Colorado Springs Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 6, 2018

10 Facts About Buying a Home

Real estate can get very confusing. It has changed over time and the market always changes. With that said, it’s great to read facts that you should know about buying a home. It will help to educate you with the process, and what false information that could be out there. Keep reading to learn more!

How much can you afford? There are many online calculators out there that can help determine how much you will be able to qualify for. This is one of the first steps in the home buying process.

Yes, a realtor is so important. It will save you money and keep you out of any potential legal issues. Although there is a fee, it will be well worth it.

There are many kinds of loans that you can get to receive your mortgage. Some loans require 20% down and some only require 3%. It’s important to shop around to get the loan that will best suit your needs.

Make sure that you always have a home inspection done. You have the right to have a home inspection down after you have negotiated the offer. This may have you come back and let the seller know any additional issues going on in the home.

Understand that your loan has an application fees and this needs to be paid prior to closing.

The seller pays the realtor fees. Know that when you are buying, there are no realtor fees involved.

Understand how your payments work every month. Typically, your payments will not include the home owner’s insurance and property taxes like an online calculator will tell you. So, know each monthly charge prior to purchasing the home.

Get a copy of your credit report before you buy your home. This way you can correct any problems on your report before a lender sees it.

Your home has the best change of selling during the first 10 days on the market.

We hope that these tips helped! For more information on home buying, contact us today!

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 22, 2018

Get Pre-Qualified BEFORE You Start the Search

Shopping for homes without being pre-qualified can prevent a heart break. There are also other things that can go wrong without finishing the pre-qualification process. Learn what they are now.

Being pre-qualified is typically good for about 30 days. Once you have the documentations in hand, you are ready to start shopping!

A pre-qualification is the process in which your lender determines how much home you can afford based on your current financial budget and credit history. You may speak to a few different lenders before picking one that you will go with. Asking friends and family who they use is always a great idea.

To be pre-qualified, you must give your name, address, income, assets, and social security number. This will allow the lender to see your credit history, and what kind of loan program you are able to qualify for to purchase your new home.

It’s so important to give your lender all the correct information. For example, you may give your income before taxes and the lender is calculating your monthly income after taxes. This would leave you shopping for a home either under what you can afford or even way over your head. It’s so critical to be exact and honest with your home lender.

One you are pre-approved, you have a piece of paper to start shopping! Loan programs can change very often, so once you have the approval, it’s a good idea to start the process right away.

Many agents won’t start showing you homes without this paper. They know how devastating it can be when you fall in love with a home outside of your budget.

Lastly, if you were to fall in love with a home, you want to be able to close quickly. The buy will take you more seriously and will be more likely to accept your offer if you have already gone through the pre-approval process.

If you are ready to get started, we would love to help! Give us a call today.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 19, 2018

OPEN HOUSE / SUNDAY / 19 Aug / 12-2pm

Come Join Us at our Open House today in Old Colorado City.  The Address is 1332 S. 25th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

1332 S. 25th Street Front View

Presented by Harmony Real Estate Group

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS

STUCCO EXTERIOR

2,012 Sq Ft

3 Bed / 2 Bath /4 Car Garage Plus Covered Carport 26' X 23' for Camper or R/V

Ranch Style with wheelchair ramp / Full Finished Basement

MLS#  9266455    List Price:  $359,900

If you are unable to visit with us today during the open house, please call (719) 359-7010 top schedule your private showing.

Posted in Community News
Aug. 2, 2018

Ways to Prepare to Sell Your Home

Are you ready to sell your home? Before you do, there are a few things you should get in order first. This will make your home sell quicker and will help the moving process go that much faster. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Start cleaning

One of the first tasks that you should do is to start decluttering your home. This is a big task for many people and is a great opportunity to go through everything and throw out LOTS. Separate things into what you want to keep, sell, or throw in the trash.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Once you have gotten rid of the clutter, it’s time to make everything shine! Wipe down everything including the floors, counters, bathtub, and especially anything that has dog hair on it. If you have a dog, you want to get rid of any odor in the home as much as possible. Your walls may also want a quick coat of paint.

Neutralize your home

Do you have a specific style? That’s great, but not when it comes to selling your home. You want your home to feel inviting for people whatever their style is. You also want them to be able to see themselves living in it. So, any family personalized pictures try and take off the walls. If you have bright walls, try and paint them so that it is a neutralized color palette. Something that you may love may turn a potential buyer off. Colors like cream, light grey, or beige will attract most buyers.

Fix any repairs

Are there little things on your house that have been on your to-do list that you haven’t gotten around to? Probably. This is the time to do them. Little things that can appear “wrong” with the house may put buyers off. Even if it is a very easy and affordable fix. Make sure that you make those repairs before your home goes on the market.

Curb appeal

First impressions matter when it comes to selling a home. This is a huge investment someone is about to make. At first glance, you want to make the best impression possible. Put some fresh flowers out in front of your home, make sure the grass looks nice, and take away any toys that are out there.

Follow these steps to have your home ready to put on the market. For more great tips on preparing your home to sell, contact us today!

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 18, 2018

Reasons Why Your Closing Process May Stall

The minute you find your dream house you want to move in. However, the mortgage closing process takes longer than expected a lot of the time. It’s important to understand what to expect during this time and what can stall the process. The loan closing can be completed in 21-28 days; however, the average time is 44 days.

 

 

Issues can arise that keeps the closing process going months longer than expected. Keep reading to find out why your closing time can be delayed.

 

When your offer is accepted, try not to purchase large expenses suddenly. We know, it can be tempting to get that amazing couch that would look great in your new living room. However, your mortgage lender may pull your credit just to be sure nothing has changed and see that new large purchase. This can cause you to appear in more debt and can cause a delay.

 

Secondly, if there was a death associated with the property, the home may need to go through probate first which can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Make sure to know the history of the home so that you are not kept waiting way longer than you thought.

 

Thirdly, there are times when the lender may require the home buyer to put extra money in the down payment. If so, that home buyer may need to save a little more those next few months to make that happen.

 

If the buyer is self-employed, additional documents are typically required to close on a home. If the buyer has multiple incomes, this will also need to be documented and verified. Lastly, if the down payment is a gift, this can also slow down the process so that the lender can verify it all.

 

If there is any damage in the property, the lender may require repairs to be complete prior to the home being closed. This is a very common reason. Lastly, if the home is in a foreclosure. This can take up to 1- days to get a payoff from the mortgage company. This can also include legal fees.

 

Although the home closing process is an exciting time, it can sometimes be delayed. Make sure you read through these reasons to ensure you understand why it may be ahead of time. For any questions, give us a call!

Posted in Buying a Home
July 6, 2018

Home Selling Tips This Summer

Most people know that real estate is hot in the summer months. But so is the weather. This can affect the sales of homes. That simply means that you should take these hot summer months into consideration. Keep reading to find out great home selling tips this summer!

Rush Hour

So many families head out of town or to the lake when the weekends hit. This means that your open house could end up being empty. Choose an alternative time frame that more people may stop by. In fact, we recommend you embracing rush hour!

Keep the lawn mowed

Have you noticed the grass grows faster in the summer? Make sure to keep it moved more often to ensure you have excellent curb appeal. First impressions are crutial when it comes to real estate!

Keep it seasonal

Let’s be honest…heading to a BBQ or pool party sounds like WAY more fun than going to an open house. That means you might as well embrace it! Try adding words into your open house making it feel like a celebration, talk about lemonade trays and how you are excited to be grilling outside. This will make it sound less sales and more enticing!

Decorate for summer

Bold and bright colors add a summer flare to the mix. Make sure to decorate the house a little in the season. You can even add an air freshener that smells more like the meadow and flowers. This helps create an inviting feel.

Show off the outdoors

So many people love to entertain. What a better way to entertain in the summer than having an outdoor gathering. Highlight the outdoor space and show potential buyers how they are utilizing it during summer months.

Keep it cool

There’s nothing worse than entering a home and it is feeling stuffy. Make sure you keep the temperature cool. Keep the air circulating by placing floor fans about the house. Also, turn the air conditioning to a level just below your comfort on days that are very hot. This will even keep potential buyers from leaving early.

Advertise ASAP

Spread the word that the house is going on the market soon. You can do this online and offline by word of mouth. It’s important to get people excited.

If you are looking to put your home on the market this summer, give us a call today!

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 21, 2018

Tips for House Hunting

When you think about buying a new home you think about moving in, making it your own, and enjoying the house for many years with your family. For some reason, the house hunting process escapes many of us and it’s so important. It’s no small task so that you ensure you get the house you really want. Make sure that you do some preparation before going into your house hunting journey. Don’t know what preparation we are talking about? Keep reading to find out!

Get pre-approved

Make sure that you know exactly how much money you are going to be able to purchase a home for. This is so important because the last thing you want is to be looking for homes that are outside of your price range. It will also let potential sellers know that you are a serious buyer.

Understand your needs

Make a list about what is most important to you. Do you NEED at least 4 bedrooms? Make sure that is at the top of your list. Your WANT list may be a mile long, simply make sure that you have items that you want in order from most important onward too.

Find a real estate agent

Finding a real estate agent is more important than you may think. Although many may have similar qualifications, some may click with you a little more than others. It’s important to ask potential agents questions like how many other families are you working with? How many homes have you sold recently? These are vital to having a successful outcome.

Take notes

As you start to look at homes, take notes of things you love about the homes. Also, take notes about things you hate. This will help you in deciding later. This will also help you know what kind of things you should be looking for. This is especially a good idea if you are new to home buying.

Revisit your favorites

It’s always a great idea once you have seen quite a few to go back through and revisit the homes you liked the most. This will help you better decide between a few when you look at them back-to-back.

We hope this list helps you with your own home buying process. If you have any questions, we would love to help! Give us a call today to start your home buying journey.

Posted in Buying a Home
June 9, 2018

Save Your First Home FAST By Using These Tips

We first want to congratulate you on starting the process of purchasing your first home. That is SO exciting and such a big step in your life. It can feel overwhelming when trying to save up for a down payment. Luckily, we have you covered. Keep reading to find out our favorite tips for saving for your first home.

Budget

Preparing a budget and sticking to it is crucial. Look at exactly how much money your household is bringing in. Then look at the essential costs you have every single month. Have a goal at the beginning of every month. You can ensure you are staying on track by checking your bank account every few days.

Renting

Let’s face it, renting can be such a huge chunk of your paycheck. One easy way to save your money is to rent out a room in your home. Whether it is to a friend or family member, this could mean $500 extra dollars every single month. That means that you are saving $6000 per year. This is one of the quickest ways. Although you may not like the sound of it, if you can do it for a year or two you will have your first home in no time.

Deals

Hey, there’s no shame in coupon cutting. So. grab your scissors and check out this week’s deals. You can also find some online. If you have something like a phone bill and a cable bill with different companies, try and bundle your plan. This can also save you lots.

Basics

We know, you do have so many mandatory costs every single month. Which are not mandatory though? Could you skip going to the movies and instead rent a movie and make popcorn yourself? Little expenses add up.

We love helping people find their first home. If you are ready to get started, we are here to assist you!

Posted in Buying a Home
May 4, 2018

5 Things You Don’t Realize Can Ruin Your Credit

Have you ever checked your credit and it was lower than you thought it was? Even if you are on top of payments, your credit score can be low for other reasons than just lack of paying your bills. But what are the other ways? Keep reading to find out!

Don’t check too often

Although you may think that checking your credit multiple times in a short period of time is a good idea, maybe one place will show it as higher. Don’t do this! Checking your credit will lower it if you check it multiple times within a few weeks. If you want to ensure it is going up, follow the rules of increasing your credit and then only check occasionally.

Little fees add up

Any unpaid bills that you have out in the world really add up and can plummet your credit score. Do you have an unpaid medical bill? Even if it’s small. Do you have an unpaid parking ticket? Pay it as soon as possible! Little bills will add up and affect your credit score. To check these issues, pull a full credit report and ensure that you are all paid up.

Personal Information

One of the simplest and most frustrating reason why your credit score is lower than it should be is because of incorrect information. Errors occur everywhere, even on credit scores.  If your credit score has incorrect information, this could drag your score down. If your report does have an error, make sure that you call your credit bureau right away and file a claim. Although they won’t be fixed right away, it will be worth it.

Don’t try every trick

If you are trying to increase your credit score, don’t print off a list and try every trick in the book. Using your credit a little too much can also hurt it. Even if you are paying off your cards regularly, maxing out your card will hurt your credit. Try and keep your balance low and don’t try every trick at once.

Using your credit card

Make sure to still use your credit card! With no credit, there’s no way to show that you are a responsible user. This can ding your credit score. Although it seems crazy, make sure that you use your card from time to time as well. For example, put all your groceries or your gas on your credit card. This way your bill isn’t too big, but it is something you would always have to pay for anyways.

Here you have our best ways to keep your credit score as high as possible. Without doing these things, you will be on your way to owning a new home or simply having a high credit score in no time. Do you have any more tricks? Share them with us in the comments below!

Posted in Buying a Home
April 19, 2018

Will I Love My Future Neighborhood?

When you are searching for a new home, location is one of the most important parts of your search. Whether you are looking for a great community for your family or you are looking for complete privacy, enjoying where you live in essential if you want to love your home.

So how can you tell if you will love your neighborhood when you are looking at homes to buy? Keep reading and we will show you!

What’s close by?

Think about what you do on a day-to-day basis. Do you go to the gym? What area of town will you be working in? Is there a food store you love living near? If these are places you go to on a very regular basis, it’s a good idea to keep their location in mind when searching for your dream home. Living close by will make your life easier. You may not realize how much you love living by them until you no longer do. By that point, you may end up becoming resentful of your home. Make a list of places you go to nearly daily.

Do you like quiet or lively?

Do you enjoy a nice quiet night in most nights or do you enjoy being close to downtown and the bars? You may love hanging out with your friends every weekend, but that does not mean you want to live nearby. With that said, if you love being able to walk to restaurants and coffee shops daily, living close to the city may be very important in the location you chose to purchase your home in.

Do you need friends nearby?

Some people love their friends to live close by, while others need space between them and their friends. Even if they don’t need their friends to be in a walking distance, some people need to be close enough so that their friends will still come and visit them. If this is a necessity to you, make sure that you communicate that to your realtor and let them know the exact areas your friends live. It’s also a great idea to ask your friends what they like and don’t like about their neighborhoods. This will help you know what kinds of things to look for and perhaps stay away from.

Make sure that you visit a few different neighborhoods and see which one’s check many of your boxes. Some people just have a feeling about a neighbor and know instantly that it’s “the one”. Make sure that you make these lists before you start home searching, it will save you a lot of time and perhaps will help you from choosing the wrong home.

If you are ready to find the perfect neighborhood for your family, we would love to help! Contact us today to get started!

Posted in Buying a Home