Home Loan Shopping Rules

To make an educated, apples-to-apples comparison on home loans we suggest using the following tips:

1. Always use a local lender. Seriously. Being able to sit down to explain or work hand-in-hand with a real person is invaluable during this key moment in your financial life. I’d even go so far as to say that here in the Casper area, having a non-local prequel can lead to nerves on an offer before a deal is even done. This is because many online mortgage companies make it easy to prequalify but pull their endorsement before the deal closes with little repercussion. Make sure you are dealing with a local lender.

2. Understand Estimates. A couple hundred dollar difference in bottom line fees on an estimate is meaningless because of the variations in how lenders calculate costs. All estimates within a couple hundred dollars either way should be considered equal when lender comparison shopping.

3. Don’t fall for fluff. Experience counts not sales pitches. You want someone who actually cares… Read More

Closing costs, explained.

Realtors and Lenders toss around terms and we sometimes forget that you don’t use them everyday like us! Our home buyer tips has a glossary of terms to help you acquaint yourself with common real estate terms. Closing costs tend to be the most confusing, even for the experienced buyer.

Here is an overview of the types of closing costs you may incur on your loan. Some are one-time fees, while others reoccur over the life of the loan. When you apply for your loan, you will receive a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Charges, a one page summary which will break out all fees, charges as well as your payment and cash to close. As you shop, you should always be asking for an updated Good Faith so you can review and address your money portion of the deal. Since understanding closing costs and reading a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is HARD; the best option is to sit with your lender or realtor and… Read More

The Good Faith Estimate Explained

Lenders are held to a high standard of accountability with the use of the standard Good Faith Estimate. This means you really should know your payment and cash to close for your transaction. Your lender must meet strict rules on timing and the quality of their estimate to protect you-the buyer or consumer.

Let’s start the top half of Page 1 of the new Good Faith Estimate (GFE) form

Name, address, etc of both the lender and the customer. It also asks for a Property Address. The property address is important. There are different requirements if you don’t have an actual property address. Obviously refinance transaction will have an address right away. If you are buying a home, you may or may not have an actual property address at the time the estimate is done so be sure to get an updated estimate before and/or after you offer.

The “Important Dates” Section

Line 1: Lenders must list a date and time… Read More

Finding your home’s best selling price

Expect Best Opportunities Within the First Few Weeks

Statistics show that the best opportunity to sell your home is often within the first few weeks of putting it on the market. This can be good news, or bad, depending on your motivation. Some homes sell right away, while others sit on the market for months without a single offer.

To maximize your selling opportunity, it is important that your home be priced right. What is the right price? Many factors will determine your home’s best asking price. Our current real estate market has a lot to do with it. Using sound judgment, research, and experience, a good agent can help you determine the right price for your home. They will help you evaluate your location, the recent sold data, current market trends, and your home’s special features that set it apart from the competition.

List to Sell

Ask me what the current absorption rate and pricing trend is for YOUR area. The most common question I get is why… Read More

20 Steps to a Successful Home Purchase

If you’ve decided it’s time to buy a home, you may be a little overwhelmed about all the things you need to do and decide on. Here’s a handy list of steps you should take on the way to your new home.

1. Select a professional real estate agent, like me!

2. Investigate mortgage programs with a reputable lender

3. Get pre-approved for a loan

4. Develop a “needs and wants” list for your house, with your Realtor

5. Tour homes

6. Pare down your choices using your “needs and wants” list

7. Write a purchase offer for the home with your Realtor; review a good faith estimate with your lender

8. Negotiate the contract with the sellers

9. Sign the bottom line and start packing!

10. Deliver Earnest Money

11. Schedule a home inspection

12. Attend the home inspection

13. Negotiate defects found on home inspection

14. Order Appraisal; go through lender disclosures

15. Fix Appraisal-required Repairs

16.… Read More

Questions To Interview Any Agent

Can you give me some reviews of your work?

A great follow up to this is, may I call one or two of your former clients? I especially like to ask about intermediary sales—where the agent has worked with both buyer and seller. If those clients are happy, chances are integrity played a part.

How much real estate do you sell?

Ask if it is mostly residential and how their volume and number of transactions compares with the average area agent. We sold 9M last year with 56 transactions; ranked fourth and the biggest small firm. The average agent sold 8 units. This is really testing the agent’s area knowledge and selling aptitude.

What is your selling style?

This is to find out if they are a relationship seller, as we are. Someone who handles buyer, seller and even renting so we are here long after closing for YOU. Others are simply buyer’s agents and tend not to worry about… Read More

Insider Tips For Home Buyers

Teamwork Leads to Success.

You don’t ask a lawyer to fix a sink and you pay for what you get. Teaming with a true real estate professional and exceptional real estate lender makes all the difference in the world for a smooth and safe purchase. Buying a FSBO or a new construction home directly often mean you are putting yourself in a room with people who are very nice—nice and ready to promote their own interest. Your buyer’s agent’s job is to protect, promote and advocate for YOU. We’ll earn our commission and help your family’s financial future the best start we can. We absolutely never charge our buyers.

Vigilance.

I call it MLS vigilance. Our site has UP-TO-THE-MINUTE home search so you can watch for the best new listings. You work and have a life with friends and family. You need an agent who practices mls vigilance—monitoring continuously so you can stay on top of the ever changing market.… Read More

The Language of Real Estate

Real Estate Negotiation has a whole set of nuances but to get there, you need to speak enough real estate to shop.

Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms used in Casper, WY, Natrona County and Converse County.

* dk — deck
* gar — garage
* DR or FDR — formal dining room or separate dining room
* FP — fireplace
* HD or HDW– hardwood floors
* hi ceils — high ceilings
* HOA—home owner’s association
* HMS—one kind of Home Warranty
* BD or BR-Bedroom
* BA-Bathroom/s
* LR-Living Room
* lq-usually part of the phrase “extra living quarters”
* pcc or pbcc –paid closing costs and paid buyer’s closing cost as incentives
* pvt – private, often secluded or off the beaten path
* COV or covs—restrictive covenants in the district
* CA-Central Air Conditioning
*… Read More

5 BIG Reasons You Shouldn’t do For Sale by Owner

Why For Sale By Owner is not the best option for most home sellers 1.  You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Seriously. Most homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. You need a real price.

Secondly, by following the advice of us at No Place Like Home, you know what improvements return and which won’t. By handling and helping with your selling budget, we can make you net extra thousands and earn our keep.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000.   This doesn’t mean you’d make $46000 more on your home but does show you that home that comes ready to the market will… Read More

February 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of my newsletter!

As a real estate professional, I strive to keep in touch with my clients and provide them with information that I hope they will find useful. This newsletter is an opportunity to let you know about the state of the market and current trends. It may even touch on ways that you could enhance your home’s value. I hope the market data and articles will help you with understanding real estate today and help you with your real estate decisions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rita Parker

Trends, Tips & Tricks area 1 Real Estate Sales Data Days on Market (last 12 months) CURRENT AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET IN JANUARY Single Family Homes 116 Condos/Townhomes 104 Multi-family Homes 92 Keys for Buying and Selling when the Market is slow

It’s a whole new world for home sellers. So how do you make your house stand… Read More