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Homes Sales Up in Almost Every Price Range

June 15, 2015

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The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure. Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market. Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!
Here is the breakdown:

Sales-Up-STMWhat does that mean to you if you are selling?
Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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I Think you are Special!

June 12, 2015

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My Dad gave me lots of advice. I was wise enough to listen.

Dad had every reason to be pessimistic about the world. He was shot down over Germany during WWII while piloting a B-17, interred in a POW camp and lost his hearing. His career as a pilot was finished due to war injuries, and he was born with the name Shirley. Yes, I said his name was Shirley. It would be easy to fall into the muck and wallow in self-pity but that was not his style.

My Dad was a die-hard optimist. Life was good and every day was special.

When I started my business, one of the best things Dad told me was “always remember to make people feel special.” Dad grew up with a desire to help and to enrich the lives of others. He succeeded.

Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to tell you his or her story. You just need to listen.

This is not so surprising. What IS surprising is that more people don’t realize this. When you care about people, and show a genuine interest in their welfare, your life is all the better.

Try this with clients, friends and, most of all, family. Make today the start of a change in your lifestyle. Make someone’s day.

Make someone feel special.

Leave everyone you meet feeling valued. Ask about their day; ask about their lives; just ask and then listen.

Expect little and give much…you will be amazed. The gift of giving someone a sense of self worth is beyond measure. Now that’s special.

I T

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217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

June 10, 2015

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The inaugural Opportunity Cost Report was released recently by realtor.com. The report explained that “with interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep”.

The report estimates that, based on today’s dollars, the average purchaser would accumulate $217,726 in increased wealth over a 30-year period.

(You can get the projected wealth increase for almost 100 metros here.)

What could this mean to someone sitting on the fence waiting to buy?

Experts believe that both home prices and mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months. Obviously, if this does happen, the monthly cost of a home a year from now will be dramatically higher than it is today. The Opportunity Cost Reportbreaks down exactly how much a purchaser could lose over increments of one year and three years. Here are the results based on an average purchaser in the U.S. delaying their purchase:

The Cost of Waiting to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and able to buy a home, waiting doesn’t make sense.

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2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Stopping Them?

June 9, 2015

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released the 2015 SCE Housing Survey. The survey revealed that most current renters would prefer owning and that 61.9% of them plan to buy a home within the next five years.

68.3% stated they would prefer owning (with 45.6% saying they ‘strongly’ prefer owning). When asked at what point in the future do they think they will own a primary residence:

  • 8.2% said within a year
  • 15.3% said in 1 to 2 years
  • 38.4% said between 3 to 5 years

What’s Holding Them Back?

Of the 68.3% who would prefer to own, 2 out of 3 cited difficulty in getting a mortgage for the reason they do not own. However, many believe that the reason so many think that it would be difficult to get a mortgage is not fully based on current market realities.

For example, studies have shown that there is confusion over the amount of money needed for a down payment. Research has shown that 40 to 50% of Americans believe that between 15-20% is the minimum required for a down payment. In reality, there are many programs available at 5% and even 3%. There are even some programs that don’t require any down payment (ex. VA loans).

Others fear they need a perfect credit score or believe that the overall mortgaging process has become almost impossible. Actually, the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, has shown that, over the last seven months, access to mortgages has gotten much more available.

And the NY Fed study suggests that some renters are waiting for interest mortgage rates to fall even further. Fifty percent of the renters surveyed believe mortgage interest rates will fall over the next year and almost 10% believe that they will fall by more than 1%. However, the reality of the situation is that Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all projecting that rates will be significantly higher at this time next year. They are all predicting mortgage rates will be almost 1% higher!

Bottom Line

Many renters want to own their own home. Some are not moving forward based on misunderstandings regarding the mortgage process. If you are currently a renter who desires the benefits of homeownership, sit down with a local real estate professional to determine what your options actually are.

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Happy New Year!

March 6, 2014

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Happy New Year???????? It’s March 6th of 2014 and I have to admit…I’m a wee bit late getting this blog up and rolling again. The holidays flew by in a flurry of activities and closings. Seriously…lots of closings. I’m thrilled that 2014 was a great year in real estate but it also leaves me little time to update the blog and chat with my favorite peeps. So, I’m starting my New Year’s resolution a few days late (well, a few months late) and letting you know that I resolve to keep you updated on Orlando real estate and I resolve to be a better hunter and gatherer of information on all things real estate. I don’t take these things lightly and I LOVE what I do. I will just work on being more communicative with you about selling Florida homes. Cheers my friends.

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It isn’t easy being GREEN – How to Stage a Home with Green Resources!

August 19, 2013

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“Green” home staging can mean a variety of things, but one emphasis is on creating a “green story” for prospective buyers.

 

With green home staging, companies usually try to reuse or integrate as much of the seller’s original furniture as possible. In instances where new pieces are needed, green stagers will often reuse furniture from their own collection, or select pieces which are on consignment from local shops.

 

This can actually save a seller a fair amount of money in the staging process. A green staging company will also be sure to recycle all packaging associated with new furnishings used to stage the home.

 

In terms of paint and carpeting, green stagers will recommend eco-friendly replacements. One of the advantages of making green replacements is a home is the added selling point an agent can use with prospective buyers. Consider, for example, a couple looking to raise their first child in a new home. It’s not hard to imagine how fresh, non-toxic, environmentally friendly paints and flooring might favorably improve their view of the listing.

 

In addition to cosmetic recommendations, green stagers are specialists in pointing out improvements a seller might consider to both improve the energy efficiency of the home as well as further the green story for potential buyers. Air filters, weather stripping, and programmable thermostats are just a few details green home stagers often recommend.

 

What do you think? Can green staging matter? Do you think green staging ever presents an edge over traditional staging approaches?

 

(By the way… If you’re interested in green staging, I’d be happy to help you research the option for selling your home. Contact me today for more information: Linda Hutchinson, REALTOR @ lindahutchinson@msn.com or407-925-7721 Cell or Text.

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Show me the money – from contract to close on a home…

July 16, 2013

In today’s real estate world…financing is critical. It is often the difference between deal or no deal. So, how do you make it work? There are a number of factors to consider:

1. Is the buyer’s lender local and reputable?
2. Has the buyer been pre-APPROVED?
3. Is there a significant down payment?
4. Will the house appraise?

Without a yes answer to the above questions, your contract could be in jeopardy. It is always important to work with a lender who properly qualifies prospects, No ambiguous language allowed on that pre-approval letter (look for the “out” clauses”)! Make sure you actually talk to the lender and find out the specifics on the borrower. Is the buyer putting down some funds…money talks in this market and deals are done when the buyer has contributed to the bottom line. Finally, is the home priced right? In today’s market…we don’t want to be a part of the problem. We have to be problem solvers!

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