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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

4 Reasons Your Home May Not Be Selling

Selling your home isn’t always an easy task. There are many variables that go into a successful transaction, and most are usually in the control of those directly handling the home. Here are 4 reasons why your home may not be selling. The Smell of Your Home The old adage is, “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it”. Potential buyers walk into homes and a strange or unwelcoming smell can push the buyer out of that house a lot faster.  Pets are a part of our families but the smell can ruin a buyers feeling on the home. Scented candles and air fresheners go along way in changing the way a home feels to those looking. The Home May Need Some TLC Repairs are usually seen by buyers as a burden, and many don’t look to take them on. We all want the most for the least, and potential home buyers are no different. Looking to get the most for your home will sometimes require you to make the necessary repairs to warrant that amount. Small fixtures, updates, and cleaning can go along way. Presentation is all wrong The first place your home is seen is typically online in a quick flip through on a phone and computer. . With that being said, what will make the buyer want to take the time to see your property? Professional photography and staging in some cases can go a really long way in making your home stand out. Secondly, listing the immediate benefits of the home (location, size, proximity to areas of interest) may peak the interest and lead...

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...

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...

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...

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...

5 Things To Know Before You Finance A Home

Most people that buy any type of home, usually finance it. With that being said, that is the biggest purchase one will make in life. With something of that magnitude, you should be very cautious and know what you’re doing beforehand. Here are my 5 things you need to know before you make the jump into financing a home. 1. Understand the full cost of owning a home There are four parts of a mortgage; Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance. While the taxes are usually set, the insurance is dependent upon the property (size, area,pool,pets). Principal is the amount being financed and interest is the amount being charged to borrow that. Another aspect is your monthly bills, home maintenance, and other repair costs. Its is very important to have a mortgage that you are very comfortable with. 2. Know your credit Your credit history will determine if you ultimately get approved. By knowing where you stand credit wise, it makes the process that much easier of knowing what needs to be cleaned up and addressed beforehand. You should pull a free annual credit report and know where you stand. (Annualcreditreport.com) 3. Match your mortgage type with goals If your income isn’t going to grow over time, you will probably be in the home longer term, so you’ll want a loan with a payment that won’t change, like a 30-year fixed. Or maybe you expect your income to increase sharply within five years and you’re going to upgrade homes within that time, so you’ll want a five-year ARM, which has a much lower rate. If you don’t have a 20-percent down...

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,...

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