The Hunte Group Realtors®


Posted by The Hunte Group Realtors® on 3/13/2018

When it comes to selling a house, it helps to plan ahead. By doing so, a home seller can identify and resolve potential home selling hurdles right away.

With the right approach to selling a house, any seller can minimize problems along the way. In fact, the right approach may increase the likelihood that a seller can enjoy a speedy home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help sellers streamline the home selling journey.

1. Price Your House Competitively

What is your house really worth? This question is difficult to answer for a home seller, as many factors impact the value of a home.

A home's age and condition likely will play important roles in your residence's value. Furthermore, external factors like the crime rates in the city or town where your home is located or your house's proximity to parks and schools may affect your residence's value.

To establish a competitive price for your house, you'll want to study the local housing market. Look at the prices of available houses that are similar to your own; this data can help you define a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

In addition, it frequently helps to perform a home appraisal. During a home appraisal, a property expert will assess your house and provide a property valuation. Then, you can use this valuation to determine the ideal asking price for your house.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although a home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer on a house, there is no need to wait. Instead, a home seller can conduct an inspection prior to listing a residence to learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses.

Review the results of a home inspection closely – you'll be glad you did. After a home inspection, you can identify any underlying problems with your house and take the necessary steps to resolve these issues. That way, you can prevent such problems from cropping up after a buyer submits an offer on your house.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to price your house or complete other home selling tasks, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always hire a real estate agent who can provide plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, this housing market expert can teach you about the real estate sector and ensure you can achieve the best possible home selling results.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and simplify the home selling cycle. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble receiving expert responses to your home selling questions too.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a speedy home selling experience.




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Posted by The Hunte Group Realtors® on 3/6/2018

If you’re a first time homebuyer and want to start weighing your mortgage options, you’ll have much to learn. With so much at stake, you’ll want to make sure you choose the best mortgage for you now, and one that will still suit your needs years into the future.

Sometimes, first time buyers are hesitant to ask questions they may consider too basic because they don’t want to seem inexperienced to lenders, agents, or anyone else they’ll be in contact with throughout the home buying process.

So, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked mortgage questions that first time buyers might want to ask before heading into the process of acquiring a home loan.

What is the first step to getting a mortgage?

This question may seem straightforward, however the first step can vary depending on your financial situation. For those who already have saved up for a down payment and built a solid credit score, the first step is probably contacting lenders and getting preapproved or prequalified.

However, if you aren’t sure about your credit score and haven’t saved up for a down payment (ideally, 20% of what you hope to spend on the house), then you should address those matters first.

To find a lender, you can do a simple Google search for the mortgage lenders in your area, or you can ask around to friends and family to find out their experience with their own mortgage lenders.

What does it mean to be pre-qualified and pre-approved?

If you think of the mortgage process in three steps, the first step would be getting pre-qualified. This means you’ve given the lender enough basic information for them to decide which type of mortgage you’re eligible to receive.

Pre-approval includes collecting and verifying further details. At this step, you’ll complete a mortgage application and the lender will run a credit check. Once you’re pre-approved, your file can be moved to the underwriting phase.

What are closing costs?

“Closing costs” is an umbrella term that covers all of the various fees and expenses related to buying or selling a home. As a buyer, you are responsible for paying numerous closing costs. These can include, but are not limited to, underwriting fees, title searches, title insurance,  origination fees, taxes, appraisal fees, surveys, and more.

That sounds like a lot to keep track of, however your lender will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the total closing costs when you apply for your loan. In fact, lenders are required to give you a list of these costs within three days of your loan application in the form of a “good faith estimate” of the closing costs.

What will my interest rate be?

The answer to this question is dependent upon numerous factors. The value of the home, your credit score, the amount you put down (down payment), the type of mortgage you have, and whether or not you’re paying private mortgage insurance all factor into the interest rate you’ll receive. Interest rates also will vary slightly between lenders.

You can receive a fixed-rate mortgage that does not fluctuate throughout the repayment term. However, you also typically have the option to refinance to acquire a lower interest rate, however refinancing comes with its own costs.




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Posted by The Hunte Group Realtors® on 2/27/2018

As a condo buyer, it is important to find a property that matches or surpasses your expectations. At the same time, you'll want to do everything possible to avoid paying too much for a condo.

What does it take to shop for a condo and avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can pay the right price for any condo, at any time.

1. Browse the Real Estate Market Closely

An informed condo buyer will be able to differentiate a mediocre property from a great one. Plus, this condo buyer will know what it takes to avoid paying too much for a property that is unlikely to deliver long-lasting value.

Take a close look at the current housing market to understand the prices of condos in various cities and towns. By doing so, you can determine the price range for condos that fit your needs.

Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area too. That way, you can understand how long condos typically are available before they sell and map out your condo buying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage will allow you to define how much you can spend on a condo. It also will enable you to reduce the risk of stretching beyond your financial means to acquire your dream condo.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions before you kick off your condo search. This will allow you to learn about both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Furthermore, don't be afraid to ask lenders how different types of mortgages work, as this will enable you to select a mortgage that corresponds with your budget both now and in the future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Employ a real estate agent to assist you along the condo buying process – you'll be happy you did. This real estate professional will do what it takes to help you land an exceptional condo at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. As such, he or she can offer tips at each stage of the condo buying process, ensuring you can buy a top-notch condo without spending too much.

In addition, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of going from condo buyer to condo owner. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can accelerate the process of acquiring a great condo.

Buying a condo at an affordable price may seem impossible at times, but a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that. Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can improve your chances of securing a condo without the risk of overspending.




Tags: Buying a home   Condo   buyer tips  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The Hunte Group Realtors® on 2/20/2018

If you're in the market for a new home, one of the first things you need to determine is how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can comfortably afford. A loan officer or mortgage broker can help you figure that out, based on your income, debts, and other information.

One thing they probably won't include in the equation is the cost of home maintenance and other essential services, like garbage collection.

Ultimately, it's up to the homeowner to build in enough "breathing room" in their budget to cover unexpected expenses. Although you can't predict exactly what those expenses will be or how much they'll cost, it's virtually guaranteed that they're going to occur. Whether you're planning to buy a new house or a mid-century dwelling, here's the short list of typical homeowner expenses that could crop up. While all these items may not apply directly to your situation, many of them eventually will.

  • Plumbing repairs: Leaky pipes, clogged drains, and broken plumbing fixtures are common problems in most homes. You may also need a plumber to fix or install a garbage disposal, repair or replace a hot water heater, or hook up a new refrigerator to your water supply.
  • HVAC services: When you combine the cost of semi-annual routine service calls and unexpected emergency repairs, the cost of maintaining your heating and cooling systems can really take a bite out of your household budget!
  • Appliance repair: The typical family depends on at least a half a dozen major appliances to prepare meals and keep their clothes and dishes clean. When one or more of those appliances break down, chaos can ensue! In many cases, it's more cost-effective and practical to call a repair service than buy a new appliance.
  • Exterminator services: Regardless of whether you live in the city or the country, unexpected and unwelcome insects, rodents, and other miscellaneous varmints can show up in your home and yard. Sometimes it's even necessary to call a wildlife control specialist to remove skunks, raccoons, and other intruders!
  • Electrical repairs and upgrades: Although electrical repairs are occasionally needed for safety reasons, most calls to electricians are more routine in nature. However, when light switches, electrical outlets, and ceiling lights stop working, it can be a huge inconvenience for you and your family. In some cases, you might even be desperate enough to pay extra for emergency electrical service on weekends!
  • Miscellaneous expenses: Garage door repairs, fireplace cleaning, swimming pool maintenance, deck repairs, rain gutter cleaning, professional carpet cleaning, landscaping, fence repair, home siding repair, and wet basement problems are a few of the many expenses that may require you to dip into your savings or household budget.
If you happen to be a first-time homeowner, you may also need to shell out hundreds (or thousands) of dollars for items like a lawn mower, yard maintenance tools, snow blower, vacuum cleaner, furniture, and interior painting supplies. While home ownership, decorating, and yard maintenance can give you a feeling of satisfaction and pride of ownership, it's necessary to earmark a sufficient amount of money to pay for those sometimes unexpected costs!





Posted by The Hunte Group Realtors® on 2/13/2018

One of the first and most important things that you should do when you buy a home is to be sure that you’re on top of your finances. Before you even begin the home search, you’ll need to be sure that you have money in the bank and know your credit score. What you really need is a plan. 


Set Up A Savings Account For Your Future Home


Having a separate account set up just to help you save for your down payment and other home costs can be very helpful. Find a bank with a bit of a higher interest rate. Often, online banks are your best bet. If you’re able, set up automatic transfers from one account to another for a set amount each month. You’ll be saving before you know it! 


Set Goals


If you have no idea of what you want, it will be difficult to understand what you need to do to get there. Typically, it’s a good idea to have 20% of a home’s purchase price saved for your down payment. Putting 20% down also helps you to avoid the additional cost of PMI, also known as private mortgage insurance. Once you have a goal, don’t look at the big picture. Break down your big goal for savings into smaller bits to make it less overwhelming. 


Make Savings Automatic


We’ve already mentioned the idea of setting up an automatic transfer, but you can do even more. When you are gifted money, instead of spending it, put it in your home savings account. If you get a bonus from work, save it. If you get a raise, live off of your previous income and use the additional income for savings. All of these little actions add up fast. When you make savings habit, it’s easier to reach your goals. 


See Where You Can Cut Costs


There’s probably plenty of places that you can cut costs in your budget. Sit down and see how much your expenses actually are compared to how much you actually do spend. Can you opt out of cable TV? Maybe you can reduce the speed of your internet connection, or find a cheaper cell phone plan. If you take a close look at your expenses, there’s probably plenty of ways for you to  cut back and save.


Sell Your Stuff


We’re not talking about selling your essentials, but if you have things around your home that you’re not using, there’s a better use for them. You can probably get some extra cash for these items by selling them. It’s so simple to sell things on the Internet these days that you can make some money and get rid of unwanted things pretty easily.  


Focus

With a bit of focus, hard work and diligence, you can save up enough money for a down payment on a home. Don’t forget to keep all of the other aspects of your financial life in order such as paying your bills on time and not opening new credit accounts. Good luck with your savings goals!