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Things Not to do When Buying a House

by Nancy Heim-berg

The excitement of buying a new home can open up your imagination to a whole new world - from interior color schemes to planning your landscaping. Picturing yourself living in your new house is just part of the fun.

But be careful to remain practical before you buy the home. You'll first face the big step of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, and that comes with no guarantees.

Beware that actions you take before the lender agrees to fund your house loan can create obstacles that could potentially kill the deal.

That said, here are some things that you shouldn't do before contract and closing day.

Overuse Credit
Don't use plastic like it's going out of style. You need to keep your available credit as high as possible, and that means keeping low balances on your credit cards. Don't buy a house full of furniture before your loan closes.

You should be careful even with minor expenses. Any new payment is going to have an affect on your monthly debt-to-income ratio, and not necessarily in a good way. Banks will review your past use of credit to determine your interest rate.

Make Mysterious Deposits/Withdrawals
Lenders will keep close watch on your bank statements during the pre-approval process. They'll continue to do so during underwriting.

You'll need to have an explanation for any unusual deposits or withdrawals. The lender will want to know about an unexpected, large deposit to your account; they'll particularly want to be assured that you're not using gifts or unorthodox deposits to pay the bills.

Be Late With Bills
A late payment showing up on your credit report before closing can ruin your deal. Remember: Your payment history comprises about a third of your credit score. Many lenders will require 12 months of consecutive on-time payments to qualify for a home loan.

Co-Signing A Loan
Co-Signing on a loan can be a risky business whenever you make it. But making yourself financially liable for someone else's debt during the loan process is even riskier. Lenders will consider this another financial obligation as they determine your ability to pay a mortgage.

Change Jobs
Obviously, losing your job will create problems during the approval process. But even job-hopping can create hurdles, because lenders love to see stable, reliable income that's going to continue in the future. Even taking a new job in a different field can raise red flags.

Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

by Nancy Heim-berg

Why Ignoring Curb Appeal Will Cost You

Homes with curb appeal sell for higher prices and typically sell faster. This doesn’t necessarily mean replacing main features of your home with expensive materials, it’s about maintaining and beautifying your house. If your home is attractively landscaped and well-maintained, it can add thousands of dollars to the value and decrease sell time. Adding small flourishes and doses of color can be what you need to bump up your curb appeal.


Refinish Your Front Door

An old or outdated door, or one that is dull in color, can diminish the appeal of your home. It’s the focal point of a house, but with a simple stain or paint, it can be brightened up and create a welcoming feel for guests and people passing by.

Add Some Lighting

There are many ways to add decorative lighting touches to your home, walkway, or garden. These additions make your home feel as if you care about it, you put work into it, and that increases the curb appeal. Simply changing the fixtures or installing lamps along a pathway can make your home more attractive, and with many styles to choose from, you can stick to a set theme.

Build Window Boxes

Flowers are not only attractive, they are colorful, and they are a natural and easy way to add that touch of color that your home needs. You can build or purchase a window box and install it along your windows, and plant flowers or even herbs within them. They are inexpensive and can give your home a chic or rustic look.

Create a Walkway

Simple stepping stones can add appeal to your home, but a fleshed-out, fully functional walkway gives your home the appeal of safety and attractiveness. People will feel safer walking from the street to the door if the walkway is lined, and if it is artfully designed, the improvement is immediately noticeable.

Paint Your House

The easiest and most efficient way to spruce up your home is by painting it. A solid color with bright accents gives your home a brand new feel to it and makes it stand out from the rest of the houses on the street.

No matter what you choose to do, from major renovations to minimal additions, a few well-placed touches gives your home maximum curb appeal!

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Heim-Berg Team
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(402) 677-9024
Fax: 402-493-4805

Stacey OHara CMG financial 515-306-2360


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