Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Informative Chart regarding mortgage rates

Mortgage Interest Rates are on the rise.  Whether there will be slow and  steady increases in the interest rates or fast and dramatic increases remains to be seen.  The KCM Blog offers this chart today on their new post site depicting examples of how the interest rate changes will affect the actual mortgage payment.  This chart does not include real estate taxes and homeowner's insurance.  Taxes and Insurance should be added to the mortgage payment of interest and principal to obtain the true monthly cost of owning the home.

I hope you find this chart informative. 

If you are ready to buy or sell a home or just want to discuss your options, call me today. I am never too busy to discuss the largest financial investment you will make!

Thank you

Carla Brooks

Friday, January 24, 2014

Curious about Cash Transactions?

The Northern Virginia real estate market is competitive and will only become more so as  job opportunities continue to flow into the area.  Buyers are struggling to purchase their dream properties and often have to deal with multiple contract situations.  How many times have you heard a neighbor, friend or relative say that their contract offer was rejected in lieu of an offer by a "cash Buyer"?

According to the KCM Blog, roughly 25% of all transactions in the state of Virginia were cash transactions in September 2013.  If we reviewed the data for Northern Virginia the numbers would probably be slightly higher.

No need to get discouraged as Sellers are not rushing to grab those cash buyers as fervently as they used to. Logically speaking, a well qualified buyer that is willing to pay more (and in all likelihood will be approved for a loan) is the better deal.  At closing, the money from a cash buyer or a loan-approved buyer is the same.

In years past, sellers were often advised to grab that cash buyer and hang on for dear life since "cash is king" and there are no loan approval steps to fret over.  I've noticed a change from this thought in most recent years.

 Last year, while listing a property that needed updating,  each cash buyer felt they should pay less for the property since they had "cash". The cash buyer offers were anywhere from $10,000-$25,000 less than the offers from non cash buyers.  The seller waited for the right buyer to pay the price the home was listed for.  The seller eventually received a full price offer and was content.

Markets change over time in each locality.  Call a professional to have a candid discussion on your real estate needs.  A professional realtor not only has his/her experiences with the current & local market trends yet also the information of many colleagues' experiences.  This information can assist you in making the right decisions for the biggest investment of your life.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, call me today.  A home is most likely your largest financial investment and I never forget it!

                                                    Carla Brooks

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Two Loan Programs that provide cash to the homeowner

Purchasing and Maintaining real estate can be tricky if one is low on cash for improvements.

 Many properties enter the market for sale needing anywhere from a few "fix ups" to a complete overhaul.

Appraisers note the conditions of the interior on the appraisal.  A home in poor condition can be problematic for the buyer seeking a loan.

There are two programs currently out there that can provide cash assistance to the homeowner.  One program is the "reverse mortgage" and the other is the FHA 203K loan.

The KCM blog has a great post today on these two programs here : KCM Blog

Enjoy the warmer weather and if you are in the market to buy or sell a home call me today for excellent service!

                                                         Carla Brooks

PS Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.com

Monday, January 13, 2014

Is January a good time to buy a home and/or sell a home?

As I hold Open Houses in the month of January I am noticing that many buyers are "Previewing" or making a "Dry run" as they start their home searches.

 They are definitely serious buyers.  Some have gone through the mortgage pre-approval process and some are planning on doing so in the near future.

Yet, I have been told by quite a few potential buyers that they are planning to buy in the "spring".  While there are some very good reasons to buy in the spring when the weather is generally more agreeable, there are certainly some very good reasons to act now.

For one thing, the Northern Virginia area is experiencing high demand for housing coupled with a limited supply of properties.  New household formations, delayed household formations during the Great Recession, a strong job market,   are some of the reasons for the increased demand.

Lack of building during the "Great Recession" is one reason for lack of supply.  In addition, some studies have shown that many retirees are electing to "stay put" in their homes as opposed to selling and downsizing.

Lack of inventory is a great reason to act now if purchasing a home in 2014.

 The potential for rising interest rates is another good reason to act in the near future.  The monthly mortgage payment is the "true cost" of owning a home.  As interest rates rise, the cost to own a home increases.  If acting now can save hundreds of dollars a month in mortgage interest payments, it only makes sense to buy now!

Happy New Year and call me to get the ball rolling on your next home sale or home purchase.  Its a great time to buy and sell!

Carla Brooks 

PS Photo is a courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com