Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 7/18/2019

Do you dream of buying a home? If your answer is yes, then VA home loan can make it a reality. A VA home loan differs from the traditional mortgage home loan. It is essential to know if you are eligible to apply for a VA home loan and how it can help you purchase your own home.

What is VA Home Loan?  

A VA home loan is a loan for which veterans, active-duty service members, and some surviving spouses are eligible. Generally, VA loans feature better terms than a traditional mortgage, and it is easy to qualify. For many military borrowers, the flexibility and no-down payment nature of VA Home loan have made it the most reliable lending plan in the market. You may find it interesting that from 1944 until today, VA home loans have made over 20 million service members homeowners.

VA Home Loan- Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a VA Home Loan, a person must meet one or more of the following criteria:

- You must have served 90 straight days of active service at the time of war.

- You must have served 181 days of active service. 

- You have accumulated six or more years of service in the Reserves or National Guards.

- Your spouse, who is a service member, becomes disabled or dies during service.

How Does VA Home Loan Work?

The first step to homeownership through VA home loan is to get pre-qualified. You will need to meet up with a VA lender to help you get an estimate of the price of the home you can afford based on your credit, income, and other financial factors.

After getting pre-qualified, the next thing to do is to pre-approve your loan. This will give you the power to take action when you see a home you love. When the preapproval process is complete, you will need to hire a knowledgeable VA agent to help you place an offer and negotiate with the seller.

If you and the seller have agreed concerning the price for the house, your lender will order a VA appraisal of the home. Also, underwriters will analyze your income, finance, and related documents. Next, get ready to sign several kinds of legal documents at your loan closing. After this, you will get the keys to your new home.

Here are some of the most important things to know about a VA home loan;

- It is reusable as long as you pay off the loan every time.

- You can only use it for specific homes.

- You can use it for a primary residence.

- It does not require mortgage insurance.

- It comes with a VA funding fee.

Even if you qualify for a VA home loan, take your time to think if owning a home is right for you. Consider the maintenance, property taxes, and Home upkeep. Renting may seem cheap. Before you go for a VA home loan, consult a home loan specialist.





Categories: Real estate   Mortgage   VA home loans  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 7/17/2019

It is a fact that people who plan carefully to own a home will run into fewer financial issues later. So, if you want to buy a property now or sometime in the future, your first step should be to check your credit. It is a good idea to review your credit reports and scores from time to time, even if you are not buying the house or applying for a mortgage immediately. 

Your Credit Scores

Nowadays, most lenders use a FICO score when determining whether to offer you a loan or not, as well as in setting the rate and terms. Different lenders may use different credit scoring formulas, so your score can vary based on what type of scoring model the mortgage lender uses whether Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion FICO score. 

The scoring system is dynamic so that your score changes as the information in your credit report changes.

Ways of Getting Your Credit Score

There are many ways of accessing a credit score, and some of them are free. However, most organizations that provide free credit scores do so using different scoring methods than what the lenders' actually use. 

The four ways to obtain a score: 

1. Evaluate your credit card or another account statement - Most big credit card companies and some financial institutions, as well as credit unions, have started the service of providing credit scores to all their customers every month for free. The score is often written on your monthly statement or can be found by logging in to your online account. 

2. Consult with a non-profit adviser - Non-profit credit advisers and HUD-approved housing counselors can provide you with a free credit report in most cases and score and even assist you in reviewing them. A counselor may help you to buy a home, but we recommend you reach out to your reliable real estate agent who is more experienced and understands the job well than a mere counselor.

3. Buy a score - Credit reporting companies will sell your scores to you directly. You can also buy a FICO credit score at myfico.com. These credit scores are often different from your free ones and can be more accurate to what your lender sees. Don't get sucked into paying for extra features with your credit report such as identity theft monitoring, credit protection, or other services offered at the time of purchase.

4. Credit score services - Several websites offer a free credit score service. Some of these websites may be funded through advertising while others may require that you register for a credit monitoring service where you pay a monthly subscription fee to get your free score. 

Be aware that some of these services are usually advertised as free trial offers, and will start charging you a monthly fee if you don't cancel within the first week or month. Before you register for a service, ensure you know how much it really costs and how long the free period lasts. 

Your Credit Score Matters

Everybody is entitled to shop around for the best mortgage for their financial situation no matter their credit score. So, checking your credit history, fixing any mistakes, and knowing your credit scores will make you most suitable for getting a mortgage to buy a property for yourself.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 7/15/2019

Selling your home is a big deal, and while there's a lot that your real estate agent will do for you, you also have an essential part to play in the process of selling your home for a new one. A seller needs to make the house as attractive as possible when putting it up for sale. Here are the ways to prepare your home for sale: 

Look at the house from a stranger's viewpoint 

The advantage of viewing your property from a prospective buyer's perspective is that it enables you to identify some defects that could prevent potential buyers from initiating the sale process. Taking an unbiased and unemotional look at your home will help you see things in a better light. Better still, you can ask your friend or real estate agent to examine your home and give you an honest opinion about the state of the residence. And, try to amend whatever they pointed out as a defect. 

Remove pets from the house

Pets are good to have in a home, but not all buyers like the idea of buying a home with pets around. Some buyers may not want to see pets around, especially if they are allergic to them. Therefore, it is advisable to remove all pets from the house. And have a non-pet owner give your home the "sniff test" to make sure the pet odors are gone too.

Make Improvement before selling 

Nothing discourages buyers more than a property that is poorly maintained. Not only that, such houses attract lower offers. Prospective buyers will not be willing to buy a house for top dollar that requires extra costs for repairs and improvements. Therefore, an excellent way to increase the value of your home is to improve it before putting it up for sale. However, you should not overspend on home improvements, or the expenses will eat into your profits when selling. Your agent is an excellent resource for pointing out which upgrades are worth the money spent. 

Spread the word

Below are ways that you can market your home by yourself and with the help of your real estate agent.

- Pay for ad space in local directories

- Word of mouth to friends and family

- Multiple Listing Services through your agent

- Speak to your realtor about creating a Virtual Tour

- Plan an open house to allow prospective buyers to see the house themselves

If you plan to place your home up for sale, consider the ideas above to ensure a fast sale. Most of all, follow your agent's advice on marketing trends that work best in your market.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 7/10/2019

What do you think is the best paint color to sell your house? It often seems that the best color is white since it evokes a clean canvas for the buyer. While white is an excellent color to start with, you may find that if you warm up the interior of the house just a bit, it may assist prospective buyers in feeling more at home when they walk in than stark white. Here are some excellent fresh but neutral colors to paint your house to prepare it for the market.

Colors for the Kitchen

White kitchens have been everywhere recently, but a completely white kitchen doesn't give most buyers that homey feeling that draws them in. Neutral warm or cool grays offset those beautiful white cabinets while exposing any particular architectural details. Some reports show sales increases prices with appropriately colored walls. Your agent will know which colors are most popular in your area but some to look at are Hazelnut or Lilac Gray.

Bathroom Colors

In bathrooms, blue seems to be the color of choice. A freshly painted pale blue master bath can give the buyer a sense of a spa-like retreat while deeper hues provide a room the ever-popular nautical theme.

Bedroom Colors

Home seller reports show that rooms painted a matte soft cerulean blue made a higher net profit than expected. For added appeal, try to pair the blue with white baseboards and stage the room with natural woods. Buyers want to step into a space that feels restful. 

Living Room Colors

For your living room, look for lighter beiges and warmer gray-browns. This color combination will help the room feel more cozy and welcoming. Boldly accent the beige with a white fireplace mantle and baseboards for a clean and comfortable feel. You can use some natural woods and cozy textures when staging the room.

Dining Room Colors

For the dining room, cool bluish-grays give the room a more formal appeal and instantly updates the space. Statistics showed that dining rooms painted with a bluish gray sold for higher pricing than homes with white dining rooms.

Best practices for a smaller home are to paint most rooms the same neutral color as it gives the house a more substantial feel. But, if you have a larger home, paint in such a way to highlight the architectural detail of each room while remaining neutral. If you want to have one very bright paint, make it the front door. Studies show that a brightly painted front door adds curb appeal to any home.

As always, discuss any color changes with your professional real estate agent for the best ROI and quickest sale.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/26/2019

Having your home loan rejected can be disappointing, but it is not the end of the road. This article is full of ideas to help get your loan approved on your next try:

Re-edit your borrower profile

Banks are vigilant on all aspects of credit, including the profile of the borrower. Remember that many criteria are crippling. Any episode of overdraft is out of the question and better pay off consumer credit. Be sure to review and resolve any errors on your credit report.

Call a broker 

These intermediaries compete with borrowers. They refine your file and present it to the right banks since they know the criteria and the commercial policy of all its financial partners. Then the borrower has to choose the best offer. In most cases, the broker will get a small commission for obtaining the loan on your behalf. 

Increase your contribution

Check if you can increase this. That way, the bank will be more reassured, mainly as you will borrow less or assure them of a shorter repayment period. How do you improve your contribution? You can resort to family donations, for example, unlock the profit sharing of your company. Another possibility: use the loans constituting personal contribution like the Housing Action Loan (formerly 1% housing), home savings. 

Consult other banks to borrow

Did a financial institution refuse the loan? It does not mean that another bank will not accept it. It will be challenging to resubmit the file to the same bank, but other banks will take it. The conditions for granting credits vary from one institution to another. Some are more aggressive commercially and are more flexible. Others offer innovative formulas that increase real estates purchasing power, such as mixed loans and tiered loans.

If for some of the reasons chipped in above, your loan application does not get approved, you should rebuild it. For a loan application to be accepted, the banks ask for the last three statements of account. They must show that the borrower is reasonable and can repay. It's better to clean them to present a reassuring profile to the lending institution.

The opening of a savings account can be the right choice: it allows you to show that you can save money. Do not go at the last moment. Banks will appreciate your long-term savings efforts.

Remember to heal your reputation online: the profile you present on the networks can always serve as your service. With the above tips, you are sure to get yourself the required loan you need next time you apply.