Why Work with a Professional Lender?

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Today we are excited to be joined by our good friend Kenneth Hammonds of Gold Financial Services. They have over 50 branches in the Southern U.S. and offer a variety of products, including FHA, VA, conventional, and investment property loans. Kenneth is here to talk to us a little bit about why it’s important to have a professional lender in the home buying process.

Meeting with a lender before you go out searching for homes is so important. You need to know what kind of payment to expect based on your budget, so you know what size of home to be searching for.

Pre-qualifications and pre-approvals are not the same thing. A pre-qualification is based on your credit report, and nothing else. A pre-approval on the other hand, is where the lender gets a full picture of your financial history. It’s much more concrete when determining what you can afford. It’s important to get pre-approved so there are no unforeseen problems on your loan.

A common myth associated with mortgages is the fact that you have to put 20% down to buy a home. A 3% down payment is possible for any buyer, even a first-time buyer. Those who put 15-20% down are usually investment buyers.

Interest rates continue to be extremely low. For a 30-year fixed mortgage loan, rates for a first-time buyer are anywhere from 3.5%-5.5%. Your rate will be based on your credit rating.

We have been spoiled with low interest rates for quite some time. Interest rates in the 1980’s were up over 12% and in the 90’s they were still up above 8%. Right now, you have a huge opportunity to become a home buyer with rates below 4%. They are expected to trend upwards in the next year or two, so take advantage of these historically low rates while you can.

If you have any questions for us or are looking to buy or sell, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

What’s the Secret to Finding Your True Home Value?

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

More and more people are going online to find real estate assistance. There are a lot of great resources on the Internet, and doing your own research is important - but it’s important to be careful about some of the information you find. Sites like Zillow, for example, have some inaccurate information that could really mislead you.

A perfect example of something you shouldn’t trust on Zillow is their Zestimate feature. The Zestimate is an automated valuation model (AVM) that uses public records to come up with a home value estimate. The problem with using public records, however, is that they are often incomplete and outdated; in other words, this method draws data from an unreliable source, and the price it comes up with is usually inaccurate as a result.

Realtors use a tool called RPR, which is a Realtor valuation model (RVM) that draws from public records and MLS data, which is more consistent and up to date than any other real estate information available. The best AVMs on the market come within 10% of the actual sales price only 60% of the time, whereas the RVM comes within 10% of the actual sales price 90% of the time. The difference between the two is obvious: one is way more accurate than the other.

Late last year, we sold a home that had a Zestimate of $179,424. Because we knew the market, the demand for property in the neighborhood, the size of the lot, and the number of upgrades made to the property, we knew the Zestimate was way too low. With the integration of MLS data, the RPR actually projected that the home was worth $193,730, a much more accurate value. Knowing the current market trends at the time and backed by our expertise, we were confident that it was worth even more. Long story short, we priced the home even higher than the RPR value, and we still ended up getting multiple offers and selling for $200,000!

Bottom line, the Zestimate is a useful tool, but it’s not wise to think of the number as 100% accurate. If you would like to work with home seller specialists who are dedicated to making sure no money is left on the table when you sell, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to hear from you!

How the Ryan and Brian Team Helped Iris by Being Quick and Resourceful

"We had great results and they sold our house pretty quickly. They brought us someone who would help us fix up our house. Everything they told us to do, we followed it so there was no reason why the house wouldn’t sell. My husband and I were both very happy with the work they did for us!"