Posts Tagged ‘buying a home’

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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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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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The Art of Real Estate (or any type of) Negotiation

March 19, 2013

In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don’t “win” a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again.  When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:

 

Set the stage: I like a location that’s quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion.  It’s best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.

 

Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)

 

Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client’s position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private

 

Leave attitudes at the door: It’s very simple… treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.

 

Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can’t reveal all of my secrets here… suffice it to say I take it all in!)

 

Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients beforehand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.

 

I don’t harp about points that don’t matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point.  I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.

 

Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients’ position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.

 

If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly: 407-925-7721 (Cell or Text) or lindahutchinson@msn.com.

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Selling New York

May 26, 2011

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is watching the show “Selling New York” because I enjoy having the opportunity to look at the interior of some of the most elegant and unique residences in the world. There is simply no place like New York and I think that many people enjoy dreaming of homeownership especially in the greatest City in the world. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Today I heard a report on the news that people are losing the desire to own a home. I couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, I think people are desperate to own their own home – they just can’t figure out how to do it. We still have an issue with banks willingness to lend to credit-worthy borrowers. We also have the serious challenge of too many foreclosure homes on the market with the resulting investor based cash buyer competing against the average American. It’s not a fair fight.

I know we are going to work our way through this mess because I also know that people still, after the most difficult and challenging time in real estate since the depression, would opt to own their own home whether it’s a pied-a-terre in New York or a cave in the woods…they want a home. I hope to help them find it.

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Just do it…

April 6, 2011

There was an ad campaign by a major brand that encouraged buyers to “Just do it” – basically encouraging people that by buying their product, they could exceed their personal goals and do great things in a sporting world.

It’s time for real estate buyers to realize that they should “just do it” and buy property. Prices right now are so ridiculously low that it’s laughable and yet people are still sitting around waiting for…well, I don’t know what they are waiting for. There simply is NOT a better time to buy real estate.

I have never seen homes priced so low that you could afford cash for many home and in fact, most of my transactions to date have been with CASH buyers. It’s a new world and a new day and it’s time to get off that darn fence and BUY PROPERTY. If nothing else, the fact that over 60% of people in the future are predicted to be renters, buy rental property.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you when things turn and they WILL turn. Things always change and you will regret not making some great decisions right now. Call me if you want me to explain it to you in detail.  Just do it!

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Rent vs. Buy

August 25, 2010

 

 

It’s the age-old debate in real estate – what formulaic equation can you come up with to justify whether you should rent or buy in any given market. I’m here to tell you – formulas don’t work. 

For instance, Trulia reports that “Trulia.com, a real estate for-sale listings site that also recently began listing rentals, has launched its own rent vs. buy calculator. If you’re trying to decide on a city, it also created a Rent vs. Buy Index for 50 major cities. The index compares the costs of buying a two-bedroom condo with the costs of renting one.” 

But what Trulia and others don’t consider is that it’s more emotional than dollars and cents. There is still a certain joy in OWNING your home. There’s a wonderful feeling when you get a tax deduction on your residence but an even more wonderful feeling when you walk in and know it is YOUR home and you don’t answer to anyone else about paint, carpet, dogs, guests, etc. It’s your home. You can do anything you want to it. You don’t have to worry about any nicks or bruises and you can decorate and nail the heck out of your walls. It’s YOUR home. 

We’ve just come out of a cycle in real estate where everyone looked at their home as an investment. This obviously didn’t work out too well for many people. Now we are back to looking at our homes as a place to raise our families and to live our lives. If we make money – even better. 

Renting has its place and its merits. But I still, even now, don’t think it can ever beat owning a home. There is no amount of money that can beat the feeling and pride of ownership.

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What are Buyers looking for in a home?

January 16, 2010

Sellers ask me all the time…what should I do to help sell my home? Should I put in granite countertops, should I paint, etc? I read so many articles a day on the Top Ten Ways to Sell Your Home and How to Sell Your Home in 7 Steps. You get the drift.

BUT THERE IS ONE SURE FIRE WAY TO GET YOUR HOME SOLD! I guarantee it.

It needs to be CLEAN – I mean super clean – I mean Mr. Clean, clean. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING turns off a buyer more than a dirty home that smells like food, dog, and dirt. Nothing says AWFUL more than a messy home where it looks like a clothes bomb has exploded. Your home must be clean and neat and tidy. Super tidy. Clean and neat trumps paint, carpet, or granite anytime. I promise.

I had a very sweet home (over $400K) with a charming and quaint exterior. But the minute people walked in – they walked out. It is not because the home is awful – it’s because the owners (who had moved out) had a dog and the odor was overwhelming. It was absolutely pungent with stench. We had over 30 showings and no offers and they all said the same thing. IT STINKS.

Buyers don’t want to move into a home that they feel has not been well cared for and if it looks bad – they automatically assume you have not taken care of your home. If you paint a pig – it’s still a pig. So CLEAN UP YOUR HOME – I mean cleaner than your Momma would have cleaned. Everything should shine – everything should sparkle. It is the one time in your life you have to be diligent and have a spotless home without a strong sense of odor. And speaking of odors, those plugs in that you can buy at the store don’t REALLY mask bad smells. If the carpet stinks – get new carpet and keep the dog off of it.

In short (and I know I am beating a dead horse here) – KEEP A CLEAN HOUSE and you will have a SOLD HOUSE.