Bo Lee - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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Posted by Bo Lee on 11/22/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance. 

Neighborhood Crime Statistics

Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary. 

Costs of Getting There

If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:

  • Costs associated with moving companies.
  • Costs associated with storage facilities.
  • Cost to rent or own a home in the new location.
  • Costs associated with selling your existing home.
  • Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation. 

    HOA Restrictions

    Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow. 

    Reputation of the Local Schools

    Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.

    A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood. 




    Categories: Buying  


    Posted by Bo Lee on 10/11/2020

    Looking to move out of a big city? Relocate to a small town, and you can enjoy the simple joys of small town life.

    Many people prefer the small town lifestyle, and for good reason. In a small town, you won't have to worry about excess traffic or noise. Plus, many homes are available in small towns nationwide, ensuring you should have no trouble discovering a wonderful residence without having to worry about breaking your budget.

    Kick off your search for a small town home today here are three tips to help you secure a terrific small town house.

    1. Study the Local Housing Market Closely

    What are you looking for in a small town home? Ultimately, you'll want to consider exactly what you'd like to find in a small town house before you conduct your search for the ideal residence.

    Creating a checklist of must-haves is essential. With this list, you'll be able to examine available homes in a small town and narrow your search accordingly.

    Also, don't forget to examine the prices of recently sold houses in a small town. This housing market data will enable you to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market.

    2. Get Financing Before You Start Your Home Search

    Can you afford a small town home? It all depends on the financing at your disposal.

    Meet with several banks and credit unions to explore your mortgage options. That way, you can learn about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and obtain financing.

    If you ever have concerns or questions about home financing, be sure to ask a lender for assistance.

    Remember, banks and credit unions employ mortgage professionals who are happy to help you in any way they can. These mortgage experts can teach you about different types of mortgage and offer personalized mortgage recommendations, ensuring you can get the financing you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.

    3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

    When it comes to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in small towns and big cities alike and will do whatever it takes to help you find a great house.

    Hiring an experienced real estate agent who understands the properties that are currently available in a small town is vital. This real estate professional will offer tips throughout the homebuying process, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at every stage.

    Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a small town home. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, this real estate professional will streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

    Take the next step to acquire a home in a small town use these homebuying tips, and you can locate a small town home that can serve you well for years to come.




    Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


    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  




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