Jeffery Birkenseer | San Rafael Real Estate, Novato Real Estate, San Anselmo Real Estate


Buying a home may seem like a smart financial move. However, it may not always be the right time or the right move for you. While buying a home is a great investment, you may not be ready to buy a home of your own. The following questions should help you to determine whether or not you are fully ready to buy a house in the near future.


How Much Money Do You Make? How Much Have You Saved?


buying a home is a significant expense. First, you’ll need quite a large sum of money for a downpayment and closing costs on the home. Second, to get approved for a mortgage, the lender will look at every part of your finances from your income to your assets. Once the home is purchased, you’ll also need quite a bit of capital for expenses including insurance, taxes, HOA fees, emergency funds, utilities, and furniture. You don’t want to buy a home only to be overwhelmed with costs. You want enough of a financial cushion to enable you to furnish your home, decorate your home, and not have a completely empty bank account. That’s why you should make sure that you do make enough money to buy a home.



How Much Debt Do You Have?


If you have established that your income is enough to buy a home, the next thing that you need to establish is that your debt isn’t too high. Before you enter into the adventure of homeownership, you’ll need to make sure that your bills are under control. These expenses include things like car loans, student loans, and credit card bills. Your lender will put your debt into consideration as a part of your entire financial picture. Your debt (including your proposed mortgage payment) should be less than around 36% of your gross income. Before you take the leap into buying a home, you’ll need to make sure that your debt is under control. If you need to take a step back and pay your bills down before you start house hunting, you should as it will make buying a home easier for you.


Are You Seasoned At Your Job?


In order to secure a mortgage for a home, you’ll need to show that you have been at the same job for a certain period of time. Your average income will probably be calculated based on how long you have been at the company and your job history. You should be able to explain any income gaps, changes in positions or companies. Otherwise, you’ll appear to be an unstable person to lend to. Lenders want to know that you’ll have a steady, stable income.


How Is Your Credit?


In order to secure a mortgage, you’ll need to have a good credit score. Check on your credit report when you begin thinking about buying a home. If your credit is on the low side, you’ll want to work on bringing that score up. 


     



This listing recently sold for $750,000.

325 Jacquelyn, Petaluma, CA 94952  

Residential
$740,000
Price
$750,000
Sale Price
6
Total Rooms
3
Bedrooms
3/1
Full/Half Baths
Spacious&contemporary, built in 2013 with great views of the town & Sonoma Mountain. Upgrades abound: engineered hdwd floors, crown molding, recessed lighting, upgraded bath fixtures&lights. Granite kitch w/ pantry and upgraded cabinets thruout.Travertine tile in all baths, Shutters on all windows. 3 zone A/C&heat.Lots of extra storage added. LG Fridge and washer/dryer. 2 car garage. You will fall in love with this one! Don't wait, it won't last!


Ready to sell your house? Ultimately, you should conduct a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market, and for good reason.

A home appraisal enables you to better understand what your home is worth. Plus, an expert home appraiser will be able to offer comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can prioritize assorted home improvement projects accordingly.

Preparing your home for an appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. If you allocate time and resources to get your house ready for an appraisal, you can increase your chances of getting favorable results during the appraisal itself.

What does it take to prep your house for an appraisal? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.

1. Consider a Home Appraiser's Perspective.

A home appraiser has an eye for detail, one that helps this professional understand whether a house is a viable long-term investment. Meanwhile, a home seller who steps into a property appraiser's shoes may be better equipped than others to enhance his or her residence.

For example, a home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior prior to an appraisal. And if you notice chipped paint on a home's walls, cracked shingles on a home's exterior or other cosmetic issues, you should address these problems immediately.

Even minor cosmetic issues can negatively affect a home's value. However, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty to correct these problems may be able to improve his or her house's appearance before a home appraisal.

2. Conduct Plenty of Housing Market Research.

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Learn about the local housing market, and you can find out what you'll need to do to differentiate your residence from similar properties.

An home seller should learn about the prices of recently sold residences as well as homes that are currently available. That way, you can set realistic expectations for your home appraisal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent.

A home appraisal can be a stressful experience, especially for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to help you streamline the home appraisal process.

Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling process. He or she can connect you with qualified home appraisers in your area and ensure you can find a home appraiser who will provide honest, unbiased feedback about your residence.

A real estate agent also will help you maximize the value of your house. This housing market professional will ensure you can set a fair price for your residence and market your home to the right groups of homebuyers. He or she will even set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf to further simplify the home selling process.

When it comes to getting a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for a home appraisal.


When you’re selling your home, things can get really busy, really fast. You want your home to be in tip top shape to give it the best chance of selling in a timely manner. There are a few things you can do in a short time frame that allows you to spruce up your home without breaking a sweat. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you bring your home to another level of wow before the open house. 


Check Your Front Door


All you really need to do is put a fresh coat of paint on your front door to brighten the look of your entryway. There’s something about a freshly painted front door that really makes a home look like new. 


Spruce Up The Landscaping


You can really do a minimal amount in your yard and make your home curb-appeal ready. Just rake some leaves, add some mulch, mow the lawn, and voila. It might be an all day project, but in the end, it will be worth it. As long as people have a good view and feel that your yard has been taken care of, the outside of your home is in the clear for an open house.  


Check The Outdoor Lights


Even though an open house will be happening in the daylight hours, people may be curious that there is adequate lighting on the outside of your home. Buyers can either check this while they are at the open house or they could go a step further and drive by the property at night. Adequate lighting allows for a sense of security and safety all throughout the outside of the property.  


Care For The Mailbox


Few places in your home are as neglected as the mailbox is. Add some fresh paint to your mailbox. You can use the same color as your front door for consistency. At the very least, clean up the mailbox to give it a better appearance. Make sure your house number is present somewhere on the box as well. This helps the property to have a sense of being a bit more inviting. People will also be able to find your home easier. 


Make Use Of Flowers


You should place flowers around your home on the day of the open house. Add a fresh cut bouquet to the kitchen table. Bring some potted plants and florals around your entryway. These simple touches really can make an impression when potential buyers visit your home. 


Remove Your Personal Stuff

From the outside in, traces of your life in the home should be put away. This means pet items, toys, games, photos, and celebrity shrines. The more free space a buyer has to envision themselves living in the home, the better.          


With these small extra touches, your open house is bound to be a success!


If you are preparing to buy a house in the foreseeable future, you'll want to check out lots of home listings. That way, you can browse dozens of residences at your convenience and boost your chances of finding a terrific house.

Ultimately, there are several factors that homebuyers should consider as they evaluate house listings, and these factors are:

1. A Home's Age and Condition

A home's age and condition are key considerations for all homebuyers, at all times. If you assess a house's age and condition in a home listing, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a residence is right for you.

Oftentimes, a home seller will provide the year that a residence was built in a house listing. A seller also may include details about any home upgrades and when these were performed, such as the installation of a new roof or heating and cooling system.

Study a house's age and condition closely – you'll be glad you did. If you evaluate these factors in a home listing, you can narrow your home search as needed.

2. A Home's Price

You know that you want to acquire a house, but you need to consider how you'll pay for a residence too. Fortunately, a home listing includes a house's price, ensuring you can find out whether a residence falls within your price range.

If a house exceeds your price range, you may still want to check it out as well. Remember, the initial asking price of a house is not set in stone, and you may be able to negotiate with a home seller.

For a buyer who reviews a house listing and is unsure about whether to pursue a residence based on its price, assistance is available. In fact, if you meet with local lenders, you can evaluate many mortgage options, get pre-approved for a mortgage and establish a homebuying budget.

3. A Home's Location

Think about whether you want to live in a city or town as you assess home listings. By doing so, you can perform a fast, efficient home search and increase the likelihood of discovering a house in your ideal city or town.

Furthermore, it usually is a good idea to think about your day-to-day activities prior to looking at home listings. If you want to own a house that's close to your office in the city, you may want to review home listings for residences in or near the city itself. Comparatively, if you prefer small town living, you can examine home listings in small towns across the United States.

If you need assistance during your home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide timely, accurate home listings for residences as soon as these houses become available. As a result, a real estate agent can make it easy for you to pursue many outstanding residences and find one that you can enjoy for years to come.