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October
30

At Progressive Urban Real Estate, we feel it is important when buying a home that several measures are taken before beginning the search. As the next step in our 5 Steps to Home Ownership, here is a list of steps to follow when getting pre-approval for purchasing a home. We also will provide you with some tips and tricks for getting the best rate and improve your chances of getting pre-approved.

  • Speak with lenders for pre-approval. Start researching lenders and reaching out for rates. Ask your Progressive Urban Realtor if they can give you lender recommendations for the type of property and area that you are looking.   
  • Compare interest rates and fees. Small differences in interest rates offered by lenders can make a significant difference in the amount that you pay over the life of the loan.  Lender fees and closing costs should also be factored into your decision. Make sure to ask if your loan will require mortgage insurance, what that will cost per month and if there is a way to avoid it.  
  • Look for lenders with special programs. First Time Home-buyer loans, zero percent down payment loans, lender contributions toward closing costs or local programs such as the Greater Circle Living; an employer assisted housing program created to encourage eligible employees of University Circle institutions to live near work which give grants for employees who purchase, rent, or repair homes in the target area.
  • Get your documents together. Lenders will check your income, assets, debts and credit history to see whether you should be preapproved for a mortgage. Here is what you need for preapproval:
    • W-2 forms from your employer for the previous two years
    • Current pay stubs
    • Federal income tax returns for the previous two years
    • Bank statements for the previous two months
    • Identification, such as a driver's license

Progressive Urban's Professional Tips and Tricks

Just because you receive a pre-approval from one lender does not mean that you need to use that lender for your loan.  If you find a program that better fits your needs then switching to another lender may be the best route to take.

How to improve your chances of getting preapproved:

  • Fix errors on your credit report
  • Pay down debt
  • Pad your savings account

Have questions or need guidance with choosing your mortgage lender? Ask your Realtor! The Realtors at Progressive Urban are more than happy to help you.

October
24

At Progressive Urban Real Estate, we feel it is important when buying a home that several measures are taken before beginning the search. As the next step in our 5 Steps to Home Ownership, we put together a list of items to consider when preparing your finances for purchasing a home. 

  • How much can you afford each month? This number includes - your monthly mortgage payment, taxes, home insurance, utilities etc. - to name a few. Progressive Urban's expert agents also recommend taking a look at all potential expenses to get a really good idea of the monthly amount you are able to afford.
  • How much money are you willing or able to use for a down payment? Depending on the loan buyers need to have 3½% to 20% of the home purchase price for the down payment. There are also closing costs associated with buying a home that can be up to 6% of the purchase price.  Ask your Progressive Urban agent about special loan programs that have a 0% down payment or that give you money towards your closing costs.  
  • Have you recently made any big changes financially? Any changes, like switching jobs or taking out a car loan, can negatively affect you when looking for a home loan.  
  • How is your credit? Knowing your credit is an important step in the home buying process. Better credit can lead to better rates and better terms for your loan. If your score is lower you still may be able to qualify for an FHA, federally insured loan, but if your credit is bad you will need to improve it before you are ready to buy a home!  
  • Are you buying a fixer upper? This type of home is likely to require additional funds for immediate repairs that goes beyond the initial down payment, closing costs, and monthly mortgage payments. A lender will want to see that you are able to complete the repairs and will most likely require a purchase/rehab loan in which the purchase and repairs are combined into the loan.

Ask your Progressive Urban agent if there are any special incentives in the area you are considering.  These incentives might include the following:

  • Tax abatement
    • Not sure what tax abatement is? With tax abatement improvements to a property will not be taxed for a certain number of years.
  • Reduced rate financing
  • Help for closing costs
  • Reduced down payment requirements

Most importantly when organizing your finances before beginning your home search? Consult your Progressive Urban Real Estate agent! Our agents are experts in their field and extremely knowledgeable about the home buying process.  The end goal is to help you find the best home fit for your needs at a price that fits your lifestyle.

October
17

Following last week's 5 Steps to Home Ownership with expertise from Progressive Urban real estate agent, Sara Olson, we wanted to take a deeper look at each of the core steps to buying a home in the city of Cleveland and the first suburbs. When buying a home, sometimes the hardest decision can be who you trust to help you along the way. 

At Progressive Urban Real Estate, we believe in making that decision easy for you with your Progressive Urban agent helping guide you through the market. Our agent's expertise will help to ensure you are getting the right home, at the right price all while paying attention to details of the purchasing process. We understand that purchasing a home is more than a roof with walls, its an investment into your future. We are confident that your realtor will be able to make the entire home shopping process as easy as possible. Here are a few reasons to work with a Progressive Urban Real Estate agent. 

We are the experts! Founded in 1986, Progressive Urban has over 30 years of experience marketing properties in the City of Cleveland and the First Suburbs. The agents at PURE have been working in this market longer than any other agency and truly understand what makes Cleveland's real estate market valuable.

We live where we sell. Our company headquarters is located in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood and many of the skilled realtors at Progressive Urban live within the city of Cleveland and the first suburbs. We believe in the value of the communities that we work in and what those communities have to offer.

We believe in the Urban Lifestyle! Progressive Urban Real Estate has assisted thousands of buyers and sellers to purchase and market homes. Our efforts have contributed to the growth and redevelopment of the central city and the First Suburbs. We are strong advocates of urban revitalization and we understand your desire for neighborhood living.

Progressive Urban Real Estate is a full-service, entrepreneurial real estate company committed to providing quality service to our clients, and helping to improve the quality of life in the City of Cleveland and the First Suburbs. When the time comes for you to either buy or sell a home, trust the agents at Progressive Urban to assist you in your process. Visit our website to get to know the agents of Progressive Urban Real Estate!

October
9

To make the pre-home buying process simpler, we asked one of our Progressive Urban Real Estate experts, Sara Olson, to share some steps to owning a home. She provided us with her 5 expert steps to becoming a homeowner:

  1. Hire a realtor! Your Progressive Urban realtor will help guide you through the market by using their expertise to ensure you are getting the right home, at the right price all while paying attention to details of the purchasing process. The realtors at Progressive Urban understand that purchasing a home is more than a roof with walls, its an investment into your future. We are confident that your realtor will be able to make the entire home shopping process as easy as possible. Visit our website to get to know the agents of Progressive Urban Real Estate!
  2. Get those fun finances in order. Save, save, save! Buying a home comes with a lot of expenses in addition to the down payment including the home inspection fee or any immediate house repairs once you do find the perfect home. The more financially prepared you are, the better. And do not forget to check your credit! This will come in handy when searching for a mortgage lender.
  3. Speak with lenders for pre-approval. Compare interest rates and look for special programs such as First Time Home-buyer loans or local programs such as the Greater Circle Living; an employer assisted housing program created to encourage eligible employees of Greater University Circle institutions to live near work which helps employees purchase, rent, or repair homes in Greater University Circle. Have questions or need guidance with choosing your mortgage lender? Ask your realtor! The realtors at Progressive Urban are more than happy to help you. 
  4. Identify your needs vs. wants in a home. How many bedrooms do you need? What size yard is ideal for you? Is a basement or garage important to you? Make sure most of these questions have been answered before you start your home buying process to ensure that the homes you are viewing best fit within your criteria.
  5. Pound the pavement! Contact your realtor at Progressive Urban Real Estate to set up daily home listing emails and to schedule some viewings to begin the process of finding your dream home. 

Follow these simple steps before starting the home buying process to help your search run smoothly. In need of a real estate agent? Visit our website to connect with an agent today.

October
3

Looking to make the move to the Cleveland area? We put together a few reasons why buying in Cleveland is an excellent investment opportunity to help buyers solidify their decision to move here. Or maybe you aren't sure where you want to move but know that you'd like to live somewhere with an amazing food scene, affordable housing, and tons of outdoor activities all year round. Here is a list of just a few of our favorite reasons here at Progressive Urban as to why we think that the Cleveland area is one of the best places to buy a home. 

Affordability - It really does not get much simpler than this. To provide some basic numeric information on home prices in the Cleveland area versus home prices across the country, here are some numbers to showcase Cleveland's affordability in even the most popular of neighborhoods. According to Zillow, the median home listing price for all of the United States is nearly 2.5x greater than the media home listing price in the greater Cleveland area in addition to 1.5x greater than downtown Cleveland, 1.13x greater than the city of Lakewood, and about 1.5x greater than the Edgewater neighborhood.  

Lots to do! The Cleveland area is a popular location for events and festivals including the seasonal annual concert series' at both Euclid Beach Park and Edgewater Beach in addition to the annual Garlic Festival, Waterloo Arts Fest, Cleveland National Air Show, Cleveland Feast of the Assumption, and the annual Cleveland St. Patrick's day parade. Other events include Cleveland Scene's annual Ale Fest, Taste of Summer, Burning River Festival, Ingenuity Fest, Brite Winterfest, the Bourbon & Bacon Festival, and a variety of outdoor concerts all over the city. In addition to an abundance of annual events, Cleveland's parks and recreation spaces provide fun outdoor activities such as kayaking, swimming, sand-volleyball, boating, sailing, and paddleboarding.  and add boating and sailing

Lakefront access - In recent years, the city of Cleveland has done a ton of work on the lakefront access points to make the water more accessible and enjoyable. These projects include a new pier at Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland's North Collinwood neighborhood, the E. 9th Pier, and Edgewater Beach and Park's Beach House; an enhanced beach-vibe featuring made-to-order beachside fare and treats and a seasonal outdoor bar with the best view in town.

Parks, parks, parks! In addition to lakefront parks and beaches within the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metroparks owns and maintains 18 reservations spanning more than 23,000 acres with more than 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, eight lakefront parks and a nationally-acclaimed zoo in Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township. Many of the parks are within the Cleveland area including the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, the Towpath; which runs south all the way to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Wendy Park.

Amazing food - Cleveland has an incredible food scene with tons of great restaurants, bakeries, cafes, food trucks, and more. With neighborhood developments continuously on the rise, Cleveland's food offerings are only growing. The city is a hot spot for an assortment of cultures providing locals with a wide variety of food offerings to fit almost everyone's needs. Additionally, the city is well known for its breweries which are scattered all over the city. Brewery tours are an excellent activity for those beer lovers that want the opportunity to visit a number of local spots.

Arts & Culture - The city is a hub for arts and culture with arts districts including the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood, the Gordon Square Arts District, and the Waterloo Arts District. In addition to the neighborhood arts districts, the University Circle is a center for arts and culture. The area is home to nationally recognized museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Art Cleveland as well as the Natural History Museum and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

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