Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 8/14/2017

Bad credit happens. Maybe you were late on some loan payments, or maybe you got a bit to swipe-happy with a credit card while you were in college. Or, maybe you were like many other Americans who took a financial hit during the housing crisis. Regardless, it can take a long time to recuperate from a bad credit score.

If youíre hoping to buy a home but have poor credit, it can seem like you donít have many options. However, there are many mortgages designed with such people in mind.

In this post, weíre going to discuss some of the options for people interested in home ownership who have low credit and ways they can achieve this goal without taking on high interest loans.

First thingís first: start prioritizing your credit

Even if you want to buy a home within the coming months, itís always a good idea to start building credit. It does take several months to see a substantial difference on your credit report, but starting now will save you in the long run and will show lenders that youíre making a difference.

To give your credit score a boost in the shortest time possible, set all of your bills on auto-payment, repay and late bills such as medical expenses, and set up payment plans wherever needed. If possible, become an authorized user on someoneís credit card and use that for everyday expenses like groceries. Doing so will help you build credit without opening new cards that have high interest.

Many types of mortgages

Mortgages come in many shapes and forms. Since lenders are in competition with one another, you can often find loans that cater to underserved markets. In this case, that market is people with low credit scores.

Call some local lenders and ask if they have programs for people with low credit. Often they will point you toward first-time homeowner loans and USDA-guaranteed mortgages. Other times they might offer loans with high down payments. But, youíll never know until you ask.

USDA and FHA Loans

Currently, USDA loans have a minimum credit score of 620. For FHA loans, lenders recently reduced the minimum score to 580. With these loans, you can pay a low, or no, down payment and still receive a mortgage loan.

The first step to getting approved for either type of loan is getting in contact with a lender to determine your eligibility. Eligibility is based on other factors such as your income, and in the case of USDA loans, the location of the home.

Other Options

If your score is lower than 580 or you donít qualify for a USDA loan, you can still find other options. One would be to pay a higher down payment on the home. This would help ensure the lender that you are able to provide income to make payments in spite of your credit history.

Another option would be to reason with your lender of choice. Most of the application process comes down to numbers, but if you can show a lender that you have substantial, reliable income, and have been making rent payments for multiple years, these can both help build your case.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 8/7/2017

The American home is rapidly changing. New technologies like rooftop solar and smart home security systems are quickly becoming the norm in neighborhoods across the country.

If youíre thinking of taking on some new home improvement projects, itís a good idea to be forward-thinking and choose projects that will be sought after into the future.

In this article, weíll talk about some trending home improvements you can make that will help bring your home into the future.

Automation

Smart home technologies make life easier, and theyíre not going out of style anytime soon. Being able to lock and unlock doors, adjust the temperature, and turn off lights all from an app on your phone has never been easier. If you plan on selling your home in the coming years, having these perks could be a selling point for potential buyers.

Green energy

When it comes to energy prices, you can count on them continuing to rise. As a result, many homeowners have installed money-saving features like rooftop solar, connecting to off-site green energy grids (such as solar or wind), and utilizing less expensive heating alternatives like pellet stoves.

Energy-efficient appliances are another up-and-coming trend that buyers are likely to be looking for. They tend to come with the latest technologies and styles, but also save money in the process.

You donít have to take on a big project to make your home greener. You can also perform small tasks like replacing all of your light bulbs with newer, energy-efficient bulbs.

These projects will attract two types of buyers: those who are environmentally-minded, and those who are looking to save on utilities.

In-duct purifiers

As people become more concerned with the effects of pollution on the human body, many homeowners will see air purifiers as a necessity. An in-duct purifier requires little maintenance and improves air quality throughout your entire house.

Temperature-controlled shower head

You would think that in this time of amazing scientific and technological advancements that we would be able to get into the shower without fiddling with the controls for ten minutes. With a temperature controlled, digital display shower head, you can set the temperature and let the faucet do the work for you.

This one will save you time in the shower, help you avoid getting scorched, and will pique the interest of potential future buyers.

Materials that last

Home advancements havenít just been made in the area of electronics. New building materials have made some objects last much longer than they did just a few years ago.

New roofing materials have exponentially increased the lifespan of roofs. New metal roofs can be made to look like traditional shingled or tiled roofs. Similarly, there are currently roofs being developed that have hidden solar panels built-in. Those too will be available in different traditional styles.

Aside from roofs, siding and decks are also being made with materials that last much longer than was previously possible. Having a durable house is something that any potential homebuyer would want to see.





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 7/31/2017

There comes a time in every homeowner's life when clutter starts infringing on more and more of their living space. Chances are, it's happening to you, right now! It begins to take hold in your basement, garage, and attic, but before you know it, every closet in your house turns into a repository for old electronics, duplicate wedding gifts, and outgrown or out-of-style clothes. The more clutter that accumulates, the more difficult it is to store, locate, and organize the things you actually value. While few of us would fit the category of a compulsive hoarder, just about everyone saves things they have no use for. If you've lived in the same house for at least a decade, you've probably accumulated more than your share of unneeded, space-consuming possessions. Strategies for Clutter Control So what can you do if you want to reclaim your living space, organize your storage areas, and improve the overall look and feel of your home? Five options worth considering are to hold a garage sale, donate unwanted belongings to local charities and non-profit organizations, find consignment stores interested in selling your items for a percentage of the sale, use free or low-cost advertising methods to sell things you don't want, and -- last but not least -- call a competitively priced junk removal service to haul it away. By shopping around, you can often get a really good deal on junk removal services. As a side note, however, you might want to make sure you're hiring someone who will dispose of your junk responsibly -- especially things like cans of paint, old TV's, computers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers, which could damage the environment. The Pros and Cons of Garage Sales Although it can be time consuming to gather items you want to sell, stick price tags on everything, place classified ads, put up signs, and carry out all those old toys, books, clothing, small appliances, and furniture to your driveway at 7:00 o'clock on a Saturday morning, garage sales can be a good way to reduce clutter and fatten your wallet -- at least for a week or two! How much money you make depends on several factors, including the extent of your advertising, the weather, your pricing and negotiating ability, and the value of your unwanted household stuff. One of the best ways to attract more people and maximize your earning potential is to coordinate a multi-neighbor garage sale. Bargain hunters love to flock to neighborhood yard sales because they can find much more of what they're looking for, without having to drive all over town. The Benefits of Donating One way to give back to your community and help those who are less fortunate is by donating your old belongings to charitable organizations and non-profit groups. Not only will you be upgrading your own living space by reducing clutter, but you'll also be helping families in your area who might be lacking furniture, sufficient clothing, working appliances, or basic household supplies. In addition to the feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping others, the donation may also qualify for a tax deduction. Whether your objective is to make your home more livable or prepare it for the next owner, getting rid of clutter represents a giant step toward achieving those goals.





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 7/24/2017

Purchasing a home in a buyer's market may seem like a fast, simple process. However, it is important to realize that homebuyers constantly compete for the best residences in cities and towns nationwide. And if you're not careful, you risk missing out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house.

What does it take to secure a home in a buyer's market? Here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

A buyer's market features a large assortment of top-notch residences and a shortage of property buyers. As such, this market heavily favors homebuyers, and property buyers who examine the real estate market closely may be able to boost their chances of purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

For homebuyers, it is essential to establish criteria for your dream residence. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can narrow your search for the ideal residence and accelerate the homebuying process.

Don't forget to check out homes in-person, either. If you set up a home showing or attend an open house, you'll be able to envision what it's like to own a home and determine whether a residence is right for you.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

What good is shopping for a house if you cannot afford to pay for it? Fortunately, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand exactly how much you can spend on a new house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to offer insights into a variety of mortgage options, respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Pre-approval for a mortgage is vital for homebuyers, particularly in a buyer's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you explore available homes, you may even be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to navigating a buyer's market, a real estate agent can deliver outstanding support.

A real estate agent can teach you about the intricacies of buying a home and help you streamline the homebuying process. He or she also will be available to respond to your homebuying questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as the homebuying journey moves forward.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you alleviate stress as you search for your dream home. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent enables you to focus on what's important Ė purchasing a first-rate house at a price that matches your budget.

Buying a home can be challenging, even in a buyer's market. But with the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the homebuying process and move closer to securing a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 7/17/2017

Being a first-time home seller can be exhausting, especially if you want to maximize your house's purchase price. Fortunately, we're here to help you understand what it takes to succeed as a home seller, regardless of the real estate market's conditions. Here are three factors that every first-time home seller needs to consider before adding his or her house to the real estate market: 1. Your Home's Condition You've completed many home improvement projects over the years, and as such, you may have boosted the value of your house. However, despite these improvements, there may be a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure you're able to generate plenty of interest in your residence among prospective homebuyers. Getting a home appraisal often serves as a great first step on the home selling journey. A home appraiser will be able to give you a better idea about your house's worth as well as potential areas of improvement. As a home seller, you'll need to consider the value of any repairs you complete. Ultimately, a home improvement project may help you boost the value of your house, but it also may mean that it takes longer for you to add your house to the real estate market. Consider the pros and cons of home improvement projects. And if you need extra support, be sure to consult with an experienced real estate agent. 2. Your Home's Price Are you selling your residence in a seller's or buyer's market? Ideally, you'll want to be able to offer your house in a seller's market, i.e. a period in which there are more homebuyers than home sellers. Conversely, even if you're selling your house in a buyer's market (a market that includes more home sellers than homebuyers), you may be able to make your house more attractive to potential buyers if you offer a competitive price. Look at what similar homes in your area have sold for over the past few months. Also, be sure to work with a real estate agent who can provide insights into home selling and homebuying trends in your area. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to list your house for a fair price and improve your chances of a fast sale. 3. Your Post-Sale Plans If a homebuyer makes an offer on your residence that exceeds your expectations, how will you proceed? You'll need to consider your post-sale plans, as this will ensure that you're ready for any home selling scenario that comes your way. You may want to de-clutter your home as much as possible to make it easier to finalize a sale and relocate to a new address. In addition, you should try to work with a real estate agent who can help you sell your current home and find a new one that meets your needs going forward. Just because you're a first-time home seller doesn't mean you can't prepare like a pro. Consider the aforementioned home selling factors, and you may be able to improve your chances of optimizing the price of your home and speeding up the home selling process.