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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

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...

3 Things to Do To Prepare Your Home To Get Sold

Making your home as appealing and beautiful during listing it for sale is crucial to accomplishing just that. Quite often, sellers don’t and it changes a buyers opinion on the home during a showing. Here are three areas to focus on when getting your home ready to sell: Clean up and Clean Out Although it should be pretty obvious, cleaning out your home is something that you should do. Take that as somewhat of a heed to do some spring cleaning and get rid of the things that aren’t necessary anymore. Maybe consider donating old items and furniture to charity and other places that can make good use of them. Giving your home a deep clean is also a recommended action. Cleaning the floors. repainting chipping areas, refinishing cabinetry and just touching up all the normal wear an tear areas of your home. Make The Small Repairs Yourself The small fixes that don’t necessarily need a contractor are usually the things needed the most. Leaking faucets, caulking around sinks and tubs, cleaning grout are all things that can spruce up and make that bathroom even more appealing. Replacing light bulbs, re securing handrails, and replacing broken windows can all be things that stand out if they aren’t done to a potential buyer. Curb Appeal What will the initial though be when a buyer pulls up to your home? Will they be wowed or will they be turned away by all it needs. Its harder to make your home shine in a typical Connecticut winter but keeping the property as clean and clear as possible on the outside is something...

6 Mistakes Buyers Make In A Sellers Market

With the market tightening up, and becoming more geared towards a sellers market, buyers are feeling the press of the competition in the market. I am personally coming across less on the market, and more multiple offer situations. Some buyers are growing frustrated with not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely fashion. Being an agent that has much experience with the buy side of a transaction, i stress the following 6 points with my buyers when the market is in its current situation. Not making your best offer right off the bat We all want a great deal, but sometimes that $5,000-$10,000 difference isn’t worth losing the home. If it fits all you need, want, and are looking for don’t over negotiate. Chances are, there is another buyer that may see the same benefit as you and will offer closer to what the seller wants. Really consider offering your best right away. Overthinking the sales price Relating to my first point, a buyer can “sleep on it” too long and end up losing the house. Just because you looked at the home or even told your agent you liked it a lot, that doesn’t stop or hold the seller obligated to wait for you. The seller will usually take the first offer that reaches their desired price so they can reach their next destination or goal. Focus more on the monthly price than the purchase price. Working with an inexperienced agent This is a very competitive market, and you need every advantage you can get. Having an agent that knows all the tricks...

What Do You Need To Start Home Shopping?

I often come across and have helped many people buy a home whom didn’t even know they had the ability to buy one. Public perception of becoming a homeowner or buying a home period is pretty tarnished. I’ve heard everything from needing a 750 credit score to needing $20,000 in the bank. While a good amount of funds and excellent credit are welcomed, going to those levels aren’t exactly needed to change your address. Here are the basics needed to get pre approved for a mortgage and begin home shopping: Credit Score of 640 and above That is usually a good number or place to shoot to be above. FHA (3.5% down) is the normal product a first time buyer usually uses. The big thing with your credit and applying for a mortgage is to make sure you have no late payments within the last 12 months, and nothing in collections currently. 2 Years Tax returns and W2s (3 Years 1099s If Self Employed) This is something to prove that you make what you tell the loan officer you work with you make. This will be all submitted to the underwriter and lender you’re using. 60 Days Bank Statements and Paystubs This is another financial thing to prove your funds and ability to afford a down payment. It is essential that you don’t have any overdraft or return check fees, as it doesn’t show financial responsibility. Possible funds for a down payment If you’re going with a FHA loan you would be looking at 3.5% of the purchase price as your down payment. Closing costs can mostly be included...

3 Tips To Negotiate After A Home Inspection

After you chose the home you’re purchasing, the home inspection is the next crucial step in the process. This is where we have a certified home inspector come through the home and test the systems. Now you don’t own the home yet, so he isn’t breaking anything or going into walls. He is simply testing the different elements of the home and giving you his expertise on what the issues could be. As a experienced agent in the area, I notice many of the issues when we initially walk into the house, so I give my clients fair warning of possible items that may come up. When issues do come up, follow these three tips to successfully protect your best interest after your home inspection. ASK FOR CREDIT OR REPAIR TO BE MADE When issues come up and the buyer is worried about them, its best to see if the seller will remedy them. There are two ways that it can be handled, by repairing it directly or the seller crediting (taking money off the sales price) the buyer. I personally like the seller to handle the repair as opposed to crediting off the price. For example, if the seller were to take $2,000 of the price, that’s typically a savings of about $10 a month in the mortgage. That does no good for a problem that is persisting currently, and the buyer will have to fix once they move in. THINK OF THE BIG PICTURE If you plan to remove things and renovate, then many things may not be of big issue. Focus on the electrical, plumbing, heating,...

4 Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

Usually when one lists their home in the winter, that indicates a serious motivation to sell. Lets face it, during the cold winter months, the inconvenience of having people in and out of your house is a lot. With that being said, we have to make sure that the inconvenience is worth it. We want to make sure that your efforts are going towards getting this home sold. Here are 4 tips to get your home sold in the winter. BE SURE ITS EASILY ACCESSIBLE With winter weather so unpredictable, keeping the property clean adds difficulty to keeping it ready. In New England we can get a quick two inches of snow and ice at any given time. Buyers agents quite often have to show a property in unfavorable conditions and keeping your home maintained is key to getting buyers in the door. You also don’t want to open yourself up to the possibility of a slip and fall and legal action. KEEP THE HEAT ON Walking into a warm house in the cold New England months is a great feeling. This is no different with those home shopping. The warmer the home feels, the longer the agent and buyer will stay inside and increase the overall showing. Keep the home comfortable and inviting. SHOW OFF YOUR OUTDOOR AMENITIES In the dead of winter, while contending with snow on the ground, its tough to see the grounds. Whether it be your pool, yard size, patio, be sure to include pictures from the summer time so buyers can see what they’re buying. This is an added bonus and adds a...

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home in 2017

2017 is here and many people have lots of projections for the real estate market in the new year. With a new president and things shifting, some are fearful while others are hopeful. I personally am still seeing a busy market even with inventory slipping slightly in Greater Hartford. If you are on the fence about selling, I would advise taking a look at the current market and seeing what homes like yours are selling for. Please read the 5 Reasons you Need To Sell in 2017. LOW INVENTORY When inventory is lacking, its usually a good time to sell. Your home may cause buyers to pounce if you’re in a active price range or desirable neighborhood. If you’re priced and the home is market ready, it will really stand out in a area with lacking inventory. MORE URGENCY There are usually many reasons at the beginning of the year the urgency is high. A lease is ending, companies usually reassign in January, or there may be another living situation that has changed with the new calendar year start. Usually a buyer that is out looking in the colder months has a higher level or urgency, and need to move. EARLY MOVEMENT FOR LOWER PRICE POINTS Being that the lower price points is what I focus on, I can attest to this fully. Most first time buyers use tax returns to purchase a home, and those usually come before the spring market is in full swing. Listing a home at the start of the year or before April can be very beneficial in capturing that group of buyers. NEW...

The 4 Steps To Selling A Home, And How Long Each Takes

Selling a home isn’t always the smoothest and easiest thing to do. Whether you’re downsizing, upgrading, or simply moving out of state, you as a seller have many things to think and plan for after the sale. Having a knowledgeable realtor on your side will help you  ease the frustration and the frustration that can happen. There are really 4 stages of selling a home, and here they are and how long each should take. LISTING THE HOME This is where we as your Realtor announce to the local real estate market that your home is available and for sale. We enter the home into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), call our buyers and spheres of people, and do our most effective marketing to get the house sold. This usually takes place once seller and realtor come to agreement on price and terms of the listing contract. This should usually take 1-3 Days. GETTING THE HOME UNDER CONTRACT This is probably the hardest period to give a time frame on. The average market time varies per area and style of home but the most important thing to remember is you as the seller have control. By pricing the home right, and where your Realtor recommends you greatly increase the chances of getting a good offer that is acceptable. No matter the condition, size, or area, price is the deciding factor in whether the home is sold. Price it right from the beginning. This should take between 30-45 days if priced correctly to get a solid offer. WHEN UNDER CONTRACT Once an offer is accepted and the property is...

3 Very Common Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

Being a first time home buyer is a very exciting and promising experience. There’s a lot of things that you should know and if you’re directed in the wrong direction it can be very costly and frustrating. Being a first time buying expert, I always like to get the information out so that you as a potential client will have the best information and experience possible. Here are 3 Common Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make Get Professional Advice One thing I always drive home with my clients, is when you tell people you’re buying a house you will mostly get their bad stories. People are scientifically proven to share a bad experience more than a good one, and being the recipient of this information can create doubt in your mind. What happened to them is possible to happen to you, but from my experience, no two deals are the same. You will have a problem in your purchase, but as a Realtor, my job is to prepare you and forecast for these problems. When the Realtor and lender are on the same page, buyer has been honest about their finances, and diligent about getting their documents in, the transaction is usually smooth. Having a meeting and discussing the process is always a must with a new buyer to educate the on the process and what is expected. Learning the Process Knowing what you’re doing at anything in life will lead a better result. Buying a home is no different, and shouldn’t be treated as such. With first timers, I always like to set up a time to go...

Mortgage Rates Spike Towards Ending of 2016 After Election

Mortgage rates have took a turn and are starting to creep upwards in recent weeks after the presidential election. After Donald Trump became president elect, rates have spiked about 0.5% since. To give you some idea, on a $300,000 mortgage over 30yrs, that’s roughly about a $85 a month increase. Given that rising interest rates effect everybody in the real estate world, here are some things to consider for each: Refinancing-  While the increase has happened, rates are still historically low. If you have had any intention of refinancing, then you should seriously consider reaching out to a loan officer now. Buyers currently shopping- If you’ve been pre-approved to buy a home, that pre-approval was done using a debt to income ratio, which will increase with rising rates. Ask your lender to refresh your pre-approval with current rates to see what your budget looks like, and to ensure you still qualify for your target home price. Home Prices likely won’t spike- Rising rates will likely keep home prices from rising. As previously mentioned, a higher rate changes the spending power of the prospective buyer looking at the sellers home. Sellers- With rates rising, the number of good and qualified buyers willing to pay top dollar for your home will shrink. Speaking with myself about what homes like yours are selling for, can get you a better understanding of the market and if now is the best time for you to enter it. I hope that this has been of some help to you and will assist you with your real estate needs....

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