4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Contact us to start your home search today!

304.645.2255 Our team of professional REALTORS can help you find your next home!

www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com
Gregory Allman, Broker


Upcoming Events:
January 24th- Free Movie “The Last Waltz” at The Lewis Theatre 7:30 p.m.

January 26th- Support Our Local Farmers Market Saturdays 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  located at the Gus R. Douglass Annex, State Fairgrounds

January 26th- WV Winter Music Festival Events begin at 2 p.m. Complete schedule at www.wvmusicfestival.org or on their Facebook page!

 

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Advice for People Putting a Home on the Market in the Winter

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The internet is rife with real estate advice, some of it true and a lot of it false. One idea that tends to pop up is that summer is the best time of year to list a home for sale. This is largely based on data collected by online real estate database company Zillow from 24 large real estate markets in the United States, and while that is a decent representation, it’s not at all definitive. The truth is, there is no “best time” to sell a property — there are pros and cons to every season. While putting your home on the market in the winter may present some challenges, with the right preparations you can sell your house faster and for more money.

Price it Right
You don’t have to price your home lower just because it’s the off-season, but also don’t go crazy with that asking price. It’s easier than ever for people to research real estate market trends, so potential home buyers know if you’re overpricing. If you want to sell your house quickly in the winter, educate yourself on trends and home prices in your area to find reasonable asking price that won’t necessitate too much haggling to settle.

Be Hospitable
One of the cons of selling a home in winter is that traffic tends to be a bit slower. Fewer people are out looking at properties because they’re either distracted by the holidays or prefer to stick to the indoors because the weather is bad. However, the people who are browsing homes this time of year are more likely to feel a sense of urgency to make a decision on where they will live, as it is the time for first-quarter job transfers and there is less inventory on the market. Because of this, it is important to be very hospitable to anyone who comes through that door. A good first impression and a warm welcome can make a positive association in their mind, which improves your chances of getting a serious offer.

Here are some helpful tips when showing your house:
● Light a fire. Not only does it create a cozy atmosphere, but it also smells divine.
● Play soft music.
● Turn on all the lights in the house and open up drape and curtains.
● Run a humidifier to make your home’s air less dry (just make sure to change filters
regularly).
● Don’t pressure or hurry the potential buyer.
● Provide light refreshments.
● Leave note cards that detail vital information about home features.
● In the end, supply them with pens and a stack of questionnaire cards for feedback.

Stage with the Season in Mind
Staging your home to sell in the winter isn’t too different from other parts of the year. You want it to be clean and decluttered while highlighting the property’s best features. However, there are a few differences. For one, the home’s curb appeal may not be as eye-catching as the plants and grasses in your yard may be dormant. Laying down mulch in the front yard can help with this problem. Not only does it help your yard look more polished, but it also insulates the soil that protects plant roots from the winter chill. Furthermore, a layer of mulch is an effective barrier that keeps mud off your shoes and by proxy your floors.

Putting your home on the market in winter may mean less traffic, but people who are shopping during this time of year are more serious about making a purchase in a timely manner. Accurately pricing your home so there isn’t a need to haggle makes it more likely that you’ll snag a serious buyer. Be hospitable with everyone who walks through your door — the right first impression can lead to a sale. And while home staging in the winter isn’t really that different than summer, your curb appeal may suffer due to the season. Making adjustments like laying mulch in the front yard can make up for a lack of vegetation in the chillier months.


Article by Suzie Wilson ⎸info@happierhome.net  ⎸Happier Home

While you may not think that listing a home in the winter is a great idea, with proper guidance from your trust real estate agent- it can be successful. Contact us if you are thinking about selling your home 304.645.2255
www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

Gregory Allman, Broker

Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.

  1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
    Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
  2. Hire a reliable real estate agent.
    That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Contact our team of professionals, we are ready with snow boots and shovels to list and sell during this time! This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.
  3. Seek out motivated buyers.
    Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
  4. Price it to sell.
    No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
  5. Make curb appeal a top priority.
    When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
  6. Take top-notch real estate photos.
    When the weather outside is frightful, home buyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
  7. Create a video tour for the Web.
    You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.
  8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold.
    Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
  9. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
    Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.
  10. Relax — the new year is just around the corner.
    The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.


    As always, our team at Greenbrier Real Estate Service is always ready to help you with your real estate needs. We always offer FREE consultations, contact us today if you may be ready to sell your home. 304.645.2255

Check out our Facebook Page to stay up to date on new listings, price changes, and community events! You can also find us on Instagram and Twitter!

Thanksgiving 2018: How family and friends can influence the home purchase

This Thanksgiving we look at how recent buyers are choosing their homes, and how their friends and family can influence their decision. While we don’t all get to see our families every day, for many home buyers having the option to do so can impact the home they purchase. Based on data from the recently released 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we can see how multi-generation homes are becoming more common and the importance of living close to friends and family.

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  • This year 12 percent of all buyers purchased a multi-generational home, and multi-generational buyers were typically 51 years old. Eighty-three percent of the multi-generational homes purchased were single-family homes.
  • Multi-generational homes were typically 2,070 square feet and were purchased for $264,100. Buyers of multi-generational homes typically expected to live in their home for 20 years. Forty-seven percent of buyers owned their previous home.
  • Thirty-nine percent of buyers of multi-generational homes had children under the age of 18 living in the home.
  • Among all multi-generational buyers, the desire to own a home of their own was the primary reason for purchasing (29 percent). The majority of multi-generational buyers were married couples (63 percent), and single females (19 percent).
  • The main reasons for purchasing a multi-generational home were for to care for aging family members (44 percent), and children or relatives over 18 moving back into the house/never left home (37 percent).
  • Ten percent of buyers of multi-generational homes purchased their home to be closer to friends and family. Single females (12 percent) and married couples (nine percent) purchased their homes to be close to friends and family.
  • The convenience to friends and family for single females (47 percent), married couples (38 percent), and unmarried couples (35 percent) was an influencing factor of their neighborhood choice.

Posted in Economist Commentaries, by Brandi Snowden, Research Survey Analyst on November 20, 2018


piegiveaway.jpgWe recently held our annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway on our Facebook page!
With over 300 likes and over 500 shares, our Facebook Followers were eager to win one of three pies made by Taste Of Heaven Bakery in Maxwelton, WV. Our followers were instructed to comment on our post with the they would like to win. Drawing was held November 19th, the lucky winners were Viola Pettry Plum, Mary Hager, and Carol Dolin!

 

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who participated!


For any real estate needs, our team of professional REALTORS are ready to serve you!
304.645.2255
Gregory Allman, Broker
http://www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

White Sulphur Springs Open House Event

Looking for a home in Greenbrier County? We are featuring four homes in an open house event, each offering something different to buyers. Come and view four homes in White Sulphur Springs, home to the Greenbrier Resort and a unique small town that continues to grow.

Monday October 29th From 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Greenbrier Real Estate Service will host a four home Open House Event in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Professional REALTORS will be ready and willing to answer any questions potential buyers may have.
Scroll down for all listings featured! Links to properties!

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309 Rowan Rd.
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 2 BATH

IMG_6859 (Edited)

Well-built house is located in the Huddleston Hills section of Villa Park and is well above the flood zone. Sitting on 1.25+/- acres, it features a huge master bedroom, white oak flooring, Vermont slate hallway, 2 fireplaces, split level garages, and spectacular views from the 39 foot, covered back balcony. Outstanding potential and a must see.Seller is offering a home warranty plan with an accepted offer!
For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-1436
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


 

445 Rowan Rd
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 3 BATH

IMG_6861 (Edited)

 

This solidly built and maintained home has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and hardwood flooring. Nestled in Huddleston Hills, it sits on a gorgeous lot with manicured landscaping. Walking distance to the Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs and a short drive to Lewisburg!

For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-1274
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


544 Mapledale Rd.
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH

IMG_6857 (Edited)If privacy is what you’re looking for this home offers it! This beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath home has a lot of room! Master suite and 2 bedrooms are on the first floor and the 4th bedroom is upstairs with an extra living room and bath. This home is just a few short miles to White Sulphur Springs, the Greenbrier Resort, and Lewisburg. It has beautiful hard wood flooring, granite countertops in the kitchen and an open floor plan! The area is rich in natural resources with great hunting, fishing, cycling, hiking and skiing. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is 1.5 hours away! Monongahela National forest is a very short drive away. A lot of square footage for the price and it is priced to sell, sitting on 2.3 acres of land!

For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/details/listing/a272/18-1410/544-Mapledale-Road-White-Sulphur-Springs-WV-24986
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


103 Elm St
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 1 BATH

IMG_6860 (Edited).PNG

This 3 bedroom house has oak cabinets with appliances, 1 bath, new flooring, radiant heat, utility room. The sidewalks are done to each house and the topsoil is in and the picnic shelter is done but the parking lot is not paved it has gravel all the way up to the first house driveway will be paved.

 

 
For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-556
Listed by Marie R. Goodwin marie@mariegoodwin.com


Gregory Allman, Broker

Halloween is upon us!

If you haven’t been to Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm– tonight(October 28th) is the last night to get your scare on! Check it out! One of our area’s most popular events this time of year!
Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm

TRICK-OR-TREAT for all the little monsters~ October 31st 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

5 Reasons to House Hunt This Fall!

The frenzy of the summer real estate market has cooled by the seemingly very same breeze sweeping leaves off the trees across much of the country. But now may be a better time than ever for you to start house hunting.autumn

According to RealtyTrac and realtor.com®, October is the best time to snag a deal on a house. RealtyTrac analyzed more than 32 million sales of single-family homes and condos between 2000 and 2015, finding that those who purchased in October paid 2.6 percent below the average estimated full market value for their property. Oct. 8, specifically, seems to offer the best deals for buyers with an average 10.8 percent discount.

If you need more reason to start or continue your home search this fall, here are five additional reasons to shop for a home!

1. Less focus on landscaping. While the spring and summer bring green grass and plant life, fall may actually allow buyers to concentrate on the condition of a home’s exterior better. Viewing houses in the fall, you can spot exterior flaws and even landscaping problems, setting you up to deal with these issues before you buy the house.

2. The pressure is off. Less competition from other buyers who are pressed by deadlines, such as the start of the school year, means a stress-free pace for buyers.

3. Agents have more time. Ok, some agents have time- while we stay busy- we’re always ready to give our clients the attention they deserve, often times in the fall we may have fewer buyer clients so this could be a big advantage to you!

4. Better deals. Those who are selling in the fall likely have personal deadlines they’d like to meet, such as relocating for a job. Sometimes, sellers are more willing to lower their asking price than they would be during the summer months.

5. Fewer bidding wars. By taking advantage of the seasonal hiatus by other buyers, there’s less chance that your clients will be outbid by someone else.

If you’re ready to start your home search, call us, email us! We’re ready and now is a great time to buy!

http://www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com
304.645.2255
Gregory Allman, Broker

Article adapted from Realtor Magazine

Top 15 Questions to Ask Your Agent

Be a well informed buyer…ask your agent these questions when touring a home.

Our agents tour homes every day. Pick your agent’s brain for any unique qualities that stand out or flaws that you could be unaware of. If your agent doesn’t know the answer to a question, she or he can always ask the seller’s agent later.

Common questions to ask your agent:

  • What do you like about the home?
  • Do you have any concerns about this home?
  • Is the price right?
  • How long has this home been on the market?
  • How quickly do you think this home will sell?
  • How long have the current owners owned the home?
  • Why is the home for sale?
  • How old is the home?
  • Are any repairs needed?
  • How old is the roof?
  • When were the floors last refinished?
  • What type of heating and cooling systems are in place?
  • How old is the electrical and plumbing?
  • Can you see a copy of the current owner’s utilities?
  • Is there a homeowner’s association with fees?

 

Article adapted from Redfin.com


Our professional REALTORs at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always willing to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today! 304.645.2255

Upcoming Events in the Greenbrier Valley:

September 21-23: Giant Fall Flea Market 9am-6pm WV State Fairgrounds
Other area events can be found at Greenbrier Valley Events  and Hashtag WV

 

 

Things to Look for on a Home Tour

Before you begin touring, research homes online and start narrowing down your must-haves versus nice-to-haves. Then try to find homes to tour within your price range. When you get more serious about your house hunt, you’ll want a trustworthy real estate agent to help point out flaws, keep you within your budget, and tell you when to walk away.

Now, you’ve requested to see a home from your trusted Greenbrier Real Estate Service REALTOR. You’re off to a great start! Take a look at this list of things to look for while you’re viewing the home…

Once inside a home, try everything.

white wooden kitchen island
Sight lines, cabinet storage, style, floorplan all things to keep in mind when on a home tour.

Follow common courtesy but don’t be shy—open and shut the cupboards, flush the toilets, and whip out the measuring tape. Here are a few key things to look for on each tour:

  • Architectural style
  • Number, location, and size of bedrooms
  • Number, location, and size of bathrooms
  • Closet and storage space
  • Number of floors
  • Sight lines through home
  • General floorplan
  • Age and condition of appliances
  • Light switches and number of sockets in each room
  • Plumbing and water pressure
  • Amount of natural light and views, if any
  • Noise levels inside and outside the home
  • Width and types of stairways
  • Porches and decks
  • Garage and/or parking capacity
  • Proximity to neighboring homes
  • Remodeling opportunities

Don’t forget the exterior

Don’t forget to walk around the entire home and property. Pay attention to the age and condition of the roof and siding. Does the landscaping look like it will be a lot of work? If you don’t have a green thumb and don’t want to hire a gardener every month, you may want to look for a home with easy outdoor upkeep.

Take notes and photos

It’s easy to get homes mixed up so take photos, videos, and notes on each tour. Photograph features you particularly like and dislike about each home, and share these insights with your agent. Looking through your photos and notes with fresh eyes may also trigger additional questions you have about the home.

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Photo by Miesha Moriniere on Pexels.com

Research the neighborhood

Take few minutes before or after your home tour to check out the neighborhood. How does the neighborhood feel? Is it bustling or quiet? Is there shopping, dining, and gas nearby? What are the schools like?

The bottom line

Home buying takes plenty of compromise and patience. It’s easy to fall in love with a home at first sight—and if you love a home, chances are everyone else will too. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just realize that you may be up against some competition. Be prepared to make multiple offers before you find the right home at the right price.

As always our REALTORS at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always dedicated to guiding you through this process. Stay tuned for our next blog!–Things to ask Your Real Estate Agent– a continuation of Things to Look for on your Home Tour.


Greenbrier Real Estate Service
Gregory Allman, Broker
304.645.2255

7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals for Buyers

After living in the same home for a while, it’s amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you’ve been meaning to replace but haven’t gotten around to. A doorknob that needs a little coaxing to turn. No big deal, right?

Well, these small flaws can be huge deal breakers when you decide to sell your home.

Prospective buyers are going to add all the ‘flaws’ they find to the price of the property, and that’s when they start trying to discount the price.

Curious what some of these seemingly small problems are? Check out this list of minuscule (to you) things that buyers see as big hurdles to closing a sale.

1. An old electrical panel

This issue could arise when the home inspection is completed and an inspector might claim that repairs occur to get it “up to code.”

Sellers, you may see this as a small issue, and insist that the current panel works just fine.

But buyers, you more than likely see the electrical panel as a bigger issue that could fail at any time.

2. Ripped window screens

Window screens will wear out over time, but if yours are torn, take it seriously.

Image result for replace window screens

They’re a pain for anyone to replace. Therefore, sellers don’t want to do it and buyers will insist that they do. If the sellers refuse to fix it, the buyers will demand a credit.

3. The location of your laundry room

Even if you own a state-of-the-art washer and dryer—and plan to bestow both on your lucky buyers—they may not be so thrilled with these nice appliances if they aren’t situated in what they think is the “right” place.

Some buyers have a problem with the laundry being on the ‘wrong’ level, especially in a three-level house or townhouse-style condo.

In other words, you might be fine lugging your laundry to the basement, but don’t expect all buyers to feel the same way. Offer to move these items to a new locale to warm buyers up.

4. Sticky door locks

Live in a house long enough, and you’ll encounter a malfunctioning door latch or lock. That may be no big deal to you, but it may alarm buyers big-time.

Image result for door locks

If it’s an exterior door, they will likely view this as a major safety issue. And although it may seem like a simple fix, it’s often a complex one.

5. Your bathtub or shower

Some people prefer showers, others want baths (particularly parents who must clean up small kids). So if you’re missing one or the other, watch out.

In an ideal world, you’ll have both: a bath with a showerhead above. But even if your bathtub works just fine, make sure the style isn’t too off. Not everyone is excited to soak in a tub straight out of “Stranger Things” in avocado green.

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Nice, clean, and crisp bathroom will attract buyers. This combination offers a tub and shower.

6. Small closets

Many buyers focus on closets. Are there enough? Are they large enough? Walk-in closets are also preferred.

There are a few things you can do to ease these concerns. For one, try to make your closets look roomier by decluttering them as much as possible. Put excess items elsewhere (like a rented storage unit). You might also consider hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or at least point out to buyers that they can do this themselves.

7. The walls of your kitchen

Some people like—no, make that love— open kitchens. So if your kitchen currently has four walls, you could be in trouble.

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Beautiful, open kitchen is as inviting to buyers as it is to future guests in your new home!

Buyers may look at the possibility of breaking down a wall. But be warned, many might not want to do the work, or just get such a bad first impression of your kitchen that they move on. If you think your kitchen’s four walls feel cramped and is stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself.

Article adapted from Realtor.com


Contact us for any of your real estate needs! We would love to offer our experience and expertise to you in you home selling or buying journey!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service | 304.645.2255 | 1047 Washington St. E. Lewisburg, WV 24957

5 Mortgage Misconceptions Set Straight

Getting a mortgage can be a breeze or a slog, depending on what you know about the process. To get organized and set your expectations properly, let’s debunk some common mortgage myths.

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1. Lenders use your best credit scores

If you’re applying for a mortgage jointly with a co-borrower, logic suggests that your lender would use the highest credit score between both of you.

However, lenders take the middle of three credit scores (from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) for each borrower, and then use the lowest score between both borrowers’ “middle scores.”

So, if you had a middle score of 780, and your co-borrower had a middle score of 660, most lenders would qualify and approve you using the 660 credit score.

Rates are tied to credit scores, so in this example, your rate would be based on the 660 credit score, which would push your rate up significantly — or potentially even make you ineligible for the loan.

There are exceptions to this lowest-case-credit-score rule. Most notably, if you have the higher credit score and are also the higher earner, some lenders will allow your higher credit score on the file — but this is mostly for jumbo loans above $417,000.

Ask your lender about exceptions if you have credit score disparity between co-borrowers, but know that these exceptions are rare.

2. The rate you’re quoted is the rate you’ll get

Unless you’re locking in a rate at the moment it’s quoted, that rate quote can change. Rates are tied to daily trading of mortgage bonds, so most lenders’ rates change throughout each day.

Refinancers can often lock a rate when it’s quoted — as long as you’ve given your lender enough information and documentation to determine if you qualify for the quoted rate.

You typically receive a quote when you’re beginning your pre-approval process, but a rate lock runs with a borrower and a property. So until you’ve found a home to buy, you can’t lock your rate. And while you’re home shopping, rates will be changing daily, so you’ll need updated quotes from your lender throughout your home shopping process.

Rate quotes also come with an annual percentage rate (APR), which is a federally required disclosure that shows what your rate would be if all loan fees are incorporated into the rate.

This can make you think that APR is the rate you’ll get, but your loan payment will always be based on your locked rate, and the APR is just a disclosure to help you understand fees.

3. Fixed-rate mortgages are always better than adjustable-rate mortgages

After the 2008 financial crisis, many borrowers started preferring 30-year fixed loans. For good reason too: The rate and payment on a 30-year fixed loan can never change. But the longer the rate is fixed for, the higher the rate.

So before settling on a 30-year fixed, ask yourself this question: How long am I going to own this home (or keep the loan) for?blue-rendered-outline-house-and-yellow-percent-sign_573x300.jpg

Suppose the answer is five years. If you got a five-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) instead of a 30-year fixed, your rate would be about .875 percent lower. On a $200,000 loan, you’d save $146 per month in interest by taking the five-year ARM. On a $600,000 loan, the monthly interest cost savings is $438.

To optimize your home financing, peg the loan term as closely as you can to your expected time horizon in the home.

4. Real estate agents don’t care which lender you use

A federal law enacted in 1974 called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits lenders and real estate agents from paying each other fees to refer customers to each other. So as a mortgage shopper, you’re always free to use any lender you choose.

But real estate agents who would represent you as a buyer do care which lender you use. They’ll often suggest that you use a local lender who’s experienced with your area’s nuances, such as local taxation rules, settlement procedures and appraisal methodologies.

–You can contact us to get more information about lenders in our area!

These areas are all part of the loan process and can delay or kill deals if a nonlocal lender isn’t experienced enough to handle them.

Likewise, real estate agents representing sellers on homes you’re interested in will often prioritize purchase offers based on the quality of loan approvals. Local lenders who are known and respected by listing agents give your purchase offers more credibility.

5. Mortgage insurance is always required if you put less than 20 percent down

Mortgage insurance is a lender-risk premium placed on many home loans when you’re putting less than 20 percent down. In short, it means your total monthly housing cost is higher. But you can buy a home with less than 20 percent down and avoid mortgage insurance.

The most common way to do this is with a combination first and second mortgage — often called a piggyback — where the first mortgage is capped at 80 percent of the home’s value, and the second mortgage is for the balance of what you want to finance.

 

We hope that you found this information helpful!
Any questions, feel free to contact us!
304.645.2255

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