Let's share some idea's.
Some features are worth sacrificing...
When searching for that dream home, most buyers want to find one they love and can see themselves living in happily for years to come. In my experience, most buyers prefer homes that are move-in ready with minimal upkeep. Most buyers start that search online; they know what they are looking for, and many times they know roughly the price range they can afford.
Oftentimes, however, those two things come into conflict as buyers get closer to finding the right home. I see this frequently where a buyer starts out working with 65 to 75 percent of their loan prequalification number in order to be prudent and financially responsible by not seeking the most expensive home they could possibly buy. Then, inevitably, when they can’t find what they want for the money they want to spend, they start edging up on the listing price to find those homes with the amenities and finishing touches that they are seeking.
At this point, I always encourage a buyer to ask the question for themselves: “Where will I have to compromise?” Will you have to let go of the pool to fit into your price range? Maybe less hardwood flooring and no granite in the kitchen — or are these a must? Will you land in a home that’s a bit smaller in order to be in a better school district? Can you pay a bit more to be closer to recreational resources, such as parks?
The National Association of Realtors posed these questions to homebuyers to find out where compromises had been made on home purchases over the past year. The results, which can be found in NAR’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, showed that while a third of buyers said they did not compromise at all, most let go of something that had been on their wish list.
What was the biggest area of compromise? It was on the price of the home. Almost 1 in 4 respondents negotiated what they ended up spending on a property. Close behind on the list of compromises was the size of the home — 20 percent of buyers reported compromising on size. Other areas noted included lot size, the condition of the home, the commute to work and friends or family, and the quality or age of the neighborhood.
For agents, I think it is key to know the area rankings on local schools, as this is probably the one area where most of my buyers will not negotiate when finding a home. Buyers will know schools by scores or rankings and reputation, so it is imperative that you can be the area expert and know them just as well! If there are school-age children in the home (or there will be in the next couple of years), school districts are vitally important to buyers.
As an agent, I think it is important to help our clients adjust their expectations (or their price range) by reminding them that everyone goes through the same process. We start with what we want to invest into a home purchase, we make a wish list of criteria for that next home, and then we have to make adjustments to one or the other. Discover which areas are most negotiable, and you will be able to focus on how to help them achieve their goals more effectively.
he holidays are the perfect time of year for some home buyers to purchase a house and snag a great year-end deal — but limited inventory may be the Scrooge.
After a challenging home-buying season in the spring and summer, many buyers say they plan to reignite their home search during the winter, according to a recent realtor.com® survey. They're hoping for less competition from all-cash buyers and fewer bidding wars during that time.
However, winter often brings about limited inventories of homes for sale, so buyers will likely find fewer choices. It seems that buyers expect that: 45 percent of those surveyed in the realtor.com®Winter Home Buyer Report say they believe they’ll be up against inventory challenges again during the winter months.
Top Ten Most Overlooked Repairs That Will Cost You Money and Aggravation When You Sell!
We all get used to our homes. It's hard to view things from a buyer's perspective....Let your pride go and consider these top ten items that could kill your home sale, or cost you big money!
10. Major mechanicals: If your roof, furnace or central air are over 25 years old when you put your home on the market - count on buyers giving you a hard time and giving very large repair credits for these items - usually larger than the cost of actually replacing the items!
9. Moisture in the basement: Does it get humid or wet in the basement? Ever smell musty? Go ahead and put your home on market without addressing these issues and watch the buyers run! Buyers will only come up with the worst conclusions when left to their own devices....
8. Chimney: If you have a wood burning fireplace, maintain the chimney! Chimney repairs get very expensive! "We use it every year and have never had a problem"....will never do. Have a professional check out the chimney before you try to sell - and save the receipt!
7. Windows: They work, right? They close, they keep the cold air out somewhat...but beware --Old windows stick out like a sore thumb and will make buyers wonder about their replacement cost ( always higher than the cost of you actually just replacing the windows before going on market) or worse...wonder about what other items have been left ignored.....
6. Water quality: In theory you should check your water quality yearly if you have well water...do we all do it? No. But if you are planning to sell your home....its time to! Many well water systems run with an active state of coliform or other issue...you wouldn't know unless you tested. The solution - a bleaching ( by professionals preferably)...costing a couple hundred dollars at most.
5. Peeling paint: It's kind of charming when your older home has a little bit of peel going on on the porch, right? Unfortunately - FHA - provider of most loans to ALL first time home buyers - just doesn't agree. This can kill the buyers ability to buy your home. If you have any peeling paint - just take care of it before the home goes on market! Don't kill your buyer pool before you even start!
4. Lack of updating: Yes, the kitchen works just fine! They just don't build cabinets like they used to - you know what I'm saying?! Knotty oak does have its own charm...and the gold faucets have grown on you...all these things are what make it "home" to you....JUST NOT TO BUYERS! They will only see dollar signs, or weekends wasted on remodeling projects!!! Not updating your home regularly is probably the largest deterrent to your buyer pool....
3. Service stickers: They saw the home, they loved it! They put in an offer which you accepted, and now its inspection time! The funny thing about inspectors is that they go through all your service stickers....If you have them - COOL....you will probably move forward with flying colors! When they don't...someone will ask you to have that item serviced - it's a given. And if there was ever a time that a tech will want 100 other repairs to be made...it will be that time....
2. Paint: The cheapest upgrade of them all! It's amazing how paint will set the stage for a space. When its purple, with kids greasy fingerprints and scuffs all over - buyers just get turned off. Whether the home was in perfect shape or not otherwise - they will assume it was not. If you are planning to sell - take a walk through every room: Is the color neutral? Is the wall space clean? if the answer is no, Paint it all before a buyer sees it..or pay the price of uninterested buyers...or an expectation of lack of maintenance!
1. Lightbulbs: What's the difference between a dark dungeon and an airy retreat? LIGHT! Lack of light is the single most cost effective problem to solve, and the one that will make the biggest difference in the sale of your home. Invest in good quality light bulbs for every room in your home, and open all the curtains when its time to let the buyers in!
- See more at: http://www.homesbyminna.com/blog/top-ten-most-overlooked-repairs-that-will-cost-you-money-and-aggravation-when-selling.html#sthash.UbHnzlpX.dpuf
A short Little Fairfield County Housing & Real Estate Market Report - November, 2014
Fairfield's market has continued its seasonal slowdown, maye moreso than other towns in comparison, but it is still fairly active in varying price pockets.
There are currently 482 homes that are actively on the market, and the median list price in Fairfield is now at $764,500. Current inventory has been available an average of 125 days, with an *average cumulative market time of 198 days. Single family homes are listed at an average price of $1,369,212. The highest priced home for sale in town is listed at $62,000,000 and the lowest priced available single family home is $161,000.
Twenty-three new listings came on the market in the past seven days, and six homes came back on the market after being under deposit. There were 26 properties that had a price change. Eight properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and nine properties went into Pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close. They were listed on average at $506,989.
Connecticut contains multiple Historic Districts, which include just about all towns and cities in Fairfield or Litchfield county. In addition to recognizing the architectural importance of the collection of homes, and helping protect the properties from inappropriate modifications, the Historic District designation also creates opportunities for owners.
One interesting incentive is the Historic Homes Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
Tax Credit Basics
Owners of single-family through four-family homes in certain areas of Connecticut are able to apply for a tax credit to help maintain or renovate their properties. Examples of projects that may qualify for the credit include most exterior work (foundations, porches, walls, doors, windows, roof, gutters, chimney, etc.), mechanical systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical), and interior work (structural systems, floor plans, floors, walls, ceilings, stairs, decorative elements, door/window casings, etc.).
Since Fairfield is one of the “Targeted Areas,” and so much of the area is in a Historic District, owners simply have to follow the application process and live in the property as their primary residence for at least five years after project completion in order to qualify.
The main benefit to working within the program is that a homeowner can receive up to 30% of the renovation costs back, with a cap at $30,000 per dwelling unit. Since there is also a minimum project size, the practical result is that the program targets renovations with total budgets of between $25,000 and $100,000 for a single-family home.
The “tax credit” language is a little misleading. Homeowners technically do receive a tax credit voucher at the end of the project, but it’s not one that they can apply to their personal tax liability. Only certain businesses are allowed to utilize the credits, so homeowners end up selling the vouchers and pocketing the cash independent of their tax filing.
Because the credits are not used directly by owners, they don’t receive the absolute maximum benefit. Mary Dunne, who helps oversee the program at the State Historic Preservation Office, conservatively estimated that vouchers generally sell for at least 80% (and often more) of their face value. She also noted that she has never heard of a homeowner who was unable to find a buyer among the 30+ vouchers that are distributed each year.
Applying for the Credit
The tax credit is managed through a written application that is broken down into different parts to reflect a project’s various stages. Part One simply confirms that a home qualifies for the program. The only noteworthy reason why an owner-occupied home in one of the West End Historic Districts would not qualify is that the building itself is not historic, that it doesn’t contribute to the historic character of the District.
Part Two describes the rehabilitation work in detail, capturing the current condition and articulating the proposed rehabilitation. Photos and drawings are encouraged. It is important to consider that in order for the renovation work to count towards the credit it must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The application instructions summarize the criteria, while the website above provides illustrated guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings. Part Two also includes the proposed project budget. Cost estimates must be from qualified pros, and qualified rehabilitation expenses are separated from non-eligible costs.
Mary said that her group is required to respond to an application within 30 days, though they try to turn them around in about 2 weeks. Ultimately it will depend on the scope and complexity of the project.
Part Three of the application is the request for certification of the completed work. In addition to demonstrating that the work was completed as planned, the other major component is the final accounting of the project costs. The tax credit is then calculated as 30% of either the approved budget or the actual expenses, whichever is less.
- See more at: http://www.amybergquist.com/blog/2011/09/15/historic-homes-rehabilitation-tax-credit/#sthash.yDNFDdoF.dpuf
Though many would-be sellers are balking at listing their homes in this post-bubble market, your home may be worth more than you think. Some cities have remained less affected than others, thanks to a variety of factors. Cities with relatively low unemployment, highly-regarded schools, and high quality of life have held steady.
Many homeowners are asking themselves if they should sell their houses now or wait. With the continuation of increased foreclosures, property values continue to decline. Given the uncertainty of the real estate sector, knowing your property value is more important than ever.
If you want to check on your home’s value, use an online home value estimator. Your real estate agent can also estimate what its worth. Getting a professional appraisal is also an option, and will usually run you between $300 and $600, depending on your home size and location.
How interesting, The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record recently published that Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose slightly in September even as median sale prices fell slightly.
According to the Group, there were 2,340 single-family homes sold in Connecticut during September - that is nine more home than were sold during the same period in 2013.
Median sale prices of single-family homes in September fell by $2,000, or a little less than 1 percent, compared to a year earlier when it was at $250,000.
“September marked the sixth time this year sales have increased in Connecticut,” Cassidy Murphy, editorial director of The Warren Group, said in a statement. “Median prices continued to fall slightly but that could change once the new lending regulations fall into place, and buyers are able to afford more.”
New CT Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Law went into effect January 1st, 2014
Are you buying a house or selling one in Connecticut?
Effective January 1, 2014 a new CT law requires both one- and two-family homes, condos and co-ops built before October 1, 2005 to have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in order to transfer ownership of the property.
Home sellers closing after January 1, 2014 will be required to sign an affidavit at closing indicating smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are installed in the home. The affidavit must be signed in front of a notary or attorney.
The new law requires that the home seller provide the Affidavit Concerning Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors or provide the buyer with a $250 credit against the purchase price at closing.
The law allows the detectors to be battery operated unless the home was built after October 1985 when hard-wired smoke detectors were required or after October 2005 when hard-wired carbon monoxide detectors were required.
Detectors must be installed according to manufacturers directions usually with smoke detectors installed outside all bedrooms and carbon monoxide detectors installed on each level. Size of house and number of bedrooms would determine number of detectors. Again, read manufacturer’s recommendations. If unsure about correct placement for your floor plan, please consult your local fire department for direction on correct placement.
Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up when heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces, space heaters and generators aren’t working properly or are not well ventilated. If carbon monoxide levels are very high, a person can die within minutes of exposure.
Newer detectors, available in all home improvement stores, have digital readouts that monitor the levels of CO in the home.
Smoke alarms and CO detectors do have a life span. Smoke alarms should be replaced about every 7-10 years. In addition, carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 5 years. (Check back of unit for manufacturers date) Again, manufacturers directions should be followed to ensure maximum operating efficiency. Keep in mind that batteries should be checked at least every six months.
If you have any questions, please contact me directly.
Thinking of Buying a Home? Check Out These Banks That Reject the Most Mortgages
When I saw the heading of the article I found online I couldn’t wait to click on it. We get so many buyers that have been pre-qualified by their personal bank. A few buyers received a financial benefit from using their banks, like a lower interest rate or closing cost help. But most do not.
In fact, many buyers go to one of the big banks because they don’t realize there are other financial options. Even if I give them a list of fantastic mortgage brokers, they’ve already spoken to someone at the big bank and for some reason feel like they need to continue with that lender. One of my most recent closings was a buyer that regretted making that choice, which happened to be Wells Fargo.
With that said, here is a list of the banks that reject the most mortgages (according to the Wall Street Journal Online’s Market Watch :
Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase
Total Applications: 80,036
Rejection Percentage: 33.6%
Denied Applications: 26,894
Bank of America
Total Applications: 76,355
Rejection Percentage: 25.6%
Denied Applications: 19,547
Total Applications: 399,911
Rejection Percentage: 21.2 %
Denied Applications: 84,687
Total Applications: 25,038
Rejection Percentage: 21.2%
Denied Applications: 4,331
Total Applications: 52,425
Rejection Percentage: 17.2 %
Denied Applications: 9, 014
Total Applications: 44,945
Rejection Percentage: 14.3%
Denied Applications: 6,442
This chart is interesting as you can see which bank takes the most applications – Wells Fargo. Chase takes the top prize as the bank that turns down the most mortgage applications.
I have a list of loan officers that I have used and am happy with their services. If I have a buyer that does not have a pre-approval letter I give them my list. There isn’t a bank on that list. I have had closings with the big banks, and the best one I’ve had to deal with is Fifth Third. However, I just had a mortgage not approved by them and one of my other lenders told me they can do it.
If you’d like my list of the best loan officers and mortgage brokers I have used in the business, just give me a call at (203) 464-8466 or use my Contact Form.
Since 2005 people have been trusting us with there most important asset, their home.