No Money Down Does Not Mean No $!

Just because you’re buying a home No MONEY DOWN does not mean you won’t have to spend any money at all.

I think it’s safe to say that most people look at money as an enemy. Author, Phil Laut, wrote the book, Money is My Friend. This book was originally written in 1978 and has since been updated and revised in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

The subtitle: Eliminate Your Financial Fears….I think is the key element in the mind of most people: Most of us are afraid of money because we haven’t had a good relationship with money from the beginning. With the exception of the wealthy and ultra-wealthy, the larger majority of our population falls into  one of the following categories: well-to-do, middle class or poor. When I say poor I mean in terms of how much money you make or where you can afford to live, etc.

Most people will state quickly that “money is the root of all evil” because that is what it says in the bible and that’s why most people don’t have a good relationship with it because most people are good and money has gotten a bad rap. However, that suggests that people who are wealthy or are good with money must be bad. Well, think again! The correct verse is “the love of money is the root of all evil”.

What does all of this have to do with buying a home……Well, Everything! If you have the wrong mindset then you’re going to make it hard on yourself to get anything done, including buying a home. Why? Because what you Focus on Expands. If you continue with the mindset that money is evil, hard, bad then you’ll constantly let it slip through your fingers, which is why when it’s time to buy your dream home you’ve been wanting you think NO Money Down is the quick and easy way to buy your home. Now don’t get me wrong, if you qualify for USDA for instance your income has to be at an applicable or low income limit and usually no money down is required great-go for it.  Of course, the home will have to meet all of the USDA guidelines.

Back to what all of this have to do with NO MONEY DOWN. Well, if you go into the process of buying a home with the mindset that no money is required consider that there are certain costs to purchasing a home. Consider your down payment or earnest money deposit if it’s not a USDA loan. Also consider having a home inspection for which the inspector is paid at the time of inspection, and closing costs. Not to mention moving expenses if you plan to hire a moving company. Even if family members and friends help they’re going to be hungry and thirsty. In addition, you may be eating out for a few nights or going to family members or friends. If you intend to buy some new furniture or get a new door or a few windows, all of these expenses will require money OUT OF YOUR POCKET! The list can go on but you get my meaning.

So what’s the answer? Simple. Save Your Money. How much? Suggestion: $5k minimum. How? Prioritize. Plan. Prepare. Sacrifice. Give up a few things now – skip a meal out, skip a movie night and get a DVD from the local library, cut the cable for a few months, brown bag it for a few months – in order to gain something Great – Your Home for you & your family. It will be worth it. I promise. Need some assistance with it? Easy, call me at 609-484-9890, email me:sbhardy@kw.com, https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcountynjhomes/.

To Your New Home!

 

Thinking about Rent-to-Own?

Rent-to-Own! What’s that all about? Is it possible to Rent-to-Own a home?

Well, from what I’ve heard yes it is possible. Have I ever seen it done? I’ve read about it being done in the real estate industry. However, I have never witnessed one done successfully. I am aware of a young woman renting a home for the purpose of owning the home and within a 60 day period of her due date to acquire the home, she was told that family members were moving in so she would have to move out. Huh? But she paid her deposit and whatever monies were agreed to be added to the purchase price as a credit however she still had to leave. She did not get a refund of the monies she paid, she had to move with new money out of pocket and that was the end of the story.

As I said, I have read of rent-to-own being done successfully so I would gather than it is possible. If you decide to go that route I would strongly suggest hiring an attorney to protect your rights. Rent-to-own is a contract and any for rent-to-own  should be handled legally with an attorney on your behalf.rentpic

Many people that I have spoken to think that it’s easier to rent-to-own instead of going the traditional route of purchasing a home. Granted mortgage restrictions may have gotten tighter since the 2008 meltdown however it’s not impossible to get mortgage ready. You just have to be ready to put in the work like anything else. Look at it this way–Let’s say you think you found your dream job with just the salary you wanted, perfect travel distance door-to-door, the perfect boss, employees who you love working with, everyone loves you and thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread. You show up on the first day eager to do your best to please your boss and show everyone that you’re the best person for the job. You’ve put in all the work to prepare yourself to be the best employee and then you show up and BAM! it’s the exact opposite of what you expected. You put in all the work and now you are very disappointed. This is the same way you have to think about getting mortgage ready. You have to be willing to put in the work necessary for a YES from the mortgage lender you choose.

Rent-to-own may be an option but it’s an option with risks. Choose to get mortgage ready for an easier yes from your chosen mortgage lender.

If you have a desire to get mortgage ready, me and my partner host a free credit seminar. To be informed about it, reply to this post!

Here’s to your new Home!12490888-house-key-gold-real-estate-logo

 

Expired listings may mean success for both Agents and Homeowners

Listings that have not sold are called expired listings. According to the article link below nationwide inventory of homes, condos and townhouses are down 20 percent. This could mean getting your home sold for those homeowners whose listings have expired. Many buyers may be taking a second look since rates are down and the listing agent may be able to get the homeowner to relist their property at the right price to get it sold quicker and everybody wins which is what we all want.

According to this article the broker in one Atlanta office even offered a free iPad to agents who were able to get expired listings. Go figure!

If you are a homeowner who has a listing that has expired and are ready to get it sold, please allow me the privilege to assist. Send me an email at sbhardy@kw.com.

http://www.thedestinlog.com/articles/listings-22467-expired-real.htmld

Happy New Year Atlantic County NJ – What Happened?

Well, Alot happened. The economic downturn is still downturning. 14 million Americans are still out of work. Foreclosures are still piling up. We lost some fabulous people- some famous and some not so famous – Heavy D, Vesta Williams, Steve Jobs, Joe Frazier, Nick Ashford and Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth. Some of the media is saying that we may be going into a double dip recession.

I was watching Deep Impact last night with Morgan Freeman and Tea Leoni. Tea Leoni plays a rookie reporter looking for her “big break” on a gushy story. Well, she thinks she’s onto something when she speaks with one of the secretary’s who was let go from a former senator and believes that the Senator played by Jim Cromwell I believe is having an affair with a woman named Elle. Well, of course, come to find out Elle is actually E.L.E. – The end of the world with a big bang from an asteroid that will cause an Extinction Level Event – the end of the world. Of course, the government has been planning for the worse case scenario so they prepare for starting over again by building an underground facility to hold 1 million people – 200,000 scientists and medical people and only 800,000 who will be chosen by the computer as long as you’re not over 50. Anyway, I remember Morgan Freeman’s character saying that “the water will recede and we will go on” which meant that many won’t make it but there will be people left to move forward and forge ahead and create a new world.

This brings us to the end of 2011. We lost some great minds of science, some great musicians and regular citizens who all brought grace, elegance, love and fabulousness to those they knew personally and professionally. If we got a chance to get a piece of what they had to offer, we’re all the better for that. As we head into 2012, it is time to renew, re-create, re-generate and move forward never forgetting those who left us before and taking what they gave us with them.

WE WILL GO ON….Foreclosures will recede, 14 million Americans will get back to work,  we’ll never forget  those we lost and if a double dip recession does hit, we will deal with as we always have and get through. We will either elect a new President or re-elect President Obama…WE WILL GO ON.

Hope is Alive….H.A.R.P. is revised. Although it is limited to Freddie Mac and Fannie backed loans it is dropping the requirement that homes being refinanced have a new appraisal done. In September 2011, new home construction in the U.S. increased 15 percent compared to August according to the Commerce Department. U.S. home sales have decreased after a surge in August but I don’t believe that the dream of homeownership is completely dead.  I believe it has changed. How buyers have to buy will probably change meaning they will need a bigger downpayment. However, this should be looked upon as good news because better preparation overall for homeownership can only be good for everyone – the home buyer, the home seller and the economy overall.

In 10 hours Eastern time it will be January 1, 2012 – A New Year with new challenges and new dreams to conquer. We can do it. I believe we can. I believe we have everything in us that we need to succeed.

If I can offer my assistance in anyway to help you get the home of your dreams, sell the home you have now and move on to other adventures, Invest or if you just have questions please allow me the opportunity to earn your trust and be of service. Please leave a comment below asking your question and we can build a great relationship.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year Everyone – Be Blissful – Be Thankful

Do Home Sellers Have to Sell Differently in this Market?

Good Question. What has changed? The way buyers have to buy has changed  because of the tightening of credit standards with higher scores and no more credit issued without income verification and no more or very limited stated income – these things have changed. But what are buyers looking for? A nice home they love with all of the rooms and garage space and number of bathrooms and closets big enough for their current and future wardrobe and bedrooms large enough to comfortably accomodate their lovely furniture. A place they can call home.  No, that has not changed.

So home sellers in this market still have to do what has been done in the markets past – make their home stand out, make the home appealing for the buyer and most importantly price the home right for the market.

Are you ready, willing and able to do that – price your home right for the market. If you need help with pricing your home right, please leave me a comment or ask a question.

Happy ThanksGiving Atlantic County NJ!

Well here we are blissful to be approaching another holiday – Thanksgiving.  This is definitely the time of year to think about what you are thankful for – Family, friends, the last vacation you took, the time with your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren. If you accomplished a goal that you set for yourself – paid a credit card bill off, left that person who was toxic in your life, completed your first year clean and sober. Whatever it is –GIVE THANKS.

If you are still employed you have a lot to be thankful for and you want to go into next year with renewed energy and put yourself in a position of what I have coined M.O.R.E. – Money Outside of Regular Employment. Always move forward to put yourself in a better position especially moving forward thinking of ways to create an extra revenue stream to always be able to take care of yourself and your family. I’m a big advocate for financial literacy. It started in 2002 with Robert Kiyosaki’s course – You Can Choose to Be Rich.  If you’ve never heard of Robert Kiyosaki aka Rich Dad check out his site, www.richdad.com. If you want to learn about it from a woman’s prospective, I’ve got you covered because Robert’s wife, Kim Kiyosaki is the rich woman – www.richwoman.com.  And check out this link too: http://becomefinanciallyliterate.blogspot.com/

Give Yourself and Your Family the Gift of the Best Financial Life You Can Create For Yourself – You and Your family Deserve It!

And Don’t Forget to Give too – Donate to your favorite charity or local food bank. Remember, the local food bank in the Atlantic City area is at the Shore Mall.

Three Factors to Consider Buying a Home in the New Economy

 

Times have been difficult. Some say times are as difficult as the depression era and some say it is worse. It is certainly like no time we’ve experienced. However, there is still a great deal to be thankful for. Although many are on unemployment and many may fear that they will soon receive the dreaded pink slip, we are still blessed to wake up each morning, eat breakfast and/or make breakfast for our families before we head off to work or school. Despite all of the difficulty, there are still those of us who want to become a homeowner for all sorts of reasons. There is no reason to give up on your dream of homeownership, but there will be some things that you will have to do differently that you will want to consider before you start on your journey of your first home or your next home.

The first factor to consider is your credit score.  Although credit has always been a major factor in your ability to get a mortgage, the result of the 2007 economic downturn has made the credit score you need to qualify go up. For example, in 2006 borrowers needed a 620 score to get the best rates. By May 2008 the score you need is 760 or higher to get the best rates. That represents an increase of 140 points. (1)

The second factor to consider is your employment situation. Do you live in a city dependent on a single company or industry that could be vulnerable to real estate downturns? Be sure to investigate an area’s fundamental economy before making a purchase. For example, do you work in an industry that could be more vulnerable to an economic downturn like Las Vegas, NV who largely employees casino workers.

The third factor to consider is your health. That’s right. Your health. All of this stress could and will to some extent take a toll on your health. Are you already overweight? Did your doctor advise you to watch your cholesterol? Did your cardiologist tell you to watch what you eat and cut down on the fat in your diet? Well, are you listening? The extra stress that we take on from worrying about whether or not we’re going to get the pink slip can be terrible on your immune system. And if you’re sick, how are you going to go to work everyday and be your best? Making your health a priority in addition to your credit score and employment situation will help you to overcome stress. Put together an exercise plan. Ten minutes a day can make a big difference. Getting up ten minutes earlier in the morning to stretch or walk in place can make the difference in your level of stress killing you or keeping you here. Pay your bills on time and admit your financial truth – Are you ready for a house? If not, no problem— just plan.

(1).Buying a House in the New Economy – Buyers Advice- Brandon Cornett