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Roll the Repairs into the Mortgage

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Roll the Repairs into the Mortgage

It's been said that if you can find a home that has most of what you want, you should go ahead and purchase it.  Many first-time buyers are using everything they have for a down payment and closing costs and would have to "live" with the less than perfect home until they can save the money to make the changes.

The FHA 203(k) mortgage allows a borrower to purchase a home and provides additional funds for improvements to be made.  These types of renovations can include kitchen and bathroom remodels, flooring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, additions and other things.

The benefit to the buyer is that they have the opportunity to consider a home that needs repairs and might have been unacceptable without a program like this.  Being a FHA loan, a minimal down payment is required, fair interest rates and generous qualifying requirements.

The 203(k) Streamline can be used for cosmetic improvements, appliances and minor remodeling up to $35,000 in cost.

As you can imagine, this is a specialized program and not all lenders choose to make 203(k) loans.  They usually take longer to process and getting firm bids on the work to be done will be required.  It is important to find out how much experience a lender has with this particular type of loan.    

It will also be required that you work with a 203(k) consultant in addition to the mortgage officer.

For more information, go to Hud.gov FNMA has a similar conventional loan program called HomeStyle Mortgage Your real estate professional will be able to help with recommendations.  Call me at (907) 261-7632.

Getting the "Right" Home

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Finding the right home is still the biggest challenge buyers are faced with in today's market as is shown in the latest Confidence Index Survey.  Assuming the buyers find the "right" home with determination, perseverance and the help of a real estate professional, 88% of all transactions last year required financing to get the buyer's address on the home.  93% of first-time buyers needed financing.

Pre-approval is an essential step that needs to be handled before buyers begin searching for a home.  The benefits to the buyer fall into the category of confidence.

PRE-APPROVAL GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE

  • Knowing the amount you can borrow  
    the mortgage amount decreases as interest rates rise
  • Looking at the right priced homes
    price, size, amenities, location
  • Comparing and identifying the best loan
    rate, term, type
  • Uncover issues early that could affect the most favorable loan terms
    time to cure possible problems
  • Bargaining power to negotiate with the seller and possibly, competing buyers
    price, terms, & timing
  • Settlement can occur sooner after contact is accepted
    verifications have already been made

Items Needed for Pre-Approval

  • Photo ID
  • Two months current pay stubs
  • Last two year's W2s
  • Complete copies of checking and savings statements for last three months
  • Copies of statements for IRAs, 401k, savings, CDs, money market funds, etc.
  • Employment history for last two years with addresses and contacts
  • Proof of commissioned or bonus income
  • Residency history for last two years with addresses and contacts
  • Assets for down payment, closing costs, and reserves; must provide paper trail
  • If self-employed, last two years tax returns, current profit and loss statement and balance sheet; copy of partnership/corporate tax returns for last two years if owning more than 25% of company
  • FHA requires driver's license and social security card
  • VA requires original certificate of eligibility and DD214
  • Other things may be required such as previous bankruptcy, divorce decree

Can you own your dream house with student debt?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Did you know you can buy your dream home while paying off student loan debt? 

It’s true and even quite common. While student loans are factored into your debt-to-income ratio, they shouldn’t prevent you from becoming a homeowner. 

And fortunately, there are many programs and options available to prospective buyers, some you may not be familiar with. Here are four ways people with student loans achieve their homeownership goals: 

1. Co-buying With Friends or Family
Purchasing a home with a roommate, significant other or sibling allows you to combine multiple incomes to qualify for a better mortgage rate. This can help lower your monthly payment and make home maintenance more affordable.

2. Receiving Financial Gifts From Family 
You can also accept gift money from your parents, grandparents or other family members to put toward your home purchase. Some loan programs have a cap on how much gift money can be used, so make sure you know the limits first. 

3. Choosing Low (or No) Down Payment Loans 
There are many low down payment options, including FHA, HomeReady and Home Possible loans. For loans with no down payment, VA loans may be available to veterans and military members as well as USDA loans for those purchasing in rural areas. 

4. Using Assistance Programs 
Down payment assistance programs can cover some or all of your down payment costs if you qualify. These programs vary by location, so talk with a lender to learn about potential options. 

Working on your credit can also help you buy a home. Pay your credit card bills on time every month, aim to pay down your debts and never let an account go into collections. It also helps to get preapproved for a mortgage so you know how much you qualify for. 

If you’re ready to make homeownership a reality or would like a referral to a trusted lender, get in touch today.

April Showers Bring Inventory Struggles

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Click to play video

Hello 


April showers bring inventory struggles. As the inventory story continues, so does the decline of home sales and rising prices according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Home sales have declined for the fourth month in a row. For the 24th consecutive month, home prices have gone up! Why? Because of the number of homes on the market is at a record low. You can read all of the details in the full housing report here.

What’s all this mean for you? If you’re selling, it continues to be your market. Homes that are on the market are selling fast and generally at a higher price. If you’re buying, there’s still good news despite the low inventory. March recorded the second-highest month in sales in the history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. I’d be happy to help you navigate the market to find your home. Give me a call or reply to this email.

As always, thank you for trusting me for all of your real estate needs.

 

Have a great day,
Bethany Weiser

Monthly Market Statistics
National Market Map

How to Write Effective Ads for Real Estate Listings

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.
How to Write Effective Ads for Real Estate Listings, Anchorage, Alaska

When potential home buyers are browsing real estate listings, does your ad catch their eye and hold their interest? At Mehner Weiser Real Estatein Anchorage, AK, their experienced Realtors® craft listings that attract prospects and then turn them into home buyers. Below, this team of real estate agents shares tips on writing ads that lead to deals.

3 Keys to Effective Real Estate Listings

Offer a Compelling Headline & Photo

Like successful newspaper publishers, real estate agents need to create attention-grabbing headlines. Given the unlimited information in print and on the internet, it’s essential to “show and tell” prospects clearly and quickly what a home has to offer. Put your best pitch and picture up front.  

Give the Benefits

real estateWise real estate agents know they aren’t selling houses; they’re selling lifestyles. Take that approach with your ads. Show buyers what’s in it for them. How close are schools, parks, restaurants, retail shopping, and personal services? Are the houses for sale near a golf course or recreation center? Agents who provide up-to-date information about amenities of the home and community give home shoppers reasons to keep reading.

Reinforce the Headline at the End

Before home buyers finish reading, remind them what drew their attention initially. Reinforce the pitch and photo at the end of the ad and give the readers a call to action. Effective ads state what number to call, who to ask for, and alternative means of contact, such as email or text. When appropriate, create a sense of urgency, which motivates buyers to act quickly.

When you are ready to sell or shop for homes, call Mehner Weiser Real Estate in Anchorage, Alaska, at (907) 223-1632. This dynamic team will help you craft the perfect ad for your home. Browse their real estate listings on their website and find more tips from on Facebook

Hot Home Trends You Can’t Miss

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

I love getting caught up on the latest trends - especially when it comes to trends in home technology and design. These trends are great if you’re trying to freshen up the look of your home or give your home a tech update. Regardless of when you’re thinking about selling, these updates could be attractive to future buyers. Plus, you’ll love living with them.
 

Vintage Lighting 

A quick, modern update to the lighting in your home can be relatively easy and inexpensive. Retro lighting like sconces, lanterns, pendants, and chandeliers can add character and style points to many homes.

Air Quality Detectors

We all know smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have been around for years. Now, there’s one smart air quality detector that can alert you of smoke, radon, carbon dioxide, and organic compounds via an app. You can get instant stats on the quality of the air you live in - not just when dinner is getting overcooked. 

Colorful Kitchens 

Kitchens are generally the busiest room in a house. Another hot trend is to give kitchens a boost of color. Warm wood colors like mahogany along with blues and grays are making their way onto kitchen walls.

4 remodeling projects worth the investment

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

4 Home Improvements With High Returns

Remodeling your home can be a great way to increase its value and ensure you get good returns when it comes time to sell. But before you go tearing out your floors or adding another bedroom, take note: Not all projects are created equal. In fact, according to recent data from Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value report, there's a pretty big discrepancy between which projects deliver high returns and those that don't. 
  
Want to make sure your remodels are worth the effort? Here are some top options: 
  
  • Get a new garage door. It seems simple, but replacing your garage door is the most value-adding project you can take on. On average, it delivers returns of more than 98 percent upon resale.
  • Focus on curb appeal. Upgrades to exterior areas saw serious growth over the last year. Wood deck additions increased over 18 percent in value, while stone veneer installation value was up almost 14 percent. 
  • Replace your entry door. Don't bother sprucing up old doors. Replacing them with steel models can deliver a whopping 91 percent ROI. And at an average cost of $1,471, they're one of the most affordable updates for your home.
  • Upgrade your kitchen. Minor kitchen remodels continue to be a top value-adding project. This year, the average small remodel adds about $17,193 to your home's value and recoups more than 81 percent of your costs.
You might want to rule out projects like backyard patios, master suite additions and major kitchen remodels -- they're notorious for low returns. If you're looking to boost your home's value and increase its marketability, focus your efforts on projects that improve aesthetics and add ease and convenience instead. 

3 Easy Mistakes to Avoid When You Buy a House

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

3 Easy Mistakes to Avoid When You Buy a House, Anchorage, Alaska

Whether you buy a house for the first time or want to upgrade your space, the process of qualifying for a mortgage, finding the right home, and closing with the seller can be complicated. Mehner Weiser Real Estate in Anchorage, AK, wants to help you avoid feeling stressed and confused. To make home buying smoother, here they share critical mistakes many potential homeowners make. 

Top 3 Missteps When You Buy a House 

1. Forgetting the Mortgage 

While shopping for a house is the most exciting part of the experience, you should qualify for a mortgage first. You may become disappointed if you discover the ideal home, only to find out you are in the wrong price range or can’t make a serious offer. Once you know how much you can borrow, you can bid on a beautiful home that fits your budget. 

2. Skipping the Inspection 

Anchorage-Buy-a-HouseSince home inspections take time and carry a fee, some buyers bypass them. Foregoing a professional review of a property you like is a costly mistake. Expensive, hidden damage could reveal itself after you close on the house. Avoid surprises about major repairs by getting an inspection first. 

3. Overlooking a Real Estate Agent 

Some home buyers choose not to hire their own real estate agent. Instead, they work with the seller’s Realtor®. These agents want to secure the best price and terms for the seller. If you don’t have an advocate, you could be outbid or pay too much. 

Tiny Homes: What Are the Pros & Cons?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Tiny Homes: What Are the Pros & Cons?

Tiny Homes: What Are the Pros & Cons?

The tiny house trend is a big movement. Everyone from millennials to retirees is opting to live small, but that doesn't mean the lifestyle is right for you. Consider these pros and cons before you downsize. 

What constitutes a tiny house?

Generally, tiny homes measure between 100 and 500 square feet. Many are portable, but some city ordinances and housing divisions require homes to be set on a foundation.

What are the pros?

People are drawn to tiny houses for a number of reasons. Owners of tiny homes often cite price as the deciding factor. Tiny homes range from $10,000 to $60,000, depending on the manufacturer. Even a top-of-the-line custom unit typically costs less than $100,000.

Other perks include the freedom of mobility and the ability to live more sustainably. There's also the added flexibility to use the structure as a rental unit, add-on expansion or mother-in-law suite.

What are the cons?

Of course, not everyone is willing to contend with the realities of owning a tiny home. For instance, despite their low sales price, there are hidden costs that can sneak up on potential buyers. From construction crew markups and shipping fees to property taxes and plot purchases, the final figure can add up quickly.

What's more, unless you have enough liquid funds to make a cash purchase, financing for tiny homes can be difficult, and there are also obvious drawbacks such as space restrictions that complicate hosting guests and storing nonessentials.

No doubt our collective desire for simplification and financial freedom has birthed the tiny home movement. However, before you commit to one, it's important to educate yourself about the complicated regulations and overlooked nuances of owning a tiny home.

5 Tips to Budget Your Remodel Project

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

5  Tips for Budgeting a Remodel

Determine Where the Money Will Come from

Will you use savings? Or will you take out a home equity loan? Once you determine your source of funding, determine how much you want to spend on the project – and stick to that limit.

Set Your Priorities

Before you pull out a calculator, clarify your reasons for renovating. Divide those reasons into "wants" and "needs." For example, reconfiguring your bathroom so that your current questionable electrical and plumbing will pass an inspection is a "need." His-and-her water closets, a whirlpool tub, and built-in towel heaters are "wants." Setting priorities will help you make decisions as you move through the renovation process.

Step Away From The Computer

Visit showrooms, model homes, and design stores in addition to checking out pictures online. Before investing in materials and appliances, be sure to see and feel them, or samples of them, in person.

DIY Or Contractor?

The biggest question to answer when creating your budget is deciding whether to do the work yourself or to hire a contractor. Doing the work yourself is usually less expensive – unless, of course, something (costly) goes wrong. Using a contractor, however, can mean your project is completed to professional standards and usually in a shorter time frame. Be sure to calculate the value of your time (and your back and knees) and the inconvenience of having a bathroom or kitchen out of use during the project when deciding whether to opt for DIY or a pro.

Expect The Unexpected

Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, add on an extra 15 to 20 percent of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. Added costs inevitably arise, especially if you're dealing with an older home.

If you have questions or are looking for a good contractor, I’m connected with some of the best professionals in the business.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 51

Contact Information

Photo of Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC Real Estate
Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC
RE/MAX Dynamic Properties
3350 Midtown Place
Anchorage AK 99503
Bethany (907) 223-1632
Bonnie (907) 223-0005