5 Homebuying Questions You Shouldn’t Feel Embarrassed to Ask!

embarrassed.jpgWhether you’re a First-Time Homebuyer or it’s been many years since you last went through the mortgage process, there are bound to be questions that come up along the way. You should never feel embarrassed to ask your loan officer any question, no matter how simple you may think it is. However, if you want to start with some mortgage basics, here are the answers to Five Homebuying Questions You Shouldn’t Feel Embarrassed to Ask!

1. Am I considered a First-Time Homebuyer?
This may seem like an obvious question, but the answer may surprise you. In the mortgage industry, you are considered a first-time homebuyer if you have never purchased a home, if you have not owned or co-owned a home in the last three years, or if you’ve fulfilled the necessary waiting period after a foreclosure or short sale.
2. What is the difference between a home appraisal and an inspection?
A Home Appraisal provides information on the value of a home, decided by several factors including, but not limited to, the location of the home, proximity to schools and facilities, size of the lot, size and condition of the home itself, and recent sale prices of comparable properties. A certified appraiser formulates this value for the lender, and it is an essential part of the mortgage process.
A Home Inspection provides information to the buyer about the home’s current condition and will note any existing or potential future issues. An inspector will notify a buyer about any areas that are in need of repair. This can help the buyer to negotiate a better purchase offer or at the very least, be aware of the conditions in the home they wish to purchase.
3. What is an interest rate?
Like a credit card or auto loan, a mortgage will have an interest rate. Interest is simply defined as the cost to borrow money from your lender. The interest rate is expressed as a percentage of your total loan balance and is paid on a monthly basis, along with your principal payment, until your loan is paid off. Your interest rate is determined by several factors, including the current economy, your credit score, the loan amount, your down payment, and more.
4. What is DTI?
The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a personal finance measure that compares an individual’s monthly debt payment to his or her monthly gross income. Your mortgage loan officer will calculate your DTI, and let you know what amount you are qualified to borrow.
5. How long will this process take?
Everyone’s loan scenario is unique and with some many pieces to the puzzle, it is difficult to give an exact timeline.
If you are interested in closing in a timely manner, I encourage you to reach out to Rick Cignoli today to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Service.

Buying Versus Building A New Home: Which is more cost effective?

buy vs buildMany homebuyers, both first-timers and experienced movers, have wondered whether buying an existing home or building one to their specifications is a better fit for their needs. Here’s what you need to know:

THE UPFRONT COSTS
Existing Home: The price of a home varies widely depending on location, square footage, condition, amenities, and other factors.
Building a New Home: All things being equal, generally speaking, building a new home costs about $60-$70k more than buying an existing home with similar attributes. But that is not always the case. There are some instances where the cost per square foot comes out significantly less in a custom-built home than in an existing home.
How is this possible, you ask? Consider when you build, you also have the advantage of paying for only what you want to put into the house. While an existing home may have additional perks, like hardwood floors, it may not be something that you want or are willing to pay for in a custom-build.

HOME MAINTENANCE
Existing Home: Older homes require more maintenance because they have more wear and tear. Some homes may even need a big-time overhaul! As with any home purchase, never skip the home inspection and understand that even with well-maintained homes, repairs are inevitable.
Building a New Home: Maintenance on a new home is very little, and it’s one of the central benefits of building a new home. Since everything from appliances to the HVAC system is new and under warranty, you’ll enjoy several years of worry-free living.

OUTDOORS
Existing Home: A mature garden with large trees and well-established landscaping is a big plus of buying an existing home. Mature trees and landscaping not only add value to the property but can even help to reduce energy costs by providing shade and efficient drainage.
Building a New Home: Professional landscaping can cost thousands plus many years to come to fruition. The benefit, however, is that you’ll be able to design your outdoor space precisely to your liking. Depending on the project, you can have a custom-designed yard in two weeks or less.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Existing Home: Older homes that have had little-to-no updating use more energy. Appliances that are older than ten years, single-pane windows, and poor insulation are some updates you’ll want to consider if you buy an existing home.
Building a New Home: When it comes to energy efficiency, new construction can’t be beat. On average, new homes use about 21% less energy than older homes. However, this savings comes mostly from high-efficiency appliances. Meaning that if you purchase new, HE appliances for an existing home, you can save just as much money on energy with an existing home as you would with new construction.

APPRECIATION
Existing Home: With an existing home, you make your purchase with some context. You can see the home’s previous sale prices, the cost of similar homes in the area, and have a good idea of what the market value of your home will be in the future.
Building a New Home: New homes, especially those in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without any sale history or comparables to reference, you have very little to go on when thinking about the future value of your home. Of course, if this is your forever home, which is often the case with custom-built homes, then not having a history to predict the future may not matter.

pre-approval-2Whether you’re buying an existing home or building a new one, they both begin the same way –getting Pre-Approved.
Reach out to  Rick Cignoli today see which option is best-suited for you and your financial situation and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval with Rate Assurance service

It’s Not Too Late to Buy Your Dream Home This Season

Don't Sit on the Fence
Are you a Millennial? Are you a First Home Buyer? Are you thinking about moving up of downsizing? Is 2016 the year you’ve decided to get off the fence and buy that dream home?

Real estate professionals are always optimistic about the Spring Buying millenial 2Season. Sellers have finished staging their home for sale; the grass is green, flowers are blooming and curb appeal is at its peak. The Super Bowl is over; buyers are  out of hibernation and doing their on-line research to get prepared to make the biggest investment of their lives.

Spring is almost over, but it’s Not Too Late To Buy in 2016. Here are some facts to consider:
♠   Internet searches for real estate listings consistently peak in July.
♠   About half of all home sales occur between May and August making the summer months the busiest season nationally.
♠  About half of home sales occur in the “off” months of September through April. That’s a lot of traffic.
♠   Studies show that prices tend to peak in the busy Spring season. For Buyers, now is the time to buy..

The bottom line is this:  The best time to buy is when it’s best for yourGet Pre-Approved scenario. But, please don’t think your opportunity has passed. Low interest rates make now a great time for millennials to be in  the market for their First Home. Low financing costs make higher price points more affordable. Get Pre-Approved Now. Now is the time to buy!

 

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Why An Experienced REALTOR® Is An Asset for Seniors

seniorsSelling the family home is an emotional experience for Seniors.
I remember that it took my widowed Mom several years to clear the “ghost” of memories and finally decide to downsize. My mother-in-law too finally realized that she no longer had the energy to maintain the empty nest that harbored so many loving memories.
Thankfully an empathetic REALTOR® knew what they were going through. Not only had they worked with older adults in the past, but they also had some tips and tricks to help these seniors through the process

Experienced agents know what you’re going through
Making the decision to change homes can be one of the most emotional moments of a senior’s life, but enlisting the assistance of family, friends and a trustworthy real estate agent may be the best way for older adults to make this transition as seamless as possible.
A professional  REALTOR®  places seniors’ emotional needs and emotions first, dedicating set periods of time to understanding why they’re selling, what they would like to get from the transaction and how to best move forward with seniors’ best interests at the forefront of the selling process.

Some agents go the extra mile to provide for Seniors
Quality real estate agents may go beyond the general requirements of selling a house to help seniors transition to their new homes. Yes, they will help sell your property, but they might also help make the move a lot easier by providing information about the next home; referring you to professionals who can assist with financial planning for the future; even arranging for help in cleaning out the clutter that has accumulated over the years. Additionally, these agents may have information regarding community groups, organizations and recreational clubs for seniors in the area of the new home that can make the transition a little easier.

Are you thinking about moving out of the homestead?
Call Me for referrals to an Experienced REALTOR®who can help.