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Latest News Blog

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“Two” is the magic number for mortgage applicants

The details required to start the mortgage process include your amount of debt, income totals, monetary assets and permanent address.

"Two is the number to remember," said Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge in Omaha.

"You usually need at least two years of tax returns, two months of bank statements and your last two paycheck stubs to start the mortgage process."

To meet these minimal requirements, you need to:

Gather information on your outstanding debts.

This is easier done than said because your mortgage lender can easily obtain this information by pulling your credit report.

Account for your income during the past two years.

The quickest way is copy your last two tax returns. The entire returns may not be necessary. You may only need to provide the summary pages. Also, take two months' worth of pay stubs.

Provide information on your monetary assets.

Generally speaking, you need to provide the last two months' statements from your checking and savings accounts, as well as money market, IRA or mutual fund accounts. This information often is available online where you can print it.

Show where you've lived the past two years.

This may require a list of addresses, a letter from your current landlord if you rent, or proof of address such as bills sent to your home.

Other information you may have to provide, based on circumstances, could include:

  • An annuity statement if you've retired
  • Separation documents and/or a divorce decree
  • The last 12 months of child support or alimony if you file it as income on your taxes

 

"Every lender is different," Reeve said, "and it's best to ask about their particular requirements."

The mortgage application process can be daunting. When you're ready to purchase a home, use a buyer's agent who will explain your options and guide you past challenges.

Set up an appointment with Cassidee Reeve today at 402-706-2901.

Four reasons why a seller’s agent is worth it

The housing market is great and you decide to sell your home. Do you opt for a seller's agent or do you try and sell the house yourself?

If you sell it yourself, you stand to make more money, in theory anyway. If you use an agent, you have to pay a commission, often seven percent of the total sales price.

That's a lot of money.

"I'm not a mechanic but I drive a car every day. I do my best to maintain it," said Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge in Omaha. "But when it comes time to really know what's needed, I trust a professional."

Here's what you get for that sizable commission:

  • Is a sign in your yard the only advertising you plan?

 

Agents have a lot more marketing methods at their disposal. They know where and how to market your home to appeal to the greatest amount of buyers. They often know other buyer's agents whose clients might seek a home like yours.

  • Do you know the strangers who come into your home?

 

Agents can check potential buyers ahead of time to see if they can afford your home and whether they're serious about buying it.

  • What if you sign a purchase contract with someone who isn't qualified?

 

Your property is then tied up in paperwork for weeks or months with someone who can't buy your home. That could mean losing other potential buyers.

  • Did you price your home correctly?

 

One big mistake people who sell their own homes tend to make is asking too much or too little for their home. Agents have the ability to pull comparable properties in your area and find out what other, similar homes recently sold for.

They can help you figure out a good asking price that allows room for negotiation while maximizing your potential earnings following the sale.

"You may know an awful lot about home selling, but there are still things best left to a professional," Reeve said.

Before you try to sell it yourself, find out just what a seller's agent can do. Set up your, no cost, no obligation appointment with Cassidee Reeve today at 402-706-2901.

Closing costs can surprise the unwary buyer

Maybe you've heard of closing costs but don't understand everything they cover when you buy a home.

According to Zillow.com, expect to pay two to five percent of your home's purchase price in closing costs.

"Closing costs differ depending on the type of property you buy – new construction or already built," said Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge in Omaha. "The type of financing you get can also make a real difference."

Buyers pay for a range of fees and services

As a buyer, there are many things you pay for as closing costs. These can include but aren't limited to:

  • Home inspection
  • Title search and insurance
  • Notary services
  • State, county or city transfer taxes
  • Pre-paid interest
  • Pre-paid insurance

 

You'll also likely pay wire, delivery and recording fees, as well as appraisal, lender and attorney charges.

Another cost sellers sometimes must pay is any remaining balance of the property taxes on their old home.

Although buyers pay the majority of these closing costs, sellers pay commission fees that are often larger.

"The commission is based on a percentage of the total sale price, so it tends to be the biggest fee," according to Zillow.com.

Get a "good faith estimate" from your lender

Whoever finances your mortgage should provide an estimate of your closing costs. This is known as a "Good Faith Estimate" or a GFE. If they don't give you one, ask for it.

The day before you close, ask your lender for the "Settlement Statement," also known as the HUD or HUD-1. This represents all the charges pertaining to the purchase, including your actual and final closing costs.

Still uncertain about just what you'll pay? Even if you bought a home before, it's hard to recall everything covered in the closing costs.

"Make sure you have a knowledgeable agent to help you determine the differences, and plan accordingly," Reeve said. "It's the only way to know how much money you'll actually need to close.

Call Cassidee Reeve today and let her help you find your next home. She'll walk you through every step of process, including closing costs. Set your appointment today at 402-706-2901.

How to choose among the three types of home

You decide to buy a new home and you want it built specifically for you.

It's a difficult decision and one that definitely takes a little research.

So you look into some area homebuilders. All that does is confuse you. How do you ensure you get the home you want?

"The most common mistake when clients consider various builders is not to compare apples to apples," said Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge in Omaha. "Homebuilders offer different materials, products and styles."

One important thing to decide is whether you want a custom, speculative or a tract home.

Custom

A custom home is just what it sounds like, a home built to your specifications, depending on the builder. You may have a say in just about everything, from lot choice and floor plan to paint colors and fixtures.

You participate in the process at every step. In this case, go with a builder you trust because you'll work with them for an extended period of time. Different builders offer different levels of a "hands on" experience.

Speculative

This kind of home is often referred to as "spec." Custom builders often build homes without a particular buyer in mind. Many times, these homes are designed conservatively to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.

Although you might get to select some finishing touches in a spec home, the builder is usually finished by the time you see it.

On the plus side, you don't wait as long for the home to be finished. But you also don't have much say in how it will look.

Tract

Tract housing refers to homes with similar styles and floor plans in a particular development. These often are more affordable because the homebuilder builds them in great number.

Because the homebuilder often pays lower rates for materials and labor, the price you pay also is lower.

"It's important to have a knowledgeable agent help you compare all facets of the building process," Reeve said. "That's the only way to know whether you're getting the best deal."

Ready to build your dream castle but not sure where to start? Call Cassidee Reeve today and set up your free consult 402-706-2901.

Curb appeal can sell your home faster

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

That statement is particularly appropriate when you get your home ready to sell.

Just a few things done to spruce up your house can make the difference between a quick sale and an extended stay on the for-sale market.

"The first thing potential buyers see is the outside of your home. The front view is often the most-used photo for advertising and ID purposes," said Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge. "Make sure it shines."

If people don't like the outside of your home, they may not even go inside. And if you don't get them inside, you won't sell your home.

In a 2013 National Association of Realtors Survey, 71 percent of homebuyers said curb appeal was important when they select a new home.

Four easy ways to improve your curb appeal

  1. Focus on the front door. Paint your door a fresh, new color or install a custom door. Make sure it's clean and there aren't dirty spots on or around the knob. A nice touch is to add wreath to the front door.
  2. Pull all the weeds in the front yard. Edge and mulch flower beds. This makes your property look cared for and well-kept. When you choose mulch for your yard, consider dark black or brown because it looks more natural than some other choices.
  3. Add a container garden. Many home improvement stores as well as nurseries sell pre-filled containers so all you do is select the arrangements you like best. Per Better Homes and Gardens, "a staggered, asymmetrical arrangement works best to create a dynamic setting."
  4. Put up house numbers to make your home easy to find. This adds instant curb appeal. There are many vendors out there who offer fun options to complement just about any style of home.

 

Unsure how best to improve your curb appeal? Call Cassidee Reeve. She'll use her skills in interior and landscape design to help find your next home. Set up your appointment today at 402-706-2901.

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