Tag Archives: Homebuying

House hunting for first-time homebuyers: is there a right way?

DHREA 15/11/2018

 

A lot of buyers, especially first-timers, worry about whether or not they’re going about their home search the right way.

On the one hand, buyers fret that if they find their “dream home” too early, they might be missing out on something better. But, on the other, if the process takes a while, they worry that they’ll never find a home that works for them. The FOMO is real.

Keep reading to find out if you’re on track with your home search and what you should do if you find that you need to go back to the drawing board.

How many homes should you see?

Honestly, that depends. While we understand the impulse to try and rely on hard-and-fast statistics, homebuying is a truly personal experience rather than a science.

Trust your intuition. You know your needs, likes, and dislikes better than anyone else. You’ll know when you’ve landed on the property that makes the most sense for you to call home.

That said, though, there are a few things you can do to help speed your search along:

If you’ve been looking for a while and haven’t really found anything that meets your needs, it might be time to redefine search criteria. Sit down and take some time to think about which features you really need to have in your new home versus which are more nice-to-have, wishlist items.

Narrowing your search

Sometimes, narrowing search criteria can get tricky. If you’re unsure of where to start, try using the following as a starting point.

Neighborhoods

Focusing in on a particular area is one of the easiest ways to refine your search. You can start by doing research into different neighborhoods by you. Think about what you commute to work will look like, if the area has amenities that you enjoy, the quality of the school district, and home values.

With that in mind, though, you getting too hung up on a particular zip code can also limit your criteria. The key is keep an ideal location in mind while still staying open to possibility.

Bedrooms & bathrooms

When searching for a house, you should have a firm idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’re after. Whether you’re just looking to accommodate yourself and the occasional guest, are thinking about starting a family in the near future, or want the option to convert a spare bedroom into an office, this information will surely help narrow your search.

We advise against compromising on this feature because, while it is possible to put an addition on later, doing so takes a substantial amount of time and effort. More often than not, homeowners find that they would rather put their home on the market than go through the hassle of trying to renovate it to fit their changing needs.

Sale price

This is the big one. Once you have the above two details settled, it’s time to narrow your search results further to only those homes that you can truly afford. If you’ve already applied for a pre-approval, that number can be a good place to start. However, remember that a pre-approval shows the maximum amount that you can ask for in a loan. You may not want to borrow up to that amount once you factor in the rest of your monthly expenses.

To find a more comfortable sale price, we recommend using a mortgage calculator to get a sense of what your monthly payment could look like at various loan amounts and interest rates. Then, once you’ve landed on a number that works for you, try plugging that into your monthly budget to get a sense of how the payment will feel in addition to your other costs.

Now what?

The good news is that once you’ve narrowed your search down, your pool of available properties will likely be much smaller than it was before – and much more targeted to meet your needs. From here, your search will be about zeroing in on your perfect match on the basis of which property was the best fit for your personal tates.

You’ll know when a property feels like it could become home versus when you’d be trying to make the best of an imperfect situation. Keep hunting until you find the former.

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

 

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
586 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

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NEW LISTING! Recently gutted and rehabbed gem in Washington, PA!

DHREA 06/11/2018

 

🎈 NEW LISTING! 🎈

Recently gutted and fully rehabbed inside and out. NEW ROOF 2017. Open concept with high ceilings and recessed lighting. Click the the pic above or this link, or contact Corey Drexler about this property today!

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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NEW LISTING! Gorgeous remodel in Pleasant Hills

DHREA 05/11/2018

🎈 NEW LISTING!🎈

Gorgeous remodel in a friendly neighborhood on a very quiet street. Contact Chris Ciccarelli today or click this link for full property details!

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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Think you’re ready to buy a house? Here’s 4 signs.

DHREA 02/11/2018

 

“Am I ready to buy a house, or should I just keep renting?”

It’s one of the questions that we hear most often and something to which first-time homebuyers often spend months, if not years, trying to figure out the answer.

Below are a list of four tell-tale signs that you’re ready to bite the bullet and take the leap into home ownership:

Sign #1: You’re ready to settle down

The first sign that you’re in the right mindset to become a homeowner is that you’re ready to stay put — at least for a little while.

Conventional wisdom states that in order for your purchase to make financial sense, you’ll want to plan on staying put for at least the next five years. When you sit down to think about house hunting, you’ll want to use that timeframe as your reference point.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you see yourself staying at your job for that long, or will you be looking for new opportunities?
  • If the right position came along, would you be willing to move for it?
  • Do you like the area you’re living in, or would you like to explore other options?
  • Do you see your living situation changing soon?
  • Are you planning on moving in with a significant other or expanding your family?

If these questions make you squirmy, the idea of looking five years into the future still feels a little too far ahead for you to grasp, or you still want to see where life life takes you, you may want to consider renting for a bit longer or thinking about a for-a-few-years home vs. a forever home.

2. You’re done living paycheck-to-paycheck

Let’s face it, becoming a homeowner is expensive.

Not only is there a monthly mortgage mortgage payment to consider, which will likely be more than your current rent check, but prospective homebuyers need to be prepared to come up with a sizable down payment, shoulder a portion of the closing costs, and have the dough to take care of any necessary repairs.

Luckily, there is a way that you can prepare for the added financial pressure before the big day comes and understand how much house you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate what a monthly payment could based on the type of home you’re looking to buy. Then, subtract the amount you pay in rent each month, and aim to put the the remainder into savings.

Start by working towards a down payment that could be worth 3%-10% of a home’s sale price, and then move onto a seperate emergency fund.

3. You’re ready for more responsibility

Once you find a home and actually buy it, that’s really where all the fun begins.

Yes, owning a home means that you have a lot more freedom to improve the property as you see fit — whether that means putting in an entirely new kitchen or redoing the hardwood floors.

However, in addition to that creative freedom comes an added layer of responsibility. As the homeowner, you’re the one who is responsible for any necessary maintenance and upkeep on the property.

Think about what you’re like as a tenant now.

Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and help with small tasks or are you relieved to know that you have someone to call? If you’re less handy, you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with common home maintenance tasks before committing to buying anything. It always helps to have a fair idea of what you’re getting into.

4. You know what you’re looking for

Last but not least, though it may sound self-explanatory, when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re ready to buy a home, it’s useful to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

You don’t have to have every single detail set in stone. (In fact, it’s preferable if you leave some room to flexibility in your home search.) That said, though, having a basic set of parameters in mind will make the homebuying process go much easier.

Here, you’ll want to think about the most important factors that you absolutely must have in a home. These will be the things that you would not feel comfortable buying a home without. This may include details like your preferred location, an ideal number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a target sale price, or any specific must-have features like that perfect picture window view.

If you have a strong idea of your must-haves and can’t see that changing in the near future, and the above signs sound like you, you may just be ready to take the plunge into home ownership. If not, there’s no shame in the game waiting.

 

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

28 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

 

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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Homebuying Tips For Unmarried Couples

DHREA 21/08/2018

(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

 

Buying a home with a loved one is an exciting next step. However, home purchases between unmarried couples come with a few challenges. And since buying a home presents a significant financial investment and personal commitment, it’s important to know the challenges you may face before you sign on the dotted line.

Here are five things to plan for when buying a home as an unmarried couple.

Have an Honest Talk About Finances:

Even if you have already rented an apartment together and think you’re fairly familiar with your partner’s finances, it’s important to have a formal discussion about it. Make sure you talk about financial history, debt from credit cards, personal loans, school loans, or any other obligations.

 

FICO scores and income are other important details to know. Of course, if there are any financial factors that you kept private, this would be the time to share it. Once you begin the home loan application, all will come to light anyway –might as well be honest about it all now and start your home buying dreams on the right foot.

If it turns out that one of you has poor credit, as a couple, you may decide to work on repairing the credit before applying for a home loan. Likewise, as a couple, you might decide that the partner with good credit will apply on their own.

Decide How the House Payments will be Split:

You may already have a system in place for deciding who pays which bill. However, a mortgage payment may change that. Besides, the mortgage payment, you also need to decide how to split the down-payment and closing costs. There’s also emergency house repairs and ongoing maintenance to consider.

After deciding, you may want to consider writing a plan with a real estate attorney. This will help to keep things in order as well as and help make sure that each partner holds up to their homeownership commitment.

Some couples find it helpful to have a joint bank account dedicated to home-related expenses while keeping their other funds separate.

Know Your Homeownership Options:

Sharing the mortgage of the home does not automatically mean that each partner is on the title as well. Laws vary according to state but generally speaking, you’ll have three options when it comes to the title of the house.

  1. Joint Tenancy – Both partners own the property equally. In the case of death, the other partner inherits the other’s stake and owns the entire property.
  2. Tenancy In Common – Each own a specified percentage of the property. However, if something happens to one, the ownership interest transfer to whoever is specified in a living will or trust. If there is no will or trust, then goes to the next of kin — not the significant other.
  3. Sole Owner – It might make more sense for a single person to be on the title, especially if only one is on the mortgage. However, know that if you ’re paying for the home but aren’t listed on the title, it’s unlikely that you’ll able to deduct the mortgage interest on your taxes.

Consider the Future:

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? Think you’ll move for a job opportunity? What about starting a family –do you see yourself having kids soon? These changes can change everything and should be part of your decision-making process when buying a home. Typically, it takes about 5 years to build equity so you’ll want to discuss plans with your partner before deciding on a specific house.

Have a Plan B:

Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t turn out as you hope, and owning a home as a couple when you’re not a couple any longer can present some challenges We recommend drawing up a partnership agreement, similar to a prenup, to detail what happens to the home in the event of a split.

Remember, there are no legal protections between home purchases between unmarried couples. Avoid or at least minimize risk to each of you as a couple by going into the home purchase with a written agreement.

Despite the additional challenges, buying a home as a couple is an excellent investment for both of your futures! With some preparation and honest discussion, you and your partner will be prepared to take this next exciting step.

Whether married or unmarried, the home buying process begins the same way –getting pre-approved! Apply securely and quickly using our online application, and contact our office for more live assistance in buying a home as a couple.

 

Be the 500th Real Estate Professional to join Alex Deacon’s Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
489 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

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Real Estate Investing w/ Alex Deacon: Don’t Worry…The Market WILL Crash!

DHREA 14/08/2018

 

In this segment, Alex Deacon discusses the rumored market crash that has real estate professionals buzzing. But, just as the saying goes, “opinions are like you know what, and rumors can be the same.” Or…something like that. 😉

However, Alex does see some parallels to the 2008 crash. Rather than speculate, “The Deacon of Real Estate” explains why a crash wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing, if you know how to position yourself correctly. You won’t want to miss this highly informative session!

 

 

Network with Alex and nearly 500 other real estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshops group on MeetUp.com today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
487 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Getting Ready to Buy Your First Home? Here’s What To Do First!

DHREA 15/05/2018

(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

There are so many parts to buying a home, and when you’re a first time home buyer, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. The good news is that you’re not alone! When you apply for your first mortgage with us, you’ll have a team of professionals helping you every step of the way.

How To Get Ready To Buy Your First Home

Here’s a checklist of 6 things to do first. You don’t have to follow the order of the list precisely. In fact, you may check off several at the same time when you apply for a home loan with us –making your first home purchase even easier!

1. Review Your Credit

In your eagerness to buy a home, you may think that the first step is to start looking at properties. However, we recommend that you look at your credit first. A low credit score affects your ability to qualify as well as partially determined the interest rate. So if you find any blemishes or mistakes on your credit report, you’ll want to correct those first.

You can get your free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, or you can have us pull it for you when you apply with us. We’ll review it with you and may make suggestions of ways that you can raise your score for an even better mortgage rate.

2. Create a Monthly Home Budget

Determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford. It doesn’t have to be an exact number, but it can help you to see the big picture and gets you ready to budget for the responsibility of homeownership.

A mortgage payment is often more than rent. However, this is because there are taxes and insurance included in the monthly payment.

Don’t let a higher payment scare you! Remember that your mortgage payment is an investment in your property. Fannie Mae recommends spending a max of 28 percent of your income on your mortgage payment.

3. Gather Your Docs

Here’s the info you’ll want to have ready when you apply for your first home loan:

  • paycheck stubs
  • current bank statements
  • W-2’s tax returns for the past two years
  • statements from current loans
  • Contact info of your landlords for the past two years

4. Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval puts you in the best position when you’re house hunting. A pre-approval letter means that you have a lender that is ready to support your offer on a home –and, in many cases, it’s as good as cash!

5. Start Home Shopping

This is the fun part –looking for your dream home! We have resources to help you with your search, or you can search independently with the help of your chosen realtor.

6. Remember the Additional Costs

When creating your budget, you’ll also want to consider additional costs, like your down-payment, closing costs, as well as extra savings, should your home need repairs or appliances.

There are a few ways to try to lower these costs, such as asking the seller to pay for some or all of your closing, negotiating repairs, and asking the seller to include appliances with the sale of the house.

Another significant way to save money is with an FHA loan. Not only are the mortgage rates lower than most other home loans, but you can also get a house with as little as 3% down!

Buying your first home is easier than ever and current rates for first time homebuyers make it the best time to buy! Contact Tara Mortgage Services today and let them help you get you closer to finding your “forever home”!

 

 

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