Everything listed under: Buyers advice

  • How Much Waiting a Year to Buy Could Cost You

    This week, Zillow's blog featured a post about the impact of a potential 1% increase in interest rates in a year.  Zillow applied next year's forecasted home values and a 1 percent percentage point increase to the median home price in 35 metro areas around the country.  They used that to calculate the difference in mortgage payments between today and a year from now.  

    “More often than not, buyers do not understand the profound effect of rising interest rates on affordability,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “Many buyers associate a 1 percentage point interest rate change with a 1 percent change on a piece of clothing or the price of a car, when in fact they are very different.

    As a rule of thumb, Lantz said, a 1 percentage point increase in mortgage rates reduces affordability by 10 percent."

    Their blog post featured how much mortgage payments would increase in some metro areas (Boston: increase by $198/mo for example). 

    However, as Zillow notes and we agree and advise, buying a home is not all about money.  Financial stability and readiness to make a longer term financial commitment are considerations that always should come before jumping on a deal just to get a deal or save money.  Feel free to contact us today for advice on home buying and selling!

     Click here to read the full blog post on Zillow. 

     


  • Should Real Estate News Influence a Home Buyer's Decision?

    Zillow's blog recently examined whether a home buyer should take current real estate news into account when considering a home purchase.

    Here are 3 strategies they recommend (and we do to!) in approaching a real estate transaction in this "information overload" era:

    1.  Be Smart about Mortgage Rates: Don't be simply motivated to act on a purchase because of rising mortgage rates or feeling the pressure to "act now!" in closing on a home.  Shop around for a better rate or consult a mortgage broker to assist you in finding a rate at another bank, or even wait a few days to see if rates change.  But by the same token, don't not buy a home merely because you think rates will drop slightly in a month.  It's all about being smart and maintaining perspective.  After all, rates overall are still low, especially when you look back on the mid-teen rates of the 1980s!

    2.  Ok, Sign on the Dotted Line Right Now: Don't try to time a real estate transaction.  If you are buying a home, you should be fully invested and committed.  There's no way to predict what circumstances and news will change each week.  If you're buying a property to live in and spend years of your life in, you don't to regret a decision made solely based on rates that week or getting the deal of the century.

    3. Be Patient:  We tell our customers and clients this all the time.  The time to buy is different for everyone and shouldn't be determined by mortgage rates and prices.  Finding a home that you love in the right location and within your budget will ultimately make you a lot happier and less likely to experience buyer's remorse.  

    While keeping informed about the current real estate market is important, don't let it dictate your buying strategy.  Instead, rely on your own smarts, financials and patience...and as always contact us if you have any questions about buying a home!







  • What To Expect: During the First Year of Homeownership

    Once you sign the "X" on the dotted line during settlement, your journey toward home ownership may have ended, but the journey to making it feel like your home has just begun!  

    Here are a few items you should expect to examine and/or repair during the first year of homeownership, as released by CBS MoneyWatch recently.

    During move-in week: 

    Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test them again, according to experts.  "If you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can't see it," says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. "But you'll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling."

    45 days after move-in: 

    Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBS MoneyWatch notes.

    Six months after move-in: 

    Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. "Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house," Cipriani says. "People don't think it's a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn't have anywhere to go."

    Every year: 

    Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.

    Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.





  • Zillow's Tips for Buying a Home in the Fall

    Now that Fall is in full swing, you may be ready to buy a home after watching the market over the summer and determining that prices and mortgage rates are on the rise.  Here are a few tips featured on Zillow for buying a home in the Fall.

    1.  Know your market

    Different markets will behave differently in the Fall season.  While overall national home values rose 0.4 in August as compared to July, do your research on your local market instead of relying on national or regional market data.  

    2.  Selection is limited

    Many frustrated sellers, who were not able to unload their properties in the Spring and Summer, may take their homes off the market.  Inventories have been low in some areas over the Summer months and these subsequent withdrawals from the market will limit selection even further. Be aware of this as you search for housing and be prepared in case multiple offers are placed on a property due to low inventory.

    3.  There's room to negotiate

    Generally, Fall is a great time to be a buyer.  Sellers whose properties are still sitting on the market after one of the hottest real estate summers since prior to the economic downtown will be more inclined to negotiate lower offers from buyers.  And if sellers did not withdrawal their properties from the market after the summer, then they are more likely looking to unload their properties rather than sticking to a set a sale price.

    4.  Check maintenance areas

    While some may see cooler temperatures and rainy Fall days as a negative, for buyers, the change in weather is a great opportunity to expose vulnerable aspects of a home.  Check the heating system, gutters, landscaping, yard upkeep, possible leakage, and any other structural/maintenance aspects of a home. Then, determine how much any of these repairs/upkeep will cost and adjust your offer price to compensate for these expenses.

    Read Zillow's blog here and as always feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding buying or selling a property!  Happy Fall House Hunting!

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