Ryan Seward - RE/MAX Select Realty



Posted by Ryan Seward on 9/6/2018

Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.

For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.

While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.

Looking at the Big Picture

Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!

In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Enlisting Professional Help

A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.

One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints

Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!




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Posted by Ryan Seward on 8/2/2018

If you want to purchase your dream house at a great price, you should monitor the real estate sector closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you track the housing market so you can speed up your home search.

1. Analyze the Prices of Recently Sold Houses

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. Then, you can use this housing market data to understand the average price range for houses in areas where you want to live.

As you review the prices of recently sold houses, you may want to narrow your homebuying criteria as well. With homebuying criteria in hand, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.

2. Find Out How Quickly Houses Are Selling

Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is key, particularly for a buyer who wants to achieve the best-possible results. If you find out how quickly residences are selling in your preferred cities and towns, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. This means buyers will find lots of outstanding houses at their disposal.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. If you're a buyer operating in a seller's market, you likely will need to bid competitively to acquire your ideal residence.

Once you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for the property buying journey as much as possible. If you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to live, you can quickly and effortlessly discover your ideal residence in any housing market, at any time.

3. Assess Houses That Fall Within Your Price Range

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but it is important to determine exactly how much you can spend on a residence prior to entering the real estate market. If you establish a homebuying budget, you can review the prices of houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

As you kick off a home search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too. A real estate agent is happy to help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns and find one that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will help you submit an offer to purchase your dream home that hits the mark with a seller.

Ready to conduct a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform an extensive analysis of the real estate market and boost the likelihood of a successful property buying experience.




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Posted by Ryan Seward on 7/26/2018

If youíre thinking about buying a home, youíve probably heard a lot about closing costs. Closing costs can come at a hefty price- up to 5% of your homeís purchase price. When that amount must be paid up front, you need to make sure you have a sizable amount of cash on hand.  


Thereís many different kinds of fees included in the closing costs. Your lender will give you an estimate of what your closing costs will be, but you may not know what any of the terms that are included actually mean.  


The Loan Origination Fee


This is the fee charged by your lender that covers the administrative costs that are associated with creating and processing a mortgage. This could also be called an underwriting fee.   


Title Search Fee


This is how much the title insurance company charges to perform research on the title of the home. In some cases, the title may have some issues associated with it, so this research is to protect you. Thereís also title fees known as lenderís title insurance and ownerís title insurance. You need to have lenderís title insurance, but ownerís title insurance is completely optional.


Credit Report Fee


This covers the obtaining and review of your credit report. 


Application Fee


Thereís also a fee when it comes to reviewing your mortgage loan application. 


Home Appraisal


This fee covers the appraiser who is chosen by your mortgage company in order to assess an accurate value of the home.  


Tax Monitoring Fee


This fee supports tax research on the home to determine if property taxes have been paid. 


Survey


The property survey covers all aspects of the property bounds including gas lines, roads, walls, easements, property improvements, and encroachments. 


Attorney Fees


The attorney fees will cover all of the document reviews, the agreements, and the escrow fees.


Insurance Payments


When you close on a home, your entire first year of home insurance payments must be made at the time of closing. If you have bought your home with an FHA loan, youíll need to pay mortgage insurance premiums at closing as well. Youíll also need mortgage insurance payments if you put less than a 20% down payment on the home.  


Escrow Property Taxes


The lender requires that you pay your property taxes up front. This money will be held in escrow and the taxes paid from there.  


As you can see, thereís a lot that goes on during the closing of a home. Make sure you have some water handy, itís going to be a long process! Understanding what will happen at closing when you buy a home can help you to avoid any surprise fees or financial burdens.





Posted by Ryan Seward on 7/5/2018

When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to deal with a stubborn home seller. However, you may encounter a stubborn home seller, regardless of how well you prepare for your homebuying journey. And if you're not careful, a stubborn home seller may cause you to miss out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.

Don't let a stubborn home seller get the best of you. Instead, use these tips to ensure you can handle negotiations with a stubborn home seller like a pro.

1. Don't Panic

If you are forced to deal with a stubborn home seller, there's no need to get discouraged. Conversely, consider the property seller's perspective, and you may be able to get the best results out of a tough situation.

Open the lines of communication with a home seller Ė you'll be glad you did. If you maintain open communication, you may be able to find out the root cause of a home seller's stubbornness and plan accordingly.

Also, don't panic if a home seller fails to communicate with you, and try to avoid assumptions at all costs. By doing so, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain your patience as you try to figure out the best way to acquire your dream house.

2. Be Prepared for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

In the best-case scenario, a stubborn home seller will explain his or her demands. Then, you can negotiate with a home seller, find common ground with him or her and work toward finalizing a home purchase agreement.

On the other hand, it is important to understand the worst-case scenario as well.

In the worst-case scenario, you and a home seller may be unable to find common ground. And if this occurs, you should be prepared to walk away from a potential homebuying negotiation and restart your search for the perfect residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Are you unsure about how to deal with a stubborn home seller? There's no need to worry, especially if you consult with a real estate agent.

With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should be able to overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.

An expert real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. He or she will learn about the needs of a homebuyer and home seller and ensure both parties can achieve their ideal results.

Furthermore, an expert real estate agent can respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a residence and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you simplify the homebuying process and ensure you can secure a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can get the support you need to deal with a stubborn home seller.




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Posted by Ryan Seward on 4/5/2018

Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If youíve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you donít.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, youíre still in the game.

In this article, weíre going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Donít sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if theyíre not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Donít spend too much time scrutinizing the sellerís decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isnít personal. You simply havenít met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now itís time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didnít respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what youíre comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure youíre pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bankís approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. Itís a sellerís market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just canít make it up to the sellerís price point. Other times the seller just canít come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, donít waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!




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