Buying a Home? Do Your Research

One thing that I do with all new and potential clients is to schedule a consultation. The consultation helps each party set expectations but most importantly, it helps to properly educate a buyer or seller.

I never want to sell my clients just anything or any service. I want to be the one who helps you make the best educated decision in life’s biggest financial transaction. I value the relationship I have with my clients so I treat everyone as if they are a dear friend that I want the best for.

However, with so many things available at our fingertips, it is hard to not have knowledge on some things.

The market in Ohio may be a totally different market in Texas. The market in Dallas is a totally different market than Houston. You cannot take what person A in New Mexico said compared to where you are buying in let’s say Georgia. Markets differ. One market may have an abundance of foreclosures and another one not so much.

For consultations, I like to break down all myths and help a client know what’s happening in Dallas/Fort Worth. An example would be the southern suburbs and the northern suburbs of Dallas. The same home in Lancaster may cost $100K less than the same home in Little Elm. Dallas has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country and foreclosures are rare at the moment. What may have been available in 2009 may not be available in 2017. I get it. I miss the cheap housing of DFW too. Imagine the days where you can get a home in The Colony, Little Elm, or even McKinney for $150K? I was helping people find them in 2014. That’s the last time I’ve seen homes in those prices in the northern suburbs.

So you’re interested in buying a home and want to know where to start?  I like some tips on the best way to start researching your market below. 

Here’s the best way to start your research in the market.

  • A. Find areas that you like (Do 3-5 areas).
  • B. Look up homes in those areas. What do they cost? What do you like about them? We all have areas we desire but in today’s time that area may not fit our budgets. If you barely find a home available under $200K or even under $150K in these areas, the market is higher. If that may not be your budget, find other areas that fit your price range.
  • C. Know your OWN coin. Look at your gross or net income for the month. Subtract the expenses you have from bills (excluding rent). What is left over? That may be the amount you have realistically to pay for a home. Rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% on mortgage/rent. Lenders generally include this as well. This is called debt to income ratio. They include housing expenses (mortgage) and debt expenses to help you know what you can afford. This also may be the time to find what you can eliminate to afford a home that you want.
  • D. Get Pre-Approved. It’s one thing to dream of the lovely $450K home but it is more responsible on knowing if you can afford it or not.
  • E. After getting pre-approved, go back to A and see if you are able to realistically do A. This becomes a one-on-one conversation with yourself to realize what you can and cannot do. Look at other areas that have more availability in your price range. Venture out to visit the areas and see if it is something that you can do. People are generally surprised what other areas offer.
  • F. Get a Realtor. Online research can only go so far. Find a knowledgeable Realtor that you can connect with.

The key to homeownership is to start. Your first home is not your forever home. YOUR FIRST HOME IS NOT YOUR FOREVER HOME. It is your first home. You second home may be that dream home you’ve always wanted. It may be your third or fourth. If you ever want to sit down and have a discussion with me about the DFW housing market, contact me today via phone or email at 972-183-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com. Book an Appointment here to schedule a consultation.

6 Reasons Your Home Won’t Sell

Are you ready to sell your home and want it to have a great first impression on the market? Or maybe your home has been listed for a few weeks or months, and you can’t figure out why it won’t sell, and you know your agent is working hard to market it. We’ve listed below the top 6 reasons your home may not make a good impression and end up stagnant on the market.

1. IT’S OVERPRICED

To be clear, an overpriced home is the #1 reason a home won’t sell. We often times want our homes to be worth a lot more than we may see based on the data, but if you put your home on the market for the number you wish it will bring instead of the price it actually needs to be, your home can sit on the market for months without getting a single showing. If you’re thinking you need to price high to leave room for negotiations, statistics show that views for your property, for buyers in your price range, can drop a whopping 90% if it’s priced too high. Discuss with your agent what the market says the value of your home is, then price it competitively to potentially get a bidding frenzy instead of low offers or having it expire.

2. LOW SHOWING AVAILABILITY

Making sure the house is clean and having to leave on a daily basis for buyers to tour the home may get a little overwhelming, but it is crucial to have open availability to have your home shown. You could end up missing out on the perfect buyer if you decline too many showings. The longer it sits on the market, the less value buyers will see in it. Talk with your agent about having a 24 hour notice period if the extra time is needed, but make sure your home is available to be shown as often as possible.

3. CLUTTERED SPACE

Buyers want to walk into a house and envision their lives in that home. This is difficult to do if your home is cluttered with personal belongings. They are instantly given the feeling of invading someone else’s personal space, instead of the satisfaction of being able to see a future in your home. Make sure your property is clutter free before putting it on the market; and store away any family photos.

4. UNPLEASANT ODORS

If you smoke or have pets, it’s easy to get used to the smell to the point that you don’t even notice it anymore. But it’s important to understand that the scent can be picked up by new people visiting your home, and it can really turn them off from making an offer. Before a showing, make sure to dispose of any garbage, don’t cook fish or other strong smelling food, and ensure the home is freshened up so there are no pet or smoke odors.

5. UNWILLING TO MAKE REPAIRS

Selling your home as-is may sound appealing at first, but being unwilling to make repairs could cost another mortgage payment that far exceeds the cost of repairs if you refuse to work with the buyer on their requests and the home goes back on the market again. It’s wise to be open to repair requests, and simply go over with your agent what you can afford to do and make a reasonable counter offer during the repair negotiations. 

6. UNWILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH BUYERS

It’s important to have an open mind about requests that will come from buyers when it comes to purchasing your home. These requests can come in the form of price negotiations, repair requests, or even requests to cover closing costs or home warranties. With your agent on your side advising you of the best steps to take, it’s best to be open to working with the buyer’s on some of their requests to ensure a successful closing.

If you’re considering selling your home, book an appointment with me to have a complimentary seller’s consultation before listing your home. You can book an appointment here or contacting me at 972-813-9788.

Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on buyer activity. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way, but the challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has lead to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent Bloomberg article touched on the current market conditions:

“It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in big numbers:

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in [interest] rates is over. If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

In Dallas, homes are staying on the market for almost 16 days with the homes selling at 98.4% of the listing price.  Homes under $200,000 sell in 6 days and sell for 100% of list price in North Texas.

Bottom Line

In today’s competitive atmosphere, you need a professional on your side who knows your exact market conditions and can help you take the steps you need to be able to secure your new home! Schedule a buyer’s consultation with New Avenue Realty at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.