7 Warnings Your Buyers Need to Hear

Source: Shannon O’Brien / Staff Writer Trulia

1. Get pre-approved or get disappointed: Surprisingly many Buyers begin their home hunting without speaking to a Lender. More often than not they tend to take upon themselves to begin the process not knowing what they can or can’t afford. This usually sets the scene for disappointments and a bumpy ride. Rule #1 get pre-qualified or even better yet pre-approved before searching for your dream home.

2. Get to know the home loan process: Lenders offer a number of loan packages that will best fit the client’s budget. The Lender will recommend which option or options are best for the clients. Thus the client can decide which way to go.

3. Make a wish list: The Buyer’s best wish list is based not on their dreams, but on their fears. A Buyer needs to decide what they despise about their current living conditions and, along with whatever other reason they have for moving, these items are good indications of why they want to move and what they truly want.

4. Don’t lack vision or buy into a manufactured vision:  Many Buyers that can’t seem to look beyond ugly wallpaper, ratty carpets and even something as simple as dirty dishes in the sink. Before stepping foot in even one house, a Buyer must understand  that what they see may not necessarily be what they have to live with for the rest of the time they own the home.

On the other hand, Buyers must understand that what they see may not necessarily be what they get—especially if what they’re seeing is a model home. Staging adds the “wow factor” relatively inexpensively for the seller but at additional cost to the buyer. Caution to look beyond the sexy staging to the bones of the home.

5. Read and understand HOA docs: HOA (Home Owner Association) docs are notorious for being wordy with a lot of legal terminology , rules and regulations that are often confusing and difficult to decipher. Not only are HOA’s confusing to Buyers but also are confusing for their Agent. It is recommended that the Buyer should hire an attorney to interpret the docs due to the complexities within the documents.

6. Make your offer in accordance with current market conditions: Buyers always want to pay less for a property than the list price and often make low ball offers on every home they like. Offers at ALL TIMES should reflect what the current market conditions demand. The worst scenario is when a Buyer wants to or does low ball in a HOT MARKET. A smart and experienced Agent will warn and discourage the Buyer from making this serious mistake.

The flip side is that in a Buyer’s market the Buyer needs to slow down and avoid giving money away. Again with the assistance of an experienced Agent a Buyer can avoid doing the wrong thing.

7. The inspection report may not be as bad as it looks: Home Inspection photos and verbiage contained within the report can that make even the tiniest problem look massive. They’re enough to disturb even the most level-headed buyer.

Before the Inspection is ordered an experienced Agent will explain the process and point out what items are usually most important and what effect they have on the home. Health and Safety Issues are the important issues where as Cosmetic issues are the least important and generally left alone.

No matter what the findings are in the report the Buyer can request that repairs be made by the Seller. Most of the time strategic negotiating between Buyer and Seller results in a give and take position and the sale will prevail.






Foreclosure Rates Near a ‘Significant Milestone’

I am often approached buy investor Buyers looking for that “STEAL OF A DEAL” foreclosure. Given the nature of investors that equates to pennies on the dollar. That was the case after the bubble burst in 2006. Lots of foreclosures hit the Nation’s market place and investors rushed to reap the benefits.

Not so is the case today. Redding for example of available foreclosures is slowly on the decline. Nation wide the  Foreclosures continue to fall across the country and the return to normal levels may be on the horizon for many places, according to a new report.

Foreclosure filings fell 4 percent in February, reaching the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings reflect the number of default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. The U.S. foreclosure rate now stands at one in every 1,295 homes that received a foreclosure filing in February. This statistic is more consistent in respect to the Redding area.

On the contrary there area areas that show a rise in inventory of foreclosures on the horizon. Once again the old real estate cliche that the market conditions vary from region to region across the U.S. is vindicated.

The following states posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rates: Source: Realty Track

1. Maryland: 1 in every 564 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February (foreclosure activity has fallen 1 percent compared to a year ago there, however)

2. Nevada: 1 in every 569 homes received a foreclosure filing (a 12 percent rise from a year ago mostly from a rise in foreclosure starts)

3. Florida: 1 in every 570 housing units (despite a 35 percent decrease in foreclosure activity compared to a year ago)

4. Indiana: 1 in every 871 housing units

5. Idaho: 1 in every 877 housing units

6. New Jersey: 1 in every 895 housing units

7. Illinois: 1 in every 906 housing units

8. Delaware: 1 in every 957 housing units

9. Ohio: 1 in every 1,000 housing units

10. North Carolina: 1 in every 1,088 housing units:

I’m currently working with an investor who is beginning to understand that Redding’s foreclosure inventory is dwindling and the opportunities of profiting are weakening. We’ve previewed a number of properties where the numbers just don’t work. It’s also become very competitive in the market place driving foreclosure prices up a bit. Multiple offers above asking price are occurring on some properties making profit margins even more lean.

I don’t see the Redding foreclosure market to disappear over night but rather see it slowly get to a normal flow. Foreclosures historically will always have their place in real estate and that is a fact. “Another man’s loss is another man’s gain”.




Tips for Increasing a Home’s Property Value

With the Spring selling season in full swing, now is the time for your clients to start making changes to improve their home’s comfort level and the way it functions to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Sellers who already made those changes and improvements will most likely be the first to sell. Most likely their realtor advised them on what to do and not what to do.

The four most basic improvement areas that are of top concerns are the foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical. Of these the roof is most important and most overlooked. A neglected roof will lead to a multitude of problems. ‘Keeping the roof in good shape alleviates other problems; for example, water can run laterally and once a leak starts it can follow plumbing and even electrical conduits. So what you think is a plumbing leak might really be a hole in the roof” says Peter Chovanes, a REALTOR® with Van Guard Properties in San Francisco.

  • Repair: First take a good look at the state of the home, inside and out. Fix the obvious areas that need maintenance.
  • De-clutter: Find ways to store odds-and-ends in containers and cabinets or donate belongings to charity.
  • Lighten up: Brighter, light-filled rooms are more appealing and make a house feel more spacious. Consider replacing heavy drapes with shutters, shades, or blinds.
  • Add eco value: Replace old windows with energy-efficient versions to reduce home energy costs and add value.
  • Update: Water heaters, furnaces, and toilets are also good to update for energy and water conservation but probably will not add significantly to the home’s value.
  • Refinish: If wood floors are looking tired, refinish them. Replace worn carpeting where possible.
  • Kitchen clean-up: The kitchen is an obvious focal point for buyers. Consider a light upgrade in the kitchen, by replacing the sink or replacing cabinets. If you are planning to replace counters try solid surface quartz-based materials, which have become the popular alternative to granite.
  • Better bathrooms: Bathrooms are typically less expensive to remodel than kitchens so there is more potential for a return on the investment. Buyers frequently request double vanities and a walk-in shower so consider upgrading accordingly.
  • Remodel: It is usually more cost-effective to remodel attics and basements than to add entirely new rooms.
  • Spruce up: Add curb appeal by weeding and sprucing up the garden with low maintenance, drought-tolerant plantings — also called xeriscaping. Giving the front door a new coat of paint is a low cost way to add curb appeal. Source: House plans.com



Why Age 61 Is Important to Real Estate

By age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live, according to a new study by Merrill Lynch.

“Throughout most of people’s lives, where they live is determined by their responsibilities,” according to the report. “Most careers demand that people live within a reasonable commuting distance from where they and/or their spouse work. However, as people enter their 50s and 60s, they begin to cross what this study reveals to be the ‘Freedom Threshold.'” That’s the age when people say they can finally choose where they want to live, according to the survey of more than 3,600 retirees.

Indeed, two-thirds of the retirees surveyed say they are now living in the best home of their lives.Most retirees move at least once during retirement. But surprisingly, only half choose to downsize into a smaller home. Three in ten of retirees decide to upsize into a larger home.  The top reason to upsize: They want to have a home that’s comfortable enough for family members to visit and stay with them, according to the survey.

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations,” according to the report. Some choose to upsize so that family members can live with them too.

Retirees say the ideal place allows spending time with others their own age yet they also seek to be around those of diverse ages. Compared to younger people, older Americans are far more likely to want diversity in age and generation among their communities and neighbors. As such, just 7 percent of retirees surveyed have opted to move into age-restricted retirement communities.

Source: “Home In Retirement More Freedom, New Choices” Merrill Lynch




Why Renters May Be in Trouble

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The gap between rental costs and household income is widening to unsustainable levels across the country. As more renters face steeper costs, it may put them even further away from home ownership, according to a new study released by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Over the last five years, a typical rent rose 15 percent, while the income of renters grew by only 11 percent, according to their research. These numbers indicate that work wages are not keeping in sync with rent and home appreciation. Down side is if jobs and economy don’t improve a renter may not be afforded the opportunity of home ownership.

“Current renters seeking relief and looking to buy are facing the same dilemma: Home prices are rising much faster than their incomes,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. That effect is slowly but sure to gain moment here in Redding. Housing is still affordable and will remain so if inventory continues to increase.

It’s a great time now to buy or sell in Redding. Over the next 6 months home prices will continue to increase moderately. I say this with hopes that the increases will be gradual which is considered normal in the market place. Interest rates are low but are expected to rise along with increasing home prices.