Is it Time to buy?

Is It Time for Your First Home?

Ready? Check out the chart. Set? Check out the chart again. Go! Call me and let’s get you your first home.

Renters Under 50 - and more - Want to Buy a Home!

Today must be National Chart Day or something. Again, I need to point you to the chart in today’s report (just click that link above). Lots of folks who rent now would like to buy if they could. Of the total group, the under 50 crowd of wannabes leads with the highest percentage. We help everyone if we can. Are you ready to find out today if you can qualify for a home mortgage?

What If I Wait to Buy a Home?

This year to next year… prices up! Interest up! Payments UP. Click the link to see the chart. Remember, as the upward trend continues, so does the monthly payment!

Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

If you follow this blog with some regularity, you know that no matter what the season, I am going to say it is a good time to buy. Because IT IS! That’s right – it is always a good time to buy and become a homeowner.

Why is that? Prices are trending up and so is interest. You have to live someplace – and it might as well be under your own roof. It is good to invest – invest in yourself with a home you OWN. Move on with your life – you are just not getting any younger so go for the adventure and have some fun!

Real Estate As An Investment

Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running - Real Estate Tops It

Not only is real estate the #1 choice for best long-term investment – you can live in it! Cannot do that with the other investments. You can also invest in additional properties and rent them out effectively letting someone else pay the mortgage for you! Check out today’s report by clicking on the link just above.

Short of a war or stock market crash…

Worried about something catastrophic – like war or a total market meltdown? Of course, those are possibilities in our daily lives and it will not matter if you own or rent – you will be impacted! So why not own your home?

And, what happens if prices and interest rates keep climbing? If you buy now, you lock in your rate and your payment. You are ahead of the increase. Can the country sustain the higher prices and higher rates? Of course, we have before. The predictions are that we would return to the affordability norms of 1987 to 2004. What is holding you back? Call me Al.

Ready to Move Up to Your Dream Home?

If you are a regular follower, you already have read about why prices keep climbing. It is about supply and demand. There is no sign of demand slowing – or being met at this point. The expectation is that prices will continue to go up.

It you are thinking “dream home” – either as a move up or a first time buyer, now would be a good time to make the move. If you have a home and you are waiting for its value to increase so you can buy a higher priced home – while you wait, the higher priced home is going up more than yours! If you are downsizing, the math could work in your favor – provided the market stays as is.

If you are that first time buyer, waiting can cost you with a bigger mortgage payment! Alternatively, it means that you will be able to buy less house. Just take a look at our previous post about buying power or check the pages listed in the right column.

Presenting an Offer in Today’s Market

No secret that today’s market is a sellers’ market. That means when you find the home that is right for you – move quickly to make an offer. Hopefully, you are working with a real estate professional who can guide you in making an offer and negotiating the price. The best deal is a win-win for both sides. That is how dreams come true!
This is a picture of my father from WW2. Today is his birthday. If he was still with us, he would be 100 today!

Interest Rate Impact

Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High

Yes – interest rates have moved up but so far, nothing crazy. The experts have an explanation for that and the relationship of gasoline prices to higher interest rates. Have a look at today’s report by clicking on the link just above.

How Current Interest Rates Impact Your Purchasing Power

Again, you are going to need to click through to today’s report. There is a chart showing incremental increases of ¼ of 1% and the impact that has on your buying power. Clearly, there is reason to buy while rates are still on the lower side – or risk getting less house or a higher payment.

One of the biggest mistakes is trying to save more money for a down payment while prices and interest rates are moving up. Typically, it does not work in your favor!

We have an entire page on Purchasing Power. Check it out.

As Mortgage Rates Rise, Will Home Prices Fall?

Lots of good news here. The consensus indicates a strong and healthy economy and favors robust home price appreciation. If there was a war or financial catastrophe, all predictions are off the table. But, realistically, the economic engine of the country is running just fine and increased interested rates will be assimilated.

Rent - or - Own

In the Majority of the US, Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting

More often, we are hearing that the cost of buying is cheaper than renting in the majority of the US. In 2018, that statement holds true again. There are quite a few numbers to consider in the report linked above – and in the one that follows. Have a look and decide if the timing to buy a new home is right for you. Time to let the landlord pay his own mortgage - or find someone else to!

Have a Look at the Cost of Renting vs. Buying

Have a look at the chart. It takes more of your income to qualify for rent than it does to buy. Go back and read that again. Who would have thought?

Do You Know the Top Reasons to Own Your Home?

Why own? Well, at the end of 30 years, you have a paid investment (unless you borrow on it of course). At the end of 30 years renting – you have a stack of rent receipts and a bill due next month!

Along the way, as an owner you can essentially do what you want to do, you enjoy more freedoms, you are a broader part of the community – and you have achieved a goal. It takes a first step to begin and a fair portion of your lifetime – and worth it!

Sell With A Pro Today

5 Reasons to Sell This Summer!

Move up. Move on. Get it done quickly – beat the rush! With the lower inventory of available homes – it is a sellers’ market! It is all about supply and demand. This is going to be one HOT summer! Are you in?

Buyers Are Out Now. Don’t Wait to Sell Your House!

What happens if you hold off – for whatever the reason? You would miss a market that does not have enough inventory to support the buyers out there who are ready to buy. As more folks list, inventory increases and you have more competition. We are early in the shopping season and a perfect time to jump in – and time for you to shop for your new home before prices and rates move up higher!

Selling FSBO Could Cost You

Statistically, somewhere around 90% of folks who try to go it on their own eventually turn to a real estate professional to help them sell their home. There must be something behind that!

Consider the psychology of a FSBO. Your potential buyer knows you are saving on real estate fees. There is an expectation that you can sell your home for less since there is no middleman. You see the money saved going into your pocket – the buyer sees things differently.

Suppose you price your house wrong. Too high, it will not sell. Too low, you lose money. How do you know when you sign the sale contract that the buyer is qualified to make a purchase and finance it? How do you get out of the contract if things go wrong? Who do you let in your house – does safety matter?

Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

Real estate professionals train hundreds of hours – sales training, marketing, legal and the art of negotiating. Professionals deal with all the bumps in the road that can occur in getting the deal closed. They deal with the title company, the inspectors, lenders and more! It is not a matter of placing a sign out front or placing an ad on the internet. I suppose that is why so many who try FSBO do turn to professionals for help. Talk to a professional today - it matters!

Healthy Housing Market

Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again

It has been over 10 years – based on inflation alone, housing prices should be higher than where they are now! And, based on an 11.5-year calculation, houses are underpriced by about 18%.

Tougher mortgage standards are in place. We have seen some relaxing of the super restrictive standards following the bust, but tough and financially sound practices remain, unlike those in 2006. Mortgage debt and the housing affordability index all show improvement. Check out the link above for more information. It is a great time to buy a new home – or your very first.

The Reason Home Prices Are Increasing

It is pretty much the law of supply and demand. There are more buyers than sellers and that has created a sellers’ market and pressures on price. Does that mean prices will suddenly drop – no. Adjusting for inflation, home prices still have a way to go – or should we say, “grow”. It is a sign of a continuing healthy market – and a great time to invest.

Have You Checked to See How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value Over the Last Year?

There is a year over year index in the report linked above, but on this one, I want to stress that real estate is local. Real estate pricing is not national, state, county or even city. Pricing changes occur at the neighborhood level. For your best, most accurate information – see a real estate professional (push-button estimates are not your best resource!)

Finally - Homeowners & Appraisers See Closer Eye-to-Eye

As home prices were moving up, it became harder for appraisers to find adequate comps – and harder to reconcile the differences between what homeowners thought their home was worth and what the appraiser could qualify. At times, the disparity was huge.

Things have notably improved! For the first time in a few years, the homeowners and the appraisers are much closer together on price. That strengthens the selling position if a home is priced right! Be sure to click on the link above for a more in-depth look!

Home Seller Guides - Summer 2018

UPDATE 5-31-2019 - The Seller and Buyer guides for Summer 2018 are no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience and suggest you refer to the current editions published 4 times a year. Thank you.

Yesterday, we shared the brand new Home Buyer Guides, Summer 2018 editions. Today, we are introducing the brand new Home Seller Guides - free and without registration. Get the competitive advantage of information! No matter where you are in the USA, you are welcome to download these guides and share them as you wish. They are available in English or Spanish.

Home Buyer Guides - Summer 2018

UPDATE 5-31-2019 - The Seller and Buyer guides for Summer 2018 are no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience and suggest you refer to the current editions published 4 times a year. Thank you.

We want everyone to have the advantage of these guides, so this time - download as a PDF - no registration required. No matter where you are - if you are looking for property in the USA, these guides are totally free for you... we are pleased to share in English and Spanish.
(Tomorrow we will share the brand new Summer 2018 Seller Guides)

The Cemetery

When I was a youngster, I was taught that visiting the cemetery was a way to show respect for those loved ones who have passed on. Both sides of the family were on board with that old tradition. If I were still in Chicago, I would be doing the same.

Fortunately, I have some dear friends who visit those loved ones on my behalf - religiously every Memorial Day weekend. They bring flowers to the graves and clean up the environmental impact of the past year. Without them, like many other grave markers time would take its toll.

I never hear anyone talking about visiting the cemetery any more. It is as though we bury them and forget them. Of course, we cannot live in the past. The question is how to recognize those that gave us a future.

I really debated about sharing this for over a week – and I have held off posting anything pending the decision. As I have said with other post, I am opening up a little bit more about me. Yes, this is a real estate blog, and a real estate blog is about people, family and so much more besides selling land and houses!