Real Estate Tips and Market Updates

Oct. 27, 2017

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Unless You Know the Facts

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Unless You Know the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Unless You Know the Facts

Some Highlights:

Many potential homebuyers believe that they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score to qualify to buy a home, which stops many of them from even trying! Here are some facts:

  • 40% of millennials who purchased homes this year have put down less than 10%.
  • 76.4% of loan applications were approved last month.
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 724 in September.

Our 12 Steps to Buying a Home will walk you through all of this and answer all of your questions!

Just call or text us today at (480)305-6655 and get the ball rolling on your new home! 

 

Dedicated to YOUR Home Buying Needs,

The Go Sold Realty Team 

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 23, 2017

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting.

 

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage 

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If purchasing a home for you and your family is the right thing for you to do this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

 

The first step to home ownership, is learning the entire process and getting all of your questions answered. So, we meet with you and walk you through the 12 Steps of Buying a Home. Its FREE and only takes about 15-20 minutes. During this, we cover:

-How to get a new home loan

-Down payments and grant programs

-The time frame and home buying process

-What types of homes are out there and how to go about searching for the right home

-The home inspection process and how to get an "behind the scenes" look into your new home to make sure its in good shape!

To learn the "12 Steps to Buying a Home", just call or text our office at (480)305-6655 and let us know a good time that works for you and we can get you started on the path to home ownership! You can also leave a comment below and we can send you some great info about the home buying process! 

Talk Soon,

The Go Sold Realty Team

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 17, 2017

Rent VS Buy Report

 

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide!

A study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owning a home at the state level and concluded that in 39 states, it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own (represented by the two shades of blue in the map below).

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in 39 States! | MyKCM

One of the main reasons owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.91%.

Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together and find you your dream home. Feel free to give us a call anytime at (480)305-6655 or start your home search here on this website! 

 

Dedicated To Your Home Buying Needs,

 

The Go Sold Realty Team 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 22, 2017

Tips to stretch your home buying dollars

Budgets: They reflect a reality that we either revel in or despise. If yours is reflecting the fact that, yes, you can afford to make a mortgage payment every month, but it will be tight, you have some tough decisions to make.

These include the obvious, such as putting off the purchase until you have more income or savings or buying the least expensive home you can find. Let’s take a look at some of the less-obvious ways to take the money you have right now and stretch it to make the purchase a bit more comfortable.

Pay more now to save later

Whether you know it as PMI (private mortgage insurance) or MIP (the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium), it’s a monthly payment that you would be wise to try to avoid.

Required on all mortgages for which the borrower makes a down payment of less than 20 percent, PMI can add a big chunk to your house payment. We’ll use the median home price nationwide for the following scenario.

For example, if you use a 30-year, FHA-backed loan at 3.750 percent interest to purchase a home for $250,000, and offer a down payment of $8,750, your MIP will be about $170.00.

Take the time to save more money so that you can pay a 20 percent down payment, and you’ll skip that MIP or PMI fee every month. We don’t know about you, but we can put that $2,040 per year savings to much better use than handing it over to the lender.

But here’s the really exciting part: With a 20 percent down payment, you not only ditch the mortgage insurance requirement but, because the loan amount is smaller, your monthly payment will be significantly less as well. In our scenario, in fact, you’ll save nearly $500 per month on your house payment.

Now THAT’S using your ‘noggin!

Ok, we hear you – who wants to wait as long as it will take to save all that money? Is there someone that will gift you the funds for the down payment?

While FHA mandates that the borrower kick down at least 3.5 percent of the down payment, conventional loan guidelines permit gift funds for all or part of the down payment, as long as the loan-to-value will be 80 percent or less (meaning you’ll need a 20 percent down payment). Or, they can be used for closing costs and other items.

The donor has to be related to you, however, or a domestic partner, fiancée or fiancé.

Build sweat equity

Ok, so not all of us can come up with a $50,000 down payment for a $250,000 mortgage. For those on a limited budget with sparse savings, buying a fixer home may be the answer. Nationwide, fixers are priced an average of 8 percent less than market value, according to a Zillow analysis.

The drawback to buying a home that needs work is that, since you have a tight budget, the renovation work will be piecemeal, on an as-you-can-afford-to-make-repairs basis. Some buyers aren’t bothered by this prospect, especially if there isn’t a lot of work to be performed.

If you are among them, fixers are the ideal way to get into homeownership for a lot less money than you’d pay for a turnkey home. Eventually, you will have a home that’s customized to your lifestyle and tastes.

All those nickels and dimes add up

There are several “legs” to your monthly mortgage payment and a big chunk of it goes into an escrow fund to pay for your insurance and taxes and, sometimes, your homeowner association dues and fees.

Hoa fees

In fact, if you’re an “average” American, and you live in a managed community, your HOA fees, taxes and insurance add nearly $600 to your house payment each month. Thankfully there are ways to cut that number and stretch your home-buying dollars.

HOA fees are on the rise, nationwide. In a recent Trulia study, these fees outpaced home-price growth and now average $331 a month. If you don’t mind doing your own exterior home maintenance, seek out a home that isn’t in a managed community. Your mortgage payment will be a lot easier to swallow if it’s more than $300 a month lighter.

Insurance

Next, consider homeowner insurance. The average annual premium, nationwide, is $964, according to Value Penguin. The Insurance Information Institute offers several ideas on how to whittle down the cost of insurance.

In a nutshell, you can ask for a higher deductible, install security features and take advantage of discounts, such as those for seniors. Shop carefully and compare policies among several insurers.

Property taxes

Wallet Hub’s John S Kiernan claims that “The average American household spends $2,149 on property taxes.” That’s a smidge more than $179 per month.

Interestingly, few homebuyers research a home’s property taxes before deciding to purchase. It’s easy to do – many assessor’s offices have tax information online.

“Buyers also should find out whether a home may be subject to multiple property tax authorities. Not only states, but also counties, cities and special districts, such as local water, sewer or school authorities, may wield such powers,” according to bankrate.com’s Marcie Geffner.

While a tight budget doesn’t preclude one from buying a home, finding ways to stretch what little money you have may just allow you to purchase more home than you thought possible. At the very least, taking cost-saving measures will help lower your monthly payment.

We are here for you every step of the way, so just call/text us with any questions!

-The Go Sold Realty Team! 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 7, 2017

What are you talking about? Real estate terms explained!

What are you talking about?

Real estate terms explained!

Remember that first day on a new job when it sounded as if your colleagues were speaking a different language? Most industries have their own jargon and real estate is no exception. In fact, this industry seems to be the King of Jargon. What’s worse is that those who use it assume that the rest of us know what they’re talking about.

Today we’re going to help you master this language by defining some of the most common terms you’ll hear throughout the process of buying or selling a home. Soon you’ll be slinging this jargon as if you were a real estate pro!

Addendum – This is a document that is attached to and made a part of the original contract. It is typically used to provide clarity on certain parts of the contract. An example of an addendum is the Addendum for Seller’s Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint Hazards as Required by Federal Law. Another example is the “As-Is” addendum, used to disclose to the buyer that the seller refuses to warrant the condition of the property and that the seller will not be responsible for the replacement, repair or modification of any defects in the home.

The addendum is submitted before the contract is ratified and ratification won’t occur unless all parties sign it.

Amendment – Suppose you make an offer on a home and the seller accepts it – you have a contract. Then, suppose that you discover that you need to extend the closing date. Your agent will submit an amendment to the contract (the purchase agreement) stating the new closing date. If accepted by the seller, the information, obligations or terms stated in the amendment supersede the previous terms and become part of the original contract.

Contingency – The dictionary defines a contingency as “a provision for an unforeseen event or circumstance.” In a real estate contract, anything that puts a condition on the buyer’s willingness to proceed with the purchase is a contingency. For instance, you, as the buyer, agree to consummate the purchase if the home appraises for X number of dollars. The appraisal becomes a contingency item. If you need to sell your current home before closing the purchase on this home, you will create a contingency to that effect. In essence, what contingencies do is tell the seller that you will consummate the purchase if x, y or z occurs by a certain date.

Counteroffer – This is a form used to counter the terms put forth by the other party. Suppose you submit an offer to purchase a home for $125,000. The seller wants $150,000. Now he or she can either ignore your offer and hope for a better one, or submit a counteroffer stating his desired price. Counteroffers are also used to propose different terms (such as closing date, possession date, etc).

Disclosures – You’ll encounter a number of disclosure forms during the buying and selling process. This form is used to let the parties know about something that either the seller or the broker is legally obligated to disclose. A common disclosure form is a Transfer Disclosure Statement. The seller fills out this form which details everything he or she knows about the home that may affect the buyer’s safety, comfort and enjoyment of the home.

Due Diligence – Due diligence is a legal term, and one that should be taken very seriously. It describes the buyer’s duty to undertake a thorough assessment of the property to determine its assets and liabilities. For instance, after closing on a home, a buyer discovers that the home doesn’t have air conditioning and he assumed when he bought it that it did. He attempted to extract the price of a new unit from both the seller and the real estate broker. The judge determined that, since the seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement stated there was no air conditioning unit in the home, the buyer failed in his due diligence (either by signing the disclosure statement without reading it or by not inspecting the home thoroughly) and denied remedy.

Earnest Money Deposit – When a buyer submits an offer to purchase a home, or shortly thereafter, he or she will show good faith by submitting an earnest money deposit. This is often confused with the down payment. This deposit also satisfies one of the six elements required for a contract to be enforceable and is known in the legal world as “consideration.” The amount of the deposit varies, but plan on paying at least 1 percent of the purchase price of the home. The deposit is held in escrow, or the broker’s trust account, until the close of escrow when it will be applied toward the purchase price.

Escrow – We’ve found this to be one of the most confusing terms for our first-time buyer clients. Escrow is, simply, a third party with no ties to the transaction who holds all of the pertinent documents (the purchase agreement, deed, etc.) and money until it’s disbursed, according to the terms of the contract, at closing.

Escrow Impounds – This is where the confusion comes in for folks new to the real estate purchase process. Escrow impounds describes an account set up by the lender to hold your prepaid taxes and insurance. Not all lenders require an escrow impound, but most do and it’s wise for the homeowner to have one.

Title Insurance – Title insurance protects the new homeowner and the lender against any future claims to the property, liens and encumbrances. There are two types of policies, one for the lender (which is required) and one for the homeowner. Before issuing either policy, the title insurance company will do a thorough examination of the home’s title to ensure that the owner really does own it, that there is no additional owner who hasn’t been listed as a party to the transaction, as well as other issues.

Naturally, this list is far from comprehensive, but we hope it answers your questions. Should we ever use a term that you don’t fully understand, please speak up. We’re happy to clarify it for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 18, 2017

How to determine whether that house you have your eye on will increase in value

Impulse buying. Think it only applies to the grocery store? Sadly, folks who have a tendency to live for today often choose even financial investments impulsively. We see it frequently in the real estate industry—homebuyers that allow their emotions to rule the process instead of looking at a house for what it truly represents – an investment.

Now, we have nothing against spontaneous living; as long as you allow thoughts of the future to intrude a bit when considering purchasing a particular home.

Financial considerations in the home buying process go far beyond whether or not the home is priced appropriately for the neighborhood and the market and whether or not you can negotiate a better deal. While we can’t give you a crystal ball to divine the home’s future value, we urge you to at least consider this aspect before signing a contract to purchase it.

So, what determines the future value of a home?

The factors used to determine a home’s current market value can also be considered when trying to determine whether or not a particular home will hold that value or even provide an increase. These factors include location, land values, market conditions, the economy, condition, size, age and layout of the home and updates performed.

The two predictors to concentrate most on are land values and location. The former is a finite resource so it will never be subjected to the supply side of the supply-demand formula. Sure, demand for land will rise and fall, but it will do so according to how much is available and we can never manufacture more. Unless you live on the Big Island in Hawaii, where mother nature is busy pumping out additional land, what we see is what we get.

The location of a home has an enormous impact on its value. From where it’s located within a town or city to the street it sits on and even the plot of land on which it’s situated, location trumps pretty much everything else.

As long as couples produce children, the American cul-de-sac will be in demand for families, condos situated to take advantage of city views will be worth more than those without and an exceptional school nearby will help a home hold its market value.

How to use this information when home shopping

 Fight those emotional responses when house hunting. Yes, we get that it’s exciting to finally find the kitchen of your dreams in the 100th house you’ve viewed. But, unless you plan on living in the home until you die, you will sell it someday and even the most impressive chef’s kitchen won’t boost the home’s value if it has other factors working against it.

Then, do some investigating. Start with the location and check municipal records to learn of any land use changes or other plans that may have an impact on the future value of the home. Consider the following as red flags and a possible drain on value:

  • The rerouting of traffic through the neighborhood in response to new development (commercial or residential) nearby.
  • Plans for a nearby hospital, shooting range, power plant or waste facility.
  • The neighborhood’s zoning. A multifamily designation may mean that you will one day be living next to an apartment building.
  • Check local regulations if you’re concerned about the possibility of losing your view or even the amount of sunlight your landscaping receives if your neighbor decides to add a second story to his or her home. A view is worth money – lose it and you lose value.

If the home is near a school, check its rankings. Homes near exceptional schools are in high demand and hold their value better than homes near poor-performing schools. Other nearby amenities that boost home values include: 

  • Parks – passive use parks (those without playgrounds, ball fields, etc.) tend to raise home values while active use (mainly because of the traffic and noise they attract) do not.
  • “Active” transportation amenities, such as bike lanes, walking and biking paths and trails — homes in what are considered bike-able and walkable neighborhoods are worth far more than homes that lack these features.
  • Nearby Walmart, Target, Starbucks or Whole Foods – these businesses actually have a positive impact on home values. Some however, such as Starbucks, have shown to cause a corresponding rise in property taxes.

Check the HOA documents – if the home is located in a managed community, the Homeowner Association documents will let you know how residents are allowed to use the neighborhood. From landscaping requirements to parking prohibitions, this is important information that my impact the home’s future value, either negatively or positively.

Advice about how to improve a home before putting it on the market is great, but if the home’s location is undesirable due to any number of factors, all the improvements known to man and woman won’t raise its value. The time to ensure you’ll realize a return on your investment is before you invest the money.

Want To Learn More?
Chat with us!
(480) 305-6655
Posted in Buying a Home
March 4, 2017

FREE HOME BUYING GRANT MONEY? Real or too good to be true?

FREE HOME BUYING GRANT MONEY?

Real or too good to be true?

A big topic we are asked about often is about available grants to home buyers. Are they real or are they too good to be true? Well, they are real. Actually very real and hundreds of home buyers are taking advantage of these programs available to them each and every month here in Phoenix! 

How do they work?

Currently, Maricopa and Pinal county have these programs available. These counties have partnered with preferred Mortgage companies here in Phoenix and offer a down payment assistance program, where they give you up to 3% of the price of the home to be used for your downpayment. Now, with the typical FHA loan being only 3.5%, you can now own a home for only .5% down! The cap for the price of the home is $371,936. 

 

Do I have to pay it back?

Nope! That's the beauty of a grant. It is truly free money to be used for your down payment. However, there is some criteria to qualify. You must be using this home as your primary residence and you must make 6 payments on the home. After that, you are good to go! Oh and you have to take a home buying class. Are you ok taking a 2 hour class to get up to $11,158 for a home? If high school and college was only that easy! 

 

But why the FREE money?

Think about it... if you buy a home in Maricopa county, what happens? You help out the local real estate market. You will head up to the local home improvement stores and spend money to fix up your home. You will buy furniture and start spending money in that area. All of that creates jobs and again, helps the local economy. And finally, you will be paying taxes on this home, which helps keep our city moving! 

 

How do I qualify?

To qualify for a down payment grant, you will need to qualify for a home loan. All loans are different and have credit and income qualifications. We have a fantastic Lender we have trusted with hundreds of our clients. They are local here in Phoenix and just let us know and we can get you in touch with them! 

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 23, 2017

5 tips to get financially ready to buy a home

5 Tips to Get Financially Ready to Buy a Home

The ability to pay your bills on time and still have money left over at the end of the month makes you financially solvent, important when considering the future purchase of a home. Being able to save money is vital, whether you intend on paying cash or using a mortgage when you buy. Proof that you pay your financial obligations on time and save money can lead to better loan rates and terms.

Getting back on your feet after a financial disaster takes time. It involves patience, hard work and teaching yourself new habits. The sooner you start, though, the sooner you’ll have the keys to your new house.

Set up a budget

If you don’t have a budget, the time to create one is right now. Yes, it’s time consuming and sticking to it once it’s created is challenging. The creation aspect is easier if you use personal finance software, but a spreadsheet will work as well.

First, determine how much money comes into the household every month. Consider all sources of income from all family members.

Then, get out all your bills and make a list, breaking them down into fixed and variable expenses. The former includes your auto loan payment, mortgage payment (if you have a fixed rate mortgage) or rent payment. The latter group will include utility payments, groceries and incidentals.

Plan on taking a month to keep track of every penny spent, from your bill payments to gas for the car to the latte you pick up on the way to work in the morning. At the end of the month, enter these totals into the budget under “expenses.”

By now you’ll have a picture of where your money goes every month, and an indication of where you may be wasting money. Of course you’ll want to cut out the waste first, directing those funds to the rest of the plan.

Pay off debts

Prioritize your debt and bill payments every month. Along with paying your monthly bills, ensure that secured debts are paid first – such as car or mortgage payments. Pay at least the minimum monthly payment on credit card accounts and unsecured loan repayments, except for the one with the highest interest rate. Pay a little bit more on that one every month until it’s paid off and then start working on the one with the next highest balance. (Financial guru Suze Orman suggests cutting up all of your credit cards except one and to keep that one at home, using it only for emergencies.)

Paying your bills on time, which you will do with the assistance of your budget, and paying off debts helps lower your credit score. Borrowers with a credit score of 760 or above qualify for the best mortgage rates.

Make changes in your spending habits

After a few months of budgeting you’ll find areas in it in which you can cut back on spending. Some of these might include taking the bus to work instead of driving, brown-bagging at lunch time instead of eating out and being a bit more frugal when you shop. Be brutal in your budget cuts because each one will get you closer to being able to afford your new home.

Make more money

Cutting your budget expenditures and paying down debt aren’t the only ways to move quickly down the road toward homeownership. Finding ways to make more money, whether it’s volunteering for overtime hours at work, taking on a part-time job (Uber is always hiring!), selling unused items on Craigslist, the extra cash will push you faster and further down the road to home ownership.

Save Money

Once you have your debt under control it’s time to start saving money. Unless you’ll pay cash for the home, you’ll need money for a down payment and closing costs. Then, there are all the extras you’ll want to purchase for the home after you move in. We recommend that you plan on accumulating at least 3 to 4 percent of the loan amount for closing costs and from 3.5 percent to 20 percent, depending on the type of loan you obtain, for the down payment.

Cleaning up your finances isn’t easy and saving money may be challenging. Just keep that dream home top-of-mind, though and you’ll remain motivated.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 21, 2017

Who is Go Sold Realty?

Who is Go Sold Realty? Watch this quick video and get to know us and the 1,500 AMAZING clients we have helped! 

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 17, 2017

Home Buyers Guide!

Have questions about the home buying process?

Download your free copy of our Home Buyers Guide: "12 Steps to Buying a Home"

In it, we cover:

- The 12 steps of Buying a Home

- Time frames and process

- How a home inspection works in Arizona

- How to get the best loan, financing and grants available

- Plus a lot of other tips and tricks! 

Click here to Download Your FREE Guide

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home