Outstanding and immaculate home on a large corner lot in the highly sought after and amenity rich community of Bandera, in Lantana. Gourmet kitchen! Generous sized rooms! Split bedroom floor plan for privacy and quiet. Something for everyone, you are going to love this one!
Home prices across the country are steadily increasing. A recent report for nationwide housing indicates that prices jumped 12.4% in July over a year ago and that is the biggest jump in 7.5 years.
As we have all heard the low supply is contributing to the value increase. The real estate market took big hits during the poor economy period and as many said "it will come back" and it is, which is good news for everyone. There are of course indications that the "peak" has been reached or is close to being reached. Many reports show that the overall gains are slowing when we compare month over month, and many experts say a slower pace will be better in the long run.
Mortgage rates have increased which is another factor when buyers are considering how much and when to purchase. Many markets experience a "seasonal" increase or decrease in purchasing so that will also factor into the next several months reports.
Home builders continue to report an increase in permits pulled, this will help the inventory and could spur another surge in homes sold in the next 3-6 months as these homes are completed.
We all know that the market stats can vary from state to state, from city to city and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Our local market is strong and showing steady activity.
If you want to know the value of your home, contact us and we can provide you with the details.
As we head into the “dog days of summer” it is a good time to talk about how the temperature of your home can help – or hurt – can influence prospective buyers. The heat in your home can be a selling factor. No one want to move into a house that is too warm or too cold, so keeping your home at an even temperature is a trick especially when prospective buyers can show up at any time to see your home.
Climate control has many elements - temperature, humidity, and light all play important roles. Here in Texas keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is very important. As we show homes to prospective buyers it is very common for them to comment more on the room temperature of a home almost before they notice the size of rooms – this is especially true when we are experiencing one of “hot Texas” days.
We stress making your home welcoming and comfortable to the prospective buyers, so it should start with having your home at a comfortable temperature. Be sure your air conditioning is set at a cool temperature – yes it may cost you a little more on your utility bills while your home is on the market but it will go a long way in helping you achieve your goal of selling your home. Many home buyers in warm climates, like ours here in Texas, list central air conditioning as one of the top “must haves”. Additionally since these units are such an important feature you may want to spend a little extra money to have your unit serviced so you are sure it is in top working order before listing your home.
Another nice feature to help cool your home is ceiling fans. Ceiling fans come in many sizes and styles and they can add a unique decorator feature to a room as well as being functional. In addition to providing a cooling breeze, they can move heated air to lower heights in the winter months when high ceilings work against keeping warm. Ceiling fans can be installed outside under a covered porch, or inside, providing a practical and cost effective way of affecting a home's comfort by circulating the air.
Blinds, shutters, awnings and drapes are all other nice decorator options for keeping your home cool. During showings you will want to be sure to leave the window coverings open so your home is light and bright, however outdoor awnings can help keep rooms cool while letting the sunshine in too.
Your ultimate goal is to provide the impression that your home is the perfect place to beat the summer heat.
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.
I am a spacious home located on a large corner lot with an in-ground diving pool! I am a ranch style home offering one level living with beautiful updates that include granite counter-tops, double ovens, a fireplace and of course a private master bath. I am immaculate and move-in ready! It is a great time for you to come see me for yourself and let's begin making life-long memories together!
The national housing report indicates that home prices and sales of home are on the rise, there also appears to be an improvement in the inventory level. For the first time since June 2010 the number of homes for sale in April 2013 increased over the number of homes for sale in March 2013 - the increase 1.6%. At the same time, Closed Transactions and Median Prices both remained 10% higher than last year's levels. Additional encouraging news is the Days On Market - the national average is 77 days - that is a decrease of 8 days over the average in March 2013.
As we begin the spring season we realize many people will be moving in the next couple of months.It doesn’t matter if you are moving next door, across town or across the country, moving can be challenging but with some advance thought you can have a smooth move.
Over the course of several upcoming articles we are going to cover the 5 P’s of moving.We hope you will find each P helpful, by all means let us know if we missed anything, we always enjoy hearing from you!
First step for a smooth move – PLANNING & PREPARING
This is the stage where you assess the time you have to get ready, what you are bringing with you, how it is getting to the new location, what help you might need, and the budget required.
When hiring a professional moving company, get recommendations, check their records with the Better Business Bureau to see any complaints, and only use moving companies that are licensed, bonded and insured. Get more than one estimate, and find out if those estimates are binding or non-binding. Be sure that everything you want to move is included in the estimate, or you might have some expensive additions to your bill. Get these estimates in writing, never over the phone.
Having contracts out on the counter when you bring companies in to make estimates will show them that they have competition and may enable you to negotiate a better deal. When you do accept an estimate, read the contract very carefully and ask questions before you sign it. Moving scams are fairly common. Keep the contract easily accessible for quick reference. Remember: the movers will have your belongings and will expect payment according to the terms of this contract. The last thing you want is to have your possessions held hostage because there is a dispute about extra costs.
Professional movers charge by weight, distance of the move, and other services. Additionally, if the truck cannot park close to your new home, extra expense may be incurred if movers have to walk items long distances. Check to ensure that you can move in on the delivery date, as most companies charge storage fees if the truck cannot be unloaded on schedule.
Pets, Plants, and Potentially Hazardous Possessions
Pets and plants require special attention. A cross-country or international move may be game-changing. If you are intending to take plants or pets on a long distance move, you need to begin getting the details in order. Are their restrictions about bringing live animals or plants where you are going? How will you transport and care for living creatures or plants in transit? Temperature, water and care issues will need to be addressed.
If you intend to move exercise equipment, machinery or lawn tools, you will need to drain oil and fuel from them, and disconnect batteries. Many companies will not move batteries, and so they will need to be safely discarded. Additionally, there are numerous hazardous materials that cannot be transported by these companies. Anything corrosive, flammable or explosive is not allowed for safety reasons. The following items should not be among your belongings that are transported by professional movers: acid, aerosol, batteries, lamp oil, car oil, charcoal, gasoline, matches, fertilizer, weed killer, cleaning fluids, ammunition, bleach, nail polish and remover, chemistry sets, kerosene, fireworks, poisons, propane tanks, or loaded weapons.
Preparing the Places: Cleaning and Painting
How you leave a home speaks volumes about who you are - leaving a clean home for the new residents is good manners - and one that you will appreciate when you enter your new home, too. Plan on either cleaning your old home, empty as it is, before you leave, or consider hiring a cleaning crew to come in and clean before you hand over the keys.
When you arrive in your new home, you might want to do some basic cleaning if the space is not up to your standards. Painting prior to unpacking is also a good idea - after all, it is so much easier with your possessions out of the way. If you are able to pick out colors and paint prior to any items entering your new space, you will be rewarded further. While you are at it, shampooing carpets before moving in the furniture and boxes can be a fantastic idea. However, be aware that moving in with wet paint on the walls can be a hazard to your new paint job, your belongings, and to your movers' clothes. Damp carpets can collect footprints and damage boxes placed upon them. Allow time for the paint and carpets to dry, and mark areas that might need special attention.
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.
A spacious home with good bones is awaiting some work so it can shine! Great opportunity to customize this home for your living needs, bring your plans and desire to create a home! Ideally located near Lake Ray Hubbard. Well worth your time to see it for yourself.
Selling your home is a big decision and the emotions that come with that decision can be overwhelming and often times can surprise home sellers. We want to offer some hints and tips about the process of selling your home, remember we are here to help you!
Make the Most of that First Impression
When selling your home in Texas, a well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the more appealing your home will be when prospective buyers drive up. Also remember to have the temperature in the home at a good seasonal level - if the home is too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter buyers will leave quickly. Make the inside as appealing at the outside promised! Helping you Sell your home is our goal,
Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look "with a little work."
Check Faucets and Bulbs Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.
Don't Shut Out a Sale If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily sand them away.
Make Room for Space
When selling your home remember that potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They want room to store their belongings, make your closets and storage spaces look spacious by cleaning them out and orginizing what must stay put.
Make Your Bathroom Sparkle Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains.
Create Dream Bedrooms Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture.
Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
Lighten up at Night Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights-both inside and outside-when showing are scheduled. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
As might be expected in a challenging economy in which large numbers of boomers are downsizing or buying second homes, the era of the McMansion has passed. Homebuyers have readjusted their priorities for how to design and use living space, with a focus on function over extravagance. A recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey highlights the following shifts:
·As more people work out of their home or telecommute, homeowners desire a dedicated workspace.
·An expanded outdoor living area featuring furniture, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and so on increases functional living space.
·Mud rooms offer an informal transition area between the outdoors and indoors and also provide additional storage.
·Homebuyers continue to seek energy-saving features, including double- or triple-glazed windows and tankless water heaters.
Paul Taylor Homes is a premier local builder, with more than 30 years of upstanding reputation. They understand families have a choice when buying a new home; they are leaders in customer service and adapting to new trends and designs.
Just look at this stunning Paul Taylor Home in Southridge Estates, sitting on a acre with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3 car garage. This home offers ample living space – something for everyone! Ideal for entertaining indoors or out!
Contact us today and we will be happy to provide a private showing!
With today's fast and hurried pace, we need a greater sense of community within our neighborhoods. That can be easy to achieve during the summer, when people are sitting on their porches or the kids are playing in the yard. But how do you maintain that sense of community during the winter, when people are hunkered inside by their fireplace, avoiding the cold? Well, lucky for us here in the great state of Texas even in winter we have great outdoor weather most of the time.
How about throwing a block party, plan for an outdoor one but with a strong back up plan for being indoors if it is a cold day. You're sure to make new friends among your neighbors; make the planning a family affair - your children may find new friends they didn't know lived so close. Plus, if you get your kids involved in the planning, you will give them a great chance to flex their managerial muscle and show you what they've got. Not only will they be proud of their achievement, they'll also learn from the experience.
When planning your party, think of activities that will get people talking. After all, this is the time to bring people together and create new bonds within the neighborhood. One idea that's simple to do is to have everyone who attends wear a name tag that lists not only their name, but which street they live on and the city where they were born. People move so frequently today that very few live where they were born. This simple exercise can provide revelers with some great conversation starters.
In addition, some great activities to keep kids occupied and entertained can include limbo dancing, piñata smashing, games on the Wii, or a popcorn machine. For big and little kids alike, a clown or face painter could keep smiling faces on all.
Of course, one of the focal points of any party is food. An easy way to de-stress and make this process easier is to delegate out the main course and sides - do it potluck style and have everyone bring copies of their recipe (another great way to get to know each other and break the ice). You can also appoint one of the residents to compile the recipes, put them into one small booklet or on a computer CD with copies to everyone that participated.
Key points to remember:
·Get notices out early! Two weeks is good.
·Ask for RSVPs.
·Have a sign-in list for people when they check in. Also have a sign-up list for other activities you may want to do later. This could include working on future parties or mom's groups.
·Get your name tags ready, and have them at the check-in table.
·When you're looking for your clown or face painter, check to see if they can hook you up with a great bounce house company that offers a popcorn machine.
·Don't forget your camera to capture all the fun!
After the party, you can keep people involved and looking forward to future parties by taking some of the best pictures and placing them into a small newsletter to send to everyone in the neighborhood. In the newsletter, don't forget to thank all who contributed and sponsored the event.
WOW!Nearly new home in much sought after new community, Bluffview!Spacious, clean and open floor plan, this home is ideal for family living and entertaining.Large kitchen and spacious bedrooms.Main floor master with luxurious private bath.Location is ideal for easy commute, near highways and DART rail station.
Immaculate, well cared for, updated and many upgrades are just a few of the features of this wonderful townhome.Located near shopping, restaurants, and easy commute options.The seller is very motivated and you will not be disappointed when you see it for yourself!
Keith & I are very excited to announce that we are moving into a new building and office with Re/Max Town & Country.
The office location is 301 S. Watters Road #100, Allen, Tx 75013. We are the central location for Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Parker, Fairview, Lucas, Murphy, and Wylie. We are very close to the new Watters Creek Shopping and Restaurants.The easy access to Central Expressway at Bethany or McDermott makes it very convenient for our clients as well as our personal commute.
It is a beautiful 1 story stand alone building of red brick with white limestone accents. Our office is next door to the Mortgage Company (in house Supreme Lending). We also have a Title Company which occupies the South end of the building which is Lawyers Title. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and there is plenty of parking. In the evenings the outdoor lighting highlights the beautiful wrought iron double doors and the RE/MAX title.
Our new training room is awesome with new state of the art video equipment for classes and office meetings. The decor is Old World with beautiful granite counters at the reception desk, and in the kitchen, bathrooms. The kitchen boasts an outdoor patio which backs up to a creek.
The broker/owners Michael and Debra Coburn have been named the best Brokers for RE/MAX 2009!When you stop in be sure to see the bench and photo the agents presented them in recognition for this accomplishment and to thank them for the wonderful new building.
All offices are private and carpeted with a cheerful yellowish paint and very efficient and “green” automatic lights; Keith and I have one of the few outside offices with a window.We would love for you to stop and let us show you around – give us a call first so we are sure to be there for the grand tour!
If you are having a holiday party or if your home is for sale and your agent is holding an open house here are some quick and easy tips to make those entering your home feel at home:
·Define the space.Party guests want to congregate in the space you have designed for entertaining – remove toys and exercise equipment and clutter so they can comfortably mingle.Confusion on a set confuses the audience, so make the purpose of each room clear.
·Unblock the sight lines.Actors need clear paths to maneuver, and so do home buyers and party attendees.Make it easy to walk from room to room; be sure you can see out the windows, especially if there is a view; create an open space for seeing the entire group or hearing the music.
·Highlight the focal points.For parties that will be the food table and bar area.For home buyers the focal points will be the view, the fireplace, the open floor plan, the large kitchen.Remember reds and yellows are “advancing” colors and blues and greens are “receding” colors. If you have elegant granite countertops place a bowl of red apples or peppers on top to draw attention to them (and remove all clutter).Beautiful fireplace or a dreary corner, add a yellow flowering plant!
·Noise distracts!For your parties very soft and subtle music is the perfect background noise, too loud and people can’t carry on a conversation.The same is true for selling your home, add some soft music to set the mood but not distract.
·Smells – at this time of the year there are so many wonderful smells, but be sure they aren’t overwhelming for your parties or your open house!
As the cooler weather moves in many people will turn to a space heater to take the chill off and to help reduce their heating costs.But wait! Not all space heaters are really the savings many believe them to be.If your heat is gas, then yes you will use less “heat expense” but the electricity it takes to run a space heater will cause a spike in your electric bill.
If your space heater is a 1500 watt electric heater here is what it will add to your monthly electric bill:
Sometimes we want to change things up a little – whether you are selling or not – just a small change can make your home feel “new” and fresh.Sometimes moving the furniture around helps, sometimes it needs to be something a little more visible and permanent.The best change is one that doesn’t cost much and yet gives you a new feeling, so here are a few ideas for you to consider.
Improving your home's outer appearance will improve both the value and charm of your home. Re-painting the front door and trim will give the front of the house the feel of a newer home.Maybe your front door and entry way doesn’t need fresh paint but a good wash would do the trick.Clean out the cobwebs, dust and leaves that can gather when you are looking.A little minor landscaping work (trimming shrubs, cutting the lawn, replacing sod) over a long weekend can dramatically change your home's look. Add some potted flowers on the front steps or entryway. Consider investing in new doorknobs, house numbers and a mailbox as well.
If you have older lighting fixtures that date the look of your home, consider replacing them with new, more appealing hardware. While you can certainly spend a lot of money on high-end fixtures, cheaper alternatives are available in a number of styles. Brushed nickel and stainless steel fixtures are especially possible. If replacing all of the fixtures in your house isn't realistic from a financial standpoint, selectively change out fixtures in key areas such as bathrooms, bedrooms and exterior lighting.
You don't have to re-paint the exterior of your home to achieve a facelift. Washing the exterior siding will breathe new life into the house's appearance. Pressure washing sidewalks and driveways will clear away years of dirt, grime and dust. Avoid the temptation to use a pressure washer on the home itself, as it can easily peel off exterior paint.
Re-Caulk Plumbing Fixtures
Discolored, torn or crumbling caulking around plumbing fixtures can make your home look old and out of repair. By stripping out old caulking and replacing it with a fresh bead of silicon, your bathrooms and kitchen will look subtly revitalized. You can now purchase caulking in a variety of grades and colors, allowing you to match your décor.
Another way to spruce up a room, the look and feel of your home is to change out the door knobs.Again this can be a costly or inexpensive option, but you can change the hardware with just a different color (brass or brush nickel) and do a few doors at a time and see what a change it makes.
Enjoy a lifestyle of elegance and privacy in this stunning move-in ready home! Spacious and open floor plan with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths and a sparkling pool and spa!This home has just experienced a price reduction – it is priced to sell!Hurry and you can be celebrating the holidays in your new home!
Located in Plano’s Stoney Hollow community, this home will exceed your expectations!The seller says, bring an offer!!!
This wonderful townhome in Carrollton has a new price and you can enjoy a life of luxury and convenience here!Ideally located!Two spacious bedrooms!Well equipped and spacious kitchen.Dining room!Living area offers a cozy fireplace.You will not be disappointed!
A wonderful spacious and elegant home in Plano that boasts a sparkling pool and spa has just experienced a price reduction!A great home that is ready for new owners – be sure to put it on your MUST SEE list!
Today we continue our discussion on the differences and similarities when purchasing a new construction home.If you missed the first part of this report, you can find it here.
Be Cautious with Upgrades and Extras
5 Home Features That Excite Buyers
1. Stainless Steel Appliances:
Many buyers like the sleek, powerful appearance of stainless steel kitchen appliances. Part of the attraction may be that a home kitchen with stainless steel appliances suggests the professionalism of a commercial kitchen. The modern look of the appliances themselves can be incorporated into almost any kitchen design (from modern interiors to more traditional styles). A stainless steel finish is not for everyone, however, so keep in mind that the appeal of these contemporary gadgets will not be universal.Another thing to remember is that it may be more financially beneficial to “take” the standard appliances and then upgrade to stainless steel at a later time.
2. Hardwood Floors:
Hardwood floors are sought after by home buyers across all property types and architectural styles. Hardwood flooring has a timeless style and is more durable than other types of flooring. Synthetic wood floors are an option for owners who can't afford hardwood - just know that most potential buyers will know the difference right away, if you are considering your “resale” future.Again, it may be wiser to upgrade to hardwoods at a later time, financing the upgrade cost of hardwoods from the builder may not be the best use of your funds.
3. Quality Fixtures:
Upgrading the smallest details can often go a long ways to improving your home's appeal to buyers. Replacing outdated or lower-quality doorknobs, faucets, light switch/outlet covers, and drawer pulls can be a relatively inexpensive way to make over a bathroom or kitchen. You can also greatly enhance your home's appeal by updating lighting fixtures throughout your house, but keep in mind that higher-end lighting fixtures can get expensive fast. Whenever replacing fixtures, make sure the replacements coordinate with both any remaining fixtures and the interior aesthetic of your home.
4. Surround Sound:
The popularity of larger flat panel and projection screen televisions in recent years has in turn generated greater interest in advanced home audio that compliments near cinema-quality picture. Building a surround sound system into your living/media room can entice potential buyers who may be excited by the idea of a new dimension of home entertainment but disinclined to go through the process of installation and setup. This is one of those items that might be worth the extra expense from the builder, since the wires can be “hidden” inside the walls much easier during construction than later added in.
5. Slab Kitchen Countertops:
Granite countertops get a lot of attention as a must-have finish for any contemporarily designed kitchen, but in reality a number of other slab materials can be used to achieve a similar look at a lower cost. One of the major selling points of granite countertops is how easy they are to care for: the hard, nonporous surface is much easier to clean than a tile counter top with grout lines. Solid Synthetic surfaces (such as Corian), composite (Silestone), limestone, soapstone, marble, quartz and butcher-block slab counters all come with easy care and a more attractive appearance than laminate or tile countertops.
Upgrades to the home itself are features (such as hardwood flooring or high end appliances) that you pay extra for to improve the home based on your tastes. Builders can make a lot of money on upgrades, because they get the parts and labor at favorable rates and generally tack on a large markup.
Make sure you know the base feature list of the model you are purchasing by heart. When the builder offers upgrades, make sure you understand exactly what is being offered by asking questions and taking notes.
Do your own research to compare the cost of the feature plus installation as offered by the builder with what it would cost to have the work done independently after move in. If the builder's version is far and away more expensive, bidding the work out to independent contractors after you move in is probably the smart move. If the costs are similar, however, it may be less stress to have the work completed by the builder in advance.
Hire an Independent Home Inspector
Many people who purchase new construction fall into the trap of thinking that because the home is newly built, the important step of getting a detailed home inspection is unnecessary. Simply put, new construction does not guarantee sound construction, and skipping a professional inspection can leave you open to future problems that might crop op as a result of building flaws or cut corners. Even homes built by the most scrupulous contractors can have defects that are not obvious to the untrained eye.
Many builders will proved an all-inclusive home warranty as a part of the purchase agreement. This should not dissuade you from getting an impartial inspection: most warranties have a limited lifespan, and many original issues with home construction may not become apparent until many years later.
Shop for Lenders
Builders almost always have a preferred lender (sometimes even an in-house mortgage company), and will typically try to steer you to using this lender to secure the mortgage for your new home. Some builders will even offer deals on the purchase price of the home or free upgraded - contingent upon you using their lender.
Using the builder's lender, especially without first shopping around for mortgages and other sources, is highly problematic. A mortgage provider who has a working relationship with a builder or development is out to make sure they can get you into a loan for the property. What they aren't necessarily doing is making sure you get the best deal. Always shop around for the best possible rate, lowest closing cost and fewest hassles.
Overall, it is still very important to have a professional real estate agent representing you throughout the new home purchase process.
Buying a brand new a shiny, never-before-lived in home has a certain amount of appeal. There is no previous homeowner who has affected the home or who has emotional ties to the home that will factor into the negotiation process. New homes are usually built with floor plans that reflect the latest, most popular design trends.And sometimes you can watch it “grow” up out of the ground, and pick some of the colors and options, making it even more yours.
In many ways, buying new construction is an entirely different animal than buying an existing home. While you still need to determine your budget, decide which home features are must-have and secure financing; the process of buying new construction involves a number of different steps.
Buyers often times think that they don’t need their own agent to represent them.The builder sales people are paid by the builder and therefore they will represent the builder’s best interests and not yours.In addition, buying a home isn’t something we do often so we don’t know the process well enough to get ourselves the best deal, so be sure to take your real estate agent with you as you negotiate and review the contract.
A buyer's agent will act as your fiduciary and provide unbiased information on the pros and cons of any potential transaction. If you find developments that you are interested in learning more about, channel everything through your own independent representation. Protecting your own welfare is paramount.
Learn About the Development(s)
Buying a home in a planned development necessitates careful research of the development and neighborhood itself - more effort than you might otherwise put into learning about an existing neighborhood surrounding a resale.
Drive around the neighborhood to get the lay of the land. Are street grids easy to learn, or confusing. What community amenities are in the development?Are homes built on top of each other or is there some breathing space between homes?How often is a model repeated on each street?
Inquire with the city or county planner's office to learn about what is in store for the area around the development(s) you are interested in. The neighboring open space – it is planned for a shopping mall? A school? Left as open space? A rail station?
Research the bylaws and rules of the homeowners association, if one exits. Some subdivisions have HOA's with strict rules and regulations restricting things such as exterior paint colors, outdoor sheds, landscaping and vegetable gardens. Violating these guidelines can result in expensive penalties, while living by them may be too stifling for some.
Research the Builder(s)
Accurately and fairly reviewing a builder's history is a crucial step if you're considering the purchase of a newly built home. Don't rely on information provided by representatives of the builder or subdivision, as it will be their goal to represent the builder in the best possible light.
Go to the courthouse to see if any liens or lawsuits have been filed against the builder, and verify how they were resolved. Check with the Better Business Bureau for any serious complaints against the builder registered by past homeowners or subcontractors. If at all possible, contact homeowners currently living in homes previously constructed by the same builder to see how they feel about the quality of craftsmanship after having actually lived in the home. And of course ask your real estate agent – and experienced agent will have a good understanding of which builders have a good reputation locally, and which do not.
Next we will discuss upgrades, lenders and inspections of a new construction home.
We have been discussing motivated buyers and ways to be an informed motivated buyer, as well as ways to help with your limited time frame.
Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Every buyer should talk to a lender before looking at homes, and especially highly motivated buyers!You should make sure that you have your financing steps in process before plunging headfirst into the house hunting stage. Obtaining loan pre-approval gives you the flexibility to make a qualified offer as soon as you find a home in which you're interested. While you can fine tune you home loan and options once you have found your desired home, most buyers won’t seriously consider an offer if you don’t have a pre-approval letter in-hand.In fast moving markets, waiting a day or two for pre-approval can put you at risk of losing the home to (or entering a bidding war with) a more qualified buyer.
The pre-approval process involves the lender verifying your income, assets, debts, and credit history before issuing you a letter stating that you are approved for a mortgage up to a specific amount within a certain timeframe. Remember that pre-qualification and pre-approval are not synonymous. Pre-qualification can serve as a good indication to sellers of your overall creditworthiness, but is nonbinding to the lender.
Find a Motivated Seller
Our last suggestion is to keep your eyes open for motivated sellers – if they have a “quick” timeframe as you do everyone will work together to achieve the timeline.Some indications that a seller is motivated:
·Consistent price reductions
·Priced below market
·Vacant home – they have already moved and it will be easier for you to move in after closing.
·Homes with large number of days on market – they may be more willing to negotiate and move quickly
We have experience with motivated sellers and buyers in addition to having years of experience and a strong list of business partners that can help you with all aspects of your real estate transaction!Call us today and let us help you!
In our last post we discussed what creates a motivated buyer and a few ideas to help you be prepared if you are motivated buyer, today we want to continue that theme.
Our last suggestion was about viewing homes virtually or online before to help you create your wants and needs list.
There is no substitute to viewing homes in person and exploring the neighborhoods at different times of the day, but as we all know there are only so many hours in the day!And if you are on a short time frame you want to make the most of your time.
One of the best ways to research homes online is to create and save a search that fits your personal criteria.We offer this service here and it emails the homes that match your criteria directly to you! No more re-visiting sites again and again to see if there are new listings or price reductions in the homes and/or areas you are considering.This service helps us as well as you before we hit the streets!You can save homes that appeal to you, which makes it easier to tell us which ones you want to view in person, as well as making it easier to share the homes with your family.Many of the homes offer virtual tours, multiple photos and often time you can use Google maps to see a “real” view of the neighborhood.
We strongly recommend using this time saving and effective tool to accommodate your short time frame!Just think you can view homes from the comfort of your easy chair at midnight and not disturb the current home owner!
Call us and let us create a personalized search criteria for you!
We hear a lot about motivated sellers but often times the needs of motivated buyers are overlooked.Buyers can have a variety of reasons for buying and a time line that is just as important as a seller time frame.So over the next couple of posts we will look at how to best prepare if you are a motivated buyer.
Reasons buyers are motivated vary as much as the type of homes on the market.A few of the reasons that motivate buyers to be in the market are:
·A job change
·Wanting to move to a better school district before their kids start school
·Family is growing – moving up
·Family is shrinking – downsizing
Planning can make a big difference when you are a motivated buyer!
Create your list of Priority Features
Every homebuyer has a list (on paper or in their mind) of what they must have, would like to have, and of course those items that are “deal breakers”.The key is to having the list organized and thought out BEFORE looking at homes.
There are the basics:
·Number of bedrooms; bathrooms; and garage spaces
·Area of town
After you have those items decided you can begin to think of the more “fun” items.If your time frame is short then it is vital that you know the most core requirements that are absolutely vital.Adaptability and planning is the name of the game if you don’t have the luxury of time.
With time on your side you can view homes and create that list as you go along, but if you only have a few days in a market to make a decision then you must be prepared from the start. One of the easiest ways to become familiar with what is “out there” is to go on line and virtually view some homes and make notes of what you like and what you don’ t like.Share your list with your Real Estate Professional – they know the market and are familiar with homes in different neighborhoods that may or may not match your criteria.Trust them to weed out the ones that do not match your criteria.
Reechia & Keith have been helping home buyers find their next Texas home for more than 13 years, they know the market, the floor plans, the features and the benefits of the neighborhoods and you will be glad you put their experience to work for you!They understand motivated buyers and can help you find your home and get you through the process!
One of the most common and costly mistakes made by sellers is setting an unrealistically high asking price. Every seller wants to receive the highest closing price possible for their house, but losing sight of fair market value can have serious repercussions.
In some cases a lack of objectivity results in overpricing the home, other sellers may subscribe to the theory that pricing high initially leaves room to negotiate lower later. Overpricing from the outset could actually force you to end up settling for a lower price than you would have received by setting a realistic asking price based on market research.
Common Results of Overpricing
Fewer "Eyes" on Your Listing - Mispricing your home can prevent it from ever being seen by a certain percentage of potential buyers who might otherwise be interested in your home. Home buyers will set a price range to limit the listings they review. If your home is outside of their range even by a few thousand dollars, it may not be on the buyer's radar.
Fewer Eyes mean less showings, which means a longer time on the market!
You may also be helping your competition if you price your home to high!Buyers will review the list prices of homes in the neighborhood, and if your home is priced higher than others they will opt to see the other homes first!Your higher price will make your competition look like “a steal”.Remember sellers want the most money for their home and buyers want the most home for the least amount of money!
Another factor is that when you start at a higher price and then continue to lower your price to “catch the market” the perception is that something is “wrong” with your home and savvy agents and buyers will choose not to even look at it.The longer you are on the market the strong this perception becomes.Also, if your home has languished on the market as a result of a high price, buyers may believe you are becoming desperate. Interested buyers will make lower offers as a result.
The best way to avoid the “overpricing” syndrome is first to hire a knowledgeable, full time, experienced real estate agent!Remain objective, compare your home to others in your neighborhood, be sure they are similar floor plan and options.Visit open houses and look at those homes as if you were planning to buy and then return to your home and compare what you liked with the other homes and what you see in your home.
Discuss with your agent you goals – is it to sell quickly or receiving the highest possible selling price.Does the price you have in mind match your goals and your agent’s advice?
It is a good idea to revisit your price point status within your market on a regular basis.Your agent can assist you with this by providing recent sold home stats as well as what is new on the market.Remember, remain objective as you review these stats.
Helping you find (or sell) your home is our goal,
Getting your through the process is our expertise!