First Time Home Buyer

Yesterday I was talking to a young couple about purchasing a home in the next couple years.  We discussed a few things like if they knew what their credit ways like.  He said that he thinks it is 580 or so.  I told them that as a first time home buyer, there are many tools to get you into a new home.  However; they need to bring that credit score up.  First, you need to get your credit report so you know the good, the bad, and the ugly.  From there you will be able to evaluate and bring that score to the required minimum of 640.  

The Federal Housing Administration offers first time home buyers loans with very little down payment.  Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% down.  There are even home loans from the USDA in the outlying areas.  USDA loans have to meet income restrictions and also property location restrictions.  USDA loans offer no payment to help get the new buyer into the home, just a service fee which is currently about 1%.  

Be sure to ask me for recommendations on lenders.  Not all lenders are the same.  I can recommend ones that I have worked with in the past that are honest, professional and in compliance with required laws.  Unfortunately there are lenders out there that prey on unexerienced buyers.  We don't want you to encounter those.

Please call me if you have any questions, even if you have already purchased.  I am here to help!  

Leaking roof?
By Chris
November 9, 2016

Imagine this.  You are walking into the house after a long day.  It has been raining off and on for a few days.  You come in, drop your keys on the kitchen counter and see stain on your ceiling or coming down the wall.  AHHHH!  There are a wide range of issues that this can lead to.  You must act quickly!  This is a major issue!

Mold is the first one that comes to mind.  Mold can not only grow on the drywall that you see stained, but it can also be an issue in the attic or space between your ceiling and the roof.  According to the CDC, mold can cause to nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, and eye and skin irritation.  Mold can even be more hazardous to immune compromized individuals, the elderly and children.

Water damage can also cause to the structure itself.  If water comes in contact with any electrical wiring, it could cause a fire.  If the water damage is not resolved, it may cause wood rot which can weaken the structure and could invite wood destroying insects.  I have encountered homes which have had sagging roofs, bowing walls, and rotting floors.  These are thing that you do not want in your investment.

Now is the time to act.  You need to call a professional to come out and inspect to determine the proper steps.  They will determine what is causing the leak and what needs repaired and how to dry everything out.  Now, take a deep breath, you can get through this.

How to Improve Your Credit Score
By Chris
November 6, 2016

Information About Your Credit


Your credit score is unique and individual as you; it is your history.  It reflects your payment pattern over time with an emphasis on recent history.  First you have to know where you stand.  The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers.  You are entitled to get your credit report for free once every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting companies.  You can order at which is the only authorized website according to the Federal Trade Commission.  You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.  When you get your credit report, you will then be able to see the good and the bad on your report. You will then be able to focus on improving your score and your history.

You can help your credit most by paying your bills on time.  Any late payments or delinquent accounts have the largest impact on your credit.  Keep your balances low on revolving credit.  The higher the balance, the larger the impact to your credit.  Do not open any new accounts.  Some people think that opening new accounts or a mix of accounts can improve their score.  Most times, it does not impact your score and somtimes can harm.  You also want to pay off your debt and not just move it around.  

Paying your bills is the number one way to greatly impact your credit score.  You want to minimize outstanding debt and do not overextend yourself.  You do not need to impress anyone and you would be surprised at what you actually need verses what you want.  Refrain from using your credit or appliying for credit as much as possible.  When you apply for credit, it shows as an inquiry.  Multiple inquiries can lower your score.  

It takes time to impact and improve your score.  Again, the most important thing is to pay all your bills on time.  You have to establish the good history.  If you have years of bad history, just paying your bills on time for 6 months, will not erase that bad history.  Delinquencies and public record iteems remain on your credit for 7 years.  Bankruptcies and unpaid tax leins can remain for 10 years.  Just keep paying and limit your usage of credit lines.  Just keep at it.  You can do it!

Be careful when closing or combining credit lines.  It can help because it lowers the amount of accounts that you have.  However, it can hurt because reduce the amount of available credit.  This can increase the balance to limit ratio, which generally lowers your credit score.  Many financial experts and advisors will recommend paying off the credit line then closing it out if you are no longer wanting to use the line.  But also the length of accounts can also impact the credit.

Is your home worth the asking price?
By Chris
November 5, 2016

Is your home worth the asking price?


When purchasing your home with a mortgage, you lender will order an appraisal on the home or property.  This appraisal will determine how much the lender is willing to give you to buy that particular piece of property.  This is a vital step and one that often confuses both the buyer and the seller.  The appraiser is a state licensed professional that will come to your property and will determine any upgrades or deficiencies that a home may have and how it could impact the value.  They also will compare the home to others that are currently on the market in your area.  They will also analyze data from recently sold homes to compare features, land size, home size, age of structure, any upgrades and so much more.   This appraisal typically costs a buyer $300-700, which is part of the closing costs.  


There may be times when a home is listed or under contract for an amount much higher than what the home appraises.  This happens and should not be reason to panic.  As your agent, I would look to determine why this occurred.  Were there deficiencies which impacted the value?  Are these items that the seller can correct?  Was the information correct?  I have seen once that the appraiser had incorrect square footage which could greatly impact value.  


If the appraisal is low and correct, the buyer has a few options.  The buyers can try to renegotiate the sales price.  This requires they buyer and the seller to agree and sign new documentation.  The buyers can terminate the contract and look for a new property.  This too will require signed documentation.  Or the buyers can choose to pay the difference at closing;  this will required lender approval and documentation as well.


I hope that this helps explain the appraisal process.  And I am always here to answer any questions and of course help you buy and sell!  



Just say no to Air Fresheners!
By Chris
November 3, 2016

I once worked an open house where literally every outlet had an air freshener plugged in....Don't kill the deal before you even get an offer!

The following is from Pillar to Post Home Inspections:
In more than one instance, the home inspector as well as the potential buyer walked into the home where the owner had plugged in several air fresheners, both the home inspector and the potential buyer had to leave the home as both were immediately impacted by headaches and sinus flare up. In one situation, a home owner had plugged in (14) of the air fresheners around the home, the potential buyer cancelled the contract before the home inspector could even get started as this situation cast a light on the home as to "what is going on here, what are they hiding"?

Many over the counter, synthetic air fresheners contain some very questionable chemicals, Phthalates, Parabens, Formaldehyde, Benzene and Petrochemicals. This could be a concern in many ways, one possible situation would be a potential buyer or buyer's family member that suffers from Asthma or other breathing issue might be at risk when entering the potential home.

During the home sale period, it might be best to shy away from commercial, synthetic type air fresheners and rely on more homemade or natural air fresheners like baking soda, vinegar or coffee just to name a few, see the link to the article that explores this and much more, click this LINK. (…/the-great-air-freshener-sca…)

In closing, while many sellers and their agents mean well, having a home with a good aroma is always a plus during the sale process, it might be good to consider alternatives that have a much lower chance of causing issues with those that are sensitive, and if synthetic air fresheners are used, extreme moderation may be a good rule of thumb.​­​