Wants vs Needs When Buying a Home – Learning the Difference

One of the first questions that a real estate agent will ask new buyers is, “What do you want in
your new home”? It might seem like an easy question to answer but identifying your “wants’
from your “needs” is an important aspect of home seeking.

Needs
A need is something that is truly essential to how you and your family live. For instance, if you
have a family of four, you truly can’t live in a studio-style apartment; bedrooms become a real
need in house hunting. By contrast, while having an acre of land would be nice, do you truly
have to have that much space in your yard?

Make a List
One way to focus your thought is to create a list of features and amenities that you would like
to have in a new home. Prioritize this list starting with the essential (need) first and work your
way down to the aspects that would be nice to have (want). Remember that you might live in
this home for a number of years, so consider how your family will grow over the next few
years and what needs might change.

Think about elements outside the house itself as well. Do you have school aged children, or
will you? The location of the home might be a need as well. Commute times, recreation and
services must also be included in the list of priorities.

Home hunting is exciting; make sure you include your needs in your search so you don’t get
distracted by a want instead.

Posted on August 1, 2018 at 5:32 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home! | Simplifying The Market

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased by half a percentage point already in 2018 to around 4.5%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Posted on June 4, 2018 at 10:59 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Investment, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team?

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team? | Simplifying The Market

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team?

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market.

As the financial guru Dave Ramsey advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals they’ve worked with in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report:

Buyers from all generations primarily wanted their agent’s help to find the right home to purchase. Buyers were also looking for help to negotiate the terms of sale and to help with price negotiations.”Additionally, “Help understanding the purchase process was most beneficial to buyers 37 years and younger at 75 percent.”

Look for someone to invest in your family’s future with you. You want an agent who isn’t focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it.

Posted on April 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Investment, Luxury market, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Selling your home

GREEN Homes Introduction

In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting many new features and information about Green Homes that I’ve learned from earning my National Association of Realtor’s GREEN designation.

Whether you want to improve the resale value of your home or are looking for a new, more resource-efficient property, a REALTOR® with NAR’s Green Designation
can help.

NAR Green Designees really know green. While considering updates to your home, I can help you understand the advantages of resource-efficient upgrades to existing homes, interpret the benefits of high performance features, select the best products and professionals, research information on improving resource use, and access a variety of credits, incentives, and programs designed to help you make your home more resource efficient.

Why use a GREEN Designee? (click the link to be taken to the Green Designee website with specialized answers for Buyers, Sellers, or Builders.

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 11:08 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, Green homes, Investment, Move Up Buyers, New Construction, Real Estate, Remodel, Selling your home, Uncategorized

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Simplifying The Market

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 675,000 US homeowners regained positive equity in their homes in 2017. This is great news for the country, as 95.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

U.S homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all the properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of $908.4 billion since the fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 12.2%, year over year.”

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation. The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.2 percent during 2017. The largest calendar-year increase since 2013. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years.”

He also believes this is a great sign for the market in 2018, saying:

“Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years.”  

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

A study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their homes as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 4.9% of homes are in that position (down from 6.3% in Q4 2016).

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%) when in actuality, 83% do!

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Simplifying The Market

This means that 46% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a house (either larger or smaller) that better meets their current needs.

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation!

 

 

 

Posted on March 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Active listing, Finance, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Selling your home

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now's the Time! | Simplifying The Market

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 9:38 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Luxury market, Move Up Buyers

The relation between interest rates and your purchasing power

Hoe does interest affect home buying power?

We all know that higher interest means higher payments. But what does that mean in real world numbers? The following infographic shows just that. A 1 point jump in interest basically means 10% less house when looking at a $700,000 house. The highlighted numbers in the table show what the same payment buys across a range of home prices.

What does it mean to me right now?

As we are foreseeing a slight bump in interest in the next year, you might want to consider making your jump now to get the most house you can.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:52 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, Finance, First Time Buyers, Investment, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Uncategorized

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know:
The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

 

Some Highlights:

  • The Mortgage Process may seem complicated, but broken down into steps it becomes fairly straightforward.
  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.
  • Get pre-approved BEFORE looking or searching for homes.
  • Talk to your real estate professional for referrals to mortgage brokers and lenders they know and trust. Your Realtor is there for much more than just showing you homes.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.
Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:24 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,