Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 22, 2020

Bidding Wars

Real Estate inventory is at an extreme low, which is abnormal for the season to say the least. The lack of properties has created many opportunities for bidding wars along with driving up home prices. January saw a 9 percent likelihood of running into a bidding war, compared to May which has seen 41 percent. This unexpected time has buyers and sellers alike pulling away from the market completely, which is further supporting the bidding wars. The home prices are expected to hold through the summer before a drop predicted for November.

Posted in bidding-wars
May 22, 2020

Real Estate in a Pandemic

Spring is without a doubt the peek home buying and selling season, while buyers hunt for their dream home they will generally find an abundance of inventory to tour and contemplate. The Spring of 2020 has proved to be an unprecedented time and has forced relators to get creative and really rely on the virtual age we are living in. Luckily for home buyers and sellers there are a few things that can be done to help continue or to begin your search. Virtual home tours and meetings are a great way to accommodate clients as well as digital signatures for contracts and disclosures. Navigating any investment in the current climate is not impossible and a professional will work for you to see your home buying dreams come true.

March 16, 2020

Interest Rates Lowest Ever

The Real Estate market is no exception to the ever changing state of our country. Concern is growing on what the long term and short term effects will be, and the lasting impact on our economic future. The Federal Reserve made the decision to cut the interest rates on March 15, to a historically low zero percent. That being said, there is no indication that mortgage rates will ever be at zero percent because they base long term loans on a broader financial analysis. The rates did however drop lower then normal, and they will likely continue to go down as the stock market drops.

March 4, 2020

Response Time After You've Made an Offer

When making an offer on your dream home, the industry standard for the seller to respond to an offer is typically within 24-48 hours. As a curtesy this time frame is most often followed, however there are a few uncommon factors that may make your waiting time longer then usual. A few reasons the response time would be longer then normal would be if the seller has multiple offers to consider, they would need that extra time to determine which offer if best for them and their needs. Another reason could be if an offer is too low, in which case sometimes a response isn't received at all.

Jan. 23, 2020

Credit and Finance Tips

While the lending institution works with the underwriter (who will eventually fund the loan) several "snapshots" will be taken of your finances and all credit accounts. This means that anything new you put on a credit card, such as furniture for your dream home will cause a blurred picture of the overall totality of your finances. All bank accounts, credit cards and general finances should sit still and remain dormant for a time, until escrow closes. Do not charge anything and/or co sign for anyone, as this will contribute to your personal debt ratio. Anything that you could end up being financial responsible for will be counted as a debt when your debt to income ratio is calculated. Your credit will be run a final time just before final funds are dispersed. Routine of bills and daily living expenses are the exception.

Jan. 9, 2020

Will You Need Cash Up Front

Yes. Two important processes that need to be initiated are a home inspection and an appraisal. For your protection it is strongly advised that you hire a professional home inspector to examine your potential purchase; which can be paid out of the escrow at the close of the transaction. A certified home inspector will produce a detailed written report for you. The home inspection should be done first so if unexpected issues arise, and you no longer want to purchase the home, you have not yet paid for the appraisal. The appraisal is required by the lender to insure the value of the purchase equals or exceeds the investment. If you are paying cash, you are not required o have an appraisal. 

Dec. 26, 2019

When You Find The Right Home

After finding the perfect home, you will sit with your agent and work up an offer. They will work with you to ensure it states your specific terms. Do you want to leave the refrigerator? The swing set? The pool equipment? You may ask for a blank copy of the standard RPA(Residential Purchase Agreement) to read ahead of time. At this point the seller may accept your offer or come back with a counter offer. If a counter offer comes back, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you want to accept it, or to counter back with your own modifications. Your offer will need to be accompanied by earnest money, a check made out to the title company which will only be cashed upon an accepted contract. This check will be given to the title company when your offer is accepted and will be credited to you in closing costs. When an agreement is reached on both sides and all documents are signed, you are both then under a legally binding contract and protected by it.

Dec. 12, 2019

Searching For Your Dream Home

First, your realtor will put your specific search requirements into the computer, then using the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) they will be able to print out a list of the homes that match your basic desired profile. Next, appointments will be made to look at potential homes. Grab a notebook, and take notes each time you visit a home that seems like a possibility.

General

  • Is the asking price comparable to other houses in the neighborhood?
  • Is the existing mortgage assumable? At what rate?
  • What will the required down payment be? The new property tax amount?

Outside

  • What is the age of the home and it's required maintenance?
  • What is the structural condition?
  • Are there any visible major repairs needed?
  • Does the yard meet your needs?

Inside

  • Is the floor plan comfortable for your daily life?
  • Is there enough storage and closet space?
  • Are bathrooms suitably located? Exits/Entrances?
  • Adequate insulation? Storm windows? Green features?
  • What appliances are included in the sale? How old is the water heater?

 

 

Nov. 21, 2019

Before You Start Your Home Search

How will you know the right home? Its not always as easy as you may think. Considering the following topics before you begin your search may help you be more decisive when the time comes to choose a home.

Geography

  • Will you be looking in urban, suburban, semi-rural or rural areas
  • How much personal space do you need? A nice yard, an acre or more?

Neighborhood

  • Are the homes well maintained
  • How far apart are the houses
  • Any neighborhood restrictions on pets, parking, lawns etc.
  • Are vehicles primarily parked in the driveway, garage or on the street
  • What churches are nearby
  • Are there emergency personnel stations close
  • How close is the nearest hospital

Schools

  • Are public, charter and private schools available
  • Is there a school bus route nearby

Work

  • How long will your daily commute be
  • Are there commute options available 

Recreation and Entertainment

  • Types of indoor and outdoor sports activities
  • How far is the nearest library
  • What is available for entertainment

 

 

Nov. 14, 2019

How To Choose a Lender

There are numerous loan programs and government backed loans offered by a variety of lending institutions. Your lender will be familiar with many of these options; however, you should do your homework. Research which ones have special offers to find the one best suited for you. Here is a list of common questions to ask, as you interview and consider your lending options.

  •  Do you have "in house" underwriting? 
  •  What is your expected turn around time for approval?
  •  What are the current rates for the programs you work with?
  •  Are both fixed and adjustable rates offered?
  •  What are the other fees a lender may charge me?
  •  Is there a maximum limit on a rate change?
  •  Do you currently have any special offers?
  •  How much cash will I need to begin?
  •  Are there "points"? (ask lender to explain what that is)
  •  Can the term of a loan be extended?