Sometimes I’m in appointments with people who are struggling to figure out what to do with their home. They’re unsure whether they should sell, rent, or stay in their house. I like going over each option with them. What does it mean if you rent it, what are you going to get in rent, does that cover the mortgage, is there any extra money there? What does it mean if you’re going to sell it, how much money are you getting out of it, where are you going to move?
Occasionally people are in a position where they owe more than they can sell it for and they have to consider a short sale. We do many short sales, and I love helping people who are in a difficult situation and don’t know what they want to do. We lay out all your options and hopefully help you gauge what’s best. You don’t have to figure out your next step alone.
If you or anyone you know needs some guidance about your options, we’d be glad to assist you. Please give us a call or send us an email. Also, contact us if you have any questions about real estate. We’re happy to help.
Some agents charge fees on top of their commission. I’ve heard of agents charging transaction fees, cancellation fees, and even fees for photos. Before you decide who the best agent is, you need to know what you’re going to be charged.
Like our team, some agents simply charge you a commission with no additional fees. Because we aren’t charging you these fees, we don’t get paid until you sell your property.
As a homebuyer, when you get to the closing table, you’ll need to pay closing costs to complete the purchase of your home. The good news is, there are ways to reduce those closing costs.
For example, you can ask the seller to provide a closing cost credit. In reality, you’re wrapping those costs into your mortgage, but it still reduces what you’ll have to pay at the closing table.
You can also elect to close at the end of the month (or as close to the end of the month as you can). If you close on the 6th you will have to cover 24 or 25 days of prepaid interest. If you were to close on the 28th you would only have to pay two or three days. The closer to the end of the month you close the less money you will need to bring to the table because you will pay less in prepaid interest.
Lastly, if you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the Armed Forces, you can get benefits through your VA loan.
If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 18, 2019Comment
The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for the release of their Confidence Index.
The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices, and market conditions.
Homes across the country are selling quickly, in an average of just 31 days.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 17, 2019Comment
No one knows for sure when the next recession will occur. What is known, however, is that the upcoming economic slowdown will not be caused by a housing market crash, as was the case in 2008. There are those who disagree and are comparing today’s real estate market to the market in 2005-2006, which preceded the crash. In many ways, however, the market is very different now. Here are three suppositions being put forward by some, and why they don’t hold up.
A critical warning sign last time was the surging gap between the growth in home prices and household income. Today, home values have also outpaced wage gains. As in 2006, a lack of affordability will kill the market.
The “gap” between wages and home price growth has existed since 2012. If that is a sign of a recession, why didn’t we have one sometime in the last seven years? Also, a buyer’s purchasing power is MUCH GREATER today than it was thirteen years ago. The equation to determine affordability has three elements: home prices, wages, AND MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES. Today, the mortgage rate is about 3.5% versus 6.41% in 2006.
In 2018, as in 2005, housing-price growth began slowing, with significant...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 16, 2019Comment
If you’re searching for a home online, you’re not alone; lots of people are doing it. The question is, are you using all of your available resources, and are you using them wisely? Here’s why the Internet is a great place to start the home-buying process, and the truth on why it should never be your only go-to resource when it comes to making such an important decision.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the three most popular information sources home buyers use in the home search are:
Online website (93%)
Real estate agent (86%)
Mobile/tablet website or app (73%)
Clearly, you’re not alone if you’re starting your search online; 93% of home buyers are right there with you. The even better news: 86% of buyers are also getting their information from a real estate agent at the same time.
Here are 3 top reasons why using a real estate professional in addition to a digital search is key:
1. There’s More to Real Estate Than Finding a Home Online. It’s...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 15, 2019Comment
You’ve likely heard a ton about Millennials, but what about Gen Z? In the next 5 years, this generation will be between the ages of 23 and 28, and they’re eager to become homeowners faster than you may think.
According to realtor.com, “Nearly 80 percent of Generation Z members say they want to own a home before age 30,” and Concentrix Analytics said, “52% of prospective Gen Z buyers are already saving to buy a home.”
Wikipedia defines Generation Z (Gen Z) as “the demographic cohort after the Millennials. Demographers and researchers typically use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years.”
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 14, 2019Comment
The best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The latest Existing-Home Sales Report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals that demand for housing continues to be strong, but the supply is struggling to keep pace. With this trend likely continuing throughout 2020, now is a great time to sell your house.
THE EXISTING-HOME SALES REPORT
The most important data revealed in this report was not actually sales. In reality, it was the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:
Total housing inventory at the end of August decreased 2.6% to 1.86 million homes available for sale.
Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3-month figure recorded in August 2018.
This represents a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 10, 2019Comment
In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.
We are, however, in anything but a “normal market” right now. The media is full of stories about an impending recession, a trade war with China, and constant political upheaval. Each of these potential situations could dramatically impact the real estate market. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’
A Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region – some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.
They are much more than just guides.
This is much more than a normal real estate market.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 9, 2019Comment
Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau,shared the biggest determinants of wealth,
“The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below):
This does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 8, 2019Comment
While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 7, 2019Comment
According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report’ conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market:
“More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.”
When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say,
“The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.” (as shown below):
2. Pending Home Sales (contracts signed) are up with each of the four major regions reporting both month-over-month growth and year-over-year gains in contract activity. Here is the month-over-month growth:
The Northeast rose 0.7%
The Midwest increased 0.6%
The South increased 1.4%
The West grew 3.1%
3. Buyer Traffic (the number of people shopping for a home) is up compared to the same time last year, and for the first time in 13 months.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 2, 2019Comment
As a homeowner, it’s important to keep your home running efficiently, not only to save money, but also to help the environment thrive. October 2nd is Energy Efficiency Day, a perfect time to think about making some key upgrades that will improve the efficiency of your home. If you’re looking to sell your house and increase the pool of potential buyers in your market, the upgrades below are truly a must.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / October 1, 2019Comment
You made an offer and it was accepted. Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents often recommend you make your offer contingent upon a clean home inspection.
This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you offered for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or in some cases, walk away if challenges arise. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
How to Choose an Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors they’ve worked with in the past to recommend to you. HGTV suggests you consider the following five areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
1. Qualifications – Find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
2. Sample Reports – Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. In most cases, the more detailed the report, the better.
3. References – Do your homework. Ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to discuss their...
How would you like to pay off your mortgage faster? Doesn’t freeing yourself from the monthly payments sound like a dream come true? Of course it does. Today I’ll share a few quick tips to help you reduce the life of your loan.
Right now, most pay their mortgage once a month. But what if, instead, you made a payment every two weeks? If your monthly payment is $2,000, that amounts to $24,000 a year. Now, if you pay it off every two weeks, you’ll end up paying $26,000 a year. The extra payments will go toward your principal.
Another option you have is putting more money towards the principal every month. Just add a little extra money each month, whatever you can spare, be it $100, $200, $300, or $400.
You’ll be able to pay off the loan faster and pay less in interest....
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / September 30, 2019Comment
The price of any item is determined by supply, as well as the market’s demand for the item. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.
Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).
The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that...