Securing financing to purchase a new home is one of the most important, exciting, and nerve-wracking financial steps most people will ever take.
During the housing boom, mortgage requirements were relaxed to unsustainable levels, and it seemed just about anyone could approach a lender and walk away with financing. But in an effort to recover from a record increase in foreclosures and loan defaults, lenders have become more stringent; loan applicants must now meet more demanding requirements to obtain a
U.S. averages as of August 29, 2013:
How much your home is worth to you and how much it is considered to be worth in the real estate market can be two very different numbers. If you're planning to put your home up for sale, one of the most important factors in making a quick sale is pricing the property correctly.
Your real estate agent can be your guide in making this all-important decision, but there are a few important guidelines for you to remember so that you understand how to put a price tag on your home without letting sentiment get in the way of sense.
It's obvious that pricing your home too high for its value or your neighborhood can mean it might end up sitting on the market. Pricing it too low means that you're losing potential revenue and leaving money on the table. By pricing your home "just right," you will not only ensure that it will appraise for approximately the same value (increasing the likelihood that your buyer will secure financing), but you will likely see an offer or two – and if you're lucky, multiple offers.
So, what is the best way to determine how you should price your home? It's best to look at recent, comparable sales, or "comps" in your neighborhood or surrounding area. Your real estate agent should be able to pull
Your lender may be willing to loan you a mint, but do you really need that much house?
Even comparison shopping with a site like LendingTree might not be enough to put you in the right mortgage. Likewise, a good real estate agent won't just ask you to determine the house you want based on the loan you can get, because you might not be able to carry the mortgage.
Home much home you really need isn't simply based on your borrowing health, according to Hans Brings, vice president and broker with Coldwell Banker in Waltham, MA. We emailed Brings to pick his brain about what else you need to consider.
"Have you stopped to think about what you need?" asked Brings, emphasizing the "need." Brings says your wants should be flexible, negotiable points.
Your home owning needs are what truly matters. Brings says you'll also have to be flexible with your needs, not so much either-or, but more-or-less. Family size
First consider the size of your family and your family's life style. If you are a backyard family, you can't buy most condos. If you live small, a big house won't cut it. You may need an extra room for an office, study, artwork or sleeping-over space for relatives who never go home.
"Ask yourself questions about how you spend your time. Where do you
Many people complain about small kitchens but tiny spaces aren't always to be dreaded. If you're selling your home and your kitchen is, well, compact, know that you can find ways to achieve big appeal with a little creativity. Bring in the light. Sometimes small kitchens can be dark, making them feel even smaller. But if you remove the curtains from any windows in your small kitchen, it'll let light in and open up the area. Instead of curtains, you can use small blinds that are recessed inside the frame of the window. These are easy to clean and still provide some privacy even when the blinds are open.
Read about the events shaping the Real Estate market today, find current interest rates, or browse the extensive library of advice and how-to articles written by some of the top experts in Real Estate. Updated each weekday.