Friday, April 28, 2017

Days on Market

Homes are Selling Fast Across the Country! Of course these are averages and local experience, even within the same city, can vary widely. Certain areas are seeing more demand. Make sure your home is priced right for the least amount of time on market. And, goes without saying, ask your real estate professional how the market is in your own neighborhood. Checkout today's article for more

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Taxes turned Downpayment

Your Tax Return: Bring it Home. Have a look at today's article to see how folks use their tax refunds. Cannot argue with putting in the bank or paying down debt (assuming the debt is not run up again until such time as next year's tax refund) but think about it - why not look at using that tax refund as a down payment on your own home! Maybe it will take two years of refunds to have enough for your down payment but it is doable. And, once you are a homeowner and have interest and property tax to deduct it is likely that your tax refund will be even larger. A larger refund can be used in so many ways - perhaps some thing special, or added to your savings, college tuition funds, even making an extra mortgage payment once a year and that would be the subject of another article. Tax refunds are SO nice! How did you spend yours

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Buy and Sell

Well, this blog has been around a couple of years now and I do not believe we have ever done a double post quite like this one. Today, we are going to recommend that you BUY and, if you are already an owner, that you SELL. They actually do complement one another! Let's start with the BUY recommendation. Have you heard of the American Dream? Who has not? Mention of it has been in our Welcome Message for years - because we believe in it!

In today's first article, we are looking at comments from Sean Conlon, host of The Deed: Chicago on CNBC. He gives a very strong BUY recommendation and we agree 100% with his logic. A home is an investment, a home is shelter, a home is safety and a home is a way to achieve increased wealth. There is so much going on in the market today. Don't be in the position of looking back 10 or 20 or even 30 years from now and thinking - "I wish I would have...." There is a phrase you can search for on the internet - it is "Just Do It", Give that some thought!

Now let's look at the SELL recommendation in today's second article. Well, first of all, we just suggested to everyone that they go out and BUY - and now we need you to SELL. Alright, having a little fun there, but the truth is there remains a shortage of homes for sale to have a healthy market. The "norm" tends to be around a 6 month supply. The present supply of homes on the market is a little under 4 months. That drives up prices - meaning you might have more equity in your home than you thought. You can use that equity to buy your next home and continue the road to increased wealth - or depending on where you are in life's journey, it may be the time to cash out and downsize and use some of that equity to fund other goals in life. Whatever your direction, the possibilities are endless and the opportunity is there. If you are thinking about selling - and a lifestyle change - now is just a great time.

As always, we welcome the opportunity to chat with you in person and our services when you are ready.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Remodeling Tips for a Better Build!

By Michael Hopkins (Guest Poster)

Buying a Home is a Wonderful experience. It also assures that in time or at the time of purchase, you will be thinking if this room were only larger or a different shape or…. the list goes on. If it is something you are absolutely going to do, then sooner rather than later pays nice dividends as building costs only rise. Now, how about doing all the work yourself to reduce costs? It works out well sometimes… your neighbor did it right?

Most times large DIY projects do not turn out as well as the image in your mind. A general contractor will be your guardian angel organizing projects, keeping subcontractors honest, and running projects in sequence so that all the components fit together. How do you know if you will need a general contractor? This list should help:
A. Is the project going to take longer than a week?
B. Will the project require several different subcontractors to complete?
C. Will the project require permits?

Remodeling your home in many cases not only enhances the aesthetics of your home, it also makes the home more functional to your needs. It’s not always time to move! Energy efficiency is a form of remodeling/restoration. Those curious drafts in your home could be costing you a pretty penny. Solar is also an option these days as surface substrates and the ability to store energy has taken solar from a dream to reality!

When getting to the actual build, being able to communicate your ideas to your contractor and/or designer about colors, textures, flooring, appliances, fixtures, and what your budget is for the remodel/restoration creates a great starting point from where wonderful things will happen. A great build starts with a great plan. No need to worry if you’re not crystal clear about everything, your contractor/designer will have many ideas to bring about a build you’ll be proud of for many years to come!

If we can be of service to you, we would absolutely love the opportunity to earn your business! EDC was conceived with our client’s satisfaction in mind! EDC Construction & Remodeling, Michael Hopkins (210) 810-6798 www.EDCmaestro.com

Saving for a Down Payment

How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment? There is a danger here. It can take years to save up for a down payment and during that time prices will likely being up as will the cost of the place you are renting and everything else in modern day life. So, the best plan to counter this and move on (and in to) home ownership is to go with a lesser down payment and take advantage of any special first time buyer programs out there. If you have military entitlement as so many do in our town, that is a tremendous advantage and you can act on it now. It is time to live the American Dream folks - don't let anything get in the way of trying. Read through the posts on this blog - there are compelling reasons to go for it. If you know someone who is not yeat a homeonwer, please share this post and this blog with them. Help out a family member or a friend. For more information have a look at today's article

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Home Buying Myths

Slaying Home Buying Myths... Of course, the best way is a real live conversation with a licensed REALTOR or a licensed MORTGAGE professional. But today's article is a start. Have a look and you may be surprised at the opportunities available on the road to home ownership. If you have not been a home owner and want to be one - the answer is simple - go for it. And, if you do not make it through use the opportunity to find out what you need to do to change that. It is a road to increased wealth and a chance to own the roof over your head. Finally, the numbers in the article are averages... you can get in for less. There are programs out there waiting to be discovered. Is this your time

Earth Day 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Owning a Home Could Help

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help... There are many reasons to buy a home and while one of them could be for tax purposes, there are lots more that may fit your needs and goals. Some of the possibilities have been reviewed in this blog. The tax benefits are "frosting on the cake" that could be considered an extra incentive and the key to affordability that helps rationalize the decision to purchase. The deductions for interest and property tax can mean huge savings on your tax bill that provides more money to make mortgage payments, money to save for the future or even some special purpose goals of your own. I was in my very early 20's when I bought the first home. It was nothing fancy - actually, my father was not happy with me at all. But 13 years later I sold it for more than twice what I paid for it (with some upgrades of course). The bottom line is you need to live somewhere - why not live in your own home and shelter yourself from some of the tax you would otherwise pay. It works - it really works! Read more in today's article - it is a "savings plan" seriously worth your time

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American Dream

Measuring Your Ability to Achieve the American Dream. One could say that people everywhere around the world would like to own their own home but nowhere is that dream more prevalent than here in the USA. Americans are freedom lovers and that includes all the benefits and freedoms of owning our own homes! The folks that crunch the numbers took a look at the ability to achieve homeownership that one can expect on a state by state basis. I am happy to say, Texas is better than average - actually ranking pretty high up in the scores. If you are thinking of a move and looking at possible destinations, Texas would be a wise choice. We have many folks relocating to Texas and for good reason. Why don't you all come on out and have a look. Until then, check out today's article for even more information

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Buy Territory

US Housing Market Continues the Move into ‘Buy Territory’! Yes, the move is BUY vs RENT - in most cases, buying is cheaper! That may sound strange, but the folks who watch those numbers are reporting in. That does not hold true in some major metro areas - however, OWNING makes sense. Even if renting would be a little cheaper, the bottom line is get into owning and all the benefits that come from owning. Then you will not have to worry about rent again. You will have a payment each month, pretty much fixed except for tax and insurance and at the end of your mortgage - the home is yours and no more payments. Think about that - 30 years from now - no mortgage and no rent to pay! Does that not have an appeal? It is the road to improved wealth and something to look forward to. For more on the housing market have a look at today's article

Monday, April 17, 2017

Now Is the Time

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act! We have heard for moths that the home inventory is too low for the market - and it is. Listing your home now gives you the seller advantage of being in a smaller pool. As more home owners decide to sell and list their home, the size of the pool grows and buyers have more to choose from. If you are contemplating a move - for whatever the reason - then this is a great tie to get started. for a little more on the subject, have a look at today's article

Friday, April 14, 2017

First Home

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp? You have heard the phrase "you won't know if you don't try" - well, for sure that applies. Down-payments are not as high as you might think. Credit scores needed may be lower than you think. AND - guess what - they change. So, what you may be thinking they are may not be what they really are. WOW - was that a mouthful. Bottom line - you want to OWN? If the answer is yes - why not give it a try. The first thing to do is get approved for a mortgage. If the first attempt is unsuccessful - try at least two more times with different companies. And, if all 3 fail, use the opportunity to find out just what you need to do to make it happen in six months, a year - or even two years. Just don't give up. Getting that first house will change your life - forever! You can check on stats in today's article

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It Happens Here

Requirements Easing

Home Mortgages: Rates Up, Requirements Easing - now really, did anyone not see that happening again? Of course requirements would ease up - market driven... capitalism, need sales, get the economic engine running. No matter - we are here and easier requirements means more folks have the opportunity to become home owners. Hopefully, some lessons have been learned and the easing of requirements will not get back to what they were before we crashed. It is time to get folks into responsible homeownership. It could be your time! For a look at the numbers, checkout today's article

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Millennial Home Buyers

Millennials Flock to Low Down Payment Programs! Well, of course they are. As I have said before - their time is now! Millennials are leaving mom and dad's nest and going out on their own - as generations have done before. Millennials are buying their own nest and building their own wealth. And wealth is a key factor in their future. It is an exciting time - a time for watching a new generation taking a huge step in their lives. And as generations before us, we experienced homeowners need to be ready to help them and guide them in any way we can. Of course, today's technology gives Millennials an edge unlike any generation before - but many other factors weigh in when time to buy then own a first home. Have a look at today's article and call if we can be of help. Experience matters

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rental Trap

Careful…Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap! Have you heard - it is cheaper to buy then to rent! In some markets that is very true. Seriously though folks - if you pay rent - especially higher rent - it becomes harder to save to get a home of your own. The higher the rent, which often increases annually, the harder it is to have a savings program. That is why we recommend buying a home even if it is with little money down. And when you buy go for a fixed rate mortgage to lock in your mortgage payment. Of course, there will be modest increases for property tax or insurance, but the majority of your payment is a fixed amount toward what you borrowed. Rents will not likely stay fixed! For more information, read today's article and call if I can better help you mover into a home of your own

Monday, April 10, 2017

Using a Professional

Today we are about - The Importance of Using a Professional to Sell Your Home. I am on board with the DIY concept - on some things! Selling or buying a home is not on that list. You may react and say that is because I am a real estate agent. Well, the truth is I now better understand why using an agent is most important because I have expanded my knowledge about all the things that could go wrong. But, in all the years before I became an agent I always hired a REALTOR to represent me either as a buyer or a seller. In other words, I fully practiced what I preach. Each year our political bureaucracy seems to make the laws about buying and selling more complex (well, they make EVERYTHING more complex). As a real estate professional, we need to keep up with all those rules to best serve our clients. If you are not in the business of real estate, it would be next to impossible to keep up! The folks who tally up statistics have documented time and time again that sellers get a better return when they hire a professional to sell their home - and the vast majority who try the DIY route eventually switch to hiring a Realtor to sell their home. Of course, it is a matter of personal choice and the decision is up to you. For more information, check out today's article

Friday, April 7, 2017

Millennials Choice!

Why Millennials Choose to Buy [INFOGRAPHIC]. Their time has begun. In the future, they will run the world. Each generation has the responsibility to step forward and prepare the world for those that follow. Along the way, there are many decisions and a place to call home is one of them. We are seeing that happen now. It is interesting to look at the reasons the newest generation of home buyers are making there move. At the top of the list is control over their living space. If we look back to each generation before that we might find "personal living space" to always be a top choice? It is about freedom of choice! The runner up reasons are privacy and security and again not alike what their parents and grandparents wanted at their time. Foe a more in depth look at the reasons, have a look at today's article. If you are ready to make a change, no matter what generation you are a part of, call and let's begin today

About YOUR Mortgage

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Housing Affordability

The 'REAL' News about Housing Affordability. Many factors must be taken into consideration when analyzing "affordability". For a concise and clear explanation have a look at today's article. It is the real down low on the market

Many Homes Sold

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bidding Wars

Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars. In certain cities that is expected. The more scarce properties are, the more likely bidding wars will break out. That is good for sellers (but it may actually bring with it a lot of stress). For sure, it is a time when you want to have an experienced knowledgeable real estate professional representing you! It is not necessarily the highest dollars that makes that best offer. There are other considerations and all aspects of an offer should be considered. For more information, have a look at today's article

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

15,014 Homes Sold

15,014 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours? The number of days a home is on the market can vary greatly - and for a variety of reasons. it could be price, perhaps a dated look the says "modernize me!" - or a number of other reasons. Sometimes a client is in no hurry and can afford to wait for their price but keep in mind, staying in the home cost money. How much is dependent on expenses, taxes and whether or not there is a mortgage to pay. That is something your real estate professional can go over with you. Bottom line is - if you want to sell and move on - price it right and make sure it has a clean welcoming look from the street presence throughout the house all the way to the back yard! For more information checkout today's article

Luxury - the Video

Monday, April 3, 2017

It isn't so!

Again… You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW! It is scary that close to half the population believe you need 20% down to buy a home. That is a great many folks missing an opportunity of a lifetime. It makes me want to shout out the message everywhere and get folks into finding the path to home ownership. maybe we can start a national challenge - tell at least one co-worker who is not a homeowner how they can get started. The bottom line - as with many things in life - if you don't go for it, you will just never know. And the follow up to that - is if you get turned down once you do not need to accept that as the final decision. Work with a real estate professional and a mortgage professional to have the best chance of making it to your first home! More in today's article