Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’

Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

Courtesy: Keeping Current Matters

Homebuyers are flooding the housing market right now to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Many have a sense of urgency to find a home soon since experts forecast a steady rise in both rates and home prices this year and next. As a result, buyer demand greatly outweighs the current housing supply. Here’s how the shortage of houses for sale sets yours up to be the oasis in an inventory desert.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s housing inventory sits at an incredibly low 2.1-month supply, far below the 6-month mark for a neutral market. Inventory of single-family homes a year ago was already very low, and as you can see in the graph below, this year’s levels are even lower:

Due to these market conditions, today’s buyers frequently enter fierce bidding wars while trying to purchase a home. This in turn drives up home prices and gives sellers incredible leverage in the negotiation process, two big wins if you’re going to sell your house this year.

Bottom Line

In such a hot market, it can feel as though the supply of homes has virtually dried up, leaving buyers to wander in an inventory desert. That’s why there’s never been a better time to sell. To a parched buyer needing to secure a home as soon as possible, your house could be a true oasis.

A Big Change in Real Estate

Monday, September 21st, 2015

You Can Always Count on Change

There are so many examples of how things have changed. If you were born in the 50’s you have seen so

many changes. If you are part of the Greatest Generation…WOW have you seen changes. Things that the

Millennials take for granted, Baby Boomers struggle to grasp. How many upgrades to my computer or

cell phone can I ignore before my system is totally obsolete or the computer gurus will refuse to work

on? The home I grew up in had two bedrooms and one bath, a small formal living and dining room and a

small eat in kitchen. There is no such thing as a typical home today. Anything from 2 bedrooms and one

bath; three bedrooms with 2 ½ baths; five bedrooms with 4 ½ baths. A great room or den, a media

room, a FROG (finished room over the garage which can be just an open space finished nicely with

carpet, or it can also have a large closet and a full bath of its own.) You can own the large yard that

surrounds your home, own no land because your property is defined as a condominium, townhome or

patio home. A carport, detached or attached garage which can be one, two, three or even four bays.

As you start to work with your REALTOR® and you want them to have a good understanding of what you

want in a home, defining it might not be as easy as you think. But work together and get started looking.

The best way to define what you want is to let your REALTOR® know what you don’t want. Things seem

to work out when we understand the picture you have in your mind of that perfect place to call home.

One big change that is occurring has nothing to do with style of home, how long it takes to find it, or

what the preferred color pallet is. It has to do with getting your financing lined up and the transactions

successfully closed and recorded. If you have bought a home before and you think you understand the

steps to this part of buying your home… Think again. As of August 1 ( this date may change in order to

allow lenders and lawyers to update the required software) of this year things are changing. If you are

familiar with the term HUD-1, it will now be called the Closing Disclosure Form. This form will contain

the final disclosure that was given to the borrower along with the HUD-1. The final rule has two options

pertaining to who prepares this form. The lender can prepare the form, or the lender and the settlement

agent can prepare it together. There will also be a 3 day rule…A WHAT? This new rule says that the

closing disclosure must be given to the borrower 3 days before closing. There might also be a 3 day

delay if certain changes have to be made, sending the documents back to the underwriter. Those

changes fall into the following categories;

  • Changes to the APR (annual percentage rate) above 1/8 of a percent of the loan;
  • Changing the loan product;
  • Adding of a prepayment penalty to the loan.

 

Why all these changes? The reasons were established in the Truth and Lending Act and the Real Estate

Settlement Procedures Act; To improve consumer understanding of risk factors, overall costs and

monthly payments; To help the consumer realize that they should compare the different loan products

that are available to them and to avoid costly surprises at the closing table. These new rules apply to

most mortgages EXCEPT Home Equity lines of credit, Reverse Mortgages and Mortgages secured by a

mobile home.

 

As the consumer, you would be well advised to start the conversation early on with your real estate

team. Your REALTOR® will be educated on these changes as will the lender and the closing attorney.

The lender and the closing attorney are on the front lines of these changes. My personal advice to you if you

are purchasing a home after August 1st is to stay calm if faced with a delays. It is no one’s fault. We are

all facing a learning curve and we are doing our best to understand any impact these new rules will have

on our clients. Your REALTOR®, Lender and Attorney are working hard to best represent your needs.

Buying and selling real property, especially your primary residence, can be an emotional roller coaster

ride at times. Make sure that you are comfortable with the members of your team. Ask questions. And

remember that delays are normal. Prepare for plan B, if a short delay should occur. Your team members

can help you understand the delay and then help you to manage the situation.

By: Patrice Willetts

 

Need help with Home Improvement? Don’t get left in a fix.

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Man painting fenceYou may be a do-it-yourselfer with the small stuff, but more complex home improvement usually calls for a pro.  In hiring a contractor, these 6 tips could help ensure you’re happy with the results:

  1. Get referrals from people you know.  Most homeowners find a contractor through friends or family.  Or check online consumer rating sites like Angie’s List. ( www.angieslist.com )
    • Your friends and family are not likely to lead you in the wrong direction and will definitely know who NOT to use!  Other sites can offer reviews to help you make your decision, though be wary as not all reviews are genuine.
  2. Get written bids from three contractors.
    • Competition will help to ensure that you have the best price possible and know all options available for the requested job.
  3. Ask each bidder for a business card.  If it doesn’t say contractor is licensed and insured, don’t be shy about making sure.
    • License and insurance is especially important if the job isn’t completed well or on time.  Their license and insurance help to assure that they will be held accountable for the job they have done.  It is common to find that the least expensive contractor usually does not have the proper license and insurance.  Remember that this is for YOUR protection!
  4. Try to use an experienced local contractor.  Check the firm’s reputation with your Better Business Bureau and/or consumer protection agency. (more…)