Friday, September 2, 2016

Crucial 1st step when buying a Home

The definition of a process is; a systematic series of actions directed to some end. 
The home buying process has many actions, all important to obtain the end goal of buying a home. 
One of the first and crucial actions in the home buying process is to get pre-approved from a mortgage lender. Yet, many put this off. Why? I've heard many reasons; I know what I can afford, I don't want my credit score to go down, I know my credit is great, I'm afraid, I don't know any, etc. 

I follow the LighterSide of Real Estate on Facebook and the other day I saw the picture to the left which made me think to write this blog today.
The pre-approval is essential and makes sense!
Why? Here are just a few reasons:

1. You'll have a clear understanding of what it costs to buy. From closing costs, title fees, current interest rates and down payment options. You can estimate online, but those are general. Every state and even city has different transfer taxes and interest rates do fluctuate based on credit scores.
2. You'll get updated credit report. How often do you check your credit report? Most people rarely look at their full report. What if there is something on there that has reduced your score and you had no idea!? This unfortunately happens more often than you think. Plus, mortgage lenders use a different credit score system. So that FICO score you get every month from your bank, may be different from what the bank gets.
3. You can not submit an offer on a home without a pre-approval letter! I think that's the biggest reason of all... what's the point of looking if you can't buy!
4. You'll know what you can afford. Maybe you can afford more than you think. Or maybe less. If you're looking at homes for $225,000 just based on your own calculations, maybe you could actually afford up to $275,000! That extra $50,000 could get you another bedroom or larger backyard you wanted.

If you're goal is to buy a home, you must take the necessary steps. Having the right team- Realtor and Lender- will make the process less scary and more fun!
Kelly Steyn, Realtor® SRES
Keller Williams Blue Bell & Cherry Hill
RE License: PA-RS306853 NJ-1109349

(215) 646-2900 Office
(484) 343-2406 Cell/Text
(267) 419-2970 eFax

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Thinking about downsizing? Here are some tips:

Are you realizing your home, lawn or bills are becoming too big to maintain? I often consult with homeowners that are in the very beginning stages of asking themselves "are we ready to scale down?" 
Some questions we discuss during this initial consultation are; have you thought about where you want to move? Will you stay local, move towards kids or move to more enjoyable weather? Have you thought about the type of lifestyle and community you want? It's easy to get fed up with maintaining your home, but you need to dig deeper to figure out your what you want from your next home. 
Whether scaling down due to age, health or just be more economical, it's a big transition and takes time to make the official leap. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about downsizing:

What is my budget?  Have you determined the equity you may get out of your current home? A Realtor can help give you a good idea of the current market and value of your home ( I do these consultations for free!) Often your next home costs significantly less than your current. So may have a minimal or no mortgage at all. But there are also other bills to consider like utilities, taxes, medical and home maintenance. Rule of thumb- don't spend over 30% of your monthly income on housing. Ideally less than 30%.

What is the market like where I want to buy? Will I be able to find an affordable home now if it's a sellers market? Some areas are really hot right now and not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you want to move to these areas, such as Denver, it may make sense to take out an equity line to purchase a new home then pay off when you sell your home. Seek financial advice to determine what makes sense for your budget and means.

How will downsizing affect my family? Will your son or daughter move back after college? Does your extended family always stay at your home for the Holidays? You can certainly work about these scenarios, but it's something to keep in mind. 

What kind of lifestyle do I want? Why are you downsizing? Simpler life? Less maintenance? Moving to a different country? Deciding what you want to achieve by this move first will help you find the home that aligns with your goals and dreams! 

If you or someone you know is thinking about downsizing, I'm happy to give a personal consultation to see if now is a good time for them.
Kelly Steyn, Realtor® SRES
Keller Williams Blue Bell & Cherry Hill
RE License: PA-RS306853 NJ-1109349
(484) 343-2406 Cell/Text


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Glenside Living

Love to be outside? Visit one of these parks. Love the arts? Visit historic Keswick Theater. Love supporting local eateries? Plenty to choose from here! Love charming colonial homes? Check out this one:

548 Twickenham Rd.

All of these great sights and attractions are located in Glenside, PA. Glenside is about a 30-minute drive to downtown Philadelphia, 2 hours to New York City, 2 hours to the Poconos, and 1.5 hours to the Jersey shore. The town is super convenient to many major highways, such as US Route 19576, the PA Turnpike. Plus in the middle of many local roads like 611, 309 and 73, making commutes simple. SEPTA has two rail lines serving the station too! 
Come check it out for yourself!

Questions about the area, the featured home above or real estate in general, contact me.