Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 27, 2020

Forbearance Information

I just wanted to post a resource so you can understand what a mortgage forbearance is before you take that route.  I know it sounds like a good idea now, but paying back all those missed payments can be an issue later on. If you can continue to pay, I would highly suggest you keep everything as current as you can so you do not have any issues later on down the line when the banks what the missed payments. 

FORBEARANCE INFORMATION

March 10, 2020

What Inspectors should I have inspect my home

When I am purchasing a home, what inspectors should I have come check it out.  

I always recommend starting out with a good general home inspector so they can give the entire property a once over.  From there, they will point out any defects they see and any areas that we may need to address further.  Most inspectors can give you some info on what they found, but it is best to then set up a specific inspector for whatever item there is an issue with. 

Should the inspector see some issues with the roof, it is best to then have a roof inspector come and check out the findings and give us his rundown on what is going on and how severe it may be.  It is always in your best interest to have a specific tradesperson out here to make sure you know all there is to know so you know how to proceed.

On older homes, it is also best to have the sewer line to the street scoped by a plumber to ensure there are no issues.  Many times, the trees in the area will penetrate the line with their roots and can cause a collapse that will be very pricey to repair.  Many homeowners will get it snaked out to clear the roots from time to time but eventually it will need to be replaced.

Always review your inspection report with your agent to ensure you are not missing anything important and can get the other inspectors to the house if need be and to also put together a repair request that adequately reflects the issues you have discovered. 

March 5, 2020

Movie/Tv home exteriors

I always love to check out movie/tv homes whenever I am out and about on a lazy weekend...  Here is the home exterior used for The Golden Girls tv show which I just love! 

This is on my list of places to drive by and check out on a nice weekend coming up! 

245 N. Saltair Ave. in Brentwood

Posted in Fun Things
March 4, 2020

When Can I Lock in my Rate?

When you are looking to purchase a home, you will talk to a lender about a comfortable budget and how much you can spend when you purchase a home.  That is based on the interest rate at the time you apply for the loan and as time progresses, the rate may change as you are searching for a home.

Once you have an accepted contract, you will then have the option to lock in the rate.  If you choose to not lock in right away, you can float the rate, which means it stays at market.  If the market goes up, then the rate goes up, if the market goes down, then the rate goes down.... so there is a bit of a risk.  

Most times, once you have the opportunity to lock and you are comfortable with that rate and payment, you should lock in so there are no surprises.  I would be terrible if you were to float it and then find out the rates went up reducing your purchasing power and then lose the house. 

Naturally, the lender you are working with will explain all of this too you and keep you informed so you can make the best decision when the time comes. 

 

 

Feb. 24, 2020

How Much Do I Pay An Agent To Buy A House?

When you are looking to purchase a home, you generally do not pay anything to the agent.

In most home sales, there is usually an agent that represents the seller and one that represents the buyer in the transaction.

The agent representing the seller charges them a fee to market, advertise etc, the home while they are working to sell it.  The home is also listed in the MLS and other systems that will get it local and national exposure.  The fee that the seller agrees to pay in the contract is split between the listing agent and the buying agent so the buyer does not have to pay for representation.

Feb. 22, 2020

Should I order a Home Inspection?

Yes!  

Home inspections are not always required by the lender but they are highly recommended!  Even if it is a cash transaction.  They can reveal defects that are not easily detected such as in the attic or other inaccessible areas.  You can also verify that the electrical panel is the correct size for the home, that the plumbing is not old and leaking or if there are possibly any moisture stains in the attic which may mean there is a roof leak.  Even thought the seller will have filled out an extensive disclosure form, many items they may not be aware or simply forgot since there is so much going on.

Always have the home checked out by a licensed inspector as that will only bring peace of mind to one of your biggest investments you will have.

Feb. 20, 2020

Contingencies

One question I get a lot is about what a contingency is in a contract.  Basically, its a time period for you to do your investigations and get your loan fully approved before you are 100% committed to buying the home.  Usually you get 17 days to review material facts about the house such as seller disclosures and get a professional inspection on the house.  Then you have 21 days to make sure the loan is golden and you have final loan approval to close.  

One thing to point out is that contingencies are active, not passive, meaning that even if the date arrives, you have to physically sign off on the contingency, it just does not automatically remove itself.  So, if you need a little additional time to get things lined up, you can request the time from he seller.  He may not grant it, but if the date comes and you have not removed it, they can serve you a perform or quit notice and you will have a short period to get things in order.  

It is never a good idea to enter into a contract with the intention of "I can cancel whenever I want" so you really do need a good reason why you are canceling if its been a few weeks into the escrow.  Remember, even though you cancel per the contact at the end of a contingency period, both seller and buyer have to sign off that your deposit goes back to you so if the seller is irate that you kept it off the market for a few weeks for no reason to cancel, they may be hesitant to sign it and it may take time and mediation to get it back.

Feb. 11, 2020

Where to start when thinking of buying a home

When the time comes and you are thinking its time to stop renting and buy a home, you may be tempted to go online and look at all the homes that are listed for sale without knowing what your budget is.  Even worse, you contact a real estate agent and request a showing of some of these homes.  Although is can be fun, in the end it can be detrimental as you may be looking at homes that are not within your comfortable budget.  

The best place to start is contacting a lender so you can discuss the loan options available and what best fits your situation.  There are many programs such as FHA where you come in with 3 1/2% down and others where there is downpayment assistance so you don't have to come in with any downpayment.

Once you have a number in mind, then the search will me much nicer as you will be actually looking for homes that you can write on offer on should it be one that you love.  Also, be mindful of the payment the lender shows you and how much you are approved to buy for.  You may be approved for an amount that carries a large monthly payment so you will need to be realistic and choose a price range that puts your monthly payment in a comfortable place.  No one wants to move into a new home and not have any money to decorate, or even eat!  Macaroni and cheese can get old quick!! 

I have a great portfolio of lenders I can direct you to that can discuss all the newest loans and assist you in finding the right one with the right monthly payment.  Reach out anytime and I will set you up so you can get the process started.  

And of course, go ahead and look at some of the great homes online to keep you excited about the process and get out there and see them in person once you have the financing all set up.

Feb. 10, 2020

How to Buy a Home While Selling Your Own

How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own

Purchasing a house while selling your old one is the best path to take for many home sellers turned home buyers. In a perfect world, this transition would take place in one day. You'd simply sell your old one, then go on to closing on the new one. However, in the real world, it's not that simple, and you'll need to expect some time between selling your house and buying your new one or vice versa. 

The process is a difficult dance full of complex steps and a rhythm that is hard to get just right. If you're wondering how to buy a house while also selling your current house, extensive knowledge of the process is important, and empowering yourself with the information you need can save you a great deal of time and money.

So, you may be wondering, can I buy another house before I sell mine? The answer to that is, yes, you can, but the bigger question is whether you will want to once you understand the entire process. First, consider what you have to gain and lose by either selling before buying or buying before selling. 

Pros and Cons of Selling Before Buying

Pros - The Benefits of Selling Before Buying:

  • You won't have to risk paying for two mortgages at the same time
  • Cash will be easily accessible for a down payment for your new property
  • You will have a better idea of the equity that can be put into your new home.
  • You may not qualify to carry two mortgages, so this option can be ideal for those with less-than-stellar credit
  • You won't have the pressure to reduce your asking price to sell your home quickly
  • You will be able to let go of one home before taking on the responsibility of a new home, which can make things feel properly ordered

Cons - The Negative Aspects of Selling Before Buying:

  • Finding a temporary place to live before settling in a new home can be chaotic
  • You will probably have to deal with moving two separate times which can be exhausting
  • You may feel pressure to find a new home in a hurry
  • Paying for storage and additional moving costs for two moves can add up
  • Your investment will temporarily be out of the real estate market

Pros and Cons of Buying Before Selling

Pros: The Benefits of Buying Before Selling

  • The process of house hunting can be more relaxed and enjoyable
  • You only move one time, so you won't face expensive storage fees or doubled moving expenses
  • You are less likely to have regrets from rushing into buying a house in a hurry
  • You'll have a place to go right away before you even let go of your current house
  • You have a cushion in case something goes wrong during the process of purchasing the new home. That way, if the deal falls through, you still have your old home to stay in

Cons: The Negative Aspects of Buying Before Selling

  • If your cash is tied up in the investment in your current home, you may not have as much freedom to make a larger down payment or high offer for the new home
  • You might be pressured to accept a lower offer on your house if you are then in a rush to sell
  • You may end up paying for two residences at once until you sell your home
  • You will also be responsible for two sets of taxes
  • If you decide to rent out your current home until it sells, you may face many challenges that come with being a landlord. They may be more complex given the fact that you are trying to show and sell the home with a tenant
  • You may not qualify for a new mortgage when you have your existing one

The Steps of Selling First

When you are trying to navigate how to buy a house contingent on selling yours, you may decide that selling first makes the most sense for your special circumstances. If so, take these steps to sell first:

  • To sell your house before buying a new one, first contact a real estate agent about listing your home for sale. Then, once you have a concrete offer from a hopeful buyer, it's okay to start looking for your new home. That can help the process go smoothly and not leave too much time between the selling and buying.
  • Decide on where you'll live before you find a new home. Life happens, and some sellers find that they can't find the right home for them for weeks or months. It sometimes takes even longer than they. Be sure that you will have a steady, secure place to live from the moment you sell your home until you are moving into your new one.
  • Fulfill all your obligations as a seller, once you know that you will have a secure place to stay until you find your dream home.

The Steps of Buying First

Sometimes buying first is just the best way to go. If you want to know how to buy a house before selling your current house, follow these steps:

  • Start house hunting right away. Be proactive since you do still want to get the ball moving on selling, yet it's important to find just the right home for you.
  • Make an offer on your dream home and request an extended closing. In this situation, you can request an extended closing if you feel that you are close to selling your home. That will give you time to better coordinate the sell of your old home while you purchase the new one. Please note that this only applies to a situation when you are close to selling your old home while buying the new one. If you decide not to list the home for sale until you have a new one, the next step would be to contact the real estate agent to list your home for sale.
  • If you have savings, you may use that to purchase the home. Alternately, consider purchasing the house with a home equity line of credit. That can allow you to borrow against the equity in your current house until it sells. That way, your available cash isn't tied up in the old home.
  • Close on the new home.
  • Consider renting your old home until it sells. That can prevent you from paying excessive costs.
Feb. 9, 2020

New Construction

You definitely need to visit new construction with your own real estate agent. The sales reps in the sales office work for the builder and have their best interests in mind, not yours. Registering with an agent on your first visit will allow them to represent you, help negotiate the sales price and work 
to get you additional incentives. You need someone on your side keeping   tabs on the details of the contract and to make sure you are getting everything promised. They can usually also negotiate “perks” such as an amount for you to use in the design center for upgrades and have the builder pay off the solar, etc. The models have hundreds of thousands in upgrades and most are not even offered by the builder, such as backyard landscaping, pool, millwork, etc. 
All the things you see are th
ere to make you fall in love with the house and many of which are not included or even offered. It is vital that an agent is there to make sure you get what is really important to you and you are delivered thehome of your dreams after the build is complete. One false rumor is that if you buy without an agent, you will get a better price as there is no commission paid. That is not true as the builder already expects to pay a commission and the price of the home is the most important thing to them, not the commission as many believe. And remember, as a buyer, the seller/builder always pays the commission so this is FREE representation for you!

One example of how I was able to help out my new home buyer clients: We toured themodels and once they chose a home and a lot, the sales rep told us the price and it included a solar lease. After I negotiated the deal with the builder, I was able to get my buyers $20K to spend in the design center and also had the builder pay the solar off so there was no lease.

I also have a BA in interior design and architecture so I can come to the design center appts to help make the best decisions for your style and resale value. I will also be a set of extra eyes during the walkthroughs and know what to look for. I have worked in new home construction and learned A LOT about how it all works and that the builder is NOT on your side during the negotiations.

If you are interested in new construction, check out these communities below and it is VITAL that I accompany you to the very first visit so I can represent you during the transaction.