6 Significant First Time Home Buyer Statistics and Trends

 

 

Statistical Analysis from the Broker

As a person aspiring for employment in the real estate sector, there are some statistics that need to be known to have an edge over competitors in the industry. One also needs to know the most effective approaches that lead to success in the field. The good news is that there has been research on several of these aspects and you could use the findings to be successful in your work.

 

The Home Search Process

Real Estate Agents continue to be a critical component in the home buyers search process. Home buyers are relying heavily on online sources and their agents to provide information, with decreasing use of some sources, such as newspapers and open houses. Home buyers typically spend 12 weeks searching for a home and preview an average of 12 properties before deciding on their purchase. The Internet has become an essential and indispensable tool in the home search process with 90% of home buyers using it to search for homes, and 52% of buyers stating that the use of the Internet was the first step taken during the home buying process.

Property Searches

The most popular strategy employed by client to seek property is the internet. Up to 88% of people hoping to buy property will turn to the internet as a source of information. Also, 87% will go for the services of an agent whereas 55% of them will watch out for yard signs as well. Newspapers will also be used as a source of information by 30% of prospective home owners as will magazines. Despite the significant number of people who check out for homes to buy in newspapers, only 2% get their dream homes from this source. 

Agent Statistics

Statistics also seek to show the agents that these prospective home owners solicit assistance from in their search for home ownership. 66% of property owners actually worked with the first agent they contacted for such help. 16% of them had to talk to two agents before choosing the one to involve while 13% of home owners made their pick of an estate agent after contacting three agents.

Where are the Buyers?

To know the places from where most buyers found the homes they ended up buying would also be crucial for your marketing. The internet leads in this category with 40% buying homes they found there while agents were responsible for 35% of the homes bought. Yard signs are also crucial as a source of information in this regard and account for 11% of homes bought just like friends whose references led to 6% of the sales. Thus, for one who wishes to sell a house, he has 20 times more chances to make a successful sale by advertising on the internet when compared to newspaper ads.

Marketing Listings

Marketing of listings is also an important element of the work done by estate agents. The internet is used as a marketing platform by 97% of the agents while yard signs are employed by 77%. The open house strategy is used 58% of the times whereas newspaper and magazine ads account for 31% and 25% respectively. Direct mail and syndication sites as well as videos are also used. 73% of property owners would go for services from agents willing to do a video yet only 14% use them currently.

Use Technology

Technology is being more and more appreciated by these workers and 49% of them believe that it helps them serve clients more conveniently and maintain a competitive edge. 19% of them feel that they need technology to keep in line with the competition while 8 % believe it saves time. Hence, the strategies of real estate agents definitely have to include technology today more than ever.

Sources: The National Association of Realtors Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, Real estate tech trends report

 

Atlanta named third-fastest growing metropolitan area in the country

Atlanta luxury home
American suburban luxury home in Atlanta (Buckhead).

Did you know that Atlanta was named the third-fastest growing metropolitan area in the country? Neither did we!!

Check out this article repost from The Atlanta Agent Magazine that we just had to share.

Can you guess what city is #1 and #2?

Atlanta named third-fastest growing metro city in the country

** If during your home search process you have questions such as:

  • Why do I want to buy a home?
  • What’s important for my future?
  • How can I stay focus during the home buying process?
  • How can I keep everything organized and in one place?
  • or screaming, “It’s too much information to remember!!!”

Grab yourself a Milestone Manager Planner to guide you during your journey to home-ownership –whether you are a first, second or third time homeowner, staying organized is essential. The Milestone Manager Planner is simple, chic and easy to navigate. It’s something that we created to help out our customers needing guidance.

**If you are interested in viewing homes that are currently on the market for sale, feel free to visit our website at www.centricrealestategroup.com.

And if you are interested in staying organized during your journey to home-ownership, Visit our website at http://www.milestonemanager.co to purchase a Milestone Manager Homebuying Planner.

We begin Pre-Selling on April 15th

Good Luck on your home buying process!

Milestone-Mockup

Tax Time is Right Around the Corner!

As a real estate professional, did you realize that you are operating a small business? There are many tax deductions that small business owners overlook – it’s the little things that can add up and save you MONEY!

Here are some ideas for items used for business purposes only:

  • Advertising and printing
  • Entertainment and gifts, provided they meet IRS criteria (NBA Season Tickets are great for client appreciation).
  • Equipment and furnishings: Depreciation on equipment; Home office costs; Office supplies; Software costs; Telephone (cell phones), Internet, television and other communication tools
  • Insurance premiums
  • Costs of business books, periodicals or newspapers
  • Dues or membership costs to professional organizations
  • Education costs for self or employees
  • Office moving expenses
  • Fees and penalties–Relating to CDs, business checking, savings or money-market accounts; Associated with retirement accounts for self and employees; For credit bureaus, Better Business Bureaus, local associations, etc.; Paid to employment agencies
  • Interest payments on business loans
  • Janitorial, landscaping and maintenance costs
  • Losses due to fire, windstorm, hail, flood or other natural disasters; also losses due to theft may be deductible
  • Self-employed tax deductions. Individuals can deduct a percentage of their health insurance premiums paid during the year for themselves and their dependents; May deduct one-half of their self-employment tax
  • Tax preparation fees as well as accounting, attorney, insurance, consultation fees, etc.
  • Travel expenses
  • Utilities for business facilities

Now, if you operate your real estate company as a separately entity (you have an EIN number form the IRS), than your business’s tax return deadline is based on its entity type, whether or not you plan on filing an extension, and if there are any weekend or federal holidays in the picture.

The table below details when each type of business entity needs to file 2017 taxes in 2018 (using the calendar year)

Here are the dates that you need to know!

2018 Business Tax Deadlines for 2017 Tax Filing

Entity Type Tax Deadline Due Date
Original deadline for partnerships (Form 1065) and S Corporations (Form 1120S) March 15, 2018
Original deadline for C Corporations (Form 1120) and individuals (Form 1040) April 17, 2018
Original deadline for exempt organizations (Form 990) May 15, 2018
Final deadline for partnerships and S Corporations (with extension) September 17, 2018
Final deadline for C Corporations and individuals (with extension) October 15, 2018
Final deadline for exempt organizations (with extension) August 15, 2018

Typically, the tax return due date for flow-through entities is the fifteenth day of the third month of the company’s fiscal year. So the S Corporation and LLC tax return due date in 2018 will fall on March 15 (for partnerships that follow the calendar year). The extended due date for flow-through taxes will be September 17, 2018.

The tax return due date for individuals and corporations typically falls on the fifteenth day of the fourth month of the company’s fiscal year. For calendar year companies, this date tends to fall on or around Emancipation Day, which can impact the deadline. (Emancipation Day is April 16, but the government recognizes it on a Friday if that day falls on a Saturday and Monday if it falls on a Sunday.) So the corporate and individual tax return date in 2018 will fall on April 17. The extended due date for corporate and individual taxes will be October 15, 2018.

Exempt organizations, such as nonprofits and charities, must file taxes on the fifteenth day of the fifth month of the organization’s fiscal year. The 2018 due date for calendar year nonprofits is May 15. When an exempt organization files for an extension they get three months instead of six months (like other entity types, so the 2018 extended due date for exempt organization taxes is August 15, 2018.

Sources: irs.gov and  al.com

8 Tips on FINDING your First home

Home-Buying-101Last week we discussed tips for the first time home buyers. Today I want to discuss the steps you can take to finding your first home. LONG READ ALERT!!

1. Research before you look It is very important that you do your OWN research before you decide to purchase. Research the location, area and type of home you may want. What is the average sales price for the area desired? A few sites that you can do a home search:

  • (our site) www.centricrealestategroup.com
  • Realtor.com
  • Trulia.com
  • Redfin.com
  • Zillow.com – Great site for searching (Be careful because some homes are already under contract or sold. Expired listings are used to get prospective buyers to call the agents listed on the page – agents pay for these leads) which is great ONLY if you DO NOT already have an agent. If you have an agent, please contact your agent with the property address and have them get info on the home.

2. Be realistic– If you are shopping for a $400,000 home (on a $50,000 income) and unsure of your buying power you are NOT being realistic. We call this, “Champagne taste on a Beer budget.” You should only start looking at homes when you know ‘How Much House You Can Buy’. It is easy to get caught up in falling in love with something that you simply can not afford. 

3. Get your finances in order– Contact your banking institution or a mortgage lender to advise you of where you stand. You will need to know what your credit score is and if your credit will allow you to purchase a home. You will also need to know what your debt to income ratio is (how much house can you buy?) and an estimated mortgage payment. There are so many pre-requisites to this stage, but speaking with a licensed broker or lending institution can help you most during this phase.

4. Don’t ask too many people’s opinion – Too many people’s opinion can cloud your judgement and have you confused and indecisive. The majority of first-time buyers go through this phase. One or two opinions from your mentor or close family member is fine but be careful not to listen to too many individuals. I would also not share too much information about your home buying process until you know yourself what you are doing. NOT EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU! Sad but true.

5. Decide your moving timeline– Looking for a home 60-90 days out is standard. Anything longer than that (unless it is new construction) could be a problem simply because sellers do not want to wait more than 60-90 days for a closing. Of course there could be special stipulations involved but you do not want to search too far out for a home. (This does not include Tip# 1, the research step).

6. Think long-term– Purchasing a home is one of the biggest steps you will take in your lifetime (besides having a child). Think about what characteristics you are looking for in a home;

  • Can you see your family living there?
  • Can you start a family there?
  • How is the commute to work?
  • Resale value – Relocating for work or personal

**These are some of the things you may want to think about

7. Insist on a home inspection– A home inspection will identify any hidden defects on the home. You should ALWAYS have a home inspection done. You can request the seller to make repairs on the home prior to closing and moving in. If the home is being sold “AS IS“, you should still have a home inspection done so that you are aware of any issues going into the home. If an inspection is NOT DONE, you are likely to miss any defeats, find them when you have already moved in and it then becomes too late to request any repairs or funds for repairs. You have inherited the defects and must come out-of-pocket to make the repairs yourself.

8. Get help from a Realtor – Most importantly – HIRE A PROFESSIONAL – It is very important to have a licensed professional walk you through the process. Buying a home is more than seeing a pretty home and putting it under contract. There are several steps involved and if not done correctly, could have you locked into something you were not prepared for, legal ramifications could come about if you do not fulfill your duty to purchase or you could end up with a dump! There will be contracts, appraisals, inspections and so many other aspects involved and a licensed realtor can assist you with that.

**BONUS – If during your home search process you still have questions such as:

  • Why do I want to buy a home?
  • What’s important for my future?
  • How can I stay focus during the home buying process?
  • How can I keep everything organized and in one place?
  • or screaming, “It’s too much information to remember!!!”

You need a Milestone Manager Planner to guide you during your journey to home-ownership –whether you are a first, second or third time homeowner, staying organized is essential. The Milestone Manager Planner is simple, chic and easy to navigate. It’s something that we created to help out our customers needing guidance.

**If you are interested in viewing homes that are currently on the market for sale, feel free to visit our website at www.centricrealestategroup.com.

And if you are interested in staying organized during your journey to home-ownership, Visit our website at http://www.milestonemanager.co to purchase a Milestone Manager Homebuying Planner.

We begin Pre-Selling on April 15th

Good Luck on your home buying process! Milestone-Mockup

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!!!

happy-new-year-colorful-fireworks-over-city-animated-gif

May this year be filled with Love, Peace, Happiness, Success, Good Health and many many more blessings.

Live the life you imagined… What better time than now to become a Homeowner?

Start with baby steps and make your dream of homeownership a reality!

Check out our Home Buying edition Planner at Milestone Manager to help navigate you through the home buying process.

Happy New Year 2018!!

AVOID FORECLOSURE: Get Paid to walk away

cash-for-keysIn my previous blog I talked about “What to do when facing financial hardship?” There are several steps that a homeowner can take to avoid foreclosure. If you’ve waited too long before seeking help, YOU STILL HAVE OPTIONS…  Who would’ve thunk it? LOL

Did you know that you could get cash for keys?

Cash for keys is a way for homeowners in the foreclosure process to receive cash in exchange for surrendering the keys and vacating the home. Banks generally to do tell you about cash for keys — you have to bring it up. They will reach an agreement with the occupants of a foreclosed home, which stipulates the home will be left in good condition. The agreements typically set forth a specific date that the home will be left vacant, including a promise from the occupants that they will not:

  • Vandalize the home prior to their departure
  • Strip the foreclosure of light fixtures, appliances, copper.
  • Leave any animals or pets behind and in the home

How much to they pay? Thats negotiable. I have personally seen a few thousands to several thousand (remember, we keep all client information conformation confidential).

HAFA Program — offers up to $3k to sellers if they still live in the home or to a tenant if the property is leased out for their relocation.

Investors also offer Cash for Keys — investors will also offer you money to help you move if you are in the middle of a foreclosure and have not working it out with your bank. Reach out to your local realtor and see if they have any investors lined up that will do this. I will go into more detail in another blog. 

Avoid Foreclosure – What you need to know

foreclosure-house-up-for-sale

In the world of real estate, there are so many ins and outs that the average person would not know about. Real estate is our passion, so leave it up to the professionals to help.

If you are a homeowner facing financial difficulties, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Seek help – This is the first mistake many people make. If you are or will be facing a financial hardship, contact your lender and see what your options are available FIRST! Your lender may offer you an option to refinance, defer or modify your payments. Find out your options before it’s too late. There are several to choose from.

2. Communicate with a professional – Once you have decided what is the best situation for you, contact an experienced professional to assist with this process. IT IS FREE!

3. Short Sale your home –This is an option that a bank gives to a homeowner when they are in a hardship and want to sell the property but the value is not there. The property may be sold at less than what you owe on the existing mortgage.

You may be eligible for a Short Sale if you can answer “yes” to these questions:

  • Are you more than 29 days late on your payment, or are you in imminent danger of becoming late on your payment (based on your financial situation)?
  • Is your home worth less than what you owe on your mortgage?

Note: There may be other detailed eligibility requirements.

Depending upon your situation, you may need one or more of these documents:

  • Letter of Authorization (to speak with your real estate agent)
  • Listing agreement

You may also be asked for other documents such as tax returns, bank statements and income sources.

4. Deed in Lieu – If you cannot afford your mortgage payments, your lender may let you voluntarily hand over your house instead of going through a foreclosure. This is called a deed in lieu (DIL) of foreclosure. The lender agrees to cancel your loan in exchange for the deed to your house.

With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the lender gets the title to your house and must sell the house to try to recover the unpaid debt. The lender agrees to forgive any unrecovered debt. **these are usually put on the market as an REO or HUD property for the public to purchase at a discounted price.

5. CASH for KEYS – If you are not prepared to save your home from foreclosure, and are ready to walk away, don’t walk away with nothing. Find an investor that is willing to offer you Cash for Keys for your home. They will offer you a small amount for the Deed to your home, catch up your mortgage and save your credit from foreclosure. If you go this route, you will be able to purchase another home whenever you are back on your feet.

These are a few steps will help you before it is too late. Although financial hardship can be embarrassing, it is important to tackle the issue before it becomes too late. Remember, your privacy is only yours before a public foreclosure is shared with the public.

Check out this article at HUD for more modification options: HUD

**Centric Real Estate Group participates in Cash for Keys. Contact us if you are facing hardship and need assistance.

Fair Housing Act Guarantees Equal Opportunities for Everyone:  What you CAN and CAN NOT Say

 

The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) creates equal housing opportunities for all persons living in America by administering laws that prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status.

The Fair Housing Act makes it federally illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease or rental of real property based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. So, interestingly enough, there are some simple words and phrases that are acceptable and some that will land you in tons of trouble.

As a Real Estate Broker, Agent, Apartment Community Manager, Private Home Seller, Renter or Landlord, it is imperative you and your staff are knowledgeable about the Fair Housing Act and its guidelines.

Because we live in the greatest country in the known world, America offers its amazing diversity of citizens the opportunity to purchase or rent a place to call home without the threat of discrimination. Here are a few terms to keep in mind:

What You Can NOT Say

When advertising or showing property, stay away from using these types of descriptions:

  1. Student Housing; Mature
  2. Adults; Kids/No Kids
  3. Exclusive Community
  4. Traditional or Private
  5. Unmarried or Married
  6. Senior Citizens Only
  7. Empty Nesters
  8. Gay Friendly/Straight

These are terms that tend to imply a discriminatory attitude toward possible exclusion from a sale or rental. Be careful because terms like

  • Private
  • Semi-Private
  • Restricted
  • Traditional 
  • Integrated can be misconstrued as discriminatory.

 Try to be more specific and qualify your description by saying, 

  • “Private: Gated Entrance” instead of “Private Community or Subdivision”

Don’t use racial or significant landmarks of national origin when providing directions. Omit the fact that it’s near Arlington Cemetery or St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Give specific street directions to avoid confusion.

When describing the property, you have a bit more freedom. Tell your potential clients it’s a traditional brick home with a private entrance. Do they know that there is a mother-in-law suite and a second kitchen in the basement? Is the property secluded? Mention it. And don’t forget the large, walk-in closets, the private backyard and the huge master bedroom on the main floor. Attract business clientele by mentioning its potential for a professional or executive looking for the right place to call home. Non-smoker is even okay to use.

The term “No Pets” is tricky. No pets are fine, but if you are looking to rent the property the landlord must make allowances for those who require pets to assist them (i.e. the visually impaired).

It’s always a good idea to keep current and knowledgeable about the laws and regulations that affect the Real Estate industry.Thus far in 2013, there has been 13 HUD (Housing and Urban Development) discrimination cases.

If you would like more information, please visit the website for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Top 7 Apps for House Hunters

My family and I are packing for vacation to Greece (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete) and I was searching for Travel photography apps that can help us capture the beauty of our experience in our images.

Speaking of apps, it made me think, “what apps would benefit my clients during their search for “Homes in Atlanta” (or any city in Georgia) and it sparked this blog.

House hunting is done 90% online (now, don’t quote me because I just made that 90% up, but it seems as though most house hunters are using the internet or their mobile phones to search for homes more than anything else). Am I wrong? … Probably Not…

Thanks to online platforms such as Zillow and Redfin, searching for homes that fit your criteria has become way easier than driving through neighborhoods searching for “For Sale” or “Realtor” signs. **Driving through neighborhoods IS a step in the home buying process once you have decided the neighborhood you would like to live in (but we’ll get to that in more detail in another post).

There are more apps than you may think are out there for house hunters. To make life easier, I’ve put together a quick cheat sheet with all of the FREE apps available. Everybody knows, we love Freebies!

redfin

Redfin

You really can’t go wrong with Redfin. With features like foreclosure notifier, short sales alters, and for-sale-by-owner listing updates, it’s one of the most simple real estate apps on the market. You can search nearby homes, schools, condos, open houses, and townhouses, and see photos, top-down maps, and more. A host of built-in sharing tools also let you send your favorites via text message, email, or social media.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

homes

Homes.com

Homes.com gives you access to millions of homes, apartments, condos, townhome and rental home listings at your fingertips. Better yet, you can sort the results by neighborhood market conditions, neighborhoods, foreclosure status — which includes listings from REO, HUD, and others. They’ve got the sexiest mortgage calculator to project your mortgage range or rent payments. Each listing is packed with property photos and stats too, and when you find one that you love, you can share it via a text message, messenger, email, Facepage and MyFace.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

xome

Xome

Xome, an integrated real estate platform, aims to streamline the home-hunting process with innovative search tools. Xome Zoom lets you “zoom in” on any of the 100 million homes in Zoom’s property list (refreshed every 15 minutes), and filter search results by property type, price range, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, nearby schools, square footage, open houses, and a slew of other popular metrics. Xome’s Walk Score and school information also show which communities might be a good fit for you and your family, while Xome’s aptly-titled Value feature shows the market value for a given property. One of the app’s other hallmarks, Xome Concierge, puts you in touch with an agent, who can schedule a showing and answer questions about the property at hand.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

zillow

Zillow

Zillow is one of the most comprehensive — and customizable — real estate services on the market. Its Zestimate tool lets you look up the rent or worth of any property in the United States, and robust search tools let you search by foreclosure stats, property type (single-family homes, apartments, townhomes, condos, and more), geographic location, address, region, price, and features such as the number of beds and baths. Social tools include a Renter profile, which helps you reach potential landlords and realtors, and a sharing tool that lets you circulate finds among friends and family. When you’re finally ready to commit, Zillow makes it easy to track down a local lender who’ll pre-approve you for a mortgage.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

homesnap

HomeSnap

One of my absolute favorite apps, HomeSnap. HomeSnap is not your average house hunting app. You can Snap a picture of any home and the app will show you details like, home value estimates, interior photos, beds, baths, taxes, lot boundaries, related schools, school ratings, etc. Or if you’re in a neighborhood, you can simply open the app and it will show you any home that is on the market, sold or has an open house etc. HomeSnap says it has 20-percent more agent listings than national portals, and that its buying tools are “best in class.” It certainly does seem that way, especially given you can also chat with realtors and landlords directly after taking a photo. I love this app!

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

trulia

Trulia

Starting your search is simple with Trulia. Trulia instantly shows beautifully detailed real estate listings based on your location and automatically remembers the properties you like to provide better recommendations. Or, if you know just what you’re looking for, you can search homes for sale, homes for rent, or apartments for rent by location, feature, size, price, keyword, and much, much more. Then Trulia can send you real-time updates about your favorite listings and notify you when new homes hit the market that match your preferences. When you find a house or apartment that looks interesting, share it with your friends, family, or significant other, or connect with a realtor. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Trulia features an affordability breakdown that calculates the full cost of owning your dream home, as well as an open house scheduler, a mortgage calculator, voice controls, a chat platform, iMessage support, and support for Android Wear smartwatches. It’s definitely not a boring app.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

realtor

Realtor.com

The Realtor.com app claims to provide the best list of homes tailored to your needs and provides homes you otherwise might miss; it also claims to show more homes for sale than any other real estate app. You can browse listings (updated every 15 minutes) with their SnipSnap feature (you snap a photo of a real-life “For Sale” sign and it will use recognition to show you detailed listing information). You can also filter listings based on the address, city, zip code, home prices, the number of beds and baths, square footage, and a multitude of other metrics, and listings include information about price, sales, schools, and more. The app even supports Google’s Chromecast, meaning you can stream open house and apartment info — including directions — to your TV.

Download now for:

ANDROID IOS

I hope these apps are helpful during your home search. Let us know which is your favorite. Drop a line below.

Tootles!!!

5 Tips for First Time Homebuyers

If you’re planning to buy your first home in the next year or so, you should know up front that it can be a stressful experience. It is one of the biggest investments that you will make in your life and that alone is enough to escalate one’s stress levels.

We’ve prepared tips for buyers to help make the process easier and less stressful.

 1. Decide whether you really want to buy – Purchasing a home is the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Make sure you are fully ready to buy. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you tired of paying rent?
  • Have you decided to pay your own mortgage and not your landlord’s?
  • Have you outgrown your current home?
  • Are you looking for an investment portfolio?
  • Are you looking for a rental property?
  • Would you like a larger yard?
  • Would you rather live in a different area?
  • Do you want to shorten your commute?
  • Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right property

Answering these questions will give you a WHY (your purpose…everybody has one)!

2. Get a free copy of your credit report from annual credit report– Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies EACH YEAR. Once you have your report, review it carefully for errors.  If you find errors or discrepancies on your report, start clearing them up right away. Inaccurate info on your report should be reported to a credit reporting agency and the creditor directly. You can also file a dispute with the credit reporting agency for free.

3. What can you afford? – You should plan to spend between 25 percent and 33 percent of your gross monthly income on just your housing expenses, depending on how conservative you want to be with your finances. Comparatively, mortgage lenders generally agree you can pay between 28 percent and 36 percent of your gross income in total debt. Speaking with a mortgage broker is the best way to confirm how much house you can afford.

4. Set a savings goal – Once you know what you can afford, take a hard look at your current lifestyle and determine how much you need to save—and where you can make some cuts. Reducing unnecessary daily expenses, like buying gourmet coffee or eating meals out, can turn into big savings each month.

5. Educate yourself on the current lending market and collect all the information you need to present to a lender – As you prepare for your big purchase, work on getting all of your documentation together so you are ready to apply for your home loan. Keep all of your documents in one safe and secure place  You’ll find current copies of lending guidelines online for Freddie MacFannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration.

Gather and organize all of the documents your lender will need:

  • W2 forms 
  • Copies of completed federal tax forms for the last two years
  • Copies of one month’s worth of pay stubs
  • Copies of the last two or three bank statements for every bank account, IRA, 401(k), or other retirement or brokerage account you may have

By preparing now for your home purchase, you can avoid the hassles that come with buying a home.

(We’ll have a few more blogs about organization and tips that we use to stay organized and stress free during home buying process, including our Milestone Manager Planner)