Blog

Can You Purchase Another Home with a Reverse Mortgage? Yes - and Here's How
By Peta-Gay
October 8, 2015

Instead of borrowing money in order to purchase a home, a reverse mortgage allows current homeowners to borrow a lump sum of money against the current value of the property they already own.

What is the purpose of this? For one, it's a great way for older people to buy a second property without being forced to give up their current home. This system is ideal for people who want to move closer to their children or have a second home in a warmer climate to live out their retirement.

Understanding Home Equity Conversion Mortgage For Purchase

HECM, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase, was created by the Federal Housing Administration in 2009 to assist men and women in their retirement years who wish to purchase new property but have the entirety of their net worth invested in their current home.

The program allows them to take out a reverse mortgage on their current home in order to pay a sum on a new home. They are required to pay the rest of the home cost in full from their own savings or from retirement funds.

Reverse Mortgage Requirements Under This System

The HECM system is underused but extremely valuable to older Americans. In order to take advantage of it, one would need to meet a set of criteria laid out by the FHA.

The first, and biggest, requirement is that the applicant must own the property they are attempting to take out a reverse mortgage on. The home doesn't have to be owned in full, but a large equity stake must be proven and it has to be the primary residence of the applicant.

The program caps the age at a minimum of 62, since the system was designed for retirees and seniors. Proof also needs to be provided that the borrower is capable of paying all associated monthly costs that come with the property, including insurance, taxes and homeowner association fees.

Reverse mortgages open up options for an entire generation of Americans who wouldn't have had the chance to own a second home without them. With around half the price of a new home already covered, it's the easiest way for people over 62 to purchase a new home.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Most Value from a Home Inspection
By Peta-Gay
October 1, 2015

One of the most stressful parts of selling a home is the dreaded home inspection. Getting the most value from a home inspection is crucial, especially since any missed item can cause a significant amount of trouble a few years or decades down the road. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few tips on how one can get the most value from a home inspection.

Keep Calm And Inspect On

Having a stranger paw through every corner of a house is frustrating. Homes have emotional value and no one wants to hear about their homes' flaws. The key to a successful inspection lies in remaining calm. Blowing a fuse or arguing with an inspector is a sure way to lose money.

Stay calm, smile, and accommodate the inspectors. The payoff is worth it.

Understanding The Process

Buyers depend on home inspections to protect them from purchasing a money pit. They want to know what they are getting into. This means that the buyer hires the inspector, not the seller. The seller must do everything they can to present a good face to the inspector because the inspector is not on their side. Inspectors investigate every aspect of a home from the roof to the yard. They look for problems that require immediate address and problems that might arise down the road. Negotiations take place once the buyer receives the inspection report.

Good Presentation

Home inspections are rather like selling the house all over again. Take the time to dress for success. First impressions are very important when it comes to any sale. Dress nicely and act politely. Clean up the home. Touch up areas that need new paint and put some new flowers in the garden. Repair minor problems like loose gutters, faulty steps, and trim work. Make the inspector work to find problems instead of providing obvious issues.

Update The Indoors

Most homeowners are aware of what needs to be done. The time to take care of existing issues is before the inspection. Get electrical systems and heating and cooling systems installed. Take care of minor roof repairs. Address any plumbing issues. Not only does this save sellers money during negotiations, it also shows that they take good care of their home.

The best way to get the most value from a home inspection is to talk with an experienced real estate agent. The next best way is a good presentation and addressing known issues prior to inspection. Inspectors look more closely at homes with obvious problems than homes that appear to be well taken care of. Don't wait. Start preparing for your inspection today.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

3 Reasons Why A Professional Real Estate Agent Is A Good Source For A Home Valuation
By Peta-Gay
October 2, 2015

The housing market is tough, and the competition is fierce. Being aware of how much a home is worth before putting it on the market can save money, time, and frustration. For this reason, it’s wise to hire a professional real estate agent. 

Real Estate Agents Know the Market

Understandably, it would save money to skip the real estate agent all together and do a For Sale by Owner transaction. One thing homeowners may not realize is the amount of work involved with selling a home. Without knowing property value, owners may charge too much for their homes. Over priced homes often sit on the market without so much as a nibble. 

Real estate agents know how all about property trends, how to research the market, and how to find the best value for a home.  Thus, they can price homes competitively to entice potential buyers instead of scaring them away.

They Know How Make a Home More Appealing To Potential Buyers

Homeowners should make sure their homes are clean and clutter free before listing them on the market. Also, a real estate agent may even suggest hiring a home stager.

A professional stager can do wonders for helping to sell home fast by increasing its appeal to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Staging a house allows for a higher closing price and staged homes tend to sell an average of 81 percent faster.

 Real Estate Agents Know How To Find The Right Buyers

It isn’t enough to list a home, put up for sale signs and hope the right buyer appears. Real estate agents conduct a screening process for potential buyers. With the knowledge of a home’s actual market value, the agent is armed with all the information he or she needs to get the most money. If necessary, the home valuation will allow the agent to negotiate fairly.

Yes, it’s true, not all real estate agents are created equal. But, the truth is, not utilizing the expertise and wisdom of a good real estate agent is just asking for trouble. In fact, cutting out a real estate agent may waste both time and money. When deciding to sell a home, homeowners should ask for referrals from trusted friends and family and consult professional organizations like National Association of Realtors (NAR). Homeowners should contact a professional real estate agent today for information on home valuation.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

3 Reasons Why the Cost of Title Insurance is Worth the Investment
By Peta-Gay
October 5, 2015

Title insurance is one of the few types of protection policies available to homebuyers and one that is often overlooked because of its optional nature.

Because title insurance is purchased simultaneously with the home, it can be very easy to forego when looked at alongside all the additional fees that are associated with purchasing property.

This is not advisable, as title insurance is one of the smartest forms of protection a homeowner can buy. Here are just three reasons why every purchaser should get title insurance.

It's The Best Protection Against Fraud

Title insurance protects the owner of a home from any claim made against their property, whether or not they are responsible. These include unpaid mortgage balances on the home, an improper foreclosure or any form of real estate fraud perpetrated by the seller.

Fraud is more prevalent now than ever before and has started to gain momentum in real estate as well. Forgeries are easier to create in the electronic age and criminals take advantage of today's 'do-it-yourself' attitude to sell property they don't actually own to unsuspecting victims.

The Insurer Performs An Exhaustive Title Search

Countless records are now made public online for low one-time payments to access them. But does anybody really know what they should be looking for? Title insurers are experts at finding anything suspicious with a home and researching exhaustively to make sure everything about the transaction is legitimate.

And if it's not, the insurance still covers the buyer for any losses incurred if they are ordered out of their new home should a claim be made against it. Then they will research the claim to make sure it isn't a fraudulent one.

Title Insurance Is A One-Time Fee

Although it is a large fee, title insurance only needs to be paid for once. Unlike other insurance policies that are either monthly or annually, title insurance is a one-time fee that is acquired at the time of closing. Most mortgage lenders require that their title insurance policy is paid for by the borrower anyway, so it's not a giant leap to take out your own policy the same time.

Title insurance will also protect against mortgage fraud or any unpaid mortgages the home already has. Although title insurance is strongly recommended, it is a good idea to speak with a professional about it so that any questions you have may be answered.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

A Great Problem to Have: How to Handle Multiple Offers for Your House or Condo
By Peta-Gay
October 6, 2015

With the real estate game in a state of constant flux, getting an offer on your house or condo might seem encouraging enough. However, there's always the possibility that your property might hit the market hot, and this could mean more than one offer on your home. While having multiple offers can be the best of all outcomes, there are a few ways to handle this situation and make the most of your home sale.

Communication Is Key With Potential Buyers

The occurrence of having multiple offers on your home may put you in the power position, but you'll want to keep potential buyers in the loop and aware that you're fielding other offers. Ensure that each buyer supplies you with a pre-mortgage qualification letter and an offer by a deadline you choose, and let them know the tentative timeline on making a decision. This will keep your buyers aware of the situation, and reduce the chance of missing out on a potential sale.

Weigh Your Offers Before Making A Decision

Right off the bat, it may be tempting to go with the offer that seems the best on paper, but make sure to carefully consider the reliability of each potential buyer. It's important to look over each buyer's offer and determine if they seem like a consistent candidate that won't change their mind. Once you've determined your ideal buyer, you can move on to negotiating the sale of your home, just do this in a timely manner because any serious buyer will expect a timely response!

Don't Forget About Following Up

It can sometimes happen that the seller will get so excited about an offer on their home that they'll forget about everything else and prep for the moving vans. However, it's important to follow-up with each potential buyer to ensure selling success. Not only will this instill good will with each potential buyer, it may even provide a back-up offer in the event that the initial deal falls through.

Having a number of offers on your home is a great situation to be in, but you'll want to make sure you handle it appropriately so you don't miss out on the best deal. By keeping your potential buyers in the loop and following-up in a timely manner, making the sale might end up being the easiest part of your move. For more information on selling your home successfully, contact your trusted real estate professional today!

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com