You Can Win a Bidding War For Your New Home

It’s a Sellers’ Market! Today’s market has buyers bidding against each other for a Sellers marketlow inventory of desirable homes. As if the prospect of buying a home wasn’t stressful enough, waiting to find out if your offer was accepted can heighten the emotions and make the waiting unbearable. Luckily, there are things you can do to better your chances of winning a bidding war.

Use a Pre-approval Letter:
A Pre-Approval letter is different than being Pre-Qualified.
A Pre-Qualification is a snapshot of your credit worthiness based on the verbal information you supply to your lender.verifies your income and how much your bank might lend you based on your credit.
A Pre-Approval Letter means that your lender has essentially underwritten your application and it is simply pending an appraisal. Submitting your financing documents to your lender before making any offers will allow you to act quickly when you are ready to make an offer on a new house.

Start with Your Best Offer:
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, which is why you should submit your best offer up front if possible. By doing your research and determining the value of comparable homes in the neighborhood, you can present an accurate and competitive offer. In an extremely competitive market, most houses will sell for over the asking price, so be sure to factor that into the price of the home you are considering.

Limit Your Demands:
Sellers want clean offers; not those that come with a lot of demands or contingencies. For example, if you can avoid asking the seller to cover your closing costs, or trying to get them to make repairs as part of the negotiations, you might have a better chance of having your offer accepted. Sellers have the advantage in a multiple-bid situation and the less complicated you make yours, the more likely they are to say yes.

Give the Seller More Time:
If you can be flexible with your moving timeline, it might give you the competitive edge to offer the seller more time to move out of the home. Not only will they be selling at a price they are comfortable with, but they now have the added bonus of making their own move less stressful. You can offer to have the seller rent back the home for a period of time, or push back the closing date.

Make it Personal:
It may seem silly, but some buyers are swayed by the personal touch of a hand written letter expressing why their home is perfect for you. You can introduce yourself in the letter, tell the seller all about your family, the things you love about the house, and the memories you hope to create there. If the seller is sentimental, they might appreciate the personal touch you’ve added to your offer and feel better knowing who is going to be living in their home.

Stay in Touch:
Even if you find yourself on the losing end of a bidding war, have your realtor keep in touch. A lot of things can happen between an accepted offer and the actual closing. If your offer was in top consideration, you might win out in the end should the initial buyer have complications.

Reach out to Me to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE JumpStart Mortgage Pre-Approval service



It’s Not Too Late to Buy Your Dream Home This Season

Don't Sit on the Fence
Are you a Millennial? Are you a First Home Buyer? Are you thinking about moving up of downsizing? Is 2016 the year you’ve decided to get off the fence and buy that dream home?

Real estate professionals are always optimistic about the Spring Buying millenial 2Season. Sellers have finished staging their home for sale; the grass is green, flowers are blooming and curb appeal is at its peak. The Super Bowl is over; buyers are  out of hibernation and doing their on-line research to get prepared to make the biggest investment of their lives.

Spring is almost over, but it’s Not Too Late To Buy in 2016. Here are some facts to consider:
♠   Internet searches for real estate listings consistently peak in July.
♠   About half of all home sales occur between May and August making the summer months the busiest season nationally.
♠  About half of home sales occur in the “off” months of September through April. That’s a lot of traffic.
♠   Studies show that prices tend to peak in the busy Spring season. For Buyers, now is the time to buy..

The bottom line is this:  The best time to buy is when it’s best for yourGet Pre-Approved scenario. But, please don’t think your opportunity has passed. Low interest rates make now a great time for millennials to be in  the market for their First Home. Low financing costs make higher price points more affordable. Get Pre-Approved Now. Now is the time to buy!




No Jobs Slows Housing Recovery

“While rising interest rates, inventory shortages and dwindling investor purchases have all weighed on home sales, “fundamentally … the slow pace of the single-family housing recovery reflects steady but unspectacular job growth” according to a recent Harvard University study.

kidsThe lack of jobs, coupled with large student loan debt caused the U.S. home ownership rate to drop again in 2013, thanks in no small part to the fact that 18 million 25 to 34 year old adults were found to be still living with their parents last year helping bring the home ownership rate down to 65.1 percent

It may take 10 years before those 30-somethings and Millennials make their presence known in the owner-occupied market. Until then, continue to expect rents to increase and property values creep up. The market will have changed by then and it will be more expensive to fulfill the American Dream of home ownership.

Now Is the Time to Buy .. if you can.
Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service. We’re licensed in all 6 New England states; NY & FL too. I’m here to help.

Connecticut Attracts Millionaires, Not First Home Buyers

closedCNBC reports that Connecticut is the 5th Worst State for Business with the fourth-highest cost of doing business, third-highest cost of living and the nation’s second-worst economy. What’s bad for business is bad for the housing market, and the ripple effect is bad for all citizens.

A newly-wed couple was referred to me in April by the bride’s mother who is a member of my BNI Group. They were First Home Buyers and they had done everything right.dream Their wedding last fall was conservative so they could save money to buy a home as soon as possible. They set a budget of how much they wanted to spend for their mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. They were Pre-Approved for a mortgage amount, but it was for more than they felt comfortable committing to. They had good credit, good income from their primary jobs, some student loan debt, but still good DTI. They saved every penny from their part-time jobs for a down payment and closing costs. Everything was going great while they narrowed the search for their dream home.
That was until … you guessed it … she got a Pink Slip. Company says it was due to “lack of work.” She never saw it coming!

Lot’s of broken dreams, lots of tears! Their plans are on hold now while she searches for a newLost job in an economy where quality employment is hard to find. I hope she finds one soon. If not, that little nest egg is going to get smaller as they struggle to make ends meet over the long haul. I can only wish them well and promise to be here when things are back on an even keel for them.

Take a moment to think about the ripple effect this one lay-off has on the economy. A potential seller loses out on an easy sale to qualified buyers, Realtors, attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, appliance and furniture stores, yes…even mortgage brokers don’t get a pay check either. Just because Connecticut is able to attract millionaires, that doesn’t mean does a good job attracting the business that will attract First Home Buyers.

Can You Afford Your Dream Home?

Saw a recent article filled with a lot of statistics about the number of homes on the market that were not affordable to the average American.  After reading a few paragraphs of statistics, I found myself asking:
•   If so many homes are not affordable, how many are affordable and affordable to whom?
•   For those homes that are not affordable, why aren’t’ they?
•   And since when does the price range of all the homes on the market have to be affordable to all buyers?

Now, today’s page of the Business Section today  that foreclosure filings have increased this year, not only in CT, but across the country as well. These homes will go on the market because they are not affordable any more. And if they aren’t affordable, who can afford them?

Family Finances Most First Home Buyers come to me for Mortgage Pre-Approval with big dreams, high hopes and a lot of questions. Too often folks want to buy a home in a price range they cannot afford. Usually it’s because their situation does not merit the interest rates they see in the newspaper; they haven’t considered real estate taxes and home insurance; and the cost of mortgage insurance may not be in their calculations.

 It is my job to help home buyers set realistic expectations and help them see how big a house they can afford and how large a mortgage they qualify for. Getting prospective home buyers Pre-Approved for mortgage is an exercise to insure that “families live comfortably and financially secure in their own home.”

Hidden Gems in Real Estate-What’s Not Included in the Listing Price

Pricing a home for sale is more of an art than it is a science.

dreamHome buyers should get beyond the standard information they search for on-line like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen design, etc. They should be on the look out for those hidden gems that may be undervalued (or not even included) in the listing price.

As real estate professionals, the ActiveRain Community sees a lot more homes get priced and sold than any other community on the internet. This makes us uniquely qualified to share with you what are some of the best Hidden Gems in Real Estate, those things that often get missed in the listing price but that can add tremendous value for a buyer looking for their next place to call home.

I joined over 1500 other professionals in our community who were asked what we thought were some of these Hidden Gems in Real Estate. It’s no surprise that some of us thought certain features in a home were a “waste of money” while others thought the same feature was “worth every penny.”

But at the end of the day, everyone was in agreement that certain hidden gems in a home that have the potential to add long term value for a buyer and my not actually be reflected in the selling price.

The results of the survey are displayed in the graphic below which allows a home buyer to look beyond the obvious things that affect price and identify those hidden gems that could add value to their new home.



Is It Cheaper to Rent vs. Buy?

Is Renting or Buying a better financial bet? Trulia says No! One young family in Litchfield County CT agrees!

dreamAlthough mortgage rates have risen in the past 6 months, home price gains have slowed. Trulia says “Buying a home now is 38% cheaper than renting an apartment.”

They caution that the gap may narrower if spring demand causes prices to rise faster than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due both to a strengthening economy and Fed tapering.

I working with a young couple now who, with a new baby, are looking for a real home. I’ve Pre-usda 3Approved them for a mortgage sufficient to buy $185,000 house with mortgage payment, tax and insurance escrow plus MI that is $150 less than their current rent.
The Bonus is that with a USDA Rural Housing Development loan, they just might be able to move in with 100% Financing and roll their closing costs into the loan amount That $1800 savings per year is a lot of diapers.

The Spring 2014 Buying Season is near! Now is the Time To Buy!

Call Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take Get Pre-Approvedadvantage of my FREE  Mortgage Pre-Approval service. Then call your agent to schedule a showing and be ready to make an offer.