Oct 16, 2017
There are a lot of rules to remember when purchasing a house but there are also a few things you should make a point to forget. According to Dori Zinn of Realtor.com, a number of common myths can hamper a homebuyer’s quest to find the perfect place to call their own. Below are some of the most pernicious myths Zinn identifies.
-- Start looking immediately. You’ve found the right neighborhood and you’ve fallen in love with the house but are you pre-approved for a loan? Is this listing in your price range? Have you even figured out how much you have to spend or what constitutes an affordable mortgage payment? There are a lot of preliminary steps to take before you go on your first walkthrough. Scouting out “For Sale” signs isn’t the first one. Determine the financial particulars before you go home hunting.
-- Do it yourself. Real estate professionals exist for a reason. Not only do they have a wealth of experience in the rules – written and otherwise – of homebuying but they also possess access to listing services and the resources you need to properly compare and contrast homes. Don’t take chances. Get an agent to help you.
-- School districts aren’t important. This myth is tempting to believe if you don’t have children. Why should you worry about paying more for better schools that you won’t even be using? But remember that schools do affect home value and even if you aren’t worried about them, the person you eventually sell to years down the road might not feel the same way. Better schools can also indicate a neighborhood that is on solid economic footing.
-- You have to pay the asking price. A home may not be in your price range now but, with a little negotiating finesse, it could become a more realistic fit. Sellers ask for what they want but they also understand that a little wiggle room is necessary, especially for a great pre-approved buyer who has qualified for a loan and can make the transaction happen now.
-- Home inspections are a waste of time. Wrong. A home inspection isn’t a formality. Don’t be pressured into dropping this important step simply to ease a deal into place. Professional inspectors can see difficulties that you can’t. Not only can this help you avoid a disastrous purchase but it can also detect problems that will add leverage to your ability to negotiate if you decide you still want a not-so-perfect property.
-- A 30-year mortgage is always the way to go. It is the standard in the industry but not all loans need to have a three-decade term. If your budget permits a bigger payment, then a 15-year plan could be a good option. The installments may be higher but the shorter term will slash the total interest you have to put in a lender’s pocket.
Oct 16, 2017
The bleak days of winter will be here before you know it. But before you stow the lawnmower in favor of a snowblower, there are still few things to get done before the warmth of early fall fades entirely. Raking isn’t the only outdoor chore that should be on your October checklist. According to Holly Amaya of Realtor.com, here are a few tasks to complete before the November chill overtakes us.
• Put away patio furniture. The summer cookouts were a blast but if your deck chairs end up covered in a foot of snow, then it means you forgot something. The less exposure they have to nature, the longer your outdoor set, barbecue grill and other items will hold up over time.
• Handle the hose. Your spring garden turned out beautifully but the hoses and faucets you used to water it are warm weather equipment. Liquid expands when it freezes so make certain outdoor spigots are shut off at the source and hoses are fully drained and coiled unless you want next spring’s to-do list to include new equipment and costly repairs.
• Check those gutters. No one likes getting up on a ladder to scoop slime out of their guttering but the reality is that autumn is called fall for a reason. Leaf debris from trees can leave your gutters and downspouts nothing more than chilly swamps of standing liquid. Improper drainage can lead to eventual water damage. If you don’t want to make the climb yourself, then hire a professional who does but don’t put off this chore until spring.
• Start staining. A good stain and sealant can help keep outdoor surfaces looking sharp. Otherwise, peeling paint and cracking wood are probably in your near future. You can have a pro do the work but as long as you clean, sand and sweep the surface first, the job is far from impossible for a reasonably handy DIY enthusiast.
Oct 16, 2017
It is difficult to sell homes when few are on the market.
National figures are in for August and they show the pending home sales index dropped by 2.6 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as purchasing enthusiasm was again dampened by a lack of houses to purchase.
While recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas have also contributed to the decline, the reality is that post-recession dearth of housing inventory continues to be a coast-to-coast phenomenon frustrating agents and buyers alike while giving sellers a boost in their home value. The index fell in every region with year-over-year numbers toppling the hardest in the northeast where the figure lost more than four percent to conclude at 93.4. The Midwest region, which includes Missouri and Illinois, dropped 3.2 percent to 101.8. Overall, the country finished the final full month of summer at 106.3. That’s the lowest since early last year.
With hopes of an inventory expansion faltering, the NAR is now projecting existing home sales for 2017 to come in just a hair lower than the figures for last year.
The organization’s chief economist Lawrence Yun notes in Realtor Magazine that many buyers are either in a holding pattern unable to find a home that meets their needs or have simply given up in a market where prices have simply risen beyond their means.
Fortunately, the effects from recent stormy weather and other factors may only delay some sales.
“The good news is that nearly all of the missed closings for the remainder of the year will likely show up in 2018, with existing sales forecast to rise 6.9 percent,” Yun said.
Oct 3, 2017