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Blog: Tips for Buyers

Why You Should Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases

Don’t go on a spending spree using credit if you are thinking about buying a home, or in the process of buying a new home. Your mortgage pre-approval is subject to a final evaluation of your financial situation.

Every $100 you pay per month on a credit payment could cost you about $10,000 in home eligibility. For example, a car payment of $300/month could mean that you qualify for $30,000 less in a mortgage.

Even if you have accumulated enough savings, you should consider not making any large purchases until after closing. The last thing you want is to know that you could have purchased a new home had you curbed the urge to spend.

Importance of Inspection

As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Don’t take anything for granted, not even what you see or what the seller or listing agent tell you. A professional home inspection is something you MUST do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition.

Beforehand, make sure the report will be done by a professional organization, such as a local trade organization or a national trade organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection). Not only should you never skip an inspection, but also you should be present with the inspector during the inspection. This gives you a chance to ask questions about the property and get answers that are not biased. In addition, the oral comments are typically more revealing and detailed than what you will find on the written report. Once the inspection is complete, review the inspection report carefully.

You have to demand an inspection when you present your offer. It must be written in as a contingency. If you do not approve the inspection report, then do not buy the home. Most real estate contracts automatically provide an inspection contingency.

Thinking About Buying a Foreclosure?

With the housing bubble burst and the subprime mortgage crisis, millions of homeowners found themselves unable to make their mortgage payments. Many found themselves owing more on the house than the home was worth. Many just walked away from their homes. As a result of these complicated issues, millions of homes were foreclosed.

While this isn’t the only reason for which homes are foreclosed, it has been a widespread one. With all the foreclosed properties, there has also been extensive interest in buying these properties at a bargain price.

It is true that foreclosed properties can be priced at a significant discount, but they are also a much riskier investment. Before making an offer on a foreclosed property, do your due diligence.

Things you must do before buying a foreclosure:

  • Do a title search - make sure that when you purchase a foreclosure that you are the only person who has any ownership claim
  • Check for liens - find out if there are any liens against the property because you will be responsible for paying them
  • Check for a second mortgage - you don’t want to be surprised by an extra mortgage that you will need to pay
  • Know how good of a “bargain” you’re getting - foreclosures are sold “as is” and in many cases you will not be able to do a proper inspection. You may end up paying thousands of dollars repairing the property before it is fit to be lived in.

It is also important to consider that there are different types of foreclosure properties and each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The different types of foreclosure purchases are:

  1. Pre-foreclosure
  2. Auction
  3. Real Estate Owned (REO), also called “bank owned”

Pre-Foreclosure

A pre-foreclosure is when you buy the home directly from the homeowner, before the bank officially forecloses. This type of purchase does not require as much capital as other foreclosures. Also, since you are purchasing straight from the homeowner, you will be able to gather all of the necessary information, such as inspection reports, title information, etc. that may not be available with other foreclosure properties. Once you take over the mortgage, you will be responsible for all future payments as well as any overdue back payments.

Auction

A foreclosure property will usually end up at an auction. Real estate auction practices vary by state but common practice is for the auction to be held on courthouse steps, in front of the foreclosed home, or at the county clerk’s office.

Real estate auctions offer the best chance for a great deal but also hold the greatest risk. Auction properties are sold as is, with no opportunity for potential buyers to perform inspections. When buying a home at auction, the buyer must pay cash, usually a cashier’s check. It is also possible that there may still be tenants living in the home. In such a case, you would be responsible for the often costly eviction process.

REO

Once a foreclosure has gone to auction and failed to sell, it becomes a Real Estate Owned, or bank owned, property. Most homes do not sell at auction, most fail to even get any bids.

An REO property is the least likely of the foreclosure properties to represent a bargain, but it is also the least risky. The property can be fully inspected, any title issues can be found and dealt with, and the sale can be subject to a mortgage. REO properties also tend to be in better condition than other foreclosure properties.

Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing a foreclosure is that some states have a redemption period that allows the original owner to buy back the property by paying the remaining balance owed. You may be able to have this redemption period waived, so check the state laws on this topic before purchasing.

Still interested in buying a foreclosure property? If so, always do your research before purchasing!

Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and when they have found their dream home, then they go to get pre-approved. However, in today’s market, that has proven to be one of the least effective methods in landing the dream home.

Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate how much mortgage you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are different things. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, and verified your employment, assets, etc. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include: banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.

Some lenders to avoid: those who lose a form or misplace a file, those who gather information from you in an unorganized manner, those who are not informed about interest rates, points or costs, and those who cannot provide you with the right information.

New Year Resolutions – Buying a Home

This time of year is a time of reflection with the starting of a New Year.  It might be time to be thinking about those New Year Resolutions – Buying a Home could be on the top of your list and really should be if you are renting. If it is and you want to live in Missouri you have landed on the right page.

We can help you with one of your New Year Resolutions – Buying a Home can be one of the most exciting things you do. Homeownership can be so rewarding. mentally because “it’s yours” and financially because it is usually the most valuable investment most people have.

We work as Buyers Agents for all of Southern Missouri Our job is to get you the best deal you can on your new home.  We work hard for you.  We are Realtors! We represent buyers and sellers from St Louis to West Plains. It does NOT matter who has a property listed, if we work for you ( at no cost to you) history has proven we will most likely save you money. Before you buy any Southern Missouri real estate talk with us about it.

If you are moving from out of town this article is a little information about what our clients think of our performance.

Motivated Buyers Buy Year Round

Spring is not always the best selling season, motivated buyers buy year round.  Relocating Buyers buy when the job changes, which happens a lot of times around the new year, or when they retire which is also a new year thing.  Homebuyers with children like moving at the change of the semester after the Christmas break.

Start your Search today!

In 25 years of  Selling Missouri Homes 11 of those years, December & January were my most productive months.  That alone tells me people still purchase homes when it’s cold outside.  I have waded through deep snow and skated on icy sidewalks many of times while showing a property.  I can tell you the clients who were following me in those homes were highly motivated buyers.  I am pretty sure one of those times it was a full-scale blizzard (or at least a Missouri blizzard).

The positive for buyers is the sellers have fewer buyers looking so they are sometimes more motivated with price reductions especially if they have been on the market for a while. Of course for sellers, the positive is the buyers have fewer homes to choose from (less competition)  because many sellers take their homes off the market in the winter.  Motivated buyers buy year round so if you are a seller and you want to sell I would always advise you to keep your home on the market through the winter.  You never know when that buyer that is going to fall in love with your home, comes along and you don’t want to miss them.

Moving to Southern Missouri

You can start your search right here!

 

Relocating can be very stressful! It can also be a little scary when you don’t know the area.  If you are considering moving to Southern Missouri you have landed on the right page.  We specialize in representing relocating Buyers, our job is to help our clients find the best property and then negotiate the best possible deal.  We can tell you all sorts of things about what we try to do for our clients but we think it would be better to see what our clients have to say about us. Below are just a few testimonials from some of our clients who were relocating from out of state and moving to Southern Missouri.

 

It seems there are a lot of people from California, Colorado, Illinois, and Wisconsin which are moving to Southern Missouri, I’m not sure why we have more from those states but that has been a trend for about 2 years.  I think a lot has to do with the lower taxes, lower cost of living and the friendly and welcoming people.

We would love to help you find your new place in the Missouri Ozarks.  Just let us know what you are looking for and we can help. In the meantime check out our site and what just a few of our clients have had to say about us.

This is a page in the works we will be adding testimonials as we gather them.

Steven & Kathy Howard   Relocated from Colorado to Fredericktown MO 

I cannot say enough about Gwen, My husband and I were moving from Colorado. We had been in contact with another agency. Just a few days before our house hunting trip the other agent decided she did not want to show houses in the areas we were looking. That’s when We found Gwen and she was able to show us 20 or so houses in two days on very short notice. It took us longer to sell our home than expected but Gwen continued to work with us. We made a second trip extending our search area. This time our house was sold and time was short. We looked at 15 plus houses a day for three days, spread from Bonne Terre to West Plains (and back for second looks). She went out of her way to help us. All between us not knowing the area and doing a lot of driving and so many phone calls, We now have our dream home. Thank you Gwen!!

 

Jon & Laura  Moved from Colorado relocated to West Plains Mo

We cannot speak highly enough of Calvin Chambers – he represented us as buyers with integrity, and I believe he was respectful toward the sellers too. He kept us in the loop but never bothered us with unnecessary stress – just a really good person whose knowledge of the market really helped close the deal. Highly recommended.

 Jay & Pamela Mann – Moving from Indiana to Retiring in Isabella Mo

Calvin and his wife Gwen were very helpful in finding and purchasing a home on Bull Shoals Lake. My wife and I made three trips to Missouri before finding the exact right spot for our retirement home. Calvin would email homes he thought fit what we were looking for and would also set up showings for homes we found on Zillow. Calvin made a statement to me that showed he was working for my wife and I, “I need to get a price for your home that is fair, because if you come to me a few years down the road to sell your home for whatever reason, I need to be able to make money for you.” Calvin and Gwen were very helpful in finding and finalizing the purchase of our retirement home.

Kandra Witkowski Moved from Illinois to Dora Mo

Calvin and Gwen were AWESOME! They helped us find the perfect home all while we were 500 miles away. They handled all the little details for us. The closing was easy and stress-free. Now, we drink our coffee from our porch and just enjoy our new home! Thank you to them both!

 

 

Debbie Reynolds and Family Moved from San Jose California to Missouri

Calvin & Gwen were so helpful in our move from California to Missouri. Gwen even helped us find a great Realtor in California who sold our house for more than the asking price and then negotiated a great deal on our Missouri home.  We just could not be more pleased with the smooth move we made across the country and we have Calvin and Gwen Chambers to thank for all their hard work which made all this possible.

 

West Plains Buyers Agent

Are you interested in Real Estate with Real Results?
Are you thinking about buying a Home?

If so you need a West Plains Buyers Agent.  If you were preparing for the Kentucky Derby wouldn’t you want the best Jockey? The jockey carefully guides the horse to a winning finish line.  Buying a house without a West Plains Buyers Agent is like a racehorse with no jockey.

With 30+ years of experience and over 12,500 successful finishes as your West Plains Buyers Agent, we can help you cross the finish line a winner!  As a West Plains Buyers Agent, we are working for our clients in their best interest! Understand that the race can be complicated, and we will be here to help.  Here is a list of how we can assist you.

Obtaining Affordable Financing  *  Choosing the Perfect Property  *  Negotiating a Great Price  *  Negotiating the Building Inspections  *  Working with the Appraiser  *  Working with the Title Companies.

As Your West Plains Buyers Agent, we also provide you with some added services: 

24 Hour Access: We are available 24/7 for phone calls text and emails from our clients  *  Immediate notifications of new properties to the market  *  Emotional Support (many need that most)  *  Priority Showing Appointments  *  Our 30+ Years of Proven Experience and  Success

Now for the Best News! As your West Plains Buyers Agent my Service Cost the Buyer $0 (nothing) it’s paid for by the Sellers.  Assuming this Potential Investment is Important to you why leave it to chance. Establishing a trust with the right agent to make the entire ride smoother only makes sense. I hope I can be you West Plains Buyers Agent.

Buyer’s Agents are Working for the Buyer……Seller’s Agent are Working for the Seller 

Transaction Brokers are Working for themselves (paperwork – no advice)

 West Plains Buyers Agent

I look forward to helping you find your perfect property

Gwen Chambers (471) 712-0077

Moving with Dogs

Home Buying Tips When You Own A Dog

After talking about it for what seems like years, you and your family have agreed to move. The market is better, and your old home just isn’t working for you anymore. It’s gotten a bit cramped, and you are looking forward to living in a better neighborhood.

But what about your pet dog? After all, they will be living under the same roof as you. If your new home isn’t good for a dog, then everyone will suffer. That’s why you need these tips for buying, moving into, and adjusting to a new home when you are moving with dogs. It starts by looking into the local requirements for pets.

What To Look For In A New Home

You certainly do not want to find the perfect home and then realize your dog is not welcome in it. Believe it or not, that’s possible. Many communities have started limiting what pets people can have in their own homes. That’s why Realtor.com recommends that you check the local pet requirements before you even get excited about a new home. Besides checking with the local government, ask if there is any homeowner’s association. If there is, ask for a copy of all bylaws and rules to make sure your dog can move with you.

You should talk to your real estate agent about your dog. Explain any special needs your pet might have and what you hope to have in a new home, such as a fenced-in yard or a spot away from busy roads. You also want to examine the layout and see where your dog would sleep and run around inside or outside. And if your dog is older, you may want to avoid homes with lots of stairs.

Moving with Pets Day Tips

Once you have found your dream home, it’s time to start packing! Just keep in mind that your dog won’t understand moving. To them, things are slowly disappearing from “their” home. That’s why you should pack your dog’s room last. Dogs love familiarity, so you can help reduce their moving anxiety by keeping to routines as much as possible.

You should seriously consider hiring a dog boarder who can house your dog on moving day. With all the movers coming in and out of your house, having a dog running around is a recipe for disaster. Besides, your dog would rather be in a calm, fun environment instead of stressed out.

Adjusting To A New Home

Now that you’re finally in your new home, it’s time to help your dog adjust to the place. To them, their old life is suddenly gone and they don’t know if it will come back. Spending some time now to help your pet adjust will help everyone in the long run. Moving with dogs can take some adjusting for your furry pets.

As the AARP recommends, continue any old routines. If you walked every day around 6:00 PM, then take those evening walks at your new place. The same is true for feeding times. Also, don’t buy anything new for your pet, as introducing new toys or food bowls will just add to your dog’s anxiety. Lastly, be sure to take your dog on frequent walks. Not only does this burn up anxious energy, it helps your dog know the neighborhood in case they ever get out.

Be Careful When Buying

Purchasing a new home is always a big decision, but it’s a little bigger when you’re moving with dogs. Check out the community rules and layouts before buying, then hire a dog sitter for moving day. Once you’re finally in the new place, stick to the old routines with your dog. This can help your pet love your new home as much as you do.  Your Realtor can always help. If you are looking for a home in Southern Missouri you can start your search right here.

Moving can be stressful for all here are some other things to remember when moving

Moving with Dogs

Home Buying Tips When You Own A Dog

After talking about it for what seems like years, you and your family have agreed to move. The market is better, and your old home just isn’t working for you anymore. It’s gotten a bit cramped, and you are looking forward to living in a better neighborhood.

But what about your pet dog? After all, they will be living under the same roof as you. If your new home isn’t good for a dog, then everyone will suffer. That’s why you need these tips for buying, moving into, and adjusting to a new home when you are moving with dogs. It starts by looking into the local requirements for pets.

What To Look For In A New Home

You certainly do not want to find the perfect home and then realize your dog is not welcome in it. Believe it or not, that’s possible. Many communities have started limiting what pets people can have in their own homes. That’s why Realtor.com recommends that you check the local pet requirements before you even get excited about a new home. Besides checking with the local government, ask if there is any homeowner’s association. If there is, ask for a copy of all bylaws and rules to make sure your dog can move with you.

You should talk to your real estate agent about your dog. Explain any special needs your pet might have and what you hope to have in a new home, such as a fenced-in yard or a spot away from busy roads. You also want to examine the layout and see where your dog would sleep and run around inside or outside. And if your dog is older, you may want to avoid homes with lots of stairs.

Moving with Pets Day Tips

Once you have found your dream home, it’s time to start packing! Just keep in mind that your dog won’t understand moving. To them, things are slowly disappearing from “their” home. That’s why you should pack your dog’s room last. Dogs love familiarity, so you can help reduce their moving anxiety by keeping to routines as much as possible.

You should seriously consider hiring a dog boarder who can house your dog on moving day. With all the movers coming in and out of your house, having a dog running around is a recipe for disaster. Besides, your dog would rather be in a calm, fun environment instead of stressed out.

Adjusting To A New Home

Now that you’re finally in your new home, it’s time to help your dog adjust to the place. To them, their old life is suddenly gone and they don’t know if it will come back. Spending some time now to help your pet adjust will help everyone in the long run. Moving with dogs can take some adjusting for your furry pets.

As the AARP recommends, continue any old routines. If you walked every day around 6:00 PM, then take those evening walks at your new place. The same is true for feeding times. Also, don’t buy anything new for your pet, as introducing new toys or food bowls will just add to your dog’s anxiety. Lastly, be sure to take your dog on frequent walks. Not only does this burn up anxious energy, it helps your dog know the neighborhood in case they ever get out.

Be Careful When Buying

Purchasing a new home is always a big decision, but it’s a little bigger when you’re moving with dogs. Check out the community rules and layouts before buying, then hire a dog sitter for moving day. Once you’re finally in the new place, stick to the old routines with your dog. This can help your pet love your new home as much as you do.  Your Realtor can always help. If you are looking for a home in Southern Missouri you can start your search right here.

Moving can be stressful for all here are some other things to remember when moving

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