Articles Tagged "Tips for Buyers"

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Belleville | 39 Posts
Buying a Home | 7 Posts
Home Improvement | 23 Posts
Lifestyle | 2 Posts
Sell Your Home | 5 Posts

Winter Home Maintenance

If you recently moved into a new home, you may be excited to enjoy the changing seasons in a whole new way. Watching snowflakes fall on your lawn and snuggling up by the fire – these wintry activities bring so much joy. As winter approaches, however, it is important to stay up-to-date on your home maintenance. Completing important home maintenance tasks will keep your home in good shape all winter long. Our real estate agents recommend new homeowners check out these winter home maintenance tips.

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Down Payment Tips

The spring real estate market is here and is sure to continue to heat up! If you are looking into Belleville homes for sale, you are likely considering the down payment you'll have to invest. Saving adequate money for the down payment is a hurdle for many, but a solid savings plan makes homeownership possible. Our real estate agents have compiled an easy guide below to get you closer to owning your dream home.

Most homeowners hesitate to start the homebuying journey because they can't make a 20% down payment. While many mortgage lenders demand a 20% down payment, you can put as little as 3% down with a fixed-rate conventional loan. You may pay for even less or no down payment if you qualify for a VA or USDA loan.

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Working with a REALTOR

Buying or selling a home can be intimidating. The industry-specific jargon, paperwork, and legal restrictions can be overwhelming for the average person, let alone first-time homebuyers. Purchasing a home is a major life decision, and with so much on the line, it's very important to work with an experienced, dedicated professional that can help you steer clear of costly pitfalls and mistakes. If you're considering one of these beautiful Belleville homes for sale, make sure you're working with a REALTOR® who can provide you with the following benefits:

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Deep Clean Your Home

While cleanliness is always a feature of Belleville homes for sale, the concept has taken on a whole new importance this year. Protect your family and display your new home in its best light with this guide to pre-move-in deep cleaning. 

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Realtor and Agent

If you're new to buying or selling real estate, the specific roles and titles of professionals who work in the industry can be unclear. Before you make a decision about whether you need a real estate agent or REALTOR®, it's important to understand the distinctions between them, so you're armed with the knowledge you need when selling property or looking at Belleville homes for sale

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Real Estate Terminology

Whether you are preparing to sell your existing property or looking for Belleville homes for sale, studying up on real estate terms will help the process go smoothly. 

When entering the real estate market, preparation is vital to successful transactions. If you cannot remember all the different definitions, do not worry. Our real estate agents are available to answer any of your questions. Here is a list of some basic real estate terms to get you started.

  1. Buyer's Agent: In a real estate transaction, the buyer's agent represents the person purchasing the property.
  2. Listing Agent: The listing agent represents the person selling the property. The agent generally has multiple listings for you to browse.
  3. Pre-Approval Letter: When purchasing a home, you can obtain a pre-approval letter from your financial institution. The letter simply states the estimated amount of money allowed for your home purchase.
  4. Assessed Value: The public tax assessor for the area determines the value of the home. The process allows for collecting state or city tax fees.
  5. Appraisal: Before receiving your loan, your bank will request an assessment of the home. The process of appraising the home or other real estate determines the value of the property.
  6. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage: The first type of conventional loan is an adjustable-rate mortgage. A changing interest rate may cost more money throughout the life of your loan. When you use an adjustable-rate mortgage, you risk a rising interest rate.
  7. Fixed-Rate Mortgage:  The second type of conventional loans. The fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate throughout the life of the loan. There are no surprises on the amount of interest collected each payment.
  8. Principal: Your monthly mortgage payment consists of the principal and interest. The principal is the amount borrowed to buy your home.
  9. Interest: When you borrow money from a lending institution, you must pay an interest rate. Rates will vary. The interest is the price for borrowing money.
  10. Inspection: When you make an offer, an inspection of the home occurs. The process allows for any potential issues in the house. The inspection process checks the home's plumbing, septic system, foundation, electrical unit, and any other features that may negatively affect the home's cost. The process protects the buyer from any misrepresentations.
  11. Offer: The seller has the right to decline, accept, or counter any offer made on the home. Many sellers will reject and counter the first offer.
  12. Closing: The closing is the finalization of your home's purchase or sale. The process includes closing costs, down payment, and signing of the legal documents.
  13. Closing Costs: The closing costs consist of the bank's processing costs of the loan, title insurance, and any taxes.
  14. Title Insurance: Before sale, there is a research process to check the home's title. The home must not have any type of lien before moving forward with the closing.
  15. Escrow: An escrow account is set up by the lending institution that will receive monthly payments from the purchaser.

 If you need help with any terms, purchasing or selling a home, please contact us.


Moving Tips

With so much to do after a big move, it's easy to overlook some smaller details. Things you'd never forget normally can slip through the cracks when you're celebrating – and resting up! – after moving into one of the great Belleville homes for sale.

Our REALTORS® strive to make every part of buying a home more comfortable, including the move. Many of our clients have reached out with stories of things they forgot to take care of, so we decided to delve deeper and find out what goes undone the most.

In the chaos of packing and unpacking, important administrative tasks can fall by the wayside. And the further you're moving, the more valuable it is to remember to do those things promptly.

Let's take a closer look at five things people forget to do after they move:

  1. Turn Utilities On (And Off) Before Moving Day
    It may take up to two weeks to have electric and water service turned on at your new home, so contact utilities as soon as moving day is circled on the calendar. At the same time, be sure you notify existing utilities that you will be moving out. Service in your name must cease before new residents can move in and get everything under their own account.

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VA Loan 2020

VA home loans provide a fantastic opportunity for veterans and their families to put a solid foundation under their financial future. There are some changes to the VA home loan program that make it easier for soldiers, sailors, and airmen to purchase a home. These changes will affect loan limits, fees, and other elements of the program that our REALTORS® want you to know about and think over before you apply.

Funding Fees Rise for Some Borrowers

The funding fee for VA home loans is rising to 2.30% for first-time active duty borrowers, which is a slight increase over the 2.15% it is at currently. This change will go into effect on January 1, 2021, so there is still plenty of time to purchase a home before it affects borrowers. On the other side of the coin, Purple Heart recipients who are still on active duty will no longer have to pay the funding fee starting on January 1, 2020. The subsequent use fee is also rising. It is currently set at 3.3% but will increase to 3.6% on January 1, 2020. 

The Funding Fees are based on a sliding scale for regular military personnel based on their down payment.

Down Payment Fee for First-Time Home Buyers Fee for Subsequent Use
0% 2.3% 3.6%
5-10% 1.65% 1.65%
>10% 1.4% 1.4%

Further, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 streamlines the funding fees for all military personnel. Starting January 1, 2020, National Guard, reservists, and active-duty personnel will be subject to the same funding fees without distinction to which branch they serve.  

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