One Thing To Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market That Can Help Sell Your Home Faster!

You’ve lived in your home for years and haven’t exactly been on top of regular maintenance tasks. Now, your ceiling seems to be leaking, and those shrubs you planted to conceal a few small cracks in the foundation just aren’t cutting it anymore.

Hey, we’re not judging! But if you’re ready to put your home up for sale, know this: Buyers and their agents are going to zero in on all those things that need doing—as well as some things you hadn’t even noticed yourself.

So why not get ahead of the curve by hiring a licensed home inspector who can pinpoint what needs fixing?

Of course, most sellers don’t get their homes inspected before listing them, because the buyer usually orders an inspection during escrow. And who wants to pay for something they don’t have to?

So what are the some of the reasons why a pre-listing inspection makes sense? Let’s take a look.

It can save you if you’ve neglected home maintenance

If you have a busy life—or maybe even if you don’t—chances are that obsessing over regular home maintenance might not be your No. 1 priority during downtime. Trouble is, letting painting, roof repairs, and other routine chores slide can lead to bigger issues down the road.

In a lot of cases, people think, ‘I’ve been here for 30 years; the house is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. But they’re looking at it with rose-colored glasses.

Instead of worrying what a buyer’s inspector will uncover—and which could potentially kill the sale—be proactive with a pre-listing inspection. This way, rather than being blindsided, you can then decide whether to make the necessary repairs or to account for that deferred maintenance by reducing the list price. Which leads us to…

You can make a bigger profit on your sale

Sure, a home inspection that you don’t have to do is going to cost money. (An inspection for a 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot house in an average market, for instance, will cost between $350 and $600.) But as the saying goes: Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

After all, if you invest a little more to repair and spruce up anything the pre-inspection reveals, you can justify listing your home at a higher price. Plus, in most states, home improvement repairs you carry out before selling your house are deductible from the profit you make from the sale.

Sometimes, just knowing that a pro has given the house a proper once-over can persuade a buyer to make a bid (assuming that you actually follow the inspector’s recommendations).

It minimizes surprises for a buyer, and can give a buyer more confidence in the property.

You won’t have to scramble to fix things at the last minute

Once a buyer’s inspector submits a report, sellers are usually faced with two choices: If problems are found with the house, they can then either slash money from the sale price, or opt to carry out repairs before the closing date. That often leaves sellers in the lurch, having to get work done pronto—and sometimes paying a premium for the rush work.

After a pre-listing inspection, sellers can research contractors and make the necessary repairs within a time frame of their choosing, so that everything is ready before potential buyers even visit the property.

It’ll minimize back-and-forth negotiation

Buyers often use their home inspection as leverage, asking the seller (that’s you!) for steep discounts based on what their inspector’s report reveals. Not surprisingly, the buyer’s inspection is often where the deal falls apart.

If you’ve already uncovered the issues and addressed them, you can raise the price of your home accordingly. That gives the buyer less leverage in the request for repair process.

Also, in red-hot markets where multiple bids come fast and furious, there’s always a chance that buyers might accept your pre-listing inspection without insisting on doing their own. This can make for a quicker sale.

But make sure a pre-inspection doesn’t work against you

As advantageous as a pre-inspection can be, don’t forget that the inspector’s report could be a double-edged sword: Once you know about a problem, you can’t ignore it.

Sellers are legally obligated to disclose any problems that a home inspection unearths.

For sellers unwilling to do repairs, their own inspection could be used as leverage to negotiate on price and in the request-for-repair process.

Before committing to a pre-inspection, find out what other sellers in your area are doing. Your agent can help guide you on whether it’s necessary to sell for more, or if there’s a better—and more affordable—strategy for getting your home sold.

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Why Do You Need Title Insurance?

 

Title Insurance.

It’s a term we hear and see frequently – we see reference to it in the Sunday real estate section, in advertisements and in conversations with real estate brokers. If you’ve purchased a home before, you’re probably familiar with the benefits and procedures of title insurance. But if this is your first home, you may wonder, “Why do I need another insurance policy? It’s just one more bill to pay.”

The answer is simple:Image result for title insurance The purchase of a home is most likely one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. You, and your mortgage lender, want to make sure that the property is indeed yours – lock, stock and barrel – and that no individual or government entity has any right, lien, claim to your property.

Title insurance companies are in business to make sure your rights and interests to the property are clear, that transfer of title takes place efficiently and correctly and that your interests as a homebuyer are protected to the maximum degree.

Title insurance companies provide services to buyers, sellers, real estate developers, builders, mortgage lenders and others who have an interest in a real estate transfer. Title companies routinely issue two types of policies – “owner’s”, which cover you, the homebuyer; and “lender’s”, which covers the bank, savings and loan or other lending institution over the life of the loan. Both are issued at the time of purchase for a modest, one-time premium.

Before issuing a policy, however, the title company performs an extensive search of relevant public records to determine if anyone other than you has an interest in the property. The search may be performed by title company personnel using either public records or more likely, information gathered, reorganized and indexed in the company’s title plant.

With such a thorough examination of records, any title problems usually can be found and cleared up prior to your purchase of the property. Once a title policy is issued, if for some reason any claim which is covered under your title policy is ever filed against your property, the title company will pay the legal fee involved in defense of your rights, as well as any covered loss arising from a valid claim. That protection, which is in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property, is yours for a one-time premium paid at the time of purchase.

The fact that title companies work to eliminate risks before they develop makes the title insurance decidedly different from other types of insurance you may have purchased. Most forms of insurance assume risks by providing financial protection through a pooling of risks for losses arising from an unforeseen event, say a fire, theft or accident. The purpose of title insurance, on the other hand, is to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in title that happened in the past. Risks are examined and mitigated before property changes hands.

This risk elimination has benefits to both you, the homebuyer, and the title company: it minimizes the chances adverse claims might be raised, and by so doing reduces the number of claims that have to be defended or satisfied. This keeps costs down for the title company and your title premiums low.

Buying a home is a big step emotionally and financially. With title insurance you are assured that any valid claim against your property will be borne by the title company, and that the odds of a claim being filed are slim indeed.

Isn’t sleeping well at night, knowing your home is yours, reason enough for title insurance?

Article by CLTA

Hot, Normal and Cold Markets

When most people decide to buy or sell a home, they don’t take into account what the market is doing and how it will affect your ability to buy/sell. Take a look at the following market temperatures to figure out when you should list your home or go hunting!

Hot Market

Image result for hot market This is an extremely competitive market and is advantageous to the seller. Sometimes, homes will sell as soon as they are listed or even before homes are listed. Typically, during a hot market, multiple offers will be made on each home and more often than not, homes will sell for more than the asking price. It is even more crucial to be prepared and to be ready as a buyer when the market is hot. It can be easy to get caught up in the bid for a home, but if you are prepared (pre-approved, solid in price range, realistic about your needs), it is easier to remain focused on your housing needs and price range.

Normal Market

Image result for normal market real estateIn a normal market, there is a fairly large number of homes available and an average number of buyers. This market does not necessarily favor the buyer or the seller. A seller may not have as many offers on their home, but he or she may not be desperate to sell either. Again, it is the buyer’s responsibility to be prepared. During a normal market, the chances to negotiate are higher than in a hot market. As a buyer, you can expect to make offers at lower than the asking price and negotiate a price at least somewhat less than what the sellers are asking.

Cold Market

Related imageIn a cold market, houses may be listed for more than a year and the prices of houses listed may drop considerably. This market is advantageous to the buyer. As a buyer, you have the time to make an offer that works to your best interest. It is not uncommon to low-ball and to find that sellers are accommodating to meet your needs. Keep in mind that even though this market is a great time for buyers, you do not want to lose your dream home by being unrealistic. Your goal is to get your dream home at the best possible price.

 

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How to Search for your Perfect Home

A new home is a chance to bring fresh energy into your life. Searching for your next home can be an exciting journey, especially with Coastal Premier Properties and our agents with professional insight of your desired neighborhood or community. Read on to find out how the home search process just got easier.

 

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Budget and paperwork

First you need to determine your budget. A home is a major investment and budget is a concern that should be openly addressed. A financial advisor can help you see the numbers clearly and plan accordingly. Pick a realistic number and stick to it so our real estate agent can show you homes that fit within your budget. Do not miss out on the opportunity to own your dream home because you were declined for a mortgage loan. The best way to avoid this scenario is to get pre-approved once you have determined your budget.

Wants and needs

When starting your home search, prioritize your wants and needs. While pine herringbone floors or a designer patio can feel like an emotional need, the truth is life would be manageable without them. Kick off your search by choosing your desired property type, then move on to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You have a range of square footage and lot sizes at your fingertips. All you have to do is select the features that appeal the most to you. Decide what matters to you, and change your mind if needed.

Taps and clicks 

The latest technology can help with your successful home search. Our professional agents utilize high-tech programs to provide you with the latest market analysis and wider range of homes. This convenient program allows you to find homes with the characteristics you want; search by the number of bedrooms, desired neighborhood and so much more, anywhere in San Diego! To locate your dream home faster, a positioning system allows you to draw a customized search area directly on the map, enabling you to explore homes as well as see traffic information as a means to preview your commute. To further narrow your options, you also have access to data on school districts and neighborhoods.

Personal touch

Armed with your preferences and budget, our agents can jump into the home-buying process seamlessly when you are ready.

Whenever you are ready, call us at 858-755-4663!

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Becoming A Homeowner As A Millennial

Minneapolis a Top City for Millennial Homeowner Growth

If you are stuck with student debt you may feel like you have a ball and chain attached to your foot and think you may never be able to afford a home.  A study showed that close to 70% of millennials are waiting to become homeowners due to their student debt.

A student loan is only part of your overall financial profile so it is unlikely that will affect your ability to get a mortgage.

You will want to have a handle on the debt you already have so you can see how much more you can reasonably take on.

The biggest impact on your monthly payments will be how much you put up for a down payment and the interest rate on the mortgage.  There are calculators offered by Zillow, Bankrate, and others to calculate mortgage payments and affordability.

First Time Home Buyer Guide

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Making the big move of owning your own home rather than renting can be both extremely exciting and extremely daunting. Having your own yard, enough space to actually feel comfortable, being able to decorate however you please, no shared walls, this list goes on. However, many first time home buyers quickly realize that the process is less navigable than they imagined. That is why we have crafted this guide — to help people not just get through the process, but to do so confidently!

A year before moving

Check your credit score:  Get a copy of your credit report. There are a multitude of ways to do this, some of which are even free! Many people find errors in their credit report upon review, and some of these errors can result in higher loan rates. This is something that is easily avoidable and should be taken care of in beginning of the process.

Determine how much you can afford:  The first step to buying a property is determining what you can afford to buy. It’s a good idea to meet with a qualified lender to determine what you can afford. Lenders look for a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less or your total income. This includes your future mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit cards, etc. If you’re not quite able to afford the type of property you want to buy, you can start to make a plan.  Create a budget to see what you’re spending your money on every month and start to tailor it towards what your future lifestyle as a homeowner will look like.

Make a downpayment plan: There are various types of mortgages. Typically the more money you can put down for your downpayment, the less you pay in loan costs, including insurance, and you’ll have a lower interest rate. However, with an FHA loan (exclusive to first-time homebuyers) you can put down as little as 3.5% in some cases. As you save, you should note that banks prefer it if you season your money before getting a loan. This means that they like to see stable funds in your accounts for 60-90 days or so before applying for your loan. However you can still use financial gifts or bonuses closer to when you buy.

9 months before moving

Prioritize what you want most in your new home: Unfortunately when buying a home, you usually don’t get every single thing you want. That is why it is very important to pick the things you’d most like to get out of your new home. Maybe you want to be close to work. Or maybe you want a large backyard, a luxurious master bedroom, or even a quiet street. If you’re making this decision with someone else, it is recommended that you figure this stuff out beforehand, to get it out of the way and avoid any surprises down the line. Make sure to know which trade-offs you’re most willing to make.

Research neighborhoods and start visiting open houses: There are many websites you can utilize, such as Trulia and Zillow, to find houses for sale and to see what different areas are like.

Also make sure to go and visit open houses. As useful as online tools may be, they are not a substitute for seeing the real thing. You actually have to go to different areas and look at different houses to get a better idea of what you want and what is in your range. If you see some things that you really like, this may help motivate you even more to reduce debt and save for your down payment!

Budget for miscellaneous homebuying expenses: Buying a new home entails paying for more than just the house itself. A home inspection, title search, property survey, and home insurance are a few examples, and they can really add up. So start saving now.

Start a home maintenance account: Get in the habit of setting aside a little bit of money each month for things like maintenance, repairs, and emergencies. Problems happen, so it’s best if you’re ready for them rather than scrambling at the last moment.

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6 months before moving

Collect your loan paperwork: Banks are very particular when it comes to mortgage loans and they demand a lot of paperwork. Some of the things they’ll want include:

  • W-2 forms – usually for the last two to three years
  • Personal tax returns for the past two to three years
  • Your most recent pay stubs
  • Credit card and all loan statements
  • Your bank statements
  • Every place you’ve lived for the past five to seven years
  • Brokerage account statements for the most recent two to four months
  • Most recent retirement account statements, i.e. 401(k)

If you begin to collect these documents early, it’ll ease the stress when it’s finally time to get your loan. Reminder: check your loan documents and keep remembering to save and budget accordingly.

3 months before moving

Find the Right Agent: Now is the time to sit down with agents you are interested in working with. Your agent will work in your best interest to assist in finding you the right property, negotiating with the seller’s agent, and guide you through the closing process. It is important to keep interviewing Realtors until you find someone you are happy with. This person will be helping you negotiate what could be your biggest financial decision. Chose someone who you not only trust, but is knowledgeable, responsive, and you know will be looking out for you at the closing table. Read agent reviews online and ask for a reference list of their past clients. No one knows an agent better than the people who have worked with them!

At Coastal Premier Properties, we have over one hundred agents and we will match you with an agent that is your perfect fit!

Research Lenders: Your agent can also help you greatly in finding the right lender. Just like agents, talk to a few lenders until you find one you like. You will want to make sure your lender has experience representing people just like you! You can also look for a mortgage broker, who will help you find compare loan rates from multiple lenders, whereas a bank can only offer you their own in-house products.

2 months before moving

Get pre-approved for your loan: If you’ve been following this guide for the past 9 months, then your credit score, paperwork, and down payment should all be on track. You’ve done all your research on lenders and buyers’ agents. Now it’s finally time to start working with them. First of all, you’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Make an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker and make sure to bring all of your paperwork. They will run a credit check on you and tell you the amount of the loan you are approved for. Usually people borrow less than the maximum allowed for standard of living purposes. Create a new budget that accounts for your projected mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance, and whatever else you currently have going on in your life.

Start shopping for your new home: When you get pre-approved, the buyer’s agent you’ve been working with will be able to better target homes that meet your goals and that are in your price range. This way you can narrow down your options to what is most realistic.

Get a home inspection: Once the offer is accepted, one of the first things you need to do is have a home inspector go and look at the property. The home inspector ensures that everything is good with the home and that nothing requires repair, which is something that can delay closing.

In the last month

Check to make sure that all of your financial documents are in order and review all lending documents before closing (AGAIN!): You’re almost there! If you’ve been following all of these steps, then the final stretch should be very easy compared to the rest of the process. Make sure your agent helps guide you through the mortgage documents, as that can be one of the most confusing aspects of the process.

Get insurance for your new home: Make sure to get insurance before closing. You must have proof of insurance before closing time.

Do a final walk-through: Do one last walk-through of your soon to be new home, usually a couple days before closing, just to make sure that everything is in the order that you and the seller have agreed upon in the deal.

Get a cashier’s check or bank wire for cash needed at closing: Make sure that you get the exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll receive that number a few days before closing. Regular checks are not accepted.

That’s it! You’re finally done, enjoy your new home!

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7 Need to Know Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

 

“How can I purchase a home?” is the question many millennials are asking themselves. Millennials  have been forced to look at the purchasing of real estate in a very different lens than the generations before them. The recent real estate recession is still all too fresh in everyone’s memory, and when coupled with student loan debt, high unemployment, and much tighter loan requirements, the very idea of owning a home can seem very unnerving, or even impossible.

Well great news — it isn’t. Those in their 20’s and 30’s that have considered buying a home are in a position to capitalize on extremely low interest rates. Historically real estate has been a very safe investment that has benefited many people. And just like every recession before this past one, the market always bounces back to a varying extent.

Owning a home can be a long term investment that will really pay off for you later in life. Take a look at our 7 need to know tips before you start your home search!

1. Seek help from a professional: If you are in your 20’s and are thinking about buying a home, you are already very ahead of the game. To get the most out of your home buying decision, you should hire a professional. A great example of this is that if you buy a home with road noise, it may not disturb you at all, however it will be much harder to resell in the future and might yield less of a profit. While living in an internet-centered world means that also any information you need is right at your fingertips, this is one life decision you don’t want to do alone.

2. Pick an agent who you can trust:  Although most millennials are very knowledgeable about the internet and are used to researching anything they need to know, a good real estate agent is invaluable during the home buying process. While you can certainly research homes you want to see with the click of a mouse, your agent has the industry experience and negotiation skills that will help ensure you get the best price for your dream home and that the transaction is as smooth as possible. Selecting an agent you trust is of the utmost importance and you should interview several agents before deciding on one. This may seem like common sense, but many home buyers go through family, friends, or a google search. While this may provide comfort in the short term, it could end up being a hindrance in the long term. Be sure to read online reviews not only on the agent’s website, but also independent review sites like Zillow or Trulia. Choose wisely!

3. Identify great locations and neighborhoods: A lot of first time buyers don’t realize just how important location is in real estate. It is the single most important factor that not only affects value, but determines how easy it will be to sell your home at some point down the road if / when you choose to do so. You may love the attributes of a particular home, but not have the foresight required to know that it might not be a smart investment.

4. Understand immediate and long term costs: There are many different costs that factor in to buying a home such as the mortgage application, mortgage insurance, home inspection costs and much more, which can add up quickly. Aside from these short term costs, many first time home buyers don’t budget properly for long term costs and expenses that come with owning a home. With knowledge of all the various costs and fees, you can plan more effectively.

5. Decide on what type of housing makes the most sense / Thinking towards the future: A major decision many face is deciding between buying a condo or a home. This requires planning for both the now and the future, which is what makes this stage rather difficult. You need to weigh your current life with the life you will most likely want to cultivate in the future. What does your 5 or 10 year plan look like? That influences everything from where to buy (good schools or not), what to buy (house with lots of extra rooms), and what kind of mortgage to get (30-year fixed vs ARM). Someone who’s buying a house for their family to grow up in looks different than someone with no immediate plans and different still from someone who is buying now, but is on track to make a lot more money in 5-10 years…they might consider moving up in 5-10 years before those kids ever really factor in the picture. Because San Diego can be expensive, it’s very important to make a good move now to set yourself up well for the future.

6. Choosing a fixer upper or a turn-key home: Another thing home buyers need to think about is what they will want to do with their property. Do you want something that will be just as you like it right when you move in? Or maybe you’ve always had dreams of designing your own home. This is a factor that many first time home buyers don’t consider, and should have some serious thought put into it.

7. Be patient: This may go without saying, but buying a home is a major life decision and needs to be treated appropriately. You should do copious amounts of research and really think about what you want, both now and in the future. Taking your time to familiarize yourself with the home buying process will allow you to make much more knowledgeable decisions. And remember, you can look at as many houses as you want to, and can make offers on ones you are interested without actually committing if you are unhappy with even the slightest detail. You only want a house that you will be truly happy with!

Wherever you are in your home buying process, we are ready to help answer any questions you may have!