There is only so many times a guy can apologize (ladies you know this, lol!). It has been like what K-Ci & JoJo sang about a "C-R-A-Z-Y" year! It started last spring when my father in law having a seizure out of no where...long story short he ended up getting a brain infection (which is why he had a seizure), this infection turned into two massive strokes which has left him incapable to take care of himself. So, last October he came to live with my wife and I as his insurance would not continue to pay for him to stay at a rehab facility and he had nowhere to go. Well, the only way this was gonna work without one of us quitting our jobs to be at home with him 24/7 was is somebody moved in with us to help take care of him....my mother, volunteered, so...this means that my wife's father and now MY mother have moved into our home. She is a saint for taking a 1year medical leave of absence from her job with the airlines in Houston, TX to help us take care of Benny. Needless to say it has been a C-R-A-Z-Y nine months. Now that things seem to be calming down and we are getting used to this arrangement I have decided to pick up where I left off on this blog. Thanks for hanging with me!
OH YEAH...almost forgot, check out my new website!
MORE tips for Buying & Selling your home!With interest rates still at an all time low, take advantage! All you renters out there need to hear this and pay close attention. Home prices are on the rebound and interest rates are soon to follow. So, with that being said, start looking for a home.
Step 1) Get a pre-qualified, go to your mortgage broker and have them run the numbers for you to see what you can afford. If you do not have a mortgage broker that you know or who you deal with either go to BankRate.com and see who has some of the most competitive interest rates in your area, or, go to the bank that you regularly bank at (if you like them) and ask to speak to one of their mortgage brokers. It is pointless to waste your time along with the time of the poor Realtor who is showing you house after house and you don't even know what you can afford. If you have already made contact with a Realtor or you know a Realtor but you don't know a Mortgage broker ask them for a recommendation.
Step 2) Make contact with a Realtor who can REPRESENT YOU, don't go driving around looking at signs in yards and just calling the agents on the signs...you see they are obligated by law to look out for their sellers first and foremost, or they can remain neutral with both the buyers and sellers and they cannot, by law, share certain information with you that they otherwise could've if they were only representing just you in the transaction. They work for YOU, you can "interview" a bunch of different Realtor's before selecting one to represent you. Don't be "wow'd" by flashy big time Realtor's, make sure who you get will work hard for you.
Step 3) Once you have made contact with a Realtor that you feel comfortable with, ask them about certain rebate programs when buying and selling that are out there:
- Homes for Heroes who will give you a 25% discount on their listing fees if you qualify (to see what it takes to qualify visit the link above and check it out), or you can get back 25% of the commission made by your Realtor back in a closing cost rebate (on a $200k home you would be looking at $1,500 back to you to pay for your closing costs!!).
- Ask your Realtor about other programs such as the "Good Neighbor Next Door" program that allows for Fireman, Police, EMTs, and Teachers to buy a foreclosure home and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will pay for HALF (50%) of the house for you if you buy the house they have for sale, the only thing you have to do is live in it for 5 years, if you do not then the only thing that will happen is they won't pay for their half. To break this down, if you find a $200k house on a HUD foreclosure list that qualifies for this program and you get it for $150k-foreclosure price, and they pay for half of it....this means that you will only pay $75K for a $200K house!!!, talk about getting your set for retirement!
- There is also the "Dollar Home" program that allows you to purchase an FHA foreclosure home if you are moderate to low income family for a $1!!! (not sure what exactly this requires, but sounds like a great program!)
- If you can find a foreclosure house that you like and can do some work yourself you will still be getting a great deal and making a wise financial move even if you don't qualify for either of the programs listed above. Check out these foreclosure links HUD Foreclosures & Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Foreclosures
- There are grants that certain city's will offer home buyers who qualify and they will pay for either closing costs or your down payment, you will just have to check with your local city to find out what is offered.
Step 4) Along with the savings offered with buying and selling your home, those who qualify for Homes for Heroes will also be eligible for a free appraisal and discounts on homeowners insurance. If you are not eligible for the Homes for Heroes program you may be eligible for other offers, however YOU HAVE TO ASK when getting quotes for insurance or when you first speak to your mortgage broker.
Step 5) Getting a home inspection is important! If you are buying a foreclosure home and need to get the inspection BEFORE you put in the offer (which you may need to do), ask a local home inspection guy if he can do a home inspection WITHOUT the report for under $100. A lot of times they will do this (beats paying $250-$350 upfront without even having an accepted contract).
This is all I have for now...check back as I am working on another segment already.
Thanks again for reading, if you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to email me or post a comment on this post, thanks!