Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 2/24/2021

Photo by Fizkes via Shutterstock

If you know absolutely nothing about buying a house, donít learn the hard way. Thereís plenty of information available to help you avoid the many potential pitfalls in the process. You want your first home buying experience to be exciting, not exhausting. Here are some tips to get you started the right way.

  • Know when youíre ready. Sometimes the pressure to buy comes from well-meaning family and friends. Even your boss might press you to buy a home. But there are personal and financial milestones you need to pass before jumping into the housing market. These include paying down debt, monitoring your credit report and credit scores and freeing up cash to save for a down payment. If you canít adjust your cash flow so that you can set some funds aside, you may not be ready to buy a home. Yes, there are zero-down and low-down-payment loans out there, but you still have closing costs, taxes, insurance and maintenance to cover. If youíre not there yet, start by making small adjustments to your financial picture. Trying living on a budget. Youíll find plenty of apps online or for your phone to help you follow the money. Once you know where your money goes, you can redirect it to where you want it.
  • Learn what you want. While youíre working on your financial adjustments, start visiting open houses. Go to single-family homes, new builder developments, condominiums, townhomes, patio communities and hi-rise buildings. Keep a list of what you like and dislike about each. Then, consider the time it takes to maintain the property. Calculate the hours spent mowing the lawn or caring for landscaping, or the cost to have it done for you. Consider if you want a ready-to-live-in home, or if youíre up to the challenge of a renovation. If so, will you do the work yourself or hire out to have it done? While not a perfect depiction, watch television shows about home renovations and remodels. Youíll see some of the disasters that might be lurking behind an innocent-looking wall.
  • Hire the right help. Buying a home for the first time is not the time to go it alone. Hire a professional real estate agent that represents buyers. You need someone in your corner during negotiations and the contract process so that necessary paperwork gets completed and a sellerís potential lack of disclosures doesnít slip by you. Your agent can refer a home inspector to find out everything that might need repairs. Then they can negotiate for you to get the price reduced or the item fixed during the closing process.

If you follow these suggestions, when your agent finds the perfect home, youíll be ready to take the exhilarating leap to purchase your first home.




Tags: Homebuyer   first time  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 3/11/2020

Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

You’ve decided to sell your home to upgrade or even downsize, but you don’t know whether you should start looking and buy first or wait to sell first. The best-case scenario is to do both, but that takes a lot of planning. If you are sure your credit is good enough to get the loan you want, you can find a home and you have a buyer for your home all at the same time, the process could be quite smooth. Working with an excellent real estate agent goes a long way to making this scenario go smoothly.

Buying First

If you decide to buy a new house before you sell, and then put your home on the market, or choose to put your home on the market and buy a new home, even if your home doesn’t sell quickly, you will most likely have a place to move to—and can take your time moving. This plan has two hitches, and they’re not necessarily bad:

  • Your house sells quicker than you expected. If it does and you haven’t found a home, or you did, but you haven’t closed yet, you may have to move to temporary housing until your deal closes. On the other hand, if the seller is not in any hurry, you could rent your home back until your deal closes and you get moved.

  • You will have to pay two mortgages. If your current home is not paid off, you will have to pay two mortgages. Depending on your income, you may not be able to close the loan on the new home until you sell your current home. If your debt-to-income ratio has room for two mortgages, this is not a problem.

Selling First

Selling first is probably the safest way to go about moving. Once your house sells, put most of your possessions into storage and find a short-term rental. This allows you to take your time finding your dream home and getting the financing for the new house. Since you have all the time in the world, you’ll be able to shop around for the best mortgage without feeling pressured to take something because you need to close quickly.

Making the Decision

Before you decide on whether to buy or sell first or do both at the same time, determine which is best for your situation.

  • Check your credit score. The better your credit, the lower your new interest rate will be. Lenders will be more willing to work with you.

  • Start browsing for homes for sale to see if there is anything you are interested in.

  • Know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Speak to several lenders about the different available loan programs.

  • Contact a real estate agent to discuss listing your home. Ask about the listing contract and the cost of listing. Some real estate agents give you a discount on their commission if you use them to buy and sell.

  • Know the market. If buyers are flooding the market, it may be easier to sell your home. If sellers are flooding the market, it may take longer to sell your home because there are many homes for people to choose from.

The answers to these questions will let you know if it is better to buy or sell first.




Tags: home seller   buying   selling   Homebuyer  
Categories: Uncategorized