Kathy Engel & Vid Lopez

Engel Lopez Real Estate
Broker Associates
kathy engle vid lopez

Kathy - 302-542-3846 -
Vid - 302-542-2435 -
16392 Coastal Highway, Lewes, DE 19958

Ten Tips To Make You Feel Better About Buying A Home

1. Interest rates are at an all time low.

2. There are still good deals on homes to be found. Right now it is a buyer’s market.

3. investing in a home will provide solid equity for you over the year’s in long-term growth.

4. Inflation is a given, buying a house can stave off some inflation the longer you own your home.

5. Buying what you want rather then renting what is available is always a better deal.

6. Purchasing a home means you can make the changes you want to your home; something that is rare or not allowed when you rent a home.

7. Buying a home is like paying yourself as you build equity in your home.

8. Right now pricing is the best it has ever been and there are many homes to choose from for sale.

9. Owning a home is beneficial at tax time; you receive tax deductions on the mortgage interest, you can deduct the real estate taxes you pay on your home, and when you sell you may get a tax break on capital gains. (If you itemize your deductions)

10. The real estate market is going to improve. Supply and demand will eventually equalize.

Avoid Home Improvement Scams

I have been hearing a lot about the home improvement scams going on throughout our state. Below are some helpful hints to avoid getting taken by unscrupulous people. We have an aging population in our area, and the elderly seem to be targeted.

Always ask for a written contract for the work being performed. Never give someone money without this, and get a receipt.

Don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Don’t be pressured – if it seems to good too be true, it probably is. Tell the workman you need a day to think about it. If they walk-let them! A reputable worker would come back, or call you.

Never pay the full amount up front. Honest companies do not require this. They may ask for 30-50% down and you pay the balance when the work is completed. On larger jobs, the contract will provide terms on payments.

If you are having work done on the inside of your home, secure your valuables.

 Get a referral from a neighbor, friend, or professional. It pays to do this up front, and you’ll be more comfortable in your decision.

On this website, we have a list of vendors. We have complied this list from our clients who have  made the recommendation, or we have used personally. 

Enjoy the summer!

Lender Pre-Approval

Why you should get a pre-approval from a lender before you start looking for your dream home?

When you are ready to make the commitment to purchase a home, you should first talk to a mortgage person to see what you can get approved for. This process is a pre-approval and cost little or nothing to get. If you are serious, do not get a pre-qualification, which is an opinion of a loan officer, based on information you verbally provide to him or her. This is not enough in today’s market. While you are still in the thinking stages, this may help, but when your are ready to buy, you will want to have the pre-approval in hand. Why? Because a pre-approval is based upon documentation  submitted within the application process and underwriters have approved it. You will get something in writing, from your lender,based on your credit score, debt ratios, etc. that you are able to purchase a home with a certain mortgage amount.  It will be subject to certain conditions, such as a contract on a property, an appraisal, and your final selection of rates and terms with the lender. It is a loan approval subject to those conditions. Your loan officer and Realtor should be available to assist you when you have questions, throughtout the buying process. Now you are ready to look at the homes for sale!
Now you know exactly what you can afford to pay monthly for a home, including taxes and insurance.
Now you have negotiating power that you did not have before. Your pre-approval letter can be included in your offer, which tells the Sellers you are ready to go to settlement in a timely fashion.

Now you will not waste your valuable time, and your Realtors valuable time because you both know the price range you need/want to be in. It takes the stress off of you because you are confident, knowing you have done all you can to be prepared.
Call Kathy for her preferred lender phone number and get started!

Tax Time

We’re all getting our information to our accountants this time of the year. This year you may be eligible for a tax credit if you bought a home last year.

In 2008, congress passed a home buyers tax credit, which has been changed and extended over time.

Some factors to consider to see if you are eligible:

  1. You must have signed a contract to purchase your primary residence by April 30, 2010.
  2. You had to settle on the property by June 30. Congress added an extension, up to September 30, with stipulations.
  3. First time homebuyers credit can be up to $8,000.
  4. Repeat homebuyer credit can be up to $6,500.
  5. First time and repeat home buyer are limited to homes purchased for less than $800,000.

This is just a reminder for those of you who purchased last year. Check with your Accountant for details on the above items, and YOU may save!

When Should I Buy?

Think about your personal situation. Determine from that if you are ready to take advantage of this buyers market

Think long term-I believe you should be thinking in the terms of 7 years, or more. If buying a primary home, or investment property, see yourself keeping this investment over this time-the days of instant appreciation are gone for now.

Historically, real estate has proved to be a solid investment, and it still is.Smart people are buying now. Prices are down, lots of inventory, interest rates low, so you have the advantage to find a good deal for yourself. Talk to your lender and ask what programs best fit your needs. I have people tell me money is not available, but it is. You do have to have good credit. The better your credit, the better your rates and terms for financing. If you do not have a lender, call Christine or I and we will have one call you. If your credit is less than perfect, we can still help.

Really, there is no best time to buy, just as there is no best time to sell. Everyone’s situation is different, so just evaluate your situation, and you will make the right decision.

When you think about it, there are good options now, both in low rates and many options in housing, or investment opportunities.