Monthly Archives: June 2015

5 “Flaws” That Could Save You Thousands

Posted on June 26, 2015 in Buying a Home

The final price of a home takes many different factors into account. These factors can range from concrete ones like the condition of the heating and plumbing, to more situational ones such as the commute times.

But if these situational “flaws” don’t affect you, you might be able to get a great house at a heavily discounted rate!

Some Flaws Within a Home Can Cut Thousands of Dollars Off of the Price You Pay for A HouseLong/Rough Commute

The farther away a home is from the nearest city center, the lower the prices tend to get. It’s quite inconvenient for those with typical jobs which the majority of home buyers possess.

But if you work from home, only have to commute some of the time, work graveyard shifts or don’t really care about difficult commute, you could get a great house for a bargain value. Be sure to use this fact as leverage during your negotiations.

Make sure to inform us that distance is only a minor concern and we will be able to help you find homes like these!

“Average” Schools

It’s important that we focus on the word average here. If the schools near your dream home are actually bad, that could suggest a myriad of other looming socio economic problems in the area.

However, if the local schools are average or slightly below average, you might want to look into the nearby homes if you are unaffected by this. You could end up saving a few grand with no detriment to you!

Nearby Airport or Train Station

This flaw depends on you. Nearby train stations and airports can be aggravating. The sounds and activity all throughout the night will keep most of us awake.

But maybe you don’t mind the sound, or maybe you’re hard of hearing! Perhaps you like being near these places because you have to travel frequently and you don’t have a car? This requires careful consideration, but it can save you a bundle.

Recent Death in The Home

Superstition can be another powerful card in your hand. If there’s been a recent death in a home that you’re looking to buy, chances are the listing price has been slashed considerably.

If you’re not superstitious, a house with a previous death could be your lucky break. However, be aware that you’ll face the same difficulties as the previous seller if you try to sell the house in the near future.

Ugly But Minor Home Damages

Ugly, chipping paint and outdated rusty faucets are eyesores. In some cases, they may be enough to turn potential buyers away entirely. However, we encourage you to dig a little deeper.

It’s imperative that you get an inspection done because these problems can serve as a sign of deeper ones. However, if your inspection comes back okay you should definitely think about buying it. Externally ugly houses can be diamonds in the rough.

Just goes to show that it’s the inside that counts!

What Is “The Real Estate Cycle”

Posted on June 18, 2015 in Buying a Home

If you’ve been doing your research, then you’ve probably heard dozens of real-estate pundits and salespeople throw out the term “real estate cycle”. Terms like these can fly straight over your head if you’re uninitiated, but this term is actually very simple.

Knowing the Real Estate Cycle Can Help You Immensely When Selling or Buying A HomeBasically, city real estate prices flow in a cycle consisting of four phases. The prosperity phase, the decline phase, the depression phase and the recovery phase.

Prosperity Phase

The prosperity phase is the time when the neighborhood is at its absolute best. The home prices are at their highest, the schools are at their best, and usually the neighborhood is cleaner and safer than ever.

Decline Phase

The prosperity phase causes home prices and the cost of living to rise. This will cause many homeowners to put their homes up for sale at the same time. This influx of new homes creates an oversupply in the local housing market.

Due to the oversupply, many homeowners will see their properties sit on the market for many months or years with no concrete leads. What comes next is a mad race to the bottom where homeowners will start slowly dropping their prices over a lengthy period of time.

At this point, amenities like specialized boutiques and gourmet shops slowly begin to migrate or disappear.

Depression Phase

Real estate prices have officially hit rock bottom in this phase. New homes are worth a fraction of what they were in the previous phase. Amenities are mostly gone and crime is probably on the rise. The school system may decline as well.

Oddly enough, this is one of the best times to buy a house. Most people don’t have the courage to do so however.

Recovery Phase

The recovery phase starts with several waves of gentrification. In the inner cities it’s sometimes caused by an influx of wealthy college graduates or LGBT people. Specialty shops, boutiques, and high-end grocery stores start to spring up in the downtown areas again. This gentrification also has the side effect of slowly raising the prices again until they hit the prosperity phase again.

The best time to buy a house is on the tail end of the depression phase or the very beginning of the recovery phase. The home prices will be at their cheapest. If you time it correctly, you could get 150~200% of your investment back.

The best time to sell a house is smack dab in the middle of the prosperity phase. You’ll be able to charge a pretty high price and there will be buyers who are actually willing to pay that much.

5 Easily Overlooked But Important Neighborhood Details

Posted on June 12, 2015 in Buying a Home

Finding a good place to live is more than just buying a good home. When you buy a piece of property remember that you’re buying into the neighborhood and the neighbors just as much as you’re buying the property

There Are Many Considerations People Need to Make When Buying a Home, Such as Noise Levels and Schools That Are NearbySo how do you tell if your neighborhood is any good without actually living there?

Well, grabbing a night at a hotel nearby and spending the day enjoying the locale is the best way to start. Here are the five easiest indicators of a great (or not so great) neighborhood.

Sidewalks and Benches

Sidewalks and benches reveal a lot about the general lifestyle of a neighborhood. If they aren’t there it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just know that your neighborhood could be lacking in overall festivities and socialization if you don’t have them.

Street Signs and Other Public Services

If all the street signs in the neighborhood are dilapidated and the ground is covered in trash, move elsewhere. If the city is beginning to neglect your neighborhood you should take it as a sign that things are going to get much, much worse in the future.

Crime Rates & Sex Offenders

Everyone looks at crime statistics before they move somewhere, and with good reason!

A large amount of crime can spell disaster for families and valuables. In addition, a large amount of crime causes property values to spike downwards.

Sex offenders are also important to look up. If a past sex offender lives in your neighborhood, it may not necessarily be cause for alarm. However, keep your eyes open to keep your children safe.

Noise During Peak Hours

This one is a bit more difficult to track, but it’s very important. If you can, spend a few hours in the area surrounding your dream home. If all you hear are children playing and lawnmowers then you may be on to something awesome.

If you frequently hear car alarms, yelling neighbors, stray dogs, or see lots of people congregating outside of liquor stores, take it as a red flag.

School Ratings

Obviously school ratings are important if you have kids, but they can be just as important if you don’t.

Think of it this way. People have a tendency to live their lives near where they were born. So in a decade or so, those students with poor grades will become your neighbors. Poor education coincides with violent and nonviolent crime, which means that your property values may plummet when those kids grow up.

Renting Vs Selling Your Home

Posted on June 4, 2015 in Buying a Home

So you’ve got a lucrative piece of property on your hands, and you’re wondering what you should do with it. On one hand, you could sell for a big payout that you can use on whatever you want, including a new home elsewhere. On the other hand, you could rent it out and potentially make more money in the long run.

Sometimes Renting Out Your Home Is Better Than Selling It, But Do You Know Which Times Those Are?Making a hasty decision on this issue can result in a lot of headaches. Read on to find out which of the two options is right for you.

Selling

The selling process is pretty in depth and takes a lot of things into account, (which is why you should have a realtor!). But once it’s over, it’s over. You don’t have to worry about fussing with tenants or doing any extra work on your investment.

Selling is best for people who are either too busy, too far, or unwilling to find tenants and all the responsibility that comes with it.

Do be aware that depending on where you live, mortgage properties can be on the market for a long time. Having intimate knowledge of the local real estate scene can obviously lessen that time, but sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it except have frequent open houses and wait patiently.

Renting

Renting is an option that is often ignored by most people. A lot of sellers think that it’s a very complicated and annoying process. But if you price your rental property properly and invest the time into finding good tenants, it can be pretty easy and very lucrative.

However, renting does get complicated if you still owe a mortgage, own a condo, or are in the process of foreclosure.

If you own a condo, you’ll need the approval of your condo association. They can be pretty strict when it comes to renters and you’re going to be held responsible for any trouble that your tenants cause.

If you still owe a mortgage, your mortgage documents may have a section that explains whether you can have tenants or not. Some types of loans, like VA loans, require owner occupancy.

If you’re in the foreclosure process, things get much hairier. In some cases you can rent a property that is being foreclosed on, but your tenants have a right to know that this is happening. It might be difficult to find a renter that’s willing to put up with that.

Most homeowners opt to just sell their homes outright. It’s a clean break, and once the home is sold you don’t have to worry about anything else. But renting might be a smart decision too.