How Much is Enough?


For all your real estate needs, visit

http://www.rolandlow.com

One of the more difficult challenges to buying a home, whether you’re a first time home buyer or a tenth, is the amount of down payment required.  Generally speaking first time home buyers are the ones who struggle the most with coming up with the down payment.

Recent studies have shown that most people overestimate the down payment that is needed to purchase a home.  The survey conducted of renters and non-home-owners revealed that 39% of those surveyed believed that at least 15% of the purchase price would be required to buy a home.

Asked whether they felt they would qualify for a mortgage, only 28% said they believed they would qualify.  Respondents in this survey were not verified as to whether or not they would qualify, but in other surveys upward of 70% of participants would in fact qualify.

The truth of the matter is that home buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down.  Tennessee has a program that will enable first time home buyers who qualify to get a mortgage with zero down! Under the program a first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home for three years or more. Certain restrictions apply.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615-417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Advertisements

To Remodel or To Move – That is the Question


 

frustrated builder

One of the more common issues that I see raised between couples who are thinking of selling is whether they should move to a new home or remodel the one they have.  Let’s be honest, both are a pain in the neck.

Moving to a new home, even if it your dream home, is a major undertaking.  Not just the move, but the switching utilities, disrupting children from their school and friends, getting use to the route to get anywhere.  You get my drift.

But remodeling is also a major undertaking.  My wife and I remodeled home several years ago and we said, “Never again.”  In the realm of full disclosure, when I say ‘we remodeled’ I actually mean the contractors did the work.  There is a reason that I sell real estate and do not work for a contractor – but that is for another blog.

Reality television shows that feature the instant home makeovers are popular, but anything but reality.  Anyone who has ever done a remodeling of any magnitude knows that these shows, although entertaining, are unrealistic of the time and money required to do a major remodeling job.  To make matters worse, these shows to tend to exaggerate the “low cost” of remodeling and how quickly it can be done.

During our remodeling project which was from top to bottom, we could recite the menu at the local Applebee’s and knew most of the wait staff by name, their life history, and how many children they had.  The kitchen took a long, long time.

Whether to remodel or move is a question only the homeowners can answer.  But before you start a major remodeling project, ask yourself some serious questions about why you want to remodel.  Many times people remodel but one of the issues of their house is the location.  Remodeling will not help that.

If you are contemplating remodeling or moving, I suggest that you talk to contractors to determine what the actual price of the remodel project will be.  But also talk to a REALTOR who can give you information on selling your house and what the cost of buying a new house would be.  Then you have more information to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Will Stainless Steel’s Popularity Ever Be Dethroned?


Appliance manufacturers are providing home owners with modern finishes to their kitchen appliances, and some of the offerings have even been touted as the “new stainless steel.”

Appliance makers are in the search for a potential successor to stainless steel, which some designers say will eventually wear out its welcome. But so far, no introductions have touched upon the popularity of stainless steel, and stainless isn’t likely to be doomed to the same fate as 1970s avocado-colored appliances anytime soon.

Still, some home owners have complained about the annoyance of fingerprint smudges and the upkeep in keeping their stainless polished. Eventually, that annoyance may tempt them to look more closely at some of the alternatives popping up in the last two years. Some appliance makers are choosing to still channel the stainless look in their alternatives so that home owners could even make a gradual switch. Other manufactures, however, are opting to offer more bold alternatives.

Could any of these finishes have the potential to dethrone home owners’ love for stainless steel one day?

ICE-GLAZED

white ice

Whirlpool introduced last year its White Ice collection of appliances, and at the time called white “the new stainless.” The glossy white appliances feature silver accents. Whirlpool also offers a Black Ice version — black appliances with silver accents.

SLATE

phpMNi9jBAM

General Electric is offering up slate as an alternative. The low-gloss gray finish is “inspired by the rich texture of stone” and “provides a warm, inviting alternative to stainless steel,” GE says on its website. GE also notes that  the dark matte finish hides fingerprints, smudges, and dirt.

COLORFUL OPTIONS

Viking

Viking Range Corp., which was a pioneer in stainless with its debut in 1987 of a stainless steel open-burner range, is providing home owners a colorful array of options with appliances. It has 24 color alternatives, from cinnamon, wasabi, kettle black and Dijon to plum, sea grass, and cobalt blue. Or, the company’s graphite gray may be a little less bold for more home owners who are looking to make a switch from stainless.

 

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Source: Melissa Tracey and REALTOR Magazine

In The World of Real Estate – Avoid Zillow!


In The World of Real Estate – Avoid Zillow!

The real estate market has made dramatic recovery in the last several months.  In some areas, the rebound has taken them to the level before the housing market crash.  Then again, there are some areas that are still working to recover lost ground, but improving never the less.

There are many factors that have hindered the recovery and one of the most frustrating to me is the website Zillow.

Wrong Doesn't Cut It In Real Estate

You cannot possibly search real estate on the web without being bombarded with advertisements from Zillow.  Zillow is the largest online real estate database in the country.  But their business model is NOT real estate, its advertising.  They make their money, and a lot of it, by mortgage companies, movers, real estate agents advertising on their websites.  And they do all of this without letting facts get in their way.  They are not about real estate transactions; they are about getting the advertising revenue.

Fortune Magazine reported that almost half of all of Zillow’s Zestimates (as they are called) are just plain wrong.  By Zillow’s own definition, they “got it right” if they were within 10%.  Fortune went on to say that in one state they tested; the information on Zillow’s web site was “just about worthless.”

In 2006 a complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission which stated that Zillow was “…intentionally misleading consumers and real-estate (sic) professionals to rely upon the accuracy of its valuations services despite full knowledge of the company officials that their valuation model … is highly inaccurate and misleading.”

Zillow will pull data that may be over twenty years old and not include home-specific factors such as remodeling, landscaping, condition of the property, and on and on.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

Bank of America Negotiating $12 Billion Settlement


During the last few years you have heard a lot of talk about the “real estate crisis.”  However, the problem was not real estate, but rather a banking and in general a financial crisis caused by greed in our financial institutions.

dollar-sign041212

Bank of America is negotiating a deal with the Justice Department and a number of states that could lead to a $12 billion dollar settlement related to the bank’s mortgage banking practices.

The recent crisis did not stem from the issue that people were buying houses that they could not afford, although that certainly occurred.  The crisis stemmed from the fact that financial institutions bundled and sold mortgage-backed securities that were not the quality they claimed.

The securities in questions consisted of home loans that financial institutions bundled as “safe” when in reality the banks knew, or should have known, that the mortgages were a potential high risk.  Once these loans began to fail, the housing market soon collapsed.

In March of this year, BofA already agreed to pay $6.3 billion to settle four lawsuits filed by the Federal Housing Finance Authority which has overseen government-backed housing finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those lawsuits also alleged that the bank falsely represented mortgage loans.

The potential Bank of America settlement comes after JPMorgan paid $13 billion to settle similar lawsuits with the Department of Justice. As part of the agreement, JPMorgan admitted to making “serious misrepresentations” to investors in mortgage-backed securities.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, real estate is serious business that requires the assistance of a professional REALTOR.  If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615-417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Source: CNN Money