homeownership

7 Common Mistakes First-Time Home-Buyers Make

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Purchasing your first home can be one of the most memorable moments in your life.

But along with this excitement can come many questions and uncertainties about making sure that the correct decisions are in place. From location to finances (and everything in between), several considerations need to be taken to ensure that buying your first house will be a fond memory to look back on.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

We know you’re doing a ton of analysis and home searches, perhaps you’re diving into the Redfin vs. Realtor searches and things like that. But, first, take a look at a few common mistakes that first-time home-buyers make and how you can avoid them.

Neglecting a life insurance policy

Whereas around 85% of homeowners have homeowners insurance in the United States, another type of insurance that homeowners with a mortgage need to consider is life insurance.

While life insurance may be a task that you feel inclined to push off (as it’s harder to think about you or a partner passing during the excitement of shopping around for a new home), securing a policy can help save the financial well-being of your loved ones.

There are several different types of policies, so research which kind of plan is the most affordable option for ensuring that mortgage payments go through if there was a sudden loss of income.

Because mortgages typically extend through many years, a life insurance policy prevents passing along this debt to your partner or family. There are online life insurance resources that can help navigate how long you should plan on securing a plan for your circumstances and new homeownership, which factors will influence your rates, and which type of coverage is available.

Overlooking the importance of location

You may have found your dream home, including all the features you were looking for in your new place, along with the right price tag. But something that is just as important to remember when saying ‘yes’ to the house is also where your new home is located. Several factors make up what is considered a ‘good location,’ so spend time analyzing what can be dealbreakers or what you are willing to settle one.

For those with jobs farther from their home, make sure to factor in your daily commute and how much time you are willing to spend transporting to and from work.

blue earth globe on table

Furthermore, consider those living around you. If you are seeking a quieter neighborhood, or prefer something more lively, make sure that your choice takes into account how the people around you and your surroundings will impact the satisfaction in your first home experience. Be sure not to sacrifice on location, even if it means waiting to find a better fit.    

Forgetting a back-up entry plan

As mundane of a task as it may seem, many first-time home-buyers neglect to have a spare set of keys cut in case of emergency or alternative entry options after settling into their new place.

Preparing for unforeseen circumstances, in the beginning, will ensure that you will be ready for these situations before they arise. In addition to getting spare keys made, it is also a good idea to have a secure place to hide them outside of your home to avoid burglary. 

If you prefer more modern or alternative technology, consider investing in a keyless door lock. Write the password information down somewhere safe and have extra batteries on hand if needed. Focusing on the security of your new home will allow you peace of mind knowing it is taken care of even when you aren’t around.

Packing unnecessary clutter

In the moving process, new homeowners should reflect on their belongings and what is actually essential to bring with them to the new house. Along with the other stresses that come along with moving into a new home, bringing unnecessary clutter can add to all the other pressures you may be dealing with. 

In fact, studies have shown that the average American home consists of 300,000 items. Before committing to your moving company or making arrangements, go through your belongings and get rid of unnecessary items.

assorted-color apparels

Not only can this reduce moving expenses and save you time in your unpacking process, but having less clutter can create a smoother transition and more polished home. Additionally, having a garage sale or selling unwanted items online can help diminish a few of your moving expenses.

Focusing on multiple projects

The chances are that you will want to make to your new home either after or before your move-in date—like renovations, repairs, remodels, or re-decorating. While you may feel inclined to jump into several projects at once, remember that tackling one project at a time can actually benefit how fast and efficiently you complete all your plans.

If you are looking to hire a professional for a job, search around for trusted and local people who can get the job done. Planning this out in advance will also help you gauge the amount of time needed to finish your projects— and can even be helpful to compare to which home improvement ideas you can do on your own

Reflect on home maintenance

When selecting a new place to call home, don’t forget about the maintenance on the outside of your house. If you are looking to secure a large back yard or the property has several plants or trees that will need maintenance, consider if this is something you are willing to upkeep actively.

Examining your new home’s maintenance will also include tasks such as cleaning gutters, pest control, and roof preservation. Establishing a plan and determining how much time you are willing to spend on these responsibilities will help you set aside the necessary budget and time you will need to maintain the beauty of your new home. 

Disregarding organization with finances

While you may have a vision of what you want your dream house to look like, remember when buying your first home that purchasing within your means will help your financial stability in the long run. Shifting from renters to homeownership can be an adjustment, and often time new homeowners tend to underestimate the way this lifestyle change can have an impact on the revisions you must make in dealing with your finances.

Luckily, there are professionals, like the C4D crew, that can help you navigate these tougher decisions and organization of your finances.

To gain the most of your first home-buying experience, avoid these common mistakes, and actively set yourself up for the most enjoyment in making the big move. Find confidence that you will make the right decisions, and above all, congratulations on becoming a new homeowner.

Contract for Deed

[2019 UPDATES] Contract For Deed: The Ultimate Guide

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Contract for Deed Home Financing in 2019

Contract for deed home financing is a great option for those individuals struggling to get a traditional loan from the bank. Now, let’s get into the details.

Conventional financing, in 2019, as we all know, is the preferred home loan vehicle. This refers to a standard mortgage loan from a licensed lending institution, and typically can be a15 or 30 year loan with a down-payment that ranges from 3 percent to 20 percent. The higher your credit score, the better deal you will get.

Even before you find your dream home, you should obtain mortgage pre-approval from your lending institution. While pre-approval does not guarantee that everything will go smoothly, it does provide you with significant negotiating power when dealing with sellers.

Applying For Conventional Financing

Your parents probably had to spend an afternoon at a banker’s office when they applied for their first home loan. Now, you can do this by phone or online, although you will eventually have to sign closing documents in person. Some important things to do and factors to be aware of are:

  • Know your credit score.
  • You can easily see this number at Credit Karma, and the service is free.
  • Determine what factors make you less attractive.
  • High student loan balances, maxed out credit cards, judgments, liens, unpaid taxes and underreported income can hurt you.
  • Analyze your actual credit report and correct errors. The FTC reports that one of every five credit reports contains inaccuracies.
  • Optimize your credit status by paying down card balances to below 30 percent; do not make any large credit purchases while attempting to secure home financing.

Understanding What You Can Afford

Banks have certain debt to income ratios that they do strictly enforce. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains:

“Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income.  This number is one way lenders measure your ability to manage the payments you make every month to repay the money you have borrowed.”

To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, you add up all your monthly debt payments and divide them by your gross monthly income. Your gross monthly income is generally the amount of money you have earned before your taxes and other deductions are taken out.  For example, if you pay $1500 a month for your mortgage and another $100 a month for an auto loan and $400 a month for the rest of your debts, your monthly debt payments are $2000. ($1500 + $100 + $400 = $2,000.) If your gross monthly income is $6000, then your debt-to-income ratio is 33 percent. ($2000 is 33% of $6000.)

Evidence from studies of mortgage loans suggest that borrowers with a higher debt-to-income ratio are more likely to run into trouble making monthly payments. The 43 percent debt-to-income ratio is important because, in most cases, that is the highest ratio a borrower can have and still get a qualified mortgage.

Housing Affordability

Finding Your Home

You can spend all day trolling Trulia and Redfin, but many times you can be missing out on homes for sale that only Realtors can easily access. Remember, sellers pay real estate commissions—you don’t—so avail yourself of this free service and find a good Realtor.

Finding Your Home With Contract For Deed

Working With A Contract for Deed Realtor

The Realtor/client relationship is a two-way street. If you are a type A personality and want all of your texts answered within two minutes, make sure your Realtor is as hyper as you are. Conversely, don’t expect your Realtor to work miracles with incomplete or false information. For example, don’t inflate your income and/or minimize your debts at your first meeting. In the credit world, there are no secrets, so be upfront with you Realtor.

Turned Down For Traditional Financing?

Mortgage Rejection

Those that give up after being rejected for a home loan end up renting apartments while those savvy enough to understand that there are alternatives to conventional financing will look at the rejection as a bump in the road and move forward. Rent to own is one way to become a homeowner, but a preferred method is MN contract for deed. In a rent to own situation, you pay rent to a property owner that may put aside a portion of your monthly rent as a down payment for a future purchase.

If everything works out, either the seller provides financing or you obtain it at some later date. In a contract for deed sale, you sign a contract that states that you will be given the deed to the property you are occupying after you make all of your required payments. Contract for deed is seller financing, and while interest rates can be a bit higher than conventional financing, credit requirements are typically significantly more lenient.

Finding Contract For Deed Opportunities

There are a limited number of MLS contract for deed listings.  If you’re lucky, you might find the right opportunity in a nice location. At C4D, however, we give you an advantage that others that wish to utilize contract for deed just don’t have. Just bring the home you wish to purchase to us. If we can do the deal, we will purchase the home and sell it to you on a contract for deed basis. We have paved the home ownership road for many that were rejected for conventional financing. Application is easy—just go to our website. C4D has the financial power behind them to make these deals happen.

Contract For Deed Documentation

While C4D offers less stringent credit requirements, we still will need pay stubs and bank statements. We look, however, at your situation today, and we care a lot more about what you can do now than what bad things have happened to you in the past. At C4D even high student loan balances and recent bankruptcies are not necessarily the hindrances they would be at a large bank.

Contract For Deed: How It Works

Although the nightmare of waiting 60 days or more to close on even great credit deals is generally behind us, banks take longer than we do at C4D. We usually can close deals in as fast as two to three weeks.

MN Contract For Deed Costs

We’re upfront about all of this. We do require an origination fee and we do add a small initial property markup. And, the interest rate you pay will be higher than the prevailing conventional mortgage interest rate.

Contract for Deed: What Problems?

We have many satisfied former renters that are now homeowners. We are transparent and forthright. If we can help you, we do everything possible to get your deal done. We are MN contract for deed experts, and happy customers are our paramount concern.

If you deal with an individual that is offering a contract for deed, you have to do serious vetting to ensure that there will be no problems with your deal in the future. With C4D, this is not necessary.

Contract for Deed: True Disclosure

When we purchase your home, we get a loan from our bank. With the blessing and full knowledge of our bank, we then sell the property to you with a MN contract for deed. You make your monthly payments to us and we, in turn, make our payment to the bank. But check this out:

We’ve never missed a payment and don’t ever plan on it.  In addition, we’ve worked with our bank partner to have an assignment of contract included in your documents that basically says if we stop paying our lender, you can pay them directly and your contract remains intact.

You won’t find this protection with most individual contract for deed sales. In fact, many times the seller’s bank isn’t even made aware of the transaction, and this can throw the original mortgage into default because of the due on sale clause that is embedded in almost every mortgage note. Our agreements with our bank do not have due on sale clauses.

Everything is upfront and at closing the contract is recorded at the appropriate County.

Helping You Refinance

Our goal is to get you into a home and ultimately help you refinance with a traditional lender.  We have relationships and systems in place to help make this happen. Typically, we can help people refinance within three years of purchase.

For the Realtor: Turned Down? There Is Still Hope!

So you spent weeks trying to get your buyer and seller agree upon a price. Both were difficult at times, and when you finally got all sides to listen to reason, an old unpaid judgment appeared and derailed the financing. After you’re done binge watching House of Cards to ease your pain, give us a call. We have been able to resurrect many deals that have been turned down by others.

Realtor Contract for Deed

We are a reputable, experienced and recognized company that does MN contract for deed. You bring us the buyer and the property, we buy the property and sell it to your client on a contract for deed. Even if you have an iffy buyer with shaky credit and you have not yet found the perfect property, bring them to us; we will get many of them pre-approved and send them back to you.

Is My Commission Protected?

Realtor Commission

You betcha! 80% of our referrals come from realtors, and they wouldn’t keep coming back if we didn’t guarantee that their commissions would be protected.

The Deed

Contract for deed means exactly that.

  • We buy the property.
  • We hold the deed.
  • We sell the property to the buyer.
  • They occupy the home.
  • They make their monthly payments.
  • At the end of the contract period, we turn over the deed and they are homeowners!
  • They can also refinance early with a traditional lender, and this is something that we will facilitate.
  • In addition, the buyer actually has equitable title, and can sell the property at any time if they wish to move on.

What About Financing?

Yes, we use a bank.

  • Our bank gives us a mortgage.
  • Our bank knows what we are doing.
  • The buyer pays us and we pay the bank.
  • We are never late.
  • We never miss payments.
  • Our mortgage with our bank does NOT include a due on sale clause.
  • In fact, we have an assignment of contract put in place that basically says if we stop paying our lender, the buyer can pay them directly and the contract remains intact!

The Final Paperwork

We will hold your client’s hand from application to closing. We will assist with all documentation and paperwork.

When The Offer Is Accepted

At this point, Taylor and the C4D Crew take over.  We work directly with the lender and title company to schedule closing and work out all the paperwork.  The C4D Crew will also work directly with the C4D buyer on all the paperwork and logistics for the day of closing This will be one of the easier transactions you do this year!

Down-Payment

Contract For Deed MN Down Payment

A down-payment is of course necessary, but the down payment be gifted to the buyer in a C4D transaction. Just make sure your clients speak with their accountant for possible tax implications.

C4D Crew Reputation

We can provide you with client references. Just by looking at our website you can see that we provide tons of valuable and free information about MN contract for deed. Of course, we are in business to make money—so are you—but we are also dedicated to helping those with compromised credit become homeowners.

How Long Does It Take?

From the time you and your client find a home they’d like to buy, and an offer is accepted, we can close as quickly as two to three weeks.

Credit Score Minimum?

We don’t have one. We look at every deal individually. Prior BKs, student loans, judgments divorces and tax liens are all issues we can work around.

Credit Score

Can You Approve Any Deal?

In short, no. We are not going to lie and tell you that we can do anything, but you would be amazed at what we can accomplish.

Call Us About Contract For Deed

MN Contract For Deed

Again, just because the loan officer rejected your client’s loan, your deal is not necessarily dead. Contact us and we’ll quickly get started on a contract for deed program that can make your client’s home ownership dream a reality.

The Major Tax Benefits of Homeownership in 2019

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Home ownership is still a great deal, and you can save substantial tax dollars because of it. In 2019, however, some of the benefits of home ownership have been curtailed, and those interested in exactly what a homeownership tax credit does should read on.

What is a Tax Deduction?

There is a difference between tax deductions and tax credits. A tax deduction is an amount that you can subtract from your gross income. In previous years, the IRS allowed what they call the standard deduction; that was $12,000 per year per married couple.

That meant if you earned $60,000 in 2018, and were filing jointly, you would be about to immediately deduct $12,000 from your income and pay taxes only on the remaining $48,000.

homeownership tax credit and deductions

An image of a Five Most Common Tax Deductions Chart.

For the tax year 2018, the standard deduction has been increased to $24,000. That means that on a combined income of $60,000, you and your spouse could deduct $24,000 and pay taxes only on $36,000.

The caveat here is that you can either take the standard deduction, or you can itemize expenses, add those up, and use that amount as your deduction. The purpose of doubling the standard deduction was to keep people from having to itemize and save receipts.

What Is a Tax Credit?

A tax credit is something that would actually reduce the amount of taxes that you owe, like the American Opportunity tax credit that applies to attending college.

Capital Gains Tax

There is not a national homeownership tax credit per se. Yes, you can deduct a certain amount of mortgage interest and property taxes, but it may be more advantageous to just take the new higher standard deduction. The mortgage deduction amount for the year 2019 has been capped, and so has the property tax deduction amount.

IRA Considerations

If you are considering the use of your IRA to fund a down payment, tax laws do allow you to forego paying IRA withdrawal taxes up to a certain amount. Be sure to check with your CPA regarding this.

Home Equity Interest Loan Deduction

Again, this is not a homeownership tax credit, but you can deduct a certain amount of home equity loan interest if you have taken out a home equity loan.

Capital Gains Exclusion

Capital Gains Exclusion

Our friends at NOLO tell us:

“Married taxpayers who file jointly get to keep, tax free, up to $500,000 in profit on the sale of a home used as a principal residence for two of the prior five years. Single folks (including home co-owners if they separately qualify) and married taxpayers who file separately get to keep up to $250,000 each, tax free.”

The Comparison

Remember, if you are renting, there are no possibilities for mortgage or property tax interest deductions, and you can’t take out a home equity loan so that deduction will be unavailable also. There are certain states that offer a homeownership tax credit, and renters from Bloomington, Indiana to Eugene, Oregon are out of luck here also.

As you can see, home ownership still provides a lot of tax incentives, and states provide worthwhile homeownership tax credit. If you are unable to get traditional financing, these tax breaks can still be yours through the use of MN contract for deed.

Contract for Deed Homes: What Realtors NEED To Know

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There are a number of reasons Minnesota residents looking to buy contract for deed homes have had success. But you might ask: why not just buy your home with a traditional mortgage from the bank? Let’s talk about that.

We’ve all had it happen. 

Loan Rejection

After a difficult and protracted negotiation period, you finally got both your buyer and the seller to agree on price, contingencies, and before-closing repairs. At the end, everyone came to their senses, gave a up a little, and all parties were looking forward to closing.

Then the bank stepped in and killed the deal. Even though your buyer was pre-qualified, they made a mistake, didn’t follow your instructions and decided to finance an expensive vehicle. As the bank did a final credit check, the new car loan appeared and skewed the buyer’s debt to income ratio. The deal was dead, but you could have brought it back to life.

Contract for Deed Homes

Image result for home buying process

Contract for deed is a widely accepted Minnesota financing tool where a seller finances the property purchase on an installment basis, and they buyer receives the deed upon making the final payment. Many think that for this to work they need to find free and clear properties where a seller agrees to be the bank.

Why free and clear?

Because sellers can’t usually sell encumbered properties without breaching the lender’s mortgage contract. Therefore, those interested in contract for deed financing look specifically for contract for deed homes. There is another way, however.

Companies Like the Contract for Deed Crew (Yes, that’s us!)

There are quality companies out there like C4D, and it works like this: You bring a deal to C4D. Like a bank, C4D analyzes the deal to ensure that the seller can make the required monthly payments.

Unlike a bank, however, C4D can look past problems like the vehicle purchase mentioned above. With a good contract for deed homes company, you will be dealing with the company owner—not a bureaucratic bank loan officer. If C4D approves the deal, they will buy the property.

They do this with a bank loan, but the company’s bank does not include a due-upon-sale clause in its mortgage to C4D. Therefore, C4D legally and ethically buys the home, and with the bank’s blessing, C4D sells it on a contract for deed to the buyer.

Contract for Deed Homes

Benefits to the Realtor using Contract for Deed

  • You can explain difficult situations to C4D and they will understand. A debt to income ratio that has recently changed can be worked with if the buyers can legitimately afford the home.
  • Contract for deed revives dead deals. Banks can be arbitrary and unforgiving, but with a contract for deed transaction, the seller has more leeway to analyze what really makes the buyer worthy.
  • While a down payment is needed, the actual percentage is not necessarily set, and there are even ways the contract for deed companies can facilitate payment assistance.
  • Buyers can look at any home—not just contract for deed homes. With a MN contract for deed sale, the seller is unaffected since a company like C4D is the only purchaser they need to deal with.
  • All real estate commissions are protected.
  • Sellers can move their homes more expediently because companies like C4D have lots of buyers waiting for their dream homes.

Also, if you’re looking to understand property value event more, check out this presentation:

Presentation courtesy of LoseTheAgent, a listing platform for homes for sale by owner.

Don’t let loan officers and finicky banks get in your way. Consider using MN contract for deed for any deal where the lender is causing you trouble. It’s worth an email!

Minnesota Homes For Sale

Minnesota Homes For Sale: September Updates

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It’s hard enough to ascertain exactly where a certain real estate market is headed, and with the wide variety of sources available, it’s equally difficult to distill those in order to make informed decisions. We’ll try and help you understand the current Minnesota real estate market and Minnesota homes for sale.

Minnesota Interest Rates

Minnesota Homes for SaleIt’s obvious that the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates low has revived the housing market. Two years ago, you could still get a rate just at or even below four percent if you had excellent credit. Look at this chart to see the effect of a one percent mortgage rate difference:

You can see that a one percent rate increase on a $200,000 home loan costs almost $100 per month. Do the math any figure the costs for more expensive homes, and you will easily view the worrisome effect that higher interest rates cause.

Interest Rate Prediction

Home Interest Minnesota Real Estate

Our friends at Kiplinger tell us:

“The Federal Reserve is committed to raising short-term rates this year and next because it’s concerned about the tightening labor market. The Fed very much wants to stay ahead of any inflation that rising wages may generate and will lift short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point twice more this year after doing so in June. That would put the federal funds’ rate at 2.5% heading into 2019, when another three increases are expected.”

These increases will trickle down to mortgage rates, and those looking for Minnesota homes for sale will see increases beyond these current rates:

Minnesota Mortgage Rates as of September 6, 2018
TERM RATE CHANGE LAST WEEK
30-year fixed mortgage rate 4.43% 0.02 4.41%
15-year fixed mortgage rate 3.90% 0.01 3.89%
5/1 ARM mortgage rate 4.16% 0.01 4.17%
30-year fixed jumbo mortgage rate 4.53% 0.05 4.48%
30-year fixed refinance rate 4.43% 0.03 4.40%

When the mortgage interest rate reaches five percent, this can cause Minnesota home buyers to take a step back and maybe consider staying where they are or renting.

In addition, a recent Minnesota Star Tribune article said that any price relief will have to wait until 2020:

“Relief is on its way for home buyers in the Twin Cities and beyond who are frustrated by a lack of house listings and lightning-fast sales, according to a survey of housing experts. But they will have to wait until at least 2020. That’s when experts see key indicators in the housing market tilting toward buyers. ‘Conditions are starting to show signs of easing up, but the effects of years of limited construction still linger,’ said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas, cautioning that any shift will be modest. ‘Inventory is still falling on an annual basis, and home values are growing well above their historic pace.’”

Minnesota Homes for Sale: The Alternatives

So, if you are looking for Minnesota homes for sale, you’ll find a torrid market where the median home price may soon reach $300,000. Many in your position may decide to wait out this era of rapid increases and, as we previously mentioned, think about staying put or renting. Our friends at Abodo tell us this about the Minnesota rental market:

A one-bedroom apartment in St. Paul now averages $1020, and a two bedroom is priced at $1256. Both of these median prices are little changed from last month. While the nationwide rental market has shown an uptick since July, it can still be cheaper in some locations to rent rather than buy–more about this in an upcoming post.

It Can Be a Challenge

Finding your home can be stressful and financing it can be even more challenging. At C4D, our goal is to see you become a homeowner with a good, solid traditional loan. Sometimes, however, this just doesn’t work, but through our expert use of MN contract for deed, we get people into homes and put them onto the path of rewarding home ownership. Turned down at the bank? Be sure to contact us because we have helped lots of persons with credit issues ranging from divorce and job loss to bankruptcy and foreclosure.

MN contract for deed myths

Busting the Most Common Contract for Deed Myths

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MN contract for deed can be an excellent way for those with less than perfect credit to finance home purchases. Particularly in Minnesota, contract for deed has been a preferred home financing method for years as many people have credit blips and issues that allow banks to quickly turn them down. Contract for deed, however, is sometimes the victim of misconceptions and broad statements that just do not apply.

It’s Not Rent-To-Own

mn contract for deed

Rent-to-own is another alternative financing method, but it can be an issue for buyers. In a Minnesota rent-to-own scenario, a property owner will offer to rent to a tenant. The property owner then agrees to put a portion of the rent aside that the tenant can put toward the eventual purchase of the home. This is not necessarily a down payment but could be a credit. For example, a property owner could offer to place $200 of the tenant’s $1500 monthly rent payment toward the purchase of the home. If the tenant made 36 on-time payments, the seller would then give the tenant credit for $7200 toward the purchase of the home. The problems with this are:

  • The money doesn’t really exist after it has been paid to the landlord.
  • It only is booked as a possible credit.
  • If a purchase price hasn’t been predetermined, the landlord could just raise the price of the home by the amount of the credit.
  • If the tenant is late on only one payment, all credits can be forfeited.

Minnesota contract for deed doesn’t work like this as we will explain below.

MN Contract for Deed is Not Predatory

How Rent to Own Works

In other states, rent-to-own and similar contracts for alternative financing are called executory contracts and are not liked by state courts.  The reason for this is that unscrupulous property owners would find un-creditworthy victims, receive a substantial down payment, sign them to a contract that requires big monthly payments, and add clauses that forfeit the down payment if even one monthly payment is a day late. Then the property owners would evict the tenant and start the process again.

MN contract deed is different, again, as we will explain below.

It’s Not Only for Those with Bad Credit

Business owners know that even with good credit it may be difficult to purchase a home. Take the example of a restaurant owner that has paid every bill on time, but he or she may have high student loan balances, high business credit balances, too many business credit cards, multiple vehicle payments and other debt. Throw in a recent divorce, and that busy successful entrepreneur may have issues getting financing.

This is a case where MN contract for deed could help.

Contract for Deed Credit

How MN Contract for Deed Works

  • You find a Realtor
  • You find a home.
  • You bring the deal to C4D.
  • We buy the home.
  • We sell it to you using a contract for deed.
  • You make all of your payments.
  • You get the deed, and you are a homeowner!

If you have any questions about us or our MN contract for deed process, be sure to contact us. We make deals where others cannot, and we have an impressive list of homeowners that would still be tenants if they had not come to us.

Costly First Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Avoid These 4 First Time Homebuyer Mistakes

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You’re ready to make the move from a rental unit to your new home. You’ve checked and updated your credit, and you are ready to look for properties. You have saved a nice-sized down payment and you are set to pull the trigger. Be careful, however, that you don’t make one of these crucial first time homebuyer mistakes.

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes #1: The Wrong Agent

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Let’s be clear. You don’t need to be represented by a real estate agent at any time during the purchase process to avoid making a first time homebuyer mistake, but many buyers like to contract with an agent because:

  • It’s free! The buyer pays the commission.
  • You have instant access to MLS listed properties.
  • The agent does the negotiating.
  • You never have to meet the owner except maybe at the closing.
  • The buyer can be a great information resource.

Homebuyer Mistakes

If all that’s true, what could be the problem? Well, the wrong agent could slow down the buying process because:

  • They are too busy.
  • They don’t have sufficient market knowledge in your area.
  • They are inexperienced.
  • They are not ethical.

Therefore, make sure you have carefully vetted your agent, and that you are comfortable that they are reputable, knowledgeable, ethical, and are not overloaded with clients. Also, at the initial meeting, understand agent contact rules. While you may expect instant answers to your questions, real estate agents and Realtors do have other clients, and you may have to be patient at times.

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes #2: Wrong Lender

Many entities make mortgages. Banks, credit unions, private lenders and even Internet banks regularly offer mortgages. This is one area where you need to do your homework and understand the difference between 15 and 30 year mortgages, for example, and all of the implications thereof. Mortgage rates can vary, so don’t take the first deal that’s offered to you. Later, we’ll talk a little about MN contract for deed financing.

First Time Buyer Errors

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes #3: Falling in Love with a Property Too Soon

Just because you have always wanted a great lawn and the first property you see has impeccable landscaping doesn’t mean you have to buy it at any price. Sure, it might be great to live there, but you are not living there now, and other homes are available. Don’t get caught in bidding wars (here’s how to win a bidding war, should you encounter one); see lots of houses before you make a decision. This isn’t HGTV where you get three options and that’s it.

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes #4: Wrong Neighborhood

If you are from out of the area—especially if you are from a different state—it’s extremely important to gain total knowledge of the municipality before you make a move. A first time homebuyer mistake, at this point, would be terribly expensive.

There are many stories of first-time out-of-state buyers that purchased a home in what they thought was a desirable location, only to find out six months later that they would have liked to have located somewhere else. Viewing many properties on the same day in an unfamiliar city can just be a blur. Sometimes renting a home in a new city before you buy is a good option since that will give you time to figure out exactly where you want to live.

First Time Homebuyer Mistakes

It’s all about good Realtors and agents, proper financing, not making rash decisions, and of course choosing the best location. Sometimes everything works out except the financing, and if that’s the case, don’t give up, because we’ve helped many persons that, for a number of reasons, just can’t qualify for a mortgage. We use MN contract for deed, and we invite you to visit our site to learn how we make home ownership a reality when others have said no.

Second Mortgage

A Second Mortgage: Should You Take It Out?

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We know from the economic meltdown that began in 2008 that using your house as an ATM may not be the best idea. A fat line of credit that can be accessed with a debit card or even checks can be quite tempting, but that doesn’t mean that you should automatically think about taking out a second mortgage loan to tap your equity—unless you have a good reason.

Taking Out a Second Mortgage: Not So Good Reasons

You should only borrow money if you need it. That may sound simple, but in some countries, people borrow money simply because they can. Even in the U.S. in the early 2000s, many people based their “wealth” upon the amount of money they could borrow. Some people with only $5000 in savings but with $100,000 of available credit thought they were well off because they had the ability to raise a substantial sum. Therefore, they acted upon any chance to borrow money and loaded up on credit lines. If you are borrowing money only because you can, that’s not a good reason.

Taking Out A Second Mortgage

Taking Out a Second Mortgage: Finances are Tight

This happens for a reason. If you spend more than you make, you will be cash-flow negative, and that will cause you to borrow. If you have amassed considerable credit card debt, it may be very tempting to take out a second mortgage at a lower combined interest rate and pay off those cards. Seven or eight percent is a lot better than 27.9 percent, but if you don’t cut up your cards after you have paid them off, you may not be able to resist the temptation to max them out again.

Finance are Tight

You Just Need Some Breathing Room

Breathing room is great, but if the forces that are suffocating you are not dealt with, you won’t make any progress. If your $800 monthly utility bill is killing you, turn down heat, turn up the A/C, quit watering your lawn or turn out the lights. If you don’t act, you’ll soon see another $800 energy bill, and you’ll have to figure out how to pay that. Borrowing against your home for monthly expenses that you can’t reduce is not a good idea. Instead of this, start looking for the best side hustles that allow for some extra income!

Economic Stimulus

Some Better Reasons for Taking Out a Second Mortgage

There are, however, some good reasons to borrow against your home:

  • You’re starting a business.
  • You want to go back to school and can’t get reasonable student aid or loans.
  • You want to help a family member.
  • You want to start a remodeling project that will increase your home’s value.
  • You want to assist your children with some expenses.
  • You found a great investment opportunity.

Like any other loan, make sure you shop around to get the best terms.

The Contract for Deed Crew

While we don’t do second mortgage loans, we at C4D can assist you with the purchase of your home. We are more flexible and understanding than a lot of banks, and we are experts at using the MN contract for deed as a path for true home ownership. If you have any questions, visit our site. We are here to help!

Pest Inspections

5 Pest Inspections Before Moving Into A New House

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Moving to a new home, for the most part, is thought to be an enjoyable experience. Sure, the unpacking, moving and general moving process might come with a few stresses, but overall it’s quite exciting.

However, stepping into your new home, or a property that you’re looking to buy or rent and noticing that there are signs of pests will make you want to turn around and leave. The first question you might be asking is ‘why didn’t they fix the pest problem?’ And while that’s a legitimate question, some pest problems are very discrete and can only be noticed by those who know what signs to look out for. But a thorough pest inspection is now necessary.

Spotting pests can be tough, especially bed bugs, ants and small rodents. These pests know how to remain undetected, at least to the untrained eye. Below are the 5 common signs there is a pest problem in the property you’re looking to purchase.

Inspect the Flooring

One of the most telling signs the property is suffering from a pest infestation is the state of the floor, specifically the carpet. Bed bugs, despite their name, will set-up camp anywhere that’s warm, dark and discrete.

Check the corners of the carpet and inspect furniture, curtains, sofas. These are all hotspots

. Even if the furniture won’t be there when you move in, bed bugs are likely to find a way to remain. Pests will however, have a tough time finding a way into or under concrete flooring. So, if you are contemplating moving into the property, be sure to have the carpets cleaned professionally or at least inspected by a professional pest control company.

Search for Smears and Marks

While it’s important to check for leaks, be sure to also check for any areas where there are marks or smears, as this may be a sign of cockroaches and/or rodent infestations. These spots are commonly found inside cupboards, floorboards and at the back of cabinets. While it may seem strange looking for these signs, identifying them and addressing it to your potential landlord or real estate agent could save you time and money. It also means you won’t have to solve the problem yourself.

The bedroom is another place you will want to look for smear marks, as if there’s and abundance of them, it’s highly likely there’s a bed bug infestation. Again, if this is the case, you must ensure that you have the problem inspected by a professional pest control expert. Bed bugs won’t necessarily cause you too much harm, but they are unsightly and can make your nights restless and grim.

Floorboards – Check Them!

Mice and rats are adept at hiding, even more so than insects. Ever hear scuttling late at night? It’s likely that a mouse or rat is under your floorboards, in your roof or even in your walls. Rats especially are masters of squeezing their way into tight areas to build nests.

Lookout for bite marks, chewed areas on wood and scratches on furniture and walls.

Look for Cracks and Fissures on the Exterior of the Property

Spotting cracks and fissures on the outside walls of the property is incredibly important. These gaps make for perfect entrance areas for pests such as wasps, ants, spiders and other unwanted insects. One of the worst-case scenarios is if wasps have already infiltrated the walls, as it’s likely that they have done this to make a nest.

While the usual fix for cracks and fissures is sealing with concrete, filler or other sealants, doing this with the wasps inside may make matters worse. Wasps are able to eat through dry wall, so before you seal the wall, spray soap solution into the crack (only if it’s safe to do so) as they will suffocate. After this has been done, seal the wall with sealant.

Of course, you can always wait until the colder months arrive, as they won’t be able to survive the drop in temperature. Following this, inform your landlord and/or the real estate agent and they will contact a pest control expert to fix the problem.

Pest Inspections in the Garden

If you’re moving, or viewing properties in the summer, be sure to check for any wasp, ant or insect nests that may be hiding in the garden. It might be that the garden has been vacant for some time and wasps have set-up a colony there. Unless you’re experienced in removing wasp and bee nests, contact your real estate agent and they will seek an appropriate pest control expert.

Additionally, you might find that the exterior has been affected by nesting birds, specifically the excrement they leave behind. Bird control is something that is commonly forgotten about because of other more prominent pest problems (rodent and insect infestations) but is still something that needs to be acknowledged.

These are 5 of the most important pest inspections you need to get into the habit of doing when you’re viewing a a new house with your real estate agent in Minnesota or all across the country.

How to find a good minnesota realtor

How To Find A Great Minnesota Realtor

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How to find a good realtor? If you’ve tried, well, you’ve probably realized it’s not as easy as it sounds, right?

How to find a good realtorFirst, there is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. You can be a real estate agent without becoming a Realtor. If you are licensed in your state, you can help people buy or sell commercial or residential property. The State of Minnesota publishes a detailed booklet that explains the real estate licensing process, and you can find it here:

http://mn.gov/commerce-stat/pdfs/re-license-guide.pdf

But don’t confuse licensed real estate agents with Realtors, because there is a difference. According to inman.com, “A Realtor is a trademarked term that refers to a real estate agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the largest trade association in the United States.” NAR has certain requirements and members must first agree to abide by its ethics code.

Finding a Great Realtor in MN

It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; you might be moving from a small Cincinnati apartment to a Minneapolis single family home, but whether you contract with a real estate agent or a Realtor, it’s important that you know how to vet and find the person that best fits your needs. And bankrate.com says that these seven items are paramount.

Talk with agents’ recent clients.

At the first meeting, ask for a list of clients. If these are all relatives, beware, because your prospective agent may not be very experienced. Look for a track record of satisfied clients that are happy to provide referrals. While you may want to help a new agent break into the business, that may not be in your best interest.

Check for license and disciplinary actions.

Licensed real estate professionals are regulated, and if they have been disciplined, there will be a public record of this. Some ways agents get in trouble are:

  • Forgetting who they represent.
  • Co-mingling client funds.
  • Seeking kickbacks from lenders.
  • Showing incompetence.
  • Forgetting that the interests of the client should come first.

Ask about professional awards.

OK, so million-dollar club status is not that hard to obtain, but awards do show that agents or Realtors have sold some properties.

Here’s a rundown from another experienced professional:

Select an agent with the right credentials.

If agent Paul Johnson sold your wife’s office building, that doesn’t guarantee that he knows anything about residential real estate. Similarly, an upscale Realtor that specializes in the Milwaukee suburbs may have a tough time understanding how to sell an inner-city property.

Realtor Credentials

Find out how experienced an agent is.

How many clients? How many closings? How many accepted offers? How many failures? How many rejected deals? Ask these questions.

Look at the agent’s current listings.

If your prospective agent’s listings are all rural farmland, and you have a downtown condo to sell, you may have the wrong person.

Gauge the agent’s knowledge of the area.

Does your agent know the schools? The shopping areas? The crime rates? What the last 10 sales have been? A negative answer means you should look elsewhere.

Getting It Done

Most of all, you need to find someone that can get the job done. We at C4D are like that, because we specialize in MN contract for deed financing. We love traditional mortgages, but if you can’t get one, tell your Realtor to contact us ASAP. We can help where others have failed!