Jill Finkelstein - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Town and Country Real Estate

Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 3/11/2018

Let's face it – buying a home in a hot housing market is no easy task. For example, if you wait too long to submit an offer on a house, you risk losing this residence to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you rush to submit a home offer at or above a seller's initial asking price, you risk spending too much to acquire your dream residence.

Clearly, there's a lot to think about as you search for a home in a hot housing market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you overcome myriad homebuying hurdles and acquire your dream residence, even in a hot housing market.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you succeed as a homebuyer in a hot housing market.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

You know that you want to live in a specific city or town, but you still are uncertain about what type of house that you want to purchase. However, if you create a list of home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying process.

Once you have a homebuying checklist in hand, you should have no trouble evaluating residences in a hot housing market. Then, you can check out these houses in person and move one step closer to submitting an offer to purchase your dream house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

To acquire a home in a hot housing market, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can teach you everything you need to know about a wide range of mortgage options.

Lenders can explain the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, describe exactly how a mortgage works and much more. That way, you can assess many mortgage options and select one that matches your finances.

After you obtain a mortgage, you can enter a hot housing market with a homebuying budget. This will enable you to further accelerate your home search and ensure you can quickly submit an offer as soon as you discover your ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Navigating a hot housing market sometimes can be tricky, particularly for a homebuyer who is competing against dozens of rivals. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you pursue a home in a hot housing market.

A real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible. This housing market professional will offer insights into the real estate conditions in a particular city or town and help you map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

In addition, a real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to buy a residence in a hot housing market. He or she will help you put together a competitive offer on any home, at any time. And if your offer is rejected, a real estate agent will help you regroup and reenter a hot housing market so you can find your dream home.

Ready to buy a home in a hot housing market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can accomplish your homebuying goals faster than ever before.

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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 2/25/2018

Purchasing a home can be stressful, and the homebuying process might even cause your blood pressure to rise if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to minimize stress and stay calm during the homebuying process, including: 1. Don't Be Afraid to Take a Step Back and Relax. The real estate market remains an ongoing battle between homebuyers. Plus, after you find a house you like, you may encounter problems with a home seller as you try to finalize a purchase agreement. But remember, as you move along the homebuyer journey, don't be afraid to take a step back and relax. Buying a home represents a life-changing event, one that should not be taken lightly. However, homebuyers who try to rush through the homebuying process may watch their stress levels rise quickly – the last thing any homebuyer wants to encounter. If you feel stressed at any point during the homebuying process, be sure to take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. By doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of remaining cool under pressure and simplify your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. 2. Stay Organized. As a homebuyer, you may be required to make phone calls and emails as you move along the homebuying journey. And in some cases, problems could arise if you don't document your conversations properly. But a homebuyer who devotes the necessary time and resources to stay organized should have no trouble tracking phone calls and emails that are sent to a home inspector, lender or other professionals who may be involved in the homebuying process. Jotting down notes on phone calls usually is a great idea for homebuyers, as this allows you to keep track of your conversations. And if you send emails, you already have a surefire way to monitor any messages you send or receive, too. 3. Hire a Courteous, Diligent Real Estate Agent. Let's face it – it often is easy to become emotional during the homebuying process. On the other hand, if you have a courteous, diligent real estate agent at your side, you'll be better equipped to overcome any hurdles that you may encounter during this process. Your real estate agent will offer information about upcoming open houses and set up home showings, enabling you to check out many homes that fit your needs. Also, this professional ultimately will serve as a liaison between you and a home seller and can help you stay calm, cool and collected during negotiations. Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you up to date as you progress through the homebuying journey. As a result, this professional is exceedingly important and can help streamline the process of buying a home. The homebuying process can become time-consuming and complicated, and as such, cause stress. Conversely, if you use the aforementioned tips, you should be able to simplify the process of finding a home that suits your perfectly and buy this residence without delay.

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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 2/18/2018

The process of buying a house may prove to be long and complicated. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take before you pursue a home to streamline the homebuying cycle, and these include:

1. Create a Homebuying Checklist

It helps to start the homebuying process with a homebuying checklist in hand. This checklist will enable you to differentiate between home must-haves and wants, resulting in a fast, efficient homebuying journey.

Think about what you require from a home. For example, if you need a house that is located close to your office in the city, you should include this information in your checklist.

Also, if you want a house that features a built-in swimming pool, you can include this information in your homebuying checklist. But keep in mind that a swimming pool likely is a non-essential item. And if you find a home that is virtually perfect but lacks a swimming pool, it may still be a good idea to pursue this house.

2. Establish a Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a house? This question frequently plagues buyers as they proceed along the homebuying journey. Luckily, you can determine how much money is at your disposal if you develop a budget.

To budget effectively, it helps to meet with local lenders. Banks and credit unions generally offer a wide range of mortgage options and can help you make an informed mortgage decision.

In addition, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to entering the real estate market. Because if you have a mortgage, you can pursue houses that fall within a specific price range and reduce the risk of overspending to acquire your dream house.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it is beneficial to have a homebuying expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do what it takes to help you discover a great house at an affordable price.

A real estate agent understands housing market patterns and trends and can help you plan ahead for a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will teach you about the real estate market and respond to your homebuying queries as well.

Furthermore, a real estate agent acts as a guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and help you finalize a home purchase. By doing so, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to prepare. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can get the support you need to plan ahead for the best- and worst-case homebuying scenarios. That way, you'll be able to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles before they escalate.

Ready to buy a house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to pursuing your dream residence.

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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 1/14/2018

Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.

Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.

To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.

Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.

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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 12/31/2017

Have you heard the term “earnest money” but really aren’t sure what it means? Once you have found the perfect home and are all set to make an offer, there’s one more step that you need to take. That’s to make a deposit on the home you want to buy. This is known as an “earnest money deposit.”  

The Purpose Of The Deposit

The deposit shows the seller that you’re serious about buying the home. It’s a measure that allows the seller to have some faith in you as a buyer that you’re truly moving forward with your decision; you’re ready as a buyer to make the financial commitment. This deposit allows the deal to begin on a solid basis without much question. 

Is The Deposit Required Legally To Buy A Home?

From a seller’s perspective, a deposit keeps a buyer from changing their mind. If there is a significant amount of money involved, the seller sees the deposit as a way to keep the buyer locked in. This makes it easier for sellers to accept an offer. 

How Much Is Expected For An Earnest Money Deposit?

These deposits don’t quite have a standard amount. The general rule is that they range from 1% of the home price up to 5%. The more expensive of a home that’s being purchased, the larger the earnest money deposit should be. In some cases, the seller may even ask for a certain amount of a deposit to ensure that buyers are serious. How much money you pay at once is often negotiable. You may be able to pay part of the money at one time and the other part at a later date.

New Construction Can Require Large Deposits

New construction homes can require large earnest money deposits- up to half of the purchase price of the home. This is because the construction costs need to be paid upfront and the bank wants proof that the units being constructed with loan money are being sold to buyers who can pay for the home. 

New construction homes are often customized as well. It would be detrimental to a developer to make special changes to a home only for a buyer to walk away. 

Getting The Deposit Refunded

As with everything in real estate, you’ll have a contract. If you don’t follow the terms of the contract, you risk losing your earnest money deposit. Two main reasons for buyers to walk away are a flopped home inspection or financing that falls through. Read your contracts carefully. Sellers sometimes state that deposits are nonrefundable after a certain number of days. 

You need to be sure that you are covered as a buyer in the purchase and sales agreement. If you back out of a home purchase without good reason like a contingency included in the agreement) you could be out of luck when it comes to getting your deposit back.    

Tags: Buying a home   finances  
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