It’s probably not too often that you see a blog about a blog…. rather ironic really. But what I really wanted to convey with this is the usefulness of our two blogs “Pendleton Real Estate Pro” and “The Real Estate Pros“. Both blogs address the big questions that many of you have for realtors such as “Qualities and Traits a Realtor Should Have“, “The Benefits of an FHA Loan“, and “Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House.” In addition to tips and tricks in real estate we also cover local events, spotlight local businesses, and even include fun and creative recipes, crafts, home decorating tips, and talk about our love for our four-legged friends as well. These blogs can be an excellent resource for anyone looking to buy or sell a home as well as any current home owners or those living in the Pendleton/Anderson area. Be sure to check out both blogs and feel free to ask us as many questions as you like!
Choosing the right realtor is almost as important of decision as choosing the right house for your family. The difference between the wrong realtor and the right one may be thousands of dollars lost during the sale, months of sitting and waiting for your house to sell, or in extreme cases loss of your home due to financial hardship. That is why we have compiled a list that we feel that every realtor should strive to achieve and we feel that we meet and surpass many of these requirements. Our south Madison County market can be a competitive yet exciting market and we feel that with each home sold or bought we are gaining even more experience and insight into what makes a successful real estate agent.
* Reputation: Nothing, not even advertisements, commercials, or signs speak louder than word of mouth reputation. That is why asking around to your friends and neighbors is a great idea when seeking out an agent. We feel very confident in our reputation due to our diligence in the process and overall determination to ensure our customers satisfaction. We encourage you to poll our customers and see their responses!
* Online Presence: I’m sure that this comes as no surprise that real estate methods have changed drastically since the internet has become commonplace. With that being said we have prided ourselves in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to online advertising, use of social media platforms, staying in the know of current trends, and being fluent in new technology. All of these help to contribute to the overall success of our team.
* Being Local: When searching for a home in a specific area or town you want your agent to be familiar with not only the homes but the heart of the town. You want someone who can tell you that this particular street will be closed during parades or that this particular neighborhood has lots of kids, dogs, etc. Being immersed in the town of Pendleton and all that it has to offer allows us to serve you, our consumer, to the fullest extent and bestow upon you the knowledge of the town that we have picked up along the way.
* Experience: This one is simple, you want someone that knows what they were doing. Many of us on the team have years and years of experience and can help guide you seamlessly along the process. We have worked hard and dedicated ourselves full time to the real estate business so as to better accumulate more and more experience/knowledge.
* Busy… but not TOO Busy: You kind of have to question a real estate agent that is not very busy or has very few listings. This is because it’s either he/she is not fully dedicated to the process or their poor reputation has finally caught up. A steady stream of clients and houses is the ideal situation that a realtor would be in and very much represents our day to day business. You also do not want a realtor that is too busy to properly handle your transaction. We feel that we have found the perfect balance. We have a fully staffed team that includes job specific titles such as operations manager and marketing manager to allow our agents to focus on those more important things such as YOU!
Before we delve into the benefits that come along with an FHA loan we should first cover what exactly an FHA loan is. Essentially an FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The thing that makes FHA loans different from many other loans is that the borrowers are required to pay for mortgage insurance which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. In doing so this allows the FHA lenders to offer more benefits because they are at a lower risk.
Another benefit that comes with using an FHA loan is that you don’t have to have perfect credit. In fact, a score of 580 or better is usually all it takes to qualify for an FHA loan. Additionally, for those borrowers with a score under 500 have an opportunity to under certain circumstances get a loan for “nontraditional credit history” on a case by case basis. It is worth checking out your options for loans.
The down payment for FHA loans are lower than many other similar loans as well. On average an FHA lender only requires a down payment of 3.5%. Additionally, with FHA loans the closing costs may be covered. This is because the FHA lenders allow home sellers, builders, and lenders to pay some of the closing costs.
FHA loans are especially popular for those buyers that need to do essential repairs to the home they are buying. The advantage of this type of loan (called a 203K) is that the loan amount is based on the projected value of the home after the repairs are done.
Last but certainly not least, FHA loans have a financial hardship relief allowance. Some loan servicers can offer some financial relief to FHA loan holders who have suffered a financial hardship in the form of temporary forbearance, lower interest rate, or deferral of part of the loan. Check with your lender for any of these options.
While the big decision has already been made and you are eagerly awaiting the start of your new life in your new home there are a few things you may want to do once you move in. Be sure to share these tips with any new homeowners you may know!
* First things first… change the locks. While the crime rate may be low in the area you still never know who all has a key from the neighbors, old babysitter, in-laws, etc… there may be more keys to your house floating around out there than you would care for.
* Fill out for a change of address. This of course includes filing a change of address form with the post office but also notifying all businesses and contacts of your new address.
* If you are bringing pets to your new home be sure to familiarize yourself with a local veterinarian and a local animal hospital.
* The same goes for your local hospital. It is always wise to know your new surroundings and routes to get there.
* Before moving into your new home make sure you have changed all utilities into your name and had them switched on. Sometimes this can take a day or two and you don’t want to be unpacking in the dark.
* Before your furniture and belongings are moved in it would be a good time to thoroughly clean the house, inside cabinets, under appliances, etc. If there is any hint to an insect issue now would be a good time to bug bomb the house.
* Once you start unpacking this is an ideal time to make a recorded inventory of your valuables. This can be as simple as snapping quick photos of everything.
* Something that can save a headache down the road is going ahead and labeling your breaker box.
When buying a house there are so many things running through your head like, “is this the school system we want our future kids to go to?, “will all of my shoes possibly fit in this closet?” and “I wonder if there are hard wood floors under this out-dated carpet?” And while questions like these are oh-so-important there are 5 questions that most potential home buyers forget to ask.
1.) Why is this house for sale? While the answer may be innocent enough such as the kids moving out, moving for a job, etc. the answer may also surprise you and could provide some insight when writing your offer.
2.) Has the property been tested for radon? This question could literally save your life.
3.) Are there many kids or dogs in the neighborhood? The answer to this question could be either positive or negative depending on what you are looking for in a neighborhood.
4.) What is the home’s zoning guidelines? This is an especially important question if you are thinking about adding on any structural additions to the home.
5.) Has this home ever had a mold inspection? If the answer is no… get one. If the answer is yes make sure to look at the results thoroughly. This could help avoid some very costly and potentially dangerous issues down the road.
The internet is wonderful for so many reasons and as realtors we use it all the time to show advertise our homes or help buyers find their dream home. With that being said, it still cannot replace the experience of walking through a potential new home, hearing the sounds, smelling the smells, taking in the overall feel that a picture simply cannot give you.
We are hosting 3 Open Houses this Sunday (Aug. 3rd) from 1:00-3:00. Be sure to stop by and see these amazing homes for sale!