Is now the time?

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Buying a House: Is Now the Time?

The real estate community is often criticized for always seeming to have a Pollyanna attitude about the housing market. Many believe that the industry’s current call ‘to buy now’ is nothing more than a scare tactic with the sole purpose of creating more commissions for the industry. Let’s take a look at whether or not that advice was good advice over the last year.

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. According to the most recent Case-Shiller Home Pricing Index, home values have risen over 10% in the last year. If we look at Freddie Mac’s Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, the 30 year mortgage rate has increased from 3.67% to 3.91% during that same period.

The table at the top compares the cost of the same exact house over the last twelve months.

 We can see that the advice to buy a year ago made complete financial sense.

What About Moving Forward?

Most experts are not only calling for prices to continue to rise but are also upgrading their projections as the housing market is showing strong signs of recovering.

Regarding interest rates, the 30 year mortgage rate has soared by over a half point already this year and many believe that the increases will continue. Even those trying to be the voice of reason on this issue are projecting higher rates. For example, Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com said:

“Rates are unlikely to keep going up so quickly and should remain below 5 percent.”

Bottom Line

The next time a real estate professional says that now is the time to buy they may not be giving you a ‘sales pitch’. They may be giving you nothing but excellent advice.

 

Information courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet

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A vacation home, a worthwhile investment!

vacation property

 

For many, a vacation means a weekend at the lake, flying to a warmer climate, or even skiing in the mountains. However, as work schedules and economic conditions change, so are the definitions of a getaway. Purchasing a second home in the desired location of your dreams can be the key to your own “staycation.”

“If you’ve ever considered owning a second home, now is the time to get off the fence,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “With low interest rates and attractive pricing, your weekend getaway is within reach.”

Consider this advice when narrowing your vacation home search:

Find Your Type. A second home doesn’t have to be a single-family property. Condominiums and townhouses in resort communities are an excellent alternative. They often come with a lower price tag, less maintenance and more recreational facilities.

Making Financial “Cents.” Tallying up your anticipated expenses and factoring in any extra costs that your second home may incur prior to making your purchase can help stabilize your long-term financial standing. While a second home brings with it additional costs, the emotional and physical rewards that you will likely reap from it will far outweigh the costs.

Location, Location, Location. Finding the perfect location that is easily accessible to you and your family’s favorite activities is key to the location of your home. Traveling a far distance takes away from your time that could be spent enjoying your new surroundings. So, you’ll want to consider all of your options consider the travel time involved.

 

Information courtesy of Coldwellbanker.com

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SECOND HOME, FIRST IN MIND

A Vacation Home a Worthwhile Investment

For many, a vacation means a weekend at the lake, flying to a warmer climate, or even skiing in the mountains. However, as work schedules and economic conditions change, so are the definitions of a getaway. Purchasing a second home in the desired location of your dreams can be the key to your own “staycation.”

“If you’ve ever considered owning a second home, now is the time to get off the fence,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “With low interest rates and attractive pricing, your weekend getaway is within reach.”

Consider this advice when narrowing your vacation home search:

Find Your Type. A second home doesn’t have to be a single-family property. Condominiums and townhouses in resort communities are an excellent alternative. They often come with a lower price tag, less maintenance and more recreational facilities.

Making Financial “Cents.” Tallying up your anticipated expenses and factoring in any extra costs that your second home may incur prior to making your purchase can help stabilize your long-term financial standing. While a second home brings with it additional costs, the emotional and physical rewards that you will likely reap from it will far outweigh the costs.

Location, Location, Location. Finding the perfect location that is easily accessible to you and your family’s favorite activities is key to the location of your home. Traveling a far distance takes away from your time that could be spent enjoying your new surroundings. So, you’ll want to consider all of your options consider the travel time involved.

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SELLING A HOME WITH PETS

For some, life without their pets is unimaginable, but when it comes to selling a home, man’s best friend can quickly become a potential buyer’s pet peeve. When you’re selling a house, the family dog, cat or wild guinea pig can deter buyers from purchasing your home.
“Almost everyone loves pets, but even the most obedient animal can create distractions and possibly cost home sellers,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “Work with your Realtor to adequately prepare your home when pets are involved.”
Sellers with pets don’t need to call on Dr. Doolittle, but should consider these points when dealing with their animals:
• Don’t let your pet show your home. Even the nicest pets can make some buyers uncomfortable, so it’s best to remove animals from the home during a showing. If you can’t find a spot for Fido, keep him out of sight and under control.
• Smell doesn’t sell. When your home is on the market it’s important to keep it impeccably clean. Remove all dirty litter boxes and dog potty pads. The idea is to take away any evidence that the pet was even there, which includes all stains and animal hair that may cause allergic reactions.
• Don’t hide damage, repair it. Furniture ruined by dogs, claw-marked floors and water rings from aquariums can worry buyers who think permanent damage is present in other parts of the home. Fix any pet provoked problems.
• Enter and exit alternatives. Picking up animal waste in the yard is a good start, but many buyers can be turned off by the doggy exit or kitty entrance. Replacing the door, or at the least offering an allowance, is a good strategy to get a buyer signing on the dotted line.

INFORMATION COURTESY OF COLDWELL BANKER

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DECOR THAT SELLS

Simplicity is key when tweaking your decor for potential buyers. While fancy, exotic, and even custom decorations are a wonderful personal investment in your home, keep in mind that your aesthetic choices may not appeal to those who are trying to envision themselves living there.

“Decorating your home for sale is about simplifying to create a clean palette for the wide variety of people you may draw in to view your home,¨ said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “You want the home to be desirable to many different tastes.¨

Here are a few tips to get your home decor in line for sale:

Promote your home, not yourself. Photos of your charming family and cute kids can actually seem intrusive to potential buyers. Opt to present the family-friendly aspects of the home subtly with tidy playrooms and an organized kitchen.

De-clutter for impact. Take the “less is more¨ approach when it comes to your decorating choices. Remove furniture, clear shelf space and revamp closet organization to help each room in your home look and feel bigger to potential buyers. This also allows those who tour your home to imagine what they could do with the space.

Keep it functional. It may have been convenient for you to use the dining room as an office, but buyers may not appreciate your ingenuity. If you’ve dramatically altered the function of a room, consider re-staging it before it goes on the market. Buyers need to be able judge how their life will fit into your home. That will be difficult if you are using the spare bedroom as a billiards room.

Information Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet

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A Realtor Is The Best Tool For Selling Your Home

The infinite number of real estate tools available today has made the buying and selling process more accessible to consumers. While these resources can provide sellers with helpful information on the real estate market, when it comes to listing a home, sellers must remember their most valuable resource is a Realtor. Those marketing a home on their own may incur far more costs and work harder than they ever imagined.
“Whether you’re selling your first or second home, nothing can match the resources and expertise that a professional Realtor brings to the table,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “Realtors go even further by incorporating the latest marketing tools when selling a home and they are an essential information source for buyers.”
Consider what a Realtor is equipped with when selling a home:
• Staging savvy: There’s only one chance for a first impression, and your listing agent will make sure that first impression is a positive one. Whether it’s painting the walls, removing furniture or bringing in additional accent items, an agent has the expertise to point you in the right direction when showcasing your property.
• Home value honing: A Realtor researches the market in order to determine your home’s market price. With the flux in today’s housing market, your sales associate relies on his/her experience and knowledge of the market to price your home strategically.
• Marketing plan panache: Knowing where the best place is to promote your home is your Realtor’s job. Plus, he or she is able to access premier advertising and marketing opportunities that go beyond the Multiple Listing Service placement.
• Networking know-how: Today’s real estate professionals are expanding their networks to thousands of previous clients, referrals, friends and family through social networking sites. When using an agent, you’ll have access to their entire network to sell your house.

Information courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet

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How To Sell Your Home Today

If you’ve turned on the news recently, you may have heard the words “real estate” and “buyer’s market.” Have the sellers been forgotten? While today’s housing market is attractive for buyers, many sellers are unaware of the opportunities and incentives available.
“The real estate market today may feel very different from what it was several years ago, but the reasons for moving haven’t change,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “Families continue to expand and shrink, and a new job can demand a new home. Sellers just need to consider how their property can appeal to today’s breed of buyer and their housing expectations.”
Here are some real estate absolutes for home sellers today.
• Price it right. According to recent housing reports, the playing field is leveling for buyers and sellers in terms of availability and price. Your Realtor has knowledge of your community, other sellers in the area, prospective buyers, and the market rates, to offer a realistic picture of where your home needs to be priced to sell.
• Clean it up. In an HGTV-world with brilliant flat-screen televisions, finished basements, and bathrooms that look as if they’ve never been used; your home must be in show-ready condition to compete. Keep your home picture perfect for buyers who need to be “wowed.”
• Try transparency. Even fashionistas are becoming more frugal, so provide prospective buyers with loads of information, such as details about utilities, home improvements, repair work, and recent cleanings. Also tout any green trimmings your home has to offer including energy efficient appliances, insulation or windows. Being transparent about how your home is budget-conscious can set your property apart from the rest.

Information courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Why you should consider a Home Warranty

Studies show that homes listed with a warranty covering major appliances, plumbing, electrical and other mechanical systems have a better chance of selling than those without. It is a “must-have”, given that the practice is mutually beneficial.
“The primary benefit of a home warranty is peace of mind for both parties,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “Our home warranty at Coldwell Banker protects the seller while the home is listed, and provides protection for the buyer after the transaction is complete.”

Here are a few tips to help you find the best home warranty:
• Check out pre-sale coverage. Make sure that the home warranty service covers the home while it is listed. For a few hundred dollars, you can avoid paying out-of-pocket for any mechanical failures you experience while the home is on the market.
• Know the deductible. As with any insurance policy, be aware of the deductible policyholders are required to pay for repair requests. The dollar figure may vary depending on the size of the claim.
• Read the fine print. Some home warranties restrict the number of calls policyholders can make in a particular time period, and/or permit the insurance provider to cancel the warranty if there are too many claims. It is also important to inquire about who will do the repair work – are policyholders required to stay within a network, or can they select their own contractor?

Information courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Happy Holidays!

all three color low res crop

Happy Holidays from Wayne Johnson and Sons! We hope your holidays are Merry and Bright and that you have a Happy New Year!

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TIS THE SEASON FOR A HOME SALE

Considering that a new home ranks among the best gifts, sellers should bear in mind that their buyer prospects remain strong over the holidays. If you’re adding a “For Sale” sign to your home’s outdoor holiday decorations this season, bring cheer inside your home to attract buyers.

“Some buyers use their days off around the holidays to ramp up their home search,” said Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet. “These buyers are just as serious about finding a house as finding gifts for those on their list.”

Here are a few tips on how to showcase your home during the holidays:

Accessorize with decorations. Bear in mind that not all home shoppers are celebrating the same holiday as you. Keep holiday decorations as a seasonal accent so buyers see the home, not just the adornments.

Be flexible. With holidays falling on various days for buyers, you may need to accommodate their schedule and show your home at odd hours.

Clean it up. Prospective buyers will be entering your house – along with their shoes, tracking in elements of the weather including mud, snow and salt. Remember to keep your driveway, porches and walkways free of snow and ice.

A cozy nest. Make your home as warm and inviting as possible this time of year. Lit fireplaces, seasonal floral arrangements and snacks will help buyers picture themselves spending the holidays there with their own family some day.

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