Best Real Estate Articles June 2019

Real Estate Articles to Help Buyers and Sellers

The June real estate market is still showing signs of strength.  In most parts of the country, we are seeing more buyers than inventory.  Even though it is busy, these real estate bloggers across the country have provided us with some great real estate articles.

You will find excellent information about whether you are getting a mortgage, buying a home, or selling a home.  Check out these helpful articles loaded with expert advice!

Home Buying In Ireland/UK vs. The US

Conor MacEvilly, an Irish expat, has shared the difference of buying a house across the pond versus the US. One noticeable difference from the US is buyers have to go it alone.  They have no representation from an agent. A home buyer must do their scheduling with each individual property and agent, and they are always dealing with an agent that represents the seller.

This also means there is no guidance from a buyer’s agent on structuring an offer and negation an offer as well as managing the process. Another noticeable difference is that all negotiations are verbal subject to contract.  There is no initial offer of price and terms in writing.

Here’s the clinch. In the US a deal is mutually acceptable and binding upon both buyer and seller’s signature.  In Ireland and the UK, the agreement is not binding until just up until the closing.  The seller could accept another offer in the next 4-6 weeks, leaving you out in the cold…. How nerve-wracking for buyers!!

Best Real Estate Articles June 2019Common Mortgage Questions

Bill Gassett has provided some great answers to common mortgage questions in his latest article. Getting a mortgage can be one of the more complex pieces of buying a home, but it doesn’t need to be. Two common myths that Bill dispels are, you don’t need a large down payment.  It is not uncommon for buyers to buy with as little as 3-5% down.  And in some cases, even less.  You don’t need 20%down to own a house that many think you do need.

The second myth is you don’t need to have an excellent credit score.  There are loans available for moderate to lower credit scores. Get pre-approved early and find out how easy it can be.  A few documents and a quick conversation, and you can find that getting a mortgage can be easily in your reach.

What Do First Time Airbnb Hosts Need To Know?

Everyone seems to be jumping on the Airbnb bandwagon.  Do you have extra space or even a whole house you want to convert into extra cash?

Before you run off blindly, first and foremost, check with your town or city to see what restriction there are on short term rentals.  With sites like Airbnb and Vrbo becoming so popular towns are having to address issues that come with short term rentals.  Many cities and town are severely limiting what you can and can’t do with a short term rental.

Unlike hotels which are branded and comes with certain expectations for a brand, each Airbnb rental is unique.  Kevin Vitali points out that being a successful Airbnb host requires detailing the experience a guest will have and then over delivering on the promise.  This sometimes means spelling out what a guest is not getting as well as what they are getting with the rental.

Don’t Waive a Home Inspection

When real estate markets heat up across the country, you’ll often find unusual things taking place. In most real estate transactions, a buyer will be afforded the opportunity to have the home they are purchasing inspected.

When bidding wars are happening, however, some buyers will go out on a limb and waive their inspection. Why do they do this you may be wondering? They are trying to make their offer more attractive to a seller. Waiving a home inspection, however, is extremely risky and should be avoided. Even houses that look to be in pristine condition could have unforeseen problems.

In the article at The American Society of Home Inspectors, you’ll learn precisely why skipping a home inspection could be a significant mistake.

Pro’s and Con’s Of A Reverse Mortgage

Many seniors at one time or another think about using a reverse mortgage to help fund their retirement or for other reasons.  A reverse mortgage can be a useful tool for the right person.

This month Luke Skar covers the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage. One thing about a reverse mortgage you need to remember is that you still are responsible for maintaining the house, paying taxes and insurance.  Even though you will have no mortgage payment, you still have to pay out some significant cash to keep up with the home.

On the plus side, you can strip some equity out of your home to use for whatever you want and never make a mortgage payment again. Read Luke’s article to see if a reverse mortgage is for you.

How To Tick Of A Home Seller and NOT get The Home You Want

Buying a home can be exhausting and emotional.  But it is equally so to sell a house as well.  Emotions can run high, and both parties can have hair triggers. I always tell my buyers that sellers have feelings too.  How you handle yourself during negotiations can drastically impact the outcome of your purchase.

Karen Holt highland shares some insight on antagonizing a seller and losing your dream home. One common mistake a home buyer will make is to low-ball an offer and point out everything that is wrong with the house and needs to be improved.  Unfortunately, if there is an experienced real estate agent involved, the home is priced according to the amount of work that needs to be done.

If you wanted the perfect house, you would be looking at homes priced at a significantly higher price. One great way of avoiding upsetting a seller is to use a buyer’s agent and listen to their advice and foresight.  Buyer’s agents are in the trenches every day and understand how the subtleties of real estate markets, how home sellers react, and how to negotiate when you put all the variables together.

10 Top Home Selling Mistakes

Of course, you always hear the success stories of the neighbor or coworkers that sold in one day with 12 offers above asking.   But rarely do you hear home sellers bragging about their failure to sell their home. Petra Norris has put a list of home seller mistakes together.

We have all seen these lists about pricing properly, decluttering, cleaning, and you will find those suggestions in this article as well. What I particularly appreciated about Petra’s article is mistake one…. Prepare yourself and your family emotionally.

Selling a home is a lot of work, it is inconvenient, and it is emotional.  If you know that moving forward, it makes the process of selling a home a whole lot easier.

What You Need To Know About Mold

Mold has become more and more of an issue in regards to the purchase and sale of real estate. As time goes on, people have become more aware of the health issues from mold.  Also, as houses become more energy efficient with less exchange of air, they become more prone to mold as well.

Many states are now adopting disclosure laws regarding mold.  The existence of mold in a home may have to be disclosed by the seller.

Joe Boylan points out that if you are a home buyer, the time to find out if there is any mold in the house is before moving in.  Home inspectors are becoming increasingly aware of mold and its hazards and will include that as part of their home inspection.

As a homeowner, mold usually starts with another issue like unwanted water penetration or moisture.   A common problem that increases your chance of getting mold is improperly vented bathrooms.  30 or 40 years ago it was not uncommon to have a bathroom vent just shooting into the attic, rather than vented outside, increasing the moisture in the attic space and creating a perfect opportunity for mold to grow.

Fix any problem areas as they arise and prevent the mold in the first place is an excellent way to avoid mold in the first place.

How Much Should I Reduce The Price Of My House?

If you list your home to sell, there may be a decent chance you may have to go through a price reduction or two before getting your house sold. But how much do you need to reduce the price?

The point of a price reduction is to garner new attention to your home.  Either from current buyers who have looked at your home or a new set of buyers that previously were not buyers for your home because it was too expensive.

As Paul Sian points out, the small price reduction will probably not do the trick. While a $10,000 price reduction on a $175,000 home may do the trick, it is peanuts on a $995,000 home. Work with your listing agent to come up with a meaningful price reduction that will catch a home buyers attention and get your house sold.

Clear The Clutter And Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Sharon Paxson shares with us that owning “stuff” requires you to have more space and requires expending resources to maintain it.

Simplifying your life can reduce your carbon footprint.  You need less space with less stuff, reducing resources to build out and maintain that space.  How many items do you have around your home that you bought and may have used once or not at all, yet it’s taking up space in your home?

Think about reducing that clutter.  Instead of buying more “stuff” is there away you can borrow or rent that one-time use item?

Or what about those unused items that you haven’t touched in two years around your house. Maybe its time to sell or give away to someone who will actually use that item regularly.  Resources are used to make that item, and the resources are wasted if that item is not in regular use.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Picking The Best Community

Finding the perfect home can also mean you need to find the perfect community to live in.  A house is part of the neighborhood, which is part of a greater community.  It is important not only you like your house, but what is around your home.

Everyone is different.  One buyer may want a kid-friendly community while another is more concerned with commute times and what amenities are in the area. Michele Gibson points out doing your research online and making multiple visits can go a long way in choosing the right community for you.

Should I Use The REALTORS® Preferred Lender

Eric Jeannette points out there are some distinct advantages to using a real estate agents preferred lender.   Even though there may be some advantages, you should rely solely on an agents recommendation and do your homework on the lender as well.

The advantages of using a real estate agents preferred lender is there is already a level of trust, a high level of communication, and confidence in the pre-approval.

I know in my case as a real estate agent, my preferred vendors, whether it is lender, attorney, or home inspector, provide my clients with a high level of service.  They pick up the phone when I call, which includes the weekends. Communication is immediate to them.

I also have all the confidence in the world they will perform for my clients, and I know they will deliver. Overall my real estate team works well together. But as Eric points out, don’t rely solely on a recommendation have a conversation and ask your questions. Make sure you are confident you’re working with the right lender.

Previous Best Real Estate Roundups

Have a look at more great real estate roundups in these previous editions.

Kevin Vitali

 

About the author: This article on the best real estate articles for June 2019 was written by Kevin Vitali, a Tewksbury Massachusetts REALTOR®. Kevin has been serving the residential real estate needs of Essex and Northern Middlesex County for over 17 years.