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  • Charles Rutenberg Realty

"First-time buyers continue to make up an underperforming share of the market because there are simply not enough homes for sale in their price range. Supply conditions improve in higher up price brackets, which means those trading up should see considerable interest in their home, as well as more listings to choose from during their own search." Elizabeth Mendenhall NAR President.


Steps to Buying a House Checklist


Now that you’ve found your dream home, here’s how to breeze through the buying process. Get detailed instructions: How to Buy a House


 


Making an Offer and Negotiating the Close




  1. Bid smartly.




Ask your real estate agent for prices of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold, and use those figures to determine your initial offer. Start a tad lower than those figures.




  1. Make clear demands.




Be up-front about extras, such as curtains and light fixtures, that you want included with the house.




  1. Use the closing date as a negotiating point.




If you don’t have to move by a certain date be flexible on when you move into your new home. You might be able to get other concessions from the sellers.




  1. Ask the seller to buy a home warranty.




A good one will cost about $400 and can cover the cost of any major repairs for a year after closing.


Getting A Mortgage


1. Ask for refferrals.


Ask friends, family, your real estate agent, or loan officer for recommendations for lenders. Also, consider local credit unions. They have low rates if you qualify for membership.


2. Calculate your down payment.


To avoid having to buy private mortgage insurance, you need to pay at least 20 percent of the purchase price before closing costs.


3. Obtain quotes from at least three lenders.Consult with both mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers to get the best interest rate.


4. Decide if you want to pay points to lower your rate.


Sometimes a bank will let you pay upfront to lower your interest rate, but it can get expensive.


The Inspection and Beyond




  1. Find a qualified inspector.




Contact one of the professional organizations to find an accredited, self-employed expert who has performed at least 1,000 inspections. Expect to pay about $300 to $750 for a general inspection.




  1. Request a detailed report in advance.




Find out what the finished report will look like first. You want it to be at least 10 pages and include photographs of anything that’s wrong.




  1. Consider additional assessments.




Ask your real estate agent if they recommend additional inspections above and beyond the standard one. This will depend on the style of the house and when it was built.




  1. Attend the inspection.




This is your opportunity to ask questions about the infrastructure of the house. Be sure to learn about the operation and locations of the gas and water shut-off valves and the breaker box.




  1. Ask the repairman to provide written estimates for all fixes.




Your real estate agent will submit to the seller the anticipated costs of any problems found during the inspection.




  1. 6. Ask for a price credit.




You can control the quality if you schedule the repairs yourself. Request that the cost of any fixes be deducted from the sale price and have the work done after the purchase is final.


Hiring an Appraiser and Buying Title Insurance




  1. Have the property appraised.




To determine its value, you need an appraiser, which your lender will hire. Make sure the appraiser has a copy of the sales contract to verify what is (and isn’t) being sold.




  1. Ask your broker to provide a list of comparable properties.




Point out where the home being appraised has been improved and how that differs from other recent sales.




  1. Comparison-shop for title insurance.




You can choose the provider for this coverage, which protects you and your lender against liens. There’s no discernible difference in protection, so you can go with the cheapest option. Just be sure to ask the insurer for their rating.


Navigating the Closing Process




  1. Consider hiring an attorney.




Lawyers aren’t always necessary for residential purchases, but if your situation is complicated or if you’re buying a foreclosure, it’s a good idea to hire one.




  1. Lock in your interest rate.




Do so 30 to 45 days before your close. Rates aren’t expected to rise significantly for at least the next year and a half.




  1. Obtain a detailed list of closing costs from your lender.




Besides the expense tied to your loan, you may have additional fees, such as title services and transfer taxes.




  1. Watch for bogus fees.




Some lenders charge for preparing documents, messengering papers, or even printing e-mails. It’s worth asking to have these items removed from your bill.


Conducting the Final Walk-Through




  1. Verify that all included appliances are in working order.

  2. Turn on every faucet and flush toilets.

  3. Plug something into each outlet.

  4. Check the smoke detectors.

  5. Test the heat and the air-conditioning.

  6. Look for water and mold on ceilings.

  7. Examine for signs of vermin.

  8. 8. Negotiate a closing credit if you find anything broken or missing.

  9. Sign the contract, then move in.



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6 Killer Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When Buying in the Winter


By Jamie Wiebe | Dec 21, 2016


 


Winter is supposed to be a buyer’s market, right? Fewer buyers = way less competition. After all, you have no problem trekking through the snow to find the perfect home. Let the others wait until spring. Right?


But winter home-buying assumptions can cost you. Just because the market moves slower doesn’t mean there aren’t pitfalls lying beneath the powder. Keep in mind these six common mistakes—otherwise you might just lose out on your dream space. And that would lead to a very long winter indeed.


1. Landing yourself in holiday debt


Your kiddos are clamoring for a few Hatchimals, your wonderful husband deserves the Google Pixel, and Mom and Dad desperately need a new set of artisanal kitchen knives. But don’t rack up new debt buying everyone gifts.


“Even if your credit is in good standing, suddenly racking up a ton of holiday shopping debt will change your debt-to-income ratio and potentially negate your pre-approval,” says Alicia Brison, a real estate agent in Sacramento, CA.


Budget for your generous splurges ahead of time. Or you know what? Tell your family they’re getting the best gift of all: a new home.


2. Failing to use your imagination


Yes, the property looks a bit … drab. But don’t all homes seem sad in winter, especially if they’re not charmingly covered in snow? Don’t dismiss a property because of bare tree limbs and dead grass. Imagine what the home could be in all its springtime glory.


Pretend the trees are blooming and the rose bushes are covered in color. That’s the mental picture you should use to make your decision.


3. Ignoring possible closing date delays


Don’t assume everything will go as planned. This will go wrong, trust us. Does the plumbing need updating? Is the wiring a little funky? These delay-causing problems are always annoying, but in winter they can create a full-on migraine. This goes double for custom or new-build homes.


“While many trades will work through the winter, there are certain processes that cannot be completed during heavy snowfall or dramatically low temperatures,” says Luke Sahlani, the lead project manager and director of Sensus Design & Build. “This can be frustrating and particularly problematic if the home buyers’ closing date on their current home is coming up quickly.”


Build in some buffer time for your new home’s closing—or just a little snow might crash your move-in day hopes.


4. Lacking flexibility


House hunting always requires a certain level of spontaneity—you have to be ready to pounce as soon as you hear a place fitting all your criteria is on the market. But when the weather’s against you, make sure to loosen your schedule even more.


Flexibility “is even more critical during the winter season,” Brison says. “Weather can cause unexpected delays, and buyers need to be willing to plan viewings during the busy holidays.”


Yes, you’re excited for cousin Humbert’s one-of-a-kind pumpkin pie, but if 2 p.m. the day after Christmas is the only time you can check out your dream abode, you might have to skip a second serving.


5. Assuming you’ll automatically score a sweet deal


In the winter (generally speaking), home prices are lower. Sellers are motivated. The competition’s bundled up inside, warming their hands by the fire. Bidding wars are a vestige of the summer months. Now’s a great time to buy, right?


Unfortunately, the math doesn’t necessarily work in your favor.


“A lot of buyers assume they can get a better deal in winter because [fewer] people are competing,” Brison says. “That’s not usually the case. Inventory is lower, so the number of people who are competing is similar.”


No, prices may not rocket to the sky-high levels seen when the weather is warm. But if you expect to score a bargain-basement home deal, you might be disappointed.


6. Lowballing your offer


If you don’t get a discount on a home during the winter months, maybe you think you can create your own discount with a low ball offer. Sellers listing their homes in the winter must be desperate to sell, the theory goes.


Think again.


“Not only can a low offer be off-putting to the seller, but sometimes they can be so offended, they will be closed to a counteroffer,” says Denise Supplee, the director of operations at SparkRental.com.


Work with your Realtor® to craft a competitive offer that isn’t offensive. Nothing is worse than losing the home you love to another buyer because you prioritized the deal over finding a place that perfectly fits your family.


Jamie Wiebe writes about home design and real estate for realtor.com. She has previously written for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Real Simple, Veranda, and more.





 

 





JULY 5, 2016









 


 


 


The National Association of REALTORS® hosted government, industry and academic leaders at a symposium this month to discuss mortgage credit issues. Throughout the conversation, one question kept coming up: How do we make credit available to responsible borrowers who don’t have a credit history?


More than 40 million people in America have what is known as a “thin file,” meaning their credit history is either short of non-existent. But a borrower’s credit score is a critical factor when trying to enter the housing market. Without a credit history for lenders to consider, a borrower stands little to no chance of obtaining a loan.


The reality is that people come from different backgrounds and sometimes practice different financial activities. Minorities, immigrants and people with modest incomes are particularly likely to come from backgrounds that avoid debt. The result, too often, is a thin or non-existent credit history.


Fortunately, new credit scoring models that incorporate additional predictive metrics and payment history are under consideration before Congress, offering a potential solution. For example, some have proposed allowing providers like gas, electric, and telecommunication companies to report consumers’ payment histories to credit reporting agencies, offering a credit history to many who need one.










Story Springboard:










 


 


Review NAR’s data concerning the struggle to get first-time buyers into the market. Talk to REALTORS® in your community to find out what they’re hearing from their buyers who struggled to get mortgage credit. Speak with new homeowners about any mortgage credit issues they experienced.


Older Buyers Expect Longer Tenure in Homes


 JUNE 3, 2016


 


One of the things home buyers think about when preparing to purchase a new abode is how long they expect to be there. This is not only true for first-time buyers who are weighing whether to continue renting or buy, but for buyers of all ages. And while many mortgages last 30-years, homebuyers typically do not stay those full 30 years. But how long do they stay? According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, homebuyers between the ages of 61 and 69 expect to stay in their homes the longest when compared to all other age groups, at 20 years. Buyers aged 36-60 and those 70-90 years all expect to stay in the homes they purchase for 15 years, while buyers 35 and younger expect to be in their newly bought homes for 10 years.




 Creative Ways to Save for a Down Payment


 







AUGUST 1, 2016 







According to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the most difficult step in the home buying process is saving for a down payment. And with the cost of rent so high, renters are finding it more and more difficult to save. So what are some out of the box, but simple, ways that a renter can save for a down payment? Whether it is applying for government assistance, setting up a crowd sourced fund or giving up lattes for a year, there are hundreds of ways to gather the funds. 


(link is external)Speak with recent home buyers in your area to learn how they saved for their down payment. Ask a REALTOR® for stories on the most imaginative ways they have seen clients come up with down payment money.                                                                       


Buying a home is an exciting and complex adventure. It can also be a very time-consuming and costly one if you're not familiar with all aspects of the process, and don't have all the best information and resources at hand.


One of our specialties is representing the best interests of Syosset area buyers throughout the home buying process. Our comprehensive, high-quality services can save you time and money, as well as make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful.


If you're like most people, buying a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. So whether you're buying a starter home, your dream home or an investment property, why not take advantage of our experience as a local market expert for Plainview, Syosset, Jericho, Muttontown, Woodbury, Melville, Dix Hills, Laurel Hollow and Cold Spring Harbor, and East Norwich to make the most informed decisions you can, every step of the way?


All the Single Ladies (Are Buying Homes)


APRIL 4, 2016


It doesn't come as a huge surprise that the largest share of home buyer households is married couples. In fact, 67 percent of all home buyers are married couples. The second most common group of buyers, however, is single females. According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, single females make up 15 percent of all home buyers, and this number creeps up when looking at older buyers—20 percent of buyers between 51 and 60 years of age and 19 percent between the ages of 61 and 69 are single females. These percentages are substantially higher than those for single males, who only make up 9 percent of all home buyers; the share of single made buyers is even lower in older age groups, only 10 percent of buyers between 51 and 60 are single males.


Story Springboard


Review NAR's most recent Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study to see the makeup of homebuyers for each age group. Talk to a Realtor® to find out who is buying homes in your area. Speak with single female buyers to find out why they are purchasing a home now and what they are looking 


 


All the Single Ladies (Are Buying Homes)


APRIL 4, 2016


It doesn't come as a huge surprise that the largest share of homebuyer households is married couples. In fact, 67 percent of all homebuyers are married couples. The second most common group of buyers, however, is single females. According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, single females make up 15 percent of all home buyers, and this number creeps up when looking at older buyers—20 percent of buyers between 51 and 60 years of age and 19 percent between the ages of 61 and 69 are single females. These percentages are substantially higher than those for single males, who only make up 9 percent of all home buyers; the share of single made buyers is even lower in older age groups, only 10 percent of buyers between 51 and 60 are single males.


Story Springboard


Review NAR's most recent Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study to see the makeup of homebuyers for each age group. Talk to a Realtor® to find out who is buying homes in your area. Speak with single female buyers to find out why they are purchasing a home now and what they are looking for.


 


REALTORS® Say Finding the Right Property for Clients a Hurdle in Completing Transactions


MARCH 2, 2016


There can be many hiccups on the way to buying the right home or property. Repeat buyers often need to sell their existing home first, finances can be an issue, and someone looking to buy might be skittish because of their job stability. But one of the biggest hurdles REALTORS® report their clients are facing is simply finding the right place. According to the2015 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile, the most important factor limiting potential clients in finishing a real estate transaction is difficulty in finding the right property (33 percent), pointing to the low level of inventory REALTORS® have to work with. REALTORS®, for the second year in a row, ranked this above the difficulty in their clients getting a mortgage (26 percent).


Story Springboard


Take a look at NAR’s latest Member Profile to see what might be holding clients back from completing real estate transactions. Talk to REALTORS® in your market to see if they are experiencing the same sort of issues.


Creative Ways to Save for a Down Payment


AUGUST 1, 2016


According to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the most difficult step in the home buying process is saving for a down payment. And with the cost of rent so high, renters are finding it more and more difficult to save. So what are some out of the box, but simple, ways that a renter can save for a down payment? Whether it is applying for government assistance, setting up a crowd sourced fund or giving up lattes for a year, there are hundreds of ways to gather the funds.


Story Springboard


Check out HouseLogic’s five creative tips for saving for a down payment(link is external). Speak with recent homebuyers in your area to learn how they saved for their down payment. Ask a REALTOR® for stories on the most imaginative ways they have seen clients come up with down payment money. 


..


 







Some Highlights:



  • ‘Old Millennials’ are defined as 25-36 year olds according to the US Census Bureau.

  • According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 31 years old.

  • More and more ‘Old Millennials’ are realizing that home ownership is within their reach now!







 
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