Keep Calm and Move On: How to Tackle a Long-Distance Relocation

Whether you’re heading down the street or to a new town, moving is always a tough transition. However, relocating across the country presents a whole new set of challenges you might not have considered. Picking up your life can be an exciting change, but it’s also a bit overwhelming.

Need some help navigating the process? Take a deep breath and get ready—we’ve got some quick tips for you!

Stay on Top of Your Schedule

A monthly planner

Sometimes a cross-country move can come out of nowhere, especially if it’s due to a job or major life change. Even if you’ve been planning your relocation for a while, it can still be exhausting. Before you start tearing your hair out, it’s crucial to start planning ahead of time.

Once you’ve figured out your moving date, be sure to stay on top of your calendar. It’s easy for your schedule to fill up with appointments, going-away parties, and other obligations. It might help to create to-do lists or invest in a good planner (digital or paper!). However, as you get busier, be sure to plan some time for yourself, too. Tackling a move is impossible without some self-care!

Declutter & Organize

A woman organizing cabinets

Let’s face it—organizing everything you own and moving it thousands of miles is no easy feat. Start lightening the load right away, and get rid of things you won’t need once you move. You might even want to have a garage sale or donate your gently used objects to charity. Remember, if you don’t use it regularly, you should probably lose it.

Looking for a simple way to tackle the decluttering process? Try going room by room and sorting things as you go. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as you pare down your possessions, so having a system will help ease the burden.

Pack Everything Up

A pile of moving supplies

When it comes to packing, it’s essential that all of your belongings are secure. Check that all boxes are reinforced, and invest in some heavy duty tape and wrapping materials. Moving supplies don’t have to be expensive, though—check social media or local stores to find a bargain on some good quality boxes.

Your stuff is in for a long haul if you’re moving across the country, so you might want to take extra steps to prevent any damage.  If you’re looking for some good padding, old t-shirts and socks will do the trick in a pinch! Don’t be afraid to get creative—jewelry boxes, small containers, and extra suitcases can help you save some space.

Make Travel Arrangements

Person packing luggage

When you’re making a move across the country, getting to your new home is one of the most difficult parts of the process. Be sure to make travel arrangements in advance—this means you should research hotels, book rentals, and reserve plane tickets ahead of time. As you’re packing, be sure to set aside any essentials that you might need as you travel to your new place.

Wondering what you should keep on hand? Think of it like packing for a vacation—you’ll want toiletries, extra clothing, medication, and all your other “must-haves.” Don’t forget to keep important paperwork, such as birth certificates and passports, with you in case you need them.

Connect with a Local Agent

Two people shaking hands

Unless you have a friend or family member in your new city, it can be tough to scope out the area. Nobody will know your future home quite as well as a local, and connecting with the right real estate agent can help.

Aside from helping you find a home, your agent can also help you navigate your new surroundings with ease. Working with an area expert comes with a lot of perks, including relocation packages, personalized guidance, and specialized tools…not to mention the local knowledge to recommend anything from the top school district to the best pizza joint! When you’re choosing a real estate agent, be sure to do your research and reach out to a few before making your decision. You want to make sure you gel with whomever you choose!

Ready to Conquer Your Move?

Although relocating can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think, especially when you work with a team of trusted local professionals. Remember, staying organized and prepared will make the entire process that much easier! If you’re new to the area or are looking for some long-distance buying resources, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to ease the burden of your cross-country move!

Buyer Demand is Growing—Here’s How You Can Take Advantage of It

Typically fall—and especially late fall—isn’t an active time for the housing market. Buyers slow down around the holidays, fewer sellers list their homes on the market, and there’s a predictable lull before the New Year.

But this year, that’s not the case. In fact, buyer demand has grown in every region of the country, with the South in particular boasting the second-highest percentage of increased buyer traffic! Here’s how the numbers break down, and how you can take advantage of it as a seller.

Buyer Demand is Up

An agent leading buyers on a tour of homes during the late fall, a period of high buyer demand.

For the second month in a row, buyer interest is up in every region of the nation, including the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the West. This is likely largely due to low mortgage rates that have been present for most of the year, which makes buying in general more attractive and affordable.

Here in the South, we’ve generated the second-highest level of year-over-year buyer traffic growth, coming in at 6.4%—the largest jump in activity since last spring! The Western U.S. dominated the race at 8.9%, while the Midwest was lagging, but still in the game, with a .8% growth. Nationwide, the activity increase averaged out to 4.6%! For late fall and winter sellers, this is fantastic news

Buyers are Motivated

Home buyers on a tour of homes for sale.

One of the best things about selling during this time of the year? You won’t have to deal with buyers who are causally shopping. Instead, you can expect that most people out hunting for homes are hoping to move in before the new year—which works in your favor.

Since buyers will be on a timeline, they’re less likely to want long, drawn out negotiations. While they will probably be a little pickier about the home they choose, that just means that you have even more leverage—inventory is low, and if they walk away from your home, it could take them weeks to find another that they like.

Competition is Low

An aerial view of homes.

While spring and summer typically boast higher prices and more activity, that also means that other sellers are looking to capitalize on those benefits, as well. But in late fall and winter, seller activity takes a dramatic dip—and the limited listings on the market suddenly become much more attractive for motivated buyers.

There will still be other homes on the market, however, so don’t take this as an excuse to slack off on staging or marketing. In fact, staging and marketing are even more important during this time of year, since buyers are more selective in the homes they choose to tour!

Want to Bring Buyers to Your Front Door?

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® can help. We have over 350 years of combined experience, which makes us perfectly suited to ensure that your home sells not only quickly, but also for the highest price possible.

Want to add your home to our list of over 10,000 successful sales? Take some time to browse our resources, learn more about what we have to offer our clients, and give us a call when you’re ready to take the next steps.

2020 Vision: The Top Home Features You Can Expect to See Next Year

The year is winding down fast, and with the upcoming rush of the holidays, it’ll be 2020 before you know it. With a new year comes new trends, and you can expect a number of home design shake-ups both big and small.

Here are the top home features that are sure to be priorities for buyers in 2020!

Separate Laundry Rooms

A person carrying knitted blankets.

It might be a little unexpected, but laundry rooms were one of the most highly sought-after home features of the year, with a whopping 91% of buyers saying they’re essential. Many people also prefer the laundry room to be on the ground floor and sectioned off from the rest of the home.

In 2020, you can expect to see buyers continue to gravitate toward homes with designated laundry rooms—try brainstorming ways to bring more focus to yours!

Industrial Designs

An Edison bulb hanging in an industrial space.

The rustic farmhouse motif was certainly popular in 2019, but it doesn’t quite have the staying power of an industrial design. Next year, you’ll continue to see buyer’s seek out interior design elements like artisanal light fixtures, copper and metal hardware, concrete accents, and exposed brick.

Homes that already have these components incorporated will be a major plus—and while it’s a little tough to add brick walls and concrete accents if you don’t have them, there are other simple ways to industrialize your space!

Storage Space

A drawer filled with t-shirts.

As more and more buyers start moving towards smaller homes, efficient storage solutions become a high priority. In 2020, you can expect buyers to be on the hunt for homes that showcase their storage potential.

Built-in shelves along the wall, storage under the stairs, walk-in pantries—no matter your square footage, every inch counts. If you’re a seller, you can also use this to your advantage, staging your home in a way that emphasizes its efficient use of space. Think: a few extra storage cubes in your laundry room, a new shelving unit on an underused wall, or roll-out cubbies under your bed.

Green Features 

A light bulb sitting in green grass.

According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, green features have shot up to become one of the most sought-after features in a new home. In particular, over half of the survey respondents would invest nearly $10,000 for green features that would save them money, such as ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and windows, improved insulation, and efficient lighting. Other priorities included bettering the air quality in the home with things like dehumidification systems and electronic air cleaners.

If you’re planning to sell next year and have a little extra money to work with, consider making upgrades that’ll appeal to your buyers’ wallet.

Natural Finishes

A brick wall.

Next year, we’ll start seeing a move toward more unique homes, and nothing sets your space apart from the rest like natural features, including river rock, reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and steel accents. These elements don’t necessarily have to come with the home even—staging your space with a rustic wood bookcase or a contemporary geode end table will do the trick.

If you’re preparing your place for a showing or just need a few cohesive decorating tips, sprinkling plants and greenery can help balance out the heaviness of these natural elements.

Pastel Colors

A white chair in front of a Millenial Pink wall.

While 2019 may have been a year of bold colors, 2020 will usher in a muted era. Pastel shades like the popular Millennial Pink, Neo Mint, and Buxton Blue will be giving interiors a softer aura, reminiscent of 1970s-era home trends.

Additionally, accent walls have started slipping in favor, replaced instead by more strategic splashes of color, like painted doors and cabinets, two-tone walls, and accent furniture pieces.

Don’t Fall Behind in the Latest Real Estate Trends

Each year brings new fads to the real estate world, and keeping up with them plays a major role in impressing buyers. Need a little help staying in the know? We’ve got you covered! Follow along with our blog for the latest updates, and check out our specialized resources for all of your buying and selling needs.

Have a few more questions? We’re just a phone call away.

Here’s The #1 Reason to List Your Home this Winter

Do a little research on the best time to sell your home, and you might think that it won’t be worth it if you’re not listing in the spring or the summer. While every season has its own unique benefits, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

It is true that spring and summer are traditionally more active months for buyers…but that also means they’re more active months for sellers, too. That’s why there’s one major benefit to listing your home in the winter!

The #1 Reason to List in the Winter?

A home surrounded by snow in the winter.

You can avoid that extra selling competition! Just because winter isn’t quite as busy as other months doesn’t mean buyers are completely inactive. In fact, while there may be fewer buyers total, the ones shopping right now are more likely to be highly motivated to make an offer!

If you’re hoping to capitalize on that motivation and the decrease in competition that the season brings, then November through January is the perfect sweet spot for listing. With inventory low, your home becomes a hot commodity—and captures the attention of serious shoppers before the spring inventory hits.

Inventory Trends

Home inventory trends for winter sellers based on data from the National Association of Realtors.

Assuming this year follows suit with last year, then December is looking like the prime time to capitalize on limited competition. Last year, inventory dropped by nearly 200,000 homes from November to December, then ticked back up by almost 100,000 come January.

And it’s not just the decrease in competition—it’s all about supply and demand, and the limited inventory of homes in the winter brings potential for higher prices. An added bonus for this year’s sellers? Mortgage rates are continuing to hover near record lows, meaning more buyers than usual may be motivated to hit the market!

Want to Make the Most of Your Sale?

A miniature white house sitting on top of a table surrounded by winter decor.

One of the keys to a successful sale? Pricing your home right. Not only will the right price ensure that you’re making as much as possible, but it’ll also bring the right type of buyer through your door.

If you want to find the most accurate and competitive price for your home, just get in touch with Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®! Not only can we give you the most up-to-date number based on your home’s condition and local trends, but we’d also be more than happy to recommend a few value-boosting projects that can take your property to the next level.

List Your Home this Winter

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to wait until spring or summer to get top dollar for your home. The winter season is full of benefits for sellers that are just waiting to be capitalized on!

If you’re thinking of listing your home soon, let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With our years of local experience and vast array of resources, we’ll price your property, help you make it look its best, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Ready to get started? So are we. Just give us a call!

Helpful Tips for Selling Your Home during the Busy Holiday Season

Get ready to hang the lights, deck the halls, and spread some cheer—the holiday season is almost here! Juggling the holidays along with a home sale might be sound impossible (or at the very least, stressful), but we’re here to help you find the best way to balance both.

Here are our top 4 tips for navigating your home sale during the holiday season!

Use Decor to Your Advantage

Snowmen and twinkling lights set up as holiday decor for home sellers.

You don’t have to go all out with holiday decor, but a little seasonal warmth sprinkled here and there goes a long way! Hang some white lights along the staircase, add a wreath to the front door, and string some garland along the mantel. If you do opt for a tree, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t crowd the room—perhaps even consider a tabletop version.

Bonus tip: scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, so use that to your advantage to appeal to buyer nostalgia! Bake some cookies beforehand, warm up a pot of cider, or light a few seasonally scented candles.

Be Flexible with Showings

A welcome sign hanging outside of a home being sold.

While you’ll probably have a busy schedule over the next month or two, you should make sure it doesn’t affect your availability for buyers too much. One of the biggest reasons people hold off on selling during the holidays is because they can’t be around to prepare their home…but intentionally making room in your schedule will make the whole process much simpler!

If you usually host a holiday party, consider asking a friend or relative to step in for you. If you’re traveling, try not to be gone for too long, and make it clear to your agent and any potential buyers when you’ll be back.

Work with a Home Stager (or Get Tips from Your Agent)

A modern coffee table decorated by a home stager.

If you either: A.) really don’t have time to stage or B.) don’t want to take any risks on your home not looking its best, then working with a qualified home stager is a great option! You might be skeptical, but home stagers have been specially trained and certified to optimize your space with the right decor and furniture—which often leads to faster and more profitable sales.

It’ll also take one more stressful task off of your plate, giving you more time to plan for the upcoming festivities. If you want a few recommendations for home stagers, just give us a call. Of course, we can always do a walkthrough of your home and offer personalized tips and DIY projects, if you’d prefer that!

Practice Smart Marketing

Two women meeting over a marketing plan for holiday home sellers.

Marketing a home is the key to reeling in the right buyer. It’s even more important during the holiday season, since fewer—but more serious—buyers are on the hunt. That’s where working with an agent really comes in handy! You can sit back, relax, and plan for the holidays, while we take care of getting the word out about your home through our comprehensive marketing resources, including our website, social media platforms, local advertising, professional contacts, and more.

And, of course, we’ll crunch the numbers and do the research to ensure that your home is priced at the best number for your interests.

List Your Home this Holiday Season

Balancing a home sale and the holidays can be stressful…but not if you work with a professional! Enlist our help, and we’ll be around to carry some of your workload, reduce your stress, and sell your home for top dollar—and answer any and all of your questions along the way. Ready to list your home? We’re just a phone call away!

Online Home Searching is Good—But Here’s Why Using an Agent is Better

These days, it’s easier than ever before to search for a home online—and tons of buyers are doing it. In fact, 93% of buyers start their search on a website…but that doesn’t tell the full story. In addition to websites, 86% of buyers are also still using a real estate agent to find out more about homes for sale in the area.

So, with so much technology at our disposal, what is it about real estate agents that keeps people coming back?

 1. There’s More to Real Estate Than Finding a Home Online.

People pointing at homes for sale on a laptop screen.

Guess how many estimated steps you’ll take during the real estate process. Have a number in your head? It’s likely not high enough. In reality, there are around 230 possible actions that can take place in a successful real estate transaction, and the search process is just a drop in the bucket!

Touring homes, submitting an offer, getting in-depth info on a property, setting up an inspection—it’s a long list of to-dos, and not many of them can be taken care of online. You’ll want someone by your side who’s already been through it all!

2. Negotiations are Tricky.

People shaking hands in front of a white brick wall.

Want to save thousands on your home purchase? It’ll take some stiff negotiating. There are several places during a sale where there’s opportunity to open and reopen negotiations, from the initial offer, to the appraisal, to post-inspection. If you want to capitalize on the potential for a lower price, you’ll need to work with a real estate agent who knows exactly what to say and exactly when to say it.

3.  Your Offer Needs to Set You Apart.

People discussing an offer on a home.

You may not realize it now, but the offer you submit determines whether or not you make it to the seller’s next round of considerations. Are they offering a fair price? Should you offer over or under? Does it make sense compared to other local sales trends…or are they trying to get more than their home’s worth?

An offer is a lot more than just a number—it’s your entryway to the rest of the buying process. Working with a real estate agent who knows their way around market trends is the best way to confidently know that your offer is competitive enough.

Enlist the Help of Local Real Estate Agents

From the online search to the closing negotiations, you can trust Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® to be there through every step of your buying journey. Don’t go into your real estate experience underprepared—let us help you find your dream home for a dream price.

Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away!

The Numbers Are in… and Now’s a Great Time to Sell

This year’s real estate market has been shattering all sorts of expectations—and the latest numbers are no exception. While you might think that spring and summer are the most profitable seasons for selling, this fall has the potential to prove you wrong!

Here are the highlights from the  National Association of Realtors’ latest home-selling report.

Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market

A "For Sale" sign in the front yard of a home.

Before we dig into the numbers, it’s important to provide a little context as to what they mean.

Buyer’s and seller’s markets are primarily determined by the amount of inventory available. If there’s less than 6 months’ worth of homes for sale, then prices will go up, leading to a seller’s market. On the other hand, when inventory tops 7 months, price tend to depreciate and the market swings in the favor of buyers.

With that in mind, let’s get to the numbers!

Sales vs. Inventory

A key in front of a miniature model of a home.

While sales have gone up, the most important takeaway from the report is the inventory. At the end of August, the total housing inventory sunk by 2.6% to 1.86 million homes for sale.

Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3 month figure recorded last August, which represents a 4.1 month supply based on the current sales pace. With increased demand and limited supply, sellers are benefitting in major ways—namely, price increases.

Why the Increase in Buyer Activity?

People shaking hands over a real estate transaction.

Typically, buying slows down during the fall and winter months, but with mortgage rates remaining at near-record lows, it’s been hard to resist taking advantage of them. In fact, The Existing Home Sales Report also shows that 49% of properties were on the market for less than a month when they were sold.

The bottom line? If you’re planning on selling, now’s the perfect time to capitalize on ready, willing, and able buyers—and likely for a better price than usual.

List Your Home with Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to put off your home-selling plans until the spring or summer—the last few months of the year are shaping up to make for a stellar seller’s market.

Want to take advantage of these favorable conditions and sell your home before the end of the year? Then let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With hundreds of years of combined local experience, we have the resources, expertise, and skill-set to ensure that your property sells for top dollar! Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away.

Find Out Why More Than Half of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payments

True or false: if you’re buying a home, you need to have at least a 20% down payment? If you answered true, you aren’t alone—so did 62% of Americans.

But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth—and you don’t have put off your home-buying dreams just because you can’t come up with 20% down!

While a 20% down payment will help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), it isn’t some sort of home-buying hurdle that you must clear in order to buy. In fact, it’s far from the most common amount that U.S. buyers put down!

Here’s the truth about down payments—and why you shouldn’t let that 20% number prevent you from reaching your buying goals.

The Truth about Down Payments

A piggy bank standing against a white background.

According to NerdWallet’s 2019 Home Buyer Report, around 6 in 10 Americans think you need a 20% down payment in order to buy a house. Because of this, they also tend to think that it takes several years to come up with the necessary funds for buying.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking unnecessarily postpones plenty of people’s home-buying dreams!

The truth? The most common down payment amount—put forward by around 32% of buyers—was just 5% or less. Put that in terms of concrete amounts, and it translates to just $7,500 on a $150,000 home or $15,000 on a $300,000 home.

Other Common Down Payment Amounts

A single dollar bill sitting on a wooden surface.

While 5% or less is the most common down payment amount, it’s still just one of the many options that buyers choose. Here’s how the rest of the numbers break down:

  • 16% of buyers put down 6 – 10%
  • 23% of buyers put down 11 – 20%
  • 18% of buyers put down more than 20%
  • 10% of buyers bought their home outright

A 20% down payment is a great goal, but you don’t have to feel locked into that amount! Instead, consider how much money you’d feel comfortable with putting down, then work from there.

Buyers are Optimistic

A woman packing up her home and writing on a cardboard box.

Despite prevailing misconceptions about down payments, buyers are still feeling optimistic about the market. Around 42% of Americans feel better about their home-buying prospects this year, which is up almost 20% from last year.

Additionally, 44% of people say that the current economic and political conditions make them more likely to buy in the next year, which is around a 10% increase from last year.

Long story short? Now’s a great time to buy!

Find Your Dream Triangle Home

Buying a home is major step, so it’s important that you have trusted and experienced professionals on your side. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 300 years of combined real estate experience, making us well-equipped to provide you with everything you need to find home-buying success.

Take some time to explore our resources for home-buyers, learn a little more about what our past clients have to say, and use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options. Once you’re ready to get started, we’d love to talk details!

The Top 5 Exterior Areas to Fix up Before Listing Your Home this Fall

You’ve probably heard that spring and summer are the best times to sell your home, and we’ll be honest: they do have their perks. But with mortgage rates remaining low and motivated buyers steadily flowing into the market, this fall is shaping up to be a pretty profitable selling season.

If you’re gearing up to list your home soon, then you’ll need to pay extra attention to your outdoor areas. Here are the top five spaces to give a little TLC to before you sell!

The Lawn

An old rake leaning against the wall of a home.

Once you’ve raked up the leaves, you might think your lawn is all taken care of. But there’s much more to fall lawn care than bagging up leaves! If temperatures haven’t majorly dropped by the time you list, you’ll need to keep mowing your lawn—it’ll continue growing until the first hard frost.

If you’ve got a few bare spots in your yard, fall is also the perfect time for over-seeding! Since the ground is relatively warm but the sun isn’t quite as powerful as in the summer, growing conditions are better than ever. Just be sure you’re providing your lawn with plenty of water, and those sparse spots should start to fill in.

The Garden

Pumpkins and gourds sitting on a table.

Since you’re planning a move, you probably don’t want to start planting new veggies, but there are other ways to give your garden a fresh look. First, you’ll want to make sure all of your leftover plants from spring and summer are cleared out, and your plot is weed-free. Once that’s taken care of, it’s time for the fun part!

Picked up a few pumpkins or gourds from the farmers’ market? Set them out near your doorstep. Need a home for a scarecrow or two? Give them a perch on either side of the garden. You can fill in any blank space with potted plants like mums or sunflowers or a decorative holiday banner!

The Roof 

Leaves in a gutter.

With trees shedding leaves and dead branches, you’ve probably got a decent amount of brush and foliage dotting your roof. Now’s the time to pull out the ladder and do a clean sweep. Plus, it’s the perfect chance to get a look at the condition of your shingles and see if any need replacing!

While you’re up there, be sure to sweep out your gutters, as well. There’s a good chance the extra debris has them more clogged up than usual, which could lead to flooding or exterior damage. Clearing them out will prevent any issues, and show buyers that you go the extra mile in maintaining your home.

The Porch

Fall decor including a wreath, potted plants, and gourds, all placed around a small bench.

The crowning glory of your home’s exterior, the porch should act as the first taste of what the inside of the home has to offer. You want to strike the perfect balance between warm and welcoming and clean and clutter-free!

First, take care of spiffing the space up by sweeping the floors, ringing out the welcome mat, and dusting off any outdoor furniture. If you have one too many chairs or a crowded collection of potted plants, you should remove some of the clutter.

Then, add a little character! Put a few pumpkins by door, set out a scented candle or two, swap out your porch light for a warmer wattage, and update your throw pillows—just be careful not to overdo it. Since your porch space is likely relatively small, a little goes a long way.

The Front Door

A welcome sign and a small wreath on a white front door.

It’s only a small portion of your exterior, but if you play your cards right, your front door can be one of the most eye-catching parts of your home. Nothing draws attention like a fresh coat of paint, so you should consider picking a shade that pops and matches your siding—like a warm red or a bold blue. At the very least, you should use furniture wax or dish soap to scrub out the dinginess.

Once you’ve revamped your door, it’s time to accessorize! Since it’s fall, you should be able to easily find a seasonal wreath to hang. If you really want to go the extra mile, think about replacing your house number or knocker with some shiny new hardware.

Need a Few More Tips?

If you want to make sure your home is staged to impress—in all areas—then we can help. In addition to our home-staging resources, we’d also be more than happy to do a walkthrough of your home and recommend a few personalized decor suggestions or DIY improvements.

From helping you stage to navigating closing, we’ll be there to help you through the selling process, every step of the way. Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away!

Your Latest Course in Homebuying: The 5 Acronyms You Need to Know

You might think that since you’ve put some distance between now and high school and college, your days of memorizing vocabulary and learning new definitions is long gone. But if you’re buying a home, then you’re going to want to dust off those skills and start studying up.

Real estate comes with its own confusing jargon, and knowing what each term means makes you all-the-more prepared to tackle the process. Here are the top five homebuying acronyms that you should add to your vocabulary!

APR

Calculator

APR, or annual percentage rate, represents the annual cost of borrowing money based on your loan amount, interest rate, and other specific fees. The calculations for APR are a little confusing, but there are plenty of online calculators that can help you figure out what the number might look like for you!

FRM

FRM stands for fixed-rate mortgage, which is one of the most common types of mortgage. Luckily, this one pretty much means what it sounds like: with FRM, your interest rate will not change during the entire term of your loan.

DTI

A credit card.

One of the most important aspects of your finances that a lender looks at is your DTI, or debt-to-income ration. Your DTI is calculated by measuring your total monthly income against your total monthly debt payments. Ideally, you’d want to have around a 36% DTI.

PMI

If you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you’ll have to pay PMI, or private mortgage insurance. This acts as an added safeguard for lenders who work with you by ensuring that they’ll be protected from losses if you default on loan payments. Once you’ve paid off around 80% of your home, you’ll no longer have to pay PMI.

P & I

People at a bank.

P & I is just a fancy way of saying principal and interest, which are the portions of your monthly mortgage payment that go towards paying off the money you borrowed to purchase your home.

Ace Your Real Estate Experience

Of course, these five acronyms aren’t the only ones that’ll come up during your buying journey—but we’ll be around to make sure you can handle any other letter combinations that get thrown your way.

At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we’ve been working in the Raleigh real estate world for years, and we’d be more than happy to leverage our experience to your benefit. Get to know a little more about what we bring to the table, explore our resources for buyers, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started!