When preparing to buy a home, it’s natural to be preoccupied with thoughts about your future residence. However, it’s important to not overlook the more technical (read: less exciting) aspects of purchasing a property, such as applying for a mortgage loan. Getting approved for a home loan has always been an involved process, but since the subprime mortgage crisis that preempted the 2008 recession, it has become even more rigorous, so you’ll want to be well-prepared. Here are three tips for making the most of your mortgage loan application. Read more
We can usually get the little things in life just the way we want them: our coffee can have the perfect amount of sugar; our pizza, the perfect toppings. Unfortunately, when it comes to the big things, we’re expected to compromise. We’re supposed to ignore the little flaws of our partners, muddle through the less-than-glamourous parts of our jobs and accept the fact that there’s no such thing as the perfect home…or is there?
Rather than deal with the continual maintenance of an older house or attempt to shoehorn remodeling plans on a pre-existing structure, some people choose to build a custom home from scratch. Read more
If you’re like most home buyers nowadays, you probably started your search online, but what you found may have raised more questions than answers. This is because consumer-oriented portals (i.e. real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow) operate in very different ways and, consequently, can produce very different results. By gaining an understanding of how listings are published online, you’ll be able to avoid common pitfalls and shop for properties with greater accuracy and efficiency. Read more
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ―Henry David Thoreau
Welcome to January. Last month, you cooked up your dream home in a heady mix of holiday punch, gingerbread and champagne. Now, both metaphorically and literally, it’s time to build those foundations. We’ve written often on this blog about how to get started on a house remodeling project (for examples, see “How to Choose a Contractor” and “Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel”). Carefully choosing a licensed contractor, budgeting attentively and understanding local building laws are all important preliminary steps, Read more
If you’re planning to purchase a home in the near future, you’ll need to address your credit score beforehand. A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 350 to 850 (with 850 being the best) that lenders use to evaluate an individual’s capacity to repay a loan. Consequently, your credit score will play a central role in determining the kind of home loan and interest rate you get approved for—and whether you can get approved at all. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about maximizing your credit score long before you apply for a home loan. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Find out your credit score. Many people assume they have good credit, Read more
To the uninitiated, the real estate industry can be complex and confusing, which is why it’s common for first-time buyers and sellers to have ill-founded notions or unrealistic expectations. So, we asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to set the record straight about some prevalent real estate myths. Read more
People scrambling to find apartments and rental houses often pay for rental listings. Sadly, some of them find that the lists they buy are worthless. One man paid more than $200 for a list of homes to rent, and when he visited three of the addresses, he discovered they were occupied. Applying for a refund was equally frustrating. The agency said the agreement he signed allowed them to take up to 90 days to issue a refund. Three months later, their phone was disconnected and the company disappeared with his money.
Another common scam is to require people who respond to a phony rental ad to pay for a credit report. The con artists collect a commission or simply keep the fee. Read more