Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 10, 2022

8 Best Strategies for Winning a Bid War

When you make an offer on a house, it kicks off a negotiation between you and the seller, usually with the help of a real estate professional.

The more deliberate you are with your offer, the better your chances of winning are. Here are nine suggestions for saving time and money.

1. Know Your Limit

Your agent can help you put together a compelling offer. You may rely on your agent's advice on price, contingencies, and other contact information because the connection is mutually beneficial. If you work jointly with your agent, you'll be able to move more quickly.

2. Learn to Speak "Contract"

A contract is simply what an offer is. The documentation and terminology vary per state.

Go over some sample offer forms before you go house searching. If you need additional information, a real estate attorney may help you through the paperwork so you understand the terms when you're ready to make an offer to your agent. Your agent will be able to provide you with offer forms for your state.

3. Set Your Price

A home's listing price is always set. Consider it the seller's first offer in the home-buying process. You will include an offer price in your offer as the buyer. This is the first thing a home seller looks at when they receive a bid. Your agent can help you determine whether the seller's selling price is acceptable by using comps (or comparables).

4. Figure Out Your Down Payment

To receive a mortgage, you must provide a down payment. Borrowers who put down 20% on a conventional loan (rather than a government loan) avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is a monthly cost that safeguards the lender in the case of a borrower default.

5. Show the Seller You’re Serious: Make a Deposit

An EMD is an amount you put down as proof to the seller that you're serious about purchasing the home (earnest money deposit). If the seller accepts your offer, the earnest money will be allocated to your down payment at closing. You may be required to pay the vendor if you try to back out of the agreement.

6. Review the Contingency Plans

Most real estate contracts have contingencies, which are conditions that must be met before the deal can move forward; otherwise, the buyer may withdraw their EMD.

7. Read the Fine Print About the Property

The sales contract includes vital information about the property, such as the address, tax ID, and utility types (public water or private well, gas or electric heating, etc.).

8. Brace Yourself for a Counteroffer

If you submit a lowball offer or compete against many bids, the seller may issue you a counteroffer, which is a purchase agreement with new terms, such as a higher sales price or fewer contingencies.

If you're planning to buy a house these tips will certainly help you. 

Click here for more real estate-related tips and questions and our team will be happy to assist you.

June 8, 2022

7 Important Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore A Home Inspection


When you're looking for a new home, you can imagine yourself living there, planning where you'd put your furniture and how you'd start remodeling.

However, you might want to hold off on emotionally engaging because you never know what's behind the surface of any given home.

Here are some of the most compelling reasons to never miss a home inspection:

1. Home inspections can disclose crucial information about a home's and its systems' condition. This informs the buyer about the fees, repairs, and maintenance that the home may require both now and in the future.

2. A home inspection can detect safety hazards such as radon, carbon monoxide, and mold, which should be examined in all properties.

3. It can indicate whether rooms, garages, or basements were built without a permit or without following building codes.

4. If you're buying an "as-is" foreclosed home or a short sale, a home inspection is even more important.

5. A home inspection report allows you to ask the seller for repairs and/or a price reduction or credit.

6. It can determine the current state of the building and tell you how long the home's finishes have been in place.

7. Some insurance companies will refuse to insure a home if specific issues are discovered or if inspection certifications are missing.

It is your job to learn as much as possible about the home you may soon call your own. Home inspections disclose the property's inner workings. Make sure you do not skip this step.

If you have any other real estate questions, just click here and our team will be happy to answer them for you.

June 3, 2022

5 Reasonable Questions for First-Time Home Buyers

It's crucial not to let emotional emotions override practical concerns when buying your first house. After all, this is likely to be the most expensive purchase you will ever make.

As a first-time homebuyer, consider the following five practical questions.

Is This a House You Can Afford?

It doesn't mean you should buy that 2,500-square-foot home on a one-acre lot just because you've been informed you qualify. In the long run, this may result in financial issues. If you spend all of your money on home maintenance, it could rapidly become a cause of dissatisfaction. What matters more than your qualifications is what you can afford.

Does It Suit Your Way of Life?

Take into account more than just the layout and amenities. Make sure the house fits your lifestyle and the things that are important to you and your family, whether it's a quick commute to work or being close to extended relatives.

What Do You Think Your Future Self Will Want?

Consider yourself for the next five or ten years. Consider your plans, such as having children. If you don't think about it now, you can end up buying a starter home that won't accommodate a growing family or is unsuitable for little children.

Has the Property Been Well-kept?

First-time buyers should look for a home that has been well-maintained and does not require extensive repairs or maintenance. Even normal home maintenance, let alone repairs and upgrading, is pricey. If extensive repairs or replacements are required, it is recommended to move on to a property that has been well-maintained and to not miss a house inspection.

Do You Have a Plan for Getting Out?

That includes having an exit strategy in place for the property you're buying, whether it's choosing a home that will be easy to rent in the future or one in a strong neighborhood or school district that can be quickly sold.

Homeownership can be liberating, but it can also be intimidating, particularly for first-time buyers. On the road to homeownership, mistakes abound, but many may be avoided.

Planning to buy your first home? Contact our team today and we will be happy to guide you.

June 2, 2022

4 Ways to Get Ready for a Down Payment

One of the most difficult aspects of buying a home is coming up with a down payment—the huge sum of money needed to get a mortgage.

Fortunately, most lenders today provide down payment alternatives of 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20% of the home's purchase price. A government FHA loan can be acquired for as little as 3.5 percent down for many first-time homebuyers. If you are a member of the military or a veteran, you have even more budget-friendly options.

Many home purchasers use their savings to make a down payment, and they frequently put off significant purchases to save money. However, there are a few more options for raising funds.

1. Gifts from family or friends

Some loan types allow "gift" funds—money provided to you—to be used as a down payment. The person giving the money must have no financial stake in the property, and the monies must be a genuine gift accompanied by a letter. If the present is a debt that must be returned, banks will not allow it.

2. Assistance with a down payment

For further information, contact your lender or the state housing commission. Many local and state government programs offer down payment aid for borrowers in need.

3. No-PMI home loans

There are a few loan options that allow you to put down less than 20% without the added PMI cost. Check with your lender to see if it offers a low-down-payment, no-PMI product if a 20% down payment seems too challenging

4. Make it a habit to save

Starting a down payment fund now is a certain method to make your down payment.

If you need assistance with your home-buying process, contact our team today, and let's start working on your dream. 

May 27, 2022

What Is a Home Appraisal and Why Is It Important?

Buyers, sellers, and potential refinancers should all be conversant with the appraisal process. Take the time to learn about the crucial steps in the home-buying process and why they are important.

What Is a Home Appraisal?

An appraisal is a determination of a home's estimated value based on an inspection of the property and a comparison to recently sold homes in the neighborhood.

Before you begin the process of purchasing, selling, or refinancing a property, you must first obtain a home valuation, the most common of which is an appraisal, which provides an estimate of the home's value. An appraisal's conclusions impact how much a mortgage lender would lend you for the property.

The Home Appraisal Process 

The appraisal procedure varies based on the type of loan, but it usually starts with an appraisal visit. An appraiser will evaluate the home's interior and exterior, review any potential safety issues, note the number of rooms, and any modifications or renovations throughout the inspection. Depending on the loan type, the appraiser may also take photos or videos of the property and test utilities and appliances. Following the visit, the appraiser will look for comparable properties in the area that have recently sold and have similar features.

Why Is It Important?

It is especially crucial for purchasers to comprehend the significance of a house appraisal (Investopedia). You can probably proceed with your purchase if the appraisal is equal to or higher than the asking price. However, if the figure is lower, the purchase may become more problematic. Because lenders rarely lend more than a borrower's property is worth, you may need to utilize the appraisal as a negotiating tool to achieve a lower price, seek a second assessment from another appraiser, or walk away from this particular home. 

Whatever role you play in the house-buying process, you should be aware of the importance of a home evaluation. Take some time to learn about appraisal criteria based on the loan type, look into local property values, and, if you're a current owner, make any necessary improvements to present your home in the best light. This amount, after all, can make or break a sale or refinance.

If you have any real estate-related queries, our team will be happy to help you. Just click here to contact us.

May 25, 2022

What You Should Know Before Selling in a Seller's Market

Even if you haven't been following real estate news, you've probably heard about the current sellers' market. This is due to much discussion about how wonderful the market is for homeowners trying to sell their homes. However, if you're considering selling your house, you're probably wondering what it means to be in a sellers' market.

What Does a Seller's Market Mean?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) monthly Existing Home Sales Report, the housing supply remains low. There is a two-month supply of properties at the current sales rate.

In the past, an average or balanced market with adequate properties available for active buyers required a 6-month supply.

What Does This Mean When It Comes to Selling?

When the supply of homes for sale is as low as it is right now, it is far more difficult for buyers to find homes to buy. This raises buyer competitiveness, which could result in more bidding wars. If buyers are aware that they may be involved in a bidding war, they will make every effort to submit the most appealing offer possible right away. This may raise the overall cost of your home.

Furthermore, because mortgage rates and home prices are rising, serious buyers must move swiftly before these two factors climb much higher. That means that if you offer your house while demand is still low, it will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest from keen buyers.

The current real estate market presents tremendous opportunities for homeowners wishing to relocate. If you list your house this season, you'll be in front of serious buyers who are ready to buy.

Thinking of selling in today's market? Contact our team today to get the selling process started.

May 20, 2022

3 Types of Home Renovations That Boost Property Value

When correctly done, updating an investment home is a good idea.

How do you tell which upgrades are worth the effort and money, and which aren't?

If you want to find out which projects add value to your property, continue reading. 

1. The Basics

What do buyers expect when buying a home? These include tight roofs, working gutters and downspouts,  dry basements, reliable furnaces, solid floors, walls in good condition, and retaining walls during work. 

This does not mean that everything needs to be updated. You can focus on regular maintenance and small, inexpensive improvements to keep everything working.

2. Curb Appeal

Elements that add curb appeal help maintain the appearance of the property. Including well-maintained lawns, cheap landscaping, fresh paint on the inside and outside (at least the front door), clean carpets, and new fixtures. Doing these projects yourself can save you money and time.

3. Value-Added

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has the highest return on investment, often more than 80%  of the cost, with new siding, kitchen refurbishment (new countertops and state-of-the-art appliances), and new windows. Updated bathrooms and improved energy savings also offer value for a fortune. 

It's best to keep the remodeling small, keep the look neutral, and focus on enhancing the functionality of the house.

Are you looking for a great investment opportunity? Click here to contact us today. 

May 19, 2022

8 Real Estate Investment Options for Aspiring Investors

One of the best long-term investments you can make is real estate.

While homeownership is a common starting point for many hopeful investors, there are many types of real estate investments worth having.

Real estate investing is divided into four categories:

  • Residential (buildings that house people)
  • Commercial (spaces in which businesses operate)
  • Raw land (undeveloped property)
  • Third-party (investments into crowdfunding deals, investment trusts, and so on)

Let's focus on residential real estate investing.

1. Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending can be an attractive choice, especially if you want to help others. This style of investing involves putting your money toward individuals or projects you really believe in, such as helping someone to buy a home or make major repairs to a property.

2. Crowdfunding

Similar to peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding involves multiple people pitching in toward one cause. 

3. Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

You can look at a REIT as a way of niching down in real estate investing. Trust acts as a company that focuses on a specific type of income-producing real estate — such as hotels, apartment buildings, senior housing, and so on.

4. Fix-and-flip homes

Find a home in need of renovation, buy it for a low price, fix it up, make it look pretty, and sell the property at a profit.

5. Short-term rentals

With platforms like Airbnb and offering diverse alternatives to traditional hotel accommodations, maintaining a second (or third) property as a short-term holiday rental can be a lucrative investment.

6. Long-term rentals

Long-term rental properties are those with tenants who sign extended leases. Becoming a landlord is one of the most popular forms of real estate investing.

7. Rent-to-own lease options

While renting-to-own (RTO) isn't always the most significant approach for a buyer, if you have a house to sell, engaging in a well-structured lease arrangement that gives your tenant the opportunity to buy can be a real estate investment.

8. Buying and dividing the land

Requiring high levels of expertise, subdividing land involves purchasing large tracts of undeveloped land and then dividing it down into separately saleable parcels.

Real estate is an investment of money and time. Whether your goals are focused on the short-term, long-term, or a healthy mix of both, there are numerous pathways into real estate investing. 

Have more questions about investment properties? Click here and send us a message today.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
May 13, 2022

Which is better: Renting VS Buying a House?

Choosing, whether to rent or buy a home, is a big choice that affects both your lifestyle and your finances.

Along with the concrete benefits of tax deductions and equity, homeownership provides intangible benefits such as a sense of stability, belonging to a community, and pride of ownership.

Apart from what we've just said, here are some more benefits:

1. It is an excellent investment.

Many have steady rental income and rising home values. One of the best long-term investments you can make is purchasing a property. Your home's market worth would most likely increase over time.

2. Owning a home allows you to manage your finances better.

When you rent, your landlord may raise your rent every year at renewal. You can schedule your mortgage payment for up to 30 years when you own your home. ⠀⠀

3. Your credit improves when you own a home.

As long as you pay your mortgage on time, your credit score will rise. ⠀

4. Increasing Equity

As you pay down your mortgage, your equity builds since less of your payment goes toward interest and more toward reducing your loan balance. However, keep in mind that the length of time you own your property affects how much equity you develop and how much appreciation you can realize. The longer you hold it, the more equity you accumulate.

One of the most well-known debates in the real estate market is whether to rent or buy. Some people assume that renting is equivalent to squandering money when they may be saving for a home. Others prefer renting because of its flexibility, low upkeep, and perceived cost savings.

Send us an email if you want to learn more about it or if you have any actual real estate-related queries, and our team of specialists will be pleased to assist you.

May 12, 2022

6 Must-Do Home Repairs Before Selling

Before selling a home, there are a few vital repairs to perform. Don't rush into putting your house on the market. If you move too quickly, buyers will notice that you neglected to make crucial house improvements. And this could cost you both time and money.

Before you sell your home, make these six vital repairs:

1. Clean up the surroundings

Good landscaping can increase the value of a home by up to 28%. This is one of the simplest and least expensive methods. Even if you don't have time to execute a complete makeover of your front yard, modest modifications can make a great difference.

2. The hardwood is fantastic

Dirty old carpets are one of the biggest turnoffs for potential buyers. Investing in wood floors is a wise decision. Carpeting isn't simply an aesthetic decision anymore; it's also a choice that might actively turn away purchasers who can't see past it. Instead of appreciating your lovely, light-filled living room, they can only think about how much it will cost to remove that filthy old carpet.

3. One of the most crucial repairs to perform before selling a house is to replace the windows and doors

By refusing to repair broken windows and doors, you're not just annoying buyers. Ignoring fundamental repairs can harm your entire property.

4. The walls should be painted and/or washed

If any of your rooms are painted in a dark color, cover them with a light or neutral color. Neutral walls help buyers imagine themselves living in your home, and they also make it appear larger, cleaner, and more inviting.

5. Cabinets should be cleaned

Check for any loose drawers, hardware, or shelving so that potential purchasers aren't left wondering what else is wrong. Also, hide any odd or strange items that aren't meant to be on display.

6. Refresh the lighting

Modern lighting can instantly transform your home from old to new and stylish. The return on investment (ROI) can be quite impressive.

If you need guidance and more tips on selling your home, contact our team today.