Blog - Page 13 of 13 - JPAR

Selling a Home

Selling a home can be a difficult task for even the most seasoned of sellers. There is so much that goes into the process of placing a property on the housing market. First, the owner needs to get the home in condition to present it to potential buyers. From there, taking proper pictures that display your residence in its best light is a must. These are the images that are going to grab the attention of those that are searching through the housing market. Unfortunately, even the best pictures don’t ensure that your property will be seen. After all, you are competing with your neighbors for the attention of a select few.

As with any competition, it is important to find an edge. This is where an experienced realtor can be your ace in the hole. With an extensive list of interested buyers, as well as the knowhow to market your listing to a greater audience, real estate agents make it their mission to get the most money for your property. When you have a team of skilled agents on your side, the competition gets left in the dust!

Original Article: http://www.jparsanantonio.com/blog.php

How To Reduce Your Mortgage Wait After A Foreclosure

How To Reduce Your Mortgage Wait After A Foreclosure

Think you have to wait three to seven years after a foreclosure before you can get a new loan? You may be able to cut that in half.

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Typically, you have to wait for years after a foreclosure to get the financing necessary to buy a new home, but you may be able to get a loan much sooner if you improve your credit score, budget and save. Throw extenuating circumstances into the mix, and your wait time could be even less.

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Were you one of the millions of Americans that suffered a foreclosure in the last several years? If so, you are well aware that it leaves a black mark on your credit and prevents you from obtaining the financing to purchase another home for three to seven years, or longer depending on how you handle your money after the foreclosure.

But, you may be able to drastically reduce your wait. In fact, if you are able to prove that you experienced an “economic event” that caused your household income to fall by 20 percent of more for a period of at least six month, you may qualify for financing within a year. You must be able to demonstrate, though, that you have fully recovered from that event and agree to complete housing counseling prior to closing.

Whether or not you have experienced a life-changing economic event, you can take steps to shave off time from that seven-year waiting period. Here’s what you need to do.

Improve your credit score.  

A foreclosure can cause your credit score to drop by up to 150 points. In order to qualify for another home mortgage, you’ll have to compensate. Start by paying your bills on time.

Thirty-five percent of the points that make up your FICO Credit Score, the standard credit-scoring model used in today’s lending environment, is based on your payment history. Just to reiterate: that’s more than one-third of your credit score. If you have a poor payment history (in other words, a lot of late payments), you’ll have trouble qualifying for any loan because your credit score demonstrates you are a risk. The folks over at USnews.com agree, saying, “Accounts that are 90 days late will have a bigger negative impact on your score than those that are 60 or 30 days late. So pay off the most past-due accounts first, and gradually catch up on all your payments.”

Reducing your debt can also have a big impact on your FICO Credit Score. In fact, at 30 percent, a lower debt to income ratio the second largest factor in determining your credit score. Having some debt isn’t necessarily bad, but how you manage it can be. Visit MyFICO.com to learn exactly how debt can affect your score.

Other factors used to determine your credit score include how long you’ve had credit, the types of credit you use (retail, installments, etc.), and whether you’ve opened any new accounts.

Create a budget.

Having a budget is key to turning your finances around. Without a budget, it’s easy to miss payments or run out of funds before the next paycheck arrives, necessitating a credit card withdrawal that increases your debt and ultimately impacts your credit score. The good news is setting up a budget is relatively easy.

First, record all your sources of income. Then, gather your financial statements, including bank statements, utility bills, credit card bills, and any other payments. Add to that a list of your monthly expenses, such as car payments, auto insurance, groceries, utilities, housing costs, entertainment, and anything else you spend money on. (Be specific.) This should give you a good indication of what’s coming in and what’s going out.

Next, total your income and expenditures and make adjustments as needed. You may find you need to cut out that double latte, or you just might find that you have some extra money every month that you can use to first reduce your debt and then to create an emergency fund. An emergency savings fund of three to six months’ worth of living expenses is key to demonstrating to a lender that you are prepared financially to manage a mortgage again.

There are several great programs and tools out there that can help you get your finances back on track, including Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Mint.com.

Choose your future housing wisely.

Let’s be honest: you probably lost your house in the first place because you bought more house than you could afford or because you didn’t have a savings buffer set aside to help you get through a financial hiccup. Your newly established budget should help you avoid repeating that mistake.  Once you know how much money is coming in and how much is going out, you will know definitively what you can afford to pay for housing. Note: you should limit yourself to house payments of no more than 28 percent of your total income.

Save for a down payment.

Again, if you want to buy a house again as soon as possible after you have go through a foreclosure, it’s essential that you have a budget to help you improve your credit score and save money. Once you have your emergency account fully funded, you need to save for a down payment on your next house. How much you’ll need in the bank depends on the cost of the house you intend to purchase (since the amount of the down payment is a percentage of the purchase price) and the type of loan you will be getting. Typically, for a conventional loan, you’ll want at least 20 percent to avoid private mortgage insurance.

Use extenuating circumstances to your advantage.

The FHA made it drastically easier for homeowners who’ve suffered a foreclosure to get a new loan by shortening the wait time if there’s been extenuating circumstances. But what qualifies as an extenuating circumstance?

First, the “economic event” that led to the foreclosure must have been something beyond your control such as a job loss or illness. Also, the event must have reduced your household income by 20 percent or more for a period of at least six months. This must be documented by an FHA-approved mortgage lender using tax returns, W-2s, terminations notices, employment letters, and more.

You also have to then reestablish your credit for a minimum of 12 months after the foreclosure with no late payments or other issues, and complete at least one hour of HUD-approved housing counseling.

If you complete these steps, you will be well on your way to re-establishing a promising credit score and securing a new mortgage – even after a foreclosure.

Number Of Home Showings Increases Year Over Year

Number Of Home Showings Increases Year Over Year

The number of times a particular property is scheduled for a home showing is a good indication of how much interest buyers have in that listing. Similarly, tracking showings on a nationwide basis can offer a big-picture look at home buyer trends and the level of overall interest in buying a house.

According to recent numbers collected as part of the ShowingTime Showing Index, home showings increased 7.3 percent year-over year in September, with big increases seen in the Northeast and Midwest. In fact, the Northeast saw the biggest annual increase, rising 11.5 percent over the same time last year. The Midwest rose 8.3 percent and the West was up 7 percent. The South was relatively flat from last September, though that is likely due to the impact of recent hurricanes rather than any regional lag in buyer demand.

Taken as a whole, the data suggests that there is growing interest in homeownership among Americans, with significant increases in the number of home showings across nearly every region. However, since home sales aren’t showing equally large gains, it could be an indication that there are a lot of interested buyers but not as many homes available for them to buy.

Millenials Flock Towards Low Down Payment Programs

Millenials Flock Towards Low Down Payment Programs

report released by Down Payment Resource shows that 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with a down payment of 6% or less.

The trend continued among all buyers with a mortgage, as 73% made a down payment of less than 20%.

An article by Chase points to a new wave of millennial homebuyers:

“We teamed up with Google to help us better understand what customers are searching for and how the home buying landscape is evolving. We found that millennials and first-time homebuyers are making a big splash in the market, and affordability remains top of mind.”

Among millennials who purchased homes, David Norris, Loan Depot’s Head of Retail Lending, said:

“It’s clear from the survey results that Millennials have a lot of anxiety built up about the home buying process.

There is good news, however, as there’s more flexibility than most Millennials think regarding how to qualify for a loan and what’s needed for a down payment.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many millennials who is debating a home purchase this year, let’s get together to help you understand your options and set you on the path to buying your home. I can also recommend a local lender to help with your Mortgage Loan pre-approval. Call me at 972-800-7369.

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that’s far from the truth!

Although it’s not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That’s a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around.

With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it.

Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season:

1. Serious Buyers – Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition – Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That’s why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn’t make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor’s house. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.
With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home – Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

Source URL: http://www.jparaustin.com/blog/Fall+Leaves+Bring+Sold+Signs

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your 1st Home

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your 1st Home

The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.

WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING A HOME?

Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!

·      Is your family expanding?

·      Does your family feel safe?

·      Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your children can get the education they deserve?

·      How about that unbearable landlord?

WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?

DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.

Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.

If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.

WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?

The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.

Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!

Source URL: http://www.jparaustin.com/blog/3+Questions+To+Ask+Before+Buying+Your+1st+Home

Is The Dream House A Thing Of The Past

Is The Dream House A Thing Of The Past

We have talked a lot about the shortage of homes on the market.  The other issue that a shortage of houses raises is that buyers may have to “settle” for a nice house, and may not be able to get the “house of their dreams.”  The first step in the process is always to find out from a mortgage lender how much you can qualify.   Next, of that amount, figure out how much you truly feel comfortable with paying.  Just because you can qualify for a million dollar home, does not mean that you have to buy a home at that price.  The payments, taxes, and insurance are with you for a long time, and you should definitely feel that you are paying a “comfortable amount.”  When I first moved to the area, I was told I could afford a home twice as pricey as what I bought.  But I only needed a one story, nice home for my wife and I, so why should I pay for more??

Next, and this is the point of this blog, you need to figure out what is most important to you.  Is it the size of the yard?  The size of the house?  The school district?  Parks?  Walking trails?  Neighborhood amenities?  So sit down, take a pad and a pen, and write down all of the tings that you really want in a house.  Then, put them into rank order of preference.  What are the most important things to you.  You should have at least five items that make the list.  Then, we can start the hunt.  Let’s look at it realistically.  Most people want at least a three bedroom two bath.  So that is almost a given.  But what is more important, is do you want your space in the living areas or do you want bigger bedrooms?  Do you want a big living room?  Do you need or want a separate dining room?  Some people think that dining rooms are a waste of footage, so are you one of those people?  Or do you want to have a separate room for big family gatherings, or parties with friends?  Do you spend most of your time watching television or outside?  Do you want a nice big covered patio with lots of shade?  Do you want a community pool to cool off in on hot summer days?  Once you have that list, then we can look at the absolutes.  One or two things that you just have to have.  A big master bedroom is important to some people.  A fireplace is important to others.  A big kitchen with all the best appliances is important to still more.  That one or two item list will help you to make your selection even easier, because you can quickly eliminate houses that just don’t have that.  Then, you can move down the list for the other four or five other things that are nice to have.  I would love to have a three car garage, but seeing as they are not that common in the price range I was willing to pay, I knocked that criteria off my list pretty fast.  But I knew I wanted a nice sized master bedroom, so that was a key factor in my search.

I can help you with your list, because I can tell you about common features of homes that you may not think of:  some people love vaulted ceilings, but do you know they are harder to heat?  If you want a pool, but don’t want to pay for the maintenance, maybe a community with a pool is a good alternative.  I can be there as your consultant to help you sort through the needs and the wants, and see if there are ways to get what you want, without having to pay too much for it.

I have attached a short article about Needs vs Wants in a home.  I hope you find it helpful:  https://goo.gl/MseF8u

Source URL: http://www.jparaustin.com/blog/Is+The+Dream+House+A+Thing+Of+The+Past

How Much Do I Need To Make To Buy A House In Austin

How Much Do I Need To Make To Buy A House In Austin

The median home price in Austin according to the Austin Board of Realtors is just over $308,000, based on a 20% down payment.  In order to afford a home in that price range, a buyer needs an income of roughly $70,000.  We are ranked number 25 most expensive of the 50 most populous cities in America.  While it is possible to find an occasional bargain under $300,000 in the Austin proper area, they are highly sought after, often bought by investors for cash, and almost always part of a multiple offer scenario.  So for the home buyer that wants to buy under $300,000, I recommend being very patient, and working with a Realtor that can get you listings before they come on the market.

If you put less money down, the payment goes up by about $10 for every $1,000 you put down.  The debt ratios vary by the type of loan that you are getting.  I work with competitive loan officers who can loan money based on higher debt ratios because they are working with mortgage investors, rather than a bank; banks have to answer to shareholders and therefore they have higher standards for debt ratios.  Banks have to be more cautious because they do not want to have to explain to the shareholder why their foreclosure rates are so high.  Mortgage lenders, such as the lenders that I work with, get loans from competitive sources and are more willing to take higher risks.  I always suggest that before you start looking for a home, you speak with a lender and get your financing approved.  Get a payment you feel comfortable with; don’t forget, you have a life to live, so don’t spend all your money on your house payment.  Attached I have an article that talks about the income needed for a home purchase.  There are some great links in the article as well.  http://bit.ly/2xghPTK

Source URL: http://www.jparaustin.com/blog/How+Much+Do+I+Need+To+Make+To+Buy+A+House+In+Austin

Serious Shortage Of Available Houses Means More Money For Sellers

Serious Shortage Of Available Houses Means More Money For Sellers

The median home price in Austin according to the Austin Board of Realtors is just over $308,000, based on a 20% down payment.  In order to afford a home in that price range, a buyer needs an income of roughly $70,000.  We are ranked number 25 most expensive of the 50 most populous cities in America.

While it is possible to find an occasional bargain under $300,000 in the Austin proper area, they are highly sought after, often bought by investors for cash, and almost always part of a multiple offer scenario.  So for the home buyer that wants to buy under $300,000, I recommend being very patient, and working with a Realtor that can get you listings before they come on the market.

If you put less money down, the payment goes up by about $10 for every $1,000 you put down.  The debt ratios vary by the type of loan that you are getting.  I work with competitive loan officers who can loan money based on higher debt ratios because they are working with mortgage investors, rather than a bank; banks have to answer to shareholders and therefore they have higher standards for debt ratios.  Banks have to be more cautious because they do not want to have to explain to the shareholder why their foreclosure rates are so high.  Mortgage lenders, such as the lenders that I work with, get loans from competitive sources and are more willing to take higher risks.  I always suggest that before you start looking for a home, you speak with a lender and get your financing approved.

Get a payment you feel comfortable with; don’t forget, you have a life to live, so don’t spend all your money on your house payment.  Attached I have an article that talks about the income needed for a home purchase.  There are some great links in the article as well.  http://bit.ly/2xghPTK

Source URL: http://www.jparaustin.com/blog/How+Much+Do+I+Need+To+Make+To+Buy+A+House+In+Austin