Florida Top State for In-Migration from Other States

LendingTree’s latest State Migration Study discovered that 12.1 percent of homebuyers across the country plan to change states and most plan to head south – and the largest number prefer Florida. It’s the top destination for residents of 15 out of 50 U.S. states, most of which are located up and down the East Coast. To do the study, LendingTree reviewed more than 2 million new-purchase mortgage loan requests for primary residences in all 50 states in 2018 through mid-November to find what percentage of all requests were from residents looking to move outside of their current state and where …

5 Steps to Ease Home-Buying Anxiety

Don’t let uncertainty about the mortgage process keep you on the sidelines. These tips will help you feel more prepared for homeownership. Many consumers have misconceptions about what it takes to qualify for a mortgage. Most believe the requirements are tougher than they actually are, according to a recent Fannie Mae survey. When asked about key mortgage qualification criteria (such as down payment percentage, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio), roughly half of consumers selected “don’t know” or provided an invalid answer. “This research suggests there are too many eligible home buyers sitting on the sidelines due to misperceptions or anxiety about being turned …

The Legal Benefits of Using a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s a good idea to have a pro on your side. Are there legal benefits to using a licensed real estate agent? The short answer is yes. Licensed real estate agents have legal obligations — formally called “fiduciary duties” — to their clients that are commonly referred to by the acronym OLDCAR. O = Obedience If you give an agent who is representing you an instruction with any financial implications (more about what constitutes “representation” below), they are obligated to follow it, even if they strongly disagree — as long as it’s legal and doesn’t …

Listing Your Home? How to Avoid Seller’s Remorse

It seems like a great time to sell. But how can you know for sure if it’s a great time for YOU to sell? In many real estate markets around the country, inventory is low and sellers are in the driver’s seat again. In some cases, homes are selling for more than asking price. After years of a sluggish buyers’ market, many real estate agents are trying to get would-be sellers to list their homes now. It seems like a great time to sell. But how can you know for sure if it’s a great time for you to sell? If you experience …

Countdown to Moving: 3 Steps to Get Prepared

What size truck do you need? How many boxes? Is the old couch coming, too? Better figure it out now. Properly preparing for any move — whether big or small — is essential for a successful, low(er) stress moving experience. Assessing everything in and outside your home that you want to take along — and figuring out exactly how you’ll actually get everything on your list into your new space — is essential when preparing to move. Here are three steps to pulling it off. Taking inventory Making a list of all your belongings may be daunting, but it’s necessary for a flawless moving …

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Finance a New Home

Unless you have a suitcase full of cash, chances are you’ll need a mortgage loan to help buy your dream home. If you plan to buy a home with financing, you may feel overwhelmed by everything you need to learn about the process. Here are five key points to get you started. Understand the full cost of owning a home There are four main categories of a homeowner’s monthly housing payment — principal, interest, taxes and insurance (P.I.T.I.). Principal and interest comprise your monthly mortgage payment. The principal pays down your loan balance monthly, and the interest pays your fee for borrowing …

5 Things You Need to Know About Real Estate Disclosures

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, disclosures are a key part of your real estate transaction. It’s standard practice in real estate to give a home a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market. Nine out of 10 times, the intention is to show the property at its best. But every so often, the seller paints the house in hopes of covering something up. In most parts of the country, sellers (and agents) are required to document any known defects —  whether current or past — to potential buyers. But some sellers don’t play by the …

Home Buyers: Make Note of These 3 Dealbreakers

If a home doesn’t fit your needs in any of these categories, move on. Today’s home shoppers see dozens of homes before making an offer, and probably a few dozen more before they find the one that sticks. While you’re shopping, be on the lookout for things about the home that you can’t change (or that would require major time and effort to alter). These factors will impact the home’s value for the long haul. Here are three serious considerations to evaluate before you determine whether to pursue a home purchase. Location The old real estate cliche doesn’t name this quality as tops for nothing. Unless you plan to take …

3 Ways to Protect Your Escrow Deposit

You’ve handed over a chunk of money to show your interest in a home purchase. Make sure you don’t lose it. You’ve made an offer on a property, the seller has accepted, and maybe you’re about to sign a contract. Now it’s time to put some money down to show that you’re serious about moving forward. The amount of money a buyer puts down (and when it’s put down) varies by state and local market. For many, it’s a few thousand dollars, up to three percent of the purchase price. In some parts of the country, it can be up to …