Ana Lucia Porter | Columbia Real Estate


If you're planning to purchase a home in the near future, one thing's for sure: You've got your work cut out for you! However, when you finally find the house of your dreams, the time and effort will be more than worth it!

Your to-do list will include calculating how much you can afford to spend on a house, obtaining a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage lender, and eventually comparing loan estimates.

One of the first things home buyers usually need to do before getting too caught up in their real estate search is to check their credit score. Your credit report, which is basically a detailed profile of your credit history, plays a major role in your ability to get approved for a mortgage and obtain favorable interest rates. Consumers are entitled to get a free copy of their credit report once a year from the three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Before applying for a mortgage, it's highly recommended that you check the accuracy of your credit report. If it contains mistakes, inaccuracies, or obsolete information, that could affect your ability to get a mortgage -- or obtain favorable interest rates and terms. Fortunately, errors can be disputed and corrected by the appropriate credit reporting company.

The Impact of Your Credit Score

The most widely used scoring system to determine a borrower's ability (and willingness) to stay current on loan payments is called a "FICO score." Depending on your credit history and bill paying habits, your FICO score can range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. If you're wondering how your FICO score stacks up against other homebuyers and consumers in the U.S., the median FICO score was recently in the neighborhood of 721 (although that number fluctuates). That means 50% of borrowers are above that score and 50% fall below that mark.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the best mortgage interest rates are generally offered to borrowers who have earned FICO scores in the mid- to high 700s. If your credit score falls between the high 600s and the low 700s, the interest rates available to you may be somewhat higher.

Those who are saddled with a credit rating below the mid 600s may have difficulty getting approved for a mortgage. If you're in that situation, your real estate agent or loan officer may suggest applying for an FHA loan rather that a conventional loan. Although FHA loans can be more expensive, the standards for getting approved are more lenient. These government regulated and insured loans also allow for a more affordable down payment of as little as 3.5 percent, as oppose to the "typical" down payment of between 10 and 15 percent.



If you're preparing to buy or sell a home, why should you be forced to work with a real estate agent who won't listen to your concerns and questions? Instead, hire a real estate agent who is a great listener, and you can receive consistent support throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.

There are many signs that a real estate agent is an outstanding listener, such as:

1. Your real estate agent responds to your concerns and questions as quickly as possible.

Let's face it – buying or selling a house can be stressful. Fortunately, a real estate agent who is an active listener will do what it takes to help clients alleviate stress time and time again.

An active listener will learn what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Meanwhile, a real estate agent who actively listens to a homebuyer or home seller will be ready to respond to urgent client requests without delay.

Furthermore, it is important to employ a real estate agent who boasts comprehensive homebuying or home selling experience. With this housing market professional at your disposal, you can get expert responses to your concerns and questions. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make informed homebuying or home selling decisions.

2. Your real estate agent follows up with you regularly.

A real estate agent who understands the value of active listening will follow up with clients regularly. By doing so, this housing market professional can limit the risk of miscommunication and mistakes along the homebuying or home selling process.

In addition, a real estate agent who provides constant updates will take the guesswork out of buying or selling a home. He or she will make it simple for you to streamline the homebuying or home selling process. And as such, this real estate agent will reduce the chance that you'll encounter potential homebuying or home selling roadblocks that otherwise could prevent you from achieving your desired results.

3. Your real estate agent asks questions and requests feedback.

When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it is vital to select one who asks questions and requests feedback. In fact, this housing market professional may prove to be an amazing listener who will go above and beyond the call of duty to support you in any way possible.

Ultimately, a real estate agent who asks questions wants to learn about a client's homebuying or home selling needs. He or she wants clients to succeed and will dedicate the necessary time and resources to help each client buy or sell a home.

On the other hand, a real estate agent who requests feedback is always searching for ways to improve, and this commitment to excellence usually separates an ordinary real estate agent from an exceptional one.

Kick off the homebuying or home selling process by hiring a real estate agent who knows how to listen to his or her clients. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a successful homebuying or home selling journey.



If you find your dream house, you likely want to submit an offer to purchase this residence as soon as possible. That way, you can avoid the danger of losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.

Although you may strive to quickly submit an offer to purchase your dream residence, it is important to allocate sufficient time to craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Ultimately, there are many reasons to be diligent as you prepare an offer to purchase, and these include:

1. You can avoid the risk of overpaying to acquire your dream house.

You want to buy your dream house, but at the same time, you don't want to pay too much for it. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about a home's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase.

Analyze a house's condition closely as you put together a property buying proposal. It often is beneficial to consider any potential home improvement projects as well.

Also, take a look at the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town as your dream residence. With this housing market data in hand, you can establish a price range for homes that are similar to your dream residence. Then, you can submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the present state of the housing market.

2. You can submit an offer to purchase that falls in line with a seller's expectations.

It usually is beneficial to consider the seller's perspective as you put together an offer to purchase. By doing so, you can craft a homebuying proposal that falls in line with a seller's expectations.

If you think about the seller's perspective, you may be able to avoid submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase. Because if you understand how a seller may perceive your homebuying proposal, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase that likely will make a positive impression on him or her.

3. You can increase the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller.

With a competitive offer to purchase, a seller may respond with an instant "Yes." As a result, if you craft a competitive homebuying proposal, you may be able to move forward with a home purchase and quickly acquire your dream residence.

As you navigate the real estate market and prepare an offer to purchase your dream house, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a residence. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase too.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.



If you plan to purchase a house soon, you may want to narrow your home search. In fact, there are many reasons why you should hone your house search, and these include:

1. You can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may seem tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. Thankfully, narrowing a home search enables you to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, a refined home search allows you to focus exclusively on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will make it simple for you to find houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings to view these residences and proceed accordingly.

It also may be beneficial to craft a list of home must-haves and wants before you conduct a house search. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can further accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. You can act quickly to acquire your dream house.

As a homebuyer, you must be ready to pounce at the opportunity to purchase your dream house. Because if you hesitate during the homebuying journey, you may miss out on the chance to buy your ideal residence.

If you narrow your home search, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to act quickly to submit an offer to purchase a great house at an affordable price. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, you then can move one step closer to acquiring your dream home.

3. You can avoid wasting time and resources.

When it comes to finding a home, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can avoid the risk of wasting time and resources throughout the homebuying journey.

With a refined home search, you can increase the likelihood of maximizing your time and resources. A refined home search ensures you can focus solely on residences that you are sure to enjoy and avoid houses that are unlikely to match your expectations. Then, you can find your ideal home and transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

As you get ready to start a house search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you evaluate residences.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a house in any city or town. He or she will learn about you and your homebuying goals and offer personalized home search tips. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and ensure you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right house at the right price – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive expert assistance as you search for your ideal residence.



8649 ALLENSWOOD RD, RANDALLSTOWN, MD 21133  

Residential
$285,000
Price
3
Bedrooms
3
Baths
Great value for 3BD, 3 Full Bath home with stunning kitchen sited on 0.6 lovely acres - ideal for outdoor activities. Kit has 42"cabinets, granite counters and SS appl 5-burner gas stove! Open flr plan perfect for entertainment. Spacious FR and full bath in basement. Tucked away on a side street but so close to daily commercial necessities. Your opportunity for an affordable, quality home!