Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a New Home?


I recently got this question and I wanted to share my thoughts on this. A buyer’s agent is free to the buyer even if the the buyer uses new construction. The only time a buyer may be forced to pay a commission is if they go the FSBO or For Sale By Owner route. 

As far as new construction, builders have set aside a budget for agents to supply a commission. Some people think that if they don’t have one, they will get more incentives. That is so UNTRUE. The incentives could be more if you used a Realtor. Realtors have relationships with builder reps and can negotiate everything from lot to upgrades. The contract is also used based on the builder too. Do you have someone working for you to help you combat any issues that mat arise from the contract or building issues?

It’s worth your weight to use a specialist when it comes to buying a new home. There are things that people don’t think of when building or negotiating when buying a new home. 

Just remember that it doesn’t hurt you to have someone represent you in their chosen field where they have the experience. Would you represent yourself in a lawsuit against a major corporation? It’s practically the same thing. 

5 Reasons Why Owning a Home Makes Financial Sense

Did you know June was National Homeownership Month? A recent report stated that buying is cheaper than renting in some metros. I know in DFW, one bedroom apartments are climbing to the $1000 price range. 

Why should you consider being a homeowner? The financial sense it makes. For me, the wealth building tool of homeownership beats renting all day. 

Here are 5 reasons why it makes financial sense:

  • Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up
  • Equity in your home can be a financial resource later
  • You can build wealth without paying capital gains
  • A mortgage can act as a forced savings account
  • Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters. 

So before you sign that lease again, contact New Avenue Realty to better understand your options. 

Est. 2016 – Funky Town Living with Tracey

Tracey’s Gorgeous Home in Fort Worth

When I met Tracey, it was a phone call I received while in New Orleans for the Keller Williams annual Family Reunion conference. I remember sitting in my room I received an email and her number. I was nervous it was a spam email (I cannot tell you how many I get in one day). I was like why not call and make sure. I gave her a call and it was a real person and number. LOL

She told me she saw me in the Missy Lynn videos and was looking for a Realtor to help her purchase a home in Dallas. I told her that as soon as I made it back to Dallas in a few days, we could meet up to talk. I always seem to have some type of connection with clients. Lately, it has been a Louisiana connection. Tracey is from New Orleans and relocated to Dallas after Hurricane Katrina. She had no desires to make Dallas a permanent home but 10+ years later, she decided to do just that.

So we searched. It all started in Denton County. Until finally, I suggested a hidden gem area of Tarrant County.  Read her story and more below.

1. What type of home were you considering? 
At least a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home. Something practical, well-kept and comfortable.
2. What city did you purchase your home in? 
Fort Worth
3. Was it your first choice location? If not, what areas did you consider?
Not my first choice at all! I was convinced I would buy a home in Lewisville, Carrollton, Flower Mound or The Colony. 
4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?
The area I’m in is less congested than some other parts of the Metroplex and if I wanted to avoid the interstate, I could go back and forth to Irving (where I work) on the ground.
5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?
The house itself, the price and the fact that there wouldn’t be much traffic in and around the subdivision because there aren’t that many places of business nearby.
6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?
I LOVE how the subdivision is surrounded by farms, the Trinity river and a small lake.  The drive into my subdivision is really nice and peaceful, particularly at night.
7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?
Definitely put in the time to physically go and view the properties –  even if you think it’s something you don’t want. You’d be surprised at how differently a house feels when you walk inside as opposed to just looking at the pictures. Stay within your means. Go a little bit under if possible because it gives you more money to furnish it exactly how you want and to do projects around the house.
I enjoyed working with Tracey. The Mid-Cities areas were on her list too. However, the homes needed some work based on the price range she wanted to stay in. I suggested that if we go a mile or two from the area, we would find something a little newer/updated. We definitely did just that. When I say this home was a hidden charm, it was. The neighborhood is off chilling (it isn’t far from the highway) but you wouldn’t necessarily stroll up on it. This is one of my favorite homes bought by past clients.

One Year Update: Prosper Living with Lauren

Today is the actual home anniversary of one of my dear friends. A little background story of how I connected with Lauren before she was a client. We both attended Louisiana State University. We started in Summer 2006 and were both as we say it in Louisiana “318” girls. That just means we are from North and Central Louisiana.

Lauren moved to DFW from Houston in 2015. She quickly told me she’d rent for a few months and purchase a home. She had purchased two in Houston and she didn’t plan to be in anyone’s apartment. As she says this, I quickly mention that the Dallas market is different from Houston and a little more expensive as well. After 6 months of renting a townhome, Lauren was over it and was ready to find her home. Our journey began. Read below for her chat on buying her first home in DFW.

June 8, 2016 – #CrownedAHomeowner

1. What type of home were you considering?

I previously came from a 4 bedroom home so I was looking for a similar size home that would accommodate all my furniture.
2. What city did you purchase your home in?

Prosper
3. Was it your first choice location? If not, what areas did you consider?

I focused my search on a particular area of town and not so much the city. I was open to all areas along the 380 corridor.
4. Now that you have lived in your city for a year, what is it that you like about your city?

I love that Prosper is a growing town. I get the small town feel all while being close to the city.
5. What attracted you to your neighborhood?

The builder, neighbors, and amenities.
6. What is something that you like about your neighborhood now that you have lived there for a year?

I love the sense of community in my neighborhood. If I ever leave something at the grocery store, I just ask my neighbors and they have it!
7. What advice would you give a first time homebuyer?

Be willing to compromise. It’s rare that you will get everything on your wish list. Understand that all the lovely features you want will cost so understand what can be upgraded at a later time to add value to your property in the future.

Love her decoration of her fireplace as a focal point in the living room

 

One of Lauren’s dogs ACTING precious. I know the real truth.

 

Lauren’s home was actually one that looked small without furniture in it. When I stopped by after she moved in, I was like WOW….I can’t believe your home is this big. This is to say, you’d be surprised on how much space the rooms actually have.

When to Get Excited About the Housing Market

Real estate professionals get that consumers, by and large, ignore housing statistics and the market until they become involved in the purchase or sale of a home. It’s only natural then that what impacts the market is a bit of a mystery to many. What determines a buyers’ or sellers’ market? What factors influence home prices?

Of course the answers to these questions and more may be multi-faceted, but it’s important to pay attention to them if you hope to keep more of your money when it’s time to buy or sell real estate.

Believe it or not, even in what seems like the gloomiest of real estate markets, there will be a glimmer of light for some.

Pay Attention to Interest Rates

It certainly is no secret that obtaining a lower interest rate for a mortgage typically allows for a lower payment. Naturally then, low interest rates make home-buying an attractive venture—and, even whispers of a rate hike can spur folks to get out into the market.

For instance, by the end of 2015, the U.S. saw 5.26 million home sales, which was the most robust housing market since 2006. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), attributed the robust market, in part, to the mere “prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months.”

And, rise they did, throughout the following year. In fact, late in 2016, mortgage interest rates rose eight times in nine weeks, according to bankrate.com. Sounds rather gloomy until one recognizes that, post-hike, rates were still at historic lows.

The bottom line is that if you’re in the market for a home and interest rates decrease or remain attractively low, it’s time to get excited about the housing market.

The Economy

The current economy is a key factor affecting the real estate market. “Broadly speaking, when the economy is sluggish, so is real estate,” claims Joseph Nguyen at Investopedia. Rather than look at the glass half-full, however, we choose to take the opposite tack—when the economy is humming along, the housing market is at its most attractive.

When job growth is robust, consumer confidence rises and we’re more apt to spend money on high-ticket items, such as cars, appliances, vacations and, yes, homes.

Exciting Markets for Sellers

There’s an old saying in the real estate industry that counsels homeowners that the best time to sell a home is when you need to sell your home. Yes, we understand that isn’t very helpful. If you’re one of the fortunate who has no compelling reason to sell (such as a job offer in a different town or divorce), you have the luxury of choosing when to put the home on the market.

Get excited if real estate professionals mention the words “sellers’ market.” This is a period in which there are few homes for sale but buyer demand is high. During sellers’ markets prices typically increase rapidly and homes sell at or above list price.

One of the biggest mistakes we see in sellers’ markets is the homeowner who feels that the market itself will bring top dollar for the home, regardless of condition. Be aware that it’s the homes in good condition that sell the quickest and for the most amount of money. Regardless if market conditions favor sellers, if your home isn’t in move-in condition, it may be passed over by home buyers.

Buying a Home This Year?

A buyers’ market—when there is a large selection of homes for sale and few other buyers in the market—is a great time to purchase a home. Unlike a sellers’ market, prices aren’t rapidly escalating and you won’t be competing against a slew of other buyers. These markets are more relaxed so homebuyers can take their time deciding.

In a sellers’ market, however, it’s more important than ever to have all your ducks in a row before making an offer on a property. Ensure you know exactly how much you can spend and that you’ve obtained a preapproval letter from your lender. Make your offer stand out from others by keeping it lean and mean, with the shortest time periods for contingencies as possible. Finally, come in with your highest and best offer. A sellers’ market moves too quickly to assume the homeowner will negotiate over price.

While the type of market may determine when to jump in, as mentioned earlier, interest rates can also cause excitement in the housing market. Low rates and relaxed lending guidelines, such as we saw in 2015 and 2016, presented a prime opportunity for many would-be buyers who previously couldn’t afford to purchase.

Lower mortgage rates mean a lower monthly payment, which means you have more purchasing power, and that additional power can “mean the difference between buying a 2-bedroom home versus a 3-bedroom one; between buying a home with large closets versus small closets; and, between buying an upgraded home versus a dated one,” according to Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports.

Regardless of the media’s perception of the housing market, there is always a mix of good and bad news, depending on whether you are in the market to buy or to sell. Arm yourself with a professional real estate agent who can supply you with current and local market information (too often what you read in the news is stale and based on nationwide statistics), follow his or her advice and buying or selling a home in any market will be an exciting process.

 

Ready to talk to a Dallas real estate professional? Book an appointment with me at atfowlerrealtor.appointy.com.