Tuesday, May 28, 2019
The different lending authorities, VA, FHA, Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC), establish their own waiting periods. A borrower may be eligible to qualify for one type of mortgage before another type, even though during this waiting period, that the person was current on all payments and maintained a history of good credit.
The following chart indicates how long a person might have to wait.
A recommended lender can give you specific information regarding your individual situation and can make suggestions that will improve your ability to qualify for a mortgage. This process should be started before looking at homes because of the time constraints listed here can vary based on current requirements and possible extenuating circumstances of your case.
I want to be your personal source of real estate information and I'm committed to helping from purchase to sale and all the years in between. Call us at (616) 402-3535 for lender recommendations.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
There are tech tools that can be used together with the expertise and experience of your real estate professional to make the home buying process efficient and effective.
Listing Alert ... while this service is called by other names, the buyer identifies the specifics about the home they want, and it will notify them directly when a new listing comes on the market that matches their needs. Your agent can handle this for you as well.
Real estate smartphone apps ... imagine driving a neighborhood, seeing a sign and immediately being able to know the price and specifics about the home; very convenient. There are a variety of different apps available such as Homesnap, and others, ask your agent for their recommendation before installing one.
Digital documents ... companies like DocuSign have revolutionized real estate negotiations by doing everything digitally so that you're not going back and forth between the parties signing and initialing changes. It is safe and secure and your agent will handle this end of it for you.
ColorSnap Visualizer ... this Sherwin Williams app for iPad allows you to paint walls on a picture, match photos to find paint colors and other things before you commit to a color.
Google maps ... plug in an address on Google Maps and you can see a street view of the home, satellite view, surrounding businesses, traffic speed and other things.
Sex Offender Registry ... NSOPW, the National Sex Offender Public Website is a safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide.
Financial Calculators ... fill in the blank applications that can illustrate the benefits of renting vs. owning, Equity Accelerator, Adjustable Rate Comparison, Cost of Waiting to Buy and many other homeowner situations.
Free Public Records Directory - OnlineSearches provides access to public record sources like deeds and assessor and property tax records. While this service is free, some state and county agencies may charge fees for accessing public records.
Virtual open house ... an alternative to physically viewing a home is to look at the multiple photos online. If the property is interesting, you can schedule a physical showing with your agent.
Check your credit ... Order free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
The final recommendation is your phone. When you have a question, contact your agent. Calling another agent may seem like an expedient way to get an answer, especially if you cannot get a hold of your agent but it could inadvertently, cause issues.
Your real estate professional can assist you with these and other tools to help you find the right home. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (616) 402-3535.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Heating and air-conditioning are frequently referred to as the "comfort systems." If one has gone out in the dead of winter or the heat of summer, lack of comfort becomes a primary concern. Regular maintenance with a HVAC checklist is something that homeowners can do themselves to ensure that the units operate properly.
- Change your filter every 90 days; every 30 days if you have shedding pets.
- Maintain at least two feet of clearance around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
- Don't allow leaves, grass clippings, lint or other things to block circulation of coils.
- Inspect insulation on refrigerant lines leading into house monthly and replace if missing or damaged.
Annually, in spring
- Confirm that outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps are on level pads.
- Pour bleach in the air conditioner's condensation drain to clear mold and algae which can cause a clog.
- Avoid closing more than 20% of a home's registers to keep from overworking the system.
- Replace the battery in the home's carbon monoxide detector.
While using this list will prevent some things that may impede the comfort system's proper performance, it is recommended that you have your units serviced annually by a licensed contractor. Furnaces should also be inspected for carbon monoxide leaks. Preventative maintenance may help avoid costly repairs.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Sellers, often, provide a home warranty to buyers to give them peace of mind by limiting some of the out-of-pocket money spent on unexpected repairs for one year. Home warranties can be renewed by the buyer by paying the annual fee and any homeowner can purchase one for their home whether they had one when they bought it or not.
A home service contract typically covers mechanical systems and built-in appliances in the home. Many times, these items are not covered by the homeowner's insurance policy. They can also include other things such as pool and spa equipment, and free-standing appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers.
The process is simple. It doesn't cover pre-existing conditions. Once a plan is in effect, you call to report a claim. The company will assign a local professional to assess the problem and if covered, they will repair or replace the item. You will only pay a service fee.
Home protection plans can range in price depending on area and coverages. Most start around $400-500 a year which could easily cover the cost for one claim alone.
For more information on home warranties in general, you can go to HomeServiceContract.org which is an association representing some of the premier home service contract providers. If you'd like to have a recommendation based on companies we work with in our area, give me a call at (616) 402-3535.