Gregory Murphy - WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate



Posted by Gregory Murphy on 2/14/2019

Buying a new home is a big decision and one that many wonder if they are truly ready for.

Use this guide to determine if you are ready to start house hunting:

  1. Thirty percent of your income can cover a mortgage payment for your ideal home

The ability to afford month to month payments is incredibly important. Staying within the recommended percentages when it comes to budgeting helps you failsafe your finances from potential future hardship. At the very least you want your mortgage payment to be as close as possible to the thirty percent marker of your income.

  1. You’re in a secure job.

In addition to having an income that can sufficiently support the month to month payments you also want to ensure that that income is a reliable source. Signs of a reliable income are that you have been with your current company for longer than two years with several months at the same pay rate.

  1. You have a great credit score

This one shouldn’t come as any surprise to you. A great credit score will not just increase your eligibility for financing but also for a great interest rate. If your score falls in the “good” region you can take steps to bring up your score fairly quickly, as far as scores go,  before applying.

  1. You have a down payment saved up

A down payment is a big savings goal to tackle. So if you’ve already done the math and saved up a sizeable sum for the downpayment on your dream house you are most certainly ready! Ideally, this amount should be around twenty percent of the sale price.

  1. You’ve prepared a prospective budget

If you already have a down payment saved you at the very least have part of this step taken care of! Knowing your future homeowners budget doesn’t just include your typical expenses plus a mortgage payment. You also want to factor in homeowners insurance, potential HOA (Homeowner Association) fees, and maintenance costs.

  1. You’re ready to build equity - or it’s your next financial goal

For those scratching their heads, equity is the amount of your home that you actually own. This is the ratio between your homes value, the amount you have paid and the amount you owe. As you continue to make payments on your home your equity grows. Equity can also increase if the value of your property increases.

  1. You’re ready for stability

If you’re ready to settle down in one place for at least the next five years you’re looking for stability. Perhaps you’re ready to put down some roots and start a family or become a part of a local community. Owning your own home provides you a steady living expense, builds equity and gives you (almost) complete control of your lifestyle.






Posted by Gregory Murphy on 2/9/2017

Owning a house gives you a sense of fulfillment, and helps boost your self-esteem. It is a long term investment and should not be taken lightly. The present state of your finances is possibly the single most important factor when contemplating home ownership.  Before you start shopping for a house, take into consideration the following factors. Have you set aside enough money for the down payment?  The amount you need varies based on the price of the home and percentage required by your lender.  Zero down mortgages are possible, however the interest rate is typically very high increasing the amount paid out over the life of the loan. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is typically required for this type of loan, again increasing your monthly payment. How high of a mortgage payment can you afford to make ?  If you opt for a fixed rate, your payment would remain consistent throughout the period of the loan. This type of loan is favorable for future financial planning.   Adjustable rate mortgages make it a bit trickier to predict your monthly payments based on the fluctuating interest rate throughout the duration of the loan.  This type of loan could be risky if interest rates rise and your payments increase significantly higher than anticipated. The security of your financial future is paramount when acquiring a mortgage loan.  You would not want to enter into this long term investment without stable employment and a definite career path.  Most banks and lending companies require a borrower to have been with the same employer for at least 2 years before considering a loan of this nature. Secure financial footing is key when applying for a mortgage loan. When determining your readiness to purchase a home, your credit score is as important as your finances. If you have a low credit score, you’ll attract a higher lending rate. This implies an increase in the amount paid back to the lender over the duration of the loan. An excellent credit score of 720 or above attracts the best interest rates and repayment terms. If your credit score is too low, improve it by:

  • Becoming Debt Free
  • Removing all inaccuracies from your credit report
  • Making all monthly payments in a timely manner -- eliminating late payments
  • Avoid applying for new loans and opening credit accounts
The commitment of home ownership comes with financial responsibilities beyond the monthly mortgage payment. Be certain to consider additional expenses such as property tax, utility bills, and home maintenance costs when calculating your budget.  Carefully weigh out all the factors to ensure you will be comfortable with your monthly payments allowing you to enjoy your new home for years to come.





Posted by Gregory Murphy on 4/7/2016

What is your dream home? It is a water-front home, a cabin in the woods, a city apartment or a home on a cul de sac in a suburb? The phrase “dream home” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream home: Square Footage Consider how much room you need in your home. Do you need a media room or a finished basement? Three decades ago the average home size was 1,645 square feet. Now the average home size has gone up to 2,195. Recent trends have shown house sizes again decreasing as buyers evaluate what they truly need. Floorplan Think about how you will use your home, will you be entertaining? Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and have a traditional feel? Or do you prefer an open floor plan? The way you use your home will dictate the type of floor plan you ultimately choose. Extras What kind of extras are you looking for in a home? Do you want granite counter tops, high-end appliances, or other extras?  That will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget. Landscaping The bigger the better may not be the case when it comes to a lawn. A big lawn means lots of landscaping. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep you may opt for a large yard; if not, your dream home may be a home with a smaller yard or even a condo. Location Choosing a neighborhood is important when picking your dream home. If you have a family or are planning one in the future you most likely will want to look at school systems.  Other considerations are commute time to work, location to stores, highways, the ability to walk to venues and public transportation.    





Posted by Gregory Murphy on 11/5/2015

Buying a home can be a scary and confusing process. It is easy to get confused by all of the homes, locations, and what is truly important to you when buying a home. First you will want to determine what you can afford. To do that you will want to get preapproved. That means a bank; mortgage broker or credit union will determine how much of loan you qualify for based on your income, debt and credit score. They will give a pre-approval letter stating how much you can afford. Now it is time to pick a real estate professional to help you find the right home, negotiate on your behalf and help you navigate through the process. It is important that you choose an agent that is reputable; you have interviewed to find a good fit and is willing to listen to your needs. Many buyers often confuse their needs with their wants. Making a list of what you actually need and what you want or your wish list is very helpful when looking for a home. Buying a home is typically a process of elimination. Many home buyers often dismiss homes that perfectly fit their needs in search for one that has their wants. This doesn’t mean you can have your wish list, but home buying is more often defined by your budget than wish lists. To help with this process it is typically helpful to make a list of needs and wants.

Examples of NEEDS Examples of WANTS
Reasonable square footage for comfortable living Paint, carpet, counter tops, accessories.
Bedrooms to accommodate your family Pool or Jacuzzi (unless for medical reasons)
Adequate number of bathrooms Wood floors
Eat-in kitchen Bay windows, skylights
Garage or basement for storage needs Entertainment centers,  moldings, decks and patios
Lot size to accommodate children's play area Upgraded lighting fixtures
Adaptation for Handicapped View
Proximity to a specific school
Single floor living for health reasons
Each individual will have a different list of needs and wants. Your own list will help you evaluate homes as you go through the process. Sharing this list with your real estate professional will also help narrow down your search. The goal is to find a house that includes all of your needs and meets as many of your wants as is practical in your budget.





Posted by Gregory Murphy on 10/8/2015

If there was ever a time to purchase real estate it is now. A unique combination of circumstances makes buying a home a no-brainer. Here are five reasons why you should buy a home NOW...   1. Houses are more affordable 2. Historically low mortgage rates 3. Prices are stable 4. Home ownership is the path to independence and wealth 5. Owning a home gives you pride of ownership Call today to find out what homes are available in your price range or do a quick search to look for homes and create a profile on this site to save your favorites.







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