Choosing the Right Realtor

Buying a home or selling your current home is a big endeavor. The financial and emotional impact of home buying or selling can really leave a lasting mark on a person and family. The realtor and company you choose to represent you during these times is important.

While all real estate agents are licensed to help you buy and sell homes, not all of them are equal in skill set.

Finding the right realtor is a lot like finding a best friend or partner – some will just be a better fit than others!

It is important to find a realtor that understands you and will advocate for your wishes rather than what they think is best. While input from the professionals should always be advised and listened to, at the end of the day, a realtor is there to serve you and your wishes.

When deciding which realtor to use to buy or sell your home, you should also look at their reputation. A great place to start is on their company’s website or on Google if they have any public reviews. Real estate is an industry of relationships, if the real estate agent you choose does not have a good reputation with clients or other realtors, it may be hard for them to close a deal for you.

Communication is also key when working with a realtor. Real estate is a 24-hour business with new offers coming in at any time of the day and new houses going on the market at all hours. You will want to work with someone who is available by phone or email regularly and who will answer your questions and concerns in a timely matter.

When you are talking to your realtor, do you feel like they understand not only your needs, but also the neighborhood and real estate trends going on around you? Knowledge is power and if your realtor doesn’t seem to understand the ins and outs of the industry, they might be putting you in bad position to get the home of your dreams or sell your current home. Always make sure your real estate agent seems knowledgeable and informed on the real estate market in your area.

Need help finding the perfect realtor for you next home buying or home selling journey? Contact us today. Our team of real estate professionals can help match you with the right person for the job to make this important moment in your life effortless and easy!

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How to Stay Competitive in a Seller’s Market

Summertime is the busiest time of year to buy a new home. With more people searching for a home, competition can drive offers and prices through the roof. Having a strong plan of attack when putting an offer in on a house can help you get into the home of your dreams, faster.

  • Know what you will be preapproved for before making an offer

When you have preapproval from your mortgage lender, that let’s your buyer know that you are reliable for the amount you are offering.

  • Come in with your strongest offer, first

In this market, if you try to low ball a buyer with your first offer, many times they won’t counter and will just move on to the next offer.

  • Be flexible on closing dates

If you have some flexibility in the date you want to move into your new home, offer to let the seller set the dates. This can allow them to move at their own pace, making your offer seem easy and convenient!

  • Offer a high amount of earnest money and a substantial down payment

Offering more money up front shows the seller that you are a serious and qualified buyer. As long as it financially makes sense for you, this is a great way to show your interest and stay competitive.

  • Consider skipping an inspection if you are comfortable

This option is not for everyone. But if you feel comfortable about skipping an inspection this could be a way to entice the owners to choose your offer over others.

  • Have your realtor ask what is important to the sellers in an offer

At the end of the day, the owners of the home want to choose a buyer with an offer that makes the most sense for them. For some it is about the money, others it is the ease of closing, for another it could be completely different. Having your realtor as what is important to the sellers before placing the offer could help your offer rank above the rest!

Talk to your realtor about how you will approach putting an offer on a house that you love. By creating a strong plan, you will be prepared to put your best foot forward. If you need help setting your plan or knowing what you can reasonably afford to offer when buying a home, reach out to one of our real estate professionals. We can help guide you through the process and help you feel confident about taking the next steps in your home buying journey.

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What You Need to Know about Higher Mortgage Interest Rates

The first week of May 2022, the Federal Reserve increased mortgage interest rates by .5%. This monumental increase came as the government tries to regain control of the economy and the inflation rate across the country. An even though a half of a percentage point doesn’t seem like that much, it can drastically impact the cost of owning a home in the upcoming years.

Interest rates were changed in an effort to slow down and maintain the rising inflation rates, starting with the rising costs of homes throughout the United States. By tacking on a higher interest rate to buy a home, it limits the monthly payment many can afford on a house, causing people to be able to afford a less. This keeps home prices down, preventing the increase in home prices across the country.

If you are in the market for a new home this summer, this news could seem like it is throwing a wrench in your homebuying plans. While increasing interest rates is definitely something you need to consider when setting your budget for your home, there are many things you can do to navigate this change.

The simplest thing to do is to look for homes in your area that are less expensive to accommodate for the higher interest costs. Once your monthly budget for what you can afford has been determined, work with your real estate agent to set a total budget for your home. This will help you search within your means and help you set expectations for what your budget allows you to afford.

If you aren’t able to decrease your budget when it comes to buying a house, another alternative is to put more money into your down payment at closing. Your down payment is not included in your total mortgage amount, which means it won’t be impacted by the increase interest rates. The more money you put down, the less you have to pay per month which mean the less will be subject to interest. If you have extra money that can be put towards your down payment, this is a great option.

While these changes in interest rates may be good for our overall economy, it can be hard on your wallet right now. Do you need help navigating this ever-changing real estate market? Our team of experts can help you get ready to buy or sell your home this summer. Reach out today to learn more about our services and options you can explore.

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Why You Should Buy vs. Rent

Buying a new home is one of the largest purchases and investments a person can make in their life. Choosing wisely can set you up for financial success in the future, but sometimes making the leap to make that purchase can be difficult and expensive.

According to NBC News, people who own a home rather than habitually rent have a net worth 40% higher than other individuals on average.

This may sound enticing, but how can you achieve home ownership if you aren’t financially ready right now? There are many things to consider when you want to make the switch from renting to buying.

A Down Payment

Arguably the largest barrier for many people is the down payment needed when buying a home. Many home buyers opt for a 20% down payment on their new home to avoid additional costs and fees associated with insurance. However, did you know you can put as little as 3.5% down with a FHA loan?

A first time homebuyer loan helps those who are buying for the first time get into a home a little easier than a conventional loan. Although it does come with some restrictions, it is more affordable upfront.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Payments

When you are first weighing your options between monthly rent payments and monthly mortgage payments – renting may seem like the route to go. Although rent might be a cheaper option now, over time the cost of living and renting goes up and up. It may be by $100 or $200 a month year by year, but after a while you will be paying much more than you originally were.

A fixed-rate mortgage will keep your payments the same each month for the entirety of your 30-year loan. That means that while the cost of living goes up, your housing staying the same. You can also consider how over time, you will likely make more money than you are right now with cost of living raises and job changes, meaning the percentage you will be paying for housing compared to your overall income will drop.

Home Equity

The equity you put into your home can have a big influence on your overall net worth in the future. Simply put, the equity you have in your home is the amount you have paid towards your mortgage vs. what you still owe. The more equity you have in your home, the better.

This equity can help you in many ways. When you have more equity in your home, you can then take that money and borrow against it in the future if needed. For example, if you want to renovate or refinance your home, the more equity you have in your home means you can borrow more money than those who don’t. You can also use this same tactic if you want to borrow against that equity to pay off other debts.

Having equity in a home is the number one way you can build your wealth.

Taking the first step towards home ownership can be a daunting task. Our team of real estate experts can help you understand what you need, what process you need to follow, and help outline the benefits of owning a home in a way that makes sense in your life.

Contact us today to learn more about owning a home and building your wealth for the future!

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Getting Serious about Your Home Search? Be Prepared

It is officially home buying season! Spring is here and the inventory of homes is starting to rise, are you ready to start your search?

Buying a home can be the largest and most influential purchase a person can make in their life. It is important not to take this process lightly and always have a plan when you start your search. When you set parameters before you start your looking, it helps make the process less overwhelming and unpredictable.

Consider each of the following before jumping into the home buying process:

Do Your Research

How does the current real estate market look in the area you are trying to buy a home in? Keeping an eye on the average cost per square feet of a home is a great indicator of what you will pay in that area. Property taxes can also vary depending on the neighborhood or property you’re looking to purchase.

Having an accurate expectation of what you will have to spend to live in the area you want is important.

Always Set a Budget

Knowing what you can realistically afford when buying a house can help you set a realistic budget for your new home.

Working with Kurv Loans can allow you to find out what you will be pre-approved for, making it even easier to know what the budget for your new home should be. Contact us today to learn more.

Make a List of “Must-Haves” and “Nice-to-Haves”

The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, or square footage of a home can have a huge impact on the sales price. What are non- negotiables in your new home? Knowing this beforehand will help you focus your search and help you not get swept away by other options or amenities in the area.

What Neighborhoods or Amenities are you Looking for?

Similar to your list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”, is there specific areas or neighborhoods that you have your heart set on living in? Are you interested in living close to public transit, shops & restaurants, a certain school district, or housing development?

These considerations may impact the budget you’ve set for your next home. More sought-after area and amenities can bring a higher rate of competition, which most of the time means a higher cost too.

Keep in Mind Timelines

Closing on a home will usually take between 30 and 60 days after an offer has been accepted. How does that time frame work within your schedule?

Some people may need to be out of an apartment lease, have a closing date already on a home they are selling, or have another obligation they need to consider before closing on their home.

It is important to know about these different dates, deadlines, and timelines before starting your home search. Even more importantly, it is important that your real estate agent knows too!

Find a Real Estate Agent you can Trust

Having a trusted partner during your home buying search is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you feel confident and prepared to buy your next home.

At Kurv Loans, our dedicated team of real estate professionals can help you the moment you start searching to the day your get the keys! Learn more about our team and services on our website today.

Do you still feel like you don’t have a strong understanding of what you’re looking for? Contact one of our real estate experts today to help you set a strong plan before you start your home buying journey.

Kurv Loans can help you stay competitive and find the perfect home! Learn more on our website:

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Why Appraisals Matter When Home Buying

So you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream home, congratulations! You may think it is smooth sailing from here on out, but there are other considerations and information coming soon that may take you by surprise.

When purchasing a new home, many people are required to have an appraisal completed to assess the value of the home. This will usually consist of hiring a company to visit your home, take measurements, assess the state of the home, and compare it to other real estate sales in the area. After this is complete, the company will tell you how much the home is worth.

Knowing the value of your potential new home is a crucial part of the home buying process. It is important for you to know how valuable the new property is for your own records, but the bank will also want to know when they consider the amount and terms of your new mortgage.

For example, if the offer that was accepted on a new home is $400,000, but the appraisal of the home only comes back with a value of $350,000, this will be an alarming number for the bank. When the bank takes your mortgage on, it needs to know that if something were to go wrong, they could place your home back on the market and make their money back. In the example above, the bank would not make its money back which would make it a risky investment for them.

Sometimes in this case, the bank will ask the new homebuyer to pay the difference between the accepted offer and the appraisal value of the home. Referencing the example above, this would make the new homebuyer would have to pay $50,000 out of pocket in addition to the down payment.

Appraisals are also designed to safeguard homebuyers from spending too much on something that may not be worth it. Taking out a loan that is larger than what you need is a recipe for disaster in the housing market. It is important for buyers to have all the information they need when purchasing a home, including how much the home is worth, not just its perceived value.

Appraisals are meant to protect all the parties involved when purchasing a home. It can help us prevent another housing crisis similar to the one that happened in 2008 and give homebuyers peace of mind that they are making a sound investment.

Now through the end of March, Kurv Loans is offering all our clients who use our team of real estate professionals $600 off their appraisal fee! This important step before getting your home is now covered by Kurv Loans, making your dreams of being a homeowner closer to becoming a reality!

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a home, contact our team today to see what your options and next steps might be!

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Get Ahead of the Busy Buying Season – Start Searching for Your Dream Home Today

The late spring and summer months are notorious for being the busiest season for home buying and selling. April through September typically bring a higher number of homeowners listing their home, but even more buyers out there trying to put an offer on those homes. The competition in this market has been especially intense the past couple of years when the supply of new houses on the market has been significantly lower than the demand.

One way to avoid this highly competitive market is to buy in the off season. Late fall, winter, and early spring are a great time to avoid the crowds and house hunt in a market that is less stressful and quite frankly, crazy.

Although there will be significantly fewer houses, condos, and townhouses on the market when you search in the off season, competition will be less. This could result in fewer offers being made on that property that caught your eye and a lesser chance of a bidding war.

Spring 2022 is a great time to start your house hunting journey! Low interest rates are still in effect, but higher rates are imminent. This means that the same house for the same price could up costing you even more in the near future due to increasing rate.

Don’t forget! Until the end of March 2022, Kurv Loans is also offering a $600 appraisal credit when you purchase a home using our team of experienced real estate professionals. That’s another $600 that will be back in your pocket!

There are many great benefits for buying a home outside of the typically busy season. If you or your family is considering starting your house hunting search this spring, contact one of our amazing real estate professionals to get started.

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Kurv Loans is Now Offering a $600 Appraisal Credit!

Headlines everywhere have been focused on the extremely competitive and aggressive housing market that has been overwhelming the United States the past couple of years. With offers surpassing the asking price of the home by tens of thousands, more and more buyers are getting a shock when the appraisal of their future home comes in.

Appraisals are an essential part of the homebuying process to protect potential buyers and lenders from buying something that isn’t valued as high as its price tag. Banks and lending companies will often need reassurance that if they agree to finance your home, and for some reason your side of the agreement falls through, they can still resell the house for full value.

Many times, the potential new homeowner will need to cover the gap between the appraisal value and the agreed price of the house upfront if there is a significant difference. Meaning another added expense when it comes to buying a home.

There is also a cost associated with having an appraisal performed on your new home. These fees can sometimes be incorporated or negotiated into the terms of the purchase, but for some, the additional cost can throw buyers off guard as the extra expenses keep adding up.

That’s why potential home buyers will love Kurv Loan’s newest promotion! From January 1st – March 31st, Kurv Loans will give all home buyers who work with our team of real estate professionals $600 to put towards their appraisal fees!

By offering our clients this exclusive offer, Kurv Loans will not only be able to help you find the house of your dreams, but help you save money and time in the process.

Are you looking to purchase a home soon? Contact one of our trusted real estate professionals to get started and take advantage of our $600 appraisal credit offer. You’ll be one day closer to making your life in your dream home a reality!

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