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Access Is An Important Factor In Getting Your House SOLD!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

via Keeping Current Matters

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More Than Half Of All Buyers Are Surprised By Closing Costs

Closing Costs

According to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage.

After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.

“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”

Bankrate.com gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. in order to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment.

More Than Half of All Buyers Are Surprised by Closing Costs | Keeping Current Matters

Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. According to Freddie Mac,

“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

Bottom Line

Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

via Keeping Current Matters


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Is Now a Good Time to Rent? …Nope!

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home, but nobody ever asks when a good time to rent is. Regardless, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 first quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Rent Increases

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether or not you should renew your lease, you might be pleasantly surprised at your ability to buy a home of your own instead.

Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, please give us a call.  We can help determine if you are able to today!

via Keeping Current Matters Thank you for your relevant content!


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What’s Up With Housing This Week

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Pinellas Realtor OrganizationPinellas County Closed Sales for Single Family & Townhome/Condo Combined were up year-over-year:
There were 1,543 closings in January 2017 vs. 1,314 in January 2016… UP 17.4%

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Jim CramerHousing Industry Sees a ‘Cumulative Wealth Effect’.
Jim Cramer says the best investment may be close to home. The increased home equity isn’t being spent on a new car or a new iPhone, it’s going into the home.  i.e. Home Depot
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Closing CostsOver Half of All Buyers Are Surprised by Closing Costs.
Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

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Florida Association of RealtorsDon’t Do These 4 Risky Mortgage Moves.
Buyers excited about purchasing a new home sometimes sabotage their final loan approval by changing jobs, applying for credit or moving money around.

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Ben Carson HUDBen Carson confirmed as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary.
The Senate voted 58-41 to confirm Carson Thursday morning.

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Mortgage RatesMortgage Rates Impact on 2017 Home Values.
Most experts believe that rates would need to hit 5% or above to have an impact on home prices.
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Harvard Study: 5 Reasons Why Owning A Home Makes Sense Financially

The American Dream

We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities.

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.
“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.
“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.
“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.
“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact a local professional who can help evaluate your ability to do so.

Compiled by The KCM Crew… Keeping Current Matters.


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3 Reasons to Sell Your House Today!

Once again, the KCM Blog has some great tips pertaining to  the Residential Real Estate Market.  Last week, they ran a series of posts why NOW is the time to sell your home.

Part 1:  Demand for Real Estate is Much Stronger This YearHousing Demand

When selling anything, owners can only hope there is a strong demand for that which they are selling. The great news for today’s home sellers is that the current housing market is experiencing a stronger demand than we have seen in some time.

The  spring housing market of 2013 is projected to be one of the best in years. –Read More…

Part 2:  Housing Supply is Low

A seller’s ability to sell their home in today’s real estate market will be determined by both the supply of homes for sale and the demand for that housing. In real estate, supply is represented by the current month’s supply of homes for sale (the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes sold in the previous month). —Read More…

Part 3:  New Construction Will Soon Be Your Competition 

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. As an example, theNational Association of Realtors revealed, relative to last year, year-to-date new home sales are up 19%.

These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they can be an attractive alternative to many of today’s home purchasers. —Read More…

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3 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home NOW!

I always enjoy following what the KCM Blog has to say about the Real Estate Market.  Earlier this week, they ran a series of posts as to why it makes financial sense to purchase a home now.

Part I – Prices Are Rising at an Accelerated Rate The price of a home is Housing Prices Increasingthe major consideration when deciding whether or not it makes financial sense to purchase a house. Experts are not only projecting that house values will increase in 2013. They are also more optomistic in the level of appreciation they are projecting as the market begins to heat up. Click here for some examples:

Part II – Interest Rates Are Increasing A big component in the cost of a home is the mortgage interest rate a purchaser pays. Understanding where rates are headed will help in making a decision whether to buy now or wait. Click to read more…

Part III – Rents Are Skyrocketing In the current housing environment, there is an increasing demand for residential rental properties. This increase in demand has dramatically impacted rates. Zillow, in their most recent report, revealed that rental rates in the U.S. increased by 4.5% over the last twelve months. Other studies have projected rental rate increases of 4-5% over the next few years. The only way to have control of your housing expense is to buy. Click to read more…

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