Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 4/20/2018

Whether youíre shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.

With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features youíre looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.

In this article, weíre going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house youíre looking at to get a better idea of whether or not itís the perfect match for you and your family.

1. Re-read the listing

If youíre like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.

Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listingís pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.

2. Do your online research

The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:

  • School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, youíll want to know what your options are for your childís education. Itís often a good idea to check out the local schoolsí websites to see what

  • Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isnít always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but itís a good place to start.

  • Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--youíll want to know whatís in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things youíll want close by.

  • Street view. While weíre on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. Youíll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.

  • Crime ratings. Donít get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area youíre moving to is a safe place

3. Donít be afraid to ask questions

If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, donít be shy when you arrive. Itís understandable that you wouldnít want to be a burden in someone elseís home. But remember--if youíre considering living there someday youíll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.

Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and donít be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 4/6/2018

The homebuying process can be stressful, particularly for those who are purchasing a house for the first time. From the time it takes to find your "dream" home to the final closing, there may be many hurdles that you'll need to overcome to secure your ideal home. As such, it sometimes can be difficult for a first-time homebuyer to maintain a positive outlook during the most challenging times.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you remain calm, cool and collected throughout the entire homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers maintain a positive outlook at each stage of the homebuying journey:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Although first-time homebuyers would like to believe the property buying journey will be quick and seamless, it is important to realize that problems can arise without notice. However, homebuyers who understand the ins and outs of purchasing a house should have no trouble identifying potential issues and minimizing their impact.

For example, a homebuyer who defines his or her ideal residence can narrow a home search accordingly. This homebuyer also will be able to check out a variety of houses based on assorted property buying criteria and boost his or her chances of discovering the perfect residence without delay.

A homebuyer who establishes realistic expectations will be ready for the worst-case scenarios too. And if this homebuyer submits an offer to purchase a home that ultimately gets rejected, he or she will remain confident and be ready to restart the homebuying cycle from stage one.

2. Become an Informed Homebuyer

A first-time homebuyer who learns about the housing market can improve his or her chances of getting the best possible results.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market, for instance, can make a world of difference for any homebuyer, at any time.

Furthermore, an informed homebuyer may be more likely than others to get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this property buyer can set a budget for his or her home search and increase the likelihood of securing a terrific house at an affordable price.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a home for the first time, why should a homebuyer leave anything to chance? Instead, a homebuyer can work with a real estate agent to reduce the risk of potential pitfalls throughout the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent is happy to respond to a homebuyer's concerns and questions as the property buying journey progresses. This housing market professional will even help a homebuyer maintain a positive outlook, regardless of what happens. That way, a real estate agent can assist a homebuyer through both good times and bad and ensure a property buyer can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

Take advantage of these tips, and any first-time homebuyer can keep things positive at each stage of the homebuying cycle.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/30/2018

Although a home seller has already accepted your home offer, you'll want to employ a diligent home inspector to examine a residence before you finalize a purchase agreement. By doing so, you can identify any potential home problems that you might have missed during an initial house showing. Plus, a home inspection will allow you to find out if a home requires extensive repairs or maintenance and if you'll need to modify or rescind your original offer.

Hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for homebuyers. However, finding the ideal home inspector sometimes can be difficult, particularly for homebuyers who want to speed through the homebuying process.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help you do just that:

1. Review a Home Inspector's Qualifications

Learning about a home inspector's experience and skills is paramount. And if you devote the necessary time and resources to understand a home inspector's qualifications, you'll be able to find out if this individual is the right person to assess a residence.

Typically, you should try to find a home inspector who boasts construction and building maintenance expertise. Depending on where your home is located or your residence's condition, you also may need to find a home inspector who understands how to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint and other potentially hazardous conditions.

Be sure to conduct an in-depth evaluation of several home inspectors before you make your final decision. This will enable you to hire a top-notch home inspector who can help you identify and resolve any home issues before you conclude your home purchase.

2. Evaluate Sample Reports from a Home Inspector

Ask a home inspector to provide samples of past home inspection reports Ė you'll be glad you did! By getting copies of past home inspection assessments, you can better understand how an individual approaches a home inspection.

For example, does a home inspector provide clear information in his or her reports? And does the inspector offer notes that highlight home problems? Take a close look at a home inspector's past reports, and you can find out whether this individual takes a basic or comprehensive approach to his or her work.

3. Get Home Inspector Insights from Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent may prove to be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. As such, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home inspectors who have your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to conduct a thorough inspection of a property.

In many instances, your real estate agent may be able to offer multiple home inspector recommendations. This professional also can provide details about what to expect during a home inspection and how to handle any home problems that you might encounter as part of a home assessment.

A home inspection may seem like a tall task, but with a great home inspector at your disposal, you can improve your chances of obtaining the ideal residence.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 1/21/2018

The process of closing on a home can seem lengthy and complex if itís your first time buying or selling a house. There are several costs and fees required to close on a home, and while itís up to the individuals to decide who covers what costs, there are some conventions to follow.

In this article, weíre going to talk about closing costs for selling a house and signing on a mortgage. Weíll discuss who pays what, and whether there is room for negotiation within the various fees and expenses.

But first, letís talk a little bit about what closing costs are and what to expect when you start the process of buying or selling a home.

Closing costs, simplified

If youíre just now entering the real estate market, the good news is you can often estimate your closing costs based on the value of the property in question. You can ask your real estate agent relatively early on in the process for a ballpark figure of your costs.

Closing costs will vary depending on the circumstances of your sale and the area you live in. In some cases, closing costs can be bundled into your mortgage, such as in ďNo Closing Cost Mortgages.Ē However, avoiding having to deal with closing costs often comes at the expense of a slightly higher interest rate.

If you are planning to buy a house and have recently applied for a mortgage, laws require that your lender sends you an estimate of your closing costs within a few days of your application.

Now that we know how closing costs work, letís take a look at who plays what.

Buyer closing costs

In terms of the sheer number of closing costs, buyers tend to have the most to deal with. Fortunately, your real estate agent will help you navigate these costs and simplify the process.

They can range from two to five percent of the cost of the sale price of the home. However, be sure to check with your lender for the closest estimate of your closing costs. Itís a good idea to shop around for mortgage lenders based on interest rates as well as closing costs charged by the lender.

Here are some of the costs you might be asked to pay as a home buyer:

  • Appraisal fees

  • Attorney fees

  • Origination fees

  • Prepaid interest or discount points

  • Home inspection fee

  • Insurance and Escrow deposits

  • Recording fees

  • Underwriting fees

Seller Closing Costs

While the seller pays a larger amount of closing costs, sellers still have obligations at closing that can be just as expensive. The biggest expense for sellers is to pay the real estate commission. Commission usually falls in the vicinity of 6% of the sale price of the home. This covers the commission of both the sellerís and the buyerís real estate agents. 


The main takeaway? Buyers and sellers both share the burden of closing costs. While the buyer has more expenses to take care of, the seller pays for the largest costs.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 12/31/2017

Once you have gone through the pre-approval process and have narrowed down your home search, thereís a good chance youíll soon find a place that you want to make an offer on. This can seem like a huge step for any first time homebuyer. Even seasoned home buyers feel butterflies when the time comes to make an offer on a home they love. Before you even start your home search, you should become educated on how to make a good offer in order to land the property that you really want. Thereís so many factors that effect your offer including the surrounding properties and the current state of the market. Here are a few very important pieces of advice that you should heed in order to have a successful time securing a home and closing the deal. 

Craft A Persuasive Offer

In many areas thereís a low inventory of homes and a high number of those seeking to buy. This means that youíre not guaranteed to get a property that you have made an offer on. Lowball offers might not be at all competitive and even insulting to sellers in certain markets. Often, you may need to make an offer of more than the asking price if youíre in love with a home. By working with your real estate agent and doing the right research, you can craft an offer on a home that will be compelling for sellers.    

Decide On Your Contingencies 

Once an offer has been accepted, itís time to get to work on those contingencies. Be especially mindful of financing contingencies. If something falls through in the process, youíll want to be sure you can get the deposit you made back. Also keep in mind that sellers love reliable buyers who have already been preapproved.  

Home inspection contingencies are another area of importance. After you sign the purchase agreement and the inspection is complete, youíre allowed to ask the seller to make repairs or provide you with a counter offer. While this can be one of the more nerve-wracking aspects of home buying, it has many positives. Home inspections protect buyers from purchasing a home that they canít live with in cases of extreme mold, termites and other environmental and structural issues. 

The appraisal contingency is also important. In order for you to qualify for a loan, the property must be appraised. The property must be valued at or above the purchase price. A loan will only be approved by a lender up to the appraised value. If your home loan is $400,000 but your home of choice is appraised at $390,000, youíll have a problem.       

Your Finances Matter Until You Get To The Closing Table

Donít go crazy with all kinds of purchases before you reach the closing table. Opening a new credit account at your favorite furniture store, for example, could lead to a disastrous surprise on closing day. Hold off on big purchases until after you secure your home. Also avoid making large transfers or deposits from your bank account. donít do anything to negatively affect your credit score

  

Know What To Bring To The Closing

Donít show up to the closing for your home purchase unprepared. Youíll need to have the following items: 


  • Photo ID
  • Checkbook
  • Cosigners 



Think Ahead


Be sure that you think of the future when youíre purchasing your home. Youíll need to have enough cash flow to pay for things like property taxes, home insurance, utility bills and even new furniture for your home. Plan your future mortgage payments accordingly. Some companies have payments that are monthly or bimonthly. 


While buying a home is a huge undertaking, with the right plans in place, the process will be as seamless as possible. With the right plans, the moving truck will be pulling into the driveway before you know it.      




Categories: Uncategorized