Archive for the ‘buying a home’ Category

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

June 9, 2015

Want-to-Buy-KCM

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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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

house sideways

Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

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I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world…

May 27, 2011

Growing up in the 60’s, I was all about Barbie and Ken. I had all the clothes, the cars, the bags – but best of all…the Barbie house. Life was good.

Now Mattel and an Architectural group (http://t.co/SQC7oIa) have combined to start a contest to design a Barbie house for “today’s” Barbie and Ken. What would it include?

If you go by what current buyers are looking at in Central Florida the top five things would be:

  1. Home office
  2. Place for aging parents
  3. Large open kitchen
  4. Smaller yard
  5. One story design

Buyers just don’t seem to be too concerned anymore about giant homes – they want them smaller, more eco-friendly and easier to manage. In other words, I see a world that is going for a simpler life. I wonder if Barbie is on board with that?

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Condominium or House? Which should you choose?

May 19, 2011

With our changing market, I have buyers who are entering the market with cash and looking for some good deals.

Their main criteria are what can I pick up for a GREAT price and which property will start bringing me instant income? Should they buy a house or a condo?

Usually that requires a long and detailed discussion but here’s is an abbreviated comparison.

If buyers want worry-free maintenance and ease of lifestyle then a condo is ideal. You move in and the HOA (through your dues) maintains the property. You never cut a yard; trim a hedge, paint, etc. It’s all taken care of you for a fee. Added to this is the fact that condominium residences (in Orlando) can often be purchased for less than a traditional home.

With a house you have to consider the cost of maintenance and care but you also have privacy. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the strength of the HOA and if the condominium project is strong and viable for the future resale purposes.

I think if I am personally given a choice, for investment/rental purposes a home is always stronger than a condominium. But for retirement/investment purposes – you may want to consider the condominium residence lifestyle.

Either way…it’s good to have options.

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A Cat Tale – Lessons from my cat on buying a home

July 15, 2008

By Linda Hutchinson

I was watching my cat today and was amazed at his ability to precisely clean himself until he was satisfied. He left no stone unturned and was a fresh and happy kitty. What Tiger (I know his name is super-original) exhibited was precise planning, implementation of his plan and satisfaction at a job well done.

What does this have to do with real estate? Well it’s a stretch (pardon the pun) but we would do better to follow Tiger’s lead in looking for a home. We should leave no stone unturned, plan precisely and implement our plans. Then we sit back, enjoy our new homes and pride ourselves on a job well done. I call it – basic cat theology.

One of the ways we can turn our economy around is by spending. I wonder how many of us in recent weeks have reacted to the gloom and doom news accounts by cutting back spending and buying into the panic. While I don’t encourage a free-for-all of spending. I do think we are part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

Buyers…it’s time to spend. Sellers…it’s time to sell. Let’s all help the economy move forward not only in baby steps (buy milk) but in big steps (buy homes). We can get this whole wide world back on track by planning, implementing and watching the results. Now that’s a purr-fect day!