Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC



Posted by Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC on 6/20/2018

Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).

In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether you’re buying or selling a home.

Home inspections for buyers

There’s a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much you’re willing to offer on a home, or if you’re willing to make an offer at all.

Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.

Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.

Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.

Home inspections for sellers

As we’ve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.

If you’re planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You don’t want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.

So, whether you’re a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home you’re planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if you’re a buyer. Or, if you’re a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.





Posted by Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC on 6/13/2018

Although some families are more organized than others, most homes are plagued by at least a moderate amount of clutter.

While it may seem like only a minor annoyance, household clutter can have a major "ripple effect" on several aspects of your life. Disorganization and clutter can be insidious problems for homeowners to deal with because its impact is not always obvious.

When you stop and think about it, having a cluttered home can take a heavy toll on everything from your finances to your family relationships. Here are a few reasons to set aside some time, this month, to begin decluttering your home.

Time and Money: One of the most frustrating experiences in life is to try to find a misplaced tool, an important document, or anything you might need to complete a task, solve a problem, or meet a deadline. When you add up the hours you and your family spend on searching for items that are stuffed in drawers or buried in closets, it becomes increasing clear why everyone's productivity is down and stress levels are up. You may have also noticed that you're spending money on personal and household supplies that you already have somewhere in the house.

If you've lived in your home for more than a few years, you've probably accumulated stacks of clutter in every imaginable storage space. Three ways to drastically reduce the amount of clutter in your home in a relatively short period of time is to either sell, donate, or throw away things you no longer need. The first step, of course, is to sort through your belongings to separate what's useful from what's just taking up valuable space.

Although organizing a garage sale can be a time-consuming activity, the benefits can far outweigh the time and effort involved. Preparing for a garage sale not only results in finding valuable things you forgot you even had, but your home will end up feeling cleaner, more spacious, and more welcoming. As long as you don't hold a garage sale every year, it can be a fun and profitable family activity.

Another alternative to storing things at home that you no longer need or want is to donate them to a charitable organization, such as The Salvation Army. Churches, veterans groups, and other community organizations often accept donations of clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances, and other household items. Making a few trips to nearby clothing collection bins is another way to unclutter your closets and pass along useful things you no longer need.

One type of clutter you can neither sell nor give away is "junk." If you have enough of it, you might consider renting a dumpster or calling a reputable, reasonably priced junk hauling service. Regardless of the method you use to get rid of things you no longer want, you'll be amazed at how energizing it can be to restore order, cleanliness, and a sense of pride to your living space!





Posted by Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC on 6/6/2018

Estimating the market value of your home isn't a precise science. There are several factors that go into assessing the value of a home and the process is complicated by changes in the market that can sway home prices in either direction. Since homes are so expensive and are such a huge investment, the pragmatist and worrier in us all wants it to be a clear cut decision backed up by facts. Unfortunately, no two people will ever arrive at precisely the same number for the value of a home. The good news is that you can use this ambiguity to your advantage when bargaining with prospective buyers. To learn more about the six main factors that determine a home's value, read on.

Condition

Homebuyers don't want to walk into what could be their new house and discover months of expensive repairs and upgrades waiting for them. Especially for busy, young professionals there is great appeal in a home that is move-in ready. If your home needs some work, it will knock off some digits from your asking price.

Location

We would all love to say that having a home near the ocean or the mountains is our top priority. But, let's face it--having a place that is close to your work and that is in a good school district will probably take precedence over our daydreams. Location factors that add value to your home could include close proximity to schools, shopping, highways, and other amenities. However, if your home is far away from them or is in a neighborhood that appears run-down or dangerous you will find the value of your home decreasing. An easy way to get a ballpark figure for your home value is to look up the value of other comparable homes in your neighborhood.

Age

Age is just a really expensive number. For some, buying an old home is a dream they've always had. Old homes have character and offer challenges when it comes to DIY repairs and renovations. For others, an old home means more headaches and more expensive utilities if it's drafty or outdated.

Features

Curb appeal is important, but once your prospective buyers are inside you'll have to keep them around with great, convenient household features. Lots of storage space, updated kitchens with new appliances, finished basements, or a beautiful backyard with a view can all add thousands to a home value.

Size

Square-footage is important to many homebuyers. In spite of the current trends around minimalism and being eco-friendly, the numbers show that Americans are buying increasingly larger homes and vehicles.

Market

You've probably heard the terms "buyer's market" and "seller's market" thrown around in conversations about real estate. They are essentially descriptions of the supply and demand of homes. Many buyers with few homes means you're in a seller's market, whereas a surplus of vacant homes and few prospective buyers means it's a buyer's market. This is closely tied to location, different cities and suburbs experience different rates of growth and decline depending on the local economy.




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Posted by Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC on 5/30/2018

If you’re selling your home it can be frustrating when you aren’t receiving any offers. Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s a seller’s market and that the offers on your house would be flying in. However, it’s more complicated than that.

Whether or not your house receives offers is determined by a number of reasons--some that in your control, others that aren’t. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up and sell your house at a low price.

In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if your house just isn’t selling. We’ll talk about some reasons why people may be hesitant to bid, to inquire about a showing, and to seal the deal and purchase your home.

Revisit the comparable properties

If your home has been on the market for a while, it’s a good idea to check out the other recent homes in your neighborhood to see how their prices compare to the listing price of your home. Since the market fluctuates, other sellers could be adjusting the cost to reflect the current rates, leaving yours higher than it should be.

When pricing your home, make sure you are comparing your house to those that have actually sold. Using houses that have been on the market for a while as a baseline might mean you’ve priced your home too high to sell just like theirs.

Also, make sure you are using houses that share many of the common features that yours does. This can include:

  • Square footage

  • The year the house was built

  • Number of bedrooms and baths

  • The lot size

  • The condition of the home

Remember, it isn’t all just about location.

Getting more leads

If people aren’t making inquiries about your home, there are a few things you should check up on. First, make sure your listings are updated and accurate. The contact info should be easy to find, and you or your real estate agent should provide multiple means of contact (email, cell phone, text, etc.).

Next, ensure that you’ve given enough details about the house. If people are searching for a specific number of rooms but your listing doesn’t mention the number of rooms you have, you might be missing out on several inquiries.

Finally, make sure your photos are high resolution and well-lit. You want to make sure visitors to your listing can get a clear idea of what your home looks like. If your photos are small, dark, blurry, or if they make the house look cramped and cluttered, you should retake your photos or consider hiring a photographer.

Getting more offers

If you’ve had plenty of inquiries and showings but you aren’t getting any offers there may be a deeper, underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Usually, this means your home needs important repairs and upgrades that buyers simply don’t want to make.

If your house is priced to be move-in ready but it’s not, you’ll have to make some upgrades or lower the price.

Not working with an agent

Sellers can also have a difficult time getting offers if they attempt to sell the home themselves without using a real estate agent. If your home is FSBO (For Sale by Owner), you’re missing out on a number of listing services and connections that an agent can provide.





Posted by Anthony Joseph Real Estate LLC on 5/23/2018

Applying for your first home loan can seem scary or daunting to many first-time homeowners. However, this process, if done correctly, can save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on interest over the lifetime of your loan.

Before you apply for a loan, there are several documents you’ll want to gather and steps you’ll want to take to ensure the application process goes smoothly. In today’s post, we’ll talk about one specific aspect of the mortgage application process--credit scores.

Credit scores may seem confusing. However, since they can so drastically affect your home loan interest rate, it’s important to understand their implications.

Credit checks and mortgages

One of the things that all lenders will want to see before approving you for a home loan is your credit score. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, odds are that you’ve been working to build credit by paying off loans and credit cards on time each month.

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S. are all required to give you a yearly free credit report. This is a detailed document that outlines your lines of credit, payment dates, and amounts. It’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and check for errors before applying for a loan.

Unlike a hard “credit inquiry,” a free report does not affect your credit score, so you don’t have to worry about dropping a few points by requesting one of these reports.

When applying for a mortgage, however, lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry to determine your borrowing eligibility. This is a part of the pre-approval process and is typically unavoidable.

This is important to note if you are planning on applying to multiple lenders. Be aware that each “prequalification” and “preapproval” may come with a temporary drop in your credit score.

Since credit inquiries make up a total of about 10% of your credit score, these inquiries can make a difference in the short term. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid opening new cards or taking out other loans (such as an auto loan or student loan) within six months of your mortgage application.

If you aren’t sure of your current score, you can always check for free from websites like Credit Karma and Mint.

One last thing to note about credit scores and their relationship to mortgages is that most lenders use a specific type of score known as a FICO score. In fact, every adult in the United States with a credit score will have three FICO scores, one from each major credit bureau.

So, when checking up on your credit score, it’s good to remember that each score will be slightly different and your lender’s score may not reflect what you see online.




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