Monthly Archives: January 2015

How to Take Advantage of Low Mortgage Rates

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brown houseReady to jump into the Wisconsin real estate market and purchase a property that can be all yours? With mortgage rates sitting extremely low, now is the time to start searching for homes. Where do you start? Here’s a few simple steps that can help you find your dream home:

  1. The lender. To set realistic parameters for your house search, you need to know how much you can afford and the amount a lender will give you—and if they will borrow you money. You don’t want to waste time looking at homes that you can’t afford.  Pick up the phone and contact a mortgage broker or your bank or credit union. Ask them what documents they need during the approval process, and the length of the approval process. Once they have documents like your W-2’s and tax returns, your mortgage lender will factor your income and credit rating into deciding if, and how much, they will give you. If the lender approves your loan, they will give you the maximum amount you are approved for, and the amount of your monthly payment.  Once you have the numbers, choose the monthly payment that will realistically work for you—you don’t have to borrow the maximum amount. Remember to add in property taxes, homeowner’s association fees and mortgage insurance, if applicable.
  2. A property search checklist. Where do you want to live?  How many bedrooms do you want or need in your property? Do you want a large back yard? A condo with zero maintenance? Now is the time to write down your wants and needs. Once you’ve written everything down, pick out the must haves and wants—and be prepared to make changes. It’s not unusual for a buyer’s list of must haves to change as they look at properties.
  3. The realtor. Once you have the budget for your property search, contact a local, top realtor. Your realtor will want to know your budget, ideal location and areas you will look in and what you are looking for (your must haves).  Be realistic.  You may not get every must have in your property. As you search, prioritize what must haves you need or want the most. Give your realtor feedback that they can use to zero in on the property that will work for you.

Now is not the time for procrastination. Lower mortgage rates can save you thousands over the life of your mortgage, so the earlier you get the process rolling the sooner you have the keys—and the savings. Contact a lender, and educate yourself on important real estate terms you need during your home search: earnest money, foreclosures, short sales, home inspections. Have any questions? Contact one of the top realtors in Dodge and Jefferson County for more information.

5 Real Estate New Year’s Resolutions for your Home Search

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Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.
Looking for a home like this incredible ranch? Call us today.

You’re ringing in the New Year with some life changing news: you’re about to buy your dream (or starter) home or sell your home! As excited as you are, don’t just jump in to the real estate market. Use one of these New Year’s resolution to ensure that your home search and sale are stress free and save you money (another fulfill more of your New Year’s resolutions!):

  1. I will find out what my budget is for my new house BEFORE I start my home search. Going shopping without a budget is a sure way to set yourself up for disappointment. Talk to your lender to find out how much you qualify for, then contact a real estate agent about your home search. There are also other steps you can take to ready yourself for your home search.
  2. I will make my house look like a million bucks. Don’t just put your house on the market. If you want to get top dollar for your house, take these steps to prepare your house for sale.
  3. I will do my homework. Knowing the importance of earnest money, and the pros and cons of short sales and foreclosures helps you avoid some of the pratfalls that come with the real estate market.
  4. I will get a home inspection. This is a simple measure that we suggest for buyers AND sellers, and you can read why in our blog post.  
  5. I will ask my real estate agent for recommendations. An experienced real estate agent can give you advice about readying your home for sale, looking for a new home and throughout the sale process. Don’t feel like you are going through the sale process alone, ask your real estate agent for advice.

Remember, just because your sister’s mother’s cousin is a realtor doesn’t mean they are the real estate agent for you, or have the experience or expertise to guide you through your real estate sale. Choose a top real estate agent with experience in Dodge and Jefferson counties, and surrounding Wisconsin communities. The right realtor can recommend home inspectors and other professionals necessary for your home purchase or sale, and has the expertise that can save you thousands of dollars—and that’s a New Year’s resolution that everyone can enjoy.