There’s a certain hierarchy when it comes to what home sellers are looking for in an offer. An all-cash offer is generally considered the strongest and most desirable because there is no loan required. Offers that involve government-backed loans like VA loans are often considered on the lower end of the spectrum, mostly because some people believe that VA loans make a deal harder to close. That may have been true at one point, but those days are long gone. Still, these beliefs persist. So, if you’re an active duty military member or veteran using a VA loan to buy a house, you’ll need to make sure your offer is as strong as possible to have the best chance of getting accepted. Here are some tips on purchasing a house with a VA loan and crafting a winning offer.
Many housing markets are extremely competitive, with multiple offers coming in for desirable homes, especially moderately priced ones. So, if you find a house that you love, you need to do everything you can to make the strongest possible offer. For years, real estate experts have recommended writing a personal letter to a home seller to explain why you want to buy the house. But in the age of technology, many people wonder, “Do I really need to write a letter to buy a house?” The short answer is yes. A personal letter is your opportunity to make a meaningful connection that motivates the seller to accept your bid. Let’s look at some tips for writing a strong personal letter as well as some special considerations for heroes.
Many heroes enter their professions because they are continuing a family legacy. It’s not uncommon to see whole families of teachers, men and women following in their parents’ footsteps to become police officers or firefighters, or military service members carrying on a proud family tradition. But home ownership can be a legacy too, and many people want to pass down the homes they cherish to their children or other relatives. Other times heroes want to purchase a home from a family member to help them out or return to live in their childhood home. But buying a house from a family member comes with unique emotional and legal considerations, so it isn’t as easy as just handing over the keys. Here are some tips on how to buy a house from a family member while making the process as quick and painless as possible.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, major real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin make it easy to get a home value estimate. The information is listed prominently when you look up any address or use their search tools. But housing markets are in constant flux and there are countless variables that factor into a home’s true value. So, just how accurate and reliable are these estimates? To help you make the most of online resources and get the best possible price for your home, here’s a look at how online calculators determine home values and how you can use that information to your advantage.
What your home looks like on the outside surely doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the interior, the number of rooms, etc. But ask anyone who’s tried to sell an “ugly home” and they’ll tell you that curb appeal matters. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® says that “homes with high curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7% more than similar houses with an uninviting exterior,” and that number can climb to 14% in slower markets. Good curb appeal also helps sell your home faster. So, making a few small upgrades can produce great return on investment (ROI), and improving your curb appeal on a budget is possible. Here are some tips on how to improve curb appeal when selling your home.
Heroes often work hectic jobs that can be physically and emotionally draining. So, it’s natural that you want to get away and relax a little now and again. For many heroes, buying a cabin represents a true dream, a place to enjoy quiet time and make memories with family and friends. But is it the right move for your family? Purchasing a second home of any kind is a big decision and cabins can come with some special considerations. If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own private getaway, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of owning a cabin and what you need to consider when thinking about buying a cabin.
Refinancing your mortgage can be a great way to save money. But you’re going to have to spend a little money to do it. As they say, “No pain, no gain.” That pain largely comes in the form of closing costs, and they can be significant. Here’s a detailed look at the cost to refinance a home and how you can save money now and in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some industries a lot harder than others. For real estate, there was a significant drop in home sales when the pandemic first hit. But in many parts of the country, the industry is settling into a new normal, continuing home sales, albeit with some slight adjustments to the process. In fact, some markets are hotter than ever, which has led many to ask themselves, “Should I buy a house now? And what do I need to know about buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic?” Let’s try to answer those questions and consider what it means for those in hero professions in particular.
Taxes are nobody’s favorite thing, and most of us would rather just not think about them. But they are an important part of home ownership and need to be a consideration as you begin the home buying process. Many first-time home buyers who are unfamiliar with the details often wonder, “How are property taxes calculated, how do I pay them and how often?” To help you navigate what can seem like a complex and difficult issue, here’s everything you need to know about property taxes.
Buying a home can sometimes be a long and difficult process. But when you find a home you love and your offer is accepted, the finish line appears near. This period is commonly referred to as “being in escrow” and there are a number of things you need to do — and not do — before closing. To help you achieve your dream of home ownership, here’s what you need to know about escrow in the form of the top do’s and don’ts when in escrow.