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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 Steps to Get You Closer to Owning A Home While Renting.

If you’re a renter and intend to one day own your own home, the being prepared is one of the best things you can do to ease the process. Buying any type of property isn’t easy,  but you can avoid some of the pitfalls by having all your ducks in a row ahead of time. Here are 5 things that will advance you in the transition from renter to homeowner: UNDERSTAND COSTS When renting, all you pay is your rent in most case, but as a homeowner a mortgage purposes satisfies several things. A mortgage payment is broken down by four things, P.I.T.I. (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This is very vital to know because some towns have higher tax rates than others which will ultimately increase your monthly payment no matter how good of a deal your realtor gets for you. You also are responsible for the things that go wrong on your home, and the repairs that go along with them. This is a very overlooked aspect as many people arent ready for the things that tend to go wrong. KNOW HOMEOWNER TAX BENEFITS Mortgage interest and property taxes are both deductible when you file your annual tax returns and reduce taxable income. These deductions significantly lower the cost of home ownership. This is one of the best benefits to owning property. KNOW THE RENT VS. BUY NUMBERS In most areas of the country it is becoming cheaper to buy a home rather than rent a place. Most people are scared of the down payment required for a house but fail to realize, the average rental in Connecticut...

5 Reasons To Buy A House Now (In the Fall)

While the days are shorter, the real estate market is picking up, and sales have risen. Usually the fall isn’t a time for buyers to be out and about searching for homes. Contrary to belief, now is a great time to buy. Before you disagree, read these five reasons why you should buy now. 1. Leftover spring and summer inventory may mean good deals Homeowners tend to go on the market for the first time in the spring, and usually begin overpriced. Usually that will result in a series of price reductions throughout the summer. When this happens, the sellers sometimes become desperate and accept an offer below market value. 2. Fewer buyers are competing When you read this, you most likely disagreed with the notion of buying now. Most don’t feel this is a good time, and that’s less competition for house hunters. 3. Motivated sellers want to close by the end of the year While most people still live in the home they’re selling, some are investments. A home seller may want to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year. Buyers might find homeowners looking to make deals so they can close before December 31st and get that tax benefit. Ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close before the end of the year. 4. Homes for sale near the holiday signal a motivated seller As the holidays approach, the last thing a homeowner wants is for their sale to be interrupting their parties and family events. If a home has not sold by November, and it’s still sitting...

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...

Which Home Type Is Best For You?

Buying a home is a great feeling but buying the wrong type can cause a lot of headaches. If your lifestyle doesn’t match the type of home you purchase and it can cause stress and cost you money. Here are the different types of homes and the pros and cons of each. SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED This is usually labeled as the “American Dream”. They are usually located in a neighborhood setting and sit alone and ideal for a family with children. Pros: You own the land and home and can modify it based of your likes and dislikes. There isn’t another family on top or to the side of you, so noise inside usually isn’t an issue. You make the rules, so its all yours. Cons: You’re responsible for it all!! There are no landlords, associations or anybody that will take care of those unfortunate repairs that come up. CONDOMINIUM Condos usually have the setup of an apartment but you own them outright. They’re usually ideal for somebody that doesn’t want to handle the maintenance of owning but doesn’t want to pay rent. Pros: You own the place, but are usually aren’t responsible for any type of maintenance on the outside of the unit. They’re usually more affordable than a single family home, and often offer many amenities (pool, clubhouses, fitness centers,golf course). Cons: Privacy isn’t always something you get as walls are often shared, so noise can play a factor. Although you pay a monthly fee for the maintenance to be done, there’s no stopping that fee from rising. Many associations have rules that may also effect your...

8 Tricks to Boost Your Credit Before Buying a Home

The process of being home ready begins long before you begin viewing houses. Being credit ready will make the process that much easier and eliminate the need to search for somebody to approve you for that mortgage. Here are 9 tricks to boost your score if buying a home is in your near future. 1. Get your credit report Visit Annualcreditreport.com to get your free annual copy of your report. Analyze and make sure all is accurate. 2. Mistakes happen, fix them. If and when mistakes are found on your report, make sure to address and dispute them to clear your report of inaccuracies. 3. Stay current Be sure not to be late, or miss any payments on any loans, credit cards, and bills. Late/Non payments can do alot of damage. 4. Pay more than Minimum amount Paying more on your revolving accounts that the minimum can drastically improve your score and lower the balances faster. 5. Maintain Low balances A good rule of thumb is to keep your balance under 30% of the allowed limit. 6. Don’t move debt, just get rid of it Moving debt from card to card, wont help you much. They report to the same credit bureaus and still count as debt. 7. Don’t close accounts Its better to pay off an account and leave it open, than to close it once paid off. 8. Keep that current car Adding any new loans/debt will change things in a bad way. So stick it out in your current car until you close on that home. I hope that this helped you, and will get that score...

Three Reasons You Need To Get Off The Real Estate Fence Now

The current real estate market in Greater Hartford is really busy and active. Homes that are in decent condition and priced well aren’t lasting long at all. However, some homes are sitting a lot longer with no activity or offers rolling in. On the buyer side, pickings are getting slim and prices are rising. I’ve been in multiple “bidding wars” in the past few weeks, for homes that have sometimes just come onto the market. Right now, whether you’re contemplating selling or buying a home, time is of the essence. Here are the three reasons you should get off the real estate fence. Inventory is somewhat lacking. When it comes to the areas I mainly work (Greater Hartford), inventory is a little low. While prices rose slightly as compared to last year at this time, the amount of homes to choose from is lacking. As a buyer, this should motivate you to act quickly because the house you liked yesterday on Zillow may be under contract today. As far as a seller, this may be leverage to list your home for the amount you weren’t so sure about last year. Best bet would be to contact me and we can discuss what homes like yours are selling for. The Spring Market is up and running April is here and that is the “unofficial” start of spring. This is usually the busiest season of the year in real estate, and usually the busiest in my business. The weather is nicer, the sun stays up longer, and houses look better. As a buyer this means you have more competition, so the...

5 Fears And How To Face Them When Selling Your Home

Selling any piece of real estate is a tough task, which is and can be very intimidating for most sellers. Lets face it, its the biggest investment you’ve ever made and where you call home in most cases. Here are 5 fears and ways to deal with and understand them. 1. My Home Won’t Sell The home just sitting on the market is the number one fear of most sellers. If you need the money to buy your next home, or just to move on it can be terrifying. It might be helpful (or incredibly stressful) to know, but for the right price, and in the right condition, any home will sell. It all depends on local market conditions. The way to combat that is to get with your Realtor well before you decide to sell, so that they can help direct you in how to get the home market ready. Some markets it takes longer, but with a knowledgeable Realtor, it shouldn’t take too long to begin receiving offers. 2. I’ll Have To Do Work On My Home To Sell It. Most sellers know what is broken and needs to be fixed in their homes. Yet in most cases, they aren’t able to fix or update what needs to be done to get the home where they want it. What you have to understand is that the ultimate sales price directly correlates with its condition. Getting the home in good and move in condition almost always pays off in getting an acceptable offer. Again, the best way to combat this is to speak with your Realtor to get their...

5 Things You Must Do Before You Buy A Home

Purchasing real estate is a very complex process that can go wrong if you don’t have the right direction or guidance. Before chasing the “American Dream” be sure to tie these 5 things down beforehand. Make sure you plan to stay awhile Real estate purchases have the highest transaction fees for buying any asset. From town fees, attorney fees, realtor commissions and closing costs you can add up quite a bill. Most will say, staying in a home for 7 -10 years is ideal, otherwise you’ll lose out on equity. If you don’t think you’ll stay in the property for a long time, keep looking until you find a property that you can call home, or keep renting until you decide you’re ready for a commitment. Get your financing in order Meeting with a lender 6-12 month before you actually plan to buy is a very smart move. This way if there are any derogatory marks on your credit, you can work toward clearing those issues. Another big mistake people make in home buying is not figuring what they can afford from an actual lender. Have the lender qualify you based on your income and credit so you know the price range you can afford. Check out an online affordability calculator first so you can go in with a general idea how much you can spend. Find an Agent Most people find their agent through friends and family by referral. That is a great route because who better than trusting your loved ones with whom they’ve used or know personally. The right Realtor and lender can turn a nightmare process into an easy...

5 Ways to Ease The Home Buying Anxiety

Buying a home can be a very nerve wrecking experience to say the least. Its likely the biggest purchase you’ve ever made or are ever going to make. Being that I work with mainly buyers, I make it my priority to ease the process and make my client comfortable by reassuring them, theyre doing the right thing. Here are 5 things you can do to ease the uncertainty and anxiety of buying a home. 1. Figure out what Mortgage Product is best for you.  While the cost of living rising is a nervous experience, you can ease that by knowing exactly what and where that money is going. There are several different mortgage products that you can pursue. Some offer no down payment, some offer a shorter term, as well as interest only mortgages. Speaking to a mortgage broker will give you the best idea of what product would work best for what you’re trying to accomplish. 2. Talk to a Professional (ME) Sometimes the websites, and google just don’t clearly answer the question you have. I normally sit and meet with all potential clients and explain the process, and what is necessary in the process. This usually eases the anxiety and lets them know they have a seasoned pro on their side. Sometimes a simple conversation will give you reassurance and put you in the right direction. 3. Explore Down payment assistance Most state, CT included offer programs that offer help with down payments. This is usually a big stress, as sometimes its hard to save a good amount of money for a down payment. These programs usually...

Hartford County Home Prices Rise in January

While prices in the state have yet to fully surge, Hartford county saw a great rise in sales price in the month of January. The median (where half are above, and half below) sales price in January was $201,000 as compared to $180,000 in January of 2015. The great news is that sales have increased over 18% January 2016 as compared to January 2015. The market has really been strong as buyers are out and inventory is shrinking. If you have been on the fence about buying, now is the time to make it happen. Inventory is shrinking and it is creating many bidding wars and multiple offer situations. At the same time, if you’re a seller, now is a good time to consider entering the market. Spring is here and lots of others have the idea of coming onto the market now. If you’re looking to buy or sell, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.   — Marques Strickland Realtor/Buyer Specialist Email: mstrickland@kw.com Web: Homesbymarques.com Connect with me on Facebook Cell: 860-518-0304 Fax:...

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