Rent To Own: Good Idea?

Rent To Own, Good Idea?

So you have seen the signs and maybe even considered it, Rent To Own.  Rent To Own can sound so easy and really simple.  You are paying rent anyways why not have it go towards buying a home as well, harmless right?

The reality I have found is Rent To Own properties rarely work out to benefit the buyer or in this case renter.  The issue I have seen is they are not properly executed meaning there is no contract, no public record and no attorney involved either.  This leads to confusion, misunderstanding and possibly nothing legal about it.

First let me say there are people that are doing it correctly, but that is beyond rare to see.  A properly executed rent to own situation would be handled by an attorney, filed in the county records and in writing.  The vast majority unfortunately do not fall in this category.

Remember title stays in the seller’s name, for that reason the buyer is at a disadvantage.  The seller could have a mortgage, which means if they don’t pay they could get foreclosed on, meaning the buyer/renter is out as well.  How can a renter be assured the seller is making the payments?  Who has insurance on the property?

What happens if the seller gets divorced or dies, will their family respect the agreement in place?  My experience has told me no, family wants to sell and not deal with any headaches.  This would mean the buyer is out of luck, out of a house, out their money and out any improvements they have made.  Speaking of improvements, would you be able to do any improvements on the home knowing you could lose that money?

As you can see there are many risks of doing a rent to own which is why I don’t recommend it.  Even the state has no promulgated contract to address this type of transaction which should give you a strong indication that it should not be done.  Instead save for a down payment, fix your credit and work on getting approved.  Yes it will take time and money but in the long run you will so much better off.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Establish Credit

How To Establish Credit

When you hear about financing you usually hear about credit as well.  How well is your credit, do you have good or bad credit?  What is your credit score?  What you don’t hear much about is how to establish credit and today I wanted to show you a common and easy way to establish credit if you have none.

My favorite suggestion to most folks is a safe and easy one.  I like the idea of establishing your credit with a secured credit card.  A secured credit card is exactly what it sounds like a credit card that is secured… let me explain.  A bank or lender will approve you for a secured credit card, lets say with a credit limit of $300.  However that credit limit is secured, the way they do that is the bank ask you to give them the $300 as security.

You might be thinking, well am I just not borrowing my own money back?  The answer is yes, however the difference is the bank or lender is reporting your behavior to the credit bureaus, this is called credit.  So in essence what you are doing is showing the bank how you are responsible with money while they do not have any risk of losing since they have the $300 as security.

Now remember this isn’t a long term credit card to have, this is mainly just to establish you credit.  Once you establish it you can explore other credit cards or lines of credit you may be interested in like a car or home.  The main idea of credit is to have the lender report your behavior with money to the credit agency, which is how credit works.  

If your interested in this idea, save up the $300, find a bank that will issue one and apply.  Use the card, pay back the borrowed money on time over and over again.  Over time your credit will not only be established but your behavior to a potential creditor in the future will be established as being good & this should be your goal!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

3 Little Things Sellers Can Do To Make A Big Impression On Buyers

3 Little Things Sellers Can Do To Make A Big Impression On Buyers

When buyers are out looking at homes it is easy for them to start to forget some if they don’t make a great first impression on them.  They often get overwhelm and might only remember a negative detail if it wasn’t a great home.  As a seller listing your home you want to be sure your home is memorable to the buyers and sticks out in a good way.  Here are 3 Tips sellers can do to make a big impression on potential buyers.

  1. Utilities Costs - Every buyer not only is looking at the sales price of the home but they are also thinking of their monthly expenses, one of them being utilities bills.  As a seller if you list this for them they have a clear understanding of what they can expect to pay, don’t leave them guessing wrong and cause them to walk away.  Be proactive and provide the information so they can be educated and feel empowered.
  2. Owner’s Manuals - Providing owners manuals is another key buyers really appreciate.  Providing the manuals not only shows you kept up with your homes records but it helps them out with future issues should they need to reference them.
  3. Make An Effort (TLC) - Make an effort outside to give your home great curb appeal.  Too much attention is put inside the home, when in reality the first impression starts with curb appeal.  What sets a boring home from one that will impress buyers is definitely some TLC, this shows you cared and took care of the home.

Don’t allow your home to get lost in the shuffle of all the homes buyers view, instead be sure to stand out.  These are just a few tips I would give sellers but certainly there are more.  At the end of the day it is on you to set the stage for your home and the impression buyers will get.  Be sure to follow these 3 tips so you can be sure to make a big impression on buyers when you list your home.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

6 Home Improvements That Don’t Add Much Value

6 Home Improvements That Don’t Add Much Value

Homeowners are used to spending money on their homes for routine maintenance.  Some will go as far as spending money on home improvements to better their home for their taste or even increasing the value.  The issue I often come across is when these improvements are completed they don’t always added value to the home.

Here are 6 Home Improvements I see all the time however don’t add much value to the home.

  1. Over The Top Landscaping - Landscaping is key to buyers it is your curb appeal and first impression of the home.  Keeping up with mowing the lawn, watering and trimming the bushes is a good for your curb appeal.  However when you decide to go over board with the landscaping that goes above and beyond the norm for the neighborhood you start to lose money.  Going over the top on landscaping can become too niche and often lead to losing money on the landscaping improvements.
  2. Improvements beyond the neighborhood - Improvements should be kept within range of the norm for the neighborhood and not go above as you start to lose your ROI.  An example would be installing wrought iron doors in a neighborhood where no one else has some, this would be difficult to justify increasing the value much.  While in other neighborhoods those doors may be the norm and are expect just to keep up with the neighborhood norm.
  3. Delayed Maintenance - Often maintenance items are confused with home improvements and this is not something that necessarily adds value.  For example a homeowner could have delayed painting, roof, a/c and new carpet in the bedrooms for year but then does this all at once.  While this may add up in expense it doesn’t necessarily add value, instead it is maintenance buyers expect and just brings the property up to par with the neighborhood norm.
  4. Inconsistent High End Upgrades - You ideally want to keep all the upgrades consistent instead of over investing in just one area & ignoring another.  So maybe you put really high end appliances however you still have old bad counters, cabinets in need of TLC and laminate floors.  Can you picture how those inconsistent upgrades might not fit in or flow with the rest of the home?  Instead spread the improvements to bring everything up to par, not just in one area but the whole home.
  5. Sunroom Additions - It is no secret in North Texas is hot and a sunroom really isn’t appealing for most buyers.
  6. Pools - Pools tend to be a niche upgrade with low demand making the ROI rather low.  Keep in mind people don’t want to deal with the maintenance, cleaning, chemicals, safety issues and the space it takes up in the back yard.  As a result I find pools don’t have a good ROI as an improvement.

I hope you found this list helpful if you plan on making improvements or had questions regarding your ROI on these projects.  At the end of the day I encourage anyone to make improvements that makes them happy.  If you have questions or if I can help please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Great 2nd Bathroom Layout

Great 2nd Bathroom Layout

Secondary bathrooms just don’t get enough respect and I feel bad for them!  The second bathroom often gets heavier use and you would think it would get more attention from builders but it doesn’t.  I came across a second bathroom setup that I really like especially in a big busy house.

Most second bathrooms I come across are the main bathroom for most folks in the home.  The master bathroom is reserved for the master bedroom only therefor leaving the second bathroom for everyone else from the kids and guest.  The issue I see is that it gets a lot of use but often isn’t designed to accommodate this use… let me explain.

Second bathrooms in a big house with a family is a busy place in the morning when everyone is getting ready for school.  Kids are waking up, using the restroom, showering and getting ready.  However most second bathrooms are designed to accommodate one person at a time and that is why I think they don’t get enough respect.

What I really love to see is a second bathroom which is divided with two doors.  First this allows two uses at the same time therefor being more practical and useful at the same time.  One section has the shower/tub and toilet while the second area holds the dual vanities.  This setup allows one person to either be using the bathroom or taking a shower while the second person can be brushing their teeth or getting ready.  This is so much more practical and useful.

What is surprising is not enough homes have this and by this I mean big homes which you know are made for big families.  It is no secret the bathroom is a busy place in the morning and to design it to fit their needs is key.  Unfortunately I don’t see these split bathrooms enough and that is a shame.  So next time your looking at homes don’t forget the second bathroom it deserves some attention as well.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Tips For Negotiating Repairs

Tips For Negotiating Repairs

Most buyers imagine only having one set of negotiations and that is at the beginning over price and contract terms.  The reality is there are several times when you will have to negotiate and asking for repairs is one of them.  The repairs are brought up right after the inspection is completed and review.  Knowing what to ask for, cost of the repair and which are a must is key.

I strongly believe being prepared is key to negotiating repairs efficiently.  Knowing what all you will ask to be repair, how much they costs and what you might be able to do yourself later is important.  First the most important is what you will be asking to repair, ask yourself what is a realistic concern and what is excessive.  Many sellers will be asking themselves that very question right up front, so be sure you can justify it.  Is the market in a position where a buyer may get everything they want repair or maybe just bare minimum items?  Know ahead of time what is important and what is negligible.  My top five concerns for repairs are foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, anything else is minor in a hot market.

What will those repairs cost both in dollars and in time.  Is it realistic to ask for a certain repair if the seller can’t afford it.  Will the repair delay closing or is it even realistic for the seller to repair as opposed to buying a property as is.  Know if what you are asking for is realistic and affordable to the seller.  Asking to repair the roof might be expensive and time consuming but at the same time very important. 

Is it realistic for all your repair request to be completed?  I often tell my buyer clients to list them in order of importance and decide ahead of time which they can go without.  What I mean is knowing ahead of time that if the seller counters with three repairs instead of the five you requested what will you do.  I suggest you play that scenario ahead of time instead of while it is happening as you are limited on time.  Realize the possibility of the seller not doing all the repairs is possible so be prepared on how you will react ahead of time.

Negotiating repairs can be a tense moment to some but with a little preparation the negotiations can be easy.  Be prepared to expect a counter from the seller, know how much the repairs costs, ask yourself if it is something you can do yourself later and which repairs are a must.  Keep these tips in mind and you will come out of repair negotiations much happier with your results.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Tips For Choosing A Lender

Tips For Choosing A Lender

Choosing a lender to work with can be overwhelming but here are a few tips to help you through the process.  Lenders play an important part in the real estate transaction and picking the right one is key.  You may have seen commercials, billboards or even internet ads but which lender is right for you.

Start by having choices, I strongly recommend you interview at least three lenders.  I have lenders I work with on a regular basis and recommend for many reasons.  The key is to know you are in control and have choices, pick the one who is right for you not necessarily the first call you make.

Ask about pricing, interests rates and costs.  This by far is a buyer’s main concern and while I agree it isn’t everything either.  Find out what you need to have as far as credit, down payment, closing costs and total out of pocket.  Ask about different loan options available to you under your situation.  Keep in mind someone who just got out of college may have different choices as opposed to a move up buyer with an established career know your options.

Are they available in the evenings and weekends?  This is extremely important as that is when real estate deals are done.  Most people are shopping when they are off of work and that is when your lender should also be available.  Traditionally lenders have been a nine to five business hour work week however in a competitive market we are in that has evolved to be available through out the week to stay competitive.  Availability is key so be sure to ask so you know you can be competitive in this market.

As you can see many there are several things to think about when choosing a lender to work with.  While television commercials might make you think it is something you choose down on your phone or on an app it really is much more involved than that.  The reality is you want to have someone who is available, gives you options, is transparent with their fees and has a good reputation of getting loans closed on time.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Final Walk-Through Tips

Final Walk-Through Tips

The closing date is finally here and you are excited to close on your home but before you sign it is a good idea to check the property one more time.  The final walk-through is scheduled so you have the opportunity to double check everything with the home one more time before signing on the dotted line.  Here are some tips to make sure you cover all your bases.

Remember that once you sign at the title company and the transaction is funded the property is now officially yours.  The purpose of the walk-through among several things is to make sure it is still in the same condition you agreed to purchase it in.  Many things can go wrong, even in just one day so doing a final walk-through is a good idea to be on the safe side.

Your first priority is to make sure the seller has left the property in the condition you expected.  This not only means in the way it was presented when you made your offer but even after the seller’s belongings have been removed.  Often I find movers may scratch the floors, bump the wall or even discover a big stain an area rug was covering up.  This is the time to check for those things both on the inside and out.

If the seller agreed to make any repairs this is a good time to verify they have been completed but also to your satisfaction.  Too often I see repairs are not completed properly or at all.  What you don’t want to happen is have a situation where you are an hour away from closing and no repairs have been completed.  This leads me to my biggest tip when it comes to walk-throughs, schedule two of them.

Having two walk-throughs might sound excessive however I find it cuts down on last minute issues.  The biggest problem I have encountered is finding repairs are not completed or done properly at the final walk through the day of closing.  For this reason I really like to schedule a walk through one week before closing and another the day of closing.  The week before gives you a chance to verify the repairs and if they are not done properly it gives the seller time to get them addressed.  I have found this to be helpful and not cause big delays like finding out at the last minute a repair has not been completed.

Final walk-throughs are important so be sure to schedule them with time so you are not rushed.  Take your time looking over the house but also the repairs.  Schedule two walk-throughs instead so there is time to make repairs or take care of an issue before closing if one is discovered.  Being prepared goes a long way and scheduling two walk-throughs is an important part of making sure you have no surprises.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Top 5 Repairs I Look For In An Inspection

Top 5 Repairs I Look For In An Inspection

So the inspection has been done and you are overwhelmed by the report, what repairs are of concern and which are not?  Here are my top 5 repairs I look for when going over an inspection.

Let’s start by acknowledging that no home is perfect and no inspection comes back perfect either.  Also there are more than five items of concern however these are my top five in no particular priority.

  1. Roof - This is a non-negotiable item because it is just that important.  A roof is so important that an insurance company will inspect even after you purchase the home.  If they determine repairs are needed or even replacement they will not cover it and ask that you make the repairs with in a certain period of time.  What happens if you don’t?  They will drop your coverage, which remember you lender expects you to have insurance.  Can you see why this is a non-negotiable?
  2. Foundation - North Texas is covered with clay just underneath the dirt and when that gets to dry it can cause problems with your foundation.  Foundation problems can be small & inexpensive or they can be overwhelmingly expensive.  Not only will a damaged foundation be an issue but dry wall damage, structure and even plumbing issues within the slab.
  3. Plumbing - Plumbing is a necessary function of the home and without it the house is more like a nice shed.  Also this has to be repaired by someone who knows what they are doing which is why a licensed professional is needed.
  4. Electrical - This is the same as plumbing, you don’t want to have the seller do these repairs themselves it is best to leave it to a professional.
  5. HVAC - Remember this is North Texas which means our summers are hot and long, a little AC helps.  Making sure this is in good working condition is key to having a good home ownership experience so start off by having a system working in great working condition.

So those are my top five but by no means are they all I look for.  Just know having a Realtor® by your side is key who is used to seeing these issues and willing to negotiate for you.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

 

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

What Is A Home Warranty?

What Is A Home Warranty?

You often hear the term “home warranty” when talking about buying a home but what exactly is a home warranty?  Often the term is confused with other warranties and even insurance.  A home warranty is not a builders warranty, that is more related to a structure of the home and provided by the builder on a new home.  Home insurance covers more for incidents such as wind, fire and water damage.  When you think home insurance you can think of more like accidents to the home and contents.

A home warranty on the other hand is more directly related to the day to day appliances and mechanical items of a home.  For example a home warranty typically covers some plumbing, electrical, built in microwave, HVAC, exhaust fan and other similar items you use everyday in your home.  There are extra items you can purchase coverage on that is not typically included in the basic home warranty such as refrigerator coverage, washer & dryer, pool and spa equipment.

So how exactly do you use a home warranty?  When ever you have an issue with the items I mentioned such as the air conditioner you want to make sure you call the home warranty company directly to report the issue.  They will then send out a third party vendor to take care of the issue as long as it is something covered in their warranty.  The cost to you is the service fee, so if the bill comes out to $400 then you only pay the service fee which tend to be in the $60 to $80 range.

Please remember not to call an air conditioner company to fix the issue then expect the home warranty company to pay them.  They have to use their third party vendors they have a relationship with already.  Also keep in mind not all home warranty companies are the same, it is very important to read the fine print.  I find most complaints about a home warranty is due to a misunderstanding of the coverage and this can be avoided by reading the fine print and not making any assumptions of coverage.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Renting Vs. Buying

Renting Vs. Buying

Renting vs Buying, which is better for you?  There are advantages to both buying and renting as well as negatives.  As a real estate agent I am biased towards buying but I am more than aware that it does not work for everyone, so let’s talk about the two.

Renting in my opinion has a lot of flexibility to it.  You get to move whenever your lease is up, you can change area, type of home and even go from plain jane to luxury rental.  Now more than ever apartments are making it more of a resort style living to really keep tenants happy and there longer.  With pools that rival those found in typical resorts and fitness centers to make it easy to save money on gym memberships.  All this is a big plus for renting, so what is the negative?

The reality is you are not gaining any equity and most people see it as throwing money away.  I don’t agree with that because you are getting a place to live in exchange so you do get something for your money but I understand where they are coming from with that statement.  Also parking at apartments can be down right awful even if you have assigned parking.  How about noise from neighbors either above you or besides you.  What if your the one that wants to turn up the radio or have a party, it can get uncomfortable fast for your neighbors.

Buying on the other hand gives you the advantages of not being surrounded by neighbors literally on the other side of the wall.  You have more freedom and that is welcoming for many buyers.  You can finally paint the bedroom walls, change the flooring and really make the home yours.  Did I mention you finally start gaining some equity both by paying down on your loan and the appreciation that usually follows in the housing market.

So what could be bad about buying?  Your mobility is limited, now you can move but it isn’t as easy.  You have to sell your home in order to consider moving, where in a rental situation it is a whole lot more simple.  Let’s talk maintenance, because as a buyer you are now the maintenance crew, so be ready.  Also repairs come out of your pocket so be sure to be ready for that as they can be small or large.

So which is better?  To me it depends on your situation and position in life.  Are you ready to settle in the city or area where you are or do you think you will be relocating, even to the other side of the metroplex?  Are you financially ready to take on the responsibility of a mortgage, maintenance and repairs or would you ready leave that risk with someone else?  These are all things to take in to consideration and the answer is different for everyone.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Mortgages: Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval? What is the Difference?

Mortgages: Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval? What is the Difference?

So which is better and which should you get… pre-qualification or pre-approval?  What do they mean and what is the difference?  You often hear the two terms thrown around when talking mortgages and financials so let’s break them down.

First just know these two terms can be interchangeable to some loan officers and lenders so be sure to ask for clarification.

Pre-Qualification is considered to be the easier of the two and involves less information.  Let me explain.  First in this scenario you provide your limited information to either a loan officer or even a website and almost immediately you get a response.  Either yes you are pre-qualified and for how much or declined.  However please know that there was no verification involved and this is the key difference.  You could have lied to a computer or loan officer and based on your information they make a decision.  When you get a letter from the lender with a pre-qualification it usually is not taken as seriously due to the lack of verification.

Pre-approval on the other hand is the same except there is actual verification.  Now instead of just entering your income you will need to provide proof of your income such as bank statement, tax returns and pay check stubs.  If you have assets those will need to be verified as well as your employment.  As you can see this takes more effort however due to the verification it carries more weight in comparison to a pre-qualification.

So what does this actually mean to you when you start shopping?  A pre-qualification will have a bit less meaning than a pre-approval to a seller who receives your offer.  Knowing there has been some verification involved will make the seller more confident in a pre-approval as opposed to a pre-qualification.

Now do you want to take it up a notch and be fully approved?  This is even more verification and even involves the lender’s underwriter.  Just know at this type of approval you are fully approved meaning everything is verified and all questions the lender may have to give you a loan have been satisfied.  At that point the only thing between you and a loan is finding a home.  You can read more about fully lender credit approval here.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How Long Does It Take To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?

How Long Does It Take To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage?

How long does it take to get pre-approved?  Getting pre-approved can be done in a few hours if not a day but it is all about being prepared.  Being prepared with all the documentation and information in hand will expedite the process for you and the loan officer.

Be sure to have all your information ready so there are no delays.  Some of the items you will need are your tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, 401K statements, ID, and any other important financial documentation you plan on having the lender take in to consideration. 

Having those documents and information in hand will make the process much smoother.  Just know the loan officer will gather the information and make a determination as long as there are no issues.  Some will even go as far as verifying your income if there is something in question.  However most lenders will get it done the same day.  

Keep in mind the pre-approval is different than a pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification generally involves no verification so it is usually instantaneous.  Pre-approval usually means there is a form of verification, which makes it take longer to do but has so much more meaning behind it.  A seller is going to take a person who is pre-approved much more serious than one who is just pre-qualified.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are you ready to buy a home?  You have always heard buying a home is a good investment and a wise thing to do but is it right for you?  Even if you want to buy a home are you necessarily ready to buy?

Buying a home, in my opinion, is a great thing generally in a person personal life but also financial.  However I will be the first to state it is not for everyone, you much be financially ready and prepared to maintain it once you own it. 

How confident do you feel in your current job, career field and your marketability to be employed?  This is something you much ask yourself because if you are not confident in either of these then you may think twice before purchasing.  When you purchase you are committing to a long term loan, so being prepared to pay that over the long term is important, having confidence in your job which is your income source is extremely important.

Have you saved up money for a down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and possible maintenance issues?  All these are important to keep in mind, as you want to not only be able to buy the home but also maintain it for the long term.  Remember there is no maintenance person you can call anymore you would know be in charge of that.  Also find out how much money you will need to bring to closing if you were to buy a home and have that ready.  Remember you can do down payment assistance programs and get gifts funds from family but it is best to figure that out ahead of time instead of at the last minute.

How is your credit and is it good enough to qualify for a loan?  There are loan programs for people with all sorts of credit scores so your chances are good but you still want to know where you stand.  I always strongly recommend to speak with a loan officer to gauge where you stand and inform you of your options.  If you don’t qualify then find out why and get a plan in place to get you qualified in the future.  Credit is very important so knowing where you stand is important to determining if you are ready to buy a home.

All these items are more financial, how about personal?  Will you want to stay in a particular area for a long time or do you want to move away in the near future.  Remember buying is for the long term so take that in to account. 

Being ready to buy a home is all different to everyone especially with the personal side of the equation.  I can help you with the financial side but I feel the personal side is very important as well. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

If you are like many buyers you are finding the lack of inventory and high buyer demand to be your number one problem.  A big tip I give to my buying clients is to keep shopping for a home even during a holiday.  Let me explain.

Buyer demand is at all time highs while inventory is at all time lows, these two forces create a buying frenzy.  Often you will hear about multiple offers on homes and it can get tough to compete with every home having multiple offers.  From my experience I have noticed that around holidays such as Forth of July I tend to see demand drop temporarily.  My experience has been that many folks tend to have plans, take a break and all of a sudden there is significantly less traffic of buyers.  I say to use this to your advantage.

I certainly do not mean to ignore the holiday or not celebrate it, but instead make time to continue viewing homes.  You will find less multiple offer situations and your odds of having your offer accepted will be much better.  This could be your opportunity to have your offer accepted and maybe it won’t have to be as aggressive of an offer.  Either way if you are shopping for a home don’t let holidays be a day off, instead get out there and you will find your odds will be much better!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Advantages Of Getting Full Credit Approval

Advantages Of Getting Full Credit Approval

What is the advantage of getting full credit approval?  First let’s break down the types of lender approvals so we know where we stand.  Remember first there is a qualification or even referred to as pre-qualification.  In this case a buyer is pre-qualified for a mortgage by having given their information and determined to be able to qualify for a mortgage.  However please note there is no verification if the information given was actually true, so this type holds very little weight and I do not recommend it.

Next is the pre-approval or approval of a mortgage, in this case the same happens but there is verification of the information provided.  So the income is verified with pay check stubs, tax returns and even banks statements, so this is the preferred way to be approved for a loan.

Full credit approval however is the ultimate form and has really become more popular as the market has become more competitive.  In this case the approval goes as far as fully approving the buyer by the lender’s full underwriting standards.  In this case the buyer is not only review and verified by a loan officer but also the lender’s underwriter, which is the ultimate decision maker.  

Keep in mind this takes up time, the lender’s resources and fills the lender’s pipeline with other buyers who may already have a house under contract.  This is something big the lender’s are doing and it s an enormous help to a buyer when it comes to competing for a home in a multiple offer situation.  The only thing missing from the lender actually giving you a loan is the contract on a home.

So how is this stronger?  You are fully approved, meaning you almost hold as much weight as a cash buyer!!!  You are guaranteed as far as your credit approval is concerned.  That is big, and getting this done is recognized when it comes to making your offer because now the seller doesn’t have to worry if you will not qualify down the road.  The reality is you are ready and approved so your offer holds weight and they are more likely to take your offer over others just for that reason.

Getting fully credit approved takes time and the lender’s resources, so when you have a lender willing to do this realize how important it is.  This means that not only are they serious but they know what it takes to help you win those multiple offer situations.  If you have the opportunity this is the best route to take, it will put you ahead of the rest of the buyers and get you in a home that much fast.  When I tell people how to win in multiple offer situations this is my number one suggestion!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage is pretty easy but what do you need to apply?  I will discuss the basic five items you generally need to apply for a loan.

  1. Proof Of Income - You will need to prove your income to the lender, which can be done by providing bank statements, pay check stubs, and tax returns.  If you have other forms of non traditional income like a side business, alimony, child support or other misc. incomes you will want to have documentation of that income available.
  2. Proof Of Assets - 401K statements, bank statements, IRA’s, investments and other similar statements.
  3. Good Credit - The lender will pull your credit and review your credit report.  You can get a free copy of your credit report by going to this website.
  4. Employment Verification - Just realize you don’t have to do much other than give your employer’s information, the rest is handled by the lender.  
  5. ID - Have your ID ready, including your social security card as well.  Make sure your identification is up to date and not expired.

Those are the five things you will generally need to get pre-approved.  Have those items ready and by your side whenever you are ready to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  I hope you found this information usual and of value.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

5 Benefits Of Being Pre-Approved

5 Benefits Of Being Pre-Approved

By far the biggest mistake I see first time buyers make is not being pre-approved for a mortgage.  Often it is because they don’t know the steps or maybe are just wanting to see what the market is like.  Whatever the reason if you are serious about buying a home I strongly recommend you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Here are 5 benefits of getting pre-approved:

  1. Loan Options - Knowing what type of options you have as far as loans are concerned is important.  This includes knowing how much your monthly payments are, down payment requirements and what type of terms to expect.
  2. Credit - Having your credit pulled and reviewed by a loan officer is very important.  This will give you an idea of where you stand on credit and possibly any issues as well that you can address.
  3. Budget - Knowing how much you can borrow is very important.  Don’t forget the lender will give you an amount, usually a maximum amount you can borrow, keep in mind what you want to borrow.  You may not feel comfortable maxing out your credit, this is a good time to figure out what you feel comfortable with as far as getting a loan.
  4. Creditability - If you are pre-approved for a mortgage the sellers and listing agents will actually take your seriously.  What good is an offer if you are not approved for a loan?  So be sure to get pre-approved, it will go a long way.
  5. Start Viewing Homes - This gives you the ability to actually start looking at homes with confidence.  Many sellers and listing agents won’t let you view a home if you are not approved.  Having that approval on hand will let them know you are serious buyer.

Getting pre-approved has it’s advantages, something you can do easily and get so much benefit as well.  Be sure to take the time to do this step as it will pay off greatly when you decide to start your home buying process.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Beware: Wire Fraud In Real Estate Transactions

Beware: Wire Fraud In Real Estate Transactions

Wire fraud is the single biggest issue in real estate transactions right now.  The problem unfortunately is the result of the identity theft issue that has been around for a while.  I will explain how the problem works and give you tips to protect yourself as well.

Wire fraud essentially is when funds from a wire a directed to another account who the send did not actually anticipate to send to.  For example a real estate transaction we would all agree has lots of money being exchanged.  The buyer has to bring in their down payment, seller will receive proceeds and the mortgage company has to send the loan amount as well.  This large amount of money changing hands can lead to problems if you are not careful.

What happens is a third person outside of the transaction will pose as the seller or title company.  They will then direct the title company to wire proceeds to their account when in reality they are not involved.  As a buyer you might see fictitious wiring instructions as to where to send your down payment.  In both these situations the person poses as an entity they are not in hopes that the person sending the money does not notice.  Once those funds are sent there is not getting them back, and by the time you notice the money is gone.

So what can you do to protect yourself from being a victim.  First it starts by protecting your own computer and email.  These thieves want to have access so they can pose as you and make their emails much more easier to believe.  Next have a clear line of communication with who ever is giving you wiring instructions or you are giving them wiring instructions.  This means if you are the buyer it is best to call the title company directly or even visit them in person to verify the wiring instructions.  If you are a seller doe the same, the last thing you want to do is be out of your hard earned proceeds.

Just realize this is a big issue that is getting more sophisticated every day and posses a big problem.  As a real estate agent I am very aware and work with other title companies who take this problem seriously.  Everyone involved knows the threat and takes it very seriously.  They are not offended or surprised when you call or visit them just to verify some information, it has become very common and we welcome it.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

 

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Why Homes Don't Sell In A Hot Market

Why Homes Don't Sell In A Hot Market

If you haven’t heard it is a very hot market, but why are you still seeing homes not sell?  Is it the house that has too many issues?  Location?  Condition in bad shape?  Pricing?  It is a combination of all those but lets take a closer look.

Now more than ever I am seeing homes continue to be over priced and that is a result of a seller expecting a high demand for their home.  The seller will often build in the premium and expect to get it.  The reality is it doesn’t alway work that way, the market may not agree and stay away.  Over pricing tends to happen all the time but this can be risky and often leads to sitting on the market much longer than normal.

Another common reason I am seeing is the condition of the property, homes that sell fast right now are in move in or turn key condition.  Properties that are in bad shape and their price does not reflect it tend to sit longer.  In other words if the home is in bad shape but the seller is still asking full price like homes that are in perfect move in condition, that home will tend to sit on the market longer.

Other factors I see is location and needed repairs.  Location is always important and even a gorgeous home located in a bad location will sit on the market even when it is hot.  Excessive repairs tends to cause an issue as well for not selling quickly.  Remember not every buyer is willing to do some repairs.  Keep in mind some banks have their limits on property condition and if those limits are exceeded they won’t finance it at all which really alienates many buyers.  Once you get rid of buyers with financing you are left with cash buyers and those buyers want a discount.

Remember price the property correctly given the condition and location.  Don’t add a premium as that will scare buyers away who are in tune with the market.  Also look at properties that have been on the market as an opportunity to possibly go in with a realistic offer and win the home.  This is really where having a real estate agent like me help your properly price the home so this doesn’t happen to your home when you list it. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome