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Traditionally spring and summer were the best seasons to buy a home, but now with mobile instant access to the internet, it's now more convenient for buyers to find a home. Take advantage of this new season and technology to compete with less competition from people who are still using traditional methods. There are several steps you can take in order to make sure your real estate purchase is as stress free as possible. By doing a little homework and a little legwork you will know what to expect and that will help alleviate any stress you are having about buying your new home.

Get Your Finances in Order

Getting all your ducks in a row ahead of time will save you the most stress! The seller wants to be reassured that if they accept your offer that the deal is going to go through, barring any last minute title or inspection issues. Just note that getting pre-approval WITHIN the past 30 days is ideal. A pre-approval from six months ago is unacceptable in the current real estate climate.

Understand Your Big Picture

Are you a short-term buy or a long-term buyer? A short-term buy might consider a home that will be a good investment and that will attract buyers when you decide to sell it. Long-term buyers will want to look at more than just the house. Do you love the neighbor hood and school district?

Know Your Market

Have your real-estate agent help you understand your local market. Compare what properties have sold for during the previous six months. This will help you figure out what you can afford and what you should expect price-wise.

Search and Buy Within Your Means

Starting your search with honest and realistic expectations is the key to finding a home that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Don’t Wait for Prices to Drop

The real-estate market is always unpredictable but the current belief is that housing prices will not be going down anytime soon. If you decide to wait for prices to drop you could be watching prices actually increase. Now is really the time to buy!

Ask Questions

If you don’t understand something ask questions. Ask lots of questions. The more answers you have the more at ease you will be. Prepare some questions ahead of time and write them down so you don’t forget to ask. Even if you question seems silly: ASK!


Buyer Agent Services - Evelyn Bruder's Real Estate Dream Team

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6  Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make

Getting an affordable property at a great rate can make you feel as if life couldn't be any sweeter. But ask anyone who bought a house with a mortgage they didn't understand and couldn't afford, and they will likely tell you their house has brought them nothing but frustration and tears. Here are the top 6 mistakes buyers make when purchasing a home.

1: Not reviewing your credit first

Before you go to your first open house, you need to get a credit check. You can find free credit report services online, some of the major ones are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You're entitled to one free credit report from each agency each year, make use of these tools to be familiar with your credit background and score. You'll need your credit score to be in tiptop shape if you want the best rates. According to the Federal Trade Commissions' in 2013 they found 5 percent of consumers had errors on their report that could result in less favorable loan terms. If you're among that 5 percent, you want to the find the error and correct it before applying. If your credit score simply stinks, you can try these tips for raising it fast.

2: Failing to get pre-approved

The next mistake you can make when applying for a mortgage is failing to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved by a bank is one way to avoid the heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a house you can never buy. It may also give you an edge if there are multiple offers for the same property. A seller may feel more confident selecting a bid from someone with a mortgage pre-approval rather than a person who hasn't even begun the process.
However, don't get carried away by whatever pre-approval amount you receive from the bank. Remember, what the bank thinks you can afford and what you can actually afford may be two different things. A lot of people lost their homes in the Great Recession because they were given loans they couldn't pay back. Don't make the same mistake.

3: Not shopping around for the best rate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states nearly half of mortgage borrowers don't shop around and that's a big mistake. Even seasoned comparison shoppers may search for the best deals on their soap, their furniture and their car, but then don't look for a better mortgage rate. It may be convenient to use your primary bank for a mortgage, but that could also be expensive if its rates aren't competitive. According to Bank of America, for every 0.25 percent you can reduce your loan on a $200,000 mortgage, you'll save $30.55 per month. Over a 30 year period that can add up to a lot of extra cash.

4: Ignoring mortgage fees

While you're investigating rates, check out the fees on available mortgages, too. Most mortgages come packed with fees of all kinds, and while some, such as your county recording fee, are likely fixed, others are completely negotiable.

Before your closing, you should be provided with a good faith estimate of the fees. Ask your lender to review what they are for and then see if you can negotiate a lower price. These are a few of the fees likely to have the most wiggle room:
    •Loan origination fee
    •Application fee
    •Broker fee
    •Underwriting fee

5: Not having cash for a down payment

Not having a down payment can be a mistake for two reasons. The first is that it can sink your prospects of getting a mortgage. After being bitten by the housing market crash, traditional lenders shy away from giving mortgages to those bringing nothing to the table. But even if you can find a program that will allow you to get a mortgage with little or no money down, you could still be making a mistake. Remember how the housing market crashed from 2007-2009? Property values plunged and suddenly homeowners found themselves owing more than their homes were worth. When those owners then lost their jobs or otherwise couldn't keep up on their payments, they often found themselves without a prayer of refinancing or selling their property As a result, many ended up on the receiving end of a foreclosure notice. While nothing is guaranteed, putting 10-20 percent down on your house can reduce your chance of ending up in the same position.

6: Not understanding your mortgage terms

Underwater mortgages weren't the only problem facing homeowners during the Great Recession. An untold number of people also lost their houses simply because they signed on the dotted line without understanding what the heck their mortgage entailed.For example, people thought they'd hit the jackpot with interest-only loans that let them buy houses beyond their wildest dreams. However, they apparently didn't understand or overlooked the fact that their monthly payment would hit the stratosphere five years later. What's more, those five years of payments wouldn't give them a bit of equity in their home.
Adjustable rate mortgages, known as ARMs, operate under a similar structure. Homeowners were fine for the first few years when their mortgage rate was fixed and low. Then it reset to the current market rate and that affordable monthly payment suddenly didn't seem so affordable anymore. A 2008 report from the Federal Reserve Board found more than 75 percent of the subprime loans issued from 2003-2007 were "short-term hybrids" that work like ARMs. By 2008, more than 21 percent of these subprime loans were seriously delinquent.
The moral of the story is to always understand what you're signing up for. It's not enough to know what your monthly payment is today. You also need to ask if the interest rate can change and if so, when and by how much will it increase. If you're not comfortable with the loan terms or don't understand them, it's better to walk away than make an expensive and potentially life-altering mistake.


Bonus: Choose a Realtor who can help you!

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Making it to a Real Estate Closing

Making it through A Real Estate ClosingSuccessful participation in real estate negotiations is dependent on your complete understanding of local laws and the specific contents of every contract with which you are involved. Although technical negotiations are critical, it is every bit as important to support your clients emotionally and help make sure their path to closing is a smooth one.

One of the most stressful events of the transaction for both sellers and buyers is the home inspection. It's not unusual for everyone to be on edge until they hear the results, even if they think the house will breeze through with no problems. Try to get your sellers to relax. Let them know that if repair issues do occur, they can nearly always be handled so that all parties are happy with the outcome.

If there are serious problems with the house, they should certainly be disclosed to buyers before an offer is made. However, there are several things that buyers perceive as problems that truly aren't. Your sellers can keep the home from failing inspection by taking care of a few issues that always make buyers wonder if repairs are needed.

Be sure to remove all traces of mold and mildew inside and outside the house. Remove the source of dampness that allowed them to grow. Cover bare earth in crawl spaces and unfinished basements to place a barrier between the house and the earth. Exposed dirt is a source of moisture that can encourage insects and mold growth.

If buyers ask for repairs, you'll be responsible for helping your seller decide whether or not to make requested changes. Remember that the contract between the buyer and seller plays a crucial role in all repair issues and determines which items can and cannot be included in requests.

Water entering a basement often does so because of poor drainage, not because the foundation needs to be repaired. (Although, the foundation can become an issue over time if the poor drainage is not dealt with properly.) To improve drainage, clean the home's gutters and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the home's foundation, and that in-ground drainage avenues are clog free.

Another way to eliminate potential sources of moisture is to make sure that flashing around the base of chimneys is watertight and that the chimney's mortar and bricks are in good condition. Replace deteriorated shingles if possible.

Your sellers live in the house, so they are probably aware of little things that should be fixed. Make them aware that buyers nearly always question a home's overall condition when their inspection report contains a long list of items that need to be repaired. Handling a long list of little things early on will help them breeze through the inspection later.

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With all the talk about foreclosure and short sale out there we thought we'd take some time today to make sure you aren't believing some of the most common myths out there. 

1. The Bank Would Rather Foreclose than Bother with a Short Sale

This is one of the most common misconceptions. The reality is that banks do not want to foreclose on your property because the foreclosure process is incredibly costly. Banks, investors, and even the federal government have all publicly stated that if a person is qualified for a short sale, the deal needs to be considered.

Overwhelmingly, banks receive more on their investment through a short sale than a foreclosure. The qualifications for a short sale include:

Financial Hardship - There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording
your mortgage.

Monthly Income Shortfall - "You have more month than money." A lender will
want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your

Insolvency - The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid
assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.

2. You Must Be Behind on Your Mortgage to Negotiate a Short Sale

While this may have previously been the case, today lenders are looking for verifiable hardship, monthly cash flow shortfall, or pending shortfall and insolvency. 

If you meet these three requirements and believe that you soon may be unable to afford your mortgage, act immediately. Any delay could limit your options. Do not wait until the countdown clock to foreclosure has started and you have even less time left.

3. There is Not Enough Time to Negotiate Your Short Sale Before Foreclosure

This is a myth that probably hurts homeowners the most. Many do not realize that
foreclosure is a process, and that there is time to make decisions that may result in better outcomes.

The foreclosing party-in most cases a lender-can stall a foreclosure up to the final
day of the process. Today, many lenders will stall a foreclosure with as little as a phone call from you explaining that you are trying to sell, and almost all lenders will stall a foreclosure with a legitimate contract. For real estate professionals who understand foreclosures and short sales, there is time available until the foreclosure process is complete.

Read 4 more short sale myths and other foreclosure reports at our Avoid Foreclosure website:

The Homebuyers Toolkit

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Buyers AgentSince we are involved in real etate on an hourly basis, we often forget that others are not. Yesterday I met a friend of a friend who asked me why she should work with a buyer agent. 

I forget some things are not common knowledge outside of the industry. Let's get into the thick of it, here are 5 reasons should work with a buyer agent. 

Only a "Buyer Agent" can Guarantee to:

• Represent only you, the Home Buyer
• Negotiate only on the Home Buyer's behalf
• Provide the true facts (good and bad) about value, market, neighborhood  conditions, and obvious physical defects.

A "Buyer Agent" Can Do A Better Job For You Because:
• They have a legal obligation to put the Home Buyer's interests first
• Other Agents will not disclose things beyond those required by law
• They will disclose factors which might be detrimental, or make a property less desirable
• Buyer Agents are negotiating only on your behalf to get the lowest price on the best terms

The "Buyer Agent" Owes You, The Home Buyer, The Duties Of:

Buyer Agents are prohibited from disclosing the real price a Home Buyer is willing to pay, the amount of mortgage a Home Buyer is actually qualified for, how much cash a Home Buyer has to work with, and the level of a Home Buyer's motivation to buy a particular home

Undivided Loyalty
Buyer Agents are prohibited from advancing any interests that are adverse to their Buyer.

Full Disclosure
Buyer Agents" are required to disclose all information which might affect their buyer's best interest. For example, what they know about the Seller's own motivation for selling, the price the Seller paid for the home, deferred maintenance or defects in the home, o Price comparables for similar homes, the listing history of the home, and potential problems in the neighborhood

Your "Buyer Agents" will help you:
With finding and negotiating for the right real estate
With the evaluation of financing alternatives
With the choice of a qualified home inspector
With the choice of other professionals as needed.

"Buyer Agents" goal is NOT TO SELL their clients any specific property.
The Buyer Agent is there to assist you in every way possible to finding the right home for you.

Learn more about our buyer services on

The Big Book for the Serious Buyer

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Evelyn Bruder
Evelyn Bruder Las Cruces Real Estate Dream Team
(575) 650-7224

141 Roadrunner Parkway Suite 141
Las Cruces, NM 88011

Steinborn & Associates Real Estate (575) 522-3698

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