Stewart Woodward, REALTOR Selling Metro West Real Estate


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 4/19/2018

Ready to submit a home loan application? Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you finalize your submission, and these include:

1. Your Outstanding Debt

If you have outstanding student loan, car or other debt, you should try to pay it off as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of securing a home loan that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Take a look at your outstanding debt and make a plan to pay down your bills. With a plan in place, you may be able to reduce or eliminate outstanding debt before you complete your home loan application.

2. Your Credit Score

A strong credit score will help a homebuyer get a terrific home loan. Conversely, an inferior credit score is unlikely to do you any favors after you submit a home loan application.

Learn about your credit score before you finalize your home loan application. Then, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to boost your credit score or correct any errors on your credit report.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can understand where your credit score currently stands.

Also, if you find any errors on your credit report, contact the credit reporting bureau that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any credit report mistakes and reduce the risk that these errors could impact your ability to secure a home loan.

3. Your Savings

It never hurts to save money, especially if you'd like to purchase a home in the near future. If you start saving today, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to have the necessary finances in place for a down payment on a house.

In most instances, lenders will require you to have at least a small portion of the purchase price of a home available for a down payment. If you have thousands of dollars available for a down payment, you may be able to boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a lender after you submit your home loan application.

Getting a home loan may seem like a long, arduous process. Fortunately, many lenders are available to help you secure a great home loan.

Meet with several lenders as you explore all of your home loan options. That way, you can learn about a broad array of home loan options and choose a home loan that matches your finances perfectly.

After you secure a home loan, you'll be able to move one step closer to securing your dream residence. Of course, if you need assistance during the homebuying journey, it never hurts to reach out to a real estate agent as well.

A real estate agent will do everything possible to help you acquire a top-notch residence at an affordable price. Thus, if you employ a real estate agent, you may be able to enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.




Tags: Buying a home   loans  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 4/12/2018

You've sold your home, and moving day is almost here. As such, now may be the perfect time to pack an overnight bag; that way, you're ready to survive with only limited supplies until you get settled into your new house.

Ultimately, there are several essential items to include in an overnight bag, such as:

1. Clothing

It is important to pack enough clothing to ensure that you can dress comfortably until you get unpacked. Thus, you'll want to consider how long that it will take you to get settled into a new house as you prep your overnight bag.

For example, if you plan to take several days to unpack, you'll want to pack your overnight bag clothing accordingly. In this scenario, you'll likely need work clothes for the days that you're in the office, along with pajamas and other comfortable clothing that you can wear around the house.

2. Cash

If you know that you're going to be living outside a traditional home environment for a few days, it never hurts to pack cash in your overnight bag. By doing so, you'll have money available to buy food, beverages and other items as needed.

Consider how much money that you'll need to survive even a few days outside of a traditional home setting. Also, be sure to keep extra cash close to reduce the risk of losing this money while you relocate to a new address.

3. Toiletries

Shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries should be included in your overnight bag. These items ensure that you can maintain a clean, neat appearance, regardless of where you're staying.

Many convenience stores and supermarkets sell travel-size versions of popular toiletries. Therefore, you may want to purchase travel-size toiletries to limit the chance that assorted toiletries will take up too much space in your overnight bag.

Furthermore, you can pack only the toiletries that you know you'll need for a set period of time to conserve additional space in your overnight bag.

4. Smartphone Charger

Let's face it Ė no one want to lose access to his or her smartphone for any length of time. Fortunately, if you pack a smartphone charger in your overnight bag, you can recharge your smartphone at any time.

Include a smartphone charger and any smartphone cords or wires in your overnight bag. In addition, don't forget to test your smartphone charger and accessories to ensure they work properly.

Packing an overnight bag can be quick and simple, particularly for those who plan ahead. And if you include the aforementioned items in your overnight bag, you should have no trouble surviving outside a traditional home setting.

Lastly, if you need help as you get ready to vacate your house, a real estate agent may be able to provide assistance. A real estate agent serves as an expert guide along the home selling journey and will do everything possible to guarantee that you are fully prepared for an upcoming move.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 4/5/2018

Looking to buy a house in the near future? If your answer is "Yes," you may want to start reviewing housing market data. That way, you can gain the insights that you need to make data-driven decisions throughout the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, there are many housing market data that you'll want to assess as you prepare to buy a house, such as:

1. Mortgage Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly. As such, if mortgage interest rates are low, you may want to move quickly to capitalize on them.

Meeting with banks and credit unions generally is a great idea if you plan to buy a house. These financial institutions can keep you up to date about mortgage interest rates and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage in hand, you'll be ready to pursue your dream house.

2. Average Amount of Time That a House Stays on the Real Estate Market

Differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market often can be difficult. Fortunately, if you examine the average amount of time that houses are listed in your city or town, you may be able to determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, houses may be listed for many weeks or months before they sell. Also, these houses may be sold below their initial asking prices.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, homes may be available for only days before they sell. Homes that are available in a seller's market may be sold at or above their initial asking prices as well.

3. Prices of Houses in Various Cities and Towns

If you're open to living in a variety of cities or towns, you'll want to evaluate the prices of houses in many areas. That way, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Oftentimes, homes in big cities are more expensive than those in small towns. On the other hand, big cities may provide quick, easy access to a broad range of attractions and landmarks that you simply won't find in small towns.

If you are ready to check out housing market data and begin a home search, it pays to hire a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble enjoying a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

A real estate agent is happy to provide you with a wealth of housing market data. Plus, a real estate agent will teach you the ins and outs of buying a house. He or she also will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you can acquire a terrific house at a fair price.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to be informed. If you assess the aforementioned data, you can obtain comprehensive real estate market insights to help you throughout the homebuying journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 3/29/2018

Experienced, knowledgeable real estate agents are experts in attracting potential buyers to home showings.

When you initially meet with prospective real estate agents to determine which one would be the best fit for your needs, you can get a pretty good sense of how marketing-savvy they are.

Since marketing is one of the most important parts of their job description, a well-trained, motivated real estate agent will know how to effectively use the Internet, their network of personal contacts, and a variety of other techniques to draw in qualified prospects.

Is there anything that you, as the homeowner, can do to help market your home?

Although it's your real estate agent's role to advertise, promote, and publicize your real estate listing to targeted groups and the general public, there is one huge thing you can do to help: Try to keep your house and property looking impeccable at all times. While that goal may be easier said than done, it's worth some extra time and effort to make your home as inviting and appealing to house hunters as possible.

Here are two ways you can increase your home's marketability and help spark more interest among prospective buyers:

  1. Meticulous neatness and cleanliness gives your home instant appeal. On the other hand, a messy, disorganized home or yard will send the wrong message to people touring your house. While it may be counterproductive to have your house reeking from ammonia and harsh cleaning chemicals, keeping countertops, floors, and walls clean will help your real estate agent present your home in its best possible light. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist the help of everyone in the family (except pets) to clean up after themselves and keep their rooms and play areas looking civilized!
  2. Help maintain curb appeal! As the clichť goes (or was it an old mouthwash commercial?): "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression!" For that reason, it's vitally important for your lawn to look well manicured and your house to be free from peeling paint and yard clutter. Another eyesore that detracts from first impressions is the sight of weeds growing out of cracks in your driveway or walkway. The cracks, themselves, are a problem you might want to address, but the weeds (or grass) poking through them is like adding insult to injury! If you don't want to spray them with some toxic, store-bought weed killer, then research natural ways to kill weeds.
Although your real estate agent will gladly handle 99% of the marketing for your home, you can help give their efforts an important nudge by making sure your home and property always look their best!





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 3/22/2018

You know when you buy a home that your credit score matters, but do you see all of the numbers that matter to your financial picture when youíre buying a home? Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the most critical figures that will influence if you can get a mortgage and what type of rate you can get. 


What Is A Debt-To-Income Ratio?


This number is exactly what it states: the ratio of debt divided by your gross monthly income. Your credit report doesn't include any of this income information. This number is actually the best way to see if youíre living within your means or not. This way, your lender will know your monthly debt payments along with your monthly income.  


If your ratio of debt is high, you may not get a loan or get less desirable interest rates than if you had lower amounts of debt. Even if you have a high credit score, your debt-to-income ratio could affect these things. In reality, a higher debt ratio will make it harder for you to pay back your debt, so itís important to you. 


How Itís Calculated


You can use an online tool to help you calculate your debt-to-income ratio. You can also use a simple formula if youíre up for doing some math yourself:


Divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income then multiply that number by 100. For example:


Student loans: $400

Car loan: $300

Rent: $700

Income: $4,000 


1400/4000= 0.35 x 100= 35%


Household Ratio


You should also be aware of something called your household ratio. The household is the amount of home-related expenses which includes property taxes, prospective mortgage, home insurance, and more. These costs are divided by your monthly income to get this ratio as well. Obviously, your household debt adds to your financial commitments and is also put into consideration by your lender.    



Whatís A Good Debt-To-Income Ratio?


Itís ideal that you keep your ratio less than 36%. Your household ratio should be even lower than this. Itís great to be debt free, but in the real world, thatís not always possible. Your best bet is to be responsible with your finances and work on paying your debt down as much as you can. Then, little by little all of the critical numbers that are required to get a mortgage will fall into place.