As the real estate market continues to heat up and enjoy a brisk summer season we continue to see a low inventory of homes which is also contributing to multiple offers and bidding wars. We often tell our buyers they need to be ready to act quickly and to present the most appealing offer possible. Here are some ways buyers can help themselves stand out above the crowd of other buyers:
Talk to a lender
Check your credit report for accuracy
Inquire about your ratio’s be sure your debt-to-income ratio is in line
Pay of any debts you can
Have down payment saved and in an account that can be verified
Putting down more than 20% makes you look more financially stable and gives sellers a comfort level that you will be able to “close the deal”
Have lender pre-approval before viewing homes
Know your budget and stick to it, don’t let the “excitement of the moment” carry you away
Bidding wars tend to drive prices up, so look at homes below your top-end budget so you have room to bid higher if you are part of a bidding war
Limit your contingencies
If you have to sell your home to complete this purchase you will be less appealing to a seller; if your current home is under contract provide details about that transaction to help the seller see you as a solid buyer.
Be reasonable without being difficult – be flexible with dates for closing/moving.
Add a personal touch
Write a letter or statement to the seller – this helps the seller see you as a person and not just a number
The S & P / Case-Shiller Home Price Index recently showed that home prices in 20 major metro areas have increased at the strongest pace in the past 5 years. North Texas pending sales are up 6.2%; pending sales tell us the market will continue at a strong pace. The Median Sold Price is up 13.1%.
Below you will find county-wide stats, to learn how your neighborhood is preforming contact us and we will provide a personalized report.
It rarely fails, no matter where we are, if we run into friends one of the first things they always ask us is “How’s the market?” Well we are here to tell you that market is good, and if you are a seller it is great! If you are thinking 2013 might be the year to sell your home we will tell you NOW is the time to put your home on the market!
Here are some facts and figures to show you just what is happening in our local market:
New listings on the market for the month of January 2012 vs. 2013 showed a decrease of 2.7%:
January 2012 = 4,353
January 2013 = 4,237
Overall inventory for the entire month of January – 2012 vs. 2013 showed a 32.8% decrease!
January 2012 = 12,745
January 2013 = 8,564
Closed sales for January 2012 vs. January 2013 showed and 18.2% increase:
January 2012 = 1,921
January 2013 = 2,271
Another important factor is how many days were the home homes on the market? That number decreased by 26.7%:
January 2012 = 109
January 2013 = 80
Some information about the sold price of homes indicates that prices increased slightly. The median sales price increased 6.6% and the percent of original list price received increased 2.2%.
One of the stats we considering when expressing how the future looks is to review the number of pending sales, and in January the number of homes in “pending” status was at a 3 year high! 12.2% more than last year!
So, let us say it again – NOW is the time to be “in the real estate market” – we are looking for houses to sell! Contact us today and we will provide you with a FREE, no obligation market value report – you just may be surprised at what a commodity your home is.
We all know the media is full of opinions about investing in real estate - is this the time to buy? We beleive the answer is YES! Now is the time to buy a home, become a home owner! It is a great time and being a homeowner is one of life's joys and a wonderful accomplishment!
Here are reasons you want to be a homeowner NOW:
1. Equity. When you pay rent, you never see that money again. It is lining the landlord's pocket. Yes, buying a home may come with some hefty initial costs (downpayment, closing costs, inspections), but you will make that money back over time, in the equity your home will build over time. Historically, homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. Some areas of the country (some right here in our Texas real estate market) are still experiencing normal appreciation rates. Homeownership is about building long-term wealth.
2. Relationships: Renters tend to see their neighbors come and go quickly. Homeowners, however, have yards, walking trails, or community pools and clubhouses where they can get to know each other. And neighborhood schools and activities that bring people together to help build relationships. Neighbors stay put much longer (at least three to five years if they hope to recoup their closing costs). This means more time to develop relationships. Research has shown that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress.
3. Predictability: Well, as long as you have a fixed-rate term on your mortgage it's predictable. Most people buying homes today know that a fixed-rate is the way to go. This means your payment amount is fixed for the life of the term. If your mortgage payment is $500 today, then it will still be $500 a month in 10 years. This allows for people to budget and make solid financial plans.
4. Ownership: Okay, this is a given. Homeownership means you "own" your home. Ownership has some great perks - you can renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart's desire. You can plant trees, install a pool, expand the patio, or do holiday decorating that would rival the Kranks. The bottom line is this is your home and you can personalize it to your taste. Most renters are stuck with the same beige walls and beige carpet that has been standard apartment decor for 20 years. Now is your chance to let your home speak!
5. Great Deals: It's a great time to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. This means big savings for today's buyers. Home prices have also taken a dip since the recession, which means homes are more affordable than ever. Also, the supply of homes for sale is strong. If you have steady income and cash for a downpayment, contact us and let's talk about what homes in our area can be a fit for you and your family!
Homeownership can be a real joy. The time is right for you to become a homeowner!
As we look toward the New Year we wonder what will the real estate market do? Let’s first take a moment to reflect on the past 6 months. Often reviewing what we just finished helps us prepare for the future.
Single Family Home sales in Parker, Texas were very consistent for the final half of 2009.
·Average List Price $283,108
·Average Sold Price $273,308
o4% difference between list price and sold price!
·Average Price Per Square Foot $84
·Average Days on Market 72
These stats tell us that homes sold on a consistent and reasonable basis. Not quite what the media would have you believe is it?
We are here to assure you that people are buying homes and they are selling for a fair and reasonable price!
The government tax credit has been extended and expanded – it is a GREAT time to buy a home!
This area is definitely the most mixed bag of news! A sharp decrease in number of homes sold and yet in September a good increase in average sold price! Days on market are up from July; but October’s days on market are nearly the same as August was. This area has one higher month of sales and average sold price, then a lower month, and then back to the higher end. This area offers so much for buyers that it is a strong market, and we expect it to continue with the new tax credit just announced.
For Parker/Murphy in September – Sold Properties:
37 homes sold
Average List Price $314,943
Average Sold Price $303,264
Average Price Per Sq Ft $88
Average Days on Market 99
October – Sold Properties
34 homes sold
Average List Price $266,440
Average Sold Price $257,822
Average Price Per Sq Ft $83
Average Days on Market 85
In our last article we discussed how soon it will be too late to use the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers. Today we want to review things that may cause a delay in closing and being qualified for the credit.
Buying a home is a complicated process, and it is not unusual for purchases involving first-time buyers to take slightly longer than those involving experienced buyers. Some of the delays that first-time buyers may face over the coming months:
Competition with Other Buyers
While home may be selling at a lower rate than in years past, in many areas changes in inventory have created extremely competitive buying environments. Foreclosures or other homes with greatly lowered asking prices are particularly sought after, and in many cases investors are very active in the marketplace.
Disclosures & Contingencies
The seller is obligated to disclose any material facts about the property, including any property defects or any lawsuits regarding claim to ownership on the property. Disclosures can stall negotiations and delay the contract signing depending on their nature and severity. Contingencies (written clauses in the sales contract that give protection to both the buyer and the seller of a home) can also result in some delay in negotiation, particularly if the contingency requires the seller to make specific repairs.
The lender will arrange for appraisal of the property, which will include a thorough inspection of the home's interior and exterior. The appraiser's report will describe the physical characteristics of the property and comparable property values will be used to determine the value of the property. If the appraisal of the home's value is lower than the agreed upon sales price, the buyer's chance of loan approval can be in jeopardy. In addition, recently added rules for appraisers have been causing some delays based upon anecdotal evidence.
While interest rates remain advantageous for buyers, lenders are being much more fastidious during the approval process. Obtaining pre-approval can help prevent many delays.
The Holiday Season
Buyers who submit an offer in mid-fall may likely run into another roadblock to a pre-December 1st closing date: the approaching holiday season. Closing a real estate sale requires the work and attention of a number of professionals; from real estate agents to attorneys to bankers. Like many Americans, it is not uncommon for individuals in these fields to use up vacation time in the last few weeks of November. Securing a closing date during Thanksgiving week may be something approaching miraculous.
Additional Delays for Short Sales and Foreclosures
Buyers who make an offer on a short sale property or bank-owned foreclosure may find that it takes a significantly longer time to receive a reply than expected. Overall, buying these types of properties is a longer process than buying homes listed on the market by individual owners.
Let’s get started today, call us and let us help you through the home buying process!
While the economy continues to show signs of improvement and many housing markets are beginning to heat up, scores of would-be buyers are still waiting on the sidelines for further positive housing trends. But for first-time buyers, time is running short on the federal government's $8,000 tax credit.
Though the official expiration date of the credit is December 1, in reality on-the-fence buyers will need to make a decision one way or the other fairly soon. The reason: in order to qualify for the credit, the home purchase must close by December 1st. Merely having loan approval, an accepted offer or a signed contract won't be enough to qualify for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act.
Decision-Making Timeline - While each transaction is unique, closing a real estate deal is no speedy matter. On average, closing takes place 45 to 60 days after the date that the contract is signed. In order to meet the December 1st deadline, this would mean having a signing date in late September or early October. Those who consider the tax credit an important incentive but are still unsure about entering the market will need to make a decision one way or another before many more summer days pass.
To have any chance at finding a home and having an offer accepted by early October, buyers will want to wade into the home buying process right away. The immediate steps include making a final list of desired home attributes, scouting favorite neighborhoods and areas, starting the mortgage pre-approval process and beginning the home search process online.
You often here the saying, “what’s old will be new again” – and that is true in today’s real estate market. Yes there has been a shake up and things have changed but there are still buyers and sellers and people living in the homes of their dreams. And as is true most often when things are “shook up” or changing, that going back to fundamentals is the best track back to “normal”
Below are time-honored home buying essentials that apply now more than ever:
Save Up to Pay Down
The tradition of the down-payment is almost as old as real-estate itself, yet home loans with no money or very little money down became increasingly popular during the start of the decade. Changes in the credit market have made such arrangements all but nonexistent today, and in many cases buyers won't be considered for a loan without at least a 10% down payment waiting in the wings.
In reality, buyers who invest at least a 15% to 20% down payment will be rewarded as markets re-stabilize. A larger down payment provides the buyer with a lower interest rate, lower payments, higher equity and a stronger negotiating position when it comes to refinancing.
Lenders will employ a variety of different metrics to determine how large of a loan and monthly payment you qualify for, but ultimately you must determine a realistic monthly budget. Qualifying for a home doesn't necessarily mean that you can truly afford the payments in the real world. Start the home buying process off right by determining exactly what kind of mortgage payment you can afford, leaving yourself enough buffer to deal with life's little surprises.
Focus on Your Market
It's easy to be distracted by national housing headlines, but real estate has always been centered on very specific local market conditions. What is true in one area is not the case in another, sometimes down to the street level. Rather than paying too much attention to trends in distant cities and markets, keep your eyes squarely on the dynamics close to home, and work with your local real estate expert.
Call me and let’s talk about these fundamentals and how my experience and knowledge can help you!
Parker/Murphy is the smallest area we review each month. This is reflected in the number of homes sold, but the overall market in this area is robust!
For Parker/Murphy in January – Sold Properties:
19 homes sold
Average List Price $245,406
Average Sold Price $234,900
Average Price Per Sq Ft $77
Average Days on Market 91
February – Sold Properties
24 homes sold
Average List Price $286,090
Average Sold Price $270,959
Average Price Per Sq Ft $84
Average Days on Market 75
These numbers reflect the supply and demand in Parker & Murphy is in the sellers favor! Fewer days on the market and more money in your pocket from January to February. Yes, we believe this trend will continue as we head into our “spring selling season” – call us and put our experience to work for you!