Monday, October 30, 2017

SCARY - Buying a Home!

No it is not! But Buying a Home Can Be Scary... If You Do Not Know the Facts

Many things in life can be intimidating that first time around. I actually enjoy working with first time home buyers because it gives me a chance to teach and share the experience I have had as a buyer, a seller and a real estate agent. Once upon a time, I was a first time home buyer and someone helped me. This is about paying back.

Most of the apprehension is probably based on rumor or misinformation. That is one of the many reasons why working with a state licensed agent is your best option. As a buyer, you do not pay us any fees. We also do not earn a salary or hourly wage. Our fees are paid by the seller – whether you are buying a resale home or new construction where a builder is paying those fees.

Then there is a belief that you need 20% down – not true. Or that you need a super high credit score – not true and, in fact, far more relaxed requirements than just a short time ago. And, let’s not forget the fear of rejection that is out there. Did you know that the majority of recent applications for a home mortgage were approved? So, why don’t we look at your situation and find out what you can qualify for. I’ll be ready to answer your questions along the way


Either Way, You're Paying Someone's Mortgage

If you are a regular reader here, you already know this one. The truth is if you have a roof over your head, chances are you are paying somebody’s mortgage (mom and dad might be exceptions please!)

So the sooner you take that step forward, the sooner you are investing in yourself. Homeownership has been the American Dream for hundreds of years. There are many reasons for that


Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home

Things have changed a lot in this century. Some appear to be quite crazy and the cost of renting vs the cost of buying is perhaps near the top of that list.

Have a look at the chart and the report. Compare the income needed to afford the median apartment and the median home. What would you like to do next


Save on a Mortgage Payment

Whatever your situation in life, an option that may be worth considering is a “roommate”. Seriously, if you are uncertain about your income covering the expenses of homeownership – or you would just like to have a greater cash cushion every month, the “roommate” could be the solution you are looking for. If you are waiting to buy because you want more than just a starter home – the “roommate” could give you the edge you are looking for. It is one way toward the end objective of homeownership

Millennials And Low Down Payment Programs

Over 60% of folks buying a home as first time home buyers bought with 6% down – or less. The folks that analyze all the “who is who” and “what they do” tell us that millennials and the first time home buyers understand that qualifying and buying has a lot of flexibility right now. There is a path to wealth and ownership is a step in the right direction. There is a home waiting for you. Are you ready to look

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sell, Move, Move Up

Thinking of Selling?

“There should be 3 million homes on the market right now…Yet, there are only 1.9 million.” Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.

What a great opportunity to jump in if you are selling! Interest rates are still low. Buyer demand is strong – even stronger than a year ago. The economy is humming along. And not enough folks are selling. Then along comes hurricanes and fires and there goes the opportunity for new home construction to help stabilize supply and demand. Sellers – you are needed now


4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

So we have the known shortage – but for what other reasons should you list now?

Buyer demand is expected to continue. Competition is lower right now – time of the year. An opportunity for you to move up! And, an opportunity to move on to the next adventure! Are you ready



Moving-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

Unlike the rest of the market – the luxury home market is in the hands of the buyers!

The inventory of luxury homes in some parts of the country is more plentiful than demand requires and those higher priced homes tend to stay on the market longer. This is an opportunity to use the investment from your present home to step up to new levels or, if you have been apartment living and saving for this day, to jump right in and skip the starter home completely! The opportunity is there for you. Check it out in today’s report


Hiring an Agent to Sell Your House May Cost You NOTHING!

A professional REALTOR brings value to the sale of your home. Ever wonder why the majority of folks who try to go it on their own eventually turn to a professional real estate agent? It is not just the risks, the potential legal pitfalls and the safety issues. Think about the psychology of the process. The seller thinks they will get more money by not having to pay a commission. The buyer thinks the seller is saving money so why should the seller be the only beneficiary of not paying agent fees. And the stage is quickly set to erode what sounded like a windfall savings.

Professionals have hours of training and continuing education requirements. Professionals bring experience, skills, and resources to the seller. The seller is hiring the agent but receives the benefits of the multiple listing service (MLS) and all the other agents in the local board. The more your home listing is exposed to the market, the greater chances of being sold – and sold at the right price. Have a look at today’s report for more information and call if you would like to explore the value of your home


You Don't Want to Hear This from Your Listing Agent

It's about you! Or, at least it should be. It is not about your agent or the agent you may hire. Personally, I hate talking about me. I will gladly explain the program and how your house will be marketed, but realistically - you should have checked me out before inviting me to your home! If you do, our conversation is easily focused on your needs and how we proceed.

Most of my business comes from referrals and I am proud of that. If someone pointed you in my direction, please be sure to let me know. If you found me another way, please check me out and ask any other questions you might have. I am ready to help you


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Homeowners 44X

Net Worth of Homeowners 44X Greater than Renters

According to a recent Federal Reserve study, the 2016 median net worth of homeowners was $231,400 - a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013). The net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter. What better reason to go for homeownership!

You can look at your home as an investment – that you can live in. Can’t live in a bank; can’t live in a stock portfolio – a boat maybe or even a mobile home – but if you are looking for appreciation on your hard earned dollars… buy a home of your own! Live on your way to improved wealth


You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW!

Some folks think 20% down is necessary to cross the threshold of homeownership. NOT SO! Of course the more down the better as far as reducing your monthly payment, but you can get in a home for a much lower down payment and sometimes zero down!

Another “fact” that is NOT is that you need a perfect or very high credit score. Take a look at today’s report and the chart that shows over 50% of mortgages recently approved fall in the 600 to 749 range. And, there are loans out there for scores below that! The way to get one – is start


Millionaire to Millennials: Buy a Home Now!

Millionaire David Bach explained that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.” He takes it further by suggesting that NOT buying a home means the chances of having any wealth in this country are little to none.

Think about this - $1500 a month rent (that is today and we know the amount is NOT going to stay there – think UP) – so, $1500 a month or $18,000 a year for 30 years – comparable to a mortgage – for a total of $540,000. Yeap – that is out of pocket, with no rent increases for 30 years and no savings on income tax by having deductible interest and taxes. It sure makes a lot of sense to rent! Just kidding! Buy, buy, buy


Builder Offering to Pay Off Student Loans for Buyers

WOW! $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans spread out among 42 million borrowers in America. So what is a student to do? Give up on education to not have debt and buy a house? Probably NOT. Looking at the education system, the cost of education and the programs out there is a subject for another blog and another day. The point is – we are today! And, we need programs to get young folks starting out into a home of their own – the American Dream!

Lennar Home Builders and Eagle Home Mortgage have packaged a mortgage program to do just that. I have not sold a home under this program yet, but would certainly welcome a client who wants to explore it. Are you that future client


Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year?

A couple paragraphs up, we suggested “Buy, buy, buy” and while there are so many reasons for that, this chart does a good job explaining the financial impact. Prices go up – interest rates potentially go higher – and the monthly payment gets higher for the same house. So you either buy less house, put more money down or live with less spendable or savable money each month.

It is a great time to buy


The Mortgage Process

More than once I have heard “OMG – I do not know how to get a mortgage”. That part is really easy. There a professionals to help you along the way. Don’t know anyone? No problem there either – your professional REALTOR does.

Call if you need help

Sunday, October 8, 2017

That time of year again... this public service site Texas Tax Arbitration has a new look and I have added a link to the Texas Legislature news feed. Find out what you need to know ... (Since I am an Arbitrator, please do not contact me for additional information - I must remain neutral)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

How to Get the Most Money from Your House

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your Home

This may come across as self-serving but it certainly is not. I have always used Professional Realtors long before I became one! And, using a Realtor is my number one recommendation for getting the most money for your house when you decide to sell. There are statistics that document 80 to 90% of folks who try to sell by owner eventually turn to a licensed professional. There are SO many rules about selling that make the transaction SO complex, you simply need a professional. The second concern is price - and the right price matters! Read more in the report

Which Homes Have Increased in Value the Most?

Check this out. On a percent of value, which home price level do you think went up the most? The report may surprise you

The Truth About Homeowner Equity

Enough with the negativity already. I say that because the majority of homeowners in America are not in negative equity anymore. The truth is, more than 80% of Americans now enjoy significant equity in their homes. Have a look at the article

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

You can checkout today's article for more details, but a recent survey indicates that 47% of Americans are not listing their home is fear of not being able to find another one! What a scary thought. Folks, this is a wonderful opportunity to use your current equity to buy a NEW home. You can have a builder build what you want for your needs. No more home that someone else designed or lived in. If you have not had the experience of owning a brand new home, I highly recommend it. And, I would be happy to discuss it with you - no matter where you live

Reasons to Sell Now

There are more, but we will look at 5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

Strong demand and less competition are the primary two reasons. With home inventory so low, there is simply not enough homes for sale to meet the buyer demand. While not every home will sell fast, homes properly prepared and properly priced are selling in days in some areas. More to read in the attached report, but seriously - if you are thinking a different house is in your future, now is a good time to get going

Americans are Saying Now is a Good Time to Sell!

You probably know what it is like to get Americans to agree on anything these days. But over 60% agree now is a good time to sell. Aside from a strong buyer demand, almost 80% of Americans have significant equity in their existing homes. That equity can be turned into buying power if you have a need or a want for a new home. You have nothing to lose by looking at some homes before you decide

Lack of Existing Home Inventory Slows Sales Heading into Fall and New Construction Cannot Keep Up

For the 27th consecutive month, home inventory levels have dropped. That is astonishing - and yet good for sellers. Have a look at the chart. Will inventory stay that low? Not forever

A Tale of Two Markets: A 6-Month Update

We have all heard about the seller's market in recent times but did you know there is also a buyer's market going on at the same time? We reported on this a number of weeks ago. There is an out of balance situation for upscale luxury homes right now. More are on the market than are needed for current buyers. It is an interesting situation and indicative of the laws of supply and demand

Thinking of Selling your Home? Competition is Coming

Builders have an opportunity and they are not missing it. New construction permits are up almost 8% from a year ago. While I don't see new construction solving the entire home inventory shortage, new homes will help. Actually, I highly recommend new construction to my clients - almost always and for many other reasons. With the current shortage of resale homes, builders may have the answer you are looking for. I would be glad to help you explore that option