When you want to buy something, it all comes down to money. Therefore, I recommend that your home buying experience starts with Pre-Approval. Understanding your finances will help focus your efforts for everything else after. Don’t get the cart in front of the horse and the process at an open house, as that typically ends in heartache. Here are some benefits of pre-approval and what you will need to get pre-approved.
• Discuss and learn about loan options and budgeting with the lender.
• Run a check on your credit and alert you to any problems.
• Informs you of the maximum amount you can borrow, which helps set a price range for your search.
• Allows you to make an offer instantly.
• Sets you above the competition without pre-approval.
• Legitimizes your offer, as sellers will be more willing to negotiate with you knowing you can obtain financing.
• Lock in your loan and Rate for 90 days to protect you against market changes.
If you are not quite ready to commit, a Pre-qualification might be a better route to go, as this will give you an idea of what you can afford and help with your home search, without the credit and financial check.
Items needed for Pre-approval:
• Proof of income
• Verification of employment
• Proof of Assets
• Credit check
• Identification – Social Security #, driver’s license, and current address
Keep in mind that different lenders will pre-approve you for different amounts, so if you are looking for some guidance as to which lender to do this with, I have a few recommendations for lenders that I’ve worked with in the past and trust.
I’m always available for any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to give me a call, text, or shoot me an email!
Intero Real Estate
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Some people are thrilled with how technology is changing the way we interact with our home environment. Others aren’t quite so happy with the direction that this trend is heading. Love them or hate them, though – there’s one thing that you need to accept: The smart home isn’t going away.
What Makes a Smart Home?
A smart home is one that has a variety of sensors and controls within it that give you additional information or functionality when it comes to your home. This can range from information like whether you left the front door unlocked or what the temperature is in your living room to functions such as controlling your lights with your voice. Some smart homes use a central hub or device to control everything, while others use components that connect via wifi and are controlled by your phone. Some smart homes feature appliances or other major fixtures that have “smart” capabilities while others just use devices or sensors to make day-to-day life more convenient. Because of the device-based nature of modern smart homes, homeowners can choose exactly the components they want to help make the smart home installation meet their specific needs.
Smart Home Devices
There are a wide range of smart home devices available for homeowners. Some of these are fairly well known, such as smart thermostats that feature programmable temperature controls that “learn” how best to keep you comfortable. Others are less common but very handy, such as leak sensors that alert you when your pipes leak or window sensors that let you check to see whether your windows or locked or unlocked. You can get smart lighting that can be controlled remotely and can even change colors, smart locks that you can lock and unlock with your phone or a key fob, smart smoke and CO2 detectors, motion sensors that activate security cameras but that are able to ignore pets and small animals… the list is quite extensive. Most of these devices are programmable so you can automate specific tasks, or can at least be paired with things such as a digital assistant (like Amazon Echo devices or Google Home) to schedule automation and even voice control.
Safety and Privacy
There are a number of advantages to using smart devices, including saving money and increasing convenience in your daily life. However, some people have security and privacy concerns as well. Some smart devices have been exploited in the past, allowing hackers to listen in or speak through the devices to people in a smart home. Some devices featuring video also raise security concerns as people worry that others will be able to record them going throughout their day. While these are valid concerns, security breaches and flaws are taken seriously by manufacturers. The majority of cases where unwanted access has occurred were either due to flaws that have since been patched or due to someone gaining access to the password that secures the devices. This is why it’s important for those who buy smart devices to use strong passwords on their accounts and to make sure that their devices have up-to-date software, as these two actions will mitigate the majority of security concerns.
Whether you already have smart home devices installed or you’re just curious, there are installers and consultants who can help you determine exactly how your home could be a little smarter. If you’re interested, HomeKeepr can help you connect with a consultant in your area that can help you along your way. Sign up now for your free account and get ready for your home to be that much smarter.
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Total October existing-home sales rose 1.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.46M.
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