Lisa Bradley - Re/Max Vision

Posted by Lisa Bradley on 2/6/2018

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

Make Savings Automatic

If youíre 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, youíll 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 wonít have easy access to it. If you donít see it, you wonít spend it! 

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit report is one of those things that canít be magically fixed. It takes some time and a little work to keep your credit score up. Youíll need to make sure that you make on-time payments each and every month. If there are any glaring mistakes on the report, youíll 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, youíll be in good standing in no time. 

Become A DIYer

When you move into a home, thereís 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 wouldnít 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, youíll see how much you have to work with. See how much youíre spending and then decide where you can cut down costs from there. Youíll 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 Lisa Bradley on 1/23/2018

Believe it or not, buying a condo can be a quick, easy process, particularly for those who understand their homebuying needs.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider before you purchase a condo, including:

1. Your Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a condo? You should evaluate your homebuying budget closely to ensure you can cover all of the costs associated with condo living.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can browse a wide range of condos and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Furthermore, don't forget to account for homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you buy a condo. HOA fees will vary depending on the condo community, and you should learn about them in advance so you can budget accordingly.

2. Property Size and Location

How much space do you need to accommodate your family? Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase, and you should have no trouble finding a condo that is the right size for you.

If you're uncertain about how big of a condo that you'll need, don't hesitate to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market expert will learn about your homebuying needs and help you narrow your search for the ideal condo.

Also, be sure to consider the location of a condo. If you want to find a place to live near school or work, you should search for condos that will help you cut down on your commute time.

3. Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo living is different from living in a traditional house. In a condo community, you'll have your own property, but there may be numerous condo rules and regulations in place that you'll need to follow at all times.

For example, many condo owners cannot modify a property's exterior without first getting approval from an HOA board. This means if you want to paint your condo bright pink or upgrade the property's windows, you'll need to ask the HOA board for permission.

Examine a condo community's rules and regulations prior to purchasing a condo. This will enable you to review the HOA board's mandates and determine whether you would feel comfortable following these rules and regulations.

When it comes to finding a condo, there is no need to look for a property on your own. Conversely, if you work with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of searching for a top-notch condo.

Finding a real estate agent with condo experience is essential. This real estate professional will set up condo showings, keep you informed about new condos as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. That way, this real estate agent will make it easy for you to acquire a first-rate condo at a budget-friendly price.

Kick off your search for the perfect condo today, and you can move closer to securing a condo that will serve you well for an extended period of time.

Tags: Condo   buyer tips   Buying a home  
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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 11/21/2017

Ready to discover your dream home? With help from your loved ones, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to include family members and friends in your search for the perfect home, including:

1. Loved ones are happy to help you in any way they can.

Loved ones have your best interests in mind and will do whatever they can to assist you. That way, you can get extra help as you embark on the homebuying journey.

Before you begin your home search, it may prove to be helpful to meet with loved ones so that you can explain your homebuying goals to them. This will allow you to describe what you'd like to find in your dream home. Plus, meeting with loved ones gives family members and friends an opportunity to ask you questions about your home search.

If you and your loved ones are all on the same page, you'll be able to get ample support as you prepare to kick off your home search. Then, you and your loved ones can check out a broad array of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Loved ones can share their homebuying experiences with you.

For those who are entering the real estate market for the first time or have not purchased a house in several years, it may be beneficial to involve loved ones in the property buying process.

Loved ones who have recently purchased homes can provide real estate insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. They can respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and help you prepare to enter the housing market.

Also, loved ones may be able to help you avoid potential pitfalls as you search for the ideal residence. Although some family members and friends may have made mistakes when they bought homes in the past, your loved ones can help you learn from their errors and ensure you can avoid various homebuying pitfalls.

3. Loved ones can help you make tough homebuying decisions.

Let's face it Ė the decision to buy a home is one of the biggest that an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to purchase a home is not one that should be taken lightly.

Loved ones are happy to listen to your homebuying concerns time and time again. They can offer suggestions and recommendations as you explore homes and help you remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Of course, if you want additional assistance during the homebuying journey, it never hurts to hire an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and provide comprehensive homebuying support at any time.

Reach out to loved ones for support as you get ready to search for your dream home. By doing so, you may be able to speed up the homebuying process.

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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 10/3/2017

Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself. Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you. Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home. Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, itís important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider. Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeownerís part. Itís important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.

Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/19/2017

When you buy a home, thereís more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when youíre in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, youíll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while youíre in the process of buying a home.

Do You Offer Any Special Programs?

Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you donít feel that it is a good fit for you. 

Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?

If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, youíre in good hands. If the type of loan that youíre looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 

Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?

The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.

What Are The Mortgage Rates?

Youíll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. Itís not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 

Do You Help With Down Payments?

There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that youíre able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.

Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?

In hot real estate markets, youíre going to need some proof that youíre pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 

Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. Itís just another part of the home buying process!

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