Tag Archives: buying a home

Holiday Time, a Good Time or Bad Time to Sell Your Home?

In most cases, you would think that the holiday time is a bad time to sell a home. “Sixty percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because it’s a good time to sell, according to a new survey conducted by Realtor.com.” – Daily Real Estate News, December 5, 2011.

According to Daily Real Estate News, Almost 80 percent of agents who were survey said that buyer who are out during the holidays are more serious. Over 60 percent of agents said that because there are less homes on the market that there is not as much competition for the seller since less homes are generally for sale during that time.  Interestingly enough, almost 20 percent of agents said that the homes felt more cozy due to the cold weather.

During the winter season photographs the the property are even more important for the sale of the home according to the interview by Realtor.com. Sellers don’t tend to offer open houses as much during the holidays, therefore relying more on the photos and videos. This also helps the buyer bypass listings that do don’t interest them.

Helpful Tip: Find an agent that takes good photographs. I am a photographer on the side and I have had many people remark on the photos and how the photos got them to look at the property.

Photo Copyright 2006 Amy S Myers

February Stats: Home Sales on the Rise

Spring has truly spring and early that is for the real estate market. Buyers are out. Our office is very busy with showings. I was excited to hear that some recent statistics are supporting the activity.

Here is what I heard from Realtor.org:

“Home Buyer Tax Credit Increases Activity

NAR President Charles McMillan says home shopping activity has picked up with housing affordability at a record high.

The number of buyers looking for homes rose 5 percent in February, and also was 5 percent above a year ago,” he says. “It appears most of the increase in buyer traffic occurred in the latter part of the month after the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit was put in place. At the same time, mortgage purchase applications have risen, so we expect to see sales picking up around late spring.

McMillan notes that more potential buyers are learning about the tax credit, just as the traditional spring home-buying season begins.

Single-family home sales: rose 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.23 million in February from a level of 4.05 million in January . . .

Existing-home sales— including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units in February from a pace of 4.49 million units in January. ”

Spring Lawn tip: Don’t forget to get your crab grass preventer down on your lawn if you are doing it yourself. You need to stop the crab grass before it gets growing and there is not much time left. You can usually find this on sale at your local garden center. I usually buy a four step plan (to cover 15,000 sq feet) for about $100 after the rebate. If I paid for professional lawn care for the season, it would cost me almost $500 for the plan. So households doing it themselves can save a good bit.

Great Ideas for Making a Home More Inviting

Did you know that buyers are motivated buy a home based on emotion? So the important thing for a seller to do is to do their best in making it feel that way. I have heard in the past from contractors that bathrooms and kitchens are key points that make people want to buy a specific home. The kitchen in my home was a big deciding point on why I bought mine. I even sacrificed some other features because it was such great room and was great for having friends over. It is connected to my family room and is very open. Below are some great ideas from a design firm that specializes in furnishing new homes.

“Model homes are important tools for builders because they help buyers fall in love with a home.

Phyllis Ryan, president of the model-home division of Interior Concepts, a Maryland design firm that specializes in furnishing new homes, has some tips that might benefit anyone who is selling a home.

* A stylish kitchen appeals to many buyers. If a sellers has upgraded cabinets and granite countertops, that’s good. If they don’t, it may help to display some stylish touches like an espresso machine, a retro toaster or just some luscious fruit.

* Lots of light makes spaces feel larger. Turn on all the lights even during the day and add a few extra lights if necessary.

* The master bedroom should seduce a buyer. Play soft jazz, pile the bed high with a cushy comforter and pillows. Stack plush towels in the bathroom.

* Add drama to a bottleneck or a dead end space. Prop an oversize mirror against the wall. It visually ops a space and adds drama.”

Quoted from REALTOR Magazine online

Reasons to Own A Home

There are a lot of great reasons to own a home – such as tax incentives, investment reasons, building worth, having a stable monthly payment (if your interest rate is fixed). You can remodel and decorate how you choose and be a long term part of a neighborhood community. Best of all you have something in the end, of course, that you would not if you rent.

So if you are debating whether to buy, as a first time home buyer, below you will see some great reasons and details from Realtor Magazine from the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) . Again don’t forget about this year’s First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

“1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.

2. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.

3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.

4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.

6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.

7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Online resources: To calculate whether buying is the best financial option for you, use the “Buy vs. Rent” calculator at www.GinnieMae.gov.”

Quoted from Realtor Magazine