Discover more about our team
Your home is more than the walls surrounding you, it’s the heart of your family. The decision to buy or sell your home is emotional and can be both exciting and overwhelming. The Andy Blake Group can relate – and we have the tools and resources to make the transition into your new home seamless. As a team, we understand that your needs change with each stage of life.
Our goal is to provide individualized, high-quality, professional service to you and your family. With a combined 35 years of experience, the Andy Blake Group has built a foundation of trust with our clients and will continue to work with enthusiasm, integrity and passion. Year after year, we continue to be in the top .5% of realtors in the Kansas City metro area. And we are committed to providing our clients with a great experience before, during and after each real estate transaction.
Our team was created with expertise in mind and we are proud to have the following dedicated professionals on our team tending to every detail: marketing & advertising expert, professional photographer & home stager, professional designer, social media coordinator and a transaction/contract administrator. We would be honored to be a part of your home selling and buying process and look forward to working with you.
The Andy Blake Group
Housing Expectations for 2019
The NAR publishes some great data every year in regards to housing expectations.
Existing Home Sales:
Median Home Prices:
Potential Speed Bumps
Increasing Inventory Supply
Slowing Home Appreciation
Waning consumer confidence
* MANY REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
All indications are that we have a housing shortage. If you look at population growth and job growth, it is clear that we are not producing enough houses. This is often a local issue, not a national one, so NAR has created a website where local associations and Realtors® can go for information on how to advocate for increased supply in their communities.
7 Things to consider before buying a home
Buying a home is a big decision to make, and can have an impact on a variety of areas of your life. Here’s our top 7 of our best suggestions to consider before committing to a purchase.
Before you buy, strengthen your credits score
Remember, higher credit scores will have lower down and monthly payments. This can represent tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the course of a mortgage.
Determine how much home you can afford, first
Buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. Prior to looking at homes, speak with a reputable loan originator who can pre-qualify you.
Know where you want to be
Think about your lifestyle, and how it is now. How it might be in 5-10 years? Will the location or property you are interested in still be adequate in that timeframe?
Don't buy if you can't stay put
If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet.
Carefully review your offers and counter offers
Make sure you understand all facets of the offer to purchase, and any counter offers you may receive from a seller. Speak with your buyers agent about any questions you have.
Get a home inspection
A home inspector will provide you a detailed report of the property condition and outline repair recommendations. Get this ordered early so you have time to carefully review the condition of the home prior to removing contingencies.
Make sure you love your buyers agent
A great buyers agent can take the stress out of a home purchase. The goal is to ensure you find the perfect property, get the best possible deal, and enjoy a worry free experience for the entirety of your purchase transaction.
Purchasing a property VS Renting
Which fits your style? Here’s a breakdown of some of the differences that effect whether it’s the right time for you to buy a home. Take a look at some of the categories, and ask yourself which side you fall under.
Reasons to rent:
I will be in my home for less than 3-5 years.
I want to stay mobile or flexible.
I don’t have time for home maintenance.
My credit score is below 720.
I don’t have enough money for a downpayment and closing fees.
Reasons to buy:
I will be in my home for more than 3-5 years.
I want to start building home equity.
I have time and energy for home maintenance.
I have little/no debt, and good credit.
I do have money saved for a home purchase and repairs.
8 Steps to buying a home
Purchasing a home can be quite easy. If this is your first time you will find that there are only a handful of key decisions to make in order to hold the keys to your own home.
Real Estate Agent
Select a professional and trusted buyer’s agent.
Work with your lender to decide the right loan type.
Shop for the perfect properties to write an offer on.
Get an accepted offer on a property.
Complete all inspections, disclosures & terms.
Fund the loan
Work with your lender to complete the loan funding process.
Close escrow with the seller on your new home and ENJOY!
What you don’t know about credit
You‘ll need a credit report to make sure your score and reporting are accurate. Work directly with a lender on your credit score. They can help provide recommendations, work with scoring agencies, and improve your score when you obtain your loan.
General Guidelines when it comes to a loan
Good credit matters
Higher credit scores have lower borrowing costs.
Focus on your credit score long before your loan.
Improve your score
Credit score differences add up to thousands of dollars.
Pay down debts
Pay close attention to your debt to income ratio.
How your credit score effects you
SLEEP ON THE COUCH
MUCH BETTER TERMS
Mimium score for a loan with good terms with low fees.
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Best loan programs and lowest borrowing costs on the market.
Other useful information
Points and Rate on a mortgage:
Borrowing money costs money. Loans require interest, which can be paid over time, or up front as additional points. Paying the interest ahead of time results in a lower overall monthly payment. This requires up front cash and is not a payment towards principal. Paying additional points is only recommended for purchases where ownership is long term.
You don’t need a 20% down payment:
Traditional loans requiring 20% down are no longer your only options. Plenty of public and private lenders off er a variety of loan programs that can provide you a great loan with as little as 3% down. First-time homebuyers have additional state and federal programs available.
Why you need a buyers agent
Purchasing a home actually involves a lot of legal contractual knowledge, organization and negotiating skill. Don’t jump into any deal without consulting an expert buyers agent who can get you the best possible results.
An experienced advocate
A right agent can help with your purchase as well as recommend other trusted professionals.
A local Realtor® will help you navigate the requirements of a written offer, as well as the complexities of closing of escrow.
Maximize your investment
Home upgrades, repairs, and resale questions can be investigated anytime.
Your agent understands factors that impact you, and can provide advice on when, and how to purchase.
You can still continue to communicate with your agent long after the close of escrow.
An expert in your desired neighborhoods will provide important details you may not know.
What not to do when buying a home
It is incredibly easy to mismanage funds or your alter credit and doing so during the loan and escrow period can greatly impact your both your borrowing costs and can even keep you from funding the loan in some cases.
Don’t apply for a new Credit Card
Don‘t apply for any unsecured debt if possible during the loan and escrow period.
Don’t go furnish the home before you own it
Nothing is set in stone until close of escrow. Do not make plans that cannot be cancelled if the deal fails to close.
Don’t buy a new car
This will alter your debt to income ratio. Changes to your credit score of even a few points can mean thousands in fees.
Avoid changing jobs
Lenders are looking to see that you can show proof of job security. That new opportunity may need to wait.
Don’t close any credit accounts
A significant portion of your score is how much available credit you have. Always leave open credit available to you.
Don’t get behind on any monthly payments
Make sure you stay on top of your credit card, car and any other monthly payments.
Don’t move money without a paper trail
You will need to provide your lender documentation of your finances. This will include things like savings accounts, or investments.
Don’t spend your savings
Your lender will want to see that you have something set aside for a rainy day. Do not spend capital you have set aside for loan approval prior to loan funding.
The home inspection
For a new resale home purchases, aprofessional home inspection is recommended. The inspection will include but ay not be limited to the items outlined below.
Roof and Attic
Don‘t expect the report to catch every minor defect. The inspector is looking for serious problems that require repair, or will lead to serious problems if a repair is not completed in a reasonable time-frame.
Pass or fail?
A home inspection is just a report of the repairs recommended for the property. It is not a pass or fail test. However, some lenders do require certain repairs be completed in order to fund the loan.
Handling the repairs found in a home inspection
A completed report can have an effect on the purchase price, your interest in the property, and which repairs need to be addressed prior to close of escrow. The seller may be willing to negotiate terms, and your lender may or may not require some repairs be completed in order to fund your loan.
Choosing the right inspector
Home inspections can vary by company, as well as by inspectors individually. Always use a trusted recommendation for a professional that will give you the information you need.
The day of the inspection, be present with your buyers agent and the inspector. This will help you understand the items that appear on the report, and will give you an opportunity to see the home through the eyes of an objective third party expert.
Contract to close
Once your offer is accepted, the buyers agent will help coordinate with everyone needed to make sure purchase requirements and all quoted time frames are met.
This is a deposit that shows you are serious about the purchase. It is held in the escrow account, and is non-refundable after contingencies are waived.
The inspection period will be specified in your accepted offer. During this time all property inspections, disclosures from the seller, and repair negotiations must take place.
Approval for your loan will require an appraisal. Your lender will send a neutral third party to prepare a determination of it’s current market value.
Obtain homeowner's insurance
Homeowners insurance is often required to obtain your loan. you may already do business with an insurance broker, or you may elect to use one recommended to you.
A home warranty id recommended for all at least the first 2 years of home ownership. The first year can often be negotiated to be paid by the seller during the escrow period.
Title Insurance protects you the lender from the possibility that the title is not free and clear. It is typically a requirement for the loan.
Just before close of escrow, a final walk-through of the home will be conducted by you and the agent. This is a check to ensure the condition of the property has not changed.
The settlement statement
You will want to double check the settlement statement carefully for the various items you’ll need to pay for at closing. Have a check ready for the amount required.
Closing day is usually straightforward. You will typically need to bring blank checks, your drivers license, and meet at the title company. Your homeownership awaits!
After the closing
Despite closing escrow marking the end of the property purchase process, it also marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Keeping in touch with the agent allows you to continue to use this value able resource of information whenever you need.
An ongoing relationship with my clients
A fantastic agent focuses on a continuing relationship that offers you convenience, opportunity and value. You can always rely on your agent after the closing to help you answer questions about home ownership, provide resources, offer advice, and provide tools to ensure your home ownership experience is a positive one.
Your referrals are key!
Maintaining an ongoing client relationship is just part of an overall commitment to provide a level of service well above and beyond expectations. Your agent relies on word of mouth referrals for additional business, and good referrals allow the agent to devote more time to helping clients and less time to finding them. If your experience is amazing, be sure to tell your friends!
Ask a question
If you have a question, we would love to help answer it. We love working with buyers and helping them purchase their dream homes. If you’re looking to conduct your home search soon and find a new residence, please get in touch via the form below.