Start Saving & Re-Organize Your Finances
Start a monthly savings plan even if is only $50-$100 a month, it will add up. You want to have money saved for the biggest purchase of your life. And start thinking of ways you can re-allocate your spending in all areas of your life. Focus in on the essentials only if you can.
Do a "must haves vs. wants analysis". If you don't have a financial planning and budgeting goal, it will be challenging to realize your home ownership.
Comb Your Budget Closely
The home-buying process can be challenging for many. We recommend that you start documenting all spending. By all spending we mean all spending. After you tabulate how much you're spending everyday, the funds will appear that you need for your new home.
Address Your Credit (Repair It)
Even though we specialize in getting you into your next home or out of your current home, it's always a good policy to have good credit on your side. If you need assistance, we can guide you toward credit repair.
Know What You Can Afford
It's good to stay within your budget and affordability for home ownership. We look at your debt-to-income ratio and offer recommendations. However, ultimately only you can make the decision of what you can afford. We suggest your monthly home allowance should not go above 50% of your net monthly income. Unless you are paying cash for your home, you will have a mortgage payment.
Educate Yourself on Loan Options
Although, we utilize non-traditional methods to help you with home ownership, we encourage our clients to learn about loan options available through your local bank and other financial institutions.
Negotiate Your Offer
Before you’re handed the keys to your new home, we'll assist you with negotiating the deal. The more you understand about the closing process, the easier it will be. Your home offer is a binding sales contract. It is essentially your "hand-shake" and commitment to purchase the property in question. Typically, an earnest or down payment is required, we negotiate that on your behalf and strive to get you a zero to low down deal/transaction.
We'll assist you from the time you sign the contract to closing with keys in your hand your keys. We want to make the process as smooth as possible for you.
The truth is that more home buyers than ever before begin their home search online, and homes without pictures are often passed up immediately. Why? Well, imagine that you are looking for a new home and you are online checking out what’s available in your desired area. Would you bother to click on a listing with no pictures? Your first thought might be, “Why are there no pictures? What’s wrong with this house?” — and that’s exactly what might happen to you if you are the seller or listing agent.
First things first
One of the most common mistakes I notice when I look at pictures of a house for sale is poor picture quality. Top-of-the-line equipment is not necessary to take good pictures of a house, but the average cellphone camera won’t cut it either. It’s worth the investment to buy decent equipment or at least follow some fundamental DIY photography tips.
I would recommend no less than a 5-megapixel camera to get some clear and acceptable pictures. As you know, these types of cameras are very inexpensive today and can be purchased at any electronics retailer for a very low cost. Of course, you can spend whatever you like, but if you’re buying the camera for a one-time use then I would keep it to the bare minimum. You’ll get good pictures and you might even find other uses for your new camera. A tripod will help to keep you from ending up with blurry pictures due to a shaky hand, but it’s not an absolute necessity.
Take pictures of what really counts
Keep in mind that people want to see the home that is being advertised, NOT what is in it. The house should be free of clutter and reasonably clean. Allow the person who’s seeing the pictures to imagine his things in the home instead of seeing too much of someone else’s. Try to include colorful items in the photos that attract attention such as brightly colored artwork, flowers, etc. It’s amazing what a dash of color can add to a neutral-colored atmosphere.
The brighter the better
Any professional photographer will tell you that nothing is better than natural sunlight. Try to schedule picture-taking day on a sunny day if possible, and be sure to open curtains to allow as much natural light in as possible. A dark, cloudy day produces very dull and gloomy pictures that just aren’t very appealing to look at.
Some hints to remember
When photographing a room it almost always looks better if the shot is taken from the doorway looking into the room.Exterior pictures of single-family homes look better if shot from an angle instead of directly from the front. This allows viewers to see the depth of the home instead of a “flat” two-dimensional view of the front.
Try not to include obstructions on the outside if possible.
Items such as telephone poles, electrical wires and dumpsters do nothing to make a home look appealing and actually detract from what should be the center of attention — the house itself.
Be sure to take a LOT of photos.
That way you can pick and choose which pictures look the best. That’s one of the advantages of today’s digital cameras: Pictures are disposable and of course there are no printing costs involved, so click away!
Make improvements if needed
If you have a home computer then you have free software to enhance any pictures that might need a little improvement. I’m not familiar with Macs, but I know that Windows-based PCs have basic editing software already installed that allows you to easily make simple changes to pictures to improve their appearance. It’s worth your time to do a little quick editing if needed to make the pictures look as good as possible.There you have it! Now that you have some very impressive pictures to show home seekers, you are ready to sell that home in record time! - ACTIVERAIN
It stuns us how many investors say, "I can't find any good deals." Folks, you're not looking! We think that many new investors (who watch too much late-night TV) are under the impression that if they decide to become investors, the "investor fairy" will drop deals out of the sky.
Not true! Investors actually have to work just like the rest of the world. The difference is that we are not stuck in a nine-to-five rut and bound by the bosses' rules. Our job is fun, profitable, we make as much as we are willing to work for, and we help people along the way.
The oldest method in the book: Knocking on doors
We want to share a few of our favorite methods for finding deals. First and foremost, we're here to tell you that knocking on doors is still the best way to find deals because other investors hate to do it. The biggest problem is that investors don't know what to say.
It's simple, just tell the homeowners that you were at the courthouse doing some research and noticed that they have a pending problem with their property, and you'd like to help. NEVER mention the "F" word--foreclosure. Ask them if they took care of it.
Typically they say, "yes." Ask what they did (filed an answer, sold it, brought the back payments current, what?). You can tell by the blank look on their faces that they haven't taken care of anything. Offer your assistance and move forward with your deal.
What about postcards?
Do you religiously mail them? To whom? Most investors mail postcards to people in foreclosure. This is a great idea, but did you know that there is a wealth of other information that is public knowledge?
Try mailing to people in probate; going through a divorce; in bankruptcy; and landlords who just walked out of eviction court. This information is public knowledge, and the typical investor doesn't tap into it. NEVER be typical.
What about mailing lists?
Have you ever considered buying a mailing list and "farming" neighborhoods? It works for Realtors; why won't it work for you! We buy lists by the zip code and mail where we want to own property. won't it make sense to have several properties for sale in the same area opposed to all over the county?
How about phone calls?
How often do you sit down and call foreclosures? Never? Why not? With a criss-cross directory you can find almost anyone. Investors, take the time to find people who have moved or changed their numbers. If they have moved, you have a deal because the mental attachment to the property is gone.
Do you run ads in newspapers?
Why not? Many investors think ads are too expensive. How many deals do you have to do to pay for a year's worth of ads? One? We'll give you a little known tip: Place your ads under "money to lend." Many times the homeowners' first choice is to save their house, not sell it. Once you have them on the phone you can negotiate your way into the deal.
You will make as much money as you are willing to work for. Our question for you is: How much are you willing to make? The sky is truly the limit. The bottom line is this: There are thousands of deals out there. If you don't make the effort to find them, other investors will. 7
Many first-time home buyers wonder how they will know when they have found the right house. Here are 3 preliminary things you should know about finding the right house:
What's wrong with sleeping on it? Everything is wrong with sleeping on it. Trust yourself.
Have you heard the phrase: shuffle your feet, lose your seat? Somebody else could buy your house out from under you while you're counting sheep. You're not the only home buyer looking for a house to buy with your specific criteria. You might not know it, but there are other home buyers with similar intentions looking at homes today in the very neighborhoods where you want to buy.
The last thing you want to hear your buyer's agent say is another buyer made an offer and it was accepted minutes before your offer was submitted. Unless you're buying a brand new home, there is not another home around the corner just like the home that now you can't buy. When you find that house, buy it.
A “listing agreement” is a contract between a real estate agent (the listing agent) and a seller that says that the agent has the right to list (advertise and handle the sale of) your house. It’s important to understand the terms of the agreement, because you’ll be bound by them. And while a listing agreement is good for the agent, because it obligates you to work with the agent for at least a minimum amount of time, it also protects you, the seller, by explaining the agent’s responsibilities and what you can do if he or she doesn’t meet them.
Here are some of the most important terms covered by a real estate listing agreement.