Trisha Bowen - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Trisha Bowen on 1/22/2016

Owning a house gives you a sense of fulfillment, and helps boost your self-esteem. It is a long term investment and should not be taken lightly. The present state of your finances is possibly the single most important factor when contemplating home ownership.  Before you start shopping for a house, take into consideration the following factors. Have you set aside enough money for the down payment?  The amount you need varies based on the price of the home and percentage required by your lender.  Zero down mortgages are possible, however the interest rate is typically very high increasing the amount paid out over the life of the loan. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is typically required for this type of loan, again increasing your monthly payment. How high of a mortgage payment can you afford to make ?  If you opt for a fixed rate, your payment would remain consistent throughout the period of the loan. This type of loan is favorable for future financial planning.   Adjustable rate mortgages make it a bit trickier to predict your monthly payments based on the fluctuating interest rate throughout the duration of the loan.  This type of loan could be risky if interest rates rise and your payments increase significantly higher than anticipated. The security of your financial future is paramount when acquiring a mortgage loan.  You would not want to enter into this long term investment without stable employment and a definite career path.  Most banks and lending companies require a borrower to have been with the same employer for at least 2 years before considering a loan of this nature. Secure financial footing is key when applying for a mortgage loan. When determining your readiness to purchase a home, your credit score is as important as your finances. If you have a low credit score, you’ll attract a higher lending rate. This implies an increase in the amount paid back to the lender over the duration of the loan. An excellent credit score of 720 or above attracts the best interest rates and repayment terms. If your credit score is too low, improve it by:

  • Becoming Debt Free
  • Removing all inaccuracies from your credit report
  • Making all monthly payments in a timely manner -- eliminating late payments
  • Avoid applying for new loans and opening credit accounts
The commitment of home ownership comes with financial responsibilities beyond the monthly mortgage payment. Be certain to consider additional expenses such as property tax, utility bills, and home maintenance costs when calculating your budget.  Carefully weigh out all the factors to ensure you will be comfortable with your monthly payments allowing you to enjoy your new home for years to come.





Posted by Trisha Bowen on 9/11/2015

Buying a home is a very important decision. Before you rush into a home you should consider all the factors. Making sure you end up with the right home involves figuring out exactly what features you need, want and don't want in a home. Before starting your search, you should make a "wish list" to decide which features are absolutely essential, which nice “extras” are if you happen to find them, and which are completely undesirable. The more specific you can be about what you're looking for from the outset, the more effective your home search will be. Also keep in mind, that in the end, every home purchase is a compromise. Create your own personalized "wish list" and when you're finished filling it out; share it with your real estate agent. Become an educated buyer •The web is one of the best ways to search for homes today. With this website, you can receive daily emails with new and updated listings from the towns and price range of your choice. •Search the entire MLS for all homes, condos, land, multi family, commercial properties, and past sold properties at your convenience. •View full listing sheets showing amenities, taxes, lot sizes, beds, baths, rooms, siding, fireplaces, garages, room sizes and much more. •Get property addresses and see where the properties are located on MapQuest. •Check schools and community profiles of your preferred towns. •Save preferred listings in your own file to view anytime. •Calculate approximate mortgage payments for specific properties. Home Inspection Once you have made an offer on a home, you will need to schedule a home inspection, conducted by an independent authorized inspector. It is extremely important to hire a reputable inspector so that you know exactly what you are buying. Do not hesitate to ask friends, family, and co-workers for advice. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then you can proceed with the sale. If the inspector finds problems with the property, you may want to negotiate with the seller to lower the price, or to pay for certain repairs. Appraisal Your lender may require you to get an appraisal of the house you want to buy, to make sure it is worth the money that you are borrowing. You may select your own appraiser, or you may ask your real estate broker to help you with this task. Homeowner's Insurance Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance, to protect both your interests and theirs. Like everything else, be sure to shop around for insurance that fits your needs. Settlement or Closing Finally Make Sure Before you Buy Finally, you are ready for the closing. Be sure to read everything before you sign! You should have both your real estate broker and an attorney present at the closing to ensure that all is in order.





Posted by Trisha Bowen on 9/3/2015

When you think of a hot real estate market you usually think about the spring market but the fall is also a busy time for real estate. There are many benefits to buying a home in the fall. Buying a home towards the end of the year is a great way to get a tax break. Home buyers can deduct both mortgage interest and property taxes from gross income on their taxes. Buyers may also be able to deduct prepaid interest and closing costs. The weather in the fall can also be an ideal time to move. It can be difficult to move in the heat of the summer or in freezing temperatures or icy winter weather. Median homes prices typically peak each June or July. This is because families with children buy larger homes and want to get settled before the start of school. Prices slightly decline each September with purchases dominated by first-time buyers who usually buy smaller homes. The fall typically has a nice selection of inventory. Many sellers list their home for sale hoping to close the deal before the holidays. Some sellers may even be motivated to sell before the year end so they may be more flexible in their negotiations. Just because the inventory may be good the fall is still a competitive market. If you find a home you like don't be lulled into thinking other buyers won't like it too. Make an intelligent and carefully planned offer before another buyer comes along and betters your offer snatching the house out from under you.





Posted by Trisha Bowen on 6/4/2015

Mortgage rates are at historic lows and there is no better time to buy a home. Do you qualify for those low advertised rates? Will you be able to secure a mortgage? Studies show that 6 in 10 people do qualify for mortgage loans. For those that can't qualify here are ten reasons why a would-be borrower might face rejection: 1. A low credit score will keep you from getting a mortgage. Typically, a score less than 620 is unacceptable by most lender standards. 2. A maxed out credit card threshold will stop a mortgage in its tracks. If your balance more than 30 percent of the allowable credit lenders will take pause. 3. Multiple credit inquiries may drop your credit score. Limit your credit inquiries to mortgage-only credit pulls within a 30-day period. 4. Did you Co-sign a loan with someone? If so, plan to provide 12 months of canceled checks showing they make the payments to the creditor. 5. Other housing liability payments or a consumer loan for a vehicle may prevent your loan approval. Lenders are looking for you to have double the income to offset each dollar of debt you carry. 6. If you are self-employed you may not be showing income under a Schedule C. This reduces your borrowing power. 7. Claiming many unreimbursed business expenses and losses on your taxes may help you pay less taxes but it also can reduce your borrowing power. 8. If you change jobs often this could also hurt your chances at a mortgage. If you occupational status has changed in the past two years it can hurt you. 9. If you are planning on using cash for your purchase think again. All monies must come from some kind of a bank account. 10. Don't plan on transferring money from different accounts during the loan process. Be prepared to show full bank statements and a chain of deposits etc. Your mortgage professional should be able to look at your credit, debt, income and assets and make a determination of whether you qualify for a mortgage.





Posted by Trisha Bowen on 2/3/2015

What is your dream home? It is a water-front home, a cabin in the woods, a city apartment or a home on a cul de sac in a suburb? The phrase “dream home” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream home: Square Footage Consider how much room you need in your home. Do you need a media room or a finished basement? Three decades ago the average home size was 1,645 square feet. Now the average home size has gone up to 2,195. Recent trends have shown house sizes again decreasing as buyers evaluate what they truly need. Floorplan Think about how you will use your home, will you be entertaining? Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and have a traditional feel? Or do you prefer an open floor plan? The way you use your home will dictate the type of floor plan you ultimately choose. Extras What kind of extras are you looking for in a home? Do you want granite counter tops, high-end appliances, or other extras?  That will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget. Landscaping The bigger the better may not be the case when it comes to a lawn. A big lawn means lots of landscaping. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep you may opt for a large yard; if not, your dream home may be a home with a smaller yard or even a condo. Location Choosing a neighborhood is important when picking your dream home. If you have a family or are planning one in the future you most likely will want to look at school systems.  Other considerations are commute time to work, location to stores, highways, the ability to walk to venues and public transportation.