Make the Homebuying Process Fast and Easy

Purchasing a house may prove to be a long, complex process, particularly for a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.

1. Narrow Your Search for Your Dream Home

It often helps to enter the real estate market with a checklist of home must-haves and wants. With this checklist, you will be better equipped than ever before to perform a deep evaluation of any house, at any time.

Think about what you want to find in your dream home and include these criteria in your checklist. For instance, if you want to own a house near your office, you can search for houses that are just a few miles from your workplace. Or, if you want to purchase a house with a big backyard, you should look at houses that offer the space that you need.

2. Submit a Competitive Offer

If you find a house that you want to buy, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. However, it is important to differentiate between a “lowball” offer and a competitive one beforehand.

A lowball offer generally fails to account for the state of a house, as well as the current real estate market’s conditions. It is likely to fall short of a home seller’s expectations, and as a result, lead to an immediate “No.”

Conversely, a competitive offer is based on housing market data, along with the condition and age of a house. And if you submit a competitive offer on a residence, you may receive an instant “Yes” from a home seller.

3. Conduct an In-Depth Home Inspection

After you and a home seller agree to terms, you will want to conduct a comprehensive home inspection. This will enable you to fully examine a house’s interior and exterior and identify any potential home problems before you finalize your purchase.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forego a home inspection. In fact, if you bypass a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive home problems in the near future.

To hire an expert home inspector, perform a search of the available inspectors in your city or town. Then, meet with several home inspectors, ask for client referrals and allocate the necessary time and resources to perform an in-depth assessment. Because if you hire the right home inspector, you can get the support that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Lastly, if you need help finding a home inspector or completing other homebuying tasks, it usually is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, working with a real estate agent will increase the likelihood that you can enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.

First-Time Homebuyer Tips: Hire the Right Home Inspector

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller’s acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house’s pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector – you’ll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors’ credentials.

Furthermore, don’t hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector’s Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector’s background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional’s experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you’re uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase – use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.

Key Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender

Ready to buy a home? You’ll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.

When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:

1. What mortgage options are available?

Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll know when your mortgage’s interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.

2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.

On the other hand, you don’t need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.

3. How long will a mortgage last?

Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years – it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.

A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.

When it comes to finding a lender, don’t forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.

If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.

Choosing Between Single-Family Home and Condo

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, it’s 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 homeowner’s part. It’s 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.

How to Expedite the Home Buying Process

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, both financially and otherwise. Just like retirement funds, buying a home and paying off your mortgage can be a significant long term investment.

It will take time to prepare for buying a home. You’ll need to build credit, save for a downpayment, and find a degree of financial stability to ensure you can pay your mortgage each month.

This article is catered towards homebuyers who have already met those prerequisites and are ready to jump in and start hunting for houses. For those of you curious about exactly how long it will take from the time you view your first house until you close the deal on your new home, read on.

Home buying by the numbers

On average, buyers can spend 30-60 days looking at homes and anywhere between 15 and 60 days longer to close on a home. Of course, these numbers depend on a lot of things such as how eager you are to buy, how  effectively you’re able to work with agents and sellers, and on just sheer luck.

How can I speed up the process?

Preparation is the number one thing to focus on when it comes to buying a home. First, double check your finances. This means taking time to run a credit report and challenging any errors that may be lowering your credit.

Next, take time to sit down and discuss with your family (if applicable) your moving goals. Are you trying to move closer to someone’s place of business or to a particular school district? Having these discussions will make it easier to eliminate houses and to narrow your search, saving you time in the long run.

Before you start looking at homes, it’s a good idea to being the process of getting preapproved for a loan. This can take weeks, so you want to get this step done early to know where you stand when it comes time to start house hunting.

Next you’ll want to meet with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of your area. They’ll send you listings that meet your criteria, stylistically and financially.

The offer and closing

Now that you’ve found the right home, you’ll have to enter the next part of the process: making an offer and closing. This step isn’t entirely within your control. Some sellers will delay in accepting, others will reject, and others will give a counter offer. The best way to save time on this step is to give a reasonable offer from the start, showing the seller that you are serious and worth negotiating with.

Once your offer has been accepted, your work is still far from over. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out, but you’ll also have to schedule a home inspection to ensure there are no problems with the home that you haven’t already been made aware of.

Once all of these steps are complete, you will have purchased a new home.

Prepare for a Home Loan Application

Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on a home loan application may seem like a daunting task, regardless of whether you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer. However, those who know what to expect when they fill out a home loan application may be better equipped than others to obtain a home loan that matches or exceeds their expectations.

When it comes time to fill out a home loan application, you’ll need to provide a variety of information, including:

1. Personal Information

Allocate the necessary time and resources to provide as much personal information as possible on your home loan application. That way, you can make it easy for a lender to create a file for all of your home loan information.

Typically, your lender will ask for your Social Security number, date of birth, current housing information and school information. Provide accurate personal information at all times, and if you’re uncertain about how to answer certain questions, consult with a home loan expert for additional support.

2. Employment Information

Where have you worked, and how much have you earned while you’ve worked for various companies in the past? As you complete your home loan application, you’ll need to provide employment information to verify your current and past employment and income.

Usually, a lender will want you to provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers for any employers over the past two years. This will allow a lender to verify employment as part of the home loan application process.

You also will need to offer copies of your two most recent pay stubs to a lender. This will enable the lender to confirm your current income.

Lastly, if you are self-employed, you likely will need to provide a lender with a profit and loss statement for the past two years.

3. Financial Information

Tax forms, bank account information and asset details are some of the key parts of the financial information section of a home loan application.

Ultimately, the financial information section helps a lender verify if you have any outstanding credit lines, rental property and much more. This information will help a lender make an informed decision about your loan application and determine how much you are eligible to receive toward the purchase of a new house.

If you ever have questions at any stage of the home loan application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to a home loan expert for help. This professional will be able to offer comprehensive insights to help you complete a timely, accurate home loan application.

In addition, your real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with various lenders in your area. With this housing market professional at your side, you can learn about different lenders and find one that can help you get the right home loan.

Finalizing a home loan application may seem like an uphill struggle. But if you act as a diligent homebuyer, you should have no trouble reviewing all sections of a home loan application. And as a result, you can provide a lender with relevant information and boost your chances of getting the perfect home loan.

Why Homebuyers Need to Assess Real Estate Market Data

If you plan to pursue your dream house, it generally helps to evaluate housing market data. In fact, there are many reasons why homebuyers should assess real estate market data, and these include:

1. You can learn about mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage interest rates rise and fall frequently. As a homebuyer, you’ll want to do everything you can to identify the lowest-available mortgage interest rates. And if you study the housing market, you may be better equipped than ever before to do just that.

In addition, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can help you track mortgage interest rates and provide you with mortgage insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage and ensure that you have finances in hand when you pursue your dream residence.

2. You can reduce the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

Let’s face it – you want to buy your dream house, but you don’t want to break the bank to do so. Fortunately, if you understand housing market data, you may be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

Examine the prices of available houses and recently sold homes in areas where you want to live. By doing so, you can establish a price range for your dream residence and find out whether you’re preparing to enter a buyer’s or seller’s market.

3. You can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complicated, especially for those who fail to prepare for it. Luckily, housing market data can give you a better idea about what to expect as soon as you kick off your search for your ideal house. Then, you can use this information to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles faster than ever before.

For those who are unsure about how to collect and analyze housing market data, there is no need to stress. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the help the you need to discover your dream house.

A real estate agent can provide you with the right housing market data, at the right time, every time. He or she also will allocate the necessary time and resources to explain the importance of assorted housing market data and paint a picture of the current state of the real estate sector. That way, you can take a data-driven approach to buying a house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and ensure that you can find a terrific house that matches your budget.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use real estate market data, and you can become an expert homebuyer in no time at all.

How to Speed Up the Homebuying Process

Want to find your dream house quickly and effortlessly? You’re not alone. In fact, many homebuyers across the United States browse the real estate market regularly in the hopes of finding their perfect residence.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways for homebuyers to accelerate the process of purchasing a house, and here are three tips to help homebuyers discover their dream houses without delay.

1. Set Realistic Expectations for Your Home.

When it comes to finding a residence, it is important to note that every house has its strengths and weaknesses. Thus, you’ll want to set realistic expectations before you begin your search for the perfect home and differentiate the must-haves from the must-wants.

For example, you will need electricity, hot water and other utilities at your new home. On the other hand, you may want a house that features an indoor swimming pool, a fenced-in backyard and other deluxe amenities, but you need to keep in mind that you can live without these features as well.

Make a checklist of what you need and what you want from a future house. By doing so, you can simplify your home search and move one step closer to checking out houses that fulfill your needs perfectly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.

What good is finding your dream home if you are unable to afford it? Instead, get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your home search – you’ll be glad you did. This will allow you to establish a budget for your home search and browse properties accordingly.

Don’t forget to consult with multiple lenders as you explore your mortgage options. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can find out about all of the financing options that are available.

Furthermore, be sure to check your credit score and get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major reporting bureaus annually. And if you obtain a copy of your credit report, you can find out your credit score, work to improve it and boost your chances of securing a mortgage.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent.

Hiring a real estate agent is essential for those who want to accelerate the homebuying process, and for good reason. With a friendly, professionally trained real estate agent at your side, you can learn about new homes that are available, submit offers on residences and more.

Your real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. As such, he or she will work on your behalf to ensure you can purchase your dream home as quickly as possible.

Find a real estate agent to help you move along the homebuying process. This housing market expert will be happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries, and ultimately, make it easy to navigate each step of the homebuying journey.

How to Become a Resourceful Homebuyer

Ready to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Ultimately, becoming a resourceful homebuyer will make it easy to transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

A resourceful homebuyer possesses the skills and know-how needed to streamline the property buying cycle. Plus, this homebuyer will be better equipped than others to maximize the time and resources at his or her disposal and speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips that you can use to become a resourceful homebuyer.

1. Know What You Want from a Home

You know that you’d like to own a house, but what are you looking for in your dream residence? As a resourceful homebuyer, you’ll know exactly what you’d like to find in the perfect home. That way, you can narrow your home search.

Creating a checklist of dream home “must-haves” usually is a great starting point for a resourceful homebuyer. This checklist will enable you to determine what features you want in your ideal residence.

In addition, keep in mind that every house has its pros and cons. And if you set realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you’ll be able to boost your chances of finding a home that can serve you well for years to come.

2. Take Advantage of Housing Market Data

There is no shortage of housing market data available. With this information in hand, you should have no trouble entering the housing market with the resources that you need to succeed.

Examine the prices of available houses in cities or towns where you’d like to live. By doing so, you can better understand how much it will cost to acquire your dream residence.

Also, check out the prices of recently sold houses in areas that you’re considering. This housing market data will help you differentiate between a buyer’s market and a seller’s one and ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a resourceful homebuyer knows his or her limitations. Luckily, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market experts can help homebuyers fill in the gaps along the property buying journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a great home at an affordable price. This housing market professional will set up home showings for you, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. Furthermore, he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

Let’s not forget about the confidence that a real estate agent provides to a homebuyer, either. A real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Thus, he or she will simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Start your homebuying journey today – use these tips, and you can become a resourceful property buyer.

How Long Does The Home Buying Process Last?

When you decide that you want to buy a home, you probably hope it will all happen overnight for you. There’s some bad news though. It can take between 6 weeks and 6 months to buy a home! It could take even longer if you face a few roadblocks or inventory happens to be low in your area. There’s so many variables when it comes to getting a place to live that everyone has a different experience during their home buying process. 

A Long Road

Even if you decide to buy a home today, and find a home you love tomorrow, there’s a bit of a “grace” period before you actually get to own the home. There’s many different steps that you’ll need to complete in order to successfully secure a home.  

Pre-Approval

The first step that you need to complete when you want to buy a home is that of getting pre-approved. The lender will look at your debts, income, and credit history in order to get a complete financial snapshot of you. With this information, the lender will be able to tell you just how much house you can afford. This will be given to you in the form of a maximum loan amount. If your loan amount is $300,000, you can’t be shopping for $400,000 homes. The pre-approval process generally only takes a few days, but everyone’s circumstances are different.

Get An Agent

Before you even start on the house search, you’ll need to find a real estate agent who can help you on your home search and knows how to secure the home transaction. Do a little research on agents in your area. You can also ask around amongst your family and fiends to see if they have recommendations. Who you pick for your agent can have an impact on how smooth your home search process and transaction will be. 

Start Searching For A Home

Start your home search online. With today’s technology, online home searches save those shopping for a home a lot of time. By simply looking at details and listing descriptions, you can narrow down the number of homes you‘d like to see in person. The online home search is a way to screen homes and eliminate the ones that you have no interest in. 

It never hurts if you are driving around and see a “for sale” sign. You can take down the address and look it up later. If you’re interested, you can always set up an in-person showing with your realtor.               

How Much Time Should You Expect To Spend? 


When it comes to how long you’ll be searching for a home, you’ll need to be realistic. If you’re only doing casual weekend searches, it could take a bit more time than if you have a bit more flexibility in your schedule. Then, you have the final steps to look forward to which include:

  • Negotiations
  • Mortgage underwriting
  • Escrow
  • Closing

All of these final steps can take varying amounts of time from a few weeks to a few months to complete. Patience and diligence are indeed requirements when it comes to buying a home.