Author Archive: Susan Murphy

Christmas Time. The Best Time To Buy A House.

It’s that time of year again. Christmas time. Despite popular belief, this holiday season is the best home buying season.

An analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions compiled from 23 million single family homes and condo sales over the past six years shows December as the best month to buy. During this month, buyers will stay pay about 1.2% premium above estimated market value.

This average is much more appealing than every other month, where premiums can be seen as high as 7.1% in June.

The data shows that only three days during the year, homes are sold at a discounted value. All of which fall in December.

The day after Christmas can be seen with an average discount of .3% over the expected asking price. Followed by December 4 and 31, both with discounts averaging of .1%.

“While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount,” said Todd Teta the chief product officer of ATTOM Data Solutions, “That’s a far cry from buying during June, when they are likely paying about a 7% premium.”

Despite these drastic jumps in premiums, housing prices remain between 197,500 – 198,000.

Further, the data can be broken down by averages among different states. Discounts in Ohio were 7.4% under market value in January; Delaware, with prices down 6.3% in February; Michigan, with prices down 7.2% in February; New Jersey, with prices down 5.8% in December; and Tennessee with prices down 6.2% in January.

“Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve can be one of the most financially beneficial holiday-season gifts you can get,” Teta stated.

Clearly, Black Friday is not the best time to expect discounts when searching for your next home.

Top Things To Be Careful About Prior To Home Purchasing

When someone tries to sell their home, they do not always tell the whole truth. Sadly, most of us cannot afford hiring a professional inspector for each property that we view. But don’t worry because a potential buyer like you can do a bit of inspecting yourself and here are indicators showing what house to avoid buying.

Firstly, always look at the neighborhood. Are there many homes for sale and many boarded up shops? Ask people who live in the area whether it is a good place to live. Look at the land as well. If the land slopes downwards towards the property, there is a chance that the foundations have been or will be damaged by flowing rain water. If you notice any bad smells, there is generally something amiss. Next, check whether there are pests. Ask community members of this, as everybody always knows when someone else has pests.

A number of things may also have happened to a property that are very hard to restore. Some of these issues include water damage, pest damage, asbestos, mold and faulty wiring. The issue is that identifying these types of problems can be very difficult. The current owners themselves may not be aware of the presence of these problems. And if they do, it is likely that they will try to keep them hidden. By simply ensuring the property is very clean and no sockets are used unnecessarily, you are not able to see the problems are there. To find out whether these issues are there, you can organize a professional home inspection, but you can also speak to community members. They will be happy to tell you about any historical issues that have occurred in the area. Generally speaking, big issues like pests, water damage and mold happen in more than one house at the same time.

The reality is that you are the only one who can decide whether or not to buy a property. It is also true that if you are looking for a true bargain, then a house with problems is what you are looking for. You do have to ask yourself whether that bargain is worth the potential financial hassle you are putting yourself through. Whether you purchase a property as an investment or as a home, it is always going to be a building that somebody will live in, and you need to make sure that the quality of life in that property can be pleasant and enjoyable. Naturally, you do also have to look at the property itself, but the importance of looking into the neighborhood cannot be denied either. All you really have to do in order to find out whether the property itself is any good is hire a property inspector. When it comes to the neighborhood, however, you need to have a personal feel, something that cannot be achieved by a check box list.

The Most Awesome Wedding Barn in Florida

At the heart of Florida lies one of the most beautiful wedding barns that you probably didn’t know about until now. It’s known as Ever After Farms, and it’s chock full of breathtakingly amazing sights that’ll make you wonder if you’ve been living in a cave.

The grand opening of Ever After Farms took place on the 2nd of November, 2017 and served to showcase the popular blueberry farm which was transformed into a barn wedding venue at the end of blueberry season.

Ever After Farms is Florida’s perfect rustic wedding venue. Imagine Clydesdales pulling a white Cinderella Carriage taking you to a gorgeous ceremony under an enormous 120 year old oak tree.

And just after the vows, a huge covered patio for your guests to mingle while you get pictures with your Ever After in the blueberry vineyard, along a wooden horse fence, on a white boat floating on a beautiful pond with your reflection off the calm water, next to a fully restored 1955 Studebaker Truck, on a swing under an oak tree, amongst wildflowers and in front of a white horse barn.

Then, celebrate the night away inside a breathtaking and enormous wedding barn that has air conditioning and all the other little details that will blow you and your guests away.

Your perfect day begins with the perfect venue. Once you see it, Ever After Farms will be the #1 Wedding Barn on your list because it is truly Florida’s perfect rustic barn wedding venue.

The Most Beneficial Tips When Thinking Of Selling a House

The Best Ideas When Thinking Of Selling a House

A lot of folks have been investing in real estate so if you are going to sell your property, you must do it now. The only problem here is that selling a property is extremely challenging. You might have seen some articles saying that selling a house is very easy or there are advertisements that may state that they could help sell your house in just a few weeks. It’s going to be quite easy to sell a house if you going to bring the price down, but this will not be an excellent idea. In the real estate industry, the supply fully surpasses the demand, but you can find ways to make your house appealing. We will provide some great ideas to help you with this.

Take a look at the Curb Appeal of Your Home

First impression lasts so your property should give a good impression to the buyers once they stop in front of the property. You should place yourself in the shoes of the buyer and see if the curb appeal of your home can attract the buyers. You must determine if the house can offer an excellent impression to potential customers or it needs maintenance.

The prospective buyer will first see the outside of your house and you should know that they always pay attention on how the house looks outside. You must get everything ready fix anything that needs fixing.

Make Some Enhancements In Your house

Making upgrades in your house is a must if you’d like to draw in the customers. You will need to enhance the interior and exterior of the house so it’ll be appealing to the possible customers. If you really want to sell your house, you need to check everything that needs fixing and make the necessary upgrades. However, you must never over improve as there are enhancements that will not make a difference.

Upgrades will surely raise the value of your house along with its odds to be sold, but you can’t make upgrades that won’t pay in the long run. You need to make your own research and only invest on things that would offer the best return.

Depersonalize Your Home

Most individuals will claim that adding more design to the interior can make it more desirable to the customers, but it’s an error because personal items, art works and collectibles will not really attract them. You could remove these items and leave out the essential furniture so your house will look larger. The goal is to enable the buyers to picture themselves in your house.

They will begin pointing at the different parts of your home while they visualize what they want to put there if they buy the house. It only signifies that your personal items must be removed in the house because it’s going to make it tough for them to visualize.

Put a Realistic Price

If you wish to sell a home in Tampa Bay area, make sure that you set a competitive value for the house. If you’ll put a low price, it’ll be similar to leaving money on the table and if you put a high value, the customers will undoubtedly overlook it. When you are speaking about home buying, the customers will probably be looking at the houses which are similar with yours and compare the costs. If your property is too expensive, they will not buy it.

You should understand that most customers are counting on home financing so you can expect that they won’t take a look at a house that is too costly. If the price is low, selling the house will not be too hard, but your investments will not be returned.

Search For a Real Estate Agent

If you are thinking that one could do the selling on your own, you’re making a huge mistake. You don’t have the knowledge and experience that a professional real estate agent have so it will not be a good suggestion to sell the house on your own.

If you will do it by yourself, it is possible that you will not be able to sell your house or you won’t obtain a good deal. You can get lucky and find a good deal for your property, but you have to keep in mind that selling a house is not about fortunate since we are speaking about a lot of money.

It is best to hire an agent and let them handle everything. You’ll have to pay them, but it’s much better than getting a poor deal for your property.

If you’re likely to sell your house, it is best to follow these simple suggestions so you will not make any mistakes. It is true that these suggestions are very basic, but you may assume that you could sell your property quickly if you’ll follow all these.

Should You Sell Your Home Solo? With So Much Information Available Online Today, It Might Not Be a Bad Idea

Many homeowners do not want to pay commission to a realtor to sell their home. This is understandable. Commission fees are not cheap. In older days, selling a home by yourself was a scary idea. However, there are so many online tools available today that selling your home yourself might be worth a try. There’s a lot that goes into listing, showing and selling a home. However, today’s online tools are great for expediting and easing this process. And there are plenty of benefits to selling your home on your own. The main benefit of selling on your own is saving money. Even if you decide to use an online multiple listing service, which comes with a small upfront fee, you’ll still save much more than if you had worked with a Realtor.

Getting your home ready for sale is essential. You should be making sure that the landscaping is on par. This means fresh grass, fresh flower-beds, no weeds and a swept driveway, porch, and side-yards. It may also mean painting over bright walls with neutral colors. It could also mean trimming trees and bushes. Once you’ve done the basics for maintenance and decor, it’s time to think about selling your home on your own. And this means you need to worry about things you wouldn’t have to with a real estate agent: listing and marketing your home. Here are some steps you need to take: 

One option is to hire a professional to give you an appraisal on the home. However, that can be an unnecessary expense. You can do some research on your own by going online to the sites you’ll use to list your home. See what other homes with similar square footage, rooms and features are going for in your area. Then, list your home competitively, but leave some room for negotiation in the process.

Today, homebuyers shop online. There is no way around this fact. They browse around all of the online listings, and decide which homes they want to see before even stepping foot into the house. Good photos are a must. They are not optional—that is, if you want to actually sell your house. Make sure you have tons. Different angles, for all rooms. There is nothing more irritating to a buyer than to look at your photos but see missing bathrooms and a blurry view of the kitchen. These types of things make them wonder..if there aren’t closets, does that mean it is because they are small? Your best bet is to use an HD camera and natural lighting. Figure out the time of day when your home looks best, or shoot rooms at different times of the day. Open the curtains wide, and get as much natural light in as possible. 

When you’re writing your listing, be sure to include lots of details. Once your listing is up, potential buyers will likely come to you. Being available is extremely important and is essential for good marketing. In other words, potential buyers should be able to reach you by email, phone or in person. Be prepared to work with a potential buyer on arrangements for showing the home. If the buyer is coming with an agent, you can most likely leave the home, allowing the agent to take his client through. But if you’re showing directly to a buyer, you’ll need to be there to highlight the best points of your home, and answer any questions the prospect might have. 

Before you even start marketing your home, it’s important to know what you’ll need for closing. This can be a complex process with lots of paperwork. You’ll need to stay on top of the paperwork, and make sure your buyer is on top of things, especially if the buyer doesn’t have an agent. Closing is one good reason to use a FSBO sellers website, since many of these sites have helpful information to walk you through the closing process. Selling your home on your own isn’t easy. There’s a reason realtors have full-time jobs, after all! However, if you have the time and effort to put in, and you want to save money, there’s never been a better time to go DIY when it comes to selling your home.

For a useful guide, check out How to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor, and, How to Sell Your Home Without an Agent.

Thinking Of Getting a Co-Signer For Your Mortgage? Not So Fast…Read This Article Before Making a Decision

If you’re looking to buy or refinance a home but are having trouble qualifying for a mortgage, your only option may be getting a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who puts their name on the mortgage to guarantee the debt will be paid if the primary borrower defaults. Co-signers are frequently used by young people who are just beginning to establish their credit.07a8a1290eb512b887c2695af30a79e7

In many cases, a co-signer is used to help a borrower obtain better mortgage terms than they could have without one. Having a cosigner allows the borrower to get a loan with a lower interest rate, a smaller down payment or a higher loan amount than they could have obtained by themselves. Co-signers are most helpful in cases where the primary borrower’s income is insufficient to qualify for the loan desired.

When seeking a co-signer, borrowers usually look to relatives, often their parents, who are who are willing to help their young family members when they are just starting out. The key thing is, your co-signer should be someone you know and trust. Neither of you want to be let down by the other. Be careful who you choose, as if you default on the loan, it can, and almost inevitably will ruin the relationship. Being a co-signer on a mortgage is not something to be taken lightly. As co-signer, you have a responsibility for the debt of an actual piece of property. See: What to Do if Your Credit Score Is Not Good Enough.  

If the primary borrower can’t make the payments, it will be your responsibility. If the loan goes into default, it will affect your credit report. Once the loan has been made, you’ll need to keep alert for financial trouble signs. Things like past-due notices are mailed to the primary borrower’s residence, not to you, so early signs of trouble may go unnoticed.

The co-signer and the borrower should communicate on these issues, and it is fair for a co-signer to ask to be updated when and if the borrower is having money troubles.Co-signers should be strongly aware that there will still be marks on their credit report every time the primary borrower makes every payment on time. For further reading: Can a Co-Signer Help You Qualify for a Mortgage? 

The monthly mortgage payments will count as a personal obligation of your own, reducing the amount of credit you have available for your own purposes. Generally, a co-signer will stay on the mortgage for a few years until the primary borrower can establish enough credit or income to assume full responsibility for the loan. At that point, the co-signer can request to be taken off the note by asking the lender to re-qualify the loan with just the primary borrower.

There can be serious financial consequences for the co-signer if the borrower fails to make payments. Be sure that the person you are signing for is someone you fully trust to have your best interest at heart.

Can You Sell And Buy a House At The Exact Same Time? You Sure Can. Here’s How

_DSC0853Selling a home while trying to buy a new one at the same time is hard. For various reasons. First, if you sell your home before you purchase one, you’ll have to live with family, or rent. You won’t be able to negotiate a clause where “you can move in when I find my dream home.” It’s also tough, because most people can’t afford to buy a house before they sell the one they’re in. Here are some ideas on how to sell and buy a home simultaneously. Watch: How to Purchase a Home While You Still Own One.

The reason most homeowners sell one house in exchange for another is because they don’t have enough income to carry two mortgage payments, don’t want to be a landlord renting the property or they need the equity for the down payment. Whatever the circumstances, here are some important aspects to consider. 

Get pre-approved. Have the lender pre-approve you as though your current home is already sold. By having the lender omit your present liability, your projected debt ratio is reduced, making you look better on paper. This pre-approval may even include the down payment coming from the sale of your current home.

You should get professional real estate representation. Your listing agent can represent you on the buy side on your new property, facilitating a successful and smoother process for both transactions because they can communicate with the other agents as the intermediary, solidifying both sales through the close of escrow

Real estate professionals know that when one property selling in exchange for being able to perform another — is weaker than if there is no contingency. While this is certainly true, contingent offers are becoming more common. Releasing financing contingencies at the same time. This is a crucial aspect to the real estate contract. In most real estate contracts, you fully commit yourself to purchasing the property at 17 days.

During the first 17 days, it’s expected of you as the homebuyer to make sure your lender has loan approval. After your loan is approved, release your contingency at the same time the buyer of your home releases their contingency, that way you don’t release contingencies on a property, risking the possible forfeiture of your initial earnest money deposit if the buyer of your property can’t perform. For further reading: Selling & Buying a Home at the Same Time.

Things You Might Be Doing As a Seller That Are Turning Off Your Buyers…And How to Stop

1. Pointing out every flaw 28cd86eb4113f2df2a0a6692fcf15117

This is when buyers give sellers a detailed accounting of all a home’s defects and why each is being subtracted from the asking price. Sellers don’t care why you’re discounting the house. When you push the seller far enough, they start to take on the idea of “why do you even want the house?” It makes them want to just reject your offer altogether.

2. Requesting multiple ‘visits’ before closing

A buyer wants a lot of access after they’ve committed to purchase. They want to bring in decorators, architects, family or even visit it themselves. These visits interrupt thenegotiating-handshake-300x197 seller’s attempts to make repairs while also packing up and moving out. Do your repeat visit while the inspector is on-site, since this is time that is already carved out for the house to be invaded.

3. Trying to renegotiate after the agreement

You’ve agreed on a price, and signed a contract, but now the buyer wants to change the offer, because, “the market has changed.” This usually happens when buyers feel they’ve overpaid in the heat of the moment, when really they didn’t want to pay as high as they offered. This is otherwise known as “buyers remorse.” When this happens, its very uncomfortable for your agent. It’s violating the terms of the contract, and it’s insulting to every party involved. On the other hand, sometimes the seller decides at the last minute to raise the price because he really may be taking offers through another realtor. People are sneaky.  

4. Rushing the closing date

Unless you’re buying an already-vacated property, the seller will likely need some time to get everything together and clear out. Some buyers, request an unrealistic move-in date. It’s annoying to the seller for the buyer to want to close before the seller is ready to move out. For the buyer to demand a certain date is really disrespectful. For further reading, check out this article called Four Wonderful Ways to Annoy a Home Seller.


How to Make Sure That Your Rental Property Is Being Well-Taken Care of By Your Tenants When You Can’t Be There

Despite any problems you may encounter with a tenant, the most important thing you can do from the start through finish is be professional. This is the golden rule to follow through all dealings with your tenant which will instill your tenant to trust you. Check out: A Happy Tenant is a Long-Term Tenantlegal_guide-134555-1438383550

Be aware. Visit your rental property occasionally to stay updated on any maintenance or neighbor related issues as they come up. It is a good idea at the signing of the lease, to let your tenants new tenants that you will be stopping by periodically to check on the house. Of course, you must provide 24 hour notice to enter the house, but checking usually just involves a drive by, to make sure the lawn is well kept, and that there is no debris or excess trash in the front yard. See: Ten Tips for a Healthy Landlord-Tenant Relationship.

Keep accurate records. Always keep records of any financial transactions with your tenant, as well as any communications. If you can, try to keep contact through e-mail. While the phone is more convenient, e-mail allows for you to have written documentation that you can use to your benefit if needed. Written documentation can include any maintenance issues you’ve dealt with, or any warnings or requests you’ve issued.

Maintain good relations. It is important to begin the relationship with mutual respect. If maintenance problems arise, be fix them promptly, and properly the first time. Another good reason to be cordial to your tenant, is that some disgruntled tenants intentionally damage property upon moving out. Don’t give them a reason to take out their anger on your property. See: Best Practices to Prevent Tenant Lawsuits

Techniques for resolving problems. For minor matters, a polite verbal or written request is best. It is best with anyone, including tenants, to “choose your battles.” You don’t want to become the overbearing landlord who complains about everything.

Avoid problem tenants altogether. The best way to avoid problems altogether is to thoroughly screen your tenants from the beginning. While renting quickly is important, you’ll save time and hassle in the long run by being diligent in your screenings. Make the effort to be acutely aware of your tenant’s rental, employment and credit history before you enter an agreement with them. Any prospective tenant should be able to provide solid references. For further reading: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Tenant Eviction Process.