Why It’s a Great Time To Buy a Home This Summer

welcome mat in front of new homeMulling options to buy a new home this summer? Don’t hesitate – this might be one of the best times to buy a home for a number of reasons.

With the second half of 2019 nearly here, it’s important to understand how other potential homeowners felt heading into the spring shopping season. According to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors®, 65% of respondents thought the market was a favorable time to buy a home.

Why Conditions Could Shift
Usually, when a majority of Americans believe it’s a good time to buy, similarly large numbers also think it’s a good time to sell. It’s classic supply-and-demand, and when buyers feel good, there’s more incentive for sellers to put their homes on the market, especially after years of home price increases and more recent mortgage rate drops. Indeed, 69% of those polled said they felt now was a good time to sell.

Benefits of Buying in Summer
While some people might think shying away from the market in summer months is advisable because that’s when competition is hottest, there are plenty of benefits to buying at this time of year. One of the biggest is that it’s also the time when the supply of homes for sale is greatest. Moreover, moving in summer is often easier from a logistical standpoint – especially if you have kids. Not only is the weather more likely to cooperate with your plans to move out of your old place and into the new one, but giving kids some extra time to adjust to their new homes before the start of school is often a priority for parents.

In addition, because of the supply issues that usually come later in the year, if you decide to wait to begin your search until summer is winding down, you might see your actual home search take longer, potentially pushing your actual purchase back to November or December.

As with any other decisions related to buying a home, it’s wise to work closely with a real estate professional to ensure you’re getting into the market at the right time and ensure you can get the best possible deal on your purchase.

Start looking for homes for sale here.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

 

How to Know if You’re Ready to Buy a House

Home SignBuying a house should never be entered into lightly – and often many potential buyers may not realize the process involved. Doing as much research as possible can help determine exactly what is needed and required to make a home purchase happen.

Here are 10 great ways to help you identify the point at which making a home purchase becomes feasible for you:

1) Reduce Card Debt
When you’re trying to obtain a mortgage, perhaps the most important aspect of doing so is getting your credit card debt reduced as close to zero as possible, according to Money Under 30. That’s true for two reasons. First, the size of your credit card balances relative to your limits makes up a significant portion of your credit score. Second, lenders look at debt-to-income ratio. As long as you’re carrying relatively small balances from one month to the next (or ideally, not carrying a balance at all), you’ll be in good shape.

2) Pay Off Loans
One of the biggest hurdles (for the Millennial generation) when it comes to being financially capable of buying a home is student loans. It doesn’t mean loans have to be paid off in full, but they certainly need to be somewhat small relative to your income.

3) Having Savings
If you’re trying to buy a home in today’s market, you’ll almost certainly need to make a down payment. While it’s possible to get mortgages with down-payment requirements as low as three percent, the added long-term expense could end up costing you significantly over the life of the loan. Making as large a down payment as possible is going to keep your borrowing costs down. (Don’t forget to look into sponsored programs that help with a down payment!)

4) Rainy-Day Fund
In addition to the money that will go toward your down payment, it’s vital to have some additional money saved just in case something goes wrong with the home. As a general rule, having about $1 per square foot – or one percent of the purchase price – in the bank will help cover some basic expenses you’re likely to encounter after your home purchase.

5) A Long-Term Plan
Whether you’re buying a home as a single person or for a whole family, you need to consider what your situation is going to look like two, five, 10 or even 20 years down the road. If your housing needs are going to expand or shrink in the near future, this will affect to size and kind of home you’re looking to purchase now. (For example, it is best not to buy a small home now if you know you’ll need a larger one in a few years when you have kids.)

6) Reliable Income
Lenders also want to make sure you’re going to be able to keep up with your mortgage payments in the long term, so a steady job is a must. While no one can predict their employers’ future with 100 percent accuracy, it might not be a good idea to go house hunting at a time of turmoil. As long as you’re fairly confident in your position, home shopping should be no problem.

7) A  Comfortable Cushion
One issue some homeowners encounter after buying a home is they’ve pushed themselves so far financially trying to get ready for the real estate sales process that they come out the other side in rough financial shape. Being “house poor” means people own a house but otherwise struggle financially because of the cost of that property. You’ll need to make sure you’re not buying too much house or else risk running into other financial problems even if you can technically afford the mortgage and other costs.

8) An Understanding of What Constitutes Affordability
Along similar lines, it’s vital to not only factor in the cost of the mortgage and taxes for your home budget, but also other expenses. This may include higher electric and heating bills that come with living in a bigger space or more costly insurance coverage.

9) A List of Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves
When people actually start shopping for homes, it can be easy to fall in love with certain properties, according to Forbes. However, while it would be nice to have a state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, it’s probably going to be expensive and not necessary for your happiness in the home. Having a list of things that you will absolutely need out of your new property – big backyard, finished lower level or a home office – will help you get a better idea of what you can actually afford.

10) Your Real Estate Agent
The key role of real estate professionals in every portion of the process cannot be overstated. They will be able to help first-time buyers as well as those who have previously been through the process get as prepared as possible so they can maximize their understanding and the value they get out of buying a home.

Need help qualifying for a mortgage? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. They have professionals who will guide you through the entire lending process.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more: www.hmsnational.com

 

Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend: May 18 and 19, 2019

SOH_FacebookAd_May

Sibcy Cline agents are holding a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on May 18 and 19, 2019. There will be lots of great homes to see throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Look at homes for sale.

It’s spring and a great time to sell and buy a home. Mortgage interest rates remain low. Home values are rising. Now may be the right time for you to sell your old home and find a new one to meet your needs. Talk to your Sibcy Cline agent!

Five Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Spring is here and that means many first-time buyers are looking to enter the market. Having the ability to get through that process with as little stress as possible is critical – especially in highly competitive real estate markets.

Here are five tips to help first-timers better navigate the real estate sales process without a lot of stress, confusion or hiccups:

1) Work with a Qualified Real Estate Professional
First-time buyers are advised to work with a real estate agent. There are about a million things that can pop up in the course of the search for a home and, even after a deal is agreed upon, the negotiation and closing processes need the assistance of a real estate agent. Having an agent to answer questions or concerns as they develop is an absolute must.

2) Get Pre-Approved
When trying to buy a home, one of the most difficult things for first-time buyers is finding a budget that works for them and their unique financial situations, and actually sticking to it. When buyers fall in love with a particular home, it can be easy to bid aggressively and end up agreeing to a price they might not actually be able to afford.

This is a big reason getting pre-approved for a mortgage is so important: A lender will let you know roughly how much credit will be extended to you, and that should serve as the ceiling for what you can afford. As an added bonus, borrowers will also be able to expedite the sales process once pre-approved.

3) Narrow the Search
With the help of your real estate agent and a budget in mind, first-timers will have a much easier time finding homes they’re interested in and really focusing on which home features are best for them based on their needs. Honing in on specific features within a certain price range can help reduce the number of open houses and showings you need to attend.

4) Look Beyond the Asking Price
In addition to the expense of buying the house itself, first-timers would be wise to remember the other costs associated with homeownership, according to DaveRamsey.com. Adding in expenses like electric and heating bills, homeowners insurance and the cost of making the small home repairs is a must when it comes to determining how much house you can truly afford.

5) It’s More Than the House
Finally, it’s also important to consider future plans. If first-time buyers think they will be looking to trade up for a bigger house in the next five years, that’s something to discuss with an agent. Home buyers also need to do their research about things that matter to them: local amenities, proximity to the highway, schools and other important items.

Start looking for homes here!

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

 

 

Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend: April 6 and 7, 2019

Sibcy Cline agents are holding a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on April 6 and 7, 2019. There will be lots of great homes to see throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Look at homes for sale.

It’s spring and a great time to sell and buy a home. Mortgage interest rates remain low. Home values are rising. Now may be the right time for you to sell your old home and find a new one to meet your needs. Talk to your Sibcy Cline agent!

Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend: March 16–17, 2019

SOH_FacebookAd_MArch16-17 2019
Sibcy Cline agents are holding a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on March 16–17, 2019. There will be lots of great homes to see throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Look at homes for sale.

It’s a great time to sell and buy a home. Mortgage interest rates remain low. Home values are rising. Now may be the right time for you to sell your old home and find a new one to meet your needs. Talk to your Sibcy Cline agent!

Avoid these Seven Credit Mistakes before Applying for a Mortgage Loan

Home on a Stack of CashCredit history is an important factor when applying for a mortgage loan. Your FICO® score (a measure of consumer credit risk) plays an important role in your mortgage’s loan terms.

Your goal is to have a high FICO® score (700+) to achieve a lower interest rate loan. The higher your score, the lower your rate will be.  (Note: People do qualify for mortgage loans with lower scores.)

If your score is not in a higher range, you can work on boosting it higher by responsibly managing your credit over time.

Here are seven things to avoid with your credit before applying for a mortgage loan so that your FICO® score is as high as possible.

1–Not Checking Your Credit

Mistakes can occur on credit history that can affect a FICO® score. It is important to check your credit report to ensure it is accurate. There are three major U.S. credit bureaus to check: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you do find mistakes, you can dispute any errors and get them fixed. Be sure to check first with your loan officer before disputing items as this can sometimes have a negative affect on your credit.

2–Applying for Credit

When you apply for credit there will be an inquiry on your credit report. This new credit application can cause a small dip in a FICO® score.  If you have a “hard” inquiry – meaning you have applied for credit or a loan, the issuer of that credit or loan will pull a report (that you have authorized) on your credit history. If your score is on the edge, this could cause you to then qualify for a mortgage loan at a higher interest rate. (Inquiries will remain on your report for two years, but FICO® scores only count for the past 12 months.)

3–Over-Using Current Credit Cards

Mortgage lenders look at debt-to-income ratios and this will include outstanding credit card balances. If you have a large monthly credit card balance, you might not receive the lower mortgage interest rate. The good news is that over-using your credit cards does not have a long-term impact on your FICO® score.

4–Falling Behind on Payments

Late payments will lower your credit score. Always be current on all of your accounts.

5–Consolidating Credit

If you move outstanding credit balances, your new credit card could appear to have too high of a ratio of debt. Your goal is to keep the balance on all credit cards as low as possible.

6–Making Large Cash Purchases

Part of your loan approval will be verification of cash in the bank. If you use this cash for a large purchase, it will lower your reserves and impact your  score and loan approval.

7–Making Large Deposits

All deposits need to be documented and accounted for. You will need to explain where the money came from.

Need help applying for a mortgage? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. Our loan officers can guide you through the entire mortgage process.