Tag Archives: buying a home

But I Thought It’s a Buyers Market

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Although there are unbelievers out there, we really are in a seller’s market right now with below-average level of for-sale inventory.  There are more buyers out there than properties, so we realtors are all showing the same homes and competing with one another.  I am seeing anywhere from 8 to 15 offer come in within days of the listing.  As a buyer it is important to ensure your agent is showing you property as soon as it’s listed so that you do not miss out on any opportunities to put in an offer on a home.

Educating our buyers becomes extremely important in a seller’s market.  Most homes are priced aggressivley to sell (mainly distressed properties), so putting in an offer at list price isn’t going to get you the home.  In most cases buyers will need to offer above list price to get the home (especially if they are asking for concessions).   If buyers need 3% credit for reoccurring and nonreoccuring closing costs, the offer should include at least 3% higher than list price and even more to be the winning offer.  Of course, comps will need to support the offer amount for appraisal purposes.

Sheri Negri
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
925 Highland Pointe Drive #140
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 606-3210
Sheri@LoveForHomesSac.com

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Understanding Closing Costs

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Many people do not realize how much closing costs can be when buying a home.  If you plan to buy a home soon, here is a list of closing costs that you will need to consider:

Other fees may be including depending on type of property, where the property is located, etc.  Typically closing costs are 3 to 4% if purchase price.

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions about closing costs or real estate in general!

Sheri Negri, Realtor
Lyon Real Estate
Sheri@LoveForHomesSac.com

 

Finance FAQs for Home Buyers

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Below are frequently asked questions I get from homebuyers who are in the process of buying a home.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan used to buy a home or other real estate property, with the home serving as the collateral for the loan, acting as the guarantee that the loan will be repaid.

What’s in a payment?

Payments are comprised of principal, interest, property taxes, and possibly mortgage insurance. In the cases of condominiums, maintenance fees may apply as well. However, the real question is: how much can you repay over how many years? Consider how quickly you could repay your loan. Is it 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, or 30 years? Typically, the sooner you repay the loan, the more you’ll save on interest payments. However, the longer you extend the term of your financing, the lower your monthly payments may be. When choosing a loan term, consider your budget, your long-term spending patterns, your income over the life of the loan, and how long you plan to stay in your home.

What is a fixed rate (mortgage)?

The interest rate is set for the full length of the loan and doesn’t change.  Therefore, since the monthly mortgage payment for principal and interest stays the same for the life of the loan, it’s easier to plan a budget using this sort of loan.

What is an adjustable rate mortgage (or ARM)?

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) usually starts with a lower initial interest rate than traditional fixed rate loans. After a set initial payment period—anywhere from one to 10 years—the interest rate may change periodically based on market conditions. As the rate changes, so does your monthly payment.In addition, ARM loans feature an adjustment “cap” that limits how much the interest rate can go up, protecting you from large increases in your monthly payment. If you plan on being in your home for a shorter period of time, or expect your income to increase over the years, an ARM loan may be right for you.

What is the property appraisal?

A professional appraisal is done to determine the value of the home or other type of real estate. An appraisal is based on the home’s condition and selling prices of comparable properties in the area.

What is the best mortgage for me?

The best mortgage is one that you can afford without cutting in on other necessities, and has interest rates and terms and conditions that give you peace of mind. Use the handy mortgage calculator found at the bottom of each property listing on our site to get a good idea of which mortgage is the most affordable for you.

How much will my mortgage be?

The size of your mortgage and the monthly payments that you will incur are determined by the price of your home minus the down payment, spread over the term of the mortgage at the interest rate chosen.

Article by:  Sheri Negri, Realtor

www.loveforhomessac.com

 

Understanding Today’s Home Buyers

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Home buyers used to have it easy – all they had to consider when buying a home was price, condition and location. Getting loans was a snap, and reselling the home was never a worry.

But today’s recessionary market is throwing home buyers a curve. They’re not so certain home buying is a good investment, and neither are their bankers.

If you’re a home seller, you need to know what buyers are facing in today’s real estate market, so you can do the one thing that will help the right buyer buy your home.

Price it to sell.

  • Buyers begin their search for a home with prices. Buyers may search many neighborhoods or look at homes out of their price range to get an idea of the marketplace. But, when it comes to serious shopping, they know their price and use it to see which homes they can afford.
  • Buyers are prequalified by their lender. A serious buyer will not be satisfied with day dreaming for long. They’ll share their financial information, and get prequalified by a lender who will tell them exactly how much they can afford. Is your home in the right price range?
  • Buyers work with real estate professionals. Once they have a green light, buyers start shopping. They ask their real estate professionals to start gathering and presenting homes they might like. If your home is priced too high, your best, likeliest buyer will never see it. Is your home overpriced compared to the competition?
  • Buyers have incredible sources to compare homes. Videos, virtual tours, feature sheets and multiple photos are the eye candy. They quickly sort through what’s available to a short list of the most appealing homes in their price range. Did you de-clutter, clean, stage and update your home?
  • Buyers choose homes based on bang for the buck. As buyers walk through listings with their real estate agent, they’ll quickly make snap decisions based on size, condition, and location as compared to price.  Does your home offer the most bang for the buck?
  • Buyers use the same comparables you do. Just as you and your real estate agent have examined the market, buyers and their agents do the same. They know which homes are overpriced, and they’ll assume that an overpriced home comes from either an unmotivated or unrealistic seller.  They’ll make their offer to the seller whose home offers the most for the money and who appears most reasonable to an offer. Do you appear negotiable?
  • Buyers’ banks confirm prices with appraisals. Today’s appraisals are strict. New codes of conduct require banks to avoid pressuring appraisers to “hit the numbers.” Appraisers are required to go back as long as one year, to determine if your home is in a “declining market.” If so, the appraisal can come as much as 5% under your list price. If the appraisal is under the list price, the bank won’t lend. Are you prepared to lower your price to make the deal go through?
  • Buyers face unprecedented banking challenges. Banks no longer offer non-conforming loans with abandon. Many banks are balking at offering conforming loans, and those are government-guaranteed. They require stricter proof from buyers that they are able to repay their loans, often qualifying them at much lower levels. Are you willing to help your buyer by paying down points?
  • Buyers are scared. They have to have a good reason to buy a home, and news of declining prices hasn’t provided much incentive. Help them by  showing them all the ways your home has rewarded your ownership. Show them how much you pay in property taxes, how much you get as a homestead exemption, how much you’re able to write off your income taxes as a homeowner. Are you willing to share what buyers need to know?
  • Buyers don’t have to buy. They want to buy. They want the joys of homeownership, and it’s your job as a homeowner to provide them with the tipping point they need – the best home at the best price. Is your home priced to sell?

Current Sacramento Area Real Estate Statistics

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Here are your real estate statistics for the Sacramento area!

Information Source:  MetroList

Article by:  Sheri Negri, Realtor

www.loveforhomessac.com

Purchase Checklist

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Buying a home is one of the most exciting purchases ever!  Here is a purchase checklist to guide you through the process.

  1. Be sure you’re ready to buy a home
  2. Determine how much you can afford
  3. Organize your personal information
  4. Get pre-approved
  5. Find a real estate agent
  6. Search for a home
  7. Research areas and neighborhoods of interest
  8. Visit selected homes
  9. Make an offer on the home you want
  10. Arrange financing
  11. Schedule a home inspection
  12. Prepare for closing

 

Be sure you’re ready to buy a home

  • Consider all costs involved, including taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and utilities.
  • Consider the responsibilities of home ownership, from mowing the lawn to maintaining the roof.

Determine how much you can afford

  • Consider all costs involved, including upfront costs such as the down payment and closing costs.
  • Estimate the monthly mortgage payment.
  • Include in your estimates other costs such as taxes and maintenance, as well as insurance and any applicable association fees.
  • Tip: Use the mortgage calculator found under each home listing on this site to run the numbers.

Organize your personal information

  • Check your credit report to make sure that there are no errors.
  • Gather documents such as financial statements and tax forms.
  • Make sure to have the following information readily available: the name, address, and Social Security number of all applicants; contact information for your current landlord or mortgage company; a pay stub and employer information; the value of your assets; and the source of your down payment and closing costs.
  • Make sure that you have the Social Security numbers of all borrowers involved.

Get pre-approved

  • A pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford, give you the power to negotiate and even make an offer, and show sellers that you’re a qualified buyer.

Find a real estate agent

  • Consider special, personal needs with which a real estate professional may be able to help you. Real estate agents can specialize in a variety of areas, including, employee relocation, military markets, or vacation homes.

Search for a home

  • Search for properties online to get an idea of the homes that are available in your price range.
  • Drive through areas that interest you in order to spot “For Sale” signs and to get a feel for different neighborhoods.

Research areas and neighborhoods of interest

  • Try visiting your preferred neighborhoods at different times of the day and at different days of the week to observe patterns of noise and traffic.
  • Use our Look tool to find statistics on neighborhoods, schools, and other demographic information important in your search for a home. Your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent may also have some of the information you need.

Visit selected homes

  • Take your time. Carefully examine both the interior and exterior of each home you consider. You may want to visit more than once if you’re seriously interested.
  • Compare the prices of similar homes in the surrounding area. Your real estate agent will supply you with comparable properties (“comps”).
  • Tip: If the market is competitive, be prepared to act fast. A pre-approval will give you the ability to make an offer on the home you want and shows the seller you’re financially able to buy the home — and that can give you an advantage over other buyers.

Make an offer on the home you want

  • Before deciding on the amount of your offer, consider important factors such as the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections, time restrictions and more.
  • Consult with your real estate agent for professional input on determining the amount of your offer.
  • Include in your offer provisions for a home inspection and an outline of the actions to be taken if problems arise.
  • Tip: Always check with your real estate agent before making an offer — it may be legally binding. Working with a licensed Real Estate agent may be beneficial and make the process smoother.

Arrange financing

  • Call your mortgage consultant with the property address.
  • Your mortgage consultant will explain your options for rates, terms, points and other details about loan programs you may qualify for.
  • Sign the necessary documents for application.

Schedule a home inspection

  • Ask your real estate agent to help you find a reputable, professional home inspector, and to help schedule the inspection.
  • Tip: It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection. It’s an ideal opportunity to ask important questions about the property.

Prepare for closing

  • Make sure your closing date is scheduled prior to any rate lock expirations on your mortgage loan.
  • If you’re also selling a home and need the cash from the sale, make sure that the closing on your current property is scheduled prior to the closing on your new home.
  • Arrange for your real estate agent or an attorney to be present. That will help assure that all closing tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
  • Check with your closing agent to find out the amount of certified funds — a cashier’s check or money order — needed for closing.
  • Make arrangements for all people needed to sign closing documents to be present. This may include your spouse or any other co-signer.
  • Make arrangements at work and with childcare to be absent for 3-4 hours. (Closing normally takes an hour but you should be prepared to spend extra time in case issues arise.)
  • Bring along a photo ID — your driver’s license or passport, for example.
  • If you haven’t done so already, make sure utilities will be turned on once you take possession of your new home.

When closing is completed:

  • Don’t leave without your new keys.
  • Congratulations on your new home!

Article by:  Sheri Negri, Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

www.loveforhomessac.com

Moving with Young Children

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Are you excited and happy about moving? Or are you dreading the sorting, packing and other chores?

If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, then you’re halfway to getting your children on board for the ride. Your children will absorb your enthusiasm like little sponges.

There will be some worries, of course, but you can defeat those with a little preparation and understanding.

Most children don’t like the changes associated with moving. The younger the child, the less able they are to “see into the future” as you do. They tend to focus on losing the security they’re used to, and they worry about missing friends and family.

You can make childish anger and doubt grow into a sense of wonder and adventure. You can do that by acknowledging and empathizing with the loss they feel and showing them how to balance their feelings with what they have to gain.

1.Communicate with your child patiently and frequently.  Let your children know, step by step, what is happening and what is likely to happen next. Tell them what the move means to the family — how important it is that Mommy got a big promotion or that Daddy is opening a new office for his company.

2. List all the advantages there are for the child in the move. For example, will the family be closer to Grandma, the ocean, or another favorite person, place, or activity? Will they be able to see old friends and family frequently? Or at least at holiday time?

3. Show the child as much as you can about the new home. When you show your child their room, bath, and play area, make a game of it by asking where certain favorite toys or furniture should go. Have fun by showing your child the new house plans, or draw them yourself and let your child cut out furniture and toys to place in the rooms. Show your child a typical day in the home as you go from room to room.

4. Introduce your child to the new community online. Draw a map, and show how close Mommy and Daddy work, where schools are, where Aunt Bea lives, and other points of interest to help them orient themselves in their new surroundings.

5. Be ready for those “What about me?” questions. If your child is in scouts, little league, or other organizations, contact those associations for referrals in your new neighborhood or city. Knowing they won’t have to give up favorite hobbies or sports goes a long way toward helping children adjust.

6. Let your child participate. Make a fun activity out of researching services you’ll need online, like finding a new veterinarian for your dog. Older children can find blogs online about their new school.

7. Keep your child occupied by letting them plan and pack a box or two of their special things. Consider their input on new decor and the layout of their new rooms. Encourage them to take the time to exchange good-byes with friends and loved ones and get addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers to stay in touch.

8. Try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. Let your children know that, although they will soon live in a new house, the rules of the household will still be the same. Bedtime is still at 9 p.m., and homework must still be completed before TV time is allowed. And although Mom and Dad are a little busier and distracted with the move, they love their children very much and are giving the entire household a new opportunity to grow.

9. On moving day, have a bag packed of personal belongings for each member of the family, being careful to include medications, clothes, and personal items. Let your children choose what amusements and favorite “loveys” they wish to take along, and reassure them they will see their other favorite toys when they arrive in their new home.

Your preparedness will go a long way in reassuring your children that their needs are being considered, even while big changes are happening around them.

www.loveforhomessac.com