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All Locations : Nationwide Real Estate Advice

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A few minutes ago
Cathy Rivers asked:
I would like to remove a question I posted but do not see a option
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A few minutes ago
Monicabcrooks asked:
I recently added several homes for my boyfriend to look at when he comes in from offshore and my prior saved items have disappeared. How do I get them back?
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A few hours ago
Tbmays64 asked:
A few hours ago
Richard Gaskin asked:
A few hours ago
Betelhem Belay asked:
the was an add I posted a while ago I am trying to make changes to it or delete it and I don't see any option to do so. please help, not sure if this is a bug. I am on Mac Pro 10.13.1
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
You cannot afford to buy a home in a good school district with an easy or short commute to New York City. The average home in a good school district and close to NYC sells for $700,000. and up. One option you do have is to buy a coop or a condo. They are much cheaper than houses and at least you will live in a good school district and have an easy or short commute to work.

Chesterfield has much cheaper housing because it's 2 hours south of NYC. Your friend failed to tell you that it's a 2 hour commute each way. It takes much less time on weekends but during the weekday rush hour, it's an easy drive until you get closer to the Hudson River tunnels and bridges. Then you will be sitting in traffic for an hour. Most residents use the rail lines but even with public transit, it still takes a long time to get to Manhattan.

Do yourself a huge favor. Stay within your budget and make sure the home you buy is affordable to you and that you can pay your regular monthly bills. Your priority should be your children and you should live in a very good or good school district. However, this will mean sacrifice and either your children will need to share a bedroom or you need to buy a coop or condo - not a house. If it helps, we did this. I have a boy and girl (now adults) and they shared a bedroom for years. However, they attended a top rated school district and because of that, they were accepted into top universities on scholarships and today, they are set in their careers making very good incomes. So attending public schools in a good district paid off. They also say that sharing a bedroom had no effect on them. They worked out the privacy issue themselves.
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A few hours ago
Ywalseman asked:
A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
Trulia is a media website that hosts listings posted by owners, realtors, property managers, etc. It is not a brokerage. It is the responsibility of realtors, owners, etc. to update the status of their listings. Trulia does not update listings and has nothing to do with it.

If the listing is represented by a brokerage / realtor, then why didn't you call the listing agent and schedule an appointment to see the home. That listing agent would have told you the home was under contract. If the home is For Sale By Owner, then why didn't you call the owner. Either way, you failed to call and you could have saved yourself a 5 hour trip.

Any time a home is for sale, a phone call is required because sellers don't want strangers walking thru their home without their permission.
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
I'm a former now retired realtor in the NYC suburbs. Yes there are a few brokerages who will take on a part time agent BUT in Jersey City it will be very difficult to work part time. You will have several challenges or issues to deal with.

Buyers and sellers want to meet with you at their convenience, so if you are not available during their time, buyers and sellers will find another agent to work with in 5 minutes. You won't get paid.

A lot of people in Jersey City want to rent - not buy and rentals don't pay much in commissions.

You need to interview with several brokerages and ask what the commission split is, desk fee, brokerage fee, MLS fee, legal fee, etc. It's very expensive to start as a realtor in the NYC area and you need to expect to pay about $2,000. to start your business.

Working part time means you won't be able to market yourself as much as a full time agent. To start in real estate means you need to advertise yourself and make sure people know you are a realtor. This takes time and effort on your part. Brokerages do not provide leads. They expect you to get your own leads.
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
Foreigners can buy a home in the U.S. but will be required to pay about 30% cash for a down payment. Beware that in New Jersey property taxes are very expensive and you will need to pay income taxes which is also very high. ... more
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
Social Security disability does count as income. The issue is do you have cash savings to pay for the down payment + cash to pay closing costs. Once you own a home, will your disability be enough to pay for the monthly mortgage + property taxes + homeowners insurance + your monthly bills. ... more
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A few hours ago
Coolmay41 answered:
Hi I live with my sister and my sister about to be kicked out of our apartment can anybody help us find an apartment on the north side of Chicago cheap I am on disability I don't get a whole lot of money because I pay child support can anybody out there help us she gets a little bit and come to we are looking for an apartment on the north side can anybody help us please God bless you all ... more
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
You can't buy a home. In order to buy, you need to have cash for a down payment + cash to pay for closing costs. Once you own a home, you need to pay a monthly mortgage + property taxes + homeowners insurance.. Although your disability income qualifies as income, the fact that you receive SNAP means you don't have any savings to pay for the down payment and closing costs. If you did have savings, then you would not qualify for SNAP. SNAP is the food stamps program. ... more
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
Do you live in an HOA community. If yes, you will need to ask the HOA your question. If you don't live in an HOA community, you should be able to park anything in your driveway.
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
You need to contact a lender because nobody can answer your question online. Lenders need to verify employment, income, credit history, credit score, debt to income ratio, savings, etc. You should start with your own bank first because you're already a customer.

Some examples that you did not mention - whether you receive a W2 or if you are self employed. There is a huge difference. Also how much you can use for a down payment as this affects the type of loan you qualify for and whether you will need to pay for mortgage insurance.

The USDA loan has NO down payment requirement BUT there are income restrictions and property location restrictions.
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A few hours ago
Kathylakritz answered:
Most lenders want buyers to have a FICO credit score of 620 or higher. There are a few lenders that will go down to 580. With low credit scores, lenders will charge higher interest rates, higher fees and terms that favor them. So it pays to improve your FICO score if possible so you can save thousands of dollars in interest rates and fees.

The difference between "buy" and a "mortgage" is a mortgage is a loan to pay for the house. "Buy" is the process you go thru to get the house.
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Yesterday at 8:25pm
Kathylakritz answered:
Yes this is true. Builders need to make a profit and one method of saving money is by refusing to pay a buyer's realtor / broker. Builders know well that most buyers will visit their development or site by themselves without a realtor. Then that buyer will want to have a realtor for their 2nd and subsequent visits. So it makes perfect business sense for that builder to say "wow, I can save thousands of dollars because most buyers won't have a realtor on their 1st visit, so let's force the buyers to pay for their realtors instead of me."

I know you and every buyer thinks this is not fair, but to a builder it saves them thousands of dollars that they don't have to spend. To get around this, you will need to negotiate and stand firm that you refuse to pay the builders asking price for upgrades and anything else. Negotiate every price down - a lot.

Next - PLEASE do NOT sign the contract if you have not already. Builder contracts are written by lawyers to benefit them. It is NOT the same contract that realtors use which is approved by the state you live in. Typically builders contracts have clauses and terms that benefit them - not you. Spedifically, there is a clause that states "the builder is NOT responsible for any mistakes or changes during the construction period and is not responsible for anything that happens after you close. You are 100% responsible and you need to expect to pay for it.

So before signing the contract, do yourself a huge favor - read EVERY WORD and change or edit anything you don't want. Expect the builder to push back and give you a hard time BUT it's MUCH better for you to know about it before the fact than after you sign it. Once your signature is on the contract, every builder will tell you, "too bad, so sad but you signed it and sorry, but you need to pay for it." By the way, you also have the right to take the contract to your attorney to edit it. Builders hate that and will tell you not to do it because they know once your lawyer gets a hold of it, that builder doesn't want you anymore. These builders are looking for buyers who are easy prey and will sign without asking questions.
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