tips for home buyers

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

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When it comes to financing your new home, you’ll need to be approved for a home loan. Before that can happen, though, you need to know roughly how big of a loan you’ll most likely need. This is where the terms “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” come into play.

Getting pre-qualified happens first and means that you’ll find out how much of a mortgage you might be approved for. This step doesn’t involve as much scrutiny as pre-approval, so you won’t be going through a credit check or be asked to provide tons of information on your financial situation. You’ll also learn about the different types of mortgages, so you can find the one that would be best for you.

Being pre-approved is more in-depth than getting pre-qualified. Your lender will go over your credit report and look closely at your finances. You’ll also need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the paperwork that the lender requests. You’ll get a specific loan amount, which you can use to negotiate the price of a home.

Getting started with the home buying process? Visit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and stop by our Facebook page.

Interested in Buying a Foreclosure? 16 States with Increased Activity

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If you’re looking at saving big money on a house, buying a foreclosed home is an option to consider. The number of foreclosures is on the rise in several states but it’s important to consider the pros and cons before deciding to buy one.

What are the advantages of buying a foreclosure?

  • Getting a better deal if the home is in pre-foreclosure, since the homeowner will want to sell it as soon as possible.
  • Making an affordable and smart investment by buying a foreclosed home that’s surrounded by homes with a high resale value.
  • The foreclosed home will have a clear title without back taxes or liens if it’s a real estate owned property.

The disadvantages of buying a foreclosure include:

  • The home might need extensive repairs, especially if it’s been empty.
  • You won’t have a lot of time to gather money for buying the home.
  • You’ll have to fill out additional paperwork if the home is real estate owned.

The states with an increasing number of foreclosures include Maryland, Nevada, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Need help finding foreclosed properties for sale in your areaContact United Real Estate, and stop by our Facebook page for buying tips.

No Yard Maintenance – and Other Reasons to Invest in a Condo

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If you like the thought of owning a home but don’t like the thought of doing yard work, a condo could be the perfect solution. Condo ownership is becoming more popular thanks to it’s ease of ownership.

Need a few reasons to invest in a condo instead of a house?

  • Low-maintenance: You don’t have to deal with mowing the lawn or raking leaves when you buy a condo, since you only own the interior of it and part of the the building’s common area. You just have to keep the inside in good shape.
  • Convenience: Buying a condo in an urban area will put you close to plenty of restaurants and stores. That means you can save money on gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.
  • Amenities: Some condos come with impressive amenities, such as fitness centers, business centers and resort-style pools that you wouldn’t have with a house.

Ready to start looking for a condo to call your ownVisit United Real Estate to see what properties are available, and stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us.

Dallas on the Rebound: Housing Market on the Rise

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The housing market in many cities throughout the US suffered during the market down turn, many markets are making strong comeback. Dallas is ranked among 2013’s fastest-growing American cities, making it a great place to buy or sell a home.

Dallas came in at number six on Realtor.com’s list of “Turnaround Towns,” thanks to a growing demand for homes. Builders have been kept busy constructing new homes for those who are looking to move to this booming city. The city’s population has been on the rise, and the city has experienced strong job growth. The housing market has shown major improvement in terms of stability. Homes in Dallas have an average listing price of a very affordable $210,000. For those who need to sell their home, now is a good time to do so. Currently, the demand for homes has surpassed the available number of homes for sale, meaning that you may earn a higher price for yours.

Planning on buying a home in Dallas? Check out United Real Estate’s available properties. Selling? VisitUnited Real Estate to find a local agent. Stop by our Facebook page for more tips on buying and selling a home.

United Real Estate Spotlight: Five Major Perks of Living in DC

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You don’t have to be a member of Congress or the White House administration to benefit from living in Washington DC. Our country’s capital has plenty to offer all of its residents.

Here are five perks of living in DC:

  • Different cultures: From Korea to England to Uruguay, you can enjoy international events, food, clothing and art. Try some Iranian baklava, catch a West African dance performance and buy French-inspired clothes.
  • Rewarding job opportunities for women: Women who live in DC will find a lot of job opportunities that allow them to work toward ideals that they believe in, especially if they’re willing to delve into the political arena.
  • A good mix of things to do: Living in DC feels like being in suburbia, but you also have access to big city attractions and events.
  • Major companies: Big name employers are moving to DC thanks to its lower cost of living, three major airports and abundance of educated workers. These include Hilton Hotels and Volkswagen.
  • Convenient Location: Washington DC is conveniently located near major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. With two major airports inside the perimeter, and one in the northwest suburbs, business and leisure travel can be very efficient.

Ready to start your search for a home in DC? Contact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page for buying tips.

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.

PHH Mortgage Now United Real Estate’s Preferred Provider

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When it’s time to apply for a mortgage, finding a reputable lender is crucial. This is usually a time-consuming process, but United Real Estate has just made it much easier for buyers to findmortgage services.

We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with PHH Mortgage, which is among the top 10 originators of retail residential mortgages in the US.

PHH Mortgage has been in business for more than 20 years and offers a variety of mortgage options, including fixed rates, adjustable rates, FHA loans, jumbo loans and VA loans. They operate in all 50 states, and each location features a team of highly skilled employees that specialize in mortgage consultation, underwriting services and loan processing.

When you rely on PHH for your mortgage services, you’ll enjoy several advantages, including a same-day pre-approval decision and a guaranteed pledge to meet your requested closing date. PHH is dedicated to helping buyers find the right mortgage for their situation, so you won’t have to worry about ending up with a loan that you can’t afford.

Ready to start the home buying process? Visit United Real Estate and stop by our Facebook page!