Custom Built Bluffdale Dream Home
Here are 10 tid bits of advice to help you have a Quicker more Efficient Closing on Your Salt Lake City Home or Property.
1. Select a multipurpose real-estate agent
Choose an agent with the history of following through. Make sure he or she has the capabilities to manage the complex escrow process actively and properly. A dedicated real-estate agent can slice days or weeks off a closing.
2. View closing documents 24 hours before closing
A few short hours reviewing your documents and getting questions answered can prevent unnecessary chatter and long winded explanations during the closing itself.
3. Bring a certified check Be sure to check with your escrow company to see if they prefer payment coming via a wire transfer or a certified check. You should not come to closing carrying a check you just ripped out of your personal checkbook. By bringing a certified check you are saving as much as two weeks or the number of days it takes the escrow company to verify funds and cash your check.
4. Keep the appraisal process running smoothly
Work with the seller to insure the appraisal process is fast and efficient so the appraiser can access the house in a timely fashion. If you stall the appraiser you could add several days or weeks to the closing process.
5. Specify repair provisions in the contract.
Time should be allotted for inspections that let buyers determine if they want to purchase the home ‘as is’ or buyers should specify the time frame for completing the repairs after the inspection.
6. Hire a reputable escrow company
Escrow is basically a trusted third party account through which money for the home purchase is received, held, and disbursed.
Selection of an escrow company is key as it is maintaining an open line of communication with your escrow contact. 7. Line up your insurance early
On the day your escrow is opened you should buy a homeowners insurance policy, plus any other necessary coverage. Make sure your escrow officers get your insurance brokers number as soon as possible. Note: Your policy will not take effect until your closing is concluded.
8. Build a pre-closing paperwork folder
Get a list of all your financial documents that you will need for closing from your Mortgage broker. Get it together right away. The usual stack includes bank statements, and copies of pay-stubs.
9. Respond quickly to requests for more information It’s up to you! Drop everything and get it done, even if it seems insignificant because it will require the file to go back in the que and have the underwriter review.
10. Verify your past 2 years employment history
A way to get your file to the finish line the fastest is to supply that minimal 2 year work history. Note: You should never embellish your work history or wages. The lies will come out and extend the process – or worse cause the loan to be denied.
The dead of winter is here and while your waiting for the sun to shine in Salt Lake, Holladay, Draper, Sandy, or South Jordan, here are a few things to put on your ‘to do’ list to help maintain your home during these long cold winter days.
By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate
The real-estate recovery in now in full effect in most areas, and that means more of you in Salt Lake, Sandy, Holladay, Draper and South Jordan are hopping off the fence to buy or list a home. Do you know what you’re in for?
The housing market is a different place than it was just six months ago, with new issues, rules and opportunities – even for those who are planning on stayin in their house for a while. The following will fill you in on eight ways the housing market has shifted since lst spring’s peak selling season and what these changes mean for you: the buyer or seller.
1. Homes are more expensive – but not much more.
An improving economy and low interest rates have boosted buyer demand in most markets, decreasing supply and raising prices. Indeed, the national median home price increased 10,1% in November to $180,600 from the same period a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors, November marked the ninth consecutive month of home-price increases.
2. Loans are getting pricier.
After bouncing along at record lows in 2012, interest rates are expected to rise slightly in 2013. Just how much is really anyon’es guess.
Moreover, the costs associated with securing some loans are rising, as well. The Federal Housing Administration last spring once again increased its one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium for mimimum down-payment loans (less than 5%down) to 1.75% of the loan, while raising its annual monthly premiums to 1.25%
3. Inventory is bottoming out.
Rates are great, but not a lot of houses are for sale.
The inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of November was down 3.8% from the previous mont to 2.03 million. That represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sale pace and is the lowest supply since the go-go market of fall 2005. Listed inventory is down 22.5% from a year ago, when there was a 7.1-month supply.
The problem is, prices haven’t gone up enough to enable many homeowners to sell and recoup enough to put down on a move-up home. Also, the banks are funneling more of their distressed sales to investors as rental properties.
4. A new mortgage rule will protect buyers from shady lenders.
To head off another financial crisis, the government’s consmer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recently announced a new rule to ensure that prospective buyers are actually able to repay their morgage.
The Ability to Repay rule, which officially takes effect in January 2014 but will be put into place by most lenders sometime this year, protects consumers from risky practices such as ‘no doc’ and ‘interest only’ features that contributed to so many people losing hteir home in recent years.
5. Home-equity loans are back.
Low mortgage rates may have stolen all the headlines last year, but rates on home-equity loans have been falling, too, making those long-overdue home remodels more attractive to people who have been in their house for some time.
The average rate on a fixed-rate-home-equity loan fell to 6% in early January from 6.3% at the beginning of Novemer, according to Bankrate.com. That average ran as high as 8.5% during the financial crisis in 2009.
6. There are fewer distressed-home bargains to buy.
The mortgage crisis is starting to fade inot memory, and so are those cheap foreclosure deals. While the number of distressed homes is still fairly high at 2.3 million units, according to CoreLogic, fewer of these homes are getting a for-sale shingle.
One reason: Almost half of those 2.3 million homes are still seriously delinquent but haven’t been taken back by the bank because of a backlog in processing.
Moreover, a large number of the properties being repossessed by lenders are being sold off in portfolios to investors, rather than listed for individual buyers. When they make it back onto the market with a little face lift, they aren’t such a bargain anymore.
That’s great news for sellers, who have seen their neighborhood property values hammered by bargain-basement bank sales. But it’s meant rising prices for buyers as iventory has dwindled.
7. More new construction is coming.
Exsiting homes are in short supply, but there will soon be many more new homes to add to the mix. While housing starts fell slightly in November on delays related to superstorm Sandy, the number of building permits for new single-family homes and condominiums rose 3.6% from the previous month alone and a whopping 27% from the same time last year.
Record-low interest rates and an uptick in hiring spurred the increase activity by builders. New-home sales are up 15.3% over the past year, hitting an annual rate of 377,000 in November, according to Census Bureau data.
8. The luxury market suffers a hangover.
Sales of homes over $1 million surged 51% in November, as high-net-worth owners rushed to list their existing homes and buy new ones to avoid the capital-gains tax hikes in January that were part of the fiscal-cliff deal.
Under these changes, high-income earners would pay $88,000less in tazes if they made a $1 million profit on their home in 2012 rather than 2013. So, out went the for-sale signs, and down came the inventory of luxury homes in the last quarter of 2012.
There’s no quick route to better credit. Below are tips for improving your credit rating for the 5 areas that make up credit scores.
1. Payment History
Pay your bills on time. late payments, even if only a few days behind, can harm your FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation, www.fico.com) score. If you’ve missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your FICO score should increase. Paying off a collection account won’t remove it from your credit report. It will stay on your report for 7 years.
2. Amounts Owed
Keep balances low on credit cards and other ‘revolving credit.’ Don’t close unused credit cards to raise your score.
3. Length of Credit History
If you’ve had credit for a short time, don’t open a lot of new accounts rapidly. New accounts wil lower your average account age, whicb will have a larger effect on your score if you don’t have a lot of other credit information.
4. New Credit
Re-establish your credit history if you’ve had problems. Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your credit score in the long trerm. Ordering your credit reprot won’t affect yoru score, if it’s provided by a credit reporting agency or an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.
5. Types of Credit Use Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Opening accounts just to have a better credit mix probably won’t raise your credit score.
A Gift for Buyers: Stuff Your Stocking with Advice
Sound advice is always a smart gift. So here is our gift to you. Some of the best tips for making a smart home purchase!
The top 10 buying tips
1. Create – and keep — a good credit score. All lenders use a credit score to help them understand what kind of risk you would be as a borrower. Pull a copy of your credit history and FICO score. The better the score, the better the interest rate you will be offered. To get the best mortgage deals, you need a score above 760.
2. Find a good agent. Don’t just use a friend or family member, or someone you run into regularly at your kid’s school. Do some research, and find who can benefit you and your specific needs most. (www.lindasecrist.com ) ‘The best advice is to look for a highly respected buyers agent,’ she says. Ask your family and friends for recommendations and then meet with several agents. ‘Find someone that you feel comfortable with, feel you can trust and that has experience in the areas you are searching for your home.’ Work with an agent who has a lot of experience with distressed properties, including short sales, as they make up a good portion of available homes.
Just be sure the agent sells real estate full time, so he can respond quickly ( www.lindasecrist.com.) Ask the agent for the names of buyers he has helped in the past six months. If the agent can’t come up with several, you should keep looking.
3. Set a budget and get preapproved by a lender. It is important to know what you can afford and what a comfortable monthly payment would be. Some homebuyers learn the hard way that they can qualify for more than they can comfortably afford to pay.Getting a preapproval before starting shopping for a home is also a must. That way, when you see a house you like, you’re ready. And we do mean preapproved, which means submitting pay stubs and tax returns, not prequalified, which is more of a cursory estimate.
4. Check out the neighborhood just as carefully as you check out the house. Once you find that home that you really like, drive by that house at several times during the day and during different days of the week to really gauge the type of neighborhood you are buying into.
5. Be ready to pull the trigger when you see the perfect home. The supply of for-sale housing is limited in many parts of the country, and that means good houses go quickly.
Buyers need to be alert and ready to sign when they see a keeper, which means being organized and having their financing in order.
You don’t want to be so busy worrying about getting a ‘good deal’ or negotiating small deal points that we miss the opportunity to buy the house we want.
6. Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Spend the money on any and all inspections that are suggested in the primary home inspection — and for heaven’s sake, please don’t forget to get an inspection before you buy. Some buyers skip this step, because the house looks OK and because they figure they are getting a home warranty, so why worry? But often this doesn’t cover all of the property’s problems. The amount you could end up spending in the long run because of a defect you didn’t know about is far greater than the expense of having a professional come out and take a look before you buy.
7. Buy the cake, not the icing. You can change the paint, paper, carpet and fixtures fairly easily, but you can’t readily change the home’s layout, size of the rooms or location. Look past the cosmetics to the bones of the house. And think about resale. While a one-bedroom home may fit you just fine, how easy will it be to sell five years from now? Likewise, will that extremely busy street be a turn-off for others?
8. Get on the same page with your spouse. Discuss things! So many times, couples have a hard time agreeing on a house because they’re not exactly sure what they want. Know what you must-have and would-like-to-have early in the process. Both spouses should sit down and make their own lists and then get together and see what they agree on and where they differ and talk this through. This will save a lot of time and arguments down the road.
9. Know the landscape. Once a home that looks interesting comes up on the multiple listing service, you need to consult with your agent and do some research. How many homes are on the market in the blocks around it? How long have they been on the market? What condition are they in? What’s in escrow? What have houses nearby sold for in the past 90 days? These questions will help buyers recognize a good deal when they see it.
10. Don’t get emotional. Don’t stretch your budget just because you love a home. Think like an investor and tell yourself, ‘There will be others out there for me.’ It’s alot like dating, You need to know what else is available, rather than falling in love with the first one. Think with your head, not your heart!
Luxury Holladay Garden Condos
5 Essential Winter Driving Tips
When heading out of Salt Lake, Holladay, Draper, Sandy or South Jordan, check the forecast. Don’t travel if snow and ice are expected unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you must travel, here are 5 tips to prevent accidents:
1. Be prepared.
Check your windshield wipers and tires and replace if worn. Bring a charged cell phone, shovel, blankets, sand or salt, ice scraper and flares if you’re heading out on a long road trip. Be sure to tell others about your travel plans. Tire chains may be necessary in some areas.
2. Drive slowly
Driving too fast for conditions is the top reason drivers lose control in winter driving conditions.
3. Avoid skids
Use a light touch on brakes to avoid skidding. If you begin to skid, ease off brakes and turn in the direction of the skid.
4. Be alert
You can’t always see the ice on the road. That’s why it’s important to drive slowly and keep control of your vehicle.
5. Use hazard lights if you’re driving below the posted speed limit.