home you bought and paid for?  The reason that can happen is that under most state laws a person first in line on the title who can show they never transfered the property is the legal owner of the property.  In order to enforce their claim to the property they will need to file a lawsuit in court.  The same applies to liens on a property, if a lien was filed in the past then that lien goes with the property and subsequent homeowners can be held...

Telltale Signs You May Have Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent

telltale signs you may have hired the wrong real estate agent

Telltale Signs You May Have Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent

Depending on the state you are in the bar to get a license to become a real estate agent can be quite low.  Take a few classes, pass a test and you too can become a real estate agent.  On the other hand skilled real estate agents are continually doing more to enhance their knowledge and skills so they can better serve their clients.  So what are the exact signs that can let you know you got stuck with the wrong real estate agent?  Read on below to learn more.

Agents Not Returning Calls

If from the start of your relationship with a real estate agent you are having issues with them calling you back on time or they don’t call you back at all that is a major problem.  One of the greatest way to kill a real estate deal is by not returning phone calls.  In very fast moving real estate markets time is of the essence and if an agent is not able to put in an offer to buy a home within a reasonable amount of time of you calling them you could lose the home to some other buyer whose agent was timely in responding to their clients.

A typical example of this is after seeing a number of homes during the day you decide to take a few hours to consider which home you would like to make an offer on.  After finally deciding on a home that best works for you, you call up your agent and leave a voice message saying you would like to make an offer on one particular home.  If your agent never returns your call to get the details of your offer that means they are not able to get the details of what you want to offer submit it to the sellers.  If your agent is not able to timely submit an offer the chances of...

October 2016 Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market Report (Infographic)

Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market Report Infographic

NORTHERN KENTUCKY REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT

Want to know what happened during the October 2016 Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market sales period? You have come to the right place. Read on to get the latest statistics and information in the October 2016 Northern Kentucky Real Estate Report. Home inventory is still low around the Greater Cincinnati area compared to a year ago.

NORTHERN KENTUCKY - BOONE, CAMPBELL & KENTON COUNTIES

In October there were 198 homes that sold during the month for Boone County, 118 for Campbell County and 244 homes that sold for Kenton County.  Homes that went pending in October were 77 for Boone, 71 for Campbell County and 114 for Kenton.

  • The average listing price for homes in the Boone County area was $211,897.00 with an average selling price of $195,138.00.
    • Boone County homes during the October time frame were on the market (Days on Market) for an average of 84 days.
    • There are currently 510 homes available for sale in Boone County.
  • The average listing price for homes in the Campbell County area was $271,313.00 with an average selling price of $165,803.00.
    • Campbell County homes during the October time frame were on the market (Days on Market) for an average of 111 days.
    • There are currently 339 homes available for sale in Campbell County.
  • The average listing price for homes in the Kenton County area was $218,292.00 with an average selling price of $156,348.00.
    • Kenton County homes during the October time frame were on the market (Days on Market) for an average of 93 days.
    • There are currently 650 homes available for sale in Kenton County.

All of the above numbers...

October 2016 Greater Cincinnati Real Estate Market Report

October 2016 Greater Cincinnati Real Estate Market Report Infographic

GREATER CINCINNATI REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT

Want to know what happened during the October 2016 Cincinnati Real Estate Market and Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market sales period? You have come to the right place. Read on to get the latest statistics and information in the October 2016 Greater Cincinnati Real Estate Report. Home inventory is still low around the Greater Cincinnati area compared to a year ago and sales are also up.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - HAMILTON AND CLERMONT COUNTIES

In October there were 941 homes that sold during the month for Hamilton County and 283 homes that sold in Clermont County.  Homes that went pending in October were 480 for Hamilton and 140 for Clermont County. Pending status means they had an offer accepted and were awaiting closing pending inspections, appraisals, financing etc.

  • The average listing price for homes in the Hamilton County area was $275,727.00 with an average selling price of $193,842.00.
    • Hamilton County homes during the October time frame were on the market (Days on Market) for an average of 82 days.
    • There are currently 2,566 homes available for sale in Hamilton County.
  • The average listing price for homes in the Clermont County area was $244,137.00 with an average selling price of $196,547.00.
    • Clermont County homes during the October time frame were on the market (Days on Market) for an average of 76 days.
    • There are currently 617 homes available for sale in Clermont County.

READY TO SELL OR BUY A HOME?

If you are ready to sell or buy a...

Winterization Tips For Your Home

winterization tips for your home

Winterization Tips For Your Home

Your home is a long term investment and in order to protect the investment you must make sure your home is ready for all the different seasons.  The winter season can be harsh on your home since the freeze thaw cycle is especially tough on the house structure and components.  By following the below tips and properly winterizing your home you can help protect your investment in your home and ensure it will last you for a long time.

Check Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are one of the biggest sources of entry for cold air during the winter time.  Not only should you be checking for gaps in and around windows and doors to save energy you should be looking at the exterior components as well.  Any rotted wood or damaged components for windows and doors should be replaced immediately to prevent water from entering into the home where it can cause further damage through freezing or through causing mold.  If the weather prevents you from repairing the windows and doorways then at least try to cover up and seal as best as possible those areas to prevent water and ice from creeping in.  You will have to monitor those areas on a regular basis until a full repair can be done.

The caulking in and around windows and doors can wear out over time due to weather or insect causes.  Caulk seals up gaps that could normally allow water to seep into a home.  If that water freezes the chance of greater damage happing increases.  Many caulks need to be applied in temperatures above 40 degrees otherwise they do not set or cure properly.  If you need to refill gaps with caulk during the cold weather make sure to buy and use...

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