How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit

Lots of people are dealing with bad credit. (No judgments here!)

You could have credit issues for a wide variety of reasons:

Maybe you made some bad decisions…

Maybe you were just unlucky…

Or maybe your credit report has errors that you don’t know about— a recent study shows that 1 in 4 Americans have had issues with their credit report.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But it’s not impossible to buy a home with bad credit — maybe tougher than normal, but it can be done. Here’s how:

1) Know your score.

First, you need to know where you stand in the credit world. Find someone you trust who can “pull” your credit. (I don’t usually recommend those “free credit check” websites — they usually require a subscription.)

Once you see what’s on your credit report, it might just mean paying off some credit cards or a medical bill — which could be the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

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“37% of American adults admit they don’t know their credit score.”

(Source: FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Sallie Mae,
TransUnion, Experian, U.S. Department of Housing;
http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-score-statistics/)

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2) Find a loan officer.

If you already know someone in the business, great. If not, chances are a friend or colleague knows a mortgage loan professional who can help. (I’m happy to refer you to one of my trusted colleagues.)

You definitely need a hard-working pro who you can trust. Their main responsibility is helping you find which loan programs and amounts that you qualify for and fit your budget.

3) Develop your plan of action.

If your credit issues need serious work and you don’t qualify for a mortgage loan right away, you might have to postpone your house purchase — but not forever.

Now that you know what your credit issues are, you can work towards paying off old debts and getting them removed from your credit report.

Also, there may be sellers who will consider working with you by way of asking for a larger down payment. This could require a multi-month plan to save cash for your down payment.

4) Think before you budget.

We’d all like a big mansion for the price of an efficiency apartment. But in reality, it’s crucial to look for a house that fits your budget.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice house in a good neighborhood with exemplary schools and a beautiful park. It just means you need to ask yourself some very important questions:

  • How much of a down payment can you afford?
  • How much of a total monthly payment can you afford?
  • What kind of term loan would you like (how many years — 15, 30, etc.)?
  • What interest rate can you qualify for?
  • What’s your loan-to-value ratio? (Divide mortgage loan amount by the fair market of the home value.)
    Ex.: A $150,000 loan on a home appraised at $200,000 = an LTV of 75%.
    Note: Most mortgage loans with an LTV that’s more than 80% require private mortgage insurance.
  • What can you afford to pay in yearly property taxes?
  • What can you afford to pay for yearly property insurance?

Try the “How Much Can You Afford?” calculator from “Freddie Mac” here.

(Freddie Mac is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.)

Bad credit? Mediocre credit? Good credit? Excellent credit? Whatever your score, I know how to help you find your next home.

Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.

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How To Buy A Home in a Seller’s Market

If you’re trying to buy a home — but discovering that it’s now a seller’s market — I’ve got two words of advice, stolen from Douglas Adams: Don’t panic!

dontpanic

Here are three things you can do to make being a successful buyer in a seller’s market:

1. Be persistent.
It’s tougher to find a good deal, so you’ve got to be active and aware of what’s available. This is where having a smart, attentive REALTOR® can be helpful. They can help you stay on top of new listings and make sure any negotiations move at the right pace.

2. Be specific.
There’s a limited “inventory,” so you might have less to choose from in your search. So make sure that you (and your REALTOR) know exactly what you’re looking for — and where you’re looking for it — so you’re not wasting time or energy.

3. Be a smart negotiator.
It’s very likely that today’s home seller will have multiple offers on their property. It’s even more likely that those offers will be at their asking price or even above. Don’t waste your time — or theirs — with “lowball” offers. Make a fair offer, and you might even want to think about paying fees and closing costs to help seal the deal.

Don’t lose hope — just because it might not be the absolute best time to be a home buyer, you can still find the right home. (It just might take a little more work!)

Above all, be smart! Choose wisely when it comes to working with a REALTOR® — maybe even one with mortgage experience like me. 😉

Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

 

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.

Rave Reviews: Jessica Lewis, Bedford TX

So happy to have worked with Jessica Lewis and her husband Stephen Pope!

It took a little longer than we hoped, but the purchase went through and now they’re happy homeowners. Here’s what Jessica had to say:

“For all her hard work on our home purchase, Shannon deserved much more than her commission!

She spent many hours on the road, showing us homes from Fort Worth to the Mid-Cities while we chose the right location.

Shannon helped us make our decision and made the negotiation process an easy one. 

Due to some mortgage processing issues, we almost lost out on our home. It was Shannon’s tenacity and knowledge of mortgages that saved the deal and helped us complete the purchase.”

smileyface
Looking for a REALTOR® who will get the job done? Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

 

© 2012 by Shannon Rubin.

“It’s Not Me, It’s You”: Is It Time To Break Up With Your Realtor?


Your relationship with a real estate agent is just like any close, personal relationship. It takes communication, honesty, cooperation and trust to make it work.

And because we’re talking about something as important as your home, it’s a relationship that both you and your agent need to take seriously.

So if it’s not “working,” you definitely need to consider if it’s time to make a change.

If you think it might be time to “break up” with your REALTOR®, here are some questions to ask yourself:

* Is your realtor too busy to answer all your questions?
You deserve prompt responses when you have questions. If you’re not getting them, it could ruin your chances of having a successful real estate transaction.

Does your realtor really listen?
Home Buyers & Renters — Are you being shown houses out of your price range? Homes that don’t have all of your requirements? Or locations nowhere near your preferred areas?

Home Sellers — Do you think your home is listed at the right price? Are you getting a lot of interest from home buyers? How long has your home been on the market — and is it being marketed in a variety of ways?

Are you being treated the same as your realtor’s other clients?
Maybe you’re not the biggest deal they have going, or maybe you’re not their top priority. Are they spending enough time on helping you?

You deserve someone working for you who has your best interests at heart. Someone who wants to get your deal done quickly, efficiently and with your budget in mind.

I truly hope that you work with a great REALTOR®, and that you never have to ask yourself these questions. But if you do, I also hope you are able to take a good look at your relationship with them and make the right decision for you.

My client’s satisfaction is my top priority. If you’re looking to buy, sell or lease, let’s get started right away. Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

 

© 2012 by Shannon Rubin.

Odd Logic: 5 Reasons to SELL Your Home During The Holidays

During the holiday season, most people are focused on buying things. (Hopefully, you and your bank account survived Black Friday!)

And usually, it’s about cleaning up and fixing up your house and making it look nice for visiting family and friends.

So it might not sound logical, but I’m going to make an odd recommendation:
Consider selling your home during the holidays.

Here are five reasons why:

1) Someone who’s looking to buy in December is probably serious. If they’re looking during the holidays, they don’t want to waste time — and they probably know exactly what they want. This is what we call a “motivated buyer” and they are great to deal with!

2) Your home looks better during the holidays. Whether you go all-out with holiday decorations or not, even a nice wreath or some winter plants can give your home some extra curb appeal. And your neighbors will probably decorate for the holidays, making the whole neighborhood look attractive.

3) Homebuyers can get a last-minute tax break. Just before the year ends, someone who buys a home can take advantage of homebuyer tax credits — and benefit when they file their 2012 taxes in a few months. For more tax information, visit the IRS site.

4) Time off from work means time to house-hunt. Between holidays and vacation time, potential homebuyers can go house-shopping on weekdays when they would normally be at work.

5) The housing market will be busier in January. Lots of homes go on the market in January because people are busy with the holidays and “waiting for the new year.” For those reasons, your home might sit on the market longer because there’s more choices available for house-hunters.

So if you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, now is actually a great time!

And if you’re looking for a friendly, honest and knowledgeable REALTOR®, contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com right now!

 

© 2012 by Shannon Rubin.