Key Questions If You Are Thinking Of Selling6/14/2018
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Whoa! Wait! Stop! Are you thinking about tackling a remodeling project? After hours of HGTV, Houzz, and Pinterest viewing, scrolling and pinning you are probably convinced that you need a new kitchen for all your entertaining. a new master bath with waterfall shower head and a walk-in closet the size of a bedroom. I get it! I'd love to have those things too and if you are doing those projects because you want to enjoy and use them, then by all means....forge ahead! But if you are thinking about a remodeling project in order to get your home ready to sell, the truth is you may not need to spend thousands of dollars to compete in the current market or your price bracket. Buyers come in all shapes, sizes and opinions. I can almost guarantee that your choice in granite will not appeal to everyone, nor will the bathroom fixtures that you agonized over choosing. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder....so why spend 30,000 on a kitchen remodel putting in gray cabinets and white marble when your buyer is looking for a white kitchen and LOVES only quartz counters? Are there things that you should do to ready your home for sale? Absolutely! Are there cosmetic projects like paint and carpet that you should tend to? Yes! But you may not see a return on your investment with more costly remodels if your home is keeping pace with the market trends for the most part. Priority should definitely be in the home mechanics. Spend money first ensuring that your roof, foundation, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems are up to date before allocating dollars to remodeling. Otherwise, it's just lipstick on a pig. Very few buyers want to buy a home in need of a roof and new furnace, even if you did just put in new granite counter tops.
Always consult a real estate professional, people who are actually inside of homes daily and know what buyers are looking for, before taking on your next remodeling project!
Are you ready to buy a home and considering going in the route of new builds? It may seem like an easy enough process, where you get to call the shots of how you want your dream home to be, but there is a lot of risk when it comes to new construction if you are going in blindly. It's unfortunately not as trouble free as we'd like to hope, if you don't have the right representative by your side to help with the things that need to be looked out for from a professional's eye. Below, we'll dive into the many reasons you need a professional buyer's agent representing you in the sale. They are, after all, on your side. And it's their role to ensure you aren't taken advantage of by the builders and their representatives in the transaction.
The most important part of finding an agent is having a professional's perspective to finding a builder with a great reputation. You get to benefit from your agent's network of vendors, lenders, and home builders. They have the industry expertise to connect you with a builder that matches your needs, and more than likely, have already had experience with the builder with a past client. Or, if they haven't worked with a builder you want to use directly, they can gather person-to-person recommendations from other agents to know the expected experience with said builder. They will help you find one, that not only delivers exactly what their clients want, but in a timely fashion.
The lot you choose to go with in a new build can either be a positive to your new home, or detrimental. In the excitement of the process, we tend to overlook important features of a property. It's important to have a professional to ensure you make a purchase that will best serve you. They'll be able to find a neighborhood that best fits your lifestyle and a lot that has a location that works for you. Whether you're single with pets, or a family with children, the lot location can really make a huge impact. Especially when it comes time to selling it in the future. These are important things your agent will be able to help walk you through, so your decisions work in your favor in the long term, as well as now.
Not only will your agent be able to ensure you get the upgrades and modifications that will best suit your lifestyle, but will also help you make decisions that will increase the value of your home in the long term. They are working for your best interest long term, and with an agent's guidance, you can be sure to make changes that end up benefiting you.
Your agent will handle the contract and all of the paperwork, and they will be sure to review it to ensure that it is in your best interest. They will be able to help you break down the best loan types, purchasing processes, and steps to take that benefit YOU, not the builder. They are, after all, working for you. They'll make sure there are no overlooked terms in a builder's contract that could end up hurting you after you move in. Or even during the building process. You want to make sure you have a professional who is experienced with the paperwork and contracts and knows how to make revisions that work in a way that make you happy.
It is imperative in the purchasing process to have an agent that is able to represent you and negotiate for you. The building process is so much more than having the builder put in your favorite counters and floors. They will be able to get you a price that actually benefits you - not the builder. They will be able to run a comparative market analysis to ensure you are paying a fair price for the property. You don't want to end up overpaying for the home - it could put you in a tough spot when it comes time to sell. They'll also be able to negotiate terms around building time frame, closings costs, and so many other aspects of a contract that you may otherwise overlook.
It may seem easy just to pop into an office of a new build, or a builder's office, and use the onsite agent. But keep in mind that this agent works FOR the builder, NOT for you. So they will be working to make sure the builder gets the best deal at the end of the day. By having a buyer's agent of your own, you can ensure there is a professional on your side that can walk you through the process and avoid being taken advantage of during the transaction. They will also have a better handle on things when you hit bumps along the way. If you end up working with a builder who isn't holding their end of the deal, they will have the power to make connections that ensure the builder holds their end of the contract terms.
The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.
WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING A HOME?
Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!
· Is your family expanding?
· Does your family feel safe?
· Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your children can get the education they deserve?
· How about that unbearable landlord?
WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?
DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.
Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.
If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.
WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?
The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.
If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.
Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!
Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer's lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn't true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move.
With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today's market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage's lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That's more money in your pocket today. Don't wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home a pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?
There is also a fear that a home can keep you "stuck" or "rooted" to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn't easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.
Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you'd be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn't be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you'd be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.
With the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn't a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to Grubhub, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. And with every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same methods are "attempting" to be applied to the real estate industry.
We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike; but the attempt of replacing the agent by sites like Zillow and other third party resources, can lead to a snowball affect of disaster. Think about real estate being smack dab in the middle of fast food and a doctor. You can use your mobile device to quickly place your order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to getting a surgery, you'll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home, look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional's input, but it's fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. But there in lies the issue, the data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling. The same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries, you'd still expect to get a professional's diagnosis.
Although a real estate agent isn't quite like a doctor, the industry in it's legalities, contracts, and processes is similar in the sense that it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional's guidance comes after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. Same for sellers, if you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of in the price? But most importantly, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? Because there is a lot more to the sale of the home then just agreeing on a number.
The next time you're digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. But after you've found the perfect house, or after you've decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. Because it's going to be in the middle of a contract when the lending is falling apart, or negotiations can't be made on repairs and emotions are at an all time high, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an agent fighting for you by your side. Use the internet, have fun with it's amazing resources, but don't let it replace your agent. We aren't in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional can.
If you haven't bought a home yet, you're missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, "Finally, it's ours (or mine)!" And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that's a real feeling!
We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don't often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.
There is a sense of security, and a sense of "this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment," that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can't be beat.
Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year's Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.
Buying a home isn't about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it's just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you've been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!
Northern Kentucky Realtor
If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount. Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home. The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000. But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first. In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:
“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”
If you are considering making a move, contact me to discuss your options.
60 Cavalier Blvd
Florence Ky 41042
Many of us in the U.S. might be conscious of natural disasters happening, but we might not realize that they can happen to us. Depending on where you live in the U.S., the risk of a natural disaster occurring is fairly slim. Whether it's a flood, blizzard, wildfire, tornado, tsunami, hurricane or earthquake, owning a home or property (or even being a renter) should prompt you to have an emergency preparedness plan, first aid kit and survival kit readily available in your home or vehicle in case of a natural disaster or unforeseen emergency.
As a property owner or renter the first thing you should do is be informed about the type of disasters or emergencies that have occurred in your area. If you live on the west coast, there is an active threat of earthquake and perhaps a volcanic eruption if you're in the Pacific Northwest. If you live on the southern east coast, the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms is yearly. Certain parts of the Midwest and south are prone to tornadoes. Knowing the type of disaster that could strike your area is important as it can dictate how you and your family react.
Another important part of being informed is knowing how you'll be notified by local authorities if disaster hits. For your own benefit, having a radio (battery operated) on hand may be very useful. Many agencies will communicate via local radio, local television channels and NOAA Weather Radio stations. While many of us depend on our computers or mobile devices for our news and information, electricity cannot be guaranteed when disaster hits, so having battery operated electronics can help keep you and your family up to date on what's happening around you.
It's also important to be informed about your community - are there certain protocols in place in case of disasters? If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, does the community have an alert system for residents? If you live in a coastal town, are there evacuation routes in place in case of a tsunami? When you move to a new area, become acquainted with the community's disaster response protocols and inform anyone else in your household of what to do if disaster strikes.
If you live in a household with other adults or children, an important part of being prepared for an emergency is having emergency contact cards available to those you live with. These cards have contact information for all members of the household (such as home, work, school and cell phone numbers) and they can list pertinent health information for certain people (such as drug or food allergies) that may be needed in an emergency situation. It is also important to make sure all occupants old enough know how to contact 911 as well as the Fire Department, the Police or Sheriff's Department, immediate utilities, and poison control. As a homeowner or renter, ensure everyone who is able knows how to turn on and off any gas lines, electricity, water, irrigation water and propane tanks in or outside the home/property.
Another important aspect of being prepared is having supplies on hand in the event of an emergency. An emergency preparedness kit can take many shapes, but the most important items are basic supplies: water: one gallon per person, per day (for a home it's suggested to have a 2-week supply on hand); food: non-perishable and easy-to-prepare (again, for a home a 2-week supply is suggested); a flashlight and battery-powered or hand-crank radio (with extra batteries); a first aid kit; a 7-day supply of any medications; and any other supplies that might be deemed essential to one's household. It's also a great idea to make sure all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order on a regular basis.
More often than not, disaster doesn't strike an entire community or city, and many times the threats are predictable (a home fire, gas leak, etc.). Because of this, being prepared for all emergencies might not be a top priority within a household. As homeowners, renters or property owners, the last thing we want to happen is to be caught off guard by something that could have been prepared for. In the case of natural disasters or home emergencies, this means being prepared in advance. Should disaster strike, it's very unlikely help will immediately appear. Do yourself a favor and have an emergency plan in place. Disaster may not strike, but if it does, you'll certainly be ready to react to whatever comes your way.
Christon Belden is an award winning REALTOR in
Northern Ky and is available to help you with all
of your real estate questions.
60 Cavalier Blvd
Florence, Ky 41042