The 6 (Not-So-Simple) Steps to Securing a Home Loan

February 27, 2015

From the word “mortgage” to the methods used by lenders to determine how much to loan, the home loan process can be confusing to first timers.  In fact, one third of the respondents to a 2011 Wall Street Journal survey of homebuyers said that the most difficult part of buying a home was understanding the loan process.

It can also be quite stressful, especially when you’ve got your eye on a cute Craftsman bungalow and are waiting on pins and needles to learn if you qualify to purchase it.

Let’s take a look at the conventional home loan process, from start to finish. Here’s a breakdown of the process in six steps to help you get a better understanding of it.

Interior Design on a Budget

February 20, 2015

Whether you’re planning to furnish a new build, or you’re simply seeking to give your current home a makeover, you don’t have to break the bank to do so. There are countless ways to make a big impact easily and affordably. There are also several do-it-yourself options that can save a bundle on unnecessary labor costs. Here are some ideas to design your interior spaces on an easy budget.

How to Sell Your Home Despite Having Lousy Neighbors

February 13, 2015

A shaken Rebecca Rand said the bulldozer ripped right through her kitchen. Another neighbor, Mary Davis, upon receipt of a frantic call from her husband, ran from her home just before the colossal machine demolished it.

While good fences are said to make good neighbors, it was a fence that set Barry Swegle off. This particular fence was erected by a neighbor, lining the driveway Swegle used to get to his property. It was a long-standing dispute and Swegle finally snapped. He used a logging bulldozer to damage or destroy several outbuildings, a truck, a boat, a power pole and four homes in the neighborhood (including those of the two women above).

Thankfully, Swegle is an extreme case and not all neighbors are this nutty – but many can be annoying. Disputes are common, and it’s how you handle them that will determine their outcome – and potentially, the value of your home.

3 Tips to Attain a Higher Home Appraisal

January 30, 2015

Somewhere between applying for a home loan and the close of escrow comes a most crucial step: the home appraisal. Since the transaction that got you to this point is one in which a buyer and seller agreed on a price, an actual market dynamic, the appraisal is likely to match the purchase price.

In fluctuating markets however, especially those going up after being down for some time, low appraisals frequently occur. For instance, as the nation climbed out from under the explosion of distressed sales, it took some time for home appraisals to even out. The gap was understandable, given that appraisers were basing market values on many homes that had foreclosed or sold via short sale.

Although there is nothing a homeowner can do about nearby properties that affect the market value of all homes in the area, there are things he or she can do to help achieve a higher figure at appraisal. Here are three ways to increase your home appraisal.