Complete Checklist of Documentation Investors Need for Approval

Many real estate investors will use a mortgage loan to pay for a large portion of an investment property’s sales price. While you may be familiar with the loan documentation that is required when you apply for an owner-occupied home, the documentation requirements vary when you apply for an investor loan. By learning more about the documents that your lender may require for your upcoming loan request, you can take steps now to prepare for your investor loan application.

Investors Asset & Income VerificationSome investors are turned off or even stressed out by the amount of documentation a lender requires. However, each document serves a very specific purpose and is essential for the underwriter to make an accurate, informed decision about your loan approval status. By providing all of the documentation requested quickly, you can promote the rapid processing and approval of your loan application. These are some of the more common types of documentation required by a lender.

Proof of Income

Just as the underwriter will review your personal income and overall debt-to-income ratio when you apply for a personal residence loan, the underwriter will walk through these same steps when you apply for an investment property loan.
  • Paystubs for Salaried Employees: Typically, the lender requires either a month’s worth of paystubs or the last two most recent paystubs to confirm your income level. A verification of employment may also be completed with you employer.
  • Federal Tax Returns With W-2s: You may need to provide your last two years of tax returns, including your W-2s if you are a wage earner. If you own a business, your business tax returns for the last two years may also be required. Contract workers may need to provide their 1099 forms for the last two years.
  • Other Related Income Documentation: All sources of regular income must be documented, so you may need to provide documentation showing your child support payments, alimony payments, rental income from investment properties, Social Security awards letter, pension documentation and more. Rental income from investment properties is most commonly verified by providing full copies of all of the leases on your existing investment properties.

Verification of Assets

It is likewise important that you document all of your assets. While you definitely need to document enough funds to pay the down payment and closing costs, the underwriter also wants to know how much additional liquidity you have available. This can be essential for your loan approval process if other factors indicate higher risk.
  • Financial Statements for All Accounts: For each bank account you own, the lender needs to see the last two to three months of bank statements. All pages of the statements should be provided. This includes checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, stock or investment accounts and more.
  • Explanation and Documentation for Large Deposits: The lender will review your bank statements thoroughly. Any large deposits made into your account that are not generated by your regular income sources will need to be properly explained and documented.
  • Profit and Loss Statement for Self-Employed Applicants: If you own your own business, you will need to provide a current profit and loss statement, which details the business’s net worth. This is required even if your primary source of income is not generated by the business.
  • Business License: Some lenders may ask to see a copy of your active business license.
  • Life Insurance Documentation: If you have a cash value life insurance policy and indicated so on your loan application, some lenders may require you to provide proof of the current cash value amount of your policy. This is because the cash value amount is a true asset.

Other Documentation That May Be Required

The majority of the documentation that you need to provide to your lender for an investment loan application falls into the category of proof of income or proof of assets. However, other miscellaneous documentation may also be required by the lender:
  • Proof of Identity: You typically need to provide a copy of your government-issued photo ID as well as a copy of your Social Security card.
  • Proof of Insurance: Before closing, you will need to shop around and find coverage for the property. A full copy of the policy will be required, and the premium amount will be analyzed by the underwriter.
  • Divorce Decree: Commonly, if you have filed for divorce in the past, the lender need to review the divorce decree. This is regardless of how long it has been since the divorce occurred.
  • Property Ownership Documentation: Everything from a recent mortgage statement to the deed may be required for all properties you own. While this is not always required, you should be prepared to provide it upon request.
  • Credit Explanations: The lender will review your credit report and will ask for written explanations on all credit inquiries as well as all late payments or other derogatory items. Keep in mind that all late payments or outstanding judgments need to be paid in full before closing in most cases.
  • VA Certificate: If you are a veteran or an active military professional, you may be required to provide a copy of your DD214 form.
  • Sales Contract: When you are buying a property, the lender needs to review your fully executed sales contract. Proof of deposit for the earnest money may also be required.

As you can see, you may need to provide a lender with hundreds of pages worth of documentation when you apply for an investment property loan. It can take time to pull together all of the required documentation and send it to your loan processor. If you want to avoid delays with this process, it is wise to begin gathering together the required documentation now. You may ask your loan processor for a list of specific items that may be required for your unique loan application.

8 Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Real Estate Investment

Investing in the real estate business is not that simple. Otherwise, everyone in the real estate business would be a millionaire. There are lots of mistakes that first-time real estate investors make that you should be aware of. Many of these are avoidable when you apply sound knowledge and common sense. Here is a list of common real estate investment mistakes that many first-timers make and how to avoid them.

  1. Lack of research

Before many people buy a television or a car, they ask a lot of questions, compare many models, and try to determine if their purchase is worth the money. The effort that goes into buying a home should even be greater. There are also research considerations for different types of investors, whether you are a land developer, flipper, personal homeowner, or a landlord. Not only must you ask a lot of questions about the property, but you must also ask about the neighborhood that the property is located. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the property built near a commercial site, or are there prospects for long-term construction in the vicinity?
  • What is the motivation for selling?
  • What is new in the property and what must be replaced?
  • What did the owner pay for it and when?
  • Is the property placed in a flood zone or a problematic area such as are prone to termite or radon problems?

Knowing this information will prepare you for any eventualities and help you know what to expect in future.

  1. Doing everything alone

Real Estate Agent

Trusted Savvy Real Estate Agent, Patricia Wagner

Many investors think they know a lot and that they can close a real estate deal on their own. You may have completed several deals on your own in the past, but remember, things may not go very well in a down market. And if this happens, there is no one you can turn to for help to fix a real estate deal that went sour. Thus, you should make friends with experts and tap every resource that will help you make the right purchase. Your list of experts should at least contain an insurance representative, an excellent attorney, a competent home inspector, a savvy real estate agent, and a handyman. These people should be capable enough to inform you of any flaws in the home or neighborhood. And the attorney should be able to alert you in the case of defects in the title or easements that may come back to haunt you in future.

  1. Wrong location

In the real estate business, location is key since it determines the property prices, market, types of properties, the tenants’ pool, the rent, availability of other rental properties, laws, and regulations, etc. Although it may be easier for you as a first-time investor to go to your local market because of the knowledge you already have, don’t exclude the option of an out-of-state investment if your local market is not suitable for investments at the moment. So, study your local market thoroughly to determine if it is amiable to buy and manage an investment there. If it isn’t, consider markets beyond a 25-mile radius where it is more profitable.

  1. Heart over head

When buying a home, 90 percent of your purchasing decisions are based on your emotions, and only 10 percent relies on logic. Since this is your home where you will raise your family, this is understandable. However, when it comes to investing, making your heart determine your purchasing decision is a mistake to avoid at all costs. If you let your sentiments cloud your judgment, you are more likely to over-capitalize on your purchase instead of negotiating for the best price and outcome for your investment plans. Thus, always buy an investment property based on research analytics. Ask yourself whether it is the best location that will attract high-quality tenants and whether it will provide the returns and gains you require.

  1. Buying too big

As a real estate investor, you will usually learn by doing. So, as a first-time real estate investor, don’t jump in with a large investment property. Purchasing a large-income property such as multi-family home costs more and is more expensive to manage. Thus, experts advise you to start with smaller, less luxurious properties such as a single-family home or apartment which you can afford to purchase without going bankrupt and which will teach you the skills you need for managing a property and being a landlord. After mastering these skills, you can raise your game by purchasing a new property every two to three years.

  1. Underestimating the costs

As a first-time real estate investor, opt for positive cash flow rental properties. The factors that determine cash flow are rental income and costs. Thus, it is crucial to get the most accurate estimates of the expenses. As a new investor, you may undervalue the costs involved in finding the right tenant or forget about the repair costs, and these will lower your profits. The best solution is to get realistic, research-based estimates for purchasing, running, and managing your investment property.

  1. Choosing bad contractors

Unprofessional ContractorIt is an expensive mistake to use multiple contractors to do your job. Flipping houses is quickly becoming a popular trend in real estate investing. Thus, it is vital to find contractors who will do a professional job, clean up the site, and finish the job on time. The means of finding the right contractor for your rental or fix-flip project will determine your success.

  1. Choosing wrong partners

Real estate investment partnerships can prove to be very beneficial for you as a new investor especially if you have limited knowledge or financial resources. However, they may also be deadly traps. Thus, as a new investor, don’t be ready to enter into any partnership just for the sake of having someone to share the risks with or buying a bigger property. Instead, choose your partners carefully among proven experts and professionals, and they must be people you can trust.

Real estate investing is a profitable business, but is not as simple as it looks. There are many things to learn, and you will need to work with many experts and professionals with a good reputation to gain prowess and attain your financial goals. So, tread carefully and follow this expert advice and you will be on your way to the top.

5 Ways the Housing Market Could Change in 2017

The end of 2016 was volatile, unprecedented, unexpected and excruciating for real estate investment. After the stunning election win by President Trump, many people with careers or livelihood attached to the housing market had no idea what expect or how his campaign promise of America first would effect real estate trends. Not withstanding the unexpected win by a man who knows the market so well, there was a lot of social unrest in pockets all over the United States well before President Trump ran his campaign, during and after his inauguration. All of those things need to be taken into account. Also, there are other economic factors that can make a difference. For example, by the end of 2016, people working in the market were weary about members of the millennial generation and if they would even bother purchasing property.

Before getting into the predictions, it is important for anyone reading to know that real estate operates on a double cycle. It operates seasonally, and it also swings over several years. Currently there is growth, and there was growth in and at the end of 2016. The Trump administration has been dedicated to thinning out restrictions for lending, and he has done a wide cut down on a variety of regulations, which will make it easier for people wanting to buy property to get a loan. There are a myriad of predictions and speculations on the Internet, but it is hard to grasp onto reliable sources because of media bias. Here are 5 predictions on the ways the housing market could change, and they are compiled from a few different sources, which seem to be pretty objective.

Affordability Will Lessen

According to Forbes’ prediction of property trends, the wages in larger cities is expected to grow, but those people with a median income will find a disparity when they look to purchase houses. The housing market in larger cities is truly ironic. The wages grow, and people have money to spend, but very few will be able to afford to live in the comfort of a new home. Additionally, this was beginning to happen before 2017 or President Trump. For a while now, people wanting to purchase a home for the first time are growing frustrated because all of the low to medium priced housing is becoming increasingly unavailable. Ten years ago it would not have been a problem for prospective buyers to able to purchase a slightly better home if the affordable ones were scarce or unavailable because all they would need to get was a subprime loan. Now, an extremely high credit score is needed. Waiting for starter homes to be built is one strategy, but even if the builders are more active, work longer and have a higher staff, they are unlikely to make any significant contribution of starter homes to the market for the remainder of 2017.

Increased Population Density Will Lead People to the Suburbs

Cities will continue to become more dense, and when major city populations increase in density it lead people to want to live more spread out and move to the suburbs. Highly populated, dense cities are often havens for crime, large, disruptive classrooms for families with children, long commutes and traffic jams are just few things that are going to lead people into the increasingly popular real estate trend of city fleeing. In addition to everything listed above, densely populated cities, especially in their urban areas are also expensive to live in. Houses are more expensive in a major city and trying to find a nice place to rent at an affordable price is difficult. All large, dense cities can do is ramp up mass transit and increase taxes too. All of these reasons and more are why there will be an increasing property market in the suburbs in 2017.

Credit Availability Will Improve Later in 2017

For the most part, the Trump Administration is not set to deal directly with housing, which is why there is a Presidential Cabinet, President Trump has made it very clear that he and his team plan to roll back the regulations laid out in the previous administrations Dodd-Frank Act. This allows Trump Administration to force banks to lend more freely to a range of different buyers from all walks of life.

2017 Will be the Fastest Market on Record for Growth

2017 Housing MarketDespite some of the bad news for home buyers regarding price, there are other dynamics seeing increases. The 2017 market is expected to break the 2016 property market’s record for being the fastest market. An average home stayed on the market just 52 days in 2016, and buyers using Redfin averaged 83 days searching for a new home, which was seven fewer days than the previous year. Agents have also noted there has been a noticeable increase for short term tours. Same-day tours rose over 25 percent and are expected to grow even more in 2017. People want to buy, and they appear to be serious about.

Rising Rates

Usually, housing does some heavy lifting for the Gross Domestic Product. Housing can be depended on to account for around 15 percent of it, but it has not been pulling its weight recently though. That is because there is a looming property market bubble. Sometimes raising interest rates will help ease some of the tension, so the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates in 2017 by first implementing an increase December of 2016, and there are two more expected to follow later in 2017. The effect it will have to buyers will be negative. Higher interest rates make it harder for people to buy, and if they do buy, it makes their payments higher based on the interest rate alone. Nele Richardson, the Redfin Chief Economist, says people should not worry too much. He says a 4.3 percent increase on a traditional mortgage is still a good deal compared to historical interest rate hike.

There are so many factors that real estate trends use to calculate. Good advice would be to proceed with caution considering considering he has barely been in office half a year. Listen to advisors and continue to read more articles like this before deciding to make a paramount purchase.

The Difference Between Property Value and Depreciation

Buyers can locate a property and purchase real estate without the services of an agent. However, many contract the services of a real estate agent in part for their market knowledge and industry expertise. Real estate agents can provide their valued clients with the best service possible by educating themselves about all aspects of the sales process and even the property ownership process. Buyers who are looking for a personal residence as well as investor clients who are looking for a long-term real estate investment are generally concerned with the value of the property. This concept, however, is often confused with how a property depreciates and what this means in the real estate world. By gaining a better understanding of these two common terms and how they impact different buyers, you can position yourself to better serve your clients.

Understanding Property Value

Home ValueYou and your clients may be well aware that the value of real estate does not generally remain stagnant. It can increase and decrease frequently based on a wide range of market conditions. Property value is most commonly determined by a real estate agent or an appraiser in part by reviewing local market comparable data. You likely are already familiar with this process of finding properties of similar size and condition in the neighborhood where a potential listing is located and making reasonable adjustments based on condition, special features, layout and more. The value of a property is important during the sales process to determine a fair offer to make to the seller, and it also is important to a buyer during his or her years of home ownership. For example, it will be used to determine the property taxes owed on the property each year, and it also will be used to calculate the equity in the home.

Exploring the Meaning of Property Depreciation

This is a term that has two distinctive meanings in real estate. Its most common meaning relates to a decline in the value of a property. When the market rates adjust downward, the real estate value declines. The other term is less commonly known, and it may be a factor that investors are more concerned with. The Internal Revenue Service allows investors to use property depreciation as a tax deduction. This is one of the least well-known real estate investment benefits, but it can be a true financial advantage. It gives investors the opportunity to offset their tax liability and to maximize gains. The value of the property is capitalized over the expected life span of the property. The IRS sets the expected life of assets for you. In addition, significant property improvements can also be depreciated for additional financial benefit.

What These Terms Mean to a Personal Residence Buyer

When talking to your clients about these two factors, it is important to remember who your client is and what his or her primary interests may be. The value of the property is most significant factor that will affect a personal residence buyer. This type of client wants to ensure that they get a fair price on the property. When talking about the property, you may discuss property value appreciation rates in the local area. Ensure that they understand there are no guarantees that values will continue to appreciate at a specific rate. However, this information can be beneficial to them as they decide which property to proceed with.

Why They Are Important to Investor Clients

Both of these factors are important to investor clients for different reasons. Investors typically want to ensure that the property cash flows on a monthly basis. The sales price they negotiate on the property will dictate their loan amount and monthly loan payment. In this way, the sales price plays a major role on the overall monthly cash flow that the property can generate for them. Many investors want to project a specific minimum return on investment. This includes tax benefits as well as the appreciation rate of their property and their ability to build equity. The tax benefits are directly impacted by depreciation. Because this factor is based on the value of the property, the two factors are intertwined. In addition, a higher value generally increases the amount that can be depreciated each year, or in other words, it offsets the owner’s tax liability on the property. You can help your investor clients to better determine their overall return on investment by focusing their attention in part on these key factors.
Understanding the different real estate terms that your clients may have questions about is critical. They are contracting you for your real estate services as well as your expertise in this area. It is important that you know what these terms mean and that you have a practical working knowledge of how they affect buyers’ decisions and financial goals.

Questions to Ask Potential Mortgage Lenders

A home mortgage is a common way for individuals to afford home ownership. Depending where you live, a new home may cost several hundred thousand dollars or more, and many are simply unable to buy such an expensive item without financing or without considerable effort made at saving for decades of their lives. A home loan may stretch out payments on the house for 20 to 30 years in most cases, providing you with affordable monthly payments. However, before you can apply for a home loan, you must first find the right lender to work with. Some home buyers are inclined to decide which lender to use by shopping for the best interest rate, but this is not the only aspect of the screening process you should consider. Your home loan lender will impact your stress level when applying for home financing, your closing costs, your overall buying timeline and more. Consider asking a potential lender these questions as you make your final decision about who to work with.

MortgageHow Will the Loan Be Serviced?

It is common for lenders to sell their loans after closing to other parties, and it is also common for them to use a third party servicing company to handle collection of payments and other related tasks. While this is common practice, it can impact your loan payment experience in the years to come. If the loan representative states that another party will handle the loan payments, get the name of that company. Thoroughly research the company to ensure that they are known for providing great customer service to their customers.

What Are the Closing Costs?

Each lender has a different approach to establishing closing costs. Closing costs plus your down payment will equate to your total funds due at closing. You need to know that you have enough money available to pay the total funds due at closing. In addition, you may wish to compare different lenders’ closing costs to find the one that offers the best overall deal. In some cases, you can save thousands of dollars by shopping around and comparing closing costs before selecting a lender.

Should You Buy Down the Rate by Paying Points?

With a home loan, you are typically provided with an interest rate at par, and you may be given the ability to buy down the rate by paying points. A point equates to one percent of the loan amount. When you buy down the rate, you will have a lower monthly payment as well as less paid in interest over the life of the loan. Your lender ideally will ask you how long you intend to stay in the home when answering this question. Be wary of lenders who automatically recommend that you buy down the rate without asking about your long-term plans for home ownership. It is most effective to buy down the rate when you plan to be in the home for a long period of time.

Should You Pay Off Debts Before Applying?

As part of the pre-qualification process, your lender will calculate your debt-to-income ratio. If your ratio is very high, you may be requested to pay off some debts and close some accounts before or at closing. If your score is low or borderline, you may be advised to pay debts off several weeks or more before applying so that your credit rating may improve.

Are You a Strong Candidate for Loan Approval?Loan Approval

The last thing you want is to spend your time, energy and money going through the home buying process and loan application process only to find out at the very last minute that you do not qualify for the loan you need. You may lose some of your earnest money to the seller as well as money spent on the appraisal, property inspection and more. More than that, you may have become emotionally vested in buying your dream home, and it can be devastating to learn that you do not qualify for the loan you need to purchase it. Ask your lender up front if you are a strong candidate for loan approval. Pay attention to the key aspects of qualification that the lender states that you meet as well as areas that you may be borderline on.

While some home buyers may ask one mortgage lender these questions, it is best to ask multiple lenders these same questions. By doing so, you can more easily compare the answers to find the lender that seems to answer your questions more completely and honestly. Some may provide more elaborate and detailed explanations as a means to help you make a better decision, to guide you through the process and more. It is wise to speak with multiple lenders before you make your decision about which lender you want to move forward with.

Why Hire a Home Inspector When Buying a Home

ValueFor most people, buying a home is the largest purchase and most significant investment they’ll ever make. Finding the perfect home is an important part of the process, so hiring a home inspector can ensure that there are no issues lurking in a property that you’re certain is “the one.” Here are eight of the key reasons to hire a qualified home inspector.

  1. You can ensure value for your money.

It’s impossible to tell whether a home is worth the price you’re offering unless you know everything about its condition. A home inspector can identify existing health and safety problems as well as other negative (and positive) aspects that may affect your decision to purchase the home.

  1. It helps you negotiate.

Having a home inspection can help you decide on a fair offer price for the home. If there are significant issues, you can negotiate with the seller for a lower price or to fix certain items. In some cases, buyers choose to walk away from a home contract if the property will need more work than they anticipated.

  1. It is comprehensive.

Your qualified inspector will examine all visible interior and exterior areas of the home, including structures such as the roof, foundation, walls, windows, doors, insulation, basement, detached garage, and attic. He or she will also evaluate the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, test appliances, and even check for evidence of termites. After the inspection, often within 72 hours, you’ll receive a detailed written report.

  1. It protects you and your family.

As previously mentioned, a professional inspector will detect any issues with the home that could affect the safety of the occupants. This could include radon, carbon monoxide, mold, or faulty or damaged wiring, as well as easily fixed problems like a leaky faucet that could lead to more serious issues if left unchecked.

  1. It could detect legal issues with the home.

Some homes have additions, renovations, or structures such as decks or pools that have been installed without permits and may not be built to code. This could affect the home’s value and taxation as well as impact the ability to get homeowner’s insurance.

  1. It can find construction problems.Inspector

If you’re buying a brand new home, you may think you’re impervious to the need for an inspection. In fact, having an inspection can allow poor workmanship, construction issues, mistakes, and any other problems to be addressed before you move in, potentially saving you time and money later.

  1. It helps you meet insurance requirements.

In many cases, your homeowner’s insurance company may require you to have a home inspection as a condition of coverage. This is especially true if you need to meet specific requirements, such as flood zone protection.

  1. It helps you forecast future expenses.

Even if a home inspection doesn’t detect any major issues, it can be an important factor in budgeting for future expenses. For example, you’ll have information about the condition of the roof and other structures, systems, and appliances.

If you’re buying a home, finding a qualified inspector could potentially save you thousands of dollars, a small price to pay to protect your peace of mind.

7 Tips for Home Buyers

Purchasing a home can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. The experience is even more challenging for the fist-time home buyers because they do not know what to expect. Though the learning curve is steep, you can always find your way out with a little extra homework. In this post, we are going to help you demystify home buying process with seven well-researched tips.

Consider Your Needs

A perfect house should suit all your needs. Remember finding a house is more than simply identifying a place to lay your head. From shopping to leisure, it must cover all the aspects of your life. Find a house that can match your lifestyle. If you like to move around, go for a house located in a place that has a less frustrating gridlock whenever you commute. Determine whether there are occasional traffic snarl-ups that can ruin your plans and moods. Check whether the house is located in a place that has enough essentials such as groceries and household items. Approximate how close the local groceries are, and evaluate how they will impact your lifestyle. Also, determine whether the location and layout of the house will affect the way you spend your leisure time. If you enjoy a nightlife, ensure there are local pubs and nightclubs around.

Check Your FinancialsFinances

You need to check your finances before you buy a home to determine whether you can afford it. There are a lot of options available. For example, there are bank loans specially designed for real estate. One can also use cash or go for a mortgage. To qualify for a bank loan or a mortgage, you must do some background checks and ensure everything is in order. Your credit score is one of the most important elements you must take into consideration. There are different score standards that determine what you need for a particular type of loan or mortgage in a credit report. Look for mistakes and unpaid amounts in the credit score and correct them. You can also do a comprehensive audit of your assets and liabilities to determine how much you owe, or whether there are certain amounts of money left for additional use.

Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Get

Get a rough idea of how much mortgage a lender is willing to give you based on your credit history and monthly income. You may think that you qualify for a mortgage worth $500,000 only for a creditor to consider otherwise. Most real estate agents do not like to spend their energy on those who have no idea of how much they want to use in the process. Include your personal finances such as reports on bill payments and calculate debt-to-income ratio. Clearly indicate your monthly expenses in the report to enable the lender to calculate your mortgage based on the current facts. Also, get a pre-approval for the loan before you place an offer on a house. In many cases, sellers require buyers to place an offer based on an authorized pre-approval document.

Do Not Be Afraid of Bidding

You need develop great bidding skills to protect your financial interest when buying a home. Most home buyers chose to ignore this important aspect for one reason or the other. Bidding should cover two important elements. First, it should be based on the amount of money you have so that you don’t outbid yourself. Second, it must take into consideration your view as to whether the house is worth the price quoted. Your opening bid should be reasonable to prevent the seller from walking out the first time. Consider what other houses in the same category go for when preparing an opening bid. A good bid should cover the average price of the house per square foot.

Visit the Neighborhood

Stalk the neighborhood to get an overview of where you will be staying. Drop by in the morning or at night to see what is happening there. Most people find themselves in bad situations after they settle in a perfect house only to realize that the neighborhood is not good for them. The neighborhood must have enough security and amenities such as schools and hospitals. However, most houses in good neighborhoods cost up to 20 percent more than those located in bad areas.

Do a Thorough Home Inspection

A thorough home inspection helps you to see the new house for what it is. With inspection, you unearth hidden problems that the seller is not willing to tell you. Such problems may range from plumbing malfunctions to electrical issues. As a result, you can avoid potentially harmful and costly problems associated with new homes. The inspection will also enhance your negotiating power. By uncovering the hidden faults, you can ask the seller to close the deal at a lesser amount to cover the repair costs. In addition, a great inspection can help you prepare for the future since you get a lot of information about the house in the process.

patriciawagnerHire a Professional Real Estate Agent

You need to hire a licensed real estate agent to guide you through the buying process. The agent will negotiate complex transactions with potential pitfalls on your behalf. Since they have large connections, real estate agents can solve any problem that may arise. He or she will help you get good loan officers and hire a home inspector if you cannot find one by yourself. Agents can also apply their knowledge and experience to negotiate with the seller for a lower price.

The tips discussed above can make a big difference for most home buyers. By following them, you will get a house that suits your needs while at the same time getting the real value for your money.

Should You Make Northern Kentucky Home?

Affectionately known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky is a great place to live, with natural beauty, a rich history, a vibrant arts scene, and so live in northern kentuckymuch more to offer its residents.


Northern Kentucky is also known as the Bluegrass region thanks to the incredibly fertile soil the helps this distinctive type of grass grow wild there. This region is where you’ll find Louisville, Frankfort, Lexington, and other great communities, each with its own charm and legacy. The area has also earned the nickname the Horse Capital of the World, thanks to the sheer number of champion thoroughbreds it has produced.


If that’s not enough for you, the state is famous for its bourbon distilleries, automobile manufacturing industry, tobacco processing, and of course, horse racing. Of course, it is the home of one of the world’s biggest fast-food brands, Kentucky Fried Chicken.


If you are thinking of moving to Northern Kentucky, here are just some of the many reasons you’re making the right choice.



The name “Kentucky” actually comes from a Wyandot word, “Kah-ten-tah-the,” which translates to “land of tomorrow.”


Despite its nickname as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky is actually a commonwealth – one of only four in the U.S. (along with Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.) It was originally a part of Virginia, but separated from it in 1792. Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union, and the first state west of the Appalachians. Today, more than 4.4 million people call it home, making Kentucky the 26th most populous state in the US.


You will find plenty of war memorials strewn across Kentucky, honoring the fallen soldiers who gave their lives protecting their country. Kentucky has produced many war heroes throughout its history and is even the birth place of Abraham Lincoln, even if Illinois claims to be “the Land of Lincoln.” If you love American history, there is plenty to explore!


Locally Grown Food

Despite being famous for a particular chain of fast food restaurants, the local food industry is one of the biggest draws for Kentucky, especially in the northern part of the state. The fertile soil means there are hundreds of farms producing all sorts of crops, and you can visit many of them to pick your own produce. On weekends, you can easily visit a local farmer’s market to buy fresh produce, home-made baked goods, and much more. As the seasons change, you’ll also find the farms hosting a variety of family-friendly events.


Northern Kentucky is also where you’ll find Kentucky’s most cherished product: bourbon. Explore the Bourbon Trail and visit 8 of the world’s best known distilleries. If you prefer to head off the beaten path, there are plenty of smaller craft distilleries to visit, and Louisville is home to some of the world’s greatest bourbon bars, all along the Urban Bourbon Trail.


Quality of Living

Kentucky residents are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. It’s just part of the neighborly culture. Even if you’re just here for a visit, you can expect a lot of hellos from random strangers and waiters asking you about your day.


You don’t have to be excessively rich in order to raise your standard of living in this state. In fact, Kentucky’s cost of living is lower than the national average. On the cost of living index, Kentucky falls a


Not only that, but you’ll find 49 state parks in Kentucky, with many, many festivals and events that ensure there is plenty for you to do all year round.


Experience All Four Seasons

With its central location in the country, Kentucky experiences all four seasons to full effect. The flowers blossom during the spring, the summer days are warm and balmy, the leaves turn vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges during the fall, and when the temperatures drop in the winter, you’re sure to see some snowfall.


Don’t Miss the Derby Season

Kentucky residents know there’s actually a fifth, and equally wonderful season: Derby season! For many who call the state home, it’s their favorite season. During these two weeks, people leave work early and meet up with their friends to enjoy horse races and place their bets. It is one of the best examples of the vibrant Kentucky culture. With live music, dancing, and plenty of great food and drink, what’s not to love?


So what do you think? Should you make Northern Kentucky home? Let us know if we can help.