Click here to view online with images.
 
 

January 2018

 

 

The New Year brings about exciting changes and thoughts of where we want to be in 2018. For many of us, we are wondering if it’s finally time to get into the right home that fits our needs. This leaves us wondering: WHEN is the best time to sell?  WHAT is my home worth? Is my IDEAL home even out there?

Reach out. Ask questions.  I am here to help.  Happy New Year and all the best in 2018

Alicia Fisher
Realtor®
AliciaFisher@bhhsmi.com   |   616-588-3625
http://www.GRDreamHomes.com

Visit me on FacebookVisit me on TwitterVisit me on LinkedInVisit me on YouTube
 
 

SELLERS’ ADVICE

Millennial Must-Haves

Born between 1980 and 1995, the millennial generation is now prime homebuying age. With unemployment just over four percent and lenders touting low-cost loan programs for first-time buyers, more millennials are buying homes. So who are they and what do they want in a home?

As the most educated generation in history, millennials trust their own judgment. They know how to conduct research and make the best choices accordingly, and tend to be savvy consumers. Even the 66 percent who are first-time homebuyers tend to know more about the housing market than previous generations.

According to the National Association of REALTORS,® forty-nine percent of homebuyers 36 years and younger have children under the age of 18, 66 percent are married couples, 17 percent are single women, and 13 percent are unmarried couples.

As they grow with their families, they seek homes built with quality materials and sustainability in mind. Eight-foot ceilings are back in vogue for this group, as they seek to downsize their ecological footprint.

Social media, technology and demographic shifts are pushing trends faster than any other time in history, says the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Millennials want clean, contemporary lines and many are willing to sacrifice space for style. Lack of ornamentation is significant and intentional, says the NAHB, so sellers marketing to millennials should clear away clutter and excess furniture.

Millennial homebuyers choose older homes for the lower prices, but they want them to be as close to new in appearance as possible.

HOMEOWNERS‘ ADVICE

Before You Paint Your Brick Exterior

The Brick Industry Association touts brick for its strength, energy efficiency and low maintenance, but sometimes brick can just be dated or downright ugly. A fresh new color on your home’s exterior brick can go a long way toward updating your home.

Whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional, the same steps, particularly careful preparation, should be followed.

Clean the bricks: Use a wire brush, soap and water to clean the bricks, or use a power washer. For hard to remove stains, you can mix water with trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is phosphate-free and formulated for hard surfaces. Use approximately one-half cup to a gallon of water. For mold, mix one part bleach to three parts water and scrub with a wire brush.

Repair cracks and missing mortar: If you’re painting the brick for the first time, buy a premixed mortar patch, then caulk and seal any cracks in the brick. If your brick is already painted use the wire brush to loosen any paint that may be peeling.

Use masonry primer: Like TSP, latex masonry primer is made for brick. It ensures that the paint color will go on smoothly and evenly. Allow the primer to dry before you begin to paint. If the paint was originally painted with oil, you’ll have to use oil-based masonry primer and paint or the fresh paint will quickly peel. Apply two coats of paint for coverage, and wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second.

SELLERS’ ADVICE

The Wrong Reasons To Price Your Home

Some sellers believe it’s smart to price their homes high, but flipping the logic on them could help you see the fallacy of pricing a home for any reason other than what a qualified buyer in the current market will buy, based on current market comparable homes.

Buyers want to negotiate: Some sellers believe buyers will automatically offer less than asking price. In reality, they offer what they think the home is worth, what they believe the seller will accept, and what their lender will agree to lend on the home.

For sellers to win, buyers must lose: If the seller assumes the buyer is a “greater fool,” who’s going to be accompanied by a foolish real estate professional, and a foolish lender, then their high-priced home might sell. But isn’t it far more likely that the buyer is well informed and will choose wisely.

Sellers are entitled to make a profit: Home prices historically beat inflation by one or two points annually, but sellers must keep their homes updated and well-maintained for them to hold value. Home flippers must make significant improvements to make it worth more to a buyer that what it sold for two years ago.

The home is also a bank: Sellers may dream of selling their homes to pay off debts, buy a more expensive home, retire, pay for college, etc. Buyers don’t mind giving sellers a profit, but if the market conditions don’t support the seller’s expectations, they’ll move on to other homes.

MORTGAGE ADVICE

Help for Homebuying

Hot housing markets are seeing entry-level homes sell over list price and with multiple offers. So what you can you do to compete?

Meet minimum loan standards: FHA loans are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Agency. You can get a loan with a 3.5 percent down-payment if you have a credit score of 580 or higher. If your score is between 500 and 580, you’ll have to put 10 percent down to qualify.

Fannie Mae offers loans that must qualify for repurchase on the secondary loan market, and offers a program for first-time homebuyers called HomePath. Hompath loans require a minimum FICO credit score of 620 and only a three percent down-payment.

Loan requirements can be flexible according to higher down-payments, higher credit scores, and unique homebuyer circumstances.

Choose a lender who can preapprove you: A preapproval letter from a lender should state clearly that your loan has been through underwriting. Don’t risk your earnest money by finding out too late that you aren’t approved or not approved for as much as you thought you were.

Have your earnest money ready: Earnest money is paid by the buyer and escrowed by the title or closing company to show good faith to the seller. The amount required can vary, but is typically one percent of the purchase price. If the sales contract goes to closing, the earnest money is used toward the down-payment. Ask your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional what amount is typical in your area. As always, please consult a tax professional before making tax decisions.

 
 
Share this with someone:

5136 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546
©2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.