Spring is when many real estate markets across the country heat up. That means February can be a busy month for home buyers and sellers as they start preparing for their local real estate market.
If your preparation includes research, and hopefully it does, we’ve got some great content for you here.
Let’s dive into the real estate roundup for February 2023!
Great Advice for Home Sellers
As sellers turn their attention towards preparing their homes for the market, first, they want to get advice from their local real estate professional about their home’s condition. It’s proven that homes priced well and in the best condition sell faster and for more money.
We all expect more from our homes these days. To appeal to the broadest range of home buyers, it’s wise to know what today’s home buyers are looking for. Learn about ten ways to add thoughtful updates to your home to increase its appeal to today’s homebuyers.
First-Time Home Buyers Mortgage Programs Explained
Do you plan on purchasing your first home soon? One of the most vital steps in the process will be getting your mortgage.
Fortunately for many potential buyers, some excellent programs are tailored specifically for first-timers.
In one of the more comprehensive articles on the subject, Bill Gassett shares information on first-time home buyers’ programs that are worth researching. Bill provides an in-depth analysis of each type of loan, explaining their pros and cons.
Questions for Mortgage Lenders
Once you are ready to buy a home, there are several questions you’ll want to ask your lender. Like picking a loan program, selecting a lender is crucial before you start looking for a home.
Even though you are the one asking for the money, you are the customer, and your business is important to them…so remember that you are in the driver’s seat. You can confidently look out for your best interests by asking the right questions.
You should feel free to ask questions that inform you about the lending process, the paperwork that will be necessary, and what programs are available to you.
You’ll want to know what fees to expect, as well as the interest rates and monthly payments. Take this list of 23 essential questions with you when interviewing a lender, and you will get all the details you need to make the best decisions.
Speaking of asking questions, the question of which type of loan product you want to use is an important one.
If a conventional loan is unsuitable for you, one of the government-insured programs might better suit your situation.
Understanding The Differences in Popular Programs
Luke Skar explains the differences between FHA, VA, and USDA loans. Since the federal government is insuring loans made through these programs, lenders can offer money to borrowers they wouldn’t usually accept.
To choose between these loan types, see which ones you qualify for by reading up on the details.
Make Your Home Inviting
After putting in the effort to prepare your home for its debut and pricing it well for the market, the stage is set for showings. Kevin Vitali wisely points out that every showing is an opportunity to sell your home. You don’t want to make a misstep by turning off a potential buyer or, worse, turning away a buyer.
Kevin’s thorough article covers 18 tips to ensure your home shows well and invites potential buyers in so they can imagine themselves living there.
Several simple tips sometimes get overlooked, like being ready at a moment’s notice to ensure the room temperature is comfortable. I was recently showing a home, and it was so cold inside. The buyers were so anxious to get out that they didn’t take the entire house in.
Even though showing your house can be inconvenient, the goal is to sell it…so make sure you attend to the big things and the little things that can make your home feel more inviting and welcoming.
Want to Build Your Dream Home? Learn About Land Loans First
If you are planning to build your dream home, you’ll want to understand the types of loans you will need to purchase land, as they differ from what you need to purchase a move-in ready home.
You can buy raw land, unimproved land, and improved land, which all have nuances in the loan product.
A land loan is an excellent option if you have found the land but aren’t ready to build. In Paul Sian’s article, check out the details of a land purchase loan. Getting your questions answered before pursuing a land loan.
Selling to a Real Estate Investor
Sometimes a home seller might need to sell quickly or may not have the resources to do the necessary home repairs. Going through the normal process might not work for everyone.
Over on Rochester Real Estate Blog, Bill Gassett covers 13 companies that will buy a home for cash.
With a cash sale, home sellers will avoid some of the work and nuisance involved in selling their homes on the open market. They can also count on getting less for their home by selling it to an investor.
Indeed, do the homework before you decide.
Great Advice for Home Buyers
With the rumors of recessions and inflation, the question of future interest rates, and a shortage of inventory in many communities, one might wonder, is now an excellent time to buy a home?
That’s always a good question, btw. Bob Gordon points out in his article that buying a home is the most significant investment we’ll ever make for most of us, so we want to ask all the right questions and make the wisest decisions.
If you are asking questions about timing, he explains several essential points to help you get the correct answers: What financing is available to you? Do the down payment and monthly payments work for you?
He wisely points out that you are buying a house, not a rate, meaning rates go up and down. You can refinance when they come down, and they always do because economies are cyclical.
The Finale to Buying the Home – The Final Walk-through
Buying a home is exciting…every time! Even as an agent, I still get excited for that day when the keys are handed over.
In the excitement, though, don’t miss the final walk-through! Conor MacEvilly points out that this last process is crucial to ensure that the home’s condition is what you agreed to in the contract.
When should you schedule the walk-through? In most states, you legally have the right to a walk-through up to five days before settlement.
Conor points out several issues that can take place and has good advice about why you may not want to wait until the last minute.
Who’s Ready for the Spring Market?
Me! The Superbowl is over (my team won! lol), and what’s next? The spring market, of course. Vicki Moore points out that although spring might seem far away, savvy home buyers and sellers know that the big game kicks off the spring homebuying season. It’s an excellent time for buyers and sellers to get prepared.
For sellers, it’s time to do the necessary repairs and clean up to prepare your home. Make sure you consult a local Realtor to do the proper repairs because you don’t want to waste money on anything that will not bring a good return on the investment.
For buyers, now is the time to get a loan preapproval and get your paperwork in order. You want to start the journey to your home purchase with a reputable local Realtor and lender.
Whether buying or selling, check out Vicki’s great advice and contact your local “quarterback” to ensure success!
PREVIOUS REAL ESTATE ROUNDUPS
Look at some of the excellent advice from previous real estate roundups.
- The best real estate articles for January 2023 – get a review of last month’s best articles for educating buyers and sellers.
- The best real estate articles of December 2022 – look at December’s roundup for more exceptional advice for buyers and sellers.
About the Authors: The above content featuring the best real estate articles for February 2023 was written by Karen and Chris Highland. Chris and Karen are with eXp Realty in Central Maryland and have been helping people buy and sell residential real estate in and around Frederick, Maryland, for over 30 years.
“We’re passionate about educating consumers about the ins and outs of residential real estate and the local market and equipping them with realistic expectations about buying and selling a home.”