Be Prepared for Closing Costs

Saving for a down payment in preparation for buying a new home is pretty common knowledge. With the mortgage meltdown, most mortgages that allowed zero down payments disappeared. While FHA and VA loans still offer little to no money down, most potential homebuyers will need to save at least 5-20% of the home value.

Unfortunately, many first-time homebuyers are dismayed to learn that in addition to the large down payment, they also owe thousands of dollars in closing costs that they might not have expected. The national average for closing costs ranges from 2-4% of the purchase price, which adds considerably to the amount of savings needed to buy a home. In addition, while not a closing cost, most lenders also require a savings reserve equal to at least two months of the mortgage payment. Needless to say, it adds up.

Let’s break these costs down.

Closing costs include fees charged by the escrow or closing attorney, as well as costs associated with obtaining a home loan, including:

• Escrow fees

• Title search and filing fees

• Appraisal fees

• Home inspection fees

• Wire transfer fees

• Loan costs – These include what are termed “points”; each point is 1% of the purchase price and is used as both commission for the lending officer and as an upfront fee to reduce the loan interest rate.

These are just a few of the extra costs associate with buying and closing on a new home. It’s important to know these costs ahead of time, so potential homebuyers can save the appropriate amount of money needed to buy a home. Nobody wants to be surprised by unexpected costs and and end up missing out on the perfect property.

Tips for the First-Time Home Seller

There is a lot of attention paid to first-time homebuyers. Most real estate agents and lenders have some kind of guide to help first-time homebuyers navigate their first home purchase, but what about the first-time seller?

Selling your home for the first time can be just as confusing as a home purchase, so here are a few things to remember as you navigate your home sale.

Before that first showing, it’s important to prepare. This involves not only cleaning, decluttering, and staging the home, but also learning about your local real estate market and finding the best agent for your needs.

Interview more than one agent and ask lots of questions. Learn about the services they offer: do they include professional photography, video, or virtual tours? Ask for a comprehensive market analysis (CMA) and ask each agent their suggestion for the listing price and their method for arriving at that number. Use this information to determine the best agent to assist you.

Once you have an agent, stay involved. Discuss the plan for showings and open houses. Try and be flexible to allow for as many potential buyers as possible viewing your property. Review the listing online for accuracy and stay in touch with your agent for feedback from showings.

Once you start getting offers, respond as quickly as possible. It’s not just about the price; watch for terms, such as length of escrow and contingencies, when evaluating these offers. Be prepared to move so that you can take advantage of a good offer, such as all-cash.

The most important aspect of a successful home sale is the relationship you have with your agent. Be transparent about your needs, concerns, and goals; insist that your agent do the same, and working together you will navigate through your first home sale successfully.

10 Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help – but don’t go overboard trying to cover up.

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well- maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.

9. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.

10. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there.

Vacation Home Sales Skyrocketed Last Year

 

The National Association of Realtors reported that vacation home purchases made up 21% of all homes sales last year. The highest level since 2003 and a 57% increase from 2013.

Why the dramatic surge? Families, especially the top 10%, are feeling more confident in the local housing market, as well as, strong performances in the stock market.

According to NAR, the typical second-home buyer had a median household income of $94,380, 58% had two income earners and 48% financed less than 70% of the purchase price.

Another telling factor that the real estate market will continue to surge, NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun pointed out that baby boomers are on the tipping point of retirement. In fact, 19% of all vacation homebuyers plan to eventually make their second home their primary residence.

So what does this mean for the Florida real estate market?

46% of the vacation homes purchased were located in the South. On a local level the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) is reporting that the luxury real estate marketing in Naples remains to be strong.

 

According to NABOR, closed sales increased 14% in the $1Million to $2 Million+ price segment and increased 13% in the $2Million+ price segment.

 

With continually decreasing inventory and strong market conditions, the Naples real estate market remains strong. If you are a homeowner that’s kept your eye on the market and believe you have equity in your home, contact us to confirm your growth in your investment. It may be the right time to sell.

Thinking of buying or selling in Naples?

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Beth Rose Real Estate and Auctions to Team with REIA Toledo for #InvestinToledo Campaign

 

Beth Rose, a member and sponsor of REIA Toledo for over 20 years is thrilled to announce the #InvestinToledo campaign coming this summer. Beth remarked, “The investment sector of Toledo’s real estate market is vitally important to Toledo’s future. Investment properties are the backbone to many retirement plans of hard-working residents of Toledo. I believe by educating people in our own backyard about investing smart in Toledo, we can continue to recover in some of the hardest hit areas in our community.”

Beth’s father, David Rose, started his career offering investment properties that started many of Toledo’s biggest investors in the 1980s and 1990s. This summer, Beth Rose wants to reestablish the importance of investing smart in real estate, right here in our own backyard.

The campaign will feature a large ballroom style auction of investment properties, coupled with educational sessions to help investors who are just starting out with dreams of owning real estate to plan for their futures.

Beth explains, “When investors get started in the real estate buying process for the first time, we understand there’s a learning curve, and that’s why we want to take the time to break down the process and help new investors feel confident they’re making a wise financial decision for their future. We do that by bringing in speakers to talk about issues most investors face such as property management, lending regulations, and what you need to know when taking on renovation projects.”

All these lessons are learned over time, but if we can help bridge the gap and speed up the learning curve, then more consumers will feel confident that investing in Toledo is great for their financial future, and that’s crucial for the future of Toledo.

Over the next few weeks, Beth Rose Real Estate and Auctions will be meeting with investors who are ready to retire and sell their portfolios. We are currently taking new properties to add to our upcoming investment ballroom auction.

If you’re an investor looking to retire, this is the auction to sell your portfolio!

If you’re a new investor just starting out or thinking about buying your first investment property, this is the time to learn from others that have been in your shoes!

Add Your Property to our Auction or Get the Latest Alerts for the Auction and Education Sessions

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Radon Gas, Are You at Risk?

Radon gas is a topic that buyers and sellers need to be aware of when purchasing and selling a home. High levels of radon gas over a prolonged period of time can be very serious, as the gas can cause lung cancer. According to the United State Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year (source: EPA).

What is radon gas?

Radon gas is a natural, radioactive gas that comes from the ground into buildings. This gas is a by-product of the radioactive decay of uranium. It becomes very dangerous because it cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste.

How can radon get into your home?

Depending on the amount of uranium content in the earth’s surface, radon gas can drift through foundation cracks, pores of floor slabs, and even floor and wall joints. Other entry points are through openings around sump pumps and floor drains. Radon can also enter your home through the water system, where ground water is the main supply.

What is a safe level of radon gas?

The EPA’s standard for radon suggests a home should test less than 4 pCo/l, otherwise, a home would be flagged as containing high amounts of radon gas. Be sure to properly test your home.

Learn more about radon gas and protecting your home. http://www.epa.gov/radon/index.html