Todd Alperin - Coco, Early & Associates The Olivares, Molina & Alperin Division



Posted by Todd Alperin on 10/25/2020

If you find your dream house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Putting together a competitive offer to purchase can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an aggressive homebuying proposal.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market fluctuates constantly. If the real estate market favors buyers today, it may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow, or vice-versa. As such, you should study the housing market, determine whether it favors buyers or sellers and craft a homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, as well as how long these homes were listed before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of submitting a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Know Your Budget

If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can minimize the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that stretches beyond your financial limits.

To establish a homebuying budget, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about different mortgage options and help you select the right mortgage. Plus, if you have any questions as you evaluate your mortgage options, banks and credit unions are happy to respond to your home financing queries.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you hire a real estate agent, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase on any house. In fact, a real estate agent can offer in-depth housing market insights to help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal that may receive an instant "Yes" from a seller.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. He or she first will meet with you, learn about you and your homebuying goals and create a personalized property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns until you find one that matches your expectations. And after you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to submit an offer to purchase that fulfills the needs of all parties involved.

Of course, if your offer to purchase your dream home is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final steps of the homebuying process. Or, if your homebuying proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market.

Avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer to purchase your dream house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal home.





Posted by Todd Alperin on 10/18/2020

There are so many factors that go into buying a home. How much money do you have saved up? What is your debt amount? Hw much money do you make each month? Can you afford the neighborhood that youíd like to live in? All of these questions are swirling around the minds of all first-time homebuyers. Did you know that how long you have been at a job is just as important as your income as a factor in getting approved for a mortgage? 


Your ability to repay is why the lender is looking at so many different numbers and factors about your financial situation. Employment overall plays a large stake in the mortgage application. Lenders will look at your past employment history along with the job that your currently have. They are also concerned with your future employment status. Your lender will get an idea of your overall plan for your career and employment through looking at your history. 


As a first-time homebuyer, you most likely donít have the employment history of more seasoned homebuyers. Generally, most people who are buying a home for the first time are pretty young in their careers. As a rule of thumb, lenders will look at your employment history over the past two years. The lender wants to see your industry focus. Maybe you have stuck with one career direction, or maybe you have hopped around a bunch. As a hint, jumping around from job to job and field to field doesnít look very good to mortgage lenders. Job floaters tend to appear as if they have no plans for the future. 


Good Career Moves


Staying a software engineer, but moving from the medical industry to the financial industry is an acceptable and smart move in the eyes of lenders. Yet, leaving your stable job in accounting to pursue a career in acting would not be looked upon favorably in the eyes of a mortgage lender.


It doesnít matter how much money you have saved up, often, without employment history, a lender may not consider you as a dependable buyer. Your lender wants to see that your income is stable for a period of at least three yearís time.


Income Matters 


You wonít have the same work history as a first time homebuyer as you would if you were a bit more seasoned. When lenders look at your income history, not having a lot of work history can be a detriment to many factors. If your income is an annual salary, for example, your lender will divide that salary by 12 in order to get a monthly income. If you havenít been at the job for a full year or took a pay cut during times of training, those numbers will be affected.


For hourly employees, overtime may be a problem as it may not be factored in with the equation if there isnít a history of at least two years on the job. 


While it isnít impossible to buy a home with a short employment history, itís advisable to wait until you have some significant time under your belt before you dive into the home buying process.




Tags: self employed   finances  
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Posted by Todd Alperin on 10/11/2020

Image by Ally Thomas from Pixabay

A VA loan can be the key to getting some of the most attractive terms possible on a home loan. Not only are lenders more forgiving on the minimum down payment requirements, but you may also be exempt from paying Private Mortgage Insurance until you've built up enough equity in the home. We'll look at how VA loans work and who's eligible for them, so you can decide if you're ready to take the plunge. 

Before You Get Started 

One of the most appealing things about a VA loan is the minimum down payment. In some cases, homebuyers aren't required to put anything down at all! But even considering this benefit, you're highly encouraged to build up your savings anyway. This is because you'll be charged a Funding Fee based on the size of your down payment. (This fee is donated to the VA department.) But even without the extra benefits, it's helpful to start with as much equity in the home as possible. 

Who's Eligible?

Here are the main eligibility criteria for VA loans:

  • Military members must be in the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines 
  • You must have served at least 181 days during peacetime or at least 90 days during active war 
  • You can apply after five years of service in the Reserves or National Guard 
  • You must have a credit score of at least 620
  • Widows whose spouses are missing or lost to action. 
  • Certificate of Eligibility 

    While the US government secures the loan, it's the lender who sets the exact terms of the loan. To do this, the lender will take into account a number of factors before making their final decision. They'll use your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to determine that you meet the minimum requirements. They'll also use the entitlement codes on the COE to determine if you qualify for additional consideration. For example, those who were given a Purple Heart will be exempt from paying the Funding Fee on their VA loan. 

    Highest Secured Maximums 

    The government will only secure the loan up to a certain amount. The amount varies based on the average home prices in the area in which you choose. For example, a person buying a home in New York City will have a higher secured maximum than someone buying in Indianapolis. If you're still on an active tour, you should know that you don't have to occupy the home immediately. 

    If you've already been granted a VA loan in the past, you're still eligible to apply for another one. However, the fees and terms are likely to be less forgiving than those on your first loan. 




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    Posted by Todd Alperin on 10/4/2020

    Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

    The short answer to our question of the day is...

    We all know what we like when we see it. 

    New flooring can greatly increase your home's beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet it's impossible to know what kind of flooring will attract your home's next buyer. That said, here are the top selling points of three popular options. 

    Kudos for Carpeting

    Carpet, especially if your home will be shown in the winter, is a popular way to add a comfortable look and feel to a home. Most often chosen for bedrooms, carpet can also hide a multitude of flaws beautifully and without a big dent in your savings. To spruce up a home for sale quickly, carpeting can be a great choice.

    Now, for the possible drawbacks. Carpeting can cause issues for people with chemical sensitivities or allergies. It doesn't last forever, and it usually won't be as stylish in five years as it is when first installed. 

    Tip: Going with one flooring choice throughout your main living spaces can produce an expansive, well put-together look.

    Hoorahs for Hardwood

    Hardwood flooring is a classic choice. Walk into a home with hardwood floor, and you get a sense of elegance, comfort and beauty. Over time, the essential oils of the wood offer a subtly aromatherapeutic and natural appeal. A well-maintained wood floor lasts for decades.

    Yes, a lot of moisture can impact its look, and the kids and pets can scratch it. And refinishing is a big job involving chemical abrasion, although fans of the DIY method point out to us that there are wood and laminate refinishing kits on the market for under $100.  

    Tip: A great, cost-effective alternative is engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, can be easily installed without a subfloor. 

    A Toast to Tile

    Tile is as practical as it is handsome. Well-chosen tile will last the home's lifetime. The richer the hues, and the narrower the space left for grout to show, the easier tile is to clean.

    In kitchens, either tile or laminate styled as tile works well. Expanses of tile are especially desirable in homes and condos throughout Florida and other warm states.

    If you have tile, talk it up! Note its ease of cleaning, especially to potential owners with pets.

    Tip: You can buy tile or laminate that looks like hardwood and have the hardwood look—without the refinishing needs.

    Sellers Can Offer Options

    If you're selling, and your flooring could use updating, considering offering to trim a little off your sale price, encouraging potential buyers to install their own choice of new flooring as desired. That offer itself might just make a deal happen.




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    Posted by Todd Alperin on 9/27/2020

    Image by Lena Lindell from Pixabay

    Having a second home gives you an opportunity to spend part of your time living in another area or bring in another source of income if you rent it out. Purchasing another home is a major investment that requires careful consideration. Before you begin looking into properties for sale, keep the following factors in mind for your second home.

    Choose a Location Carefully

    Whether you have a location in mind or you’re exploring your options, make sure you get to know the local area well prior to making a purchase. If you’re thinking of buying property in a vacation area you’ve visited before, for example, you should learn more about what this location is like in the off season. If you’re considering places you’ve never been to, gather as much information as you can about the area, such as local crime rates and average weather conditions throughout the year.

    Decide on the Right Kind of Home

    Your second home could be a single-family house or a condo or townhome. If you plan on using the property often and you want more privacy, a single-family house might be the right choice. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure you maintain the property all year round. A condo or townhome might offer a better option if you only plan to visit your second home a few times a year, since you won’t have to worry about yard maintenance.

    Consider Financial Factors

    In addition to paying a mortgage and property taxes, there are other financial factors to take into consideration. For a vacation home, you might have added expenses, such as flood insurance in a hurricane-prone area. You’ll also need to include the cost of maintaining the property throughout the year, such as professional yard maintenance or routine HVAC maintenance. If you plan to rent out your second home, you might need to factor in the cost of hiring a property management company. You might also need to include HOA fees whether you buy a vacation home or rental property.

    Work with a Local Agent

    When you know where you want to purchase a second home and start looking into available properties, work with a local real estate agent. These agents are familiar with the local market, which helps ensure that they’re able to find you a home that fits your needs. They’ll also be able to determine the right asking price for it based on local market conditions.

    Think About Taxes

    The tax situation for your second home will depend on whether or not you rent it out and for how long. You’ll need to report rental income if you rent it out for more than 14 days per year, but you’ll also be able to deduct the cost of rental expenses. Since tax rules for property ownership can be complex, get detailed information about your situation before choosing a second home to purchase.




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