It’s so important for your Realtor to get to know you and vice versa. Take a few minutes before you begin looking at homes to chat with your Realtor. Tell them your dream home wants and needs. Tell them about yourself and your family. The more your Realtor knows about you, the better able she/he will be able to find you that home you have always wanted.
It’s that time of year when people start looking for a new home. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s also a competitive market out there right now with multiple offers on homes that are updated and move-in ready. So how do you make sure you put forth a successful offer on the home of your dreams? Here are a few tips:
Use a Realtor with a proven track record
Not all real estate agents are the same. If you should be in a multiple bid situation, a good Realtor will present your offer in the best possible light and really sell your offer to the Seller. Some transactions fall out of escrow – in fact, more than you realize – so make sure you have a Realtor that will drive the transaction to close and protect your interests all along the transaction. How do you know if they have a good track record in closing transactions? Ask them. You can check their references too. But also do your homework and check out their ratings on Zillow and other real estate sites.
Use a reputable Lender
There are so many mortgage lenders out there. You probably know a few personally. But just because they are your relative or friend, doesn’t mean they are the best place to get your mortgage. You can shop rates and points, but please use a lender who will meet the transaction deadlines so your home closing doesn’t have to be postponed due to delays in processing or underwriting. Ask your Realtor for their trusted business lending partners or family and friends for ones they like and have used successfully.
Get a Pre-Approval Letter
Home buyers are often so excited to start looking at houses that they tend to leave the more bureaucratic aspects of home buying until last. In this competitive market, a serious buyer should get a pre-approval letter from their lender in advance of beginning a home search. It’s written statement from a lender stating that you qualify for a particular loan amount under that lender’s guidelines based on their review of actual bank statements, W-2 forms and other asset documents. This way you are shopping for a home you know you can afford and it lets the seller know you are a serious buyer.
A pre-qualified letter is not the same as a pre-approval letter and doesn’t carry as much credibility because it’s only based on what you verbally tell the lender rather than the lender reviewing your actual documents. I realize some people don’t want to share their personal information but you will have to at some point to get a mortgage so just get it over with at the start so you can truly enjoy the home shopping process.
I’ve dealt with a few multiple offers already this year. My advice to my clients who are selling is to choose the strongest offer. Please understand that a strong offer is not only the dollar amount offered but also whether the Realtor and Lender are ones that can get the transaction closed on time and work together as issues arise. I have trusted lenders in this business for a reason. I can rely on them for great customer service to my clients and because they do whatever it takes to meet the closing deadlines so a dream home doesn’t slip away to another buyer waiting in line. I have seen deals fall through because a real estate agent or the lender let deadlines pass without obtaining the necessary information or paperwork. So protect yourself as you go out there to get that house you really want. Good luck and happy home buying (with your pre-approval letter in hand)!
The real estate market is heating up here in the Conejo Valley. Let’s take a look at activity for the first two months of 2017.
The days of market actually represents the homes that were for sale in the last quarter of 2016 so we should start to see an improvement in these numbers as we head into the busy real estate season.
The Real Estate Market is starting to heat up here in sunny SoCal. Great homes are typically receiving multiple offers. So how do you make sure you are submitting the BEST offer you can in a competitive real estate market? Watch for my tips. There is an important difference between Preapproved and Prequalified mortgage letters.
Buying a home is a huge investment. Having a home inspection on that home before your close on the purchase transaction is an even bigger investment for a lot less money. The home inspection is an important process in the home buying experience and one that is very informational so please do not skip it. The last thing you want to do is buy a home in need of thousands of dollars in repairs that you were not aware of and did not negotiate for in its price. So, let’s go through the process.
The buyer gets to choose the home inspector. As such, make sure you choose a reputable, licensed inspector. How do you find a good one? Ask your Realtor as they most likely have inspectors who are thorough and competent from past home inspections, research top inspectors on the Internet (sites such a Yelp can be very helpful), or ask your family and friends who they have used and liked. It a good idea to call an inspector and ask any questions you may have and even request recent referrals.
Once you have selected your home inspector, it is helpful to actually attend the house inspection and follow the inspector at the end of the inspection as he highlights and points out issues in the home. You may even pick up a tip or two about making your new home more energy efficient or how certain things work. It’s important to remember that no house is perfect…not even a new home. Believe it or not, inspectors even find repairs that are needed with a new home. Every home inspection seems to uncover conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. Mostly, the inspector is there to make certain the home is functioning as it should, checking items such as faucets and toilets to see if they leak, or the heating and air conditioning to ensure they are in good working order. If they see something that needs more attention they will recommend further inspections with a specialist. Home inspectors won’t address cosmetic items if they don’t impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing so know there is always some risk of flaws (such as wiring and plumbing within the walls) that cannot be assessed.
When you get your inspection report back, however lengthy it is, your inspector will generally include a summary sheet as one of the first pages. Pay particular attention to this section with all its vital information because these are the items that the inspector believes are code and safety issues that need immediate correction. The rest of the report are other issues that you should know about but the inspector may not find to be a priority at this point. Most repairs are normally not a deal breaker between buyer and seller and can be negotiated for resolution. So go forth and buy that new home because you know exactly what you are buying.
If you have any questions about the home buying process or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact Lydia Gable at 818-383-4335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a bit of delay, a new generation, the Millennial home buyers, have finally entered the housing market. Generation X—those ages 33 to 47—made up the majority of home buyers, (31 %) in 2012 reported by the National Association of REALTORS®. However as of March 2014, the generational trend has shifted says the newest numbers published in the NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends. The trend now, Gen Y—those 32 and younger—now makes up the majority of home buyers (36 %) followed closely by Generation X. So what does this generational group of buyers forecast for the market? Says CNN Money, Realtor.com Chief Economist, Jonathan Smoke, “predicts that new home sales will climb by 25% next year. And in some markets, the influx of young first-time buyers will be especially significant.” And yes, Los Angeles is included in the 10 hottest housing markets for 2015 due in part to the influx of first-home Millennial buyers. According to the article, the Los Angeles housing market will experience a growth spurt this year due to these new buyers:
Los Angeles 2015 home sales forecast: +6%
By virtue of Los Angeles’ immense size — the metro area population has surpassed 13 million — even moderate household percentage growth translates into a lot of people, which helped put LA on the top 10.
Y Home Buyers: ‘Mobile’ and Timid?
What does the Gen Y home buyer trend signify for the home market overall? A few things – considering Gen X was leading the way for the past few years in what was a depressed economy, this changing of the generational guards could be quite significant for the market. According to NAR, “97 % of these Gen Y buyers are financing their home purchase as opposed to 55 % of the Silent Generation and 88 percent of the overall buyers.” This is quite significant not only for the economy but what it potentially means over the next 5-10 years for Y’s — or Millennials as they are more commonly known—and for the generation behind them, watching their moves carefully. While Gen Y was late to the home buying game and have not lead the race in terms of first-time home buyers percentages tracking, it is likely in part due to the fact that they watched Gen X-ers and Boomers experience a market housing bubble, subsequent market crash, and a depressed economy. And it should also be noted that banks were no longer lending. But, more likely, as they seem to be trend setters, marching to the beat of their own drums, is that some of this waiting may be more attributed to the fact that they watched the generation before and have decided to make their own rules. Keep in mind this is the first truly mobile only generation. NAR says:
Gen Y is most likely among generations to also look online for information about the home buying process. More than half of Gen Y used a mobile device during their home search. Among those who did, 26 percent of Gen Y found the home they ultimately purchased via a mobile device.
‘Move Over Boomers…’
It could be a powerful few years now that Millennials have jumped into the housing market. Millennials are “estimated at between 70 and 80 million people, the biggest population bulge since baby boomers,” according to an article on The Real Deal. Also they are not the city slickers that Gen X was or that speculators portended. These independent spirits crave space and the suburbs over their predecessors who ambitiously headed for the city.
And…quite significantly, while Gen Y surpassed X in the third quarter of 2014 by a few percentage points, says The Real Deal, they were late bloomers waiting longer to buy… Says the feature:
… the home ownership rate for heads of households under 35 was only 36 percent in the third quarter of 2014 was the lowest rate since the U.S. Department of Commerce started tracking the statistic in 1994.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, reported that according to a recent survey of Millennials, they’re not following what speculators and forecasters assumed would be a “city-dweller” trend for this group. The survey released by the National Association of Home Builders, suggested that “based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.”
Fewer young people are buying homes because women are waiting until later in life to have their first child. The average age of a mother at her first childbirth was 25.4 years in 2010, up from 22.7 in 1980, federal statistics show.
So it looks as though Millennials will be a huge force to watch over the next 10-20 years. Essentially, now that they are having babies and starting families and moving out to the suburbs, Y buyers are driving the housing market.
Finally, watch Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com, talk about the significant of this new influx of buyers. Says Smoke, “The economic opportunity favors the young. Collectively, they will drive housing trends for at least the next 20 years. Move over, baby boomers—there’s a new economic force in town.”
As the market home market continues to grow and change, I’ll continue to keep you posted on the exciting news especially the updates coming from these unconventional home buyers over the next year…
If you are ready to purchase your first home or interested in viewing homes in Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.