7 Things to Do when you move into your new home

Here are the top 7 things that you should do once you have closed and are moving into your new home.

Change The Locks

Make sure you get all locks changed in your home upon moving in. You can either change all the door knobs and deadbolts or have a locksmith come in and just change the tumblers out in each lock, this will actually be less cost than having the hardware replaced.

Most home warranty companies offer a re-key service, so if you have a home warranty find out if this is an option for you.

Along with the locks being changed out, you will want to reset the automatic door opener and reprogram any remotes that are in your possession and set a new code for the door opener key pad if equipped.

Utility Companies

You will need to set up water, sewer and garbage account if you are not in neighborhood where an HOA handles this. Most cities will require you to bring in your closing documents to show proof of ownership or a few will go on the local County Recorder to see that you own the property. You will want to call the City’s Utility department before heading down there to see what their process is.

Gas and electricity accounts can be done over the phone and provide them with the official start date. Don’t forget your cable, internet service, alarm system and/or satellite.

Home Utility Connections

You will want to locate your utilities main connections. This will include your main water shut off valve to the home, which may be easy to find and if it’s not, then ask the previous owner of the location.

Locate your electrical panel and the electrical meter, in which the main power switch will be. If your home is equipped with natural gas, you will want to know the location has you will find the main gas valve.

Knowing where your utilities connections and shut off vales are can be very important in a major emergency.

Change Of Address

Update your address with everyone. Change the address with the United States Postal Service so your mail will be forwarded to the new address, but keep in mind that this won’t last forever.

Make sure to update your new address with your family members, creditors, magazine subscriptions, etc.

Updating your driver’s license is a must and mandatory, but the good news is that this can be done online.

Home Warranty

Hopefully you received a home warranty with the purchase of the home. If so, make sure you have received their welcome packet that explain what’s covered and how to contact them when you need to request a repair. If you did not receive a home warranty, it’s not too late and it may be something to look into. Especially if the home is older, you can see home warranty companies that I have worked with at my Professional Directory.

Important Documents Storage

Keeping all important documents in a safe and easily accessible place, better yet, in a fire proof container is Ideal. Documents should include; all closing documents, home owner insurance, home warranty welcome packet and any other items that pertains to the home.

You will want to keep any future documents here as well, which would be any repairs receipts, home update receipts and copy of annual property tax bill.

Deep Clean

Before the home is moved into and after the previous owner has moved out, have a complete and deep cleaning done. You can do it yourself or hire a professional cleaning crew to do this. The cost is reasonable and will be worth every penny spent. Oh yea, replace all toilet seats!

Your New Neighborhood

This part isn’t being counted has the “7 things” but get to know your neighborhood and get out and meet your neighbors. Take different routes to and from work or just take a Sunday drive around your local area.

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What is Earnest Money and How Much Do You Put Down

What Is Earnest Money and How Much Do You Put Down

I am often asked what earnest money is and why it’s needed in a real estate transaction. I’ll cover the definition of earnest money and the importance of why it’s needed. I’ll also cover how you can risk losing the earnest money, how much a buyer should offer as earnest money and how to improve your offer with the earnest money.

Definition Of Earnest Money

Definition of Earnest money: Earnest money is a deposit made to a home seller indication the buyer’s good faith to perform on the purchase of real estate. Earnest money often comes with contingencies that the buyer has in order to purchase the real property. Earnest money is normally held in a Broker trust account or held by a title company in escrow or an Attorney.

Contingencies

With the purchase contract comes contingencies. The contingencies safeguard the buyer’s earnest money. The most common contingencies can include, buyer due diligence, home inspection, buyer obtaining finial financing and home appraising for or above contract price.

These contingencies come with a deadline when they must be completed by. If the deadlines are met and buyer wishes to pull out of the contract based on their right set forth in the contract, then by contract, full amount of the earnest money will be released to the buyer.

Once the contingencies are done and buyer is satisfied, then the contingencies are released by the timeline indicated in the purchase contract deadlines and the buyer proceeds with the purchase.

If deadlines are passed or other reasons other than the stated contingencies are not met, then the buyer has the risk of losing the earnest money if they choose not to continue with the purchase.

So, the main key to take away from this is, to keep an eye on the timelines and make sure you don’t go pass the deadlines, only if you wish to cancel or re-negotiate the content of the purchase contract.

How much should be offered has earnest money

On average a 1% of the offer price is used has earnest money. Example would be for a $295,000 offer price, the earnest money would be $2,950, based on this approach (295,000 x 1%). I have seen has low has $500 to $1,000 being offered as a deposit. The problem one will run into with this low of an earnest money, specially in a high seller’s market, the seller may not take the offer seriously at such a low risk to the buyer.

In a highly competitive seller’s market where there are multiple offers, the higher one can go with the earnest money the more appealing it will look to the seller. In a multiple offer situation, a buyer may be beat out solely due to the earnest money not be sufficient enough.

In a seller’s market, one of the ways to use the earnest money amount to your advantage is to offer a higher amount than normal or expected. For the example of a $295,000 offer, including a $5,000 earnest money can and will make your offer stand out of the crowd. Sellers will perceive the buyer has being very serious and is willing to put skin in the game and maybe more so than the others.

Removing Contingencies

Another way of making your offer pop with earnest money would be to remove contingency from the contract. You have to really be on your game when doing this. An example of this would be to remove the finical contingency clause.

This type of an offer will defiantly grab the attention of the seller, especially if all other offers have the financial has a contingency to purchase the home. You have to have the confidence when using this approach and the confidence in your mortgage person that the money will be available to you at closing.

Your mortgage person will have to have all supported documents that include; bank statements, pay stubs, full loan application, credit pulled, and more so the mortgage professional can make a solid decision that the buyer can and able to purchase the home at the set approval amount. This will not only give the buyer confidence to purchase, but also will shorten the time to close on the home after going under contract.

Find out how to be ready to go with our Home Buyer Plus Program.

Earnest Money Already Deposited

Having your earnest money already in escrow or in the Broker Trust account before you even start looking will be another advantage. This will give your Agent the capability to inform the seller at the time of the offer that they already have the earnest money and it’s been deposited in escrow or the trust account.

Is The Money Safe?

Earnest money is safe, has long as the timeline of the contingencies are met. The earnest money can be applied to any amount needed for the down payment and /or closing cost at the time of settlement.  If no money is needed at that time, then the earnest money is released back to the buyer upon closing of the purchase transaction.

Recap On Key Points

  • Go above the normal earnest money standard.
  • Have your earnest money cashed and deposited before you start looking.
  • Remove contingencies in your offer to make it more compelling to the seller.

Other Post
What a 203K home renovation loan can do for you
How to overcome the down payment blues

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West Jordan Parks

 

West Jordan ParkWest Jordan Parks This Summer

West Jordan being the 4th largest City in Utah, has over 50 parks to choose from. They all bring the local communities together with over hundreds of acres of pure fun.

Sierra Newbold Memorial Playground is one of the newer parks in West Jordan. This park is also in the same area to West Jordan Unleashed Dog Park.

You have to visit the biggest park in West Jordan at the Veterans Memorial Park. Here you will find play grounds, baseball fields and not to mention the tribute to our Veterans tribute.

Veterian's Park

Find out a park near you at West Jordan Park Guide.

There may be one right around the corner from you!

WildFlower Park

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What A 203K Home Renovation Loan Can Do For You

One of the most uninitialized home loan out there is the 203K Renovation Loan. With the market being has hot has it is, everyone going after the same property and putting in multiple offers, only to increase the original list price.

Why not go after the ugly duckling, the one that people are passing up on or the one that the only buyer that is looking is the Investor who want’s to buy the home next to nothing only to give them enough room for the repairs and a major profit when they go to resale the home.

The very same home that I speak up may be the one than needs just some updating.  Updating would be, but not limited to, a brand new Kitchen, completely update and modernize the bathrooms, new flooring through out and paint.

And you don’t have to stop there! Add a new roof, rain gutters and window to make the home really feel and look like new.

Now to top it all off. Put in those new stainless still appliances, new hot water heater and central A/C.

This is what the number may look like on such a adventure.

Original purchase cost:               $237,000
Complete renovation cost:           $27,000
Finial after repair cost:      $264,000

Similar homes in the neighborhood going for $275,000 to $290,000.

You didn’t have to compete with everyone else and you practically have a new house with equity already built into it. You can enjoy this for several years to come. This all can be done with one mortgage, one closing and one finial payment.

How about this scenario….You find a home that over all is in really good conditions but all it may need is some painting through out, new flooring and maybe some minor repairs on the plumbing and electrical. The cost may be around $12,000. No problem, this can be done with a 203K.

203k Renovation loan….Why not make this a mortgage of choice?

Todd Rodocker
Premier Real Estate Agent & Mortgage Originator
801-694-0903
UtahRealEstateExpert.com
NMLS: 317650

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How To Overcome The Down Payment Blues

Don’t Be Sitting On The Sidelines

Don’t be the person who sits on the sidelines of purchasing your dream home because you lack a down payment. There isn’t any reason why Buyers shouldn’t be taking advantage of the low-down payment programs that are available to them. Buyers who are not taking full advantage of these programs are running the risk of spending more money on rent, delaying the potential of home price appreciation, forego the tax advantages of deducting mortgage interest and could be missing out on historically low mortgage rates.

High rents and low interest rates should be enough to convert more people into potential home buyers, but low-down payment options can add that extra point that tips the balance.

Private Mortgage Insurance

The most common methods of low-down payment loan options are conventional loans and FHA loans with private mortgage insurance (PMI). Loans with PMI can be more attractive because it requires a borrower to put as little as 3 to 3.5 percent down.  Private mortgage insurance may be an added expense to the mortgage payment, but this is the reason why homeowners qualify for a mortgage in the first place.

Private mortgage insurance started in 1957 and has served a reliable and affordable way of expanding homeownership by helping millions of families get into homes. Anytime a 20% down payment can’t be accomplished the private mortgage insurance steps in. This is insuring the lender in case the bower defaults on the loan. In the event of a default the insurance typically makes up the difference on what the lender may lose when they have to foreclose on the home.

Several Options For Low Down-Payment Mortgages

And it even gets better. There are so many mortgage programs that are available to Utah home buyers that will allow even 100% financing. Most popular 100 percent financing program is Utah Housing. Utah housing is a FHA back mortgage with down payment assistance of a second mortgage. A buyer is able to finance the 3.5 percent down payment that is a requirement of FHA into a second mortgage, thus allowing the buyer to purchase with no down payment.

Another popular low-down payment loan program is a VA. A VA loan is available to eligible American Veterans and their surviving spouse. There is no down payment required and is a 100% financing mortgage.

USDA home loan is another true 100% financing program, that is used in rural areas. Don’t let the rural areas fool you, this is usually any city or area with fewer than a population of 10,000. Here in Utah and Salt Lake areas there are places like Tooele, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain that still offers USDA financing.

Gift funds are allowed and very popular has well. Most parents and even Grandparents wants to help their kids become home owners. Almost all the mortgage programs out there will allow a family member to gift funds for a down payment.

Of course, lets not forget about the several Grant programs that are out there. Almost every City and County has some form of Grants or free money to assist in buying a home. Not all Grants are for first time home buyers, some are available even if you have owned a home in the past. Some of these Grants are forgiven and some will need to be payed back.

A fantastic mortgage program that may not be 100% financing but is really close is a conventional loan from Freddie Mac that offers a 1% down program. With participating lenders, the lender will give 2% to the borrower and the borrower comes in with 1%, this makes up the required 3% down that conventional requires. This does more than just helps the buyer come in with little out of pocket, but they will come in and have instant equity in the home.

So, you can see the many options are available out there that will allow a buyer to purchase with very little money out of pocket. This will help cut the time down to save for a large 20 percent down and get the buyer into a home so they can start enjoying the pride of homeownership and get on the appreciation train that we are experiencing.

Find out what mortgage product you may qualify for or best fit your needs.

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2017 Salt Lake Housing Forecast

2017-forecast2017 season is upon us and the housing forecast is looking bright

Sal Lake County’s residential market had its best year since 2006. What helped the market is…strong job growth, increased in-migration, low mortgage rates, and solid wage gains-supported increased levels of sales activity  and pushed up single family and condominium prices to all-time highs.

Question is; Is there a housing Bubble?

The experts say no and this is why. The large increase in prices over the last five years raises the question of whether a housing price bubble is building. A 48 percent increase in five years is extraordinary. But this increase must be set in the context of the four years of declining housing prices.  For 16 consecutive quarters housing prices declined in Salt Lake County. That was a unique period in Sal Lake County’s real estate history. There had never been more than four quarter of declining prices. The return of prices to pre-recession levels should not be confused with a housing bubble.

Home prices will continue to increase

There are a number of factors that helped and will continue to help the housing market here in Utah. Although prediction is still positive for the area, experts don’t expect to see double digit rise in prices this year but a more moderate 5 – 7%.

For a complete free download of the 2017 forecast and Economic and Real Estate Market Outlook, visit our Utah Real Estate website.

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FHA Financing Just Got Better

jumping

FHA has lowered the annual Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) by 25 percent.

The high cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) has unfortunately put homeownership out of reach for many first-time home buyers. This program will help to get these buyers back on the right road.

What this means to home buyers who were considering using FHA financing is that not only does the program offers only 3.5 percent down, the new annual mortgage premium can save the borrower hundreds of dollars a year. This will also help lower the debt-to-income ratio that the buyer/borrower needs to qualify for the mortgage.

 

Increase In Buying Power

The other door it will open is that it will help increase the buyer’s buying power. With home prices continually going up, some homes are becoming out of reach for buyers. With this new annual private mortgage insurance on a $225,000 home with 3.5% down the monthly cost for the PMI is $144.75. With the new premium the monthly cost is $99.52. A $45.23 savings may not sound like much, but this just increased the buyer’s buying power close to $10K.  In most areas, a $10k difference in a home cost can be a big change.

Buyers who were right on the edge of qualifying, this can be a game changer for them, allowing them to enter into the home buying market.

 

Don’t Overlook FHA

FHA mortgage products are here to serve an important part in the home buying process, providing homeownership opportunities to creditworthy borrowers who are overlooked by conventional loan programs. Lower credit scores and lower incomes are more acceptable through FHA financing.

Mortgage programs are continually to become more relaxed and affordable for borrowers and home buyers.  Want to see what mortgage program is right for you?

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