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Why a New Home Should Be Your New Year's Resolution

Your New Year's Resolution: A New Home

If you are like many people, you start the new year with convincing yourself that you will make a major change in your lifestyle.  For many people that may mean the 100th attempt to quit smoking or to start working out or to eat better.  All of those new year's resolutions are worthy causes, but this year think about something that will truly pamper yourself and position you and your family better for retirement….buy a new home.  Many of the standard New Year's Resolutions can now be achieved when a major life change, such as a new house changes your day to day activities.  Change begets change.


What Are Closing Costs?

In most real estate transactions, people are very aware of what they are being charged and have made some preparations for those moneys that are coming out.  For example, sellers fully understand that they will have to pay off their mortgage and any other liens on the property.  There is almost always some commission paid to both the real estate broker representing the buyer and commission that is paid to the broker representing person buying the homeClosing costs, on the other hand are usually a black box of charges that pop up a day or so before the closing on the property. We will seek to enlighten you on what some of those “black box” charges are.  Lets get into explaining what are closing costs.

So What Exactly Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs can be defined as all charges paid out and allocated at closing.  The charges we will attempt to define here are not the standard charges paid by both the buyer and the seller---but the “other” charges you may see on your settlement statement.  Here is a quick list of potential closing costs you may notice applied to either or both sides of the real estate transaction.

  • -Fee for running credit report – this is simply the charge for running the home buyers credit --- charged by the lending institution and paid out of closing
  • Abstract or Title Search – It takes time to send someone to the courthouse and review the title information on a particular piece of property.  These are the costs incurred and may be allocated to the...

The Relationship Between Home Prices and Time

The connection between time and home Pricing

It is quite common that when someone is selling a home, they want to list their home at substantially more than open market prices.  This happens for many reasons such as a ridiculous home valuation from a website such a Zillow, looking at “active” properties and pricing their home from there, possibly another agent gave an inaccurate value, even sometimes an old appraisal.  Many real estate agents have trouble navigating the treacherous waters of explaining to a home seller the true value of their home, especially if the seller already has an inflated idea of the home’s value.  Truth is, pricing a home properly at the time of listing is critical in getting a home sold fast and for the highest , fair market price.  Today, we will discuss one the foundations of property value – the relationship between time, and value. 

The Concept of Time Value of Money

In real estate investing (truthfully in ALL investing) there is something known as the Time Value of Money.  This is the relationship of the value of a dollar in different periods of time.  A dollar received today is worth more than a dollar received tomorrow.  Time Value of Money (TVM) is a fundamental principle of banking and finance.  The idea that money available at the present time is worth more than the same...

4 Reasons 2016 is the Year To Buy A Home

buying a home in 2016

2016 is the Year To Buy Your Home And Here Is Why

Buying a home is big decision.  For most people, it is the largest single investment of their life.  With the recent roller-coaster ride it’s easy to understand why some people may be leery of taking the plunge into home ownership.  If you have been renting a home and sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right time to buy a home, it looks like 2016 is your time. To explain why 2016 is the year to buy a home, first we need to understand what makes the 2016 real estate market different.  Real Estate works in cycles.  You would have had to be under a rock to not be aware of the real estate bubble and consequential crash of recent years. Although that was a dramatic version of the cyclical nature of real estate, it is one that everyone is aware of.  2016 is expected to be a very strong real estate market for a variety of reasons. 

Why is the 2016 Real Estate Market Different?

Real Estate values naturally go up and down.  When looked at in the long term, real estate is a very solid investment and outperforms the stock market for acquiring wealth long term.  In the most recent real estate bubble and subsequent crash, national housing prices peaked in 2006, started to decline in late 2006 and reached new lows in 2012.  Since then, housing prices have trickled back up.  That particular real estate value cycle was not naturally incurred as it was spurred by highly unusual lending practices which unnaturally fueled the real estate...

Staging Your Home For Sale

tips for Staging Your home for sale

In our ongoing set of real estate articles on selling a home, we will cover one of the most fashionable tips to getting your home sold.  Home sellers and listing agents have known for decades that sprucing up your home to look its absolute best can be a powerful influence in getting a home sold.    

Home Staging became very popular after the most recent real estate crash when homes were staying on the market longer and we had fewer buyers.  Aggressive real estate agents were looking for things to make their properties that were for sale stand out…and so professional home staging was born.  Although many home sellers will clean up the home or even give the home a fresh cote of paint, Home Staging can range from renting furniture and home decorations to simply following some simple tips.

Basics of Staging A Home

When putting your home on the market for sale, keep in mind that you want potential homebuyers to easily envision themselves and their family in your home.  The very first step in prepping your home for showings is removing all of your personal memorabilia. 

It can be challenging for a potential homebuyer to envision that extra bedroom as an office, if its full of your personal stuff.  One of the biggest tips on this is to simply remove everything in the home with eyes.  Yes, I know that sounds a little odd, but anything with eyes, usually has some sort of a personal connection. 

For instance, if you have your wedding photos prominently on the wall, hopefully you have eyes---which mean they should be removed.  If you won that awesome porcelain dog years ago from your adventure on Wheel of Fortune….that...