Considering Buying a Home? What Makes a Smart Home Buyer?

Homebuyers

New homebuyers get told the most common things needed when starting the journey of buying a home.  You need good credit, a steady job, and a down payment.  But these only touch the surface.  I will discuss these in a little more depth but there are more traits that a homebuyer should possess to be successful in buying the right home and to be at ease through the process.

Good credit is one of the most obvious requirements.  This shows that you are responsible with your finances or if you are a frivolous with your lines of credit.  A responsible home buyer needs to get pre- approved for a mortgage.

Stable lifestyle is equally important.  Holding a long term, steady job shows secure income and is required for lending.  Savings accounts fall under this category also.  Home buyers need to be prepared for upfront costs, future costs of maintenance, and the unknown.  Life happens and financial emergencies occur, you should be prepared!

A prepared home buyer knows what their family needs.  They have to be able to compromise and be flexible, yet at the same time know what absolutely is non-negotiable.

Patience is very important.  Be sure to research as much as possible.  This takes time, and will prevent you from making a decision that you may later regret.  Research agents, lenders, neighborhoods, drive by properties before scheduling appointments, consider your commute, down payment options, crime statistics, sex offenders, closing costs and be sure to read the fine print!  Being patient in the high time of spring is a must.  At the end of the day, patience can also save you money and heartache.

Be loyal and honest.  Your agent is here for you.  Don’t go to the homeowner or the sales agent with questions.  Communicate your concerns with your agent.  Let them be your advocate.  They are here for you.

And lastly, try to keep your stresses down, keep your spirits high and just chuckle through some of the things that will arise.

Happy House Hunting!

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Considering New Construction? Tune In!

Tune in Saturday February 6th, from 3-4 p.m. or Sunday February, 7th from 8-9 a.m. to hear the show!  Liz Johnson discusses why New Construction is worth the investment.

Click on the picture below to the show site where you can tune in for the times listed above.

So many people in the Real Estate industry are more concerned with telling people what they want to hear, Liz Johnson believes honesty is always the best policy, even when her clients might not want to hear the truth.  Liz Johnson believes they deserve that.  A foundation built on trust is of utmost importance to Liz Johnson.  When it comes to your home and money, you are owed nothing less than the truth.  With over 11 years of experience and over 250 properties sold, Liz Johnson’s experience speaks volumes.  To know how Liz can help you in King or Pierce County, contact her today at 253-670-0357 or by email at Liz@TheLizJohnsonGroup.com

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First Time Home Buyer Common Mistakes

Buying your first home is very exciting and comes with a lot of emotions.   There are many steps to take to be successful in this process.  On the same hand, there are a lot of common mistakes to avoid making the process easy and enjoyable as possible.

Stay away from these beginner mistakes to help make this as smooth of a ride as possible.

  1. Not checking your credit and ignoring credit problems rather than fixing them .
  2. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage before looking at homes. Pre-approvals will help you make financial decisions rather than emotional decisions.  Staying within your budget needs to be priority.
  3. Not talking to more than one lender.
  4. Not reading disclosures from the lender.
  5. Not considering the added expenses of owning a home. Affording a mortgage doesn’t mean you can afford a home.  Consider insurance, taxes (both of which tend to increase yearly), home owner association dues, maintenance and higher utilities.
  6. Calling the agent on the sign without knowing who they work for. It’s important to find an agent you can trust.  Talk to friends and family for referrals.  The agent you use when buying a home should be there for YOUR best interest.
  7. Changing jobs or making large purchases before closing may cause your loan to fall through. Lenders check your credit and financial status shortly before closing to make sure nothing has changed.  So, hold off on any new loans and be sure you will be in your current job long-term.
  8. Not taking a Home Buyers Class. Be sure to educate yourself.  This is one of biggest decisions and investments of your life.
  9. Entering a lease to own arrangement without legal help.
  10. Getting distracted with decorating ideas before final walk thru. Stay focused!

Making these mistakes can be terribly expensive and cause unnecessary stress.  Make your first time home buying experience as stress free, smart and enjoyable as possible!

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The Definition of Luxury!

Have you been able to check out the new Seven Summits Lodge at Trilogy® for yourself?  The Mantel opened exactly a week ago and boy was it delicious!  Not to mention the decorations and style had us all in awe for our entire visit!

Part of our visit included a tour of the new facilities Trilogy has to offer for their community of the 55 and older crowd only.  Let us tell you… this is one community you’re going to want to move quickly to, if you’re up for state of the art facilities that provide amazing spa/ vacation like venues, within walking distance from your front door!  Check out the photo’s below, and when you just can’t take it anymore and would like a private tour of your own, contact us today so we can facilitate everything for you, along with a special gift to take home from us (gift given at tour)!  This is definitely NOT a community to miss out on!

That restaurant we’re still drooling over…

Do you like wine?  As a resident, you store your own wine here!!  It’s right there and ready for when you visit the Mantel!

Quiet time by the outdoor pond?  This see through fireplace is sure to take you away to your own special oasis!

Travel down the stairs to a wonderful sitting area around the pond, fully equipped with a waterfall, and vacation like setting – ALL within walking distance of your home!

Prefer to get the wiggles out?  Try your hand at a round of Shuffleboard in the amazing Hawk’s Den!

Or pick something to take in on the screen with the comforts of home…

OH!  Another fireplace!  Bet you wouldn’t believe us if we said there were more than 6 fireplaces in the Lodge area!

Did someone say golf!?!!

Oh yes.. there is that too!  Virtual goodness!

A sneak peek at the pool!  There’s a hot tub too!  OH!  And that pool floor raises for special events, to provide a full dance area, reserved occasion or whatever the resident of Trilogy at Tehaleh desires!

Forget driving to the gym!  There’s that too!!  Nice machines all with nice views!  No Gym membership!  This is included with your dues!

Craft/ Yoga room.  It just doesn’t get better.  It really doesn’t.

Give us a call, write us an email, whatever you prefer..  We’re here to help, and would love to share why we love our community that we get to live, work and play in.

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Three Ways to Find a Down Payment

Ask many homeowners about the hardest part of their homebuying process and they’ll tell you it was saving for the down payment.  In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors and RealtyTrac, it takes first-time homebuyers an average of 12.5 years to amass enough cash to put down 20 percent upfront on their investment.

Sure, you can buy a home with a smaller down payment, such as 3.5 percent with FHA financing, but you’ll usually pay a penalty in the form of higher interest rates and even costly private mortgage insurance.  You might want to consider these alternative sources of down payment funds instead.

  1. Down Payment Assistance Programs.Start your search for programs available to you at downpaymentresource.com, a website that connects homebuyers with down payment assistance opportunities.  Other sources of information include your mortgage lender, real estate agent, and you state’s housing authority website.  Keep in mind, not all lenders participate in all down payment assistance programs.
  1. Gifts from Your Family and Friends.Many lenders will allow you to cover at least a portion of your down payment with cash gifts from family and friends.  As of 2014, conventional mortgages often allow you to use gift funds for your entire down payment, as long as you’re putting at least 20 percent down towards the purchase price.  Less than that and there may be a limit on how much can come from gifts.  The specifics depend on the loan type, so talk to your lender.
  1. Employer -Sponsored Programs.  Some employers include mortgage assistance programs in the benefits package they offer their workers.  Ask your company’s human resources department about options you might have, from down payment assistance to low-interest mortgages.  If you’re currently looking for a new job, consider asking for down payment assistance when negotiating salary.

Contact us for any questions you may have.  We’ve got great lenders we work with who are happy to help with the smallest or biggest issues you may have.

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