Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/18/2018

Ultimately, there is no surefire amount that you should spend on a house. The real estate market varies in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, the prices of houses fall across a broad range. Also, the condition and age of a house – as well as a homebuyer's budget – may dictate how much an individual is willing to spend on a particular residence.

As you search for your dream house, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Because if you have a homebuying strategy in place, you can determine exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your finances in order before you kick off a house search.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Believe it or not, your credit score may have far-flung effects on your homebuying budget. And if you fail to review your credit score before you embark on a house search, you may miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream house.

A low credit score may make it tough to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal residence. Thus, you may want to check your credit score and find ways to improve it before you begin a house search.

You won't have to break your budget to get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In fact, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the aforementioned credit bureaus. Request a copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score.

Of course, if your credit score is low, you can always improve it by paying off outstanding debt. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that provided the report so that you can get these issues corrected.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage makes it easy to enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage sooner rather than later.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. Don't hesitate to ask these specialists about assorted mortgage options, and you can select a mortgage that perfectly matches your finances.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can make it simple to pursue your dream house. This housing market professional will help you narrow the price range for your dream house and ensure you can discover the perfect house without delay. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home.

Ready to start a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can simultaneously look for your dream house and avoid the risk of paying too much to purchase your dream residence.




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Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/11/2018

If you're on the fence about whether to reject or accept an offer to purchase, it is important to remember that a third option is available: submitting a counter-offer.

Ultimately, deciding to submit a counter-offer can be a tough choice for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. But we're here to teach you about the benefits of counter-offers and ensure you feel confident to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you decide when to submit a counter-offer.

1. Assess Your Residence

Although the initial asking price for your house is not set in stone, you likely have expectations about how much you should receive for your home. But if a homebuyer submits an offer to purchase that falls below your expectations, you should assess your residence to help you make the best-possible decision.

Try to take an objective view of your home – you'll be glad you did. For instance, if you discover your home is one of many similar properties available in a buyer's market, you may want to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below your expectations. On the other hand, if you feel that your home is in great condition and you receive an offer to purchase that is short of your initial asking price, you may want to counter the proposal or reject it altogether.

2. Review the Housing Market

Housing market data can help any home seller make informed decisions throughout the property selling journey. There is plenty of housing market data at your disposal, and you should not hesitate to use it, especially when you analyze an offer to purchase.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold residences, the prices of available residences in your area that are similar to your own and other pertinent housing market data. With this information, you can gain deep insights into the housing market. Then, you can determine whether an offer to purchase falls in line with the current state of the real estate sector.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to review an offer to purchase on your own. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to perform an in-depth analysis of any offer to purchase.

A real estate agent is a house selling expert who will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you review an offer to purchase. He or she can provide a recommendation about whether to counter a homebuying proposal and explain the reasons for this recommendation as well. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions about an offer to purchase, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Should you counter an offer to purchase? The answer depends on the home seller, the real estate market and other factors. And if you use the aforementioned tips, you can perform a full evaluation of an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/4/2018

Contingencies are a great resource when it comes to both buying and selling a home. Both buyers and sellers tend to ask for certain contingencies to be included in the purchase contracts for a home. These contracts have a time limit on them to give both buyers and sellers time to get the things that the contracts state done. This time frame is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of several weeks’ time between the signing of the sales contract and the closing of the deal on the home.


Meeting And Removing Contingencies


During the time that you have between the sales agreement and the closing of the home, you’ll be working to either meet the contingencies or trying to have them removed. This can be done through renegotiating or having work orders completed. In some cases at this point the entire purchase may be called off.  


Standard Or Not?


Some contingencies are very common and it would be a bad choice to reject them. Buyer’s inspection contingencies, for example, are quite common. In this case, closing is subject to the approval of an inspection report. If a buyer really loves a property and is in the “desperate” category, they’ll often end up waiving this and take the home as is. Your realtor and attorney will be able to inform you of what types of contingencies are the norm. 


Some of the things that buyers and sellers see on these contracts are a little out of the ordinary or are less convenient. They become a matter of negotiation. Some sellers may ask that the deal is contingent upon them closing on another home. If you need a home in a hurry, you may want to reject this and request a time limit. As a buyer, you always risk failing to reach a contract with your seller when you ask for these changes. Anything that you’re able to handle in a contract is worth it if you really love the house, but there’s a balance. As a buyer, you can do the same, requesting a contingency that you sell your house before the new home is purchased. 


Financing 


Most standard home purchase contracts include a contingency that the buyer is able to secure financing to buy the home. There’s also a time frame for the intended financing to be secured. The only way to skip these contingencies is to have an all cash offer, which is pretty rare! 


Other contingencies that are almost a must include the inspection contingency and the title contingency. These protect the buyer in order to be sure that the home has a clean title and no major damage. These allow buyers to back out of a buying a home if there is more work to it than they thought. The title contingency also protects renters or squatters from selling a home that they do not own.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 9/27/2018

In today's real estate market, hardwood floors are a highly desired feature in a house. Potential buyers are often turned off by homes with carpeted floors because it's almost impossible to keep them clean. Time is not on your side when it comes to maintaining nice-looking carpeted floors!

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later someone's going to knock over a glass of grape juice or wine -- and that's only the short list of accidents waiting to happen! While dogs and cats can be a wonderful addition to any family, they are not a friend of floors -- either carpeted or hardwood.

In theory, hardwood floors are easier to clean than carpeting because of the absorbency factor. If your carpeting hasn't been treated with a stain-resistant chemical, it will quickly absorb stains, spills, and pet accidents faster than you can clean them up! Although the latest carpeting materials are much more stain resistant than earlier versions, spills that are not noticed and cleaned up quickly may cause permanent damage.

Spills, water, and pet urine can also wreak havoc on hardwood floors, so a quick response is essential to preventing damage. Here are a few other tips for keeping your floors looking clean and beautiful.

  • Door mats can be helpful in minimizing the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked into your home. What homeowners and even housekeepers sometimes forget is that door mats need to be shaken out on a regular basis. If they're not, dirt, soil, and other debris will accumulate on the mats, causing them to create more of a problem than a solution! Door mats need to be replaced periodically, too, when they become too worn down or wet to be of any use.
  • Shoe removal: This is a difficult policy to enforce, but it will make house cleaning and floor maintenance easier and more effective. Whether you're talking about carpeting or hardwood floors, shoes are invariably going to track in dirt, grime, water, mud, and other miscellaneous contaminants!
  • The right cleaning methods: Although it's always a good idea to follow manufacturer recommendations when cleaning any type of flooring, hardwood floors often need to be treated with more care than their carpeted counterparts. Since there are a lot of ways to scratch, dent, or gouge hardwood floor surfaces, it's crucial to avoid trying to scrub away spills or stains with any abrasive material. To remove potentially damaging grit, floors should be regularly cleaned with a soft dust mop or broom with soft bristles. Ideally, your vacuum cleaner should also be padded on the bottom to avoid scratching the finish of your wood floors.
While any kind of flooring can be subject to wear and tear over time, the good news is that you can take preventative steps to protect your floors and keep them looking great for many years to come!





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 9/20/2018

When you stop and think about it, there are quite a few money-saving opportunities out there that you may not be taking advantage of.

Here are a few ideas worth considering:

  • Automobile Insurance: If you haven't touched base with your insurance agent in a few years, it might pay to call or email them to review your policy. Until you ask, you never know what kind of insurance discounts you may be eligible for. For example, savings can often be obtained by taking a defensive drivers' course, purchasing your automobile and homeowners' insurance from one agency, commuting a shorter distance to work or telecommuting, or simply having a safe driving record. In some cases, you could save a chunk of money by shopping around and switching to a less expensive insurance provider.
  • Cell phone services: Make sure the cell phone service plan you have is competitive and geared to your needs and data usage patterns. With at least four major service providers to choose from (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile), it make sense to do some comparative research to make informed choices regarding prices, features, time commitments, and services. Checking out online reviews and comparing notes with friends, family, and coworkers about cell phone services can also help you save money.
  • Credit cards: If you're like many people, you probably get inundated with credit card offers, every week. Since it's such a competitive industry, some credit card offers are clearly better than others. While the most prudent approach is to limit your credit card use as much as possible, it also makes sense to seek out the best deals, the lowest interest rates, and the most favorable terms. Assuming your credit card payments are up to date and you've maintained a good credit history, it's often possible to negotiate a lower interest rate on your current credit cards, too. That alone could make it easier to pay off your balance and save money.
  • Contractors: Whether you're considering remodeling your bathroom, replacing your roof, updating your kitchen, painting or re-siding your house, waterproofing your basement, or building a backyard deck, prices can vary widely from one contractor to the next. While it's important to hire a contractor who's experienced, honest, insured, easy to work with, and dependable, there's no reason to pay exorbitant prices for good quality work. Getting at least three price estimates on projects around the house is generally a good way to ensure you're not getting overcharged. Online reviews and personal recommendations from relatives, friends, and neighbors can often point you in the direction of a good residential contractor.
One of the most important principles of smart money management is to make sure you're getting the most value for your dollar. As a consumer, you entitled to shop around, get the best deal, and be satisfied with the quality of products and services you're purchasing.







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