Sumathi Narayanan Realty's Blog
Having to buy or sell a house is a tiring and stressful process that takes weeks, months and sometimes years to finalize. If you have been in the position of buying or selling a property before, you might have had an experience with terrible real estate agents.
Sometimes, your instincts pick up these signs, but because you are too excited to get a new home or too anxious to sell the one you have, you ignore these warnings.
Dealing with a wrong real estate guy might cause you problems on the long run – so much you might have to end your contract and get a better agent. Below are tell-tale signs you are about to hire a wrong guy as your real estate agent.
Bad First Impression
The first impression you make or receive goes a long way in creating trust in the real estate industry. Working with a real estate agent requires a level of confidence. A real estate agent who ignores your call the first time or asks you to meet up with them somewhere and arrives late doesn’t seem to take their job seriously. They just showed you that they unreliable and the wrong choice for the role.
Little or No Knowledge About the Environment
Nothing else screams ‘incompetent’ than a real estate agent with no experience about your choice of area. A professional agent is quite knowledgeable about areas they cover and they should be well-versed about the characteristics of the neighborhood.
An excellent real estate agent always tries to make time for clients regardless of how busy or tight a schedule. A real estate agent that allows other priorities impede clients (buyer or seller) from seeing a property or finalizing a previous negotiation may be the wrong one for the job.
Lack of Communication and Reliability
Timely communication is essential in the real estate business; it’s what makes the difference between getting any property and getting one you like. An agent who can’t respond to your queries or return your calls in good time is the wrong choice for a real house agent.
Not Listen to Your Demands
An agent who is not listening to your requests and need is the wrong choice. There are basic wants and needs a buyer might require from a home they want to purchase. Enlisting a real estate agent who is not ready to listen or meet your requests to attain this dream would be a mistake.
When giving your home to a real estate to sell or when seeking for houses to buy, pay attention to these warning signs and save yourself a lot of stress.
Buying a home is a beautiful feeling, but dealing with the financial aspect of it can be tiring. Well, thanks to mortgages, the financing is no longer a headache. From conventional to Government-insured mortgages, homeownership is now a dream that can be turned into reality once you have done your homework, arrived at a budget, reviewed your credit and nailed down your down payment amount.
The America government is not a mortgage lender but has been helping many Americans become homeowners. How? Through government agency loans, namely:
- Federal Housing Administration, also known as FHA, loans
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, also known as USDA, loans
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, also known as VA, loans
This article will cover FHA loans: how they work, who is eligible, and everything you need to know about it.
What Is an FHA Loan?
FHA loans give borrowers who do not have a significant down payment saved up and don't have good credit the opportunity to own a home. Since its inception in 1934, the FHA has insured over 40 million home loans.
Types of FHA Loans
FHA mortgagee loans come in different forms. Each form is dependent on your assets, income, age, and current home equity, should any be present. There are seven types of FHA loans:
- Fixed-Rate Purchase Loan
- Adjustable-Rate Purchase Loan
- Condominium Loans
- Secure Refinance Loan
- Home Equity Conversion Mortgages
- Graduated Payment Loan
- Growing Equity Loan
Like other kinds of mortgage loans, FHA loans come with closing costs. However, expenses may be different depending on lenders, market conditions, geographic location, and down payments.
If you wish to lower your closing cost, you can do so by increasing your credit score, shop through multiple lenders, check for settlement and title companies, or negotiate with the lender you've selected.
FHA Loan Pros and Cons
FHA loans have many benefits such as low down payment, better interest rate, and credit score flexibility. The only downside of FHA loan is that you have to get mortgage insurance that stays with you throughout the life of your FHA loan.
What You need to qualify for an FHA Loan
You will need some form of identification to begin qualifying for an FHA loan. Driver licenses, military IDs, passports, or any other kind of government-issued ID is an acceptable form of identification. You'll also need your bank statements from the last two months and investment statements from the last two years. Be sure to have at least one month of pay stubs available, as well.
If you run a business or you are self-employed, you will be asked to provide:
- Your current tax year profit and loss statement
- At least two of your recent tax returns
Talk to a mortgage and loan specialist to get the process started.
In real estate terminology, you may hear about various ratios and where you need to fall within the ratio to qualify for the home you want. A ratio simply expresses a relationship between two values: they compare two things, so a student/teacher ratio might be shown as 18:1, or one teacher for every 18 students. Different ratios apply to residential home buyers, investors, sellers, and lenders, but here are a few that might apply to you.
Loan-to-value or LTV
A comparison between the amount of a mortgage loan and either the home’s purchase price (for new buyers) or its appraised value (in a refinance) is its loan-to-value ratio. Lower LTVs typically qualify a buyer or homeowner a lower interest rate because there is less risk of default to the lender. So, a conforming mortgage with 20 percent down often garners a lower rate than an FHA loan with only five percent down.
Higher LTVs place more risk on the lender so if the market drops, the home could be “upside-down” or worth less than the amount of the mortgage.
Debt-to-income ratio or DTI
More important to home buyers is the debt-to-income ratio. Also called a debt-service ratio, it expresses how much money the borrower makes monthly compared to the monthly ongoing debt payments and obligations. A lender uses this figure to determine how high a mortgage payment you can handle. The first number is your income (gross) from your job, plus any other income that can be counted such as child support or a trust disbursement that you can use to make your mortgage payment plus taxes and insurance, and if applicable, association dues.
The second number uses the same calculation as the first plus any long-term debt such as a vehicle or school loan and consumer debt. This amount is the percentage of your income used to pay housing and long-term debt. So, a ratio of 30:37 (also written 30/37) means you spend 30 percent of all your income on housing with no more than seven percent obligated to debt service. That leaves you with 63 percent of your income for food, auto insurance, medical bills, clothing, and other expenses. Qualifying ratios adjust over time, but the Federal Housing Administration lists the qualifying ratio and the formula to determine it to qualify for an FHA loan.
Your DTI comes from your personal debts and income, and the LTV comes from a specific home's value, but the price-to-income ratio expresses the affordability of housing in a given locale. Most often, it is the ratio of the median home price to the median household disposable income. This ratio helps you determine if the home you want to buy is overpriced (it will be hard to sell) or under-priced (super good deal) for its geographical location. Lenders use this ratio as one additional factor in determining risk for that specific home.
To learn where your ratios fall and to determine if an area is right for your household budget, let your local real estate professional guide you.
Step 1: Setting upYou'll want to set up the room with the right balance of furniture, decorations and natural light. Avoid decorations that are too personal (like family photos) or eccentric (no stuffed animals, preferably). Set up your tripod against one of the walls of the room. Ideally, you'll have the target of your photo illuminated by natural light coming through windows, so you'll likely be standing in front of or next to the windows. However, before you take any photos use your best judgment to determine the room's best angles. The amount of and the placement of furniture will play a large role in how spacious the room looks, but equally important is the camera angle from which you take your photos.
Step 2: Learn your camera settingsYou won't learn all of the settings in a DSLR overnight, but it is important to get an understanding of the basics. In spite of the many technical improvements that have been made, the basic concept of a camera hasn't changed much over the years. The two main components that determine what your picture looks like are aperture and shutter speed. Aperture (or "f-stop") is what is used to determine how much light enters the camera. Much like your pupils dilate in the dark to let in as much light as possible, having a wide aperture will allow you to take brighter photos. Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter on your camera is open. A slower shutter speed allows more light into the camera, creating a brighter exposure. However, due to our inability to hold a camera entirely still having a slower shutter speed creates more opportunity for your photo to become blurred from camera shake. A third important setting is the ISO. This setting is unique to digital photography because it controls the sensitivity of the camera's image sensor. The higher the number, the more sensitive. Why not just crank it up all the way then to get the best quality? Because if you set it too high the photos become grainy or "noisy."
Step 3: PracticeNow that you know the basics, start taking photos in your home using various camera settings. Play around with taking photos with different light sources on, with your camera flash on and off, and at different times of day. You'll find that there are endless possibilities when it comes to taking photos of your home.