Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Please DO note the sarcasm in that title! The Wall Street Journal published an article today with results from a recent survey that was conducted by Mortgagematch.com. Amongst the findings: almost one third of American homebuyers reported that understanding the mortgage process was the most difficult part of the homebuying process. I find that even buyers who have bought property before are overwhelmed by the mortgage process, as requirements have changed drastically in the last few years. In fact, the WSJ's article states, "While anyone who applied for a loan during the middle of the last decade probably found that the process was a breeze, lenders have ratcheted down not only their lending requirements since the collapse of the housing market four years ago, but they’ve also become far pickier about documentation requirements." Not that this is a bad thing- additional documentation requirements (though sometimes a pain to track down) means that buyers are not purchasing homes that they can not realistically afford.
Who can blame these overwhelmed buyers (first time or repeat); mortgage applications are 40+ pages...that's A LOT of information to digest! HOWEVER, an experienced and knowledgeable lender can alleviate A LOT of the confusion! It is absolutely critical that you feel comfortable with your lender and he/she are there to answer your questions in a timely manner.
What did some of the other two-thirds of buyers surveyed say they thought the most difficult part was? Well, OVER HALF (54%) stated that finding the right home was the hardest part of the process. Solution: find yourself a Realtor who is familiar with the area(s) in which you are interested and that listens to both your wishes and needs! Another 25% of those surveyed expressed that negotiating the right price for the home was the most difficult aspect of the process. Enter, once again, your experienced Realtor. Of course every seller wants top dollar for their home and every buyer wants to pay the lowest possible amount for a home. Working with an experienced agent can bring both of these parties to a mutual understanding and facilitate a conflict-free transaction.
Bottom line: If you are thinking of purchasing a home, it is absolutely crucial that you pair yourself with both a savvy Realtor (ahem!) AND a trusted lender. Now that the spring months are somewhat within our sights, a lot of homebuyers are starting to crawl out of the caves that they have been hibernating in these last couple of months. If you are one of these buyers and you haven't spoken to a lender about getting pre-approved and what the mortgage process will entail on your end, please call me today and I can suggest some WONDERFUL local lenders that will break down the process for you and put your apprehensions at ease!
Make sure to check out the entire article from the Wall Street Journal!
Feel free to contact me today if you are considering purchasing a home and would like to disuss the homebuying process! Remember, you can always search all of our newest listings by visiting Hickok & Boardman's website!
-Jamie Wright, Realtor
Friday, February 4, 2011
Mmmmmm!!! Burlington, VT has made yet another "top ten" list...and this one I can personally attest to! Sperling's "Best Places" recently named America's Best "Foodie" Cities, and lil' ol' BTV made the #3 spot on the list (just behind Santa Rosa/Napa, CA and Portland, OR)! To read the article on Burlington's latest accolade that was featured in the Burlington Free Press this morning, click here.
In compiling the "ten best", Sperling's Best Places looked at 379 metro areas across the U.S. Not suprising to locals, Burlington had a high ratio of local eateries in comparison to chain restaurants; 84.5% of our restaurants are local eateries! CNBC- which features Sperling's list- cited favorites such as American Flatbread (the perfect place to grab a bite after a day on the slopes), Penny Cluse Cafe (I can taste the biscuits and herb gravy now), and the Bluebird Tavern. In addition to restuarants, Sperling also took into account the presence of breweries, brew pubs, wine bars, farmers markets, and community supported agriculture.
To see the entire list, and find out more about how Sperling compiled the list, check out Sperling's Best Places. My stomach is officially growling now...I think it's time to grab some lunch....maybe a little something from The Spot??!
Feel free to contact me if you are looking to buy or sell your home in the Burlington area...or even if you just need a restaurant suggestion!
Jamie Wright, Realtor
photo credit: thespotvt.com