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April 10, 2017 in Buying a Home, buying Your Home, first time home buying, home buyer info, Market Statistics, Real Estate, Real Estate News, Seller Info, Selling Your Home | Tags: buying a home, first time home buying, home buyer info, Market Statistics, Real Estate, Seller Info, Selling Your Home | Leave a comment
When a homeowner decides to sell their house, the number one thing that they want is, of course, the best possible price!! Right? Next, is that they want the least amount of problems to receive this price. Most sellers don’t realize all of the steps required to reach their goal. Marketing is more than sticking a sign in the yard, placing an add on Craig’s list or posting some photos on Facebook. Does the seller know how to stage the house to show it’s best appeal to the most buyers? Is the seller willing to answer phone calls 24/7, literally? Yes, at 2 in the morning when a buyer is searching the Internet! Does the seller know if the buyer is a serious buyer with their mortgage in place or are they pre-approved? In order to know all of these things & much more, a seller really needs to hire a real estate professional.
Technology has changed the buyer’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%. However, the report also shows that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% bought their homes directly from a seller that they didn’t know. Most of the buyers who bought homes directly from sellers (For Sale By Owner) still used a Realtor to represent them. Buyers start their search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%). There is so much information out there, either through the Internet or family & friends that more buyers are now reaching out to real estate professionals to help them through the very complicated process. The percentage of buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
Sooooo, if you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process. The vast majority of buyers have realized that they actually need a Realtor in order to purchase their new home correctly. The laws regarding real estate change constantly & a professional Realtor will know the latest requirements & forms, as well as have a much larger audience with which to present your home in the best light.
February 24, 2017 in Buyer info, Buying a Home, home buyer info, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News | Tags: Buyer info, buying a home, home buyer info, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News | Leave a comment
Only ethnic demographic to increase homeownership rate
The homeownership rate for Hispanics increased in 2016, contrary to other ethnic groups, who all saw a decrease in homeownership.
The homeownership rate among Hispanics increased to 46% in 2016, up from 45.6% the year before, according to a report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the overall homeownership rate dropped from 63.7% in 2015 to 63.4% in 2016. At the same time, the African-American rate also dipped from 43% to 42.2% and the Asian-American rate dropped from 56.5% to 55.5%.
Hispanics were the only ethnic demographic with an increase in their homeownership rate. Hispanics also led the nation in household formations with a net increase of 330,000 households in 2016.
The overall homeownership rate in the U.S. is currently hovering at the lowest level in 50 years. Hispanics broke the trend due to their high workforce participation rate, according to NAHREP’s report.
Also helping advance the growth is the increase of Hispanic entrepreneurs in mortgage banking and the real estate brokerage business.
“With credit remaining tight and limited housing inventory in several markets, these numbers are extremely encouraging and a testament to the economic resilience of the Hispanic community,” 2016 NAHREP President Joseph Nery said. “As the mortgage industry continues to recognize the exceptional opportunities in serving the Hispanic market and adjusts accordingly, we expect these numbers to only improve.”
February 23, 2017 in Buyer info, Buying a condo, Buying a Home, first time home buying, home buyer info | Tags: Buyer info, Buying a condo, buying a home, first time home buying, home buyer info | Leave a comment
This post below has some great information on how to choose an inspector when purchasing your next home. I would also add to schedule your home inspections as soon as possible after your offer is accepted. You want to allow enough time for repairs to be completed before closing. If there is too much wrong with the house, you will want to move on quickly to find the right house for you.
So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. More often than not, your agent may have made your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.
This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
How to Choose an Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. Realtor.com suggests that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
- Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
- Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
- References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
- Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that there is continued training and education provided.
- Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.
Ask your inspector if it’s ok for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace & chimney, the foundation and so much more!
They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.
February 14, 2017 in Buying a Home, buying Your Home, first time home buying, Florida, Holidays, Home for Sale, Quality of life, St Pete, St. Petersburg, Florida | Tags: buying a home, buying Your Home, first time home buying, Florida, Holidays, Homes for sale, Quality of Life, St Pete, St Petersburg Florida | Leave a comment
On Valentine’s Day,
You’ve given roses, flowers, balloons, candy & jewelry. Why not not give your sweetheart a diamond of a house for Valentine’s Day?
This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Shore Acres home in St Petersburg is all remodeled and ready for you to move in. I’ll even add a big red bow! Happy Valentine’s Day!!
January 12, 2017 in Buying a condo, Buying a Home, Economic News, first time home buying, home buyer info, Lender Info, Real Estate Market | Tags: Buyer info, Buying a condo, buying a home, Economic News, first time home buying, home buyer info, Lender info, Real Estate Market | Leave a comment
It appears that Americans are regaining faith in the U.S. economy. The following indexes have each shown a dramatic jump in consumer confidence in their latest surveys:
- The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
- National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Optimism Index
- CNBC All-America Economic Survey
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey
It usually means good news for the housing market when the country sees an optimistic future. People begin to dream again about the home their family has always wanted, and some make plans to finally make that dream come true.
If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:
“We think that conforming 30-year fixed rates probably make it into the4.625 percent to 4.75 percent range at some point during 2017 as a peak.”
Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hits 4.75 percent.”
Mark Fleming, the Chief Economist at First American:
“[I see] mortgage rates getting much closer to 5 percent at the end of next year.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist:
“By this time next year, expect the 30-year fixed rate to likely be in the 4.5 percent to 5 percent range.”
If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense.
Every real estate agent wants a well-informed home buyer who’s prepared to take on the responsibility of home ownership. Of course, not everyone is enlightened about the homebuying process when they seek your services. One way to get your clients ready for the transaction is to refer them to homebuyer education courses before they launch their search.
A Sample of Homebuyer Education Programs
HUD provides a comprehensive list of its approved resources, including homebuyer education courses and one-on-one counseling. Here are a few of those programs, which are available online and can be completed at the buyer’s leisure.
Time to completion: About four hours
Includes nine education modules with a quiz at the end. Coupons are available, which agents can provide as a gift to clients. After completing the course, users download and save a Certificate of Completion. For buyers who purchase a home through Fannie Mae’s HomePath REO program, the cost of the course will be reimbursed. Fannie Mae also offers closing cost incentives to first-time buyers in the HomePath program who complete the Framework course.
MGIC Homebuyer Education
Time to completion: About an hour
This program is suitable for buyers who are just beginning to learn about the homebuying process and who do not yet have a lender. It’s approachable and user-friendly, and the course can be taken by a “stealth” user without registering. Users can also register and take a quiz at the end, which will satisfy requirements for Freddie Mac Home Possible programs.
Time to completion: Eight hours, taken online at your own pace
This is one of several financial courses offered through the HUD-approved “Home Purchase” program. It covers topics such as determining if now is the right time to buy, shopping for a home, and getting approved for a home loan.
CreditSmart Steps to Homeownership
Time to completion: About two hours
This program focuses on good credit: how you can improve your credit score, why it’s necessary to do so, and how it leads to home ownership. Users receive a certificate, which can be used for Freddie Mac Home Possible programs.
United Guaranty’s Home Ownership Course
Time to completion: Two to three-and-a-half hours
Satisfies the homeownership education requirement for Freddie Mac’s Home Possible affordable home program. After you complete the course and assessment, your lender (if applicable) will be notified by email.
These courses, many of which are now being offered online by lenders and nonprofit community organizations, are useful for all clients — those entering the market for the first time or even making a second or third home purchase. Many real estate professionals try to act as full-service providers able to solve any problem or answer any question, notes Joe Weisbord, director of credit and housing access at Fannie Mae, whose HomeReady program requires prospective buyers to take a HUD-approved homeowner course in order to qualify for a loan. But “people don’t like to admit what they don’t know,” he says, and your clients may not always come to you if they’re embarrassed about their lack of knowledge.
By linking them to a course providing “independent, unbiased information that helps them understand choices they’re going to make,” you’re helping meet your clients’ needs while building trust.
For nervous first-time buyers, those with poor credit, or others who need extra attention while learning the homebuying process, pointing them to a course can also be a great way to solidify the client-agent relationship. Homebuyer courses aim to demystify credit-score requirements, budgeting, shopping for a mortgage, home inspections, insurance, and maintenance, among other items. This takes the pressure off you, and you can spend your time honing in on the type of properties your clients are interested in. You’ll be ready to go once they are, and “it’s less likely that unknown circumstances will arise that will lead to the sale falling apart,” Weisbord says.
But homebuyer courses — many of which are free, but costs can fall along a range of up to $100 — can also convince a prospective buyer that they’re not ready to purchase. That’s still good for the agent in the long run, Lane says. “I’m not afraid of losing [a client]. If someone wants to rush and make a bad decision, I don’t want to be a part of that. It’s important in our business to take our clients through a rigorous fact-finding mission.”
The in-depth programs position buyers who may struggle with the lending process to successfully purchase once they’ve built up their savings or repaired their credit. That could help them secure a more competitive mortgage rate and lead to a bigger home sale later on. “Today’s sale might be critical, but the way to build a real estate career is through a chain of referrals,” says Anne McCulloch, senior vice president for credit and housing access at Fannie Mae. “People who don’t succeed are not the best referrals.”
For certain lending programs, including Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Mortgages, completing a HUD-approved homebuyer education course is mandatory. A newly revised course called Framework, a joint enterprise of the Housing Partnership Networkand the Minnesota Homeownership Center that is available to consumers nationwide, draws on research of best practices in online learning, says Framework president Danielle Samalin. “We’ve learned that content tied to emotional information is more readily retained,” she says, adding that Framework employs motion-graphic videos and homebuyer stories, among other content. “Most people complete it within a day of signing up.”
Other lenders are offering education resources with incentives. In May, Wells Fargo debuted a new program called yourFirstMorgage, which includes a 1/8 percent reduction on mortgage rates for buyers with down payments of less than 10 percent if they complete a homebuyer education course.
For Lane, referring clients to these courses is a way to make her value proposition as a real estate professional stronger. “Every time you provide something for a client, you build that bond,” she says. “It’s a way to separate yourself from the herd, a long-term relationship-building opportunity.”
BY BETH FRANKEN http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/10/help-clients-get-smarter-about-ownership
Florida Realtors® recently released the 2016 third quarter (July-September) real estate market statistics
December 13, 2016 in Buying a Home, central west Florida, Clearwater, Dunedin, home sales, Market Statistics, Pinellas County, Real Estate Market, Selling a home, St Pete, St Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida, Tampa Bay area | Tags: buying a home, central west Florida, Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Florida, Dunedin, home sales, Market Statistics, Pinellas County, Real Estate Market, Selling a Home, St Pete, St Pete Beach, St Petersburg Florida, Tampa Bay area | Leave a comment
Here is an overview of how our area is performing.
The single family homes real estate markets in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties are still looking very strong after the third quarter of 2016. Higher median sales prices, more closed sales, and faster time to contract are all good news for sellers.
Inventory has shrunk year-over-year for the second quarter. Median Days to Contract is down in the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco markets, reflecting the short amount of time a home is on the market between being listed and being sold. All of this means fewer homes to choose from and a likelihood of more competition between buyers.
As your local Realtor® and Neighborhood Advocate, I am your resource for data that affects our communities and your property value. Homeownership affordability and accessibility is a cornerstone of the Realtor® advocacy efforts at every level – local, state and national.
Here are some highlights from the Florida Realtors® Quarter 3 2016 Statistics Release for the Single Family Home Market Segment:
- Closed Sales: Slightly down for Pinellas County; up for Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. This statistic is a good indicator of the overall health of the market, and successful closed sales mean a win-win for both buyers and sellers.
o Pinellas County: 3,709 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 3,759 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 1.3% decrease
o Hillsborough County: 5,257 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 4,928 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 6.7% increase
o Pasco County: 2,719 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 2,648 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 2.7% increase
- Median Sale Price: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half the homes sold for less.
o Pinellas County: $219,900 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $186,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, an 18.2% increase
o Hillsborough County: $224,045 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $202,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 10.9% increase
o Pasco County: $185,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $157,500 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 17.5% increase
- Inventory (Active Listings): Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. When inventory is low, there are fewer houses on the market and buyers are often competing for homes or have a tougher time finding a home that suits their exact needs. Flexibility, planning and preparation are key to being able to make an offer on a home when you do find what you’re looking for.
o Pinellas County: 3,857 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 3,952 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.4%
o Hillsborough County: 5,113 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 5,251 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.6%
o Pasco County: 2,518 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 2,905 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 13.3%
- Median Days to Contract: Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. The midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time. The faster a home goes to contract, the less time it is on the market for sale. Another good indicator for sellers and a tool for buyers to understand how to reach their goals in a hot market.
o Pinellas County: 27 Days Q3 2016 vs. 32 Days Q3 2015, a 15.6% decrease
o Hillsborough County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 39 Days Q3 2015, a 25.6% decrease
o Pasco County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 43 Days Q3 2015, a 32.6% decrease
If you would like to discuss the market statistics further, or would like me to keep you informed, I would welcome the opportunity to provide monthly stats for you. Please don’t hesitate to email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566 if I can be of service.
© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization
December 2, 2016 in Buying a condo, Buying a Home, first time home buying, home buyer info, Mortgage info | Tags: Buying a condo, buying a home, first time home buying, home buyer info, Mortgage info | Leave a comment
Many first-time home buyers receive down payment assistance from a family member or close friend, but they may not realize there are specific guidelines they must follow when they take money from others for a home purchase.
Read more: Help Clients Get Smarter About Ownership
First off, the down payment must be considered a gift. If it’s considered a loan, the lender must then factor that into the mortgage approval amount, and your buyers may then qualify for less than they may have needed to.
Your buyers will need a gift letter from the person or persons who gave them the money. The person who gifted your buyer the money will need to state on paper that he or she does not plan on asking for the money back in return and that it is, indeed, a gift.
“The gift letter is very serious,” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.” “While it is doubtful that a lender would ever audit a file after the fact to see if the recipient is paying the donor back, if the transaction goes bad, you might very well find yourself with a subpoena in your hand.” Remember, you cannot lie on a mortgage application. It’s a felony.
The gifter may also be required to provide bank statements, possibly even up to two months of statements from their account.
Your buyers also likely will want to get the down payment in advance during the early planning stages of their house hunt. That could also help save them from possible delays later on.
“If the funds are ‘seasoned’ — meaning that they’ve been in the account long enough so that the last two bank statements don’t show the deposit — the gift does not have to be addressed,” Fleming says.
Also, there is a limit to how much your buyer can be gifted tax-free. Any gift of $14,000 and up will face a tax bill, under current rules.
That said, “it is $14,000 per year per donor, so a couple could give $28,000 ($14,000 from each) to their child,” Fleming says.
Source: “Getting a Down Payment as a Gift? Avoid the Mistakes That Could Mess You Up,” realtor.com® (Nov. 28, 2016)
November 22, 2016 in Buying a Home, buying Your Home, home buyer info, Mortgage info, Real Estate News, Selling a home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized | Tags: Buyer info, buying a home, Mortgage info, Real Estate News, Selling Your Home | Leave a comment
With inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.
1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition Now
According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.
This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this fall.
Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.
According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.
for more info: http://www.realtor.org/reports/realtors-confidence-index
November 17, 2016 in Buying a Home, buying Your Home, first time home buying, home buyer info, Real Estate News, Selling a home, Selling Your Home | Tags: Buyer info, buying a home, Real Estate News, Seller Info, Selling Your Home | Leave a comment
SAN FRANCISCO – Nov. 1, 2016 – Technological advances have made real estate agents especially important to millennials, according to a study by Coldwell Banker, “Wealth, real estate and the high-net-worth investor.”
The study found that over 70 percent of respondents believe agents are more important than ever, with nearly two-thirds saying they would never buy or sell a home without an agent’s help. More than half of those polled said agents are more important to the home-selection process than friends, family or digital resources.
The main reason millennials value Realtors? They recognized their own lack of experience in the sometimes complicated homebuying process.
However, technology remains important to young adults. A Realtor’s role has diminished in some areas thanks to online tools, such as mortgage calculators; easy access to taxes and other government-related information; and general background info on cities and neighborhoods.
Moreover, technology has changed the process by making it easier to respond quickly to contacts, which is a must for millennials. This demographic also takes into consideration an agent’s reputation on social networks
As a result, a Realtor’s role may not have diminished, but the study suggests that successful agents must adapt to the changing demands and expectations of today’s younger buyers.
Source: Tech.Co (10/27/16) Costa, Diogo
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