First Time Home Buyers

Five Basic Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid

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Having a home inspection done is an essential part of the home buying process. It provides you with information on the home’s condition, so you can factor in the cost of needed repairs before settling on a price.

When it’s time to have an inspection done, avoid making the following mistakes:

  • Focusing too much on cost: Hiring the cheapest inspection company could cost you more money down the road when you suddenly encounter problems that you weren’t aware of. Hire a reliable inspector instead.
  • Not being there: Going in-person gives you the chance to ask questions about the home’s condition and find out more about it.
  • Skipping new construction inspections: New construction should always be inspected in case the contractors made mistakes that could lead to future trouble.
  • Expecting precise estimates: Your inspector can tell you about how long certain systems will be good for, such as the central air unit, but it’s only a rough estimate.
  • Ignoring the inspector’s advice: Follow up on the inspector’s recommendations before closing on the home.

Need professional help finding your next homeVisit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page for more buying tips.

Three Easy Ways to Save for a Down Payment on a Home

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Offering a down payment is a normal part of the home buying process, but it’s one that many struggle with. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to wait several years to set aside enough money for this expense.

Here are a few simple tips on saving for down payment, so you can buy a new home in the near future:

  • Check out government programs for home buyers. Your local or state government might offer programs to help residents purchase a home. You might be able to get financial assistance as a first-time buyer or a loan to cover your down payment.
  • Cut down on regular expenses. You can save quite a bit of money by shopping around for lower insurance rates or by negotiating lower rates on cable, Internet and phone bills.
  • Use IRA money. If you’re buying your first home, you can take $10,000 or less from your IRA to use as part of your down payment. This transaction isn’t subject to early withdrawal fees.

Are you ready to start looking for your next homeVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and stop byour Facebook page for home buying tips.

Five Tips That Will Help You Secure a Mortgage

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Unless you’re in the rare position of being able to pay cash for a new home, you’re going to need a home loan to cover the cost. Obtaining a mortgage is more difficult now than it was before the 2008 recession hit, so it’s important to boost your chances of securing one.

Use the following tips to help you get the home loan you need:

  • Get rid of debt. Pay off credit cards, if possible, to reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Aim to keep this ratio lower than 36 percent.
  • Don’t apply for credit cards. Applying for new credit will lower your credit score, which can hurt your chances of getting a mortgage.
  • Fix your credit score. Make sure there are no errors on your credit report, and immediately correct any errors that you might find.
  • Offer a higher down payment. Make an offer of 20 percent or more, if you can afford to. This is a big help if your credit score isn’t high.
  • Take your time. Give yourself at least six months to financially prepare to apply for a mortgage.

Need more professional advice on obtaining a mortgage? Speak to a United Real Estate agent, and check out our Facebook page.

Bad Credit? Why Mortgages Aren’t Out of the Question

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Having poor credit doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck renting for several years. It’s possible to get a mortgage although it will take some extra effort to do so.

Expect to pay more if your credit’s bad. You might need to offer a higher down payment, and your monthly payment and interest rate may be higher than they would be for someone with better credit. You should focus on working with a lender who has experience helping people with poor credit get mortgages. Your lender will want to know why your credit is in its current shape. If you ran into sudden and unavoidable financial hardship, such as job loss, medical bills or a death in the family, you stand a better chance of being approved for a loan. If your credit is bad due to missed payments or late payments, this will lower your chance of getting a mortgage. Your lender might be able to help you find ways to boost your credit before applying for a loan.

Need help getting a mortgage with bad credit score? Visit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page for more loan tips.

Financial Considerations: Four Things Not to Do After a Loan Preapproval

A loan pre-approval is an important step in the home buying process. It shows how much of a loan you can realistically afford, based on your credit rating, income and expenses.

Keep in mind that there are certain things to do after a loan pre-approval to boost your chances of getting a final approval. These include:

  • Don’t apply for new credit: Since your lender will do another credit check before approving your loan, don’t do anything that will negatively affect your credit rating. Applying for new credit means that your score will take a hit.
  • Don’t pay off all your debt: You could be using up money that you might need for your new house. Also, closing credit cards can lower your credit score.
  • Don’t co-sign loans: These factor into your debt-to-income ratio and affect your credit score. Avoid co-signing any loans, including car and student loans.
  • Don’t change jobs: This can cause delays with the lender because they’ll need to verify your employment.

Now that you know a few things to do after a loan pre-approval, are you ready to get started with the home buying processVisit United Real Estate and our Facebook page to locate an agent.

Buying Your First House? Get an Official Free Credit Report

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Having enough money for a down payment set aside is just one of the financial concerns involved in buying your first house. You’ll also need to make sure your credit is in good shape to boost your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

You can check your credit by ordering a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting companies, which are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The report shows your address, how much you owe on different debts and if you’ve filed for bankruptcy or been sued by a creditor. When you apply for a home loan, the lender will use this information to determine if your loan should be approved. Order your free report from the credit reporting companies online at annualcreditreport.com. This is the only legitimate website to place orders through for your free annual report. Avoid going to other sites that claim to offer the same thing because they often turn out to be scams.

Once you’ve checked your credit, we can help you get started on buying your first house. Visit United Real Estate and stop by our Facebook page to learn more.

Create a United Tracker Account to Follow Your Favorite Homes

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Keeping track of the homes that are for sale in your area can take up a lot of your time. You might also miss out on one that could end up being the perfect home for you. You can avoid all that by signing up for a United Real Estate home tracker account.

This tracking account provides you with a way to see all of the MLS listings in your area. You’ll also receive email alerts as soon as homes that have the features you’re looking for are put on the market. This gives you a chance to arrange for a tour before other buyers come across the same listing. The home tracker also lets you see market data for the neighborhood you’re interested in. You can save your searches and take notes on properties you’d like to learn more about or see in person. The best part is that you’ll also be paired with a reputable real estate agent, who will help you find the perfect home.

Wondering how to sign up for a United Real Estate home tracker account? Stop by United Real Estate and visit our Facebook page to get all the details!

Real Estate 101: 3 Essential Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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Going house hunting for your very first home is exciting, but it’s not something to rush into. Making sure you get the house of your dreams at a price that’s within your budget should be your ultimate goal, and that’s going to take some time and require careful consideration.

Keep these essential tips on home buying for first time home buyers in mind as you start your search:

  • Know how much you can afford. Use online tools, such as an affordability calculator and a mortgage calculator, to determine what’s within your budget and get an estimate of how big your monthly mortgage payment would be.
  • Follow this rule of thumb when figuring out how much you can afford each month for a mortgage payment: your payment shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your monthly income.
  • Gather information about the real estate market in your area by contacting United Real Estate agents. They should be able to tell you if you’re better off buying now or if you should wait a bit more until prices fall again.

Need more tips on home buying for first time home buyers? Visit United Real Estate and stop by our Facebook page for expert advice!