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Articles Tagged "home mortgage"

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February
27

Real Estate Buyer FAQs

Homeownership is a common goal shared by many in the United States. Buying a home may be one of the biggest investments we make in life and is a rewarding accomplishment! Although many share the dream of owning a home, it's common for most people to be scared about following through the process. This is due to the homebuying process feeling intimidating or overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Working with the right real estate agent will make the process go smooth and easy. The expert agents at Choice Properties have answered your real estate buyer questions to help put your mind at ease.

Am I ready to be a homeowner?

The first step from taking the leap from being a renter to a homeowner is viewing your current financial status. Start by taking a financial inventory of your lifestyle, debts, and assets. Lenders look for those who hold a strong financial status and reliable job, as a mortgage loan must be paid on time. Another factor to consider is your credit score. Maintaining a good credit score will help you get the best loan and interest rate.

Is renting or buying a home better?

While renting and buying both have pros and cons, it simply comes down to what a person wants when buying a house. Many look at this opportunity as an investment and take pride in homeownership. This allows you to build equity with monthly payments, while also qualifying for tax incentives to help offset new homeowner expenses.

What do I look for in a new home?

When starting your home search, start by gathering your thoughts by creating lists. Identifying what you are seeking in a home, whether it's more space or a large backyard. This will help set expectations within your home search. Ask yourself if the home you are interested in is large enough to fit your needs now and in the future.

How do I get a mortgage loan?

Before setting up appointments to tour homes, it's best to shop for a mortgage rate to understand your budget. In the pre-qualification phase, you are given an estimate of what you can borrow based on your financial status. To be pre-approved for a mortgage loan means a lender has agreed to offer you a specific amount.




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

September
5

An Overview of the Mortgage Loan Process

Through the various steps of purchasing a home, the getting qualified for a loan may feel the most overwhelming for first-time homebuyers. The expert agents at Choice Properties understand this and are here to guide you through, which is why we created an overview of the mortgage loan process. From getting an assessment to a loan officer pre-approving you, we want you to enjoy every moment of making your dream home a reality.

Pre-Approval

The first step to obtaining a mortgage loan is go through a meeting with your lender to discuss credit score and credit history with a third party, called a tri-merge credit report. This will give you an estimate of how much money you can borrow based on financial information, such as your employment and income. Mortgage pre-approvals show sellers that you are serious with a home purchase, making you stand out among other interested buyers.

Pre-Qualified

During your research for a mortgage loan you may find pre-approval and pre-qualified, but it's important to know the difference. A pre-qualification holds a lesser meaning and is a simple glance at a borrower's credit and capacity to repay a mortgage. This is usually completed by a loan officer asking the borrower simple questions regarding credit and there is no third party involved. Although this step is good to have with your lender, it usually does not influence a seller or real estate agent.

Final Approval

This is the most excited step of the mortgage loan process! Closing on a loan means the mortgage is official and final disbursements are made. During the final approval, documents are drawn where they are then sent to the title company where the closing takes place. You have a three day window to view the terms of the loan before officially signing. Once the documents have been signed, you are then ready for move into a new home!

 

 

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

August
10

Purchasing a second home can be a big step. Whether seeking a cabin in the woods, a getaway beach home or modern condo in the city, buying another property is a big decision. Here's how to know if now is the time to buy.

 

Affordability

Assessment of personal finances is critical in determining whether to purchase a second home. Beyond the cost of a second mortgage are other financial issues such as what interest is charged on a second mortgage. It may also depend if the home will be rented out as lenders consider rental properties a higher risk than those listed as primary residences. Other factors may include:

  • Insurance

  • Property taxes

  • Ongoing costs such as utilities (water, electric, gas, trash removal, etc)

  • Unexpected maintenance charges such as landscaping

  • Cost to hire a property manage to check on the property while away

 

Location

Having a property by the beach may sound great but it may not be a great investment. Some things to consider include:

  • Ability to visit the second home as often as desired

  • If not used as a rental, will home get used enough to make it worth the investment

  • Decide where is the ideal location before buying and whether it is affordable versus the time that will be spent using the property before purchase

 

Investigate

Chat with the insurance company to see what is next after finding the general area in which to buy a second home. Begin by speaking with the current insurer with whom a relationship is already established. A better rate may be available for multiple lines (existing home, cars, etc). Better rates may not necessarily be more inexpensive. If potential new property is prone to flooding, insurance rates may be higher. Homes with swimming pools also have higher rates as do pools with no fence or gate which may not have coverage available at all.

 

Find the Home

After all possible expenses are accounted for and a neighborhood is identified, contact a real estate agent to get started. Once settled, soak in the benefits of the new home. A vacation in the comfort of one's own home is a true luxury. When time is spent with family and friends in the new home, the cost savings will become apparent compared to vacation rentals. Privacy and no crowds (like in hotels) are another added bonus of having one's own property. Financial benefits may exist in the long term even if the property is not rented out. Tax benefits may help lessen the financial burden. A vacation home is a space to unwind, relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Soak it in and enjoy the new home.

 

Get more advice on the steps that you need to take to owning a second home.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
30

Finding the perfect home can take some time but the market is growing and sale prices are still low. Doing research is key prior to  finding Indian Lake Ohio homes for sale which suit the family's needs. Follow these tips to find a home that's a good fit.

 

Take the Long View

Search for a home that will be in the family at least five to seven years (ideally). Time, effort and expense are considerations when moving including closing costs. Staying in a home longer helps avoid added expense and stress. The extra time put into the home, as well as any work completed within the home, can help add value long term and avoid any downturns in the real estate market.

 

Growth

Family's needs change over time whether it's additions (babies, returning older children). Seek out properties with potential for growth and provide room for expansion. Houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio are a perfect example of properties which offer lots of room to grow at an affordable price.

 

Flexibility

Homes with lots of options usually suit a family's needs better than ones which are less flexible. A home that is functional for years to come with an open floor plan style can be adapted to changes while a kitchen with a view of a living area is great for keeping an eye on young kids as well as entertaining family and friends.

 

Find a Suitable Type

To find the perfect home requires knowing what best suits one's personal style. Homes are not one size fits all. There are many styles including condos, houses, townhomes. A person who does not want the responsibility of upkeep for a home may want a townhome versus a single family residential house. Likewise, a family who would like a vacation style home in a resort community with amenities may prefer to search for houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio which has many great features of a small community with access to waterfront dining, activities year round and plenty of suitable properties for families of shapes and sizes.

 

Location

A home's location is one of the most important aspects of buying real estate. Families who desire a quiet neighborhood in which to raise kids may not be looking for homes near a busy street or in the middle of an urban city environment. While that may suit a single person or couple, once children arrive, many families seek the peace, tranquility and safety of a suburban neighborhood which offers community, friendly neighbors and access to great schools while still being near to an entertainment district and work. A home's location with a spectacular view also attracts friends and family to come visit which is many families choose houses for sale on a lake or by water.


Choice Properties has agents ready to help you find the perfect home by the lake.                                                                  Contact us today at 937-842-2244 to set up an appointment!

 

Get more advice on finding the perfect Indian Lake home for your budget.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
15

Retirement is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy life. What better way to enjoy this time of life than to retire on the water. Many people choose to retire near water for the serenity, peace and quiet of a lifestyle which moves at a slower pace and is more low key. The natural beauty of water is that it affords many opportunities to do activities like boating, skiing, fishing, beaches and more.

Paradise

There are fewer things more enjoyable than sitting on a deck listening to the water as it gently rolls into shore. Water is not only pleasing to the ear but the eyes as well. Birds and other wildlife flock to water for its natural resources which also provide hours of beauty in nature to enjoy. Taking advantage of opportunities to be in nature is one of the great features which compel people to retire on the water.

 

View

People who look to retire on the water do so for the amazing views of the water. Whether it is an ocean or a lake, waterfront homes provide an endless array of beautiful scenery to take in from the comfort of one's own home. There are also opportunities to walk on the beach, through a nearby park or take a stroll and find new vistas which can't be seen from one's own porch. A great water view is also relaxing which is a great reason to retire on the water.

 

Family

Nothing is better than being able to entertain family and loved ones in a home by the water. Some people prefer the company of only a handful of people when retired or, because they are quite busy in retirement, enjoy lots of people coming in and out of a home and sharing the beautiful views. When searching for waterfront retirement homes, notice what type of home, what size and location speak to you. Seek out properties which allow for space to do activities with loved ones but also provide a respite from the busyness of life.

 

Amenities

A person who looks to retire on the water has many options from which to choose. Living in an area where it is quiet can be peaceful but having access to entertainment, waterfront dining, boating and additional opportunities can also be exciting. Some want to live in the midst of the action and others choose a home on a quieter plot of land away from people. Fishing, kayaking, sailing and swimming are just some of the activities available to people who own property by the water.

It is easy to work with Choice Properties real estate agents to find the perfect retirement home on the water.                                 Call us today at 937-842-2244 for more information and to get started on your home search.

 

Get more advice on finding that perfect home for your retirement.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

Contact one of our agents today.

February
9

So You're Looking for Cheap Waterfront Property

Waterfront investment properties require special consideration to ensure the property will suit the lifestyle and provide activities everyone can enjoy. Start with these tips when looking to purchase cheap waterfront property.

 

Determine Your Needs

When potential homeowners research waterfront investment properties, the first step is to discern how the property will be used. From this point, a realtor can help figure out which area best suits these needs and desires to focus in on specific properties. Some strategies to get started include:

 

  • Learn about real estate. Get books, take a class or two and do research. Ask lots of questions, talk to friends, family and other relatives to learn as much as possible about investing in waterfront property.

  • Commit to the process. It takes time to research, find and purchase that perfect property. Some will fall through or not be a good match but know what to look for and what needs exist to know the right property when it comes available.

  • Have a strategy. Focus on achievable goals and know what the property is intended for. If it will be a rental for part of the year and vacation home for the rest, this may determine which property is ultimately selected.

 

Frequency of Use

When searching for cheap waterfront property, it is important to look at the activities available, nearby hospitals for any medical needs which should arise, proximity to an airport if frequent travel is important and finding the best property to suit the family's needs and budget. Knowing how often the property will be used can determine suitable options.

 

The Search

Location is key when searching for waterfront investment properties. After determining best fit for needs in a waterfront home, visiting the area to find a good fit is important. The surrounding community is an important factor when making a decision. Look over the property as well as the house as the real value of the home will be the property in a waterfront location. Look for five key points when searching for that perfect property:

  • Sandy beach. Proximity and quality is important for both younger and older family members.

  • View. As people age and do less on the water activities, the view becomes more important.

  • Level lot. The flatter the lot, the better for easier water access

  • Proximity to water. Homes closer to the water allow a closeness to nature and keeping an eye on any young kids by the water.

  • Privacy. Some lakefront properties have as little as 50 feet of frontage, which offer very little privacy. Ideally, a property will offer 150-200 feet to give privacy from neighbors.

 

Choice Properties has real estate agents who specialize in waterfront investment properties in the Indian Lakes area to assist with your needs and sort through complex issues to get everyone on the right track to finding that perfect location.

 

Get more advice on finding and owning an affordable waterfont property.

Contact one of our agents today.

January
27

Find Incredible Properties All Over the Indian Lake Ohio Map

Indian Lake boasts 5,800 acres of lakes and 800 acres of parks featuring year-round recreation. Camping, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and more are on offer including many unique restaurants and dining opportunities. Antique stores, marinas, golf courses and other amenities make this area the jewel of Ohio. Whatever a person is looking for, incredible properties exist all over the Indian Lake Ohio map.

 

Logan County

Logan County is located in western Ohio. Rich with natural beauty, it is also steeped in history as American Indians called Logan County home. What started with small villages throughout the county, areas began to grow such as Bellefontaine which became the county seat. Campbell's Hill is the highest point in Ohio with the first concrete street in America, built in 1891. Several natural caves dot the landscape including two open to the public: Ohio Caverns and Zane Caverns. Two castles are open for tours, owned by the Piatt family located in the Mad River Valley near West Liberty, Ohio.

 

Neighborhoods

 

Russells Point

Russells Point is situated with an amazing view of Indian Lake. Waterfront views are an enticing feature of living in this neighborhood. Along with local restaurants, bars and other amenities, properties in the area include waterfront locations with a boat dock as well as spectacular water views of the Indian Lake area. Many available properties take advantage of the lake view with beautiful windows overlooking the water and decks for entertaining guests. The neighborhood is friendly, inviting and caters to a wide range of people who enjoy the water.

 

Lakeview

Lakeview is one of the most spectacular areas to live within the Indian Lake Ohio region. Many homes boast waterfront and lake views as well as personal boat docks. Great schools, neighbors and amenities surround this neighborhood. Fishing and other water activities can be enjoyed from the vicinity of home. Sprawling properties with acreage are available as well as smaller homes. It all depends on the individual's needs and desires.

 

Finding the right property in the Indian Lake Ohio map is a challenge with so many beautiful locations from which to choose. From newer developments to rustic, historic villages the area boasts many opportunities to select a home with features that best fit an individual's budget and desires. The region is historically significant but also hosts many tourists and visitors who enhance economic development and build on the tradition of Indian Lake as a destination for all people. When searching for property in the Indian Lake area, the options are truly endless. Enjoy the waterfront dining options, golf courses, camping, hiking and biking or take a day out on the lake. The choice is yours to make when you choose Indian Lake as the place to reside and call home.

 

Get more advice on finding the best property for you.

Contact one of our agents today.

September
7

Making the decision to buy a home in Central Ohio doesn't have to be daunting or intimidating. With a little understanding of how the mortgage process works, you'll be a proud bellefontaine homeowner in no time.

A pre-check of your finances is highly suggested to give you a starting point. Knowing what you can realistically afford, even in the case of a financial emergency, can save you heartache down the road. You don't want to bite off a mortgage that is bigger than you can chew. Knowing your limits will also narrow your property searches down and help you stay on target. Online calculators are available to help you determine affordability:

 

Affordability Calculator

(estimates an affordable purchase price based on your income and available down payment)

 

Payment Calculator

(estimates monthly mortgage payment based on purchase price, insurance, and tax rates)

 

Now that you have an idea of what you can afford, it's time to start the mortgage process by speaking with a lender. Getting your home loan underway will result in you having qualifying documentation when you reach out to a realtor and start looking at actual homes—and should you find "the one," it'll be great to have no delays in closing the deal because of bank issues.

 

Information you will be asked to provide to the lender (with documentation):

 

  • Personal — Date of birth, marital status, number of children and their ages, and social security number (to pull your credit report).

  • Last Two Years (minimum) of Residential History — Rental or mortgage, insurance, and tax figures.

  • Proof of Employment and Income — Wages, bonuses, or commissions and employment history for at least two years back. Be prepared to show completed tax returns. Mortgage lenders will average variable and self-employed income over two years.

  • Assets — Even if your down payment comes from one account, ALL checking, savings, investments, and retirement accounts will have to be recorded and verified. Keep in mind that if you're fortunate enough to have funds being gifted to you, there are special rules which apply. Speak to your lender.

  • Debts — Full disclosure of payments and balances owed on all credit cards, student loans, auto loans, existing mortgages, and any alimony or child support requirements.

  • Identify your preferred loan type and available down payment.

 

With this information your lender will be able to create a personal profile and recommend loans commensurate with your individual budget. Everyone is different and therefore multiple loan and rate tiers exist. Your lender will be like your personal guidance counselor as you go through this process. Your existence is at their disposal, on paper at least, and so they can use their expertise to suggest what will likely be the best path for you to follow. Whether it be a short term investment property with plans to turn around and sell, or settling in with a 30 year mortgage on a family home.

 

Our Choice Properites Real Estate agents are knowledgeable and willing to meet with you and your lender so that the fun part can start . . . home shopping! In the crazy days that will come in the whirlwind process of home buying you can expect the following to happen:

  1. Upon finding "the one," your agent will write up an offer of what you're willing to pay for the property and present it to the seller; if accepted, then your loan process will move to the final approval phase.

  2. Your lender will lock the interest rate on your loan (this can't be done without an acceptance as it is determinate upon buyer/seller price agreement).

  3. Depending how much time has elapsed since financials were initially gathered and verified, your lender may request updated documentation from you; your lender will also order an appraisal on the property and review the property title report at this stage.

 

When all I's are dotted and T's are crossed, the final loan documents will be drawn up and your closing will be scheduled. Once the papers are signed and the loan is funded, the keys will be placed in your hand.

 

Congratulations and enjoy your new Logan County home!

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