Tips for Buying a Home in the Summer

Lots of folks think that the spring is prime time to buy a home. Sure, it may be the busiest season, but there’s no need to fret if you struck out during the spring or are just now beginning your journey. In fact, some sellers actually wait to put their homes on the market until summer due to curbside appeal, better weather for open houses, and more. There are plenty of reasons to buy this season and we’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate through the market.

 

1.) Check Out Old Listings

Just because the spring is peak season doesn’t mean that every home sells. Take a look at homes that have been on the market for 50+ days and start there, especially if you’re looking to save money. If the seller is in a time crunch or eager to part ways with the home, they may be prone to lowering the price.

 

2.) Get Pre-Approved

If you’re looking at this process as crunch time, you can save time, energy, and multiple rejected bids by getting pre-approved. With the beautiful weather and sellers looking to let go of homes, your bid will have a much better chance of being selected if you are pre-approved for a loan. Everyone will feel comfortable with the process and it’s a win-win situation all-around.

 

3.) Be Strategic at Times You Look

Take advantage of looking at homes when no one else is. The nice weather and cashing out on PTO means that people are preoccupied with vacations, BBQs, family time, and more. The last two weeks of July and first half of August can be prime time to find your dream home when not everyone is out looking.

 

4.) Get to Know the Community

With everyone cooped up inside during the winter months, it can be hard to get a feel for the community. In the summertime, people are bustling about. You have a much better time to chat with potential neighbors, can see neighborhood kids outside playing, and have a clear vantage point of neighborhood maintenance and upkeep. If you have any red flags or deal breakers, you will literally see them in the harsh light of day.

 

5.) Spend Time with Your Agent

A busy spring can mean more people competing for your agent’s time. Agents are less occupied with getting new listing after new listing on the market. Take advantage of this to ask questions, schedule meetings, and see as many homes as possible.

 

Our agents go above and beyond to help find your dream home year-round. If you’re just now beginning your search, give us a call to find the perfect agent and perfect office for your needs. 801-995-4700.


Tips for First Time Home Buyers

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re taking the plunge and setting out on the exciting journey to buy a home. We know the market is tighter than ever. In fact, in the Utah housing market, demand is exceeding supply all over the state. Like any milestone, buying a home can be full of ups and downs. Rather than discourage you, we want to give you some of the best tips we’ve ever heard for first time home buyers. That way, you can set yourself up for success and enjoy this moment!

1.) Get Your Financials In Order

A homebuyer’s credit score could very well be the most crucial piece of the puzzle when qualifying for a loan. Before you begin shopping, see what you can do to clean up your credit score. You can use tools like AnnualCreditReport.com or creditkarma.com to view your potential FICO score. Additionally, you can see if there are any errors on your report and get in touch with any collection agencies if you need.

To qualify for the best loan rates, you generally need a credit score of 740 or higher. To give your score a boost, pay down credit cards so your balance is less than 30% of the limit and avoid late payments. Paying bills on time is the single most important thing you can do, so if you have any outstanding payments or have fallen behind, make a concerted effort to get back on track.

 

2.) Know Your Assets and Liabilities

After your ducks are in a row with payments and you don’t owe exorbitant amounts of money, you need to carefully evaluate how you spend money. Do you have heaps of money left over every month or are you feeling stretched thin? Make sure you track your spending for at least a couple months prior to shopping for homes as it will reflect how lenders evaluate your income. If you are self-employed or a commision-based professional, you may have a harder time being approved for loans, so make sure you have at least 2 years of solid income records.

 

3.) Investigate Alternate Options

Many people shy away from buying homes because they aren’t close to having a 20% downpayment or their credit is lower than 740. Did you know that Federal Housing Administration loans let you put just 3.5% down, and offer better rates for those with less-than-pristine credit? Mortgage powerhouses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also launched similar programs. The fact of the matter is, nothing is completely cut and dry and there are options out there.

 

4.) Get Pre-Approved

Are you confident with how you look on paper and are looking for a quick and seamless deal? Have a mortgage lender check your credit and verify your income and assets. Some lenders may even provide pre-approval letters which are “as good as cash” in the eyes of some sellers.

 

5.) Be Patient and Flexible

Playing up your flexibility won’t only save your nerves, but it can give you an edge over pushy buyers. Have your agent get in touch with the sellers and gauge what they need as far as a closing window, option to rent back, etc. The more flexibility you give them, the better shot you might have to seal the deal.


BHHSEliteRE—More than Realtors

You see our “For Sale” signs in yards. You see our social media posts gushing about how much we love being realtors. You know our partnerships with new developments building folks the home of their dreams. Maybe you even know that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate has been locally owned and operated in the greater Utah County area for more than 25 years and consistently ranks among the Top 50 companies in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. But did you know that BHHS Elite Real Estate is MORE than just real estate?

“Home Services” extends beyond simply buying and selling homes. It ensures people are comfortable with their living situation under any circumstance whether it’s helping with relocation, property management, commercial real estate, or REO sales. Let’s take a look at how BHHS can help:

 

Relocation

Moving itself can be one of the most stressful times in one’s life. Couple that with having to up and leave the place you call home and it can cause some major anxiety. We’re here to help. Our agents will examine your time frame and price range, find a home that suits your needs, and partner with lenders that will make it work. Even if you aren’t moving for 6 months, it’s never too early to get the ball rolling and we’re here to help you ease your mind and plan ahead.

 

Property Management

Are you reluctant to sell your property, but don’t have the time or energy to be a “landlord.” Let BHHS step in and manage your property. Our sales staff and state-of-the-art support system takes property management a step further and actually help you build value in your real estate. Our management team has an average of 20 years of experience and members have been awarded the Certified Property Manager and Certified Shopping Center Manager. Our agents will handle the day-to-day maintenance and supervision of your home or commercial property and will ensure it’s filled with tenants who are reliable and have a steady income.

 

Commercial Real Estate

We’re not just showing offices. We’re seeking opportunities to create value and help develop customized real estate solutions for office tenants, developers, investors, and owners of office properties. We understand what can go wrong with a commercial real estate transaction, work to avoid risk and have the business savvy and experience that can add real value in setting your strategy to meet project objectives.

 

REO/Foreclosure

BHHS has sold more foreclosed homes than any other brokerage in the last 20 years. We specialize in asset disposition, REO sales and marketing, short sales, property management and all services for the sale of such assets. Our clients include but are not limited to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo, Greenriver Capital & Hud. If you’re interested in buying a foreclosed home, we’ve helped countless people who are looking for a bargain, looking to create rental properties for revenue and “flip” houses, and more.


Pros to Buying a Home in the Winter

For most people, the winter means decking the halls, not buying new ones. It’s easy to have a picture perfect image of looking for homes in sunny weather, but there are actually some immense pros to buying a home during the winter months. Plus, doesn’t the holiday spirit motivate you to treat yourself a little? Here are some of the best reasons to buy a home during the winter months.

1.) Less Competition

In today’s competitive market, bidding wars run rampant. When lots of people are bidding at once, sellers tend to hold off and wait for the best offer. In the winter, they may be anxious to sell sooner than later, so you might also get a better price than busier months. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

2.) Savings

Piggybacking off of less competition, you can potentially save a lot of money buying in the winter. Because real estate is a “supply and demand market,” you can find good deals when no one else is looking. A little savings on an interest rate can go a long way, too. Anishka Seker, Financial Adviser on NerdWallet gives the following scenario:

“Let’s say you’re buying a house with 6 percent closing cost and a 30-year mortgage with a 3.25 percent interest rate. If your house costs $500,000 as opposed to $550,000, the total cost of your mortgage will fall by over $80,000. You’ll feel the benefits of buying low for decades to come.”

3.) All Systems are a Go

The winter can be the ultimate “litmus test” for buyers. All of the homes heating and plumbing systems are put to the test during the cold months, so you can ensure that everything is in working order before having the surprise of a heater going out months after buying. The structural elements are also put to the test. You can check to see how the roof is holding up and how the gutters function when searching for homes in the winter.

4.) The Home is in its Purest Form

When trees aren’t blossoming and leaves aren’t reducing noise, you can truly see the home in its most natural state. You’ll want to see your investment in its uncamouflaged state to assess the reality of the property. Plus, you’ll get to appreciate the home even more when it’s in its most aesthetically pleasing state in the summer.

5.) Other Perks

Did you know if you close on a home before December 31st, you can apply the purchase of your home towards tax deductions? If you buy after, you’ll have to wait a whole fiscal year to reap any tax benefits. And speaking of closings, mortgages tend to close much faster during the winter due to less people buying and selling, so the process moves faster.

If any of these reasons spurred some new thoughts about searching for a home, feel free to reach out and contact us. We never pressure anyone into any decisions they’re not ready for and simply like to lend an ear and a helping hand to help you make the best decision. Free free to shoot us an email at info@utahproperties.com or give us a call for more information. 801-995-4700.