Christina Martinez - WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate



Posted by Christina Martinez on 6/7/2018

When you are ready to buy a house, it pays to plan ahead to conduct a successful house search. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the real estate market and make your homeownership dream come true in no time at all.

Ultimately, you don't need to be a real estate expert to navigate the housing market like a pro. To better understand what it takes to complete a successful house search, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it helps to establish homebuying criteria. By doing so, you can enter the real estate market with a plan.

Think about where you want to reside. For example, if your goal is to live in the same small town as your family members and friends, you may want to hone your house search to properties in this town. Or, if you want to own a house that is close to your office in the city, you may want to pursue residences in or around the city itself.

Consider what differentiates your dream house from an ordinary home too. Thus, if you want to own a home that boasts an in-ground pool, dazzling garden or other distinct features, you should include these criteria in your homebuying strategy.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to launching a home search. Then, you can establish a budget for the homebuying journey.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available, regardless of your credit score, income and outstanding debt. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about different mortgage options and select a mortgage that is sure to serve you well.

Of course, when you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask questions. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you simplify your home search. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Generally, a real estate agent understands what it takes to pursue a home in any city or town, at any time. If you employ a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate your quest for your dream residence.

A real estate agent usually learns about a homebuyer's goals and maps out a homebuying plan. He or she sets up home showings and keeps a homebuyer up to date about new residences that fit a buyer's criteria. And if a homebuyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a residence, a real estate agent will help this buyer craft a competitive proposal.

Ready to buy a house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline your search for your ideal residence.





Posted by Christina Martinez on 5/10/2018

You may see homes listed as in a search for a home that are denoted as a “Homepath property.” You may wonder what this means and if you’re even eligible to buy the property. It is a specialized program, so you’ll want to be informed on what it means to use it and what the process is. 


Fannie Mae Programs


What was formerly known as a Homepath property is now known as The Home Ready Mortgage by Fannie Mae. With the Homepath program, people are able to find and purchase homes with a bit more ease and less financial risk. If you’re buying your first home, this could be the perfect way to get it. This program offers a list of foreclosed properties with really good deals on them. Repeat buyers can also find some great deals through this program, so it has something for everyone. It has so many benefits for anyone who is looking to buy a home.     



How To Get A Homepath Property


Fanie Mae does require that you place a bid through a realtor. The program is designed for buyers to better understand the risks with buying foreclosed homes, while giving them a better opportunity to purchase a foreclosed home. Since foreclosed homes are sold as-is, there’s a risk that the home actually has some serious damage that needs to be repaired at a high cost. This is where a realtor comes in, as they can help buyers to understand ho much work a property may need and the exact risks involved.  


Low Down Payment


  Even if a home through the Homepath program requires extensive repairs, it’s not an opportunity that you should should shoot down right away. Unlike traditional mortgages where you’ll typically need 20% down to purchase, Fannie Mae only requires that buyers place as little as 3% down. This means that with the low cost of the available homes and the small down payment required, buyers can save thousands of dollars in total. Of course, this savings can help buyers to make the required repairs to the home. 


Eligibility Requirements


There’s not many stringent requirements to be eligible to buy a Homepath property. Most people actually can be found to be eligible for these purchases. The biggest requirement is that before buyers reach the closing table, they’ll need to take an education course. This allows buyers to get assistance with the closing costs.  


Learn More About Homepath


If you’re looking to buy a home at a low cost, you should definitely talk to your realtor about the Homepath program. They can also explain more about specific eligibility requirements. It’s easy to make use of this program, so start saving right now and search for a Homepath property.




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Posted by Christina Martinez on 4/19/2018

A home inspection enables a buyer to examine a residence and identify any underlying structural issues. Plus, the assessment allows a buyer to receive a report that details a home inspector's findings to help him or her determine how to proceed in the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, it helps to prepare as much as possible before you conduct a home inspection. If you allocate time and resources to get ready for a home inspection, you'll be better equipped than ever before to achieve the best-possible inspection results.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home inspection.

1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector

There is no shortage of home inspectors for hire in cities and towns nationwide. However, differentiating an average home inspector from an expert one can be difficult.

When it comes to getting ready for a home inspection, it pays to hire an expert to assess a residence both inside and out. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can learn about myriad home problems before you finalize a house purchase.

To find an expert home inspector, it helps to reach out to home inspectors in your area. Learn about each home inspector's expertise and ask for client referrals. After you perform an extensive evaluation of home inspectors, you can hire an expert home inspector to assess any residence, at any time.

2. Develop a Game Plan

If you want to achieve the optimal results during a home inspection, it helps to enter the inspection with a plan in hand. That way, you can evaluate all aspects of a residence and improve your chances of identifying both minor and major home issues.

Ensure your home inspection plan includes assessments of a house's interior and exterior, as well as a residence's attic, basement and roof. Also, you should test a home's heating and cooling system during an inspection.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home inspection may prove to be difficult if you fail to plan accordingly. Luckily, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to maximize the value of a home inspection.

Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. Once a seller accepts your offer on a home, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home inspectors in your area. Then, you, your real estate agent and your home inspector can work together to perform a successful home evaluation.

A real estate agent will provide plenty of assistance after a home inspection too. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed with a house after an inspection, a real estate agent can offer recommendations to help you make an informed decision.

Want to take the guesswork out of a home inspection? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare for an upcoming home inspection.




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Posted by Christina Martinez on 4/12/2018

Spring is a time of change. Everything feels new and exciting. It’s a great time to start searching for a new home. Before you head out on the house hunt, you should take the time to review what you can expect if you’re heading out on the house hunt this spring.


There May Be Less Inventory


If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may be in a tight spot. As inventory is low over the entire market, there are less lower end homes put up for sale in the spring. Prices are rising as well so people who may have been in the market for more expensive homes may have recently seen their number of choices drop. It may take some extra time and effort for first-time homebuyers to find a property. 


Homes That Are On The Market Sell Fast


The springtime brings a bit more competition from buyers. Although there’s low inventory, the spring brings out more buyers which means more competition. If you find a home you love, don’t wait. Houses that are in excellent condition sell within days of being on the market this time of year. You may even need to pay a bit above asking price in order to secure a home you fall in love with. Being flexible in your contingencies and closing dates can help you to entice sellers a bit more when you put an offer in on a property. 


Keep The State Of The Financial World In Mind


Interest rates may rise by the time spring rolls around. You really never know. If you see a reasonable mortgage rate and can get pre-approved, lock it in. It can help you to balance out your finances when you’re purchasing a home. Keep in mind that higher rates may actually decrease your home buying power altogether. Do your research and talk to a lender to get the best rates especially when you’re buying a home in the spring.


Overlook Some Things


If you’re heading out to buy your first home in the spring, you may have along list of things that you’re looking for in a home. Try and be as flexible as you can with that list. If you’re serious about buying a home, you may have to look at properties with their potential in mind rather than their face value. 


Make Sure You’re Preapproved


Getting a preapproval is very important when you’re heading out to buy a home in the spring. This step can give you a leg up on the competition once you put an offer in. Having this piece of the puzzle during your home search can help you to get a home you love. 





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Posted by Christina Martinez on 4/12/2018

If you intend to purchase a house, it may be beneficial to pursue residences before summer. In fact, some of the key reasons to enter the housing market prior to summer include:

1. Many high-quality houses likely will be available.

Winter often represents a slow period for home sellers. However, when spring arrives, many sellers usually are ready to list their properties. And as a result, you may be able to choose from dozens of top-notch residences if you conduct a home search prior to summer.

In addition, it may be a good idea to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand. Because if you establish homebuying criteria, you can accelerate your home search and quickly discover a great house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. You can secure home financing in no time at all.

Many banks and credit unions are happy to help you secure a mortgage. If you decide to pursue a home before summer, you may be able to take advantage of favorable mortgage interest rates.

You should consult with a variety of banks and credit unions before you kick off a house search. This will enable you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and receive comprehensive mortgage insights. Then, you can select a mortgage with a favorable interest rate that will ensure you can purchase a terrific residence without breaking your budget.

3. You can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.

If you conduct a pre-summer home search, you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to help you find and buy your ideal residence. This housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you and will make it simple for you to purchase a wonderful residence at a budget-friendly price.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a homebuying strategy to help you buy a house on your timeline.

For homebuyers who want to streamline the homebuying journey, hiring a real estate agent is crucial. This housing market professional can provide deep insights into the real estate sector that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere. By doing so, a real estate agent will teach you about the ins and outs of the real estate market and help you make an informed homebuying decision.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after you submit an offer to purchase a home, either. A real estate agent will help you finalize a home purchase before summer arrives and do everything possible to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner. Thus, if you need help setting up a home inspection or preparing for a house closing, a real estate agent is ready to assist you.

Want to acquire a home before summertime arrives? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.




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