Cindy Gleichauf - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 11/26/2017

As the workforce changes and a growing number of companies seek out contractors and freelancers, many Americans find themselves in a gray area when it comes to their income. They may put in full-time hours, but on their taxes they work for themselves.

Mortgage lenders are cautious about who they lend to. They want to make sure you are a low-risk investment who has reliable, predictable income to ensure that theyíll earn money off of your loan.

This can sometimes make it difficult for freelancers, contract workers, or the self-employed. Not only might your taxes be unconventional, but your income could vary depending on the time of the year and the amount of business you receive.

Itís easy to see why many people would be anxious about applying for a mortgage under these circumstances. However, if youíre self-employed, thereís no need to worry. You can still get approved for a mortgage at a fair interest rate--you just need to do a bit of work to provide the right documents to your lender.

In this article, weíll show you what documents and proof of income youíll likely need and how to present it to a lender to make the process run as smoothly as possible to get you approved for your mortgage. Hereís what you need to do.

Organize your records

Before applying for a mortgage, itís a good idea to take a look at your record-keeping process. As a self-employed worker, youíre probably already used to tracking your own income. However, this will help the lender analyze your income easier and move the process along more quickly.

Having a master spreadsheet of your dated invoices, paid amounts, and the names of your clients is a good place to start. Youíll also want detailed, easy to read information for your previous employers, landlords, references, and any other information you think will be pertinent.

Next, gather your tax documents for the last three to five years. As a self-employed worker, you likely file a Schedule C (Form 1040) and a Schedule SE. Make sure you have copies of these forms.

Dealing with deductions

Many self-employed workers write off business expenses in their tax returns. Travel expenses, internet, and other costs associated with doing business are all ways to save by reducing your taxable income. Doing so can save you money, but it can also reduce your net income which is what lenders will see when you provide them with your information.

If youíre hoping to get approved for a bigger loan, one solution is to plan your taxes in the year prior to applying for a mortgage. Make fewer deductions than you normally would to increase your net income.

Be ready to clarify

When a mortgage lender is reviewing your information, make sure you are open and available to provide any information that can be helpful to them in considering your application. Being prompt and accurate with your responses will signal to your lender that you are willing to work with them.





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 11/12/2017

Getting ready to buy a new home? You'll want to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey, as this professional will possess the skills and know-how needed to ensure you can find your dream home quickly. There are many great reasons for homebuyers to work with a real estate agent, including: 1. You Can Check Out a Wide Range of Homes That Fit Your Needs. Whether you're looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the city or a small residence on the outskirts of town, a real estate agent can arrange home showings to ensure you can check out a variety of houses that fit your needs. Remember, a real estate agent works for you and will do everything he or she can to help you find your ideal residence. This professional will conduct research into homes that meet your criteria and even work with a home seller's real estate agent to make sure you can view a house at your convenience. 2. You Can Receive Expert Support During the Negotiation Stage. No homebuyer wants to enter the negotiation stage alone. Fortunately, a real estate agent will help you manage negotiations. Negotiations with a home seller can become contentious if you're not careful, but your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get your dream house at the right price, regardless of the circumstances. 3. You Can Get Extra Help with a Home Inspection. Completing a home inspection is paramount before you finalize a purchase agreement with a home seller. And with a trusted real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding a reliable home inspector who will be able to identify potential issues with a house before you buy it. Your real estate agent also can help you minimize stress if a home inspector encounters problems with a house. For example, your real estate agent will speak with a home seller to ensure any home repairs are completed before you finalize your purchase agreement. Thus, you'll be able to buy a home that you can enjoy for years to come thanks in part to the support provided by your real estate agent. 4. You Can Enjoy a Simple Closing Process. The closing process often represents the final step before you can move into your new home. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the paperwork that is included as part of this process and ensure you are comfortable with each form you sign. Your real estate agent, meanwhile, will be with you during the closing process and can explain the importance of each form. Furthermore, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to any concerns or queries and help you feel comfortable throughout the closing process. Ultimately, your real estate agent may play a key role in your ability to find the perfect house. As a result, be sure to spend some time interviewing prospective real estate agents in your area to find a real estate professional that you can collaborate with during each stage of the homebuying journey.





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/24/2017

A house is about a lot more than a physical structure. Outdoor property, including landscaping, clearly defined property boundaries and ample room for children and pets to play, are key too. Additionally, if you've ever lived in a neighborhood with just one litigious, rude or noisy resident, you know how the people you live near can turn a house buying decision into a smart move or a painful regret.

3 city offerings that may top good neighbors

The fact that neighbors can influence an entire house buying decision puts good neighbors at the top of the list of the things that make an area a great place to live. But, as influential as they are, neighbors generally don't have a city-wide focus. You can actually getaway from bad neighbors simply by traveling across town to a relative's or friend's house.

What you can't get away from after you buy a house are the secondary education options,property tax rates, natural views, land space between neighboring houses, apartments and condos and traffic jams. You also can't gain instant access to higher wages, better job opportunities, local professional sports or live entertainment.

It's these advantages that many homeowners want. Not every city provides these benefits. Although there are more than a handful of takeaways that homeowners want from the city that they buy a house in, there are three top things that make a city a great place to live. Some house shoppers won't even consider moving to an area without these three things:

Growing business environment - Even if homeowners are currently employed with an employer who has a solid performance record, they appreciate knowing that there are a host of job options moments from where they live. It helps to keep wages and job title opportunities competitive.

Entertainment- Live and non-live entertainment options like dining, stage plays, sports and arts help to attract home buyers.

Property taxes - Before house shoppers sign a mortgage, they may want to know that they won't get hit with high or frequently rising property taxes.

Go getters want more than minimal housing and community offerings

City officials play an integral role in helping to determine whether upwardly mobile adults are willing to move to an area. Adults with clear life goals, ambition, inner vision and courage may want more than a place to park their vehicle, sleep, eat and relax in.

These go-getters want to live in a city that's thriving. They want a broad range of entertainment, fitness, dining, education and social options. Go-getters also appreciate living near other like-minded people. Attracting these upwardly mobile adults to an area requires forethought.

It also requires planning. City officials must take a pulse on their residents and discover what residents appreciate most about their jurisdictions. Identifying gaps is another priority. For example, city officials should know if residents find area traffic, public transportation, property taxes or public education weak or lacking.

As city officials take these items seriously and build teams to make necessary improvements, they might experience an uptick in the numbers of businesses and house buyers moving to their cities. They also might experience economic improvements. The bottom line is that doing what it takes to attract and keep forward thinking house buyers is good for entire communities.





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/17/2017

Buying a home is one of those things in life that requires you to take a certain order of steps to complete the process. First, youíll need to save up some money for a down payment and all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Next, youíll take a look at what you can afford and perhaps get pre-qualified. Then, youíll hire a realtor and begin searching for properties. Finally, youíll make an offer, sign for the mortgage and close on the home. After that, youíll probably buy some furniture and paint the walls to make yourself feel at home. 


Would you ever dream of making that big home purchase without actually seeing the property first? One of the most time-consuming parts of the home buying process is that of viewing homes and visiting property after property. 


There are actually many reasons that a buyer might buy a property without seeing it first. With the Internet, itís fairly easy to get an idea of what a house might be like. Too, if youíre an investor, itís sometimes worth the gamble to scoop up a property at the right price in order to score a great deal. 


Itís also usually not detrimental to buyers who are trying to get a home in a high competition market to go after places they really love immediately. The early bird does get the worm, right?


Foreclosed Properties 


Properties in distress may be in poor condition, but for the right buyer can be a great deal. Banks want to get rid of these places as soon as possible due to the expenses incurred by keeping them. 


Pre-Construction Properties


Not all properties that are bought sight unseen are fixer uppers. Some properties can be bought in the pre-construction phase. These homes havenít been built but are already on the market available for purchase. Many times, buying properties this way can be cheaper than buying the new construction home after itís built. 


The Risks


There are obviously many risks to buying a home sight unseen. First, pictures can be deceiving. You never really know what youíre walking into until you see it. Photographs can easily hide major damage. Until a home is physically inspected, you may not know what the costs will be to repair it. 


The same risks apply to new construction homes. The layout of the home may not be what youíre looking for, or the home may not include the features that you want.


When you do decide to buy a home sight unseen you need to weigh the risk versus the reward in the transaction. It can be a valuable decision, in the long run, to take a chance on buying a home that you havenít been able to physically inspect.       

 





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Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/10/2017

Let's face it Ė buying a home can be difficult, especially if you are forced to negotiate with a stubborn home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the negotiation process and ensure that you can secure your dream home quickly.

Here are three tips that will enable you to avoid stressful negotiations with home sellers:

1. Do Your Homework

If you submit a fair offer on a home from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a stressful negotiation altogether. As such, perform plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer to ensure that your proposal will meet a home seller's needs.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your city or town prior to submitting an offer on a residence. This will allow you to understand whether a home seller's asking price falls in line with similar properties in the area. It also enables you to browse the real estate market and ensure that you are ready to submit an offer on a particular residence based on what's available elsewhere.

After you do your homework, submit a competitive offer on a home. If the offer meets the home seller's needs, he or she may accept it immediately. Or, if the home seller issues a counter-proposal, you can always decline the counter-offer and check out other properties.

2. Don't Lose Your Cool

A negotiation can be frustrating at times, but a patient homebuyer will be able to remain calm, cool and collected at all times.

During a negotiation, it is important to remember that both you and the home seller have similar goals. Ultimately, both parties want to reach a fair agreement, one that satisfies the needs of all parties involved. And if you can find common ground with a home seller, you may be able to streamline the negotiation process.

If you feel like your emotions are getting out of control during a negotiation, take a break. Remember, you can always go for a walk on your own and hang out with family members and friends to alleviate stress. After you perform a stress-relieving activity, you may be able to return to the negotiating table with a fresh outlook as well.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating with a home seller, there is no reason to conduct a negotiation on your own. Instead, hire an experienced real estate agent, and this professional will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts, rejects or counters your offer on a house. He or she also will offer expert recommendation to help you secure your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Employ a real estate agent to help you manage negotiations with home sellers Ė you'll be glad you did. Your real estate agent will help you avoid stress throughout negotiations, and as such, make it easy for you to obtain your dream residence.




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Cindy Gleichauf