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Why Buy a Home Now?

Marques specializes in working with clients who are looking into buying a home in CT. Marques works with those that are pre-qualified or would like to learn how to raise their credit score enough for an affordable home loan. Marques also consults with investors who are looking to increase their portfolios through multi-family properties and commercial real estate in CT. Mortgage interest rates are surprisingly low right now and home prices are too - get a great deal that will repay you again and again over the years.

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Marques’ Blog

5 Easy Home Upgrades To Get Your Home Sold Faster

With the current market as busy as it is, putting yourself in the best position as a seller is vital. Selling your home for the highest amount possible, and in the fastest time is every seller’s goal. So what does it take to achieve that? Price is always the determining factor in your home selling and how fast it sells. What are some other things you can do to get that home sold for more money and faster? Here are 5 helpful tips in making it happen: Neutral paint Paint goes along way in the appearance and presentation of  the home. When buyers walk in, the more neutral the colors, the warmer and appealing the home is. Light Blue or gray seem to be the most popular of the colors at the current time, as that’s what you see on a lot of HGTV programs. Homes with walls that are painted light blue or a pale blue-gray color could bring in as much as $5,440 more than if the home had white walls, according to Zillow’s Paint Color Analysis of more than 32,000 photos of homes sold nationwide. Knobs and fixtures This may be one of the cheapest and effective things that can be done, changing hardware and fixtures all throughout the house. Changing the hardware on the cabinets, drawers, and handles in your kitchen with a stainless or brushed nickel look can drastically change the appearance. While you’re at it, getting matching plumbing fixtures can fully compliment the new look. When it comes to bathrooms, these simple things can go even further, as a vanity change can alter the...

5 Steps To Start Improving Your Credit

Credit is a vital part to success and ease in your adult life. Having bad credit will result in you having to pay more in interest rates on cars, homes, credit cards, and even personal loans. If your credit score is really low, you’ll likely come across a denial in more cases than not. So what do you need to do to start on the path to improving your credit? Here are my first 5 Steps to Improve Your Credit KNOW WHERE YOU STAND In order to solve the problem, you must first know where you stand. There are several places online that offer a free estimate of where your score is (most popularly www.creditkarma.com). Visit Annualcreditreport.com to pull a report from all three bureaus. Although you wont have a score, you will see the things that are reporting and things you need to address and have possibly disputed. START TO BUILD YOUR CREDIT HISTORY While removing bad or inaccurate items off your reports are helpful, they wont necessarily make your score rise. You have to maintain and have all credit accounts in good standing. The easiest and best type of credit to get is a revolving credit or secured credit card. They usually report monthly to all three bureaus and if used correctly will lift your score. The biggest rule of thumb is to keep every balance under 30% of the available limit. RESEARCH CREDIT OPTIONS AND DON’T JUMP AT FIRST OFFER Just because you get a card offer, don’t just accept. Most people don’t read the fine print of the card info. Be careful to see what the...

Which Mortgage Product Is Right For You?

When buying a home, at any level your first step is getting pre approval for a mortgage. There are several different types of mortgages that allow flexibility to the borrower and fit each scenario a little differently. Here are a few scenarios buyer present and the best type of loan for each: “I want the lowest monthly payment possible” You best bet will be to go with a conventional loan with 20% down. Being that you’re putting that much down, you will not have a PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance which is a fee for any loan in which you didn’t put down at least 20%) in your monthly mortgage. You will also likely have instant equity, being that you owe likely 80% of the value of the home. “I cant afford 20% down, but want a lower payment” Conventional is still available without 20% down. You can go 5%,10%, or sometimes even 15% down. You will still have PMI, but you will also avoid putting down and extra 5-15% percent of the home down at closing. This is a great loan option to keep the loan lower by putting a good amount of money down. “I don’t have much money for down payment but have excellent credit and great job” The best option in this scenario would possibly be a 100% financing loan. This is where you borrow the loan to purchase the home and a second small loan to pay for what would’ve been your down payment. While you are borrowing more, your interest rate is usually the lowest possible on the market at that time. Its really...

What are the requirements to get started in the home buying process?

Owning a home is the American dream, that most people want to achieve at some point in life. Do most people know what the basic steps are to begin? Here they are. 1. Decide if owning is for you Owning is a big difference as compared to renting. You have all the responsibility for maintenance and costs that go with owning a home. Whether you go single family or multifamily, the responsibility is there. What i would advise doing is using a online calculator to determine what a mortgage and if you can cover those costs. 2. Sit and discuss with Myself/Lender Once you decide to pursue owning a home, meeting with a Realtor (me, lol) should be your next step. I will paint the picture and let you know what will be needed to make this happen and answer the many questions a first time home buyer would have. I work with several reputable lenders who can get you the best loan product for your particular situation. You are more than welcome to contact your own lender and/or bank, but working with a lender that has a relationship with your Realtor will ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 3. Get Pre approved Once you speak to the lender and they check your finances and credit, they’ll  be able to supply you with a pre approval. Most cases they will give you a maximum amount, that fits what you’re comfortable paying monthly. Once you have this, we can start home shopping. Here are the basics needed to get a mortgage pre approval. -Credit score of above a...

4 Things To Do While Saving To Buy A Home

Being a first time home buyer, you do have some homework to do outside of just choosing a realtor. The realtor can explain and direct you to the best of their abilities in purchasing your home. Aside from the obvious step of saving money, here are 5 things you can do to make the process that much easier. Understanding the full cost of home ownership When you rent, the one payment covers just about everything (utilities excluded). You’re not fixing the broken sink, appliance, or any taking care of the grounds, its the owners responsibility. These are things as a new homeowner you need to brace and prepare for. Luckily, in most first time home buyer situations, taxes and insurance are included in your monthly mortgage due to the type of loan product most popular with first timers. If you’re pursuing a condo, you’ll have to factor in that condo fee (HOA) as an additional expense. These are all things you need to factor in and decide if you will be able to afford as well as the new mortgage. Know the Buy Vs Rent Pros and Cons Renting may actually be a better option for some individuals. Maybe somebody that isn’t completely set on living in a certain area due to career or personal factors. Some people aren’t able to own a home because they don’t have the time or funds to maintain it. Buying is becoming cheaper than renting in most areas of the country due to the tax breaks at the end of the year set for homeowners. This is something that you and a realtor...

5 Reasons Why You Should List Your Home To Sell Now

The common time for sellers to list their homes is the Spring. The reasoning is pretty clear with the nicer weather and longer daylight hours. The question is, is that more beneficial than listing now as opposed to waiting a few mote months? Here are my top 5 reasons why we need to sit and speak about listing your home now. Low Inventory Being a Realtor that helps a lot of buyers find homes, I see the lack of inventory we have. Being that we have that lack, the supply and demand principle comes into play. Correctly priced homes in good condition aren’t lasting, as buyers are moving quickly due to the lack of choices. More importantly, do you really want to wait until the rest of the sellers come and create more competition? Urgency In Buyers Buying and moving into a home in the dead of winter isn’t fun, so a family that is looking to do so is motivated. The showings this time of year are more likely to be somebody serious and ready to make the move. Being at the beginning of the year, many companies also transfer employees at this time of year so that is another factor to create the urgency. Lower Price Points Move Faster  In Greater Hartford, the lower price points where first time buyers are located move very fast. If its move in ready and priced well, you may have multiple offers within the first few days on the market. The lower the home is priced, the more buyers will be able to buy which creates that traffic. New Administration There...

7 Things That Will Scare A Buyer Away From Buying Your Home

When one buys a home, they usually want the most for the least. Whether its the first time buyer that maybe cant afford to do the repairs, or somebody just looking for the best value, buyers are usually inclined to select the turn key property. As a seller, once you list your home, you’re entering into a competition. What about your house is gonna make the buyer choose yours? What value do you give the buyer that makes them not want to look at anything else after yours. A good buyers agent will showcase those things and let their clients know which home is the best investment. Here are 7 things that will likely scare a buyer away. Aged or Damaged Roof One of the biggest repairs and upgrades is the roof. On average a roof can be at least about $6000 to replace (depending on size of the home). Roof issues are responsible for about 40% of the insurance claims in the US. Typical lifespan on a roof is between 21-30 years. Damaged or Missing Gutters Gutters and downspouts are critical in keeping water away from pooling up around the house. Water pooling up can cause major foundation issues and water seepage into the basement and causing further damage. Old Windows and Doors Windows are another major expense that can cost you money monthly in heating and cooling costs. Broken windows may also stop a buyer from buying the house due to financing rules. Window replacement can bring 50%-80% return on your investment. Old and Outdated Appliances Most buyers usually replace their appliances anyways, but old and outdated...

The 5 Pillars Of Buying An Investment Property

Real estate is usually the surest and best way to become wealthy in America. Its all around us and the need is always there. Those that have learned and are learning this understand that the first investment property is usually residential of some type. Here are the 5 key things to focus when buying an investment property. Financing (Down payment and interest rates) Funds to purchase the property is usually the first thing that should be determined and factored in. There are a few different avenues one can take, in purchasing. You can buy your first home as an owner occupant (2-units) and put down up to about 3.5% of the purchase price down. You will usually have to live there for about a year, being its a owner occupant. If you’re looking to buy more than 4 units, you’re likely looking at anywhere from 20%-25% down. Interest rates are higher for non owner occupant loans, so that is something you want to discuss with your loan officer. Decide if you’re looking to rent or flip the property Buying and holding versus buying to flip are two separate strategies. Flipping a house will cost you more upfront money to get the home sell-able and ready for the market. Getting your initial investment back on a buy-hold will take a little longer but you’re starting to build equity and a portfolio. Renting the property for income is the smarter route for a beginner until they fully learn the ins and outs of the flipping business. Understand where you’re buying Knowing what is selling and renting in the area is vital for...

5 Biggest Credit Score Myths

Your credit is the financial reputation that you carry with you throughout your adult life. Having good credit can be the determine what you drive, where you live, and sometimes where you work. Bad credit will cost you money as well whether it be through higher interest rates, not being able to qualify for a mortgage and having to pay a high rent, or generally not getting approved for credit and having to make all cash purchases. There are many myths about Credit and how to maintain and perfect it, but there are also alot of misconceptions. Here are the 5 Biggest credit score myths. 1. Checking your credit score will cause it to drop Checking your own score wont cause this because it is a soft inquiry. Only a hard inquiry (seeking new credit) will cause it to drop momentarily. There are several free services that give you a ball park credit score figure, but the most accurate report will come from annualcreditreport.com 2. You have only one credit report and score While your score is usually consolidated into one, you do have three scores. Transunion, Equifax, and Experian are the three credit bureaus and while the scores may vary, they’re usually in the same vicinity. A FICO or vantage is usually an average and many times the score used to make credit decisions. 3. You need to carry a balance and pay interest to build credit Some people believe you need to carry a balance to show lenders you’re using credit, but doing so could result in you paying unnecessary interest and could hurt your credit score...

What Credit Score Will You Need To Buy Your First House?

Just about everybody wants to buy their own home, but do you know where your credit score needs to be to do so? Credit is a very critical part in the home buying process, as its really your financial reputation. Your credit score is a mixture of payment history (35%), Outstanding debt (30%), Length of credit (15%), Credit inquiries (10%), and lastly types of credit (10%). All these factor in and collectively give you a credit rating. Here are the following credit score ranges you will need to get pre approved and begin home shopping.*** FHA 30 year loan (3.5% down payment). Single Family, Multifamily (up to 4 units) FICO score at or above a 640 CHFA 1st Time Homebuyer Program (100% Financing) Single Family, Multifamily (up to 4 units) FICO score at or above a 680. I hope this give you a better idea of where you need to be credit wise, and will help you get where you need to be to begin the home buying process.   *** The following are scores based off of averages loan officers I work with require. This isn’t the case for all loan types. Contact for more details.   Marques Strickland Realtor/Buyer Specialist Email: mstrickland@kw.com Web: Homesbymarques.com Connect with me on Facebook Cell: 860-518-0304 Fax: 860-313-0302 Download my FREE ebook, “12 Month Plan To Buying Your First Home”, then Connect with me….. Business hours are from 8am-7:00pm. Saturday and Sunday by appointment only. All calls/messages received after 7:00 will be returned first thing the next business...

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