Home Buying Tips

Things to help you buy your home.  Whether it's your first home or a luxury estate, you'll find useful info here.

Found 92 blog entries about Home Buying Tips.

3 Floor Plans Home Buyers Should KnowRanch or multistory home? There are many questions home buyers have about the different types of floor plans when they’re planning to buy a new home, like what exactly is the difference between an open floor plan and a semi-open floor plan? A home’s floor plan can drastically change how the home feels to live in, so home buyers should know the differences between them and know which floor plans will work best for their lifestyles. Here are some of the different floor plans home buyers will find and what sets them apart from each other.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans have become especially popular in the past few decades, but what exactly does it mean when the floor plan is open? Homes are considered to have an open floor plan when two or

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All About Fixed Rate Versus Adjustable Rate MortgagesMortgages come in many flavors. One of the many things that homeowners can decide when selecting is mortgage is whether their loan will have a fixed or adjustable rate. The interest rate on a mortgage can affect the monthly payment amount. So knowing the difference between the adjustable and fixed rate mortgage, including the pros and cons, can help a home buyer decide what kind of mortgage is right for them. Here's what you need to know.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage? Fixed Rate Mortgage?

Very simply, a fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage with an interest rate that never changes. The fixed rate

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What to Know About Property TaxesMost first-time homeowners realize that along with buying a home will come the responsibility of paying property taxes. What may come as a surprise is how much property taxes can add up to, requiring many to budget for this expense that can amount to thousands of dollars annually. In most cases, however, property taxes are placed in an escrow account should a mortgage be used in buying the home. Understand more about property taxes and a few ways to reduce property taxes today.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a certified tax expert before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

An Overview of Property Taxes

Property tax will be determined on assessed real estate property. It is generally a value that is in

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How to Research the Real Estate MarketWhether planning to buy or sell a home, it is essential to understand both the basics of real estate and the state of the real estate market. Here are a few tips to get a better grasp on how to determine the market in potential buying or selling regions.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Understanding Online Listings and the Multiple Listing System (MLS)

There are many popular online websites to search real estate listings and detailed information. They offer viewers easy access to details such as physical addresses, listing prices, nearby amenities and typically feature photos of homes. Overall, these are all excellent resources to

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How a Home Appraisal Works for SellersFor most sellers, a home appraisal could be an important part of the home selling process. If the buyer plans to obtain financing from a lender, they will typically require the appraisal amount to be equal to or greater than the sale price. The results establish a home value relative to the neighborhood and the sale of comparable homes in the area. Knowing what to expect from the process can help sellers understand how the appraisal could affect the home sale.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

How Do Appraisals Work?

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the details of the purchase contract, the buyer's side (usually the lender) usually orders the

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Tips for Writing a More Competitive Purchase OfferThe home purchase offer is generally the first official communication between the buyer and seller, making it a document that buyers should take seriously. Now is the time to think through both the terms and contingencies if the home buyer ever hopes to make it to the next step. With your real estate agents assistance in creating a home purchase offer, most buyers will go make more than one offer, meaning they have a little leeway to experiment with trial and error. However, it's still important to understand how to write a solid offer in case the buyer spots their dream property early on in their journey.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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All About Fixed Rate MortgagesWhen the time comes to get a mortgage, many home buyers are faced with the question of whether they should get a fixed rate mortgage or an adjustable rate mortgage. Knowing the difference between these two mortgages can help the home owner determine which type of mortgage is right for them.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What's a Fixed Rate Mortgage?

A fixed rate mortgage is a standard mortgage with a fixed interest rate. The interest rate does not change over the life of the loan. Whether the mortgage lasts for 15 or 30 years, the homeowner will always make the same monthly payment until the loan has been paid off.

What are the

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How to Choose Between 15-Year and 30-Year MortgagesWhen potential home buyers begin to research mortgages for buying a home, they are confronted with a lot of different and possibly confusing words or contract terms. One of those terms is the length of the mortgage. The length of the loan is an important decision to make. Although there are mortgages with a variety of term lengths, 15 and 30 years are the most common. Home buyers should understand the differences between these loans, how they can affect the monthly payment and the way the loan is paid off. This comparison will help buyers make a more informed decision about their mortgage options.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Monthly

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Debt-to-Income Ratio InformationA person's debt-to-income ratio can have a big effect on whether or not they can buy a home. Too much debt can impact a buyer's interest rates and may even be cause for a loan to be denied. Understanding debt-to-income ratio can be important during the home buying process, especially for people who have significant amounts of debt.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Understanding Debt-to-Income Ratio

Debt-to-income ratio is a factor that lenders pay attention to when a loan application is being processed for approval. The ratio consists of two numbers: the amount of money that the potential home buyer owes to lenders every month versus

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Good Reasons to Obtain an Updated Property SurveyBuying a home is complicated with a lot of moving parts. In addition to the purchase and sale agreement, there are inspections, appraisals and very often surveys. A home survey lets a home buyer know for sure where the boundary lines are for their property. But beyond that, what are the other details of a home survey?

Types of Surveys

There are actually several different survey types, each with a specific purpose. While commercial property surveys may be more comprehensive and detailed, a survey is always a good idea when buying both raw land or a home, or prior to building. Some of the various types of surveys include:

  • ALTA/NSPS Survey: The initials stand for American Land Title Association and National Society of Professional
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