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Showing posts with label buying a house. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buying a house. Show all posts

Thursday, May 24, 2018

7 Tips to Help You Win in a Multiple Offer Situation

It goes without saying that the real estate market is competitive - sometimes it seems like properties are sold almost as soon as they are listed! This is due in large part to low inventories of homes across the country. One of the ways these low inventories can affect the home buying process is that it leads to many buyers finding themselves in a multiple offer scenario.

When you are competing against other buyers for a home that you love, how can you make sure that you’re presenting the strongest offer possible? Here are a few suggestions to help you win in a multiple offer situation:

1. Work with a real estate professional. Working with an agent is your best course of action! Your agent will be aware of current market conditions, take into consideration other factors that may affect the sale, and most importantly, they will help you place the strongest offer possible.

2. Offer more money. Money talks - especially in real estate. Talk with your agent about adding an escalation clause to your offer. This clause raises your offer a certain amount when you’re in a multiple offer situation. You can also consider increasing the amount of money you are placing in the escrow account to show you’re serious. A word of caution, though: you want to keep your offer inside your comfort zone. Don’t get caught up in a bidding war where you end up spending more money than you can afford, or worse, offering too much money and having to come up with the difference from the appraisal.

3. Limit Contingencies. The fewer the contingencies, the easier it will be for the deal to close. Make sure your offer is as ‘clean’ as possible and list contingencies that you deem absolutely necessary. While it can be almost impossible to have a contingency-free offer if you are financing a portion of your home with a mortgage, you can still limit the number.

4. Know what the sellers need. While money is important, there may be outside circumstances that are also important to the seller. Are they moving because they accepted a new job in a different state? They may want a quick closing so they can move on. Your agent can reach out to the seller’s agent to find out if there is a preferred timeline and you can include this in your offer.

5. Shorten due diligence period. Did your agent find out your seller wants to move quickly? Shortening your due diligence period, which is when you would do you appraisal, home inspection, and survey, may make your offer more appealing.

6. Take a backup position. If you really love the house, and your offer still isn’t accepted, consider taking a backup position. A backup position allows you to be first in line if for some reason the accepted offer falls through.

7. Stay positive. It can be incredibly frustrating to lose out on a home due to a multiple offer situation, but be sure to keep spirits up! Your agent is there to help guide you through the competitive market and present the strongest offer possible.

There are plenty of homes coming on the market every day! With a little bit of time and patience, and with the invaluable help of your real estate professional, your diligence will pay off and you will find the right home for you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

6 Things to Consider When Budgeting For Your First Home

From excitement at finding the perfect home to the stress of making an offer, there are a lot of emotions involved in buying a home – especially when it’s your first home! It’s important to remain objective and practical when it comes to certain aspects of the home buying process, however, especially when it comes to financial decisions and budgeting. Here are a few things you should consider when you’re budgeting for your first home:

1. Gather your documents ahead of time. Almost every agent can agree that getting preapproved before searching for your house is crucial. Preapprovals allow you to see how much you qualify for, and can give you an idea of what homes are in your price range so you can start looking. To be pre-approved for your mortgage, you'll need to gather all of the necessary documents: your W-2 form, 2 years of tax records, paystubs, current loan and credit card statements, and the names and addresses of your landlords from the past two years.

2. Find out how much you can afford. Many first time home buyers forget to factor in the total monthly cost of their future home, which can be a major mistake. Don’t forget that there is more to your monthly payments than just the mortgage - taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and higher utility bills can almost double your monthly housing costs.

3. Figure out your down payment. While you may want to place the full 20% down to avoid paying PMI, emptying your savings to do so can put you in a bad place financially. You should always keep a balance in your savings account for surprise fixes that can be a part of homeownership. Mortgage companies now offer great programs if you can’t afford the 20% down payment. Check out HUNT Mortgage’s website for more information: HUNTmortgage.com.

4. Budget for closing costs. While considering your home buying budget, make sure you also consider closing costs. Closing costs are typically 2-5% of the total price of the home

5. Be prepared to move quickly. The highly competitive market means you'll have less time to dwell on whether you'd like to place an offer on a home. You will need to be decisive if you find a home you are interested and move quickly to place in an offer. Have a list of things you absolutely need and things you could live without to help weed out homes that aren't for you.

6. Are you willing to go over asking price? With the state of the market, you’ll likely end up in a scenario with multiple offers. Make sure you put forth your strongest offer and set a limit of how much (if any) you’re willing to go over the asking price. Don’t pay more than you can afford. Your agent can help you compile your best offer and will do negotiations for you.

These are only a few of the tips to make sure you are financially prepared for the major investment that is your first home. Your agent can help connect you with a mortgage representative who can give you even further insight into the affordability of a home in your budget. Plan and budget carefully and you can have your dream home!

Friday, May 11, 2018

5 Things You May Not Know About Buying a House

The home buying process can be intimidating to any first-time homebuyer. With the popularity of house hunting TV shows, it can seem like the home buying process is a breeze...but you can't always believe what you see. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about buying a house:

1. The home buying process takes time. TV shows make a home search appear to take a week or two, but the actual home buying experience can take much longer. The typical homebuyer in 2017 spent 10 weeks searching for their home and looked at a median of 10 homes*.

2. Get pre-approved for your mortgage. Many buyeres find themselves in a multiple offer situation, so it’s important to get your pre-approval from your mortgage lender. This says to the seller you are serious about your offer. Want to make your offer stand out even more? Check out HUNT Mortgage’s Pre-Purchase Commitment.

3. You don’t have to put 20% down. If a 20% down payment doesn't work for your budget, mortgage companies offer a variety of mortgage products that don’t require it. The best way to understand what mortgage program is best for you is to explore your options and reach out to a mortgage consultant.

4. Think about your long-term plans. Are you planning to have a family? Will your aging parents need to move in with you? Consider what your future plans are when looking at a house. Don’t just buy for your current lifestyle, or you may outgrow your home.

5. Look beyond staging. A well-staged home can sell faster. However, since staging should highlight the best features of a home, it can also mask the shortcomings. Ignore the professional set-up and take a look at the “bones” of a home.

The home buying process can be a daunting one, so when you're ready to buy your first home, be sure to reach out to a real estate sales professional. Your agent will be happy to guide you through the home buying process, answer your questions, and help you get into your ideal home.

*Source: National Association of Realtors 

Monday, April 9, 2018

6 Common Homeowner Tax Deductions and How They'll Change in 2018

Owning your own home comes with responsibilities, but it also comes with many advantages, particularly ones that are to your financial benefit. When you own your own property, it allows you to establish a permanent place of residence, which provides the opportunity to build equity, and it also allows you to lock in your monthly costs for as long as you live there. Additionally, even as changes are on the horizon for 2018, homeownership also offers many opportunities for potential tax benefits.

Here are six possible tax breaks that homeownership can potentially provide. (Be sure to consult your tax professional regarding tax deductions and eligibility!)

  1. Mortgage Interest. Mortgage interest is tax deductible on loans up to $1 million (for homes bought before Dec. 17, 2017) or $750,000 (any home bought after Dec. 17, 2017). Points paid on your mortgage can be deductible on your taxes if you purchased your home within the last year.
  2. Property Taxes. Homeowners can deduct property taxes they are paying for their home. This deduction will have a $10,000 cap in 2018, though there is no cap for 2017.
  3. Private Mortgage Insurance. If you didn’t put a 20% down payment on your home, you’re likely paying Private Mortgage Insurance, known as PMI, until you reach a 20% investment in your home. You may be able to deduct these on your 2017 taxes.
  4. Medical Improvements. If you are improving your home due to medical necessity, such as adding a ramp or elevator for access, you can deduct the cost of those improvements and the maintenance on your taxes. You will need to prove these additions are necessary for medical reasons with appropriate documentation.
  5. Home Office. Home offices are a $5-per-square-foot deduction up to 300 square feet of office space, maxing out at $1,500. Your office must be a dedicated work space. For 2018, however, you cannot apply for this deduction if you work for any length of time at an office location.
  6. Home Equity Line of Credit. Many homeowners take out Home Equity Loans or lines of credit to pay for a multitude of things, from school tuition to home improvement projects. You can deduct the interest regardless of what the loan was used for in 2017, but in 2018, you’ll only be able to deduct interest if you are using the money for home improvements.

To find out more about what potential tax breaks you could qualify for, reach out to your tax professional. If you’re interested in pursuing homeownership, reach out to one of our real estate sales professionals today!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Rhonda McBoz Talks About Veteran Real Estate Benefits



Posted By Sarah Klaiber

VA Loans represent a multitude of benefits that our Veterans deserve as they begin the homeownership process. Unfortunately, many are not aware of them or even how to begin the process. Not only are we grateful for the guidance and advice that Rhonda McBoz provides, but for the service she provides as a Veteran herself. Thank you, Rhonda! On behalf of HUNT Real Estate, you make us proud!

Monday, August 21, 2017

What Should You Know About Buying A Foreclosure?



Posted By Sarah Klaiber

Are you ready to take on a distressed or foreclosed property? Yes, these “diamonds in the rough” can be great opportunities for the ambitious, but there are things to know in advance that will help avoid some headaches. Rachel Elliott, another one of our rising stars, has found a niche in sharing knowledge and vision as she guides her buyers through the process. We are thrilled that she took the time to share!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tips for Buyers in Today’s Limited Inventory Market!


Posted By Sarah Klaiber

What should all buyers know in today’s limited inventory market? 

We had a chance to sit down with HUNT Real Estate agent Janice Mroz, to ask her for expert advice on the subject. Janice shared with us a few key tips:

  1. Find the right agent who is not only knowledgeable but who makes you feel comfortable!
  2. Get pre-approved! (A HUNT Agent can help you with that! All you have to do is ask.)
  3. Get an edge over other buyers: Check out HUNT Mortgage’s Pre-Purchase Commitment (http://huntmortgage.com)

Check out Janice’s video interview to hear more great tips!

Connect with your local HUNT Real Estate Agent for buying or selling advice in today’s marketplace: http://www.huntrealestate.com/real-estate-agents/

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Buffalo

Watching Buffalo progress fills us with excitement and appreciation for the people of this great city and the unique culture we have created. We love to explore new neighborhoods, introduce new residents to can’t-miss spots, and taste food from our inventive restaurants.

Here are five different neighborhoods that continue to impress.


Allentown
Photo by Rhea Anna

Allentown is the perfect neighborhood for the creative types, or at least the people who like to feel creative. There is plenty of street art residents can appreciate simply by strolling through the neighborhood. With galleries, live music, and delicious restaurants, this neighborhood fulfills all your senses.

First Fridays continue to be a huge success in Allentown, which many residents wouldn’t miss. “It is a coordinated open house for all galleries in Allentown and the near vicinity,” says Andrew Eisenhardt, executive director of Allentown Association.

“Allentown First Fridays is in its 6th year,” says Andrew. “December is one of the biggest months with an artisan market and holiday activities.”

Music fans can visit attractions like Kleinhans Music Hall or Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to hear live music.

With fun events year-round, this inclusive neighborhood is perfect for both singles and families.


Elmwood Village
Photo by Jim Bush

Elmwood Village is continuing to gain traction and recognition. Most recently, Elmwood Village was named by American Planning Association as one of the country’s great places.

Whether you are one to stop at every coffee shop, candy store, or cheese spot, Elmwood has you covered in all your foodie dreams. If you have a need for sweets, you can’t miss Watson’s Sponge Candy. If you want something a little more fresh, stop at Kuni’s for some sushi that’s rolled right before your eyes.

Always boasting local goodness, be sure and grab some fresh produce at the farmer’s market, occurring every Saturday morning, or make a stop at Lexington Co-Op, which is open daily.
“The co-op was started in 1971 by people in the neighborhood who wanted good food,” says Tim Bartlett, general manager. “The co-op has been owned by the people who shop there since its creation.”


Connecticut Street

Connecticut Street is one of the newest emerging neighborhoods in Buffalo. Conveniently located near downtown and cultural attractions, this neighborhood is sure to delight anyone with its range of restaurants, shops, and events.

If you are a self-diagnosed foodie, look no further. “There’s already a very impressive line-up of restaurants and food shops — including Black Sheep, Breadhive, Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile— that make it a must-stop for food lovers,” says Ed Healy, Visit Buffalo Niagara vice president of marketing.

Connecticut Street strives to create a high-quality urban living area. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see this area continue to surge in the coming years,” says Ed.


Grant Street
Photo by Rhea Anna

Where you once might have found an Italian-American neighborhood, Grant Street is now a collection of many more cultures. This neighborhood is a wonderful melting pot.

For a perfect example of the cultural changes the community has gone through, take a stroll inside West Side Bazaar, an incubator space for immigrants to share and sell their goods. Whether it is a handmade dress or delicious treat; you’ll never leave this space disappointed.

“With the infusion of many new immigrants and their respective traditions, cuisines and cultures, the neighborhood is a melting pot of old Buffalo and new Buffalo,” says Ed. “I’m a huge fan of the West Side Bazaar, Sweetness 7, and Guercio and Sons Market.”

Hertel Avenue
Photo by Joe Cascio

Hertel has had a rebirth like no other neighborhood in terms of restaurants, shops, and events.

If you’re ready to be entertained in a cool space, go nowhere else than the North Park Theatre, which has been on Hertel Avenue since 1920. This theatre was just restored and after years of neglect, and is ready to shine once more.

“The neighborhood is more vital — and more diverse — than at any time since I moved there more than 20 years ago,” says Ed. “There’s significant new investment along Hertel with the restoration of the North Park Theatre, the opening of several new restaurants, the development of a number of new apartment buildings, and the opening of a second Lexington Co-op in 2017.”

If any of these places sound like the place for you, contact one of our agents today and make one of these neighborhoods your new home.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why HUNT Insurance?

A message from Michael Brooks, Director of Sales at HUNT Insurance 




While out visiting branches, many of you have asked me what why should you and your clients use HUNT Insurance as opposed to where you might currently be getting your coverage. Please take the time to educate yourself on the value that an agency like ours offers.

Why Choose HUNT Insurance?

Some people think it does not really matter where they buy their insurance. But this misconception could be costing them money, service and protection. Buying insurance is not like buying bread or milk. Insurance is an important safety net for your family, your home, your car or your business. Do not treat the purchase lightly!

There is a difference in where you buy your protection. Many people do not realize there are four sources for insurance:

• Captive Agents - Sell consumers the insurance of only one company.
• Telephone Representatives - Offer consumers the insurance of one company and only via the telephone.
• Internet Sites - Consumers can fill out an application online and get an insurance quote without any help or direction from a qualified professional.
• Independent Insurance Agents - Represent an average of eight insurance companies and research with these firms to find consumers the best combination of price, coverage and service.

HUNT Insurance - Your Independent Insurance Agent:

• Is a licensed professional with strong customer and community ties.
• Provides excellent service and competitive prices because we can access the insurance coverage from more than one company.
• Unlike other agents, is not beholden to any one company; thus, policyholders do not need to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change.
• Assists policyholders when they have claims.
• Is a consumer’s consultant, working to determine the consumer’s needs.
• Offers consumers a choice of insurance plans and programs.
• Is a value hunter who looks after the consumer’s pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage and service.
• Offers one-stop shopping for a full range of products - home, renters, auto, business, life and health.
• Annually reviews a policyholder’s coverage to keep up with changing insurance needs.
• Treats policyholders like a person, not just another number.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BUYING A HOUSE: HOME SIDING IN DETAIL


Whether you're in the process of buying or building a house, what kind of home are you most likely attracted to? First impressions are everything, and the first thing you usually notice is the outside appearance. Are you partial to vinyl, brick, wood, or stone siding?

When buying or building a home, we hope you put these little details into consideration as you must keep up with maintenance that goes along with your brand new purchase.

Vinyl
• Lasts about 40 years
• Never needs paint
• Easy to clean with soap & water
• Comes in a variety of colors
• Costs $1-$6 sq. ft. prior to installation

Brick
• No maintenance required for 25 years
• Variety of sizes, textures, colors
• Usually does not fade
• Excellent temperature insulation
• $6-$12 sq. ft. prior to installation

Stone Veneers
Resists fire, rot and insects
• Very little maintenance - inspect for cracking
• Wide variety of styles
• Lasts the life of the building
• $4.50 - $6 sq. ft. prior to installation

Wood 
• Treated to resist flammability and termite infestation
• Requires staining or painting every few years
• Easy to replace damaged pieces
• $1 - $5 sq. ft. prior to installation

Stucco
• Ideal for dry, warm climates - avoided by wet climates
• Fire resistant
• Multiple colors and textures (smooth, raked, or swirls)
• Susceptible to water penetration
• $3 - $15 sq. ft. prior to installation


Synthetic Stucco
• Less likely to crack compared to real Stucco
• Energy efficient
• Can be washed with water
• Should last lifetime of building
• $6 - $14 sq. ft. prior to installation


So what do you think? What kind of siding would you choose?


SOURCES: HomeOwnerNet | Better Homes & Gardens

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