Restoring A Patio On A Budget: 3 Simple Tips

Restoring A Patio On A Budget: 3 Simple TipsThere are lots of homeowners who are looking at their patio and are not satisfied with what they see. This is where it is important to think about ways to bring that patio back to life. Whether this means entertaining friends or simply relaxing with a cocktail and a book, there are a few easy ways to bring a patio back to life.

1. Target The Pests

There are lots of pests that like to make their homes in the patio. This might include debris that is brought in by the wind, critters that like to dig underneath the patio, or even kids’ toys. There are ways to prevent critters from making their homes in the patio. Simply place pine cones in the nearby area. This is far easier than using mulch. As for the kids’ toys, that sounds more like a parenting issue!

2. Add A Splash Of Color

One of the easiest tips that can bring a patio back to life is adding a splash of color. Instead of going with the boring brown patio, add some plants to bring some green to the porch. Then, throw in some colored furniture. Finish it off with a colorful umbrella and the patio will look like new!

3. Build A Fire Pit

Finally, those who want to host a party need to have a fire pit. A fire pit is one of the best ways to draw attention away from the patio itself. A mini fire pit acts as the focal point of the room while adding a bit more fun (and function) to the patio itself. This is a great place to roast a few hot dogs, make some smores, and host a party! Adding a fire pit to the patio is one of the top ways to take a sad patio and bring it back to life once again.

Restore An Old Patio With These Tips

A patio is meant to be a place where family members and friends come together to enjoy each other’s company. In order to bring a patio back to life, think about putting these tips to use. This will make the patio functional once again, making the porch the place to be.

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New Home

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New HomeThose who are in the process of buying a new home need to be aware of some of the factors that might influence their ability to do so. Even though credit score, income, and assets will play major roles in whether or not someone might be approved for a loan, there are other factors that will play a role as well.

Buying a new car might even have an impact on the homebuying process.

Why is this the case?

The Debt Payments On The Car Will Play A Role

There are multiple ways to buy a car. Some people elect to pay cash for the entire vehicle. While this is a challenge for most families, this will prevent any new debt from being added to the family’s finances. At the same time, this could also reduce the amount of cash the family has on hand to put toward the new home.

Most families end up putting a down payment on a car and taking out a loan for the rest. While this is a financially responsible decision, this can also make it harder to purchase a new home. This is because the payments on the car are going to be added to the family’s existing debt. A potential lender is going to see these debt payments and reduce the amount of money they are willing to provide. This could make it hard for a family to purchase their dream home.

Factor In The Cost Of The Car

Those who need a new car need to factor the monthly cost of the car into the home buying equation. For example, if the monthly payments on the car are going to be $200, then this is $200 less that the family can afford for the mortgage payment. The same math has to be done by removing the down payment for the car from the potential down payment on the house.

Do The Math Carefully

People need cars to get around in most parts of the country. At the same time, the financially responsible decision is to take the cost of the car and deduct this from the assets that are available to pay for the home to avoid any surprises. The lender is going to do the same thing.

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Had An Impact On The Home Lending Process

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Had An Impact On The Home Lending ProcessThe COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes the real estate industry. One of the biggest impacts that this pandemic has had involves the home lending process. Because many people are looking for ways to buy a home while engaging in proper social distancing measures, the industry has had to adapt. Learn more about some of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on the home lending process.

Homes Are Getting More Affordable

The demand for homes right now is high; however, homes are still more affordable than they have been in the past. Lenders are trying to find ways to encourage people to purchase homes because they have seen a drop in their business as well. As a result, many lenders are willing to provide potential homeowners with great offers and opportunities to purchase a dream home.

Online Applications Are Becoming More Common

Next, online applications are becoming more common as well. In order to help people buy a home while still engaging in social distancing, it is possible to complete the home application process online. This is usually provided through an intuitive system that provides clear instructions on what has to be submitted for the application process.

Buying Power Is Going Up

Because many homeowners and potential home buyers are realizing that now is a great time to buy, they are learning that they have a lot more power. They might be able to afford a larger home or carry out a home improvement project after buying their home. This provides more flexibility for homeowners.

Refinancing Is Becoming More Common

In addition to changes in the home buying process, there are changes taking place in refinancing as well. Many current homeowners are realizing that they have a unique opportunity right now as well. As a result, they are taking advantage of the opportunity to complete a refinancing deal to save money.

Home Lending Is Changing

These are just a few of the major changes that have taken place in the home lending process due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who owns a home or is thinking about buying a home should consider looking at their available options as well. There could be opportunities to save money.

Speeding Up the Close: Five Tips on How to Close Your Mortgage Loan Faster So You Can Start Moving In

Speeding Up the Close: Five Tips on How to Close Your Mortgage Loan Faster So You Can Start Moving InWhen a seller accepts an offer from a buyer, the process of obtaining the property has just begun. The buyer now has to conduct an inspection, get approval from an attorney and obtain a mortgage – all of which can be time consuming. Here are a few ways that you can speed up the mortgage process and close the deal sooner.

Make Sure That You Have Money For Closing Costs

Do you have the money needed for a down payment and to pay other closing and prepaid costs? If not, you won’t be able to close until you find the funds to pay those costs – and this could delay the closing on your home indefinitely. Before you arrange the mortgage, make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay closing costs.

Get Conditional Approval Before Making The Offer

If you have not been conditionally approved for a loan before making an offer, you can’t be sure that a lender will give you a loan for the amount of the purchase price. In addition, starting the process from scratch could push back the closing timeline. Having your mortgage conditionally approved means the mortgage process is already underway when you make your offer, which saves you time.

Have Your Documents Together

Get your bank statements, pay stubs and other documents together before the seller accepts your offer. Having everything that the lender needs right away decreases the time needed for a lender to assess your application before extending the loan.

Work With An Experienced Mortgage Lender

Your mortgage lender may be able to move everything along by staying on top of the loan approval process. By ensuring that documents are being processed in a timely manner, an experienced lender can reduce the closing time from months to weeks.

Create A Timeline For Repairs The Seller Is Obligated To Make

It is not uncommon for a seller to be obligated to fix certain issues with the house before the new owner takes possession. However, it is important to put these repairs the contract along with a mandatory completion date. Otherwise, the seller could drag his feet with no contractual obligation to finish any repairs before he sees fit to do so.

Closing on a home loan can take anywhere from 30 to 120 days depending on work that needs to be done on the home and how well prepared a buyer is. Contacting and working closely with your mortgage lender or broker can result in a speedy and painless close. Contact an experienced mortgage professional today for more information about closing a mortgage.

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same TimeIf you’re in the process of simultaneously buying and selling a home, you may be in for the most stressful experience of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!

It’s not easy, but staying calm will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process easier. So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.

Have A Thorough Plan In Place…

Much of the stress that you’ll experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You may feel stressed if you don’t have enough time to move or if you have to pay mortgages on two homes because your old home isn’t selling fast enough.

Before you get too far into the buying and selling process, talk with a real estate agent and ensure you have a solid plan in place for how you’ll manage buying and selling at the same time. Leave a time and expense buffer for unexpected complications – even if nothing goes wrong, it’s still nice to know you have some room to work with.

…But Be Ready To Improvise If Things Go Sideways

There are a number of ways that buying and selling at the same time might result in complications. Poor timing might mean you need to move out before you have a home to move into, or it might mean you don’t have the money for your new home if your old home hasn’t sold. Be prepared to rent a hotel room, take out a short-term loan, or move your belongings into storage if the sale doesn’t go according to plan.

Talk Out Your Problems With Loved Ones

In times of stress, it’s helpful to turn to friends and family for a helping hand. Studies have shown that having a strong social support network can mitigate the effects of stress, and even the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for emotional support, and whenever you have an opportunity to socialize, take it – you’ll find it easier to handle stress after a fun night out with friends.

Buying and selling a home at the same time is bound to be stressful, but an experienced real estate agent can minimize the agony. Call a real estate agent near you to learn how you can successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Interested In?

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Interested In?If you are looking to sell a home in the current market, then you know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many people look at the world and this includes their home.

Therefore, buyers need to think about whether or not their homes have what buyers are looking for. While this is a hot market and sellers could quickly end up with multiple offers for their homes, they are more likely to get a higher offer if their home has one of the key features that buyers in today’s market will love.

A Home Office

Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular features today. With the pandemic changing the way people work, workers are spending more time at home than ever before. Everyone is looking for a way to be productive at home and this means having a home office. A home office is essential because it gives those working remotely with a place where they can seclude themselves in their own home and be productive. At the same time, if there is an emergency, they can still respond quickly. Buyers today are looking for a home office.

More Space To Accommodate

Lots of families are looking for ways to accommodate their loved ones and this means more space. For example, many schools are still operating virtually. This means that the kids are at home during the day and will need their space. In addition, elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable in today’s environment, so many families have welcomed their elderly family members as well. Homes with the space to accommodate these desires are going to be more popular.

Powerful Internet Access

While this is something that can be adjusted if necessary, powerful internet access is important. Think about everyone who is going to be putting a drain on the home’s internet connection. People are streaming TV more than ever. Kids need to be able to pay attention to their lectures. Those working from home are going to have video conferences. Having strong internet access is a must.

Sell A Home With These Features

Anyone who is looking to get the most for their home should keep these features in mind. They can drive up a home’s value in the current market.  

How Do Mortgage Lenders Decide How Much You Can Borrow?

How Do Mortgage Lenders Decide How Much You Can Borrow?When you visit your lender to get a mortgage for your home, they will tell you the maximum amount that you are allowed to borrow. But how do they reach this total and what factors do they take into consideration?

How do they determine that one borrower can take on a bigger mortgage than the next? This decision is made by mortgage companies by considering a wide range of factors, including your credit information, your salary and much more.

Here Are Some Of The Common Ways That Lenders Determine How Much You Can Borrow:

1. Percentage Of Gross Monthly Income

Many lenders follow the rule that your monthly mortgage payment should never exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.

This will ensure that you are not stretched too far with your mortgage payments and you will be more likely to be able to pay them off. Remember, your gross monthly income is the total amount of money that you have been paid, before deductions from social security, taxes, savings plans, child support, etc.

2. Debt To Income Ratio

Another formula that mortgage lenders use is the “Debt to Income” ratio, which refers to the percentage of your gross monthly income that is taken up by debts. This takes into account any other debts, such as credit cards and loans. Many lenders say that the total of your debts shouldn’t exceed 36% of your gross monthly income.

The lender will look at all of the different types of debt you have and how well you have paid your bills over the years. By using one of these two formulas, your mortgage lender calculates the size of a mortgage that you can afford.

Of course, there are many other factors that need to be considered, such as the term length of the loan, the size of your down payment and the interest rate.

Remember that when factoring in your income, you usually have to have a stable job for at least two years in a row to be able to count your income. If you want to increase your chances, you could consider paying down your debts or buying with a co-borrower, which will improve your debt to income ratio.

For more info about mortgages and your home, contact your mortgage professional.

Keep The Dream Of Owning A Home Alive

Keep The Dream Of Owning A Home AliveFor many people, owning a home is their dream. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire country and has left many people wondering if they can still afford to own a home. While this might put some things on hold, there are steps that everyone can take to keep the dream of owning a home alive.

Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

The first step that you should complete if you would like to own a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process will give you a firm idea of what you can afford. Then, you can start to narrow your search and find homes that are within your price range.

Furthermore, when you do make an offer, sellers will know that you are serious about buying the home because you have already been pre-approved. Reach out to a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Connect With A Top Agent Virtually

Most people are used to going to home showing in person; however, there are ways to do this virtually. A trusted agent is going to have access to all of the listings in the local area and can help you understand what the process is regarding buying a home. You can connect with an agent either by phone or by video to learn what it is like to navigate the real estate market. While today’s market might be different from most markets, there are still opportunities to get a great deal on a home.

Do Research On Options For Assistance

Buying home is one of the most important ways to stimulate the economy. As a result, there are lots of options that have been put into place to help people buy homes in a responsible manner. This could include loan programs, payment assistance programs, and loan options that do not require a large down payment. This can help you afford a dream home without having to necessarily put down 20 percent.

Do Not Put Your Dreams On Hold

While the climate might be a bit different right now, this does not mean that people have to put their dreams of owning a home on hold. This simply means that everyone has to do their due diligence and find the home that is right for them.

Comparing An Online And Offline Home Loan Application

Comparing An Online And Offline Home Loan ApplicationThe internet has changed how many people shop for a home and one of the most important issues that people will face is whether to fill out a home loan application online or offline.

While there is something to be said for going to the loan officer in person and filling out the application with the help of a professional, some people might find the online option to be more convenient. With this in mind, it is important to compare some of the ways in which an online versus an offline home application might be different.

The Eligibility Process

While the most exciting part of shopping for a home is traveling around and looking at the different options, people need to know how expensive of a home they can afford. With the online process, people can fill out the application process online and immediately see how big of a loan they can afford with the help of the home loan provider.

There are simple tools online, such as a loan eligibility calculator. In contrast, going to the office of the loan provider might require detailed discussions that could lead to a denial. This would end up being a waste of time. In this manner, the online process is faster.

The Documentation Required

The documentation process is also much easier online. When someone applies for a home loan online, it is easy to upload the required documents for review later. This might include the application form, proof of identity, proof of address, and more. Home loan providers will list all of the required documents on the site with ease. When it comes to applying in the offline world, this requires people to physically carry all of this information to the office. People run the risk of losing important documents in transit along the way.

The Application Process

Finally, even the process of applying for a loan itself is much easier when people can do this online. It is easy to register on the website, fill out the application, and submit the documents. Often, the turnaround time is much shorter as well. These are a few of the biggest reasons why the online application process is growing in popularity.

Six Key Questions to Ask when Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Market and Sell Your Home

Six Key Questions to Ask when Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Market and Sell Your HomeThe work of a real estate agent can make or break how a prospective buyer feels about the property. Now that it’s time to sell your home, you want to find the right agent to market it.

How do you find someone you can trust who will make you feel confident they can sell your home quickly for the best price possible? Here are the questions you should be asking.

Are They Licensed?

This one is the easy one. You should be working with a member of the National Association of Realtors®. It is also important that you check whether they have any complaints on record about their practices.

You can check with your state’s real estate department as well.

Are They Successful?

A successful real estate agent is more than the number of sales they have completed. You should also find out the average difference between listing and selling prices on their most recent sales.

If an agent is closing deals at far below the original asking price consistently, that might be a red flag.

How Busy Are They?

Make sure you ask in advance how often the agent will contact you and how they will keep you informed of potential buyers. If you’re going to be working with one of their associates at times, you should know.

How Familiar Are They With Your Neighborhood?

A real estate agent is not just marketing your home – they’re marketing your entire community. If they have closed nearby sales before, they are familiar with the selling points of the neighborhood as well as the right price range for properties similar to yours.

How Much Commission Do They Expect?

Normally you will pay the agent about 6 percent of the sale price. If you find one that offers their services for a low percentage, you should know why. Are they just trying to stay competitive? Or do they expect you to do a large share of the marketing yourself?

Do They Have A Plan?

The real estate agent should be able to tell you exactly which marketing techniques they would use for your home and how they plan to promote the listing. They should come to the table with ideas from the very beginning.

Now that you have a clearer idea of the basics, use the internet to find trusted real estate agents in your area. Then pick up the phone and begin your journey toward becoming a successful home seller today.