13 Things NOT To Do If You Want Your Dream Home!

Looking To Purchase A Home This Year? 

Here Are 13 Things NOT To Do If You Want To Get Your Dream Home

13 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT DO BEFORE CLOSING ON YOUR NEW HOME

1. Do not change or quit your job during the process and Do not change your name before closing.

2. Do not buy any large ticket items (like five dollars or more) Seriously! 

3. Do not Make David Copperfield deposits. All funds need to be traceable and show proof of where they originated from. 

4. Do not talk to the Sellers directly (loose lips sink ships)

5. Do not lie to your lender about your child support, alimony, wage garnishments or any other payroll reductions. It will eventually come out and will effect your ability to get your home.

6. Do not call the owner on a “For Sale By Owner” sign. Let your agent contact them to set up a showing and request more information in order to keep professionalism and your protection in place.

7. Do not choose a lender off the internet only because they offer a 0.001 interest rate. A good lender is so very crucial to your process and they can make or break your ability to get a home. 

8. Do not wait to find the absolute PERFECT house. You will always be limited by income, zoning, inventory at that time, and even property taxes. Think of every home to be an investment and choose wisely with your mind and not necessarily with your heart. Understand the 80/10/10 Rule If you find a house that has 80% of what you are looking for, 10% of things you can change and 10% of things you can live with, then it’s a keeper!

9. Do not co-sign for even a candy bar! Do not even go window shopping and let people pull your credit!

10. Do not order Direct TV, Cable, Telephone or any utility that will pull a credit report unless you want to write a letter of explanation about the credit report to the mortgage company

11. Do not give away your negotiation power by speaking frankly in the house during a viewing. (always assume you are being recorded)

12. Do not shop for your new home before being FULLY approved for a home loan. Nothing hurts as much as finding the house you love and then you loose it when someone else beats you to it because you were not completely ready to make an offer with a pre-approval letter.

13. Dying before the transaction closes (this really messes things up, BIG TIME! Please don’t die before the closing… 🙂

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Down Payment Gift Program to Buy Your New Home.

A DOWN PAYMENT GIFT PROGRAM

Would You Like To BUY a Home But Need HELP With the DOWN PAYMENT?

The Home Now Program provides financing and down payment/ closing cost assistance in the way of a gift (not a loan) to the borrower through an approved lending corporation.

Montana Community Development Corporation developed the program to meet the housing needs of Montana residential borrowers who meet the income levels of less then 115% Applicable Median Income (AMI).
The purpose of the loan is for a single-family borrower to purchase or refinance a primary owner- occupied residence, that are 1 or 2 units including Condos, Townhomes and PUD’s through an FHA, VA, RD, or CONVENTIONAL loan with a 30 Year term.

DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE
FHA,VA, and RD programs provide 3.5% or 5% assistance. Gifting funds up to 100% of the homebuyer’s cash to close with no contribution or refund from borrower.
CONVENTIONAL program – provides 3%, 4%, or 5% assistance.

(FICO) Minimum Credit Score of FHA,VA, and RD is to be 640 or higher HOMEBUYER EDUCATION – Recommended but not required.

Get Pre-Qualified Now!

Nothing is Ever Wasted

MY THOUGHT OF THE DAY… Who ever you call or refer to as your God, your Higher Source, your Buddha, or your Creator; the one who has all of the power in this universe… that one for me I call “God”.

But no matter what religion you are or what spiritual belief you are congruent with, I truly believe that this universe and the one who created it wants only the greatest of blessing for you. Every dream you have begins with the understanding that you stand firmly in this day as being “Enough”. You are smart enough, talented enough, hungry enough, humble enough, and worthy enough for this dream of yours to become your reality.

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Will The New Credit Score System Help You Get A Mortgage

A new bill in Congress could significantly impact your ability to secure a mortgage by changing the way lenders look at credit scores.

In December 2015, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new bill. Known as H.R. 4211, or the Credit Score Competition Act, the bill is in its first stage of the legislative process. Although it’s a long way from becoming a law (and your eyes may have glazed over at all that legislative jargon), future homebuyers have good reason to keep an eye on this bill. Proponents say it should help a number of first-time homebuyers compete in the real estate market.

That’s because the bill would push for a new credit-scoring system, one that could potentially allow more buyers to secure funding (and be more competitive in the Portland, OR, real estate market and other challenging markets). But how much will it really help your credit-score rating – and how quickly

Why Do Certain Billings, MT Homes Sell for More Money?

“Aggressive marketing will put more money in your pocket.”

For today’s topic, we are going to explore why some homes in the same area sell faster and for more money than others. There are a lot of factors to pay attention to when selling a home, and here are a few that can greatly affect your home’s value.

 

THE FIRST DETERMINING FACTOR IS LOCATION.

For example, maybe a home is at the end of a cul-de-sac in an area with less traffic, or it has a better yard with a better view. It’s something you can’t control, but something you need to keep an eye out for nonetheless when you’re comparing your home to others in the neighborhood.

THE SECOND THING WE WANT TO MENTION IS PRESENTATION.

Now, this is something you can control. It plays an important role in how fast and for how much your home will sell. You can increase your return on investment if you take the time to make sure that when buyers walk through your home, the atmosphere is inviting, and the home smells fresh, clean, and airy. People don’t want to walk into a home with pet odors, so it’s good to neutralize those as well.

THE LAST THING THAT WILL AFFECT A HOME SALE IS MARKETING, WHICH IS WHERE WE COME IN.

An aggressive marketing campaign will get you the maximum exposure to the buyers that are out there and it’s going to put more money in your pocket at the end of the day, which is our goal. We can consult you on what you need to do in order to maximize your marketing.

That’s all we’ve got for you today. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Billings, MT Real Estate Home Security Tips Part II

“Security systems have come a long way in the last 20 years.”

We’re here with Part II of things you can do to prevent a burglar from entering your home. In our previous discussion, we talked about installing a peephole in your door, reinforcing locked doors, and keeping an eye out for open garage doors in your neighborhood. We have a few more tips for you from our security adviser.

FIRST OFF, BE PREPARED WITH A PLAN

In case the unthinkable does happen, the best defense for you and your family is a plan that outlines exactly what to do if an intruder breaks in. If you can, set up a safe room with a cell phone that can be used to call the authorities. If you have children, practice your plan just as you practice fire drills.

YOU CAN ALSO GET A SECURITY SYSTEM.

Security systems have come a long way in the last 20 years. Systems now have remote viewing access and you can adjust heat, lights, and locks from afar. The security sign itself is a strong deterrent to criminals, and most systems have a panic button that will instantly call the police.

FINALLY, TAKE EXTRA CARE WHEN YOU GO AWAY ON VACATION.

Burglars often prowl neighborhoods looking for homes that appear as if someone has been away for an extended period of time. Set lights, music, and TVs on a timer to make it look like someone is home. Keep newspaper and mail deliveries going, but ask a neighbor to collect them so they don’t pile up on the front porch. You can even ask a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway to make it look like someone is home.

If you have any other questions on today’s topic, please give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Tips from Our Billings, MT Real Estate Home Security Expert

 

Today I’d like to share some tips from our security expert in order to help you deter burglars from your home in Billings, MT. Although this situation is never completely avoidable, you can take these steps to significantly reduce the chance of this happening.

THIS IS A TWO-PART SERIES, SO BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE TIPS I’LL BE REVEALING IN PART TWO!

Our security expert tells us that the best thing you can do to prevent a burglary is to make your home appear occupied. There are a lot of ways to do this, and the best one may be keeping your home in good condition. If a home is well-kept, people assume that it’s occupied. This should help to keep thieves away, but here are a few more tips for you.

Installing a peephole in your door is a very basic, simple way to protect the threshold of your home. It’s also a safe way to check for any suspicious activity.

Use extra precaution when locking doors, and you may even want to think about reinforcing them with extra locks. A staggering 40% of burglaries occur through unlocked doors and windows.

Make sure to keep your garage doors closed when you’re not around, and always hide your garage door openers. You may not believe it, but people will walk right into your home if they see a garage door that’s sitting wide open.

For more tips on how you can improve your home security, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have a great security expert that I can put you in touch with if you’d like to learn more, or simply stay tuned for part 2!

What is the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Home Appraisal?

“Home inspections are visual inspections.”

Today we are talking about the differences between home inspections and home appraisals, which is a question we’ve received a lot lately. A lot of sellers have asked me about this lately, and want to know how to differentiate between the two.

A home inspector will go over the home from top to bottom to see if there are any glaring defects that need to be addressed with the property. It’s primarily a visual inspection, so they will be looking for any minor cosmetic imperfections or any defects with the property that need to be addressed.

An appraisal is used by a mortgage lender to determine the value of a property. Depending on the type of appraisal, and what type of financing it’s for, you are going to have higher requirements for property condition. However, they won’t be as thorough as a full home inspection.

 for who foots the bill, a home inspection is usually covered on behalf of the buyer to make sure nothing is wrong with the home, and the appraisal is on behalf of the lender, to make sure the amount they are lending is accurate.

If you have any questions about this topic or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love for you to give us a call or send us an email!

Small Improvements to Add Real Estate Value to Your Billings, MT Home

“Some minimal investments will definitely increate your home’s value”

Today we’ll discuss what home improvements add the most value for the least investment.There are a few things you can do with minimal investment that will not only increase your home’s value, but will also decrease your time on market.

Most buyers today want something that is clean and move-in ready. One cost-effective thing I recommend sellers do is to paint their house. If you need to, paint the outside of the home. Definitely paint the inside of your home, especially if there are a lot of marks on the walls or a lot of different colors. You want to neutralize your home as much as possible, and a clean, fresh look will really help it show well when people walk through.

Another little investment that helps a lot is updating your hardware throughout the house.Update the handles on your cabinets or doors. A lot of these things can be picked up very cheaply at any hardware store, and most homeowners should be able to install them on their own.

Fixing flooring, countertops, and updating appliances are slightly bigger investments that can still add some value. However, it really depends on how many of those things need to be updated, and on the price point of your house.

If you need a free in-house, no-obligation consultation, we’d be happy to discuss what you need to do in order to maximize the return on your house with minimal investment. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, call or email us for a free consultation. We’d love to hear from you.

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Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes for a Smooth New Construction Process

“There are things you can do to ensure a smooth new construction process.”

Are you thinking about buying a new construction home in the Billings, MT area? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three common mistakes to avoid when buying new construction:

  • Failing to hire a real estate professional to represent you: If you are going to court, would you represent yourself? If you have an ailment, would you trust a friend to diagnose you, or would you rather see an expert? A real estate professional will protect your interests when you go to negotiate a new home purchase.
  • Do your research: Some builders simply aren’t reputable; so you can’t pick one without giving it a good deal of thought. There are many ways you can find out which builders are reputable. One of the most important things you can do is find a builder who is going to stand behind their product.
  • Read the fine print: Builder contracts are setup to protect their interests. You need to ensure you are not getting fooled or taken advantage of in the contract stage. Again, working with a good Realtor is a great way to avoid problems with this part of the process.

If you have any questions about buying new construction, or if you need real estate assistance of any kind, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to help you make smart decisions in your marketplace.