Porcupine Real Estate


Posted by Mark Warden on 8/7/2018

 

A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.

1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.

Your real estate agent can recommend inspectors that have been helpful to other buyers. 

2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.

A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.

Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.

In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well. For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete property repairs and the urgency of these repairs. 

3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.

After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Your real estate agent should also receive a copy of the report so they can make suggestions and advise on the immediate repairs and how to formulate an inspection response.





Posted by Mark Warden on 5/1/2018

 

There's one thing all successful real estate agents, advertising executives, and marketing professionals know about human behavior: Many people make buying decisions for emotional reasons, and then justify those decisions with facts. In other words, they might say they bought a particular house because of all the updates and stainless steel appliances, but the real reason was that they could imagine themselves living there, being happy, entertaining friends and family, raising their children, and even growing old together there.

For some home buyers, the deciding factor is that it reminds them of fond childhood memories or perhaps the house they grew up in. Whenever a home for sale stirs up good feelings, happy  memories, or positive thoughts in the mind of prospective buyers, it increases the chances they'll make an offer on the house.

Home Staging Tips

If your house is now on the market or you're considering putting it up for sale, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it more attractive to buyers. Obvious improvements like doing a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the house can make a big difference, but there are literally dozens of other things you can do to attract more offers and get the highest possible price for your property. Sometimes it's something as simple as a creating a pleasing scent, like cinnamon, lavender, hot coffee, of freshly baked bread, cookies, or muffins, that can create a comforting and enticing ambiance for potential buyers.

Avoiding Home Staging Pitfalls

Attractively decorating your home can be one aspect of making a good impression on potential buyers, but it's necessary to cast the widest possible net, so to speak, when making decorating choices. In other words, you would want the appearance, style, and color choices in your home to appeal to a wide variety of different tastes, rather than just a select few. That's why it's beneficial to get an objective opinion from an experienced real estate agent, a professional decorator, or a home staging consultant. 

Some things that homeowners often tend to overlook just before prospective buyers arrive to tour their house include the following:

  • Furniture that's arranged in a haphazard, disjointed, or cluttered way
  • 'Welcome' mats that are dirty, faded, and anything but welcoming
  • Overflowing or grungy-looking trash baskets
  • Overgrown shrubbery
  • Smudged or cobweb-laden windows
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that are disorganized and visibly unclean
Keeping your home in immaculate condition at all times is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of putting it up for sale. However, when you consider the cost of keeping a house on the market for longer than necessary and eventually having to lower the price, the extra effort is well worth it!


 





Posted by Mark Warden on 4/12/2018

 

Your credit score is a 3 digit number that can have a huge impact on many things that you hope to accomplish in your life. One of the biggest reasons that you need a good credit score is for buying a home. As many people rely on credit cards to fund their expenses, they consequently end up in debt. This doesn’t have a favorable impact on credit scores. Yet, it’s so important to maintain good credit.  


Why The Score Is Important


A credit score is one of the most crucial factors in determining if you can qualify for a mortgage. It is an overall gauge for lenders to understand how financially responsible you are. The higher your credit score, the less risk you carry in the eyes of lenders. 


What Affects A Credit Score?


Your credit score is calculated based on information that is found on your credit report. There are five different things that affect your credit score, each with a slightly different impact:


  • Payment history
  • Debt-to-credit utilization
  • Length of credit history
  • Credit mix
  • New credit


What’s A Good Score?


Absolutely flawless credit is 850. Don’t worry if you’re not in that category. Only about 1/2 of one percent of consumers actually have a score this high. Once your score reaches 740 and above, you’re able to qualify for the best in mortgage rates. Even if your score is in the low 700’s, you still should be able to qualify for a good interest rate. For a conventional loan, many lenders look for a credit score of 620 and above. Being in the high 600s will help you to avoid the need for additional paperwork. You’ll also get a decent interest rate with this score. 


What If You Don’t Have Credit History?


Ideally, you would have opened some type of a credit card by the time you reached the age of 20. This would help to establish credit. If you don’t have any type of credit history, there are still a few ways that you can qualify for a mortgage. In these cases, lenders will often use alternative sources in order to determine the reliability of a party they’re lending to. For example, your car payment history doesn’t show up on your credit report, but a good track record helps lenders to see that you’re dependable and a responsible credit user. 


What About Bad Credit?


From missed payments to errors on your credit report, there could always be some problems with a credit score. The good news is that bad credit can be fixed. There are even loan programs designed to help people with less than perfect credit scores. Generally FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans and VA loans allow for low down payments and have lenient credit score requirement. 


Fixing Your Credit Score Is Fixing Your Habits


In order to repair your credit score, you’re going to need to fix the bad financial habits that got you into the situation in the first place. This means making on-time payments, spending less, and avoiding opening up any new accounts. Pay down your existing debt and try to make a fresh start form there. Also, be sure that you obtain a free copy of your credit report each year to keep on top of any errors that might be present on the report.





Posted by Mark Warden on 3/9/2018

 

Manchester, NH, March 6, 2018 - New Hampshire real estate broker Mark Warden of Porcupine Real Estate recently completed the state's first-ever real estate transaction entirely in Bitcoin. Warden, an early adopter of the cryptocurrency, was one of the first political candidates in the country to accept bitcoin donations during a state legislative run back in 2012. Since then, he had been looking to incorporate cryptocurrencies into his real estate business. "Bitcoin is gaining popularity in New Hampshire, and we need to embrace the innovation. The Granite State is experiencing a real-life experiment in how an economy can adapt to this fast-changing environment. The state boasts dozens of businesses that accept payment in crypto, and the legislature passed a bill in 2017 to specifically exempt persons using virtual currency from being licensed," stated Warden. 


Porcupine Real Estate promoted several listings for sale for Bitcoin, and the home buyer learned about the property through a post on Reddit. The purchaser, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a website developer involved in trading cryptocurrencies and has been involved in Bitcoin (BTC) for only a few years, but did well as an early investor/speculator in Ripple (XRP). 


The house is in Manchester and sold for approximately 25 BTC. Parties to the transaction paid their closing costs (transfer tax and title insurance expenses) in USD. In the future, as this space matures, more title companies will be willing to tolerate the volatility and accept funds for all aspects of the closing procedure in crypto. Warden was able to utilize a local settlement company, Sweeney Title Services, who set up a Bitcoin wallet to accept the earnest money deposit. Owner J.L. Sweeney explains how it came about, "Mark came to us wanting to do this Bitcoin closing. I've been interested in Bitcoin for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out in a real estate transaction. It was easy to set up the wallet and receive and send deposit funds. The closing went very smoothly.” 


Warden sees the use of cryptocurrency in real estate transactions as a trend that is here to stay. "We have seen a number of 'bitcoinnaires' who are converting crypto holdings into income-producing assets including real estate. A low-maintenance rental property is an ideal candidate for such a rebalancing of assets for holders of large amounts of bitcoin who want to take some winnings off the table and provide long-term passive income." Porcupine Real Estate has identified numerous properties in NH whose sellers will accept crypto as payment. As Warden explains, "Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are here to stay. We are trying to stay ahead of the curve with real property applications."


About Porcupine Real Estate:

Porcupine Real Estate assists with buying and selling homes and property in New Hampshire. Founded by Mark Warden, Porcupine Real Estate is comprised of professionals committed to helping clients find the right town and the right property. The firm has been a sponsor at NH Liberty Forum and Free State Blockchain Digital Assets Conference, and continues to be a leader in working with cryptocurrency experts and users to in real estate applications.




Tags: Bitcoin   cryptocurrency  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Warden on 2/26/2018

 

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the mortgage terminology can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

Below are some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan:

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate and fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability is the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  




Tags: Mortgage   terminology  
Categories: Uncategorized