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Tuesday, June 26, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

Are You About to Buy a Home You Can't Afford?

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Let’s face it: Purchasing a home is a major life event. It can be exciting, frustrating, and can wear homebuyers down if they aren’t careful with their judgment.

Unfortunately, this process can sometimes lead people to purchasing a property they can’t afford. And while banking requirements have tightened over the last decade, homebuyers can still easily find themselves biting off more than they can chew.

Today I’d like to highlight five signs that you’re about to buy a home you can’t afford.

1. You’re using creative mortgage terms. If your financing looks like a trail mix of mortgages, this is probably a significant indicator that you can’t afford what you’re about to buy. If the financing feels forced, you are likely taking on more than you can handle.

2. You need a down payment assistance program. If you need help with yo ...

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

What Should You Ask an Agent You’re Looking to Hire?

Selling a home? Get a free home value report
Buying a home? Search all homes for sale





Today’s topic stems from a listing appointment I took earlier in the week. A seller hired us and had some great questions to ask us, and when all was said and done, they wanted to know what other questions they should have asked when interviewing agents to sell their home. Let’s face it—picking an agent is a critical decision that could potentially cost or save you thousands of dollars.

That inspired me to create a list of questions that agents hate to be asked. The answers they give will indicate what you can expect from them. In real estate, as in life, not all things are created equal.

1. “What makes you different?” It is a much tougher market today than it was a decade ago. Now we have some unique marketing plans, programs, and technology available that agents use to help your home stand out favorably next to other competing homes. What will thi ...

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

Don’t Fall for These Traps Before Buying Your Home

Selling a home? Get a free home value report
Buying a home? Search all homes for sale


I’ve recently put together a special report on my website titled “9 Common Buyer Traps You Need to Avoid Before Buying a Home.” You can read the full report by clicking here, but here are a couple important traps to keep in mind in the meantime.

The first is bidding blindly. There’s a listed price for every home, but how do you as a buyer know what price you should offer, or if the listed price is a valid price compared to other similar homes in the neighborhood?

You can get a good idea by looking at a comparative market analysis of homes that have sold in the surrounding area. Don’t just take the seller’s word for it or throw out a blind offer—do some research, get educated, and work with a knowledgeable agent who can help you work through the process.

The next trap is avoiding undisclosed fixups. Let’s face it—you don’ ...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

4 Ways to Make Your Offer More Competitive

Selling a home? Get a free home value report
Buying a home? Search all homes for sale



What do you need to do in order to create a competitive offer in this competitive market?


I came up with four steps to follow if you’re getting ready to make an offer that will give you a competitive edge:


1. Start the process with a full pre-approval. Reach out to a knowledgeable lender and get all of your paperwork ducks in a row so that when you make the offer, it will be as good as cash in a seller’s eyes.
2. Make the offer as clean as possible. I constantly see buyers asking sellers for help in covering their closing costs. Be sure to save up some extra money and understand that closing costs are going to be above and beyond the down payment requirements. Sellers tend to look negatively at having to pay that.
3. Make sure your current home is on the market. If you do have to sell a home, use the proceeds to buy your next home. Be sure that, at minimum, your ho ...

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Thursday, April 26, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

Meet With a Lender Now to Maximize Your Pre-Approval

Selling a home? Get a free home value report
Buying a home? Search all homes for sale



If you’re a buyer looking to get pre-approved, what initial steps must you take to ensure that you eventually have a strong offer to put forth?


According to Michael Freeman of Fairway Mortgage, the first and most important step is to identify a reputable lender as early as possible. This means someone who can be referred to you by a real estate professional. By meeting with a lender early, you give them a chance to gather all of your documentation and give you a good idea of what you can afford.


As far as documentation goes, they’ll need all your personal identifiers so they can pull your credit report, including your tax returns, pay stubs, and asset documentation. The more documentation you can provide, the better information they can give you.


Another reason lenders prefer to meet with you as soon as possible is so they can improve your credit score. You cr ...

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