Steve Antonucci's Blog
Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like you’re “home free.” The hard part may technically be over, but there’s one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs.
A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property.
Closing Costs Defined
Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.
Everything Included In Closing Costs
Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. You’ll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.
At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.
Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time
The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, you’ll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.
Compare Rates And Lenders
It’s important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you.
The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!
Real estate market data is readily available to home sellers across the United States. With this information at your disposal, you should have no trouble maximizing the profits from your home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three real estate market data that every home seller needs to check out before listing a residence.
1. Prices of Comparable Houses
Let's face it – determining a competitive price for your house may prove to be difficult, regardless of your home's age or condition. Fortunately, if you analyze the prices of comparable residences in your city or town, you can better understand how your house stacks up against the competition and price it appropriately.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. This appraisal enables a home expert to assess your house both inside and out. Then, you'll receive an appraisal report that contains a property valuation, which may help you determine a competitive price for your house.
2. Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Are you preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market? Review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can find out whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.
If home sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial home asking prices, now may be an ideal time to list your residence. Thus, you may want to add your house to the real estate market sooner rather than later to capitalize on a housing sector that likely favors sellers.
Conversely, if home sellers are receiving offers below their initial home asking prices, you may want to allocate significant time and resources to find ways to improve your house. Because if you enhance your house's exterior and interior, you may be able to help your house stand out from the competition and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
3. Average Amount of Time That a House Is Listed
Check out how long houses stay on the real estate market before they are sold – you'll be glad you did. With this housing market data in hand, you can assess the pulse of the real estate market and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
If you need help collecting or analyzing real estate market data, there is no need to worry. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can gain the insights that you need to make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you in any way possible. He or she will provide recommendations about how to price your house and improve your home's interior and exterior. Plus, a real estate agent is available to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions, at any time.
Ready to list your home? Review the aforementioned housing market data, and you can obtain deep insights into the real estate sector prior to selling your house.
The gig economy has exploded over the past decade. Today, around 36% of the US workforce is freelancing and many more or self-employed small business owners.
While being your own boss does afford you great freedom to set your hours and often work where you want, you may face extra scrutiny when trying to get financing to buy a home.
Because your income comes from many sources and you may do your own bookkeeping, it's more challenging to prove your income. But fear not. Freelancers can get financing. You just need to be prepared.
Note that every lending institution may be a little different. But here's your quick guide for home financing for freelancers and other self-employed professionals.
1. You may need to work at freelance a little longer
If you just left a nine to five and started freelancing six months ago, you do not yet have the track record of consistent income that a loan officer will be able to see. The loan officer needs to know that you have the money coming in to pay this loan.
In most cases, loan officers like to see applicants who've been successfully freelancing for at least two years.
2. Clean up your bookkeeping
Are you the kind of person who pulls out a box of receipts on April 14th and then scrambles for the next 18 hours trying to account for last year? You may struggle with a loan officer. They need to see well-organized records of incoming and outgoing, just like any business.
You don't have to take an accounting course. But anyone should be able to follow behind your numbers on a spreadsheet to see exactly how you reached the figures that went on your tax return.
3. Get a CPA signature
You may need to get the signature of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on your books for at least the last six months. But please don't do this before they ask for it because it will cost money. The more disorganized your financial records, the more it may cost.
If you'd be embarrassed to show your bookkeeping to a CPA, please see the tip immediately above. You can do this.
4. Make your case
If your income fluctuates wildly or has dropped in the most recent year, that may be a red flag for a loan officer. Even if they don't ask about it, make sure they know why that dip occurred.
Perhaps you were taking care of an aging parent or a sick child. Some of your income may have been delayed for some reason. Be prepare to explain the ebb and flow of your income.
Don't appear to be a victim of circumstance. But do communicate irregularities that don't reflect the success you're experiencing as a freelancer.
5. Have a strong savings
Freelancers' income varies from month to month, but your mortgage payment does not. Show that you're stable and have a backup plan. These savings should be in addition to a down payment.
For more smart home buying tips, follow our blog.
Tired of renting an apartment? Buy a house, and you can reap the benefits of homeownership for years to come.
Ultimately, there are many wonderful reasons to start a search for your dream home today, including:
1. You can enjoy the freedom of owning your own residence.
Let's face it – nothing beats the freedom of owning your own residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
If you launch a search for your own house, you can find a residence that matches your personality and budget. Plus, you can always decorate and customize your house however you choose. And if you complete myriad home upgrades or maintenance, you may be able to boost your house's value – something that may prove to be important if you eventually decide to sell your residence.
2. You can capitalize on various tax benefits.
Believe it or not, buying a house may enable you to reap myriad tax benefits.
The U.S. Tax Code allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage and property taxes. Also, if you study the U.S. Tax Code closely, you may find that you can deduct some of the costs involved in a home purchase.
3. You can pay predictable housing costs for a set period of time.
With a fixed-rate mortgage in hand, you can pay the same amount each month for the duration of your mortgage. This means you won't have to worry about fluctuating housing costs; instead, you'll pay the same total each month – without exception.
Of course, homebuyers who choose an adjustable-rate mortgage can enjoy fixed housing costs for a set amount of time too. On the other hand, those who select an adjustable-rate mortgage likely will need to plan ahead for a potential increase in mortgage costs after three, five, seven or 10 years.
Clearly, there's a lot to like about buying a house. For those who want to enter the housing market today, it certainly helps to work with an experienced real estate agent as well.
A real estate agent allows you to take the guesswork out of pursuing a residence in any housing market, at any time. In fact, this housing market professional will ensure you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
In most instances, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, teach you about the ins and outs of shopping for a residence and set up home showings. Furthermore, a real estate agent will negotiate with home sellers on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any house.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to any homebuying concerns or queries. This means you can get the expert insights that you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Take the next step to pursue your dream residence – employ an experienced real estate agent, and you should have no trouble transforming your homeownership dream into a reality.
Ready to buy a condo? With help from an expert real estate agent, you can make your condo ownership dreams come true.
An expert real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can purchase a top-notch condo at an unbeatable price. In addition, this real estate professional will make it easy to discover a superior condo without delay.
Ultimately, an expert real estate agent can make a world of difference during a condo search. But it is important to note that there are many factors to consider as you evaluate a real estate agentl.
Key factors that a condo buyer should consider when he or she assesses a real estate agent include:
1. Industry Experience
How many years has a real estate agent worked with condo buyers? Has a real estate agent been successful in his or her efforts to help condo buyers? And how will this housing market professional handle difficult negotiations with a condo seller? These are some of the questions to consider as you examine a real estate agent's industry experience.
When it comes to assessing a real estate agent, industry experience is key. A real estate professional who understands the ins and outs of buying a condo should have no trouble helping you purchase a superb property that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Communication Skills
How a real estate agent communicates with his or her clients says a lot about this professional.
If a real estate agent strives to stay in touch with clients via text, phone and email, this housing market professional likely will be able to keep a condo buyer informed at each stage of the property buying cycle.
On the other hand, a real estate agent who fails to prioritize effective communication may struggle to help a condo buyer. This housing market professional may be unavailable if a condo buyer has concerns or questions. As a result, a condo buyer is unlikely to get the support that he or she needs to make an informed property buying decision.
Meeting directly with a real estate agent can give you a better idea about his or her communication skills. If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face discussion, you may want to consider moving forward with this housing market professional.
3. Client Referrals
What are previous condo buyers saying about a real estate agent? Request client referrals from a real estate agent, and you can find out how he or she has supported condo buyers in the past.
Client referrals enable you to understand what it's like to work with a real estate agent and can provide you with insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Moreover, client referrals can help you accelerate the process of choosing the right real estate agent to guide you along the condo buying journey.
For condo buyers, there is no need to worry as you prepare to enter the housing market. Instead, use these tips, and you can find a first-rate real estate agent who will ensure you can purchase your dream condo.