Buying a House and Selling a House — At the Same Time?

How the heck do you buy AND sell a house AT THE SAME TIME? Argh! It's REALLY stressful! ...Or is it? Here are some important tips on how to make buying and selling a house at the same time go a whole heck of a lot smoother. You might even feel much more prepared! Wow! First and foremost: Start packing I mean, do you even know how long it takes to pack up your life? I know someone moving from a tiny duplex, and it's still going to take her almost a month to pack, have a garage sale, sell stuff on eBay, give it away, whatever it is she needs to do to get herself packed and moved out of there. Additionally, buying and … [Read more...]

Big Box Banks vs. Local Mortgage Banker

Does it really matter who you choose to do your mortgage? Can't you just go down to any ho-hum bank and get a home loan? Or call that spammy 1-800 number (that is most likely a sex hotline) you got from a quick Google search? Yes, it matters! And it’s a big FLIPPIN’ deal! You might be thinking, “Big Box is the way to go because I like everything BIG, GINORMOUS, and boxy—Texas-style!” (Remember that hit song, I'm Boxy and I Know It? LMAO!) But visit any realtor-infused happy hour and you will understand why realtors start breaking out in a cold sweat when they see a pre-qualification from 1-800-Big Box Walmart Wannabe Bank. When you … [Read more...]

Are We Headed For Another Real Estate Bubble?

Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled PBS program in the drab, grey fields of irrational paranoia, fear and anarchy, but I have an important message for you: IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD. WE ARE NOT IN A HOUSING CRISIS. We are not about to be in one either! I know what you're thinking, "Oh, but Kristin, you're a REAL ESTATE agent. Of course you would tell us we're not in a housing crisis... You just want my $%#^@ MONEY!" No. I want you to be happy. And happiness comes from being educated by the facts. With knowledge comes power and confidence - not this fear bullcrap. Let's get rid of this fear thing. It never does anyone any good … [Read more...]

The Big Pre-Qualification Question

For some, calling a lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage is an anxiety-riddled, hand-wringing, whiskey-swigging dilemma. Should I or shouldn't I? It's a big deal...or is it? The fact is, it is pretty much pointless to go house-shopping without checking in with a lender first. It's like going shopping without your wallet, only worse. If you forget your wallet, you can ask the cashier to hold onto the awesome bargain you found while you run back home and retrieve the forgotten financials. But if you don't talk to a lender first, you might be shopping at Nordstom's when you really should be shopping at Target (or vice versa). And either … [Read more...]

Interest Rates Rise for the First Time Since 2006

Told ya... As expected, the Federal Reserve announced that short-term interest rates would rise by 25 basis points (0.25%), the first time the interest rate has increased since 2006. For seven years,  the Fed held short-term rates near zero to apply the paddles to the cardiac crisis that hit the US economy back in 2006, and nurse it back to health. Although the US economy isn't exactly ready for an iconic post-recovery marathon, it is at least at the 10K stage where economic experts agree that a little return to normalcy will do us all some good. Now, the interest rate we are talking about is NOT the mortgage interest rate. The Feds … [Read more...]

Can You Really Buy a House With Only $1000 in Your Pocket?

Sometimes! Have you been thinking about buying a house but figure you won't live long enough to save up that huge down payment? Never fear! Hope is here! Arizona has several down payment assistance programs that provide a grant to homeowners who qualify that shaves 3% off the minimum down payment. That's a huge chunk of the low down payments required for FHA and some conventional loan programs. And it gets better... If the seller agrees to contribute towards your closing costs - effectively financing those closing costs - you might be surprised at the small amount of cash you need to get those house keys. I have seen folks buy for … [Read more...]

Your Loan Officer Is Not Your Friend (continued…)

Yesterday, Justin McHood posted a great article in which he discusses the very blunt reality that "... many people are surprised to learn that a loan officer works for the bank, he does not work for you." (Check out the whole post at http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com/your-loan-officer-is-not-your-friend/). Here is my two cents on the topic... … [Read more...]

The Myth of Loan Pre-Qualification

Remember when you could call up a lender, tell them how much you make and how much you owe in car and credit card payments and they would tell you how much you qualify for? Well, those days are over... Today, I have the unpleasant task of cancelling a contract for one of my buyer clients because their loan fell through. This is happening way too often as the mortgage industry continues to tighten up on their lending practices. My clients were pre-qualified and the lender assured us that they were in good shape. But when we presented the contract and it was time to put the deal together, my clients were told that they are out of luck. At … [Read more...]