5 Tips For First Time Homebuyers

5 Tips For First Time HomebuyersYou’ve decided that it’s time to stop renting and jump into home ownership but there are a few things that you should do before making that leap. Some of these things need to be done well before you start traipsing through house after house.

The very first thing you should do is check your credit

Not just your credit score, but your credit reports. The “big 3”: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, will give you a complete overview of your credit situation. If there are discrepancies, get them cleared up. This can take weeks or months. If your credit score is low, you may need months or even a year to raise it. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference in how much interest you pay on your mortgage, so it will be worth putting off looking at homes until you are ready and able to buy.

Next, save, save, save

Having a decent or better down payment can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not. 20% is a good figure to shoot for, if you can save more, it will give you a cushion in case you need to fix things in the home or pay any extra fees. Plus it helps raise that credit score too!

Get preapproved for your mortgage

Getting preapproved can and will give you a leg up over other people making offers on the same home as you are. A seller who knows that you can get financing and settle more quickly will favor you over another buyer who doesn’t. It will also mean that you stick to your budget. If you are preapproved for a mortgage that will be comfortable for you to pay each month you will be less likely to be talked into a home that is above your price range.

No large purchases until after settlement

Don’t shop for furniture, cars or make other big purchases until after you have settled on your home and the money has been paid out to all parties. If you make any large, expensive purchases, especially on credit, prior to settlement you may end up without a mortgage when you are ready to settle.

Lastly, find a reputable Realtor to help you find that new home!

Definitely pick one that loves working with first time homebuyers and who will answer all your questions! A great Realtor will help you to get through the whole process safely and find a great fir home!

Why The Market Slowing Down Is Good For Denver Real Estate

The real estate market in Denver has slowed down, but that’s a good thing. It sounds counterproductive, but for buyers and sellers, it is a good thing and here’s why.

Puts homeownership within reach

Why The Market Slowing Down Is Good For Denver Real EstateFor buyers it means that homeownership is within reach again. In a slower market home prices are lower. That’s great for buyers, obviously.

What makes it good for sellers is that they don’t have to rush to market. Knowing that they aren’t “missing out” on a hot market means that they have time to get it right. Updates can be made, and they can take a week or month to get their home in the best shape ever.

For a seller that means the best price for their property.

More time and less worry

In a slower market there are fewer frantic buyers buying anything and everything just because it may not be there the next day. Not great for sellers, obviously. But for buyers it means they can take time to see more homes and find the right one, instead of feverishly buying SOMETHING because it may disappear from the market the next day. With that also goes the bidding wars. Having more time to decide without the worry about being outbid.

Better price negotiations

A slower market also gives a buyer more negotiation room for buyers and sellers. For sellers a slower market means less competition. That will help with price negotiations. For buyers it means you can also negotiate price, but with it you can negotiate in repairs, closing costs and other concessions.

Don’t give up your dreams of homeownership or selling your current home because of a slower market. It can be a great thing for you as a buyer or a seller. Call your Realtor today and ask how they can help you.

Buying In Denver – Why The Fall Is A Perfect Time To Buy a Home!

There is a thought in the general public that Fall is not a good time to buy a home. The common reasoning is that the kids are back to school, people are too busy with school activities, sports, holidays and such and don’t or won’t have time to house shop or don’t want to uproot kids in the beginning of the school year.

Well while that is true in some areas, for most of the country Fall is a fantastic time to buy and here’s why.

First, prices drop once summer is over

Buying In Denver - Why The Fall Is A Perfect Time To Buy a Home!Sellers who didn’t sell over the summer panic a bit and tend to lower prices in order to sell. They are worried that a slowdown in the market will mean they are stuck until next spring so they drop the price.

This gives you, the buyer, a bit more buying power than other times of the year. Plus, buying around or before the holidays is a great way to get yourself in the holiday spirit. Moving in and decorating a new home for the holidays is fun!

Tax break

Another reason is getting the fantastic tax break of home ownership this year instead of waiting until next year. You can deduct mortgage interest, mortgage insurance premiums and property taxes. Also any prepaid taxes and insurance premiums paid at closing can be deducted too.

If you’re worried about owing taxes this year or if you really don’t want to wait until the spring of 2018 for the refund, buying now, in the fall, is a smart decision.

So don’t “buy” into the common wisdom that you shouldn’t buy in the fall. Fall is a great time to buy a home. So call a Realtor and get house hunting now!

Home Contingencies You Should Never Waive, Part 2

In Part 1 we reviewed common contract contingencies found in a typical real estate contract. Now we’re going to discuss home contingencies that you should never waive.

Title contingency

Home Contingencies You Should Never Waive, Part 2The first and most important contingency that you should never waive is the title contingency. All contracts have a clause requiring that the seller deliver clear title to the property to the buyer. Clear title means that there are no liens or mortgages left on the property once it transfers from one owner to another. If you waive this contingency you will be responsible to pay any outstanding liens or mortgages the seller decides to leave attached to the title.

Inspection contingency

Next, don’t waive the inspection contingency. An inspection contingency gives the buyer a specific time period to have a home inspector come and look at the home to make sure there are no serious defects or issues that need to be addressed. In most contracts, should something be found the seller has the chance to fix it or either party can decide to walk away from the deal.

If you are a home builder or contractor and have the knowledge to address problems yourself, this contingency is a serious protection for the buyer. To many things can be easily hidden from the average buyer’s sight. Can you see electrical issues inside a wall? What about a pipe drip that is slowly causing mold issues? Is that crack in the basement a superficial one or a foundation issue? Don’t take a chance.

Appraisal contingency

The appraisal contingency allows the buyer to walk away if the home appraisal comes back lower than the price agreed upon. Most banks and mortgage companies require this and should the appraisal be short, they won’t write a mortgage for the property, or will but only if the buyer puts up a serious cash down payment.

If you waive this contingency, you will be required to purchase the property whether you can get financing or not.

Financing contingency

Which leads to the financing contingency. Unless you can pay all cash for a property, you will be getting a mortgage to secure the purchase money. What if you can’t? For whatever reason, do you want to be contractually required to buy a home that you don’t have the money to pay? Of course not. So don’t waive this one!

4 Reasons They Didn’t Accept Your Denver Real Estate Offer

You find the perfect Denver area home and make an offer and the seller rejects it. It can be heart breaking. There are some common reasons why they didn’t accept your real estate offer, and if you know what they are ahead of time, you can avoid setting yourself up for disappointment.

One reason sellers reject offers is because the offer is way too low

Regardless of whether you think it was fair or not, a super low offer can be rather insulting to a seller, or may convey the message to them that you aren’t a serious buyer. If it’s a new listing the seller may reject it 4 Reasons They Didn't Accept Your Denver Real Estate Offerbecause it would be too early to accept a lower than list offer. If the home is truly overpriced, you might want to rethink whether it’s truly the home for you.

A better offer tendered

Another reason is that a better offer could have been tendered to the seller that they are considering. If a home is getting a lot of attention and your Realtor feels that there may be other offers, your best bet is to keep your offer as close to list as possible, and keep contingencies to a minimum.

Not prequalified for a mortgage

A big reason offers are rejected is because you are not prequalified for a mortgage. Pre-approval of a mortgage is something that sellers prefer because it means that 1) you are a serious buyer and 2) you can complete settlement and purchase the home. Be sure to include your pre-approval letter with your offer.

A long escrow period

Requiring a long escrow period can also be a deal killer. The reasons for this could be because you need to sell your current home or time to save your down payment. Whatever the reason sellers usually don’t want to be strung along for months. Your best bet is to begin your search after you have your down payment together, or once your current home is at least listed or closer to selling.