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Putting the “Real” in Real Estate

Putting the Real in Real Estate

Are you thinking of buying a home? Now more than ever, there are many videos and advertisements explaining the best ways to buy a home or sell a home, but rarely do these authors provide the truth about the property for the average consumer. Here are a few tips and tricks that the smart homebuyer and home sellers engage in when involved in a real estate transaction. The Home Buyer Before purchasing a home, it is essential to locate a competent Realtor to guide you through the process to maximize your dollar and time search.  The most overlooked consideration when shopping for a buyer’s agent is that, many times, working with the agent of your choice can be totally free to you, as buyer’s agents are usually paid for by the seller of the property you buy. Looking for a home can be an extremely stressful event to complete so it is vital to jot down precisely what you want from the new home so that when the closing occurs, there will be no regrets or buyers remorse at the end of the day. The last thing a home buyer, especially a new home buyer wants to occur is to have a home that they are not satisfied. The first step is to understand one’s finances and the amount that can be afforded per month towards a mortgage. Calculating your costs can be done with a mortgage calculator online quickly. Another great way to ensure that you have all the necessary information before purchasing a property is to attend a home buyer education course. These courses are very beneficial and offer a great deal of insight into the world of buying a home, from finances to closing. Afterward, get a highly qualified Realtor to help guide the direction of the home buying process. The Home Seller Before someone is ready to sell their home, it is essential first to decide whether to sell your home cheap, or pay a premium to a full-service broker. The decision on how to sell the property is the very first step to the home selling process. Once the decision is made, the next step is to be sure and assess the comparable property sales in the area so that the property can be priced correctly to sell. If the property is underpriced, the seller may lose a great deal of money. This is the worst-case scenario for anyone selling their home because the purpose of selling a property is to be sure and get back the money that was invested in the first place. Another reason why you want to be confident and look at the comparables is to ensure that the property is not overpriced. If the property is overpriced, unless there is a super motivated and super-rich buyer, the property will likely sit on the market and not get any traction. Once a property is placed online to sell, the number of days on the market is something that the majority of home…

Boston Home Ownership Trends 2019

Boston Home Ownership Trends 2019

Home Ownership Trends For Boston 2019   If your plans for 2019 are to buy a home in Boston, then the time has arrived. Keeping an eye on the changing tides of the housing market can help to choose the best time to enter the market. No one can fully predict the housing trends, however, one could get a sense of the forces that will push thing a certain direction.   More Homes For Sale   In particular, there will be more houses for sale in South Boston in 2019. The homes hitting the market are not enough to keep up with the demand of those wanting home ownership and wanting to buy real estate.   This year the inventory of available homes will rise and recover. The growth will continue, but it will not be blockbuster sales. Buyers love this news, whereas sellers come to a different type of reality. If you try to sell a home, then there will be more competition. Adjusting expectations in the selling market will be a requirement.   Luxury homes usually have a stronger economy, with higher paying jobs. Luxury home growth will be modest. An increase in high-end inventory is expected in Seattle, Boston, Savannah GA, and New Orleans. This may include neighboring towns. These areas could see themselves in the double-digit gains in inventory.   Affording A Home May Still Be A Challenge   The tides may be changing and in favor of the buyer. Home buyers will find it to be easier with more options. At the same time, it will also be a challenge because of the increase in mortgage rates. Mortgage rates could go up to 5.5%, which means a monthly mortgage payment could rise to about 8% higher next year. Meanwhile, personal incomes are not growing at such a rate. Homeowners will feel the pinch. This realization is tougher on first time home buyers. First time home buyers tend to borrow the most and are starting out with no equity to draw from.   When Will The Housing Market Slow Down? Millennials Continue To Dominate Millennials used to be the new kids in buying homes. Now their numbers have grown and they are a big group of home buyers. Millennials account for 45% of mortgages today. With 17% belonging to baby boomers and 37% to Generation X’ers.   Still, the first time home buyer will find it a challenge to jump into the game of buying a home. Those who have home equity will gain more benefits. boston real estate market 2019 Millennials will also carry with them the debt of student loans and typically want to spend money on travel and experiences. Those experiences take away from their down payment which could aid in a lower mortgage payment. Millennials may compromise instead and buy less space, but still own a home, for example.   Tax Law Questionable   The proposed revision of the tax code was battling its way through Congress. Now, we still don’t know, and…

First-time Homebuyer

First-time Homebuyer

Advice for the First-time Homebuyer   Being a first-time home buyer can be very exciting, but at the same time it can be just as nerve racking. So here are a few mortgage, down payment, and house shopping tips to help the first-time homebuyer navigate the purchasing process, avoid common mistakes and save money. Find the Right Agent   Whether you are going to buy or sell a home, it is necessary to work closely with a local Realtor. Therefore, it is essential for the buyer to find an agent that they are compatible with. In addition to being compatible with the buyer, the agent should be knowledgeable of the area, highly skilled and motivated. Save as Much as Possible for the Down Payment   Commonly, most first-time home buyers will need 20% of the home’s purchase price for a down payment. There are lenders that will allow for a much lesser amount, but paying a lower down payment amount may result in higher ending costs. The first-time buyer should save money from their paychecks, work bonuses, and tax refunds, and keep track of savings.   Check out all of the Mortgage and Down Payment Options   With all of the existing mortgages available, there always one option that can save you money, so check around before you commit to a loan.  The first-time buyer should look into all of the pros and cons of each loan before deciding which is best. Buyers that are struggling to save up enough for the down payment should also consider conventional mortgages, FHA loans and, for qualified veterans, VA loans.   The down payment has a direct effect on the amount of the monthly mortgage payments and the interest rate. A fixed mortgage that is taken out for 30 years usually offers the lowest mortgage payment.  The customer who wants a lower interest rate would benefit from a 15-year fixed rate, which has a much lower interest rate for the duration of the loan. However, the customer that needs the lowest possible interest rate for the first few years of ownership might consider an adjustable mortgage because, even though they are risky loans, they offer the lowest interest rates during the first years of ownership.   Look into State, Local and Federal Assistance Programs   First time home buyers can usually find assistance programs offered through the states, counties, and municipalities, including the the federal government as well. These programs can assist the buyer with down payment and closing costs, tax credits and interest rate discounts.   Keep up with Credit Scores   The credit is a key factor in determining if the loan will be approved, and has an impact on the interest rates, as well as the loan terms. Keep up with credit score information and dispute all errors that may be lowering the credit score, and at the same time keep your eyes out for opportunities to improve the credit score, such as paying down debts. Avoid opening new credit…

Tips For Buying a Waterfront Home

Buying a Waterfront Home? Here are Some Top Tips to Guide You You have always dreamed of owning a waterfront home, and you are thinking about making the plunge. Do not assume that because you bought your current home successfully you can buy a waterfront home using the same methods. Waterfront homes are different as they more expensive and deal with unique issues such as bulkheads and more expensive insurance.  Its important that you buy the right property.  If you are not careful you may end up owning a property that becomes more of a headache than a long-term financial investment.  Needless to say, living on the water can be a luxurious feature of your new home, but it pays to know some of the pitfalls of living on the water. Before you buy take into account the following: •    Make sure that the property is inspected for damage from the elements. Beachfront homes are susceptible to the elements because they are so close to the water. Oftentimes they could suffer structural damage. With many waterfront homes built on stilts and highly elevated, they don’t have the same type of foundation as a traditional slab property.   If you don’t have a thorough inspection done you may buy a property that will cost you a lot of money. In addition to a traditional home inspection, you may want to look into a structural inspection done by a structural engineer. •    Don’t just look at the structure. Pay close attention to the water aspects of the property too. Is the water navigable?  Are there any water rights given to others such as littoral rights or riparian rights?  Do you own the proper water rights for the water that your home is on?  Needless to say, if you are purchasing a beachfront condo – you wont own the ocean, but if you are on a lake or river – there are very specific real estate water rights that may be applicable. •    Pay close attention to Flood Insurance.  Many homes across the country have to pay for flood insurance in addition to standard homeowners insurance, but if you are living adjacent to the water – you may have a more expensive policy than expected.  If you are on the beach – you may be in one of the new flood zones called “flood zone V”.  Flood Zone V – is a Velocity flood zone.  These types of flood policies take into consideration that your home could be damaged by the velocity of a hurricane and have very expensive premiums. •    Take into consideration the popularity.  For instance, if you are buying a waterfront home in Madisonville LA on the Tchefuncte River – you will want to make sure that you are OK with boating traffic on the river on a constant basis.  If you are purchasing a condominium in Panama City Beach, you will want to make sure that the huge influx of college students for Spring Break doesn’t drive you mad. •  …

Digging Deeper To Insure You Buy The Right Property

things to look at when buying a home

Things to look for when buying a home.   Buying a home is a great achievement by any standards. If you have decided to take that step to become a homeowner, then, there are various things that you should put into consideration to ensure that you buy the best house possible. Needless to say, when choosing the perfect property — there are many things you should look at.  Reviewing ALL of the active listings, reviewing the recent sold properties, go over the local real estate statistics — are all things that you should be doing.  Many good local real estate websites provide that information — here is an example of a local Wilmington real estate broker site where all of the critical information is on one page.  This site focuses on the homes in Wilmington – but you should be able to find something similar for your area. https://www.buddyblake.com/wilmington/ Research the community.  Make sure that you don’t just look within that specific neighborhood — find a website that shows all of the most popular communities.  Here is an example of a local real estate website that goes into good detail on the local communities — This is for the Boston MA area — but you should be able to find something in your neck of the woods too. http://www.boston2.com/communities/ That is the basic stuff.  In addition, upon finding a home for sale that makes the list, you should look a little deeper to make sure its truly the perfect home.  Here is a good checklist of items to dig into when buying a home.   Staircase Check to see how long or steep the staircase is before you decide to buy the home. If you plan to grow old in that home or live with an elderly relative then you should avoid buying a home with steep staircases because they can cause you or your loved one health problems. Size of the rooms The size of the rooms should be just right, not too small or too big. When you are viewing the home, try to visualize how you will arrange your furniture into the rooms and whether you think they will fit into the space available. If possible, you should bring measuring equipment with you and take measurements because you might overestimate or underestimate the size of the room and end up buying a home that will not fit your stuff unknowingly. Tips For First Time Homebuyers.   Kitchen They say the kitchen is the heart of a home.  Also, a kitchen remodel can be crazy expensive.  therefore, you should pay special attention to the kitchen before deciding whether or not to buy the house. Find out whether if it has a gas stove if you prefer to cook with one. You should also consider the layout, number of sinks, natural light, storage area and its general size. Windows Check to see whether the number and size of the windows are desirable.  Look to see if the windows are double insulated…

Choosing the Best Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Technology

Why You Should Use the Best Real Estate Brokers to Sell Your Home One of the challenges that homeowners face when it is time to sell is which real estate broker to use. There are real estate agents everywhere you look and it can be challenging to decide which one is best. Difference Between Agent and Broker Its important to first understand, all real estate agents work under a broker.  There are different levels of real estate schooling that is required to become a broker.  In some instances, an agent CAN be a broker — but not THE broker.  There is always a responsible broker that is above the agent, even if the agent IS a broker.  I know that sounds confusing, but one is the difference between how much real estate schooling the agent has taken as well as passing the broker exam. Passing the Real Estate Exam Choosing the Right Broker This is a decision that you should consider carefully if you want to sell your home fast and for a healthy profit.  The more expensive the home, the more you have to loose.  If you are dealing with a luxury home in New Orleans , in excess of $750,000, the difference between a good broker and a great one makes a huge difference. While you may feel that it is best to use a real estate broker who works in your neighborhood, you should know that the best real estate brokers are the ones that have the best closing rate. What is Closing Rate? Closing rate refers to how fast they are able to sell a home and whether they are able to help their clients realize a profit.  While the little guy may be effective in his own way, you want to sell fast and for as high a price as possible. Because more established real estate brokers have usually fined tuned their process for marketing homes for sale, when they list your home, its put on a proven path. You will close your sale in a shorter time than if you choose a broker because he/she is your cousins, brothers long time friend. The other reason why these real estate companies are so effective is that they have the latest technology for real estate. They are, for example, able to show virtual tours of your home to interested clients so that they can make up their minds whether it is what they are looking for.  Many will also take professional photos to make sure that your home is shown in the best light.  They also have technology that allows you to show the home without you necessarily being present – prospective buyers are given ways to access fobs into your home. These are things that your local real estate agent may not have. Visibility of Hour Home For Sale The last important aspect of choosing the right real estate broker is assessing what type of viability they have on the internet.  There are thousands of real estate websites out there,…

Real Estate Tech Byte

Real Estate Technology

A Website Is A Must So many people go to the internet to answer their questions and solve their problems these days. Real Estate is no different.  Home Buyer’s and Home Seller’s will go to their internet 97% of the time when searching for homes per the National Association of Realtors (NAR). If you are going to be an active, producing Real Estate Agent in today’s market, you must harness the world of technology.  Having a website used to be an option, now it is the norm.  After you have your professional website designed, up and running, it is time to put it to work for you. Utilize Social Media As a Real Estate Agent you will spend a lot of time on Social Media.  Interacting with other professionals in your industry, posting your listings for the world to see and even advertising your open houses.  You want to be sure that your website has the links to your Social Media pages.  There is a wide selection of Social Media Icons to choose from, and they include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others.  Any place you can be on Social Media, you can find the icon and need to link it from your website. This will help get you to your goal of optimizing the results (the clicks) on your website. SEO Every day people are searching for a house to rent, how to sell their home fast, a home to buy, commercial property to invest in, and lots more.  The way to get these answers in front of them is through your website, through SEO.  A website, & utilizing Social Media, are the beginning of things that go together to build up your SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  To get people to your website, you need capitalize on the use of SEO. The use of SEO will get your page ranked higher on the results of a Google search, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.  SEO is doing everything to let Google know that YOUR page can answer the questions that are typed into the search box. Here are 5 Tips For SEO Beginners Have a good, updated website. If you do not feel comfortable building a website, then absolutely hire a professional.  SEO will not matter one bit, without the website to optimize. Write so that the average person can read it and use the information. Use keywords, words that people would use in the search box. Ie: “How to Stage My Home To Sell”, “Should I Hire A Real Estate Agent?”, maybe the homes for sale in the geographical area that your work in. Share your content on Social Media (as mentioned above)  Link Inside  On each the pages on your website, try to  link to other pages on your website. Hire an SEO Professional. SEO is constantly changing and evolving.  It’s not overly expensive to utilize a good SEO expert and that could mean your site reaching the top, or not.  An SEO Professional knows the…

Staging a Home

staging a home for sale

Staging a Home “Staging” is the term used to describe the changes made in your home to prepare it for sale.  Staging a home can be as simple as removing extra furniture and cleaning up or as complex as renting furniture and hiring a professional stager. Getting Your Home Sold With the competition in New Orleans real estate, many home sellers  go the extra mile to make their home stand out.  In addition, when staging a New Orleans home for sale, the photos that get disseminated all over the internet look substantially better.  With most home buyers starting their real estate search online, those photos of the home make a great first impression. We all “live” in our homes just as many of us lounge in our pajamas when we’re home.  However, you would not apply for a job or pay increase in your pajamas!  Likewise, your house won’t recruit a new buyer or the best price in its pajamas!  Dressing your house in its best can sometimes be as simple as re-arranging furniture or cleaning windows. There are some areas that have been ahead of the curve when it comes to staging such as Savannah GA.  Some of the top agents in Savannah have been on the cutting edge of staging homes for a quick sale. Contact us today, if you’d like additional info on staging your home for sale.