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Real Estate News Articles


Updated: Friday, December 3, 2021


November Real Estate Roundup

Freddie Macs results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that "

Despite the noise around the economy, inflation, and monetary policy, mortgage rate volatility has been low. For most of 2021, mortgage rates have stayed within half a percentage point, which is a smaller range than in past years."

30-year fixed-rate mortgage FRM averaged 3.1 percent with an average 0.7 points for the week ending November 24th, 2021, down from last month when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.72 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 2.42 percent with an average 0.7 points, up from last month when it averaged 2.37 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.28 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ARM averaged 2.47 percent this week with an average 0.3 points, up from last month when it averaged 2.56 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.16 percent.


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When Does It Make Sense to Use Your Home’s Equity?

Housing prices continue to rise significantly, with median home prices soaring past 400,000 for the first time. Housing prices have been going up for eight years. This means if youre a current homeowner, you might have a significant chunk of equity in your home.

When does it make sense to use that equity and put it to work, particularly since interest rates remain low?

The Benefits of Using Equity Now

There are some economic factors outside of your personal situation that could make now a good time to use your homes equity.

Mortgage rates are historically low, meaning its cheap to borrow money right now. You could end up taking equity out and then earning a lot more than you would pay in interest on a mortgage. Since rates are low and you can lock in your rate for an extended period, you might not see your mortgage rates increase, if at all.

Inflation is going up at near-record paces, and that makes the idea of fixed-rate debt pretty appealing. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage for 30 years, your payments will be cheaper in real dollars.

When you have borrowed equity, the interest is tax-deductible, and its tax-free.

If you use the equity in your home, youll have liquidity, so you can take advantage of opportunities as they might arise.

Are There Risks?

Some risks can come with taking the equity out of your home as well.

For example, if you already have a high debt-to-income ratio, taking on more debt is never wise. If your income is at risk, you should avoid taking on new debt as well.

How Do You Know Where to Invest?

If you want to take equity out of your home, the goal is that youre earning more than the interest rate on your loan. There are a lot of ways you can do this.

For example, you could invest in the stock market or a real estate investment trust REIT.

Other financially wise ways to invest the equity in your home include:

To secure a stronger financial future, you might consider tapping into your homes equity to pay off high-interest-rate debt. For example, if you have a credit card with a 16 interest rate, and you get a loan with a 3.5 interest rate, youre going to get yourself out of debt faster, and youre going to reduce what youre paying in interest significantly.

Investing in real estate can be a smart way to use your homes equity. For example, you might use the money from your home equity to then put a down payment on a rental property.

Starting a business is a way to invest in your future, although its risky.

The goal, if youre considering now as the optimal time to tap into your equity, is to invest in something thats going to generate income. You want to pay back your loan with income so that you grow your wealth for the future.


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Are You Ready for Disaster?

Are You Ready for Disaster?nbsp;

No matter where you live in this great nation, youre susceptible to natural disastersfrom hurricanes, tornados, or storm surge to wildfires or flooding.

What can you do when disaster strikes?

Put your pre-disaster plans and precautions in action

Without forethought, you, your family, and your home can be at the mercy of the elements:

Flooding can happen anywherenbsp;

The recent overwhelming atmospheric rivernbsp; drenched Washington State and British Columbia with torrential rain and storms. The resulting flooding, mud slides, power outages, evacuations, and wet everything drove people from their homes and caused human and animal loss of life. Destruction on a terrifying scale Flooding, the most common natural disaster, can also result from snow melt, storm surge, and dam overflow.

Fires and droughts are seasonal normsnbsp;

Lingering drought and heat islands hit many regions hard each year. Wildfires explode in these dry areas. Blazing wildfires sweep across forests, wilderness, and communities with devastating loss of life and with overwhelming property destruction.

Disaster realities exceed past climate experiencenbsp;

These massive natural disasters continue as frightening examples of how our experience with local weather may not prepare us for what is coming next. Experts warn that the extreme weather hitting us now will seem mild in comparison with what lies ahead as climate change rolls on.

Foresight beats regretting in hindsight. Emergency preparedness can save lives and reduce damage.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

You dont have to figure out emergency preparedness alone. Many community and government agencies and organizations have invested a lot of time and creativity to make it easy for you to be prepared. For example, the national public service campaign READY.gov, and its Spanish language version LISTO, are designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. To assist you in making a family emergency plan and supply kit and sharing your efforts with friends, READY offers 18 Social Media Disaster Preparedness Toolkits to choose from, including the Flood Toolkit, Wildfire Toolkit, and Winter Weather Toolkit.

Ten Preparedness Steps to Take Now

1. Anticipate Your Flood Risk

Your risk involves previous flood patterns and projections of flooding based on changing weather patterns. Where will the water go if nearby lakes or rivers overflow or if the ground becomes too saturated to absorb more water? Investigate FEMAs Flood Map Service Center, the Emergency Alert System, and NOAA Weather Radio to learn what support is offered. Sign up for the local warning system. Pay attention to the weather.

2. Flood insurance

Flood insurance coverage is not automatically part of your homeowners policy, so ask your insurance agent about it. In high-risk areas, homes and businesses with government-backed mortgages must have flood insurance. FEMAs National Flood Insurance Program NFIP is available through a network of over 50 insurance companies.

3. Keep Water Away From Your Home

  • Regularly walk all the way around your foundation to ensure grading, or the slant of the land, is taking water away from your home.
  • Also walk the property line. Neighbors may be building, paving, or disrupting drainage, so that more water ends up on your property. My neighbor added an elevated artificial lawn to their rear garden and my patio became a pond when it rained.
  • Regularly clear gutters and downspouts to keep water at least 3 to 6 feet away from foundation walls.
  • If you have a sump pump, check it regularly to be sure it will work when you need it. Does the sump pump have battery back-up if the power dies?

4. Whats Precious?

Other than the living beings who share your home, what really matters to you? Family photos are high on most peoples Treasures List. Dont store precious things in the basement where the risk of water damage is highest.

5. Waterproof Protection

Store important papers, photographs, and documents in waterproof containers. Also make a digital copy of everything vital and store that information in a secure online location and on a memory stick somewhere off the property.

6. Create a Family Escape Plan

Where will you meet if disaster strikes and you are separated from family and your home? Be practical. If roads are flooded and power is out, how will everyone get there? Cell phone service may be down, so have the family practice possible routes to your meet-up location in advance.

7. Who needs what?

  • Prepare for the specific needs, including medication, of each family member and pet. If you have farm animals, how will they be kept safe?
  • Cell phones and important equipment require batteries and specific chargers.
  • In case disaster becomes widespread, prepare your family to fend for itself for the first 72 hours. Pack 72-hours worth of food, water, and additional supplies in your Emergency Kit.nbsp;

8. Expect your Phone to Fail You

List all the things on your phone that you cannot manage without and create a paper version as back-up. For instance, a paper ideally waterproof map, essential phone numbers you do not have committed to memory, prescriptions, identification, banking information. Back-up vital information regularly in case your phone becomes waterlogged or lost. >

9. Your Car As An Emergency Shelter

If you have to flee the flood, could you survive in your car or truck for a day or two? In cold weather? In the car, keep a phone charger, an appropriate 72-hour kit, blankets, candles for light and heat, matches, emergency signaling devices, writing materials, playing cards.

10. Stay Smart

  • No barbequing in the covered porch, house, or garage. Every year, people who do this indoors die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not drive on flooded roads or bridges. Flooding can make them unsafe.
  • Do not unnecessarily put first responders, emergency workers, and community volunteers at risk.
  • Emergency preparation is a year-round, 365-7-24 concern. Adopt the tried-and-true motto, Be prepared


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How Does Inflation Affect Home Prices and Real Estate?

If youve followed the news lately, youve probably seen quite a bit about inflation. In September, there was another surge in consumer prices, which matched a 13-year high. The price increase was the largest since 2008, up 5.4 from a year ago.

Some of the categories seeing the most significant increases included new cars, gas, food and restaurants meals. Core inflation was up 0.2 in September and there was a 4 increase from last year.

COVID-19 has contributed to some of the issues because for example, the pandemic continues to close factories in Asia and slow operations at U.S. ports. There are significant bottlenecks in the supply chain and high demand, meaning inflation will stay up for a while.

So, how does all of this affect the real estate market?

The Inventory Issue

Interest rates have been kept low for so long its created a bubble for everything and not just the housing market. Theres also inflationary pressure on the housing market because of limited inventory. Limited inventory stems from a myriad of problems in the industry.

First, many homeowners arent putting their houses on the market. This is due to factors like lockdowns, but also the fear they wont be able to find a new one to buy.

There are construction delays due to supply chain bottlenecks as well.

Buyers are often having to put in bids well above ask to get properties, creating a frustrating situation, to say the least.

Other Inflationary Effects On Real Estate

Along with the situations above, there are some other ways inflation can influence how much you pay for a home.

First, inflation is a reference to a rise in the price of everyday goods. Those everyday goods are used to build homes. If the price of things like lumber and appliances go up, then the builder will pass those additional costs onto the buyer in the form of higher prices.

In some cases, however, inflation can have oppositional effects on real estate. If inflation rises, then theoretically, money should become more expensive to borrow. People borrow less of it, so there are fewer home purchases and that can lead to lower economic growth. Right now, thats not happening however, because as mentioned, interest rates remain low.

When the Central Bank increases the money supply into the economy, which is a primary driver of inflation, home prices tend to automatically go up as a result.

Real Estate Can Protect You Against Inflation

While real estate can be negatively affected by inflation in the form of higher prices, it can also protect you from its effects.

As home prices go up over time, youre lowering the loan-to-value of your debt. Youre simultaneously increasing your equity, but your fixed-rate mortgage payments will stay the same.

If youre a real estate investor earning income from rental properties, then youre likely going to be able to charge higher rent when inflation is up. You can adjust the rent while the mortgage stays the same.

Finally, in general, home prices do also tend to go up steadily over time. The homes that hit bottom prices during the real estate bubble burst of 2008 were back up to pre-crash prices in less than ten years in most cases.

The >


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Is It a Trend or a Fad? How to Know the Difference When Updating Your Home

When fixing up your home, especially if youre doing so to get it in shape to put it on the market, you want to make sure it looks updated. And that means including current trends. But theres a fine line between trends and fads.

In a macro sense, Anbsp;fadnbsp;is a short-lived phenomenon, fading in a >

As it >

How can you tell between a fad and a trend?

Take the barn door. It started out looking like a fad, merged into a trend, and then became so oversaturated Try finding a flip or renovation on HGTV that didnt have one over the last couple of years that people became tired of them.nbsp;

If youre making changes to your home with the intent of selling, knowing the difference between fads and trends can help inform your design choices.

Paint color

Gray has been the color dujour for, well, more than a jour. If your home needs a fresh coat before you list it, a neutral is the way to go. You just want to make sure you dont go overboard.nbsp;nbsp;

Gray floors, gray walls, gray kitchen cabinets Treating gray as a neutral is something thats starting to feel predictable, Samira Tapia, a Los Angeles-based Realtor with Compass, told Apartment Therapy.nbsp; I specifically have buyers asking me not to send them any all-gray listings.

You also want to be careful about going too bold. You may love blood red or a shade of yellow thats brighter than the sun, but unusual or unpredictable shades may make your home memorable for the wrong reason.nbsp;

Wallpaper

Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, busy, bold wallpaper is back in a big way, said HomeLight. Online searches for bold print wallpaper have increased bynbsp;401 in the past year. But heres the thing about wallpaper, dont add it to your home. It can add visual clutter, Janice Rosenberg, anbsp;top performing real estate agent in Raleigh, NC, told them. Buyers are doing their searches on the Internet, and theyre looking at the photos and when they see wallpaper that they dont like in their minds, theyre thinking its going to cost a lot of money and time to get rid of it.

Flooring

If you are replacing your flooring prior to listing your home, think carefully about what to use. Hardwood can actually help you sell your home, and for a higher price than other materials, but you still wont get every dollar you spend back in most cases. Before you commit to spending thousands of dollars, its a good idea to consult your real estate agent. An experienced agent should be able to guide you to the best options for your flooring and then counsel you on the best colors, plank width, and brands of you do choose to add hardwood.nbsp;

Kitchen finishes

Watch HGTV for more than a few minutes these days and youre probably going to see some fancy gold or brass finishes in the kitchen, and possibly the bathrooms as well. Were filing this under fad, because, even though this type of finish has grown in popularity, youre still unlikely to find them in the majority of homesespecially in more suburban areas. If you live in a hip city with a large, design-savvy millennial buyer base, going with the latest finishes could be a good move. For everyone else, sticking to finishes with more widespread appeal is smart.nbsp;

Kitchen shelving is another important feature to consider. In recent years, open shelving has become quite popular on design shows. But, in real life, it can lack function and create clutterespecially when there is too much of it. Open shelving looks great when done right, but too many open shelves can look unorganized, said Family Handyman.nbsp;Stick to a couple well-organized open shelves mixed in with cabinets.

Bathrooms

Outside of finishes, its important to consider the main features of your bathroom. Are you fixing up an outdated space? You might be seeing a number of owners renovating their master bathrooms to include a large walk-in shower, which requires them to ditch the bath. Is this a fad or a trend? Either way, it can be a move that hurts the homes value.nbsp;

Consider your potential buyer before making such a drastic change. If there are a lot of young families in the neighborhood and thats your target buyer, removing the tub in the master bath may end up costing you a sale.


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Could Your Garage Get Your Home Sold?

Youve made updates to your kitchen. Made sure your bathrooms look fresh and clean. Decluttered EVERYTHING. Even dropped your price. But your house still isnt selling. Could your garage make the difference?

It just might.nbsp;

When prospective buyers visit your for-sale home, theyre going to inspect every room in the houseeven the garage, said Sara Reese of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida on RISMedia. Its not exactly a glamorous space, but if your garage is a mess, its going to send a bad signal and turn off visitors. Therefore, its helpful to spend a little time in your garage and make it look its best.

Here are a few tips to get your garage in great shape.

Replacing your garage door

If your garage door works perfectly fine, replacing it may not be a high priority. But consider it curb appeal. Garage doors are large items, and they take up a lot of eye space. Especially if your garage faces the street, a dented, chipped, or dingy door could be stealing focus from the rest of your otherwise-put-together house.nbsp;

Remodeling Magazinenbsp;found in its 2019 Cost vs. Value study that an upscale garage door replacement can actually net you anbsp;return of 97.5, said HomeLight. A new garage door will run younbsp;between 300 to 1,500, depending upon the size and >

If the garage makes a loud or creaky sound when it opens, spending a few hundred dollars to replace the garage door opener is a no-brainer.

Finishing out the garage

Finishing out your garage isnt recommended if youre looking for the best return on investment ROI. While this type of upgrade may appeal to a niche buyer, most arent going to pay extra for it, and you likely wont recoup your costs.nbsp;

Just adding epoxy to the floor can cost between 1,400 and 3,000. You could do it yourself for about 100, but the process can be tricky and the results may reflect your novice status.nbsp;

If you dont want to go to the trouble and expense of epoxying the floors, make sure you get them nice and clean. If your garage floors are cracked and covered in oil stains from cars gone by, its a good idea to give the floor a good pressure washing and repair those cracks depending on how big or noticeable they are, said Nexx. According to homewyse, power washing the garage floor will cost around 200.nbsp;

Adding storage

After giving the garage a good cleaning, this is the No. 1 must-do to get the space in good shape. According to Kiplinger, 85 of buyers said they want garage storage.nbsp;

You can easily spend thousands on dedicated garage storage systems that make the space look pristine, but creating spaces to neatly stash your stuff doesnt have to be costly. A few large metal shelving units placed side by side will only cost you a few hundred dollars. These freestanding units are popular with buyers because the doors hide messes. And, when you put a few of them together, you can turn the top into a work surface.

Adding a garage

If you dont have a garage and youre in an area where most homes do, adding one might be on your mind. Your real estate agent should be able to advise you on whether or not this is a smart move, especially given the expense and expected ROI. At a national level, home sellers can expect to recover close to 64.8 of their initial garage addition costs, said Clever. Lets say that you invest 27,000 in adding a garage to your home, you may recover about 17,496 when you sell your home.

Doing a garage conversion

Perhaps youre thinking of converting your garage to living space. It is less expensive than adding on; According to Realtor.com, a garage renovation comes in atnbsp;11,000 on average.

While a conversion isnt necessarily a recommended strategy if youre looking to get your home sold right away because of the expense and the time involved, there are some instances where this might be a good move.nbsp;

Nearly 30 of shoppers rate a garage as one of the most important home features, just ahead of an updated kitchen and open floor plan. But a well-done garage conversion to living space can give you up to an 80 ROI.nbsp;

The decision of whether to go this route largely hinges on that expense, but also on the specific area in which your home is located. Its best to talk with your real estate agent before dropping the hammer on your garage conversion. It could be that homes without garage in your area just dont sell. Or, perhaps there is a growing trend toward multi-generational living locally that could inform your renovation and make your home especially desirable.nbsp;


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5 Roof Options to Consider in 2022

Your roof plays a more important part of your property than you may realize. Roofs create a significant part of your homes curb appeal - and therefore value. They also protect your home from the elements and play a role in your homes energy efficiency and energy costs.

While a few roofing materials are capable of lasting for decades or even hundreds of years, most eventually reach the end of their usefulness and their lifespans. If your roof has been leaking, has cracks, missing shingles, or significant algae growth, it may be time to look into getting a new one. And with so many new and innovative materials on the market today, you may find that youre able to get a roof that can not only improve on your existing one, but that can improve things like your energy efficiency and overall performance as well.nbsp;

Well outline five of the newest and hottest roofing technologies and materials below, so you can learn more about what might be a good fit for your home.

Storm Resistant Roofing

Storms are one of the biggest causes of roof damage. Hailstones can break and bruise roofing shingles, while cracking tiles and denting metal panels. High winds can rip many types of roofing right off the top of a home. With climate change increasing the number of storms in recent years, this has led to the need to re-roof a number of homes.

By investing in roofing that is designed to resist hailstones and high winds, you can better protect your home and prevent the need for reroofing after the next storm. Many luxury types of architectural shingles and some types of concrete and metal roofing are now able to withstand the worst that mother nature can bring.nbsp;Expect costs to start around 15 a square foot installed for these materials, around 30,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. roof, which compared to the average cost to replace a roof 7,000 - 12,000 is significantly higher, but youll be much less likely to need to re-roof any time soon.

Solar Roofing

Most people have heard about solar panels and know the benefits that they can offer. But did you also know that in addition to large, heavy and unsightly panels, there are also several types of solar roofing as well?

Solar roofing installs just like regular roofing material in the form of shingles or metal roof panels. They contain solar cells, however, just like standard solar panels. This means that while your roof is sitting in the sun all day, it will also be producing energy to help power your home.

Its important to note that individual solar shingles and roofing panels do not produce as much energy as full-sized solar panels. However, by covering your entire roof in them, you are likely able to get the same results. Compared to the average cost to install solar panels -between 15,000 and 21,000 - the cost of solar roofing is high - 60,000 to 70,000 on average. However, this system will work as a roof and will also help pay for itself over time in lowered energy costs.

Cool Roofs

If you live in a hot climate, then youre well aware of what can happen to your roof after a day in the sun. The sun heats the roofing shingles, which transfer that heat to the attic. The attic transfers that heat to your living area, and youre running the A/C at ever higher rates to cool down. Not to mention all of that heat can cause your roofing materials to deteriorate even faster, so you need to replace your roof more often.

Enter cool roofs. Cool roofs look like any other asphalt, architectural shingle, or composite roof. But, they contain materials that help them reflect the suns rays, rather than absorbing them. This keeps your roof cooler, which keeps your attic cooler, and in turn means that you can stay more comfortable without the extra A/C. These roofs are not a good fit for homes in cool climates, but can work exceptionally well in hot areas. They cost about the same as other, non-cooling roof materials of the same time, meaning that a 1,500sq.ft. roof would cost around 10,000 on average.

Plastic Shingles

When you think about the material to roof your home with, you likely dont think about plastic shingles. But plastic roofing has a lot of benefits. This low cost material is also extremely durable and lightweight. It resembles the look of more expensive materials like cedar or slate, but at a fraction of the cost. Best of all, you dont need to reinforce your roof deck to install it.

Plastic shingles also resist storms and hail damage, while lasting upwards of 50 years. Look for brands that use post-consumer material in their production, and you can even get a more sustainable roof at the same time. Plastic roofing costs around 8,000 to 12,000 for a 2,000sq.ft. roof that resembles slate, which is a lot less than the 30,000 you would pay for real slate roofing.nbsp;

Green Roofs

If your home has a flat roof or a low-slope roof, you may want to consider a green or living roof. Green roofs use plants, earth, and container systems to cover your roof in a layer of insulating, live material. This has many benefits. Green roofs can last for decades while helping to enhance the energy efficiency of your home and help reduce the overall temperature in cities. They can also help manage rainwater and prevent issues from run off. The thick layer of material insulates your home, so you stay more comfortable year round.nbsp;

Green roofs come in three different levels, which can influence the type, layout, and cost. Many roofs are eligible and once you get them established, they dont take as much maintenance as you may imagine. The cost of a green roof is about 22,000 for a variety of plants - which is at the high end of the average cost to roof a home - 7,000 to 24,0000 - but which can outlast many other materials, while offering plenty of benefits at the same time.nbsp;

Bring Your Roof Up-to-Date

If your roof is old, in poor condition, or just isnt serving its purpose any longer, consider updating your roof with one of these newer materials. Todays roofs do more than sit on your home; they really enhance your homes appearance and its performance long term. No matter where you live, what your climate, or your budget, youre sure to find an ideal roof to fit your needs.


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Sure-Fire Ways to Enhance the Value of Your Home

As a homeowner, any investment in your home should be one that enhances its overall value. There are many different ways to improve the value of any home. The trick is to choose those features which will bring you the most return on your investment and satisfaction for your everyday living environment. Here are our best suggestions for areas to improve the value of your home.

Landscaping

The curb appeal of your home is in straight connection with the perceived value of the home. Its important to remember that the value of your home will be determined by the buying market. For this reason, youll want to ensure that your home looks amazing. Curb appeal is an area that you simply cant ignore. The outside of your home is the first glimpse that people get of your house from a listing and when driving up for a showing. You want to impress them at first sight. Investing your money in different landscaping features can provide a great return on your investment. Features can include trees, shrubs, flowers, fountains, fences, benches, ambient lighting, and so forth.

Energy-Efficient Features

Aside from the mortgage payment, one of the most expensive parts of owning a home is paying the electricity bill. This holds especially true in the dead of winter and drought of summer. To help keep energy levels low, there are various energy-efficient features that can be installed throughout your home. Solar panels tend to be some of the first features that most people think of when they hear about cutting energy costs. By producing your own energy, you can avoid the high costs of paying your utility company each month. Heat pumps are another great way to majorly reduce your heating and cooling costs. Even adding energy-efficient kitchen appliances can be a great idea to help lower the electric bill each month.

Replace Old Windows

Older windows in your home can be a big avoidance of potential homebuyers. They know that windows can be somewhat costly to fix and will avoid buying homes that will need a lot of windows replaced. You can fix this problem by installing new windows in your home. These newer windows will be more energy-efficient and make your energy bills much cheaper. According to EnergyStar, the average homeowner can enjoy savings of up to 500 per year in energy costs just by installing new windows. Also, by installing new windows, it can modernize the look of the home which is a big plus for potential buyers.

Convert Extra Space Into Rooms

One of the biggest ways to improve the value of a home is to add another bathroom or bedroom. While not all homeowners have the space to do so, it can be advantageous for those who do. Look for those spare rooms that can be converted. Even an attic space that is tall enough to be converted into a bedroom can drastically improve the value of your home. If you have a lot of open basement space, consider installing a downstairs bathroom and bedroom. The more bedrooms and bathrooms you can install, the higher the value increase for your home.

Update The Kitchen

The two most popular rooms in a home are the bathroom and the kitchen. The kitchen is one that is highly desired to be modernized. This includes new appliances, beautiful countertops, and more modern features. If youre going to be investing your money in updating any room of your home, you should opt for the kitchen first. This will bring you the biggest return on your investment.

Increasing the value of your home can be done through many different methods. The above are just some of the most popular methods that are used by homeowners. Its always a good idea to consider the return on investment that youll get from any home improvement that you intend to do. This will ensure that you get your money back when you go to resell your home in the future.


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How To Choose The Best Refi: It’s Not Just About The Rates

As mortgage rates continue their freefall, more and more homeowners are opting to refinance. With the recent dips, experts are saying that even those who refinanced in 2019 should take a look to see if they can save money.nbsp;nbsp;

Millions of homeowners could benefit by refinancing their mortgages, even if they bought or refinanced as recently as May 2019, said NerdWallet. A typical refinance could save more than 150 a month.

But the rates are just one of the considerations. If youre thinking about looking into a new loan, here are some other things to consider.nbsp;

How much is it going to cost you?

Yes, refinancing to lower your rate and your payment is typically a good idea. But refinancing isnt free, and the fees you pay can add up. Make sure you take a good look at all of the fees, negotiate where you can, and figure out how long its going to take you to break even.

Estimate your break-even period: the time it takes for the accumulated monthly savings to exceed the loan fees, said NerdWallet. For example, if you pay 3,600 in fees to save 100 a month, it will take 36 months to break even 3,600 divided by 100 equals 36. If you believe youll stay in the house beyond the break-even period, it might be worthwhile to refinance.

Think about the terms

Who says you need to stick with a 30-year loan? With rates this low, it might be time to look at a 15-year term. Maybe you want to consider an adjustable rate. Perhaps its time to refinance out of your FHA loan into a conventional loan to get rid of that private mortgage insurance PMI, which will save you even more money per month. Be sure to look at all of your options, and not just the one that seems the most obvious.

Hows the service?

On the service side, getting your questions answered in a timely and accurate way is an important element of the process, said Investopedia. Getting a loan requires quite a bit of paperwork, as well as the collection and dissemination of a significant amount of personal information. Having a single, >

A conventional loan isnt your only option.nbsp;

One of the lesser known refinancing options is called an FHA streamline. The benefit of this type of refinance is that you dont have to jump through many of the typical lender hoops. If you currently have an FHA mortgage, the FHA Streamline Refinance is the easiest way to get a lower rate and monthly payment, said The Mortgage Reports. The FHA Streamline is a low-doc refinance with limited paperwork required; the lender doesnt have to verify your income or credit, and theres no home appraisal. That means a Streamline Refinance closes faster than other loans and has slightly cheaper closing costs.nbsp;

This type of refi is also available through the VA and USDA.

Did you get a second opinion?

Even if you go back to your current mortgage lender for your refinance, shop at least a couple of other lenders to see hownbsp;interest ratesnbsp;and terms compare, said NerdWallet. You might believe that going to your existing lender will save you time and hassle. They know us, theyve already got all of our paperwork, you may think. If only that were true. Its a new loan for them, just like its a new loan for any lender. The paperwork will be the same. When lenders know youre shopping around, they are more likely to compete.


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A Guide To HOA Board Responsibilities

Serving on the board of a homeowner association is a high calling. Well meaning volunteers are elected to roles that are critical to the well being of the HOA. But what exactly is a board member supposed to do to fulfill this charge? Heres a handy guide:

Officer Responsibilities

President:

  • Prepares meeting agenda
  • Presides at all board, annual and special meetings
  • Appoints and supervises all committees
  • Supervises the manager
  • Trains directors for future leadership positions
  • Sets positive example

Vice President:

  • Keep current on HOA business
  • Fills in for president when necessary
  • In training for future presidency only a "heartbeat" away

Secretary:

  • Records minutes at all meetings
  • Maintains book of minutes and resolutions
  • Posts meeting notices
  • Attests to the authenticity of corporate documents
  • Certifies all meeting notices and election results
  • Responsible for all official communications with members

Treasurer:

  • Responsible for collection and expenditure of assessments
  • Reviews and summarizes financial statements
  • Approves/signs all checks
  • Monitors reserve investments
  • Monitors delinquencies

All Board Members:

  • Come to meetings prepared
  • Maintain a professional demeanor
  • Put personal agendas aside
  • Encourage participation
  • Be open and fair
  • Maintain confidentiality when appropriate

nbsp;

Use this handy checklist for board training and retraining purposes when the board gets off-track.


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Five Seasonal Strategies to Keep Property Managers Sane

The holidays mean one thing is on every property managers mind: managing the package delivery chaos. UPS estimated it delivered 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2018 and that number is sure to rise this year. For the week of December 2 alone this year, Package Concierge had over 716,000 package transactions - thats a 42 increase from the week prior. As more and more Americans do their retail shopping online, multifamily properties will need solutions that can help manage the madness during the holidays and beyond.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by holiday package management, but with a little advanced planning and the addition of the ever-increasing available property technology, managers can face the busy season head-on. With the busiest shipping season of the year in full force, here are a few tips to help property managers prepare:

1. Supplement Staffing

With fewer shipping days in the 2019 holiday season, be prepared to efficiently handle the late spike in deliveries by ensuring enough staff and/or automated solutions are on hand to manage it all. Consider hiring seasonal employees and adding automated lockers and package rooms to help fill in the gaps. Investing in the right tech can pay serious long term dividends.

2. Make it Secure

Carriers are staffing up for the holidays too, which means new faces may be added on your route. Tighten up security for delivery personnel and all the added packages by reviewing your buildings entry procedures and access points for package drop-off and pick-up. Determine if seasonal staff, automated locks, extra security cameras and/or entry codes need to be adjusted or added to ensure residents and packages remain safe and secure.

3. Clearly Communicate

Whether the property management office will have extended holiday hours or be closed for entire portions of the holiday season, make sure both your residents and delivery carriers are well informed ahead of time especially since this short season will be extremely busy. This is also the time to outline your propertys policies for return packages, package pick-up procedures, guest check-ins and any policies >

4. Plan the Parking Lot

The increase in visitors and delivery vehicles during this busy time may place a strain on parking for your residents. Make sure visitor parking policies are clearly communicated and that proper signage is in place. Consider temporarily designating package delivery drop-off locations that are close to entrances and provide enough space for package carts without blocking traffic.

5. Keep it Clean

Adding extra building cleanings will not only ensure it has a seasonal sparkle but will also help keep everyone healthy; especially since all the extra foot traffic, boxes and waste create more dust and clutter. Have cleaning crews pay extra special attention to high-traffic common areas, sanitizing doors and handles from the front lobby entrance to the mail and package room.nbsp;nbsp;

A bit of extra planning now, will help finish this years shortened holiday season with ease. Its never too early or too late to enhance your property with technology solutions that increase efficiency for the holiday season and beyond.


Georgianna W. Oliver is the Founder of Package Concierge, the trusted provider of automated locker solutions.


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Buying a Home as an Unmarried Couple: What to Know

Its increasingly common for people to live together but not be married. For example, in the past 20 years, the number of unmarried couples living together has almost tripled. You might be planning to wait to get married, or maybe youre not going to at all, but what if you want to buy a home together?

Its possible to buy a home as an unmarried couple, but it can be a little more complex than it is for a married couple. nbsp;

The following are some considerations to proactively think about before you start the process.

Whos Going To Apply for the Mortgage?

When you arent married, but you want to buy a home together, one of the first things youll have to think about is whos applying for the mortgage. The person in the >

When you arent married, you have to apply as individuals typically.

Go over financial factors like credit scores, incomes, debt-to-income ratios, employment status, and assets to figure out who has the stronger financial standing. Not only will that person have a better likelihood of approval, but theyll also qualify for better terms like lower interest rates.

Some lenders may let you apply for a mortgage together, although its not extremely common. If you apply together, it can help or hurt you. The benefit is that you may qualify for a larger mortgage since you have a combination of two incomes. The downside might be if your partner has a lower credit score, and the lender could base their decision on that.

How Will You Hold the Title?

The title of a home is proof of ownership. There are a few options here:

Joint tenancy is one option in which both you and your partner will have equal shares of your property. This will include the right of survivorship, meaning that if one of you passes away, the survivor will receive the deceaseds half of the property.

Another way to deal with the title is called tenants in common. Under this arrangement, youre co-owners with equal rights to the property. Its different from joint tenancy because you hold titles individually for your share of the property. You can dispose of your individual ownership. There isnt a right of survivorship and the other partner doesnt receive the decedents property share if they pass away. Instead, the property would go to the heirs of the person who passed away.

A living trust of real property is a way to set up the arrangement also. The trustee holds the title for the beneficiary who has all of the management responsibilities and rights.

What About a Cohabitation Property Agreement?

Whether youre married or not, when you buy a property together, youre going to accumulate equity. However, youre not going to have the same level of property protection as a married couple, meaning you might want to go further to protect yourself.

One way to do this is to have an attorney create whats called a cohabitation property agreement, outlining who owns what. This is something youll fall back on if you separate.

A cohabitation agreement should outline how youll share expenses >

Other Considerations

There are a few other things to think about in addition to whats above.

First, if your name is on a mortgage and your partner stops contributing to payments for any reason, youre both equally liable. If you cant make the payments without their financial contribution, you may be faced with foreclosure.

If you get a joint loan, your name will stay on the mortgage unless you refinance.

Finally, only one of you is eligible for the mortgage interest tax deduction since unmarried couples file taxes separately.

The best thing to do before buying a house as an unmarried couple is sit down and carefully go through your finances, and make sure youre on the same page before you proceed with anything.


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How Lenders View Tip Income

When tips play a big part in someones take-home pay, it can be used to help qualify for a mortgage. The kicker is that many dont report all of the tip income or simply lose track of the amount. Tips are issued to the recipient directly either in cash or added onto the credit slip. Either way, it must be accounted for.nbsp;

Its the recipients job to not only keep track of the daily amounts as well as report the income when filing income tax returns. And here is where things can sometimes get a little off track. Most such jobs pay a minimum wage and its the tip income that really matters. But when it comes time to qualify for a home loan, that tip income must be accounted for.nbsp; Accounting for tips means depositing the funds into a bank account on a regular basis. It also means keeping a personal, written record of tip income.nbsp;

When someone gets paid from their employer, its common for income to be paid out on the 1st and 15th. The bank account statements will then show these deposits from the employer using direct pay. But what the employer wont show is how much tip income was distributed. In fact, the employer might have a general idea but there isnt any way for the employer to get an exact number on the amount of tips. Its important to also deposit tips in a regular manner. Someone might deposit last weeks tip income on a Monday, for example. Weekly, consistent deposits that are verified by bank statements and even deposit slips may be counted.

However, as we recently mentioned, all income must have a history and tip income is no different. Income in general must be documented to having been received for at least the last two years. This provides the lender with enough confidence the income will continue well into the future, typically for at least three years. Verifying a consistent, two year history helps lenders make this determination. Tip income must also be shown being received for at least two years. The income reported to the IRS is the amount of tip income lenders will use when qualifying. Thats the final verification lenders need in order to use tip income when qualifying for a mortgage and probably the most important. If this income doesnt show up on your tax returns, thats going to be a problem. Even if you keep solid personal records.

If youre planning on buying a home in the future and your tips play an important part, make sure we speak together about how to document this important piece of your financial profile before you get too much further. In essence, its just like any other income as it >


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Does Hardwood Flooring Increase Property Values?

Hardwood flooring is valued for its beauty and charm as well as its overall durability. Wood floors are also hygienic and easy to clean, making them an excellent choice for those bothered by dust and other irritants that tend to get trapped in carpet fibers.

While there is an endless list of reasons to choose hardwood floors, some homeowners might wonder if timber flooring increases their homes overall value. While only a real estate agent can tell you if any changes to your home will increase its value and by how much, note some considerations to keep in mind when it comes to installing hardwood floors in a home that you might put on the market in a few years.

Hardwood Floors Sell Homes With a Neutral Look

Many real estate agents advise their clients to keep their homes decor as neutral as possible when putting that house on the market. Prospective home buyers often have a difficult time imagining their own color choices and personal belongings in a home with an eclectic or unusual look, so a simple but warm decor often appeals to more homebuyers.

Hardwood floors sell homes with a neutral look that appeals to a wide range of buyers. For example, a prospective buyer who prefers a modern >

Hardwood Flooring, Durable for Years

People in the market for a new home dont like to think of moving into a house and having to immediately make extensive or even minor repairs or updates. No matter their other features and even a homes price, buyers tend to overlook houses with sagging wood window sills, a dilapidated roof, outdated plumbing and electrical features, and other materials in poor repair, in favor of homes in good condition.

This is true for a homes interior floors; old and worn carpeting inside your house can cause a prospective buyer to move on to another property rather quickly. However, hardwood flooring is durable for years Even if its a few years old, wood flooring is likely to be in good condition when youre ready to put your home on the market, ensuring that you dont lose any prospective buyers simply because of the condition or appearance of your homes floors.

The Most Durable Wood Floors Withstand Wear and Tear

The most durable wood floors will appeal to a wide range of buyers who are looking for a turn key home, meaning one in good condition, as said. However, many prospective homebuyers want a flooring material that will remain in good condition long after theyve moved in as well

Even if a house has >

The Ease of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

While carpet fibers are softer underfoot than wood floor tiles, those fibers are also notorious for trapping dirt, dust, mud, pet hair and dander, human hair and shed skin cells, insect droppings, cigarette ash, pollen, and a list of other irritants Regular vacuuming and consistent shampooing or steam cleaning by a professional is cumbersome and expensive but typically the only way to keep a homes carpets clean and hygienic.

Prospective homebuyers know that the density of solid hardwood floors makes them much more hygienic overall and easier to keep clean on a daily basis. Solid wood floors wont trap dirt and dust and typically need nothing more than a light dust mopping to stay clean. For prospective buyers who demand a clean flooring surface and dont appreciate lugging a heavy vacuum around every day, hardwood flooring makes your home much more valuable in their eyes

Can You Paint Solid or Engineered Hardwood?

Another great selling point when it comes to hardwood floors is that you can paint or stain solid or engineered hardwood. The wood floor experts at Kansas City Flooring Pros note that a professional flooring contractor should first sand the floors properly before recoating, to create a surface that will hold paint or stain properly without removing so much timber that you damage the floor slats or create grooves and swirl patterns along the floor.

However, if left in the hands of a professional, painting solid or engineered hardwood floors allows you to change their appearance as often as you want, going from a light whitewash to a dark walnut stain and everything in between While you can dye carpeting, this process is not as versatile as painting or staining hardwood when it comes to giving your homes interior a fresh new look. Prospective homebuyers might appreciate the option of changing the appearance of a homes floor somewhat easily over time, making your home more appealing to them.

Hardwood is a Floor Option for All Seasons

If your home is located in an area with extremes in weather, hardwood floor tiles are an excellent option and one that many prospective homebuyers might appreciate. In colder climates, a dark paint or stain color will keep the homes interior warm. In tropical climates or areas with long, hot summers, a gray or whitewash floor color keeps a home cool and comfortable.

Prospective homebuyers might also appreciate that they can place a thick area rug over wood floors during cold weather and then remove that rug during summertime, to keep the homes floors comfortable no matter the weather. Changing the appearance of a homes floor this way is also an option if a homeowner tends to change a rooms decor throughout the year, as they can also change the area rugs and their new homes flooring will always coordinate perfectly with the overall appearance of its surroundings.


nbsp;Dustin Miller is the owner of Kansas City Flooring Pros and has been flipping properties and renovating homes for over 10 years. His team of experts know exactly how to increase home values and what the best renovation projects are to increase your home value when you are getting close to selling.


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What to Consider Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen may be the place where your family spends the vast majority of their time. Thats common, and as such, we often want our kitchens to reflect our >

With that being said, a kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking, financially, and just in terms of logistics. Rather than jumping in, you need to prepare yourself for what to expect and make sure its something your family is ready for.

Can You Live Without a Kitchen?

Before you make any plans, think about your life>

There are minor upgrades you can make to your kitchen to refresh the >

If you have young kids at home and youre going through renovations, safety becomes an issue.

Many people are also working from home right now, so will you be able to continue doing that with construction going on around you?

Are You Prepared for the Costs?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is just over 25,300, which comes out to around 150 per square foot. The total cost varies depending on the size of your kitchen, whether or not you change the layout and the materials you choose.

You could do a minor remodel including refacing cabinets, upgrading your sink and adding a new backsplash for around 10,000. A much larger renovation costing upwards of 30,000 may include custom cabinetry, new flooring and countertops and high-end appliances.

Do you have the money to spend, and if so, is this how you want to spend it? If youd have to finance the project, how will those added monthly debt payments affect your budget and life?

If youre planning to sell your home soon, the project could pay for itself but you need to ensure you design a kitchen that will appeal to a wide set of tastes and dont make it too personal to your family.

Inevitably if you set a budget for a kitchen remodel, youre going to go over, so give yourself padding with that in mind.

Do You Need to Change the Layout?

If the layout of your kitchen isnt functional and you think it needs to be changed, its going to be more time-consuming and expensive than primarily aesthetic changes. You will need to work with a contractor, even if you plan to do some of the work independently.

Its important to understand which walls are load-bearing.

You will also need to talk to a professional to understand how to move plumbing, venting, and electrical components if youre changing the layout.

If you think you can do all the work in your kitchen on your own to save money, what can ultimately happen is that you make mistakes along the way. Then, you pay more to fix them. Sometimes its a better option to find a >

You might also want to hire a designer or at least consult with one if youre changing the layout. A designer can help you understand how layout changes will impact the flow of the kitchen, and they can help you with an optimal placement that will work for not just your family but potential buyers if you sell in the future.

A kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking. If youre considering it, prepare yourself for how itll affect your day to day life and finances.


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6 Questions Your Loan Officer is Going to Ask

Even if its not your very first home purchase, you need to be prepared to provide your loan officer with what is required. Experienced home buyers may also have forgotten all the things provided and questions asked. For this audience, here are some questions you can bet your loan officer will be asking before you get too far into the process.

Is This Your First Home?

There may be special loan programs available in your area designed specifically for first time buyers. These programs might come from a local or statewide agency that helps first time buyers in a variety of ways, not to mention some down payment assistance. Its also important to recognize that most loan programs designate first time buyer status to those who have not owned a home in the past three years.nbsp;

Are You Self-Employed?

This is another question that might seem a bit out of the blue but its an important one. Theres some additional paperwork and process needed for someone who is self-employed or otherwise receives income other than an employer. For instance, you might need to provide a year-to-date profit and loss statement, something that an employee wouldnt have. Income for self-employed needs to be documented with the last two years of business income tax returns. This is a requirement because most such programs require a minimum self-employment period of two years.

How Is Your Credit?

Some might have had a recent late payment on an otherwise pristine credit report and automatically think their credit has been damaged. Be forthcoming and if there are any instances that might need some attention, explain them upfront and your loan officer will take it from there. There can sometimes be some misunderstanding of how lenders view credit so dont take it upon yourself to make a personal determination. If theres been a foreclosure or bankruptcy in the past, thats something the lender needs to know in advance.nbsp;

How Much Do You Make Each Month?

This is a >

How Much Money Do You Have Available For the Transaction?

Only the accounts used for the transaction are important. This accounts will be used for not just the down payment and closing costs involved but also some money left over referred to as cash reserves. Lenders want to make sure you have some money left over when all is said and done and not zero out your accounts.

When Do You Want to Close?

For purchase transactions the close date is listed on the sales contract. That is if youve already made an accepted offer. It also lets the loan officer know how much time is available to meet the contract date. Many escrow periods are for 30 days and there is a property picked out. This information lets the loan officer know when to begin ordering third party documentation be done but be ready to supply absolutely everything asked for in order to meet this deadline.


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Energy Efficiency In Your HOA

While there is continuing debate about the reasons driving climate change, most agree on the need for better stewardship of the Earth. While governments often move at a glacial pace to enact green policies, self help is readily available today. What better place to start than at the homeowner association? HOAs often control a variety of systems, processes, equipment, designs and materials. There are opportunities to improve energy efficiency which often produce economic benefits as well. This is a win-win: doing well by doing good Here are some ways an HOA can be ecologically friendly:

Eco-landscaping involves a combination of careful plant and tree selection, turf reduction, eliminating chemical fertilizers and improving water management. The days of broad green spaces are making way for a myriad of options that are more earth friendly. Selecting pest resistant and drought tolerant native species saves on maintenance, water and pest control. Fitting sprinkler systems with rain override sensors reduces water. Reducing turf areas reduces mowing and the pollution generated by gas powered equipment.

Donate It. Many areas have building product and material recycling centers which will accept lumber, doors, windows, cabinets, sinks, carpet and appliances. If you are renovating your clubhouse and have an option to donate used material and equipment instead of dumping, do it. Craigslist.com offers a free way to dispose of building materials.

Offer Recycling. Some jurisdictions have mandated recycling as part of the trash collection process. When recyclables are separated from trash, the trash load is reduced and trash collection costs less. With less trash, the landfill load is reduced as is the contamination of soil and ground water. Even where recycling is provided, compliance lags due to consumer laziness. The HOA can remind residents of their civic duty in this regard and the obvious benefit of lower trash collection costs.

Where government recycling requirements are absent, the HOA can create its own system by establishing a centralized recycling station for glass, metal, paper and recyclable plastics that is serviced by a contractor or committee. While individuals can haul their own recycling, the easier and cheaper it is to do, the greater the compliance. Centralize and economize.

Manage Energy Better. Take full advantage of power and water saving devices. LED bulbs use small amounts of energy. Add solar activated exterior light controls so lights burn only when needed. Replace high flow plumbing fixtures with low flow models. Insulate water pipes and heat ducts.nbsp;

Recycled Paint. Leftover latex paint is screened and blended into a popular pallette of colors and resold at a reduced price. For options, Google "[your state] recycled paint".

Go Solar. Many states offer incentives for adding solar power generation or solar hot water systems. If your buildings have flat roofs or good southern exposure, consult with local solar system providers for options. For HOAs with pools, solar water heating can often pay for itself quickly and significantly lower energy consumption.nbsp;

The HOA should remind all residents of ways they can help the HOA be more ecologically friendly by supporting HOA green programs and by individual effort. There are numerous free resources available on the internet such as:

Consumer Recycling Guide. There are numerous types of products and materials that fall outside the typical recycling service and need special handling. For these items, the HOA can empower its residents with information.

Packaging Reduction. This is an often overlooked strategy in reducing waste. Packaging can range from none like buying food in bulk to Fort Knox like hard shell plastic wrapped around electronics to reduce theft. Consumers generally have a range of packaging choices in many products. Opting for the one with less packaging is a conscious decision to help green the world.

Make it Fun The intriguing thing about going green is there are so many ways to pull it off. The HOA can encourage the process by offering prizes for effort and creativity. Those that step up are often willing to help recruit and encourage others. The news media loves to run stories about grass root green efforts. Make your HOA a standout and get recognized While it does take some effort, there are more incentives and resources today than ever. Make it your HOAs routine to be seen as green.


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What Real Estate Agents Wish They Could Tell Their Clients

Its not always easy to work in real estate. Home prices continue to rise throughout most of the country, interest rates are low and inventory is tight. Its a prime market for sellers and not so much for buyers. Theres a lot of anxiety and frustration for buyers and their agents, particularly with the prevalence of bidding wars.

Regardless of which end of the transaction you might be onbuyer or sellerworking with an agent whos knowledgeable and experienced is one of the best things you can do to navigate this complex market.

With that being said, as frustrated as you could be about certain things, there are likely things your agent wish you knew, or they could tell you as well.

Dont Contact Any Other Agents Once Youve Started Working With Someone

Once you start working with an agent to buy a home or sell yours, youre usually entering a contract with them. Its an exclusive buyer or seller representation agreement. Dont call the real estate agent on the sign if you see a house you like. Call your agent and tell them.

Your realtor is your representative for any purchase or sale.

Theyre meant to carry you through the legal and financial steps of buying or selling.

While youre obviously concerned with your needs, its good to think about things from the perspective of your agent too. If you go to another agent and end up writing a contract, lets say, then your agent doesnt receive any money for the time or effort they spent working with you. If you decide that you arent ready to buy or sell or something changes, let your agent know right away.

If Youre a Seller, Make It Easy to Sell Your Home

Even the best agent isnt going to have an easy time selling your home if youre not upholding your end of things. That means you try and keep your home as presentable as possible, including very clean, while its on the market. You should also try and work around your agent and the buyers schedules as much as possible.

Try to avoid being onsite during showings, and ensure your pets are put away and taken care of before a showing.

Your Expectations Might Be Unreasonable

If you were in a buyers market, you could get away with having higher standards, but in the current environment, youre very likely to have to lower your standards.

Things may gradually change over the next couple of years, but for the time being, your agent probably wishes they could directly tell you that its time to take some things off your wish list and be a little less picky.

If you want a home that needs zero work, youre going to pay a premium. Even fixer-uppers may not be extremely cheap right now.

Real Estate Agents Arent Experts in Everything

There are a lot of things your agent is going to be great at helping you with. They know the market, and they can help you with things like pricing and negotiations. You also have to realize there are limitations to their expertise. For example, your agent probably cant tell you if something is built to code or what it might cost you to take on a large-scale project.

They might have an idea, but its not what they specialize in.

Rather than thinking your agent will have every answer, you can expect that they can refer you to great experts in the areas where you need help.

Dont Say Youre a Motivated Buyer If You Arent

If you talk to any real estate agent, theyre going to have at least one and often many more stories about situations where theyve worked with buyers and then ultimately, they had no intention of making a purchase.

There are legitimate reasons you might take a long time to buy something or things can change, but if youre just killing time by looking at houses, its disrespectful to the agent whos taking their time to work with you.

Stop Lowballing Just Because

Finally, some buyers are deadest on not paying the listing price. No one wants to pay more than a house is worth, and thats normal, but you also have to understand the market and realize that sometimes you have to pay the market value of a home if you want it.


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Updated: Friday, December 3, 2021

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