Buying Your Home

What is the Escrow Period? A Guide for Home Buyers

Everything You Need to Know About EscrowThe escrow period is an exciting and stressful time during the home buying and selling process. Home buyers who understand the escrow period and know what to expect while it's happening may find the escrow process to be less stressful.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is the Escrow Period?

The escrow period is the period of time that occurs after the home selling contract is signed, before the house transfers ownership. The escrow period begins when the home buyer writes a check for a deposit on the house. This check is referred to as earnest money.

During this time, earnest money is usually protected by an independent third party business, either a title company or an escrow company. Sometimes, the escrow and title companies perform the same functions. Escrow companies act as the stewards of the earnest money. Escrow companies also manage the documents required to purchase the home.

The escrow period usually lasts from 30-60 days. During the escrow period, the home sellers pack their belongings to move out, and work with their real estate agent to ensure that the sale of the home goes smoothly. They may also accommodate the buyers, through their own real estate agent, when they need access to the home. Buyers are also usually very busy during the escrow period....

Forget the Myths: Millennials Really Are Buying Homes

Millennials Have Become a Real Estate Market PhenomenonMillennials actually became the major force in the home buying market nationwide this year, and their thirst for the ownership experience isn't likely to fade, according to market analysts. So forget the myths about Millennials, they are currently buying homes!

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

A New Market Force

The Millennial age group, comprising buyers born between 1980 and 2005, now represents 35% of the real estate market, with 65% of them first-time buyers, according to a 2018 Market Report released by the National Association of Realtors.

The same report notes that Millennial buyers are more mobile than preceding generations, and do not hesitate to move to new locations, but they are also more apt to buy homes that they intend to stay in for a longer period of time than their parents or older siblings. These buyers no longer consider first homes simply starter homes.

Interestingly, younger buyers have become interested in older homes, not to fix and flip, but to renovate and live in. Ironically, it was baby boomers who are selling these types of homes and moving to urban condos or active adult communities....

How to Win a Bidding War When Buying a Home

Tips for Winning a Bidding WarSome home buyers are finding themselves facing stiff competition when it comes to finding and closing on a home in areas with few properties available. Hot real estate areas such as those in Seattle or some cities in California, can see homes have multiple offers the day the home goes on the market. In many cases, the home actually goes for over the asking price.

Even in cities like Phoenix and Dallas, homes in certain areas and in certain price ranges, may quickly receive several offers once put on the market. In worse cases, a prospective buyer may find that a seller may have as many as 10 buyer offers on the table when they initially list a home. How can potential buyers hope to compete with other buyers in a multiple offer situation?

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Perform Research

Home buyers need to know the community where they will be searching and what they desire in a new home. Get an overview of current property values with beginning asking prices and whether homes generally sell at above or below asking prices. Begin your research at...

How to Get Started in Buying and Selling Land

4 Tips for Buying and Selling LandBuying and selling raw land is a great way to make money without having to expend very much effort, but investors may not realize the specific challenges before they get started. Ideally, a person would be able to purchase a piece of land when its worth next to nothing and then sell the untouched property to an anxious developer committed to expanding their business. But the realities of buying and selling land can put a serious dent in the profits. Learn more about the potential obstacles that can get in the way of the perfect scenario.

Sitting on the Property

It's not always easy to spot the neighborhoods that are getting ready to explode in popularity because growth takes time. Investors who want to make money quickly may not get the payoff they're looking for if they're buying and selling land. If a new steel plant is hiring thousands of employees, then real estate is immediately going to skyrocket in price. The key is to get to that land before the steel plant makes its announcement, which may mean having to wait several months (or even years) before an investment can start to recoup its original costs.

Checking the Topography

People who are new to real estate don't always realize just how much the natural lay of the land can interfere with their plans. From tree roots to sinkholes to erosion, there are plenty of potential barriers...

How Much Your Credit Score Matters When Buying a Home

Why Your Credit Score Matters for Your Home LoanMost people know their credit score is an important part of applying for a loan, but not everyone knows just how much that number affects how much they pay over time. Part of the problem is that lenders aren't as transparent as perhaps they should be about what they're charging and why. They'll add in fees that may sound like standard protocol but are really just an attempt to alleviate their fear of default from a high-risk buyer. Learn more about how credit score factors into mortgage terms before submitting a mortgage application.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

The Sweet Spot

Before getting into how credit affects a buyer's mortgage payments, it's important to identify what conventional lenders are looking for. Most lenders want to see scores that are at least 700 or higher (ideally, 760 or more), even though they will consider those with scores under 680 if the candidate has a stable income without a lot of additional debt. If the borrower is under 640, they may need to look outside traditional funding sources. While certainly an option, high-risk borrowers will not be offered the attractive loan terms that financially stable individuals will receive.

Interest Rates

This is usually the...

Visiting or Buying a Place in Myrtle Beach: What Each Area Has to Offer

Where to Go When Visiting or Buying a Home in Myrtle BeachAre you looking to buy or stay at a place in Myrtle Beach? It can be hard to decide on which area to choose as there are attractions in each location. Twelve unique communities are encompassed in the area known as Myrtle Beach. A lively downtown area, loads of natural beauty and historic areas can be found in and around the Myrtle Beach area. This area has grown in popularity and continues to attract new and returning visitors every year.

Potential buyers whoneed larger accommodations may want to look for a spacious condo with multiple bedrooms, those looking for smaller spaces may want an accommodation close to the action, and others may want a more low-key area that includes beach accessibility but with less congestion than the most popular areas. One's own objectives and budget may influence which area of Myrtle Beach may be most suitable for an upcoming vacation. What do visitors and possible future residents need to know about the different areas of Myrtle Beach?

North Myrtle Beach

Homeowners and visitors like the North Myrtle Beach area as it includes numerous attractions and shopping options. Condo-style accommodations offer multiple bedrooms for travelers. North Myrtle Beach attractions include:

  • Alligator Adventure
  • Tanger Outlets
  • ...

How to Budget for Closing Costs

What Closing Costs Will You Pay?Home buyers and sellers will hear the term closing costs bandied about constantly. They may not know exactly what they are and what they cover, but they know there's a bit of a power struggle going on with who's going to pay for them. It's a general rule that they're covered by the buyer, but the seller may choose to pay for them in an effort to sweeten the deal. But before accepting or negotiating an offer, it helps to know exactly what closing costs are first.

Services Rendered

Closing costs are paid to the lender and affiliated professionals for any and all work that must be completed before the loan is officially processed and closed. Buyers are required to receive paperwork that states both the estimate of the loan and disclosure of all fees. When it comes to the lump sum of money a buyer pays, it typically amounts to between 2 and 5% of the total purchase price of the home. While a 3% range may not sound like a lot, it could be thousands of dollars worth of additional costs on top of what a home buyer is already paying.

How Costs Are Totaled

Closing costs vary based on the work done to the home as well as the circumstances behind the home loan. Part of budgeting for closing costs is picking a loan that will subvert at least some of the additional fees. Closing costs vary based on whether or not buyers choose an adjustable-rate or a fixed mortgage, so research is pivotal when it comes to picking a lender for your Market Common home.

They...

Home Insurance Guide for New Home Buyers

Basic Information About Homeowner's Insurance For BuyersAfter making an offer on a home, home buyers applying for a mortgage must get a homeowner's insurance policy. When that happens, it's helpful to know exactly what homeowners insurance is, about how much it costs, and whether or not it's a requirement of purchasing the home. For a new home buyer, this guide can help.

What Is Homeowner's Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance that insures a dwelling and belongings in the event of a covered disaster. Homeowners insurance usually comes as a package that includes a variety of other protections, like liability insurance to protect homeowners from legal action in the event that someone is injured on the property.

Is Homeowner's Insurance A Requirement?

Homeowners insurance is usually a requirement if the homeowner gets a mortgage. Lenders require buyers to get insurance to protect the property. Insurance coverage must be in place when the home is bought or the financing will not go through.

The mortgage lender will continue to require proof of insurance throughout the life of the loan. In the event that the insurance coverage lapses, the lender will purchase a policy for the buyer and add the payment for the policy to the monthly bill. Typically, these insurance policies are much more expensive than the policies that homeowners would get on their own.

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