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First Time Home Buyers | Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2020   /   by Charlotte Rose

Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process?

You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.


According to a recent survey from realtor.com, many buyers are making the mistake of skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process:




“Of over 2,000 active home shoppers who plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months, only 52% obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search, which means nearly half of home buyers are missing this crucial piece of paperwork.”



This paperwork (the pre-approva ...

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  home buying, first time home buyers, interest rates, preapproval

Thursday, August 13, 2020   /   by Charlotte Rose

Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers

In July, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 3% for the first time in history.1 And while many Americans have rushed to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, others question the hype. Are today’s rates truly a bargain?
 
While average mortgage rates have drifted between 4% and 5% in recent years, they haven’t always been so low. Freddie Mac began tracking 30-year mortgage rates in 1971. At that time, the national average was 7.31%.2 As the rate of inflation started to rise in the mid-1970s, mortgage rates surged. It’s hard to imagine now, but the average U.S. mortgage rate reached a high of 18.63% in 1981.3
 
Fortunately for home buyers, inflation normalized by October 1982, which sent mortgage rates on a downward trajectory that would bring them as low as 3.31% in 2012.3 Since 2012, 30-year fixed rates have risen modestly, with the daily average climbing as high as 4.94% in 2018.4
 
So what’s causing today’s ...

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  sellers, home buying, first time home buyers, value, what'smyhomeworth, interest rates

Thursday, August 13, 2020   /   by Charlotte Rose

Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

Traditionally, spring is one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. However, the coronavirus outbreak—and subsequent stay-at-home orders—led many buyers and sellers to put their moving plans on hold. In April, new listings fell nearly 45%, and sales volume fell 15% compared to last year.1
 
Fortunately, as restrictions have eased, we’ve seen an uptick in market activity. And economists at Realtor.com expect a rebound in July, August, and September, as fears about the pandemic subside, and buyers return to the market with pent-up demand from a lost spring season.2
 
But given safety concerns and the current economic climate, is it prudent to jump back into the real estate market?
 
Before you decide, it’s important to consider where the housing market is headed, how it could impact your timeline and ability to buy a home, and your own individual needs and circumstances.
 
 
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR THE HOUSING MARKET?
& ...

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  sellers, home buying, first time home buyers, value, what'smyhomeworth, interest rates

Saturday, December 28, 2019   /   by Charlotte Rose

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

Are you searching for new and innovative gift ideas this holiday season? If so, check out our list of the hottest home technology offerings. We’ve selected a few of our favorites for every room in the house.


These smart systems and devices add comfort, convenience, and a “cool factor” that will delight your friends and family.  So think about who you know that loves the latest gadgets … or add a few of these to your own wish list!


 


ENTRYWAY


Ensure the safety of your loved ones with these smart security upgrades.


 


Smart Lighting


Ring, a company best known for its video doorbells, has added smart lights to its series of integrated devices. The Ring Smart Light System includes motion sensors, pathlights, spotlights, and even step lights, which can be turned on and off using voice commands when paired with an Amazon Alexa device. Users may opt to receive a notification when motion is detected on the premises, and& ...

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  sellers, home buying, first time home buyers, value

Saturday, December 28, 2019   /   by Charlotte Rose

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Home

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, shopping for a new home can feel daunting. In fact, 56% of buyers said that “finding the right property” was the most difficult step in the home buying process.1
 
Buying a home is a significant commitment of both time and money. And a home purchase has the power to improve both your current quality of life and your future financial security, so the stakes are high.
 
Follow these five steps—and complete the corresponding worksheet offered below—to assess your priorities, streamline your search, and choose your next home with confidence.
 
 
STEP 1: Set Your Goals and Priorities
 
The first step to finding your ideal home is determining WHY you want to move. Do you need more space? Access to better schools? Less maintenance? Or are you tired of throwing money away on rent when you could be building equity? Pinpointing the reasons why you want to move can help you a ...

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  sellers, home buying, first time home buyers