Daryl Lippman's Blog
Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream. In fact, it’s such a part of American life that entire television networks devote hours of airtime to buying, selling, and renovating homes to riveted audiences across the country. So surely, owning a home is a good thing. Right? It all depends.
Is owning a home right for you? Again, it all depends.
As with many things in life, timing can be everything. It may be right for you to own a home, but it may not be the right time for you to buy one. Before you rush out and engage a real estate agent, take a moment or two to determine these things:
- What is your debt load? While you can carry debt and still buy a home, the kinds of debt and the amount you carry may impact the interest rate you get and the amount of loan for which you qualify.
- Do you know your credit score? If your score is low, your getting approved for a good loan is harder. Sometimes things affect your score that you have no control over, like medical bills and even fraud or identity theft. Being aware of your score and any issues with it gives you a starting point toward improving it. If you don’t know your credit score, get your free credit report (you're entitled to one free credit report each year from all of the three major credit reporting agencies) to check for errors and problems.
- What does your savings account look like? The down payment on a house is a huge chunk of change, and even if you qualify for an FHA or VA loan, the closing costs, insurance, taxes, and potential repairs run in the thousands.
- Can you afford the house payment? Often, renters hear the statement “you’re just pouring money down a rabbit hole” and think that if they buy, they’ll pay the same but start building equity too. That is “sort of” true, but ownership comes with a lot of other costs in addition to principal and interest on your mortgage: homeowner’s insurance, homeowners’ association (HOA) dues, all utilities including water, sewer and trash, property taxes, and special municipal assessments. Can you afford all of these?
- Are you handy? As a homeowner, you can’t just call the landlord when things go wrong. You are the landlord. So, if you can’t fix the toilet yourself, you have to hire a plumber. If the oven quits working or the dishwasher breaks, you have to repair or replace it yourself.
- Does it make sense? Buying a forever home means you plan to live in it for a very long time, but if you're just in the early stages of your career, or have just started a family, buying a home may not make sense. Even if you're able to sell it quickly if you end up moving, you may not recoup the entire down payment, fees, closing costs, and money on repairs that you spent to purchase it.
If you need help assessing if you’re ready to buy, talk to a real estate professional or seek the advice of a mortgage specialist.
A common problem among homeowners is the reality that life is unpredictable. There are so many things and so many issues that may come along the way. Owning a house can be both an asset and a liability if it does not get done right.
Can I Sell My Property Even If It Is On Mortgage?
Yes, you may sell your property even if it is on the mortgage.
You may opt to sell it because you got your best luck and you are moving before the end of the original mortgage contract.
You may also decide to sell if you own a property, but you are going through some financial difficulty, you may either refinance your home and make use of the equity or sell your house and downgrade to a smaller one or lease an apartment. We have all been there, and the truth of the matter is that every person who has come face to face with financial difficulty should have a guide on how they can go about selling the property.
How To Sell Your Property On Mortgage
The following are the steps to take:
1. Meet with a professional real estate listing agent. Tell them your situation and they will help you find out your current mortgage payoff. Once this information is available, you will figure out the following items:
- Your current borrowing situation;
- How much your asking price needs to be for you to be able to pay off the remaining loan balance; and...
- The probability of making some money out of the sale.
2. Once you have all the information, the real estate agent can go ahead and make a sale. Afterward, you get to discuss how you are going to get some value off the purchase.
What If The Property Value Is Less Than What I Owe?
If you owe more than what you are going to make from the sale, you can talk to a bank to make a short sale. You can read more about that in this article.
You can follow the above steps and sell your property even if it is on the mortgage. It will take maturity to handle a financial difficulty that forces your hand to sell your house, even if it is not yours yet. It also takes a lot of luck to be able to move to a more prominent place long before you paid off your last mortgage. What matters at this point is to contact a real estate agent and help you get through with the sale without any glitches.
House hunting in your hometown can lead to a false sense of confidence. Knowing the lay of the land, best routes to commute and the quality of schools are all advantages. Yet, these can lead to assumptions which may cause you to miss out on hidden gems. Existing houses that have not been on the market in several decades and new land development could be just what you never knew you wanted. When looking at the housing inventory that is available online mapping what is for sale is only part of the story. An area once undesirable can now become that up and coming place to live.
The decision to stay within a particular geographic area can make moving a little less stressful. House-seekers can keep shopping at the usual grocery stores and also continue to use the same services (barber, dry cleaner, florist, etc.). School-aged children may be able to stay at their current schools. You can easily predict the commute time with accuracy. Making house hunting in familiar surroundings a creative adventure.
With some of the aging population looking to downsize, a family could find the square footage that fits their needs in a property still owned by the original purchasers. These houses may be in older established neighborhoods off the beaten path. Roads that as a local, homebuyers have not needed to travel through. In other words, a hidden gem in your hometown.
New construction and planned developments can give a home buyer more updated options and conveniences. Plus, a built-in lifestyle layout within a neighborhood; many buyers like the idea of staying within a certain distance to their hometown stomping grounds. Keeping social ties and services that they know and enjoy. New, but familiar, with upgrades, can attract those buyers wanting a move in ready property.
With so many areas tight on available housing, buyers can put creativity to work to find the best house for their family. Knowing what kind of layout your family needs to navigate daily life is one thing to consider. Another is the neighborhood and how it functions. Common play areas or cul-de-sacs can be helpful for families with active kids. Pet-friendly neighborhoods and fenced yards that are good sized can really provide a quality of life for home buyers. Revitalized neighborhoods can provide hometown options in previously overlooked areas. A completely remodeled house or one needing a few updates can provide a buyer with the opportunity to enjoy customization in a locale that keeps them local.
When hometown house hunting, you may enjoy formerly undiscovered treasures right in their own “backyard.” When ready to start the house hunting, ask your real estate professional about off-market homes in older neighborhoods.