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Buying a new home can be exciting as well as a little daunting since it’s a major decision of life for most. However, the important thing is to meet the challenge head-on by doing your share of homework and not jumping in with both feet. This will make the task less daunting and more exciting as it should normally be!
Here are some tips for the first time home-buyer to keep them on their guard while taking a decision.
You first have to figure out whether you are buying as an investment or as a home. Get an idea also on how much you can afford to invest as a down payment or subsequent loan installments, if taking a loan. When calculating your budget, include all fees such as insurance premiums, homeowner insurance, property taxes, etc. Once you have a final figure, then you know which homes are within your reach.
Don’t get emotional when choosing a home. You need to separate your needs from your wants; this will narrow down your search for that dream home you have always wanted. Filter down your needs to the type of property, its location and the amenities that should come along with the house. Other cost-saving moves include buying in an area where there are many homes for sale; the local competition gets you better rates! Keep an eye out for properties undergoing foreclosure where you are sure to get your money’s worth.
Take help from a legal expert who can guide you through the complicated details of title deeds, agreements, tax computations and home registration. Also, liaise with local experts who will have invaluable knowledge about the neighbourhood, the social amenities and any other issues of significance.
Choosing the right location helps in calculating the distance from work, schools, hospitals, supermarkets and other social amenities. Assess your new neighbourhood by visiting it at different times of the day, especially at weekends; this would let you know whether the neighbourhood is actually as beautiful as it looks on the outside.
Hold off any large credit purchases till after your loan approval. Keep all necessary documents related to your finances ready and if possible, obtain a pre-approved loan once you are ready to buy so as not to miss out on a good deal. Keep some extra funds in your account for the previous six months as some loan houses require evidence of seasoned funds.
And now, with all these tips under your belt, you are finally ready to go home-shopping for that perfect house you have always wanted!
Buying a house for the first time can be a special experience. There are a hundred things you’ll learn and not all of them will be positive. If you are planning to buy one, and looking to learn from other people’s experiences, here are a few dos and don’ts to remember:
The Alice in Wonderland approach to home buying can leave you shaken and stirred. A little research about the average housing costs, monthly outgoings, interest rates, etc. can help you save money. Do not assume that you can afford to buy the house only because you have saved for the down payment. The job market and rising prices also play a crucial role in deciding affordability.
In the months that follow after buying a house, you’ll learn to appreciate the value of the phrase – every penny counts. Almost everybody underestimates the hidden costs of buying a house. From curtains and doormats, to fixtures and furnishings, there may be a hundred odd things you may have to buy. Put major purchases on hold, although it is difficult to resist.
There are a zillion websites showcasing real estate properties on sale. But a good real estate agent can help you navigate the process. Real estate agents know the market well, understand seller ploys, and help you bargain a better deal.
It is important to find a house you’ll love, but don’t let emotional decisions come in the way of rational choices. It makes no sense to buy a house that you love, but is way off your budget.
Even if you intend to resell the house in a few years, things such as neighborhood, quality of the local schools, etc. are important. And if you intend to stay here as long as you live, look at the long term prospects of living here.
In fact, some real estate agents won’t even consider helping you unless there is a pre-approval in place. Real estate agents get a fair idea about the houses you can afford. Also, it is better to be clear about credit ratings before you even begin shopping.
Some agents recommend putting aside 2- 3% of your budget for closing costs. They can add up quickly.
When repossessed homes are sold through an auction, the trustee (the lender who has obtained a deed of trust against the property) is obligated to get as much as possible from the sale. Buying a house in auction isn’t as easy as it seems. Real estate cash investors often compete aggressively to buy the property and sell it again at a higher price possible. If you are planning to buy at a foreclosure auction, here are four tips to remember:
There’s more than one way to auction property. Those managed by large banks or the government, attract seasoned buyers and experienced investors. Such auctions usually involve more than one property to be auctioned. Also, banks ensure that the property is up to date in terms of property, etc Auctions are often published in newspapers – follow them regularly to look for homes that interest you.
The reason why not everyone’s excited about buying from an auction is, because it is relatively easy. However, you will have to remember a few things. For one, you will have to know how much money to bring to the auction. In a repossessed home auction, you cannot get photos of virtual tour of the house – they come with a buyer beware warning. The original owner hasn’t left the property as yet. It is your duty to be mindful about this. Drive to the property to check if the neighborhood within the property is worth is good. Curb appeal is also important, because the way a house looks outside is the way it looks within as well.
Even before you get ready for the auction, remember to decide on the bidding price. You’ll need professional help to value the property and set up a cap rate beyond which you will not bid! You’ll also have to decide what to do with the purchased property – do you intend to use it, or let it out on rent. Also, remember, if you’ve made a bid in an auction, this is final. There’s no backing out.
This is especially true for large bank related auctions. For such bids, the lender always make the leading bid for an amount he is actually owed. And because of the fact that most repossessed homes lose value, it is possible that nobody responds to the bid. If you really like the property, contact the bank after the auction to look for a viable option.
If you’ve ever purchased a house, I’m sure you’d agree that there can be nothing more frustrating than applying for the mortgage. Which is why, we encourage prospective owners to always begin their house hunting with a prequalified mortgage letter! The prequalification letter helps you decide on the amount you can afford. If you’ve ever wanted to apply for one, but didn’t know how to, read further:
This is a letter from the bank stating that they are willing to lend you a certain amount based on certain assumptions like debt, income and assets, etc. This is different from a pre-approved letter wherein the bank will tell you the specific amount for which you are approved and the interest rates for the same.
The bank looks into several factors to decide on the prequalified quote. Some of these include income, debts, credit history, savings, etc. Lenders consider the nature of your job, stability factors, the length of your employment, etc. to ensure that you can afford enough to spend on living expenses after paying the installment. The bank also analyses the debt you owe, including recurring bills, alimony costs, etc.
A prequalified quote gives you a reasonable target within which you have to shop around when looking for houses. This way, you’ll remember to stay within your means and set realistic expectations.
No, prequalified letters do know guarantee a loan, and neither are you promised a certain rate of interest. You may be required to present additional information like income, asset verification, etc.
As earlier said, prequalification helps to set a realistic expectation when house –shopping. It also helps banks to differentiate between a serious shopping and those that are there just for shopping around.
From your credit rating to bank ids, you will be required to submit a few documents for a prequalification letter. Speak to a mortgage broker to help you get the prequalification letter.
Can I get a mortgage on a repossessed property? Yes, but it’s not as straightforward you think. If you are planning on buying a repossessed property and looking for mortgage options, here are 5 tips to help you decide:
Even when you are looking for a mortgage on a repossessed house, the same rules apply as any other transaction, i.e. the loan amount is decided by how much you can afford as down payment, your credit rating, etc. Shop around to look for the best deal in terms of interest rates and discounts. The more you can afford as down payment, the better are your chances of negotiating a better deal. And that’s probably why we advice first-time homeowners to start saving for a down payment. Of course, finding a good investor isn’t about chasing the lowest interest rates; too many have hidden charges even while maintaining an enticing interest rate policy.
Remember to sift between the genuine ones and fake testimonials. The fakes ones often set up dummy accounts like Kingpin, big daddy, greatguns, etc. And then there are others that seem too good to be true.
Banks allow you to choose between fixed and floating interest rates. The former involves repaying the loan in fixed installments, while in the later, the rate of interest varies with the market. Fixed interest rates do not fluctuate, irrespective of the market conditions, but they’re usually a few percentage points higher than floating interest rates. Floating interest rates are cheaper, but since monthly installments are uneven, it is difficult to plan a monthly budget.
Find about processing fees, documentation requirements, hidden charges, fine on payment defaults, etc. There are professional mortgage brokers to advice you on the different factors and the terms of service of different banks. You may seek advice from a friendly realtor, but he isn’t a specialists. Besides, would you trust a dermatologists to seek opinion on heart ailments?
This is undoubtedly the most important aspect when looking for home loans. There are several online credit rating websites, but for a more accurate prediction, speak to your accountant. He’ll help you deduce your credit score and also help you determine eligibility.
Buying a home is a major investment; naturally, it makes sense to plan ahead and begin on a clean slate. Reduce credit card bills, because they’re quick to burgeon. Also, wait before making major financial commitments before paying on the mortgage.
You don’t just invest money in a home – it’s a place where you invest memories. Every nook and cranny of your house would have a story to narrate. With so many emotions and sentiments involved, it only makes sense that you spend your money carefully when buying a home – especially a repossessed house:
They are a profitable investment since you get to purchase the property at a bargain price. The seller is usually a mortgage lender or bank looking to get as much as they can, and as quickly as they can, for the property. And who doesn’t like a good bargain! You can negotiate it for a low price, renovate it, and probably sell it back at a higher rate. Or, use it to set up your dream house.
Not all properties facing foreclosure are run –down. Some are new- builds, especially flats from developers who have recently declared bankruptcy. But such homes are few and far between. Most homes in the market are facing foreclosure because arrears haven’t been paid for quite some time. Some may have abandoned the house. Such houses usually tend to be in an appalling condition. The house needs immediate repairs – you may have to redo the property. Repair costs can go up to thousands of pounds. And at the end of the project, you may have spent more than you could afford.
You probably thought buying a repossessed property is a walk in the park, and that you are the only person interested in buying the house. Ha! You’ll have to be prepared to face a gazillion real estate investors ready to pay by cash. If you are a first time owner who’ll need a mortgage to finance your house, make sure you are quick. Speak to your bank if they can provide a pre-approval letter. It specifies that the lender has approved a specified amount. The letter is not a guarantee, but merely a qualifier.
As we earlier said, repossessed properties are often in disrepair. The owners couldn’t possibly afford to spend on repairs, they have removed the fixtures and fittings, or worse, leave it full of junk. Never skip a survey – it is crucial that you physically evaluate the property. Take a professional with you to help with estimating the repairs.
This is especially true if you are a first-time buyer. Banks are obligated to get the highest possible price for the foreclosed property. They may try and pass on some of their costs by surprising you with structural engineer’s fee, legal fee, etc. Consult a lawyer to sort out the legalities involved and ensure that you have complete ownership of the property.
Buying your first house is an experience second to none; it’s probably the biggest financial decision of your life. This is particularly the case for first-time homeowners. Buying a house for a bargain is an opportunity you don’t want to miss, but some deals are too good to be true. If you are on the fence about buying a repossessed house, here are three reasons to buy them:
True, that in a majority of cases owners abandon auctioned homes. They leave it as it is – with all the repairs and junk. But this isn’t always the case. Some of these houses are relatively new build and developed by property developers who have unfortunately filed for bankruptcy. If you are lucky, you could buy a ready to move home.
If you are looking to invest in a house, repossessed homes are an excellent option. They sell for a lot less than the market – all you have to do is to arrange for a few repairs and make the house habitable enough and rent it out. The rent can help you pay the mortgage or pay off any other debt incurred in the process. It could also be a welcome addition to the pension pot. Before you buy the property, we suggest that you hire a professional home inspector or someone from the reconstruction industry. They can help you prevent from buying a dead horse.
If it were not for repossessed homes, property owning would be limited only to a few people. Foreclosed properties make it easy for the younger generation to own homes.
Before you buy a repossessed house, we suggest that you have a clear plan. What did you intend to do with the property? Do you plan to let it on rent? Are you looking for a holiday home? Do you plan to live in it?
Also, repossessed homes are very popular among real estate investors – they maintain good relations with lenders and know about the property even before it is available to the general market. Make sure your financial options are well chalked out even before you begin looking for a property.
Gone are the days when buying an ex-council house was a step down in the social ladder. With the shortage of affordable properties, buyers, especially first time owners are eyeing ex-council houses. All you need is an eye for beauty and an interior decorator to give vision to your dreams. Before you set to renovate an ex-council property, here are a few do’s and don’ts to remember:
Extensions, renovations, can be expensive and disruptive. Before you buy the property, look for planning permission rules in the locality. Some ex-council houses a covenant that makes it almost impossible to make any renovation or extension.
You can prevent as much as 25% of heat from escaping from the roof of your house with proper insulation. This is undoubtedly the cheapest and the most effective renovation. Call an installer to do the job for you – he can do it in less than 5 hours and typically costs around £400.
Most council houses are well built and have a clean and simplistic design. They’re more preferred for modern living than the period houses that you wish you could afford. Council houses are adaptable to contemporary architecture.
Do you plan to sell the property in a few years from now? Or, do you intend to stay for a very long time? If your plans are in favour of moving, it does not make sense to invest when people may not be prepared to pay for what is ultimately an ‘ex-council house’. But if you plan to live here for long, go for a rear or side extension and a facelift.
Nothing makes an ex-council flat look more cool than beautiful trimmed hedges and plants, wooden fences, a modern front door, etc. You don’t have to spend a lot but give it a dramatic effect.
Selling a house isn’t as easy as it used to be; property prices are nosediving ever since Brexit was announced. But there are a few tricks, that help to sell irrespective of market influences, claim real estate experts. One of these is renovation. But what should you renovate and how much to spend on renovations? And considering the current market conditions, should you renovate at all? Here are three things to consider when renovating a house before sale.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the real deal breakers. Real estate agents always encourage sellers to renovate the bathroom and kitchen to help you fetch a good price. Some of the areas where you can spend money include kitchen counters, cabinets, sinks, etc. Fixtures in bathrooms should be replaced – there can never be anything worse than moving into a house that where taps and door knobs are broken. If the kitchen sink looks outdated, replace it and get a bigger one. This is a DIY job that can be managed on a weekend. A typical bathroom and/or kitchen remodelling will set you back by a few thousand pounds. But the expenses are worth it.
Home owners have to be able to imagine living in the house before deciding to buy it. De-clutter the house and remove unwanted things. This gives them an idea about managing the house. Open up wall spaces wherever possible to create an open – living environment better suited to today’s lifestyles.
Don’t even think about adding a theatre, a back deck or other such fancy space. There are some home renovations that will never pay, irrespective of the fact that you have spent thousands on them. But there are some renovations that are essential although you cannot expect to get your money back. For example, replacing windows can be expensive, yet important. But you cannot expect to get your investment back in such cases. Replacing the existing lighting is another example.
It becomes a major headache to get an answer for that very important question – where to invest your hard-earned money? Property or stock market? There are a lot of myths and facts involved in taking the right decision for investing your money. Let’s take a closer look:
When you buy a property, you have full control over it; you get to make the decision on how much to spend on repairs, how much to charge for rent, who your tenants should be and when to sell off the property. Owning stocks of a company would give you almost no powers to decide on what should happen with your investment.
A real estate investment is tangible, something you can physically touch, and for many investors, such tangible investing makes them feel psychologically more secure. Stocks, on the other hand, are something that you never get to see, it’s just some printed advice that you can never interact with.
The state of the economy touches on all aspects of businesses, but real estate gets less affected as compared to the stock market which is more volatile and sensitive to swings. For stability, real estate makes for a better investment as it’s more isolated from the global economy.
Also, as prices of properties tend to follow the inflation graph, it means that the value of your property has gone up as well as making it eligible for rent hikes; it also means that your loan payments remain the same, translating into greater gains. This isn’t true for stocks as they don’t necessarily follow the graph.
Buying into real estate is relatively easy as you only need to look into the realistic expenses and calculated rented income to check if it’s a feasible investment. With the stock market, analysing is complicated, as you need to factor in the underlying equity component aside from the cash flow. And then you have to depend on the figures the company puts out to know the actual value of your investment; needless to say, these values can be manipulated so easily to keep investors happy!
With real estate, you can start investing at a younger age as capital involved is less and the tenant can help in financing the remaining loan on your rental property. With stocks, the capital has to come from you. You will also avail of tax benefits which are something not possible with stocks.
The intention here is not to show you that property investment is the best, rather it’s to show you the benefits attached to it. So take the course best suited to your future plans!
Investing in property has always felt like a solid idea over the generations, especially when the market is in a rebound stage. Equally spread out are the losses some people have incurred due to the wrong choices and strategies. If you want real estate as a source of income and capital growth, then you have to do your share of research, homework and learning. Some of the mistakes one can make while investing in real estate include the following:
The key point at the end of the day is proper planning and due diligence before signing on the dotted lines. Be prepared before going in for the kill!
Investing in real estate is a paradox of sorts – it is both easy and complicated. When done with diligence, you can create a substantial investment portfolio. But if you become greedy and lose sight of realities, you end up losing everything. The subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 is a prime example of how greed destroys everything. If you are into real estate, or planning to enter one, here’s a list of common real estate mistakes to avoid:
This old adage is especially important in the real estate industry. People buy homes because it comes at a bargain, only to learn that they don’t have the enough to make ends meet. And then there are others who purchase repossessed properties, only to end up spending a fortune on renovations. We’ve also seen investors running hither and dither looking for properties worth investing, but zero in on none.
Did you know that Japanese knotweed is a particular nasty type of weed that’s almost impossible to get rid of? Also, that they can eat into the value of a house? A seemingly simple problem can become a huge nuisance and even disrupt the entire investment train. Research gives you the common sense to avoid simple but problem causing consequences. The only way to avoid this is to ask questions – is the property in a flood prone zone, or, research about the neighborhood.
Investing your emotions are understandable if you plan to live in the house. But if the property is for investment purposes, logic should dominate. By allowing your emotions to take precedence over judgment could lead you into overpaying for a house. Sound analytical research can help you make good judgment.
Thanks to the multitude of self appointed gurus, there are far too many first time investors who think property investment offers quick returns. Unless, you are into real estate trading, it is impossible to make money quickly. Here again, traders wait for a few months, until they make profit from their investments.
There are plenty of mortgage lenders ready to offer loans that sound exotic. And the gullible first time investor always manages to fall trap into these options only to end up losing the property and falling further into debt.
For centuries, people have always chosen property to be a safe and reliable investment option. If you have always wanted to invest but never knew how to choose a property worth investing, read further:
This is a simple and straightforward rule – if the monthly rent from the property equals one percent of the purchase price then it’s worth investing. Of course, if it equals more than one percent, you would be a fool to miss that property. There are people who buy properties that they believe will make money later, but if you are buying on mortgage, you’ll have to look for a house that pays dividends now – not ten years later. The rent from the house can cover mortgage and other overhead expenses.
Look at the retail shops around you. Do you have a lot of high end of gourmet groceries shops around the property? If so, chances are you can rent them to well to do residents with a lot of disposable income. There have been several studies to prove that these stores have a positive effect on property values. Homes close to schools and colleges also have higher chances of people moving in, especially young families with children. Study the neighborhood and get a sense of things that happen here. Parks, walkable areas, crime rates, community sense, all of these help.
There are too many horror stories of tenants refusing to move out. Or, tenants who vandalize the property. There are tenants with questionable cleaning skills – as a result the thousands of dollars worth furnishings you installed recently looks rundown and worn.
We’ve come to believe that investing in property is the best option available. And we’ve also been told that you don’t have to start huge – small, albeit significant investments can help you create a credible investment portfolio. But nobody told how to get started! If you’ve always wanted to invest in property, but didn’t know how to start, read further:
Even before you begin investment, make sure you check your financial health. List your assets, including salary, fixed assets, etc. and deduct assets to get a reasonable idea about how much cash you can afford to invest. You can also apply for a bank loan as long as you can prove that you have a steady income and a well paying job.
Buying a repossessed house is probably the best bargain for beginners. But remember, the real estate investor business is competitive. You’d be competing with people ready to pay in cash. Not just repossessed homes, but look for properties where the owner is planning a short sale, or houses where they cannot be bothered to deal with estate agents. Typically owners of such homes are willing to settle for less as long as you can offer them other sops like – buying as it is (the junk and all), hassle free buying, etc.
Keep your preapproval and prequalified letter ready
A prequalified letter is a statement by the bank that mentions the amount that you are approximately eligible for when applying a loan. But a preapproval letter is a stronger commitment from the bank stating the near exact amount that you are eligible for and the rate of interest for the same. Keep this letter handy should you need to convince the lender about choosing you over others.
This is as old as the practice of land ownership. You buy a property and rent it out. The income from the rent helps you pay the mortgage, taxes, and other overhead costs. Over time, the property appreciates in value. You’ve paid for the mortgage and the rent is now your profit. This isn’t as simple anymore thanks to the fluctuating market conditions and the increased cost of maintenance. As a landlord, you can be taken to court for substandard maintenance. Of course, you can always outsource the work to a property manager who does the job for you.
Not many have heard about this, but real estate trading is somewhat similar to stock trading. Real estate investors buy and hold the property for some time and later sell them for a profit. This is also called flipping and is very popular trade in the market.
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Repossessed Houses For Sale is a great idea for a website. We have been speaking to a property developer through this site which is in the process of securing a property for us 23% below market value!Charlie
As a property investment manager, having free alerts for repossessed property deals helps both me and my clients find BMV (Below Market Value) property and create profit in a competitive market!Julia