You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
If you belong to a family that is Native American or Alaska Native, then Loan Section 184 might be just what you need to make your home buying dreams a reality. The Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program helps Alaska villages, tribes, or tribally designated housing entities receive specialty home mortgage products. This program is also known as Section 184, which was created by Congress in 1992. If you’re eligible for this program then you can receive easier access to capital in order to purchase a home.
If you’re in a family with members of a federally recognized tribe, live in a tribally designated housing entity, or live in an Indian Housing Authority home, then you may be eligible for a low down payment mortgage and flexible underwriting costs.
HUD’s Office of Native American Programs will guarantee your loan, so that you can purchase a property with a low down payment. If you default on your mortgage loan, HUD protects the investment for the lender, making it a secure financing option for mortgage brokers.
In order to be eligible for a Section 184 loan, you have to purchase a single-family home using a 30-year fixed-rate loan or less. Commercial properties cannot be financed using a Section 184 loan, but you can use the loan to purchase property beyond tribal trust lands in certain areas. Participating lenders can inform you of your eligibility, and where you can purchase property, depending in the State and county you’re planning to buy in.
If you would like help finding a property that’s approved for Section 184 funding, then give me a call or send an email. I can also help Native Hawaiians access homeownership loans through a subset of this program called Section 184A. There are many eligibility requirements and steps you must take to get funding for your Section 184 home.
With our years of experience we can help you save thousands of dollars on the purchase and financing of your next property or just have questions, give us a call or send us an email today.
Yes, it’s picture day! Remembering the stress picture day used to cause is enough nostalgia for anyone. But gone are the days where you need to stress…a well-prepared home seller knows how to prepare his or her home for the eventual photoshoot. That starts first, by learning how to hire a photographer who won't let you down and second, by following this step-by-step checklist to the letter. Remember to check-off specific steps as they are completed.
1. Make the kitchen spotlessly clean and clutter-free.
If buyers had scorecards, a clean and spacious kitchen would definitely score the most points. Clear the clutter and stash those small appliances away. This way, the buyers can focus on your stunning granite countertop, that lovely backsplash, or the large kitchen sink.
2. Give the bathroom a thorough scrubbing & cleaning.
Again, hide all your personal toiletries, scrub the tiles, and polish the fixtures. Let the photos highlight a magazine-cover-worthy bathroom.
3. Check to ensure all the lights are working.
Well-lit areas look better in photos. Plus, it will also make your home appear much larger and brighter. So make sure that no bulbs are burned out. Add extra lamps for extra aesthetic points.
4. Keep all the lights turned on.
Notice how studio sets are beaming with bright lights? Proper lighting makes everything look better on camera. In Hollywood, It’s about getting that magical look! Well, the same goes for your home – make it shine like a movie set and your buyers will be star-gazed by the brightness of it all.
5. Let natural light in.
A little more natural light won’t hurt your photos. Photographers can adjust the mood and light settings later on. Remember to make the windows sparkling clean. The cleaner the windows, the more natural light you will let in.
6. Lessen the furniture.
A professional stager can help you pare down the furniture to make the room appear larger. It’s all about removing visual clutter so the buyers will notice the clean lines and focal points of the home.
7. Roll up the mats.
Rugs and floor mats eat up space, cutting the seamless illusion of a wide floor area. It is best to leave the floor decorating to a professional stager.
8. Turn off the fans, monitors, and television screens.
Moving appliances and anything that emits moving lights can cause blurry shots. For the photographer to capture a well-defined and high-resolution photo, it is recommended to turn off these types of appliances.
9. Clear personal clutter on all surfaces.
Whether it’s your collection of fridge magnets or calendars and sticky notes posted somewhere, it all adds to visual clutter. Enhance your home’s best features by removing personal effects and sources of information.
10. Stage the beds.
To make the beds looking neat and tidy, use appropriately sized bed covers. Match the pillows with the sheets and blankets.
11. Hide the picture frames.
Let the buyers imagine how their stuff would fit into your home. De-personalize the entire house by removing all personal photos on display.
12. Store clothes and shoes inside the closet.
Articles of clothing, pairs of shoes, and random bags stashed or hanged somewhere also distracts the buyer’s imagination. Let them assume that there is enough storage space for everything.
13. De-clutter dressers and side tables.
Nightstands, side tables, side drawers, and cabinets are the spots where random things are often found. Keys, glasses, tissues, phones, medicines and other belongings end up here. Temporarily hide all of these non-decorative stuff.
14. Remove pet presence.
To make your home appealing to all types of homebuyers, make it neutral and pet free. As some people may be allergic to animal fur or become irritated by airborne pet odors, signs of pet presence can become deal breakers. Entrust your beloved pet to a relative or a friend, along with all of its items, as you start listing your home.
15. Trim the hedges, remove dead trees, clean the yard, and maintain the landscape
One of the first things that buyers usually notice is the home’s curb appeal. A neat yard with all the plants spruced up makes an impression of a well-maintained home.
16. Keep the porch clean and tidy.
Sweep dry leaves and get rid of clutter on the porch, patio or deck areas. Seek out some decorative plants or potted flowers which can liven up the space and make it very attractive.
17. Park the vehicles somewhere else.
Having a car parked in the driveway may mean that this space is already someone’s territory. To make your real estate photo inviting, clear the driveway and the road if possible, to give a full view of the property.
18. Put away trash bins and yard equipment.
These things may also distract the buyers from looking at the more important features of your home. Garbage cans, mowers, and gardening tools should be hidden from view.
19. Expose the BBQ grills.
An uncovered and cleaned grill gets the imagination running wild of how this outdoor area is a great place to relax, entertain, and celebrate with family & friends.
20. Stage the patio.
Clean the chairs, put fresh pillows, and open the umbrella to create an inviting ambiance. Let the buyers daydream and envision themselves in your home. Remember, first impressions can make all the difference. So don’t negate the importance of high-quality photos.
Looking to sell your house? Let me help you get the attention you deserve by attracting the most buyers. You can reach us by email or call 580-877-SOLD today.
Homes for sale in Durant, OK are generally more affordable than in other areas of Oklahoma. Durant offers a lower cost of living and continuous job growth, making it one of the best places to live in Bryan County.
If you are searching for your dream home in Durant, take note of these questions which are commonly asked by homebuyers. The answers will help you decide which home is the best for you.
1. How long has the property been on the market?
A house that has been on sale for too long might be hiding issues that turn off potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes throughout the US have an average time of 34 days in the market, with offers coming in within the first 2 weeks. If it takes more than a few months, then the house might be either outdated or overpriced compared to the other homes listed nearby.
Meanwhile, there might be a bidding competition going on for a fully renovated house that is just up for sale. Home buyers who seriously intend to buy a specific property should quickly decide on their best price offer to avoid losing a home that they really like.
2. How long did the owners live here?
The owner’s reason for selling might give clues on the condition of the home. People who have been living in it for decades might have grown accustomed to its flaws, possibly forgoing necessary repairs and maintenance.
On the other hand, a house that is constantly sold every few years may also have issues like a sloping land or an intermittent pest infestation.
3. Are there any improvements or renovations done recently?
While it sounds good, recent renovations are done to make the house look as appealing as possible before selling it. Sometimes,the owners try to save money by resorting to quick fixes instead of rectifying the actual problem.
Hiring a licensed home inspector can help home buyers determine the real condition of the entire building structure.
Here’s a tip, asking how old the roof is, may provide clues on possible water leaks. A 15- to 20-year old roof usually shows signs of common wear and tear. Asking if there was a busted pipe recently may reveal a serious plumbing problem.
4. What are the items included in the sale?
During the open house, everything looks fabulously perfect. What looked like a perfect home may look entirely different upon moving in. This is why it is important to check if the sale includes the furnishings shown, especially the major appliances such as the refrigerator, washer, and dryer.
5. What is the neighborhood/community like?
Durant, OK has typically quiet neighborhoods with crime rates lower than the US average. The commute time is between 10 to 14 minutes and around 74% of its residents work within Durant. The busiest times of the day are between 7am to 8am in the morning when most people leave for work and again, between noon to 4pm for other work shifts. Observing the neighborhood during these times will give the home buyers a clearer perspective on how busy the roads can get during peak hours.
There are several schools, churches, health facilities, and local attractions nearby so it is quite easy to get around. Also, being a small town makes Durant’s neighborhoods relatively safe and friendly.
Are you looking for a home in Bryan County? Let us show you around some of the best-priced homes in Durant, OK. We are willing to answer more of your home buying questions, just send us an email or call our number today.
Statistics are not on the side of Millennials in Durant, OK, as well as for other parts of the country. With a credit score that is lower than the national average, and a credit utilization ratio that is the highest among all generations, Millennials are faced with some great challenges. But it’s not all bad news here. If you’re a Gen Y, here’s 6 vital steps you can do right now to give yourself a leg up.
1. Educate yourself about credit
If you want to come out on top, you have to know the rules of the game, right? Don’t let yourself be held back by a lack of understanding of how credit works! For example, do you know what are the institutions responsible for calculating credit scores? (Hint: They’re Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) Also, there are a number of different ways of calculating credit scores, and the score your landlord asks for won’t be the same as the one that’ll help you get a vehicle loan from the bank.
A good habit for Millennials (or anyone for that matter) is to consistently monitor your FICO credit score with a free annual credit report which enables you to view your score at no cost.
2. Use credit to your advantage
While those in chronic debt may be tempted to shred their credit cards to bits, remember that this isn’t going to help you in the long run. What banks want to know is how well you can use credit, and signing off entirely from credit cards does not lend itself to demonstrating the financial understanding banks want to see from you.
Our advice? Get a credit card after performing a comprehensive research on rates, terms, etc., but use it sparingly. Good stewardship over your personal finances will always reward you in the end with lower rates on vehicle loans, insurance, obtaining a mortgage, and more!
3. Start planning early, and be patient with yourself
While there are many stereotypes about label conscious twenty somethings “callously” spending hard-earned cash, we’re glad that there isn’t much data to back up that claim. The main advantage that earlier generations have over Millennials is one of time – they’ve been at the game quite a bit longer.
Remember this once you start working to establish good credit and erase any existing blemishes in your credit report. Plan your financial strategy well in advance, and allow a reasonable span of time for the results to become obvious.
4. Keep your credit utilization ratio under control
The main factor contributing towards a high credit score is your credit utilization ratio – the percentage of your credit card limit that you use.
Ideally, your credit utilization ratio should be within 30%. This is where Millennials (at times) overshoot the mark, having an average balance-to-limit ratio of 43%. A 10 percent credit utilization is ideal when improving your credit score.
5. Leverage the power of healthy financial habits
Start building healthy financial habits like paying your credit card bills on a weekly basis. A student loan repayment can be the biggest stumbling block before the average millennial, so reserving a portion of your monthly income towards getting out of pre-existing debt obligations is prudent planning..
6. Share living costs and vehicles till you repay your student loans
While there are many negative stereotypes about basement dwellers, moving in with your parents is a smart financial move for Generation Y. Saddled with some of the highest student loans ever, and battling against a tough job market, you don’t need the additional burden of skyrocketing house rents.
If sharing a home with parents is not an option, consider splitting the bills with a roommate(s). Also, try using a car pool or public transportation as often as possible. Here’s the bottom line – financial security is the biggest status symbol that you can aspire to.
If you’re looking to assess your financial ability to buy a home in Durant, OK, let’s set up a time to chat.
Home buying is often a long and arduous process that may overwhelm first timers. It pays to know what must be done ahead of time, and which things should come first. So save yourself from the headache and let this handy guide help you on your home buying journey.
1. Know your financial status. Gather your financial documents including bank statements, tax returns, credit information, and proof of income. Determine your debt-to-income ratio by calculating your income versus your debts and other expenses. A lot of lender-approved financing websites offer free affordability calculators to help you determine your mortgage payment capacity.
2. Find a real estate agent. Most websites would tell you to find a mortgage lender first, implying that agents will not talk to you unless you’re pre-approved. On the other hand, a reliable, local agent will gladly welcome requests for lender referrals. A mortgage lender who has worked with your agent in the past will likely give you a more honest rate and will not delay on processing the documents and funds that you need.
3. Talk to the lender. Once you start talking to lenders, each one will pull your credit history. Doing so will lower your credit score. To lessen the impact, shop for a mortgage within 30 days. The credit bureaus will count the credit checks as one, knowing that you are in the home buying process.
4. Seek pre-approval. Mortgage experts recommend pre-approval versus pre-qualification. A pre-qualification is just a light summary that you may get the loan, while a pre-approval (comes with a letter) signifies that the lender is now committed to grant you the loan, if your credit standing remains stable throughout the home buying process. Sellers usually require a preapproval letter before accepting offers.
5. List your ideal home criteria. What are the non-negotiable features? Take location, square footage, and design into consideration. The age of the property also matters. Are you willing to make a few upgrades and renovations to achieve the perfect home? Most importantly, set a price range and stick to it.
6. Start looking for homes. Nowadays, it is easy to search online for available homes. However, your real estate agent will usually have access to homes which are not yet listed on the market, and the ones which are still negotiable. Schedule home visits with your agent, so you can personally see the properties.
7. Make your best offer. A local real estate agent is updated with the housing trends in your chosen area. This local knowledge includes the current home values which will enable you to make a competitive offer.
8. Review and negotiate the sales contract. Your real estate agent will help you understand the terms on the purchase agreement. Upon consulting a real estate attorney, make sure that there will be clauses on the contract for contingencies.
8. Prepare earnest money. You need to deposit funds into an escrow account as a sign of good faith. The earnest money will be used to pay for the closing costs and will also be applied to your down payment.
9. Hire a professional home inspector. Home inspections and appraisal will help you determine the actual value of the property. Depending on the terms of your contract, and how well your agent has negotiated for you. Ideally, it is better to ask the seller for credits to fund the needed repairs instead of having them fix the issues. This way, you can ensure that the repairs are done to your satisfaction.
10. Finish the closing process. During the closing process, avoid making any other big purchases that will hurt your credit score. The title company will be there to oversee the signing of the documents which includes the loan estimate, disclosure, escrow, lender documents, and other closing forms. Afterward, the seller receives the payment and you will receive the keys to your new home.
Looking for a home in Oklahoma? Let us show you around Bryan County, OK. Call or email us today.