Home Scouting: Home Search Made Easy!

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Home Scouting Makes Searching

For A Home Easy!

Doug Haldeman, Mortgage Strategist (NMLS: 298419) with Cornerstone Mortgage shares the free service with his listeners.

He and Tammie discusses some of the benefits of the Home Buyer’s Scouting Report and how it is a great way for the consumer to shop for their next home or investment property.  There are so many great features available with this service.  Not to mention it has 100% of the MLS listings and we DO NOT sell your email to anyone.

If you are considering buying a home in the next 12 months be sure to visit the Home Search Tab above or you can download the mobile app on your phone.

Home Scouting Audio

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Record Home-ownership Rates

Record Home-ownership Rates

 

The U.S. home-ownership rate fell to the lowest in more than 50 years as rising prices put buying out of reach for many renters.

The share of Americans who own their homes was 62.9% in the second quarter. This is the lowest since 1965, according to a Census Bureau report Thursday. It was the second straight quarterly decrease, down from 63.5% in the previous three months.

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7 Mistakes Millennials Make in Home-Buying

7 Mistakes Millennials Make in Home-Buying

 

Millennials – they’re the generation between 18 and 35; the new young professionals; the recent graduates, and they’re also coming into the housing market in droves. Usually, they’re also first-time homebuyers, which means that they have the potential to make mistakes in the home-purchasing process.

Here are the top seven mistakes millennials make when they purchase a new home. Whether you consider yourself part of the generation or you’re just looking to ensure your home search goes as smoothly as possible, these tips should help any potential homebuyer.

 

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My Partner has Bad Credit; Can We Buy a House?

My Partner has Bad Credit; Can We Buy a House?

You’ve scrimped, saved, and made sure every bill is paid just to be in the perfect position to purchase a property. You’ve got great credit, but how about your partner? Eh, not so much. This is a very common issue that I run into on a weekly basis. Sometimes when a couple, married or not, is looking to purchase a home they run into the issue of one of them having bad credit. So, let’s take a look at your options if this is the case and some other possible solutions.

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Shopping Around For a Mortgage?

Shopping Around For A Mortgage

Here’s the inside scoop on how to do it right!

First:  Are you working with a TRUE Mortgage Professional?

The largest financial transaction of your life is far too important to place into the hands of someone who is not capable of advising you properly and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way.  But how can you tell?If your shopping just rates you may want to consider who your lender is going to be to handle your transaction.

 Here are FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS YOUR LENDER ABSOLUTELY MUST BE ABLE TO ANSWER CORRECTLY.  IF THEY DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS… RUN…  DON’T WALK… RUN… TO A LENDER THAT DOES! To help narrow your search Doug Haldeman is that lender! Continue reading “Shopping Around For a Mortgage?”

6 Reasons Buying A Tiny Home Could Be A Mistake

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Tiny House Trend

Buying a tiny home could be a mistake

When it comes to a tiny home, less may not always be more. It’s a trend that’s sweeping home improvement channels. Like, really tiny homes. And while they can be cute the price per square foot isn’t.

They are considered a mobile home with running water and plumbing, appliances, and everything you’d need in a place to live. The truth is, for investment purposes, it’s wildly impractical.

Translation? The trend probably won’t last long. It also means your return on investment is next to none. Here are five reasons why buying a tiny home may not be in your best interest.

1. It’s a fad

Just like platform sneakers and leisure suits were once popular but are now widely ridiculed, the tiny home trend is one that may be hot now but is likely to cool off before long. The key word is fad.  This is a totally unproven market, buoyed by the intense interest in reality TV.

Although there can be compelling reasons to want to simplify your life by reducing your financial obligations via less expensive housing options it is just hard to say how this trend will pay off in the long run.  The artificial interest caused by the TV trend and the uncertainty in a newer, unproven market make tiny homes a risky investment.  You can find a small home that falls into “Real Estate” investment that meets your communities standards to what constitutes as a home.  Even if you do not live in a “tiny home” you can draw inspiration from that minimal lifestyle and apply it to a home of any size.

2. Buyers are few

If you think the demand for a home that backs up to a major highway is slim, then you’ll be amazed at how few people are actually willing to pull the trigger on a tiny home.  Real estate sales are dependent on supply and demand.  A tiny home is not recommended because it only fits a small demographic of buyers in the market. The more restraints the property offers the market, the more niche it becomes. The more niche the home, the less buyers available for the home.  In other words: The supply may be great, but the demand is really, really small. (Pun Intended).   That’s not to say if you love it and plan to stay put for the long haul, you shouldn’t go for it. Just be prepared, because you might end up facing a really long on-the-market period when it’s time to sell.

3. It’s less marketable

The vast majority of tiny homes can accommodate one to two residents tops.  Basically this means many buyers who entertain or host overnight guests are simply uninterested in even considering a tiny home for their primary home or even vacation property.  Tiny homes are simply less marketable.  The average consumer needs more space, bedrooms, and bathrooms than a tiny home can offer. An average home allows buyers to grow into it and keep it long term. A tiny home offers restraints to changes in the lifestyle of the buyer.  A tiny home on a piece of property that offers space for an additional, larger home to be built later could be the exception here, giving the new owner a place to reside while a dream home is under construction (and a cozy place to host guests in the future!).

4. It’s too darn small

Sure, the concept of downsizing sounds nice, but let’s be honest: Most people have too many personal belongings to squeeze into a tiny home. You may have just graduated college or moved out of your parents basement but think of your future space you will need.  Most Americans like collecting a lot of ‘stuff’ and have a tough time finding storage space for all of it in a small, regular house that has a garage and basement.

In a tiny house you have just enough room for yourself but no options for expansion, storage, hobbies, nothing. Need to fix your car? You’re doing it in the snow or pay retail for someone else to do it. Have a cat or a dog? Where does the cat box go? Dogs don’t like being confined. Where do you put your lawn mower? Your rake and shovel? Going to have a baby? Your small house is now too small.

5. It’s not less expensive

Downsizing is supposed to help you and be less expensive. But that’s not necessarily the case with a tiny home.  There is no storage space, so you’ll need to rent a storage unit, which means paying for it, and then you have to go back and forth to it every time you need anything larger than a toothpick.  Want to have a party? Rent a venue. The list goes on. You can buy a plain old ‘non-tiny’ house for the same money and get much more utility from it.

Finally, most lenders have a minimum square footage they will lend on, so you’ll pay cash for your tiny home and so will your potential buyer, which eliminates most of the few remaining prospects you’ll have.

6. Place to put it

This increase in popularity of tiny houses, and particularly the rapid increase in the number of both amateur and professional builders, has led to concerns regarding safety among tiny house professionals. In 2013, an Alliance of tiny house builders was formed to promote ethical business practices and offer guidelines for construction of tiny houses on wheels.

Planning and Zoning

This effort was carried on in 2015 by the American Tiny House Association. In 2015, the nonprofit American Tiny House Association was formed to promote the tiny house as a viable, formally acceptable dwelling option and to work with local government agencies to discuss zoning and coding regulations that can reduce the obstacles to tiny living.

One of the biggest obstacles to growth of the tiny house movement is the difficulty in finding a place to live in one.  Zoning regulations typically specify minimum square footage for new construction on a foundation, and for tiny houses on wheels, parking on one’s own land may be prohibited by local regulations against “camping.”  In addition, RV parks do not always welcome tiny houses. DIYers may be turned away, as many RV parks require RVs be manufactured by a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association “(RVIA)”.

Is it an RV?

Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs and not suitable for permanent residence, according to the RVIA. From RVBusiness, “The RVIA will continue to shy away from allowing members who produce products that are referred to as ‘tiny houses’ or ‘tiny homes’. (However, the RVIA does allow “tiny home” builders to join as long as their units are built to park model RV standards.)”

In 2014, the first “tiny house friendly town” was declared in Spur, Texas; however, it was later clarified that a tiny house may not be on wheels but must be secured to a foundation.

In July 2016, Washington County, Utah revised their zoning regulations to accommodate some types of tiny houses.

Tips For A Smooth Loan Approval

check-markGetting a pre-approval is one step of the mortgage approval process. Having a smooth loan process depends partially on you.  As a potential homeowner you must remain responsible throughout the process. In the end only you can determine your future. Here are some tips to help you stay connected to your end goals.

  • DO continue making your mortgage or rent payments
  • DO stay current on all existing accounts
  • DO keep working at your current employer
  • DO keep your same insurance company
  • DO continue living at your current residence
  • DO call us if you have any questions
  • DON’T make a major purchase (car, boat, fur, jewelry, etc.)
  • DON’T apply for new credit (even if you seem pre-approved)
  • DON’T open a new credit card
  • DON’T transfer any balances from one account to another
  • DON’T deposit money into the bank that you can’t explain
  • DON’T pay off charge offs without a discussion with us first
  • DON’T pay off collections without a discussions with us first
  • DON’T buy any furniture
  • DON’T close any credit card accounts
  • DON’T change bank accounts
  • DON’T max out or over charge on you credit card accounts
  • DON’T consolidate your debt onto 1 or 2 credit cards
  • DON’T take out a new loan
  • DON’T start any home improvement projects
  • DON’T finance any elective medical procedure
  • DON’T open a new cellular phone account
  • DON’T join a new fitness club
  • DON’T pay off any loans or credit cards without discussing it with us

If you encounter a special situation, it is best to mention it to us right

away so we can help you determine the best way to achieve your goals.

Making An Offer Someone Can’t Refuse

keys-to-homeThe real estate market has it’s ups and downs.  When you are finding yourself in a “sellers” market you may be experiencing multiple bid offers and losing out to other buyers.  We have put together 8 tips to making any offer someone can’t refuse to accept.

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FHA Loosens Condo Requirements

condoCondos, which are often popular housing options for many younger and first-time homebuyers, are also viable living arrangements for older homeowners who seek a more active and urban lifestyle, or a more maintenance-free quality of life. Current blanket certification policies, however, have restricted not only many would-be buyers from purchasing condo units, but have also hindered the ability of seniors to continue living in these housing developments.
FHA has historically set standards for condominium project approvals.  The good news is they have loosened some of those rules for investors and private owners.
You can do that at this following link:
 To see the actual proposal follow this link:

8 Red Flags On A Seller Disclosure

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8 Red Flags On A Seller Disclosure

Buying a home is a little like falling in love. When you first start dating, you’re smitten. Which also means you’re more likely to overlook some critical flaws that might otherwise slowly crack away at your relationship down the road, potentially leading to heartbreak. Such is the case when buying a home.

1. Notes or lack of details about the roof

It’s not a hard and fast rule that you should dig deeper into what a seller or inspector means when they say “small roof leak” or “a few roof tiles missing.”  You may want to have a professional roofer come take a look before buying.

2.  Any structure-related items

So if you’re faced with exterior wall cracks, sagging rooflines, or significant cracks in the foundation, and your inspector points them out or the seller mentions them in the seller disclosure form, seek guidance from your real estate agent and seriously think of having an industry specialist take a look at the potential problem.

3.  The dreaded “no representation” or “unknown”

It’s not necessarily a sign to run away from a home, but if a seller marks an item such as the basement or windows on the seller disclosure statement as “no representation”.  Then you’ll most definitely want an inspector to look more closely at that area.

What does it mean? Sellers can opt to put “no representation” on an area of the home in their statement to avoid disclosing the conditions or characteristics of an area of the property, even if they know of issues. It’s sneaky, but it can protect the seller from potential litigation from the buyer down the road.

4.  Mentions of previous flood damage

Flood damage can wreak havoc on a home’s foundation and cause mold issues, among other things. That’s why when you see a seller disclose that the home has had flood damage, no matter how small, the advises is to be wary.  If your inspection comes back with dampness or strong odor you may want to call in a mold specialist.

5.  Any liens on the property

Issues regarding liens when a legal right to the property is held by a creditor or some other party aside from the seller should pop up during the title search. Be extra leery if a seller discloses one in their statement.

Be sure to consult your title company, real estate attorney, and the agent representing the other side to get clarity around the issue and time frames it could take to clear the title. In our experience, liens can be removed, but it typically takes twice as long as anticipated, and a buyer should be prepared for delays

6.  Any easements or land-use restrictions

If you buy a home planning to build an addition or make major renovations, you may discover after the sale closes that existing easements on the property forbid adding permanent structures in the exact spot you were hoping to make your new master suite.  Easements and land restrictions can affect the value of a property.

A buyer should get a title report giving a detailed description of the easement. In addition, a survey would be prudent to identify landmarks, how it affects the property, and if it is of no harm or affects the future marketability or value of the property.

7.  Failure to get proper permits for additions or improvements

Heed this warning, friends: Failure to get permits is a huge red flag!

Without permits, a buyer has no idea if the work was completed by inexperienced and unqualified homeowners or a true craftsman. In these scenarios, we recommend a thorough home inspection by a licensed home inspector of the work completed. In addition, a thorough review of seller’s disclosures to understand with clarity the scope of work completed.

8.  Lead paint or asbestos

Don’t automatically rule out buying a home if a seller discloses that the home has (or had) asbestos or lead-based paint.

It is better to be cautious and do your homework before correcting, removing, or remodeling these types of homes, though. Talk to your local home inspector about evaluating and testing the property.  Review your local health department requirements. Once you know the safe measurements in your area, you can do the proper testing for these items. Don’t forget to learn how to properly dispose of these items safely. By knowing the costs and health regulations, you can factor in the cost of removal or remediation and factor that into your offers.