Home Buying

Three Things That Should Be on Your List When You're Looking at a New Home

A lot of sellers and real estate investors know the value of curb appeal. Things like fresh paint, new landscaping, and a pressure-washed exterior make a home look nicer and much more appealing at a low cost. Most potential buyers form an opinion within just a few second of seeing a new home, so make sure you have a list of things to look for when you're seeing a house. Here are a few elements to get you started:

  1. Look at the plumbing. Not every recent restoration is a sign of bad news, but they are things you should question. Check the area around the water heater, major appliances, and under the sinks for signs of water damage, new pipes, and replaced drywall. These are potential signs of a recently burst pipe which could hint at lingering damage or risk.
  2. Check the attic and garage for insulation....

How to Reduce Your Mortgage and Afford a Bigger Down Payment for Lower Rates

Making a sizable down payment is a solid investment when you're purchasing a home, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. This shows your lending company that you have a handle on your finances and can result in a reduced interest rate which, when combined with the lower overall debt remaining, makes for a lower overall cost. A sizable down payment, usually 20% or more, also means you don't have to pay mortgage insurance, which lenders charge to mitigate the potential loss of a defaulted mortgage. But finding that sort of capital can be difficult, even if you save money. Here are a few ways to access that money without over-extending your budget:

Take Advantage of your Roth IRA

There are two basic types of IRAs: traditional IRAs, in which you can invest pre-tax dollars and then pay income tax on your withdrawals during retirement,...

Three Questions You Should Always Ask at an Open House

If you are house-hunting, this can be an exciting time, but it can be frustrating to get clarity on a home’s nuances if you aren’t prepared with the right questions. Attending open houses is a great way to get acquainted with what you are looking for in a new home, and also what aspects might be deal breaker. If you can spend a few minutes with the real estate agent showing the home, there are some questions that can quickly narrow down if a home is worth pursuing further. Here are three questions you should always ask at an open house. 

1. Why are the Sellers Moving?

If a home is being sold by elderly individuals or those who have been in the home for years, this might indicate a home has been well-cared for and loved. If the sellers of a home haven’t been there long, it might be a good idea to investigate. This...

The Pros and Cons of Living in an HOA Community

HOA stands for a Home Owner's Association, a nonprofit group that is operated by a board made up of homeowners, sometimes involving a management company. Every HOA has a different set of rules. It is important to check up on them before you commit to becoming part of the community. Not all HOAs are created equal and some offer more perks than others. Usually the higher the fees, the more amenities are provided. HOA dues are paid periodically and range from lump yearly payments to monthly installments. Is living within an HOA right for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider before making an offer on a property governed by an association.

The Benefits

If you like the idea of buying a home with guaranteed value and you like order and peace, living in an HOA will be right up your alley. An HOA ensures that the homes in the community retain their...

How to Make an Offer on a Home So it Gets Accepted

The best way to make an offer on the home you want to buy is to get 3 critically important steps in place. Let's discuss them, so you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

Be Ready, Willing and Able

This is paramount. If you are in a position to move forward, you are ahead of the pack. Many potential buyers are almost ready and some are not really ready at all. Sellers do not want to take their home off the market and then wait and hope that the offeror will get all their ducks in a row. Most sellers won't risk losing a buyer who can proceed. Sellers want to know that they are accepting an offer from someone who already has their ducks in a row. So here are the things you should have in place:-

  • Have proof of funds available, so the seller knows you can proceed
  • Be pre-approved, not just pre-qualified for a mortgage, if you need a mortgage...

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking at Potential Homes

Whether you are buying your first home or you have bought a home before, finding your perfect home can take a while. If you are considering buying a home, it is a good idea to sit down and ask yourself the following three questions.

How Much Can I Afford?

Often, this might be more than one number. It is a good idea to know what you would like to set as a limit. Then you should know your absolute upper limit. Sometimes, these two numbers are fairly close. Other times, the numbers might be quite different. For example, maybe you are comfortable spending $300,000 on a home, but your absolute upper limit is $450,000. When starting out, try to stick to your preferred limit. Then, even if you do find a home slightly above that, you are less likely to fall in love with a home that is completely above your upper limit.

How Much Work Am I Willing to Put...

Purchasing a New Home? Here's What to Look For.

When it comes to purchasing a new home, you probably have a list of must-have items in mind. Maybe you need a two-car garage, a fenced yard for your dog, and enough bedrooms and bathrooms for all your kids. Every home is unique, and everyone's priorities are different. So how do you decide what to look for in a new home? Here are some tips to keep in mind when you begin your search.

Prioritize your needs. The home-buying process can quickly become an emotional one, especially when you have family involved in the search along with you. That's why it's important to make a prioritized list of your needs ahead of time. You'll be able to compare homes objectively without letting emotions get in the way or hurting anyone's feelings.

Consider future needs. As you're making your list of what to look for in a home, remember to think ahead to the...

4 Tips on How to find a mortgage lender in Omaha

You have spent the last 10 years saving up for the deposit on your dream house. After finally finding what you believe to be the perfect property in a prime location you are now bogged down with the task of finding a mortgage lender in your area. Without the excess funds needed for the cost of the house, finding a mortgage lender is imperative to extend you the credit required to purchase your new home.  

Before seeking out financing elsewhere, it is always good to first contact your financial institution and weigh their mortgage options. This should be your initial search for a lender. If your financial institution is not able to provide you with an ideal finance option for your mortgage needs then you may continue to look further. It is good to shop around to compare the rates and fees each bank charges. 

There are large national banks here in Omaha but a good...

What to Ask When Looking At Potential Homes

Buying a home takes a lot of work. There's the budgeting, the finding a realtor, the searching and the getting of the loan. Not to mention figuring out if the home needs renovations, or how much it's going to cost to actually move in. Sometimes it seems as though the to-do list involved just never ends and the last thing you want is for something unexpected to pop up once you're in your new home.

Ask before you buy. Don't let surprises ruin the joy of owning a home, whether it's your first, second, third or even tenth. Here are five usually forgotten things to ask when you're looking at potential homes.

  1. What are the taxes involved? If you've done your budgeting, than you know how much you can spend on a house payment every month. Don't, however, forget about the taxes on the land. Be sure to ask, as every house has a different tax amount, before you...

What is a final walk-through? What does it consist of? How long does it take?

The day of closing has arrived. You have found your dream home, inspections are complete, and you have a mortgage loan approval. After signing a large stack of paperwork and ensuring the transfer of all funds, the keys will be yours. There is only one thing left before the final meeting — a final walk-through.

What is a final walk-through? It is an inspection to make sure the house's condition has not negatively changed since making your offer. The best time is within 24 hours of the sale finalization, and the same day if possible. It really should take no more than 30 minutes.

However, you don't want to rush the final walk-through. A missed problem can create issues after the sale. You will be happy you took it seriously. Here are some things to check:

  • Repairs: Don't wait for a final walk-through. If the seller agrees to repairs, schedule an...