Ryan Seward - RE/MAX Select Realty



Posted by Ryan Seward on 8/17/2017

As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.


The Candles Are Burning Bright


You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.


Be Your Own Inspector


As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.


The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For


Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.


Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.            





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Posted by Ryan Seward on 5/4/2017

As a condo buyer, it is important to find a property that matches or surpasses your expectations. At the same time, you'll want to do everything possible to avoid paying too much for a condo.

What does it take to shop for a condo and avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can pay the right price for any condo, at any time.

1. Browse the Real Estate Market Closely

An informed condo buyer will be able to differentiate a mediocre property from a great one. Plus, this condo buyer will know what it takes to avoid paying too much for a property that is unlikely to deliver long-lasting value.

Take a close look at the current housing market to understand the prices of condos in various cities and towns. By doing so, you can determine the price range for condos that fit your needs.

Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area too. That way, you can understand how long condos typically are available before they sell and map out your condo buying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage will allow you to define how much you can spend on a condo. It also will enable you to reduce the risk of stretching beyond your financial means to acquire your dream condo.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions before you kick off your condo search. This will allow you to learn about both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Furthermore, don't be afraid to ask lenders how different types of mortgages work, as this will enable you to select a mortgage that corresponds with your budget both now and in the future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Employ a real estate agent to assist you along the condo buying process – you'll be happy you did. This real estate professional will do what it takes to help you land an exceptional condo at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. As such, he or she can offer tips at each stage of the condo buying process, ensuring you can buy a top-notch condo without spending too much.

In addition, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of going from condo buyer to condo owner. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can accelerate the process of acquiring a great condo.

Buying a condo at an affordable price may seem impossible at times, but a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that. Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can improve your chances of securing a condo without the risk of overspending.




Tags: buying a home   Condo   buyer tips  
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Posted by Ryan Seward on 4/20/2017

In certain states, attorneys are almost required in order for you to purchase a home. In many states, real estate matters can be handled completely by the real estate agent themselves along with a title company. An attorney’s presence is not required in these states. This is when hiring a real estate agent is most important. 


Buying A Home With An Agent


You can either get your own buyer’s agent to represent you, or you can use the seller’s agent to help you seal the deal. It’s a good idea to have your own agent to represent you, but you have the right to use either option. A buyer’s agent has a duty to keep the buyer’s best interests in mind and to keep all of the buyer’s information private and confidential.


It’s important to find your own buyer’s agent before you even start the house hunting process. Your agent can be a valuable resource in helping you to choose the right home for you and your family. If you decide to use the seller’s agent, their loyalty will be divided between the sellers and you. This is a fine choice as it will be balanced. However, you may want an agent who is completely dedicated to you so that your needs and interests are adequately represented.


If you have a question as to whether an agent is actually representing you as a buyer, the seller, or both, it should be clearly stated in writing for you. This way there will be no questioning as to whom is being represented by who. 


Buyer’s Agent Duties


Having a buyer’s agent is a great resource for you. An agent will be able to help you search for properties. The agent can help you to see properties in person if you are unable to make it to an open house. Buyer’s agents also can provide market analysis to help discover a home’s value. They’ll also strategize with you on negotiating. Other things that the buyer’s agent can assist you with are:



  • Presenting your offer
  • The home inspection
  • The application for a mortgage
  • The completion of the purchase and sales agreement
  • Attend the final walkthrough at the closing


Finding a buyer’s agent is an important part of buying a home. The agent can help you throughout the entire process from finding a home to closing on a home. Your agent can even give you recommendations on everyone who may need to be involved on the road to home ownership including attorneys, inspectors and contractors. It’s important to have someone around who knows all about real estate and can understand every step of the home buying process.





Posted by Ryan Seward on 1/26/2017

To buy or not to buy that is the question. There are reasons for or against homeownership on both sides of the fence. So here are the pros and cons of buying a home. You decide... Pros: 1. It Costs Less- With record low interest rates, and low home prices a mortgage payment on a house can be less than a rental payments. 2. Equity -If you own a home rather than rent you are building equity. If you pay rent you have nothing to show for it. If you own a home you are building equity. Even if housing prices stay flat part of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal balance and eventually you will own the home. Cons: 1. You Could Get a Better Money Return-A home may not be the best return on your money. You may find a better return on capital in the stock market. If you are just looking at it in a strictly financial way there are better investment strategies. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 13.4% -- 4.8% higher than the 8.6% average return on housing. 2. It is a Big Commitment-You can't just sell your house and move quickly. It is a long term decision. If you job requires frequent moves this can be a significant consideration. Now that you have seen some of the pros and cons the decision is ultimately up to you and what is best in your circumstance. The pros cannot be disputed. Low rates and prices almost make buying a no-brainer if it fits within your financial situation.





Posted by Ryan Seward on 1/12/2017

Buying your dream home should be simple. Unfortunately, challenges may arise during the homebuying journey, particularly for those who fail to budget accordingly.

Establishing a budget before you begin your home search is paramount. With a budget in place, you can explore houses that fall within your price range and move closer to finding a great residence that you can enjoy for years to come.

Ultimately, creating a homebuying budget can be easy – here are three tips to help homebuyers establish budgets.

1. Consider your utility costs.

Although you may be able to get pre-approved for a mortgage and determine exactly how much you'll need to pay for a house, you'll still need to account for utility expenses month after month.

Electricity, heat and other utility costs can add up quickly. However, a diligent homebuyer should have no trouble estimating his or her monthly utility fees.

Examining your current utility expenses can help you understand how much you may wind up paying in utility charges at your new address. Also, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent, as this professional may be able to provide details about the average utility costs associated with a particular residence.

2. Manage your debt.

If you decide to purchase a "fixer-upper," i.e. a home that requires extensive home repairs, you'll likely need to commit substantial time and resources to complete home renovation projects. Thus, you'll want to consider any home repair tasks that you may need to complete at a new address and budget for them before you make an offer on a house.

In addition, knowing your credit score can help you understand your debt. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), and each report will provide information about any outstanding debt. That way, you can learn about your debt and find ways to minimize it prior to purchasing a residence.

3. Account for closing costs and miscellaneous expenses.

Home closing costs will include your loan origination, title insurance and appraisal fees and often range between 3 percent and 7 percent of your total loan amount. You'll want to account for these expenses as you establish a homebuying budget to ensure you can secure your dream house without delay.

Spend some time learning about all of the expenses that may impact your monthly home expenses too. For example, if you purchase a condo, you may face monthly homeowners association fees in addition to your mortgage costs. Or, if you plan to have a baby in the near future, you'll want to consider how the costs of raising a child may impact your ability to cover your mortgage expenses.

If you ever have concerns or questions about establishing a homebuying budget, be sure to consult with your real estate agent. Remember, your real estate agent is available to help you in any way possible and will do what it takes to ensure you can establish the right homebuying budget.




Tags: buying a home   budgeting  
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