10 Home Buying Tips

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Condo, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Realtor, Certified Buyer Representative, Florida Real Estate, Home Affordability, Lee County Homes, Realtor, SWFL Real Estate

The top 10 things you need to know when buying a home. 

Buying a home is a big investment and not something you should decide on without really weighing out all your options and going over all the details. So many times I hear of people making bad decisions and getting the short end of the deal because they didn’t have the right advice or didn’t know what to look for. Thousands of dollars can be left on the table or lost altogether or worse you could get stuck with a home that isn’t what you think you’re buying into. As a Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. Below is a list of things to keep in mind when purchasing a home.

1. Don’t buy if you can’t stay put.

If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner – even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse proposition.

2. Start by shoring up your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover. Click here for Tips on improving your credit.

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford. I can help you with this – contact me for support.

4. If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price.

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don’t have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

6. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. I have the experience and knowledge to get you in the right home and make sure it’s going to benefit you most! Contact me today.

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

9. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

10. Hire a home inspector.

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But that’s just the bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth

The Market is Changing!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Condo, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Realtor, Clean Credit, Credit Score, Florida Real Estate, Home Affordability, Homes for Sale SWFL, Lee County Homes, Realtor, Selling your Home, SWFL Real Estate

Buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines for home or condo purchases in SW Florida should wait no longer. The median price of all single family homes in Cape Coral sold during the month of January 2012 rose 33% since January 2011 from $89,525 to $119,000 in January 2012. Condo values appear to have bottomed out and are showing signs of pressure towards higher prices. The unprecedented value at which homes and condos could be purchased for is slowing but surely slipping away as we lean towards a more normal market.

In addition, due in part to low prices and historically low interest rates, home affordability conditions have reached their highest level since record keeping began in 1970. Rarely do we see low prices and low rates at the same time. Buyers over the past 2 years have been able to solidify their financial futures in these tough economic times by purchasing a home at 1/2 it’s “true” value, while financing it at severely depressed rates saving them even more money monthly, and over the term of their mortgage.

Unfortunately qualifying for a home loan is more difficult today than it has been at almost anytime in the past, with the exception of when you were required to have a 20% down payment. Today it is so important to keep your credit clean, and to be able to document all income either through W2 and or pay stubs if employed or with copies of your tax return, 2 years please!, if self employed.

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth