The most important piece of a person’s financial life is their credit score. Whether buying a new South Central Vermont home, applying for a job, refinancing, paying off debt, or getting utility service, your credit score will drive the outcome. One would think that Americans are all aware of what the scores are measuring and what factors play a part. But, most Americans do not know enough about the three digit rating or what is involved. Do not let these credit score myths get in your way when preparing for the purchase of your next South Central Vermont home.
Myth: Checking a credit report can either damage or lower your score.
A credit report can be conducted by you or someone like an employer as many times as desired with out having any impact on your credit score. Reviewing your credit report will never change your credit score. Just make sure that reports are retrieved through the bureaus or a legitimate score seller.
Myth: Age, sex, and income are factors that affect your score.
None of this information plays a role in determining your score. A higher income may make it easier to pay off debts, but income and net worth have no impact of credit scores.
The number of people experiencing their South Central Vermont home entering foreclosure is steadily increasing. Also increasing, is the number of bargains just waiting for home buyers to make a move. In RealtyTrac’s April 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ they found that default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were reported on
342,038 properties during the month of April alone. The increasing numbers have contributed to the thirty two percent increase since last year’s April 2008 report. The report also showed one in every three hundred and seventy four homes received a foreclosure filing in April. These statistics prove foreclosure to be a growing threat to home owners. On the other hand, the foreclosure situation is benefiting people looking to purchase real estate in this buyer’s market.
The amount of foreclosure properties on the market opens the door to opportunity for buyers. One way for buyers to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a foreclosed South Central Vermont home is through an auction. It is important for people, especially first timers, to become educated on how to buy a home at a foreclosure auction. The first place to start would be to look up general information about the process on the internet. Then, it might be a good idea to contact a real estate agent or real estate attorney for professional help and advising. Auctions can be organized in public places or held at local courthouses. It is best to avoid auctions held at courthouses because professional investors are common competitors and there is not much, if any, time to research the physical condition and financial background of the property being auctioned. Instead, find foreclosure auction notices in the local newspaper, online, or by contacting a city official for upcoming auction dates. It is important for buyers to research the property before deciding if they will bid on it. Prior to determining your bid gather some important information about to property such as, the estimated market value, outstanding loan balances, property liens, ownership history, title information, and calculate possible monthly expenses as the future homeowner. Once a little research is done on the property, enough knowledge will be available to determine the appropriate bid. Thoroughly looking farther in to the property can maximize your chances of getting a good bargain.
There are also other options for foreclosure buyers to consider. Today, most foreclosure properties have large or multiple mortgages. This takes away from the likelihood of getting a bargain at an auction because banks will ask for bids that are more than the actual value of the property. The first alternative is to buy the property before it goes to auction, which is called a pre-foreclosure. To do this check the city records to find foreclosure properties. Then, contact the owners by writing a letter of interest. Follow up with a phone call and hope they are willing to accept an offer. Another route is to wait to see if the property sells at the auction. If the property does not see it will be put on the market by the bank it is owned by. In this case you will be able to buy the house just like it was regular real estate. Another benefit to this option is the ability to conduct a home inspection and get a mortgage. Remember, when considering the purchase of a South Central Vermont home through an auction make sure plenty of research is done to maximize the potential of getting a good deal. Also keep in mind that if the odds are not looking good for the auction there are always other paths to take.
Buyer’s often find themselves watching a property for a price reduction. Although getting the best deal possible when purchasing South Central Vermont real estate is important, it is not the only factor that determines monthly payments on a home. Rising interest rates nearly diminish the positive aspects of waiting for prices to drop.
Most people are familiar with the basic trends in real estate that have been affected by the United States economic crisis. The listing prices of homes have been steadily declining over the past couple years. This has put people looking to purchase South Central Vermont real estate at an advantage over those trying to sell. People have best described this as a buyer’s market due to the low property prices and reasonable interest rates. However, the decline in prices is stabilizing while interest rates are beginning to inch up. It is becoming more and more popular for investors to make offers on properties, sometimes sweeping the property away from home buyers. Could buyers begin loosing their advantage? Today, properties that are correctly listed at a reasonable asking price are not being reevaluated and reduced as often. These are some of the factors that prove lower South Central Vermont real estate prices are not always worth the wait.
According to Realestate.com, buyer’s remorse is one of the top ten mistakes made when purchasing a home. Finding the perfect home and making the decision to buy a home are not easy tasks. First, you spend hours on the computer researching South Central VT real estate and neighborhoods, perfecting your search criteria on MLS websites, and viewing many virtual tours. Then, you begin making appointments to go take a look at the ones you think stand a good chance at being the future home of your family.
As you walk through the house you envision the happy life you and your family would live and the future décor for this room and that room. You see houses that “require too much work,” “don’t have enough storage,” ones that are “too small” or maybe even one that is “do-able but not perfect.” Finally after weeks or even months of searching, you find “THE house.” Now you send in a promising offer and anxiously wait for feedback. You and seller come to an agreement and the offer is accepted. Once the papers are signed you can relax and enjoy the excitement, right?
Many Vermont real estate buyers want to wait until the market reaches bottom to buy, insuring they are getting the best possible price. This is a natural thing to do…but how do you know when the market has reached bottom?
Usually it is by looking back and saying “Oh, I wish I had Bought back then!” We may be reaching the bottom of the current real estate market and beginning to see the return of appreciation. Do Not Miss your opportunity.
Here is an “Interesting” excerpt from CNBC. I suggest you take it as a “For What It’s Worth”. There are certainly some good and some “Over the Top” comments in this clip: http://www.CNBC.com/id/29757411.
Personally, I don’t subscribe to “Over the Top” commentary. I just think it makes sense to realize we are likely at or very near the bottom of the housing market and it IS a great time to buy a home! Rates are extremely low, Sellers are ready to sell and there is a large inventory of homes in all price ranges. The “Magic Three”… Think about it… Take advantage of it… Give us a call!
Learn more about Vermont real estate by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com.
According to the recently released Real Estate Roundtable’s Sentiment Survey, real estate experts think market conditions are improving despite the credit crunch.
Nearly 60 percent of the survey’s 120 respondents expect market conditions to improve within a year. Although 88 percent of the respondents think loans are tougher to get now compared to a year ago, 68 percent predict conditions will improve in the next year.
Their optimism is based on an uptick in the Overall Q2 2009 Sentiment Index. Measured on a scale of 1-100, the index evaluates surveys from recent quarters and calculates an overall average. Currently the index rests at 41, up from 38 last quarter and 33 six months ago.
What do these figures really mean for Rutland VT home buyers? It means the market is bottoming out, prices have reached bottom or close to it and now is the time to buy a Rutland VT home. Don’t be one of those people next year who has to say, “I wish I had bought last year when prices were low.” Give me a call today and for the best deal on your next Rutland Vt home!
The thought of buying your first Rutland VT home can be intimidating…but it doesn’t have to be. Below are tips to guide you through the intial stages of buying a Rutland VT home.
1. Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.
2. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
3. Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.
4. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.
5. Decide your moving timeline. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.
6. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.
7. Insist on a home inspection. If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.
8. Get help from a REALTOR®. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.
For more about buying a Rutland VT home or South Central VT, visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. And give me a call so I can get to work for YOU!
It doesn’t matter if you are moving across town or across the country, moving is stressful! But a little planning can go a long way to making the move to your new Ludlow VT home less stressful. Below are 10 time-saving tips for a hassle-free move.
1. Make a list.
Create a week-by-week checklist of everything that needs doing. Start 60 days prior to your move and include the most trivial items. Staying on schedule will eliminate a lot of headaches, especially the closer you get to moving day.
2. Hire a quality moving company.
If the quote you get from a moving company seems too good to be true…it probably is! An unreliable company will cost you more in the long run, so be sure to check out the companies you interview with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Have a yard sale.
Now is the perfect time to get rid of items you haven’t used in the last few years. Why pack, move and unpack something you most likely won’t use in your new Ludlow VT home? Discard it now rather than later.
4. Create a system.
Create a color coded boxing system with a different color for each room in the house. Only pack items for a specific room in specific boxes. Let your movers know which colors correspond to which room so they will put the boxes in the correct room.
Most movers won’t unplug appliances, computers, etc. Before the movers arrive, disconnect all appliances, electrical equipment and lighting fixtures that go to your new Ludlow Vt home.
6. Stock up on packing supplies.
Don’t run out of packing tape the morning of the move; have plenty of supplies on hand. Early on in the moving process, start gathering boxes, tape, bubble wrap, newsprint, box cutters and markers. Try to save time and the environment by packing with materials you already have. Load up suitcases and plastic containers and use pillows, scarves and towels to “wrap” fragile items.
7. Pack a moving survival kit.
Pack a “last-to-go” box with all of the necessities-toiletries, snacks, important documents-and keep it with you instead of packing it in moving truck.
8. Clean it up.
An empty house is much easier to clean than one with boxed stacked everywhere. Clean your new home before you move in so you can concentrate on unpacking after the movers leave.
9. Create a floor plan.
Prior to the move, create a floor plan with graph paper and cutouts for the furniture. Plan where the furniture will go so the movers can put it in the right place the first time and you don’t have to move it around later.
10. Change service prior to the move.
Arrange for your mail, utilities, phone, cable, Internet and any other services to be transferred prior to the move so you don’t have a lapse in service. There is nothing worse than not having water, heat or air conditioning on moving day!
Learn more about Ludlow and Rutland VT homes by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com.
If you are buying Rutland VT real estate, you will want to know what your credit score is. Lenders look at your credit history, debt-to-income ratio and your credit score when qualifying you for a home loan. Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect yourscore:
1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.
2. How much you owe. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits.
3. The length of your credit history. In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer’s oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp., and only one in 20 consumers have credit histories shorter than 2 years.
4. How much new credit you have. New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly.
5. The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit – installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example.
For more on evaluating and understanding your credit score, visit www.myfico.com.
Are you thinking of buying Rutland VT real estate. Learn about the home buying process at ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give me a call for more personal service, 800-659-1819 .
Reprinted from Realtor Magazine with permission of the National Association of Realtors.
Before buying your next Ludlow or Rutland Vermont home, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with a property and allow you to make an informed decision. Ask these questions to prospective South Central Vermont home inspectors:
1. Will your inspection meet recognized standards? Ask whether the inspection and the inspection report will meet all state requirements and comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics, such as the one adopted by the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Customers can view each group’s standards of practice and code of ethics online at Ashi.org or Nahi.org. ASHI’s Web site also provides a database of state regulations.
2. Do you belong to a professional home inspector association? There are many state and national associations for home inspectors, including the two groups mentioned in No. 1. Unfortunately, some groups confer questionable credentials or certifications in return for nothing more than a fee. Insist on members of reputable, nonprofit trade organizations; request to see a membership ID.
3. How experienced are you? Ask how long inspectors have been in the profession and how many inspections they’ve completed. They should provide customer referrals on request. New inspectors also may be highly qualified, but they should describe their training and let you know whether they plan to work with a more experienced partner.
4. How do you keep your expertise up to date? Inspectors’ commitment to continuing education is a good measure of their professionalism and service. Advanced knowledge is especially important in cases in which a home is older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.
5. Do you focus on residential inspection? Make sure the inspector has training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection, which is very different from inspecting commercial buildings or a construction site. If your customers are buying a unique property, such as a historic home, they may want to ask whether the inspector has experience with that type of property in particular.
6. Will you offer to do repairs or improvements? Some state laws and trade associations allow the inspector to provide repair work on problems uncovered during the inspection. However, other states and associations forbid it as a conflict of interest. Contact your local ASHI chapter to learn about the rules in your state.
7. How long will the inspection take? On average, an inspector working alone inspects a typical single-family house in two to three hours; anything significantly less may not be thorough. If your customers are purchasing an especially large property, they may want to ask whether additional inspectors will be brought in.
8. What’s the cost? Costs can vary dramatically, depending on your region, the size and age of the house, and the scope of services. The national average for single-family homes is about $320, but customers with large homes can expect to pay more. Customers should be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
9. What type of inspection report do you provide? Ask to see samples to determine whether you will understand the inspector’s reporting style. Also, most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
10. Will I be able to attend the inspection? The answer should be yes. A home inspection is a valuable educational opportunity for the buyer. An inspector’s refusal to let the buyer attend should raise a red flag.
Are you a Ludlow or Rutland Vermont home buyer with questions concerning home inspections? Give me a call. I’m happy to answer all your questions. Also, visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com to learn more about buying a Ludlow home.
Information is courtesy of Realtor Magazine with permission by the National Association of Realtors.