The Winter Home Buyer Report conducted in the second week of November by REALTOR.com® revealed the sentiments of current home buyers expecting to buy a house during the winter months. It appears that there is pent-up demand with buyers who were unable to purchase a home recently.
Most cited as an impediment to purchase was the challenge of low inventory. Strong demand coupled with short supply explains why home prices have been increasing.
"This summer and spring home buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory. In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home buying season," said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at REALTOR.com®. "While buyers are still experiencing challenges with inventory and approximately one in five buyers plan to put down all cash, there are advantages to looking for a home in the winter. Motivated sellers, better prices and less competition between buyers are some of the top reasons winter home buyers are interested in purchasing a home during the colder months of the year."
Some interesting statistics taken from the report are:
Biggest challenges when searching for a home during winter:• 34 percent shared that there is not enough inventory on the marketTraditionally, the industry has found that the fourth quarter of the year has a lower sales volume and is generally attributed to distractions from the holidays and not wanting to make a move during consistently inclement weather. Even in areas that are not affected by extreme winter weather, there seems to be a mindset about moving in the winter.
• 29 percent believe that winter weather makes house hunting unpleasant
Indications are that it may be advantageous for sellers to put their home on the market now rather than wait until after the first of the year.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
The challenge for some buyers is they are unaware of what their credit score is and how it will affect the interest rate offered by the lender. It is to the buyer’s advantage to be pre-approved by a reputable lender prior to starting the process of looking for a home. In some cases, the lender can actually improve the borrower’s credit score to help them qualify for a lower interest rate. Contact me for a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional - Email Charles Kraus
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
- Invest now to get more in the future. Whether it is time, effort or money, the prudent investor is willing to forego immediate gratification for something more at a later date.
- Real estate is an IDEAL investment. IDEAL is an acronym that stands for income, depreciation, equity build-up, appreciation and leverage.
- Invest in single family homes in predominantly owner-occupied neighborhoods at or below average price range. This strategy should involve homes that will increase in value, rent well and appeal to an owner-occupant in the future who will pay a higher price than an investor.
- Location, location, location. The same homes in different areas will not behave the same. You can improve the condition, modify the terms or adjust the price but the location can’t be changed.
- Understand your strategy – buy and sell, buy and hold or buy, rent and hold. These three distinct strategies involve big differences in acquisition, management and taxation.
- Know where your profit is coming from before you invest. The four contributors to profit are cash flow, appreciation, amortization and tax savings. They don’t contribute equally or the same in all investments.
- Profit starts with purchase. Buying the property below market value builds profit into the investment initially.
- Risk is directly proportionate to the reward involved. An investment that has a high degree of upside also will have considerable downside possible.
- Avoid functional obsolescence unless you have a plan before you buy. The lack of usefulness or desirability of a home that exists when you buy it will still be there when you sell it. Unless it can be cured, it will affect future profit.
- Good property + good tenant + good management = great investment. These are three solid components for a successful investment.
- Problems left unresolved have a tendency to get worse. It is generally cheaper in time or money to fix a problem earlier rather than later.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Friday, August 9, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
1. Mortgage is further into amortization schedule 2. Lower interest rate loans amortize faster than higher interest rate loans 3. Lower closing costs than a new mortgage 4. Easier to qualify than on a new mortgage 5. No appraisal requiredFHA assumptions are only allowed as owner-occupied residents. The borrower must meet current FHA guidelines for borrowers. The total debt ratio including house payment to be assumed cannot exceed 41% of borrowers’ monthly gross income. VA loans are also assumable with buyer qualification. However, in order for the veteran Seller to have their eligibility reinstated, the buyer must also be a veteran with eligibility. A 1% difference in the current rates and a lower assumable mortgage rate begins to make it very attractive to assume a mortgage. When the differential becomes even greater, assumptions will become more prevalent than they’ve been in over twenty years.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
1. Remove the uncertainty that you may not be approved for a mortgage by having a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company.
2. Show your sincerity by increasing the normal amount of earnest money customary for the area and price of the home. The earnest money will be applied toward your down payment and closing costs. Consider placing even more money in escrow when the contingencies have been met.
3. Specify a closing date in the contract but acknowledge that you can be flexible to accommodate the sellers moving date. If it becomes an issue, it still must be mutually agreed upon.
4. Make the contingency periods shorter if possible to make the seller feel that they’ll know sooner that the offer is solid.
5. If the contingency really isn’t important to you, leave it out of the offer. The more contingencies included in a contract, the more the seller will feel might happen to keep it from actually closing.
6. Write a personal note to the seller explaining why you like and want their home.
7. Physically sign the offer with a felt tip pen of contrasting color. You’d be surprised how this adds a personal touch to the offer.Offer a fair price for the property in your initial purchase agreement. It shows sincerity and good faith that you’re actually trying to purchase the home and not trying to take advantage of the seller. The old adage that you can always go up later may never happen if there are multiple offers on the property in the beginning.
Monday, June 24, 2013
• Having control over what you do with your living space • Having a sense of privacy and security • Having a good place for your family or to raise your children • Having the best investment plan • Living in a nicer home • Building up wealth • Saving for retirement • Living in a place where you and your family feel safe • Feeling engaged in your communityTo satisfy a buyer’s doubts about qualifying for a mortgage, make an appointment with a trusted mortgage professional. If you’d like a recommendation at no cost or obligation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out this Rent vs. Own to see the real cost of owning a home. For more information about the Fannie Mae survey in presentation form, Click Here.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Real estate valuation can be equally as confusing to the public. There are three commonly used tools that today’s home buyers rely on to make decisions but they vary significantly in the methods used to make the determination as well as the possible final consideration.
Appraisals are an opinion or estimate of value based on specific guidelines made by individuals who are licensed and possibly certified. Buyers and sellers may be reluctant to engage an appraiser because there is a fee of several hundred dollars that must be paid in advance even if no sale is ever consummated.
A Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) as defined by the National Association of REALTORS® is an “estimate of the probable selling price of a property.” The Dodd-Frank Act describes a BPO as “an estimate…that details the probable selling price of a particular piece of real estate property and provides a varying level of detail about the property’s condition, market, and neighborhood, and information on comparable sales, but does not include an automated valuation model.”
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a commonly used tool of salespeople to provide information to buyers and sellers to facilitate a sale. In most cases, it would be difficult to distinguish a CMA from a BPO because the steps considered are essentially the same and practitioners commonly use the terms interchangeably.
Another method called Automated Value Model (AVM) use software to search available data on the Internet to arrive at an approximation of value. Zestimates found on the Zillow site use this method. AVM’s may not consider all the market activity such as MLS sales and active listings. They can’t make adjustments based on location, improvements and condition that human experience and market knowledge provide.
For what it’s worth, a buyer or seller might want to acquire as much current and factual information as possible from a trusted real estate professional familiar with the market before making a decision on the largest single asset most people acquire.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
- The ability to borrow large loan-to-value mortgages
- At fixed interest rates
- For long terms (easily up to 30 years)
- On appreciating assets
- With significant tax advantages
- And reasonable control not offered by alternative investments.
Friday, May 24, 2013
The benefits of regularly changing the heating and air-conditioning filters are obvious to homeowners; the real challenge is creating a system to make sure it gets done.
A reasonable schedule would be to replace it with a new one-inch pleated filter every 60-90 days. Households with shedding pets should consider replacing them every month. Some people change their filters every month when they pay their electric bills. A simple system would be to set a recurring appointment on your calendar like Outlook or Google.
Filters trap dust, mold and bacteria which can directly affect the air quality and play havoc with your allergies. When a filter is dirty, it prevents proper airflow and allows dust, dirt and allergens to blow through your home. Changing your filter regularly helps to avoid maintenance, improves equipment life and produces increased energy savings.
When shopping for filters, it’s understandable to look for the best bargain but the cheapest price may not be the best choice. When purchasing, recognize that HEPA-rated and HEPA-type filters are not the same thing. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter meets or exceeds standards for efficiency set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Most HVAC contractors recommend HEPA filters.
Some filters need to be changed monthly and other types have manufacturer recommendations of every three months. An alternative to disposable filters are the permanent, washable types. These will cost more initially but because you can clean them and re-use them, eventually, you’ll recapture the cost and realize savings.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
- Try to identify a common feature or characteristic of the home that is important to the seller and you.
- Don’t criticize the home or tell them about all of the improvements you need to make to justify your offer.
- Do verbalize why living in this home is important to you and your family.
- Assure the seller that you can indeed qualify for the home and that if they accept your offer, the sale will be consummated.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
See also http://AnnapolisHomesInfo.com
Monday, April 1, 2013
One of the drawbacks to low mortgage rates is that the total interest and property taxes paid for the year may be lower than the standard deduction. A little planning might be able to help you at least every other year.
Most homeowners know they can deduct their qualified mortgage interest and property taxes on their Schedule A of their 1040 tax return or to take the standard deduction if it is greater. See Your Deduction...Your Choice. Deductions are taken in the year that they're actually paid. If a homeowner paid their 2012 property taxes in 2013, they would not be deductible on their 2012 tax return. Then, if the 2013 property taxes were paid in 2013, both the 2012 and 2013 taxes could be deducted on the 2013 Schedule A.
By delaying the payment of the 2012 taxes until 2013, the combination of the 2012 and 2013 taxes might exceed the 2013 standard deduction and provide a higher deduction.
Other Schedule A expenses such as charitable contributions and medical expenses may be bunched also. From a practical standpoint, since most mortgage payments are due monthly, the mortgage interest would not be bunched.
This information should be discussed with your tax advisor to see how it might apply to your individual situation. The key is you must be aware of the strategy early to be able to use it.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Annual, in spring
- Change your filter every 90 days; every 30 days if you have shedding pets.
- Maintain at least two feet of clearance around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
- Don't allow leaves, grass clippings, lint or other things to block circulation of coils.
- Inspect insulation on refrigerant lines leading into house monthly and replace if missing or damaged.
- Confirm that outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps are on level pads.
- Pour bleach in the air conditioner's condensation drain to clear mold and algae which can cause a clog.
- Avoid closing more than 20% of a home's registers to keep from overworking the system.
- Replace the battery in the home's carbon monoxide detector.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
- Not too personal - you may have bought your home to express yourself but if the buyer can't see themselves in the home for all of your things, it's going to take longer to sell than you want.
- Make repairs - it doesn't matter if it's been that way since you bought it. You need to fix it so that the buyer doesn't think that the rest of the house is about to fall apart.
- Drive-up appeal - the old saying "you never get a second chance at a first impression" applies to your home too. They may never even get out of the car to come inside.
- The nose knows - it may not smell like home but it shouldn't smell like a place they would never consider living.
- Neutral colors, decor, etc. - these are not decorating tips you'll see in magazines but the truth is that bold colors and designs are difficult for most people to see beyond. They'll imagine their things better in neutral surroundings.
- Less looks like more - removing some of the non-essential things from your home will eliminate clutter and make the home feel larger. The same suggestion applies to cabinets and closets.
|Example: Purchase Price $175,000 with 3.5% down payment at 4% mortgage rate on 30 year term|
|MIP duration||78% of original loan||Life of mortgage|
Monday, February 4, 2013
- Ask a trusted friend - to pick up your mail and newspaper and keep the yard free of trash and advertisements.
- Stop your mail but maybe not your newspaper - you can easily handle this online by going to the US Postal Service's Hold Mail Service. A recent story implicated an employee from a major newspaper who was passing customer hold requests to burglars.
- Don't post about your trip on Facebook and Twitter until you return - some burglars actually look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
- Do notify police and/or neighborhood watch - especially if you're going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you'll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
- Light timers make it look like someone is home - use several set for different times to better simulate someone at home.
- Do unplug certain appliances - TVs, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they're off and to protect them from power surges.
- Don't hide a key - burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.