Tuesday, October 2, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
It was love at first site! The minute she saw the French Oak wood flooring and the granite countertops, she was sold. Despite telling herself that she’ll wait until she’s seen all the listings before deciding, when she saw the home of her dreams, she fell in love.
With a decision as weighty as a home purchase, one might think that buyers deliberate over all the pros and cons before they decide to sign on the dotted line. Yet, according to one study published by BMO Psychology of House Hunting Report, “eighty per cent (80%) of prospective buyers know if a home is right for them as soon as they step inside.” The reason? Researchers theorize that our brains process far more information in less time than we think.
Since buyers know within seconds of entering your home whether it’s The One, you’ll want to spiff up the area they will see in that time frame. Namely, your foyer.
What If Your Listing Stinks ...
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
“A correlation exists between commuting stress factors and the likelihood of suffering from burnout. But their importance varies according to the individual, the conditions in which their trips take place, and the place where the individual works,” reported Annie Barreck of the University of Montreal's School of Industrial Relations.
The average commute time to work in the U.S. is 25.4 minutes, according to the Census Bureau. But, commute times can vary widely based on location, and 10.8 million Americans travel more than an hour each way to work.
According to research by Lifehacker, each mile you live from work adds $795 per year to your commuting costs. So, for example, if you were to cut your commute from one hour to 30 minutes, you’d save a whopping $23,850 annually—which could mean you're able to spend a bit more on buying a home. But, calculate your costs here.
There are long lists of ways to improve your commute ...
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
What exactly, is a home appraisal?
When you and your REALTOR® wrote your purchase offer for a home, you most likely made your offer contingent on several items, including financing, a home inspection, and a home appraisal. These estimates of how much this house is worth are an important step in the home-buying process that can't be skipped.
Your lender will choose an appraiser: No matter where you're borrowing from, your lender will be the one to select an appraiser to evaluate this home. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal before providing a loan for the simple reason that the property serves as collateral for the loan. A lender will only approve a loan for a property that appraises for the full sale price of the home—or more.
As the buyer, you are ultimately responsible for the appraiser's fee: For most loans, a typical property appraisal takes a few hours, and costs around $300 or $500. Generally, appraisal ...
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
As my client contemplated the purchase of a property that required substantial rehabilitation, “money pit” lurked in the back of my mind. In today’s hot real estate market, you would think that just about any home for sale would bring top dollar “as is.”
The truth is, buyers will not make top offers on homes that need substantial updating or extensive repairs. Buyers are cautious about taking on an expense that might unexpectedly cost them even more in the near future.
Getting your desired offer:
Even in a seller’s market, you must take certain steps if you intend to get top dollar for your home. Here are four steps that will help a potential buyer submit your desired offer:
· Prior to listing, get a professional home inspection
Sellers who offer their home in the best possible condition get top dollar.
There are few buye ...
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
Home equity is the difference between the home's fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.
Put another way, home equity is the portion of your home that you truly “own.” Your lender doesn’t own any portion of the home – technically, you own everything – but the house is being used as collateral for your loan.
As an example, assume you purchased a house for $200,000, made a 20-percent down payment, and got a loan to cover the remaining $160,000. In this example, your home equity interest is 20 percent of the home’s value: The home is worth $200,000, and you contributed $40,000 – or 20 percent of the purchase price. You own the home, but you only “own” $40,000 worth of it.
Equity begins with the down payment you put on your home and grows slowly with each payment you make against your mortgage principal. Building equit ...