The Carroll Realty Group - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan



Posted by The Carroll Realty Group on 5/22/2018

Having a high credit score is one of the most important and helpful things you can achieve before buying a home. A solid credit history will give you a better chance of being approved for the home loan you want and getting a lower interest rate so that you know you’re getting a good deal on your first home.

But, as any renter can tell you, it can sometimes be difficult to lift your credit score when you’ve got so many other things to worry about.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover the best ways to build credit while renting an apartment so you can lift your score to an amount that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.

1. Take over the bills

If you live with roommates or with your family, one good way to start building your credit score is to simply put more bills in your name.

If you’re certain that you’ll be able to make on-time payments on them each month, this can be a way to boost your score without much thought.

Keep in mind, however, that not all utility companies report your payments to credit bureaus, so it’s a good idea to check that yours does before putting the bills in your name.

2. Become an authorized user

If taking out new credit isn’t an option for you, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account can help you increase your score.

Be sure to find out whether the credit issuer reports payments for authorized users before taking this step. And, once you’re sure that they do, you can be added to the account without changing anything about your spending.

3. Convince your landlord to report your rental payments

In most cases, rental payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. However, it is becoming more common. Check to see if your landlord uses a service like PayYourRent or RentTrack. If not, consider asking them to try it out.

4. Solving the “no credit” problem

Since we all start off with a blank slate in terms of credit history, some renters have the issues of not having enough credit information to start building their score.

If this is the case, it might be a good idea to open your first credit account. But, wait! Before you start racking up debt on your first credit card, take a minute to make a wise plan.

First, don’t change your spending habits just because you have credit. Pick a card that offers rewards in the form of cash back, and only use your card for things like gas and groceries that will help you earn points.

Then, set your card to auto-pay in full each month so that you never start accruing interest. This way, you’ll build your credit score and earn money (in the form of rewards or cash back), making it a win-win.





Posted by The Carroll Realty Group on 5/8/2018

Looking to buy a house without having to break your budget? Put together a homebuying roadmap, and you can increase your chances of finding a top-notch house that falls within your price range.

Ultimately, there are many things to consider as you put together a homebuying roadmap, such as:

1. Your Dream Home Definition

Differentiate your dream home must-haves from your wants – you'll be glad you did. If you can determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house, you can narrow your home search accordingly.

For example, if you need a home with multiple bedrooms to accommodate your entire family, you should include this information near the top of your homebuying roadmap. You then can kick off a search of multi-bedroom homes and move closer to finding your ideal residence.

2. Where You Want to Live

Do you enjoy life in the big city? Or, would you prefer to settle down in a small town? Think about where you would like to call home so that you can effectively plan your homebuying journey.

Ideally, you should try to refine your home search to a small collection of cities and towns. This will enable you to speed up your home search and ensure you can find a house that suits you perfectly.

Keep in mind your day-to-day activities as you consider where you want to live too. For instance, if you work in the city, you may want to pursue houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, you may be able to purchase a small town home for less than what you would have to pay for a city residence and commute into the city for work.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

Determine how quickly you'd like to finalize a home purchase. That way, you can map out exactly how you want to approach the housing market.

If you are committed to buying a house as soon as possible, you'll need to be proactive. The top houses sell quickly, and if you don't act fast, you risk missing out on your dream residence to a rival homebuyer.

Conversely, if you can afford to be patient, you can avoid pressure throughout the homebuying process. In this scenario, you can pursue houses at your convenience. And once you find the right home, you can submit an offer and finalize your home purchase.

When it comes to creating a homebuying roadmap, it generally helps to get support from a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional can provide plenty of assistance throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you develop a successful homebuying roadmap. Furthermore, he or she can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available and make it easy to discover a wonderful residence at a budget-friendly price.

Ready to get started on the process of purchasing a house? Consider the aforementioned items as you create a homebuying roadmap, and you can plan a successful homebuying journey.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by The Carroll Realty Group on 4/24/2018

Buying a new home can be an exciting but anxiety-inducing experience. With so many things to consider, it can be difficult to keep track of the things that matter most to you.

This process is complicated further when you discover a second or third home that you like as much as the first and you’re trying to decide which one to make an offer on.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can effectively compare houses to ensure that you’re making the most sensible, long-term decision for you and your family.

It’s all about the spreadsheet

Today, our method isn’t going to rely on any fancy new apps or paid tools. Everything you need to accomplish your spreadsheet is a tool like Google Sheets (it’s like a free version of Excel) or a simple pencil and notebook.

The columns of your spreadsheet will be made up of the factors that will influence your decision. This will include the obvious details like the cost and square footage of the home, but also finer details like its proximity to key places in your life.

The rows of your spreadsheet will be the properties you’re comparing. Now, it may be tempting to start listing every house on your radar in the columns of your spreadsheet. However, I think it’s more time-effective to only include the homes that you’re likely to make an offer on. This means doing some hard thinking and having a conversation with your family about your realistic goals for buying a home.

What is most important to you in a home and neighborhood?

Let’s turn our attention back to the top row of your spreadsheet. We want to fill that section with around 10 factors that are most important to you in a home and the location the home will be in.

In this section, you can include the estimated cost of the home and the estimated monthly expenses for owning that home (utilities, taxes, etc.).

Here’s the secret weapon of our spreadsheet, however. Rather than listing the actual cost of the home in this row, we’re going to give it a rank of 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the house is a lot more expensive than you want. A score of 5 means the house is the ideal cost. A 3 would be somewhere in the middle.

We’re going to use this 1 to 5 ranking system for all other factors on our spreadsheet as well.

Next to these costs, you’ll want to add other important factors to your home buying decision. Does it have the number of rooms you’re looking for? If a backyard is important to you, does it provide for that need?

In terms of upgrades, how much work will you have to do on the home to make it something you’re satisfied with? For DIY-minded people with time to spare, home improvement might be a welcome concept. For others, it simply would take too much time to accomplish everything you want. So, when you fill out the “Upgrades” column of your spreadsheet, make sure you determine a system for ranking the homes that suits your needs.

House location shouldn’t be overlooked

It’s a sad truth, but in today’s busy world, the average homeowner spends most of their time away from home, whether they’re at work, commuting, or bring their kids to and from after school activities.

You’ll want at least one column on your spreadsheet to be devoted to location. When ranking the location of a home, consider things like commuting time, distance to schools, hospitals, parks, and grocery stores. All of these things will have a larger impact on your day-to-day life than small details of the house itself.

Ranking the homes

Now that you have the first row and column of your spreadsheet built, it’s time to fill in the details and tally up the totals. These numbers will help inform your decision as to which house is really right for you.




Categories: Buying a Home   compare homes  


Posted by The Carroll Realty Group on 4/3/2018

The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:

1. What is my "dream" home?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.

Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.

2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by The Carroll Realty Group on 3/27/2018

Ready to buy a home? Ultimately, you'll want to prepare for the homebuying process. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.

Believe it or not, it is easy to make mistakes as you browse the housing market. Some of the expensive mistakes that homebuyers frequently make include:

1. Overspending on a Residence

No one should be forced to overspend on a home. Unfortunately, if you fail to study the real estate market, you risk paying too much to acquire your dream house.

Remember, an informed homebuyer will be better equipped to optimize the value of his or her real estate investment than others. And if you understand the costs of properties in your area, you can avoid the temptation to overspend.

Explore the real estate market closely and assess the prices of similar houses. By doing so, you can understand the price range of homes that fall within your budget and plan accordingly.

Also, work with an experienced real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you determine how much you can spend on a home and can provide you with details about properties that match your budget.

2. Failure to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

After you find your dream home, you'll need to figure out how to pay for it. And if you struggle to obtain a mortgage before you start your home search, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

Meeting with banks and credit unions prior to checking out properties is ideal. This will allow you to obtain a mortgage and search for houses that fit your price range.

Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you stand out in the eyes of a home seller, as he or she won't have to wait for you to secure financing to finalize a purchase agreement.

3. Lack of Realistic Expectations

As a homebuyer, it is important to understand that every house has its pros and cons. But if you fail to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying process, it may be impossible for you to find the right property at the right price.

Separating your homebuying wants from your homebuying needs is vital. If you determine exactly what you'd like to find in your dream home before you explore the real estate market, you can narrow your search and streamline the process of acquiring the perfect residence.

Furthermore, hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers. Your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. This real estate professional also can offer homebuying recommendations, ensuring that you can minimize the risk of homebuying mistakes.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you should have no trouble securing your ideal residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  




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