Tagged : Home Buying Tips

There are currently 12 blog entries matching this tag.

Usually, the tips for first time home buyers can include ideas like visit with your lender or have your home appraised. While these home loan ideas are certainly the traditional way of doing things, it doesn't mean they're the only way that you'll be able to buy one of those Boise homes for sale that you've got your eye on.

Not convinced? Recently, the LA Times ran an article highlighting a non-traditional loan program that's actually quite traditional when you think about it. Parents and other relative have started their own first time home buyer assistance programs, if you could call them that.


Problems Associated With Getting a Home Loan ~ Student Loans

If you want to buy one of the homes for sale in Boise and are fairly certain that you're

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Applying for a home for loan

There are many factors that lenders consider in determining how much, and what type of loan you may qualify for. Before taking a look at the types loans, it’s good to understand a few key principles that lenders look at.

Credit Score

Credit scores depend on which company is providing the scores (FICO up to 850, VantageScore up to 990). First knowing where your score comes from is important because banks are usually going to use the FICO score as the determining factor for the loan amount and interest rate. Generally, a great FICO score is considered 720-850, 680-719 is good, 620-679 fair, and anything below is 619 is considered poor credit.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

The debt-to-income ratio looks at your required

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Many people are surprised to learn that "psychological impacts" are not required disclosures in Idaho real estate transactions.  For example, if there was a suicide or homicide on the property the seller is not required to disclose this.

Idaho Code Title 55 Chapter 28 governs psychological impacts on Idaho real estatetransactions.

Idaho Code 55-2801. Psychologically impacted defined. As used in this chapter, "psychologically impacted" means the effect of certain circumstances surrounding real property which include, but are not limited to, the fact or suspicion that real property might be or is impacted as a result of facts or suspicions including, but not limited to the following:

(1)  That an occupant or prior occupant of the real property is

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[UPDATE: TAX CREDIT EXTENDED] Time is nearing an end to take advantage of the first-time home buyer tax credit scheduled to expire December 1, 2009.  If you intend to take advantage of this opportunity and you're looking for a great buy, don't wait too long.

Many of the best deals out there such as the bank-owned homes are getting multiple offers.  It can take several (or more) offers on different properties before you end up with the winning offer.  This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to even a few months if you have you're very particular on what you're looking.

After your offer is accepted, you'll need about 30 days to close.  During that time you'll get your home inspection, appraisal, and final loan approval.  You'll want to have

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When you're hunting for Boise real estate deals, be sure to understand that price per square foot aloneis not a good estimator of value.  I find that many people too quickly jump to price per square foot without considering the factors that affect a homes value.  Price per square foot is only a reasonable measure to use when:

  • The total square footage is similar. All other things held equal, a 1500 square feet home is not a good comparison to 2500 square foot home.  Smaller homes have a higher price per square foot because the land value has more of an influence and larger homes have economies of scale.
  • Similar quality and finishes. A home with hardwood, granite, tile walk-in shower, etc. is going to have a higher price per square foot than a
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The first thing you should do when you begin thinking about purchasing a home is to get a loan pre-approval letter.  Do not wait, even if you're months away from purchasing.  Here's 3 reasons to get pre-approved immediately.

1) Resolve Issues. If you have any issues with your credit you'll find out and know what you need to fix.

2) You know what you can afford. There is no sense looking above or below the home you can afford.  When you talk to a lender, request a "good faith estimate (GFE)."  This will disclose the interest rate, payment, fees, and estimated closing costs.

3) Allows you to react quickly. Any offer should include a loan pre-approval letter (short sale and bank-owned real estate requires it).  You're going to want to have this in

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Are you ever amazed at the amount of information and tools available to you on the Internet?  I love finding websites that give me useful and free information.  I have dozens of my favorite sites bookmarked and I thought I would share with you what I consider the must have sites if you're searching for real estate in the Boise Idaho area.

Ada County Assessor Website- You can search for a parcel and find:

  • Current and past tax information like assessed value, annual taxes, and levies.
  • Residential and lot characteristics (square footage, lot size, zoning, etc).
  • Aerial photos.  This is my favorite and most used feature, if you select: "view interactive map," an aerial photo comes up highlighting the parcel boundaries.  You can even select the
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Did you know references to homes square footage are actually just estimates? A homes square footage, one of the most basic principles of a homes value, can easily be miscalculated if not done by a professional. Even then, the measurement is still subject to human error. As a Realtor, I see it often and can tell you these discrepancies can significantly affect a homes value.

Why are there discrepancies on square footage measurements?

1) The question of what to include: While appraisers will use the ANSI standard (see below), others may include areas that should not be calculated. For example, a basement with low ceilings, an attic with sloping ceilings, pop out windows, etc. If you are purchasing a home, be sure to ask about the square footage

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You often hear the term "short sale" in today's market.
What is it?   A short sale is when a property is being sold or offered for sale for less than what is owed.  The lender always has to approve these sales because they are taking a loss on the loan.
When does it happen?   Most homes being offered as short sales are in the process of foreclosure but have yet to reach the auction.  Banks are increasingly looking at short sales rather than going all the way through the foreclosure process.  There are different reasons why homeowners could be in a short sale situation.  They could have bought too high and values soften, taken the "equity" out from an overinflated refinance appraisal, carried a construction loan too long, etc. …
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The total closing costs associated with buying a home can vary greatly.  Generally speaking, a $200,000 loan will have approximately $5,000 to $6,000 in closing costs.  Keep in mind that you can negotiate to have the seller to pay these.  Many buyer's I work with prefer to do this so they can keep more money in savings or use for improvements to the home.

Costs Associated With Your Loan

  • Loan Origination Fee -  Typically 1% of the loan amount. This is usually how the loan officer is paid.  If they don't charge you an origination fee they're making it up on the interest rate.
  • Doc Prep Fees -  ($300+/-).
  • Miscellaneous Lender Fees - ($200+/-).
  • Appraisal - ($350+/-).  It's customary in the Boise area to ask the seller to pay this.
  • Loan
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