Stewart Woodward, REALTOR Selling Metro West Real Estate


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 7/27/2017

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector – you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase – use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.




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Posted by Stewart Woodward on 6/15/2017

Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.




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Posted by Stewart Woodward on 4/6/2017

Many homebuyers face an interesting dilemma. On one hand, a broad array of houses is available nationwide, making it easy to find a great residence just about anywhere. Conversely, the housing market remains fierce, and a homebuyer who fails to submit the right offer at the right time may miss out on the opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.

Ultimately, homebuyers must be ready to submit a fair offer on a house at any time. And even though you may be tempted to submit a proposal that exceeds a home seller's asking price to secure your ideal house, you should try to do everything you can to avoid overspending.

Lucky for you, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of making a reasonable offer on a home. Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid spending too much for a house.

1. Know What to Look for in Your Dream House

The definition of a "dream house" may vary from homebuyer to homebuyer. If you consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal home, you'll be able to browse the real estate market accordingly.

Although many great houses are readily available, it is important to keep in mind that no residence is perfect. As such, you should establish lists of must-haves and wants for your dream home and set realistic expectations. This will allow you to compare and contrast homes against your lists, find a residence that meets your expectations and remain calm, cool and collected as you prepare to submit an offer on a home.

2. Get a Mortgage in Advance

Homebuyers can get pre-approved for a mortgage and create a budget before they embark on a search for their dream home.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions and assess all of the mortgage options at your disposal. In addition, lenders may be able to offer a variety of financing options based on your credit score, annual income and other economic factors.

With a mortgage in hand, you can explore the real estate market and find homes that fall within your price range. Therefore, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be better equipped to accelerate the homebuying process and avoid overspending on a house.

3. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent may make or break your home search. And with the right real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding your dream home in any real estate market.

Your real estate agent is happy to provide tips to ensure you can submit a fair offer on any residence. That way, you can avoid the risk of overspending and improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a reasonable price.

Hire a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive expertise and great people skills. By doing so, you can work with a real estate professional who can help you acquire your ideal home in no time at all.




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Posted by Stewart Woodward on 1/26/2017

Let's face it – buying a home can be difficult, especially if you are forced to negotiate with a stubborn home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the negotiation process and ensure that you can secure your dream home quickly.

Here are three tips that will enable you to avoid stressful negotiations with home sellers:

1. Do Your Homework

If you submit a fair offer on a home from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a stressful negotiation altogether. As such, perform plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer to ensure that your proposal will meet a home seller's needs.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your city or town prior to submitting an offer on a residence. This will allow you to understand whether a home seller's asking price falls in line with similar properties in the area. It also enables you to browse the real estate market and ensure that you are ready to submit an offer on a particular residence based on what's available elsewhere.

After you do your homework, submit a competitive offer on a home. If the offer meets the home seller's needs, he or she may accept it immediately. Or, if the home seller issues a counter-proposal, you can always decline the counter-offer and check out other properties.

2. Don't Lose Your Cool

A negotiation can be frustrating at times, but a patient homebuyer will be able to remain calm, cool and collected at all times.

During a negotiation, it is important to remember that both you and the home seller have similar goals. Ultimately, both parties want to reach a fair agreement, one that satisfies the needs of all parties involved. And if you can find common ground with a home seller, you may be able to streamline the negotiation process.

If you feel like your emotions are getting out of control during a negotiation, take a break. Remember, you can always go for a walk on your own and hang out with family members and friends to alleviate stress. After you perform a stress-relieving activity, you may be able to return to the negotiating table with a fresh outlook as well.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating with a home seller, there is no reason to conduct a negotiation on your own. Instead, hire an experienced real estate agent, and this professional will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts, rejects or counters your offer on a house. He or she also will offer expert recommendation to help you secure your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Employ a real estate agent to help you manage negotiations with home sellers – you'll be glad you did. Your real estate agent will help you avoid stress throughout negotiations, and as such, make it easy for you to obtain your dream residence.




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Posted by Stewart Woodward on 3/10/2016

You've been thinking about buying your first home and it is a very big decision. It is typically not a decision you make overnight instead you need to take the time prepare yourself.  Here are the basic steps that you should follow when it is time to buy a home.

  1. Ask are you ready? Home ownership is quite different than renting. It is a lot more expensive than renting. You will have added expenses and responsibility. There will be expenses like repairs, added utility costs, such as garbage and water, plus taxes and insurance related to your home. You will want to make sure to have an emergency fund, before you purchase your first home.
  2. Shop for a loan. Your first step will be to get preapproved. Knowing how much you can afford will help you to look for homes within your price range.
  3. Figure out how much you can afford. Just because you are preapproved for a certain loan doesn't mean you can afford that in the real world. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage along with your taxes and insurance between twenty five and thirty percent of your income. You don't want to be house poor.
  4. Use a real estate professional you can trust.  A good real estate professional will listen to your wants and needs carefully. It is important that you are also educated on the process of buying a home. A good real estate professional will help meet your needs while navigating you through the process and advocating for your best interests.