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Real Estate

What I love About Real Estate

What do I love about real estate:

  • The satisfaction of knowing I can help others.
  • The joy of  being part of my buyers’ dream to own their first home.
  • The appreciation of my sellers for helping them through a difficult transaction.
  • The referrals received from previous clients, which let me know I did something right.

As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”  I have found it!

Real Estate

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is a day to celebrate love and friendship … to be thankful for the blessing of those special people who are part of our lives.  Many of our life goals and plans have to do with love.  We make decisions thinking of those we love and how they will be impacted.

But … what is love? Love is sacrifice, love is forgiving, love is patient, love is kind, love is sincere, love is unselfish, love is unconditional, and much more.  We can show love even to those we do not personally know. So…

Today, be intentional about loving someone near you.  Whether it is a kind word or a kind act, show them some love.

Real Estate

Time of Uncertainty

During this time our nation faces uncertainty, you may wonder if you should act now, or wait to see what happens with the real estate market. Perhaps, you wonder if you should wait to purchase in case the value of homes goes down. Or, you may wonder if you should wait to sell in case the value of homes goes up.

In either case, we do not know what will happen with certainty. However, we do know what we see now. What we see is that interest rates are increasing, which will impact purchase power. We also see more homes being built, which will increase inventory.

Depending on your individual circumstances, consider taking action now as the future is unknown and just as holding off might be to your benefit, it might also be against you. Do not wait too long to take action.  Contact me at (909) 346-3610 if you are interested in buying or selling your home.

Real Estate

New Year. New Goals.

Envision, Plan, and Achieve

This is the time of the year when resolutions are popular. People are excited to start new projects and make changes. They are determined to turn a thought into a goal and a goal into an achievement!

As much as these resolutions are important, there are others which may have a greater impact in one’s life. I’ve always thought there are seasons in life which influence the choices we make at the time.
Envisioning and planning for the future are part of every successful goal. For instance, selling or purchasing a home is a big step. It can be a stressful process and being prepared may ease the anxiety.

Some Things to Consider When You Purchase or Sell Your Home

Buyers:

1. Save money for your down payment and closing costs.

2. Review your credit report to ensure there is no erroneous information.

3. Do not use your credit on any major purchases.

4. Contact a lender to get pre-approved. A lender will advise on the available loans and prepare you financially to begin your search.

5. Contact a Realtor to represent you. A Realtor will guide you through the process and explain every step of the way. Remember to take notes and be realistic when viewing homes.

Sellers:

1. Declutter and make necessary repairs.

2. Interview Realtors and hire the best match for your needs.

3. Study the data provided by your Realtor and together agree on a realistic listing price.

4. Maintain a clean property inside and out. Remember curb appeal is the first impression a buyer has of your home.

5. Be flexible with showing times and leave the home when a buyer is viewing the property.

Be intentional and take action

It is easy to say “I want to” or “This year I will.” Nonetheless, we need to be intentional and take action. Time does not wait; and if we do not take the necessary steps to accomplish our goals, these will only be dreams. This is a great year to take that step. Purchase your dream home. Purchase that investment property. Or, sell to upgrade, downsize, or relocate. Whichever it may be, envision, plan, and achieve. Do not procrastinate.

Have a blessed and fulfilling 2017!

Real Estate

Is This a Good Time to Sell Your Home and Buy A New One?

Is This a Good Time to Sell Your Home and Buy Another One?

Yes! There is currently low inventory and many buyers. Consequently, if you list your home at the current market price, you may sell it fairly quickly and still be able to take advantage of the low interest rates available to homebuyers.

Having this advantage as a home seller, may tempt you to overprice your home. However, please keep in mind that everything is relative. By the time you are able to sell your home, the other homes may also be priced higher… and even the interest rate may be higher by then; therefore, affecting your buying power. And, if you sell now at a lower price, you may also purchase at a lower price.

On the other hand, you may wonder if the current inventory will harm your ability to purchase your new home. Although this is not the only option, hopefully, you have enough to put a large down payment and not ask for any closing costs or other concessions. The stronger your offer, the better chance you have of getting your offer accepted. Be flexible. Think about the type of offers you would like to receive on your own home.

Wondering if you should purchase contingent upon selling your current home? Well, the type of contingencies have a lot to do on the strength of your offer. Hence, an offer with this type of contingency may negatively affect the chance of getting an offer accepted. Perhaps, you may consider renting in between the time you sell your home and purchase the other one.

It may seem like a lot to process at first, but that is why your Realtor is there to help. Consult with your Realtor. Your Realtor may provide you with expert advice and even statistical information that may help on your selling and buying decisions.

Real Estate

10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Congratulations, you have gone to your local bank and were pre-approved for a $350,000 home loan! You already know the location and the features you want in your new home, but now what? Where do you start? Do you go calling every listing agent in town? Or, do you just go on-line and see what is on the market? Here are some tips that may be able to help you during your home search.

1. Work with an experienced Realtor who can guide and advise you during the process. It is important you have your own Realtor representing you as the buyer in the transaction. A selling agent, will help you search homes, show them to you, and negotiate the deal for you.

2. Trust your Realtor. Your Realtor is the expert in the industry and can tell you whether or not you should offer asking price; or what terms should or should not be included in the Purchase Agreement.

3. When it comes to viewing homes; take all decision-makers with you (including those who are not buying but have influence in your decision-making). Many times, new homebuyers see a home they love, submit and get an offer accepted, but then get cold feet when their relatives or friends “warn” them about everything they should’ve considered before submitting an offer. Hence, causing the buyer to cancel.

4. Have an open mind. You might not be able find the perfect, dream home so you may need to purchase one that needs some tender loving care. Or, if you do find the home of your dreams; keep in mind it is also someone else’s dream home; so take your Realtors’ advise on the best offer you should submit.

5. Purchase a Home Warranty. A home warranty may save you a lot of money if a large item such as a water heater, air conditioning, plumbing, appliances, etc breaks down.

6. Do not purchase any large items on credit. This may interfere with your loan approval and may prevent you from moving forward with the transaction. This is relevant at all stages of the home search and, even more so, during the escrow process.

7. Communicate and cooperate with your Realtor and loan representative. It is imperative that you maintain constant communication with them as they are working hard to get you qualified and into your new home as soon as possible.

8. Don’t view too many properties. More than three trips and viewing too many properties may create the mentality that the more you see, the better deal you will find. However, instead, this will cause confusion and second thoughts; hence, prolonging the home search and possibly walking away from a good opportunity.

9. Obtain a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be in perfect condition, it is always recommended that a trained professional inspect the property. If the inspection reveals serious defects that the seller did not disclose you are generally able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back.

10. Avoid buyer’s remorse. It is not uncommon that somewhere during escrow, homebuyers may question if they made the right decision. You may avoid this by doing your homework beforehand and matching your expectations and price range. If you’ve done this, your stress level may be reduced and buyer’s remorse may have been avoided.

Real Estate

Get Off the Fence Before It Is Too Late

For those homebuyers who were waiting for the market to hit rock bottom; let me tell you it already did, and it is on its way back up. You may not find the same type of house you saw six months ago at the same price anymore…you’ll have to be realistic and, perhaps, even re-evaluate your search criteria. However, it is not too late.

Inventory is low but interest rates are also low. So as long as you make a strong offer, you should be in a good position. What is a strong offer? Well, there are various components to a strong offer but here are some that may be used in conjunction or independently depending on your individual case.

1) Large down payment
2) Large deposit
3) No loan contingency
4) No appraisal contingency
5) Not asking for any closing costs or other concessions

I wouldn’t recommend low balling in this market. Have your Realtor run a comparative analysis and offer your best price based on that. On the other hand, offering too high above market price doesn’t necessarily mean your offer will be accepted. The seller’s Realtor has also done a comparative analysis, and wouldn’t want to risk the deal going south when the appraisal comes in low. So, be strategic in your offer.

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Real Estate

Knowledge is Power

Have you ever heard the quote, “You learn something new every day?”  I believe it is true.  It starts with our attitude and our hunger for knowledge not only for matters that benefit us directly but also for matters that may benefit others as well.  For example, it could be something as simple as directing someone to the right source.  Or, it could be using your professional knowledge and expertise to inform and educate others needing direction.

This year, I choose to do both.   As a real estate professional, I plan, more than ever, to share my expertise with homeowners so they can make educated and strategic decisions when selling their home; and to guide and consult homebuyers during the whole process of purchasing their new home.

I don’t want to just be the Realtor who sells homes.  I also want to be the expert you go to whenever you have a real estate question.  I want to empower you with my knowledge so you may empower me with yours…like they say: “there is no dumb question.”

So, lets make it a great 2013.   Happy New Year!

Real Estate

Time To Reflect

Remembering those who died in Newtown, CT

There were many topics that came to mind when I thought I writing today.  I considered topics such as the effect of Health Care Reform on property taxes; the local homes that have sold in the area, the current interest rates, etc. However, reflecting on the catastrophe that recently occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, I couldn’t resist commenting about it.

This is supposed to be a time of joy for everyone, especially for those little ones who enjoy the season so much.  Nevertheless, it will be the saddest season of all for those parents, siblings, grandparents and relatives who lost a loved one in that horrible event.

I can only pray that the Lord will give them the strength and inner peace that only He can give.  There are simply no words of consolation.  Events like this make me appreciate more all the blessings I have and value life and family even more.

New Year’s is around the corner.  We usually have resolutions for the year.  Lets make one of those resolutions to learn to constantly express our love to our family and our friends; and not focus so much on the materialistic life that abounds these days…. let’s not take for granted the blessings we have been gifted.

Happy Holidays!

Real Estate

Real Estate and Economics 101

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When I was in college, I used to wonder why in the world I needed to know about supply and demand.  Now, I understand why.  Real Estate is directly affected by micro and macroeconomics.  (All other businesses are affected too, but as a Realtor, I will focus on real estate for purposes of this blog).

 

For example, in this current real estate market, we have a shortage of inventory and a surplus of buyers.  What does this mean?  Well, since there is high demand and not enough inventory; we will see prices of properties gradually increase. HINT: Homeowners thinking of selling?

 

Of course, there are other factors that come into play like short sales and bank-owned properties.  Nonetheless, we are beginning to see more homeowners selling their homes as standard sales.  Homeowners need to think about why they need to sell.  Perhaps, they want to sell because they are relocating or because they want to downgrade/upgrade.  Or, they might need to sell because they can no longer afford their mortgage payment.  Or, sometimes, there are other unfortunate circumstances like the death of a homeowner, a divorce, or an illness.

 

There is a trend for real estate transactions to slow down during the holiday season.   Usually, homeowners will list their homes after the holidays and buyers will start looking for homes in Spring so they are in their new home by the end of Summer.  With the interest rates at their lowest in history probably until mid 2013; I have great hope that the real estate industry is on its way to recovery—despite the U.S. fiscal cliff conversations.

 

 

 

Real Estate

My Loan Modification was Denied. Now what?

I was recently approached by a couple of homeowners who unfortunately lost their homes in foreclosure.  They came to me too late.  Their stories are disappointing because if they would’ve come to me the first time their loan modification was denied; I would’ve been able to help them short sell their home without having to go through the stress of being foreclosed on.

Instead, they went to someone who fed them false hopes about keeping their home and encouraged them to file bankruptcy several times.  Loan modifications are reviewed case by case.  Unfortunately, not all loans get modified.  Homeowners should seek assistance in evaluating their financial status to see if they would qualify for a loan modification.  If they don’t qualify, they should consider short selling their property.

It is not rare in this current market, for homeowners who are underwater to go through the process of applying for a loan modification; and if it is denied or they don’t get offered what they expect; to file bankruptcy and extend their stay in the property.  Nonetheless, there will be a point in time, when they will need to move out.   Why wait until the new owner delivers a notice to vacate the property?

Please don’t get me wrong.  I understand there is an emotional component and I’m sensitive to it.  I’ve known of homeowners who have tried a second time and successfully have gotten their loan modified, which is great.  I’m sharing this story for those who know they truly cannot afford their home any more; so they may come to realize there is still hope.  Maybe not what they want, but what is best for them right now—short sell, re-establish credit, and purchase a new home in three years.

As always, I’m here to help with any of your real estate needs.  There are many government programs out there that you may take advantage of.