Local Real Estate News
- U.S. home sales on pace for best year in a decade, says NAR (via World Property Journal)
- ‘Affordable’ housing remains out of reach for full-time working families — Nowhere in Baltimore can two full-time minimum-wage earners afford the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report. (via CityLab)
- Home Depot lifts outlook as shoppers spend more on their homes (via Forbes)
Upcoming Local Events
The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) seeks volunteers to help with the upcoming Taste of Reston event, held June 17-18 in Reston Town Center. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt and 12 tasting tickets. Sign up here.
The Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will host a wine tasting event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 26 for ages 55 and older. Sample red and white wines along with a variety of meats, cheeses and crackers. our the gardens and accessible paths with a naturalist and look for spring wildflowers and birds. Bring a friend or meet a new one at this unique event. Co-sponsored by Tall Oaks Assisted Living. Registration required. $12/RA members, $16/non-members. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or 703-435-6577.
Making Your Dream Home a Reality: Tips for Securing a Mortgage
While the idea of buying a house seems glamorous and “everyone is doing it,” the best and only place to start after you’ve partnered with a real estate professional is to get a mortgage. This process is not sexy. In fact, it can seem daunting.
Most buyers only go through this process a few times in their lives, and the more prepared you are, the more at ease you will feel. I get the pleasure of helping families each year buy or sell and live the American dream, and here are specific steps to take from trusted lenders that I’ve outlined for you:
1. Review your credit report. It does matter and the higher your score — good (760-799) and excellent (800-850) — the lower your interest rate can be. Depending on how much you are borrowing, a slight tick up in interest rates can increase your monthly outlay of cash by several hundred dollars. Methods to better your credit scores include keeping credit card balances low, paying your bills on time (I know, Captain Obvious here, but you’d be surprised how that late parking ticket payment can affect your score!), keeping lines of credit open and paying off your debt.
2. Collect all the necessary documents. This is a tedious but crucial step. My suggestion is to save this information and have it handy until your loan closes. That way everything is easy to access should you need to resend anything. Documents you will need are:
- W2, 1099 or K1’s from the previous two year
- Stubs or print-outs from the most recent month’s paychecks
- Tax returns from the previous two years
- Profit and Loss (P&L) statements of 1099 forms if you are self-employed
- Proof of minimum monthly payments and balances of all debt including credit cards, car loans, student loans, child support, alimony, etc.
- Current and previous bank statements from all banks, brokerage statements, records of investments
3. Educate yourself. Do your homework and learn about loan options out there for you. Ask questions, lots of questions — it’s ok. All of my lending resources will tell you no question is too little to be answered.
4. Take your time; real estate is NOT an emergency. If you have been intentional with the above, you should be ready to hear your “yes” and receive your pre-approval from the lender. With this in hand, your mortgage can be underwritten once certain conditions are met, such as ratifying a contract on a house (agreed upon in writing from the seller and you as the buyer); property research on the house about who owns it and the property lines of the land it is on (a survey), and completion of an appraisal (different from a city or county assessment).
If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s important to act sooner rather than later. As the year goes on, affordability will continue to be a challenge. With mortgage rates expected to rise to around 4.5 percent, the longer you wait to buy, the less home you’ll be able to afford. Even small increases in mortgage rates and home prices can have a large impact on your future monthly mortgage payment!
—McEnearney Associates, “Making Your Dream Home a Reality: Tips for Securing a Mortgage”
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