I’m working hard to get a new property search set up on my website (byjoella.com) for my customers. I had hoped to have it up by the new year, but the holidays delayed my launch. I “should” have it up the first week of January.
I’m very excited about this feature. It will enable my customers to search for properties for FREE. It will also allow customers to save properties and set up a search that automatically sends them search results. The best part is, I’m local! By using my site, customers have my local expertise at their service.
Also, this feature will enable me to feature my own listings on the search results. This can be very advantageous for a seller when competing with all the other listings out there.
The internet is my office; adding this feature gives customers the convenience of shopping from home. If you have questions, you simply click the link in the page and it sends me a message.
I modified my Realty by JoElla website to feature a home search on the first page. I’m hoping this change is beneficial to my customers. Let me know what you think.
I get an automatic foreclosure list from HomeSteps.com, A Freddie Mac Unit, emailed to me weekly for my area. Lately I noticed the list has consistently had less homes on it. There were 11 listed on June, 10, 8 listed on June 17 and 8 listed today, compared to nearly double that earlier in the year. (Hindsight: Wish I would have tracked the number of homes that were listed on there from the beginning.)
I hope this decrease is an indicator that less people are losing their homes and/or more banks are working with their customers to keep their home!
Home prices and interest rates are still low. Locking into a low priced home with a fixed low interest rate is a good hedge against future inflation!!!
Different states have programs for down payment assistance. For the state of Washington, check out Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
For people who live in other states, check out HUD’s site at Local Home Buying Programs.
Click here for info about the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
I heard a couple say that it frustrates them when agents hoard information to control them. Apparently, this particular couple ran into an agent that didn’t tell them about the availability of a loan program that could save them money because the agent didn’t have homes to sell in the area the loans were offered. On top of that, they were told they could save money on the price of a home if they didn’t involve another agent. This experience caused the buyers to believe the agent had their own interests in mind instead of theirs.
Later, I talked to another couple who made a verbal offer on a piece of property and wrote a check for earnest money. They were told the offer was not accepted and now they wondered what happened to their earnest money. I asked them what their sales agreement/contract said. They said they didn’t have one. I didn’t want to get in the middle of their situation so I encouraged them to talk to the person they gave the earnest money to.
As wrong as the above situations may seem, stuff like this happens. Unfortunately agents that do this, give Realtors a bad reputation. The above situations do provide examples of why you should consider working with a trusted agent or real estate attorney before you go out house shopping.
Buying real estate involves too many legal matters to NOT seek counsel when buying or selling a home. Even if you have a high level of real estate experience, having a good Realtor guide you through the process can buy you piece of mind and save you time in the long run.
It appears down payment help is officially on the way for first time buyers!
It was announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will allow homebuyers to apply the new $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit toward the purchase costs of a FHA-insured home. The goal of the new FHA plan is to help stimulate home sales and help stabilize the housing market.
For more information about this great opportunity, please refer to http://www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr09-072.cfm