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5 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Value When You Sell

1) First, do your homework.   Find out the local market conditions for your neighborhood.  Depending on your area, there may be better/worse times to sell.  Once you’ve decided to sell, list your property with a full-service real estate broker/firm.  That's what The Lynchburg Team is here for! Find out if your realtor is truly a REALTOR® -- a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, a trade organization of nearly 1 million members nationwide.  Members of NAR subscribe to a stringent code of ethics to guarantee the highest level of service and integrity.  You may also want to know if they have any special REALTOR® designations, such as GRI and CRS, which require that real estate professionals take additional specialized real estate training.  In addition to qualifications, you should check references of the agent.  Make sure to speak with former clients to see if the agent is responsive and is available to keep you up-to-date with progress.   You need to have direct contact with your agent, so you will need to be as comfortable as possible.  The agent that handles your listing should: • Detailed marketing plan for your house, including online and offline marketing
• Prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of properties in your area that have sold, as well as properties currently listed
• Help you determine the best selling price for your house
• Advice on suggested home improvements During the time that your house is on the market, potential buyers will make appointments to view your home, along with the planned open-houses that you or your agent may schedule. Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time. Buyers need to envision themselves living in the home, so take care to present the property in its best light.  Put yourself in the position of a potential buyer and view the property starting at the front, itemizing the most cost-effective enhancements to make. 2) Clean up as much as possible.  You may want to paint walls (neutral colors are best) or spruce up wallpaper.  Replace old flooring and worn carpets.  Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers.  If possible, hire a cleaning service. Display your best linens, towels, and shower curtains. Make up beds, and put fresh flower arrangements on the table.  Make sure that there are no offensive odors in the house.  Odor is the first thing buyers notice, and often a permanent turnoff.    3) Make your house their new home.  Put away or pack small appliances and other items that might be sitting on countertops or tables throughout the house. You want buyers to visualize the space in each room, so it is best to remove as many smaller items as possible.  Remove personal items, pictures and items to present clear shelves, book cases and walls.  Move excess furniture to make rooms more spacious. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.  Clean and organize the closets. If you must, store boxes in an out of the way location.  You may also want to rent a temporary storage unit, to allow you to de-clutter every part of the house. 4) Don’t forget the outside!  The right landscaping can enhance the curb appeal of a home.  Eliminate weeds, patch bare spots, fertilize and water. Take a good look at the shrubbery. Bushes that have grown to cover windows should be pruned to let sun and light into the home.   Fill in bare spots with small shrubs and colorful, fast growing annuals, such as impatiens and petunias. A few well-placed flower pots by the front door can be very inviting. Today's buyers want low maintenance. Your goal should be a beautifully maintained yard that looks easy to care for. 5) Allow your agent/representative to show your home.  Buyers don’t want to offend current owners, so they may be more hesitant to consider your home if you are present for open-house events.  Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

5 Tips for Overseas Vacation Home Buying Success

The dream of owning a vacation home in some sun-drenched overseas location is one the majority of us share, and because real estate proves itself time and again as a solid long term investment commodity, many more people are committing to purchasing real estate abroad as an investment that they and their family can also enjoy and benefit from. When buying a vacation home abroad there are a number of key considerations to bear in mind to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls sometimes associated with buying long distance and in an unfamiliar country.  With these 5 tips for overseas vacation home buying success you can quickly cut a swathe through the research process and move towards securing the dream swiftly and securely. Tip One – Learn the Rules and Regulations Different countries have different rules relating to the right or otherwise of foreign citizens to own the freehold title to immovable property.  Some widely publicized destinations don't allow foreigners to directly own the land on which their property sits (Bulgaria) or more than one property (Cyprus) for example, and some countries are less economically or politically stable than your own which can mean that real estate related rules and regulations may change in the future.  Make sure you're comfortable with the workings of the country you're considering buying a vacation home in, and if in doubt seek professional advice about that country and the ambitions you hold for owning a holiday home in it. Tip Two - Good Investment/Bad Investment If you're buying a vacation home with a hope that it will go up in value and be not only a family retreat but a great asset, know that real estate, just like any investment commodity, can go down in value as well as up.  Furthermore not all countries have a real estate economy the same as the one in your own country – a little research would be wise into the historic nature of the property market in your country of choice as well as predictions for its future.  While such data is not a direct indication of how well your investment will perform it will arm you with more data to hopefully make your decisions easier. Tip Three - Title Deeds and Legalities Legal systems and the title deed registration process differ from country to country therefore know your legal rights and try and find out about the essential searches, surveys and title deed checks that need to be conducted before you should commit to buying your overseas vacation home.  Never enter into any form of contractual agreement without the direct assistance of an independent lawyer and never accept someone's word that a vacation home has its permissions and title deeds valid and up to date.  Insist on seeing and checking all important facts and data before signing on the dotted line. Tip Four - Accessibility and Desirability If you're thinking about making an income from your vacation home or even hoping to holiday in it yourself regularly, one of the most important factors to bear in mind is the accessibility or otherwise of your vacation home.  If your real estate is difficult to reach, with many miles to traverse and complicated and expensive plane journeys to plan, then it will just become a less desirable commodity over time. While a vacation involves getting away from it all and escaping every day life, a vacation destination and home should be easy and affordable to reach. Tip Five - Enlisting Assistance Consider enlisting the help of a reputable real estate agent, an independent lawyer and if you want to make money from your vacation home, a property management service.  Such professionals can save you time, effort and money and they can make the whole process of buying and owning a vacation home that much simpler.  Make sure you take references, examine credentials and see qualifications before employing anyone to assist you however, and if at all possible seek recommendations because anyone who does a good job will always get good press!  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

5 Things You Should Know Before You Flip A Property

1. Money is made at the buy, not the sell of your flip. When flipping a house your money is made at the purchase not at the sell of the house. So, many times people buy a house with the intentions of making a huge profit only to find out that they could not make any money after all the renovations because the purchased price of the house was to high. When you purchase your property you need to be sure that you buy the house with enough money to make renovations, have carrying cost, and add about $5,000 - $6,000. 2. Get an inspection on the home - Get a complete inspection done on your property. By spending a few hundred dollars on this expense you can save thousands in problems that you cannot see. Foundation, Pest, Wood Rot, Etc... By, getting a full inspection you can rest assured that you know every thing that is wrong with the property before it's too late. In the contract for the house you need to make sure that you have 7 days to have an inspection performed, and if the inspection finds problems that are going to cost more money than you are willing to spend you can get out of the contract with no penalties. 3. Don't do the work yourself - Get a contractor or several sub-contractors and have the work done quickly. You need to have you house flipped ASAP, so that you can get it on the market and get it sold. When I started flipping, my brother and I did a house together, and we did all the construction. I had a construction background and figured it would save thousands, but it took us over 4 months to get the work done that a contractor could have had the work done in a month. But, while trying to save money on our flip did all the work on our time off and after work, and it just took too long. On our 2nd flip we used contractors for almost everything and had the house completely flipped with a new roof, new air conditioning, new hardwood, and much more in only 3 weeks. We did not have to spend all our time working on the property and were able to spend that time looking for the next deal. This is how you get rich in real estate. 4. Place the property 1 to 2 percent below market value: If you are wanting to flip real estate and make money the object is to buy and sell the property as quickly as possible, so that you can move on to the next house.  If you purchase a house and try to sell it at top dollar to make an extra couple of thousand dollars on your flip, and end up holding it for 6 months you are loosing money.  Get the house on the market at a price that is going to blow the competition away, and you will sell it no matter what the market conditions. On our second house the market for selling houses went down due to the housing market as a whole, and the tightening of the loans across America.  We were told that you could not sell a property in this market, but we went ahead anyway and flipped our house. After 3 weeks on the market we had 3 people wanting to buy the house. Why? Because we offered it at such a great deal that people wanted to jump on it. That is what you have to do especially if the market is slow. 5. Use a real estate agent - Do not try to sell your house on your own. Harness the power of a real estate agent and the power of the MLS system. When you do a FSBO you are depending on people driving by your house and seeing your sign. With a real estate agent you have someone actively marketing you house to get it sold. Once again this will free up more time for you to look for more great deals. If you want to help the process I have found that craigslist and listing your house in google adwords help too, but I use these tools with the help of an agent to make sure I have all my bases covered. I hope this article has been helpful with the basic needs of flipping a house. If you study and learn you will make money. But, do your homework before you purchase a house, and make sure that you can pull a profit on your deal. Then, make it happen!  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

5 Major Reasons Why You Should Buy a Home Instead of Rent

There are times when it is better for a person to rent, but most often home ownership has many more benefits and advantages.   About 10 year ago a had a retired aunt and uncle who rented a condo in Las Vegas. Uncle Jim (not his real name) was a retired minister. Throughout his career he and his wife lived in parsonages, which are homes furnished by the congregation while they ministered there.   He and his wife told me that the biggest mistake they ever made was not to invest in buying a home.  In their retirement years, when their other retired friends were living in homes that were almost paid off and had appreciated greatly, Uncle Jim and his wife were using a huge portion of their limited retirment money to make expensive condo rent payments. They strongly cautioned me not to make the same mistake they had.
Recent studies are showing that there are many benefits for both the owners and the community for owning your own home, including increased education for children,  lower teen-age pregnancy rate and a higher lifetime annual income for children. Besides these, listed below are some of the primary advantages for owning your own house.
1) More Stable Housing Costs
Rent payments can be unpredictable and typically rise each year, but most mortgage payments remain unchanged for the entire loan period. If the taxes go up, the increase is usually gradual. This stable housing cost especially important in times of inflation, when renters lose money and owners make money. 2) Tax Savings
Homeonwers can be eligible for signifigant tax savings because you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax, as well as many states' income taxes. This can be a considerable amount of money at first, because the first few years of mortgage payments is made up mostly of interest and taxes. 3) Debt Consolidation
If you need to, you can refinance a mortgage loan to consolidate other debts (an opportunity you don't have if you are renting.) And the interest on this is also tax deductable. 4) Equity
Instead of payments disapearing into someone elses pocket, home owners are building equity in their own home. This is often one of a person's biggest investment assests.  Each year that you own the home you pay more toward the principal, which is money you will get back when the home sells. It is like having a schelduled savings account that grows faster the longer you have it. If the property appreciates, and generally it does, it is like money in your pocket. And you are the one who gets to take advanatge of that, not the landlord. You can then use this equity to plan for future goals like your child's education or your retirement. 5) It is Yours!
When you own a home you are in control. You the freedom to decorate it and landscape it any way you wish. You can have a pet or two. No one can pop in and inspect your home and threaten to evict you.
Even young people, like college students out on their own, can often benefit from home ownership. It puts them ahead of other young people their age financially by helping with their credit and giving them what is often an excellent investment. Often a college student buying a home will rent the rooms out, and his or her roommates end up making the payments for the house. When the student is ready to move on, her or she can sell the home (hopefully making a profit) or keep it as an investment and continue to rent it. Buying a home is an important decision. It is often the largest purchase a person makes in his or her life. Home ownership also comes with some increased responsibilities, and isn't for everyone. There are some disadvantages to homeownership that you should take into account. 1) Increased Expenses
Your monthly expenses may increase, depending on your situation. Even if the monthly payments are the same, home owners still have to pay property taxes, all the utilities, and all the maintenance and upkeep costs for the home.  Often you need to supply appliances that were furnished with a rental. 2) Decreased Freedom of Mobility
Homeowners can't move as easily as a renter who just has to give notice to the landlord. Selling a house can be a complex and time consuming process.   3) Risk of Depreciation
In some areas with overinflated prices, there may be a risk that the house will depreciate instead of increase in value, if the prices go down. If you then sell the house, you may not get enough money from the home to pay back your mortgage, and you will still owe the mortgage company money. 4) Possibility of Foreclosure
If for some reason you are unable to make your payments, you risk having the lender forclose on your propety. This can result in the loss of your home, any equity you have earned, and the loss of your good credit rating. When considering home ownership, you need to weight the advantages and disadvantages for yourself.  If you are like most people, you will find that homeownership is worth the risks and disadvantages.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

5 Ground Rules for Home Buying Success

There are few purchases in life that carry the financial and psychological weight of buying a home.  Whether you are buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing your home and your life after the kids have gone, it is important to understand the ground rules for success in the world of buying a home. Making the wrong decision in buying a home can have devastating and long lasting effects, while making a wise decision in home buying can greatly enhance the overall value of the investment.  It is necessary to learn all you can about the world of home buying and mortgages before setting out to purchase the home of your dreams. While there are plenty of web sites designed to help first time homeowners learn all they can, most financial experts say that there is no substitute for the good old one-on-one learning. Fortunately, most mortgage lenders, home inspectors and real estate agents will be able to provide this kind of one-on-one learning. When buying a home it is often best to use a systematic approach as this is often the best way to be sure that all decisions are based on information and reason, not on impulse or emotion.  Buying a home can be an emotional process, nevertheless it is imperative to keep your emotions under control and not let them cloud your judgment. There are five basic ground rules when it comes to buying a home and shopping smart, and they are: #1 – Get your financing before you get your home There are few things in life as disappointing as losing out on the home of your dreams due to not being able to secure funding.  While the desire to get out there are search for that great home is understandable, it is vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home. Getting the financing ahead of time has a number of important advantages, including knowing how much you can buy and gaining more respect from the listing agents.  By knowing how much home you can afford before you shop you will avoid wasting your time looking at unaffordable properties, and the listing agent will be more than willing to show you the homes in your price range. It is also important to take a good look at the various types of mortgage on the market before getting started in the home buying process.  These days, mortgages come in far more choices than the typical 15 or 30 year. For that reason, potential home buyers need to understand how each type of mortgage works, and to gauge which mortgage is the best choice for their needs. #2 – Look at the community, not just the home It is a good idea to look at the entire community, instead of focusing on a single home. This can be a particularly important thing to consider for those moving to a new metropolitan area, as these buyers will be unfamiliar with the local climate and lifestyle.  It is crucial to determine the areas of town that are most desirable, and to consider things like distance from work and local shopping opportunities. We have all heard that location is the key consideration when it comes to real estate, and that is certainly the case.  Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake, and it is important to choose the location as well as the home.  Potential buyers can learn a great deal about the nature of the various neighborhoods simply by driving around town, as well as by talking to other residents. #3 – Be fair with your first offer Trying to lowball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can paying too much. It is important to carefully evaluate the local market, and to compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for. Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as "comps" in the industry, is one of the best ways to determine what is fair, and to make sure that you neither overpay or underbid on the property. #4 – Always get a home inspection Always investigate the home for any possible defects before making an offer.  Compared to the cost of the average home, the price of a quality home inspection is virtually negligible. Hence, get a good home inspection done before you buy. To find the best home inspector, it is a good idea to seek out word of mouth referrals as many of the best home inspectors rely on word of mouth advertising. #5 – Do not alienate the sellers of the home Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity of the buyer and the seller.  It is important to avoid alienating the seller of the home during the process, and to avoid nitpicking every little detail during the sale. Keeping the good will of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide the best environment for seller and buyer alike.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

5 bed 4 bath home for sale in wyndhurst

http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/294083 FOR MORE INFORMATION - you can send a text message to 54561 and put P24762 in the message field This is a gorgeous custom built home that is larger than it looks from the outside!Seller is offering $3,500 in concessions with acceptable offer. Offering ample living space with an open floor plan. Five bedrooms with a 6th room that could be utilized as another bedroom. This maintenance free living offers dining, shopping, YMCA, swimming, and so much more right at your front door. This charming neighborhood makes for convenient living. 214 Paulette Circle has been freshly painted, new hardwood floors, and landscaping. The windows throughout make this is a bright and cheery home to enjoy for entertaining guess, relaxing, and just a happy place to call home. Schedule your private showing today and don't miss out! Three year heating and Air Conditioner warranty comes with purchase. Hoa maintains cleaning and painting of exterior. Whole House Humidifier installed, and Outdoor lawn Sprinkler system. Hoa maintains back yard area - See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/294083#sthash.UkaWcMPy.dpuf  

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

Great investment townhome for sale in lynchburg va

http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/294394  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROPERTY -  you can send a text message to 54561 and put P25125 in the message field Calling all first time home buyers and/or investors - This property is in the Three Fountains community. It has a large, eat-in kitchen and a patio outside with a nice storage room. The community features a swimming pool. The property is conveniently located off Old Forest Rd right behind Walmart. Each of the two bedrooms has a private, full bathroom.- 2 bedrooms- 2 and bathrooms- Refrigerator, range, and dishwasher- Community use swimming pool- Central heat and air.   - See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/294394#sthash.66QC9G3d.dpuf  

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

5 Features to Look for when Choosing a Property Rental Service

If you're thinking of using a property rental service for your Spain holiday rental or apartment for rent, there are some key features you should look for before making a commitment. You'll want the best possible service while also earning maximum profits for your vacation rental. Here are five major features every property rental service should offer. 1. Excellent Customer Service Your guests will remember you by the service they receive during their stay at your villa rental, apartment or vacation rental. The property rental service you choose should offer excellent customer service and be able to provide testimonials from satisfied property owners. Your guests should arrive to a clean villa, home or apartment. If renting for a vacation, golf holiday or some other Spain holiday, each guest should receive a welcome packet including directions to the rental property as well as helpful information about the surrounding area. If you have an apartment for rent, tenants should be treated well. Rental payment collection, service maintenance and assistance with local utility and phone set-ups should be provided with friendliness and thoroughness. 2. Cleaning Management A property rental service should provide reliable cleaning management. You might live too far away to handle cleaning or manage a maid service. If you live in England or the U.S., but your vacation rental or apartment for rent is located in Fuengirola, Mijas, Puerto Banus, or Elviria of Spain, then you'll need a property rental service that will handle cleaning with care. For holiday rentals and villa rentals, cleaning must be provided between each guests' stay and sometimes during the week of a stay as well. For vacation homes and villas, the lawn must be maintained as well. Be sure this is included with your service. 3. Key Holding, Inventory, and Detailed Necessities You may not be able to handle local errands for your vacation rental or apartment for rent. Therefore, the property rental service should be entrusted with these tasks. Some necessities to keep the rental property operating legally include key holding, insurance, property tax and levies, building permits or licensing, bank account management, phone and utility set up and billing, etc. Another area of importance is inventory.  The furniture and other valuables in your apartment or villa rental must be kept on an inventory list and checked physically each time a guest departs. If you live in another country but own rental property in an area of Spain such as Costa del Sol, Marbella, Benalmadena or any other area, then obviously you're going to need someone locally who can check your inventory for you. Choose a property rental service that provides these types of services to eliminate worries while you're away. 4. Building Refurbishing and Major Repairs Another feature to look for in a property rental service is whether or not they provide building refurbishing services and major repairs. The benefit of this is the provider will already have contacts to do the jobs needed. You won't have to spend endless hours trying to find a dependable contractor or handyman. 5. Promoting Your Apartment or Spain Holiday Rental Check to be sure the property rental service will promote your apartment for rent or Spain holiday rental. Promotions will increase your number of rentals and profits each year. A property rental service may handle your advertising in local, national and international venues. If they have a website, they may promote your holiday rentals at the site. If you own a vacation rental near golf courses, then make sure they will advertise your rental from the angle of "golf holidays." Keep these features in mind during your search for a property rental service. By choosing a service with great features, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your holiday rental or apartment for rent is in good hands!  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

4 Steps To Real Estate Investing Success!

Real estate investing is always good and sometimes it's red hot. When it's hot dozens of real estate seminars begin rolling across the country and thousands of people spend thousands of dollars for investing education. It's startling to learn that of all those thousands of eager folks who attend these seminars only about 5% buy even one investment house. Why? The real estate gurus sell the "sizzle" and make profiting from real estate sound easy. The truth is that it's simple, but not easy. Here's a quick plan that will enable anyone to begin building financial independence. There are basically four steps to investing in single family homes: 1. Buy homes below full market value. Yes, people really do sell homes for less than the home's full value. The key is to understand that most home owners will only consider a purchase offer that is all cash and within 5% to 10% of their asking price. The successful investor learns to find financially distressed home owners who have no choice but to sell for less than market value. They have lost their job or been suddenly transferred; they are divorcing; they been living beyond their income; the family has been overwhelmed with medical bills and, not uncommonly these days, their money has gone to support a drug habit. Those are examples of motivated sellers. They have to sell and they will accept something other than a conventional, all cash offer. 2. How do you find motivated sellers? You work at it! Like any business it is important to develop a little marketing plan. One that is simple, yet very effective, is the one that was proven 75 years ago by the Fuller Brush company; door to door sales. You are selling your skill as a home buyer to people who must sell. Your are there when they need you and you have the skill to help them solve at least part of their problem. With door to door prospecting you will learn more and buy more homes quicker than any other method. However, most people just won't walk door to door for three or four hours per week. OK, there are other ways. You can watch public notices for the announcement of foreclosure sales. Meeting with a home owner right after they've received a notice that they are about to lose their home allows you to deal with a very motivated seller. Other public notices that provide buying opportunities include probate, divorce and bankruptcy. You can follow the Homes For Sale listings in your local newspaper or Internet site. You can telephone the names found in these notices or, and this is the least time consuming, send a postcard expressing your interest in buying their property. It will produce buying opportunities, just not as many as personal contact. 3. After you've found a motivated seller you must understand how to frame offers that provide benefits for both you and for the home owner. A good real estate investor quickly learns that this is not a business of stealing property, but of solving problems in a way that benefits the seller. The home owner is in a tight spot of some kind and you can save them from public embarrassment and, in most cases, give them at least a little cash to get a new start. No investor can afford to leave cash in every deal. No one but Bill Gates has that much available money. You must use creative techniques like, leases, option and taking over mortgage payments. Little or no cash is needed for those deals. You can find plenty of reasonable priced educational material on those subjects in book stores or on EBay. The same education that seminars sell for thousands of dollars. 4. You make your profit when you buy! Never make a purchase until you've carefully determined exactly how you will get to your profit. If you hold it as a long term investment will the monthly rental income more than cover the monthly mortgage payment? Will you sell the deal to another investor for fast cash? Will you do some fix-up and sell the property for full value? Will you quickly trade it for a more desirable property? Have a plan before you buy. There you have four steps that even a part-time investor can execute in three to four hours per week. What's the missing ingredient? Your determination and perseverance. If you will unfailingly follow the plan for a few months you will be well on your way to financial independence.    

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Good Faith No More: How Will The New Mortgage Rules Affect You?

The mortgage game might be the same, but the rules have changed to favor homebuyers instead of lenders. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is pinch-hitting for HUD. Its mission: to make sure another housing crisis, like the one from 2008, never happens again. One way to help achieve that goal is to make the buying process clearer to consumers, whether you’re looking at homes for sale in Houston, TX, or Sarasota, FL. “Starting October 3, when you apply for a new mortgage, you’ll receive new disclosures designed to ease the process of taking out a loan, help you save money, and ensure you know before you owe,” says Tricia McClung, assistant director of mortgage markets for the CFPB. In a nutshell, the mortgage process should now be more transparent to consumers and include information that helps homebuyers figure out what they can afford to buy. The new rules, called “Know Before You Owe,” help borrowers — in most cases, anyway. Here’s an overview of the changes and what they mean for you. Some history Before the new mortgage disclosures went into effect, homebuyers were presented with the TMI (too much information) version of mortgage documents: a Truth-in-Lending disclosure with the Good Faith Estimate and then another Truth-in-Lending disclosure with the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. And those were just the forms’ names. As you can imagine, it was a tad complicated. And lenders didn’t even have to disclose everything. “The old Good Faith Estimate and the HUD-1 did not spell out the two most important things to most consumers: knowing what their new payment will be and how much cash will be required at closing,” says California mortgage consultant Greg Cook. The change The CFPB replaced the four documents with two simpler ones: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. The new forms “help you shop for the best deal and avoid costly surprises at closing,” says McClung. Homebuyers now have “a better perspective of the true cost of their loan instead of having to compare multiple documents with conflicting figures,” says Frank Berriz, CEO of California Members Title Insurance Co. The three-day-wait rule The new CFPB mortgage disclosure rules call for a three-day period to allow buyers to look over and become familiar with the Closing Disclosure before they get to the settlement table. This marks “the biggest overhaul of the mortgage process in decades,” says Amiel Hagai Steuerman, president of Cypress Mortgage in Illinois. The three-day period “gives you time to ask your lender all the questions you might have about the terms of your mortgage, as well as consult with an adviser or housing counselor,” says Tricia McClung. “Borrowers will know every tax, fee, and risk. And they will know if there are any penalties for paying off the loan early or whether there is a balloon payment at the end,” says Gloria Shulman, a California mortgage broker. The mulligan, or the do-over If the loan product changes during the three-day review period, you must start over and take another three days to review those changes. Just what triggers the additional three-day period includes the following: If the annual percentage rate (APR) increases by more than ⅛ of a percent for a fixed-rate loan and ¼ of a percent for an adjustable loan. (If the APR decreases, the additional three-day period is not required.) If a prepayment penalty is added. If the basic loan changes, such as from a fixed rate to an adjustable one. Minor changes such as a typo on a closing document or the discovery at walk-through of a bedroom window that won’t open — causing you to want a credit from the buyer — won’t trigger the extra three-day wait. But even still, “Problems could arise with the three-day disclosure period, creating a domino effect,” says Frank Berriz. “If a closing is delayed by the buyer, it will directly impact the closing of the house the seller is trying to buy.” The new normal: a 45-day closing? A typical closing takes 30 days, but many lenders now assume they’ll need more time to close. “In the early going, consumers might expect to see the mortgage process lengthened — approximately 45 days to close rather than the previous 30 — as the new disclosure rule is implemented,” says Sharon Voss, real estate agent and president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. “A consumer in a hurry is not going to have an easy time of it,” says Casey Fleming, author of The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage. “Most of the waiting periods are mandatory; they cannot be waived.” This three-day rule, although well-intentioned, could cause you to lose out. If you’re in a hot market and it takes 45 days to close, a cash buyer who’s ready to close quickly might be a lot more attractive, leaving you to clear the game board and start a whole new one. But once the dust settles, the closing time frame should adjust. “We expect to get back to previous processing times within a few months,” says Fleming. Dealing with a longer closing period Gloria Shulman offers two tips to help ensure you aren’t burned by a longer closing: Ask for a rate lock longer than 30 days. Avoid any loan that does not waive the per diem charge for late closings. Do you like the new disclosure documents?    this blog was provided by trulia

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

7 signs of an Up - and - Coming Neighborhood

Ready to take on the challenge of buying in a diamond-in-the-rough neighborhood?
If you live in the same place for long enough, you’ll undoubtedly hear a story of the one that got away. The neighborhood that got away, that is. One day it was on the fringe, and the next it had turned a corner. Suddenly, it was teeming with new businesses, new residents, new life — and newly high property values, to the advantage of those few brave souls who stuck around. First-time buyers, cash-strapped buyers, and “pioneering” buyers alike flock to these Next Big Neighborhoods. But to get in early before it becomes the next big thing is the key to stretching your dollar. How can you tell if a neighborhood is up and coming or down and out? Here are seven signs to look for before you make an offer (and before property values exceed your budget). 1. On-trend businesses are moving in When a co-working space, a Whole Foods, or a fancy coffee shop moves into the neighborhood, it’s a sign that the neighborhood is changing. This is just as true for small boutiques and specialty stores as it is for large businesses that sell the basics with flair. In fact, most larger businesses do a fair amount of economic research and projections before moving into a neighborhood. Watching retail industry moves can be a great way to spot emerging areas with strong fundamentals. 2. Uber-convenient location in a land-scarce metro area If you live in a densely populated metro area, or an urban setting with intense building restrictions, demand for homes will continue to grow with the population. Downtrodden neighborhoods close to employment centers, public transportation, freeways, and bridges tend to be prime for whole-neighborhood remodeling. This is especially true in times of population growth or rapid real estate price hikes in already-prime areas. 3. Downsides have an expiration date If there’s one major issue that has caused an area to be less desirable and it’s being eliminated, it could turn the neighborhood around. Decreasing crime or the addition of a major employer can spark a serious real estate renaissance. Also, keep in mind that the new generation of homebuyers has a new set of values and is not deterred by things their parents might have viewed as turnoffs. Living above a commercial unit is now cool — even desirable, depending on the business on the ground floor. Similarly, “gritty and urban” might not be the descriptors of everyone’s dream home, but for some first-time buyers it is. 4. Architectural styles with a following Keep an eye out for neighborhoods characterized by a particular type of architecture. Often, down-at-the-heels neighborhoods that are riddled with Tudors, Victorians, Spanish-style homes, or even Mid-Century Moderns will see a surge of revitalization when a fresh generation of homebuyers falls in love with the style and realizes the deals that can be had there unlike in other areas in town. 5. At least one major economic development is brewing From cloud storage data centers in Des Moines to a new light-rail station in Denver, one large-scale employer or infrastructure development can be a very early, very strong sign that an area will see its real estate fortunes rise. With that said, areas dependent on one near-obsolete employer or industry can see their fates decline rapidly. Look for industrywide investment in an area, versus a single company’s investment. 6. Fixing is in the air When an area long known for run-down homes has a number of ongoing home renovations, this can be a sign of a fledgling neighborhood turnaround. It might be worth taking a trip down to the city building permit counter to see whether the staff has seen the same uptick in individual owners’ investment in the area, and if so, what they think the story of the neighborhood might be — or might become. City staffers often have a wealth of information, everything from pending commercial development applications to city projects based on development initiatives. 7. Slow but steady decrease in DOM Ten years ago, I listed a charming, pristine home on a less than ideal street. The location was its fatal flaw, and the place just lagged on the market as a result. Now millennials buying their first homes are salivating over this precise location because of its urban feel, trendy hot spots, and convenience to the subway. Homes that once took 90 days to sell began selling in 45, then eventually they were on the market for only a couple of weeks. This decline in the number of days on market (DOM) occurred much before the home prices themselves increased. A slow, steady decrease in DOM is a smart, early sign that a neighborhood might be on the verge of up-and-coming status. Ask your agent to help clue you in as to where precisely those areas might be in your area. Are you looking to move into an up-and-coming neighborhood? If so, what’s your motivation? - this blog is from trulia.

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

3 money saving tips that can transform your personal finances

If you want to take control of your finances and build real wealth, these are the rules you need to follow.
Personal finance doesn’t need to be complicated, but it seems as though there’s an endless amount of information to wade through when you have money questions. Let’s cut through the noise and focus on three basic money rules you need to follow if you want to significantly move the needle and achieve financial freedom. Note that these money saving tips are simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to implement. Financial success comes from taking small, consistent actions over a long time. And who knows: After a time, you may be finally able to afford that dream home for sale in Charleston, SC. Here’s what you need to do. Rule 1: Live below your means If you’re not spending more than you make, you might feel you’re doing a good job with your finances. But living within your means isn’t enough. You need to learn to live below your means so you can create as big a buffer as possible between what you earn each month and what you spend. Besides necessary expenses such as your mortgage payment, take a hard look at your spending and evaluate if there are any costs you can cut. And don’t be afraid to negotiate for better deals with service providers that you can’t drop entirely, such as insurance or utility companies. Spending money isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you want to ensure your expenses are in line with your values. That means you’re using your money for what’s important to you. Take action by aligning your spending with your values and keep your expenses as low as possible. Rule 2: Earn more money There’s a limit to how much you can save. Theoretically, there’s no limit on what you can earn. This is the money rule you really need to focus on to build wealth — and unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Earning more money is a powerful way to make a significant impact on your finances. It makes it easier to fund various goals and take care of multiple priorities at once. This rule is easier to follow if you’re willing to be proactive. There are numerous ways you can think about earning more: Earn and ask for a raise in your current job.
Negotiate for higher pay when you start a new job.
Create a side hustle or side business, or try freelancing on the side of your full-time job.
Start your own business.
Get creative, look for new solutions, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Can you monetize a hobby or pick up extra hours at work? Can you learn to negotiate and increase the number on your paycheck? Can you put the skills you already have to work for you by taking on some freelance gigs or part-time work? The tricky part of earning more money is sticking to rule #1 once you do so. Don’t fall victim to lifestyle inflation, which happens when your spending increases with your income. Stay the course and put that extra money toward rule #3. Rule 3: Invest wisely Once you have enough money left over each month to save, via cutting expenses and earning more, you need to put those savings to work for you. And that means investing wisely. Investing your money allows you to earn compounding returns over time, which is the most powerful thing the average person can do to grow their wealth. Personally, I like to invest in index funds in my Roth IRA with Vanguard. I set up an automatic contribution that pulls money from my checking account and deposits it into my Roth IRA each month — and I do this no matter what, because I don’t want to try to time the market, and I think dollar cost averaging is the best strategy for me. But don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for professional help. Look for a fee-only financial adviser; the best places to find one are with NAPFA or XY Planning Network. As to how much you should invest? After establishing an emergency fund or cash reserves (that should be at least three months’ worth of earnings) and funding other cash savings goals, aim to invest at least 20% of your income. Many rules of thumb provide lower numbers, but 20% is the minimum for those who want to get serious about changing their financial situations. Twenty percent may sound like too much. But remember money rule #2! Investing more becomes exponentially easier as you increase your income. If you can live below your means, steadily increase your earnings, and invest wisely over time, you’ll reach financial freedom. Stick to these three pieces of financial advice and dedicate yourself to the process. Your reward will be a nice nest egg and the ability to live the life you want on your terms. Kali Hawlk is a financial writer and the marketing manager for XY Planning Network.This blog was a product of Trulia 

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

5 mistakes that buyers make in a HOT market

House hunting is hard to time perfectly, and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid buying in a hot market. But don’t let the fear of tough competition send you into a panic. Avoid falling into one of these traps when shopping in a hot real estate market, and you’ll likely save yourself some money (and a few gray hairs). 1. Acting out of desperation   It’s hard not to be let down when attractive homes are taken from “new” to “pending” before you even have the chance to look at them, but remember: Desperation has no place in a home-buying transaction. Once desperation sets in, you risk making an impulsive and otherwise unwise decision, such as talking yourself into a home that isn’t quite what you really want or paying more than you can afford. Even if you can’t or don’t want to make an offer, every home you research and visit will give you a better insight into the home-buying process and the market and allow you to refine exactly what amenities you want in your future house. Once you know exactly what you want, let others know too. Give your contact information to the listing agents at open houses and ask them to drop you a note if they get similar listings. 2. Hesitating What’s worse than seeing great properties come and go before you can get out to view them? Seeing them placed under contract before you make an offer. Before you walk into an open house, make sure your paperwork is up to date and your loan approval hasn’t expired so you’re in position to make an offer that day. If you haven’t already gotten a loan approval, it’s time to start the loan approval process, stat. 3. Ignoring the market entirely It’s nearly impossible to time the market and make your real estate decisions based on current trends. A better plan is to make your buying decisions based on what’s currently happening in your family, your career, and your life (and what you envision will happen in the next five to 10 years). That said, when it comes time to execute your decision to buy, it’s foolhardy not to pay attention to the market. You need to be able to play both sides and avoid the panic-inducing fluctuations of the market while staying informed. Ask your real estate agent to help you pay attention to neighborhood-specific information, such as which types of properties move quickly, how many days they generally stay on the market, whether multiple offers are a reality you will face, and how much over asking price homes like the one you want are selling for. Then use this information to make strategic decisions, covering everything from which properties and areas you’ll focus on to how quickly you’ll need to get out to see listings to — most importantly — what price range you should focus your search on. 4. Financial fogginess Don’t run the numbers in your head. Don’t ballpark your income, loan payments, and bills, stick your finger in the wind, and guess at how much you can spend on a home. Financially speaking, home buying is the big leagues, so you need to be sparkling, crystal clear on precisely what you can afford. In a hot market, you may be faced with decisions about whether to increase your price range or your offer price on relatively short notice. If you need help, don’t hesitate to bring your tax adviser or financial planner into the home-budget discussion — especially if you’re a new homebuyer. They can help you understand tax breaks for new homeowners, which can free up some extra money for your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and HOA dues or private mortgage insurance, if applicable. Also, make sure you include line items for your savings, retirement investing, gifts, school tuition, travel, and recreation — the sort of things that lenders will not account for when they tell you what their guidelines say you can afford. 5. Overpaying   Hot markets mean multiple offers on the same home, which often result in a bidding war. And once you’ve had one too many homes pulled out from under you after a bidding war, it can be tempting to pay more than you budgeted for. To avoid overpaying for a home just because it’s in a bidding war, be sure to go through comparable homes with your agent before you even look at the house. Bonus: If your agent includes active and pending sales in their pull of the comparable data set, you may find out useful information such as whether other competitive properties have just hit the market, or that all of the competition is now under contract — things that might also inform your motivation levels or price strategy. This blog source is from Trulia

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

Four steps to invest in real estate success

Real estate investing is always good and sometimes it's red hot. When it's hot dozens of real estate seminars begin rolling across the country and thousands of people spend thousands of dollars for investing education.  It's startling to learn that of all those thousands of eager folks who attend these seminars only about 5% buy even one investment house. Why? The real estate gurus sell the "sizzle" and make profiting from real estate sound easy. The truth is that it's simple, but not easy.  Here's a quick plan that will enable anyone to begin building financial independence.  There are basically four steps to investing in single family homes:  1. Buy homes below full market value. Yes, people really do sell homes for less than the home's full value. The key is to understand that most home owners will only consider a purchase offer that is all cash and within 5% to 10% of their asking price.  The successful investor learns to find financially distressed home owners who have no choice but to sell for less than market value. They have lost their job or been suddenly transferred; they are divorcing; they been living beyond their income; the family has been overwhelmed with medical bills and, not uncommonly these days, their money has gone to support a drug habit.  Those are examples of motivated sellers. They have to sell and they will accept something other than a conventional, all cash offer.  2. How do you find motivated sellers? You work at it! Like any business it is important to develop a little marketing plan. One that is simple, yet very effective, is the one that was proven 75 years ago by the Fuller Brush company; door to door sales.  You are selling your skill as a home buyer to people who must sell. Your are there when they need you and you have the skill to help them solve at least part of their problem. With door to door prospecting you will learn more and buy more homes quicker than any other method. However, most people just won't walk door to door for three or four hours per week. OK, there are other ways.  You can watch public notices for the announcement of foreclosure sales. Meeting with a home owner right after they've received a notice that they are about to lose their home allows you to deal with a very motivated seller. Other public notices that provide buying opportunities include probate, divorce and bankruptcy. You can follow the Homes For Sale listings in your local newspaper or Internet site.  You can telephone the names found in these notices or, and this is the least time consuming, send a postcard expressing your interest in buying their property. It will produce buying opportunities, just not as many as personal contact.  3. After you've found a motivated seller you must understand how to frame offers that provide benefits for both you and for the home owner. A good real estate investor quickly learns that this is not a business of stealing property, but of solving problems in a way that benefits the seller.  The home owner is in a tight spot of some kind and you can save them from public embarrassment and, in most cases, give them at least a little cash to get a new start.  No investor can afford to leave cash in every deal. No one but Bill Gates has that much available money. You must use creative techniques like, leases, option and taking over mortgage payments. Little or no cash is needed for those deals. You can find plenty of reasonable priced educational material on those subjects in book stores or on EBay. The same education that seminars sell for thousands of dollars.  4. You make your profit when you buy! Never make a purchase until you've carefully determined exactly how you will get to your profit. If you hold it as a long term investment will the monthly rental income more than cover the monthly mortgage payment? Will you sell the deal to another investor for fast cash? Will you do some fix-up and sell the property for full value? Will you quickly trade it for a more desirable property? Have a plan before you buy.  There you have four steps that even a part-time investor can execute in three to four hours per week. What's the missing ingredient? Your determination and perseverance. If you will unfailingly follow the plan for a few months you will be well on your way to financial independence.  

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

4 Dangers in flipping real estate

If you have recently purchased some real estate for investment purposes, you are in good company. Recent reports suggest that as many as 25% of these purchases are made by those who plan on using the property for investment purposes only. If you hope to "flip" the property there are 4 things you must be aware of that can put a crimp on your profits. 1. Property Taxes. Keep the property for a few years and you may experience a surge in property taxes especially if your taxes are reevaluated during that time. Some hot real estate markets have seen taxes nearly double in just 5 or 6 years. 2. Renovation Expenses. You may have purchased a "fixer upper" at a bargain rate. Once your project is complete will you be able to recover the expenses and make a profit especially if the value of your renovated property is above those in your neighborhood? In addition, can you withstand a correction in real estate values? 3. Insurance and Mortgage Costs. You will pay more for homeowners insurance if you do not occupy the residence and you have tenants. If you are financing the property you know that your mortgage rate is higher as well. 4. Rental Pressures. A market saturated with rentals will mean that the rents you can charge will be less than what you had hoped to receive. In some markets you are required to get special licensing in order to be a landlord. In other markets the legal rights of tenants mean you could have a lengthy and expensive battle in ridding yourself of a bad tenant. Will the lower income levels coupled with the added expenses drag your investment down? Of course, you can limit your risks [and costs] by doing the majority of the upgrades yourself, appealing excessive property tax increases, and finding for yourself a trusted and dependable tenant. It isn't easy flipping a home, but with a lot of pluck and determination it can result in strong profits for you.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

3 Ways Renters Lose Money

Are you still renting a home or apartment for yourself or your family? If so, you're losing money. Think about these three ways you lose money by renting: 1.  You're paying for someone else's mortgage payment. You're missing out on the appreciation that the property gives to the landlord. Appreciation is a term used in accounting relating to the increase in value of an asset, which means in real estate terms, added value to the property. Over the past five years, houses appreciated significantly, making many new real estate investor multimillionaires. 2.  Renters don't get to freeze their monthly housing expenses like home buyers can. Of course, many home buyers get mortgage payments with adjustable interest rates and their payments go up over time. However, these payments will not go up over the long term like rising rents. Just think about how much an apartment costs today compared to ten years ago. A two bedroom apartment in Lake Elsinore, California leases for $1,000 today. The exact same apartment rented for $325 in 1996, when it was brand new. Home buyers who had low monthly payments in 1996, who did not refinance their mortgage, enjoy low payments and don't have to worry about rising rents. 3.  Renters don't benefit from tax advantages. Home owners get income tax deductions. Tax deductions for interest costs, for instance, save tax payers thousands of dollars. Emotional Satisfaction of Home Ownership Besides losing out on making money with real estate, renters don't get the same satisfaction of home enjoyment that benefits home buyers. Many landlords won't allow you to paint your walls in colors that you desire. Also, you won't feel like fixing up the property with custom window coverings and you get little say in flooring materials. Because you can't make your personal statement, you won't feel like you're HOME as much as home owners who feel emotionally connected to their property. How to Buy Your First Home The biggest barrier to home ownership is often accumulating funds for a down payment. People think they have to have thousands of dollars for a down payment. However, if you have good credit and a decent job, you can get a mortgage for a home with zero down. And you can finance some of your closing costs as well as ask the seller to help you pay a good portion of your purchase costs. With today's mortgage finance plans, you may be surprised to find out how much of a home you can afford with payments similar to what you currently pay in rent. You may have to go out of the major metropolitan areas to buy a home. That's why so many people commute in Southern California. Affordable housing costs much less in outlying areas. But so do the rents. If you're renting an apartment for $2,300 in Los Angeles, you could buy a $500,000 home in Wildomar. Our daughter just purchased a home in December 2005 and her mortgage payment, for a 3,000 square foot new home, costs less than $2,300. With her tax savings, she will pay even less than renting a small apartment closer to downtown L A. If these amounts sound high to you, check your local area. Perhaps your monthly rent is only $1,000 and houses cost less than $200,000. Talk to a mortgage loan officer and see how much of a home you can afford. If you're renting, make one of your priorities to buy your own home.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Good Faith No More: How Will The New Mortgage Rules Affect You?

The mortgage game might be the same, but the rules have changed to favor homebuyers instead of lenders. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is pinch-hitting for HUD. Its mission: to make sure another housing crisis, like the one from 2008, never happens again. One way to help achieve that goal is to make the buying process clearer to consumers, whether you’re looking at homes for sale in Houston, TX, or Sarasota, FL. “Starting October 3, when you apply for a new mortgage, you’ll receive new disclosures designed to ease the process of taking out a loan, help you save money, and ensure you know before you owe,” says Tricia McClung, assistant director of mortgage markets for the CFPB. In a nutshell, the mortgage process should now be more transparent to consumers and include information that helps homebuyers figure out what they can afford to buy. The new rules, called “Know Before You Owe,” help borrowers — in most cases, anyway. Here’s an overview of the changes and what they mean for you. Some history Before the new mortgage disclosures went into effect, homebuyers were presented with the TMI (too much information) version of mortgage documents: a Truth-in-Lending disclosure with the Good Faith Estimate and then another Truth-in-Lending disclosure with the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. And those were just the forms’ names. As you can imagine, it was a tad complicated. And lenders didn’t even have to disclose everything. “The old Good Faith Estimate and the HUD-1 did not spell out the two most important things to most consumers: knowing what their new payment will be and how much cash will be required at closing,” says California mortgage consultant Greg Cook. The change The CFPB replaced the four documents with two simpler ones: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. The new forms “help you shop for the best deal and avoid costly surprises at closing,” says McClung. Homebuyers now have “a better perspective of the true cost of their loan instead of having to compare multiple documents with conflicting figures,” says Frank Berriz, CEO of California Members Title Insurance Co. The three-day-wait rule The new CFPB mortgage disclosure rules call for a three-day period to allow buyers to look over and become familiar with the Closing Disclosure before they get to the settlement table. This marks “the biggest overhaul of the mortgage process in decades,” says Amiel Hagai Steuerman, president of Cypress Mortgage in Illinois. The three-day period “gives you time to ask your lender all the questions you might have about the terms of your mortgage, as well as consult with an adviser or housing counselor,” says Tricia McClung. “Borrowers will know every tax, fee, and risk. And they will know if there are any penalties for paying off the loan early or whether there is a balloon payment at the end,” says Gloria Shulman, a California mortgage broker. The mulligan, or the do-over If the loan product changes during the three-day review period, you must start over and take another three days to review those changes. Just what triggers the additional three-day period includes the following: If the annual percentage rate (APR) increases by more than ⅛ of a percent for a fixed-rate loan and ¼ of a percent for an adjustable loan. (If the APR decreases, the additional three-day period is not required.) If a prepayment penalty is added. If the basic loan changes, such as from a fixed rate to an adjustable one. Minor changes such as a typo on a closing document or the discovery at walk-through of a bedroom window that won’t open — causing you to want a credit from the buyer — won’t trigger the extra three-day wait. But even still, “Problems could arise with the three-day disclosure period, creating a domino effect,” says Frank Berriz. “If a closing is delayed by the buyer, it will directly impact the closing of the house the seller is trying to buy.” The new normal: a 45-day closing? A typical closing takes 30 days, but many lenders now assume they’ll need more time to close. “In the early going, consumers might expect to see the mortgage process lengthened — approximately 45 days to close rather than the previous 30 — as the new disclosure rule is implemented,” says Sharon Voss, real estate agent and president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. “A consumer in a hurry is not going to have an easy time of it,” says Casey Fleming, author of The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage. “Most of the waiting periods are mandatory; they cannot be waived.” This three-day rule, although well-intentioned, could cause you to lose out. If you’re in a hot market and it takes 45 days to close, a cash buyer who’s ready to close quickly might be a lot more attractive, leaving you to clear the game board and start a whole new one. But once the dust settles, the closing time frame should adjust. “We expect to get back to previous processing times within a few months,” says Fleming. Dealing with a longer closing period Gloria Shulman offers two tips to help ensure you aren’t burned by a longer closing:     Ask for a rate lock longer than 30 days.
    Avoid any loan that does not waive the per diem charge for late closings. - See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/good-faith-no-more-how-know-before-you-owe-affects-you

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Is Fall The Best Time to Sell and/or Buy Real Estate?

Rent or Buy?
Not sure if you should rent or buy? We can help you do the math — and make the right decision. Compare Costs
If you’re serious about buying a home, fall might be the perfect time of year to make it happen. But it has a particular set of challenges too.
There’s a reason people love the fall. After months of oppressive summer heat and humidity, autumn is the welcome relief: cool, crisp air and those colorful oft-changing landscapes. Anything pumpkin-flavored is a bonus too. But it’s not just the cool weather and football season that you should be excited about. “House hunting in the fall can be very successful,” says Patty Brockman, a licensed real estate broker at Windermere Stellar Real Estate in Portland, OR. Whether you’re looking at homes for sale in Santa Fe, NM, or New York, NY, autumn can prove to be a great time to buy. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its challenges, though. Here are the ways in which buying a home this season can reward you with big dividends or prove to be somewhat difficult. Pro: Sellers are serious As in, serious about selling their homes this time of year. “Even though there typically is less inventory, the people that put their homes on the market this time of year are more serious about selling — otherwise they would wait until spring,” explains Brockman. “Motivated sellers equals more flexibility during negotiations. There is often less competition from other buyers because families don’t like to move in the middle of a school year, people’s lives are caught up in sports and holidays, and generally, there is a cocooning effect that takes place as the days grow colder and shorter.” All of that means buyers are at a huge advantage when house hunting in the fall. Pro: Inventory is low So while sellers are likely to be more motivated to sell, when it comes to the amount of homes on the market, it’s slim pickin’s this time of year. However, the upside to low inventory is this: “Since the supply of listings shrinks this time of year, it’s easier to narrow down the list of your top properties,” says Justin Udy, a real estate agent with Century 21 Everest Realty Group in Midvale, UT. Con: Foul weather The same way snow and sleet and freezing rain can wreak havoc on your flight to the Caribbean for New Year’s, it can also seriously impede your desire to get out of the car — let alone get out of your sweatpants to go house hunting in the first place. “Who really wants to slosh around in the rain all day, looking at houses?” asks Brockman. Con: Daylight waning That whole “fall back” premise can be a little speed bump in the house-hunting process. “Buyers are faced with having to get out early from work to see properties or only look on weekends in order to fully ‘see’ a property,” says Brockman. “If it’s dark out, how can you get a thorough look at the exterior of the property? The neighborhood? Before making the decision to write an offer, you will have to see it in the daylight, so this can mean multiple trips to the same properties. In a competitive market, you could lose your window of opportunity.” Pro: There’s less competition While the bulk of buyers rushed to get into their homes before the first day of school, you’re in luck as a small minority of buyers looking to purchase a home in the fall. “This means you have more time to look and the time necessary to properly negotiate a great deal in terms of price and terms that fit your needs,” explains Udy. “This also means you’re not up against as many multiple-offer situations.” Con: There’s more competition While locales such as New England and the Midwest see a dip in real estate activity come fall, other parts of the country such as Florida and Arizona where “snowbirds” flock during the cold winter months see an increase in potential buyers. “Differences in activity levels between seasons are very area-specific,” says Alin Zdroba, president and managing broker of Propertio Real Estate in Hollywood, FL. “I can attest that in south Florida, such differences do not exist. While families go into a frenzy during the summer months, when schools are out and preparing for a new school year, October through April is our high season. Out-of-towners, or what we fondly call ‘snowbirds,’ pack our roads, restaurants, shops, and keep us, the ones in the real estate brokerage business, extremely busy during these months.” Pro: Move-in dates are (likely) flexible You probably won’t want to move on the eve of a holiday — or the day after. Which means that instead of having to negotiate a 30-day close, sellers are more likely to work with you on a doable time frame, says Udy. “It makes it easier to negotiate delayed closings or extended occupancy dates. Most people do not want to move during the winter and the holidays and are more flexible with dates and deadlines.” Pro: Negotiating is easier When a seller is motivated to sell, they’re more likely to negotiate a bit more with a buyer. “A homeowner listing their home during the fall and winter months is more than likely a very motivated seller on a timeline,” says Ross Anthony, a real estate agent with Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego. “Listing a home and complying with showing times, open houses, and everything else that comes along with it can be stressful year-round but is even more amplified during the holidays. Buyers can capitalize on this urgency and use it to their advantage during negotiations.” Call The Lynchburg Team - Lynchburg Real Estate Services LLC today for your free marketing analysis or buyer consultation: 434-879-3275 or email Contact@thelynchburgteam.com.   Source: Blake Miller and Trulia  http://www.trulia.com/blog/house-hunting-seasons-autumn-highs-lows/?ecampaign=cnews&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fblog%2Fhouse-hunting-seasons-autumn-highs-lows%2F

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

 

Latest Consumer Price Inflation (September 2015)

Though the headline shows no inflation, rents are now rising at the fastest pace in 7 years. Moreover egg prices are up 37 percent from one year ago. The lower gasoline prices are in essence masking much of inflationary pressures from other items. The overall consumer inflation fell 0.2 percent over the month in September and was unchanged from one year ago. As a result, social security checks in 2016 will see no cost-of-living-adjustment. The Federal Reserve in deciding on monetary policy is more concerned with the “core inflation” and not the headline inflation. The “core” – after taking out the volatile impact of large swings in energy and food prices – rose by 1.9 percent from one year ago. If it crosses the 2 percent line then the Fed will itch to raise rates. As long as rents rise, and they will given the 30-year low rental vacancy rates, the “core inflation” will trend higher. The Fed rate hike is therefore certain though the first rate hike could be delayed till December or early next year. In addition, the second and third rate hikes will occur later in 2016. Renters’ rent rose by 3.7 percent, the highest pace since 2008. Homeowners’ equivalence rent (a hypothetical rent a homeowner would pay if the house was rented) rose by 3.1 percent, the highest pace since 2007. There is a housing shortage and these rent components will continue to rise for the foreseeable future because of falling vacancy rates. For seniors on social security who are not homeowners and do not drive that much will get hurt next year from higher rents, higher food prices, higher medical fees, and higher public transportation costs. Prices are lower for clothes and electronic equipment, but seniors do not purchase many of these items. Contact The Lynchburg Team - Lynchburg Real Estate Services LLC. Dawson Ford Garbee & Co. today 434-879-3275 or contact@thelynchburgteam.com for more information about buying or selling in the greater Lynchburg area. As your local economist, we look forward to providing you with the facts and information about our local market.

Katherine Farber

Katherine Farber

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