Buying a Home? How To Overlook Minor Blemishes

Young woman painting wall at homeWhen searching for a home to buy, keep your eyes open for possibilities when touring. If a home meets your price and location needs, it may require just a few modifications to suit your taste. Here are some tips about overlooking minor flaws and blemishes:

Old Homes
“Old” does not mean “bad”. Homes built many years ago have withstood the test of time. Many are well constructed with quality materials. Newer homes may offer more modern conveniences, but might lack that charm and character that an  older home offers.

Paint Colors 
Repainting a room is one of the most economic and easiest changes to be made to a home. Instead of focusing on the colors of a room, pay attention instead to a room’s structure.

If you do not care for the wallpaper selection in a home, remember this can be fixed by removing, covering over or replacing it.

Kitchen Appliances
Do not discount a home just because the kitchen’s appliances are older. A kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator can be replaced as long as the item fits your budget. You many need to live with the old appliance for a while and save up for a newer one.

Dated Decor
The decor in the home may not be to your taste, but you like the floor plan.  The home’s furniture will be gone when you move in and you can decorate rooms to your taste and style. So, forget about the flowery curtains or that funky chair.

There are many different types of flooring available at all price points. If you cannot afford to replace carpeting with hardwood floors, then a laminate that looks like hardwood may be the answer. Keep this in mind when you are touring a home with ugly green carpeting.

Popcorn Ceiling
A ceiling specialist can be hired to scrape off the popcorn look from the ceiling. It is best done before you move in as it is a messy job.

No Curb Appeal
Perhaps the home just needs bushes trimmed, flowers planted or the front door painted. A lack of curb appeal might need just a little TLC from you!

Need help fixing up a home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend experienced and vetted home-related vendors and services.

Do Not Make these Home Buyer Errors

Erase your ErrorsBuying a home is an exciting time. However, first-time home buyers sometimes make mistakes in their quest for a home. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

No Mortgage Pre-Approval
You should not start looking at homes until you know how much home you can afford. You are setting yourself up for disappointment looking at homes outside of your price range. Meet with a mortgage loan officer first.

Making Big Purchases
Buyers need to avoid applying for new credit or taking on new debt as this will affect your mortgage approval. Do not purchase new furniture, new car or other high-ticket items until after you close on your home.

What You Need and What You Want
When you start your home search with your real estate agent, you need to have a good grasp of what the most important features your home must have. Top of the list might be location, size and number of bedrooms. You may also want a home that features a finished lower level, but the budget may not agree. It is best to give your real estate agent a list of your needs as well as your  wants. In the end, you do want to be happy with the home you purchase since you will be living there for years to come.

Unrealistic Dreams
Sometimes first-time buyers have larger dreams than budgets. Your first home will probably not have everything on your list. Be willing to compromise and make concessions.

Not Communicating with your Real Estate Agent
You need to talk to your real estate agent about expectations for the home-buying process. Ask your agent how to handle open houses or showings if you see a home online. Your agent should also be scouting out homes that meet your expectations and let you know how he or she will communicate that information to you. If your agent is not showing the kind of homes you are interested in, you need to let him or her know. You should always have confidence in the experience and knowledge that your agent will share with you.

Not Having a Home Inspection
A whole-house inspection is worth the investment. Any issues with the home will be pointed out to you so sales terms can be renegotiated. If there are overwhelming issues with the home, you will need to stop the purchase process and start looking for another home.

Not Saving Money for a Long-Term Budget
Besides the mortgage payment, you will have real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utilities and maintenance costs to factor into your budget.

Not Doing Research
If you find a home that appeals to you, do your research on the area. Visit the home at different times of day. If schools are important to you, you will need to contact them with specific questions you may have. Remember, once you have purchased the home, you can change things in your home, but not the location.

Not Thinking About ReSale
If the home you are interested in is painted an odd color that you find appealing in an artsy way, you will need to remember this color has limited appeal and you may have to paint the exterior of that home in order to resell it. Before you buy your home, think about what it would take to resell it.

Look for homes for sale here.




Things to Know When Buying a Home

Thinking of buying a home in 2016? Here are some tips to think about before you start your search:

1. Get Approved for a Mortgage Loan

Meet with a mortgage loan officer to learn how much house you can afford and what costs will be involved in the loan process. You will need to consider a down payment on the home, earnest money as well as closing costs. This is a good time to also check your credit and make sure there is nothing that needs to be cleared up that might slow the loan process.

2.  Learn The Real Estate Market – Look at Homes!

You will need to meet with your real estate agent and understand current market values of homes that meet your needs. Your agent will want to know what your housing goals are: location, size, number of bedrooms, style of home, etc… Once your agent has a grasp of the kind of home you desire and your price range, you can start looking at homes together.

2.  Make an Offer

When you have found a home that you love, your agent will help you create an offer with a listing contract. To establish an offer price, you and your agent will review comparable active, pending and sold properties nearby. Once the offer has been submitted, it will either be accepted, countered or rejected. Your agent will work with you during this process.

Most buyers have as part of their contract a contingency for a whole-house inspection. This professional (hired by you) points out issues or problems that you need to be aware of before committing to purchasing the home.

3.  Closing Day

You’ve worked through all of the contingencies in the contract, your mortgage loan has been processed and now it is time to close on the home. Your real estate agent will be with you, along with a title professional. You will sign many documents and leave as the owner of a home!

4. Moving Day

Depending upon your purchase contract, you may have access to your new home directly following the closing or in the near future (to give the sellers time to move out.) Once you have a move-in date, schedule the utilities to be changed to your name as well as schedule service for cable and Internet. Be sure to notify the US Post Office of your change of address.

Congratulations and enjoy your new home!

Look at homes for sale here.


Six Mistakes To Avoid When Buying a Home

Hands House
Buying a home is a large financial investment. It’s important to make sound decisions when making this type of purchase. Here are six tips to follow when buying a home:

1. Don’t Get Too Attached
When looking at homes, you may find one you think is the “dream home”. Do not become too attached until negotiations and inspections are over. You may have to move onto looking for another home. Keep an open mind and remember that you will find another “dream home”.

2. Don’t Skip Inspections
Even if the home is new it should be inspected. The investment in a whole-house inspection is definitely worth the money.

3. Too Many Contingencies
If you place too many contingencies into your offer, the sellers might find your requests unacceptable and move on to another buyer’s offer.

4. Get Everything in Writing
Be sure everything is in writing. If the home sellers are going to include their washer and dryer with the sale, make sure that is in writing so you are not disappointed when you move into the home.

5. Keep To Your Budget
Get pre-approved for a mortgage and you will see what your limit will be for a home purchase. Prepare a monthly budget and be sure to include a mortgage payment, taxes, utilities and insurance. Don’t forget added costs such as moving expenses and home-maintenance costs.

6. Plan on Staying in Your Home
When you buy a home you need to plan to stay there to build equity in your investment.



Four Tips For the First-Time Home Buying Process

Daydream house

Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming. How much to spend? What kind of home? House or condo? Where to live? What features are the most important? Read these four tips to avoid making mistakes in the home-buying process:

Think About What Is Essential
Buying a home is a huge investment. You need to consider your housing needs for today as well as in the future. A smaller home with just one or two bedrooms may look tempting now, but if you are planning to get married, it may be too small for your future.

Waiting For That Better Deal
Work with your real estate agent to learn about the current market for the areas that interest you. You need to understand what values homes are commanding and what prices are to be expected. That way you will be prepared to sign a purchase contract when the right home comes on the market. Home prices are constantly rising and falling – you need to buy when you feel good with your research.

The Perfect Home
The perfect home does not exist. You need to make a list of essentials that you must have with your home (number of bedrooms, condition of home, location, etc…) and be willing to compromise on other features. Cost may be a factor for not buying that perfect home and it can be emotionally exhausting when that happens. Be flexible.

Does the Home Need A Lot of Work?
You may find a fixer upper that is really affordable, but you must consider the costs of making upgrades for the home. Will you be able to afford these expenses?

Where do you begin? Talk to your real estate agent first and then make an appointment with a loan officer.

Tips for Buying A Home in 2013

Why Buy A Home Now?
The first quarter of 2013 is looking to be a good time to make a home purchase. Housing prices are just starting to rise and interest rates are still at all-time lows. It is still a buyer’s market and there are great values to be had. But, since the real estate market is in transition to recovery, home values are rising. Making that home purchase now could save a home buyer thousands of dollars in the long term, with reduced risk and a much greater likelihood of appreciation. Home buyers should consider the long-term cost of owning a home now.

Long-Term Cost of Purchasing a Home
When considering the timing for a home purchase, a buyer needs to ask, “What is the cost of the home going to be in the long term?”

Interest rates were above 6% since the early 1980s. It has only been since 2007 that such historically low mortgage rates have been enjoyed below that percentage. (See chart.)

The Mortgage Bankers Association has predicted mortgage rates to start rising sometime in 2013 (4.4% – 4th quarter 2013 versus 3.9% – 4th quarter 2012). Add in increasing home prices, and the cost of buying a home is going to increase. Here is an example:

1st Quarter 2013 – Current Home Sale Price
$200,000 home with a 3.5% (30-year) mortgage rate = $898.09 monthly payment (principle and interest)

4th Quarter 2013  – Using Predicted Rates
The same home is now $204,880 ( with a modest rise of 2.24% in home value ) at a 4.4% (30-year) mortgage rate = $1,025.96 monthly (principle and interest)

  • $127.87 more per month will be paid for that same home
  • $127.87 x 12 months = $1,534.44 more paid yearly
  • $1,534.44 x 30 years = $46,033.20 more paid long-term for the home – This is the long-term cost for waiting one year to make that home purchase.

Your Home Search
Here are some tips (courtesy of CBS News – MoneyWatch) when looking for a home:

  • Can you afford a home? This is very important question. Hopefully your finances will determine that a home can be part of your financial plan.
  • Save for a down payment.
  • Do your research. When you find a desirable home, you need to research the comparable findings in that area.
  • Know what your credit report states. It is important to correct any errors when applying for a home mortgage. Obtain a free copy of your credit report from
  • Obtain pre-approval for a mortgage. This approval will give you a good price range of what you can really afford to buy. Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services can assist with this step.
  • Use a Sibcy Cline Agent! Your agent is vital in making a good decision on your home purchase. That professional can provided comparable sold and listing data and be involved with your purchase contract.
  • Get a home inspection. This professional will review the home inside and out and address any problems it may have to protect your potential investment. Sibcy Cline Home Services can assist in putting you in touch with such an experienced home inspector.
  • Get homeowners insurance. Coverage on the investment in your home is necessary. Your Sibcy Cline Insurance Agent can walk you though the process so that you have proper coverage.
  • Review your HUD Statement before closing on your home. You want to make sure there are no mistakes.