homes for saleMany long-time renters put off looking at homes for sale simply because they don't think they're ready. What many people don't realize, however, is that owning real estate can be more affordable, rewarding, and manageable in the long run than renting. Here are five key signs that it might be time to say goodbye to renting and call up your local Realtors and start house hunting.

  1. A mortgage is more affordable than your rent.

    Start by taking a look at your finances. The amount you pay in monthly rent and utilities might be more than what you'd pay on a mortgage. Not only would a house give you a space to truly call your own, but you'll be building your assets for the future with every payment.

  2. The market is in your favor.

    Timing is…

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A short sale is a type of property that is, potentially, being sold for less than what the current homeowner owes on it. A verified short sale is one that the lender has already agreed to. That means that the lender has agreed to allow the homeowners to sell the home for less than what is owed, and allow them out of the financial constraints of the mortgage loan. Short sales may be necessary for many reasons, such as the seller's risk of foreclosure or need to move quickly. Yet, for mortgage lenders, that means a cut in profits. This makes buying a short sale sometimes a difficult process. There are some tips that can make the process easier on you, the home buyer.

#1: Are You an Investor? Get Educated First

If you plan to buy short sales for their…

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Buying a foreclosure is an opportunity for you to purchase a home that's potentially listed for a lower level than other homes like it. In a foreclosure, the lender has taken legal action to force the sale or to take ownership of the home because the previous owners failed to meet their financial requirements. In some cases, taxing authorities take this step. For those people who are looking to buy a home, though, these properties can be a good investment, if you know what to buy and what not to.

#1: Realize That Not All Foreclosures Are Good Deals

Banks still want to make money. They may sell the home for what is owed on it, but others will sell it for its true market value. Finding a great deal is harder now than it used to be. Hire a…

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As you consider purchasing a home, there are many elements to think about. You'll need to negotiate the contract, obtain the right loan, and handle the closing process. You are thinking about money the whole time. The problem though is that you may not have factored in taxes. Real estate taxes are a part of both the home buying process and, in some areas, down the road as well. It is ultimately up to you to ensure you pay your taxes promptly and that you plan for them now, before you buy that home. What should you know about taxes?

Paying Your Taxes

In real estate, many people pay real estate taxes. That is, these are annual or every six month payments to the county government. The funds from these taxes are often used to fund schools, county road…

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Your credit score is one of the most important numbers you'll need to consider when buying a home. It is one of the key factors lenders look at when deciding whether or not to lend to you. Don't get hung up on the very specific number, but do spend the time working to improve this number as much as possible. Even just a few ticks upward can help you to see a better interest rate and loan availability than you would have had. The following tips can help you to make that possible.

 

  • Get a copy of your credit report. Check it over. Ensure it is accurate and remove any outdated negative information. Never close an old credit account, though, as this can negatively impact your score.
  • Pay down your debt. Don't add to those credit cards right now. Pay…

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As you get ready to close on your home purchase, one of the steps you'll take is a long walk with your home inspector. The home inspection is an important step because it allows you to learn all that you can about the property you plan to purchase. If you find a problem at this point, you can decide to back out of the contract to buy your home or you can work with the seller to get the problem fixed. The most important part of this process is knowing as much as you can about the property. Here are a few tips for the process.

#1: You Need to Go Up There

Whether it is the attic or the roof, climb up with the home inspector. You'll learn about key problems with your home's systems and, even more importantly, you'll likely learn how to make repairs on any…

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When it comes to buying a home, one of the most important steps you can take is to reduce your debt. Debt from credit cards, student loans, and other debts can lead to significant concerns for lenders who you may be applying for a loan through. In short, lenders want to know that you can make all of the required debt repayments for your mortgage. If you have a great deal of debt already, you may struggle to make your monthly payments, putting the lender in a worrisome position. However, paying off all of your debt may not be a good thing.

Pay Down Debt

It is a good idea for most consumers to work to pay down their debts. That is, you should be avoiding adding to any debt that you have. By paying down this debt balance, you will be creating more gaps…

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When it comes to putting your home on the market or bidding on one that's already there, many factors play a role in the decision of value. In short, the value of any home is what the buyer is willing to pay for it. Yet, figuring out what that number is can be difficult. That is why you will likely have an agent run a competitive analysis on the home, especially if you are listing your home or buying in a competitive market place. In short, it provides you with a better understanding of the home's value.

How Is It Calculated?

The value of a home is ultimately decided by an appraiser. An appraisal is different from a competitive analysis, but the process is partly the same. In short, this process takes a close look at the value of homes that have…

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It is an alluring thought. Purchasing a home for next to nothing, especially compared to other home prices for the same size and type of home, and work on fixing it up. Not only are you going to get a lower purchase price, but you can make the home look the way you want it to. It sounds like a great plan but for the first-time home buyer, fixer uppers can be worrisome. It is always best to work closely with your real estate agent and other trusted experts before you make this decision. Consider some of the factors that may be risks to consider.

The Risk of the Unknown

The biggest reason many experts stay away from the fixer upper even when they are seasoned investors is that there is the risk of the unknown. A home that is in bad shape, such as…

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Is now the time to purchase a home? Buying a home is a big decision in every situation, no matter the time or the area. The key thing to remember is that buying a home now is a personal decision, one you have to make based on whether your individual circumstances are in the right place right now, including your budget and financials. Yet, when you look at the mortgage industry as a whole, you may notice some instances in which there are big reasons to make now the time you buy a home.

#1: Interest Rates Are Low

Compared to just a few years ago, interest rates are low right now. When buying a home, this is one of those factors you simply do not want to pass up on. Lower interest rates mean you'll pay less to buy a home, even by thousands of dollars.

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