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Category Archives: General Info for Everyone

THE 50 SHADES OF GRAY FOR A HOME’S EXTERIOR

“You can make all the excuses you want, but if you are not mentally tough, and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win. “ ~ Larry Bird

 

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HOME OWNERSHIP RATES: ARE THEY CRASHING?

“You can make all the excuses you want, but if you are not mentally tough, and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win. “ ~ Larry Bird

 

Homeownership Rates: Are They Crashing? | Keeping Current Matters

The Census recently released their 2014 Home ownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of home ownership.

Easy… Chicken Little

The national homeownership rate peaked in 2004, representing a 69.2% of Americans who bought vs. rented their primary residence. Many have noticed a decline in rates since then and taken that as a bad sign.

However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to the historic norm. 2014 ended the year with a rate of 64% just under the rate in 1985 and 1995.

Homeownership Rates Historically | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, evaluate your ability to purchase a home with a local real estate professional.

FIELDING A LOW BALL OFFER ON YOUR HOME

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

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Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counter offer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

You just received a purchase offer from someone who wants to buy your home. You’re excited and relieved, until you realize the purchase offer is much lower than your asking price. How should you respond? Set aside your emotions, focus on the facts, and prepare a counter offer that keeps the buyers involved in the deal.

Check your emotions.

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counter offer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer.

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counter offer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counter offer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms.

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.
Review your comps.

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps.

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counter-offer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together.

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counter-offer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation.

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.

By: Marcie Geffner

Marcie Geffner is a freelance reporter who has been writing about real estate, home ownership and mortgages for 20 years. She owns a ranch-style house built in 1941 and updated in the 1990s, in Los Angeles.

WOW, LET’S CLEAN UP THE PLANET!

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding on the 20th” –  Julie Andrews

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Here is another example of a recycled home! Wow, if people started building this way, we would have a much cleaner planet!

To read the entire article, click on the following link:  http://themindunleashed.org/2013/12/america-end-homelessness-one-year.html

MORE FORECLOSURE SETTLEMENTS HIT WALL STREET FIRMS, LENDERS

“What goes around comes around” – A Bronx saying from my younger years.

I found this short article to be very succinct.   Everyone needs to be extra cautious in this economy and plan accordingly since a foreclosure or short sale can happen to anyone at any time.

Federal regulators have reached settlements with two major Wall Street firms and a British lender requiring the companies to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to resolve claims over “deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.”

via More Foreclosure Settlements Hit Wall Street Firms, Lenders.

9 UNEXPECTED ENERGY (AND MONEY) SAVERS

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

THE BENEFITS OF A HIGH-TECH AGENT

THE BENEFITS OF A HIGH-TECH AGENT

Technology  “If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Unsophisticated home-shoppers tend to select a real estate agent based on a chance encounter at an open house or a friend-in-the-business referral. Savvy home-shoppers, on the other hand, do their homework, contact several successful agents and prepare lists of questions to ask these agents during how-can-you-help-me-buy-a-home interviews. Some of the questions should concern how involved the agent is in the high-tech aspects of real estate. All other qualifications being equal, here are six reasons why a tech-savvy agent can be a good bet.

1. High-tech agents use e-mail to keep in touch with their clients.
If you want to communicate with your agent via e-mail about houses for sale, purchase negotiations and the status of your real estate transaction, you obviously need an agent who not only is equipped to send and receive e-mail messages, but also actually uses e-mail. Even better would be an agent with a laptop computer, alphanumeric e-mail pager or other on-the-go e-mail capability.
2. High-tech agents have great access to information.
It’s no secret that the Web contains massive amounts of pertinent, informative and helpful information about real property and the business of real estate. A high-tech agent can find neighborhood profiles, mortgage qualifying calculators, real estate news, markets trends reports and much more with a few mouse clicks.
3. High-tech agents can steer you toward educational Web sites.
First-time home buyers, in particular, need to educate themselves about the wide world of home-buying and homeownership. A high-tech agent can recommend Web resources that explain everything from how to shop for a mortgage and why you need title insurance to how to pack your belongings and where to get seeds for your vegetable garden.
4. High-tech agents can help you house-hunt on the Web and by e-mail.
The days of squinting at tiny blurry pictures in a proprietary MLS book, then driving around for hours in the agent’s car are fast coming to an end. A high-tech agent can point you to the best and biggest house-hunting Web sites and use e-mail to zap new listings that meet your criteria directly to you.
5. High tech agents network online with other high-tech agents.
E-mail is becoming a popular means of communication for real estate agents, who use it to promote their listings to one another and keep in touch with market developments. In some communities, agents who don’t use e-mail are falling out of the loop.
6. Coming soon: High-tech agents will be able to organize and manage your transaction in cyberspace.
A number of real estate companies and organizations are vying with one another to be the first to launch a truly comprehensive real estate transaction service on the Web. These networks of real estate service providers promise to reduce paperwork, speed up communication and bring buyers and sellers to the virtual closing table faster than ever before.
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