Things to Do Before Moving Into a New Home

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Jun• 20•14

Jaime-Osborn-Can-help-you-be-prepared-to-buy-a-new-homeWhen buying a new home we need to still pay attention to our new home. There are a few tasks that need to be done before you move on, such as the following:

• Changing the locks on your exterior doors as soon as possible. Although the closing of the deal may be done and you have the keys, you would be a lot safer if you have a locksmith drop by to replace all the locks with new ones just in case. The previous owners and realtors likely still have a key to your place, so it would be in your best interest to change those locks, even if you are on great terms with all of them. Its the sensible thing to do and it would greatly increase the overall security of your home.

• You should get the house cleaned regardless of how you found it. In many cases there may be areas that were overlooked by the previous owners, so you will need to work on it. You can either do this yourself or hire a cleaning company to get the job done for you. Whatever the case, you should make sure you get everything taken care of. You will need your cleaning supplies for that of course, so stock up and make sure you clean your cabinets, plumbing fixtures, counters and other areas that need attention, such as the walls and ceilings if you must.

• You will possibly need to repaint some walls and ceilings as well. Since this is pretty time-consuming and you may simply be too busy to get it done yourself, then you may need some professional paint. This is especially important if you managed to buy your place cheap, but it has some minor cosmetic damage such as cracks and other defects. Unless you have help and experience working on such matters, you may want to work with a contractor for such things. You should consider neutral colors if you’re not sure what you want to pick, as they will make it much easier to deal with and will last a long time without getting in the way of your senses.

• You need to get some organizers if you want to keep things in order. A lot of the older homes out there have closets that have a single shelf and a pole and that’s pretty much it. You can check different stores for alternatives to such a simple setup. They will give you options for closets and how you can fit things in there in a better way. You will also need to address the other items apart form the ones that go in your closet. Your seasonal clothes, boots and other things will also need a good place, whether its a wardrobe or a similar solution.

• Install some new switch plates around your home if they are in need of a change. The same goes for vent covers and other small aspects of your home. It will take a little bit of work, but when you’re done your home will look exactly as you wanted it to be with nothing but a simple fix.
For more cleaning ideas you can contact: Domestic Cleaning Chiswick.

Home Buying Guide for Single Women

Written By: Jaime Osborn - May• 29•14

Home Buying Guide for Single WomenDepending on our priorities, each woman’s life may develop in radically different directions, as our expectations may also vary greatly. Things in most cases follow a certain order for a woman: we finish school, getting a good job, maybe getting married, buying a nice home and having a chance to raise kids. Traditions are a wonderful thing, but not everyone’s life takes the same turn and the same sequence of events. There are more than a few ways a woman can move in life, and this goes in several directions. One thing most of us would agree upon is that a home of our own is desirable in any situation. This is a serious investment however, which requires a good bit of preparation if you want to succeed:

• Budget and Costs
This is the first thing you need to keep in mind when you’re getting ready. Most people often fall to the oversight of the extra expenses that surround a purchase of that kind, as there are more expenses than simply buying it. Make sure you aim slightly below the maximum amount of money you’re willing to give so you can have a safe margin around what you can afford.

• Credit Score Importance
You will need to use a loan to get yourself on your way toward a new home and this is where your credit score will be of the utmost importance. Most of us don’t simply have the resources to buy one at the ready and waiting in the bank, so a loan is a necessary evil that allows us to approach the issue in a more controlled, long-term way. Depending on your credit score the brokers will usually have options that work with different scores, so you don’t need to worry if yours is not exactly stellar.

• Real Estate Agents
Unless you have experience with real estate or a friend that works in it, you will find it difficult to find a good place without help. Real estate agents will greatly help in the long run, as you have a chance to find a greater range of properties you would not be able to reach any other way. You will need a good bit of information concerning the market and this is where a real estate agent will be of great use.

• Aim smaller
You would do well to aim for a cheaper home than the maximum amount you can afford, as you will have a far easier time managing your mortgage if you do so. Check out any possible expenses you will need to deal with, such as utilities, maintenance and taxes and you will get a better understanding so you can budget well.

• The choice
In the end your choices will greatly dictate your future, so consider the advantages and disadvantages of what you plan on choosing. Location, security and other benefits are all valid concerns, so don’t underestimate them.
For more moving tips you can contact: Balham Man with a Van Hire

The 6 Most Essential Homebuyer Tips

Written By: Jaime Osborn - May• 04•14

I keep coming across these great infographics from Marketleader! I love this one, and since my last few posts have been about home buying 101…… I thought it fit in perfectly…. Cheers!


Click here to read a list of more homebuyer tips

Home buying 101 cont’d

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Apr• 29•14

I was recently passed this info graphic and thought it was a prefect description of the process that all buyers really need to go through to determine if they are in fact actually ready to purchase a home!

Are you ready to become a homeowner? Find out here!http://blogforbuyers.com/wp-admin/plugins.php

House-Hunting 101: Four Tricks To A Smooth And Manageable House-Hunting Tour

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Apr• 23•14

House-hunting can be physically, emotionally and financially stressful. Your feet can get tired from endless walking, going from one house to another and inspecting the ins and outs of the compound. It can be an emotional and financial struggle too having to weigh the pros and cons of each and every property you visit, assess which is closest to your idea of a dream home and compare the budget with the listing price.
230-agent-in-front-of-house-

How To Have A Smooth And Manageable House-Hunting Tour
Aside from following etiquette, there are some items that you should likewise do during the house-hunting tour. The following tricks are guaranteed to make your trip smoother and more manageable.

1. Dress appropriately. Regardless if it’s a condo, an apartment or a two-story house and lot in a city, chances are, sooner or later, you are bound to visit distant places or view two houses or more in one day. It only makes sense then to dress comfortably so you can move around with ease. Footwear matters a lot so make sure that you choose something that is easy to take on and off in case the current homeowner brings you to a shoeless zone. For women, keep away from high heels and opt for flat shoes instead. Bring extra slippers so your feet can rest when not on tour. For men, wear your best socks.

2. Avoid carrying food and drinks. Leave them on the car. Do remember that accidents happen all the time. You never know, your drinks may spill or you may leave sandwich crumbs inside the residence you’re visiting. Plus, it is quite disrespectful to act as if you already own the property and eat anytime you want. The homeowner deserves some courtesy.

3. Make the trip a fun experience for your children. There are instances when your kids would want to tag along to see the house for themselves. In situations like this, set some ground rules first and afterwards, get them involved. Give them tasks to perform – putting smileys on your notes if they like one particular room or sad faces if they don’t. Bring a companion who can accompany them when they get bored. Offer diverse entertainment – their favorite games and toys, portable DVD player or audio books.

4. Carry a notebook and a camera. Notebook is for taking notes while camera is for capturing the front view of the home. To be on the safe side, consult the realtor or the person who hosts the viewing if taking pictures are allowed. Another alternative is to take a commentary video so you can easily keep track of the plus and negative points of the residence you just recently visited.

When is the wrong time to Lease purchase a home

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Mar• 08•14

what-is-a-rent-to-own-image-with-textSince My company sponsors a credit program, I wanted to take a few posts to talk about lease purchasing a home. I think the topic is pretty important in the Memphis area since Lease purchasing a home seems to be so popular here. First let me explain to you that lease purchasing a home is merely glorified renting up until the time in which you actually purchase the home. Sometimes the terms of a lease purchased home are slightly better than what you can get renting the home, but both situations almost always end up with the same result……. with the buyer / renter moving out with nothing to show for it.
The city of Memphis has almost double the average percentage of non owner occupied properties than most major metro areas. This gives the perfect environment for investors to lease purchase a home to someone who really has no hopes of actually buying the home. Since the major difference between lease purchasing and buying a home really entails a large non refundable down payment given at the beginning of the lease instead of a security deposit which is given back at the end of the lease (the property being in the same conditions as it was at move in of course) this actually allows the investors to make a larger profit with often times less risk. This is a practice that is seen all over town, and in all price ranges. From fifty thousand dollar properties to half million dollar homes, you can always find some investor ready to lease purchase a home instead of rent it out.
Since the title of this post is, when is the wrong time, I’ll focus on that. The answer to that questions is almost always. There are only a few good reasons to lease purchase a home. The wrong reasons are abundant. The number one time when it is a bad idea to lease purchase is “when you want to buy a house but don’t want to wait to do it the right way.” no-credit-check-bannerThis is usually the reason most people lease purchase a house. They have the down payment now and even though they know it would be better to wait, and get their credit in order,they want it now, not a year from now or six months from now, but NOW. This is just the worst way to buy a home, and almost always ends up with the buyer losing the down payment.
The second worst time to lease purchase a home is when you are under a time limit to be out of your current place and you can’t find exactly what your looking for in a rental so you just decide that buying a home would be better than renting anyway. Right? Then you make a hasty decision and choose a home that isn’t right for you. but it’s yours (or so you think) Then when the time comes to actually purchase the home, you are happy to give up your down payment and move on to something better suited for you, which is what you should have done in the first place anyway.
As you can tell I’m not a big fan of lease purchasing a home as a buyer/renter….. Of course for an investor this is great, you get a renter that will gladly give you a few thousand bucks as a non refundable down payment and as an added bonus they act like the house is actual theirs and take significantly better care of it than a normal renter does. In fact the only down side that you get as an investor is that you normally have to accept someone as a renter that has worse credit than average, but the extra money you get to keep as a down payment usually makes up for the added risk of that.
Oh I almost forgot the worst part about making the decision to lease purchase a home. That is the fact that most of the homes are over priced, and there is such a short supply of available homes.
All in all Lease purchasing a home is almost always a terrible idea, although in a few situations in can be good and I’ll discuss that in my next post.

remember if you are in the market for homes for sale in the Memphis area click on the contact me page and let’s connect to see how I can help you!

How to buy a house in just 15 easy steps!

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Feb• 27•14

I came across this infographic from our good friends over at www.marketleader.com, found it hilarious, and thought it was worth sharing enjoy….

How to Buy a House – As Told by Real Estate Memes

Now buying a home in the Memphis area, isn’t always this easy. But, if you would like some help when searching for Memphis area homes to buy, you can always feel free to contact me. Especially if you are a first time home buyer!!!!

Great info from another guest author!

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Feb• 22•14

Know How Your New Home Works

It happens more than you think. The new home buyer is so excited about their new house that they forget to make sure they are familiar with how everything works. Unfortunately, their best resource, the previous owners, are usually long gone and never to be heard from again. We are usually very vigilant when purchasing a new home, but for some reason many of us forgo asking some basic questions like “How does that fancy furnace thermostat work?” or “How does this security system work?”

ranch house
I knew a couple that discovered this the hard way when they bought a cute cottage some years ago. They fell in love with the place and knew this was the house for them. It was on a septic system, something they knew nothing about, nor even where it was located on the property. Years later when they went to sell the house they realized that the septic system was only rated for a two bedroom house. They had added a third bedroom while they lived in it and could only sell it as a two bedroom and disclose the size of the septic system. It turned out alright for them, but knowing this ahead of time would have alleviated a lot of stress.

This is a rather extreme example, but it shows the importance of knowing the systems in your house and being aware of how they all operate. As a homebuyer, if you are serious about a house, ask for a list of all the appliances, systems or amenities and make sure you are familiar with how they operate. As a home seller, it is a good idea to have this information readily available to potential buyers and be willing to show them how everything operates.

If possible, ask the seller to leave you any paperwork relating to the house. But don’t simply rely on what the paperwork says, be sure to know how the following systems and amenities operate in the home you are thinking of buying.

Heating and cooling systems—Although these systems may seem basic, make sure you are familiar with the way the thermostat operates and where the filter is located. Some systems have filters located in various locations so be sure to ask. Some even have a specific sort of filter or certain MERV ratings in order to operate at their best.

Security systems—Not all homes will have these installed but if they do make sure you are familiar with how it operates and what other services come with it. Realize the benefits of having a security system and make full use of the system. Security systems are notorious for being underutilized even by the original owners.

hot tubPool and hot tub—If your new house has a pool and/or hot tub make sure you know how to keep them maintained or find out who has been taking care of the maintenance. Again, have the owner show you how things work or the specifics on who maintains it. Both require the right chemical balance to keep them healthy and safe. In a hot tub especially, a chemical imbalance can quickly lead to problems.

Wiring—Does your new home have a dedicated circuit for office equipment like computers and copiers? How about pre-installed wiring for an entertainment system? Be sure to ask about outdoor wiring you might not be aware of and especially where it runs so any future garden projects won’t shock you.

This is just a sample of all the possible systems you should familiarize yourself with when buying a home. As more uses for technology find their way into the home, more homebuyers will find they need help in learning how to take advantage of these systems. So make sure you are familiar with everything in your new house before you totally lose track of the previous owner.

Lukas Nicholson
has been in the home security field for over ten years and enjoys writing on security and personal safety topics for homeowners.

Where Can You Get a Mortgage with No Money Down

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Feb• 20•14

Where Can You Get a Mortgage with No Money Down?

Author: RealtyPin

February 03, 2014

jaime-osborn-memphis-real-estatemortgage-with-no-money-down

Right before the housing bubble burst, Americans were enjoying low- and even no-down payment mortgages — meaning they could get into a new home without spending much money at all. But during the housing crisis, it became virtually impossible to find these types of loan opportunities.

Now that the housing market is recovering, many people are getting their wish — and getting into a new home little or no money down. So, how can you do the same?

Just find out if one of these options is right for you:

1. FHA loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government agency that was originally created to provide housing for low-income families. As a result, FHA loans are available to home buyers with little money down. The only problem? The opportunity is only available to a specific group of people!

Even if you’re one of the people who can qualify for a FHA mortgage with no money down, you’ll have to pay more in interest and other fees.

How much more?

For every $100,000 borrowed, you’ll likely pay an extra $1,250 each year — or just over $100 each month. So, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you can afford the extra fees!

2. Private mortgages

It is possible to receive a loan with no down payment through private mortgage companies — like at your local bank. However, it’s much more common these days to get a mortgage for little money down — like 5%.

Even though you’ll wind up putting some money down, you’ll likely spend less each month than you would through the FHA. So, crunch the numbers and see which one saves you more money in the end!

3. The Department of Agriculture

If you are a first-time buyer, you can receive a mortgage through the Department of Agriculture and not have to pay a down payment. These types of loans aren’t just for people who want to live on a farm and have crops or livestock, and many of the areas these loans cover aren’t even rural!

To find out if your target area qualifies, check out the maps on the Department of Agriculture’s website. Many people are surprised to find that these maps include certain suburbs that look and feel anything but rural!

While the Department of Agriculture’s program was created for first-time buyers, there are ways to get these loans if you’re not a first-time buyer. In most cases, though, you have to meet certain income requirements in order to qualify.

4. Veterans’ Affairs loans

If you are a military veteran, in the Reserves or the National Guard, Veterans Affairs (VA) offers mortgages for no money down, but you’ll have to pay a funding fee to take advantage of them. Luckily, this fee can typically be added into the cost of the loan — as opposed to having to pay the entire fee upfront. Usually, the fee is less than 3.3%, but the specific amount you’ll have to pay depends on whether you served in the regular military, reserves, or national guard — as well as whether or not this if your first loan through the VA.

One final point — if you have the money to pay a larger down payment, you might want to just write the check. A bigger down payment will likely help you get a lower interest rate — meaning you’ll wind up with lower monthly payments.

This article is brought to you exclusively by RealtyPin.com

If you are looking for no down payment loan for a home for sale in the Memphis area, please feel free to contact me, Jaime Osborn, for all your Memphis area real estate needs.

5 year high for Shelby county sales

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Jan• 13•14

Shelby County posted a five-year high in home sales and average sales prices in 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports.

(article by Andrew J. Breig of the Daily News)

The uptick in sales activity and strong pricing increases point to a slow, steady rebound for the industry, which slogged through a five-year slump following the onset of the recession, real estate agents said.

Image19 copy“The housing market continues to recover after a brutal five to six years,” said Doug Collins of Prudential Collins-Maury Inc. “Fortunately, the gains are steady, and I believe sustainable, in 2014.”

The county netted 15,892 homes in 2013, up 6 percent from 14,936 homes sold in 2012, according to Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

The average home sales prices in Shelby County jumped 11 percent in 2013 to $138,072, up from $123,870 in 2012, and total sales volume for the year was $2.19 billion, up 19 percent from $1.85 billion in 2012.

According to Chandler Reports, 21 of Shelby County’s 34 ZIP codes experienced an increase in sales in 2013. Home sales reached their peak in August when 1,705 homes were sold with an average price of $139,559. The slowest month for sales in 2013 was February, when 918 homes were sold with average price of $115,363.

Real estate professionals said improved housing market fundamentals finally aligned in 2013 to produce the increase in activity. Attracted by still historically low interest rates, buyers began entering the market again, while homeowners who may have been wanting to sell for a while were drawn in by rising home prices fueled by low inventory.

“Lower inventories create upward pricing pressure, which in turn helps undo the damaged caused since 2008, thereby helping underwater homeowners get back to having an equity position in their homes,” said Collins. “This, in turn, allows more people to be able to sell who may need to due to any number of considerations.”

Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code had the highest number of sales in 2013 with 1,032, according to Chandler Reports. The 38016 Zip code of Cordova North was second, with 973 homes sold. Next was Cordova South’s 38018 Zip code, which netted 896 home sales.

Collierville led the way in sales volume in 2013 at $300.9 million. Eads’ 38028 ZIP code had the highest average sales price at $481,830, followed by Germantown East’s 38139 ZIP code with an average sales price at $400,119.

Bank, or foreclosure, sales plummeted in 2013. There were 3,030 bank sales recorded in 2013, down 21 percent from 3,818 bank sales in 2012. The average sales price of a foreclosed home was $74,243, up 10 percent from $67,497 in 2012.

Collins said he believes the market has finally worked its way through a massive glut of foreclosed homes. As foreclosures continued to mount, the federal government and lenders stepped in and created programs to help people remain in their homes. Those efforts, combined with the sheer number of foreclosure sales that occurred over the last several years, finally started to have an impact on foreclosure inventory.

“We had the financial collapse of 2008 and as a result of that we had an abnormally high number of foreclosures,” Collins said.

“I think we finally just stemmed the tide of foreclosures.”

There were 12,862 nonbank sales in 2013, up 16 percent from 11,118 nonbank sales in 2012.

There were 15,030 existing homes sold in 2013, down 6 percent from 14,140 existing homes sold in 2012. The average sales price for an existing home in 2013 was $130,923 up 12 percent from $116,530 in 2012.

There were 862 new homes sold in 2013, up 8 percent from 796 new homes sold in 2012. The average sales price for a new home in 2013 was $262,721, up 3 percent from $254,262 in 2012.

“The increase in new home sales and the decrease in the number of bank-owned sales is positive for our local market,” said Greg Glosson, president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

Chandler Reports is a division of Memphis Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.