Lisa Bradley - Re/Max Vision



Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/17/2019

Here are five things you need to put in check before putting your house out for sale:

Curb appeal and Entrance

The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" does not apply to real estate. Both the front and back of the home should be eye-catching. Making sure to mow the lawn, plant flowers, ensure paint is fresh, and the door is free from cobwebs or dirt, check that screens aren't sagging or broken and that the porch is clean and free from debris.

Paint

Applying a new coat of paint will make your house look fresh, clean and updated. It's like a bit of skincare for your walls and will cover all the cracks, chips, and the occasional dent. Before you paint, cover any holes with putty and sand them smooth, and for more significant damage, spray texture to make it look less noticeable. Also, don't forget to look up; if your ceiling looks old, give it a fresh coat of paint as well.

Floors

Flooring gets the most wear of all the parts of your house. If your flooring is begging for some personal care, consider doing so before you put your house on the market. Carpets should be free from stains or damage; tile and hardwood should be clean and free from cracks. Make certain linoleum is clean and free from holes or gouges. Replacing the flooring in the entire house is not advisable unless necessary. Do replace flooring in high traffic areas. If you are in the market to put a new floor in, hardwood is the gold standard for what buyers want most of the time, and there are a variety of cost options for most budgets. 

Roof

Buyers aren't just in the market for a roof over their head; they are looking for a roof that doesn't leak, sag, or need a ton of repairs. If your roof doesn't need a complete overhaul, make sure that there aren't any shingles that need replacing. While you are up there, it is also a great time to clean out those gutters and caulk them.

Windows

New windows are expensive, but nothing takes an older home up a few notches above average than new windows. If you can't afford to put new windows in, make sure that they are cleaned inside and out by a professional to help them look their best. Look at the sills and if they are cracked or yellowing, paint them. Lastly, make sure that the blinds are clean and in good condition. If they aren't, consider replacing the window coverings to make them look top-notch. 

To get a good profit off your home after selling it, you have to ensure a proper and thorough refurbishing. Speak to a real estate agent in your neighborhood on how to get the best value for your home.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/10/2019

While working from home and making your own schedule, either freelance or as a contract worker, allows for a particular type of freedom and control of schedules, a dress codes, income limitations, and your life, when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, your 1099-MISC status comes with some drawbacks.

The so-called “gig-economy” places workers squarely in the “self-employed” column with its tax breaks that reduce the bottom line, letting you keep more of the money you work for. Unfortunately, the mortgage banking industry has not completely caught up to the new reality. The challenge is differing between “provable” income while retaining the tax advantages of self-employment.

Conventional Mortgage Lenders

Typically, the mortgage industry bases your credit-worthiness on provable income. Underwriters (the folks tasked with determining your creditworthiness) use W-2 forms and tax returns to qualify homebuyers for a conventional loan. Without these standard forms, proving your income is difficult for many self-employed would-be homeowners.

Conventional lenders follow a prescribed formula to prove income and credit-worthiness, so many mortgage underwriters merely look at your after-tax and post-deduction income. The result for 1099 workers is a lower provable income than the reality of most entrepreneurs or self-employed workers situation. Certain expenses such as one-time investments in equipment or product, and some depletions or deductions for your existing home, add back into your income on paper, but qualifying with 1099 income requires extra effort on your part. 

Unconventional Mortgage Lenders

Conventional lenders offer conventional loans. These are loans qualified for selling on to FreddieMac or FannieMae. Alternative loans—those provided by smaller lenders and investors that hope to realize a better return than a conventional loan offers—might be a more likely option for the self-employed. These loans are not without some added risk. To make them attractive to investors, the interest rate on non-conforming loans typically is higher, and down-payment requirements might be higher as well. Some alternative mortgages with lower interest rates or lower down-payments might be available to self-employed borrowers with exceptionally great credit or an extensive portfolio. 

Qualifying

Plan two years in advance: position yourself to qualify for a loan. Once you know where you stand, you can work to move into better condition to qualify. Organize your books and keep accurate financial records. You need to prove your income, so use an invoicing system to show receivables. Often, lenders want to look at two or more years of both tax returns and bank statements. They want to see an average over 24 months to determine your annual income and your ability to pay your mortgage. Keep profit and loss statements, expense reports and a balance sheet. If your accounting is complicated, get professional help. Utilizing a professional bookkeeper and CPA might just save you money and show you have solid business intent.

Save up a more substantial down payment: The more you put down, the less you need to borrow. Showing consistent savings also proves your ability to set money aside and prioritize savings and spending.

Improve your credit score: Sometimes it seems your credit score doesn’t make sense. After all, the calculations and formulas used remain a mystery. You can make significant strides in increasing your score though, by paying attention to two things: payment history and credit utilization. 

  • Payment history is just what it sounds like—the history of how you pay your bills. Avoid paying late and try to pay early. Your payment history makes up more than thirty-three percent of your total score.
  • Credit utilization—the ration of how much credit you have available to how much you’ve used—is another large chunk of your score. If you have a credit card with $2500 available, and you’ve only used $250 (on average) you are using just ten percent of your available credit. On the other hand, if your card only has $250 available and you’ve used just $125 you have used half of the available credit. The higher the percent of your combined usage to your combined credit (all credit cards, personal loans, vehicle loans, etc.) the lower your score.
  • The remaining parts of your credit score relate to the length of time you’ve had credit, how many accounts are new, how often you apply for credit and a mix of other bits of information. To help this area, avoid applying for credit cards, car loans or personal loans (furniture, appliances, etc.) for the two years leading up to when you apply for a mortgage. When you pay off a credit card, cut up the card or put it away, but avoid closing the account. Older accounts have a higher point value compared to newer ones, even if you aren’t currently using them.

Start now working on your credit and establishing the best accounting practices to prove your income. Speak with a mortgage lender for information on what it takes to pre-qualify for a loan in your situation.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/3/2019

For those who want to conduct a successful home search, it is important to plan ahead as much as you can. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to get ready to pursue your dream home and speed up your house search.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reduce the time it takes to discover your dream house.

1. Craft Homebuying Criteria

Homebuying criteria allows you to narrow your house search. Thus, if you make a list of home must-haves and wants today, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find your dream residence.

You also should consider where you want to reside. Because if you can hone your home search to your preferred cities and towns, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence in no time at all.

2. Prepare a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, especially for a buyer who wants to accelerate the property buying journey. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available that can help you put together a property buying budget.

Set up meetings with banks and credit unions in your city or town. Then, you can review a wide range of mortgage options and receive expert responses to your home financing concerns and questions.

It often helps to consider costs you may encounter during the homebuying journey too. From house closing costs to home inspection fees, you'll need to be able to cover various expenses as you try to acquire your dream residence. But if you start planning for assorted homebuying costs today, you can ensure that you'll have the funds available to cover these expenses.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to discover your dream home as quickly as possible, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do whatever it takes to help you accelerate your home search.

A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who is happy to assist you in any way possible. He or she will craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you and help you narrow your house search. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream residence.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will offer before you finalize your home purchase, either. A real estate agent can provide plenty of recommendations and suggestions to help you prepare for your home closing. Furthermore, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your house closing.

Ready to acquire your ideal house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 8/27/2019

Selling a home can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, family members and friends may be able to lend a helping hand as you prep your house for the real estate market.

There are many reasons why you should include loved ones in the home selling journey, including:

1. Loved ones can help you promote your house to potential property buyers.

Family members and friends can share details about your home with large groups of potential homebuyers. That way, you can boost your chances of stirring up interest in your home as soon as your residence hits the real estate market.

Encourage family members and friends to promote your home via social media and word of mouth. If loved ones allocate plenty of time and resources to share information about your home with others, they may be able to help you get the optimal results during the home selling journey.

2. Loved ones can help you complete assorted home improvement projects.

Although your home may look great both inside and out, there may be minor property improvement tasks that you need to complete before you add your house to the real estate market. Fortunately, loved ones may be able to help you finish assorted home improvement tasks.

Family members and friends may be able to assist you as you clean your house. They might even be able to take excess items off your hands so you can declutter your residence quickly and effectively.

Furthermore, loved ones may be able to offer expert recommendations for various home repair projects. And if you need major home repairs like roof maintenance or a complete backyard overhaul, family members and friends may be able to help you get in touch with the right home repair professionals.

3. Loved ones can help you minimize stress at each stage of the homebuying journey.

The process of selling a home can be long and arduous, especially for those who choose to embark on the home selling journey alone. However, loved ones can help you stay calm, cool and collected throughout this journey, regardless of what happens.

Family members and friends are happy to support you in any way possible. As such, they will listen to your home selling concerns and queries and ensure you can minimize stress time and time again.

Also, loved ones may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to receive elsewhere. If family members or friends have sold homes in the past, they can offer guidance to help you streamline the home selling journey.

If you need extra help with selling your home, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent, either. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and will help you generate substantial interest in your property.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Get your loved ones involved in the home selling process, and you can move one step closer to optimizing the value of your residence.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 8/20/2019

Are you thinking about buying a townhouse or condominium? There are some notable differences between a townhouse and a condo that you must know before choosing. Understanding them will enable you to decide on the one to go for, whether a condominium or a townhouse. 

Townhouse 

A townhouse is a tenant-owned conjoined unit. They are structured architecturally like row houses where owners share one or more walls. 

Condominium 

A condominium is also known as a condo. It is a building or collection of buildings in which individuals own different units instead of a landlord. 

Having defined a condominium and a townhouse, let’s take a look at some factors you need to take into consideration when selecting one between the two. Here are the differences between a condo and a townhouse. 

Ownership

When it comes to ownership, condo owners own the unit’s interior only. All other areas of the building belong to the Homeowners Association (HOA). On the other hand, most townhouse owners own both the interior and the exteriors of their units. The exterior includes the lawn and driveway. 

Architecture 

Architecturally, condominiums are versatile. They come in diverse styles. Condo may be part of a cul-de-sac of cottages or part of a high-rise. Townhomes exist in rows; therefore, tenants usually share at least a wall. Townhouses can have two or more stories. 

Community

Condominiums have a focus on communal living facilities like a pool, golf course, clubhouse, and other similar amenities. Some townhouses feature the same kind of amenities as condominiums while others do not. 

Size

Condos come in diverse sizes and styles, and they are generally smaller when compared with townhouses. Townhouses are usually much more substantial than condos.

Maintenance Fees 

Condo owners pay a maintenance fee that is higher than of townhouses. The charges go towards repairing the exterior and community space. Townhouse owners pay an owner maintenance fee monthly. 

Privacy

Condominium could be an apartment-style unit or individual private homes depending on the styles while townhomes share at least one wall with adjacent units. Townhouse does not have units below or above them. 

Home Insurance 

Rates For condominium owners, home insurance rates are lower owners insured the interior of their units only. Insurance rates may be higher in townhouses because the insurance must cover both the interior and exterior of the units.

Choosing which is right for you between a condo and townhouse depends on your family, budget and long-term plans. Contact your realtor today to discuss what option suits you best and how to prepare for it.




Tags: Real Estate   Condo   townhouse  
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