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Blog Archives: October 2015

Don’t Fear the Last Minute Home Showing – Here’s How You Can Impress Potential Buyers

October 30, 2015
The idea of impressing potential buyers can be a matter rife with stress, but there are a few things you can do before a viewing to ensure your home is seen in the best light. If you’ve recently put your house on the market and you’re looking for some fast and easy fix-ups, here are a handful of ways you can be sure to create a positive first impression. It’s All About the Smell It may seem like purchasing a home is all about appearance, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of scent when it comes to the overall impact of your home ...

Can You Give a Relative a Gift of Cash for a Mortgage Down Payment? Yes – Here’s How

October 29, 2015
A new house is a major investment. Even if you have a mortgage, the bank and the seller will still expect a sizeable down payment. That’s why lots of people regularly gift down payments to friends and relatives – it’s a great way to help young people start out on the path of home ownership. But what are the rules around gifting down payments? Can you simply give someone everything they need? Although it’s a generous thought, it’s not always possible – here’s what you need to know. Make Sure You Write a Gift Letter If you’re giving one of ...

Squeezing a Seller: 3 Tips to Help Bring a Seller’s Price Down to Fit Your Budget

October 28, 2015
If you’ve been searching the real estate market for a while and you’ve finally come across a home that you love, it’s possible you may be ready to pounce at any price. However, if you’re hoping to bring the seller’s price down for a deal that’s closer to what you want to spend, here are some ways you may be able to have your home and pay the right price too. Get Some Background on the Sale It’s important to realize that by understanding the motivation of the seller, you’ll be better able to give them the kind of deal they’re looking for. ...

Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Hit Second Highest Level in 8 Years

October 27, 2015
Housing markets show continued strength as the National Association of Realtors® reported that sales of existing homes reached their second highest level since February 2007. Sales of pre-owned homes increased by 4.70 percent and reached 5.55 million sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis against analyst expectations of 5.34 million sales and August’s reading of 5.30 million sales of previously owned homes. August’s reading for existing home sales was revised downward from 5.31 million sales. Economists said that August’s lower than ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015
Last week’s economic news included the National Association of Home Builders Index, Housing Starts and FHFA’s report on August home sales. The National Association of Realtors® released its monthly report on sales of previously owned homes. Builder Confidence and Housing Starts Post Gains The Wells Fargo National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for September posted its highest level of builder confidence in 10 years a higher than expected results with a reading of 64 for October. Analysts expected a reading of 62 based on ...

Do You Regret Turning Down an Offer? How to Reopen Talks with a Potential Home Buyer

October 22, 2015
The real estate market is in a state of constant flux, and if your home has been for sale a little while you may feel vulnerable if you’ve recently rejected an offer. If you’re starting to change your tune on what you want and you’re wondering how you can re-make a deal, here are a few pointers for how to approach a new negotiation. Did You Do a Follow-Up Call? One of the rules for selling your home is to follow-up with all potential buyers as a matter of courtesy, whether you’ve accepted their offer on your home or not. If you’ve done this ...

How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs? Let’s Take a Look

October 21, 2015
If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably trying to budget for all of the expenses that come with a home purchase. After all, the asking price isn’t necessarily the entire amount that you’ll pay – there are other expenses that will factor in to the final price. One such expense is your closing costs. Closing costs are the miscellaneous fees you’ll pay when you sign the deal to buy your home. But how much do you need to save up for closing costs? Here’s what you need to know. The General Guideline for What to Expect Most ...

DIY Home Upgrades: 5 Reasons Why Hardwood Flooring Should Be on Your Renovation List

October 20, 2015
Whether you’re planning on selling your home soon or you want to do a few minor renovations for your own enjoyment, an ailing hardwood floor may be on your list of things to tackle. While this can be a more difficult renovation to complete than many other household items, here are five reasons you may want to move it to the top of the list. An Issue with Structure If there happens to be any glaring structural issues with your hardwood, a complete do-over will be a necessity if you want to sell your house in the future. While this will ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015
Last week’s economic reports included Consumer Price Index and Core index for September, the minutes of the FOMC meeting held September 15 and 17, and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The details: FOMC Minutes Hint at Looming Rate Hike as Inflation Lags Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held in September suggest that while Fed policy makers have reservations about low inflation and labor markets, they may go ahead and raise the target federal funds rate from its current range of 0.00 to 0.25 ...

Michael Minson and Team to Launch Keller Williams SF

October 18, 2015
Michael Minson is now a partner and co-founder of SF’s soon to be largest and most disruptive real estate brokerage: Keller Williams San Francisco! Keller Williams is the largest and fastest growing international real estate brokerage in the world.  We are also recognized as the #1 training organization in the world across all industries. I’m also proud to announce that our team is expanding! Olivia McNally and Sona Shah have joined the team. Olivia has been my Client Success Manager for a year and has stepped into a sales role.  Sona, a ...

Locked in a Bidding War? 3 Tactics That Will Ensure That You Reign Supreme with a Winning Bid

October 16, 2015
Bidding wars can be ugly, nasty things – but with the right tactics, you can come out a winner without having to double your offer. Welcome to basic training – today, you’ll learn how to navigate the obstacle course that is a real estate bidding war and come out on top. Put these three strategies to use and you’ll easily win the home of your dreams. Offer To Pay The Deposit In Cash It’s not usually wise to make a down payment in cash, but paying cash for the deposit is a brilliant strategy that will put you first in line for your new house....

Real Estate Investing: Why Buying a Condo in a Ski Resort Area Can Be a Great Investment

October 15, 2015
The decision to invest in real estate can be one rife with risk, but if you’re ready to take this type of step into the investment market, you might be wondering where to begin. While upcoming neighborhoods and university areas may always be a place where investment is a viable idea, here are some reasons it can be a boon to consider a resort condo. A Reliable Influx of Visitors The great thing about having a condo close to a resort is that, no matter the weather, people will be getting away in the summer and the winter for some vacation ...

Worried About Mortgage Rates Going Up? Steps to Prepare Yourself Financially

October 14, 2015
Mortgage rates have been at record lows for quite some time, making it easy for new home buyers to finance their dream homes. But what comes down will eventually go back up, and with the world economy expected to rebound in 2016, we’re about to start seeing more expensive mortgages. So what can you do to prepare yourself before mortgage rates start to rise? Here are some strategies that will keep you ahead of the game. Start Saving More Money Now If you have a variable rate mortgage, you’ve benefited from great interest rates that this ...

3 Autumn-inspired Decor Ideas That Will Spice Up Your Home

October 13, 2015
With the season of jack-o-lanterns and crunchy leaves under foot, there can’t help but be plenty of ways to integrate the loveliness of autumn into your home decorations. Whether you’re looking for a simple touch or a statement that will completely define a room, here are a few ideas for highlighting the best the fall has to offer. Showcase a Seasonal Bouquet A vase full of flowers can add a lot to any room in the house, but a great way to integrate the season outside with your home is to make a bouquet that will utilize the best of fall’s ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 13, 2015

October 12, 2015
Last week’s economic reports included the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting Minutes and Weekly Jobless Claims. Also, the new mortgage TRID rules went into effect. Here are the details: TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) Goes Into Effect TRID, or TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, which is also known as the “Know Before You Owe” rule will change the mortgage process by altering some standard loan forms and practices. Originally slated to go into effect August 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) actually took effect on ...

Stepping Up Your Game: Staging Your Home to Make It More Appealing Than New Construction

October 09, 2015
When it comes to buying a home people are more apt to consider a newer model. After all new homes are more energy efficient; require less maintenance the perks many buyers want. For homeowners with older homes getting a competitive edge can take a lot of extra work, especially in today’s real estate market. Give Older Homes A Fresh Look But there are ways to make older homes stand apart from newer homes on the market. Start by sprucing up the outside out the house. It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint and a newly paved driveway can ...

Case-Shiller Housing Market Index: Home Prices Rise in July

October 08, 2015
U.S. home prices rose by 0.10 percent in July according to the S&P Case-Shiller Housing Market Index. San Francisco, California edged past Denver Colorado with a year-over-year price increase of 10.40 percent as compared to Denver’s reading of 10.30 percent. All year-over-readings for the 20-City Home Price Index posted gains, but Washington, D.C. showed the lowest year-over0-year growth rate at 1.70 percent. Chicago, Illinois and New York City followed closely with year-over-year readings of 1.80 percent and 1.90 percent respectively. ...

4 Tips on How to Increase the Number of Offers You Get In Slower Markets

October 07, 2015
Selling a house in a slow market is like playing the world’s worst waiting game. But for sellers who want to make a deal quickly, there are ways to boost your offers and close a bid in short order – even if the market isn’t that hot. If you’re struggling to sell your home, try these four strategies to boost buyer interest and start bringing in offers. Choose An Agent With Strong Marketing Skills In a slow market, your choice of real estate agent may make or break the sale. When there simply aren’t that many people looking for homes, you’ll ...

Looking for an Eco-friendly Upgrade? Try These Easy Ways to Save Water Around the Home

October 06, 2015
With the impact we have on our environment becoming a matter of greater concern, it’s becoming more important for the average citizen to know they’re doing their part. While there are many simple tricks for saving water that will make you feel better about your environmental footprint, here are a few easy upgrades that will make that saving a little more automatic. Consider a Cistern Device With outhouses a thing of the past, flushing the toilet has become one of the ways in which household water is being overused the most, but flushing ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 05, 2015

October 05, 2015
Last week’s economic reports included Pending Home Sales, Construction Spending and several reports on jobs and employment. The details: Pending Home Sales Down as Home Prices Rise Pending home sales dipped in August, which is consistent with the waning spring and summer peak sales period for homes. Pending home sales were down by -1.40 percent as compared to July’s gain of 0.50 percent. Pending home sales indicate future closings and mortgage loan volume. Home prices rose in July according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which ...

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