Buying A Home

What First-Time Buyer Help is Available?

If you are a first-time home buyer you may be finding it difficult to purchase a home right now. If you are, you are not alone. This could be due to the fact that home prices have increased greatly and interest rates are expected to rise. It could be due to the very difficult competition of buyers who have larger sums of cash from the sale of a previous home, or that they are investors.

But there is a way to get into a home right now as a first-time buyer. Of course, you want an expert agent working on your behalf, but beyond that, there are several programs out there designed to help first-time buyers get into homes.

What First-Time Buyer Programs are Available Right Now?What First-Time Home Buyer Help is Available

Down payment assistance programs or DPAs

It is important to have a sizable down payment for the mortgage of your first home. What can be difficult is finding the means to come up with this large sum of money. As a first-time buyer, you do not have a large amount of equity that turns into profit from selling a home and turns around to be cash that you can use for a down payment.

Most often 20% down is considered a responsible and healthy down payment. This allows you to not have to carry private mortgage insurance as well which can be a couple extra hundred dollars a month in payments. But the average down payment is 7% down and this can even be a stretch to come by.

A down payment assistance program helps a home buyer to cover the cost of a sizable down payment either through a loan or a grant. Some of these can even be used to help cover a portion of closing costs. Most often these programs are available on a local level, especially in certain target areas the government is hoping...

Buying a Home with Future Plans for a Family

Buying a Home with Future Plans for a Family

It is a great idea that before you start home shopping you sit down and list out what you would like to have, what you need to have, and what you dream of having in this home with every person that will be living there. But beyond that, it should be taken into consideration how long you plan to be in the home and what life changes you hope will happen during that time.

No life plan is ever completely 100% perfectly laid out and comes to fruition, but if you plan to start your family in this home, there are many things that you will want to consider in your next home purchase.

Here are some great features that you may want to look for in a home while raising a young family that goes beyond a good school district

Stairways with the ability to put up gates

Once your little one begins to crawl or even scoot and then eventually walk you will want to make sure you eliminate any falling hazards. One of the largest falling hazards is the stairs. If the home you are looking at has a stairwell you want to make sure that you can easily place a gate at both the bottom and the top end of the stairs to keep your children safe.

An entry area with plenty of space or an already put together mudroom

You’ll find that as your kids get older there will be plenty of activities and a lot of leaving and entering your home. Sometimes in a very flustered hurry. Having an entry with the ability to put in the organization to catch all of the things including shoes and coats upon entering is very handy and helpful. Even better is an already put-together mudroom with plenty of cubbies and nooks for all the things.

Plenty of...

Tips for Purchasing Townhomes in 2022

Tips for Purchasing Townhomes in 2022

Second to the purchase of a single-family detached home, is the popularity of a townhouse. The National Association of Realtors finds that townhomes are second in demand amongst buyers across the country and are very popular with homebuyers under the age of 30.

Purchasing a townhome can be similar to the purchase of a traditional single-family home, but it can also be different. There are some differences between the property types that you will want to be knowledgeable of when shopping for a townhome.

Here are some good things to know when you are shopping for a townhouse

The definition of a townhouse

There are several types of properties that can be mistaken for a townhouse but when it comes down to it the definition of an actual townhouse is a residence attached by a communal wall to another residence or two that also comes with ownership of a small piece of land.

The US census bureau's definition of a townhouse is that it must have no units above or below it and be separated by ground to roof wall from the other townhome units and maintain a separate heating system from neighbors in the same overall structure as well as have individual meters for public utilities.

How is a townhouse different from a condo?

Some condos can be very similar in shape and size to townhomes and as such can be confused as a townhome. Though both types of property share walls with neighbors they are different than what is actually owned as your property when you purchase.

With a condo, your soul property lies within the interior of the walls. With a townhome, ownership lies inside the walls as well as including exterior land that the townhome is on. This can extend to owning a bit of yard...

Dropping Private Mortgage Insurance

If you plan to purchase a house with less than a 20% down payment for a mortgage your mortgage lender will most likely tack on the extra cost of requiring you to carry private mortgage insurance as a standard precaution.

As your home grows in value it could be possible to drop this required private mortgage insurance. But when does private mortgage insurance go away? Exactly when can you drop it?Dropping Private Mortgage Insurance

Whether the mortgage qualifies for this insurance removal will depend upon factors like how much is still owed on your current mortgage balance and how dependable your payment history has been.

Home equity is rising at a very rapid pace. In the third quarter of 2021 reports from CoreLogic show that homeowners with mortgages averaged an equity increase of about 30% year over year which is an average of $51,500 per mortgage holder.

Due to this significant increase, it could be a good time to look into the possibility of canceling private mortgage insurance on your home loan. The higher amount of equity within your home can lower any perceived risk from the lender and in many cases, it could lead you to be able to drop this extra cost much more quickly.

In some cases, private mortgage insurance can add tens of thousands of dollars over the entire life of a loan so it is important to try and take steps to drop private mortgage insurance as soon as you possibly can.

A Quick Overview of Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance or PMI is a type of insurance that helps protect the lender if a borrower stops making the monthly loan payments. This type of insurance is most...

What Young Professionals Want in a House

Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials are thought to be a group driven by the technology revolution and fed by avocado toast. Certain characteristics and manners have influenced society’s overall viewpoint of this generation, such as the increase in single-parent families, the higher likelihood of college enrollment — and student loan debt — and many observations on their work ethic.

Because millennials are so dominant to the housing market, it is critical that sellers adapt to the increasing demand. Understanding what is important to Gen Yers will help the process for both parties. Learn more from the accompanying infographic and be prepared with our tips on how to appeal to millennial homebuyers.

What Millennials Want created by Asset Based Lending.

For more information on Central Ohio real estate including homes for sale in Columbus and all North Columbus properties, contact our office today. 


Is Cleveland a Good City to Invest in Real Estate?

Are you ready for your first or even second investment property? Are you interested in investing in Ohio? With the current climate of the United States, there are several investment opportunities and Ohio is one of them. Is Cleveland a good city to invest in? Yes! Here is why. The Ohio housing market is hot. Ohio is the seventh-most populous state in the country.

Ohio is BoomingIs Cleveland a Good City to Invest in Real Estate?

It is also rated as one of the best states for business with a low cost of living, great schools, and a lot of recreational activities. The housing market has taken off because of population growth, job market growth, and affordable housing. These are some of the top indicators you want to see when you are looking to invest. Over the last ten years, about 11 million people are said to reside in Ohio.

Cleveland was known as a has-been market but that has had some turnaround. It is now known to have several opportunities for residents and investors. This market is having a huge rebound. It is known right now as one of the top U.S. markets for new listings. The median home price in Cleveland is $113K and it's trending at 3.7% year over year. The median price per square foot is $68. The median sale price is $123.5K. Homes are selling at asking prices and sell on an average for 56 days.

When you're looking to invest you want to know the rental forecast as well. Cleveland is mixed between owners and renters. The average rent for a 1 bedroom is around $1,300 and this is a 12% increase from the prior year. The average rent for a studio in Cleveland is around $925. The average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is around $1,500.

The most expensive neighborhoods in Cleveland are Glenville,...

Why Does the Listing Say the Sale is “Contingent?”

Why Does the Listing Say the Sale is “Contingent?”

Browsing online Real Estate listings and house hunting is easily one of the more stressful experiences that you may face throughout life. While working with the right agent can indeed help eliminate a large majority of the stress associated with both selling or buying a home, it is important to ensure you fully understand listings as well as the contingencies that they may hold prior to placing an offer.

While it may not be overly common, in some cases you may find a house you love, however within the listing it states that the sale of the property is “contingent.” This could be for a handful of different reasons, however, there are two main reasons that a seller may have moved their listing status to contingent from available or put within the description that the property sale as a whole is contingent per the seller’s request.

Many people believe that the only contingencies within the Real Estate world lie with the buyers, and while in most scenarios it is more common to see a contingency within an offer to purchase, it is just as important to understand the contingencies that may be put in place by the sellers as well.

#1. Contingent on Finding a New Home

In this scenario, a seller may be listing their home in an effort to purchase a new home. Should the seller not be able to find a home that is suitable for their needs they then have the right to pull their listing off of the market and thus, you may not be able to...

5 Things Buyers Should Know When Making an Offer on a Home

When it comes to buying a house in Ohio it is no secret that you are looking for the perfect place to call home to fit your lifestyle and needs. Problem is that today’s seller’s market leaves very little inventory to choose from, even around Central Ohio. Right now the housing inventory is hovering near record lows and the buyer demand is not decreasing. This has made multiple offer scenarios much more normal on every home that hits the market all across the nation.

Here are five things that buyers in Central Ohio should keep in mind when they are ready to make an offer on a home.

Know the numbers5 Things Buyers Should Know When Making an Offer on a Home

Having a complete and thorough understanding of your budget and exactly how much you can afford on a home is crucial. It is very easy to fall in love with a home and wants to outbid another buyer to win the home and make it yours, but it can be very easy to go over an affordable budget by doing so. The best way to make sure you stay within your affordable budget is to get preapproval on a home loan before you begin your home search. Taking this step will allow you to see how much you are eligible to borrow and it will help to communicate the seriousness of your offer to the homeowner when you do find a home you would like to purchase. Including your preapproval letter shows that you are much more likely to be approved for your home loan and that you are ready to take the next step when you make your offer. It just may give you a little bit of an edge above the competition as well.

Be prepared for a much faster pace

Today’s home sales are much more fast-paced than they were just...

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers will become...

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

Is there any way...