Tips When Making An Offer on Your Home

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a great offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Determine Your Price

“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present.

Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

2. Submit an Offer

“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer.

3. Negotiate the Offer

“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

4. Act Fast

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, having a local professional on your side who is an expert in his or her market is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Happy house hunting!

Arrowbrooke Summer Bash

It’s summer time. School is almost out. What do you do with that time? You throw a Summer Bash in your favorite neighborhood.

I had this idea late last year and needed the perfect neighborhood to execute the idea. I met up with the HOA with the Arrowbrooke neighborhood and explained how I would love to sponsor an event. We came up with this “block party” for the neighborhood. We decided to scale back and connect it with another event that was scheduled.

We got a group of men from the neighborhood to grill food. I had some of my real estate partners sponsor the DJ and giveaways. It ended up being this awesome party for the neighborhood.

Supply & Demand of Real Estate

Just in case you slept through Economics/Civics class in high school and/or college 🙋🏾‍♀️……

Ever wondered why the prices of homes keep increasing in DFW? Is it the new companies constantly moving here? The new Dallas transplants? Or simple supply and demand?

Here’s the DFW answer.

Why are home prices still rising? It is a simple answer. There are more purchasers in the market right now than there are available homes for them to buy. This is an example of the theory of “supply and demand” which is defined as:

“the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.”

When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. This is currently happening in the residential real estate market.

Here are the numbers for supply and demand as compared to last year for the last three months (March numbers are not yet available):

House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand | Keeping Current Matters

In each of the last three months, demand (buyer traffic) has increased as compared to last year while supply (number of available listings) has decreased. If this situation persists, home values will continue to increase.

Bottom Line

The reason home prices are still rising is because there are many purchasers looking to buy, but very few homeowners ready to sell. This imbalance is the reason prices will remain on the uptick.

Let’s Talk About Affordability

 

Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.

However, it is not just the price of a home that determines its affordability. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest rates stand at about 4.5%. The average annual mortgage interest rate from 1985 to 2000 was almost double that number, at 8.92%. When comparing affordability of homeownership over the decades, we must also realize that incomes have increased.

This is why most indexes use the percentage of median income required to make monthly mortgage payments on a typical home as the point of comparison.

Zillow recently released a report comparing home affordability over the decades using this formula. The report revealed that, though homes are less affordable this year than last year, they are more affordable today (17.1%) than they were between 1985-2000 (21%). Additionally, homes are more affordable now than at the peak of the housing bubble in 2006 (25.4%). Here is a chart of these findings:

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000 | Keeping Current Matters

What will happen when mortgage interest rates rise?

Most experts think that the mortgage interest rate will increase to about 5% by year’s end. How will that impact affordability? Zillow also covered this in their report:

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000 | Keeping Current Matters

Rates would need to approach 6% before homes became less affordable than they had been historically.

Bottom Line

Though homes are less affordable today than they were last year, they are still a great purchase while interest rates are below the 6% mark.

Download Your #NewAveRealty Game Plan

Is now the time to get #CROWNEDAHOMEOWNER? I’ve created a game plan to help buyers become the kings and queens of their castle and prepare themselves for the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market. Now is the time to download your personal game plan to get you to results!

Click the link below to download the new game plan.

#NewAveRealty Game Plan

For a more detailed plan of the game plan that include credit resources, savings and spending plan, contact us at info@newavenuerealty.com.

 

Spring Into Action: Boost Your Curb Appeal

Spring is official here – which means planting and landscaping will be in full swing. These activities are not just wonderful hobbies enjoyed by millions, they are key to creating great curb appeal.

The importance of curb appeal

Curb appeal is the aesthetic charm of a property and its surroundings when viewed from the street. In real estate, first impressions make an important impact and curb appeal matters!

Most buyers form an opinion about a property before they step inside – this is valuable to remember whether your clients are buying or selling. A property with an exterior wow factor maximizes its value. At first blush, curb appeal presents itself by the condition of the lawn, trimmed trees and shrubs, planted or potted flowers, fresh mulch, and an inviting entryway.

If a buyer already feels like they are home before even stepping foot inside, sellers are ahead of the game.

Where should homeowners start when looking to boost their curb appeal?

A good overall power washing of the home, porch, garage and driveway will provide a clean slate to work from. It will also reveal whether or not a fresh coat of paint is necessary. If a home requires major repairs such a new roof, paint, driveway, siding or gutters, these are best taken care of before putting the home on the market. Most buyers don’t want to be out of pocket before they’ve even moved in. Smaller projects such as painting the trim or front door can freshen up a home as well as set the palette of your curb appeal projects. Working with the colors of a home and its natural landscape can tie in an overall impression.

What to plant?

When considering adding flower value to a property, it’s a good idea to know which flowers offer the most bang for your buck. Potted and planted annuals offer a quick and immediate fix to a home’s charm and appeal. Annuals are great for filling bare spots in garden beds, adding a pop of color to your front entry or hanging from a basket. Some annuals reseed and will pop up again the following year. Perennials are unfussy, long-lived plants which will bloom year after year. They like to be planted in spring or fall to get a healthy start.

Roses: Most traditional types of roses only have a blooming period of a few weeks. Instead of having a limited bloom time, consider Knock Out Roses. These hearty roses are low maintenance and bloom throughout spring, summer and fall.

Geraniums: These come in a wide array of colors which stay in all summer long. These colorful flowers also pack an extra bonus: their fragrant scent is natural mosquito repellant.

Petunias: Petunias look beautiful and classic in hanging baskets. They also come in a variety of colors to complement a home’s color palette.

Impatiens: These shade-tolerant plants work hard to beautify tree bases, borders and garden beds.

Marigolds: Just like their color implies, these blooms love full sun and are extremely hearty.

Violets: These perennials are purple and low growing, adding a beautiful edge to any border or bed.

Before you plant permanent landscaping plants and shrubs, head to The National Gardening Association website to see which survive best in their specific climate zone(s).

The overall physical condition of a house will be complemented by a great curb appeal. Remember, curb appeal doesn’t have to be elaborate. A freshly cut lawn, clean driveway, inviting entryway and weeded sidewalk present a home that is neat, taken care of, and respected.

Is Moving Up More Affordable in 2018?

If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.

Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:

“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.

Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.

Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”

Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years | Keeping Current Matters

 

The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.
(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)

In DFW, the median sales price for February 2018 was $248,250 which is an increase of 5.6% of appreciation whereas normal appreciation rates are between 2-4% per year.

There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.

Bottom Line
If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come. Let New Avenue Realty at Keller Williams help you learn your options to your future. Contact us at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@NewAvenueRealty.com.

2 Ways to Get the Most from the Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

The Finale: I BOUGHT A HOUSE

It’s a few weeks before closing, I’ve worked out situations with my lender on what I need to do and find out NOT one but TWO of my deals are falling through. In real estate, every deal doesn’t go through. Those aren’t the things I share publicly because that isn’t sexy. How many Realtors out there are really talking about those things? One of the two was deal set to close FOUR days before my home. That WAS my downpayment. I couldn’t sleep at all after finding out. I really was about to watch something I dreamed of walk away so easily. However, when you really work your business, you are never without business. I had another deal come through and close a few weeks prior that secured the extra funds I needed to pay off my car. We even worked everything out to where I brought in $1300 at closing.

I swear every call I received from the lender, my heart would drop. I’m like I have no more money to give without completing falling out of my living comfort zone.

What I learned from the whole process is

1. Never depend on others to do what you REALLY want to do. I know deals may fall through however that one deal set me back because I was dependent on it for my home. Had I not had my house tied to it, I would have been okay.

2. Be resourceful. Just because you have one way or doing things doesn’t make it the only or best way. I was able to use a mortgage credit certificate (which helps me qualify for a tax credit for the life I own the home) to help offset my debt to income ratio. This helped me not really break the bank after paying the car off.

3. Always have MORE money. Down payment assistance route was never my option because I knew the cost of that would have me way out of my comfort zone. I settled for a slightly higher rate than I felt I should have gotten because of the money I wanted to bring to closing. I still feel like my rate should be lower and somewhere between now and April, I hope that can happen.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I tossed and turned every night until I signed the papers. I never got to really enjoy my home when I moved in because I suddenly had to move as my lease ended the day after closing. In my mind, I had to grind for the first mortgage payment. It’s like bills are due and there is no time to slack off. This made me not really sit back and enjoy my hard work. I overworked myself for 2017 because I had grand goals. The first and most important one has been accomplished.

Let’s take a look at the process:

https://youtu.be/_StcYD9o-f0

From “I Do” to Sold

LRE Social Blog

Newlyweds are saying “I do” to each other, and equate to over half of first time home buyers that are also saying “I do” to their dream homes. It makes sense! When you put two hearts together, the time comes to find a home to nourish that love. A home that brings two of your places together, and makes it one. If you and your spouse are ready to fall in love with the perfect house together, here are five tips to make sure the process goes smoothly, and you come prepared.

1. YOUR WEDDING BUDGET: Your wedding is a one-time event that shouldn’t be less than what you’d imagine. It’s a beautiful time to put all of your dream pieces together. However, it’s best to sit down and find out ways you can shift the budget to help with your down payment for a home, if you plan to purchase. The average couple spends a little over $20,000 on their wedding. Even a savings of $5000 from your wedding budget can help with owning the perfect home. 

2. WEDDING GIFTS: Wedding bliss comes with wedding gifts. Let’s admit, one of our favorite times during the wedding season is all of the gifts that come pouring in! Have any friends or family pitching in cash? Save that to put towards your down payment. And depending on the generosity of your gifts, you can even open an account dedicated to your down payment, that friends and family can gift to. 

3. GET PRE-APPROVED: One of the least brought up conversations in relationships is the credit and financial history of your soon-to-be spouse. Get together with a lender to go over both of your histories to know what needs to be done to put you guys in a position to own together. In some cases, only one person can get approved, while the other can’t. If you want to put both of your incomes toward the cost of the house you want, talking to a lender early on can ensure you are prepared to make the right moves.

4. THE RIGHT AGENT: That’s where I come in! For starters, I can connect you with a lender to ensure you guys are being watched over from the best recommendations. And it’s an absolute joy to take the stress out of buying a home for my newly wed couples. We all know how stressful, although joyous, a wedding can be. To then jump into buying a house shortly after, well, it’s certainly a lot to get through. But I can guide you through all of the steps to make sure you end up with a house you love. Just think of me as a wedding planner, but for homes.

5. NOW THERE’S TWO: Although some spouses are a match made in heaven, loving and adoring the same exact things, often times that’s not the case with most couples. You still are your own persons, and have your own tastes. This is where the first step to comprise really begins. Spending a good bit of money on a place you both will love and call home. A happy marriage starts with a happy home, so be sure you both are considerate of each other’s wants and needs in style and location, so you both are happy with the home you end up getting. 

Let’s start the chat to happily ever after. Visit newavenuerealty.com to search for your future marital home.