Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/28/2021

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

In general, if you have less than 20 percent of a down payment for the house you want, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance is a cost to you to protect the lender if you default on the loan. In most cases, it’s better to save the 20 percent down payment, but if you absolutely cannot do that and rent is costing you more than a mortgage payment even with PMI tacked on, then it’s better to buy and pay PMI. Another reason to pay PMI is if you have the 20 percent down payment, but you are buying a house that needs some work — you can make a lower down payment and pay PMI so you have more cash for repairs.

Avoiding PMI

You can avoid paying private mortgage insurance in three ways:

Make a down payment of 20 percent or more of the purchase price;

Get a loan backed by the VA or the Department of Agriculture; or

Get a loan that has PMI, but make sure you can cancel it as soon as you get 20 percent in equity built up.

The easiest way to get the 20 percent down is to put money in a savings account that pays high interest. Put what you have for a down payment in the account, then add money to it every month. Some people find it easier to put $50 per week, while others might want to put a lump sum in the account once every month.

With the VA and Department of Agriculture loans, you have to qualify for these loans. Sometimes your only option might be to get the loan with PMI, but make sure you can stop paying PMI once you have 20 percent in equity. Making extra payments on the principle is one way to get equity to build up faster.

Types of PMI

Your lender has five types of PMI to offer you. The most common is borrower-paid mortgage insurance. This is usually a monthly fee that is combined with your mortgage payment. You need to get 22 percent equity before your lender drops BPMI. You also have to be current on your mortgage payments. Some lenders will cancel the BPMI at 20 percent equity if you ask.

Single-payment mortgage insurance is PMI that you pay in one lump sum at closing. In some cases, the lump sum might be divided into equal payments and paid with your mortgage for the year. If you pay this mortgage insurance up front, your monthly payments are lower. However, if you sell your house or refinance it, you won’t get any part of your premium back.

Lender-paid mortgage insurance means that your lender pays for the PMI. However, your interest rates are higher to make up for those payments, so technically, you are still coming out of pocket for it. Because this type of PMI is built into the loan, you can’t cancel it when you have enough equity. And, your interest rate won’t go down, either. The one benefit of lender-paid mortgage PMI is that even with a slightly higher interest rate, your payments are most likely going to be lower.

The fourth type of PMI is split-premium mortgage insurance. This is a combination of buyer-paid mortgage insurance and single-payment mortgage insurance. You pay this insurance in two parts: One part in a lump sum at closing, then the balance is worked into your mortgage payments. You don’t need a huge lump sum at closing and your mortgage payments will be lower than if you were to have BPMI.

Finally, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Protection, or MIP, that is mortgage insurance you can get if the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) underwrites your mortgage. If you have a down payment of 10 percent or less, you will pay MIP in the form or an up-front payment plus extra payments worked into your mortgage.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/21/2021

There are a number of steps involved in buying a home. One of the many important things you should do before closing on a new home is to get the house properly inspected.

Buyers sometimes avoid getting a professional inspection for a number of reasons. Some are on a tight budget and want to save a few dollars. Others have time constraints and want to close as soon as possible. And, many buyers believe that omitting an inspection is a way to show trust in the previous owner.

In this article, we’ll talk about why getting a home inspection is such an important part before closing on a real estate deal.

Inspection costs

Closing on a home comes with a number of expenses. Application fees, origination fees, underwriting fees… the list goes on. If you’re buying a home, you might be tempted to opt out of getting the property inspected to save money.

The cost of an inspection ranges anywhere from $200 for smaller homes, to $400 or more for large homes. However, the cost of not getting your home inspected can be much greater. Even if you’re knowledgeable when it comes to houses, there are a number of things that only the experts can diagnose.

Having a professional inspect the home is the only way to ensure that there aren’t any issues that will come back to haunt you (and your wallet) in the months and years to come.

Saving time

Many buyers are eager to close the deal and begin moving into their new home as soon as possible. Sometimes buyers need to vacate their old home before a certain date, others try to time their move around holidays or school vacations.

There are other ways, however, to make sure you get the house inspected in time. First, make sure you’ve included a home inspection in your purchase agreement. This will avoid wasted times debating whether or not you are entitled to inspect the home.

Next, call multiple inspectors in your area for quotes and availability. Delaying this step can make you lose time, and inspectors might charge you more if they have to squeeze you into their schedule.

The best time to schedule an inspection is as soon as your offer is accepted.

Maintaining a good relationship with the seller

It may seem like an act of diplomacy to waive a home inspection. In reality, however, nearly all sellers will understand that you are simply doing due diligence to make sure the process runs smoothly for both of you.

Sellers might sometimes offer you the findings of a previous inspection that they had done. In this case, it’s still important to have your own inspection done so that you can walk through the home with the inspector and listen to their feedback. You can’t be sure of the accuracy of any old reports, and the previous inspector is only accountable to the seller.


Having a home professionally inspected is almost always a good idea. It can save you time and money in repairs that could have been avoided.





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/14/2021

When you’re selling your home, things can get really busy, really fast. You want your home to be in tip top shape to give it the best chance of selling in a timely manner. There are a few things you can do in a short time frame that allows you to spruce up your home without breaking a sweat. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you bring your home to another level of wow before the open house. 


Check Your Front Door


All you really need to do is put a fresh coat of paint on your front door to brighten the look of your entryway. There’s something about a freshly painted front door that really makes a home look like new. 


Spruce Up The Landscaping


You can really do a minimal amount in your yard and make your home curb-appeal ready. Just rake some leaves, add some mulch, mow the lawn, and voila. It might be an all day project, but in the end, it will be worth it. As long as people have a good view and feel that your yard has been taken care of, the outside of your home is in the clear for an open house.  


Check The Outdoor Lights


Even though an open house will be happening in the daylight hours, people may be curious that there is adequate lighting on the outside of your home. Buyers can either check this while they are at the open house or they could go a step further and drive by the property at night. Adequate lighting allows for a sense of security and safety all throughout the outside of the property.  


Care For The Mailbox


Few places in your home are as neglected as the mailbox is. Add some fresh paint to your mailbox. You can use the same color as your front door for consistency. At the very least, clean up the mailbox to give it a better appearance. Make sure your house number is present somewhere on the box as well. This helps the property to have a sense of being a bit more inviting. People will also be able to find your home easier. 


Make Use Of Flowers


You should place flowers around your home on the day of the open house. Add a fresh cut bouquet to the kitchen table. Bring some potted plants and florals around your entryway. These simple touches really can make an impression when potential buyers visit your home. 


Remove Your Personal Stuff

From the outside in, traces of your life in the home should be put away. This means pet items, toys, games, photos, and celebrity shrines. The more free space a buyer has to envision themselves living in the home, the better.          


With these small extra touches, your open house is bound to be a success!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/7/2021

A yard sale offers a valuable opportunity to get rid of items before you sell your house. As such, it is important to promote your yard sale effectively; otherwise, you may miss out on a chance to declutter and earn extra cash at the same time.

Ultimately, there are many quick, easy ways to stir up interest in your yard sale, such as:

1. Post flyers in your city or town

Old-fashioned flyers can help you promote your yard sale to large groups of people in your city or town. That way, you can create a buzz around your event and increase the likelihood of selling your stuff.

If you use flyers to promote your yard sale, be sure to include essential information like the location, date and time of your event. Also, using bright, vibrant paper and colorful markers may help your flyers stand out.

Ensure that all of your yard sale flyers are legible, accurate and easy to understand. This will help minimize the risk of miscommunication with potential event attendees.

Of course, it never hurts to ask business owners for permission to post flyers at local companies, either. The more flyers that you post, the more likely it becomes that your yard sale will be a resounding success.

2. Create an online posting

An online posting makes it simple for you to provide details about your yard sale to large groups of people.

Putting an online posting on Craigslist or local community websites may prove to be worthwhile. And in some instances, you may even be able to include photos of items that you plan to sell at your yard sale.

In addition, invite friends on Facebook and other social networks to attend your upcoming yard sale. By doing so, you can boost your chances of stirring up substantial interest in the days leading up to your event.

3. Select the right date and time

Oftentimes, Saturdays and Sundays are the best days to host a yard sale, and for good reason. Many people don't have to work on weekends, and as a result, may have free time to attend your yard sale.

After you know which day of the week that you want to host your yard sale, consider the date and time of your event closely.

Take a look at the holiday calendar, and you should have no trouble selecting a yard sale date that works well for most people in your area.

Think about the time of your yard sale too. And remember, if you host a yard sale that coincides with local community events, it may be difficult for some people to attend.

Lastly, if you need extra help stirring up interest in your yard sale, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent. This housing market professional may be able to share details about your upcoming yard sale with clients and colleagues.

Generating buzz in a yard sale can be easy, and with the aforementioned tips, you can stir up plenty of interest in your event.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/31/2021

Although statistics may not be reflective of your individual real-estate buying habits, the "typical" homeowner tends to stay put in their home for around a decade -- give or take.

One of the few "drawbacks" of being a long-term homeowner is that, over time, you tend to forgot many of the details of the home-buying process.

However, an advantage of buying a home in the Internet Age is the availability of instant information on everything from interest rates and real estate agent reviews to house hunting tips and choosing a moving company.

Your Real Estate Journey

Buying a home can be an extremely satisfying experience... or it can be filled with frustration and disappointment. However, by having a basic understanding of how the house-buying process works, you'll be more effective at preparing yourself for what's to come, anticipating what you need to do, and creating a clear picture in your mind of your requirements and ideal living environment. As various thought leaders have said over the years: If you're not clear on what you want, you'll probably end up with something else!

The cornerstones of a successful real estate search are knowing your credit score, having enough money on hand for a sufficient down payment and closing costs, enlisting the help of an experienced real estate agent, and being proactive about meeting with mortgage bankers and shopping for a competitive interest rate (and terms).

Staying organized, creating priority lists, and continually educating yourself about the nuts and bolts of buying a home will help ensure that your real estate experience will be a positive one. Even though there may be a few bumps and detours along the way, taking the time to be organized and well informed will help you stay on track and produce the type of results you and your family are looking for.

Although it does pay to read articles from credible online sources, you don't have to achieve "expert status" as a house hunter and real estate buyer. If you choose your real estate agent with care, they should be able to provide you with the expertise, advice, and professional guidance you need to clear the hurdles and make it all the way to the finish line!

How does one choose a great real estate agent? The ideal way is to get a referral from a trusted family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor. If someone you trust can attest to the service level and results a particular real estate agent has produced, then chances are good that your experience would be comparable. If more than one person you know recommends a top-notch agent, then that creates a "multiplier effect." In other words, it increases the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the service and results this agent provides. If you don't know anyone personally who has worked with a great agent, there are well-known websites that post reviews, years of experience, and relevant sales information on licensed real estate agents.







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