What you need to know

According to a recent Discover Home survey, 83% of home buyers or respondents have been pre-qualified for a mortgage.

Of the respondents, more than half (60% in fact) began their home search after at least one of the following occurrences: achieving financial stability (22%), their interested market becoming affordable (20%), improving their credit scores to qualify for more favorable home loans (20%), mortgage products becoming more attainable (18%), and having saved enough for a home down payment (17%).

Of concern is that only slightly more than half (52%) of buyers who knew how much to spend on a home knew what their projected monthly payment would be as well.

Less than half, or 41%, did not calculate their expected down payment on a home. Slightly more than half or 52% didn’t know how much their mortgage payment would be for a lessor priced property or a more expensive property. Buyers, especially first-time buyers, should get a complete understanding of these costs.

Buyers need to select and work with a mortgage broker early in the home search process, not only to prequalify for a mortgage, but understand and plan for the costs for home ownership. This will also expedite the loan process when a home is chosen.

In another report, the National Housing Trend Report indicated 10 metro areas are experiencing strong price appreciation. In these areas, home sales are also exceeding the rate of others across the country. These markets are in upstate New York (Albany-Schenectady-Troy), Baton Rouge, La., Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C./S.C., Columbia, S.C., Des Moines, Iowa, Philadelphia, Pa., N.J., Portland-Vancouver, Oregon-Washington, Reno, Nevada, Spokane, Wash., and the Washington, D.C. Md.,Va., W.Va. area.

The majority of American homeowners and buyers use a Realtor when selling their properties, according to BMO Harris Bank. The primary reasons cited were understanding the market and paperwork.

The other reasons for using a Realtor: explaining and navigating the sales and purchase process, understanding market value, access to more accurate and current market information.

Another important reason is that a Realtor can more effectively negotiate, having more information and not having an emotional interest.

Often Realtors have other Realtors represent them when selling their own properties to ensure the negotiations are not affected by their personal stake in a property. There are greater risks in not being represented by a Realtor, as Realtors have been educated in areas that minimize legal exposure.

Online information is helpful in getting an overall understanding of the real estate market. Realtors often have clients presenting information to them that is not accurate from online sites (i.e. the values and status of competing properties).  To make an informed decision more complete and accurate information provided by a Realtor should be considered by a buyer and a seller.

In closing, last week the Greenwich and Bull Dog Football communities lost Emily Catherine Fedorko due to a tragic boating accident. She was an excellent student, athlete, and friend to many who were fortunate to know her. Emily will be forever missed and remembered.


Mary Ann Clark is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected]

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