Feb. 13, 2019

Buying a Home for a Family Member

    There’s a rise in the United States of multi-generational living – that is, 2 (or more) generations living under one roof.  As homes grow in size more people are taking advantage of in-law suites, multi units, and other property alterations to comfortably accommodate more people under one roof (or sometimes more realistically, on one parcel).  As people grow older and housing grows more expensive, multi-generational living is a solution for many.  

   An alternative that fewer people know about is a provision within conventional guidelines that allows for family members to purchase homes for each other when one is unable to purchase for themselves.  Even better, this can be done under conventional loan guidelines and with underwriting and rate pricing based on “primary residence” occupancy.

   This is a wonderful loan options for people who are financially able to assist parents who don’t have the financial capacity to support a mortgage for themselves, and also for parents with children unable to support themselves financially due to a developmental disability.  Best of all, underwriting and qualifying is exactly the same as if the purchasing party were buying the home for themselves.  The only additional requirement is a letter of explanation from the parties for why the home is being purchased on behalf of the other party. 

   Recently, we closed such a loan where a young couple with a modest home of their own purchased a single-family residence for their aging parents very close by.  This allowed the parents independent living without an overwhelming financial burden, and avoided the need for the children to move out of their home to find a home more suitable for multi-generational living – a true win, win!

Posted in Buying
Feb. 7, 2019

What to "NEGOTIATE" When Buying A House

   Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home? 

  • Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home. 
  • Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing. 
  • Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections. 
  • Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims. 
  • Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs. 


Posted in Buying
Feb. 6, 2019

Tactics That Kill a Sale

   Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid: 

  • Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer. 
  • Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities. 
  • “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it. 
  • Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. 
  • Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy. 
Posted in Selling
July 31, 2017

Market Update & Home Value

   You can sign up here to receive your own market reportdelivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered. 

  We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out 
 INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better. 

Posted in Real Estate Market