Thursday, June 28, 2018

Protect Your Money From Wire Fraud Schemes When Buying a Home

Protect Your Money from Wire Fraud Schemes When Buying a Home - FNTG

Great, short, video providing helpful tips about protecting your transaction from the danger of wire fraud shared by Jeff Meucci at Fidelity National Title.  If you are, or will soon be, involved in a home buying process, please pay close attention to this information.  Protect yourself and your transaction!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Top 4 Home Renovations for MAX ROI

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
  • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
  • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door.  These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th renovations for returns on investment.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Steps to Win a Bidding War

Housing inventory is tight across the country, and many homebuyers find themselves in a bidding war with other buyers.  RE/MAX has provided some pointers to help you act fast during the bidding process to gain the seller's attention.

1. Have a "Dream Team"
Having the right people by your side during the purchase process is critical to your success. Whether it is a real estate agent or mortgage loan originator, each plays an important role.  Letting my experienced team members advocate for you can mean the difference between landing your dream home or starting your home search from scratch.

2. Go with Your Gut
Don't hesitate if you like a home - make sure your offer is one of the first to be submitted. You and I should be on alert to constantly monitor homes for sale so we can get a jump on the competition. We'll research the properties before the showings to be prepared to generate an offer right after visiting the home.

3. Sweeten the Deal
Do whatever you can, within reason, to make the decision easier for the seller.  We can talk about how to position the terms of the offer to best meet your needs and accomodate the sellers desires - whether it be a quick sale, need for possession after the sale, or possibly adding an escalation clause to the offered amount. In competitve markets, buyers can be creative by offering to pay the seller's closing costs, or making concessions when the inspection report suggests repairs. Go the extra mile to make your offer more attractive to the seller.

4. Write a Love Letter
Selling a home can be an emotional process, especially if the home is filled with many years of memories for the current owners.  Send a thoughtful offer letter telling the selling what you liked about the home, a little about your family, how you will care for the home as well as they have and about the memories you would love to make there. This may hlep the sellers feel better about passing their home on to you.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Home Care Myths shares 8 top home care myths
that are a waste of your time and money.

Stone Countertops are indestructible.  In fact, stone countertops are easy to stain and scratch.  Plus, regular household cleaners and mildly acidic substances, like soda, coffee and wine can dull stone surfaces over time.

Your smoke detector's test button is foolproof.  The test button tells you the sound is working, not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Use real smoke to check it. Light a match, blow it out and hold it near the detector. If the alarm goes off, it's working.

Gutter guards are maintenance-free.  Gutter guards may keep out leaves, but small debris can still get through. It's best to clean them every two years - or once a year if your home is surrounded by trees - to prevent damage to your gutters.

A lemon is a great way to clean a disposal.  A lemon's acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal, and coffee grounds will accumulate in pipes and clog them. The best natural cleaner is baking soda, which will clean the blades but won't damage the metal.

Mow your lawn short and you'll mow less often.  It's important to leave 1 to 3 inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush. Removing more will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out.

CFLs cost too much, and are dangerous. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) aren't as expensive as you think and don't contain enough mercury to cause any harm. Plus, CFLs last an average of five years.

Trendy kitchen re-do will increase my home's value.  Home trends come and go quickly. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, try repainting with trendy colors. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements with at timeless style, like wood floors and subway tile.

A contractor recommendation from a friend is good enough.  Look for a contractor as if it were a job interview. Before hiring, talk to a couple of sources, check the contractor's online reviews and ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

May 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for May 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,803 in May 2018 vs 2,896 last May  -3.2 %
  • Pending Sales:   3,201 in May 2018 vs 3,435 last May:  -6.8%
  • New Listings:   4,665 in May 2018 vs 4,388 last May:  6.3%
  • Average Sales Price:   $448,600 in May 2018 vs $423,800 last May:  5.9%
  • Total Market Time: 37 days in May 2018 vs 39 days last May:  -5.0%
  • Inventory in Months: 1.9 months in May 2018 vs 1.5 months last May
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.51 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.15months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.29 months

Monday, June 11, 2018

The 10-Year Fix

Once your home hits the 10-year mark, it's probably time for some home maintenance.  Here are nine updates your home will benefit from the most, according to Zillow.

1. Get new carpet. Replace your carpet if rips, tears, stains and odors remain, even after a good cleaning.
2. Replace the hot water tank. A water heater may not show signs before it leaks or fails, but if it's been around for 10 years or more, it should be replaced.
3. Update ceiling fans. If the fan's light bulbs seem to burn out more quickly than usual, it's time for a new one.

4. Buy a new dishwasher. You'll likely get a more energy-efficient model that'll pay for itself over time.
5. Replace the garbage disposal, The average garbage disposal lasts about 10 years because the blades become dull over time.
6. Replace the washer and dryer. The average lifespan of both appliances is eight years. Replace them before problems pop up.
7. Repaint inside and outside. There's not rule about when to repaint - it depends on where you live, humidity and other factors. But if it's been 10 years, it's time to repaint.
8. Re-caulk the tub, shower and sinks. It's a simple update that you can easily do yourself.
9. Re-glaze windows. Re-glazing old windows is easier and more cost-effective than replacing them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years

Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then again to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale may be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise.

Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5% (or more) over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.
When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the same neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.

March 2015 marked the first month of a three-year gap between what an appraiser and a homeowner believed a home was worth. That gap widened to 2.65% in September 2015 and had consistently hovered between 1.0% and 2.0% through November 2017.

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last three years:
Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years | MyKCM
In the latest release, the disparity was the narrowest it has been since March 2015, as the gap between appraisers and homeowners was only -0.33%. This is important for homeowners to note as even a .33% difference in appraisal could equate to thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller has to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home).

Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges homeowners to find out how their local markets have been impacted by supply and demand: 
“The appraisal is one of the most important, although sometimes least predictable, parts of the mortgage process. The Home Price Perception Index is a way to illustrate the differences of opinion, and these differences affect everything from the type of mortgage a borrower can get to the expectations a seller has about the proceeds available upon sale of their home.”