Being a first-time homebuyer is exciting, but there’s a lot about buying a house you may not know. For example, odds are you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. Where should you go? What’s needed? The following are some of the questions you might have about first-time homebuyer programs:
What are first-time homebuyer programs?
There are many different home-buyer programs established to encourage people to become first-time homebuyers. Look into the FHA and USDA loan programs and the HomePath Ready Buyer™ Program. There are also loans available to homebuyers with specific qualifications, such as the VA loan program and the Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program.
Why consider a first-time homebuyer program?
First-time homebuyers may not have a lot of credit history. Many of these loan programs are easier to qualify for if you don’t have a high credit score.
Some first-time homebuyers haven’t had a chance to save a lot of money for a down payment, either. First-time homebuyer programs tend to require much smaller down payments and lower credit scores than conventional loans. Some even provide closing costs assistance.
What are the requirements for a first-time homebuyer program?
Many of the loan program requirements vary, so be sure to compare. For example, an FHA loan typically requires a credit score of 580 and a 3.5% down payment. Or, you might qualify with a score of 500 but will have to put 10% down.
For more in-depth advice on first-time homebuyer programs, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
Spring is one of the best times to sell a house! In fact, most real estate agents agree spring and summer are the peak home-selling seasons. With that in mind, use these 5 tips to prepare your home to sell this season:
- Clean your home interior – Do a little spring cleaning. Ensure all clutter is removed. A dirty, messy house won’t affect the property value, but buyers will be distracted from the positive features your home has to offer. Clutter and messiness will not leave a good impression on potential buyers.
- Consider new paint – If the winter did a number on your exterior siding, consider repainting your home. You might want to repaint interior walls and cabinets as well if they are beginning to look their age or have an outdated look.
- Make repairs – Have a thorough inspection done on your home to identify what needs repair. Even minor fixes, such as making sure the railing leading to your entrance isn’t wobbly, are important. Unless you have a “fixer-upper” listing to sell, major repairs will have to be addressed or buyers won’t be interested.
- Stage your home – Even if you haven’t moved out, stage your home. Consider adding spring décor and always have plenty of light to make your home more inviting to potential buyers.
- Tidy your yard – Winter can leave your yard looking a little dry and shabby. In addition to clearing your yard of all debris, trim bushes and trees. You might want to plant flowers during this time to add a bit of color to your property. This can boost curb appeal.
Use these 5 tips to prepare your home in order to sell it this spring. For additional advice on selling your home this spring, contact Randy Lindsay today.
Home staging involves adding furniture and décor to make a house appear as if it’s “lived-in.” Especially if you’ve already moved out of the house you’re selling, you might wonder whether it’s worth the effort to stage it.
It seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but there are many benefits to home staging. The following are 3 reasons why you should stage your home when selling it:
1. Staging gives buyers a better idea of the space
Much of the time, it’s difficult to judge exactly how big a room is, even when you’re walking around in it. When a home is staged, buyers can see how each room will look when it’s completely furnished. What may have seemed like a too-small bedroom may appear a lot bigger when there’s a bed in the room.
2. Staging makes the home more inviting
Walking through an empty house feels…cold. When a buyer walks through a house that has been staged, the house feels more welcoming, and this can impact their first impression. It also helps buyers “see” themselves living in the home. This can be challenging for buyers if the house is empty.
3. Staging maximizes a home’s potential
Staging a house allows you to showcase each room and its function. Additionally, it can help buyers imagine what their own furniture will look like inside the home. It allows them to see the potential of the space.
Home staging is beneficial and can help you sell your home faster. For home staging, selling, or home-buying tips, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
As you can imagine, long-distance house hunting can be very challenging. It’s difficult to get a “feel” for certain neighborhoods or to casually drive-by homes for sale if you’re in a different city or state.
Many homebuyers have no choice. Perhaps you were transferred or took a new job in a different state and your relocation is time-sensitive. You must find a house as quickly as possible.
Here are four tips to effectively house-hunt from far away:
- Identify your needs – Figure out what your wants and needs are (Three bedrooms, 2 full baths, large backyard, etc.). Your agent can help find homes for sale that meet those wants and needs.
- Research the area – Do as much investigation on the community and neighborhoods in that area. This can give you a better idea of desirable locales.
- Use a local real estate agent – Find an agent in the area in which you plan to move. A local agent can answer any questions about the area and provide knowledge-based real estate guidance.
- Plan a visit – Plan a visit to explore the area and meet with your agent. Your real estate agent should be able to schedule showings to homes that meet your needs and are within your budget.
If you’re house hunting in the Charlotte area, contact us at Randy Lindsay today. We can share professional advice concerning the local real estate market.
Deciding to sell your home is a big decision to make. Selling a home is rarely an easy process, either. Because of this, home sellers should understand a few things before they officially put their house up for sale.
Here are three important things all home sellers need to know:
- Don’t make the mistake of assuming your home’s value has automatically appreciated over the years. Your home improvements may – or may not – have added to its value.
The local market dictates how much your house is worth. If you’re selling during a buyer’s market, it may be slow to sell and you may not get the price you want. During a seller’s market, you may get bids from multiple buyers.
- Pricing appropriately is critical. Pricing too low will lose money while pricing too high can chase potential buyers away. If your house sits on the market too long, it can decrease in value. A professional real estate agent can help you determine a price value for your home.
- You must prepare your home for sale. This means you may need to invest in repairs and renovations while also staging the house for showings. The house must be in the best condition possible or else you risk leaving a poor first impression with interested buyers.
These are three of the most important things home sellers need to know before they list their houses. If you’ve decided to sell your home, contact us at Randy Lindsay for professional real estate advice.