Lisa Bradley - Re/Max Vision



Posted by Lisa Bradley on 10/3/2017

Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself. Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you. Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home. Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, itís important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider. Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeownerís part. Itís important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/19/2017

When you buy a home, thereís more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when youíre in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, youíll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while youíre in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you donít feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, youíre in good hands. If the type of loan that youíre looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


Youíll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. Itís not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that youíre able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, youíre going to need some proof that youíre pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. Itís just another part of the home buying process!




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 8/15/2017

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 Lisa Bradley on 7/18/2017

When you find a home you love, you most likely will want to take the steps you can to buy it. When a home is already under contract, thereís actually a little-known strategy that can be used to help you have a chance at getting the property. 


When you make a backup offer, youíre doing all of the same things youíd do under normal circumstances. The only difference between a normal offer and a backup offer is that youíre not guaranteed to get the home. The first deal needs to fall through in order for you to have a shot.


Advantages To Backup Offers


The backup offer is a bit of a stretch, but it still does give you a little bit of a chance to get a home. When a backup offer is in place, the home wonít just go back on the market if something falls through. This is especially smart when it comes to lower inventory markets. When a home is re-listed, youíll need to compete against other buyers. If a bidding war is initiated, the homeís price will keep going up. The backup offer being in place helps the seller to feel secure in the sale of their home one way or another. If for any reason the first buyer falls through, youíll be able to swoop in and get the home yourself.


Timing Is Everything


Keep in mind that thereís a certain period of time before a deal needs to be closed on for a home. The original buyer will need to close the deal on the home in an average of 50 days. Knowing the time frame that youíll need to wait around for a decision is helpful for you in your own search for a home.


You can also have your agent check in with the listing agent for the property on a frequent basis. This lets the agent ad seller know that you have a keen interest in the property in case there are any difficulties coming from the other side of the deal. 


If The First Deal Doesnít Go Through


If the first deal on a home does fall through, youíre not the new owner of the home just yet. Thereís always a possibility that the first buyers found some very difficult problems with the home during the inspection. These could be big issues like an issue with the roof or the foundation of the home. Be sure to include a home inspection contingency with your contract so that you can have your own inspection conducted. This way, youíll know if there are any problems with the home and that you will be able to deal with them.


A backup offer can be a great tool to use in tight markets to help you get a home that you love. Itís always a good idea to proceed with caution in any home deal to make a sound financial decision.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 5/30/2017

When youíre searching for a house, the location is often key. Maybe you have found homes in your desired city or town. Yet, all homes are not created equal. Locations arenít created equal either. Thereís advantages and disadvantages to the type of street that a home is on. If youíre on a main road, you may have more accessibility to what you need, but traffic noise could be a negative aspect of this living situation. Living on a cul-de-sac gives you the best of both worlds. You can be in your desired location, but also enjoy some peace and quiet. Your kids will even have a fairly safe space to play on without worry on your part about traffic conditions. Hereís some of the best reasons to find a property on a cul-de-sac:


Thereís No Through Traffic


No one will be using your street as a shortcut for anything, since itís a dead end! This provides a safety net for you as youíll know the types of vehicles that should be on the street at any given time. Neighbors can be mindful if they happen to see strange people or vehicles lingering in the neighborhood. This allows streets with dead ends to have lower crime rates. Everyone is more alert, because thereís generally so little happening on the street that any activity is noticeable. Criminals also tend to shy away from these types of neighborhoods due to the fact that people are much more aware.  


Itís Better For Children


You always need to watch your children and teach them basic safety rules. Living on a cul-de-sac may actually help relieve a bit of the burden in allowing your children to play more freely. Cars that are traveling down the street wonít be doing so as fast. Your children will be visible right form your home as well.  


Also, since everyone lives so close together and basically in a visible range of one another itís easier to develop neighborhood friendships. Children will be able to play with other kids their own age and have a common meeting spot- at the end of the street! Even as a parent, youíll have a better opportunity to get to know other parents and meet up with those in the neighborhood. Thereís just something about living on a dead-end street that allows for a more tight-knit community.


Home Values Rise


All of the positive things that we have emphasized here about living on a cul-de-sac are part of the reason these properties keep their high values. With better curb appeal, more safety, and a strong sense of a community, itís hard to pass up a chance to live on a cul-de-sac.




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