Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/12/2018

Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations youíll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.

With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--itís easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.

In this article, weíre going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house youíve been waiting for, youíll be able to move forward confidently.

Trust the process

Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.

However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan youíll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the sellerís interests are protected.

When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, itís a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.

Have a long-term plan

Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that youíre making the right choice.

Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.

Use the tools at your disposal

If youíre reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology youíre unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.

Itís also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.

Knowing that youíre in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.




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Posted by Janet Cramb on 11/21/2018

When your family is searching for a home, itís an exciting time for the adults, but if there are children involved, it can be a difficult task. Children donít have to be left in the dark during a home search. Children of all ages can be involved in the process of finding a home. Read on for tips on how to make your kids feel a part of the home search process. 


Young Children


Preschool-aged children might seem not to be aware of the fact that your family is searching for a home, but they can still very much be a part of the process. One thing to remember about young children is that you shouldnít give them too many options. Once you have narrowed down the homes to a few and the time to buy a home is close, itís a good time to tell your toddler about the fact that youíre moving. While you probably donít want to take your kids along with you on all of your home viewings, you can bring the children with you. Even the opinions of the tiniest among us can help contribute to a final decision. 


School-Aged Children


Older children may be more challenging to deal with during a move. These kids are more aware of the changes to come and maybe more reluctant of the entire process. Itís best to include children this age (around 6-9 years old) in conversions about your plans. Where do you hope to move? What neighborhood will the home be? Show them pictures of potential new homes. Allowing kids this age to share their thoughts on location and the types of houses youíre looking at can help to ease fears and anxieties. Remind your kids that the final choice is up to the adults but that you appreciate and welcome their input. 


Older Children And Teenagers 


Pre-teens and teenagers can play a part in the house search. Make sure that they understand that thereís no pressure on them to pick a house but their input is essential to you. Teens are tweens should be encouraged to come along on house tours to help give an opinion on the properties in person. 


The older the kids that are involved, the more you should value and welcome your input.  Make sure that you reassure your teens, letting them know that they can continue their favorite activities. Do a little research on the new community first, or allow your kids to do a bit of research themselves.                     





Tags: Buying a home   children  
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Posted by Janet Cramb on 10/17/2018

Thereís a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.

In this article, weíre going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if youíre ready for homeownership. Weíll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.

Getting your finances in order

There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if youíre financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, youíll want to look up your credit score.

Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.

The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.

In the meantime, youíll want to save for a down payment. While itís possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders wonít pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).

If you have a high credit score and youíve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.

Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that youíll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.

Preparing for homeownership

While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. Youíll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.

First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if itís a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.

If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), youíll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.

Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting arenít aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. Youíll have more bills, youíll have to mow your own lawn, and youíll be responsible for maintenance of your home.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 9/26/2018

If youíre ready to buy a home, you probably have done a lot of research. One thing is sure: You know you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Itís perhaps the most critical step in the process of buying a home for a variety of reasons. Thereís down payments and debt-to-income ratios, and other financial issues to worry about. You need to know what type of mortgage you should get. To help you understand what kind of mortgage you need, you should get pre-approved.


Understand The Pre-Approval Process


There are many misconceptions about pre-approvals. First, buyers need to understand that there is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification merely scrapes the surface of your financial state, while a pre-approval goes through everything a mortgage company will need to grant you a loan. You may be pre-qualified for a much higher amount than you can actually afford, for example.


Pre-Approval Defined


A pre-approval is a lenderís written commitment to a borrower. The approval states that the lender is willing to lend a certain amount of money for a home. The lender obtains the following from the buyer:


  • Employment history
  • Credit report
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements


The time and effort that it takes to get a pre-approval is worth it because everything will be ready for the lender to grant the mortgage once an offer is made on a home. It also gives the buyer an upper hand in finding the home of their dreams. Many sellers require a pre-approval with an offer.


When To Get A Pre Approval


As soon as you know youíre serious about buying a home and are ready to start the house hunt, you should get pre-approved. Pre-approvals do expire after a certain amount of time, but lenders can renew them with proper notice. 


The Importance Of The Pre-Approval


Many buyers feel that they can skip the pre-approval process altogether. It has many benefits. Besides giving you a better look at your finances and how much house you can afford, pre-approvals can:


  • Give you the insight to correct your credit score and help you correct credit problems
  • Help to avoid disappointment when you find a home you love
  • Allow first-time buyers to see all of the costs involved in buying a home


A pre-approval is a handy thing to have, and itís not just because the experts say itís essential. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you to be more on top of your finances going into one of the most significant purchases you'll ever make in your life. 

 




Tags: Buying a home   mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 9/19/2018

Buying a home should be an unforgettable experience. However, problems sometimes may arise that prevent a homebuyer from enjoying the property buying journey.

Whether it's tough negotiations with a stubborn home seller or a property inspection that reveals many problems with a house, problems may occur that can make the homebuying journey memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the homebuying process and ensure you can acquire your dream home quickly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to transform an ordinary property buying experience into an unforgettable journey.

1. Perform Plenty of Real Estate Market Research

Navigating the real estate market can be tricky, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Conversely, homebuyers who evaluate the real estate market closely should have no trouble discovering a wide range of terrific residences.

Examine the prices of recently sold homes in your area. That way, you can establish a price range for homes that match your needs.

Also, analyze the amount of time that recently sold properties were available. This will help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Buying a home likely will require you to get approved for a mortgage. If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you can narrow your home search based on your budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders can explain how a mortgage works and help you find one that suits you perfectly.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions when you meet with lenders. These mortgage professionals can provide expert insights into the different types of mortgages, including fixed- and adjustable-rate options. By doing so, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can kick off your search for the perfect home.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a home, working with a real estate agent is paramount. This real estate professional will do what it takes to eliminate guesswork and streamline the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent understands the challenges that are commonly associated with buying a home and can help you overcome any potential hurdles along the way. He or she also is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and provide you with the support you deserve at any time.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions throughout the homebuying cycle.

Ready to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Use these tips, and you enjoy an outstanding homebuying experience.




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