Get Smart on Down Payments — Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®Finance – Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®

Chris GashPicking the right house is just one of the big decisions you’ll face when buying property. Deciding on the down payment is another. Low inventory in some national markets continues to pressure potential buyers into making bigger down payments to gain a competitive edge. But the possibility of rate increases in the coming year and new…

via Get Smart on Down Payments — Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®Finance – Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®

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What successful home builders have in common

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Let’s say you have weighed your options and have decided to purchase a new home under construction or hire a builder to start from the ground up.

My best advise is to select a builder that will deliver your home as agreed, and maintain a working relationship with you before, during and after the sale.
I would like to point out that not all home builders can make every home buyer happy all of the time. Scheduling, availability of materials, weather and so many more issues factor into the job, so its easy for the process to get disrupted.
Buyers always have a concern about “quality” building, and that’s a genuine concern. Keep in mind that many inspections are done during construction by the local building department and sometimes even ordered by lenders to meet some financing requirements. With those consumer protections in place “quality” will likely be determined by the workmanship and the materials used.
Without getting into a very lengthy note I am going to jump to the two points every home buyer should discuss before entering into an agreement with a new home builder

  • 1. What is the builders policy regarding unfinished items, touch ups prior to closing and a new home orientation walk through to get familiar with the operation of your systems….and….
  •  What is the standard warranty offered by the builder

The most successful builders I have worked for have both of these details implemented into their company policy.

When you are walking through your new home on move in day it should be ready for you to hang your clothes in the closet and set your furniture in place.
Most states have a warranty period for workmanship and materials.  This comes with responsibility on the buyers part to file claims in accordance with the procedure and time limits set out in the law.
A well written warranty program offered by a builder is much better to work with and results will come faster and easier. You will also have manufacturer warranties for the appliances and systems in your new home.  Ask your builder to provide you with the information to register these items in your name. The warranty may also include any soil treatments for termites or other pests and how you can keep this in place for years to come.  There are also third party warranty programs offered by some builders that cover defects and structural issues.

To sum it up….you want a builder with a well written warranty and a turn key home…

Happy home shopping 🙂

Selling or leasing a home built before 1978…bookmark this link

Most of us have lived in a home built prior to 1978 and never gave it any thought that our home could be a hazard to our health. I vision my younger sister standing on her tip toes over the window ledge trying to see outside.  Like most toddlers she chewed on it and most likely consumed paint chips that contained lead.

In 1992 congress passed a law that began in 1996 that states owners and landlords must disclose to buyers and renters any knowledge of lead paint, the possibility of lead paint, any test results for lead paint, provide a HUD required disclosure pamphlet and allow for a 10 day inspection period.

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Owners and landlords are required to attach the information to a lease or have a clause that states that the tenant or buyer has received the required disclosures. They are also required to keep this information for three years.  Because there are some exemptions you can read more about this at: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/enforcement/disclosure

For real estate professionals the responsibility falls upon you to inform your client of this disclosure and provide the forms to them.  It’s a good practice to keep the required disclosures on file to avoid this slipping by while processing all the necessary paperwork for a successful transaction.

The forms are  available at the HUD website:https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/DOC_11884.PDF     

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/selr_eng.pdf

Happy home selling 🙂

FEMA link for area flood maps

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With much of the country falling within a flood hazard area there is a resource available to help you determine the zone of a location.

FEMA offers a link on their website that you can enter the full address or general location to view the flood map.

https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search#searchresultsanchor

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This tool can be very useful if you taking a mortgage because the lender will require a flood insurance policy for hazard areas.  It can also assist you in getting a quote for an insurance policy if one is necessary.

Happy home shopping….hoping this helps it stay easy…

 

 

 

 

Tapping into your home equity….💰

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The market is recovering and as home values continue to go up you may find another resource to tap into for financial needs that may arise.

Sometimes referred to as a “second mortgage”, “equity line”, “home equity line of credit” or  advertised as a HELOC your home is an account that you can tap into.

There are a variety of terms offered by different financial institutions so I always suggest shopping around.  The amount of equity you will be allowed to borrow has many variables decided upon by the lender considering your ability to repay.

Here’s how they work…The equity in your home is the amount of money you have between the value and the amount you may own.

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HELOC’s offer great convenience because the interest rate is typically lower than that of  a credit card and you are not required to use the full amount approved for at the time of signing an agreement.  A second mortgage is for a specific amount drawn at one time and set up on an amortization schedule, so they are two different products.

An example of a good use for an equity line would be to do small repair or improvement to your property.  You can simply write a check for the service and  repay according to the terms of your line.

An example of a good use for a second mortgage may be to do a large home improvement such as a room addition or a purchase of an adjoining property.  These loans are set up with principal and interest payments, a specific schedule of repayment  without t as much flexibility as equity lines.

It is  important to know that these loans will have to be paid off when you sell your home, because you are pledging the property as security.

I have often heard from home sellers who review a purchaser offer that they will not receive enough money at the sale due to the pay off of a primary mortgage and the equity line or second mortgage.  If you find yourself in that situation you have to keep in mind that you even if you feel like you are selling at a loss you are not because you already received that money.  It’s best to track your homes value to keep yourself in a positive equity state at all times.  Here is one the many links online to get an idea of your value: https://www.lendingtree.com/homevalue#/HomeValue

Also, it’s been surprising to me that some home sellers do not realize that the line of credit was a lien on their property.  With that being said it would be wise to understand the terms in full before signing any agreement, also ask about any penalties that can occur when you close them out.

Homeownership offers more than just a cozy place to hang your hat :)get a

Recent tax law change take away the  interest deduction for home equity lines: for more information on this and mortgage interest in general: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timtodd/2017/12/28/the-modified-home-mortgage-interest-deduction/#668ee0c06acf

 

Understanding fixtures and personal property in a real estate sale

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That perfect light fixture set off just the look you were aiming for when you when redecorated your living room.  As you are getting your home ready for the market you become reluctant to pack it up even though you have no plans of leaving it.

Now you are torn between the “staging effect” it can have on a buyer and the possibility of the light fixture becoming a negotiable item even though you state in your owners disclosure that it is not remaining and will be replaced with another fixture of the buyers choice within a stated allowance.

My suggestion is to remove it, because it may become the one item that tipped a buyer in your favor, and chances are they would have still offered to buy your home without it because the most important things like size, price and location are what they are really shopping for. Once a buyer sees it and likes it they will want it.

A stand alone lamp in the same room would be considered personal property but since the overhead light is attached by permanent wires it is considered a fixture and the buyer may assume it is included.

Both buyers and sellers alike overlook items and get surprised at a final walk though when they discover something must stay or go.  Some of the most common items I have re-negotiated at a final hour of closing the sale are:

  • Light fixtures
  • Mailboxes
  • Flowers and trees
  • Flower pots
  • Garden trellises
  • Fireplace mantles
  • Appliances
  • Portable appliances such as a water softeners, floor heaters , window unit air conditioner, humidifiers
  • Room size area rugs
  • Shelving units and bookcases that stand alone
  • Decorative light switch plates
  • Window treatments (blinds may stay but the curtains are removed)
  • Decorative faucets
  • Lawn ornaments
  • Window flower boxes
  • Garden hoses
  • Outdoor buildings (sheds)
  • Security systems (the owner may be obligated to a lease)

The easy solution to avoid these misunderstandings is a careful review of the checklist on a  owners disclosure statement regarding the items remaining with a home.  Also, a review of any exclusions on the Real Estate agents listing sheet, and always address any item of question in the purchase and sale agreement.  If there is an item of personal property that works well with a home a buyer can always ask for it or purchase it from the owner and note it on a personal property agreement.

Happy home buying and selling…:)

photo compliments of :https://pixabay.com/en/users/ChellyRika-3711680/

 

 

 

NAR presents 2018 housing forecast

Post-hurricane jobs numbers not as strong as expected The October jobs report is in, and the numbers are a mixed bag. The U.S. economy added 261,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A hiring rebound at restaurants and bars impacted by recent hurricanes helped boost numbers. However, October’s jobs…

via Wages not rising as fast as home prices; NAR presents 2018 housing forecast — Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy : The Mortgage Reports