Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Kinlin Grover Real Estate



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 9/13/2018

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 9/6/2018

Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.

If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.

2. Create an Engaging Home Listing

An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.

To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.

In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.

Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.

For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 8/30/2018

For many individuals, the homebuying journey often begins with getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Because if a buyer has a mortgage, he or she can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Ultimately, there are many signs that now may be the perfect time to apply for a mortgage, and these include:

1. You're ready to upgrade from an apartment to a home.

If you're tired of paying monthly rent for an apartment, purchasing a house offers a viable alternative. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can move one step closer to moving from an apartment to a house.

In most instances, a home offers a significant upgrade over an apartment. Many residences are available in cities and towns nationwide that offer more space than apartments. Plus, as a homeowner, you won't have to worry about dealing with a landlord.

2. You feel good about your credit score.

If you have a strong credit score, you likely are a great candidate for a mortgage. In fact, you may be better equipped than others to get a favorable interest rate on the mortgage of your choice.

Understanding your credit score is a key part of the homebuying journey. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, once you find out your credit score, you can determine whether you are in good shape to pursue a mortgage.

3. A buyer's market is in place.

In a buyer's market, there usually is an abundance of top-notch houses and a shortage of buyers. This means a homebuyer may be able to get a wonderful deal on a house, especially if he or she performs a comprehensive house search.

To find out whether a buyer's market is in place, you should check out the prices of recently sold houses in your area. Also, you may want to find out how long recently sold houses were listed before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and decide whether now is the right time to apply for a mortgage.

If you're interested in getting a mortgage and starting a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support at each stage of the property buying journey.

A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about pursuing a house. He or she will offer insights into the local housing market and ensure that you can conduct a successful house search. And if you ever have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Want to launch a home search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can take the first step to acquire your ideal residence.




Tags: Mortgage   Buying a home  
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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 8/23/2018

Before you even start the home search, research is key. There are a few areas that you should look closely at in every home that youíre touring in order to make an informed decision about each property and your future in it. 


Check The Foundation


When youíre walking around the home, note creaky floors, cracks in the walls, and water drainage issues. Maybe you wonít even be able to see if the foundation has any cracks in it or not with your own two eyes. A certified home inspector will, however, be able to tell you what is happening on the property. Cracks in the foundation or major foundational damage can be incredibly costly to you as a homeowner. Youíre going to want to know about these issues ahead of time. 


Do Some Investigating


Taking a walk around your desired neighborhood can give you a lot of valuable information. You may be able to talk to neighbors who will give you a bit of information about a property. Even wandering around the neighborhood or attending yard sales can help you to see whatís going on, if you can see yourself living there, and if there are any major issues that you should be aware of. 


Be Likable


Sellers prefer to sell a home to a buyer who they like. if you see that you have something in common with the seller like the fact that youíre both veterans, you should send a letter along with your offer to let the seller know your connection. Itís also helpful to send an offer letter that lets the seller know how much you love the house and that you can see yourself living in the home. It never hurts to add a personal touch to a home offer.  


Keep Your Options Open


Just because a home doesnít consist of the modern decor you picture yourself living in, doesnít mean it canít be changed. If a home happens to be older with less present-day decor in it, be sure to keep an open mind as to the potential that the home has for you.


Make A Strategic Offer


We know that prices that end in 9 are a bit more attractive to the psyche than prices that end in a flat zero. If the asking price for a home is $310,000, you may be tempted to offer $320,000 to shell out the competition, but you may be better off offering an odd number like $312,000. Sometimes a small difference makes a big impact in the eyes of the buyer. Work with your realtor to see if a home youíre interested in has any other offers. Your agent can help you to find a good price point for your offer as well.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 8/22/2018

''BY THE SOUND'' A Special 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath Ranch style end unit condo in a terrific location just steps to the beach! Situated in a small, 6 unit complex with a park-like setting, this unit is tucked away in the back. Bright interior with laminate floors, open living room and kitchen area, full bath and 2 bedrooms. One bedroom with slider to fenced in yard with deck area, storage shed and outdoor shower to rinse off the beach sand! Gas heat, 1 parking spot. Covered front porch and terrific rental history at $1100 per week (July & August) Seller gross approx $13,000 per year on rentals. Seasonal complex. Location, Location, Location - this is your chance to own on beautiful Cape Cod or become a landlord! Open April to November.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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