6 Steps to Homeownership


Follow These Steps If You Want To Buy a Home

By Jason Boone

Buying a home is an exciting thing because; you’re finally going to take the step beyond just being a renter to being a homeowner and actually having more control over your surroundings.

Although home buying can be exciting it can also be a confusing process as well but with these 6 steps to home ownership you will be on the right path to buying a home which you will love.

Step 1 – Get Your Finances Ready

Your financial life is an important part to being able to buy the home which you will really love. In order to get your finances in order you must do the following:

A. Check your credit history to make sure it’s 100% accurate.
B. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
C. Find out what type of mortgage you really qualify for.
D. Save at least 20% for a down payment.

Step 2 – Find a Real Estate Agent

• Contact a friend or family member for a referral to a local Realtor.
• Don’t be afraid to ask the Realtor about the length of their contract and make sure you are aware of the terms for the contract which you are signing.

Step 3 – Find the Right Home

During the process of searching for a home make sure your Realtor is well aware of what you are searching for in a home including the neighborhood where you want to live, bedrooms/bathrooms you want in a home and most important of all what your budget is.

Step 4 – Finance the Home

• Contact your lender to tell them you’ve found a home you want to purchase.
• Your lender will complete a title search to make sure there are no other claims on the title.
• Take the time to discuss financing terms with your lender and make sure you completely understand them.

Step 5 – Making an Offer

After you’ve spoken with your lender you must do the following before making an offer on a home:

1. Hire an inspector to check the home out from top to bottom to make sure there’s nothing that needs to be fixed on the home before you make your offer.
2. Make a competitive offer.
3. Don’t make any major purchases because, this will keep your credit score stable.

Step 6 – Closing

Once you’re officially a homeowner make sure you invest in homeowners insurance as well as disaster, flood and fire insurance if needed.

You will also need to do the following after moving in:

• Switch all bills over to your name.
• Keep all files both in print, including closing documents in a safe place.
• Weatherproof your home

Learn More about Buying a Home in Bend

To learn more about buying a home in Bend, or to view homes for sale across the area, contact me, Jason Boone, Principal Broker with Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group by calling me at (541) 383-1426 or by emailing me at Jason@sgbend.com.

Close To 1 million Homeowners Nationwide Are Missing Out On Lower Mortgage Payments


Freddie Mac survey shows most homeowners still not benefiting from low mortgage interest rates


New Survey By Freddie Mac Shows Many Homeowners Are Still Overpaying For Their Mortgages

By Jason Boone

Thanks to a recent survey by Freddie Mac we know that close to 1 million homeowners across the United States are overpaying for their mortgages each month.

Even though mortgage interest rates dropped to a low of 4.1% last week, for a 30-year fixed mortgage, the Freddie Mac data has shown us that most homeowners are not tapping into the resources which are available which will help them lower their monthly mortgage payments.

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

Started during the “great recession”, the Home Affordable Refinance Program has been one of the best opportunities for homeowners in Bend Oregon and across the United States to refinance their mortgages plus shave at least $200 or more per month off their monthly mortgage payments.

So far over 800,000 families across the United States have benefited from HARP and this program has helped both the consumer and lender since it’s kept more homeowners in their homes and helped lenders reduce the chances of a home slipping into foreclosure.

About HARP

Millions of homeowners found themselves in a difficult predicament after the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008. As inventories soared nationwide, home prices plummeted. Many new homeowners saw the value of their homes drop below the balance of their mortgages, or nearly so. Later, these same homeowners were prevented from taking advantage of lower interest rates through refinancing, since banks traditionally require a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80% or less to qualify for refinancing without private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Take for example a house that was purchased for $160,000 but is now worth $100,000 due to the market decline. Further, assume the homeowner owes $120,000 on the mortgage. In this scenario, the loan-to-value ratio would be 120%, and if the homeowner chose to refinance, he would also have to pay for private mortgage insurance. If the homeowner were not already paying for PMI, the added cost could nullify much of the benefit of refinancing, so the homeowner could be effectively prohibited from refinancing.

Source – Wikipedia

Who Qualifies For HARP?

If your mortgage is guaranteed or owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you qualify for HARP.

You will also qualify for this program if your mortgage loan is over 80% of your home’s value and you have been current with your mortgage payments for the last 12 months.

Before Choosing HARP or Refinancing

Regardless if you choose HARP or decide to refinance your current mortgage loan make sure that you pull your credit score first and verify what your current credit score is because it make sense to wait a few months to improve your credit score before choosing to refinance your mortgage loan.

Contact Us

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To learn more about the benefits of refinancing your mortgage loan, HARP or the Bend Oregon Real Estate Market contact me, Jason Boone, Principal Broker at Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group by calling me at (541) 383-1426 or by emailing me at jason@sgbend.com.

Buy Now Or Later? Learn the Real Cost Of Waiting to Buy a Home in Bend


Learn more about the real cost of waiting to buy a home

By Jason Boone

When it comes to buying a home it’s easy for many people to wait on buying a home for another 6 months to 1 year.

Why? Most buyers feel they aren’t ready for the commitment but what’s the real cost which comes with waiting to buy a home in Bend?

In today’s post I will break down the cost so you will be better prepared if you’re thinking about buying a home but feel it might be better for you to wait another year and continue renting compared to buying now.

The Real Cost

Did you know buying a home may be out of your financial reach one year from now?

According to recent statistics from Zillow the cost of purchasing a home in Bend Oregon or elsewhere across the country may be prohibitive for many buyers one year from now because, mortgage interest rates are expected to increase by 1 percent and home prices are expected to appreciate as well.

When we break down the cost of waiting in dollars a 1 percent increase in mortgage interest rates could mean you will be paying at least $200 or more per month for your mortgage payment.

Understanding Percentage Points

In a recent interview Erin Lantz, Zillow’s Vice President of mortgages said: “More often than not, buyers do not understand the profound effect of rising interest rates on affordability, Many buyers associate a 1 percentage point interest rate change with a 1 percent change on a piece of clothing or the price of a car, when in fact they are very different”.

What does this mean for you, the home buyer? A 1 percentage point increase means home affordability will be reduced by at least 10 percent so it’s best to move forward and buy a home in 2014 rather than wait for another year and pay more for your mortgage.

Contact Us

To learn more about how waiting on buying a home in Bend affects you, or to view the latest homes listed for sale in the area contact me, Jason Boone, Principal Broker at Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group by calling me at (541) 383-1426 or by emailing me at: Jason@sgbend.com.

The Skjersaa Group pledges at least 1% of revenue to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment