TLC Real Estate



Posted by TLC Real Estate on 3/8/2019

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who don’t 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 today’s post, we’re going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not it’s a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans aren’t 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 doesn’t 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 TLC Real Estate on 2/22/2019

Completing a successful homebuying journey may be difficult, especially for those who do not plan ahead. In fact, high-pressure situations may arise that lead you to make rash homebuying decisions. And if you make the wrong choices, you risk paying an exorbitant price to acquire your dream residence.

There is no reason to let high-pressure situations cause you to make poor decisions throughout the homebuying journey. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you map out your homebuying journey so you know exactly how to handle any high-pressure situations that come your way.

1. Maintain Flexibility

A high-pressure homebuying situation may make you feel like you are backed into a corner. However, it is important to remember that options are always available. And if you take a deep breath and step back and review a high-pressure homebuying situation closely, you can determine the best course of action.

Those who maintain flexibility as they try to acquire their dream home may be better equipped than others to handle high-pressure homebuying situations. Because if you maintain flexibility throughout the homebuying journey, you can take an objective view of the options at your disposal and proceed accordingly.

2. Establish a Budget

A budget generally is helpful, particularly for those who want to acquire a terrific home as quickly as possible. If you have a budget in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home. Then, if you face pressure to increase your offer to purchase your dream residence, you'll know whether you have the financing available to do so.

Keep in mind that the costs associated with purchasing a home extend beyond the price of a house itself, too. As you establish a budget, you'll need to account for closing, appraisal and inspection expenses and various other fees in addition to the cost of a house itself.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can take the guesswork out of buying a house. He or she also will go above and beyond the call of duty to alleviate stress and ensure you can proceed with confidence as you pursue your ideal residence.

Let's not forget about the guidance that a real estate agent provides when you're ready to submit an offer to purchase your dream home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your ideal house. He or she next will submit this offer to a seller on your behalf and negotiate with the seller as needed. If you and a seller come to terms on a home purchase agreement, a real estate agent will help you close on your dream home as well.

For those who want to simplify the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for high-pressure homebuying situations and speed up the process of acquiring your dream residence.




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Posted by TLC Real Estate on 2/15/2019

When it comes to purchasing a home, there is no need to settle for an "average" homebuying experience. Instead, there are many things that you can do to become an expert homebuyer, i.e. someone who can discover a first-rate house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three ways that a "typical" homebuyer can become an extraordinary one:

1. Evaluate the Housing Market Closely

The housing market can be complicated, particularly for those who are searching for a house for the first time. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer will be able to identify real estate market trends and plan accordingly.

For example, if there is an abundance of houses available and a shortage of homebuyers, you likely are operating in a buyer's market. In this market, you should have no trouble locating a top-notch house at a price that corresponds to your budget.

On the other hand, a real estate market that features a limited number of outstanding houses commonly favors property sellers. Therefore, you'll need to proceed cautiously if you want to acquire a high-end house at an affordable price.

Of course, you should always check out a wide range of houses in cities and towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to explore many houses and improve your chances of finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Although you'd like to buy a home in the near future, you still need to figure out how you'll pay for it. Lucky for you, many credit unions and banks are available that can make it easy for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Lenders are happy to meet with you at your convenience. These financial institutions can outline a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage decision.

With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with clear-cut financial expectations. This may help you avoid the temptation to overspend on a home. Plus, you'll be better equipped than other property buyers to narrow your home search, thereby accelerating the process of acquiring your ideal house.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market professional. As such, he or she can help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

For homebuyers, hiring a real estate agent is essential. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings, submit home offers on your behalf and much more.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries at any time. He or she will even provide homebuying recommendations to ensure you can navigate the property buying cycle quickly and effortlessly.

Ready to become an expert homebuyer? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of acquiring a terrific home that you can enjoy for years to come.




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Posted by TLC Real Estate on 2/8/2019

The homebuying journey may be complicated, particularly for those who fail to plan for it. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to boost your chances of enjoying a successful property buying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you start a successful homebuying journey.

1. Establish Criteria for Your Home Search

Create homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. With homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.

Think about the features you want to find in your ideal house. For example, if you want to own a residence that boasts a luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you can search for houses that offer this feature. Or, if you want to purchase a home that includes a central air conditioning system, you can hone your house search accordingly.

Don't forget to consider where you want to reside too. If you prefer big city life over small town living – or vice-versa – you should account for this factor as you kick off your house search.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Obtaining a home mortgage is key, especially for individuals who want to streamline the homebuying process. Luckily, banks and credit unions are happy to help you select the right mortgage based on your individual needs.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly mortgage specialists who can take the guesswork out of home financing. If you meet with these professionals, you can learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the homebuying journey on your own may prove to be exceedingly difficult, regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market. However, if you hire a real estate agent, you can simplify your house search and discover your dream residence without delay.

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her expertise with you. That way, you can work with a real estate agent to become a housing market expert.

In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive support throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will craft a custom homebuying strategy for you based on your property buying goals. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Finally, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.

For those who want to enjoy a quick, easy homebuying experience, it usually is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can launch a successful homebuying journey and take the necessary steps to acquire your dream residence any time you choose.




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Posted by TLC Real Estate on 2/1/2019

Finding the right vacation house is rarely simple. Dozens of quality vacation residences are available in cities and towns nationwide. Yet if you make even a single mistake during your search for the ideal vacation residence, you risk making a poor property buying decision.

As you get set to begin a search for a vacation home, there are many things you can do to boost the likelihood of finding a residence that matches your needs. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you conduct a comprehensive – and successful – vacation home search:

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

Prior to launching a search for a vacation house, consider the features you want in your dream residence. Then you can hone your search for vacation homes that fall in line with your expectations.

Crafting a list of vacation home must-haves usually is a good idea. This list can focus on distinct features you want to find inside your home – from a modern, state-of-the-art kitchen to a spacious master bedroom. It also can focus on home exterior features like a beautiful front yard or a large driveway.

2. Determine Your Preferred Cities and Towns

Once you know what you want to find in your ideal vacation residence, make a list of preferred cities and towns. With this list in hand, you can focus exclusively on vacation houses in cities and towns you know you will enjoy.

Before you craft a list of preferred cities and towns for your vacation home search, it is important to remember that house prices vary nationwide. Thus, it often helps to take a look at home prices in various cities and towns. This will give you an idea about the average price range for houses in different areas.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to streamline your search for a vacation home, it typically helps to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support as you navigate each stage of the vacation homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to share his or her housing market knowledge with you. First, he or she will learn about you and your vacation homebuying goals. A real estate agent next will craft a custom strategy designed to help you achieve your homebuying goals as quickly as possible. Finally, you and your real estate agent can put this plan into action.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides when a homebuyer is ready to submit an offer to purchase a vacation house, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help a homebuyer put together a competitive homebuying proposal. And if a seller accepts this offer to purchase, a real estate agent then will guide the buyer through the final stages of the homebuying journey.

Take the necessary steps to find your dream vacation home – use the aforementioned tips, and you could accelerate your quest to discover a vacation residence that suits you perfectly.




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