Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:00 PMBy Paul Sian / January 14, 2021Comment
Podcast: VA Mortgages
For this podcast I sat down with Trey Budke, mortgage loan officer with USA Mortgage where we discussed the VA mortgage and all the benefit it offers to active duty and veteran miltary service memebers. Learn about VA mortgage credit requirements, down payment requirements and more.
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 4:00 PMBy Paul Sian / October 29, 2020Comment
How To Write An Offer To Buy A Home
This article looks at how home buyers and/or their real estate agents should be filling out the Contract to Purchase a home document. Even though this focuses on the contract adopted by the Cincinnati and Dayton Area Boards of Realtors a lot of the terms are common to many contracts used to buy a home around the US. As with anything that is outside one’s area of expertise it is highly recommended that one consult with a local real estate agent or real estate attorney to make sure the contract they are using is filled out correctly and in accordance with local requirements.
Location and Money
Probably the two most important areas of the contract include the specific location of the property and the price being offered. Sometimes an address is not enough especially if the real estate being sold includes more than one parcel in the sale. So while an address is highly recommended, additional information like parcel identification number (PID), property description, or some other type of identification used by the local governing agency would be important to include in the contract to purchase.
How much is being offered is also important and the sellers will be paying close attention to that number. When using computer-based forms one only need enter in digits the amount being offered and the computer will write out the purchase price in words so as to limit confusion. $300,000.00 with a decimal point or comma in the wrong place can lead to some confusing numbers being thrown around. The written words three hundred thousand dollars with “$300,000.00” typed out means less confusion as to...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 11:30 AMBy Paul Sian / May 7, 2020Comment
New Construction Home Buying Process
Some home buyers may prefer to start from scratch and build a new home from the ground up. While there are developments that offer newly built homes often times those homes lack customizability and instead the home buyer may only find cookie cutter homes with some ability to decide on what types of interior upgrades they may add. Home buyers who want to get their own home plan put on paper and then get built will be looking at the custom build option which this article explores further.
Home buyers should not be talking just to one lender but comparing different lender offerings. Buyers can find different lenders to speak with through family and friend referrals and referrals from their real estate agent. Certain professions like doctors or veterans have available to them specific mortgage ...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / April 23, 2020Comment
Why Now More Than Ever It Is Important To Have A Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter When Buying A Home
With the impact of the COVID19 shutdowns still echoing throughout the economy many home buyers are wondering whether now is the right time to buy a home. Many still desire a home of their own for building equity, laying down roots or simply being able to say they own a home. With most home purchases happening with a mortgage it is very important that home buyers understand the process of getting a mortgage and get their pre-approval before they start looking for a home. Getting a pre-approval lined up ahead of time is critical due to the changes brought about as a result of the virus. This article explores some of the impact of those changes.
What Does A Pre-Approval Letter Do?
First and foremost, the process of sitting down with a lender for getting pre-approved should involve asking the lender what types of mortgage loans do they have and what will work best for you. Mortgages come with different down payment options and different payback options that buyers need to understand so they can fit the mortgage payment into their budget. Most home sellers will not take an offer seriously without a pre-approval letter and even more so during this time frame of the virus many home sellers will not allow buyers into their home without the same letter.
A pre-approval letter means a mortgage lender has analyzed a home buyers credit, debts and assets and determined they qualify for a mortgage loan to buy a home for no more than a certain amount. The pre-approval letter is basically a good to go decision by a lender that they will lend to a home buyer...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / February 6, 20202 Comments
Major Things To Be Aware About In A Home Inspection Report
An inspection report on a home or investment property provides a general opinion on many conditions and factors of the property. The inspection report is not the final word when it comes to the condition and many inspection reports will state that a professional should be brought in to further evaluate a particular condition. That language is critical for home buyers to pay attention to since only through the opinion of a professional contractor can the true condition be known. This article explores those inspection areas where getting extra input is valuable.
Why Another Opinion May Be Needed
Since home inspectors are more general specialists in terms of the home, they do not hold themselves out to be experts in all of the systems of the home especially when some of those areas require licensing to work as a contractor. Examples of licensed contractor professions include plumbers, Heating Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC), and electricians. Licensing requirements vary state by state and certain other contractors may also require licensing.
Home inspections can make or break a sale. A home in great condition with very few problems to make note of will let buyers rest assured they are getting a good home with very little to address prior to move in. Homes with major issues can break a deal if the home buyer and seller cannot agree on repairs, can’t agree on a price reduction to account for the repairs, or the buyers are just plain turned off by the problems. A home inspection is the starting...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / November 21, 2019Comment
Should You Buy A House Directly From The Listing Agent?
Sometimes home buyers think they can get a better deal or get a leg up on the competition by dealing directly with the listing agent of the house. What ends up happening though is the buyer instead ends up overpaying and/or ends up getting a poor deal since they did not have anyone representing their best interests. The listing agent represents the seller and while it is possible for the listing agent to represent both parties in a transaction by doing so they have to be more neutral in a deal which results in no one really being represented at all. This article explores further why it is not a good idea for home buyers to go directly to the listing agent when trying to buy a home.
In the typical home buying transaction a seller will have their own agent and the buyer will have one as well. Each side being represented by their own agent then have their own best interests brought to the negotiating table. If a buyer’s agent happens to learn the seller is divorcing and needs to sell their home fast then that is something important that the buyer’s agent should share with the buyer. On the other hand if one agent is representing both the seller and the buyer they must take a more hands off approach and if that agent knew the seller was getting a divorce and that would factor into negotiations they would not be able to tell the buyer that.
Maybe the buyer believes they can represent themselves on their own without the need of an agent and use that as the reason for talking directly to the listing agent. In...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / September 19, 2019Comment
What Should Buyers Be Reviewing On The Property Disclosure Form?
The property disclosure is an important document that sellers provide to potential buyers. With the property disclosure the sellers are listing out details about the condition of a home. Most states have laws governing the use of the property disclosure form as a means to help inform buyers about the house they wish to buy. Generally homeowners are required to disclose known (or should have known) conditions about the home they are trying to sell. Buyers should carefully review the disclosures because even if the home that looks great on the internet it may be one they wish to avoid if there are major issues disclosed about the home. This article looks about what buyers should know about the property disclosure form.
Use The Disclosure Form As A Screening Tool
Before a home buyer goes to visit a home they should be asking their real estate agent for a copy of the property disclosure form. The property disclosure form is often uploaded into the local MLS along with other disclosure documents to which their real estate agents have access to. Buyers should review the disclosure form for any condition they may consider to be a deal breaker before they visit the home. If the property disclosure forms mentions mold, foundation issues, bad roof, water leaks or something else many buyers may not want to view those homes as some of those conditions can prevent the buyer from using a traditional mortgage...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / September 5, 20192 Comments
Do I Have To Give Earnest Money When Buying A Home?
When buying real estate often times the buyer is expected to give some earnest money as part of the transaction. Earnest money is usually paid up front when the offer is accepted and is held in a trust account with the listing broker, the buyer’s agent broker or with the title company. The earnest money stays in a trust account until the real estate transaction is closed or when both parties agree to terminate the transaction and there is agreement as to where the money should go to. While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended and this article will explore more about earnest money works in a real estate transaction.
Should You Give Earnest Money When Making An Offer?
Earnest money is in essence a good faith deposit that a home buyer or investment real estate buyer is giving that shows they have true interest in purchasing certain property. While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended since it can show the level of interest a buyer has. It is in essence a down payment put towards the purchase of a home. Earnest money can be refundable depending on the terms of the real estate purchase contract. If the real estate purchase contract conditions the purchase on a home inspection, appraisal and/or the buyer being able to get a loan to purchase the property then the language of most standard contracts state if those conditions cannot be met the earnest money should be returned to the buyer.
In some commercial real estate transactions sellers will sometimes require some or all of the earnest money to become “hard” or non-refundable due to the time and complexity involved with...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / August 29, 20192 Comments
What Kind Of Paperwork Does One Need For A Mortgage Pre-Approval?
The first step when buying a home, buying investment real estate or buying real estate for business purposes should be getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approval letter lets buyers know they have the ability to get a loan to buy real estate. Additionally it lets buyers know how much real estate they can afford and usually what the payment terms will be. By having one’s paperwork in order prior to starting the pre-approval process the buyer can ensure a pre-approval process that runs smoothly and is done quickly enough so they can start with the actual shopping for real estate.
Real Estate Buyer Who Are W2 Wage Earners
For those who work for an employer who provides them a W2 form at the end of the year the W2 form will be something lenders will want to see as part of the pre-approval process. Generally lenders are looking for a copy of the last two to three years of W2 forms provided from an employer. If a buyer works multiple jobs then make sure the W2s from each employer is presented as the income from those forms will be used to determine the buyers overall income. The more income a buyer can show the higher their pre-approval can be. The W2 also shows the stable income flow of the buyer which will help in making the determination to approve for a mortgage or not.
Lenders will also be looking for the last two pay stubs from the buyer’s job. The pay stubs show how much the buyers pay currently is and also details the deductions a buyer has from their paycheck. While the typical federal and state tax deductions, health plan deductions...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / July 25, 20192 Comments
Can A Buyer Walk Away From A Contract To Purchase A Home?
After an offer has been accepted on a home a buyer has some options for walking away from the contract and even getting their earnest money back. Usually those times to walk away and get the earnest money back apply during the contingency periods written into the contract. A buyer can walk away though at any time from the contract up until the actual signing of all documents at closing. Walking away from a purchase contract though could result in the buyers losing their earnest money and worse being sued if there were no contract contingency clauses upon which they based their decision to cancel the contract. This article explores some of the different ways buyers can walk away from a contract to purchase a home and the consequences for doing so.
Walking Away During The Inspection Contingency
One of the typical contingencies included in a real estate purchase contract is the inspection contingency. In the inspection contingency the buyer is given the right to inspect the property in order to determine the quality of the house. During the inspection period the buyer can cancel the purchase for pretty much any reason. For example a single electrical outlet is bad or even a door squeaks, the buyer can cancel the deal and get their earnest money back as spelled out in the contract. The buyer must cancel within the time frames specified in the contract if they are using the inspection contingency. Depending on the market that could be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks after both the seller and buyer have...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / June 6, 2019Comment
What To Know About Doctor Loans For Buying A House
While the mortgage programs for military veterans is common knowledge due to being sponsored by the federal government, less known about are doctor loan programs offered by many banks. Some loan programs are generally offered exclusively to doctors whereas others expand to include many others employed in the medical profession. Nurses, physician’s assistants, physical therapists and more may qualify for some of the programs depending on the lender. This article focuses on the doctor mortgage loan programs in particular and some of the information provided for this article is from Walt Wollet of Fifth Third Bank who is licensed to lend in 32 states and based in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Why A Mortgage Loan Just For Doctors?
Fresh out of school doctors may have a large amount of debt from student loans but due to their earning potential they represent a good client to the banks. So while the doctor’s assets and current income may not be that high at the start of their career they have the ability to earn quite a bit and build up their asset base quickly. Once employed as a doctor they are able to work for some time increasing their earnings as they go up. The risk for job loss for doctors is also very low due to high demand for those in the profession. That all adds up to a long-term customer banks would love to have and a reason to earn and keep their business.
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / May 23, 2019Comment
What To Consider When Buying A House To Tear Down And Build New
In many older developed neighborhoods there is very little vacant land available for those wanting to build a new home. For some buying land with an old home and tearing down the old home so a new home can be built can make economic sense. Whether the neighborhood is preferred for it’s location, the great schools it is affiliated with or just the community charm, buying an old house so a new one can be built after tear down can be a great strategy. This article explores some of the considerations home buyers should take into account when buying a home to tear down for a new construction build.
Get A Team In Place Prior To Even Considering The Purchase
As there are many steps and considerations involved in buying a house to tear down for purposes of building a new home having your team in place from the start is important. Team members should include an architect (for fully custom builds, some builders already have architects on their team), a builder, a real estate agent, a mortgage lender and a real estate attorney. These team members will need to work together to make sure that the home and land that is being purchase will meet all the requirements so a new house can be built on it. Miss any of the critical considerations below then the entire plan will fail.
Important Things To Consider
For starters the new home buyer will need to verify if a permit is needed to tear down a home. Due to all the pieces of a home, tearing it down can have an environmental impact and local governments want to make sure hazardous items from a demolished home are properly disposed...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / April 4, 2019Comment
Smart Things To Do After Buying A Home
Prior to closing on the purchase of a home the new homeowner to be should consider what types of services they will be needing for the home. For some of those services calls should be made prior to closing so as to make sure upon moving day the house has power, water and any other services needed to make sure everything goes smoothly. Most services that are acquired for a home are obtained by contacting the provider directly and letting them know the date the service needs to be turned on. This article explores what kind of service providers should be contacted by new homeowners and offers advice on avoiding getting overcharged through those claiming to be service brokers.
When To Request Services
As mentioned above for some services the service providers should be contacted before closing in order to make sure services like power, water, and internet are switched over to the new owners name in time for when they need to move in. With some companies a call should be made at least a couple of days before so that they have enough time to process the change in names of who will be paying for the bill. This is especially important for the electric, gas and water bill as many sellers will request the service be taken out of their name as soon as closing day in order to not spend any extra money than they have to. If the home being purchased has a sump pump the lack of power can cause water backup in the basement which will end up in a big mess for the new homeowners to take care of. The home sellers are not expected to maintain the power on a home after closing day so...
Posted by Paul Sian on Friday, November 23, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / November 23, 2018Comment
What Happens When The Sellers Refuse To Move Out Of The Home
When buying a home the homebuyer goes in with the expectation that the homeowner is ready to sell and move to a new home, sometimes thought that may not always be the case. For whatever reason a homeowner may have second thoughts on leaving a home after the buyer has had all the inspections and appraisal done. What is a buyer to do in those situations? The answer depends on whether the seller is refusing to move before or after closing as to what actions a buyer can take and is explored further in this article.
Seller Refuses To Move Before Closing
Prior to closing the seller can outright tell their agent and the buyers that they changed their mind about selling their home and will refuse to close on the sale let alone move. The buyer’s options are limited in this case. Yes the homebuyer could sue to attempt to get the seller to sell their home but most courts rarely like to force people to sell their homes and instead are more likely to award damages to the buyer for actual losses (paying for inspections, appraisal, movers and more). Courts could also award punitive damages to the buyer in order to punish the seller for their lack of follow through on the contract. In the end though the buyer is without a house and must begin the process again of finding another home.
This is a situation that is hard for a homebuyer to avoid as there is no way to really tell if a home seller is really motivated to sell or is just listing the home on the market with no actual intent of really wanting to sell. For most home sellers...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / November 8, 2018Comment
4 Helpful Tips For Buying Your Next House
Whether you are buying for the first time or buying a subsequent home there are some tips to follow in order to make sure the home purchase is a successful one. With a home being one of the largest purchases a person will make in their lifetime it makes sense to go in with full planning and an understanding of how the buying process works. Any time wasted on bad strategies are just that, time wasted that could have been saved by putting you into a home sooner. This article explores some of the strategies homebuyers should be using and ones that may only lead to frustration.
Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
While this is often talked about it bears repeating, shopping for a home without a mortgage pre-approval is a recipe for frustration. The mortgage pre-approval not only gives you an idea of how much home you can purchase it also can give you an idea of your monthly payments. A $200,000 dollar house does not mean you divide $200,000 by 360 months (12 monthly payments times 30 years mortgage) and that is your payment. Your ultimate mortgage payment not only depends on the house price, but also on the taxes and insurance you will be paying for the house. So when getting a pre-approval make sure to ask your lender about the monthly payments that include principal, taxes and insurance.
Since taxes and insurance can vary on the value of the home and the location those numbers are subject to change. As a result if you do find a home that you like be sure to ask your lender to calculate the monthly payments for you based on the taxes you will be paying for that house along with the estimated insurance. If...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / October 18, 2018Comment
Tips For Buying A Foreclosure Home
Oftentimes buyers may hear that a particular home is a bank or government owned home which is also known as a foreclosed home. A foreclosed home is a home that the prior homeowner has stopped paying the mortgage on and the lender takes the homeowner to court in order to take possession of the home in to try and recover money that is owed to them. Foreclosed homes must go through a full foreclosure hearing in a court in order to make sure the debt is valid and the homeowner has legitimately stopped paying back on the mortgage. Once back in the possession of the mortgage lender they may or may not make some repairs if needed and will put the home on the market for a new buyer to purchase. For some mortgage loans that are backed by government mortgage programs (like FHA, VA, USDA) the government will ultimately take possession of the home and eventually sell it back on the open market.
If you are considering buying a home that has been foreclosed upon this article is article is for you as it will provide tips on how to make the best of buying a foreclosure home.
Where Do You Find Foreclosure Homes For Sale
Just as most homes are found on the Internet via the Multiple Listing System (MLS) many foreclosure homes make it to the MLS as well when being listed for sale. On occasion depending on the lender and the condition of the home sometimes homes make it to select auction sites in order to limit who can buy the home and as a result may not be found on the MLS. Foreclosure homes in very poor condition sometimes will be sold with cash offer only requirement since the condition will not meet appraisal standard for traditional mortgages.
Those who want to ultimately live in a foreclosure...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / October 11, 2018Comment
Tips For Choosing The Right Neighborhood
Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right house, as the right house in a neighborhood that does not work for you can lead to eventual dissatisfaction with the house. Neighborhoods encompass many different aspects so it pays to do your research fully and understand what a particular neighborhood may or may not offer. The perfect neighborhoods for a family with kids may not be the perfect neighborhood for an empty nest couple or a single person looking for a home. This articles looks at some of the things homebuyers should be considering in a neighborhood when shopping for a home.
The location of a neighborhood is key. Living in a great neighborhood fifty miles away from your workplace may leave you with little time to enjoy your neighborhood since you have to spend more time driving back and forth to work. So while there may be a great neighborhood fifty miles away that does not mean you should be considering it unless your employer offers benefits like working from home rather than having to come into the office every day. Long commute times can be stressful and result in many wasted hours that should instead be spent enjoying time with your family or enjoying your neighborhood.
The neighborhood location in terms of the community amenities and features are also something to consider. Being in a more rural area you are less likely to find recreation centers, shops, malls and other places to go to, but if you enjoy the peace and quiet the rural area...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 11:00 AMBy Paul Sian / September 27, 20184 Comments
Smart Tips For Buying A Waterfront Home
Waterfront properties for some are highly desirable either for the ability to use a boat or some sort of other water recreation vehicle or for the great views. Waterfront views can add significantly to the price tag of a luxury home with a great view of a lake, river or ocean. While waterfront properties may offer excellent views and offer more value there are still some things to be aware of when considering the purchase of a waterfront home as this article explores.
New Construction vs. Existing Home
If you are building a new home with waterfront access the build method may be different when it comes to the foundation. Depending on the condition of the sub-surface where the house will ultimately rest upon different kinds of supports may be needed to ensure the house is stable after being built. Also depending on whether the water levels can come up to or beyond the house the house may need to be raised in order to limit its exposure to the water. In order to make sure the house is setup properly from the start homebuyers should make sure their builders are using qualified engineers to analyze the ground below where the house will be built in order to make sure the right type of foundation support is used.
If you are considering an existing waterfront home then in addition to having a regular home inspection it would be wise to have a structural engineer look over the home to make sure the foundation is strong and secure so that your investment does not go floating off into the water or get damaged due to a shifting foundation. Depending on when the home was built and whether there are any plans still available that show how the house was built, the structural engineer should review those plans...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / August 30, 20182 Comments
Buying A Home As A Single Parent
Buying a home can be a challenging task that requires plenty of attention to detail and the ability to research homes, neighborhoods and schools. There are many different housing styles, different locations and more to consider when looking for a home. Add to that being a single parent and there is a lot more that one person has to handle on their own in order to make sure they get the right home that meets all of their family needs. This article explores some tips and ideas for the single parent to help make their home buying decision easier on them and their family.
Hire A Realtor
First and foremost hiring a Realtor will set you on the right track towards finding a home. The Realtor or real estate agent helps home buyers and sellers on a daily basis with their real estate needs. It is their job to know local markets and to help get homebuyers the information they need during all crucial stages of the home buying process.
Don’t get offended though when the real estate agent starts asking for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage. While you may have a price range in mind for a home or have an idea of what monthly payment you can afford, until you go through the pre-approval process you will not know if your assumptions are correct which could lead to a big disappointment if you find a home you like and find out it was out of your mortgage pre-approval range. A mortgage pre-approval is a deep dive into your credit and income history. You may have a great job but not a very long credit history which could hinder your getting a mortgage for the amount you can truly afford. Or there may be errors in your credit report that show you to be a worse...
Posted by Paul Sian on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 7:00 AMBy Paul Sian / June 28, 20182 Comments
Common Expenses New Homeowners Need To Plan For After Buying A Home
Many first time homebuyers in the excitement of getting their first home may not be aware of some common expenses they can expect with the purchase of a home and could neglect to budget for that. Some of those expenses like closing costs are an absolute requirement that must be paid otherwise the homebuyer will not be able to close on their home and move into it. Other expenses may vary but do need to be considered by the homebuyer so that they have the money ready to do certain things when the time comes.
One major expense of purchasing a home, and that is usually due right up front upon the final transfer of a home, are closing costs. Closing costs represent the fees associated with getting a mortgage and registering the new house in the buyer’s name. If the buyer is using a low down payment or zero down payment mortgage they may be in for a surprise if they don’t have enough money to pay for closing costs. Even with a zero down payment mortgage (VA, USDA) the homebuyer may be required to bring a check to the closing table in order to pay for the closing costs. If the buyer cannot pay for the closing costs they cannot complete the sale for the home.
The money used to pay for closing costs also generally must come from income sources of the homebuyer and cannot come from credit cards or other forms of loans. Gifts of money from parents or other relatives can be used to pay closing costs but the lender will generally want to trace the source of the funds well before closing date so it is always...