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 Accepting The Highest Offer Is Not Always Best

Your home has been listed and seen by a few or many people. Now you have a few offers. Your knee jerk reaction is to take the highest offer. That may not be your best plan. The highest offer may not be the best offer and here’s why.

The highest offer may not be best

Why Accepting The Highest Offer Is Not Always BestFirst reason the highest offer may not be best is that your home may not appraise for that price. This is especially  true if your home was the subject of a bidding war. If that top bidder has to get a mortgage then the mortgage company will have the property appraised. If they find that the contract price is higher than the appraised value, they won’t write a mortgage for anything more than the appraised value.

So unless that high bidder can put more money down to make up the difference, the contract will fall through. Those other bidders will have moved on and then you are left holding the bag.

Another reason:

That high bidder may just not have the financing in place or available to complete the sale. Just because they bid or offered the highest amount, it doesn’t mean they can get the financing they need or already have it in place.

Last big reason:

If they have the highest offer, they may also ask for the most repairs or concessions. Here is an example: A woman lists her home and gets a full price offer in less than a week. She accepts that offer and the home inspection takes place. The home, which was updated and in rather good shape inspected well, but the inspector mentioned a few things like “the heating system will eventually give out” although nothing is wrong with it now. The buyers then demanded that the seller replace the heating system, put an expensive filtration system on the well and make some other minor repairs. The seller refused to do anything but the minor repairs.

The house then was put back on the market and another buyer bid for under asking, but it was a cash sale and not one concession was demanded. The lesson? The seller actually walked away with more money in her pocket than she would have with the full price, higher offer.

Have your home appraised

So your best bet is to get information before accepting any offer about financing. Have your home appraised prior to sale so you know what that number will look like. Be prepared. Then you can accept the BEST offer, not necessarily the highest.

Why You Need To Get Pre-Approved For Financing BEFORE Looking At Houses

You’ve decided to buy a home and have heard the advice about getting pre-approved for a mortgage. But should you? The answer is a resounding yes and here’s why.

Finances in order

The first reason is to see if your finances are in the right place to be approved for a mortgage Why You Need To Get Pre-Approved For Financing BEFORE Looking At Housesbefore your dream house is on the line. The time and aggravation involved in searching for a home, putting in an offer and getting your hopes high about buying a home aren’t worth the disappointment of finding out you can’t get a mortgage after all of that. It’s better to find out now. If your credit is lacking you can wait to search and work on raising your credit score, save more money and be ready when you can look later.

Price range

Another reason is so that you know what price range you can realistically be looking. Again, if you aren’t pre approved, you may think you can afford a $500,000 home, only to find that you can only get approved for a $300,000 house. You basically have to start all over with a new search after getting your heart set on that more expensive dream home. After that, anything in a lower bracket will probably not measure up.


Having pre-approval for a mortgage also makes you a front runner when you do make an offer. If the sellers know that you already have your approval in hand and they won’t have to wait for you to go through that process or possibly withdraw your contract because you were turned down, they are more likely to accept your offer over one that doesn’t have pre approved buyers. Your offer will be stronger and you will most likely get the home.
So don’t be disappointed, be pre-approved. It will make your home search and buying your home much easier.

Listen to the advice. Get pre-approved!

Frequently Asked Questions When Buying A Denver Home

You’re thinking about buying a Denver home and have questions about what to expect. Here are some frequently asked questions that others have had that may just answer yours.

Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?

In a word, YES! Being pre-qualified for a mortgage, and knowing exactly what you can afford and can get a mortgage, Frequently Asked Questions When Buying A Denver Homewill help you stick to your budget and find the home. This is especially true if you are a first time home buyer. A bank or mortgage company will have a better idea of programs available for you and help you get the most for your money.

Should I buy?

This is a great question and it will really depend on a lot of factors. Buying a home is the American dream, and is a good investment for anyone. However, some situations may mean that you would be better off renting. Common wisdom is that if you aren’t planning on staying in the property for at least 5 years, rent. That said, the Denver rental market is REALLY tight right now so you may have a hard time finding the home of your dreams on a rental basis.

I own a home, should I buy another before selling my current home?

Can you afford two mortgage payments? Yes, buying before you sell means you know you have a home waiting, or that you can move in so that you can show your current home empty or staged differently. Yes, you can also sign the contract for the new home with a contingency, meaning the sale of the new home is dependent on the sale of the old, but that has risks as well. The seller of the new home can still sell to someone else if they come with a better offer with no contingencies.

Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?

You absolutely need a Realtor when buying a home. Whether you are working with your own agent or with the listing agent, there are just some things that can fall through the cracks if you are not very careful.

Additionally, there is no reason not to have representation. In most states (Colorado follows this practice) the Realtor expenses are paid by the seller who is under contract with the Realtor for their listing. There are no out of pocket Realtor expenses for most buyers agents (but check before you make a commitment).

How much should I offer the sellers?

This is a great question and one that your Realtor should be able to help you determine. He or she will know things like how long it has been on the market or if it’s priced wrong. Additionally they will know if you should be offering above the asking price for a home. With the tight market, many times a full price offer won’t get you your dream home, there will be negotiating involved and you may need to offer above list.

If you are looking for a great local Realtor who has the pulse of the market, give Tena D a call today! There are no costs for her buyer services and she is knowledgable and experienced in the Denver real estate market 303-452-5853.

Denver Property Management – Why Rents Are So High!

Denver Property Management Expert, Tena A. Dutenhoeffer talks about why rental prices are so high in the Denver rental property market.

Denver rental property can be a tough market. Finding a reasonably priced rental property can be almost impossible if you are a renter. Of course it’s great for our landlords and real estate investment property owners!

Denver Rental Property - Why Rents Are So High!Here’s the statistics: a report released by the Colorado Division of Housing said the combined vacancy rate for apartments in six metro areas across the state, including Denver was 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, down from 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011 and the lowest level recorded since 2001. The vacancy rate was 4.8 percent in the Denver area. At the same time, rents increased 7.4 percent.

Many things factor into why, but the biggest reasons are economic. The recession, foreclosure rate and lack of willing lenders for new mortgages caused a severe slowdown in apartment construction, and with more people out of owned homes, they need somewhere to live.

At the same time, many people who haven’t owned a home think twice about diving into home ownership. Younger people, just out of college or jumping from one job to another like the flexibility that renting gives. If they get a job transfer or change jobs, they are not tied down to a mortgage or having to sell a home.

In the Denver rental property market, however, that flexibility is a bit curtailed these days. With so few rental units available, moving around is not an good an option, leading to longer rental contracts and less turnover.

As in other metro areas in the US, the Denver rental property market is finding that rental properties are at a premium, and the situation isn’t looking to change any time soon!

If you are looking for a great Denver property management company that is responsive and ready to look out for your best interests, give us a call today! 303-452-5853