Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 6/9/2017

The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you値l need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can稚 go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it痴 something that you値l want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you値l know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.  


The Elements Of Your Buying Power


Your Credit Score


This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:


  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened


A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that you値l be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you池e offered can be impacted. You値l also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 


Down Payment


The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you値l need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You値l even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.


How Your Financial Picture Appears


Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can稚 show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you値l actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.


The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you値l have. If your numbers are good, you値l be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it痴 a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 4/7/2017

Rome was not built in the day, and much in the same vein, buying a home may prove to be an exhausting yet rewarding process.

Ultimately, buying a house can be a lot of work. A typical homebuyer may need to commit substantial time and resources to browse the housing market, set up home showings and submit offers on residences. Therefore, homebuyers may experience many ups and downs as the homebuying process moves forward.

What are some of the most common feelings that homebuyers may experience? Here's a closer look at three feelings that you might experience as you search for your dream home.

1. Excitement

Entering the housing market is a time of change, leading to unparalleled excitement.

When you begin your search for the perfect home, you'll likely start with a clean slate. You may be able to move to any city or town in the United States. Or, you can move close to family members and friends. You can even live on your own or with family members and friends.

The possibilities are endless when you start your home search. And with a real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to maintain your excitement throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available. He or she also will learn about your homebuying needs and enable you to narrow your search accordingly. Thus, your real estate agent will help you stay excited as you navigate the journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

2. Stress

Unfortunately, stress is common for homebuyers. As you prepare to check out houses and submit offers on homes, your stress levels may rise accordingly.

Lucky for you, hiring an experienced real estate agent can help you minimize stress levels.

Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries without delay. By doing so, he or she will help put your mind at ease. And if your stress levels start to rise, your real estate agent is available to provide you with the necessary support to help you alleviate stress.

3. Relief

Relief occurs after a homebuyer secures his or her dream home. At this point, a home seller may have accepted a homebuyer's offer, and a homebuyer likely has completed a home inspection that meets or exceeds his or her expectations. As such, a homebuyer only needs to finalize a purchase agreement to acquire his or her dream residence.

With support from a real estate agent, you can reach the relief stage of the homebuying process quickly. Your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the homebuying cycle. As a result, you should have no trouble finding and purchasing your dream home if you collaborate with an experienced real estate professional.

Get ready for the homebuying journey work with an experienced real estate agent, and you can move one step closer to buying your ideal home.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 2/24/2017

If you want to buy a home in the near future, you池e going to need to really focus on the goal. Buying your first home is no small feat. There are a few habits that you値l want to start right away once you decide that you池e ready to take the plunge into homeownership. 


Make Savings Automatic


If you池e going to start saving for all of the expenses that buying a home brings, the best thing that you can do is automate your savings. The down payment is usually more money than most people can even plan for. If you have a small amount of each paycheck go into a dedicated account for the house fund, you値l be in better shape financially. You can never start saving too early or too much. The goal is to save as much as you possibly can. Put the money in a place where you won稚 have easy access to it. If you don稚 see it, you won稚 spend it! 


Check Your Credit Score


Your credit report is one of those things that can稚 be magically fixed. It takes some time and a little work to keep your credit score up. You値l need to make sure that you make on-time payments each and every month. If there are any glaring mistakes on the report, you値l need to fix them, as it could take some time for any changes to show up. The most important thing is to keep your credit record clean by making on-time payments, refraining form opening too many new accounts, and paying down any outstanding debt. Once you check your credit score and see what you have to work with, you値l be in good standing in no time. 


Become A DIYer


When you move into a home, there痴 a lot that may need to be done. If you can do some of the work yourself, instead of hiring contractors and other people, you may be able to save some money. This wouldn稚 include anything dangerous like electrical work or complicated plumbing issues. There are plenty of projects that you can safely take on in a home that will save money and keep your home in great shape. 


Learn To Budget


Owning a home can actually be cheaper than renting in some cases. If you learn to budget, factoring in things like food, utilities, and how much you spend on entertainment, you値l see how much you have to work with. See how much you池e spending and then decide where you can cut down costs from there. You値l find more money that you can be saving towards a home. The best part about buying a home is that you own it! There is no middle man telling you what you can and cannot do in a space.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 12/9/2016

Build a house using custom specifications and you may get the house you've always dreamed about. To save money, you could also purchase a house that is being built to specifications developed by a previous buyer or developer. To avoid building an entire house, you could also add rooms onto your existing home. Avoid rushing into a decision, as there are pros and cons to building a new house. For starters, you値l incur floor plan development, construction and cleaning expenses that you'd avoid if you bought an existing house. Unique costs associated with building a house In addition to paying for the plot of land that you will build a house on, there's the cost of laying the house's foundation and building out the structure, including wiring, drainage, sewage and landscaping costs. You could also be responsible for the costs of repairs or renovations should initial floor plans need to be adjusted. Meet the neighbors Whether you build a house or buy an existing home, location is key. The neighborhood your home is located in will influence your property taxes, homeowners insurance and the value of your home. Ethical builders - Check local licensing agencies and organizations like the Better Business Bureau for complaints on builders you're thinking about working with. Ask your real estate agent if she knows the builders. Do your homework. The skill level, professionalism and ethical standards of the builder that you go with could make your home building experience good or a nightmare. Weather conditions Some older homes may not be prepared to handle extreme weather conditions. If you致e ever lived in a house that flooded following every hard rain, you know firsthand that just because a house looks good, does not mean that it痴 built for harsh weather conditions. Building your own house could increase the likelihood that your home will withstand harsh climate changes and weather conditions. Code standards Build your own house and you could meet code standards to operate a business out of your house or turn a portion of your home into a rental property. You wouldn稚 have to spend more money to renovate the property if you include these design requirements into the initial build. Recreation Add space to build an in ground swimming pool or an outdoor dining area into the blueprints and you could avoid having to pay to add these features to an existing home. Commute - Because land to build a new house may require you to relocate to a more open area, building a house could lengthen your work commute. You池e smart not rush into making a decision on where you'll live. Your decision could impact you for years, perhaps generations. You could opt for an older, traditional house like a brick bungalow or a four-story Victorian. But, depending on the age of the house, that choice could require repairs in the near future. Of course, you could go with a modern home. But, you壇 still have to consider the condition of the house and how well previous occupants cared for the home. Building a new house could increase the likelihood that your house will be in excellent condition. It could also ensure that you get amenities that you want, yet, at a higher price. Similar to shopping for an existing house, the more clearly you visualize your custom designed home, the better you will be able to work with a realtor to get the land plot that you need to build your dream house on.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 5/6/2016

Businesspeople imitating see, hear, speak no evil conceptThe country痴 long history of racism and racial discrimination effected many aspects of life in the U.S. and the world of real estate was no exception to this. In the past, real estate agents would practice things such as 都teering and 澱lockbusting. In both cases real estate agents played a part in segregating different communities by race. Whether by steering, suggesting clients look in certain neighborhoods based on their race, or blockbusting, convincing homeowners to sell their homes quickly and at low prices by instilling the fear that minorities would soon be taking over the area, their practices did not have their clients, or the general populations, best interests at heart. In fact, 壮teering and 礎lockbusting allowed agents to reap many fiscal rewards of racism. Modern day real estate agents have a very high standard of ethics and laws in place in regard to discrimination for these very reasons. These standards make the content an agent can provide his or her clients with limited at times. There is certain information your agent can not and should not provide. An agent cannot and should not attest to the specifics of a certain neighborhood. The agent shouldn稚 tell a client the area is perfect for single persons or on the other hand describe a neighborhood as family-friendly. Your agent can suggest you speak with some of the homeowners in the neighborhood in order to get a better grasp on the neighborhood痴 atmosphere. Similarly, If you want to know if the area you池e looking in has a good school system, an agent can point you in the direction of where this information and data is readily available, perhaps online, and allow you to do your own research and make your own assumptions. An agent, generally, cannot provide you with his or her personal experience or opinion on these sensitive topics. This is not detrimental to you as a buyer or a seller. As a seller you are ensured your agent is showing any and all interested buyers, and as a buyer you know your agent is showing you the optimal number of homes and neighborhoods based on your desires not your race. As your real estate agent I壇 be happy to point you in the right direction of any information you may be seeking while abiding by all of the highest moral standards of my profession. It is my job to have your best interests in mind.