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Moving to a new neighborhood brings with it, well, the new neighbors. Although you may be an exceptionally private person — others, by nature, are naturally curious. They want to know who’s moved in next door. This is particularly true when your house is just a few feet or a few inches away from their house. Sometimes, your window looks right out on their window — and vice versa. When it comes to nosy neighbors, follow these tips.
Introduce yourself and satisfy their curiosity about your basic information. Without getting too personal, let them know who is living in the house with you and if you moved into the neighborhood for a specific reason.
Many neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch. If this is the case, meet the people that look out for strangers so that they know who you are. Ask them questions too so that you know what kinds of things trigger a response from the watch or from other neighbors. If your neighborhood has an association, ask about it and meet the officers.
People that live in one place for an exceptionally long time may fear change. Let them know you hope to love the neighborhood as much as they do. If their questions bother you, deflect and redirect the conversation.
Builders don’t always pay attention to how one house aligns with another. If your neighbor’s dining room overlooks your bathroom, cover your bathroom windows with a frosted or stained-glass overlay. It’s a simple fix that lets daylight shine in your bathroom without the neighbors peering in, even accidentally. If it’s a bedroom window, cellular blinds let light in but give full coverage.
When the opportunity arises, invite your neighbor for a cup of tea or simply to share a conversation while you weed the flowerbed. Friendliness goes a long way toward increasing everyone’s comfort level as new neighbors. Moving into a new neighborhood is a time of adjustment for both the old neighbors and the new.
If you’re proactive, prepared, courteous, inventive and friendly, you’ll soon move from being merely neighbors to being friends. Your real estate professional is a great resource on learning about your neighborhood too, so ask them what they know.
Many home buyers have lots of questions as they go through the buying process, especially first-time buyers. Whether you’re looking for a $50,000 house or a multi-million dollar luxury home, the questions are often the same.
How Much House Can I Afford?
Lenders use several factors in determining whether to loan you money, including your credit score, loan-to-value and debt-to-income. If you are self-employed, you could make $400,000 per year and still not afford a $150,000 home. Lenders look at your income, and if you are self-employed like many luxury home buyers, you use tax deductions and expenses to your benefit. However, doing that lowers your adjusted net income. If your adjusted net income plus depreciation doesn’t meet the debt-to-income bar for the lender, you won’t qualify for the loan. People in this situation need to find a lender who will lend based on bank statements instead of tax returns.
How Convenient Is This Location?
Luxury home buyers often have location concerns. You travel more and have more people — friends and relatives — visit. That means you need a home location that is convenient for travel. If travel convenience is a concern, ask your real estate agent about the distance to the airport, the ability to rent limos, and other travel concerns.
How Much Down Payment Do I Need?
Most loans require 20 percent down if you do not want to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, if you are buying a multi-million dollar luxury home, that might be difficult if you don’t have liquid assets. Before you start looking, get a pre-approval from a jumbo lender, including the amount the lender requires with and without PMI. You can adjust the amount you are willing to spend or take the time to liquidate assets to get the down payment if you have your heart set on a home that requires a high down payment.
What Does My Credit Score Need to Be?
Conventional loans have a cap, which changes depending on your location and whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increases that cap. If your mortgage is going to be higher than that cap, you will need to take out a jumbo loan unless you put enough down so that you are financing an amount below the cap. When you take out a jumbo loan, you are at a higher risk to the lender, so you have to jump through more hoops, including having a higher credit score.
If you are applying for a conventional loan, especially a loan backed by the VA, Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac, your credit score could be as low as 500. However, with a jumbo loan, your score must be at least 680. Some jumbo lenders require scores as high as 720.
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When it comes to selling a house, it is important to prepare as much as you can. That way, you can identify potential home selling hurdles and overcome these issues before they escalate.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for the house selling journey.
1. Analyze All Areas of Your Home
You might believe your home is virtually perfect, but there may be problems that need to be addressed. Because if you fail to resolve various house issues, it may be tough to optimize your home sale earnings.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list a residence. With an inspection report in hand, you can assess home flaws and correct these issues right away.
You may want to perform a home appraisal as well. After an appraisal, you can obtain an appraisal report to help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
2. Review the Local Housing Sector
The housing market fluctuates, and a buyer's market today could shift into sellers' favor without delay. Thus, you should analyze the local housing sector closely so you can determine whether you are about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
A buyer's market generally features a high volume of available houses. Comparatively, there is a shortage of available homes in a seller's market, and new houses that become available may sell quickly.
To differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market, you should find out how long homes that are currently available in your city or town have been listed. In addition, review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can see if sellers are accepting offers at or above their initial asking prices.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to plan for the home selling journey, you need to remember that you are not alone. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can work with a property selling expert throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent understands how to succeed in any housing market, at any time. First, he or she will learn about you and your home and help you map out a house selling plan. A real estate agent next will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence and add your home to the local housing market. Then, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and make an informed home selling decision.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your house selling questions. There is no home selling question too big or too small for a real estate agent, and as such, you can rely on this professional for in-depth responses to any property selling queries.
Take the guesswork out of selling a home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for the house selling journey.