Posts Tagged ‘sellers’

For Bedford Real Estate, Halloween Marks a Turning Point

Fa la la la la, la la la la: it’s carol time again!

Not quite? You can’t almost hear those sleigh bells ringing? Well, brace yourself. Halloween is today—and nowadays, that means that by Wednesday, holiday advertising will be with us for the duration.

Whether we admit it or not, the Thanksgiving start of holiday season is a thing of the past. Hallmark has already launched its “Countdown to Christmas;” Bedford mailboxes are filling with gift catalogs; store windows are only weeks away from being transformed into snow-sprayed winter wonderlands.

As far as Bedford real estate is concerned, a couple of the advantages to buying during the holiday season will arrive more or less simultaneously. And there are advantages.

One real estate education company, FortuneBuilders, counts five key reasons why “the holidays are a great time to buy.” In short, they are:

  1. Limited inventory. Less activity means fewer competing buyers.
  2. Sellers are motivated. Those who have not sold during the peak season are more likely to welcome offers.
  3. This depends on the particular financial situation of both Bedford buyers and sellers.
  4. Lower interest rates. Historically, interest rates tend to be lower during the holidays—probably because mortgage companies need to pep up sleepy demand.
  5. Faster closing. Although lenders, brokers, and inspectors may be thinking it’s time to take a vacation, when business does appear, they clear the decks and move!

Those reasons may seem like distant abstractions in the week before Halloween, but they are very much in play starting with the first stirrings of November….and Thanksgiving…and all the rest of the holiday onslaught! For those who will be in the market for a new Bedford home—in reality, they’ll be shopping in a “holiday” market environment! As the educators put it, “some of the best deals you can make during the holidays involve real estate, not 72-inch televisions.”

Give me a call me anytime!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billerica Mortgage Rates: Perception and Reality

Billerica mortgage rates have been so low for such a long time that it would be surprising if area buyers didn’t begin to take them for granted. It’s only human nature. Addressing would-be home buyers who, though qualified, remain on the sidelines, government-sponsored Freddie Mac headlined the question, “If Housing Is So Affordable, Why Doesn’t It Feel That Way?

The article appeared in Freddie Mac’s Insight publication which noted that right now housing isn’t just affordable—it’s “near record” affordable! HUD’s Housing Affordability Index has been rising for over 35 years, interrupted only briefly by the housing crisis of the mid-2000s. It hasn’t quite sustained the all-time affordability peak but is holding steady well within hailing distance of that 2012 record.

Billerica mortgage rates have cooperated nicely, continuing to go with the national herd. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, U.S. rates averaged 3.90%—down even further from the previous week’s 3.93%. Of course, the 15-year and adjustable rate offerings were even lower.

With that kind of good news, why do the media report “affordability issues” (Mortgage Daily News) and even an “affordability crisis” (PBS)? The answers dwell in both perception and in some underlying realities.

There’s definitely reality in the widespread phenomenon of a shortage of housing supply. Billerica listings may show a number of properties being offered, but the national number of homes up for sale remains “very tight.” The echoes from 2009, when new housing starts hit rock bottom, are still having an effect. In that year, housing starts barely equaled a third of the previous averages. Even though current construction levels are nearly back to normal, they’ve yet to make up for that shortfall.

Less real is the public perception of how much cash is needed for a down payment. Billerica mortgage rates may be tantalizingly low, but when potential local applicants “mistakenly believe they must have a 20% down payment to obtain a mortgage,” the result is a number of otherwise-qualified buyers who don’t know that more than half of today’s borrowers make smaller down payments.

Not mentioned in the Insight article is another psychological factor that could explain two things at once. In The New York Times’ “Politics” section, a commentary sought to explain why the Federal Reserve wasn’t acting to boost interest rates. According to the author, the cause lay with inflation rates, which remain low—“and that’s a problem” for Fed rate-makers. The reason higher inflation would be a good thing (despite common sense) is that it makes consumers feel good when their paychecks go up. “A little inflation can brighten the economic mood…people enjoy the illusion.”

The upshot here may be that even though today’s extraordinarily low Billerica mortgage rates create actual affordability, some well-qualified customers may feel safer staying on the sidelines until the economy starts generating go-go economy headlines. It’s an ironic reality that by the time those headlines materialize, actual affordability might have already begun to slip away.

If you’ve been mulling the wisdom of your own Billerica home acquisition, let me show you some great properties…and some great numbers!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
Laer Realty PartnersJoan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

 

 

 

Housing Opportunity Comes in an Ugly Box

Another great article by guest blogger Kathy Vasel of Sage Bank.  And this goes out not only to the buyers who may be on the fence but also to the sellers.  The same opportunity is out there for you as you will not only be selling your house but more than likely will also be buying one.  This is the time to put your home on the market and make your dreams happen.     Joan Parcewski, Woods Real Estate     joan@woodsre.com    O 978-262-9665   c 978-376-3978

 

Is it really an opportunity now to invest in real estate when it seems to be declining?  Or did you miss the boat?  Those are great questions! You will see why I believe it is still a great investment!  It is not only one of the reasons below but all of them to create this tidal wave of opportunity.   Opportunity doesn’t come in a pretty box with a bow for you to open…it is ugly.  The stars have never been better aligned to buy real estate.  If you wait the opportunity window will close.

Where are the interest rates?  Rates are currently at the lowest level in history.  Let me say that again…rates are at the lowest they have been in history.  Talk to your parents who may have bought their first home with an 18% interest rate.  Do not think the rates will stay where they are forever.  We have been spoiled and this is not reality.  Do not get fooled.  Normally interest rates follow gold prices.  Have you seen the way gold is growing in value?  The Feds are holding rates down which is not normal.   Interest rates are affected by stocks and bonds.  When the stocks decline, bonds improve and interest rates will go up.  The Feds job is to bring inflation to turn the market around.  Inflation helps the government but hurts people.  I predict as a nation the Feds have to have inflation and rates will go up.   The only good thing about inflation for the people is that their home values increase.

Let’s talk about population…there are 310 million people who need a place to live.  They either live in a home, need to buy a home, or rent which will absorb the real estate on the market.  There are approximately 15 million college students.  The normal tracks of life are to graduate, get married, and you guessed it buy a home.   Once they graduate and start buying real estate will soar and bring up values.

Historically, appreciation for real estate is a 6% average.  A great example of appreciation is when Manhattan was sold in the year 1600 for beads and cloth which was equally valued for $24.  If that money was invested into the bank the mathematical calculation with compounded interest would be worth over $200 billion today.  My point is everything appreciates historically even though currently you may not be seeing that appreciation.  So let’s say real estate may only grow in value at 2% to use worst case scenario.   Let’s use this example, if you were to purchase a home today for $100,000 and used $10,000 for a down payment.  With a 2% appreciation growth in that house you gain a $2,000 value.  Since you invested $10,000 that equals a 20% return on your investment.  Are you getting that in your bank account right now?  Not to mention, you will have tax deductions when you buy real estate which increases your wealth and net worth.

Are we at the bottom you might ask?  If the rental for a single family home is at $1,400 per month and you can get a mortgage payment for the same $1,400 per month it is an indication that we are at the bottom.  Oh and by the way, this is absolutely attainable right now.  However, you may be still thinking you want to make sure you get the cheapest purchase price you possibly can and want to still hold out and wait.  Or you may be afraid of overpaying.  If you buy when the market is still going down you are buying right.  Some thoughts you may have are:  I don’t want to settle on this market, I want to buy the cheapest price, I ‘m afraid to over pay.  Fear can turn to greed which may cause you your self inflicted loss.  Do you remember grandparents telling you I wish I bought when?  Don’t let this happen to you.  When the market rebounds and home prices start increasing you will have missed the boat.  When prices increase again that means that it is gone…the market sailed by you.

Are you a follower or a leader?  So here is the real question to think about.  If you are a leader you will do your own research and determine it is without a doubt a remarkable time to buy real estate.  Most leaders make their money when they don’t follow the crowd.  When the crowd starts making purchases it is too late to buy at the lowest level, because everyone is doing it and this causes values to increase.  Remember history repeats itself and what goes down must come up. In 1992 there were many articles written that will make you think you are reading about today’s news.   Do you remember what happened after 1992?  Did we have a real estate boom?

Educate yourself, buy smart…Buy Now!  Go find out about the ugly box of opportunity waiting for you.

Kathy Vasel
Senior Mortgage Consultant
NMLS# 50076
sage bank

 

66 Concord Street, Suite M, Wilmington, MA 01887

 

 

Direct: 978.433.5322
Office: 781.995.3440
Mobile: 978.502.2998
Fax: 781.995.3423
kvasel@sagebank.com

 

Top 3 Ways to Turn a Seller Off – A Reprint

This reprint comes from Trulia.com.  It is right on when it comes to buyers. 

Buying and selling a home is a very personal and very emotional time – both from the perspective of the buyer and the seller.   Buyers – you really want to buy this house – make the best possible deal, get the most for your money.  Sellers – you want to seell this house –  make the most profit, get the most you can for all you have invested both financially and emotionally.  And keep in mind there is a market out there of similar homes that help both sides determine what is a fair price – Ultimately the price of each home sold in a neighborhood affects the market value price of the rest of the homes.  This is why foreclosures and short sales have an effect on other home values around them. 

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Buyers, if you want a home’s seller to play ball, best practice is to avoid these 3 pitfalls:

1. Unjustified, extreme lowball offers: It’s no secret that buyers have the upper hand in many markets right now. (To be clear, I said ‘many’ – not ‘every’ – your agent can help you understand what the dynamics are in your market.) But let’s be realistic, here. No seller can afford to give away their home at a price far below what it’s worth on today’s market. Lowballing a seller at a price far below the recent sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood on the ‘let’s-take-a-stab’ plan, is highly likely to turn them off.  And that, in turn, will cause the seller to view your offer – and you – as disrespectful and wasteful of their time. Not only will they turn down your offer, but they may not even bother with a counteroffer, rendering your efforts at securing that particular home dead in the water. Buyers: Review the recent sale prices of similar homes in the neighborhood (aka “comps”) with your agent before you make your offer. Also, ask them to help you factor in other market data, like the average list price-to-sale price ratio and the average number of days neighborhood homes stay on the market. It’s all right to come in lower than asking, if the market data supports such an offer; just be sure your offer is based on reality – and not your fantastical hallucination about scoring the bargain of the millennium.

2. Buyer-side mortgage fails: Plenty of employed buyers with decent credit and cash in the bank have been turned down for a mortgage these past few years. That means buyers can’t assume (a) that they’ll be approved for the amount of loan they need to buy the house they want, or (b) that they’ll be approved for a loan at all. Your inability to get approved for a home loan can create all sorts of problems not just for you, but also for your home’s seller. The average seller’s  worst case scenario is that  they accept your offer only to find out a few weeks, or months, later that you can’t get the loan you need to close the deal. Buyers: It’s not overkill to start working with a mortgage professional as far as six months or a year in advance of starting your house hunt to get pre-approved for a loan. Make sure you get a clear understanding of the amount you qualify for, then work with your real estate agent from there to determine the price range you should house hunt in. And whatever you do – don’t buy a new car, open new credit cards or even change your line of work before your escrow closes, unless you consult closely with your mortgage professional before you make that move. Tip for Sellers: Work with your agent to vet buyers before you sign a contract. Factor in their down payment and earnest money deposit, and feel free to counteroffer these items, not just the offer price. It’s not overkill to have your agent contact the buyer’s mortgage broker to see how reliable the buyer’s pre-approval really is.

3. Bashing the seller’s home: Home bashing happens when buyers start bad-mouthing (aka “trash talking”) the place and/or the neighborhood in hopes of getting a lower asking price. Examples: pointing out all the foreclosures in the area, saying the house down the street just sold for much lower than the asking price on this house, saying you’ll need to rip out the entire kitchen before you even consider moving in – saying any of these things to a seller who happens to be at home during the showing or the inspection is probably one of the fastest ways to turn them all the way off. Buyers: Bad-mouthing a house or neighborhood won’t work to get you a lower price. Instead, it only serves to irritate the seller and motivate them to come up with all sorts of reasons why they shouldn’t sell their home to you! Remember: homes hold incredible emotional experiences for owners. Make an offer you’re comfortable with and keep the negative comments to yourself. If there are legitimate, factual reasons underlying your decision to make an offer at a price the seller might see as a lowball, ask your agent to respectfully communicate those facts to the seller’s agent.

A Realtor will help you not make these mistakes.  Listen to their advice. 

Buyers/Sellers – Some Documents You Will Need for the Process

This information is taken from Trullia:
Home buyers and -sellers alike often bristle with anticipatory irritation at the mere thought of all the paperwork they expect they’ll have to come up with to do their transaction, above and beyond the basic loan application, contract, disclosures and closing docs. And these worries start way in advance; it’s as though, before they even start visiting open houses, buyers begin to visualize – and dread – spending hours upon hours in the dank catacombs of the Vatican (à la Da Vinci Code) combing through ancient files, seeking some rare and precious artifact documenting their childhood dental history or genealogy.

In some respects, this vision of the experience of obtaining a home loan might not be far off – there are oodles of hoops through which to jump and, occasionally, the loan underwriter requests something sort of bizarre. But more commonly, there’s a pretty finite universe of documents you’ll really need to scrounge up to get your home bought – or sold. Here they are:

ID (e.g., driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport). Who must produce it? Buyers and sellers. Why? Uh, hello!?! Lender wants to know that you are who you say you are, buyers, and the title insurance company wants to make sure, sellers, that you actually have the right to sell the home. Funny enough, this commonly goes unrequested until you get to the closing table, when the notary requests to see it before signing, but some mortgage brokers and even some real estate brokers and agents may ask to see it earlier on.
Paycheck Stubs. Who must produce it? Any buyer financing their purchase with a mortgage. Sellers, usually only in the case of a short sale. Why? Buyers’ purchase price ranges are determined, in part, by their income. And short sellers have to prove an economic hardship.
Two months’ bank account statements. Who must produce it? Buyers getting financing; sellers selling short. Why? Buyers’ lenders now require proof of regular income and proof that the down payment money is your own. Short sellers? It’s all about the hardship.
Two years’ W-2 forms or tax returns. Who must produce it? Mortgage-seeking buyers and short selling sellers. Why? Banks want to see a stable, long-term income. They also limit you to claiming as income the amount on which you pay taxes (attn: all business owners!). And in short sales, again, they want documentation of every single facet of your finances.
Updated everything. Who must produce it? Buyer/mortgage applicants. Why? Because things change, and because the time period between the first loan application and closing can be many months – even years! – on today’s market. During the time between contract and closing it’s not at all unusual for underwriters to demand buyers produce updated mortgage statements, checks stubs, and such – and its quite common for them to call your office the day before closing to request a last minute verification of employment!
Quitclaim deed. Who must produce it? Married buyers purchasing homes they plan to own as separate property. Married sellers selling homes that they own separately, or joint owners selling their interests separately. Why? With the Quitclaim Deed, the other spouse or owner signs any and all interests they even might have had in the property over the the selling owner, making it possible for the title insurer to guarantee clear, undisputed title is being transferred in the sale.
Divorce decree. Who must produce it? Buyers and sellers who need to document their solo status or the property-splitting terms of their divorce. Why? Again, to ensure that the seller has the right to sell. Recently single buyers might need to prove that they shouldn’t be held to account for their ex’s separate debts or credit report dings.
Gift letters. Who must produce it? Buyers using gift money toward their down payment. Why? The bank wants to be sure the gift came from a relative, and is their own money to give. They also want the relative to confirm in writing that it’s a gift, not a loan – a loan would need to be factored into your debt load.
Compliance certificates. Who must produce it? Usually sellers, but sometimes buyers, by contract. Why? Some local governments require various condition requirements be met before the property is transferred, like some cities which require a sewer line be video scoped and repaired, cities which require a checklist of items be met before a certificate of occupancy be issued (usually relevant to brand new and really old homes, the latter of which are often subject to lead paint concerns) and energy conservation ordinances which require low-flow toilets and shower heads to be installed. Ask your real estate pro for advice about which, if any, such ordinances apply in your area.
Mortgage statements. Who must produce it? Any seller with a mortgage. Why? the escrow holder or title company will need to use them to order payoff demands from any mortgage holder who has to get paid before the property’s title can be transferred.

By no means is this an exhaustive list. Agents: what documents do you see buyers and sellers struggle to scrounge up during their home buying transactions?

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