Monthly Archives: July 2016

THE SMARTEST REAL ESTATE DECISION

You know that play in football where the quarterback seems to hand the ball off to a running back and the entire defense concentrates on that “runner,” only to find that the ball ended up in the hands of someone on the other side, who then sprints down the sideline and scores a touchdown?

That’s pretty much what it’s like to buy a home during the holidays. While everyone is busy looking at all the pretty, shiny things and on-sale things and yummy things, you’re sneaking around the other side with the ball, or, rather, the offer, that gets you the house you want.

Yes, when it comes to homebuying around the holidays, it’s advantage: buyer. With so many distractions between Halloween and New Year’s Day, you can slide right in there and make a smart move. So why, exactly, does it benefit you to buy a home over the holidays?

Because you just want to find a home already

The market has been hot for a few years, and, in many places, multiple offers and over-asking-price sales have become the norm. Competing in those markets can be demoralizing. Tales of buyers seeking million-dollar fixers on Los Angeles’ Westside just so they can get into something in the area – and being consistently outbid for more than a year – are more and more

But buy over the holidays and you slice through the buyer pool. While others are trimming their tree or searching for the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe, you’re off snagging the home you want.

Because: First-time buyers

The above scenario, where buyers are constantly being outbid on homes, is a nightmare for first-timers looking for a home. Not only is there a verrrrrry limited supply of available homes that are affordable in the first place, but the number of folks that are vying for them is tremendous. If you’re in the market and have never done this before, you’re probably pretty frustrated.

There are time-tested tips for winning in a multiple-offer situation, like getting preapproved, limiting contingencies on the home, being flexible about the closing, and writing a “love letter” to the seller, which can appeal “to the heart can make your offer stand out,” said NerdWallet.

But acting during a time when others may be distracted and not actively searching is perhaps the most effective method of getting what you want. “About one million consumers will purchase a home from November to January this year, when home prices are a bit softer,” said Forbes.

STADIUMS AFFECT HOUSE PRICES

Golf is the best sport for house prices, with homes near courses costing an average of $522,595, new research from the UK has found.

That figure makes properties neighboring the fairway more expensive than homes next to any other type of sporting venue, and nearly double the British national average of $272,803.

Following golf, horse racing is next past the post thanks to asking prices of properties neighboring racecourses of $450,936.

The research by online estate agent, Hatched, ranked the top 20 stadiums for the UK’s most attended sports – golf, horse racing, football, cricket, rugby union and rugby league – for the average house prices of their postcodes.

The full findings of Hatched’s research can be viewed in an interactive table here, which can be filtered on sport, city, county, stadium capacity and home team’s playing division.

There are currently 19 new under contracts reported for October 2016, a drop of just 13% from this time last year. There is not much inventory in this area now, but there are buyers looking for that new home. The List Price to Sold Price ratio of 96.8% shows homes are priced well, very little fluctuation.  The lower numbers of homes are the market compared with other areas is the result of 2 factors. This area is considerably smaller compared with Ellicott city, and once people move into this area, they tend to stay. This leaves buyers with a smaller selection of homes to choose from, which gives sellers the opportunity to get asking price for their homes.

Ultimately we expect these numbers to remain stable, and for those buyers moving into this area, your investment is safe here. As this area grows in popularity, so will home prices. For Sellers, this year is a big year for real estate. If you’ve been contemplating putting your home on the market, take advantage of this years amazing real estate reports, it’s a healthy market for all.

CASH IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Credit ratings are based upon your timely payments each month. If you have many missed payments on your mortgage the negative impacts will stay on your credit report for seven years. If you are considering selling your home for cash because you foresee continued late or missed payments you would be saving your credit rating from a historic record of negative impact. If you pay your house off in full then that will remain on your credit rating for ten years.

Selling your property in a short sale (selling for less than its value) will also negatively affect your credit rating. A short sale of your property will remain on your credit report for ten years. However, if you are selling your home quickly in order to buy into another, more affordable property, then you can look forward to a (conversely) higher credit rating in perhaps six months.

Sell your home for cash without repurchase of another property

Selling your home without purchase of another property will simply keep your credit rating at a status quo. However, earmarking the proceeds toward lowering (not removing) credit card debt will be a positive to your credit score. Your credit score is dependent on debt; specifically a mix of debt. You would not want to pay off all credit cards but you would like to get them to a manageable per month payment in order to improve your credit score significantly. Consider consolidating them into an interest free payback status. As long as you can pay the balance off within the agreed time frame you have improved your credit score and put money back into your pocket by avoiding perhaps hundreds of dollars or more in interest fees.

Benefits of a cash sale

Cash sales do not require repair, the sale can be “as is.” With cash sales you can avoid expenditures like home inspection and mortgage. Cash sales close quickly. So many aspects of selling a house traditionally require painstaking time waiting on title companies, inspection companies, buyer’s bank approval…the list goes on. Cash sales end it quickly, allowing you to move on.

VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR AGENTS

It’s the time of year when people winter proof their homes — caulking, adding insulation, checking roofs, gutters and downspouts, putting lawn tools away and bringing snow blowers and shovels out of storage. However people with mobility issues need to take extra precautions when preparing for winter.

“Dedicate some extra time to go over all mobility care equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, vehicle lifts and vertical porch lifts and ensure everything is working properly,” says Rose Titus, owner/rehabilitation specialist of MEDability Health Care Solutions in Markham, Ont.

Ask if your mobility company has an annual maintenance plan, where service techs will check to make sure everything is in working order, says Justin Fox, owner of The Mobility Shop in Toronto.

Hire a professional medical equipment company to do preventative maintenance on equipment such as vertical porch lifts. It’s important that they specially rated grease be used on the acme screw, which is what moves the lift up and down, says MEDability’s owner/accessibility consultant Don Titus.

Vertical lifts should be parked above ground and the motor should be warmed up before using. Before you board the lift, run it down then back up again to warm it up, Don says.

Have a back-up manual wheelchair or a secondary power source for electric medical equipment, Rose says. “Your motorized wheelchair battery will lose 60 per cent of its charge as soon as the temperature drops below zero.”

Preserve battery life by wrapping the battery in a blanket. When the battery is not in use, leave it plugged in to keep them warm, she says. “Batteries under perform in colder weather and it will take them longer to charge,” Fox says.

When not in use for extended periods, he recommends scooter batteries be kept inside. It’s also of utmost importance not to let the batteries drain completely because that could damage the battery, he says. “People come in and say the battery was fine in September or October, and in April they wonder why the battery is dead. If batteries drain completely, they lose their ability to recharge, which can lower their functionality. You may have been able to go 10 to 15 km and now only get two to three km.”

Try to take the scooter out when the weather is nice and go to the mall and drive around, then come home and recharge it. If you can’t get out, at least turn the scooter on, let the battery drain a bit then recharge it, Fox says.

HOUSING MARKET REPORT

Leaders of the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) and UNLV’s Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies aren’t buying into recent news reports wondering if the housing market could be headed for another bubble.

Dr. Ed Coulson, PhD, Director of the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies and Professor of Economics at UNLV, cited three major factors that make a housing bubble unlikely.

First, he told a group of GLVAR members during a Nov. 8 meeting at the association, Southern Nevada has a very tight housing supply, unlike market conditions leading up to the Great Recession and the housing downturn that accompanied it. Secondly, he said local home prices have been stable for many months, not rising rapidly like they were during the housing boom a decade ago. Finally, mortgage interest rates are near historic lows, helping housing affordability.

Coulson sees “no price bust or price boom.” Rather, he said, “Everything in Las Vegas is in an equilibrium.”

GLVAR President Scott Beaudry agreed, saying GLVAR’s local housing statistics paint a picture of unprecedented stability.

The medium price for Single Family Homes for October 2016 was $233,250 down slightly 0.1 percent from September 2016 medium price of $233,500 and up 6.0 percent from October 2015, which was $220,000. Sales decreased for October 2016, the sales volume for Single Family Homes was 2,545 down 13.1 percent from September 2016 which was 2,927 and up 4.4 percent from October 2015 which was 2,438.

According to GLVAR, the total number of existing local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in October was 3,225. That was down slightly from September, but up 5.5 percent from 3,057 one year ago. Compared to the same month one year ago, 6.7 percent more homes, and 6.1 percent more condos and townhomes sold in October.

So far in 2016, Beaudry said Southern Nevada is on pace to sell more existing homes than during 2015 and during 2014, but fewer than during each of the previous five years.

Homes have also been selling faster this year. Compared to one year ago, the number of days single-family homes stayed on the market before selling during October decreased 20.7 percent, from 58 days on the market in October 2015 to 46 days in October 2016.

The sales pace was faster for condos and townhomes, which saw a 35.7 percent decrease in the number of days these properties stayed on the market during October 2016 compared to the same month one year ago, going from 70 to 45 days on the market.

The effective months of inventory for October 2016 were 3.0 months, up 2.5 percent from September 2016 which was 2.5 months and down 3.4 percent from a year ago which was 3.4 months.  A six-month supply of homes would be considered a balanced market. So, we are still in a sellers’ market.