Buyer's vs. Seller's agents explained [Real Estate Insider]

Aug 24, 2020 7:55:18 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Insider, Home tour, real estate, agents, real estate agent, buyer's agent, selling agent

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You may have received an email from HomeTraq that mentions "No Obligation" or "No Solicitation." These principles are intended to protect you, as the buyer, to ensure you can get the best deal on a home as possible.

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Top down payment assistant options for your new home [Real Estate Insider]

Aug 19, 2020 10:34:43 AM / by Mark Gorman posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, financing contigency, financing, mortgage payments, buying a home, homebuying, loan

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If you're a first-time homebuyer or simply worry about being able to afford a down payment on a home, you're not alone. Reaching the suggested 20% down payment mark can be a tall task, and seem like an insurmountable obstacle to some. If you live in the St. Louis or St. Charles area, you no longer have to worry about finding enough money in your budget to put down a healthy down payment for a house you're interested in buying.

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How to know if your agent has your best interest in mind [5 Pro Tips]

Aug 18, 2020 4:51:30 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in touring homes, real estate agent, first-time, listing agent, buying a home, homebuying

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Can you go to an open house without an agent? Yes. But there are many implications to consider if you choose to tour a home without a licensed agent to represent your interests. 

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5 major misconceptions about buying a home [Real Estate Insider]

Aug 17, 2020 2:14:55 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Lending, Home Loan, home shopping, real estate, touring homes, homebuyers, housing market, financing, myths

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Buying a home doesn't have to be confusing!

Buying a home for the first time is intimidating. It's unfamiliar territory. The financial implications for one of the largest purchase of your life is massive. It sounds daunting, we know. But it doesn't have to be. In fact, securing a home loan is faster and easier than ever before! With the variety of mortgage options on the market, you could find a loan customized to fit your specific needs. 

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The Future of Real Estate After COVID-19 [Real Estate Insider]

Aug 14, 2020 2:53:33 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Insider, agents, homebuyers, housing market, real estate tech, homebuying

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Good news! The housing market is still active! Agents and brokers alike are finding new and creative ways to accommodate social distancing. A lot of what you've been reading about the impact of COVID-19 is negative, so we wanted to start shining some positive light and commend our network of agents and brokers for their hard work. The good news? There could be some long-term benefits from the innovations made to the home-buying process that can carry over into the post-COVID era! 

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Buying is better than renting: 5 benefits only homeowners enjoy

Aug 11, 2020 6:00:33 PM / by George Blezard posted in Mortgage, homebuyers, home ownership, payments, buying a home, rent

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You don't throw away money on rent

As you make payments on your mortgage, you generate equity from your home. Equity is the value of the house that you truly "own." The more money you spend on your home, the more money you accumulate through equity. The equity you have is considered capital or a financial asset. As the value of your home increases, so does your capital.

For example, if you purchase a home for $150,000, you could put a $20,000 down payment on the house. This means that you will get a $130,000 loan and have $20,000 equity in the home. Once you reach 20% equity in your home, you can apply for a home equity loan or refinance your mortgage to seek a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate means you will pay less in the long run. When renting, you don't see these same financial benefits because you don't own the property. You simply pay the monthly fees that the landlord requires. 

You can have a fixed mortgage cost

When renting, landlords have the power to increase renting costs every year by large or unexpected amounts. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you can be sure that your payments won't increase year to year. Even a 3% increase in rent over 10 years will significantly increase your fees. You can be confident that your mortgage will stay the same if you decide to buy a home instead.

It can be scary to commit to making a payment for 15-to-30 years. A fixed-mortgage can take some of the stress away by ensuring your payment won't change even if your income does. Buying a home can actually take away some of the uncertainty that you might see when renting. Remember when we talked about equity? A fixed-mortgage rate pays off principal and interest at the same time. So, as you pay off the principal, you are increasing your equity (or capital). 

It's your property!

It's a great feeling when you buy a home. To call a property your own is a great accomplishment. When you buy a house, you don't have to worry about what rules the landlord might want you to follow. You have the right to create a home that fits your lifestyle, and the only person you have to answer to is yourself!

As a homeowner, your property becomes a clean slate. You can turn your property into anything you want! Anything from painting walls, landscaping, and renovations are fair-game when you own a house. You have the freedom to turn a house into a "home," and it can be exactly how you want it. When renting, you don't have the same luxuries and freedoms that come with owning a home. Typically, you have to gain permission from your landlord to make any changes and are often shot down. Being a homeowner allows you to make the property into anything YOU want.

Potential tax benefits

Homeownership is so good for the economy that the federal and state governments reward individuals who own properties and pay interest on a mortgage. Some homeowners can deduct the interest they pay on their mortgage from their taxes. This is unique to homeowners because renters don't pay a mortgage; therefore, they don't get any tax benefits.

Sometimes you have the option to deduct property taxes up to a certain amount as well. These benefits vary depending on your location and personal situation. Still, you definitely won't have these options if you rent. 

You get the community experience

Buying a home helps connect you to a specific neighborhood and community. Renters tend to live in different houses or apartments after a year or two. Also, if you live in a rental area, you may see different neighbors moving in and out all the time. As a homeowner, you can put down roots in your community and build relationships with people in your neighborhood. You can get involved in your local community by volunteering, throwing block parties, or helping at the local school. Buying a home can help create more vibrant, fuller relationships with your community and a gives a stronger sense of home.

See Homes Now

We know the idea of owning a home can be stressful. It’s always important to consider the factors unique to you and your needs. If you feel like you’re ready to make the jump to buying a house, HomeTraq can help you find your dream home!

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The Home-Buying Process: First Steps

Aug 6, 2020 9:41:21 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Pre-Qualification, house hunting, home purchase, Credit, Credit Score, homebuying

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Congratulations! You've decided to begin your journey to becoming a homeowner.  We know this cab be a stressful process, and are providing some information to help you along the way. 

HomeTraq has several key services that for giving you a positive foundation for your home-buying experience. We will be assisting in your home search, and our network of lenders will be helping you through the financial process. The best part? Our network of real estate agents is ready to start showing you a home on your terms!

 

 

Here's what you should know if you're planning to buy a house. 

Finding a home to tour

Searching for the right home is one of the most exciting parts of buying a house. It can be stressful at times, too. You can go in with certain expectations or with an open mind. Either way, you are making a huge decision, and it can carry a lot of stress.

That's why we are making it easy! Simply begin by visiting HomeTraq to view a home at your convenience! Start by choosing the property you want to see and when you want to see it. Once you click "SEE IT NOW," we will coordinate the rest. Most importantly, you can tour the home at a time that fits your busy schedule!

We also want to be sure that you find the home that is fitting your requirements. That is why HomeTraq is pulling houses from your local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) 24/7. This gives you several options for when you start your search. 

Finally, it is important that you are surrounding yourself with people who have been through the home buying process. It is a long process, involving a lot of decisions. Having someone you trust in your corner with experience buying a home can help answer any questions you may have or advise you along the way. 

 

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Truth about Down Payments - Should I pay 20%? [ Real Estate Insider ]

Aug 5, 2020 4:43:58 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, home purchase, negotiation, housing demand, financing, misconceptions, loan

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Have you ever wondered how much you need to budget for a down payment on a house? Like any other large purchase, lenders usually want a down payment to secure a mortgage. The amount may vary depending on your situation, but most financial advisors recommend paying at least 20% of the value of the home as a down payment. First of all, this reduces the total amount you have to borrow. It also covers Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) fees that lenders would include if you don't reach the 20% down-payment threshold.

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The Future of Real Estate After COVID-19

Aug 4, 2020 9:50:03 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Insider, agents, homebuyers, housing market, real estate tech, homebuying

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Good news! The housing market is still active, and agents and brokers are finding new and creative ways to accommodate social distancing! A lot of what you read about the impact of COVID-19 is negative, so we wanted to shine some positive light and commend our network of agents and brokers for their hard work. The good news? There could be some long-term benefits from the innovations made to the home-buying process that can carry over into the post-COVID era!

Read More

6 Surprisingly Cheap DIY Home Improvement Projects [Real Estate Insider]

Jul 3, 2020 11:18:44 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Insider, house hunting, homebuyers, housing market, homeownership, buying a home

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Homeowners who find themselves around the home more than normal can use time to make a big difference in their home with upgrades that don’t have to cost a fortune. Simple DIY projects can enhance a home and make spaces more appealing for buyers when homeowners are ready to move forward with their home sale.

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