5 Top Tips For Purchasing Your New Colorado Springs Home

5 Tips For Purchasing Your New HomeIt’s a great time to buy a new home because there are quite a few Colorado Springs homes for sale and interest rates have continued to stay comparatively low.

Whether it’s your first time purchasing real estate or you’re a seasoned professional, here are a few tips to make shopping for a new house more pleasurable.

1. Get Help

Searching through all of the available properties on the market can be mind-boggling.

Find a professional real estate agent to help guide you through the homes for sale and select one that meets your family and financial needs.

2. Start Looking Now

Finding the perfect house can take longer than you might think, especially if you’re looking in a competitive market.

If you’re looking at getting a good deal on a foreclosure or short sale, then these transactions can take even longer because you’re likely waiting on the bank to make the final call on your purchase transaction.

Try to be patient. The more thorough you are in your search, the happier you’ll be in the long term.

3. Dont Settle For The First Place You See

Searching for a house can be extremely emotional.

If you think you’ve found the one, then take a step back, consult your real estate agent and go over your housing checklist one last time before writing an offer.

4. Weigh The Pros And Cons

Almost any property will need a few improvements; even newly constructed houses usually need improvements like landscaping.

Sellers are more savvy now about how to make cosmetic changes to catch a buyer’s eye, so look carefully.

There will still be things you want to change, so weigh the difference between the cost of those repairs and the sales price of the home.

If you really want a house even though it’s going to take a lot of work, make your offer accordingly.

5. Make Sure Your Financing Is In Order

Having financing done in advance makes the process of buying homes for sale much easier because you’ll know how much you can afford.

Your loan officer can also help you determine what your monthly payments will be based on how much money you borrow.

A great first step is to consult with a licensed mortgage financing specialist to go over the available programs and terms available in the area.

Call us today.

 

Rising Sales Prices Are Excellent News For Homeowners In Colorado Springs

Existing Home Sales Up March 2013

The National Association of REALTORS® released its monthly Existing Home Sales report on March 21 and gave investors and home sellers something to cheer about.

While February sales of existing homes didn’t meet investor forecasts of 5.00 million homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, the actual number of existing (previously owned) homes came close at 4.98 million homes sold.

This number surpassed January’s revised reading of 4.94 million homes sold by 0.8 percent.

Sales of existing homes comprise approximately 85 to 90 percent of homes sold in the U.S.

Investors watch existing home sales for evaluating housing markets and short-term economic trends related to home purchases such as goods and services associated with home ownership.

Existing Home Sales Up For 20 Consecutive Months

Existing home sales have increased by 10.2 percent as compared to 4.52 million existing home sales for February 2012, and have increased for 20 consecutive months.

A short supply of homes available for sale and better job prospects are creating more demand for homes.

In February, available homes increased to a 4.7 month supply of homes, which is up from January’s 4.3 month supply of available homes, the lowest number since May of 2005.

With that said, current listed inventory of homes is 19.2 percent below last year’s 6.4 month supply of available homes.

Increasing demand for existing homes also suggests growing competition between buyers for available homes.

Mortgage Rates Remain Near Historic Lows Increasing Affordability For Home Buyers

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before making an offer on a Colorado Springs home can help buyers, as sellers know that pre-approved buyers won’t have potential delays related to the mortgage approval process.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports that the national median selling price for existing homes of all types was $173,600, which is up 11.6 percent year-over-year.

This suggests that potential homebuyers may want to act now as mortgage rates typically increase along with home prices.

Regional Average Selling Prices Show Positive Results For February

  • Northeast: The median selling price was $238,800, 7.6 percent higher than for February 2012.
  • Midwest: The median selling price was $129,900, which is 7.7 percent above the median selling price in February 2012.
  • South: The median selling price was $150,500. This represents a 9.3 percent increase since February 2012.
  • West: The median selling price was $237,700, a substantial increase of 22.7 percent over February 2012.

Multiple buyer bidding and limited inventory choices are fueling higher prices for existing homes, particularly in the West.

This is the strongest year-to-year rate of growth since November 2005, when existing home prices had increased by 12.9 percent as compared to the previous 12 months.

Improve Your Credit Score To Get Better Mortgage Rates

For home buyers in Colorado Springs, Woodland Park and nationwide, credit scores can change low mortgage rates and alter home loan approvals.Credit score FICO improvement

Borrowers with high credit scores get access to lower mortgage rates, for example, and can find the mortgage approval process to be more smooth that borrowers with low credit scores.

If your credit score is low, here are some basic ways to help improve it.

Get The Reports
Download an updated version of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The reports may mirror each other, but credit accounts — especially derogatory ones — sometimes don’t appear on all three. Ordering reports from all three bureaus is a safety step. Note that the credit bureaus each use different scoring models so your credit scores will vary.

Check For Errors
Yes, credit reports can have errors in them. Should you find any items on any of the three credit reports which, in your opinion, do not belong or are erroneous, contact the credit bureau regarding removal. Errors on a credit report must be addressed with each bureau individually.

Pay Up 
Or, rather, pay down. Be diligent about paying down your credit card balances in order to lower the percentage of your credit line(s) in use. In general, aim for a 30% ratio or less. An added benefit of paying down debt is that it can lower your total monthly debt load, which can increase your maximum home purchase price.

For items which are harming your score, such as a 30-day or 60-day mortgage late payments, medical collection items, and/or judgments, consider writing a brief letter which explains the circumstance of the derogatory credit event. Such a letter won’t help your score to improve, but it can help your lender to make better credit decisions, which can aid in “exceptions”, if required.

Making even minor changes to an overall credit profile can yield measurable long-term results. It can also result in lower mortgage rates.

What Are My VA Guaranteed Mortgage Benefits

A VA (Veterans Administration) guaranteed home loan is the preferred loan program for active, non-active, Reserve, National Guard, and retired military of the armed forces because there is no down payment needed and no private monthly mortgage insurance required.

VA mortgage loans can be used towards purchasing a home, building a home, or refinancing an existing mortgage.

We will discuss what role the VA plays in a VA guaranteed mortgage, the benefits of a VA home loan, who is eligible for a VA loan, and the documentation you will need to present to your lender in order to apply.

Did you know that more than 27 million veterans and service personnel are eligible for VA financing, yet many aren’t aware it may be possible for them to buy homes again with VA financing using remaining or restored loan entitlement?

VA Does Not Offer Loans Directly and Does Not Guaranty You Will Qualify.

The VA does not actually lend the money to you directly. They offer a guaranty to a lender that if you should default on the loan, they will pay the lender a percentage of the loan balance.

*The word GUARANTY does not actually guarantee the veteran will qualify for a VA home loan.

Primary Benefits of a VA Mortgage:

  • 100% financing
  • No monthly private mortgage insurance is required
  • There is a limitation on buyers’ closing costs
  • The loan is assumable, subject to VA approval of the assumer’s credit
  • 30 year fixed loan
  • Seller can pay up to 4% of the veterans closing costs and even pay down they buyer’s debt to help lower their debt-to-income ratio
  • Interest rates are similar to FHA rates
  • You don’t need perfect credit

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: My parent is a veteran. Can I obtain a VA loan if I have not served in the military myself?

No, the VA loan benefit does not extend to a veteran’s children.

Q: What is required to prove my record of military service?

You will be required to us Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, to apply for proof of military service.

Q: My spouse who has passed away was an eligible veteran. I am eligible for the home loan benefit myself?

A surviving spouse is eligible if they have not remarried, and the eligible veteran died during active duty service or as a result of a service-related disability.

Q: Is a VA loan better than a conventional mortgage?

In many cases, yes. VA guaranteed loans often offer a lower interest rate than conventional mortgages, they do not require monthly private mortgage insurance when borrowing more than 80% of a home’s value, and they can be easier to get approved for.

Q: How long does it take to get approved for a VA loan?

It varies depending on the current workload of your lender, but it is typically the same as for conventional mortgages – 3 weeks to 45 days.

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