Judy Moore - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Judy Moore on 11/11/2018

A home showing may prove to be exceedingly valuable, regardless of whether you're actively searching for a residence or preparing to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to schedule a home showing, and these include:

1. You think a home may be right for you.

If you review a home listing and feel a house may be your dream residence, it never hurts to set up a home showing. By visiting a residence, you can get an up-close look at a house and determine whether this home is right for you.

Ultimately, the only thing that a home showing will cost you is time. If you find that a home matches or exceeds your expectations, you can always submit an offer on this residence after a showing. Conversely, if a home falls short of your expectations during a showing, you can continue your search for your ideal house.

2. You are interested in learning about the local housing market.

Let's face it Ė the housing market can be tricky to navigate, particularly for those who intend to purchase a home for the first time. Luckily, a home showing offers a commitment-free opportunity to examine a residence and learn about the local real estate market.

Typically, a home showing allows you to review a house in-person and ask questions about this residence. Once the showing is complete, there is no obligation to move forward with a home purchase. Instead, you can assess your homebuying options and proceed accordingly.

3. You want to narrow your home search.

Although you know that you want to buy a house, you still have lots of ideas about what you want from your ideal residence. Thankfully, a home showing gives you an opportunity to walk through a house and determine what you like and don't like. And even if you decide not to proceed with a home offer, you can use the insights from a home showing to hone your house search.

If you need help setting up a home showing, you may want to reach out to a local real estate agent sooner rather than later. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can check out a wide range of residences and boost the likelihood of discovering your dream home.

A real estate agent can help you get ready for a home showing and offer plenty of insights into the housing market. This professional also will walk through a house with you during a showing and is prepared to respond to any concerns or queries. Perhaps best of all, if you want to submit an offer on a house after a showing, a real estate agent will make it simple to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

Make your homeownership dream come true Ė attend a house showing, and you can increase your chances of finding a terrific residence that you can enjoy for years to come.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
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Posted by Judy Moore on 10/7/2018

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you arenít asking enough questions. Or maybe youíre concerned youíre not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyoneís situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work youíll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you donít waste too much time exploring an option that isnít ideal for your situation.

In this article, weíre going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if theyíd accept a lower offer, itís still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the sellerís feelings toward the home and whether theyíre pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if theyíve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer youíll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. Itís a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests itís a family matter, donít press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the sellerís timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although youíll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, itís better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if youíre moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




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Posted by Judy Moore on 9/30/2018

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future there are several financial prerequisites that you should aim to meet. Ideally, youíll want a sizable down payment, a verifiable income history, and a good credit score.

It takes time to build credit. For most people, it can be several months or even years before they see a double-digit change in their credit score. However, if you have a low credit score and want to give it a quick boost, there are ways you can make a big difference.

But first, why should you focus on your credit score?

Credit scores and mortgages

When you apply for a mortgage there are several factors that your lender will take into consideration. One of their top concerns will be your credit score. This score is like a snapshot of your financial reliability. It tells lenders how much risk is involved in lending to you.

As a result, lenders will increase your interest rate if you are high risk and lower it if you are lower risk. To be a low risk homeowner, youíll want your score to be in the high range, (usually 700 or above).

Credit change potential

Depending on your financial history, it can be more difficult to raise your score in a shorter period of time. If you are young, donít have a long credit history, or havenít had many bills to pay in your lifetime, your score will be more malleable than someone who has had low credit for years due to late payments.

In the United States, you have to be eighteen to open up a credit card or take out a loan by yourself (this is different from getting a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian).  You can also ask your parents or guardians to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. This will let you build credit without having to settle for the high interest rate credit cards you would be eligible for.

If you happen to have a low score (anywhere between 300 - 600), the good news is you can achieve a larger change over a shorter amount of time than someone who already has a high score.

So, how do you achieve that change?

Credit errors

One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your score is to check for errors in your credit report. You can get a free report each year from the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Look out for bills that have been mistakenly put under your name and for collections that shouldnít be on your account.

Avoid new credit

One thing that can do short-term harm to your credit score is opening or attempting to open new lines of credit. That can be a store card, a loan, or getting your credit checked by a lender.

If you want to build credit quickly, making several inquiries could land you with a lower score than where you started.

Pay your regular expenses with credit

A good way to gain credit points in a few months is to pick a monthly expense to use your credit card for. Pay off your full balance at the end of each billing cycle to earn the most points while avoiding building up too much interest.





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Posted by Judy Moore on 8/26/2018

What Is The Disclosure Statement?


Disclosure statements are used in many of lifeís situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a sellerís disclosure are:


  • Water in the basement
  • Updates made to the home
  • Known pests
  • Paranormal activity
  • Death on the property
  • Past fires
  • Nearby major construction projects
  • Title 5 sewerage issues 


Disclosures Serves As Protections


The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyerís perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying. 


On the sellerís side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.


How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure


Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted.  The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasnít properly presented on the statement.  


How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?


The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.  


Whatís Disclosed To Buyers?


The disclosure doesnít have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that youíre selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.


Itís easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the cityís zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family. 


Problems that youíll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions. 


Remember that the disclosure doesnít substitute the buyerís right to a professional inspection of the property. Itís important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure theyíre making a good investment.





Posted by Judy Moore on 7/15/2018

Buying a home is one of the most expensive undertakings that youíll ever have in your lifetime. You probably have spent months upon months saving for a downpayment in order to make your home purchase. The problem is that after they believe their savings are complete, many buyers discover unexpected costs that go along with buying a home, making the entire process even more stressful. You should be prepared for many different kinds of costs that go beyond the sticker price of a home. Below, many of those surprising costs are laid out in detail. 


Closing Costs


Closing costs can be anywhere from 2-7% of the purchase price of a home. Closing costs cover quite a bit including:


  • Inspection fees
  • Appraisal
  • Title insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Underwriting fees
  • Recording fees
  • Loan origination fees

Depending upon the type of loan you get or your specific circumstances, your closing costs could be even more. Keep in mind that you wonít find out your specific closing cost amounts until the purchase of the home is well underway. You can talk to your realtor and lender ahead of time to be prepared for your own situation.


Closing costs are also negotiable, so donít forget to ask questions. Certain administrative fees, for example, are often unnecessary and can be waived.  


Low Appraisals


If you have a low appraisal on your home, you may need even more cash on hand. In order to meet loan and home value requirements, lenders wonít approve a loan for an amount thatís higher than the home is appraised for. In this case, if you still want the home, youíll be left to come up with the difference in cash. Otherwise, you could be forced to walk away from the deal and lose some money in the process. This is one of those home purchase emergencies that you should simply be aware of. It can be an emotional experience to get a low appraisal on a home, but remember that there are sensible ways to deal with this dilemma.       


Moving Expenses


Many buyers forget in the excitement of buying a home just how much it will cost to move. Whether you hire a moving company or do it yourself, moving can be expensive. Youíll need a truck, packing supplies and a way to pay (or simply thank) the people who help you to move. 


The Things You Need For Your Home


Your home wonít come with everything that you need. You may have to buy a refrigerator, have some repairs done, or simply get furnishings for the home. Donít strap your budget so thin that you wonít be able to buy a sofa until six months after moving into the home.   




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