Joyce Crommett's Blog
Statistics vary, but according to two credible sources, 44% of Americans own a dog. That means that if you don't own a dog, there's a strong chance one or both of your next door neighbors do!
Why are dogs such a permanent fixture in so many households? Unconditional love is probably the number one reason most people bring a dog into their lives, but enhanced health, home security, and companionship are others.
Health benefits: If you have a dog in your family, you probably already know the power of the "w" word. From a dog's perspective, there are few experiences that outrank the joy of going for a walk with their master! It not only provides a daily bonding experience for both dog and owner, but it's also an opportunity to introduce a moderate amount of exercise into your life -- assuming your doctor approves! While running, athletics, or weight training is not up everyone's alley (or even medically advisable), taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood can be a great way to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy bonding moments with your four-legged companion! It's also a proven fact that petting or playing with a dog (or cat) can help lower your blood pressure and distract you from the cares and worries of everyday life.
Teaching moments: Not only do most kids love playing with pets, but they can also benefit from learning pet responsibility, kindness, and compassion.
Home security: While it's not an infallible method of burglarproofing your house, having a dog almost always serves as a deterrent. Most dogs are inherently protective of their territory (and loved ones) and will generally bark if they sense an intruder on the property or at the front door. Since one of the last things burglars want to do is call attention to themselves, a barking dog can definitely help keep the bad guys away!
Companionship: Dogs aren't the greatest conversationalists in the world, but they can be a very comforting presence when you're reading a book, watching TV, or relaxing at home. Many also love to join you for a ride in the car, a walk in the neighborhood, or a run in the park.
While dog ownership is not for everyone, more than 40% of us could not imagine life without our canine companion(s)! They do require a lot of attention, patience, and training, but the rewards are usually well worth the effort.
If you're considering getting a dog, you can gather a lot of helpful information about dog breeds, barking tendencies, temperament, shedding, how much exercise different breeds require, and other characteristics from the American Kennel Association. To help ensure a mutually satisfying relationship between you and your dog, it also pays to sign up for a dog obedience class and go online to learn about dog behavior, crate training, and health maintenance.
If you are looking to get a new loan, especially for a mortgage, a bank or your lending institution will review and approve or decline your application based on the information you provide.
That said, there is certain information that prospective lenders consider carefully when they examine your application for a home loan. This article is all about that data and the steps you can take to support your loan application as well as realize your dream of owning a house.
Here is the critical information your lender looks out for when reviewing your loan application.
1. Your Credit Score
The number one place your lender will set their eyes on is your credit score no matter the channel you are coming from, either in person or online. This is a general rule of the thumb: if your credit score is high, you stand a better chance. Alternatively, if you have a low credit score, you will need to crack some hard nuts. So, you should give a critical look into your credit before taking the first step.
However, your credit score is just the first step. It could disqualify you immediately, but only a few banks will approve a new loan with a good credit score alone. If your bank disqualifies you based on your low credit score, do not panic as there are many other avenues to loan approval.
2. Your Payment History
If you pass step 1, now the real analysis begins. The first step after checking the credit score is to look at your complete credit history. Many banks have a system for underwriting loans using old school paper printouts. They would print your credit report for the loan file and would manually check it with a highlighter. They would select any late payments and mark them up to look for a pattern.
So, 90-day late payments are massive issues, although 30- or 60-day late payments may be pardonable. A pattern of late payments is enough to disqualify a loan application, even if you meet credit score requirements.
3. Your Ability to Repay Past Loans
When you pass steps 1 and 2, the banks will eventually shift their focus to your outstanding debt, income, and ability to repay the loan. By reviewing your complete credit report, they can determine if you have been responsible for past loans and possess the habits of making on-time payments.
There are many erroneous beliefs out there about how mortgage loans are approved. You need to show both that you have the income to support the loan and a history of responsible and on-time payments. Lacking one or the other can stop your mortgage application right in its tracks.
There's a lot of excitement when buying a first home. One of the most important things to look into that doesn't necessarily come naturally to most, is knowing your neighbors. In today's society and culture, people are reluctant to form relationships. Technology has played a role in the detriment, but on the flip side, it has enhanced the interactions amongst a community. Knowing your neighbors can also serve as a security measure. If you are aware of those around you, you are more likely to feel safer in your new community. Here are some practical ways to navigate a new community and neighborhood.
First thing in the house buying process is knowing what type of neighborhood someone would be interested in. If the goal is to move into a community where your family could grow, then living in a family-oriented neighborhood is vital. Drive by the area to see if children are playing outside and if there's a school nearby. On the contrast, for someone who is heading into retirement, maybe living in a community with other retirees would be a better-suited community.
If it's a community that you've recently moved into, don't be afraid to strike up a conversation when you see someone outside walking their dog or mowing their lawn. Most people are curious to know who the new neighbor is when they look at moving trucks pull up to the house. Chances are they are ready to get to know you and they aren't sure how to go about it. If there is a garage sale going on, head over to introduce yourself. Score points by making a purchase or two. One man's trash can turn into someone else's treasure.
The third thing is to check out if the neighborhood has a community watch group or social media page already set up. Most areas have a neighborhood watch group that the residents can be a part of. There are apps such as Nextdoor and WelcomeWagon that allow users to keep up with activities in their neighborhood. These apps are geared specifically for people that live in a common residential area.
Lastly, everyone loves a good party! House warming parties normally are for friends and family to stop in and check out the new home. This opportunity could be taken to invite those that live in the neighborhood as well. While leaving an invitation on a doorstep could pass as an acceptable invite, a personal touch would be to invite a neighbor face to face. Everyone on the block does not need an invitation, but a few houses on the same street or across the street should do.
The critical thing to remember is that moving into a new home means new faces to meet. Relationships can form over time that can become lifelong interactions. Knowing your neighbor is not just about socializing, but it's about establishing a community of support.
A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:
1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?
Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.
Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.
2. Are there any major issues with a home?
Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.
A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.
Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.
3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?
As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.
If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.
Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.
Adding your house to the real estate market today may prove to be a great decision. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to list your home today, including:
1. You may be able to generate a profit on your house.
If you maintained your home over the years, the residence may have increased in value. Thus, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to generate a profit on your residence.
Furthermore, if you're preparing to enter a seller's market, you may be able to earn a significant profit in no time at all.
A seller's market frequently includes an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As such, if you add a high-quality house to a seller's market, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers at or above your initial asking price.
2. You can downsize your home or upgrade to a larger residence.
Although your current residence may have served you well for an extended period of time, now may prove to be a great time for a change. Fortunately, if you add your house to the real estate market, you can take the next step to downsize your residence or upgrade to a larger residence.
For those who want to downgrade, it may be simple to sell a house and get rid of excess items at the same time. Then, you can relocate to a smaller residence that better suits your budget and personal needs.
On the other hand, those who want to move into a bigger and better residence can explore a vast array of residences any time they choose. After a home seller finds a buyer for his or her residence, this individual will have plenty of funds to pursue a superior residence as well.
3. You can embark on a new adventure.
Selling a home opens new doors for any individual, at any time.
For example, you can use the funds from your home sale to go on a cross-country journey. Or, you may choose to move closer to family members and friends in another area of the country. Regardless of which option you choose, you won't have to worry about being saddled to a home mortgage after you sell your residence.
Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of selling your house, along with what you'll do immediately following a home sale. By doing so, you can map out the next stage of your life.
Of course, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling a house, it is always best to consult with a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you can receive expert insights throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your house and offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. In addition, he or she is ready to respond to your home selling queries at any time.
Get ready to sell your home – meet with a real estate agent, and you can take the next step to add your residence to the real estate market.