James Conforti and Domingo Medina - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 7/19/2018

Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers arenít arenít sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesnít come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lenderís decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, weíre going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how theyíre used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If youíre thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things youíll want to do is check your credit. However, if youíve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom youíve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online wonít affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if youíre young and donít have a diverse history of credit payments, youíll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If youíre hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesnít mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you donít have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which youíll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and wonít leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.




Tags: Buying a Home   FAQ   homebuyers  
Categories: Buying a Home   FAQ   homebuyers  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 6/28/2018

Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.

Vacation properties neednít be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.

In todayís post, Iím going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether youíre months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.

1. Consider locations

The most important aspect of any vacation home is that itís located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether thatís a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.

If itís your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if youíre moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?

On the other hand, if you donít intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your familyís vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.

2. Spend a week at your destination before buying

Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place theyíve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you donít want to spend several weeks or months there after all.

It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isnít enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.

To prevent buyerís remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.

3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect

Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they arenít using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.

Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; youíll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think arenít suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.

If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.





Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 5/31/2018

Ready to purchase your dream home? Before you finalize a home purchase, it may be worthwhile to schedule a home appraisal.

With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. The home appraiser then will offer a property valuation.

In some instances, a home offer may be appraisal-contingent. And if the home appraisal valuation falls below the amount of a buyer's offer, the buyer may request a renegotiated price.

A home appraisal may prove to be an important part of the homebuying process. As such, it is paramount for homebuyers to understand what an appraisal is all about and determine whether to conduct an appraisal.

To better understand home appraisals, let's take a look at three home appraisal facts that every homebuyer needs to consider.

1. An appraiser's valuation is his or her opinion of what a residence is worth.

Typically, a home appraiser will use a broad assortment of housing market data as part of a home assessment. The appraiser also will look closely at a residence as part of the home evaluation process.

Although a home appraisal is based on housing market data and a home assessment, it is essential to note that a home valuation is an appraiser's opinion. Therefore, two home appraisers may examine the same housing market data and the same house and come up with two different home valuations.

2. The homes in a neighborhood may affect the valuation of a residence.

Believe it or not, a home's value may be impacted by those around it. Thus, if you intend to buy a home, it often pays to evaluate the neighborhood to better understand whether a house's value will decline, stay the same or increase over time.

Furthermore, what you spend to improve a house is unlikely to raise a house's value proportionately. And if you spend $20,000 on home improvements, there are no guarantees that these home improvements will add $20,000 to a home's valuation.

3. A home appraisal and a home inspection are two very different things.

A home inspection often is considered a must-have during the homebuying process, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

During a home inspection, a property expert will ensure there are no structural issues with a home and identify any problem areas. Then, a homebuyer can move forward with a home purchase, rescind a home offer or submit a counter proposal based on a home inspection report.

On the other hand, a home appraisal enables a property expert to evaluate the house in its current state. A home appraiser will compare and contrast a home in relation to others in the area and offer a valuation.

If you need help determining whether to conduct a home appraisal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. With a real estate agent at your side, you can determine whether to set up a home appraisal prior to finalizing a home purchase.




Tags: Buying a Home   appraisal  
Categories: Buying a Home   appraisal  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 5/24/2018

In a competitive housing market--like the one we have today--sellers are fielding numerous offers, especially in desirable urban and suburban hubs.

If youíre hoping to buy your first or second home, it can be tough to make offer after offer with no success.

However, there are some things you can do to help ensure your time house hunting is well-spent and to increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you a few tips on how to win a bidding war on your dream home.

All-cash offer

The most effective way to ensure that your offer is accepted is to make it in all cash. Cash offers drastically simplify the real estate transaction process, making things easier on the seller.

Most buyers, especially first-time buyers, wonít be able to make an all-cash offer on a home. However, people who are downsizing after their children moved out or are buying a retirement home may find themselves in the ideal financial situation to be able to leverage a cash offer.

If that sounds like you, consider a cash offer as part of your bidding strategy.

Waive the financing contingency

If youíre new to real estate contracts, you might be wondering what a contingency is. Essentially, a contingency is an action that needs to be completed before the contract becomes valid and the sale becomes final.

There are a number of different contingencies that can be found in a real estate contract. However, the most popular are for inspections, appraisals, and financing.

If youíre planning on taking out a mortgage to purchase the home, a financing contingency protects you in case you arenít able to secure the mortgage in time. In other words, youíre not on the hook for a home you canít pay for.

In some special situations, buyers might decide to waive the financing contingency, signaling to the sellers that there wonít be any hang-ups or delays from the buyer regarding financing the home.

Waiving this contingency comes with risks (namely, being responsible for coming up with the money to pay for the home). However, there are ways to safely waive a contingency.

The most common approach is to get a fully pre-approved letter from a lender. The important distinction here is that your mortgage needs to be pre-approved and underwritten (not just pre-qualified), otherwise you again risk getting denied the mortgage in the last moments before buying your home.

Crafting a personal letter

Sometimes all it takes to win a bidding war is to be the sellerís favorite candidate. Take the time to write them a personalized letter. Explain what you love about their home and why itís perfect for your family.

Avoid talking about big changes youíll make. Remember that they probably put a lot of time and money into the home, making it exactly the way they want it, and wonít appreciate you making huge plans to undo their work as soon as theyíre out the door.


Using one, or a combination of, these three techniques, youíll be able to give yourself an edge over the competition and increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.





Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 5/10/2018

Pursuing a house can be difficult, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. Thankfully, homebuyers who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, seamless and successful homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to prepare for buying a house, and these include:

1. You can determine where you want to live.

A homebuyer who knows where he or she wants to live can tailor a home search accordingly. As a result, this buyer can speed up the process of acquiring his or her dream residence.

When it comes to planning ahead to buy a home, it generally helps to know where you want to go. If you make a checklist of home must-haves and wants, you may be able to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. Then, you can pursue residences in these areas and find your dream house faster than ever before.

2. You can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

You know that you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea how you will pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you can get your finances in order and enter the real estate market with a budget at your disposal.

Generally, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to pursuing a residence. A mortgage provides you with a set limit that you can spend on a house. Thus, a mortgage can help you minimize the risk that you'll spend beyond your means to acquire your dream residence.

Obtaining a mortgage can be quick and easy too. Meet with banks and credit unions, and these financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of mortgage options. Next, you can choose a mortgage and kick off your home search.

3. You can find an expert real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey.

If you plan to enter the housing market, you may want to hire an expert real estate agent sooner rather than later. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent knows exactly what it takes to purchase a superb residence at a price that fits your budget. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and provide insights into the local housing market. This housing market professional then can customize a home search to ensure that you can achieve your desired results.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and offer homebuying recommendations at each stage of the homebuying journey. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer.

There are many great reasons to plan ahead for the homebuying journey. And if you start planning today, you may be able to enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  




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