Thursday, September 29, 2011

Simple things that will make you smile.......

There are a few things in life that will make you smile and here's one......

A new grandson will make you smile every time.  Caiden came into the world this past Sunday and mom and son are doing fantastic.  Just had to share this information....I know it has nothing to do with real estate.

Here's something that will make you smile dealing with real estate.  This video was done in 2008 but, it's just as important today in today's market if your wanting to sell your home.

The message on this is that in today's market, to get top dollar for your home (I mean top dollar for this market), you must appeal to the buyer and not your personal preferences.  Always remind yourself, 'your not going to live here anymore'.  You will never appeal to everyone but, you can make it attractive to the masses where folks can say, 'I might not buy this house but I could live there'.  Folks that will be interested in your house will see themselves very comfortable, having usable space and be able to place their most important possessions in the house.....making it THEIR home!  Sure, they may change the color, front door or other items but, the point is that you don't want to TURN OFF your prospective buyer. 

Just to summarize the video:

1. Spiff up everything on the outside of the home. Edge the yard and plant flowers.
2. Add lighting to the interior and exterior. While it may seem like a small expense, most buyers will probably drive by your home at night.
3. Touch up paint where needed.
4. Go with neutral paint colors on the inside.
5. De-clutter and tidy up the house.
6. Pay attention to the front door. Make sure it's spotless.
7. Deep clean the house.
8. Straighten up the basement.
9. Buy a pre-home inspection. It may cost about $300, but it will eliminate unpleasant surprises.

You possibly know someone that needs help buying or selling and if you do, I would honored if you suggested they contact me.  You can be assured you will have a hard working Realtor in your corner!

Have an outstanding October.  If you get a chance to, stop by my website at and see what is out there on the market today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's a terrible time to buy a home

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a road trip with my wife and in laws to North Carolina for a week long mini vacation to visit family.  On the way back, we stopped in Nashville for a couple of days just to break up the ride back.  While there, we obviously had to go out to eat; our favorite pastime it seems.  While at a restaurant, I pick up a local free news paper.  On the 2nd page of this is an article titled  'Despite rates, it's a terrible time to buy a house'.  Immediately, my mind hits the phrase 'are you kidding me'?  But, me, being somewhat open-minded to differing opinions, I had to read what he has to say.

I'll spare you the details so here's the highlights;

  • His basis for the comment is from a conversation from a principal broker of a commercial real estate firm who is trying to sell his personal home.  (He's obviously having an issue selling the house)

  • He touts that sales are up from 2010 by 16% but said sales are 1/2 from what they were in 2006.

  • Homeowner equity has appreciated from 3-10% per year since 1991 through 2006 - that's 15 years of growth.  But, during that time, 'it was simple to buy a home'.  You put it on the market, make a profit, invest some or all of the profit in a new house and 'carry on'.  He talks about how easy it was to gain financing and that now, 'there is no money available for down payments'!!!

  • He states that money is cheap because there are no borrowers and prices are low because there is no demand for the product.  No equity in most houses and 'almost none of those bought in the past eight years!!!

OK, I get all the facts that today's market is different than in 2006 and even some before.  BUT, none of those topics make any case whatsoever that now is a terrible time to buy a house.  First, there IS money for down payments.  Especially for first time home buyers!!!  Do lenders want buyers to have 'skin in the game' or money at risk?  You bet and I don't blame them either. 

Used to be, buying a house was 'more simple'; Find a house, get it under contract, talk to the loan officer, complete the application, show you have 15-20% for a down payment, get a loan approved....maybe a week or two later since the application has to be reviewed by loan committee....then the appraisal and inspection is done......oh, I forgot to mention that interest rate is 9.75%.  If you were really lucky, you get 9.5% and 1 point.  For the sellers, their house is 'tied up' with the contract waiting for approval during that time so, in the meantime, other potential buyers cannot negotiate on that house until that contract falls through. 

Today, even in these tight times, you do have to still have some 'skin in the game' but for owner occupied houses, 10% down will get you in a house.  You can pre-qualify so you'll know exactly what your costs will be BEFORE you negotiate a deal and the seller is more apt to go under contract since your pre-qualified.  Approval is based on the appraisal and inspection which is done in 10 days and closing can happen immediately after that is done.  Interest can negotiate if you've got excellent credit.

Only downside I see is that since buying a house is cheaper than it was in 2006 in both price and interest rate and you won't want to sell the house and ride the appreciation up when the market does pick up.

By the way, the only reason a house won't sell in today's market is because the house is overpriced for the condition it's in.

I'm writing an email to the author of the article to see if he'll gain a different perspective.....again!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Case-Shiller home price index for June 2011.

In case you are wondering if there will ever be a change in the market, take a look at this price index report and graph for June.  Here in the midwest, we don't see the changes as quickly as the East and West coasts but, it appears that very thing is beginning to happen now.  Who knows how long, how strong or how fast it will change but, you can bet it will change.
I was out of town last week and came upon an article in Nashville Tn from a guy who said that now is NOT the time to buy real estate!!!!  I was in complete shock!!!  It appeared from the photo that he was old enough to remember the mid 70's when real estate was extremely tough.  At that time, if you could get a mortgage for 15%, you smiled all the way to closing and prices were not supressed like they are now.  Jump forward 35 years and interest rates are less than 4% and prices are the lowest they've been in years!  And he says now is NOT the time to buy?????  Does he think we'll be giving away real estate?????  I'm telling you, now is a GREAT time to buy real estate.  Actually, ANYTIME is a great time to buy.....IF you buy right and buy smart.  You can't just buy anything and everything no matter how much money you have and no matter how bad or good the market is.  Be smart, have a plan and execute the plan.  You can always make money in real estate.
Have a fantastic week and outstanding Labor Day Weekend.  Be safe!!