What is the best way to go about buying a house?

One of the most exciting times in anyone’s life is when they go to purchase a home. It is the American dream to own your own home and a major milestone in your life. However, it is a process and you may be asking yourself, “What is the best way to go about buying a house?”

Are you ready to become a homeowner?

The first step before you even begin to consider buying a home is to get your finances in order. Pull your FICO score and look over your budget. Make sure that you can afford a mortgage payment before you dive into the home-buying process. If you feel that they are, your next step is to begin saving for a down payment.

How much do you need to put down on a house?

Let’s begin with defining what a down payment is. A down payment on a home is the money that a buyer gives the seller of a property to lock in the purchase. This payment is always a percentage of the total of the purchase ranging from as low as 3.5% on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans to 20% depending on which lender you choose.

Just keep in mind that the more that you can put down on a home the better lenders like it. And in the long run, you will as well. Which leads us to our next question, “What kind of credit score do I need?”

What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?

Your credit score is a huge factor in the process of buying your home. However, there is not a hard-and-fast rule to apply to everyone.

In general, the better your credit score is the more likely you will qualify for a good loan. Currently, the FHA requires a minimum FICO score of 580. However, other lenders prefer a minimum, preferably higher, FICO score of 620.

Nevertheless, your credit score is not the only thing that will be considered when you are qualifying for a home loan. Don’t hesitate to shop around with different lenders and compare interest rates because they add up over time.

Can you buy a house with no down payment?

There are some instances in which consumers can get a loan for a home without having to put anything down.

You can get this type of loan in the following instances:

  • If you are a Veteran, US Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Low to Moderate-Income in a rural area, USDA Loans
  • First-time Home-Buyer Assistant Programs
  • Some FHA Loans

However, keep in mind that if there is little to no down payment on your home purchase the monthly payment is higher. Therefore, it is always beneficial, if possible, to have a down payment.

Who do I contact to begin the process of buying my home?

Lisa Cogdill Realty!

As an agent who was born and raised in Western North Carolina, I understand the difficulties of buying and selling a home in this region. That is why I personally continue my education to be a helpful asset to my clients.  Along with yearly updates I am specialized in:

  • SBS, Strategic Pricing Specialist
  • ABR, Accredited Buyers Representative
  • SRES, Seniors Real Estate Specialist
  • Home Staging Specialist

I strive to make all my clients feel comfortable and confident throughout the buying process. It can be intimidating to first-time buyers, or anyone, to go through the process of buying a home. At times it can be exhausting and very time-consuming, but an educated agent can be an asset to you. I can help you through it all and help make your dreams reality.

How to Prepare Your House to Sell

Successful selling of a house is tied to the preparatory stages

Successful selling of a house is tied to the preparatory stages underwent to get it ready to be staged for sale. Many buyers today are discouraged from buying a house once they spot a flaw in a house; nobody wants to buy a liability.

In order to prevent this and to have a quicker and better sale, it is important to consider some preparation options in prepping a house for sale. This is because house buyers are attracted to better-looking houses.

Are you planning on listing you home on the market anytime soon? Here are seven ways how to prepare your home for sale

Clean the House Thoroughly

The first impression they say matters a lot. A clean house leaves buyers with the impression that you have taking care of the house. This goes a long way to pique their interest in your property. Clean the drapes, cabinets, the windows. Wash the curtains and drapes. Remove odors from your home by using air fresheners or, better still use a baking soda. Get rid of cobwebs and mop the floors. In a situation where you have limited time to clean your house, acquire the service of a cleaning company.

Repair Your Home

Prior to the staging of your home to buyers, you should inspect your house for details that would drive buyers away from buying your house or paying low for it. Inspect if there are leaky taps, broken bulbs, damaged sewer lines, and damaged doors and handles. Replace or repair any of these if detected in order to impress your buyers.


Gathering a significant amount of unimportant properties can dent the aesthetics of your house. Removal of these unwanted things will. Make your house appear simpler and finer. Try to imagine the point of view of the buyer how you would feel if you walk into a staged house for sale cluttered with irrelevant properties. Organize the books on its shelve, ran and range the kitchen utensils in its positions, remove books that are not needed, and keep your closest clean.

Recreate House Items

If there are house items or heirlooms that you would want to take along with you, you should remove it before a buyer sees it. Buyers see everything in a house as part of what they are paying for and your refusal to selling them your coveted house item can cause a deadlock over making a deal. Remove and replace any item that you want to take with you.

Make Decorations Appealing

Another way to prepare your home for sale is to make your home décor more appealing. Any home buyer will be willing to pay more for a home that looks nice, well decorated and appealing on sight. Ensure that your decorations are nice and simple. This is done to increase the appeal of your house to a buyer. Avoid excessively using frills and keep it plain.

Illuminate Your House

Presence of natural light in your house makes it appear warmer, cozier and more spacious. Use bright light bulbs or open the windows to allow penetration of sunlight into your house. Repaint dark areas of your house with light color paints. This would make your house more exquisite and appealing.

Expand Each the Size of Rooms

Heavy and large furniture so can make a room appear smaller. In other to create more space for a room, you have to remove and replace bulky furniture with smaller ones. This will dovetail with the decorating elements of your house to make it roomy and cleaner and interesting.

With a considerable amount of effort, you can use these tips to prep your house for a big sale.


Buying a home vs renting

Buying a home versus renting

Having to make a decision between buying a home or renting it is amongst the greatest monetary decisions that many individuals would have to make in their lifetime. The choice of purchasing an apartment of renting it is a major decision. It is difficult to decipher the better deal as the cost of purchasing a home is muddled and more varied than the cost of renting an apartment.

This decision doesn’t simply influence how much cash you have left toward the month end; it likewise influences your way of life and cumulative savings. However, most people feel that purchase of homes is a better investment as it is a source of tax deductions and the value of the asset. On the flip side, people rent homes due to the reduced responsibility and the flexibility afforded.

Given the various expensive expenses related with buying a home, most youths start off by renting a home. As they climb up their career rungs and earn higher, most of them end up purchasing homes.  On the flip side of the age range, landlords close to their retirement age may offer to trade their family homes, cut back on spending and become tenants again.

Many landholders receive rewards that one can’t get from leasing, for example, stability, monetary security and tax deductions. With each installment payment, one is closer to becoming a landlord. The equity on the asset can be used for loans and refinance to enhance the home and increase its value.

Even though renting a home isn’t as beneficial in terms of monetary benefits, it is less expensive to rent a home monthly. In case you are considering how to save for installment, renting can be your way out. In costly and aggressive markets, renting might be the best option on a long-term basis. If you however, consider buying, try using a mortgage calculator to evaluate the costs and compare rates to get the best deal.

Itemized below are the reasons renting is the better option:


  • You have limited money

In case that you don’t have the cash for an up-front installment and extra expenses of owning a home, leasing is the best alternative. Try to make use of rent and purchase calculators of popular real estate websites to know what you can afford.


  • Your job security is not certain

If you are not sure about your job security or you depend on contract jobs, you should try to concentrate more on saving for unforeseen occurrence and future expenses.


  • You have an interim schedule

If you are contracted to a temporary job that wouldn’t last more than two years, it is more advisable to rent a home in the neighborhood rather than spending much on purchasing a home. The same advice is also feasible when you intend starting up a family in the next few years. Similarly, if you are experiencing a critical transition in your life, such as loss of family and divorce, renting is a better option before you get back your stability.


However, buying is the better option when:


  • You can take care of the extra expenses related to owning a home

Before purchasing any home, try to ensure that you can pay the up-front installment and closing costs. Most banks demand a 20 percent up-front installment. So in the event that you are buying a $250,000 home, a 20 percent upfront installment would amount to $50,000. That is notwithstanding a regular commission of 5 to 6 percent in addition to another 1 percent in closing costs. Maintenance fees are additionally a major factor to plan for.


  • You intend to spend about five years in the home

It’s best to purchase when you have a long-term plan. Remaining in a home that you purchase for half a decade or more means you will probably recover what you paid in transaction fees and generate a good ROI.


  • You need to reap the monetary rewards of ownership

Little interest costs make owning a home alluring in light of the fact that it diminishes the sum borrowers pay on their mortgages. Home loan rates are at record lows after the 2008 monetary emergency. The normal rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage low as 3.9 percent. Furthermore, you can increase the value of your home, something that isn’t conceivable with a rented apartment.

The Top Five Things to Look For in a Real Estate Investment

Have you heard about real estate investment?

Have you given it a thought to invest in it but get stuck about how to go about it? Yes, real estate investment technical-know-how can sometimes be challenging. Let’s look into it.

Real estate investment can be described as a way of investing in property and it involves purchasing, rental, ownership, sales or management of properties for profit. It is one of the earliest forms of investment that is lucrative and profitable, and its worth keeps increasing.

If you are considering investing in the stock market, real estate can be one of the profitable investments with liquidity, unique cash flow, and huge return on investment (ROI).

However, first –time investors are often faced with the issues of what we should be looking for in a real estate investment. This becomes a matter as some realty investment industries are tricky with giving out the necessary information to benefit the investors in real estate investment. This may be as a result of hidden agenda unknown to the investors. Though there are some real estate investments out there that are truthful and straightforward, yet, you must know some basic things to look for, to serve as a guide to selecting the best real estate investment. Let’s dive into it.

Top 5 Things to Look For in a Real Estate Investment

Scrupulous examining can only determine the value and quality of a real estate investment. Many things should be factored in selecting a good and profitable real estate investment. However, this article has discussed five basic things to look out for in real estate investment. Highlight below are the top 5 priorities to look for in a real estate investment:

Location: This is one of the most important features to look for when it comes to real estate investment. The location of the property will determine the category of renters that will be attracted to the property in consideration. Critically look at the quality of the location if it can turn-in cool cash quickly. Some of the criteria of a well-located property are proximity to the public places such as market, hospital, higher institutions, major business outlets, shopping malls, parks, and much more.

Any rental properties located closer to these listed public areas attracts higher demands from the prospective renters. And this will result in huge cash flow for you as an investor of the properties.

Also, industrial areas are good locations with job opportunities, and this tends to increase the number of people migrating to these areas to live closer to their offices. All these important places with the availability of social amenities enhance the value of the property.

  • The quality and type of the property: After location consideration, the next thing to factor is the property itself. What type of property should you invest in? The type and quality of your real estate investment determine the success of the investment. This directly involves your investment strategy as an investor. Investing in building or property that requires frequent maintenance may turn to influence the success of your real estate investment.

Quality property requires not only less frequent repairs or maintenance but can also be rented or leased faster at higher rental value. If you go for quality properties, you tend to benefit from the investment in the long run as the buildings are LEED certified, which adds value to the property.

If you are investing in the real estate investment for the first time, you can consider a condo. Real estate investment on a condominium has been studied to be profitable in term of quality as it requires less repairs and maintenance. You can also look for a good and appealing property which has features that can lure renters into renting or leasing it for different purposes.

  • Cost effectiveness: Location and property quality are not the only factors to consider. The price of the property is also important in the real estate investment. The higher the cost-effectiveness of your intending real estate investment property, the more return on investment.

However, the profitability of a property not only depends on the price but also property taxes. It involves the total cost incurred in procuring and keeping the property. So, when considering buying a real estate investment property, invest based on the value of the property. Value the property very well; if possible, invite an estate agent to help you assess the property if it worth its price tag; so, not to be at a loss.

  • Expected cash flow: Every real estate investor expects huge monthly or annual cash flow from his or her investment. Your cash flow is your monthly staple which can be described as amounts (such as taxes, mortgage payment, maintenance, and repairs) invest in the property to maintain or keep the property. Find out if you can still come up with a monthly or annual positive cash flow of all the money incurred in keeping and maintaining the property.

If the investment returns are studied not to be positive, don’t try investing in it. It is important to research the property you intend to invest in, to know the history, vacancies and occupancy rate in the area. However, if you have already bought such property, try to invest more in the property by carrying out some renovations and with time, you will begin to produce huge positive cash flow as expected.

  • Investment leverage: After considering location, quality, price, and expected cash flow, another important thing to factor among the top five factors in your real estate investment is the investment leverage. This involves the risk and reward in the investment property. A good realty investment is the one in which the reward is higher than the risk. How do you calculate your leverage?

You must understand that the property would need maintenance to keep it suitable for the renters. However, the maintenance to be carried out on this property must not be too much to be a good consideration for investment. Take a look at the construction of the building if it is standard. Note that a poorly constructed or situated property tends to consume more money in maintenance. Consider how much you are investing as a start-up capital and the frequency of maintenance in the long run. If the incurred cost is higher than the returns, it is not a good choice.


Real estate investment generally needs more startup capital, experience, time, and working strategy than any other investment portfolios. There are many other things need to be considered in investing in a real estate. We have mentioned the top five factors but still left out with some other factors such as inflation, market rivalry, transportation, tenancy, market risk, operating agreement, debt terms, and public infrastructure, amongst others.

Over times, investing in real estate property had been the best decision of investors and this has even improved as real estate investment properties keep appreciating every day. However, you need to link with the experienced and reliable vendors to enjoy a huge return on investment (ROI). This site has made everything simple in real estate, allowing old and new investors to invest in most quality and cost-effective real estate investment properties at good locations to give you value for your capital. Our real estate strategy is one of the best in the real estate investment portfolios. Contact us today!