Archive for the ‘ Buying or Selling a Home ’ Category

Surging Military Communities Present a Unique Opportunity for RE Industry

If there’s a base, that’s the place.

Not the catchiest slogan ever created, but the sentiment is something for real estate and mortgage industry stakeholders to embrace. Military communities are driving growth and income expansion across the country, according to a recent study by USA Today.

Sixteen of the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas (based on per-capita income since 2000) either have a military base within their borders or are near a military installation. There’s no sign of slowdown in most of these communities. And that means the need for housing solutions is only going to increase.

Scores of service members will return from  Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months. Most will qualify for the home-buying tax credits that recently expired for civilian buyers — service members who meet the criteria have until the end of April to purchase and until June 30, 2011, to close.

At the same time, the military continues to meet and even exceed recruitment goals, bringing new faces to these metro areas every month. Sustained growth coupled with the purchasing power and demand for homeownership among military members makes for a dynamic opportunity for RE folks moving forward.

On the whole, American service members are big-time homeowners, with ownership levels that outpace all other consumer groups. Military members are also in increasingly better shape financially to secure financing — the average compensation for military members in 2009 was about $120,000, including pay and benefits.

Agents who can tap into this wellspring have a lot to gain. Getting a solid grip on the scope and inner workings of the VA loan program is often a key step. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Chris Birk on October 14th, 2010 under Buying or Selling a Home, Guest Bloggers

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First Look Gives Home Buyers An Edge

First Look Program

Fannie levels the field

New Incentives
Fannie Mae markets its REO through its HomePath.com Properties. Under the new incentive program, owner occupants and public entities that buy a HomePath Property between now and December 31, can receive up to 3.5% of the purchase price in closing cost assistance. The sale must close within 60 days of acceptance of the offer and no later than December 31, 2010.  The incentive must be requested in the initial offer.

What Is It
Individuals and public entities are given a period of time, generally 15 days after a property is listed at HomePath.com (a Fannie Mae site). HomePath.com is the listing site for about 190,000 properties held by the GSEs. Individuals and public entities (read non-profits) have a lead time over investors to inspect  and submit an offer to purchase. After 15 days, the listing is open to all potential buyers.

The idea is to offer first to those who would live in the home and become stakeholders, adding stability to the community and to avoid  too quickly putting property back into a supply laden market. By offering a sneak preview to owners first, Fannie hopes to encourage home ownership without the edge professionals may have and avoid the pressures of bidding against professional investors.

Why Should I Care
Levels the playing field and it’s working.

Fannie has moved more than 29,000 homes out of its owned real estate portfolio of properties acquired by the  through foreclosure to owner occupants. Some 800 non-profits have also bought an additional 5,000 properties through First Look.

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on September 29th, 2010 under Buying or Selling a Home

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The Politics Of Home Ownership and How It Became Too Easy To Own

Homeownership is a part of the American dream. As a public policy, it’s been a powerful magnet for talented immigrants. From the early promise of 40 acres and a mule for every man and women who would homestead to the Levittowns of post World War Two, America has always promised its people greater rewards.

howard-bell-post-imageI took a short look at some of the institutions charged with public policy that made home ownership easy and how they are still playing a big public role.

The New Deal

President Roosevelt’s New Deal created policy and institutions to encourage people to become homeowners. Facing high levels of mortgage foreclosures during the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration, created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Federal National Mortgage Association. Fannie Mae established the 30-year, fixed rate, fully amortized mortgage as a standard. The FHA was created to insure those mortgages, to cushion the loss and so incentivized investors to take risk. Huge capital markets are created to draw pools of money into the housing industry to fuel a politically mandated public homeownership program. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on January 2nd, 2010 under Buying or Selling a Home

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Holiday Season Helps in Home Sales?

It’s Friday evening and there’s a dusting of snow on the ground in Bethesda. The Washington, DC area is supposed to get up to 20 inches over the next 24 to 36 hours, which would be a record snowfall.  I’ve already canceled the 4 showings in Virginia for tomorrow.  Most were new houses and — even if we could safely get there –  no osnowmanne was willing to promise that driveways and walkways would be shoveled or plowed.

I’m hoping that the roads will be clear enough so that I can get out for the two scheduled showings that I have on Sunday.  The tenacity of many buyers here — despite the elements — reminds me how and why the holiday season can be a fruitful time for home sales.

Motivated Anyone?….

Home buyers who are asking to see homes in the last couple weeks of December with 2 feet of snow on the ground, aren’t going out for “fun” — unless they’re skiing from house to house in Vail or Beaver Creek :-)

In DC and much of the country?  Very few are going to be taking the roads for information gathering.  No, the majority of holiday buyers (at least in my experience) have done their research, and are “pushing on” because they need to buy a home.

And for those who don’t have to brave the elements this time of year (Sarasota, Florida, Austin, Texas…), there are still other commitments of the season.  And those who need/want to sacrifice some of this time are equally committed to the process.

Where Did The Sellers Go? Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Kevin Koitz on December 22nd, 2009 under Buying or Selling a Home

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Holiday Open House

Here’s my recipe for a Holiday Open House.  The goal is to celebrate the season in a warm, inviting home.  The holidays give a perfect opportunity to showcase a home.

Invitationsopen-house-ornamnets

Invite the neighbors, as well as those folks who are looking for a new home.  You can reach prospective buyers by inviting agents you know who regularly represent buyers.  The invitations should mimic a Holiday card.  The Open House signs on the street should also be festive.  Unlike other Open Houses, have the homeowners in attendance.

Home Decor

Decorate the home with traditional holiday trimmings.  A Christmas tree adorned with beautiful ornaments and flickering lights makes an inviting focal point.  Place wreaths in the windows and on the doors.  Remove furniture to make the space larger.

A crackling fire (if there is a fireplace) gives off a romantic glow and creates a peaceful ambiance.  I’ve use color crystal color sticks and pine cones, which turn the flames green, red and blue– a wow factor.

Curb Appeal

Use flood lights to create dramatic effects.  Point them to the front door and other outdoor walls.  Uplight any trees nearby.  Or you can just have an electric candlelight in each window.  Stick with classic white lights– you don’t want the Coney Island effect with colored lights. Don’t go crazy with the blow up Grinch and Santa Sleigh. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on December 21st, 2009 under Buying or Selling a Home

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Ho Ho Ho Holiday Listing Objections!

All real estate agents hear the objections to putting a home on the market this time of year.  And, for good reason, the holidays are a very busy time and some people psychologically want to think about and do other things.  Real estate isn’t always on their mind and they are thinking about buying Christmas gifts, vacation, taking a break and closing out the year.dogs

“I want to wait until after the holidays because I don’t want to have my tree up and have people tripping over presents.” Or, “Nobody is out looking at real estate this time of year — they are out shopping.” Or even, “I don’t want to disturb my family during the holidays.”

These are objections we all hear when talking to clients about selling their homes.  Well, courtesy of various training I’ve gone to, including some information provided by a broker I work with that has attended Floyd Wickman –

I’ve developed a list below of 11 reasons sellers should get their home on the market right now!

1.  It’s a Happy mess… Buyers buy homes, and holiday decor is key!  Holiday decorations tap into the “happy” of the holidays.  Buying a home is very emotional for many and this happy feeling can help you sell!

2. Preliminaries: Be one of the most ready homes on the market when the
spring market returns and have all of the marketing full force ahead for
when Jan 1 hits.

3. Speculation: We can speculate a little on price right now, and correct
it in the first week of January if we don’t get an offer.

4. Less Competition: Everyone else is waiting to list their home, jump in
ahead and there’s less inventory for the motivated buyers to choose from!
There is a heavy inventory of foreclosures being held into the next fiscal year.
You need to beat them to the market!

5. Best Realtors: The best Realtors are working right now!!!

6. Positioned to Buy: You sell now, so that you can be in the best position
to buy when there is more to pick from in spring Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on December 19th, 2009 under Buying or Selling a Home

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