Finance and Hobbies

Are your hobbies costing you an arm and a leg

Hobbies can give us a sense of release from our day to day issues; the satisfaction one gets from pursuing a pleasure whether it is collecting stamps, bank notes, beer labels, or any of the stuff which people describe as collectable, boating, sport, car racing, or whatever.

If you are going to have a hobby you really need to make sure it is not costing you more than what you can afford and that it is not at the expense of your retirement fund.

There are ways of keeping costs down with your hobby; take whatever it is you collect. You can list your duplicate items on eBay or other auction sites. It will also give you an estimate of the kind of demand there is for your particular kind of collectable.

It is also important to realise that something is only worth whatever someone else is prepared to pay for. If you cannot find a buyer for whatever your collection is then it is not worth anything.

There are some things that are sentimental however, things which may not have any monetary value but are priceless to family such as old photographs or heirlooms.

These may not have cost you anything to acquire as they may have been handed down through the generations or have been given to you but that is not so with a lot of collectables which are acquired with a passion which can be described as hoarding.

Unless someone has an unlimited amount of spending money all of this stuff must be at the expensive of something.

People will often go without to finance their hobby such as not owning a car, not contributing to their retirement fund, or not spending money on much needed house repairs.

A collector who owns a huge collection of beer labels, 30,000+ I believe proudly boasts about it to everyone who visits. It is anyone’s guess how much he has spent acquiring this collection but the saddest thing is that he is not contributing to his retirement fund and therefore missing out on the government incentives.

The old excuse of „I might die before retirement and so someone else will get my money,“ has been used several times, but then someone else will inherit his beer label collection and if something financial crops up such as a huge medical bill he will not be able to afford it, and it is doubtful if he would be willing to part with his collection even if a lot of money was offered for it.

The same is said for any other activity that is a hobby. The old saying of „Pay yourself first“ rings true because sooner or later a person who mismanages their finances will eventually find that it catches up on them.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate 101 – Listing Agent vs FSBO

The number of property owners selling their land independent of a realtor has seen a sharp decrease in recent years. In fact, it has dropped six percentage points over the last decade, according to the latest numbers from Chicago-based National Association of Realtors. As of the beginning of 2007, a mere 12 percent of all real estate transactions were for sale by owner, or FSBO.

One factor influencing the statistics may be owner frustrations with a fluctuating housing market. Owners have other things working against them, too. They cannot register property in the MLS listings, one of the most popular search tools for property shoppers. It takes a real estate agent to get property included on that list. Realtors may also have more connections and more techniques, experience and training that could net higher offers.

Property owners, on the other hand, will know more about factors like the home’s specific strengths and weaknesses, the neighbors and the schools. They may, however, shy away from pricing their house high and may agree to come down too quickly. From mid-2005 to mid-2006, five percent of real estate transactions were closed by realtors who took over a FSBO that fizzled. Only one percent of transactions within the same time frame were sellers who started with realtor representation and later switched to FSBO, according to the NAR.

FSBO transactions – particularly when handled by first-time sellers – have been said to sit longer, sell for less, cause more headaches and increase confusion. So why would sellers even want to try? The average real estate commission is about six percent and many property owners see FSBOs as a way to pocket more cash. In reality, however, NAR statistics show that homes generally go an average of about 16 percent higher when sold by realtors.

For sellers absolutely determined to go it alone, there are a few key points to remember. There are some Internet web sites available now that are very professional in appearance and offer FSBOs an alternative to the elusive MLS listings. Plenty of high-quality photos are crucial with any marketing, and Internet marketing is undoubtedly one of the most effective methods. Many of these FSBO listing web sites will now offer extra perks, like yard sign rental and print advertising.

It is important to be patient, price your home fairly but also allow a little wiggle room for the inevitable price haggling and be extra cautious to avoid unqualified buyers. This can help prevent deals from falling through. To get a deal in the first place, however, sellers must market their property and don’t shy away from offering incentives like a decorating allowance or paying the fees of the buyer’s agent. Among the buying community, FSBOs are notoriously associated with great deals. Make sure you arm yourself with the tools to avoid becoming a casualty of that mindset.

FSBOs also have a reputation for misleading buyers on such things as the true condition of the house or the severity of the house’s problems. This is not always intentional. Many homeowners really don’t know the extent of the damage and do not intend to mislead. This is where a crackerjack home inspector can come in handy. Not only can a home inspection help justify the home’s price, but it can also set the buyer’s mind at ease and perhaps help close the deal faster.

Another good reference tool is a local competitive market analysis. This can help ensure that a FSBO is selling for what it is truly worth. The lender’s desk is the worst possible place to find out that a seller overcharged for a home, but it happens all too often.

Realtors are immensely more experienced and knowledgeable in all things real estate – from selling techniques to legal matters. However, at the very least, a seller would be wise to bring in a real estate lawyer to ensure the legality of the transaction. It is also a good idea to involve a bank, as opposed to the seller alone, in the process of handling escrow funds.

FSBO transactions can be smooth if the seller has related experience. FSBOs can save money if the seller avoids backing down on price too much. If, however, the seller finds themselves stalling with no end in sight, it is best to turn to a realtor as soon as possible. The longer a house sits unsold on the market, the worse position the seller will be in. It looks bad to potential buyers and they will wonder why the home hasn’t sold. In reality, it may simply be a matter of ineffective marketing on the seller’s part. Time is money, and a house sold on commission is better than a house not sold at all.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How a Foreign National Can Buy Real Estate in America

Opportunities for real estate investment for foreigners is wide and varied in the United States. It doesn’t matter where you’re from and what currency you’d be using to purchase a property, you have a property waiting for you.

There are generally three kinds of real estate investment available to foreigners. These investments include the commercial estate investment and residential property investment. Residential properties are further classified into single family properties, apartments or condominiums and recreational properties. Regardless of what kind of real estate you are interested in, there are all sorts of tax ramifications, financing options and legal requirements that you have to deal with.

Why Should You Invest in the U.S. Real Estate Market?

You’ve probably heard of the increasing number of foreign real estate investments in the United States. This is not surprising. With the troubles that the real estate investment market is facing in the United States, greater opportunities in real estate investment were opened to foreign investors.

With the dollar’s value in its all time low, foreign investors are finding real estate bargains all over the United States. There are no shortages of deals in this market. More and more distressed properties are being sold everywhere and foreigners are pouring in millions buying these foreclosed or distressed properties. The United States real estate has become a fairly attractive long-term investment for foreign investors.

In November of 2006, the National Association of Realtors released a report entitled „Foreign Investments in U.S Real Estate: Current Trends and Historical Perspective“. The report showed that there has been a steady increase in foreign real estate investment in the United States. This is especially after the euro and the loonie became stronger in the face of the continuous devaluation of the US dollar. Prime bargains were opened to foreigners. Many foreigners have now looked into the possibility of retiring or settling in the United States.

If you’re a foreigner, you would find a lot of reasons why you should invest in the United States real estate market. Aside from the fact that the floating exchange rate has given you a lot of leverage over the bargaining table, the financial market is a pretty good reason why you should invest in the US real estate.

The financial market in the United States in relation to the real estate market is quite liberal and the restrictions against foreign investors are pretty reasonable. This is ideal for foreign companies that are seeking to invest in the real estate market in the United States in order to avoid tariff restrictions and are considering setting up an office or a company in the United States.

Furthermore, despite the devaluation of the US dollar and the wide foreclosures of a lot of property, the real estate market remains to be stable, though slightly shaky, due to foreign investors‘ capital appreciation. Domestic real estate buyers may not necessarily share the same opinion, but the market has remained to be strong for foreign real estate buyers. This may be largely credited to the fact that there is minimal risk for them.

Why are Foreign Real Estate Investments Safe and Profitable?

There are a lot of investments you can make, but the safest you can make right now is investing your money in real properties. This is another good reason aside from the fact that you can make a pretty nifty profit, if you like, particularly now with the widespread property foreclosures and seemingly continuous US dollar devaluation. This is especially true if you are going to use the euro or the loonie when making your investment.

But why is US real estate investment safe for foreigners?

It is undeniable that stock investments are not a safe avenue at this point. The recession has not only affected the US economy; the same recession has greatly affected worldwide stock investments. Stocks values are dropping. It is also a fact that even without the current economic situation, stock values fluctuates.

On the other hand, real estate investments are pretty stable if you would compare it to stock investments – or even bond or mutual fund investments. With real estate investment, you’d be putting your money in an investment that would grow in value as years go by.

What are the Benefits of Foreign Real Estate Investment?

US state government supports foreign investments and along this line has formulated various tax breaks to encourage foreign investment on real estate. Many of these tax breaks are not available in many countries. In fact, most countries would frown at foreigners owning real properties within their territory.

Foreign real estate investment in the United States is open to everyone. As long as you can afford to buy the property or at least comply with the mortgage requirements and payments, you can secure for yourself a pretty good property in the United States. Again, with the current economic situation of the United States, this is the perfect chance for you to make an investment.

Another great benefit that you can take advantage of is the availability of mortgage financing. Lenders have opened their doors to foreign investors who are looking into purchasing a property. So, you don’t have to actually deplete your bank account. You can actually secure a mortgage loan and gradually pay it off.

I’m Canadian, What Are My Financing Options?

There is a steady increasing rate of Canadian real estate investors in the United States; and accordingly, the government has made certain that they have attractive financing options available to them.

If you’re Canadian – or if you’re a foreigner – you’d find a lot of reasons why you should buy a piece of real property in the United States. For Canadians, the parity of the currencies or the apparent devaluation of the US dollar is a pretty good reason itself. But how do you finance your purchase?

There are various financing options available to you depending on which state you are in. In Arizona, for instance, you’d get favorable financing terms if you are purchasing a property for recreational purposes, that is, you do not derive any income or benefit from your purchase or ownership. You will be required, however, to sign up a disclosure agreement and give a 30% down payment for your loan. To qualify though for a loan, you may be required to show availability of liquid reserves for a period of three to six months. You may also be required to present a minimum of 3-month bank statement.

If you are purchasing a property for investment, you’d probably meet stricter terms. Requirements may be more stringent. For instance, you could be required to give a down payment of more than 30% and you may be required to show one year worth of liquidity reserves.

Regardless of your reasons, if you feel like you can fulfill the requirements of a financing loan, you can then proceed to actually applying for a mortgage loan. Also, keeping yourself updated with the financing terms flux may be a wise idea.

Understanding the Tax Ramifications of Real Estate Investment

The first foreigner to have ever bought a real estate property in the United States was Peter Minuit. This opened the doors to foreign real estate investors. After a couple of centuries later, foreign real estate investment has grown into huge proportions, accounting for billion-of-dollar worth of industry.

The low risk attached to US real estate market, the availability of countless properties, and the steady market liquidity attract foreign investors in droves. The initial snag, however, is the process of understanding the legal ramifications of foreign real estate investment.

What you have to understand is that foreign investment in the United States can take a lot of forms. A foreigner has various options. He can acquire direct interest. He can acquire an interest in the real estate through a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company. The latter is the typical structure used by foreign investors.

Limited partnership or Limited Liability Company offers financial protection or indirect asset protection, especially in cases of bankruptcy, law suits and taxes. Foreign investors are generally taxed on the property as if they hold the property in direct interest.

Ideally, you should secure the services of a real estate accountant to help you out with the tax ramifications, but it would help if you, at least, know the basics before you actually talk to an accountant.

There are tax consequences that you have to deal with when you buy a real estate in the United States. You would need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number which you will use with all your tax transactions. Your investment in real estates can be treated as a portfolio investment and will be accounted for as an investment income which can either be fixed or a periodic income. This is typically taxed at 30% on gross revenues. This tax though does not apply though to all foreign investors. Tax rates would vary depending on the tax personality the foreign investor opted for. For instance, a corporation would be taxed differently.

Other things that you should take note of are availability and requirements of tax refunds and state tax laws on real estate properties as they may differ from federal laws, among other things.

By knowing all these things, you may save yourself from a lot of hassles when you finally approach a real estate accountant. You’d be in same wavelength when you finally get down to talking business. It is, however, very important that you secure the services of an accountant. You’d have an easier time dealing with the taxes ramifications. You’d also have assistance ensuring that you comply with all the accounting aspect of your investment. This is especially true if you are purchasing a real property for investment purposes.

Do You Need to Secure the Service of a Real Estate Lawyer?

If you are considering buying a property in the United States, you need to secure the services of a real estate attorney – someone who could help you with the legal issues concerning your purchase. It is tempting to forego securing the service of a lawyer to save money, but this could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure that you have an experienced and trustworthy lawyer to help you out. Make sure that you have thoroughly checked out his credentials, profile, history of successful cases handled by him, and other factors that would influence your decision. You could check online and look for a lawyer working within the state where you are considering purchasing a property.

Functions of a Real Estate Lawyer

There is no actual distinctive function for a lawyer in a real estate case. However, you would really need the assistance of a lawyer for various tasks. A real estate lawyer would review the sales contract for you. He would also check on the title and other documents relating to the property. A lawyer would also review your mortgage contract and make the necessary adjustments or corrections. You could also get him to review with you the legal and tax issues concerning the purchase. A real estate attorney could also make the necessary adjustments relating to various expenses and costs involved in the purchase. He would assess your eligibility for tax refunds and draft the documents and statements relating to this.

Putting it simply, a real estate lawyer will be your watchdog. He would guide you through the whole process of purchasing a real estate in the United States in order to make sure that you will be legally protected. You will have a capable and trustworthy liaison to help you out with the contract. He will also face legal disputes if any arise.

Tips on How to Invest in Real Estate Successfully

Now, if you’ve fully bought into the idea of real estate investing in the United States, you might just want to know how to go about investing in real estate successfully. If you want to be successful in this venture, the first thing that you have to avoid is overanalyzing. Of course, it is a good idea to carefully think through your actions but it is a bad idea to overanalyze your investment to nonexistence. You might lose a great opportunity.

Before you purchase the property though, it might be wise to check the property value. If it sits well with you and you can reasonably afford the property, go ahead and make the purchase.

If you are considering the property for a quick flip, make sure that the property is in perfect condition and in good area. This is to ensure that you could double or actually triple your return of investment. If you can inspect the property yourself, do so. If not, a good and trustworthy agent can help you with this task.

Another important thing to remember when you’re buying real estate is good financing. You should take your time to carefully consider all your financing options. Foreign investors can email in their queries to various lending institutions. It is a good idea to make sure that you’ve had their terms and rates on paper because they tend to change these terms and charge you with a lot of junk. Your real estate agent can help you with reviewing the escrow charges.

The bottom line, however, is that it is very important that you do your homework before you actually buy a real property. Investing in real properties in the United States can be profitable especially during these times. In fact, it may be the wisest and most perfect investment you can make right now.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Data Science: The Path to Unlocking the Best Paying Job Roles in the Near Future

„Data is the new gold mine!“ The statement holds huge significance when it comes to today’s business world. The current corporate arena is largely operated based on data-driven decisions. You might be surprised to know that each day, about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is being generated. That’s certainly a massive amount, isn’t it! Now just think what would happen if owing to some system malfunction or any other issue, all this data gets lost. It would be a huge mess for businesses and would cost them a lot. This is the key reason why there is a substantial demand for Data Scientists in the job market. In fact, the job profile of a ‚data scientist‘ is already declared to be the most sought after profession in the 21st century. It’s hence the right time for you to ride the growth and build a career that you will be proud of.

Wide Acceptance of Data Science

With Big Data being implemented in almost all spheres of our lives and in the near future, there wouldn’t be any business organization that can afford to ignore the importance of data science. If they do, chances are high that they would lose out on their competition. Smaller companies with adequate data handling skills will triumph over larger corporations with limited data knowledge and experience. Even the start-ups are not losing any opportunity of making data-based decisions. The business world has very well understood the relevance of data science in the modern scenario. If this enormous pool of data can be examined and calculated using a scientific approach, it can help the organizations derive to meaningful conclusions, which directly means better business decisions, more profits, higher ROI.

More Data, More Jobs, More Salary

Be it start-ups or giant corporations, no company exists in the modern age that doesn’t rely on data and analytics for taking business decisions. As per the reports published by McKinsey Global Institute, about 40 zettabytes of data would cover up the internet by the year 2020. This will facilitate a sharp rise in demand for Big Data and Data Science professionals. With more time, the popularity of Big Data shall reach a new level as more companies would start adopting this lucrative opportunity for business growth. With the high demand of qualified professionals and lower supply of the same, as per the economic principles, the salary structure would be quite attractive. It is a given fact that the data scientists are the ones who get higher paying jobs as compared to other engineers and people working on similar job profiles.

Besides, when we are talking about data, how can we miss the opportunity to show some data related to the profession of a Data Scientist? According to a report published by an online education portal, there has been a dramatic rise noticed in the listing and application for jobs related to Data Science. There is a whopping 200% year on year increase in search for ‚Data Science‘ jobs, while at least 50% year on year rise has been noticed in the listing of such job requirements. It is hence, evident that Data Science is here not only to stay and survive but to thrive and rule.

Higher Salary Potential

Data Analytics skills are the demand of the hour. Almost every industry is in dire need of skilled professionals who have adequate knowledge to manage the data properly and conclude to meaningful results that will enable businesses to take their operations to an entirely new level. Having said that, it is pretty clear that only trained professionals can gain maximum exposure in this data-driven era and enjoy greater salary structure.

According to a research report published by an international organization, the average annual salary of data scientists globally in the year 2015 was $130,000. Now, the demand has grown even higher, and the salary structure has also increased to a greater extent. In India, the average salary structure for Data Science professionals is quite lucrative. An Analytics professional in India can take in as much as INR 15 lakh per annum in the initial years which goes further higher with experience. The most interesting factor is that Data Science is not only popular in India, but other foreign markets are also seeking highly trained professionals. Hence, if you have the talent and relevant knowledge and are ambitious enough to grow and succeed, Data Science offers you the perfect opportunity to realize your dreams.

At TimesPro, we have partnered with industry experts like Google, Intel, Flipkart, and Fractal Analytics to create a results-driven, comprehensive professional learning program on Data Science, encompassing the core concepts of Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. At TimesPro, a Top-Ranked Data Science Institute in Bangalore, we promote a learning environment where students are not only introduced to the essentials of Data Science but are rather prepared to step into the industry with immense confidence and amplified potential. We believe that it is the constant practice that makes an individual adept at his/her job role. That’s why, at our campus, we ensure that our students have enough industry exposure and have in-depth insights into the deep-seated challenges, as well as their solutions. The future world is about to be extremely dependent on how we use data. Hence, our aim at TimesPro is to create industry-ready professionals who can utilize the mounting opportunity and rise with the growth of the industry.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

6 Things You Must Demand From Your Real Estate Agent!

In the United States, there are well – over, one – million, licensed real estate professionals, although, only a relatively, small percentage of them, are responsible for, the vast – majority, of closed – transactions. Therefore, whether, you seek to sell you home, or are a potential, qualified buyer, it is wise, to carefully, choose, your agent, based on, your personal, best – interests, and, after interviewing them, feeling, they have the combination of attitude, aptitude, skills, persistence, professionalism, and expertise, to serve your needs, goals, and priorities! After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I strongly, believe, these 6 things, you must demand, of the individual, you hire. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and represents, and, why it matters.

1. Integrity: The real estate professional, you choose, must, consistently, exhibit, absolute integrity! To serve and represent you, you need, and deserve, someone, you feel confident, you can, consistently, trust, in good – times, or less!

2. Allegiance: Nearly every state, as well as Realtor Board’s, include a Code Of Ethics, regarding, the conduct, required by a realtor, to his clients, and customers, etc! One of the key components is, owing a client, complete allegiance, and protecting their privacy, etc. Your chosen professional must put – you – first, consistently, and never provide, any information, which might harm or compromise, your interest (however, that does not mean, violating the law, and/ or, providing any material misstatements!)

3. Tell what they need to know: My service – marked, slogan, is, I will always tell you what you need to know, not, just, what you want to hear. You need, and deserve, someone, who will inform you, in a realistic manner, rather than, wearing, rose – colored, glasses!

4. Prepare a client: Agents owe their clients, a readiness, and willingness, to thoroughly, consistently, prepare them, for potential, possibilities, in order to make this process, as stress – free, as possible! When one prepares his clients, properly, the transaction period, becomes, an easier one!

5. Negotiating expertise: One of the reasons, to hire, a specific agent, is their degree of negotiating expertise, in order to achieve the best price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle! This requires the individual, to thoroughly, understand, and know the local, real estate market, etc.

6, Handling details: The transaction period, is, often, full of challenges, and requires, handling the details, effectively, and efficiently, on a consistent basis!

Since, for most, the value, of their house, is their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to do, whatever, possible, to ensure, you protect it, and make the best decisions, and take the smartest actions! Consider these 6 things, when you hire your real estate agent!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Qualifying for a Home Loan in 2019 – What Requirements and Guidelines You Need to Know

1) How much of a Down Payment do I need to come up with?

In the recent past, people used to think 20% down was necessary to qualify for a home loan or to have a reasonable mortgage payment. For the most part, this is no longer the case. There are many types of mortgage programs that allow for low down payment options or no down payment in some cases. You also don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify for these programs either.

FHA Loans are one of the most popular types of mortgages applied for in today’s market, this is mainly because of low down payment options and the flexible qualifying requirements. Without down payment assistance, you just need a minimum of 3.5% down. A lot of people think FHA is strictly for first time home buyers, but that is not true. it’s a government-backed home loan, but they don’t require you to be a first time home buyer. FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration.

Conventional Loans have been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years and will soon replace the FHA loan program as the most popular loan product on the market. Conventional loans allow for a minimum down payment as low as 3% down and also allows for several creative ways to buy out the monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). This strategy helps reduce the monthly payments while increasing your buying power.

Minimum Down Payment requirements for each loan type below:

VA Loans – No Down Payment required

USDA Loans – No Down Payment required

FHA Loans – Minimum 3.5% Down Payment required

Conventional Loans – Minimum 3% Down Payment required

You can use gift funds for any of the programs listed above. Also, If you are a first time home buyer be sure to ask your loan consultant if you qualify for any down payment assistance program.

2) What Credit Score do I need to qualify for a Mortgage?

Aside from income verification, one of the biggest determining factors in qualifying for a mortgage is your credit score. The higher the credit score the better your chances will be in qualifying. When a mortgage company or bank checks your credit for a mortgage application they will pull what is known as a tri-merge. That is when a credit report is combined with data and individual scores from the 3 major credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The middle of the 3 scores will be used to determine your qualifying score. Ideally, you want to have a middle credit score of 680 or above. In most cases, the higher your credit score is, the better your rate and terms will be as well.

There are minimum credit score requirements for every loan program, but to ensure you get qualified for the most competitive terms it is important that you do everything you can to learn how to increase and improve your credit.

Below are the minimum credit score requirements for each loan program:

VA Loans – 620 (some lenders may allow for as low as 580+)

USDA Loans – 620

FHA Loans – 580

Conventional – 620

3) What are the Income Requirements and Guidelines for a Mortgage?

Proving your ability to repay the loan is one of the most important requirements in the qualifying process. That is why showing sufficient and consistent income documentation is crucial when going through the pre-approval or qualification process. If you are a W2 employee and paid a salary then the verification process is fairly simple. However, can be more difficult for people that receive and/or rely on commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc. For borrowers that are self-employed and/or receive a 1099 it can be even more difficult and complex especially since you can have a lot more write-offs and deductions when you’re self-employed.

First and foremost you need a 2-year work history to even qualify using any income source. However, for full-time hourly or salaried employees that doesn’t mean you have to be at the same company or industry for 2 years. That used to be a requirement but not anymore unless the lender/bank has their own overlay. If you receive and want to use commission, bonus, overtime or other types of income then you have to show a minimum of a 2-year history and the bank/lender will use a 24 month average for qualifying purposes. Self-Employed borrowers are now able to qualify with 12-24 months bank statements for certain nontraditional (non-QM) loan programs.

Qualifying Income Sources:

* Full-Time W2 Income/Salary

* Income from Part-Time Jobs (must be at the job for a minimum of 1-2 years in some cases)

* Income from a second full or part-time job

* Overtime, Commissions, Bonuses (must average over 24 months)

* Seasonal (must prove 2-3 years consistency)

* Self-Employed Income

* Bank Statements (12-24 months)

* Permanent Disability

* Retirement/Pension

* Child Support/Alimony (Sufficient documentation required)

* Asset Depletion

What are the Required Documents Needed?

There are specific required documents needed that your loan consultant will request in order to process your loan approval. You should at least have the below list of documentation readily available and be ready to provide more depending on your particular situation.

* Complete Federal Personal and/or Corporate Tax Returns for the past 2 years (ALL SCHEDULES)

* W2’s for the past 2 years

* 1 Month worth of Pay Stubs

* Bank Statements (may need anywhere from 2-24 months)

* Retirement/Pension and/or Social Security Award Letters

* Disability Award Letter

* Divorce Decree

* Business License

* Asset Documentation

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

What You Need to Know About Buying House in Summer 2018

The sunniest time of the year when sun is shining brightly is surely a great time for exploring new neighborhoods and visualizing future patio parties during viewings. If you are planning to buy home this summer then it is important to understand the housing market prior starting any serious shopping. You must have to know what housing market is like for buyers now and what you can do to end up the best home with best price that fits right in your budget.

Owning a home is an investment in your future and with that in mind you wants to make sure that you are making educated decisions so that you could get the best possible deal. Housing market in 2018 should be just as strong this summer as it’s been all spring. List prices and existing home sales have risen this year but there are perks to house hunting right now, too. We present you some of the facts and tips to help you get the most out of this year’s summer housing market.

SUMMER MARKET FACTS

DURING THE SUMMER PRICES DROP: Although summer is busy home-buying season but still it is not crazy as prices drop from May through October. Anyhow if you hang out until late August then you could find a really great deal-that is when nearly 14 % of listings get a price cut.

Private Mortgage Insurance Is GETTING MORE Reliable: PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance getting cheaper after PMI lenders MGIC and Radian lowered their rates this spring; it is great financing news for homebuyers. That’s going to cause most of these PMI companies to be competitive with each other which in result going to bring them all down. Less than 20 % of down payment makes the home buyers to get PMI. It means it will be cheaper for some buyers to get into homes sooner.

HOMEBUYING TIPS FOR SUMMER 2018

DON’T DISCOUNT OLDER LISTINGS: At the times when homes are flying off the market within days due to strong competition, it is easy to think a listing that’s a week or so old is a red flag. But keep in mind that it is not always the case. It is often because buyer got cold feet and pulled out of a deal on a perfectly good house. But thanks to the assumptions home buyers make about older listings in busy markets, the delay can cause the price to come down.

There are just more of these in market. The number of homes in market is shrinking but still there are 8.3 % more fixer-upper among them than there were six years ago. If you are dead-set against a fixer-upper to be prepared to move quickly then there is only ever going to be a couple of options at a time. And when new listings come up it’s going to be pretty ferocious.

GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The plus point of competitive market it gives you temptation to make an offer on any available property that fits your criteria but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood, you may never want to purchase the house. It is better to take some time and do community scouting before making an offer. You can even find out what your future neighbors have to say about the area by communicating with them.

MAKE THE STRONGEST OFFER: To stay in the market make the strongest offer, even your offer is not the highest because now is not the time for low ball-offer. No doubt, coming up with cash offer could be tough for many home buyers but there are some ways to make a strong offer that don’t require gobs of money. Substantial eventualities like a shorter closing or inspection period and writing a great offer letter can help make your offer stand out.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

A First-Time Homeowner’s Guide to Building a Duplex Home

A duplex home is a beautiful asset. Many people dream of having a duplex home but only a lucky few get the chance to actually have it. Those who are looking to build a home for the first time can consider a duplex house. But since they are new in home builder hunting, they have a high chance of coming across professionals who are not really scrupulous. Such professionals look for the opportunity to work with a first-time homeowner because first-time homeowners usually don’t have clear ideas about what it really takes to build a good duplex house.

If you are planning to own such a house, do not plan big at the beginning. Keep in mind that there will be problems in the masonry, plumbing or wiring. No matter how well-built the house is, there will be these problems. So, aim for a small duplex property.

However, if you compare the pros and cons of a duplex house, the pros will outweigh the cons. The good things about duplex houses are more in number than the bad things about them. But you need the right builders to reap the benefit of all the good things. Many reputable builders are there who specialize in duplex buildings. They usually erect duplex buildings in upscale areas of the town. You can hire them to build your duplex home, regardless of the place. If you can build a rapport with the builders, you can avail their services at reduced rates.

Before hiring the builder, you should do some research on their earlier works. Check their credentials and licenses. Make sure that they are who they say are. Bear in mind that efficient and reliable duplex house builders are not really easy to find.

Good planning is very important for a good duplex home. The architect has to chalk out a thorough plan that would suit your interest as well as get all the necessary permits from your local councils. Australia is a place where people are always on the lookout for a good duplex house. You need to find an efficient planner who can draw a fine floor plan for you. A skilled architect can maximize space in your home’s floor plan. They can make best use of the land and even leave room for landscaping, gardening or a patio.

As you may know, several structural limits are there that you have to abide by. For instance, you have to build your home in such a way that makes good use of space and does not encroach on your neighbors‘ properties. The planning should not have any negative impact on the environment. Therefore, it is just as important to find an experienced architect as it is to find a reputable duplex home builder. Many people are building duplex homes today to enjoy two different homes on one block of land. The biggest benefit of this is that you can sell one of the homes and live in the other. That’s a remarkable monetary benefit. Not only does it cover your construction costs and brings in more money than what you had invested, it also lets you live on the land that you own. But to impress today’s home buyers, you need more than just quality home joinery services.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Learning How to Get Free, New, and Existing MLS Home Listings in Your Area

When you are in the market for a new home, the key is to be able to see as many available homes as possible. However, driving up and down the streets is not an efficient way to gauge the housing market in your area. A better way to do it would be access the MLS listing sites that many realtor’s use. Knowing how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area can be incredibly valuable in helping look at a large number of homes and narrow the market down to the ones most suited to your wants and needs.

Though you may be able to find homes by using an internet search engine or directory, your best bet is always going to be to get access to the multiple listing service (MLS) that realtors often use. One suggestion as to how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to check your local newspaper’s website. There, they will often have a link to real-estate where you will have access to homes that are listed on MLS. Using this method to get access will generally allow you to see homes that are for sale by owner as well, which rarely get into MLS at all (due to high listing costs on for sale by owner).

Another piece of advice on how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to use realtor.com. This website actually is made up of all the board listings from the local MLS. The virtual tours, pictures, and listings are all there for you to see. You also know the best listings are there because realtors pay to get listed on the site. It is an incredibly popular site that gets such traffic that realtors consider it a must to be listed there. The only real problem is that while you do have access to the MLS listings, they are often 3 to 5 days behind the MLS listing date.

Another method for how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is a little bit of a cheat. If you know someone, have a family member, or are acquitted with a realtor, they can get you on to the site. The problem is that if you are not using them to shop for or buy your new home, they may not be as willing. However, if you can call in a favor you can see all of the listening in your area and detailed information about all of them. That is, you can do it all without actually becoming a realtor or finding backdoor websites.

Finding how to get free new and exiting MLS home listings in your area is a challenge, but oh so worth it in the end. By knowing everything listed, you give yourself a larger pool to start with when you narrow down to the homes you want to actually see in person. The more options you have the more quality you will end up with.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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