Category: Sellers

10 Common Misconceptions People Have About Buying a Home

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Do you need more space?

Spend Less – Get More! Buying a home is very rewarding in many ways.

This is the number 1 reason why people buy a home. The home buying process can be daunting. It’s one of the largest purchases that you will make during your lifetime. That said, the process is easier when you have the right team on your side. A good lender, REALTOR® and home inspector will guide you through the process stress free.

Right now in most areas we are in a buyer’s market. Rates are still low so it’s really the perfect time to buy.

What’s holding you back? Let’s explore some common misconceptions.

 

1. You need 20% down to buy a home

Many buyers believe that they need 20% down to buy a home. This is a very common misconception. There are FHA loans that will permit a 3.5% down payments and some conventional loans that will go as low as 3%. If you are or were in the military, VA loans require zero down! In addition, if the home is a rural area, USDA loans will also require no down payment.

2. You need a credit score in the 700s or better

This is no longer the case. There are many different loan programs available that will qualify many different buyers. It’s important to speak to a lender and have them analyze your situation. In most cases they will be able to get you qualified. If you like a list of mortgage lenders contact me at ali@happyclientsrealtygroup.com.

3. Don’t have too many lenders check your credit because that will lower your score

You have the right to shop for a loan. FICO, the company that computes the credit scores lenders use. Allow consumers to “rate shop”. When doing to make sure that you are comparing the same types of products. Don’t focus exclusively on interest rates. Sometimes a lender will increase your closing costs by making you pay down points in order to get you a better interest rate.

4. Adjustable rate mortgages are bad

We all heard a lot of negative things about adjustable mortgage rates after the mortgage melt down in 2008. Adjustable mortgage rates are not all bad and can be a great option for someone that plans of paying off a home in 5 years or if you plan on selling the home within 5 years. This will provide you will a low interest rate for the first five years on the loan and that maybe all you need. Speak to a lender about options.

5. You just need enough money to cover your down payment in savings

There are several upfront cost when buying a home. The down payment is usually the largest but you will need to cover the following as well:

  • Earnest Funds: Once your offer for a home is accepted, you will have to deposit your earnest funds with the title company. Earnest funds are typically 1% of the sales price. For example: if the home is being sold for $200,000, your earnest funds will be $2000. These are funds that will be applied towards your down payment at closing so they are not in addition to the sales price offered.
  • Option Fee: An option fee is a fee that is offered to the seller in exchange for a set number of days for you to complete your due diligence and be able to cancel the agreement if you find something that you don’t like. This fee will also typically be credited towards the balance due at closing if you proceed with the purchase. This is money well spent because as little as approximately $200 or less you can take your time and inspect the property before you fully commit.
  • Inspection Fee: It’s always a good idea to have your home inspected. This usually will cost about $350-$450 on average. This is also money well spent. This is a large purchase and it’s important to know the condition before you commit to the sale.
  • Appraisal Fee: This is a fee that the bank will ask you to pay in advance for the appraisal of the property. This fee will run between $450-550 typically. It is part of the closing cost and will be credited at closing.
  • Reserves: The lender will usually want to see that you have around 2 months of mortgage payments in savings as reserves.
  • Closing Costs: When you first get pre-qualified by a lender they will give you wants called a loan estimate. In it, the lender will disclosure all your costs; including your down payment, loan costs and closing costs. Closing costs can add up. Most of the closing costs go to what’s call pre-paids. This is a set amount that the lender will require to start your escrow account.

6. It’s cheaper to rent than it is to buy

Rent is expensive and normally there are a lot of upfront fees when renting a home. Along with those fees there are restrictions. Explore the option to buy. I think you’d be surprised that your monthly payment can be the same or less than a rental property.

New Construction

7. You don’t need a home inspection for new construction

Whenever you are buying a home, be it new or a resale, it is always best that you have the home inspected. Even new homes have issues that come up during an inspection. A home is a major purchase. The investment in a home inspection is nothing compared to the cost of buying a home with major problems

8. It is cheaper to buy a home that needs work

It can be but in many cases you end up spending a lot more on a rehab than you do on a move-in ready home. Many people watch these HGTV shows and feel that rehabbing a loan is easy. It’s not! There are always surprises and these surprises can be costly.

In many cases buyers go in with good intentions of getting the work done but faced with the cost and time of the repairs, they are put off. Over time they let the repairs go and ultimately they are never get done.

9. I can save money by not using a REALTOR®

As a buyer, it will normally not cost you anything to have an agent on your side. In most instances the seller pays the buyer’s commission. There is not reason to not have ally on your side.

Before submitting an offer it’s important to review comparable sales in the area and overall market conditions. Every home is different and it’s important to look at all aspects of the home before submitting an offer. The surrounding area is very important. You can change things about the home but you can’t change its location.

10. I need to find a home before I speak to a mortgage lender

This would be false. It’s important to be pre-qualified before you start looking. Sometimes the bank will qualify you for more or less than expected.

When you find that perfect home, your offer is submitted with your pre-qualification letter. Don’t run the risk of losing the perfect home. By the time you get qualified the home might be gone.

Owner Finance

Note: A qualified real estate attorney should be consulted to answer any questions as well as write the sales contract and promissory note.

What is owner finance?

Owner financing is also known as seller financing. This can be an option for people that can not qualify for a conventional bank loan.

In an owner finance agreement, the owner or seller will act like the bank. They will list the finance terms they are willing to offer. Owner financed deals are recorded with the County. The buyer’s interests is protected.  An additional protection is that a trustee has the deed instead of the seller. The Deed of Trust in an owner financed deal will show that the buyer is the rightful owner.

Just like a traditional bank loan, there is usually a down payment, amortization period, a possibly balloon payment and a set or adjustable interest rate. The terms can be customized to fit the needs of the seller and buyer.

Most owner-financing deals are normally short term and a typical arrangement might involve amortizing the loan over 30 years but with a final balloon payment due after five. The idea is that after 5 years the buyer may be in a better financial position and can now get a traditional loan.

How does it work?

A contract is negotiated. The contract should include a Seller Finance Addendum that will disclose the terms of the agreement. It should cover the balance to be financed, the down payment, interest rate, balloon payments, pre-payment penalty, etc.

Part of the closing documents will include a promissory note. This is a very important document; it will include all the loan terms, the loan amount, the amount of your monthly installments, interest rate, payment schedule, late fee terms, balloon payment (if applicable) and when and how you need to pay.

Most promissory notes will have a due-on-sale clause that will make the entire balance due if the buyer decides to sell the property before the balance is paid off.

A deed of trust will also be signed and it’s usually recorded at the county’s clerks office. This legal document protects the seller in case the buyer defaults on the loan. It will allow the seller to foreclosure of the property if payments are not made.

Like any option, there are pros and cons. Let’s explore these below.

PROS

  • Buyers that can not traditionally qualify through a bank might qualify through a seller directly. Banks sometimes have a very black and white way of looking at things. A seller might evaluate the buyer’s entire potential and make a decision based many other factors.
  • The loan terms can be customized to fix the parties needs.
  • Flexible down payments.
  • The closing may be faster. With a traditional loan the closing can take 30-45 days.
  • The closing costs could potentially be less. They might not include some of the normal lending fees

CONS

  • The loans terms can be less desirable.
  • The sales price and down payment requested could be higher.
  • Interest rates can also be much higher than market rates.
  • The amortization period might be too short or too long for comfort.
  • The seller might include a balloon payment after 5-10 years.
  • There usually is no appraisal involved so you might pay more that market value (Do your research).
  • There might be pre-payment penalties
  • The interest rates might not be fixed.

Ultimately owner financing can be a good option for both buyers and sellers but there are risks.

Buyers be warned

As a buyer thinking about owner financing, do your due diligence. Research the property, the community, the seller, etc.

  • Beware of homes that are exclusively being offered as owner finance. Why? Are they selling the home for much more that market value? Is the home in poor condition? Are they trying to avoid home inspections or appraisals? Ask the questions.
  • Did the seller ask your for a credit report, financial statements, proof of income, etc? If the seller is not looking into your finances, walk away. They should care if you can afford the home. Ideally you want your monthly payment to be less than 30% of your monthly income.
  • Is the home paid off? If the seller owes a balance on the home, there is a higher risk for the buyer. You may be punctual in your payments but what happens if the seller doesn’t apply your payment to his mortgage? His mortgage company can foreclose of the home. You can end up losing all the funds you have paid towards the home plus the home itself!
  • If the seller still owes a balance make sure that their mortgage does not have a due on sale clause. If they do have a due on sale clause, the bank can his bank demand immediate payment of the debt in full if the house is sold to you. If the lender isn’t paid, the bank can foreclose. To avoid this risk, make sure the seller owns the house free and clear or that the seller’s lender agrees to owner financing.
  • Balloon payments – with many owner financing arrangements, a large balloon payment becomes due after a set number of years. If you can’t secure financing by then, you could lose all the money you’ve paid so far, plus the house.
  • Consider having the home inspected. A home inspection is always an option for a buyer. These inspections are typically completed by a third party inspection company and will typically cost $350-550. If the seller does not allow you to have the home inspected, let this be a warning sign. What is he/she hiding?
  • The seller should provide you with seller’s disclosures. All seller should disclosure issues that they know to be wrong with the property.
  • Since a bank is not involved, there might not be an appraiser. In a traditional bank loan process, the bank will send an appraiser to evaluate the property’s worth. The appraiser will issue his opinion on value and condition. An appraiser is not an inspector, but if they see something that might effect the property’s value, they will note it and possibly force the parties to make repairs before the bank approves the loan. You as a buyer can order an appraisal of the property. If you are not sure of the market value of the property, speak to an REALTOR® or hire an appraiser.
  • Research the community and schools. Even if you don’t have school aged kids, schools can make or break a property’s resale worth. Properties zoned to poor preforming schools might not resale as well as those zoned to excellent schools.
  • Traditional owner-financed transactions often close in a lawyer’s office without title insurance, although it might be wise for the buyer in such transactions to at least obtain a title report indicating what liens, lawsuits, and judgments may affect the property. There has been fraud in this area. People that are not the true owners of a property might try to sell or rent a home they know to be vacant.
  • This is one of the largest purchases you will probably make. You might want to consider hiring a real estate attorney to review the terms of the contract prior to signing an agreement.
  • The owner will normally keep title to the house until the buyer pays off the loan. If the buyer defaults, the seller keeps the down payment, any money that was paid, plus the house.

Sellers be warned

As a seller you too run risks when owner financing a home. Do your due diligence before signing a agreement.

  • SAFE Act – Sellers who engage in more than five (5) owner-finance transactions in a 12 month period must now have a Residential Mortgage Loan Originator License according to the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, also known as the SAFE Act.
  • If you owe a mortgage on the property, speak to your lender to see if you have a due on sale clause. If you do, then owner finance may not be possible. Once you sell the home your mortgage balance will come due entirely. Speak to your lender and see if they will agree to owner financing.
  • Make sure to review the buyer’s income. Their financial strengths, their credit or lack of credit, their available funds, etc. Speak to the buyer’s employer if they are not self employed. If they are self employed, considering looking at a few years of tax returns. You will decide what you find acceptable or not.
  • Think about hiring a servicing company to receive the payments and establish an escrow account. This way the payment can be applied to the balance owed directly.
  • The seller must determine that the buyer has the ability to repay the loan (and this must be supported by verifications and documentation).
  • Although you won’t have to worry about insuring the property or making repairs as needed, you do run the risk of having to foreclose if the buyer stops making payments.
  • Repair cost – if you do take back the property for whatever reason, you might end up having to pay for repairs and maintenance, depending on how well the buyer took care of the property.

22726 Hockaday Dr, Katy TX 77450

FOR SALE – 22726 Hockaday Dr, Katy TX 77450

Property Details

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Bldg. 1742 SF
  • Lot 9,288 sf
  • Pool and covered patio
  • 2 car garage

Welcome home! This property will not disappoint. Beautiful home in West Memorial, Katy. Spacious living room with high ceilings and large windows offer an ample amount of natural light and great views of the yard. Large kitchen with picture window above the sink with views of the pool. Kitchen provides plenty of counter space and storage.  Appliances (refrigerator, washer and dryer) stay if you choose. Spacious master bedroom has direct access to the pool and covered patio.  Home has been freshly painted a neutral color. Perfect backyard for outdoor entertaining. Splish, splash in your own private pool or enjoy an evening under your covered patio. Home is move-in ready! Never Flooded.

Within minutes of several major freeways (West Park Toll Rd and I10), shopping and dining. Excellent location with excellent schools. Schedule your private tour today.

22726 Hockaday Dr, Katy TX 77450

22726 Hockaday Dr, Katy TX 77450

West Memorial neighborhood is located in Katy (77450 zip code) in Harris county. West Memorial has 1,150 single family properties with a median build year of 1976 and a median size of 1,830 Sqft. Source: HAR.com

Source: HAR.com

Source: HAR.com

7327 El Cresta Dr, Houston TX 77083

COMING SOON! 7327 El Cresta Dr, Houston TX 77083

7327 El Cresta Dr, Houston, TX 77083
7327 El Cresta Dr, Houston TX 77083
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Bldg. 1,634 SF
  • Lot 7,144 SF
  • Cul-de-sac lot
  • Completely remodeled

Welcome home! This property will not disappoint. Beautifully remodeled home in Mission Bend. Spacious living room with high ceilings and decorative dark beams. Vast kitchen with custom built cabinets, gorgeous granite counters and deep sink. This amazing kitchen has new appliances (range and dishwasher), plenty of storage and lots of counter space. Both bathrooms have been completely remodeled. Home has been freshly painted a neutral color and new flooring throughout. This Cul-de-sac lot offers the home a large backyard; perfect for outdoor entertaining. Move-in ready! Never Flooded.

Within minutes of several major freeways (West Park Toll Rd, Hwy 6, I10 and 69), shopping and dining. Excellent location with good schools.

7327 El Cresta Dr, Houston, TX 77083

Mission Bend (fort Bend) neighborhood is located in houston (77083 zip code) in Fortbend county. Mission Bend (fort Bend) has 816 single family properties with a median build year of 1981 and a median size of 1,762 Sqft., these home values range between $114 – $156 K. The sqft. price change data is available through 1998. The median sold price/sqft is $96.23. Source: HAR.com

Source: HAR.com
Source: HAR.com

1135 W. Gardner St, Houston TX 77009

COMING SOON!

  • 2 bedroom
  • 1 bath
  • Building 942 SF
  • Lot 5,000 SF

Welcome Home! This adorable cottage is located in the Historical District in the Houston Heights. The home is appointed with two spacious bedrooms with cedar lined closets. Large living room with amazing windows and lots of natural light. Formal dining room, and large kitchen with plenty of counter and storage space. Beautiful original hardwood floors. This home has a 2 car detached garage and sizable backyard; perfect for outdoor entertaining. Enjoy an evening on this amazing front porch. You will love all the details and charm.

This tree lined streets and the beautiful mature trees makes this a perfect location. It’s minutes from downtown Houston, The Galleria, Memorial Park and the Energy Corridor. Enjoy all the Heights has to offer with nearby shopping, amazing restaurants, and parks.

Source: HAR.com

North Norhill neighborhood is located in houston (77009 zip code) in Harris county. North Norhill has 531 single family properties with a median build year of 1928 and a median size of 1,228 Sqft., these home values range between $308 – $509 K. The sqft. price change data is available through 1998. The median sold price/sqft is $386.09. Source: HAR.com

Source: HAR.com

6007 Oxford Lake Dr, Rosenberg TX 77471

COMING SOON!

6007 Oxford Lake Dr, Rosenberg TX 77471

PROPERTY DETAILS

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2.5 baths
  • Bldg SF 2,970
  • Lot SF 8,705
  • Private pool
  • Lake views and park side with private gate access.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! You could not ask for a better lot. This beautiful home is located in the Master Planned Community of Kingdom Heights with easy access to the community parks and several lakes where fishing is permitted. This home is lakeside and park side!

This immaculately presented, well-appointed 2 story home has a wonderful floor plan that lends itself to gatherings. Spacious living room with gas fireplace opens up into the kitchen. Prepare a gourmet meal in the ample kitchen with plenty of storage cabinets and counter space, large island, and plentiful pantry. The formal dining room lends itself to entertaining. Private home study with large windows and views of the front yard. Retire into the huge and serene master suite. Check out the master closet! 

Enjoy a beverage under your covered porch or splish splash into your own private pool. This specious backyard has no immediate back neighbors and views of a vast green space, one of the many community parks and two lakes. 

Zoned to excellent schools. Learn more about Lamar Consolidated ISD

Community Information

 
Welcome home! 6007 Oxford Lake Dr, Rosenberg TX 77471
Splish Splash into your our private pool
Easy access to one of the community parks right from your back yard!
Spend some time fishing in two of the many lakes within walking distance of your backyard. You may fish (catch and release) from the shore or from a canoe.
Enjoy this spectacular view from the spacious second floor game room
Located within minutes Sugar Land, Katy, Richmond and Fulshear.

KINGDOM HEIGHTS

This community will consist of 572 acres with 12 lakes and 39 parks. Kingdom Heights is located within minutes from Sugar Land Towne Centre, Katy La Centerra, and an array of local shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation opportunities.

Kingdom Height will eventually consist of 1,430 homes.

Other amenities include a beautiful Recreation Center, Fitness Center, Party Room, Resort Style Pool, Soccer and Baseball Fields. 

Home located in section 1. Source: http://www.kingdomheights.com/about/site-plan/
Kingdom Height
Community Center
Community Pool
Community pool, park and lake.
One of many community lakes

Price Trends – Kingdom Heights
Tax Rate

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Annual review of your escrow account

What is escrow?

Your mortgage payment is made up of the following:

  • Part goes toward your mortgage to pay your principal and interest.
  • The other part goes into your escrow account for property taxes and insurance premiums (like homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, or flood insurance).

When you purchase a home and put down less than 20%, the lender will requiere that you escrow your taxes and insurance. An account is opened at the time your home is purchased. The funds within the account are used to pay your property taxes and insurance premiums. These are paid by the lender directly using these funds. This typically helps the home owner because you don’t have to save for these funds separately.

In Texas we pay property taxes in arrears. In Jan of the current year, you are paying the past year’s property taxes. By “property taxes” I’m referring to property, School, MUD, LID and/or Drainage Taxes (not all applicable for all).  It might look something like the image below.

At the beginning of the year I’d suggest you do two things:

  1. Make sure that your taxes have been paid. Lenders make mistake and sometimes overlook a payment. Taxes are due by Jan 31st so make sure that the payment is applied before that date.
  2. Review your escrow account for errors, shortages and overages.

#1 Confirm Payment

Go into the jurisdiction’s website and make sure your balance is zero. If there is a balance owed make sure to follow up with your lender.

#2 Yearly escrow review

Property taxes and insurance premiums change over time. Most lenders will review your escrow account each year to make sure you’ll have enough to cover your expenses. To help with any unexpected increases, you need to keep a minimum balance in your account at all times. It’s normally calculated to not be more than 2 months of escrow payments (but this will vary by bank).

The lender will add your taxes and insurance and divide this amount by 12. This is the minimum amount you need in your escrow account. Normally the lender will want at least 2 month cushion to cover any potential increases in taxes or insurance. Most lender will send you an analyzes by mail or online.

Shortage

If you have an escrow shortage due to an increase in your taxes or insurance premiums, you are responsible for the difference. The bank will send you a notice stating the amount outstanding. It’ll be your choice how you handle it. You can either pay the entire shortage in one lump sum or you can choose to have the amount spread out over the coming year. This means if your shortage is $500, expect to pay an additional $41.67 each month the following year to make up the shortage. Your payment might also increase more as the lender increases the amount going into escrow to pay the next year’s taxes and insurance. In this example you might see an overall increase of approximately $80-100

Please note that if you choose to pay the total shortage in one lump sum, your payment will still increase to cover next year’s potential shortage.

Surplus

If you have too much money in your escrow account, you might get a refund check from the lender. This usually occurs when taxes go down or payments are overestimated. The lender will pay the appropriate amount to each jurisdiction. Whatever is left goes to you, minus their desired cushion. You should receive notice that you have an escrow surplus and will receive a check not long after that. If this doesn’t happen, contact the lender for further details.

Going Forward

The lender should repeats this process every year but don’t relay on the lender to foresee issues. Be proactive! Before May of every year you will get your proposed assessed value from the tax jurisdiction. Review these statements. Has it increased? decreased? How will this effect your escrow balance?

To avoid unpleasant surprises, pay attention to correspondence from your insurance company or taxing jurisdictions. If you’re aware that your payments will increase, you can put additional money towards your escrow each month to avoid a shortage. If you see that your payments will go down, you can contact your bank to try to decrease your monthly escrow payments.

You can ask your lender to analysis your escrow account at any point. You do not have to wait for them to schedule the review. Increases or decreases in your annual tax or insurance bills may cause your monthly mortgage amount to change.

You can (and should) protest your taxes. The protest deadline is May 31st of each year. The final amount is established by the final quarter of each year.

For more info: Tax Protest

‘Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason! 

  1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!

  1. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.

  1. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.

  1. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.5 Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.

  1. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you needto move quickly or you simply wantto take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Give us a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!

 

 

Sources:

  1. Redfin –
    https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI
  2. Top Resume –
    https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search
  3. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
  4. Angie’s List –
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm
  5. Build Direct –
    https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/
  6. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf