Kimber Pope-Kettlety - Coldwell Banker Cahoone, Realtors



Posted by Kimber Pope-Kettlety on 4/2/2020

Buying your first home is undoubtedly a long and complex process for someone who has little to no experience in the subject. Your average first-time homeowner learns as they go, with the help of their real estate agent and mortgage lender.

But, even so, first-time buyers often make many mistakes along the way that they could have avoided with prior knowledge and preparation.

In todayís article, weíre going to cover 5 of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make when purchasing a home. From the first house you look at up until closing on your first home, weíll cover common mistakes from each step of the way to give you the knowledge you need to make the best home buying decisions.

1. Shopping for homes preemptively

Once you decide that youíre interested in potentially buying a home in the near future, itís tempting to hop online and start looking at listings. But, searching for your dream home at this stage is a poor use of your time.

Itís best to use this time to start thinking about the bigger picture. Have you secured financial aspects of owning a home, such as a down payment, a solid credit score, and two years of steady employment history?

Youíll also need to have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like for the next 5-7 years. Will you still want to live in the same area, or will your job lead you elsewhere?

These are all questions to ask yourself before you start house hunting that will inform your process along the way and make your hunt a lot easier.

2. Not knowing your budget

Itís a common mistake for first-time buyers to go into the house hunting process without a clearly mapped budget. You want to make sure that after all of your expenses (mortgage payment, utilities, bills, debt, etc.) that you still have leftover income for savings, retirement, and an emergency fund.

Make a detailed spreadsheet of your expenses and determine how much you can afford each month before you start shopping for mortgages.

3. Borrowing the maximum amount

While it may be tempting to buy the most expensive house you can get approved for, there are a number of reasons this might be a bad idea for you, financially. Stretching your budget each month is putting yourself at risk for not being able to contribute to savings, retirement, and emergency funds.

Furthermore, you may find that the extra square-footage you purchased wasnít worth having to cut corners in other areas of your life, like hobbies, entertainment, and dining out.

4. Forgetting important expenses

If youíre currently renting an apartment, you might be unaware of some of the lesser-known costs of homeownership. Your chosen lender will provide you with an estimate of the closing costs, which youíll have to budget for.

However, there are also maintenance, repairs, utilities, and other bills that youíll have to figure into your monthly budget.

5. Waiving contingencies or giving the benefit of the doubt

While it may seem like an act of goodwill to give the seller the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like home inspections, itís usually a bad idea to waive contingencies.

The process of purchasing a home, along with a purchase contract, have been designed to protect both your interests and the sellerís interests. It isnít selfish to want to know exactly what youíre getting into when making a purchase as significant as a home.





Posted by Kimber Pope-Kettlety on 3/26/2020

Photo by Light And Dark Studio via Shutterstock

In a sellerís market, comparable sales and competition can drive up a homeís price. This is especially true in a sellerís market where offers from multiple buyers try to outbid each other. And, while this sounds like a fantastic deal for the seller, a low appraisal can kill the deal.

Many variables affect appraised values. Some of these include artificially inflated prices from seasonal activity, rising market values, foreclosures or short sales among the comparable properties, increased or decreased supply and demand, overlooked pending sales data, mistakes made by or inexperience of the evaluators, etc.

What do you do?

  • The seller can lower the price. While this is the least preferable by home sellers, if it means the deal goes through and if time is of the essence, itís certainly an option. The seller can offer this in exchange for the buyer paying some of the closing costs.
  • The buyer can increase their down payment. The lender typically cares about loan-to-value, so if the buyer can increase their cash in, you might save the deal.
  • A seller might offer to carry a second, approved mortgage on the difference.
  • Dispute the appraisal or order a new one. The seller can request a copy of the appraisal from the buyer. Then, you or the buyer can contact the lender and dispute the appraisal. Only the lender can require and insist on a new appraisal. Ask your agent to supply a list of recent comparable sales to justify your price and submit it to the buyerís underwriter for a review.

A well-written contract requires the seller to release back to the buyer any earnest money deposited at the time of the contract. You can then put your home back on the market. As long as the appraisal was not for an FHA loan, you can hope for a better appraisal next time. FHA loans connect appraisals to the property, so any new FHA buyer would end up with the same appraisal as the first buyer.

The best way to avoid this is to follow your professional real estate agentís advice when setting your homeís price. They follow the market trends, know the neighborhood, and have the pulse of what the market can bear.




Tags: home seller   buyer   appraisal  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kimber Pope-Kettlety on 3/19/2020

Image by Lutz Peter from Pixabay

Insulation keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by reducing either heat coming in or escaping from your home. You might think that adequately insulating a home would be part of the home-building process. But since many new homebuyers don't consider insulation when buying, many home builders only meet bare minimum standards. Fortunately, you can add insulation yourself. 

Where Do You Need More Insulation?

Ceilings and attics are a great place to start. But you also need insulation inside your outer walls. Insulating an un-air conditioned crawlspace or basement can also reduce that air from impacting your home environment. And insulation around pipes reduces the risk of cracking in cold weather.

You'll likely only need insulation on interior walls if your goal is to reduce the sound that travels through the home. If you need insulation inside your walls, interior or exterior, it's best to contact a professional.

How to Install Installation on Your Pipes

You don't have to cover all of the pipe to make a difference. But the more you cover, the less the risk.

The best way to insulate pipes is with foam insulators. These are made to fit most pipes and easy to install. For this project, you just need foam insulators and a utility knife to cut them and duct tape for the corners and oddly-shaped pipes.

Step one: Locate at-risk pipes. Size them up and cut foam pieces to match your measurements.

Step two: Find the opening in the insulator and slide it around the pipe, using several insulators end-to-end to cover the whole pipe. *Pro tip* If the insulators don't fit snuggly or are oddly shaped, unfold insulators and use duct tape to hold them together.

How to Install Insulation in the Attic or Basement

To keep it simple, we'll share how to install roll insulation. Blow insulation is a more involved project so you may want to hire a professional.

You'll need:

  • Work gloves
  • A mouth/nose mask
  • A roll of insulation
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • A 2X4 board
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • *Pro tip* Don't unroll your insulation until you get it into the area where you'll staple it. It will expand--a lot.

    Step one: Put on your mask and work gloves. Touching insulation directly or breathing it into your lungs or throat will be an itchy experience you'll want to avoid.

    Step two: Cut the insulation into manageable sections. *Pro Tip* Lay the 2X4 on top of the rolled out insulation to press it down for a smoother cut.

    Step three: Using your staple gun, affix the insulation to the rafters, walls and other surfaces on the outside of the building. If your basement has stone walls with no beams, you won't be able to staple insulation there. Use duct tape instead to cover the area.

    For more tips and tricks to improve your space with simple DIY projects, follow our blog.





    Posted by Kimber Pope-Kettlety on 3/12/2020

    Buying a home is one of the most expensive undertakings that youíll ever have in your lifetime. You probably have spent months upon months saving for a downpayment in order to make your home purchase. The problem is that after they believe their savings are complete, many buyers discover unexpected costs that go along with buying a home, making the entire process even more stressful. You should be prepared for many different kinds of costs that go beyond the sticker price of a home. Below, many of those surprising costs are laid out in detail. 


    Closing Costs


    Closing costs can be anywhere from 2-7% of the purchase price of a home. Closing costs cover quite a bit including:


    • Inspection fees
    • Appraisal
    • Title insurance
    • Property taxes
    • Mortgage insurance
    • Underwriting fees
    • Recording fees
    • Loan origination fees

    Depending upon the type of loan you get or your specific circumstances, your closing costs could be even more. Keep in mind that you wonít find out your specific closing cost amounts until the purchase of the home is well underway. You can talk to your realtor and lender ahead of time to be prepared for your own situation.


    Closing costs are also negotiable, so donít forget to ask questions. Certain administrative fees, for example, are often unnecessary and can be waived.  


    Low Appraisals


    If you have a low appraisal on your home, you may need even more cash on hand. In order to meet loan and home value requirements, lenders wonít approve a loan for an amount thatís higher than the home is appraised for. In this case, if you still want the home, youíll be left to come up with the difference in cash. Otherwise, you could be forced to walk away from the deal and lose some money in the process. This is one of those home purchase emergencies that you should simply be aware of. It can be an emotional experience to get a low appraisal on a home, but remember that there are sensible ways to deal with this dilemma.       


    Moving Expenses


    Many buyers forget in the excitement of buying a home just how much it will cost to move. Whether you hire a moving company or do it yourself, moving can be expensive. Youíll need a truck, packing supplies and a way to pay (or simply thank) the people who help you to move. 


    The Things You Need For Your Home


    Your home wonít come with everything that you need. You may have to buy a refrigerator, have some repairs done, or simply get furnishings for the home. Donít strap your budget so thin that you wonít be able to buy a sofa until six months after moving into the home.   




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kimber Pope-Kettlety on 3/5/2020

    As a home seller, it is important to make your house a must-have for buyers. Otherwise, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time. Worst of all, you may struggle to optimize your house sale earnings.

    Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers, including:

    1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

    Curb appeal is crucial, particularly for a seller who wants to stir up significant interest in his or her residence. If you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you could help your residence stand out from other available homes.

    It generally won't take long to improve a house's curb appeal. In some instances, a seller can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform minor lawn care tasks to transform a house's exterior. Also, it may be beneficial to repair or replace any damaged home siding.

    2. Eliminate Clutter

    If your home is loaded with personal belongings, you may want to remove these items. That way, you can show off the full size of your home to buyers during showings and open house events.

    To cut down on clutter, you can rent a storage unit and use it to hold various personal belongings until your residence sells. In addition, you can always donate any unwanted items to charity, give them to family members or friends or sell them as part of a yard sale.

    3. Enhance Your Home's Interior

    A neat, tidy home interior can make a world of difference in buyers' eyes. Thus, if you clean your residence from top to bottom, your house could impress buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.

    Of course, if you need help with upgrading your house's interior, you can employ a home cleaning company. By shopping around for home cleaning companies in your city or town, you are sure to find a professional cleaning firm that offers the right combination of affordability and convenience.

    As you get set to navigate the home selling journey, don't forget to hire a real estate agent, either. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support as you try to generate buyers' interest in your house.

    A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to the right groups of prospective buyers. As such, he or she will craft a custom home selling strategy designed to help you showcase your residence to potential buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host house showings and keep you up to date with buyer feedback. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting this proposal.

    Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.




    Categories: Uncategorized  




    Kimber Pope-Kettlety