Tag Archives: Buying a Home

9 Fantastic Tips to Get Your Home Purchasing Offer Accepted

Admin 21/12/2018

So you’ve finally found your dream home. Now you have to make the right offer and hope it gets accepted. If you’re facing tough competition to secure the home, you’re going to want to make sure your offer stands above the rest.

Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Your experienced McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty want to give you a few pointers to help ensure your offer gets accepted. Make your bid as strong as possible with these 9 fantastic tips.

Making the Best Offer That You Can

1. Make a full cash offer.
While this can understandably be difficult for some homebuyers, it truly is your best bet at securing the home of your dreams. For sellers, this means not having to wait for a mortgage to get passed and paid out, no appraisal requirements, no financing contingencies, and no issues with the deal falling through.

Making a full cash offer is the quickest, most efficient manner to grab a seller’s attention. (Assuming that your offer is close to the selling price.)

2. Make the largest down payment that you possibly can.
A large down payment is going to highlight your financial stability and the high likelihood that you’ll be able to successfully secure a mortgage loan. A large downpayment is going to be more than the traditional 20%. The more, the better.

3. Offer above the asking price.
If you really want a house, never bid low and hope you get a bite. In fact, you’ll want to offer above the asking price to beat out what is likely to be a multiple-bid situation. Make your best (and highest) offer right out the gate.

4. Get a preapproval letter from a lender.  
This is essential to your offer and should be done before even attempting to make an offer. A preapproval letter provides proof that you are in a financially strong situation and will be able to secure a mortgage loan to finance the house.

This can really showcase how serious and prepared you are to get the deal done. Even if another buyer offers more money, if they haven’t secured a preapproval, then your offer will still stand out.

5. Make a contingency-free offer.
Your offer should not come with any contingencies – such as the sale of your current home – or any seller concessions. Do not ask for assistance with closing costs or make requests that they include some of their personal property in the sale (such as a dining room table or any outdoor furniture).

6. Be flexible with the seller’s needs.
Be as accommodating to the seller as possible; if they are ready to get out of their home immediately, then offer a shorter closing period. If they need a longer period of time to secure new housing for themselves, then offer them a free month of occupancy in the home.

You might want to offer to pay the seller’s Owner’s Title Policy and transfer tax. While this may add a bit to your expenses, it’ll definitely sweeten the deal for the seller.

7. Put down a sizable earnest money deposit.
While this may seem risky, it actually shows how dedicated you are to upholding your end of the bargain. A bigger deposit won’t hurt you in the long run as it’ll go towards your down payment.

On the other hand, if you’re having doubts about the home and are afraid to put down a big deposit, then the house might not be right for you.

8. Provide as much proof as possible.
Items to consider utilizing to enhance the likelihood of having your home purchasing offer accepted include:

  • A loan approval letter that notes what type of financing the buyer is getting and how much you will be putting towards the down payment.
  • Proof of down payment funds.
  • Include an escalation clause in your offer.

9. Tug at the heartstrings.
Write a personal letter to go along with your offer, touching on what you love so much about the home and why you are the right buyer. Making a personal connection can do wonders in helping you stand out from the crowd. You might even want to include a family picture too to help sway the seller emotionally.

Want to make the best offer that you possibly can? The McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty can help!

Contact Equity Assets Realty today at 956-994-9455 to start the process of securing your dream home in the Rio Grande Valley.

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What to Consider When Hunting for a Home

Admin 17/12/2018

Naturally, when buying your first home, you want to be absolutely sure that it’s the right one. But it’s very easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the whole experience and fail to get exactly what it is that you want and need.

Your McAllen team of real estate agents at Equity Assets Realty have the know-how to make sure you find exactly what you are looking for. Our experienced team has compiled 7 valuable tips to consider when searching for that perfect home.

7 Tips to Consider When Searching for That Perfect Home

  1. Want It
  2. While extra amenities are nice to have, they won’t necessarily make the house right for you and your future needs.

    Actually consider what you do want. If you’re not interested in having an extra room or an exceedingly big yard, then there’s no reason for you to purchase the home. Chances are all the extra conveniences are increasing the house’s price.

  3. Surroundings Matter
  4. Yes, the house is obviously important, but so is the neighborhood. You might find the perfect home in a neighborhood that isn’t ideal for your needs. Whether it’s the distance from work, the school district your children will be zoned to, or distance to important amenities, the wrong neighborhood can really affect how comfortable you will feel in your new home.

    Consider your neighbors, local amenities, and the proximity to important locations to make the best decision. It’s also worth noting that certain towns in the McAllen metropolitan area are going to have higher tax rates which can play a major role in your ability to acquire the house.

  5. Don’t Worry Too Much About the Details
  6. Think of the bigger picture. Are you willing to give up on an ideal house just because the kitchen doesn’t have the type of cabinets you wanted or the bathroom has a tile you don’t like?

    Don’t let these types of details – that can be changed – stop you from obtaining the home of your dreams.

  7. Own It Before Buying It
  8. While there are plenty of real-world factors that need be considered when finding the perfect home, there are also some elements that aren’t quite so easy to be your finger on – but which play just as important of a role.

    What we’re getting at is feeling like the home is right for you. Do you love how comfortable you are as soon as you walk into the home? Are you excited to explore without any hesitation? You might even defend any flaws that your agent points out.

    In other words, if you already feel like this is your house and can see yourself living in it, then it might just be the right one.

  9. It Has What You Need
  10. You work from home, so you need an extra room for a home office. You love to bake regularly, so an extra wide kitchen is going to be essential. You have children, so a toy room is important.

    There are always certain amenities we know that we really need our houses to have in order for us to live comfortably and properly. Do not let go of those requirements. While you can forget about the small details that you can change over time, make sure the home you are thinking of purchasing has what you and your family really need.

  11. Be Flexible Where You Can
  12. It is important to know what you want and just as important to be flexible when you can. If you found the ideal home with just the right number of rooms you wanted but doesn’t have the garage you were set on, then do a pros and cons list of the house.

    Do you like everything else about the house? A close to perfect home can always be modified to perfection.

  13. Don’t Sleep On It
  14. While this piece of advice goes against everything you usually hear about making a big purchase, when you find the right home, you might not want to sleep on it. Chances are if you love the home, someone else will as well, and they might take the leap to acquire it before you do. And it can happen relatively fast.

    When you find the right home, and you know it, you won’t want to leave without having some kind of agreement set in place.

    Want a little more guidance and support while looking for the right house? Let the expert McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty help you find what you are looking for.

Contact us today at 956-994-9455. We have plenty of experience and success in helping individuals find their dream home in McAllen.

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Three Useful Tips to Determine How Much of a Mortgage You Can Afford

Admin 09/11/2018

For first time home buyers, purchasing a house can be a daunting experience. At times, it can feel like having a Ph.D. in finance is required just to figure out the costs and hidden fees that go into your mortgage.

Luckily, our expert McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty have plenty of experience helping first time home buyers — and even fifth time home buyers — get the best mortgage possible so they can acquire the home of their dreams.

Our realty agents have learned many meaningful tips and strategies to help our clients determine how much of a mortgage they can afford. Below are a few of the most useful tips they have uncovered to help you find an economical, and ultimately, comfortable mortgage for your budget.

1. Know the Golden Rule of Mortgage Affordability

Our experts know Rio Grande Valley realty and mortgage affordability. In the real estate industry, it pays to know the golden rule.

That golden rule? That’s the 28/36 rule.

The 28/36 rule recommends that you spend no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income on total housing expenses and no more than 36 percent on all monthly debts.

Let’s dissect exactly what this means.

The first half of the rule is known as the “front-end ratio,” and it encompasses all expenses in your PITI, which is monthly payments, interest, property taxes, and insurance payments. Let’s not forget that this includes condo and/or housing association fees, but excludes monthly utility bills like light or cable.

For example, let’s say that you take home around $5,000 a month. If you take 28 percent and times it by 5,000 (5,000 X 0.28), you get around $1,400 as a result. That number is the most a borrower should spend in terms of a monthly mortgage, homeowners insurance payments, and/or property taxes.

On the other side, the 36 percent is known as the “back-end ratio,” and it is calculated by taking all debts you have into consideration, including:

  • PITI payments for your mortgage
  • Homeowner’s association dues
  • Condo fees
  • Credit card debts
  • Student loans
  • Other personal loans
  • Utility bills
  • Car note
  • Monthly alimony payments or child support

So why not call it the 36 rule and just be done with it all? Because there is a complete distinction between the front-end and back-end ratios.

Monthly payments are only included in the back-end ratio when they are expected to be paid for the next 10 months or longer. Still paying off that car you bought for the next 9 months? That won’t be factored into the back-end ratio.

To illustrate this point, pulling from the example above, let’s say all of your PITI payments are equal to $1,400. Now, let’s stack on other monthly debts like car loans, student loans, and/or utility payments, and the new total is $1,850.

In order to qualify for the back-end ratio, a borrower would have to make at least $5,138.88 in gross monthly income (1,850 ➗ 0.36 = 5,138.88).

In the end, it is important that borrowers pay down all of their debts and other loans in order to qualify for larger mortgages.

2. Your Down Payment Matters

It may seem like common sense but it’s definitely worth repeating—the larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage will be.

If you want to save even more money in the long run, you will want to pay down at least 20 percent of the home’s total value. Why? Because at that point, you generally will not have to purchase a private mortgage insurance, which protects the lender should you default on your home. Suffice to say, these insurance plans aren’t cheap—they can come at a cost of a couple hundred dollars a month.

That’s why your down payment is so important. While it may take some time to acquire the funds, it will be worth the longterm investment of owning a home, and as the old saying goes, “All good things take time.”

(But don’t take too much time. Taking too long to build up the capital for a large down payment may come at the cost of an increased price tag or higher interest rate.)

3. When in Doubt, Use Your Rent to Figure It Out

It’s a smart move to use your current rent as a gauge to figure out how much of a monthly mortgage you can afford. If you are struggling to make ends meet rent-wise, going for a home that has a higher monthly mortgage than what your rent currently is can be a disaster waiting to happen.

It’s also worth noting that houses come with many provisional expenses that renting helps you to avoid. For instance, are you experiencing some sort of plumbing issue? That’s coming out of your pocket. Did one of your appliances break down? You’ll have to carry the cost. Ant infestation…well…you get the idea.

If you have no wiggle room for these extra expenses, you will be financially stressed, and that is never a good thing.

Getting on the good side of a tax adviser could also be beneficial as a homeowner because you will want to itemize your deductions. A tax adviser (or even a tax software program) can help you find the best options for tax purposes.

Looking to purchase a home can be a scary ordeal, but with the right McAllen realtor by your side, it can be a memorable and exciting experience.

Our McAllen realtors are ready and eager to help get you into the home of your dreams. Contact us today at (956) 994-9455 to start that journey.

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9 Tips You Need to Know for Saving Money to Buy a Home

Admin 26/10/2018

In order to purchase the home of your dreams, it is essential that you take control of your finances. Without the right savings plan in place, it can feel like a daunting – and nearly impossible – task to save up money for a house.

Luckily, your experienced McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty know a number of fantastic strategies and tips to help you buckle down and save enough for that down payment. If you’re ready to take the first step to becoming a homeowner, take the following money-saving strategies to heart.

9 Tips You Need to Know to Save Money for a House

1. Consider Your Timeframe

This is essential to determining how much you will need to save within a given amount of time. If you plan on purchasing a home within a 3 to 5 years, then you can calculate accordingly.

2. Track Your Money

Before you thought about buying a home, you might have been a little lenient about your spending. Going out with friends? No problem. Treating yourself to a nice meal? Why not.

But now that you’re saving up to buy a home, you need to become somewhat of a penny pincher. This means you’ll need to track your spending and expenses. You might be shocked to find out you’re spending a hefty amount on luxury items that you can definitely live without.

There are plenty of apps and online tools that can help you figure out how much is leaving your bank account and where you can save.

3. Budget, Budget, Budget

This tip goes hand in hand with tracking your money. Once you have an understanding of where your money is going, it’s time to set some limits. While this may not be the most exciting step, it is a necessary one, nonetheless, and will help you to get the keys to your dream home that much faster. Areas to keep an eye on include:

  • Groceries – Be a smart consumer and see what types of items can be cut and consider buying off-brand.
  • Monthly Expenses – What services are you paying for that you don’t actually need? Are you paying extra for unlimited data on your cell phone? Unless it’s essential, cut it. Look into your internet service, any memberships that you really don’t take advantage of, and the likes.
  • Luxury Expenses – Do you enjoy spending the weekends taking in all the local sights, attending concerts, going to the movies, and just generally being social? Awesome. Except these expenses tend to take a lot out of your bank account. While it’s ok to splurge every once in a while, it shouldn’t be happening every week.
  • Housing Expenses – If you think saving up might take you some time, it could be in your best interest to move into a cheaper place or rent out any extra rooms you may have.

4. Boost Your Income

If you are really invested in purchasing a home ASAP, one of the best steps you can take is to increase your income by working extra hours at work, picking up some part-time work, or using any talents or skills you may have to get some freelance work.

5. Pay Off Debt

High-interest debt can do a number on your paycheck. Having to pay off numerous credit cards and other high-interest loans can limit your ability to save.

If you budgeted correctly and cut back on unnecessary expenses, you can use some of this money to attack your debt and bring it down. Another benefit of this tip is that you’ll be improving your credit rating at the same time.

6. Save Any Extra Money You Get

Perhaps you’ve received a bonus from work or are expecting a sizable tax refund. Any sort of financial windfall should be put into a savings account that is going towards purchasing a home.

7. Set up an Automated Savings Plan

It can be a challenge to save money when you are receiving all of your paycheck in your regular bank account. You’ll see the money and be much more tempted to spend it.

By automating the savings process, you essentially avoid this. You don’t ever see money – so to speak – making it harder for you to spend it.

8. Open Up a Certificate Deposit (CD) Account

A CD account is a savings account with a fixed interest rate and a set date of withdrawal. There’s a penalty for withdrawing your money early, so there’s enough of an incentive to not touch your money.

You’ll add a couple of extra dollars to your savings with this type of account and also limit the possibility of dipping into it.

9. Keep In Mind Other Costs Associated with Buying a Home

Saving up for a house isn’t just about the downpayment, there are a number of other fees and costs that you’ll need to keep in mind. These additional costs include:

    • Appraisal and Inspection Fees – You’ll need to have your home inspected and appraised before your mortgage is approved.
    • Closing Costs – These fees must be paid before “closing” on a mortgage contract and can reach between 2 to 5 percent of your total mortgage.
    • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – This fee is placed on your monthly mortgage payment if you put down less than 20% for the home.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of tips to saving money for buying a home, it should provide you with a great head start.

When you are ready to make that big purchase, make sure to reach out to the McAllen realtors at Equity Assets Realty.

Are you ready to find the perfect home? Contact Equity Assets Realty today at 956-994-9455. We have plenty of experience and success in helping individuals find their dream home in McAllen.

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