Monday, November 26th, 2012

Where has the Twin Cities real estate market been and where is it heading? This monthly summary provides an overview of current trends and projections for future activity. Narrated by Jennifer Cutter (2012 Treasurer, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®), video produced by Chelsie Lopez.

Posted in Monthly Skinny Video |
Monday, November 26th, 2012

By Trulia
Everyone likes a bargain, a sale, or a giveaway. What’s not to like? In real estate sales incentives can be a great way to motivate a reluctant buyer to take the plunge and consider making an offer on your home despite the current economic downturn. So as a seller what are some ways you can use sales incentives to drive up interest in your property?
Let’s take a look at 10 selling incentives to motivate buyers in a down economy:
1. Pay the points
What are points? Points are fees charged by lenders to provide financing. In general one point equals one percent of the mortgage balance. For instance a buyer paying 1 ½ points on a $200,000 loan will pay $3000 in loan fees. As an incentive to write an offer, some sellers offer to pay points on behalf of the buyer.
2. Buy down the interest rate
Many buyers are unaware that they can secure a lower interest rate by paying additional points at closing. Just like the points discussed above, a point, when buying down the interest rate, is one percentage point of the sales price. For example, a buyer who is securing a $300,000 mortgage, paying one point in loan fees, and then another two points to buy down her interest rate will pay a total of $9,000 dollars in loan costs at closing! If she can save any portion of this amount by choosing one home over another it might very well sway her decision.

Click Here For The Full Story

 

Posted in Minneapolis Home Sales |
Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Make sure you are secure in your job
The house-hunting climate may be favorable, but buyers need to be confident in their income stream before jumping into the real estate market. “If you are unsure about your [employment] outlook, there is nothing wrong with renting,” says Mike Larson of Weiss Research.
Spit-shine your credit
House hunters should consider getting preapproved by a lender before starting their search. “The idea is to try to work your way through the financing issues before you actually are ready to put an offer down,” says Guy Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance.
Gear up to get down
The financial turbulence of the past two years has driven the once popular “no money down” home loan into extinction. Although requirements vary depending on the borrower and the market, buyers will need a down payment of at least 3.5 percent.
Get wired
Joshua Dorkin, founder and CEO of BiggerPockets.com, a real-estate networking and information site, encourages home buyers to find a good real estate blog that covers the area that interests them. “You will get a nice localized perspective as to what’s going on in the neighborhood,” Dorkin says.

Click Here For The Full Story

 

Posted in Buying a home in the winter, Minneapolis Home Sales, Twin Cities Home Sales |
Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Michele Lerner of Bankrate.com

Living from one paycheck to the next may be the norm for many people. But homebuyers need a better strategy.

“If buying a home is your goal, then it needs to be your priority,” says Tim Kirchner, vice president of MetLife Bank in Irving, Texas. “Most people need to sacrifice a little and stick to a budget in order to save for a home.

A good budget plan begins one or two years before a buyer makes an offer. Here are four tips for renters who plan to become homeowners.

1. Build strong credit
When it comes to securing a loan at the best mortgage rate, credit is king.

“The most important focus for all potential buyers should be improving their credit score,” says Jean Badciong, chief operating officer of Inlanta Mortgage in Waukesha, Wis. “A low score can prevent someone from buying a home or at least from qualifying for an affordable mortgage rate.”

Greg Holmes is national director of sales and marketing for Credit Plus, a company in Salisbury, Md., that provides credit reports to mortgage lenders. He says potential buyers should request their free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

“Some people who think they have good credit don’t, while people who think their credit is bad may be surprised that it is actually OK,” Holmes says. “Everyone should check their report for accuracy and fix any mistakes. It can take months to correct errors.”

To improve their credit scores, buyers should pay off past-due bills, pay every bill on time and reduce their balances on every account to less than 30% of the credit limit, Holmes says. Also, it is best to have three to five credit accounts, such as a car loan, student loan or credit card, for one year or longer.

Holmes says he does not recommend switching credit cards frequently to get the best rate, though.

“Lenders do not want to see a lot of credit inquiries or too many new accounts because this could indicate someone who is about to take on a lot of extra debt,” Holmes says.

Kirchner says people often do not realize the consequences of paying bills late or missing a payment, which can affect your credit report for a long time.

Some young people assume they can improve their credit scores as an authorized user on a parent’s card. But Badciong says this will have no impact on their score.

Click Here For More

Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Michele Lerner of Bankrate.com

Living from one paycheck to the next may be the norm for many people. But homebuyers need a better strategy.

“If buying a home is your goal, then it needs to be your priority,” says Tim Kirchner, vice president of MetLife Bank in Irving, Texas. “Most people need to sacrifice a little and stick to a budget in order to save for a home.

A good budget plan begins one or two years before a buyer makes an offer. Here are four tips for renters who plan to become homeowners.

1. Build strong credit
When it comes to securing a loan at the best mortgage rate, credit is king.

“The most important focus for all potential buyers should be improving their credit score,” says Jean Badciong, chief operating officer of Inlanta Mortgage in Waukesha, Wis. “A low score can prevent someone from buying a home or at least from qualifying for an affordable mortgage rate.”

Greg Holmes is national director of sales and marketing for Credit Plus, a company in Salisbury, Md., that provides credit reports to mortgage lenders. He says potential buyers should request their free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

“Some people who think they have good credit don’t, while people who think their credit is bad may be surprised that it is actually OK,” Holmes says. “Everyone should check their report for accuracy and fix any mistakes. It can take months to correct errors.”

To improve their credit scores, buyers should pay off past-due bills, pay every bill on time and reduce their balances on every account to less than 30% of the credit limit, Holmes says. Also, it is best to have three to five credit accounts, such as a car loan, student loan or credit card, for one year or longer.

Holmes says he does not recommend switching credit cards frequently to get the best rate, though.

“Lenders do not want to see a lot of credit inquiries or too many new accounts because this could indicate someone who is about to take on a lot of extra debt,” Holmes says.

Kirchner says people often do not realize the consequences of paying bills late or missing a payment, which can affect your credit report for a long time.

Some young people assume they can improve their credit scores as an authorized user on a parent’s card. But Badciong says this will have no impact on their score.

Click Here For More

Posted in Chris Prescott, Real Estate Virtual Assistant, The Prescott Group, Tricia Allenson, We Make You Look Good |

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