Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Risks Of Trying To Market – Time, The Housing Market

After more than a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have observed, and listened to, many potential buyers and sellers, who seemed to believe, they had the knowledge and expertise to market – time, the real estate market, and, if buying, purchase at the lower – end, while, if selling, do so, at or near, the height of the real estate market. Just as, in nearly every other financial market, doing so, is nearly impossible, and, often, quite risky. We often witness market fluctuations, and this article will attempt to briefly examine, and consider, some of the relevant considerations, and aspects, involved.

1. This past year or so: In the past year, or so, we’ve witnessed, the price of real estate, in many markets, escalate, exponentially, in a short – period of time. For example, one of the houses, I listed, and represented, not only sold, at nearly 15% over asking price, but there were 22 qualified offers, by the end of the first weekend. We all remember, that, often, in the years before, having to re – price, and adjust listing prices, to get a house sold. Up – markets, often, arise, because of a confluence of factors, such as supply, and demand, low mortgage rates, and the perceptions of improving overall economic and employment conditions. However, prices rose, so quickly, now that mortgage rates have risen slightly, and more houses are listed, we are now, in a somewhat, normal, real estate market. Those who were represented by knowledgable real estate agents, were prepared for the eventualities, and, avoided the danger, of pricing a house, too high. In normal, or weaker markets (e.g. buyer markets), home sellers get the best results, when they price, their houses, properly, from the start!

2. Knowing and understanding the different types of real estate markets: There are three, basic types, of real estate markets: (1) sellers; (2) buyers; and; (3) normal. A sellers’ market is when there are more buyers than sellers, a buyers market is when there are considerably more houses, available, than sellers, and a normal market is when, conditions are somewhat, in – between. Low mortgage interest rates, and optimistic perceptions (regarding the overall economy), often introduce higher prices, and a sellers’ market. When the market becomes over – heated, and prices rise, too quickly, eventually, it cools and dampens enthusiasm, and brings forth a different mindset, and set of conditions. Of course, there’s often, many gradations, in – between.

3. Potential dangers: Buyers who believe, they know – it – all, often offer too low, offers, which not only are refused, but the seller, often considers the offer, insulting, and won’t negotiate. Greedy home sellers, often, over – price their houses, and lose their opportunities of selling their homes.

The best way to consider pricing, is to evaluate the comparative market conditions, and either, price a house, to sell, and/ or, know what you seek, and offer an appropriate price, based on your financial capabilities and abilities, and what’s best for you! The wisest approach is to avoid gimmicks, and/ or simplistic rules and pursuits.

Principal Considerations When Deciding Where To Live

There, often, comes a time, when one must decide, if, and when, he should buy, a home, of his own! Since, for most of us, our house represents our single, largest, financial asset, shouldn’t this be done, with a considerable amount of thought, examination, and proceed, accordingly? This means, considering many aspects, including financial, personal needs and priorities, family issues, safety, neighborhood, school system, transportation, and other conveniences/ factors. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, review, and discuss, some of these, and why they matter.

1. Financial considerations: Obviously, one should only purchase, a house, which they can afford, so the home, becomes a pleasure, rather than a threat, and undesirable scenario! Can you afford the down – payment, closing costs, etc? Do you have the ability, to pay the monthly expenditures, associated with paying a mortgage, real estate taxes, escrow items, etc? Will you also, be able to comfortably, afford, creating the reserves, smart homeowners, should, including, for repairs, renovations, upgrades, and emergencies? Many lenders expect borrowers to demonstrate, they have liquid assets, to cover, 6 – 9 months, equivalent of their mortgage payments.

2. What type of house?: Consider, the size, house, you seek, and, also, what you need? Will one style of house, be better for you? Those who don’t wish to, or have difficulty, climbing stairs, for example, prefer Ranch houses. In most parts of the country, Colonial style, is, most, in – demand, and thus, most expensive. Know what you want, and your reasons, before you begin your search and quest!

3. Area; neighborhood: What determines where you would like to live? Why choose one, specific region/ area/ neighborhood? Consider factors, such as convenience to transportation, safety, school system, and other conveniences, etc. Walk around, speak to residents, and determine, if it’s the place, for you?

4. Should you own, rent, live in a HOA, cooperative, condominium, etc?: What might be, best, for you, may not, be, for others? Are you ready to be a homeowner, or would you be better – served, by renting? Some people are better suited to live in a Homeowner’s Association or HOA, because, they aren’t willing to perform certain necessities, etc. Others seek cooperative apartments, because they believe, it provides them with a balance, between renting and owning. In a similar manner, condominiums are best, for others.

How’s Your Credit?: Before You Buy A Home, Be Prepared!

You’ve decided, it’s time, for you, to buy, a home, of your own! After all, it’s a major component of the American Dream, but, until/ unless, one proceeds, in a well – prepared, well – conceived, objective, introspective manner, that dream, may, potentially, become a nightmare! What are your reasons, for buying a house, and how, can a specific one, meet your current needs, as well as those into the foreseeable future? Are you, ready, and prepared, from a financial perspective? Many fail to consider, all these aspects, which includes, current, liquid assets, on hand (in order to afford the needed, down – payment, and the reserves, generally required, by lending institutions), as well as the financial necessities of owning a house, which includes, not only monthly mortgage payments (including principal, interest, and escrow items, including taxes, etc), etc. However, before you can proceed, you must, first, consider, identify, and review, your personal credit, etc. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly review, consider, and discuss, some of the relevant considerations, and necessities.

1. Credit considerations: Acquire a copy of your credit report, and, either, review it, yourself, or, seek professional assistance, etc. Are there any errors, which have negatively impacted, your score? Are there, other aspects, which need your attention, in order to get a better rating? Remember, your credit worthiness, will, not only, affect whether you qualify for a mortgage, but, also, if you will receive one, with the most favorable terms? Ignore these, and you will suffer, financially!

2. Correct errors: If you see, an error, contact the lender, and the credit bureau, and seek, it be corrected. You can do this yourself, or hire someone, to help you, achieve your objectives.

3. Review the report thoroughly: A careful review, of one’s credit report, will indicate, both, the strengths, and weaknesses, of your credit worthiness. Reduce the balances on your loans, and do so, wisely, and in an organized manner! Your report will indicate how that score, was developed, and how it was weighed. Some of the considerations, generally, include: payment history/ timeliness; balances, especially as a proportion/ ratio of credit lines (if you ensure the outstanding balance on each account is less than half the available credit, your credit usually improves); overall amount of credit available (not too much, or too little); etc.

If you want to enjoy, the American Dream, proceed wisely, in a well – considered manner. An ounce of prevention/ preparation, makes your life, far less stressful!

Creative Ways to Buy a House – Tips for Buying a Home Without a Loan

Becoming a homeowner is common in the hash tag goals of many people. Dream homes are always on everyone’s bucket lists and wish lists. Yet, owning a house is a difficult goal. Some find it even impossible to have them in their buckets of dreams. But if you are persevering, hardworking, and have some sense of thinking of how to make it a reality, you will actually see for yourself that it is not an impossible feat even if you don’t avail of loans. Here are some tips.

  • Rent-to-own. First time home buyers are usually short of big amount of money to purchase their dream homes especially if they are just starting to earn for it. Also, there is some sort of credit scoring that goes with the availment of home loans. If you’re constrained by these situations, renting to own is the best choice for you.

Under this option, win-win situation is accorded to both the owner and the tenant. Some tax exemptions are due for the owner while still collecting some money from you as part of his income. On the other hand, the tenant secures priority shall he or she decides to purchase the property during the period stipulated in the contract.

Portion of the rent is typically set aside to become part of the purchasing money shall the time comes. The tenant also benefits from slowly rebuilding credit score for future endeavors.

  • Private loans. How is this different from the loans offered by banks and lending institutions? Private loans are availed from persons you know. They can be family members, colleagues, relatives, or friends. Despite being affiliated with each other, you still need to exercise some sort of business etiquette. You may still need to have written contracts or promissory notes.
  • Owner financing. Some sellers who are not in hurried need of the money from the selling of their properties might be willing to avail of owner financing. Under this option, the owner avails of the financing and the buyer pays the seller the monthly dues until the last payment before ownership is fully transferred.
  • Cash payment. The most difficult but the simplest form to own a house without availing loans from financial institutions. As hard as it sounds, but it actually frees you from any obligations to repay in monthly dues. This option is best if you have pre-saved for your dream house from your salary and other income streams.

Owning a house is great. It is rewarding. It is fulfilling. It makes you a step ahead in preparing for your future.

For other real estate concerns and help, your local agent is just a call away.

The 5 S, Approach, To Finding Your Home

We often discuss, items, such as financial and fiscal awareness, and preparedness, needed and necessary, and wise, for someone, considering purchasing a home, of their own, to consider. While common sense, indicates, these are essential, etc, they are not the only considerations. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, review and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what, I refer to, as the essential, 5 S’s of buying the right house, for you, and your best interests. After more than a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have come, to highly recommend, to qualified, potential home buyers, other relevant considerations, so they might better enjoy, living in their own house.

1. Size: What size house, are you looking for? Have you examined and considered, the reasons, you are looking for that? While bigger houses, might be more spacious, and attractive, they are also harder, and more expensive to maintain, and take care of. Size should review, both, the interior of the house, as well as exterior (the size of the property). Will you be maintaining the grounds, yourself, or hiring someone? Either way, you should pay attention, and balance, your personal comfort zone, needs, finances, abilities, etc. How many bedrooms do you want, and need, and what size,will fit your needs, and expectations? Consider the size of the kitchen, bathrooms, and other living space, as well.

2. Shape: Does the particular house have a regular or irregular shape, as a whole, as well, as it pertains to specific rooms? For example, those purchasing a standard, Cape – style house, should realize, the rooms, upstairs, will have pitched ceilings, and, often, irregular rooms, and odd- size and shaped areas. Is that a plus, or a minus, for you?

3. Service: Too many home buyers, purchase based on emotions, and often, ignore, whether a particular house, will serve your present, as well as foreseeable, future needs? A house must service, your necessities, or it’s probably not right, for you!

4. Sustainable: Are the materials, sustainable, and how important, is sustainability, the environment, and future considerations? For some, this is essential, while, for others, far less, so!

5. Strengths: Every house, and property, has, both, strengths and weaknesses. Weigh these carefully, in terms of affordability, condition, and the other items, mentioned above. Be prepared!

A wide home buyer, pays attention to the 5 S‘s. Are you prepared for the responsibilities of owning a house?