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The Cascade Team Real Estate Blog

Getting ready to buy a house or just thinking about it? Where to buy, what to buy, and how you'll afford it are probably top of mind. But if you're not also concentrating on your credit score - and by concentrating on, we mean actively trying to raise your scores as much as possible - you're not looking at the whole home buying picture.

Not only can does your credit score factor greatly into what you'll pay for your house, it can keep you from being able to buy one, period. "Your credit history determines what loans you will qualify for and the interest rate you will pay," said eloan. "A credit score provides an easy way for lenders to numerically judge your credit at a point in time. It gauges how likely you are to repay your loan in a timely

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Sometimes you just can’t find the perfect house. With inventory as tight as it is, options are slim, and buyers often must settle for a home that isn’t their best match if they’re determined to purchase now. But there’s still a way to get exactly what they want, even if it’s not on the market. They could build the house of their dreams — though the process may be grueling.

Building comes with many more details to keep track of than buying an existing home. You have to get construction permits, work with an architect, worry about staying within zoning regulations. It’s a daunting task that not every home buyer should take on. But for clients who want what they want and can’t find it anywhere, new-home construction could be their best

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It dawned on me recently that buyers really need a basic overview. Especially for first-time home buyers who aren't familiar with the process.

Bear in mind that the steps in the home buying process can vary from state to state, depending on local custom. However, when you strip away all of the crap, which may or may not happen to you, there are really only 5 basic steps to buying a home.

You can do these 5 steps in any order you want.

Hire an Agent

Because I am an agent, I believe in hiring a buyer's agent first. But you don't have to if you prefer to go to open houses and look through a mumbo jumbo of homes online. Mostly, an agent will save you time.

  • An agent can send you listings directly
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Is Your Millennial Real Estate Game Lacking?  

Maybe it's time to adjust your strategy.

"They have to give up their coffee three times a week."

"They need to keep their car until it's paid off and then continue to drive it for years."

"If they really want to buy a house, they need to change their lifestyle."

These are just a few of the comments overheard on a recent day as two presumably hungry mortgage professionals met over lunch within earshot of our table at a local restaurant. Curiously, they both seemed to agree that these strategies were key to turning millennials into homeowners.

The strategies don't seem out o f line, really... unless you actually know some millennials and are in touch with how they act, who they are, what they like, what they want, and what…
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 I got an email from Zillow last week. Seems my house has gone up in value another $2,000+ dollars in the past 30 days. And it's going to rise another 3.5% in the next year, according to their Zestimate®. Fab!

Except that it's just speculation. When it comes to Zillow's Zestimates, you have to take the numbers with a grain of salt. Make that a big shake of salt, right over your shoulder. And maybe a stiff drink. And a frank conversation with your real estate agent.

"Shoppers, sellers and buyers routinely quote Zestimates to realty agents - and to one another - as gauges of market value," said the Los Angeles Times. "If a house for sale has a Zestimate of $350,000, a buyer might challenge the sellers' list price of $425,000. Or a…
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We all know that living near a good school increases the value of your home. But who knew a neighboring cemetery can adversely affect your property value? Or that proximity to a hospital isn’t a good thing?

In fact, we now know – or should know – that nothing is more important when selling your home than your neighborhood. So if you’re buying, think ahead; purchase your dream home in the wrong location and you may be buying into a nightmare. Here are some location no-nos:

  • Research has found that living near a cemetery will lower your property value by 12.3% and having a hospital nearby means when you sell you can expect an impact on your sale price of 3.2%. Also note: make sure you move near a “good” school; a “bad” school will reduce your
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1. GET EDUCATED ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THE APPRAISAL VALUE DETERMINATION PROCESS TO KNOW WHAT THE EXPERTS CONDUCTING THE EVALUATION PAY ATTENTION TO

This article’s purpose is not to give an exhaustive description of the appraisal procedure, but rather provide the sellers with a few pieces of advice on how to improve its results. But, we’re going to base the further info considering these most important facts about house appraisal:

  • its real purpose is to figure out whether the home’s value expressed in the monetary equivalent (the selling price)coincides with the average prices of similar local properties, which have been recently sold or which are currently available on the market;

  • it takes the evaluation

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Selling your home means selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own. In home staging, you're striving for a look that is fresh and welcoming yet not really taste specific. People with varying tastes need to feel that they can make the home their own if they purchase it.

 

This is the distinction between decorating your home and staging it to sell. It can be hard to understand at first, but if you don't know the difference, you might not sell your house as quickly as you like.

Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style of decorating. Getting rid…
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Thinking about buying your first home? What an exciting time this is bound to be. And, also, what a (potentially) overwhelming, confusing, and stress-filled time. It can easily veer into scary territory if you're not prepared and not surrounding yourself with professionals who can help guide you in the right direction.

These seven tips can help you make that dream of homeownership come true in 2017.

1. Work with the right real estate agent

The guy next door or your brother's girlfriend's cousin who just got his real estate license may be hungry to get your business, but that doesn't mean he's your best bet. An experienced agent quite simply knows things that someone who is brand new probably doesn't. An experienced agent will also

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Homeowner association boards are elected to handle HOA business. Some do it better than others because of training and natural ability. While good business practices are fundamental to getting the job done right, "people" practices are equally important.

And even though HOA elections are not typically barraged with candidates, the membership does care what the board does. When the board doesn't do it right, some members simmer at a slow boil, some bellow and others beat the tar and feather drums. The picture isn't pretty for well intentioned boards.

A truly effective and perceptive board understands the need to keep business transparent. This "glass house" style of management is difficult for some directors to deal with since it seems…
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