Category Archives: Real Estate Tips

Does Size Really Matter?

Does Size Really Matter?

Now that you’re embarking on home ownership, you might wonder how large a space you actually need. After all, apartments tend to be a bit smaller than the average home and the siren song of extra space lures many a buyer into purchasing the biggest bang for their buck. While the size of houses increased during the early 2000s, the new home market shows a 15 percent decrease in square footage for the average home.

While some buyers yearn for more space, others have downsized … even while their children still live in the home. In fact, a trend toward very small homes has increased in popularity in recent years.

While no one can decide what’s exactly right for your situation, here are some things to consider:

How much space do you really need? vs. How much space do you want or can afford?

To answer this question, you’ll need to spend some time determining your family’s lifestyle:

  • How many people will live in the house? Brothers of a similar age can easily share a room, for example, but teens may do better in a separate space from their younger siblings. If grandparents share the home too, they may enjoy their own living area.
  • Do you often have out-of-town guests? If so, you’ll need sleeping room for guests, and even an extra bath.
  • Do you have lots of indoor hobbies? Sewing, crafting and woodworking in your living space can make day-to-day life difficult for the rest of the family. If you have indoor crafts, you’ll need a home with an extra room, a large garage, workshop, basement or attic.
  • Do you work from home? Both for tax purposes and for your own sanity, you may need an office with its own door. Being able to “leave work” is a boost for most home-based entrepreneurs, too.
  • Does a larger home require more maintenance? If more space just means more time cleaning, you might be happier in a smaller space, but if a smaller space means constant purging and organizing, a little more room to store your stuff can fill the bill.
  • Do you plan to keep the home into your empty nest or retirement years? If so, you may be willing to live with less space-per-person now so that you have a paid-off home that’s just the right size later.

Talk to your professional

Deciding how much space you want or need, and how you plan to use it is important before you begin to look. Your agent may show you a beautiful home that you become infatuated with, but that isn’t really right for your needs … but if she knows your needs and how you want to live, she’s more likely to show you the home that becomes your long-time love—no matter what size it is.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Should I Haggle Over the Price?

shutterstock_266834933

Buying a home, especially for the first time, is emotional. You’ve saved and scrimped for months—years even—and now you’ve found the home of your dreams. You’re in love and you don’t want someone else to get it.

Joss Whedon, the mastermind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer says, “Never sit at a table you can’t walk away from.” That is, don’t begin a negotiation if you’re not willing to say “no” if it doesn’t move in the direction you favor. The truth is…if you can’t walk away from that home, you probably won’t do well and may even give up more than you need to.

When you’re negotiating over the purchase of a home that you’ve become emotionally invested in, it’s more difficult to stand your ground or walk away when the haggling becomes fierce. To succeed in a negotiation, you need resolve based on facts, not emotions.

Base your resolve on knowledge of the market: knowing the market gives you the advantage moving on to another similar home if this one doesn’t work out.

Let your professional do the haggling: Your real estate professional knows which areas in the deal might be negotiable and which probably aren’t. She also knows, or can learn, more about the home’s situation.

  • Has it been on the market for a while?
  • Is it being sold by the former residents? Or, is it being sold by a nephew that inherited it? Is it part of a divorce? The more you know about the seller, the better you can judge if they’ll negotiate. Public records can give you some information about both the property and the seller.
  • Are there circumstances in the neighborhood that can give you wiggle room (i.e. a shopping mall going in near by, periodic odors wafting in the home’s direction a couple times a year from nearby industry)?
  • Know what the nearby comparable homes sold for and why (updated kitchen, new bath, in-ground sprinklers).
  • Ask! If you don’t ask, you don’t know. The more questions you ask, the more information you have to negotiate with.
  • Stick to the basics and don’t get hung up on easily changed decorations, appliances, carpeting or window treatments. You’re buying the structure.
  • Avoid contingencies. If you’re asking for concessions and negotiating the price, don’t expect the seller to agree to a contingency on the sale of the home you currently own.
  • Determine which is most important to you: location, price or size. Then, craft your negotiations around the on that is most important to you and your family.
  • Know if you’re in a buyer’s market, a seller’s market or a balanced market so you can tailor your negotiations to the market forces. In a seller’s market, try negotiating for simple additions to sweeten the pot, but don’t offer low-ball pricing unless you know the seller is in a distressed situation. In a buyer’s market, push for options on closing times, upgrades to flooring or appliances or keeping the patio furniture. In a balanced market, expect negotiations to take longer, or agree to things like splitting costs.

You want the seller to feel that he came out well, even if you win some concessions in the negotiations. When both the buyer and seller feel good about the transaction, the negotiations will be smoother and more positive.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Why Use Wood-Look Tile?

Wood-Look Tile

A newer trend sweeping the building industry is the use of wood-look porcelain or ceramic tiles. While natural wood flooring is still an optimal choice for most homes, here are some reasons you may want to take a second look at wood-look or wood-grain tiles:

Humidity situations:

  • Moisture: if you live in a humid or moist climate, natural wood may succumb to warping or swelling when exposed to excess moisture. Fluctuations in humidity levels where the level in the air is higher than the level in the wood can cause a condition known as “cupping.” Cupping is when the floor has a washboard appearance and feels uneven underfoot.
  • Lack of moisture: in the reverse situation, where the wood has more moisture than the air, the moisture in the wood evaporates and causes shrinkage. In plank wood flooring, gaps may form between the planks. Parquet flooring exposed to low humidity may loosen and break apart. Even in typically high-humidity areas, running a furnace in the winter can reduce indoor humidity enough to damage wood flooring.
  • Properly laid porcelain or ceramic wood-look plank tiles give the rich look of wood, but do not swell or shrink with excess humidity or arid conditions.

Temperature control:

  • In warm climates, the cost of air conditioning can be a budget breaker. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are cooler to the touch and can help reduce the need for excessive air-conditioning.
  • At the same time, ceramic and porcelain tile is not as cool to the touch as marble, for example, so in colder climates it is not too cold in the wintertime. If your climate tends to extremes, you can mitigate the cold flooring in winter by installing radiant or hydronic (circulate water) heating mats under the tile.

Durability:

  • Tile comes in five varying grades of durability rated from light traffic to extra heavy traffic. The choice of tile should reflect the traffic and use that it will receive. Tile strength is graded by the Porcelain Enamel Institute and rated for hardness from Group 0 (only wall tile) to Group 1 (I, or PEI1) through Group 5 (V, or PEI5).
  • Compared to wood or carpet, ceramic or porcelain tile is water, stain and wear resistant. That means you can get a wood look in your kitchen or bath and not worry about damaging the floor if your dishwasher floods or the kids start a water fight in the shower.
  • Scratches can mar the look of wood flooring, requiring expensive sanding and refinishing. Laminate flooring like Pergo cannot be repaired once scratched—those individual planks need to be replaced. Depending on the grade, ceramic or porcelain tile is nearly impervious to scratches from normal wear and tear, so if you’re one of those homeowners that like to move the furniture every week or two, but love the look of wood flooring, wood-like tiles are a win-win.

Resale value

For homeowners, along with all other considerations is the concept of resale value and return on investment (ROI). Wood flooring increases home values, but wood-look ceramic or porcelain tile can add the same or similar value over the long-term. Additionally, tile often is less expensive to install, so your return on investment can be even greater.

The best choice is the choice that fits you and your family’s lifestyle, continues to look good for years and is easy to maintain.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Help for Prospective Homebuyers

Help for Prospective Homebuyers

While there is no dearth of advice when it comes to saving up to buy a home, some of us just need a little more help.

Introducing the Housing Counselor

What, you ask, is a housing counselor? Different from a real estate agent or broker, a housing counselor is a neutral party that does not make money from the purchase (or sale) of a home. Her sole mission is to:

  • Educate potential homeowners so that when they make the decision to purchase a home, they are reading financially, and
  • Help them keep the home once they’ve purchased it.

Many housing counselors work for non-profit and not-for-profit organizations. They offer unbiased information, recommendations and options for each client’s circumstances. Their information and advice takes into account the potential homebuyer’s financial history, family situation and time of life, and future goals and plans. To them, it’s all about you … not about making a sale or commission.

When you develop a relationship with a housing counselor, you can maintain that relationship through all phases of your homeownership experience. In fact, coming to the table to purchase your first home with the advice of a housing counselor makes the job of your professional real estate agent more focused and directed. You already know how much you can afford, and how much you need. You’ll know which loan options will for you.

When a Housing Counselor is required

Sometimes, meeting with a housing counselor is a requirement of being approved for a loan. This often is true in the case of homebuyers utilizing low-downpayment loans and government subsidized loan programs. If you’re wanting to purchase a home after a bankruptcy or foreclosure, a housing counselor can help you find programs set up directly to assist you if your situation has improved, despite what your credit history says.

Sometimes a required meeting with a housing counselor helps you fully understand the ramifications of alternative financial products, such as a HUD reverse mortgage or possible federal and local grants that might be available for your situation. When you meet with a housing counselor, they’ll show you the various loan options available and explain how each one works, what the requirements are for approval and how it can impact your finances now and in the future.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers advice on owning a home, keeping a home and loan options. Their website offers links to HUD-approved housing counselors to help you through the process.

If you are working with a housing counselor, let your real estate professional know. We can coordinate our search with the recommendations from your housing counselor so that your home buying experience is optimal for you. Knowing ahead of time helps us define the parameters in our search to show you the very best options for your home purchase.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Final Four for Home Buyers

Final Four for Home Buyers

When it comes to basketball, we only have 64 teams to narrow down into our Final Four to fill our brackets. When it comes to buying our first home, we have thousands of options and dozens of choices to consider, but when it all comes down to it, there are just a handful of things that are really important to new homeowners:

  • Affordability
  • Livability
  • Accessibility
  • Sociability

Affordability

Once you’ve bought your new home it’s too late to really consider if you can afford it. With a house, the bottom line of the sales contract is not the bottom line of expenses. In addition to Principle, interest, taxes and mortgage insurance, you’ll need homeowner’s insurance (not the same as mortgage insurance, which only insures the bank, not you), landscaping (or, if you’re doing it yourself you’ll need all that equipment), downpayments on utilities, travel expense if you’re further away from your workplace and money to set aside for maintenance. If you’re planning on making any improvements, you’ll need to set aside money for that too. So, when you’re planning on purchasing a home, don’t forget to add in all the other costs to live in it once you get it.

Livability

Buying a home, whether or prebuilt or custom built just for you, introduces a host of options about appliances, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space and even the layout of the kitchen. If you don’t know how your family lives in a space, you may end up with a house is beautiful inside and out, but just doesn’t fit your living style.

In fact, you’ll find lots of stories about people that bought new homes only to find out that their current furniture didn’t fit. Talk about a new expense! But when you can see your furniture in the room, and start making decisions about where to place items before you’ve even made an offer, you’re probably on the right track.

Some people move to popular neighborhoods because it seems like a good investment, only to discover that none of their friends live nearby and rules of the association make it difficult for them to work on favorite hobbies. Others move to the countryside, with panoramic mountain vistas or lake views only to discover that they’d rather be in a downtown walkup.

Accessibility

If you don’t travel to and from your potential new home during rush hours, weekends and other potential traffic times, you won’t know how accessible it will be for you and your family. A lovely home that your family enjoys while you commute two hours each way to work is probably not the perfect choice for you. Additionally, if you’re planning to live in the home for many years to come, you’ll want to avoid homes with lots of stairs, narrow doorways and other structural items that might make it less useful as you get older.

Sociability

Living out of town can seem like a dream (and for many people it is a perfect location), but if you like to go out in the evenings or walk over to meet friends at a nearby pub, you’ll find it hard going living a distance from your local haunts.

As your real estate professionals, we can help you find the perfect home for all the parts of your life. We won’t talk you into anything that doesn’t fit into your final four.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Buying an Investment Home

Buying an Investment Home

Although the housing market is heating up, buying an investment in order to flip it may not be the right plan for you. Buying a flip home relies on market prices going up higher than the cost for you to refurbish it for sale. And … it has to sell.

On the other hand, buying a second home in order to lease it can be a solid investment idea. Rental properties have long been an investment of choice for long-term thinkers. So, if you want to invest in property, here are some ways you can take advantage of current market conditions:

Rental home:

Typically, a home purchased to rent or lease should fall in the middle of the income bracket of its neighborhood. For your renters to be comfortable there and want to stay long term, it should be a neighborhood where they can make friends, establish relationships, send children to local schools, play and worship.

When your renters fit into the neighborhood, you can expect them to form a longer relationship with you. This means that your rental won’t be empty as often. Each time renters leave, you incur expenses for refurbishing the home for the next renter and loss of income from the empty home. Most often, a long-term rental home is unfurnished.

As real estate professionals, we can advise you on the right range of rental price for the neighborhood in which you plan to buy. If your rent is too high, your tenants won’t fit into the neighborhood. If your rent is too low, you risk renters that may not take good care of your home. If the cost of the home is considerably greater than the rent you can ask, you may need to look in a different area.

Vacation rental:

Different from a regular rental home, a vacation rental can be available from terms as short as a single night or weekend to as long as a season (three to four months). Especially for families, renting a vacation home typically offers more space at a lower cost than hotel rooms, and allows for home-cooked meals and a private, relaxing atmosphere.

Many people think a vacation rental needs to be a beach home or near a mountain resort, but a condo in Manhattan or Brooklyn, in a Hollywood neighborhood or near a theme park can be an excellent location too. In fact, rental homes in locations where businesses require employees to temporarily relocate for training is another good choice.

Because the home needs to be furnished, the initial costs may be higher, but short-term and vacation rental rates can be much higher than long-term rental rates. Care and maintenance between renters usually doesn’t require extensive repairs, painting or replacing carpets either.

An advantage to a vacation rental is that you can block out time for your own family to use the place as well. Just don’t leave lots of personal items there.

Being a landlord

Not everyone is cut out to take on the role of landlord. If you invest in a long-term rental, especially if it is out of town, consider hiring a property manager familiar with the area. Property managers handle the rent, advertise for new renters, take care of landscaping, repair broken fixtures or appliances, and prepare the property between renters.

For vacation rentals, the property management takes care of all services for the property, including adverting and guest registration.

If you’re in the market for an investment property, we can help. Give us a call and we’ll show you what’s available in our area that fits your parameters.

Compliments of Virtual Results

The Value of Professional Staging

The Value of Professional Staging

Views very widely on the value of hiring a professional stager to prepare your home for sale. Many real estate agents swear by it and have years of sales to back up their claim. They cite their own impressions, sales history and anecdotal evidence to underscore that professional staging adds value to the home.

On the other hand, an academic study done in 2014 by Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William & Mary and co-authors, Mark Lane, associate professor in the finance department at Old Dominion University, and Vicky Seiler, researcher at Johns Hopkins University, showed virtual tours to potential buyers with staged and un-staged scenes of the same home. Buyers consistently priced the home’s value at about the same. The conclusion of the study was that the cost of professional staging does not raise the perceived value of the home.

Before you nix hiring a professional stager, however, you should know that this same study showed that staging does give buyers a positive sense of a home’s “livability” that promotes a quicker sale. Since the home in the study was in the $200,000 range, the research also does not show how staging influences the sale of a higher-priced or luxury home.

One of the results of the study was the information that while buyers believed themselves to by savvy and not influenced by “staging,” the most often believed that other buyers would be influenced by it. In essence, they thought they would know the actual value of the home more than other people would and could therefore negotiate a better price. Since the home in question was not “real” the actual outcome of a sale was not provable.

Should you hire a stager?

In the final analysis, the value of staging falls into two categories:

  • Will the home sell for a higher price?
  • Will the home sell more quickly?

Will the home sell for a higher price?

A 2012 survey by HomeGain of over 2,500 realtors showed that staging increased the selling price of homes from $3,000 to $3,900 and that the return on investment was more that 4500 percent. In the same study, 73 percent of the agents surveyed recommended staging.

According to ASP®, the Accredited Staging Professional training organization, citing a report by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, staged homes sell for an average of 17 percent higher price. On a lower priced home—say under $200,000—that 17 percent would only be $3,400 and so the cost of professional staging may seem like a wash. On a $750,000 home, however, that same 17 percent will amount to a whopping $127,500 back in your pocket.

Will the home sell more quickly?

According to The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® study, staged homes sell within an average of 11 days. Agents that swear by staging, their homes spend 73 percent LESS time on the market and are subject to fewer concessions to the buyers.

Who do you believe?

When the market is strong, many agents believe that staging may be unnecessary because properties already receive multiple offers. In a softer market, or a specific price range however, staging your home may lift it above the competition.

Answering the claims against staging by the academic study, HomeGain points out that staging is more that just painted walls and well-placed furnishings. True staging appeals to multiple senses including smell, mood, temperature, sight and memory.

Most important is to rely on the professional recommendation of your own agent. We know your market, have studied your home’s competition and have a vested interest in making the best recommendations for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Should “Hidden” Costs of Buying a Foreclosure Keep me from Buying One?

Foreclosure Sale

While the housing market in most places certainly has improved and the number of foreclosed homes on the market has decrease, they will always be foreclosed homes available for purchase. Because of popular television show on house “flipping” and investment real estate, however, many buyers have unsubstantiated ideas of what buying a foreclosed home entails. Here, then, are some myths and truths about buying a foreclosed home.

It’s a hot deal:

Many buyers believe that a foreclosed home will be a very low price. The truth is that while homes may be discounted somewhat, the massive discounts people sometimes expect are unrealistic. While the “discount” may be well below what the former owner paid for the home, because of the changes in the market itself, the discount compared to other similar homes may be more modest. So, if the home is a “good deal” and does not require a tremendous investment to return it to a livable state, there is nothing to stop you buying it.

Hidden liens:

While the foreclosure removes the former owner’s mortgage debt, the home may have liens against it for back taxes, or money owed to mechanics or contractors. A thorough title search will reveal this information to you. Before making an offer to buy a foreclosed home, make certain you have this information at hand. Your real estate professional can help you uncover any financial challenges associated with past judgments and liens.

Poor maintenance

While it is a myth that most foreclosures are homes where the owners simply walked away, it is true that foreclosed homes may need some extra care to return them to their former state. When the original owner loses a job or has a financial or medical disaster that eventually leads to the foreclosure, their attention to maintenance and detail may decline simply because they are unable to do it. In addition to that, because the banking industry was slow to begin selling distressed properties, the home may have remained empty for several months, or even years. Homes that endure several seasons without the electricity on, for example, may be subject to mold and other environmental issues, and homes that rely on a sump pump to keep water from seeping in may have damage to basements or main floors from unchecked water. Roofs may have undetected storm damage or problems from backed-up gutters. Additionally, major appliances such as air conditioners and furnaces sometimes break down from lack of use.

Vandalism

While some angry owners may vandalize a home they are losing, for the most part, destruction is to an empty home. Opportunistic thieves believe that no one will notice missing light or plumbing fixtures, paver stones and other easily accessible objects. Broken or cracked windows may be from a stray baseball or from a major hail storm. Damaged gutters can result from falling tree limbs and broken wiring might result from rodent infestation (yes, those pesky mice like to eat the insulation off wiring).

A thorough home inspection is in order before you buy a distressed property even if it has not been empty for very long. We can connect you with a professional home inspector who can give you an unbiased report of what your potential new home or investment needs. We can help you make sure that your “hot deal” really is a great deal for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

How to Avoid Being House Poor

shutterstock_257952431

Buying a home is exciting. If you’re young, it gives you the sense of finally stepping into the adult world. If you’re at some other life change (marriage, starting a family, empty-nester) the idea of a larger (or smaller) space of your own gets those possibility juices flowing.

But … in the heady rush into new home ownership, the temptation to bite off more than you can chew financially is strong enough that potential homeowners ignore that niggling unsettled feeling, or even the warning bells clanging in their heads. Once the deal is done and move-in day is a dim memory, the reality of monthly expenses takes over.

Does that mean you shouldn’t buy a home? Of course not! What is means is that homeownership can change your lifestyle in ways that you may not anticipate. If you’re looking at buying a home, try incorporating those changes into your life beforehand to see if they are livable.

Higher monthly payments

For some buyers, the actual mortgage payment is less than they pay for rent. In fact, many would-be buyers consider this as the basis of their potential move into ownership, and marketers promote the idea as well. But, ownership requires more than just making the mortgage payment. Other monthly outgo includes:

  • Insurance: Homeowner’s insurance is much more costly than renter’s insurance. If you own a single-family home, the cost of your coverage is based not on the home’s market value, but on the cost to rebuild it after a destructive event. If your home has special architectural details—a Victorian or Craftsman, for example—your insurance may be higher because replacing damaged detailing may require specialty products. If you live in a storm-damage area (hail, tornados, wind) or flood plain, you’ll need to cover those instances as well. Your insurance also includes coverage for your furnishings. When you more to a larger home, you have more furnishings.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance: If your mortgage arrangement requires the payment of private mortgage insurance (you made a smaller than conventional downpayment or your credit is less than stellar, for instance), the amount of your monthly payment may be increased to pay PMI. Just so you know, PMI is not for your protection, it is for the lender’s protection. You’ll pay between $75 and $250 to cover your lender should you default on your mortgage.
  • Association Dues: Condominium ownership nearly always requires payment of monthly or yearly association dues. These dues pay for exterior and building and pool maintenance, landscaping, liability coverage for community property and other responsibilities. In many communities, even single-family homes can require association dues to cover parks, playgrounds, pools and other shared spaces. Association dues can run into several hundred dollars each month.
  • Property Taxes: Unlike renters, property owners pay the taxes used to operate cities, school districts and other municipalities. Your tax money maintains roads and pays for street-sweeping or snow removal, clearing of drainage systems, installing and maintaining street lamps, building and caring for parks and recreation facilities. In cases of newer construction, there may be special assessment taxes to cover new roads and sidewalks, traffic lights, and other new installation required by the city. Typically, special assessments end after a certain number of years.
  • Local services: Often, services such as trash, water and sewerage are covered in a renter’s monthly payment. Homeowners typically pay for these services individually, so their cost must be included into the monthly outgo.
  • Maintenance: An owner is responsible for maintaining the property. That means the costs to replace light bulbs and repair dripping faucets or plugged toilets falls to the owner.

Have a plan

Before purchasing a home in a given area, find out an average of these other costs. To figure out interest and PMI, check out a mortgage calculator. For property taxes, search the local county records or ask your real estate agent to find out the prior year’s assessment. Add the monthly extra for all of these items to the potential mortgage payment. If it is more than you pay for rent, try living for three to six months paying the difference into a savings account that you do not access.

You may be willing to make sacrifices to afford the home of your dreams, but remember that you need to live with those sacrifices for a very long time. Giving up cable, not eating out and delaying buying new clothes seems doable in the first few months, but eventually, you may tire of the restrictions to your lifestyle. That’s why it is important to know before you buy a home how much monthly outgo fits into your lifestyle.

A real estate professional knows how to help you gather this information. We want you to be happy in your new home. After all, we want you to recommend us to others, so if we don’t help you determine the best situation for you, we only hurt ourselves.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Is Flipping Houses a Good Idea These Days?

shutterstock_134387450

Just ahead of the housing bubble, flipping houses was an investor pass-time. As home prices started to rise, many would-be real estate moguls bought houses to flip hoping that the prices would increase enough in a six-month period for them to make a profit. The concept spawned reality TV shows like Flip This House and The Property Ladder.

Many savvy investors saw profits increase right up until the bubble burst. Others, particularly novice investors, became victims of fraudulent flipping schemes and unscrupulous banking practices. Post-housing bubble, investors with lots of money picked up distressed properties for lower outlay, but had a harder time actually selling those homes since potential buyers were more cautious.

The investors that survived the drastic ups and downs of the market had a Plan B. When the housing market crashed and many people lost their homes, the rental market increased. So, investors that planned for if their investment didn’t sell by turning it into rental property made it through unscathed.

In the past couple of years, the “flipping” market heated up again. But, as home prices appreciate, and there are fewer distressed homes on the market for flippers to purchase, experienced investors say now isn’t really the best time for a novice to start on their own. In fact, many investors learned lessons from the housing bubble and the crisis that ensued from it bursting.

Here are some tips to guide your potential investment:

  • Not every markets is profitable: While there are lots of homes that could be purchased, rehabbed and potentially flipped in every part of the country, some placed are not seeing the kind of economic growth that makes flipping viable. You have to know your market, know local values and be prepared to by having deep pockets should the home not sell.
  • Do your homework: Since there are fewer homes at the kinds of steep discounts seen in recent years, consider planning to pay full price cash, but arrange for a delay to have the home inspected. If the inspection reveals problems, the buyer can walk away, or make a lower offer to the seller and potentially get a good deal. Just remember that anything revealed during the inspection is now your responsibility to repair or replace.
  • Know your margins: unlike the impression you might get from watching the popular reality shows about flipping, the margins to be made from buying and selling a home are not as large as they appear. If you can find undervalued homes, you’ll have a cushion you can build into the rehab. If the difference between the purchase price and the new selling price is not as significant, avoid purchasing a home that requires thousands of dollars of repairs and upgrades or you’ll end up with a lovely home, but no income from it.
  • Learn how to seek out potential houses: Lower inventory means that being able to find a home with the potential to flip is more difficult. Use your network of real estate professionals, estate attorneys and even repair contractors to learn of possible homes to buy.

Watch the trends

Real estate trends up and down. When you’re purchasing a home for your family, your motivation to buy is not as affected by those trends as when you’re purchasing as a form of investing … especially if you plan to flip it within six months. The trend upward needs to be significant enough for you to make a profit, but not so significant that potential buyers cannot get mortgage approval to purchase it.

See professional assistance

As your real estate professionals, we know the local market. We watch the trends. We know who is buying, who is selling and who is holding. We pay attention to new businesses moving to the area with the potential in increase jobs and bring in new buyers. We know which decorative repairs and upgrades are most important for a quick sale. Let us help you.

Compliments of Virtual Results