By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® MagazineWe’ve seen brass fixtures gradually coming back over the last few years, and the trend is only getting bigger.Golden brass tones can warm up some of
Winning The Real Life Game Of Monopoly
Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly!
For most people, Monopoly is not an enjoyable board game in any sense of the word. Almost every family breaks out the game at some point in time, but it inevitably always ends in arguments. For one player, their good fortune will make them feel like a winner for a few hours, while everyone else will steadily abandon the game. Ultimately, it all comes down the luck of the dice and what squares you land on. The game is fun in the beginning until you've gone around the board a few times and all the properties have been purchased. After that, it is just a matter of time until one player obliterates the competition. Wouldn't it be great if buying a real property was as simple as it is in the beginning of a game of a game of Monopoly? All you'd have to do is roll the dice, land on a desirable property like Park Place, Connecticut Avenue or St. Charles Place, hand the bank a few bucks, and you'd receive a nice property that you could put a little green house on. Of course, the home-buying process is a bit more complicated in real life (especially for first-time home buyers) but it doesn’t have to be like going to the DMV without an appointment! Competition among buyers in many markets has gotten intense. So, if you're serious about home ownership, you'd better get your act together. To point you in the right direction, here are 6 steps for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly!
Step No. 1: for Winning the Real Life Game of Monopoly is to choose the right realtor
I know this may sound cliché, but this is the first step in the home-buying process! You need to find a realtor you feel comfortable working with on what the largest financial decision of your life could be. You want to choose a realtor who communicates with you, has your best interest at heart, and puts you first. Most of all you want an agent that has an effective strategy in getting you the home that you want. Here at eXp Realty we have our 10-21 Days to Keys Program. In a nutshell, what this means is that we could have you pre-approved for a home loan today, have you out shopping for homes tomorrow and within 10 days to three weeks, it is possible for us to be handing you the keys to your new home.
Step No. 2: for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly is to use the right lender
Once you've chosen a real estate agent you trust to be your advocate, you need use the right lender. Choosing someone to handle the financial part of the home-buying process can feel like a scary step, but it is one of the most important. One of the most crucial things home buyers need is a lender that is available on the weekends and/or evenings. You also want a lender that’s competitive on interest rates, closing costs and the most critical element is they have got to be able to close any loan type in 10-21 days.
There is a huge misconception out there that potential home buyers need a large down payment to purchase a home. Many home buyers believe that they must have a minimum of a 20% down payment. The truth is there are several ways to have a ZERO down payment or a low-down payment such as;
VA Loan (Veterans Administration Loan) – 100% financing loan for military veterans and active duty personnel – 0% down payment. If you are a veteran, you have earned this amazing benefit.
USDA Loan (United State Department of Agriculture Loans) - This 100% Loan - A USDA Home Loan is a mortgage loan offered to rural property home buyers. This is also a 0% down payment.
FHA Loan (Federal Housing Administration Loan) – Usually only 3.5% down payment but there down payment assistance programs that can help pay your down payment and closing costs.
Conventional Loans - that require only 3 to 5% down payment in most cases.
There are many options but having a lender that can close any type of mortgage quickly can make the difference between you getting the home you want and not getting it.
Step No. 3: for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly is to get your paperwork in order QUICKLY!
This is what you will need;
Current Pay Stubs -Your last two pay stubs will be enough. Make photocopies and don't hand out your originals.
W2s - your wage and tax statements, issued by your employer for a calendar year. Lenders generally want the last two years of W2s from both of you.
Federal Tax Returns - If you haven't yet filed your tax return for last year, then find the two previous years of tax returns. Make copies. Include all schedules. Also, make sure the tax returns are signed by you and dated.
Bank Statements - Some lenders want two months, while others will demand the last three months of bank statements. Make a copy from each lending institution. Include every page of each bank statement, including the blank pages, silly as that sounds.
Asset Statements - If you own stocks, bonds, mutual funds or retirement accounts, make a copy of each statement.
Copy of Current Driver's License - If you are meeting with the lender in person, you can bring your driver's license with you for identification and reproduction.
This paperwork is where people sabotage themselves. Don’t procrastinate here! If you don’t handle this part of the process right away, you will only get frustrated and possibly miss out on getting a great home.
Step No. 4: for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly is create a home wish list
So, once you are pre-approved and you know your highest or best purchase price, it is time to create a home wish list. You want to come up with a few “musts,” as well as "like to haves" you’d ultimately be willing to compromise on. General things to consider are;
How long do you plan to live there? The longer you plan to stay, the more life changes you’ll need to plan for.
Do you have or plan to have kids? Consider schools, bedrooms, playroom, yard size, parks.
Is a new home or older home best for you?
Does the neighborhood need to be walkable to restaurants, etc.?
Will you like or dislike having a Homeowners Association?
Exterior things to consider are;
Will parking for guests be necessary?
Is a garage a must?
Do you need a large yard, or will the maintenance overwhelm you?
Is a pool or hot tub a plus or a minus?
What home styles are ideal, and which are a definite “no”?
Interior things to consider are;
How many bedrooms do you need?
Are there floorplans or styles that you dislike?
How many bathrooms will you need over the time you’ll own the home? Consider kids, roommates and overnight visitors.
Can you afford to do cosmetic work such as carpet and paint?
Do you like or dislike a wood stove or fireplace?
You've imagined owning a home for months or even years. So, put together your wish list so that we can help find it!
Step No. 5: for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly is get out and tour some homes
This is the fun part: looking at homes that meet your parameters. When you begin touring homes that are on your list, take along a notepad and jot down your thoughts as you approach each home. Take photos if you can of features and homes you like. Visualize! Can you imagine yourself living in the home?
Consider the following things as well.
The Neighborhood - You need to remember that you’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood, too. And that, perhaps, is the most important takeaway from seeing a property in person.
The Neighbors - Scope out the homes on either side of the property – and don’t overlook the neighbor in the back of the house. You might think that what’s out of sight is out of mind, but that rule doesn’t apply if they have three large dogs that like to bark all day and night.
Closet and storage space - Is there a little or a lot? Will the home’s storage space keep you organized and accommodate all your stuff? For some homebuyers this is a deal breaker. So, it’s better to check now before you fall in love with the rest of the house.
Lastly, does the home have Good ‘Flow’? - Do rooms feel spacious and well-laid-out? The hub of the home for today’s family is the kitchen. Is it open and inviting? Can family members lounge nearby or dine in an adjacent area? The way one room opens to the next is important too when it comes to making the most of the space you’ve got.
Step No. 6: for Winning The Real Life Game of Monopoly is to make an amazing offer
As your real estate agent, I will walk you through the steps required to make an amazing offer on homes you are interested in. But, the key here is making sure that you get that loan preapproval from a mortgage lender that close your home loan quickly. And remember, quickly means you need a lender that can close your loan in 10-21 days (25 at the most). This is part of our 10-21 days to Keys Home Buying Strategy. The reason for this is in a seller's market (like the one we are in now), a quick close could be the difference between you getting the home or not getting it. If there are multiple offers on a home that you are wanting to buy, the only thing that may separate you from the pack is a quicker close.
Remember this if nothing else, not all lenders or realtors are the same. A slow lender or a bad negotiating realtor can make or break your entire dream of home ownership. Don’t wait! You could be pre-approved today, be out looking for homes tonight or tomorrow and in as little as 10 days we could hand you the keys to your dream home. We often hear from people that think that since we are on the radio that we are too busy to work with the people that listen to our show. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our listeners are some of our best clients! Contact us today at 916-838-8745. That’s 916-838-8745. 916-838-8745 so we can help you buy your dream home and win the Real Life Game of Monopoly!