Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 9/6/2019

A home is one of the most important things for a lot of us, and everyone loves the fresh smell of a new home. People often wonder what the best season to buy a new home is. And even though a lot of people like to think of spring or summer as favorable seasons to purchase new property, fall is indeed a great season to buy a home. 

 Firstly, this is because by fall, there is less competition for the available houses as most people looking to buy homes would have purchased in the summer, so there's less pressure on you to increase the amount you are willing to pay. Most people who put their homes on the market in fall season are generally folks who ‘need' to sell, so you have a little more room for leverage when you are negotiating.

Still talking about negotiating, some of the houses available by fall have been on sale all summer – the longer a home has been on the market, the more willing the owners are to make a deal – so most sellers are super motivated and looking to close already. By this time, sellers are just about ready for that offer they can't afford to refuse – which is where you come in. 

You also get to benefit indirectly when you buy a home in fall; most furniture and home appliances – washers, refrigerators, cookware, TVs – are at their lowest by the Christmas holidays, so you get to renovate your new home with the extra savings as you move in. Many builders also offer quick move-in deals within fall, so that may be great for you if you are particular about a brand new home.

Also by fall, the year is rolling out to an end, so there are typically fewer buyers in the market. That means you get more attention from your estate agent, real estate lawyers and even bankers, so you can ask your questions in detail and get thorough responses. You never can tell; this could result in some unexpected information that could help you save some cash. Don’t forget that fewer buyers in the market, means fewer movers this season, so you might be able to pull off a sweet deal from your moving company too.

So if you are looking to get a terrific deal as you move into a new home, fall season might actually be the best time for you.




Categories: Buying a Home   renovation   moving  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/27/2019

A seamless home search may be a dream come true for property buyers. Yet for those who want to accelerate the homebuying journey, problems sometimes may arise that make it tough to streamline a home search. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to speed up a home search and find your dream house without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you expedite the homebuying journey.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations

You know you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea what you want to find in a dream home. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, however, you could simplify your house search.

Think about what you want in your dream house, as well as where you want to reside. Then, you can search for houses that have the features you want and are located in your preferred cities and towns.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage at your disposal, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream residence. As a result, you can search for homes that fall in line with your budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about different types of mortgages and help you find the right mortgage based on your individual needs.

Of course, as you search for the right mortgage, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, all of whom are happy to assist you in any way possible.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to support a homebuyer. He or she understands the ins and outs of buying a home, and as such, will do what it takes to help you discover a great house at an affordable price.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a homebuying strategy for you and put this plan into action. A real estate agent then will help you conduct an in-depth house search. And once you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

A real estate agent also works diligently to help you achieve the best-possible results at each stage of the property buying journey. He or she is ready to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and ensure you can make informed decisions throughout your quest for your dream house.

Want to expedite your home search? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly find a home that suits you perfectly.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/21/2019

Want to make your homeownership dream a reality? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and a first-time homebuyer can move closer than ever before to acquiring his or her ideal residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to receive pre-approval for a mortgage, including:

1. You can establish a realistic homebuying budget.

Entering the housing market for the first time can be challenging. In fact, many first-time homebuyers struggle to establish realistic expectations before they begin their home search. And as a result, these homebuyers may end up spending too much for a house.

Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables a homebuyer to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. This ensures a homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

Pre-approval for a mortgage also allows a homebuyer to map out his or her homebuying journey. With a plan in place, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to acquire a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

2. You can speed up the homebuying journey.

Although a first-time homebuyer can always submit an offer on a home without a mortgage in hand, doing so may be tricky. In some cases, it may even slow down the homebuying process, especially if a homebuyer has to allocate significant time and resources to find a mortgage lender.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage should have no trouble accelerating the property buying cycle. This homebuyer will know exactly how much money is at his or her disposal, and as a result, can speed up the homebuying journey.

3. You can gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

In many instances, a home seller may be more likely to accept a proposal from a first-time homebuyer who has been pre-approved for a mortgage versus an offer from a buyer who still needs to obtain a mortgage.

A homebuyer who has a mortgage likely won't have to wait too long to acquire a house. Conversely, a homebuyer who needs to apply for a mortgage after an offer has been submitted may need to wait many weeks or months to complete a home sale.

Clearly, there are many great reasons for a first-time homebuyer to receive pre-approval for a mortgage. For homebuyers who want to ensure the best results possible, it certainly helps to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent too.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will do whatever it takes to help a homebuyer streamline the property buying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings and negotiate with a home seller on a property buyer's behalf. Plus, he or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help a homebuyer make his or her homeownership dream come true.

Take the next step to acquire your dream residence – get pre-approved for a mortgage today, and a first-time homebuyer can get the necessary financing to purchase his or her ideal house.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/20/2019

Shopping for a house is a high-stakes game. If you’re a first-time buyer, it can be difficult to gauge the value of various components and features of a home. Appraisals are designed for just this reason.

However, an appraisal is a subjective tool to determine a rough estimate. Furthermore, there are a number of things you can’t learn from an appraisal--such as how convenient the home would be for your work commute.

In this article, we’re going to help you, the homebuyer, determine the true value of a home as it would mean to you in your everyday life. Read on for tips on finding out the value of that home you’ve been dreaming of and deciding whether it’s really the best home for your budget.  

Appraisals are a baseline

When lenders are in the process of approving your home loan, they’ll want to decide whether the home you’re buying is worth the amount you’re paying. To achieve this, they’ll typically hire a third-party appraiser.

Find out from your lender which appraiser they use and read their online reviews. This will ensure that they’re a trustworthy source of information. Also be sure to check that the appraiser is certified and that they work with a diverse range of clientele (not just your lender!).

Since you’ll likely be paying the appraisal fee as part of your closing costs, make sure you’re happy with the appraisal and appraiser.

Key appraisal factors

After the appraisal, consider getting a second opinion or inspection of any of the key components of your home that may impact the appraisal. Some of these factors include:

  • The roof, HVAC system, and septic systems

  • The energy-efficiency of the home

  • The current market value in the area

  • The general upkeep of the home--a few cosmetic problems shouldn’t affect the home value much, but serious neglect can cause long-lasting and expensive issues like mold, water damage, pest invasion, and more

What an appraisal can’t tell you

Now that we’ve discussed the nuts and bolts of home value, we have to venture into what value means to you and your family. You’ll need to ask yourself a series of questions, and some of them won’t have a cut-and-dry answer.

First, how well does this home fit into the work life of you and your spouse? Will it mean a shorter commute, and therefore lower transportation costs and more free time? Putting a dollar value on an extra thirty minutes not spent in traffic can be difficult, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to take part in.

Furthermore, does the house have features that will make it a better asset in years to come? Energy-efficiency, proximity to in-demand schools, businesses, etc., can all be selling points for future buyers that are willing to pay more for your home.


Using a combination of a certified appraisal and some introspection, you should be able to come to a confident conclusion as to the value of the home as it means to you and your family.




Categories: Buying a Home   home value   appraisal  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/14/2019

Finding a house that fits your wants, needs, and desires can be exhilarating. Finding a house for a bargain price can have you downright giddy. However, the process of purchasing that property can prove arduous. Houses considered distressed or in default are usually investor and house flipper's territory. However, if you are willing to do your research and leg work, you can find yourself a great deal, and working with a realtor will help as well. But when you find a property marked foreclosure or short sale, what next?

Know Your Terms

Short Sale, Pre-foreclosure, Foreclosure, and Banked Owned are all different, and you need to know the differences between them all to make informed decisions. Short sales are properties for sale where the owner owes more than the property is currently worth and the mortgage company agrees to take less than the current balance on the mortgage. The catch being, the sale price must be at or below the appraised value. All lien holders, no matter how many, must sign off on the buyers offer. This leads to an extended time-frame from offer to approval to the finalization of the transaction. If this will be your primary residence, you may not want to wait around to find out if your offer gets accepted. A pre-foreclosure, on the other hand, is a property that has been issued a default notice which is a matter of public record. There are subscription-based services that list current addresses that have received notices. These properties are not usually for sale at that time. The owner is behind on payments, but no proceedings have commenced. This is when a homeowner may want to consider putting the house on the market. This is not considered a distressed property at this point because the fair-market value is above the current mortgage balance. A sale at this point is good news all the way around but is rare. Often the pre-foreclosure that is on the market falls under the short sale category, and that is why buyers can be easily confused. 

Conditions May Vary

As a buyer of a short sale or a pre-foreclosure, you need to know what you may encounter regarding pitfalls. The physical condition of the property may require extensive and expensive repairs that you will have to pay for yourself. Your lender may not approve of you because of the condition. You may be on the line for unpaid HOA fees, taxes, or liens leftover from the previous owner. So, if you can navigate all the issues that go along with these situations, then a short sale or pre-foreclosure may work out for you. Meet with your local real estate professional to get more information on these types of properties.