Category: Real Estate

Should You Lock Your Mortgage Rate?

If you’re not a betting man, you may think that when you lock your mortgage rate it may be too much of a gamble, but a little can go a long way.

Shopping for a mortgage is a lot like playing the tables at Vegas: it’s going to take both luck and some skill. One mortgage game that you can try your luck in is called “mortgage rate lock.” But before you buy in at the table (or close on a home sale), learn the various situations in which you should lock in a mortgage rate to give you the best chances of winning.

  1. What is a mortgage rate lock? This is when you strike a deal with your lender that allows your mortgage rate to freeze for a certain amount of agreed upon days. If you don’t lock, your mortgage rate could change by the time the loan paperwork is finished being processed.
  2. Should you lock in your mortgage? This is where your gambling skills come into play. If you believe that your interest rates will rise, lock! If you think they’ll fall, don’t lock. But when interest rates are at historic lows (like they are now), it seems like a no-brainer to lock.
  3. Nothing is guaranteed. Read your lender; if you think they’re pushing you into locking, don’t be afraid to call their bluff. The lender has an incentive to get you to lock your mortgage. See, locking your mortgage isn’t “free.” The longer the duration of the lock, the greater the cost regarding basis points that are then shown in the mortgage rate. It may not cost anything upfront, but you will be charged a higher interest rate.

Contact  Dean Rathbun when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you.

Negotiate Like a Pro: Winning a Stalemate

When you play the Game of Real Estate, you win, or you lose; you’re going to need some negotiation skills if you’re going to be the victor.

When it comes to negotiation, there are only two kinds of people: those that bend over and take the deal as is without any push back, and the ones that will fight tooth and nail for the best possible deal and only compromise when it benefits them. You might be the kind of person who never questions the price of an item and just sees it as normal without ever considering you could purchase it for a lot less. If this sounds like you, here are negotiation skills for doing more than just playing the game of real estate: they’re for winning the game of real estate.

Don’t be an emotional seller: This is business, it’s as simple as that. This means that you’re going to have to throw you emotions out of the window and only think rationally. Having your real estate agent find out the buyer’s desired purchase price will give you the greatest advantage during negotiations.

Be realistic: Being realistic is at the core of thinking rationally. Being stubborn clouds your judgement and may lead to you passing up what is in actuality a fantastic offer for what you are selling.

Embrace creativity: If you and your buyer have reached a stalemate, it might be time to ponder some out-of-the-box ideas. Throwing in some furniture or something else the buyer had their eye on may sway them to budge and accept your standing offer. Yes, you might lose a beautiful patio table, but it may be worth it to sell you house.

Contact  Dean Rathbun when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you.

3 Ways to Compete With Cash Buyers

Don’t have stacks of cash lying around like The Wolf of Wall Street to spend on a new home? Don’t worry; you can still compete with these kinds of buyers.

“Money talks” is a phrase that rings true in almost every corner of the world, from sports to real estate. All-cash means that there will be no mortgage, and that means that you won’t have to rely on lenders for anything. The housing market is firing up again, and bidding wars are the new normal. Unfortunately, sellers tend to favor an all-cash offer than those that depend on a mortgage approval. But not everyone has hundreds of thousands of dollars in between their sofa cushions, so what is one to do? Worry not, for here are three ways in which you can compete with cash buyers in a seller’s market.

  1. Bid higher – The highest offer doesn’t always guarantee a sale, but it can’t hurt to hike your offer up a bit. In order to beat the competition and temptation of cash, you’re going to have to make your offer more attractive. Sometimes the extra $1,000 on top of the listing price can be the determining factor in the seller’s eyes.
  2. Know what the seller needs – What are the terms the seller is seeking? Does the seller need extra time in the property to find a new home? Looking for a quick close? Having a real estate agent who can handle this early on will only increase your chances.
  3. “As is” can be the magical words – What can be more attractive to a seller than a buyer taking the home “as is”? They won’t have to spend any money on repairs or even lower their price.

Not having cash doesn’t put you out the game, you just have to find a new way to play it. Contact  Dean Rathbun when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you.

How to Keep Your Home Sale From Falling Apart

Learning from mistakes is the best way to avoid making decisions that will lead to said mistake—so it’s important to know what to look for when it comes to selling your home.

A home sale can be highly precarious, as uncertainty clouds your listing. One minute, your real estate agent may be sure an offer is right around the corner, the next: failure. The offer has been made to your neighbor’s house across the street instead. Beyond the financing issues or a buyer’s sudden change of heart, there seem to be about an infinite amount of reasons why a house sale falls through. Know the most common reasons why this happens, and learn how you can keep your home sale from falling apart.

What You Can Do to Avoid a Potential Sale Crumble

  1. Be willing to negotiate

We get it: you’ve lived in your home for many years and have made memories from within these walls. It can be difficult to part ways, even once you’ve made the decision to move on to the next home. Letting your emotions get in the way can negatively affect an otherwise solid offer, though.

  1. Keep the appraisal in mind

Unless you’re selling to a cash buyer, appraisals are non-negotiable during a home sale. Lenders need to know that what the buyers are willing to pay for your home is actually on par with what it’s worth. If the appraisal comes in low, it could make a home sale that seemed like a shoo-in rapidly crumble. You have to lower the price, or risk losing the sale.

Don’t take any chances when it comes to the sale of your home, and learn from the mistakes of others before you become the example of what not to do. Contact United American Mortgage Corporation when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to sell your home. We are happy to help you.

What You Should Never Overlook at an Open House

You don’t have to be a professional to know what you should look for in an open house—especially after reading this article.

When you’re in the hunt for a new house, weekends spent touring the town in which you want to live can turn from fun to a terrible daunting experience by house number three. Keeping track of which home had the great island kitchen versus the home with a terrible backyard but great flooring can be tough. While no home is perfect, some renovations are harder to squeeze into the budget than others. There are some issues that should give you pause because the cost of some renovations greatly outweighs the cost of others, and renovations are something all homeowners have to deal with at some point.

Questions to ask when attending an open house.

  1. Are there issues with the home’s foundation?

You wouldn’t stand on a ladder being supported by old moldy wood, right? Well, if you purchase a home with a poor foundation you are actually going a step further. If there are cracks in the foundation of the home you are likely going to be spending thousands to fix everything.

  1. How old is the roof?

Look beyond the superficial and consider the bones of your home. A bone you can’t ignore in your potential future home is the roof. (You know, that thing that keeps you safe from the elements.) The typical lifespan of a roof is 20 years, but the average cost to replace the thing runs deep into the five-figure range.

  1. What’s the sewer system life?

You don’t want biohazardous waste in your home; that’s simply unhygienic. When it comes to sewer and septic tanks, many people are left in the dark. If something goes wrong it’s up to the owner, not the city, to cover damages (normally through homeowners insurance).

Open houses are a great way to find the house that’s right, or completely wrong, for you. Contact United American Mortgage Corporation when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you find the home that’s right for you.