NextHome Valleywide gives back with Feed My Starving Children

Nexthome Valleywide is participating in a charitable event to help the less fortunate. Every now and then we like to give back to our community, so on March 16th 2018 we will be teaming up with Feed My Starving Children.

 

Feed my starving children is a non-profit organization that packs food for malnourished children all across the world. People can help in two main ways. You can donate a few dollars here or there to help the organization buy groceries, or donate your time to help pack the meals that get delivered to the children.  Ninety percent of the money donated goes to the purchase of the food and the remaining ten percent goes to fundraising, admin, and overhead. This organization was put together by Christians however if you’d like to donate, people of all faith are welcome to help pack the food. The food goes to those who are most in need, children of all religious backgrounds. So far food has been sent to 70 countries including Haiti, Bolivia, Niger, Indonesia, and Hurricane katrina victims. If you’d like to learn more please visit fmsc.org . To sign up with our NextHome Valleywide team on March 16th, 2018 register here. We hope to see you there!

Getting prepared to purchase a home

Congratulations on deciding to purchase a home! It is a very exciting time and the process might seem like a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes overwhelming but hopefully this guide will help to get you prepared for what is to come.

 

What do you want your new home to look like?

There are many things that will affect the final decision when it comes to a new home. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are: how many floors would I like, what kind of architecture style do I want, How many rooms and bathrooms would be comfortable for me, does it have a pool, how big is the backyard, how old is the house, how close is it to work, is it in a part of the city I want to live in, what is my budget, ETC. Knowing this can knock considerable time off of the home buying process and help you get an idea of what you want to spend your hard earned money on.

 

How much you should have saved up to start the process?

There are two separate amounts, one for the home buying period and the other for the closing of your new home.

For the period while the house is under contract to be purchased, it is a good practice to have at least $2,000 saved. $1,000 to be used as earnest money and the other $1,000 for inspections. You may need more for the home buying process however, $2,000 would be a safe estimate to start off with.  

It is possible that you will need to bring additional funds to the final signing or “closing”  but this amount is usually known at the beginning when you contact your lender (the bank you will be using to finance your new home). For more information please feel free to contact me and I can get you in touch with a home loan specialist.

 

How long does the home buying process take?

This can vary wildly depending on special circumstances however, a good timeframe someone could expect from start to finish would be about 2-3 months. The search for a home depends on how the market is in the area you are looking at and your specific needs. If you are looking for a home with very specific features in a particular part of town, it may take some time until one comes up for sale that meets all of your criteria. For most people you could expect anywhere from 2-4 weeks to search for a home. People can sometimes get lucky and get the first home they tour but most often it takes a few homes to find the one for you.

The rest of the time is when the contract is in “Escrow”.  Escrow is the period when the person buying the home is getting everything prepared for them by the bank and the title company. Banks and title companies will often want to verify as much information as possible to protect both the seller and the person buying the home.

 

What should your credit score be to qualify for a home loan?

If you need a loan to purchase your home, I recommended to have a credit score of at least 630. This will vary from bank to bank however, that is a good starting point. Of course the lower your credit score the higher your interest rate and your payments will be. This is the same concept as buying a car, if you have a high credit score your payments will be lower and you may qualify for bigger discounts because your less of a risk to the credit companies. If you do not know your credit score I recommend checking www.creditkarma.com or getting your credit report directly from www.Equifax.com or www.Transunion.com.

 

Things you should not do while looking for a new home

If you are getting a loan to purchase a home you will want to make sure there are no changes to your credit report. This means no new car purchases, no closing credit card accounts, no new credit card accounts, and no big purchases on your credit cards that could affect your credit score. If your credit score goes lower because of what I have mentioned it may affect your chances of actually getting the loan or getting the payments that you agreed upon with the bank. Remember, just because you are in process of buying a home it doesn’t mean it is yours until you have signed for everything and you have the keys in your hands. This does happen sometimes where people are no longer eligible to purchase their homes, so be careful and plan your finances accordingly.

 

What does a person that is ready to buy a home look like?

A person that is ready to go will have a credit score of at least 630. They will have contacted a bank to see how much they qualify for. They will have at least $2,000 in their checking or savings accounts as well as other funds needed to close. Lastly, they will need to contact their real estate agent to schedule times to look at the homes that peak their interest. After that it’s happy hunting. Purchasing a new home can often times feel overwhelming. Even Though there are many things that have to come together to finalise your purchase, you should not let it take away the fun and excitement that comes when searching for a place to call home. Once you have everything done and you turn the key for the first time,  you can feel excited because you have a new place to hang your hat and you now have an investment. If you need more information feel free to reach out to me, I’d love to help you out.

 

Resources

Creditkarma.com –gets credit info from both equifax and transunion

Equifax.com –a credit reporting company

Transunion.com – another credit reporting company

Downpayment assistance programs – information on assistance programs for first time home buyers

Popular architecture styles in the phoenix area

Congratulations!

North Harbour Town Ct.Kitchen North Harbour Town Ct.patio north harbour town ct.

Congratulations to my California buyers on the purchase of their new home in Anthem, Arizona.  Welcome to Arizona.

Let me arrange to show you homes in Anthem.  Beautiful views, wonderful parks, community amenities, and a country club with everything you could ever want.  As they say in Anthem, if you are bored here, it’s your own fault.  So much to do here!

Anthem front

Can I Own A Home?

Many misconceptions exist as to what it takes to purchase a home in today’s market.  After the housing bubble burst in 2008, regulations tightened, in essence disqualifying many from the dream of home ownership.  However, it has now been nine years, and a great deal has changed in the lending process.  Let’s examine some of the misconceptions I have heard as a Realtor:

  •  I can’t get into a home without 20% down.  This is simply no longer true.  While conventional mortgages with the very best rates may require 20% down, many other options exist.  For example, FHA loans can now be attained with only 3.5%, VA Loans can be no-money-down loans, and a number of grants (meaning no-repayment required) are available for assistance with down payments. In fact, good credit can go a long way to opening those doors.  In addition, creative programs like equity-sharing programs are also becoming available. All of these programs have advantages and disadvantages, but they all provide possibilities.  You might be very surprised even if you did not qualify for a home loan last year.  2017 might be the year you become a home owner.  If you have a preferred lender, it may be time to check in with him/her and learn about these new programs and qualifications.  If not, we’ll find you a lender willing to discuss these programs with you.
  • I have to clear up every single debt I have before I apply for a home loan.  While this is, of course, a great goal, having some debt doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t qualify for a home loan.  While ratios exist, the only way to know for sure if you qualify is to talk with a lender.
  • My student loans will disqualify me.  In fact, while this may have been true for you in the past, changes have recently occurred in the way that student loans are figured in the qualifying calculations.  Once again, don’t assume.  A financial lender can help navigate this process for you.

These and others are among the misconceptions I have heard this spring from those who have felt discouraged and let their dreams of home ownership die only to learn that home ownership was very real for them.  What if. . .just what if. . .a quick conversation with a lender makes you see that your dreams are really possible?  Every situation is unique.  I encourage you to talk with a lender today and find our what is truly possible.

Parenting Your Home

I woke up this morning thinking about how taking care of a home is like raising a child.  We invest our time, our attention, and our resources in raising children who are responsible, who give to the world, and whose presence is beyond measure to our family as a whole.  We feel the love returned that we invested in the relationship.  We want them to be around for a long time and to create memories, bonds, and more.  It’s impossible to name the ways that we invest in our children (or other family members) and what they give to the world and back to us.

Of course emotionally the material value of our homes cannot compete with the value, love, and pride of our children, yet our homes are something in which we also should invest our time and resources, for they contribute to our family, our memories, and ultimately, our financial well being.  Think of it in this way:  If we provide basic maintenance to our homes, we are rarely surprised with their actions. Systems, appliances, structures, finishes.  They all work well when they are maintained.  Put in the proper “parenting time”, and we will see when potential problems begin to arise, and we can take the necessary steps to avoid those minor issues developing into major issues and major financial outlay.  Home emergencies are thwarted when routine, seasonal home maintenance is enacted.  What should we remember to do?  The following is a beginning list of suggested routine home maintenance tasks:

  • Have your AC/Heating units serviced at least once a year.  Many companies provide regular service contracts, and they can keep you informed when it is time to perform service again.  They can let you know when the Arizona sun begins to take its toll on susceptible parts of the system, so you aren’t stuck without air conditioning when valley temperatures soar.
  • Test your fire alarms (and carbon monoxide alarms) and replace batteries systematically.  Many people time this with tax time, so that it is a date that they will remember.  Alarms can reduce possible damage to your residence, but even more importantly, they can and do save lives.
  • Do a visual check around your house periodically for evidence of termites.  Always a threat in Arizona, you might see the tunnels termites use to travel back and forth from the earth–where Arizona’s subterranean termites lives–to the wood elements of your home.  If you see any evidence, locate a licensed termite inspection and treatment company to take care of the problem quickly and efficiently before the problem spreads.
  • If you have a pool, your filter will love you if it gets periodic cleaning.  Not only will it work more efficiently, humming along without gasping for water flow, but it will also positively impact your electric bill.
  • Summer monsoons can potentially wreak havoc with a roof.  Visual checks if you are handy or professional inspections can help you avoid larger damage once water has found its way into vulnerable spots.
  • Also visually inspect your home’s finishes.  Look for possible damage to the foundation, to garage flashings, window seals, and more.

While this is not a complete list, these items will start you on the process of becoming aware of your house and the way it ages.  We all love it when someone shows us love.  Imagine how your house will respond with a little love.  It will reward you with no emergencies, no surprises, and a continuously comfortable, serene setting for your family’s lives and memories.  And when the time comes to sell, buyers will feel confident because the love will be obvious, the property will show well on the market, its appearance will allay buyers’ fears of what problems buyers might inherit, and it will command the best possible price.  It’s an investment in your family’s daily life and your financial future.