Buyers · dream · Real Estate

Dreaming of Home Ownership?

I’ve heard several media reports that right now it is better to rent than to own in many areas, including the Pacific NW.

I struggle with this information for the following reasons…

  • Interest rates are LOW right now. Why risk rates going up in the future?
  • Home prices are low. If you have time to play the short sale waiting game, there are some excellent short sale deals on the market right NOW!
  • Rent is not fixed. Rent may be low today, but remember a landlord CAN increase your rent in the future.

Ask yourself…

  1. Who really benefits when investors buy up all the short sales?
  2. Have you considered the fact that overall home prices go up when investors buy, fix and sell homes for a profit?
  3. Why should I let investors buy houses at a low price so they can turn around and rent them to me for a profit?

If you’re worried about unexpected home repairs that come with home ownership vs. the convenience of calling a landlord to fix things, consider buying a Home Warranty when you purchase your home. A Home Warranty typically covers systems (heating, plumbing, electrical) and appliances within a home. Structural issues (walls, floors, windows, roof) typically are not covered with a Home Warranty.

Don’t let investors buy your dream home!

Remember, there are tax advantages to home ownership for the owner occupied buyer (you) and the investor.

I recommend investing in your own dream home NOW!

Contrary to what many believe, home ARE selling fast. Start shopping the home market today…

Start DREAMING Today!

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Economy · Real Estate

Home sales are up…

Real Estate is picking up as home sales increase.  We are seeing more and more bidding wars on the lower priced homes.  Look in the rear view mirror folks and you’ll see the bottom of house prices as they start to slide back up ever so slowly.

Investors aren’t making much money in the banks, so many of them are buying up real estate.  Many of them are pooling their assets to purchase low priced homes. These money pools enable them to offset the risk of buying homes, making it a desirable venture.  This means the regular family home buyer needs to be prepared to make a competitive offer if they want to buy a home.

No word if Washington DC will extend the tax credit as the deadline inches closer. If you want to take advantage of the tax credit, it’s best to avoid short sales and, in some cases, bank owned properties that are notorious for taking a long time to close.  On the flip side, waiting could save you as much or more than the actual tax credit.

It’s a numbers and waiting game where everyone wants to win. If you’re a home buyer, buy because you want the house so you won’t regret the purchase later. There’s nothing worse than compromising to get a deal instead of getting the house you really wanted.

Real Estate

Time is ticking on…

There’s an urgency in the air. If you’re keeping up with the real estate market at all, you know that time is running out to get in on the $8000 income tax credit.

The closer we get to the deadline, the less time a buyer has to close a deal in time. Lenders are getting busy, they are running out of time to work the loans in time for the deadline.

Thinking of buying a short sale before the deadline? You might as well forget it unless you’re already in line at the bank. They take a long time with no guarantee the bank will look at your offer in time, much less make a decision. And if the bank doesn’t take your offer after all your waiting, you have no deal and then you have to start over again–with less time. On top of all that, most short sale homes already have multiple offers waiting in line at the bank. Key word: “WAITING.” Waiting means time and as we know, time is running out.

Yes, I’m being blunt. When you are running out of time, you have to focus your search efforts and look for the deal you know you can close.

It’s all a timing and waiting game.  I’m reminded of the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, …I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say “Hello!” “Good bye!” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late… 🙂

Of course there is the option of not caring if you get the $8000. In that case, you can spend your time searching for the perfect deal.  Maybe you will get a short sale for such a good price that getting the $8000 becomes insignificant because of the amount of money you saved on the house.

Honestly, the deals are out there. Getting the $8000 can be less significant if you save a lot of money on the price. Of course, then there’s the issue of interest rates going up and down!  UGH!  It is always something.

It’s all about perspective (how you look at things) and where you place your priorities. Perfect timing shows itself after it happens!

Determine your needs and wants.  Do you need the $8000 to buy? Do you need a good interest rate? Do you need the lowest price? Do you need to buy now?

Do you want to buy in the Clark County area? I’m available to discuss the buying opportunities here–pressure free!

Family · inspiration

Live like there’s no tomorrow…

With recent media coverage regarding the death of three iconic celebrities within one week of each other, it reminds me to never take each day for granted. Live life with love and peace in your heart, for you never really know when your book of life will end.

Make a difference. Live with relevance. Life is full of opportunities. Follow your dreams.

Buyers · Real Estate

Down Payment Help…

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.

Buyers · Goals · Real Estate

HGTV in Portland OR…

HGTV’s, MY FIRST PLACE is looking for fun, high-energy people in greater Portland area who are buying their first place and I’d like the opportunity to audition with a buyer!!!

HGTV® is looking for fun, high-energy people who are just starting the home-buying process for their first place. They want to capture all the trials and tribulations of looking for, bidding on and buying your first place. Ideal candidates will be enthusiastic buyers with a great story to tell and a desire to share their experiences. Singles, couples and families are all invited to apply!

Candidates who are chosen for the show will also receive a surprise housewarming gift during the course of shooting. HGTV will be taping in greater Portland, OR area until Fall 2009. Singles, couples and families who live within a two-hour drive from Portland are encouraged to apply.

If you’re interested, contact me for more information about this fun buyer opportunity!!!

Buyers · Law/Regulations · Real Estate

Is There Capital Gains if Selling Your Home Short Sale?

I recently overheard a couple that were selling their home mention they were giving their house away at a very low price because they didn’t want to have to pay capital gains tax if they were foreclosed on by their mortgage company.

These particular people were not my customers, so it is not right for me to engage in conversation with them. I didn’t know their entire story, including the condition their home, nor it’s location.  That didn’t stop me from wondering why they thought they had to “give their home away.”

You see, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 excludes this capital gains loss from 2007 – 2012 on the short sale of a primary residence. Now Realtors are not required to be experts in all things.  They aren’t CPA’s, nor do they work for the IRS; however, this particular information has been big news for the real estate market. A knowledgeable Realtor can inform their customers of valuable information like this.  http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html

Sellers should be informed of the facts before they price their home for sale. Generally, most Realtors provide sellers with a FREE Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) when meeting with potential sellers. During the CMA presentation, information is exchanged between the Realtor and the seller so both can make a decision.

Both make a decision? Why both? Because the seller and the Realtor need to determine if they can work together.

Pricing a house right can be the difference between selling and not selling. If a house is overpriced, it may age on the market. The longer it’s on the market, the more likely buyers will think something is wrong with the house because no one has bought it.

I strongly recommend a seller get more than one Realtor’s opinion before listing their house for sale. Know that a CMA is an “opinion” and that the seller has the final say on the asking price of their home. Sellers need to be aware that pricing their home should be based on what a buyer would be willing to pay, not what they think their house is worth.

If you are thinking about selling your home in the Clark County real estate market, I’d like the opportunity to provide you with a free CMA.

Preferably, I’d like to be the last Realtor you meet with!