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[04/10/17] “Three simple rules in life. 1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.” —Unknown
Small investors buying homes to flip or rent remain a strong part of the market. Last year, 37% of homes sold were acquired by buyers who didn't live in them.
Existing home sales surged to a 10-year high in January. Demand remains strong as buyers shrug off increasing prices and slightly higher mortgage rates.
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... Put in that extra effort and good things will happen. Good things are happening in the housing market, as Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) reported that housing confidence in December reversed its five-month decline, heading up 2 percentage points, with personal finance optimism reaching a seven-year high. Their chief economist noted: "Three months after the presidential election, measures of consumer optimism regarding personal financial prospects and the economy are at or near the highest levels we've seen in the nearly seven-year history of the National Housing Survey."
Reflecting that increased housing confidence among consumers, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported purchase mortgage applications up 2% for the week ending February 3. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) report for Q4 of 2016 saw the best quarterly sales pace for the year, which drove inventory to record lows. But the NAR president pointed out this should boost sales activity now: "There are fewer listings...but also a little less competition than what's expected this spring. The prospect of higher mortgage rates and more home shoppers in coming months should be enough of an incentive for those serious about buying to start their search now."
So far in the housing market, we seem to be doing pretty well with what we've been given. Pending Homes Sales closed out 2016 up 1.6% in December and comfortably ahead of a year ago.
Last week, existing home sales finished the year at the highest point since 2006. Inventory is still a problem in many areas, but the NAR's (National Association of Realtor's) chief economist expects housing starts will go up 7.9% this year, "especially if construction related regulations are relaxed." And it looks like they will be.
The number of basis points has lowered on mortgage insurance premiums for FHA-backed loans starting January 27. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced its new premium schedule this week, which is expected to save the average home buyer $500 a year in insurance cost!!
Sounds like its time to get off the fence you've been tettering on and start the home buying process!
Call me for help! 786-317-8189
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I am working with a mortgage company who has just rolled out conventional loan product and it is FAST! No need to collect income or asset documentation.
[12/19/16] "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're misinformed." --Mark Twain, American writer, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer
Median sales price of $407,000 is highest level since 2005; Sales
at best November level since 2009; Inventory levels show double-digit declines for fifth consecutive month.
Falls Church City(+33.3%) and Washington D.C (+3.0) saw increases in inventory levels, while all other jurisdictions saw declines, with the largest in Fairfax County (-20.1%).
According to ©2016 MarketStats by ShowingTime. Data Source: MRIS. Statistics calculated 12/5/2016
smarttravel.tips Top 14 Places to Live in Virginia
finance.yahoo.com The holidays might not be the most popular time to buy a home, but with lower buyer competition, motivated sellers, and year-end tax benefits, there are some good reasons to consider hitting “Pause” on decking the halls and high-tailing it to some open houses in San Francisco, CA, Fort Lauderdale, F...
Can a voluntary HOA become mandatory?
Unlike a condominium association, a homeowner's association can be mandatory or voluntary. If your membership is mandatory, every owner in the community has to be part of it and is subject to penalties for not complying with the rules or paying the maintenance dues.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article113850723.html#storylink=cpy
miamiherald.com Q: I have lived in my home for more than 20 years. When I bought it, our community had a voluntary homeowner's association. About 10 years ago, several board members announced that the association had become mandatory. The only bylaws, which expired in 2013, covered the procedures for a voluntary HO...
It seems to we are moving in the right direction. New data from realtor.com says that following a summer housing market that saw both high demand and rising home prices, we could experience the hottest fall sales in a decade. Their chief economist explained: "House hunters who were shut out this summer because of fierce competition could fare better this fall, with more opportunities to buy." He adds, "pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low."
So if you're on the fence...now's the time to jump in!!!
I am so excited to announce that I have put my license with Pearson Smith Realty! What a fantastic company...Eric Pearson and his team have streamlined the Buyer and Seller process for clients AND Agents!
Looking forward and toward the future!
miamiherald.com Q: We fell in love with a home and have it under contract at a fair but slightly high price. The inspection report highlighted a ton of issues, none of which was revealed on the contract's seller disclosure form. I thought that the seller would need to reveal this information to any future buyers, s...
What can slow down a closing?
Even though a property is under contract, the occasional hitch can make closing time go from warp speed to a ultra-slo-mo. Here are the typical hiccups.
Yes, you guessed it. The most common reason for a delayed closing is usually related to buyer financing, says Jerry Koller of California's International Home. The leading issue: getting a loan approved. Buyers can avoid this time drain by obtaining a mortgage pre-approval letter, something many sellers require along with an offer. And remember, even with a pre-approval, it can take 30 days for the lender to complete its due diligence once an offer is made, so plan accordingly. Cash buyers save a significant amount of time by avoiding the mortgage process.
In order for a mortgage to be approved, the bank needs to appraise the home. But if the appraisal comes in low, it will take time to renegotiate the price.
Failing to secure homeowners insurance until the last minute slows down a closing since it's often required before you move in.
Contingencies: "If a buyer needs to sell their existing home and/or a seller needs to buy a new home, this could also delay the expected closing date," says Colin T. McDonald at Re/Max Capital in Albany, NY.
4 colors that can be the kiss of death when selling your home:
1. Off-white or eggshell
Shades of white might seem safe, but they aren’t guaranteed to be a big hit with buyers. Homes with off-white or eggshell kitchens sold for $82 less than Zillow estimated they would; but wheat yellow can offer a boost of $1,360.00!
2. Dark brown
Dark brown walls didn’t resonate with buyers in Zillow’s study. Bedrooms painted dark brown sold for $236 less than expected, while using the same shade in a bathroom lowered the selling price by $469.
Not quite as jarring as traffic cone orange, but even muted terracotta shades like the shade of an inexpensive flower pot sold for $793 less than Zillow’s estimated price.
4. Slate gray
Gray is trendy color right now, but all grays aren’t created equal. While dove or light gray was a hit and can help boost a home’s selling price by $1,104, dark gray is a dud!
Stick with colors that have mass appeal to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible and end up with the biggest bang for your buck!
5 Bad Home Renovations That Lower Your Home’s Value...
1. Getting too fancy
Over-the-top renovations can backfire in a big way if they don’t fit with the neighborhood. You don’t want to be the nicest house on the block; you won’t bring up your neighbors’ market value, instead the average houses may pull down the value of your house.
2. Making your yard smaller
Think twice before you swap green space for a new family room. Home expansions that eat into your yard can hurt your home’s value more than they help, you want to keep your renovations consistent with the neighborhood.
3. Too much customization
You might love your in-home recording studio, basement gym, chartreuse walls in the living room, or hand-painted mural in the entry, but buyers may turn up their noses. Truly customized upgrades might not get a quality return on your investment.
4. Installing a swimming pool
Many buyers will rather pass on property with a pool than deal with the headaches; with regular maintenance and higher insurance premiums. Others see pools as a safety hazard.
5. Reducing the number of bedrooms
When it comes to bedrooms, more is better. Turning a spare bedroom into a walk-in closet or master suite sitting room tops the list of bad home renovations you can make, especially if your home now has fewer bedrooms than similar properties.
[06/23/16] “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe
fetcharate.com Easily find and compare mortgage rates from qualified lenders that are likely to approve your loan based on your situation.
8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home
By: Pat Curry
Here are eight ways to help your home put its best face forward.
Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell. We’re not talking about replacing vinyl siding with redwood siding; we’re talking about maintenance and beautifying tasks you’d like to live with anyway.
The way your house looks from the street -- attractively landscaped and well-maintained -- can add thousands to its value and cut the time it takes to sell. But which projects pump up curb appeal most? Some spit and polish goes a long way, and so does a dose of color.
Tip #1: Wash Your House’s Face
Before you scrape any paint or plant more azaleas, wash the dirt, mildew, and general grunge off the outside of your house. REALTORS® say washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale prices of some houses.
A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, and fiber cement siding. Power washers (rental: $75 per day) can reveal the true color of your flagstone walkways.
Wash your windows inside and out, swipe cobwebs from eaves, and hose down downspouts. Don’t forget your garage door, which was once bright white. If you can’t spray off the dirt, scrub it off with a solution of 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate -- TSP, available at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement centers -- dissolved in 1 gallon of water.
Tip #2: Freshen the Paint Job
The most commonly offered curb appeal advice from real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it, and appraisers will value it. Of course, painting is an expensive and time-consuming facelift. To paint a 3,000-square-foot home, figure on spending $375 to $600 on paint; $1,500 to $3,000 on labor.
Your best bet is to match the paint you already have: Scrape off a little and ask your local paint store to match it. Resist the urge to make a statement with color. An appraiser will mark down the value of a house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition.
Tip #3: Regard the Roof
The condition of your roof is one of the first things buyers notice and appraisers assess. Missing, curled, or faded shingles add nothing to the look or value of your house. If your neighbors have maintained or replaced their roofs, yours will look especially shabby.
You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal; appraisers will mark down the value by the cost of the repair. According to the "2015 Remodeling Impact Report" from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the national median cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is about $7,600.
Some tired roofs look a lot better after you remove 25 years of dirt, moss, lichens, and algae. Don’t try cleaning your roof yourself: call a professional with the right tools and technique to clean it without damaging it. A 2,000-square-foot roof will take a day and $400 to $600 to clean professionally.
Tip #4: Neaten the Yard
A well-manicured lawn, fresh mulch, and pruned shrubs boost the curb appeal of any home.
Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch, which gives a rich feel to the yard. Put a crisp edge on garden beds, pull weeds and invasive vines, and plant a few geraniums in pots.
Green up your grass with lawn food and water. Cover bare spots with seeds and sod, get rid of crab grass, and mow regularly.
Tip #5: Add a Color Splash
Even a little color attracts and pleases the eye of would-be buyers.
Plant a tulip border in the fall that will bloom in the spring. Dig a flowerbed by the mailbox and plant some pansies. Place a brightly colored bench or Adirondack chair on the front porch. Get a little daring, and paint the front door red or blue.
These colorful touches won’t add to the value of our house: Appraisers don’t give you extra points for a blue bench. But beautiful colors enhance curb appeal and help your house to sell faster.
Tip #6: Glam Your Mailbox
An upscale mailbox, architectural house numbers, or address plaques can make your house stand out.
High-style die cast aluminum mailboxes range from $100 to $350. You can pick up a handsome, hand-painted mailbox for about $50. If you don’t buy new, at least give your old mailbox a facelift with paint and new house numbers.
These days, your local home improvement center or hardware stores has an impressive selection of decorative numbers. Architectural address plaques, which you tack to the house or plant in the yard, typically range from $80 to $200. Brass house numbers range from $3 to $11 each, depending on size and style.
Tip #7: Fence Yourself In
A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is an asset. Not only does it add visual punch to your property, appraisers will give extra value to a fence in good condition, although it has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community.
Expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for a professionally installed gated picket fence 3 feet high and 100 feet long.
If you already have a fence, make sure it’s clean and in good condition. Replace broken gates and tighten loose latches.
Tip #8: Maintenance is a Must
Nothing looks worse from the curb -- and sets off subconscious alarms -- like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or peeling paint. Not only can these deferred maintenance items damage your home, but they can decrease the value of your house by 10%.
Here are some maintenance chores that will dramatically help the look of your house:
Refasten sagging gutters.
Repoint bricks that have lost their mortar.
Reseal cracked asphalt.
Replace cracked windows.
The other evening at my Home Buyers' Seminar, a buyer asked me about EMD (Earnest Money Deposit). Here is what I told them:
Earnest money is a good faith deposit that basically tells the Seller you are serious about purchasing their home. The higher the amount, the more skin you, the Buyer, has in the game. Remember, the Seller is looking for a sure thing. They want to close with the first Buyer, not the third. Putting more money down as escrow tells the Seller you are less likely to default or risk losing your money.
Earnest money is credited to you at the closing table. You do not lose that money if you close.
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Personal integrity and trustworthiness are my first priorities. I am techie, well educated agent helping buyers and sellers in beautiful VA and WV
Buy /Sell or Rent your next home with me.Living in NOVA for past 8 years , understand what your family needs and can help you find the best deal.
Local market specialist. Experienced in VA, FHA, FHA 203k, GSA Relo, VHDA/USDA & REO/Foreclosures.
Reliance Realty & Property Management is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential sales, leasing & property management.
Pearson Smith Realty
If you are interested in Selling or buying your House in Virginia or Maryland you are in the right place. It would be my pleasure to help you...
Full service Realtor specializing in simplifying the buyer and selling process within residential real estate. Affiliated with Pearson Smith Realty with offices in Northern Virginia and West Virginia. When you are ready to move, I'll be right beside you!
Helping you get the most Serene experience when buying or selling a home! Specializing in Residential Real Estate in the Northern Virginia area.
I would love the opportunity to offer my services to you or anyone you know looking to Rent, Buy, Sell or Invest in Real Estate! Contact me.