home buying

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22 09, 2016

Why you should buy a home this Fall

September 22nd, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|

Driveway to front walkway view of partial front of residential home during early autumn season.

Everyone loves fall. The leaves are changing, the temperatures start dropping, football season, pumpkin flavored everything, are some of the reasons why fall is so lovable. One of the other awesome things about fall is the housing market slows down, which is good news for buyers. There are a couple reasons why fall is a good time for home buyers, let’s take a look at some.

  • Less competition. As summer comes to an end and the school year starts up, there are fewer families who want to move because they do not want to have their children change schools or school districts during the middle of the year. This is one of the reasons why competition for buying homes drops off in the fall. Fall is considered to be off-season realty. Don’t be discouraged by that though, in some cases there is just as much inventory in the fall as there is in spring and summer. This puts you in a great position to negotiate especially because some sellers will definitely want the move and sale to happen before the holidays.
  • Sellers are worn out. Sellers that still have their homes on the market during the fall might have priced their homes higher than what buyers have wanted to pay in the spring and summer months. After months of no actions, these sellers are often ready to make a deal. Sellers are going to be worn out after months of work. They are likely to take a smaller offer rather than wait another six months for spring to be back around.
  • Sellers means business. Just because a home is on the market in the fall doesn’t necessarily mean that […]
5 07, 2016

Home Inspection vs. Home Appraisal

July 5th, 2016|Blog, General, Mortgage 101|

House and key shaped paper cutout, calculator and magnifier on wooden table.

Some future home buyers may be confused about the difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal. While they sound like they are the same thing, they are very different in reality. The two serve different purposes. A home inspection is optional; while an appraisal is required by a mortgage lender. An appraiser is more concerned with the value or a property, and a home inspector is more concerned with the condition of the property. Here is a closer look at the differences between the two.

Home Inspection

It is the inspector’s job to take a more in-depth look at the home than the appraisers do. Home inspectors are optional. Everything from the foundation to the roof will be thoroughly evaluated to make sure the buyer knows exactly what they are getting. Unlike an appraiser, home inspectors do not place a value on the home. Inspectors create a report that lets the buyer know the overall condition of the home. They inspect things that you do not necessarily see in a walk-through of the property. They will check the plumbing (pipes), radon, possible lead paint exposure, any signs of structural issues, ventilation, heating, air conditioning, electrical, drainage, etc. Inspectors will also advise you to contact a professional, such as a structural engineer, plumber or electrician if they feel there are any major issues to be addressed. The inspector will provide you with a clear understanding of what is going on with the home and if they foresee any future problems.

Home Appraisal

An appraisal is an evaluation of a property’s value based on its condition, features, and similar home sales in the area. Appraisals are conducted by trained, certified professionals who are licensed to […]

17 06, 2016

Smart Moves for First-Time Home Buyers

June 17th, 2016|Home Finances, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

Shot of a couple moving into their new homehttp://

First-time home buyers, are you ready to buy? It is a seller’s market right now so we are here to prepare you with tips before entering the market. Your biggest challenge is that you are probably bringing less cash to the table, which makes it harder to compete with more season buyers. What YOU do have is flexibility-you’re not counting on selling your current place to fund the deal. Which means that you are a perfect answer for sellers who want to stay put until they land their next place.

  1. Lock up your financials. It is time to clean up your credit and save for a bigger down payment so that you’ll qualify for a better mortgage rate and avoid costly fees. Start paying down credit cards so your balance is less than 30% of the limit and avoid late payments. It is so important to pay your bills on time, even student loan payments. Student loans will not hinder your chance of getting a loan, as long as you are making the payments on time. Next, 20% is the golden number for down payments. Putting down 20% helps you avoid costly private mortgage insurance and can help you to beat competing offers. If you aren’t there yet, either change your spending habits to save up more or start looking at cheaper homes.
  2. Check Alternative Mortgage Options. If you can’t get close to that 20% down payment or your credit score is not where you would like it to be, that is okay too! FHA loans (read more about them here) let you put just 3.5% down, and offer better rates for those with less-than-pristine credit. It is important to know the tradeoff though, […]
17 05, 2016

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

May 17th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Tips & Advice|

House icon and keys on wooden background

Most renters are planning to buy a home at some point. If so, they are probably saving up for the down payment right about now. Besides that obviously step, here are four more advanced steps towards moving out your rental and into a dream home of your own.

Understanding the full cost of homeownership

As a renter, you are used to writing a check to your landlord and that covering your monthly housing payment. As a future homeowner, make sure you are familiar with the four components of a mortgage payment that are listed below, otherwise known as P.I.T.I:
Principal: Money that is going towards the remaining amount of your loan.
Interest: This is the amount of the payment that is going towards the interest on your loan. For a while at the beginning of owning your home, a large majority of your mortgage payment with be going towards the interest on the loan.
Taxes: Refers to property taxes, which are assessed by the county that you live in. They average 1.2% of your home’s value each year.
Insurance: This will be paid to a homeowner’s insurance company of your choice; this is required when you have a mortgage. Lenders require that your insurance cover the cost of rebuilding the home if it is ruined by fire or other disaster. This “replacement cost” is determined by your insurer, and must be agreed to by your lender. Insurance will typically cost $700 to $1,200 per year for a single family home.

Know your homeowner tax benefits

Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible when you file your annual tax returns, and reduce taxable income. These deductions significantly lower your cost of homeownership. For example, for a $300,000 home with 20 percent down and a 30-year fixed mortgage […]

25 02, 2016

Tips for buying a home this spring

February 25th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Tips & Advice|












It is not a secret that spring is a great time to put your home on the market. Prospective homebuyers can look at homes and condos without having to worry about trudging through snow or bad weather. Plus families search for homes during this time so they can move in the summer without disrupting the school year.

A seller’s market means that buyers have to be smart and prepared if they want to get the right house at the right price. Agents suggest that prospective buyers start by looking at home online, narrowing down neighborhood choices and deciding between must-have and preferred features.

Here are tips for buying a home this spring:

• Get mortgage prequalification or preapproval before you start looking. As with any purchase, you need to know what you can afford. If you do this before you start shopping it will help narrow down your options and makes your offer more competitive.
• Do your research. Use the internet and different apps to research neighborhood and asking prices for the type of home you want.
• Have the documents ready. In order to obtain a mortgage you will need documentation to complete the qualification process. Check out the full list of what is needed on our website: http://firstohiohome.com/purchase-home/mortgage-checklists/
• Be ready to move fast. A well-located house in good condition and priced right will sell quickly; it can even be the first day it goes on the market. A buyer needs to be ready to commit if they find a home they like because they risk the chance of losing it if they don’t. One of the things First Ohio Home Finance is known for is how quickly they work for their customers.
• Understand that no house is perfect. Making your offer contingent on a home […]

19 01, 2016

Advantages to Buying a Home During Winter Months

January 19th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House in the Snow.

An analysis of sales statistics shows that central Ohioans get a better deal buying a home in the winter, rather than the summer. The median sale price of a central Ohio home in the three winter months averaged $130,630 over the past five years compared with $156,201 during the summer months. The average price per square foot dropped from $96.81 in the summer to $82.36 in the winter.

Another advantage is that a deal is likely to close more quickly because lenders, title companies, appraisers and others are not as busy during these months. This is fortunate for anyone who is trying to move quickly through the buying process. Central Ohio home sales, along with those nationally, drop precipitously during winter. During the past five years, an average of 1,456 Columbus-area homes sold during the three winter months, compared with 2,559, during the summer months.

Why are the prices lower in the winter? People marketing homes in the winter often must sell, experts say, and therefore tend to be receptive to offers, especially with fewer people buying homes during this time. If a home is on the market over the holidays or middle of January, a person typically has to sell it, limiting negotiating leverage. If seller do not have a specific timeline, then they will hold out till spring or summer when the market is better.

The advantage of buying in the winter has risen as the housing market has recovered. If you are looking to buy during these winter months or any month we want to help! Contact us here today.   

25 04, 2015

Reasons You Should Purchase a Home in The Spring

April 25th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home, Tips & Advice|


An upscale neighborhood in spring with flowering cherry trees

With the warmer weather quickly approaching, interest in home buying is increasing. Many folks are ready to get outside and start their house shopping. Here are some great reasons you, too, should start looking for your new home!

Reason #1: Ease of Obtaining a loan

Getting a mortgage is much easier than it was a year ago. Borrowers who may have only been approved for an FHA Loan are now becoming eligible for conventional loans. As the lenders lower their requirements for specific loans it gives the borrowers more options with more competitive rates and terms of the loan.

Reason #2: Rental Rates are on the Rise

Due to the high demand for apartments, rent is on the rise. There are not enough new apartment units to meet demand therefore renters are paying upwards to 30% of their income on their rent. On the contrary home owners are paying about 15% of their income on their mortgage. That is usually enough motivation for renters to save up for a down payment  and pursue home ownership.

Reason #3: Interest in Home Buying is Increasing

As the confidence in the housing market rises among renters as well as current home owners looking to buy again, the market is becoming full of buyers. The sooner you can get out and start looking the better as this will likely increase competition when buyers begin searching for their new home.

Reason #4: Low Mortgage Rates

If this isn’t motivation to purchase a home we don’t know what is! Currently rates are sitting around 4% for a 30-year fixed but they are expected to rise around 5% by the end of 2015. Granted that is not a huge increase in percentage, it can make a difference when it comes to the amount of your monthly payment.

The housing marketing is […]

28 02, 2015

Is a Short Sale Home a Good Option?

February 28th, 2015|Blog|


iStock_000007246498SmallYou have come across a home that you love; its in the right neighborhood, its the ideal size for your family, and has all the bells and whistles you were looking for in a home. The only problem is that its a short sale. This is a common thing within the housing market right now. Many homeowners are finding themselves upside down in their mortgage due to a job loss, aggressive borrowing against their home when credit was easier to obtain, or an unforeseen circumstance. These same homeowners are opting for a short sale option in order to avoid a possible foreclosure of their home. This is where it can get tricky for the individual looking to purchase the home. Lets first discuss what a short sale entails.

What is a short sale?

A short sale is the sale of a home in which the proceeds from selling the home/property will fall short of the amount of debt that is owed on the home/property. The property owner is not able to pay the remaining amount owed on the loan and the lien holder or bank will then release the loan by accepting a lesser amount of money than what is owed on the debt. For the lien holder or bank, this is an alternative option to a foreclosure where the bank is able to recoup some of the money on the loan as opposed to losing more more money on the loan to a foreclosure.

Are you a good candidate for a short sale?

Since the bank is losing some money on the short sale it can take several months for an approval. When it comes time to make the decision to purchase a short sale home you must have patience. Even after you have come […]

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