Tag Archives: need

Top 10 List for Finding Your Ultimate Dream Home

Top 10 List for Finding Your Ultimate Dream Home

Number 10: Dream on!

What, exactly, is your ultimate dream home? You need to figure out all of your must-haves. Do you have to have a garage? Do you have to have a basement? Do you have to have a pool? Could you settle for a home with a big yard and build the pool later? You need to have a really good grip on your must haves, because they will have a big bearing on your price.

Number 9: Money money money!

Do you have any clue how much home you really can afford ? Have you spoken with a mortgage lender yet? Do you have any money put away in the bank? Do you have a budget set, so that you know where your money is going out to every month? These are honest questions that you’re going to have to deal with to determine how much house you can afford.

Number 8: Location location location!

Okay, you know what state you’d like to live in, you may even know what city you’d like to live in. But do you know the area? Do you know how safe the area is? Do you have any idea of whether it is convenient shopping, public transportation, work, or whatever else you might need? (Aw, come on, don’t even try to tell me the convenience of fast food and restaurants isn’t even a consideration, lol! It was for me, lol!)

Number 7: See here!

So can you see yourself totally living in this place? You think you found THE ONE, but, when you stand in the home with your family, can you actually see or feel yourself living there?? Do you absolutely hate the basement? Is it something that you can easily change? Again, these are questions you need to ask yourself before you take the plunge. If this is going to be your forever home, you need to address these thoughts now with your family.

Number 6. Size MATTERS!

Okay, now honestly, do you have enough room to move around? Do you have children? Will you be possibly having more children? You never know, you might need more bedrooms at some point. If the house is short on bedrooms, you’re gonna need more livable space that you can convert into bedrooms. You need to know if this is a home that you can grow into, or just a temporary 5 to 7 year home that you know you will have to sell to buy something bigger. That can be a headache down the road. Wouldn’t it possibly be better to make sure you have a big enough home now?

Number 5. Work work work?

Okay, how much work will the home need to bring it to where you want it to be? Let’say the entire house is carpeted. You want hardwood. Have you priced out what it will cost to replace all of the carpet? How about the kitchen? The bathrooms? Have you looked into how much it will cost to replace those? Make sure you have those numbers in place so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not to buy that particular home.

Number 4. Get a Home Inspection!

You’ve gone through the house, it’s absolutely gorgeous, not a hair out of place. That’s what you can see. But what about what you can’t see? Super important that you get a home inspection. The home inspector nose to look for certain things that you would never find on your role, unless you’re well-versed in home buying. Foundation issues, roofing issues leakage issues, electrical issues, this is what your home inspector will look for. It is well worth the money for your peace of mind, and keeping your sanity. that $400 that you pay now can potentially save you thousands on issues that you can’t see that will crop up later

Number 3. Permanent Ink?

Now comes the simple question: Is this home permanent? Are you absolutely sure that you have enough space for your growing family? Does everybody have their own space to retreat to within the house? Can you see yourself living here for the rest of your life? As long as you’re sure, take the plunge!

Number 2. Flexibility!

Don’t be impossible to please! If you set the bar too high, you may be in for a disappointment. You want the acreage, the 2 car garage, the basement, the pool AND the shed? And for HOW much? Just be ready for a little compromise. Without having a new construction home built, you may not find all of that in one nice, neat little package. Can you get a pool next year? Can you buy a house with an unfinished basement, and finish it later? Then everybody’shappy!

And the Number 1 Tip… Homework homework homework!!!!!

GET EDUCATED. Learn the home buying process. Find a good Realtor. Get your credit scores up to snuff. Get a good mortgage lender. Find all of your conveniences. Drive the neighborhood at different times of day BEFORE you put in an offer.

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”

Home Loans for Beginners 101

Home Loans for Beginners 101

Today we’re going to cover the most common kinds of home loans that are used today. Depending upon your financial situation, your income, your credit score, the kind of house you’re buying, how much money you need to borrow, how much down payment money you have, the price of the home and the taxes on the home will determine which mortgage would work best for you and your situation.

First, we have FHA financing. These are run by the Federal Housing Administration. There are tons of advantages of getting an FHA loan. First off, there’s a low down payment; you can go in with only a three and a half percent down payment. Then, they’re a little bit more lenient with credit scores. With other financing, you must have a 640 credit score to be able to qualify. With FHA, some companies will finance you with a 620 credit score, some 600, and now there are some that will finance you with as low as a 580 credit score you may need to shop around, but they do exist. I’ve just found one that will do a 560! You can find these. You can get FHA financing not only for home purchase, but also for home renovation, which is another bonus. They usually run 30 year fixed rate, you can also get 15 year.

Then we have conventional mortgages. Those are run by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You need to have good credit, 640 minimum, but you have more financing options available to you. There are terms for 10 to 30 years, and you can get them for home purchase and renovation and home refinancing. Not for the faint of heart, but if you’re feeling lucky, you can also get 5, 7, 10 year adjustable rate. The only disadvantage is that with interest rates so low, your payments can only go up. It’s a scary thought, lol!

Then we have USDA Rural Housing loans. There’s a few different ways that the USDA goes when it comes to mortgages.You can get in with zero money down, because they will roll your down payment into the total mortgageprice. All you need to have is closing costs. Think about it, that’s 3.5% of the purchase price (for your down payment) that you’ll now have left in your bank account to put towards closing costs! Awesome for people looking to buy with no cash out of pocket. They have a specific criteria that you need to meet, you need a good credit score, about 620 to 640. The only disadvantage is that you’re limited to certain areas thay qualify. There’s actually a population maximim number that considers a town to be rural to qualify. You can go to the USDA website and check it out here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/hsf_sfh.html. These loans are good for single-family homes and condominiums. There are a number of loan financing programs that they have, go through their website and call the office most local to your area. You can check to see if the home you want to buy is in an eligible area, and you can also check to see if YOU meet the criteria, as a buyer, on the website.

Then, last but not least, we have VA loans. Those are run by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. These are awesome for veterans. There are 0 money down payments, you can get super low payments and there is no PMI. You can use these to buy a home or refinance a home mortgage. Some mortgages are assumable. That means that you, the home purchaser, can assume the payments that are left on the owners mortgage, as long as the lender agrees to it. That could save you a TON of money on a house! Of course, these are limited to eligible veterans.

So there you have it. Those are the most popular and common mortgage options that you will more than likely face when you go to buy your home. Check with your mortgage lender for the best possible way to go for your circumstances. So many options, and low interest rates, there’s never been a better time to buy!

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”

Logo of the Federal Housing Administration.
Logo of the Federal Housing Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Okay, so you want to sell your home, awesome! Whether or not you realize it, there are many factors that will determine how much your house will sell for, if it sells at all. Your home needs to fit in with the Super 6. Okay, so what the hell is the Super 6? Let’s break it down…


1. Location
Like it or not, your home’s location will have a huge bearing on how much it will sell for. There are a ton of things that go into this. How close is it to public transportation? How close is it to local shopping? How safe is the area? Is there pride of ownership in the surrounding blocks? Is there any blight?


2. Condition of the Home
Ok, come on guys, this is a common sense factor. What kind of shape is the home in? Is it well kept? Does it show pride of ownership? Are your kitchen and bathroom old or dated? Do you have wallpaper on the walls? How about your rugs? Does the carpeting have permanent stains? What about odors in your home? Do you have pets? Is there an odor alerting your visitors when they walk through the door that you own pets? What about your roof? Are there any spots on the ceilings showing that there are roof leaks or issues? What you need to keep in mind here he said anything that is visibly wrong with your home becomes bargaining leverage on the purchase price. You will need to make sure that your home needs little to no repair to keep negotiations to a minimum.


3. Price
Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. If you don’t price your house properly, it won’t sell. It just wont. People will not pay $10,000 more to buy your home when they can have a house in better shape and cheaper for far less. You need to sit down with your Realtor and come to a price based on comparables. You must compare the homes apples to apples. Your agent will bring you copies of active listings of homes for sale with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, etc.. They will also show you listings of homes that have sold within the last 6 months, so that you will have the most accurate idea of where you should be priced to get your home sold quickly and for top dollar.


4. Market Conditions
Obviously, the real estate market has been all over the place for the last couple of years. Some towns get hit harder than others depending on the circumstances. For instance, we are very close to Atlantic City, New Jersey. As you know, many casinos have closed. Thousands are out of work. Many cannot find jobs and are collecting

English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night
English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

unemployment. Will some of those people lose their homes? Maybe, maybe not. But what that does mean is that there will be more short sales. That can have a direct bearing on what you can ask as a selling price for your home.


5. Financing.
The same way the housing market is affected by certain conditions, so is home mortgage financing. If you remember, back in the day during the real estate boom, interest rates were at 13%. Now, you can get mortgage financing for a home at an average of 4%!


6. Agent Savvy
You can have all of the first five criteria, but if your agent sucks lemons, none of it matters. Your agent needs to be savvy enough to negotiate a deal for you to get sold as quickly and for as high a price as possible. You need to be sure, BEFORE you hire an agent, to find out what they are going to do for you to get your home sold. What kind of marketing do they utilize? Are they internet savvy? Will your listing be syndicated to multiple websites? How about videos? Will they make videos of your home and create a website just for your home for sale listing? I do. Until what time can showings be scheduled for my home on any given day? I use a service through my company that schedules showings with a live human being by phone until 11pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends. I can pull up outside a vacant house with a for sale sign on it at 9pm, pick up my cell phone, get a lockbox code and be showing that house 3 minutes later. Can your agent do that? Hopefully, they can and will.


So there you have it. That’s the Super 6. Make sure you have them all covered. Oh, and, IF your prospective agent sucks lemons, call me BEFORE you list with them. I can get your home sold! :0)

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”