Make it Happen–Own Your Own Home in 2017!

 So one of your New Year’s resolutions is to cut out the landlord and pay yourself rent in 2017. That’s a bold move, and an admirable one. By joining the ranks of homeowners, you’re taking a vital step to secure your financial future. For example, did you know that the difference in net worth between renters and homeowners is staggering? According to a recent Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors'(NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016, the net worth gap between homeowners and renters will widen to 45x. That’s because while renters simply write a (sizable) check to their landlord each month, homeowners are earning equity each year their house appreciates. If you’re going to take the homeowner plunge, here are some important tips about buying a house in Denver Metro’s sizzling hot seller’s market.

Not sure what your budget can buy? Drive around and look at homes under contract. That’s the reality of what you can buy for your price point.

Don’t wait for a dip in prices. The whole city is waiting for that. And if it comes, it doesn’t decrease competition, it increases it. Instead, focus on your finances and be realistic about what you can afford.

Prequalify. In this seller’s multiple-offers market, most sellers will consider offers that are accompanied by a pre-qualifying letter. Using a strong local lender can also improve your chances, advises local mortgage broker Matt Carrell of Cherry Creek Mortgage Company. “If the sellers are eager for a quick close, their broker knows that large, national chains are less likely to close within 30 days than a strong local lender,” says Carrell. Ask your realtor for a list of lenders with a good track record, and talk to several lenders so you get accurate information.

First time Buyer? Look into FHA financing. Take advantage of Federal mortgages policies, advises Carrell. “If you’re a first time buyer, this is a definite advantage. You can put down as little as 3.5%. This is a great advantage to buyers with lower credit scores, such as students who are paying off student loans, or millennials who are still building up a credit history.”

Consider a fixed-rate mortgage. “Mortgage rates are already rising, and market volatility could lead to larger highs and lows than we’ve seen lately,” says Carrell. “Even if you lock in at an 1/8 of a point higher, at least you’ll be set if rates continue to rise. The last twenty years, the average was 8.3, so at today’s rates you’re still doing very well.”

More questions? Contact Link Real Estate Group–we’re here to help you become a homeowner in 2017!

 

Ask Nancy: How to Know You’ve Found the Right Home Inspector

Nancy Page Cooper Color 830T

Any Realtor® worthy of the name will be able to recommend an eagle-eyed home inspector—it’s part of the full service a real estate professional brings to the process of buying a home.

The object of the inspection is, of course, to prevent the unexpected: repair bills that might otherwise go undetected. A good inspector finds problems before you close on a property. Although a home inspector’s fee may require an investment of a few hundred dollars, it’s certainly better than spending tens of thousands down the road.

A thorough inspection and the report that follows earn a buyer peace of mind. Choosing the right candidate isn’t difficult, as long as you are willing to follow a few common sense procedures. For instance, the written inspection report is an important part of the process, yet some inspectors wind up sending only a checklist. Before you commit, ask the candidate if you can see a sample of the kind of report that will be prepared.

It’s a very good idea for you to be present when the inspection is made—it’s a one-time chance to see for yourself some of the workings of the property from a professional’s point of view. A good inspector may suggest it…and certainly will not object when you invite yourself to the party.

As with any other expert, check the candidate’s reputation online. The Better Business Bureau website, Angie’s List, Yelp, and all the other websites that post continuing reviews of professional service providers can supply good feedback. But again, be thorough: watch out for ‘paid’ ratings; check more than one source; and if a complaint is registered, be sure to bring it up when interviewing an otherwise-qualified candidate.

Home inspectors who are strongly tied to the Denver metro business community, or who are involved in national-level home inspector organizations, have their reputations on the line with every inspection. These inspectors may provide higher quality service than others, and although choosing a leading home inspector may wind up costing a few dollars more, when you’re about to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a home, consider it money well spent.

Whenever my clients ask for advice in choosing a home inspector, I supply a choice of several. It’s part of the service I’m pleased to offer—and another good reason to give me a call!