October 16th, 2014
We all are aware of the severe drought in California. There are signs everywhere advocating people to let their lawns dry out. “Brown is the New Green.” But does that work when selling a property? Will potential buyers see that the homeowner is being a wise conservationist or will they see something that looks like a foreclosed home?
There was the incident in California where a homeowner was letting his grass go brown and he was slapped with a fine by his homeowner’s association. Well, good news. A law was quickly signed banning HOAs from fining homeowners who have brown lawns.
But are buyers really open minded?
Some real estate agents are using fake turf to make the grass look green. Others are recommending investing in some re-landscaping using xeriscaping techniques. This could increase the worth of the home considerably.
A fun idea could be to put a sign out that you’re intentionally saving water by letting the grass die out.
Trulia posted this nice reminder for what documents you will need when applying for a mortgage. That also includes getting pre-approved. Talk with your loan officer what is required for pre-qualifications. And this isn’t the be all, end all. You may be rquired to provide additional documentation depending upon your personal situation.
Tax Returns: The lender wants to be reasonably sure that your paycheck is high enough to allow you to meet the mortgage payments every month. They feel more confident if your salary has been relatively stable for the past few years. If you’re self-employed, you may need additional documentation to prove consistent income.
Pay Stubs: The tax returns prove what you income was last year and the year before, but your recent pay stubs tell the lender that you’re still earning the same amount or more.
Other Proof of Income: This can cover a wide variety of income including child support, structured settlements, or have another source of income that isn’t through an employer 1099 forms, copies of checks, and bank statements showing direct deposits all help to show the bank your income is reliable.
Employment Letters: A letter from your employer confirming your hire date, current employment status and salary as well as any time taken off for family or medical needs.
Proof of Funds: The lender will want to verify that you have the money to cover the down payment and closing costs. They also want to know that you won’t be totally broke after the purchase, and that you have the money to weather a reasonable emergency. So you will want to print out recent statements from your banks, credit unions and investment companies. If you’ve recently received a big check recently, such as a gift from your family to help with a down payment, the lender may require you to supply a letter from the person who gave you the money explaining that it’s a gift and you won’t be required to pay it back.
Photo ID: A copy of your driver’s license is usually sufficient but your Costco membership card probably won’t be.