If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage sometime in the next year in order to buy a new home, then one of the things you might want to focus on this holiday season is building up your credit score. Credit scores have a big impact on whether or not you’ll qualify for a mortgage loan and factor into how favorable the terms will be, such as how big of a down payment you’ll have to make and how much interest you’ll have to pay. The following are a few tips for boosting your credit score:
- Avoid overspending – It can be easy to build debt on your credit cards, especially during the holidays. Make sure you keep track of how much you are using your credit cards and try to use cash whenever possible. If you’re trying to build your credit score, you’ll want to reduce your credit card debt. Ideally, you’ll want your balance to hover around 30 percent or less of the credit that’s available.
- Avoid applying for more credit – Every time you apply for new credit, your credit score will take a hit that will last a year. This is the last thing you want if your gearing up for a mortgage application, so don’t open up any new lines of credit.
- Pay your bills on time – Sticking to your budget is important because if you don’t, you may end up not being able to pay some of your bills. Paying your bills on time and in full will help boost your credit score, while late or missed payments will hurt it.
Good credit scores are vital to securing a home mortgage loan. Use these tips to give yourself the gift of good credit this holiday season.
In a perfect world, selling your old home and buying a new home would coincide perfectly so that you could pay for your new home and move in immediately. However, it’s rarely as easy as this. Fortunately, it is possible to do. The following are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re buying and selling a home at the same time:
- Know your finances – If you’re in a strong financial position, you may be able to buy a new home before you sell your old home. You’ll need to be financially capable of doing this, however, since you’ll be responsible for paying off two mortgages (unless your old home is paid off) until you sell your old home.
- Add a contingency – You can make the sale of your house contingent on whether or not you’re able to close on a new home. This can, however, limit the number of buyers, especially those who need to move in right away.
- Add a new term – Add a term to your purchase contract that gives you an additional two or three weeks to stay in your old home.
- Rent out your old home – If the person who has bought your old home doesn’t need to move in right away, you might be able to come to an agreement in which you rent out your old home until you are able to find a new house to purchase.
- Work with a real estate agent in Fort Mill – A good real estate agent has experience in closing concurrent sales and can help you successfully sell and buy a home at the same time.
If you need a real estate agent in Fort Mill to help sell and buy a home at the same time, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
Finding the right home for you and your family isn’t just about finding the right house, it’s also about finding the right neighborhood. If you’re planning on living in York County, then make sure that you use the following tips to determine if the neighborhood you’re looking at is right for you:
- The safety of the area – The last thing you’ll want to do is to move into an area that’s unsafe. Look up the area’s crime rate and talk to some of the neighbors to find out how safe the area is. A good real estate agent will be familiar with how safe certain areas are as well.
- The reputation of the school district – If you have kids or are planning on having kids, look into the school district the neighborhood is located in. Do the schools nearby have a good reputation? Check into things like graduation rates, class sizes, teacher turnover rates and awards to properly judge a school.
- Nearby amenities – Different people want to be nearby different things. Look for certain amenities that you want to have near you wherever you live, such as gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants.
- The local real estate market – If you see a lot of for sale signs in the neighborhood, it may be a bad sign. It could mean that the neighborhood is struggling. A real estate agent can provide more insight in this regard.
- The future of the neighborhood – Plans for the future can greatly impact a neighborhood. For example, if the city is planning to build a park nearby, it’s probably a good thing. However, if they are planning to build a freeway right across the street, it’s probably not.
For more advice on living in York County, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
Buying an older home has its advantages. Older homes tend to have unique visual designs that are missing from newer constructions, and they’re often more affordable as well. However, there are a few things to watch out for on your home buying checklist when buying an older home. Three of the most important things to look out for include following:
- The use of dangerous materials – Older homes, such as those built before the 1970s, often used materials that are now considered dangerous and are banned from use. For example, homes built before 1978 often made use of lead paint. Asbestos is another material that is potentially very dangerous and which was used for insulation and other types of construction. Make sure that the house you’re looking at is inspected for the presence of such materials. Not only do they pose a health hazard, but they can be expensive to remove or replace.
- Foundation and structural problems – Older homes are more likely to have foundation and structural problems. It’s extremely important that you find a reputable professional home inspector that will pay close attention when searching for any flaws in the home’s foundation and structure. Severe problems with the foundation can compromise the entire property and can be incredibly expensive to fix.
- Outdated appliances and systems – Check the home’s HVAC system and kitchen appliances. While older units may have a charming aesthetic value to them, they’re likely to perform less effectively and run much less efficiently. You’ll end up having to pay significantly more on energy costs and repairs as a result. Replacing these appliances and systems will also be very expensive.
These are three things to look for on your home buying checklist when looking at older homes. For more professional real estate advice, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
If you have a student in your family that’s attending Winthrop University, then investing in real estate in the area can be an excellent idea. Not only will your student have a place to stay, but you could make some extra money renting out other rooms while the property appreciates in value over the course of their college career. That being said, the following are a few things that you should look for when buying a home near Winthrop University:
- Distance to campus – You won’t want your student to live too far from campus or it’s going to end up being a hassle getting to and from class on time. Convenience is important as a college student. In fact, houses that are within bikeable or walking distance will be easier to rent out as well.
- Safety of the neighborhood – Don’t jump on a property just because it’s a good deal. Find out how safe the neighborhood is by looking up surrounding crime statistics and by speaking with the neighbors. A good real estate agent will be familiar with the area and should be able to provide solid advice in this regard.
- The condition of the house – You might want to avoid a fixer upper unless the house is only meant for your student. If you’re going to rent the other rooms out, keep in mind that you will be the landlord, which means you will be responsible for any maintenance and repairs that are required. A house that’s already in disrepair when you buy it may end up being a money pit because of this.
These are just a few things you should look for when buying a home near Winthrop University. To speak to a real estate agent familiar with the surrounding area, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
So you’ve decided to become a homeowner. Making the decision to buy your first house is a big step in itself, but you’ve still got a long ways to go. In fact, the home buying process can be pretty overwhelming for first-time homebuyers. To help make things a bit easier, be sure to use the following home buying checklist:
- Get a mortgage pre-approval – Compare different lenders and secure a mortgage pre-approval. This will give you an idea of how much you have to spend on a house and will help position you as a serious buyer with sellers.
- Determine your budget – The amount you secure for your mortgage pre-approval is not always what you can afford. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay more for utilities, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees, property tax, closing fees and more.
- Identify your wants and needs – Come up with a list of wants and needs so that you know what you’re looking for and so that you can more effectively compare the houses that you view. This is especially important if you’re buying a house with someone, such as your significant other.
- Identify future needs – Don’t just think about the present. For example, if you plan on raising a family, you may need an extra room. You’ll also want to make sure the neighborhood is safe and that the nearby schools are of high quality.
- Hire a real estate agent – A real estate agent can help find houses that fit your wants and needs and provide professional home buying advice.
Using this home buying checklist should help first-time homebuyers get a grasp of what they need to do in order to successfully find and buy a new home. For more home buying advice, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.