Honoring and Respecting the US Flag

Real Estate site for Honoring the US Flag in Seattle WAI originally posted this a year ago on and it will always remain appropriate on Flag Day.  Too many America’s really don’t know these simple facts about our flag.

I am always amazed at the lack of respect given to the flag of this great country.  Is it disrespect or just simple ignorance?  Here are the top 5 areas of etiquette every American should know and practice!  I was fortunate enough to find this information at www.usflag.org in order to share it with you.

1.  Displaying, Raising and Lowering the Flag

Did you know that the flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously?  And that it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset?  If it is displayed 24 hours it should be properly illuminated, especially at night.

And, as the flag of the United States of America is hoisted and lowered it is also to be saluted. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

2.  Parading and Saluting the Flag

The flag should be to the right of the marchers when carried in a procession.  The flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right when they are carried in a procession. As the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, everyone should always face the flag and salute it.

3.  The Salute

To salute the flag of the United States, all persons should come to attention. For those in uniform, they are to give  the flag the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform should honor the flag by placing their right hand over the heart and men with hats should remove them and hold them to left shoulder, hand over the heart. All members of organizations who are in formation should salute upon command of the person in charge.

4.  The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.

As the national anthem is played or sung, all citizens should stand at attention and salute the flag at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is always directed to the flag, if it is displayed, otherwise to the music.

5.  The Flag in Mourning

To place the flag at half staff, it should always be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should never be lowered into the grave.

The Flag Code (provided by www.usflag.org)

The flag code formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Want to learn more about the flag of the United States?  Visit www.usflag.org a wonderful site dedicated to honoring the Flag of the United States.

Posted by Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9945 on 14 June 2011.

Thinking of buying, selling or investing in real estate in the Greater Seattle area?   Or are you interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Carol DelRosario and her team at Seattle Realty Source – (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Greater Seattle Real Estate Market.

HOT MARKET! The Seattle Area Real Estate Market has SHIFTED!

HOT Seattle Market Surprising Everyone!

The real estate market in the Greater Seattle area is HOT!  And it is coming as a big surprise to everyone – Buyers – Sellers and Agents alike!  Why?  It is the simple fact of unusual supply and demand levels.   Inventory levels are at an all time low – the lowest in 40 years!  Combine that with low price points, low interest rates and you get an extremely high absorption rate – where more houses are being sold than are coming on the market!  Even the experts who have followed the Seattle real estate market for decades are amazed that the consistant wave-like trends have shifted drastically – something they have never seen before.  Alan Pope of Alan Pope & Associates, Inc. has been tracking the real estate trends in the Great Seattle area for years and is considered an area expert.  Here is his 10 year analysis for King County Residential  and Condos Market trends.  Although they are a little hard to read it is important for you to know that the first line is the inventory level, the second line is the pending sales.  You can see that historically both lines trended similarly until January 2012 – where the sales line changed directions taking a significant upswing!  The second chart shows the absorption level – taking a huge, very sharp upswing – again, indicating more homes being sold than listed for sale.

Courtesy of Alan Pope & Associates, Inc.   –   Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants

This shift has a tremendous impact for both buyers and sellers in the Greater Seattle area.  To find out how this affects you as a buyer, seller or investor call Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Greater Seattle area Real Estate Market. She and her team at Seattle Realty Source would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional current Seattle Market Trends here.

Call Seattle Realty Source TODAY!

 

(206) 245-9942

Seattle Home Buyer Tip – Things to Avoid Before Purchasing a Home

Written by Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 on 29 Decemeber 2010

Don’t Move Money Around!

So, you have decided to buy a house.  It is important to begin the home buying process by getting the best advice you can.  A good place to start is with a Real Estate professional.  One of the first things you real estate broker will do is have you meet with a lender.  If you don’t have someone you want to work with, they can recommend a number of mortgage specialists to you.

The lender will request for you to provide them with the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs.  You will be asked to provide documentation of your assets for the last 2 or 3 months and perhaps last year’s tax return.   Examples of this documentation will include:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Funds
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Stock Statements
  • Mutual Funds
  • 401K Statement
  • Retirement Funds
  • Etc.

It is important not to move large amounts of money around – especially during the 2-3 months prior to buying your new home.  The funds need to be “seasoned”, which means they need to appear to be yours all along – not just some money someone loaned you to make your account look good.  The mortgage underwriter is the person who will actually approve your loan.  They will require evidence of all your deposits and withdrawals.  They may also ask you to produce:

  • Cancelled checks
  • Deposit Receipts
  • Etc.

Be aware, acquiring a loan can be a very stressful process.  Unfortunately the rules have changed and the regulations much stricter with banks lending money for mortgages.  Before you get frustrated with your lender please remember they are just doing their job.  All of this is a necessary evil and is required in order to completely document the source of funds and eliminate potential fraud. Take a few deep breaths and think about your beautiful new home.  Remember, now that you have decided to buy a home, now is not the time to:

  • Move money around
  • Change banks
  • Apply for credit
  • Purchase a aar
  • Change jobs
  • Etc.

For more information on the Home Buying Process or how to purchase a Seattle area home, contact  your team of   Seattle home sales specialist at  Seattle Realty Source – (206) 245-9942 TODAY!

Thinking of selling your Seattle area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Seattle area Real Estate Market. We would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Multiple offers are more common than you think in Seattle!

Multiple offers are alive and well in Seattle!

I actually wrote this article last June and even though it was appropriate then, it is even more so now.  In the last month the real estate market in the Greater Seattle area including Snohomish County, has experienced a tremendous shift.  One that even the experts have not seen before.  Our inventory levels are at an all time low with a significant upswing in sales – thus creating a feeding frenzy!  Any home that is “move-in” ready – whether it is a traditional sale, an REO or bank owned, or a short sale,  are getting snapped up if they are priced properly – AND most have multiple offers!  

There is a lot of talk in the media about the Buyers Market so you think “Wow!  I can get a great deal purchasing a Seattle area home!”   You’ve heard that there are great deals out there – that you can buy a $450,000 home for under $300,000, negotiate for the sellers to pay all of your closing costs, make all the repairs you want before closing and that they will be grateful to do so.

This is a misconception.  Please don’t misunderstand me, the occasional deal is there to be had, but the fact remains that it is a matter of supply and demand.   In fact, many buyers are surprised that there are multiple offers on that Seattle area home that they want.   And with good reason too!

So why are there multiple offers on that $300,000 home?

When a home is priced correctly – especially in the Seattle area, there are usually multiple buyers interested.  Why? Savvy buyers and investors have been sitting on the sidelines just waiting for that deal to show up.  They have done their homework and they know the market so they are ready to pounce on a home the minute they find it.

How to win when there are multiple offers

Real Estate is local and there are still areas where the market is competitive – where houses sell quickly and still get multiple offers.   The key to your success when entering into a multiple-offer situation is preparation.   That means you need to:

  • Have an experienced Buyer’s agent working with you
  • Have a solid understanding of the Seattle Real Estate Market
  • Your funding set – your Mortgage pre-approved
  • Have your Home Inspector selected
  • Be realistic with dates, quick closing
  • Have your attorney selected
  • Be prepared to write a clean offer with little or no contingencies
  • Present an offer that has a high net for the seller

How Does the Seller Decide Which Offer To Accept?

Because there are so many points to compare when a seller looks at multiple offers, it is essential that your offer stands out.  There are a number of things you can do to make your offer more desirable to the seller.

Purchase Price

A good real estate agent will have comparable sales information ready to review comparable with you.   Your agent will have experience in the market and be able to offer advice but understand, ultimately you are the one deciding on an offer price that is comfortable for you and reflects just how much you want the house.

Don’t assume that multiple bids means the offers will go sky high – sometimes all the offers can be under the asking price.  The comparable sales info and the amount of activity for the listing should give you some sense of how the offers might go.

Contingencies

The typical contingencies in a home purchase contract are financing, appraisal, home inspection, and satisfactory review of the condominium documents. You should have a letter of pre-approval from your lender ready to present with your offer. Be aware one strategy that some buyers may use is to drop any and all of their contingencies – making their offer more attractive to the seller.

Earnest Money Deposits

Expectations for earnest money deposit amounts vary in different states and regions. Talk to your agent about the norms in your area and consider increasing the deposit. This doesn’t cost you anything since the deposit will go towards your down payment. From the sellers’ perspective, however, it shows evidence of the seriousness of your offer.

Letter to Owner

A great, no-cost but often very effective tool is a letter to the sellers. Write about who you are, why you love the house, and how you’ll take good care of it. Mention any special things that stood out to you. If you can tell the sellers took good care of the house say so. If you like their decorating – mention that. Sellers will often remember and remark about the letter weeks after receiving it.

Many buyers avoid the multiple offer situations because it is too stressful.   Finding the right house is a tough task, and if you are looking for a particular home in a specific neighborhood, you may have no choice but to compete for every home that you like.

A multiple bid situation does not need to be scary or perceived as an impossible situation if you know how to position yourself properly.  It is essential that you work with an experienced agent who will help you strategically position your offer to win.  If it is even possible that you will be entering into a multiple bid situation, remember this is not the time to haggle if it is your dream home.  You should put your best offer first, because you might not have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller.

Are you a buyer looking for an experienced agent to strategically help you or a seller thinking of selling your Seattle area home?  Or are you interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Greater Seattle area Real Estate Market. She and her team at Seattle Realty Source would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Posted by Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 on 14 June 2011

FHA is often referred to in Real Estate…What is it?

What does FHA stand for?

FHA LoansWhether you are buying real estate in the Greater Seattle area or anywhere else across the country you will probably hear the term “FHA”.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. the interesting thing to note is that the FHA sets the standards for construction and underwriting but does not lend money or plan or construct housing.

The Federal Housing Administration, generally known as “FHA”, provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA – approved lenders throughout the United States.  The FHA insures mortgages on single family, condominiums and multi-family homes (with 4 units or less)  including some manufactured homes. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world, insuring over 34 million properties since its inception in 1934.  It actually reimburses the lender for losses that result if the borrower defaults – when they use an FHA insured loan.

Read also:  Mortgage Tips for Buyers

Thinking of selling your or buying a Seattle area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario and her team at Seattle Realty Source (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Seattle area Real Estate Market. We would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Record-low interest rates make it the best time in 50 years to buy a Seattle home!

Written by Seattle Real Estate specialist, Carol DelRosario – Managing Broker (206) 245-9942 on 21 November 2010

It amazes me how cheap money is to borrow today. When I hear numbers like 4.25% interest rate for a 30 year fixed loan, I want to shout from the rafters, “Now it is the perfect time to buy Seattle real estate!”  You see, when I bought my first home in 1981, interest rates were at an all time high. My first mortgage interest rate was 16% and my second was a whopping 23 1/2 percent!  To me buying now is a no brainer. Everyone should be taking advantage of these all time low rates because there is no guarantee they will last and the implication of waiting until prices come down further will certainly cost more in the long run as interest rates begin to climb.

As Gary Keller and Jay Papasan wrote in their book, SHIFT, “buyers who choose to wait until prices come down more are gambling that interest rates will hold steady or drop. The truth is even a 10 percent drop in home prices is nullified by a 1 percent increase in interest rates. The figure below illustrates how this works for a $250,000 home purchase and the relative likelihood of each scenario.”

 They go on to say, “To figure out which was a smarter bet–counting on home prices to fall further or interest rates to rise–our research department took the last ten years of monthly home price and mortgage interest rate data and ran the numbers to see which was more likely: an increase in mortgage rates or a further drop in home prices. Here’s what we found:

  1. A one percent increase in mortgage rates is ten times more likely to happen than a ten percent drop in home prices.
  2. A one percent rate increase more than offsets a ten percent reduction in home prices.
  3. When interest rates fall by one percent, the total interest paid is almost three times more than the interest savings from a ten percent drop in home prices.
  4. The probability of both happening at the same time is ridiculously small, and homeowners would still pay 15 percent more in interest over the life of the loan.”

Jay says it all when he states, “Interest rates have dominated the news in recent months as we’ve shattered record low after record low. Potential home buyers need to understand the positive financial impact low interest rates have on the cost of home ownership and the thousands of dollars that can be saved over the life of a typical mortgage loan. For those who can afford to buy, trade up, or invest, our current market presents a lifetime opportunity.”

Thinking of buy a home or selling your Seattle area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Real Estate Broker and Managing Partner of Seattle Realty Source, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Seattle area Real Estate Market. We would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Seattle Real Estate | What is a Buyer’s Agent?

Buyer’s Agent?   …What is that?

“Buyer’s agent” means a licensee who has entered into an agency relationship with only the buyer in a real estate transaction, and includes subagents engaged by a buyer’s agent. 

 

Seattle Real Estate | What is a Buyer's Agent?DUTIES OF A BUYER’S AGENT 
      (a) To be loyal to the buyer by taking no action that is adverse or detrimental to the buyer’s interest in a transaction
      (b) To timely disclose to the buyer any conflicts of interest
      (c) To advise the buyer to seek expert advice on matters relating to the transaction that are beyond the agent’s expertise
      (d) Not to disclose any confidential information from or about the buyer, except under subpoena or court order, even after termination of the agency relationship
      (e) To make a good faith and continuous effort to find a property for the buyer; except that a buyer’s agent is not obligated to:
               (i) seek additional properties to purchase while the buyer is a party to an existing contract to purchase; or
               (ii) show properties as to which there is no written agreement to pay compensation to the buyer’s agent. 

Other things you should know: 
(a) The showing of property in which a buyer is interested to other prospective buyers by a buyer’s agent does not in and of itself breach the duty of loyalty to the buyer or create a conflict of interest.
(b) The representation of more than one buyer by different licensees affiliated with the same broker in competing transactions involving the same property does not in and of itself breach the duty of loyalty to the buyers or create a conflict of interest.

More information…    

The information contained in this post comes directly from “The Law of Real Estate Agency” as provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  For a full copy of this pamplet, call us at (206) 245-9942 today!

Are you interested in buying, selling or investing in real estate in the Greater Seattle area? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Greater Seattle area Real Estate Market. She and her team at Seattle Realty Source would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Posted by Seattle Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 on 15 June 2011

  

Eight Steps to Buying Your Seattle Area Home

Written by License Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 on 17 January 2011

Eight steps to buying your home

Step 1

The first step to buying a home is actually making the decision to do so.  There are many reasons to buy a home – home ownership, investment, and wealth building the most common.  It can lay a great foundation for financial security reaping many benefits including tax benefits and equity building.  It is important to base your decision on facts like the ones listed below:

  1. If you can afford to pay rent – chances are you can afford to buy a home
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy a home – you just need to buy the right home, a good buy with the idea that you can hold it for the long run because almost all homes appreciate in value over time
  3. You don’t necessarily need a large down payment to be able to afford a home – there are low down payment programs available
  4. You don’t necessarily need to have a perfect credit score, although it does help – you may have to pay more for a lower credit score
  5. Your ultimate dream home will become more of a reality if you buy your first home now
  6. Buying a home doesn’t have to be hard or complicated – hiring the right agent is crucial

 

Step 2

There are a number of parties involved in a real estate transaction, including: mortgage brokers and underwriters, property inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyers’ and sellers’ agents/brokers, etc. Your real estate agent/broker is the perfect person to coordinate the activities of all these parties to ensure a successful closing of your home sale.  Your agent/broker will act as your advocate and watch out for your best interests throughout the transaction.  The role of your real estate agent is to:

  1. Educates you about your market.
  2. Analyzes your wants and needs.
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
  4. Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
  5. Negotiates on your behalf.
  6. Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Solves any problems that may arise.

 

Step 3
One of the first things your real estate agent/broker will ask you to do is to secure your financing.  This can be a daunting task because many first-time buyers are unaware of the process and nervous about making such a large financial commitment.  There is a easy six-step process for securing financing for your first home.  They are:

  1. Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
  2. Make a loan application and get preapproved.
  3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
  4. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
  5. Get an appraisal and title commitment.
  6. Obtain funding at closing.

Step 4

In this step, you learn how to find a home.  You may be surprised to find out, it is not all about hopping into your car and viewing homes – as fun as that sounds.  A great agent/broker will take the time to carefully assess your wants, needs and the values behind them.  Questions to think about are:

  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability and priority?
  7. Would I be interested in a condo?
  8. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  9. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

 

Step 5

The next step brings the offer.  As you were searching for your home, it was still not a reality – writing the offer makes it become one.  With this step, you must adhere to having a very realistic perspective of the market.  Your agent/broker can help you to strategize how best to position your offer.  The 3 most important components of your offer are:  a) price  b) terms and c) contingencies.

Price – the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value – your agent/broker should provide you with current market research to guide your decision.

Terms – these include the financial and timing factors

Contingencies – the terms of the contract that your offer is “subject to” – for example; approval of the findings from a physical inspection, or the appraisal coming in at value. (see step 6)

Step 6

This step allows you to “do your due diligence.”  Because a home is the most expensive investment you will make, it is important that you perform inspections – after all, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t work.  Your agent/broker will recommend that you have a physical inspection done for the home you have made an offer on.  This inspection is designed to expose any issues the house may have.  You do this so that you know what exactly what you are getting before you actually sign the closing documents.  The major things you are concerned deal with the structural integrity of the home.  Don’t sweat the small stuff – it can be all easily fixed.  If a major problem exists, your inspector will suggest that you do further investigation.  You will hire a specialist to do this.  You will then have the right to accept the house as it is, ask the seller to repair it, or walk away if it proves to be too big of a deal.

Step 7

Closing the transaction is the final stage of the home buying process.  This includes the lender confirming the value of the home through the appraisal, confirming clear and free title, signing your loan and closing documents, transfer the funds, recording of the deed transfer and exchanging of the keys.  It is important that throughout the whole process you remain credit-worthy.

Here are your pre-closing responsibilities:

  1. Stay in control of your finances.
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
  3. Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
  4. Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
  5. Obtain certified funds for closing.
  6. Conduct a final walk-through.

 

Communication is the key to an easy and smooth transaction from start to finish.

Step 8

The final step is simply to protect your investment – after all it is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make.  Your agent/broker has been an integral part of your home buying process.  You have spent a lot of time with each other and have gotten to know each other along the way.  Your relationship does not have to end with your closing.  Your agent/broker can still help you with:

  1. Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
  2. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
  3. Help your friends find homes.
  4. Keep track of your home’s current market value.

Lastly, you will want to make sure you protect your investment.  Your home will require on-going maintenance that falls into two categories:

  1. Keeping it clean and functional by performing routine maintenance on each of your home’s systems, depending of their air and style.
  2. Keeping an eye on the structure by watching for signs of leaks, damage and wear.  It is essential to fix small problems as they arise to prevent having to spend more money later.

For help finding and purchasing the home of your dreams, contact Seattle area Real Estate Specialist, Carol DelRosario – Managing Broker – and her team at Seattle Realty Source at (206) 245-9942.  To search for homes  or find the value of your home in the  greater Seattle area, simply click on buttons below.

Seattle Home Buyer Tip – Don’t Make Any Large Purchases Before Buying a New Home!

Written by Seattle Real Estate Managing Broker, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 on 28 December 2010

 Many buyers are unaware that making a major purchase will cause them to qualify for less of a mortgage when purchasing their new home.  The types of purchases to avoid prior to your purchase are large ticket items like:

  • Automobiles
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Computer and Stereo Equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Vacations
  • Weddings
  • Etc.

 We have all done it.  We worked long and hard to save enough money to buy that car we dreamed of owning, or that new bedroom set that we’ve had our eye on.  The money is sitting there just waiting to be spent.  We also are in the process of buying our first home and the car would look great in the driveway and the bedroom furniture will fit perfectly.  We have played with the on-line mortgage calculator and have enough saved for not only the down payment and still have enough to buy the car or the furniture and maybe even both!   

I know it is difficult, but you really have to put the brakes on your spending.  When making a purchase like the ones listed above, however modest it may seem at the time, it actually reduces the amount of the home loan you can qualify for.  It is important to get your priorities in order, because what you think you can afford, and what the lender is comfortable with lending you, may vary substantially.  An on-line mortgage calculator is not the same as speaking directly with a lender who can advise you properly of the do’s and don’ts of spending.

Purchasing property is the most important investment you will ever make.  Nobody wants to find the home of their dreams only to be told they cannot qualify for it because of their new car payment, yet this happens all the time. 

 Debt-to-Income RatiosYour lender will consider your ability to qualify for a mortgage based on your debt-to-income ratio and the purchase of a new car or furniture will throw a big wrench into that ratio.  The debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income that is reserved to pay down debt.  This will include:

  • Mortgage:  Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance
  • Homeowners Association Fees, if applicable
  • Student Loans
  • Car Payments
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Etc.

 

The bank wants to be sure that you have enough money to pay your debts and still have money in reserve in case of temporary loss of income. It is important for homebuyers to avoid doing anything that will affect their credit during the home-buying process.

Do you have any questions about this topic?  Are you ready to buy a new home in the greater Seattle area?  Call your Seattle homes sales specialist at Seattle Realty Source – (206) 245-9945  TODAY!

Thinking of selling your Seattle area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Seattle area Real Estate Market. We would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

5 Reasons to Buy a Home in Seattle in 2011

Posted by your Seattle area Real Estate Home Sale specialist, Carol DelRosario (206) 245-9942 – Managing Broker with Keller Williams Greater Seattle

Being a member of the National Association of Realtors gives me many benefits, one of them is current real estate news and articles.  Michele Lerner (author of Homebuying: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time) lists five reasons she thinks consumers should consider a home purchase next year:

1.  Mortgage rates are expected to will stay low.

Even with rates climbing — maybe to as high as 6 percent by 2012 — they are still well below where they have been historically.
 

2.  Tax cuts could help.

Extending the tax cuts could encourage a more rapid recovery for the economy.
3.  Americans want to be home owners.

A recent Fannie Mae survey showed that Americans still believe a home is a safe and desirable investment.

4.  Builders are about to begin building.

Home builders have been sitting on the sidelines. This year, they think pent-up demand will create an appetite for new homes.
5.  Homes are shrinking.

Homes are getting smaller, which has made them more affordable.

Is 2011 the year for you to purchase a new home in Seattle?  Contact Carol DelRosario and her team at Seattle Realty Source – (206) 245-9945 TODAY!

Thinking of selling your Seattle area home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Real Estate Broker, Carol DelRosario at (206) 245-9942 to discuss what is happening in today’s Seattle area Real Estate Market. We would be happy to give you a personalized Comparative Market Analysis for your home or assist you to purchase a home. View additional Seattle Home Sales Market Statistics here.

Source: Investopedia, Michele Lerner (12/24/2010)