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Shoud You Rent or Buy?

There’s a lot of hype these days about how low the cost of home ownership is and how renting is basically throwing away money. While my livelihood does depend on people buying and selling homes, it isn’t the right decision for everyone. There’s more to owning a home than just a monthly mortgage payment, but for someone ready for the responsibility, it can be rewarding both personally and financially. I found this awesome graphic on Moolanomy that perfectly illustrates the Rent vs. Buy debate.

What to Expect When You Inspect

So you’ve found your dream home, negotiated the price and signed the contract. It’s smooth sailing from here on out, right? Think again. Aside from other major hurdles like financing and appraisal, you need to first get through the home inspection. A few notes about home inspections: -They are typically done within the first few days of the buyer’s due diligence period. (I typically tell my clients to start calling around to schedule once it looks like we are going to reach an agreement with the seller.) -The buyer is not required to have a home inspection. But as long as I’m a licensed agent, I will adamantly recommend a buyer have one performed. -The seller is not requi...

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Four Things That Have NO Effect On Property Value

When buying or selling a home, there are a number of factors that can affect market value and the eventual sale price of a home. These include location, condition, size, amenities, features, improvements and upgrades, local economic conditions, the current real estate market and mortgage interest rates. Figuring out price (whether buying or selling) is as much an art as it is a science. Buyers and sellers alike want to know: “what is the right price for the home?” The simple answer? The market determines what a home is worth. Researching recently sold, comparable properties is the absolute best way to determine price. But buyers and sellers always have their own ideas about what a hom...

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Guess what Atlanta sellers…prices are finally on the rise!

In many parts of the city, it’s quickly becoming a seller’s market. The lack of quality inventory paired with low interest rates is creating a lot of competition among buyers. For sellers who purchased within the last 2-3 years (at the bottom of the market), and have some equity in their home, now may be the perfect time to sell and move up to the next home. According to a recent HousingWire article, time is of the essence for these sellers. The longer they wait to sell, the higher the prices are likely to be for the market they’re moving into. Additionally, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% within the next year, increasing the cost to finance ...

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And the buzzword of 2012 was….

What could buyers, sellers and the media not stop talking about in 2012? Interest Rates. Interest rates are at historical lows. Just a couple of weeks ago rates on a 30-year fixed dipped below 3.5%. To give some perspective on what that means, rates for the same loan product hovered around the 7% mark a decade ago in 2002. More Interesting Interest Rate Facts The last time mortgage rates were above 6% was in 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33%, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 3.50 %, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $898.09, a difference of $344 per month for anyone refinan...

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Why Buyers Need to Jump in the Market NOW!

Cities across the country have continued to post slight gains in prices over the past few months, and prices are expected to continue to rise in 2013. Buyers on the fence about purchasing need to get off the fence and get in the game! Now is the perfect time to get into a neighborhood or building that might otherwise be unattainable. But hurry! Below, some reasons prices will continue to rise. Household formation is revving up. The U.S. is on track to add 1 million new households this year, up from 630,000 last year and an average of 570,000 over the past five years, according to economists at Bank of America. More new households=greater demand for homes. Rents are rising. Falling m...

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What’s going on in the crazy real estate market?!

There has been a ton of media coverage lately about how the real estate market is on the rebound and prices are beginning to rise again. According to a recent article: “In another sign of a housing market rebound, home prices posted the biggest percentage gain in more than two years in the third quarter, according to the closely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index. The 3.6% increase from a year earlier is more than three times the rise in the previous quarter and was the biggest jump in prices since the second quarter of 2010. But that 2010 rise was much more of a temporary blip caused by a homebuyer’s tax credit of up to $8,000 on homes purchased in late 2009 and early 2010....

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A Home for the Holidays?

Thinking of purchasing a home? Between now and the end of the year may be the PERFECT time to do so! While usually thought of as the real estate “slow season,” if the timing is right for you, there are many advantages to purchasing during the holidays. Less Competition We often tell our sellers that the winter season is the time to list, as there is much less competition on the market. In the same token, there are also fewer buyers. If you’re a buyer who has noticed how ferocious the real estate market has been recently, the reduced number of buyers can be a welcomed change. Better Deals The sellers that choose to stay on the market during the holidays may be more motivat...

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Why I Think NOW is the Time to Buy

Real estate experts have been saying it for years, that now is the time to buy property. And while it’s true that buyers who’ve purchased property over the past couple of years likely got a fantastic deal and a low interest rate, the residential real estate climate for buying has never been better than right now. But buyers beware, it’s time to act quickly and aggressively, or you may miss out on the low prices and historically low interest rates. Why is now the time to buy? Interest rates are at historical lows. Just a couple of weeks ago rates on a 30-year fixed dipped below 3.5%. To give some perspective on what that means, rates for the same loan product hovered around th...

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What To Do When Builders Won’t Budge

I have had several clients interested in new construction developments in recent months. Their beef? The builders are standing firm on their prices. “But it’s a buyer’s market!” they tell me. “Everything is negotiable.” And I completely agree—everything is negotiable. You just have to know what things to negotiate on. And price may not be one of them. Builders will very rarely reduce their prices large amounts off the asking price, for several reasons. One being they have the funds and backing to hold onto them until they get the price they want. Their cost of holding each month is not the same as an individual homeowner. They are much less desperate than a person ...

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