Bo Lee - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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Posted by Bo Lee on 8/16/2020

Buying a home should be a fun, exciting experience, one that ends with you moving into your dream residence. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent you from accomplishing your ultimate goal.

No homebuyer should be left in the dark, especially when it comes to navigating a competitive real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you kick off your homebuying journey on the right foot.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you launch a successful homebuying journey.

1. Know Your Homebuying Budget

You know that you'd like to buy a house, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? With a homebuying budget in place, you can determine exactly what you can afford.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables you to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. Many credit unions and banks are available nationwide, and each lender is happy to provide details about a wide range of mortgage options. That way, you can select a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.

Also, don't forget to consider the costs of utilities when you budget for a home. And if you need to commute to work or school, you may want to consider your transportation expenses as well.

2. Examine the Housing Market

The housing market usually features a large collection of high-quality houses. Take a look at some of the houses that are currently available, and you can better plan for your homebuying journey.

For example, if there is an abundance of homes available in a city or town where you'd like to live, now may prove to be the ideal time to enter the real estate market. The sheer volume of residences indicates a buyer's market may be in place, so you might be able to boost your chances of acquiring an exceptional house at a budget-friendly price.

On the other hand, if homes are selling quickly in a particular area, it likely means a seller's market is in place. As such, you will need to be aggressive if you want to secure your dream residence at an affordable price.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

The homebuying journey can be daunting, particularly for those who are interested in purchasing a house for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market experience. He or she can share real estate insights with you to ensure you can purchase a great house that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new properties, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns or questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.

Ready to make your homeownership dreams come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can enter the real estate market as an informed homebuyer.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Bo Lee on 7/19/2020

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

While the home buying process is exciting, applying for a mortgage can be time-consuming. Paperwork is a big part of the mortgage process and the better prepared you are, the more likely it is to go well. In fact, if you are considering getting preapproved for a mortgage, lining the paperwork up ahead of time will be very helpful. Remember, the more information provided to your mortgage lender, the easier it will be for them to get your approval. There are three categories of documentation your lender will want to see, income, expenses, and assets. Here are the documents they will likely require:

Verification of Income

Mortgage lenders will typically verify the income you are claiming in two ways. First, they will want to see your most recent Form W2 or Form 1099 (if you are self-employed) and they will generally ask you to provide tax returns. While some lenders will accept signed copies of your tax returns which you provide, many will also use the IRS income tax verification process to ensure what you are providing is the same as the forms filed with the IRS.

You should be prepared to provide at least a month’s worth of pay stubs to a mortgage lender. Keep in mind, in most cases, overtime pay, bonuses, and other “extraordinary” income will not be counted as part of your gross income by the lender.

Verification of Expenses

Your mortgage lender will need to verify your expenses. Since your mortgage application will ask you to list your debt, you should consider getting a free copy of your credit report for two reasons. First, the information on your application will be accurate, and you can verify the data contained in the report is correct. Should there be any errors, you should take the opportunity to have them corrected.

Your mortgage lender may also want to verify your rent payments for at least the last year. You can provide a copy of the checks used to pay your rent, although the lender may ask you to sign a form allowing them to verify your rent independently of any documentation you provide.

Verification of Assets

You may also be asked to provide verification of certain assets. For example, if you have a stock portfolio, IRA accounts, or other liquid assets, the lender may ask you to provide the most recent statements from the custodian of those accounts. Your mortgage lender will let you know what additional information they may need.

This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the documents your lender may request. Chances are you will also be asked to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other photo identification. Borrowers who have part of their down payment given to them as a gift may also be required to provide a gift letter indicating the funds were a gift and not a loan. The better prepared you are for the mortgage process the faster it will go.




Tags: buyer tips   documents   Financing  
Categories: Buying  


Posted by Bo Lee on 5/31/2020

Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. As such, you'll want to look beyond the price of a residence as you search for your dream house.

Ultimately, there are many factors beyond price that you should consider as you pursue your ideal residence, including:

1. A Home's Location

For most homebuyers, a house's location is the number one factor when they explore the real estate market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Finding a home in a location that is convenient for you is priceless. And if you know how to conduct a comprehensive home search, you can quickly discover a high-quality home in a wonderful location.

As you prepare to kick off your home search, consider whether you'd like to live in a city or town. This will enable you to narrow your home search.

You also may want to consider homes that are located near work or school. By doing so, you can ensure that you won't have to travel too far to get to destinations that you frequently visit.

2. A Home's Condition

A home may look like a great investment at first, but its condition may have deteriorated over time. Thus, you'll want to take a close look at a house's condition before you finalize a home purchase.

Typically, a homebuyer will complete a property inspection after a home seller accepts an offer on a residence. This inspection will enable a homebuyer to perform an in-depth assessment of a residence and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Then, a homebuyer can determine whether to move forward with a home acquisition.

If a property inspector discovers myriad issues that impact a home's condition, a homebuyer may want to reconsider his or her offer. At this point, a homebuyer can still walk away from a home purchase. Or, a homebuyer can ask the home seller to complete various home improvements as well.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who falls in love with a house may choose to proceed with a home purchase, regardless of the residence's condition. If you choose this option, however, it is important to consider the potential long-term ramifications of your decision.

3. Your Future

It is paramount for a homebuyer to find a house that he or she can enjoy for years to come. Therefore, a homebuyer should consider his or her future before finalizing a home purchase.

For example, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to evaluate houses that are close to schools. Conversely, if you eventually want to work in the big city, you may want to consider homes that will make it easy to commute into the city day after day.

Don't forget to hire a real estate agent to help you during the homebuying journey too. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a broad range of top-notch houses that won't force you to break your budget.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Bo Lee on 3/8/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

So, you're buying a home remotely. Because you probably don't want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a house that smells like cats or that features weekly invasions by the SWAT team of the building next door, it's important to find a long-distance realtor you can trust. You need someone who excels at the remote-home-buying experience and who will represent you faithfully. Agents like these are out there, but it may take a bit of work to find them. Here's what we recommend.

Choose a Certified Residential Specialist

A certified residential specialist is a real estate agent who has undergone additional training and who has more experience than other agents. Only about 3 percent of all realtors in the United States have attained CRS status. You can find a CRS locally by using the online search function available at the Residential Real Estate Council.

To become a certified residential specialist, an agent must meet strict minimum requirements, including:

  • Completion of between 25 and 150 successful real estate transactions.
  • Completion of between 16 and 80 additional hours of training and education in realty.
  • Adherence to a higher code of ethics than the average realtor. 

While millions of hard-working real estate agents exist, only a small number have gone that extra mile to earn CRS certification. These are the agents you should trust to handle your transaction when you can't be there in person. 

Choose an Expert Communicator

Choose a realtor who's an expert in your desired area and with whom you feel comfortable from the first conversation. The relationship between you and your remote-home-buying partner should feature excellent communication. He or she needs to understand your needs precisely, including your must-haves, your budget, your time frame, and what you're hoping to find in a neighborhood. If you're bringing along three small dogs, your mother-in-law, or two moody teenagers, your long-distance realtor needs to make sure there's sufficient space for everyone included. 

Find a REALTOR® Who Cares

The REALTOR®you choose should be an expert on local schools. He should be able to get back to you with crime rates and economics. Additionally, he should be present at home inspections to ensure your future home doesn't have a termite infestation or a sketchy, outdated septic system. Everything from water pressure to the condition of outdoor fencing matters. These are all things you would investigate when viewing a home in person. If it's important to you, it should be important to the realtor you choose. 

Seventy-eight percent of all home buyers value the quality of a neighborhood over the size of a home, and 57 percent would rather have a shorter work commute than a sprawling yard. It's statistics like these that can make or break your remote-home-buying experience. It's vital to partner with the best agent for the job. 




Categories: Buying  


Posted by Bo Lee on 1/19/2020

What does it take to acquire a top-notch home in a seller's market? Ultimately, it may prove to be a lot of work, especially for first-time homebuyers.

In a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As a result, high-quality houses sell quickly, and homebuyers who lack real estate insights may miss out on an opportunity to purchase their dream residence.

Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the ins and outs of a seller's market and ensure you can secure a first-rate house in any housing market, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips for homebuyers who want to purchase a house in a seller's market.

1. Understand Your Homebuying Needs

Know what you want to find in a dream home before you start checking out properties. That way, you can narrow your home search and pounce on new homebuying opportunities as soon as they become available.

Creating a list of must-haves for your dream home may prove to be a great idea. This list will enable you to refine your home search and accelerate the homebuying process.

Also, consider your immediate and long-term home needs. If you plan to raise a family in a new home, you may want to consider exploring houses that are close to schools. Or, if you don't own a car but work in a major city, you may want to assess properties near public transportation.

2. Examine Your Finances Closely

Let's face it – the temptation to outbid rival homebuyers can be overwhelming in a seller's market. However, homebuyers who understand what they can afford can map out their home search accordingly.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes in a seller's market – you'll be glad you did. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know what you can spend on a new house and tailor your home search based on your budget.

Don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your mortgage options as well. By doing so, you can learn about different mortgage options and select the right one based on your finances.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands that buying a home in a seller's market can be exceedingly difficult. As such, he or she will do everything possible to help you purchase a great residence at an affordable price.

Collaborating with a real estate agent is a must, especially for homebuyers who are operating in a seller's market. A real estate agent can set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. Plus, he or she can keep you up to date about new houses that will meet or surpass your expectations.

Buying a home should be a fast, easy process, even for homebuyers who are searching for a residence in a seller's market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble navigating a seller's market and acquiring a superb residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  




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