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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Articles Tagged "Down Payment"

Live, Love, Long Island Blog Home

Buy a home | 24 Posts
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Sell a home | 18 Posts
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August
30

Yes, You Can Make Your Offer Stand Out From the Rest

Make an Offer Stand Out - Buy a Home - Coach Realtors

The time has finally arrived when you're ready to purchase a home. You found the perfect property, your finances are in order, and you're ready to make an offer. There's only one problem, so is every other buyer that's looking for their dream home. In a seller's market, our REALTORS® can help you move to the front of the line.

In a seller's market, buyers outnumber available homes for sale. Buyers often face bidding wars and full-price offers for Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale that don't sit on the market very long. You need to make your offer stand out so sellers will take notice!

  • Make a Clean Offer
    A clean offer means that it shouldn't be contingent on the sale of another property, have financial constraints, or ask for seller concessions like discounts or paid closing costs. In a competitive market, sellers don't need to make contingency sales or offer discounts. They want well-qualified buyers with pre-approved loans and few risks that may jeopardize the sale.

  • Offer Above-Asking Price
    When buyers outnumber available homes, it's not the time to make low offers. If you want the house, you may have to go above the asking price. Even an offer of $3,000 - $5,000 more will show the seller that you're a serious buyer. A reasonable offer above the asking price won't change your mortgage payment much, but it may get you into your dream home.

  • Put Down More Earnest Money
    When buying a home, earnest money deposits (EMDs) prove that you're a good-faith buyer. On average, EMDs are 1-3% of the purchase price, but you can make a larger deposit. Your agent will hold on to your deposit, which will go toward your down payment and closing costs. However, if you sign the contract and don't buy the home, the seller can keep your deposit.

  • Make a Larger Down Payment
    Making a larger down payment than required by your lender will send a message of good faith to the seller. By putting more money down, you're showing the seller that you're a serious buyer who is capable of meeting all financial obligations. A larger down payment assures the seller that the loan is not at risk and the sale won't fall through.

  • Pay with Cash
    Cash offers are very appealing to eager sellers because they aren't subject to loan approvals, financing contingencies, and lending procedures by banks. Lenders require property inspections and appraisal contingencies prior to loan approvals to protect their interests. Cash offers keep the sale between the buyer and the seller, so the deal moves quickly without a long process.

  • Get a Pre-Approved Mortgage
    In a tight seller's market, multiple offers are often entered on the same home within just a few hours. This can lead to a bidding war where the seller will have to choose the most qualified buyer. A pre-approval letter from a lender that states the amount of money you can borrow for a mortgage will significantly increase your chances of moving to the front of the line.

  • Add an Escalation Clause
    An escalation clause means that your offer will outbid other offers up to a maximum price. Keep in mind, even with an escalation clause the seller can still make a counteroffer. Instead of accepting your escalation clause, the seller can raise the listing price. At that point, you can decide the best way to close the deal.

If you're thinking about buying or selling on Long Island, contact us for information and prices on available properties that meet your needs.

August
19

Buying a House: How Do I Raise My Credit Score?

Long Island Home Buying Credit Score

Our REALTORS® get plenty of questions about credit score and how it relates to buying a house.

Many people are intimidated by the idea of being judged by their credit score. They may have had financial difficulties in the past that impacted their ability to maintain the average score.

Here's some good news: No credit score is perfect – most experts claim that attaining the highest possible score is nearly impossible. Lenders aren't actually looking for "the magic 850," either.

The other thing to know is this: Even if your credit score is lower than you'd like, you still have the chance to change it. Starting even a few months in advance can improve your credit score.

In recent years, lenders have generally relaxed their credit score requirements. Still, improving your score can result in a better loan with a lower APR. That may save you thousands of dollars.

Here's what you can do to raise your credit score:

  1. Don't Close Any Accounts
    Some people are tempted to start closing old credit accounts as soon as they begin a house hunt, but this is counterproductive. Older credit accounts demonstrate a longer account history, which can increase your score. Don't close accounts, even if they are fully paid off and unused.

  2. Don't Open Any Accounts
    Lenders will look at recent credit history to get an idea of your overall spending habits. Don't be tempted to sign up for a new credit card, open a car note, or make any other type of major buy. All your financial clout should be focused on finding and bidding on your new home.

  3. Start Saving
    Gone are the days when a 20% down payment was an absolute requirement for buying a house. Still, savings can move you into a different category in lenders' estimation. If you can drum up a 10% or even 5% down payment, it may mean paying off your mortgage loan much sooner.

  4. Set Up a Budget
    As a home buyer, you'll need a new budget sooner or later. The sooner you can set one up, the easier it will be to meet your savings goals. Sometimes, you can even use your budget to show lenders you've given due thought to the financial obligations of homeownership.

  5. Attack High-Interest Balances
    Your credit score is affected by the percentage of your total credit that's in use at any one time. You can reduce this amount the fastest by paying off balances with the highest APR. Paying off a single credit account can sometimes have an outsized effect on your ability to save.

  6. Improve Your Cash Flow
    Naturally, one of the best ways to save money is to make more money. It may be a good idea to look for opportunities to make a few extra dollars online. The sooner you get started, the further you can go, even if you only increase your income by a small amount. Just don't burn yourself out!

  7. Examine Your Credit Report
    Credit information is reported (and collected) by many different sources that can make mistakes. If you happen to have inaccurate negative information on your credit report, you can dispute it and have it removed. The official, government-mandated website to get your report is Annual Credit Report.

  8. Relax. Really!
    It's easy to overestimate the importance of credit. The fact is, your credit score is only one part of your total financial picture. If you have steady employment and income, most lenders will be more interested in where you stand now than where you were 18 months ago.

Contact us today for personalized advice to help you with your situation.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 6:53:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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