Darlene Alferes' Blog
Many home buyers have lots of questions as they go through the buying process, especially first-time buyers. Whether you’re looking for a $50,000 house or a multi-million dollar luxury home, the questions are often the same.
How Much House Can I Afford?
Lenders use several factors in determining whether to loan you money, including your credit score, loan-to-value and debt-to-income. If you are self-employed, you could make $400,000 per year and still not afford a $150,000 home. Lenders look at your income, and if you are self-employed like many luxury home buyers, you use tax deductions and expenses to your benefit. However, doing that lowers your adjusted net income. If your adjusted net income plus depreciation doesn’t meet the debt-to-income bar for the lender, you won’t qualify for the loan. People in this situation need to find a lender who will lend based on bank statements instead of tax returns.
How Convenient Is This Location?
Luxury home buyers often have location concerns. You travel more and have more people — friends and relatives — visit. That means you need a home location that is convenient for travel. If travel convenience is a concern, ask your real estate agent about the distance to the airport, the ability to rent limos, and other travel concerns.
How Much Down Payment Do I Need?
Most loans require 20 percent down if you do not want to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, if you are buying a multi-million dollar luxury home, that might be difficult if you don’t have liquid assets. Before you start looking, get a pre-approval from a jumbo lender, including the amount the lender requires with and without PMI. You can adjust the amount you are willing to spend or take the time to liquidate assets to get the down payment if you have your heart set on a home that requires a high down payment.
What Does My Credit Score Need to Be?
Conventional loans have a cap, which changes depending on your location and whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increases that cap. If your mortgage is going to be higher than that cap, you will need to take out a jumbo loan unless you put enough down so that you are financing an amount below the cap. When you take out a jumbo loan, you are at a higher risk to the lender, so you have to jump through more hoops, including having a higher credit score.
If you are applying for a conventional loan, especially a loan backed by the VA, Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac, your credit score could be as low as 500. However, with a jumbo loan, your score must be at least 680. Some jumbo lenders require scores as high as 720.
Looking to buy or sell a house in the near future? Hire a real estate agent, and you should have no trouble achieving the best possible homebuying or home selling results.
Ultimately, there are many great reasons to trust a real estate agent throughout the homebuying or home selling journey, including:
1. A real estate agent boasts comprehensive industry experience.
When it comes to buying or selling a house, there is no reason to work alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who possess extensive industry experience and understand what it takes to buy or sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
An experienced real estate agent is easy to find – all you have to do is search.
With a simple online search, you can discover dozens of qualified real estate agents in your area. Then, you can reach out to local real estate agents and find one who can help you navigate the homebuying or home selling journey.
2. A real estate agent can help you accelerate the process of buying or selling a home.
The process of buying or selling a house can be time-consuming. Conversely, a real estate agent understands what it takes to streamline the homebuying or home selling cycle.
For a homebuyer, a real estate agent will help this individual discover a great home in no time at all. In fact, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new houses as they become available and ensure a homebuyer can narrow his or her home search. That way, a real estate agent will make it simple for a homebuyer to quickly and effortlessly complete the property buying process.
On the other hand, a real estate agent will help a home seller add a property to the real estate market and optimize the property's value. This housing market professional will even negotiate with homebuyers on a home seller's behalf to boost a seller's chances of generating a profit from a home sale.
3. A real estate agent knows how to handle tough situations.
Buying or selling a house should be a fast, seamless process. However, this rarely, if ever, is the case.
Luckily, a real estate agent knows how to handle difficult situations and ensure a homebuyer or home seller can overcome assorted hurdles. He or she can help an individual alleviate stress and proceed with confidence throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.
If you need a helping hand as you get ready to buy or sell a house, it pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is a real estate expert, and as such, will do whatever it takes to help you accomplish your homebuying or home selling goals.
Employ a real estate agent today – you'll be happy you did. With a real estate agent at your side, you can increase your chances of enjoying a successful homebuying or home selling journey.
85 Bridge Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
85 Bridge Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
While the hurricane season may still be a couple of seasons away, now is a great time to start thinking about how best to protect your home in the event of a hurricane, tornado, or similar high wind storm situation. During high wind situations, windows can easily become broken as a result of flying debris and, once broken, that debris and window shards can cause a significant safety issue and increase the risks of other types of property damage. So protect your home, your belongings, and, most importantly, your family by considering the following preventative measures of protecting your windows during hurricane watches and other storms:
Protecting Your Windows During Hurricane Watches
Install storm shutters. When your home is in the line of a hurricane watch or other big storm, one of the most important things you'll be advised to do is to install plywood over your windows to prevent flying debris from shattering them. Obviously, should you live in an area with frequent storms, this can get tedious. So instead, consider the more permanent solution of installing storm shutters. Storm shutters come in a variety of styles, all of which are designed to allow homeowners to easily cover their windows with a more protective shield in the event of high winds.
Upgrade to hurricane impact windows. Upgrading to hurricane impact windows is perhaps the safest thing a homeowner can do in preparation of storm season. Impact windows are incredibly durable windows that are made out of multiple layers of tempered glass and have the added benefit of being incredibly insulated for both sound and climate.
Looking to Sell Your Home?
Both storm shutters and hurricane impact windows are great investments homeowners can make to improve the value of their home as, after all, what family doesn't want to live in a safer, more durable home? And if you're ready to sell feel free to reach out, so we can start your home selling journey together.