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Real Estate – Simple Buying Tips!

Everyone needs a little bit of friendly advice from time to time, and that’s especially true when dealing with real estate. It’s a tough world out there for a buyer. It’s doubly tough in a market like the one we have had over the past several years. So here are a few buyer-oriented real estate tips that may help you as you approach this market. The goal of these tips is simply to provide current and helpful items to consider so you can make the best possible buying decisions.

First, when you decide it is time to purchase a home, start by making a list of what you are looking for with your real estate purchase and stick to it. Put your most important items on the top of the list and work down in order of what is less important. Decide on what would be deal breakers from the start, and you won’t be confused and unsatisfied later.

Be sure to keep all aspects of the home you are thinking about purchasing in mind. While the physical aspects … size of rooms, the kitchen and so on are important factors, avoid focusing solely on a few things. Other considerations such as traffic patterns, distance from work, noise levels, do you feel safe, the quality of the neighborhood, have you met the neighbors? These and other issues hugely impact your experience once you are living in the home.

Buying a home with a great view might be what you are looking for, but remember it may have disadvantages, too. Usually, it costs significantly more than the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. Its resale value can also be negatively affected, as the potential buyers might not appreciate the view as much as the original buyer did. There is also a good possibility that over time new structures will be erected, significantly altering the original panoramic view; be sure you know what is going to happen to the land … and views you are looking … at in the future. So, yes, having a great view may be nice, but do your due diligence and always try to pay as little extra as possible for the view.

For those of you real estate investors or first-time hom owners seeking to purchase properties at courthouse auctions, it is always wise to conduct a thorough title review before bidding. In this way, successful buyers avoid getting stuck with a house that remains subject to unpaid taxes, contractor’s liens or other mortgage obligations that were not cleared up. Don’t take it for granted that these issues were all eliminated at the foreclosure; check for yourself and be certain that you will not have clouds on the title. This could be a costly problem.

As an investor, you must look past the cosmetic aspects of the house you are looking to purchase. If the walls are dingy, it only takes a few dollars to buy a can of paint and freshen up the look. Conversely, the previous owner may have covered up the ills of the past with that same few dollars of paint. Look at location and major repairs and do not overlook the small things, as small things can become big things fast. Do an in-depth inspection, bring a contractor with you when you are looking at a home you may be interested in bidding on. Be sure you have a good estimate of what the repair and improvement costs are going to be and what the market value after repairs (ARV) will be. The ARV is important to know, you do not want to be overpriced for the market area, or if you plan to flip the home, if there is enough profit potential in the deal.

December 20, 2010

“For Sale By Owner” Not as Successful in 2010

Homes sold without the help of a real estate professional dropped to a record low over the past year. According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, unrepresented sellers made up only 11 percent of the market, down from 13 percent in
2009.

Owners who sell their home without the help of an agent usually sell to someone they already know. Factoring out those private sales, the actual number of homes sold on the
open market without professional assistance was a record low 5 percent, compared to 10 percent in 2004.

With the higher rate of foreclosed and short sale properties on the market currently, buyers need to use a certified Realtor to help navigate through a sale or purchase. It is not out of the ordinary for many Realtors to be unfamiliar with the process, and this can make the real estate journey a lot harder for the buyer.

Finding a Realtor that can assist you and your needs is the best way to find a home or have your property sold in a timely manner.

For help with this process you can contact Showcase Realty by clicking here to get started on your way to selling or purchasing a property.

December 15, 2010

Interest Rate RoundUp, Mortgage Rates on the Rise

The election is over and so is the need to keep interest rates artificially low. If we absorb the pain now, we’ll be less likely to remember it during the 2012 election. Don’t wait! Rates are rising!

Interest Rate Roundup for Dec. 2, 2010 from Bankrate.com

Mortgages
4.71% (30-year fixed)
0.36 (average points)

Here’s a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Dec. 1, 2010.

Mortgage products took a sharp leap upward this week, with the 15- and 30-year home loans rising significantly amid signs that the U.S. economic recovery may also be gathering strength.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage shot up 13 basis points, to 4.71 percent, its highest level since last summer. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percent.

The story was much the same for 15-year fixed rate mortgages, although their ascent was not as steep, climbing 10 basis points to 4.07 percent.

The rises were more moderate for adjustable-rate mortgages. The popular 5/1 ARM rose 8 basis points, settling at 3.74 percent. With a 5/1 ARM, a mortgage has a fixed rate for the first five years, and is adjusted annually — based on market conditions — for the remainder of the loan’s term.

It was the highest rate for 30-year mortgages since July. Bankrate’s July 21 national survey found an average rate of 4.74 percent, after which home loans began a descent that lasted until early November and brought mortgages to record low rates.

Although it is difficult to establish a direct relationship — and the housing market remains troubled by virtually every measure — the strengthening of mortgage rates is occurring as the tepid economic recovery is also gaining momentum.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks manufacturing industries, said factory output has now risen for 16 months in a row. In addition, a Federal Reserve survey found that 10 of its 12 regions are seeing economic expansion, while the other two — St. Louis and Philadelphia — have mixed conditions.

The economic indicator most relevant to housing, however, is unemployment. The country will get an indication of whether the labor market is recovering on Friday, when the government releases figures for unemployment and job creation for the month of November.

Find out monthly mortgage payments using Bankrate’s mortgage calculator.

— Gregg Fields

Read more: National mortgage rates for Dec. 2, 2010

To take advantage of low mortgage rates and low interest rates while you can, contact a Realtor who can help you! Click here.

November 26, 2010

Foreclosure Freeze is Thawing! Important news for buyers & sellers

According to Fannie Mae, they are lifting some of the holds on eviction actions and REO closings that were put in place in September 2010. The holds were placed in response to the issues of possible defects with affidavits submitted in foreclosure actions. This means the homes that were removed from the market will be placed back on the market and closings will be able to proceed over the next week as Fannie Mae works through lifting the holds.

The following are instructions for brokerages Fannie Mae has issued to inform them of the current situation and how to proceed.

“Effective November 24, 2010, Fannie Mae is issuing the following instructions for REO properties relating to all loans which were formerly serviced by GMAC, Bank of America, PNC Mortgage Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, One West Bank and Sovereign Bank in all states previously on hold:

1. Our prior guidance with respect to evictions and lockouts for each of the affected servicers remains in effect at this time.

2. Proceed with scheduling and holding the closings of Fannie Mae REO property as agreed between the parties. If a title issue arises with respect to the potential defect of an affidavit used in the underlying foreclosure, the Closing entity will identify the issue in AMN as they would any other title issue and will work with their title representative for further instructions.

3. Please reach out to all buyers that have been awaiting closing to ensure that they can now move forward. They may reschedule to an earlier date if needed. It is possible that their loan and/or closing files will need to be updated before their closing can be scheduled.

4. Please reach out to those buyers that elected to terminate their contracts to determine if still interested in purchasing the property. All details of the contact and response must be noted in AMN. We require response/update in comments within 72 hours of this notice if the buyer associated with the terminated contract wishes to re-engage.

Over the next week, impacted properties will be removed from their current “Unable to Market” status in AMN and will again be available to market.”

For more information regarding the foreclosure freeze or for help buying a home that was taken off the market due to a title defect, please click here.

Working with Charlotte Realtors

If you are looking at the purchase of a home in the Charlotte, NC area, it is advisable to get some expert help to secure a good deal. You wouldn’t go to a plumber for legal representation, so why not work with local expert Charlotte realtors to help you find the home of your dreams.

The general real estate market in Charlotte has seen a lot of fluctuation over the last year. Like many southeastern areas of the United States, property values have declined significantly. This has left many people “upside down” in their loans. That is why we have seen so many REO foreclosures on the market. In addition, there is a whole new issue about to hit the real estate market this year. It’s called balloon payments coming due, as well as ARM’s getting ready to change.

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