Good credit is important in qualifying for a mortgage, but potential homebuyers with less-than-perfect credit can still get a mortgage. No matter what your score, these seven financial habits will make buying a home much easier:
- Paying your bills on time or early. This means paying all of your bills on time, not just the ones on your credit report. In addition to credit cards and loan payments, this means utility bills, rent and other regular payments that show you are a responsible adult. Ideally, pay your bills early. This is much easier now that we can access our credit card and loan accounts online.
- Pay more than the minimum balance due. If your minimum payment on your Target card is $50 a month, pay $75 or $100. This will reduce your total debt faster as well as the amount of total interest you are paying.
- Use less than 30 percent of your available credit. While it is helpful to have credit cards for emergencies, you want to keep your total balances under 30 percent of your total credit limit. For example, let’s say you have a Visa card with a $1,000 credit card limit. Don’t charge more than $300 on that card.
- Review your credit report for errors. This is a good habit to get into no matter how good your credit is. If you check your credit report annually, you’ll be able to identify mistakes and get them corrected before it is time to apply for a mortgage loan. See a mistake? Contact the original creditor right away and contact the credit bureau to dispute the information. It could take several months to clear a mistake, so staying on top of your credit report is helpful.
- Start building a credit history early. If you are in your early 20s, you ideally have established some credit already, whether it is an introductory credit card or a student loan. Start small by applying for a low limit credit card or getting a car loan with a parent as a co-signer.
- Keep paid off accounts open. The length of your credit history is important to a mortgage lender. Even if you don’t use that Visa card you got in 2010, and the balance is zero, keep the account open. It shows a seven-year credit history, and it will help lower your total debt-to-credt ratio (see #3 above).
- Set a budget and stick to it. With credit cards so readily accessible, it is easy to treat yourself with a nice dinner, a manicure/pedicure or furnishings for your man cave. But is this the best use of your money? Probably not – unless you budget for it. Set a monthly budget and only indulge in those little luxuries when you have the money to do so without charging it to a credit card.
These good money habits will help you position yourself to qualify for a mortgage loan when you are ready to buy your first – or next – home!
Just like the fall leaves, the real estate market is changing. Here are 4 reasons to consider selling your home this fall.
Buyer demand still outpaces the supply of homes for sale, so buyers are competing for the few homes that are on the market now. If you list now, before the cold weather sets in, you are likely to get multiple offers on your home, so you can choose the right buyer for your home.
Not sure if this is the right time, based on your specific circumstances? We can help. Call Team Marti today for a 206-391-0388 for a no-obligation assessment.
Ashleigh Clark gave Team Marti a five-star review on Zillow, saying she was highly likely to recommend Marti. Ashleigh ranked us five stars in four out of four categories: local knowledge, process expertise, responsiveness and negotiation skills:
‘I highly reocmmend Marti! Great agent! Very quick to respond to all my questions, very knowledgeable and trusting. I will use her for everyone one of my purchases. Very professional and efficient.’
~ Ashleigh Clark, August 15, 2017, Zillow
Read this review and others like it on Zillow.com: https://www.zillow.com/profile/martirealtor/
Facebook Testimonial from Trudy Hoeks, September 8, 2017
‘Thanks, Team Marti, for finding us our new home. We absolutely LOVE it. Everything went so smoothly, thanks to your care and concern for your clients. We appreciate you all!’
~ Trudy Hoeks
Read more testimonials on Facebook on Marti’s Facebook page.
This summer was a great time to list your Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn or Black Diamond home, but if you missed your window, don’t despair. Fall is in the air, and in our current market, it is still a good time to sell. In fact, here are five reasons to consider selling your home this fall.
- Demand remains strong. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyer demand is strong across most of the country. In our area, home inventory is low, so buyers are competing for homes on the market, so sellers often get multiple offers once they list.
- There is less competition now. While inventory is low, experts anticipate that a new wave of homes on the market is coming. Why? The average number of years a homeowner would stay in their home was six, but it is now now, so homeowners who bought in 2008-2010 will have accumulated equity, giving them the freedom to put their homes on the market. If you wait until that happens, demand will drop, and so will prices.
- The selling process is quicker than normal. Because the housing market is competitive right now, buyers are doing their part to stand out from the crowd, so sellers will choose them. This includes getting pre-approved for a mortgage, so when they are ready to buy, they’ve already got a tentative commitment from their mortgage lender. This speeds up the process for closing.
- Now is the time to move up! According to CoreLogic, prices are expected to appreciate by 5.2 percent over the next year. That means if you want to upgrade to a larger home or purchase a luxury home, you will get a better price on that home now than you will a year from now. The longer you wait, the higher that luxury home will cost.
- It’s time to move to the next stage of your life. Right now buying a home makes more sense than renting one, so selling your home to purchase another one with appreciating value makes sense. Is your family growing? Did you just get married? Are you downsizing because you’re now an empty nester? These are all good reasons to sell your current home and to buy one that better suits your changing lifestyle.
If you have questions or would like to discuss whether or not this is the right time for you to sell your South King County home, let us know. Team Marti would love to help you understand your options!
CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that ninety-one thousand residential properties regained equity in Q1 2017. The outlook for 2017 remains positive as well, as an additional 600 thousand properties will regain equity if home prices rise another 5% this year.
The study also revealed that:
- Roughly 63% of all homeowners have seen their equity increase since Q1 2016
- The average homeowner gained about $14,000 in equity between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017
- Only 1.6% of residential properties are near-negative equity
Below is a map showing the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, that have positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)
Frank Martell, President & CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the “long-term health of the U.S. economy.” He went on to say:
“Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014. The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. Since home equity is the largest source of homeowner wealth, the increase in home equity also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy.”
Of the 93.9% of homeowners with positive equity in the US, 78.8% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that nearly three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home, now.
The map below shows the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, that have significant equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)
If you are one of the many homeowners who are unsure of how much equity they have in their homes and are curious about their ability to move, let’s meet up to evaluate your situation.
Thank you to “Twofish90” for this glowing five-star testimonial on Zillow. “Twofish90” sold a single-family home in Kent for approximately $350,000 in 2015.
“We had signed on with another real estate company to sell our house in Kent, Washington. After a series of incidents with this realtor, we realized he was not competent to sell our home. We were at our ‘going away’ party telling some friends of our situation, and some friends told us of Marti Reeder, dialed her up, and handed us the phone. We told Marti our story of our current realtor.
We were able to get out of the contract and proceeded to list our home with Marti. She is so knowledgeable, professional, kind, prompt, honest and she gets the job done! Any time we had a question, either she or an assistant would get right back to us with an answer! We definitely recommend Marti and will gladly give her 5 stars in every category. She is a superstar!”
Read this testimonial and others like it on Zillow.
Home buying and selling are complicated, detailed processes and, because they are often the most significant financial commitments of your lifetime, they can be highly stressful too. However, with a real estate professional on your side, buying or selling a home can be manageable, even enjoyable. Here are 5 reasons to hire a real estate professional when buying or selling a Kent, Covington or Maple Valley home.
- Rules, regs and paperwork. Each state regulates the contracts needed to buy or sell a home and these regulations change all the time. However, a real estate professional – ideally a Realtor – is up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations, and she can streamline the process for you.
- 180 steps to closing. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are 180 steps a full-service Realtor follows in return for their sales commission, including everything from pre-listing activities and entering a home into the MLS database to the home inspection and post-closing follow-up. Yes, 180! Let your real estate professional focus on those steps, while you focus on selecting the right home and getting ready for your move.
- Negotiation. Even if you enjoy a good negotiation, it can be very stressful, particularly when you are talking about a transaction worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A real estate professional like me can take the emotion out of that process for you while putting years of negotiating experience to use.
- Home value. A real estate professional has the experience to price your home correctly, based on its true value and how current market conditions will affect the value. While you may know what you paid for your home and what you need to get out of it, a real estate professional can provide an objective value and her recommendations for putting a price tag on your home.
- Market conditions. The Seattle real estate market is one of the hottest in the country right now. An experienced and trusted real estate professional will stay on top of selling trends and know the ins and outs of the local real estate market to ensure you get the best deal possible.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home this summer, contact Team Marti now for a no-obligation consultation of your situation.
Thanks to Rodney Allen, a Kent home seller, for this five-star Zillow review on April 17, 2017.
“Marti and her team are absolutely the best. We cannot thank her and the team enough with help selling our home. We listed on a Thursday and our house was sold by Sunday for the full asking price plus some.
Their communication with us throughout the process was top notch and whenever we had a question, she or a member of team was right there to answer it.
Here is the key to success…you have to listen to what Marti tells you and asks you to do. She really knows what she is talking about. We followed her recommendations and it paid off.
This is the 5th house that we have owned and sold. And hands down, this was the best experience we have had in any house buy/sell transaction.
Some may say it is because of the condition of the market and while that may somewhat be true, I cannot say enough about how Marti and her team took care of us throughout.
Take it from one happy seller, there are many realtors out there, but there is ONLY 1 Marti Reeder. Why settle when you can have the best? Don’t hesitate…call Marti…I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.”