Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tips to make easy buy a home near your office

If you’re entering into the real estate market for the first time, you’ll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That’s three of the key factors… I’m kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.

However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it’s a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.

These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that’s the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you’re not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.

A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.

Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they’ll be on the road before they’re home at night. They also don’t factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.

If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. Craigslist.com andeRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you’ll miss rush hours. This way you’re not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.

Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don’t have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.

If you’re shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them.

Tips to Make Your Over Your Home

It may seem hard to imagine but, yes, the cycle has spun around and in some markets there are bidding wars leaving buyers wondering, “What can I do to make my offer stand out?”

The real estate market is again heating up and many buyers are trying to get into the market now after taking a long break. For some, it’s a chance to become first-time homeowners. For others, it’s a chance to make a move up to a larger home or to buy a second home. Still others may have owned in previous years and are now getting back into homeownership. Regardless of the situation, making your offer to buy stand out among the others is important.

  • Keep your offer simple and straightforward. In a market that has multiple buyers making offers, one of the best things you can do is keep it simple. That doesn’t mean you have to neglect important things that you want in the offer. However, it does mean that you should not get caught up in smaller issues that could become huge issues for no apparent valid reason. For instance, a minor repair might be worth fixing yourself as opposed to putting it in the offer as a repair demand.
  • Try writing an offer letter. This is a formal letter explaining why you want to buy their home. This is an opportunity to show the buyers how you will utilize the home. This is where you tell them about your family, how much you like the home and how it’s perfect for your needs.
  • Personal Delivery. The next two have to do with follow through. It’s a good idea to have your agent present your offer in person to the listing agent. It may sound old-fashioned but this can go a long way. Real estate, like all business, is about relationships. Faxing or emailing an offer may seem very efficient but it can be less effective. Your agent should be prepared to build you and your offer up to the listing agent. This will give the agent a good presentation to take back to the buyers.
  • Loan Officer Follow-Up. Another great tip is to have your loan officer call the listing agent after the offer has been submitted. The loan officer can assure the listing agent that the buyer is qualified and ready to close the deal

    This is not where you tell the sellers that you plan to gut their precious home and completely remodel it (even if that’s the ultimate plan). You don’t write an arrogant letter that expresses “there are many fish in the sea”. Instead, you want to convey that this home is the one you truly want to buy. Let the sellers know that you have done your homework and hope that they will accept this offer as this home is a good fit and you’re prepared to move quickly.

    Most important, be ready to act swiftly when the time comes to close escrow.