So You Bought A Home? It’s Time To Move!

It may seem like there are a million things to think about when moving. But like anything else, if you’re organized and think ahead, you can make the process a lot easier. Use these tips to keep your move on track and prevent any important items from slipping through the cracks.

Before Moving Day

  • Decide if you will be handling your packing and moving or contracting with a professional service.
  • Contact the post office to file a change of address notification.
  • Notify all utilities and service providers of your upcoming move (e.g., gas, electric, water, telephone, trash disposal, cable/satellite, the Internet, landscapers, newspaper delivery, etc.).
  • Arrange for any special care needed for small children or pets on moving day.
  • Coordinate with local trash disposal service for bulk item pickups or a particular dumpster for items you won’t be taking with you.
  • Transfer medication prescriptions to a pharmacy closer to your new home.
  • Register children at new schools if necessary.
  • Contact all of your insurers and inform them of your move.
  • Arrange for a cleaning crew to come in after you move.

On Moving Day

  • Mark each box on the top and sides to indicate contents and the room in which they should be placed at your new home. (Boxes usually are stacked on top of each other, so you want information on the sides to be visible.)
  • Mark boxes that you want immediate access to at your new home (e.g., bed linens, towels) and make sure they are the last boxes to be loaded into the truck.
  • Keep possession of all valuables (cash, jewelry, antiques, valuable artwork, important documents, etc.) and take them with you in a private car if possible.
  • Verify that all utilities have been disconnected at the appropriate time.
  • Lock the doors and windows.
  • Arrange for the old house keys and garage door opener to be provided to the new occupants.
  • Take one last look around (including checking closets and cabinets) to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.
  • Leave your contact information with the new occupants so they can forward any mail, packages, etc., that are shipped to your old address.

After Moving In

  • Contact your new municipality to see if they have new resident guides available or if they require residents to display municipal vehicle stickers.
  • Update your contact information on your driver’s license.
  • Provide your new address to all financial service providers (banks, credit card companies, credit unions, etc.) as well as magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
  • Register to vote at your new address.
  • Order new checks.
  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of grocery and drug stores, hospitals, police and fire stations–any place you plan to visit frequently or may need to find in an emergency.

 

Original article source

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:51 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate | Tagged ,

Selling Your Home In A Seller’s Market

Buyers are searching for homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand!

There are two types of real estate markets: Buyer’s and seller’s markets.

What does this mean for you?

Selling a home in a seller’s market is very different from selling a home in a buyer’s market. Not only will your days on the market be notably fewer, but you might even receive multiple offers on your home, which could drive up your sales price and get you top dollar on your investment.

It’s an excellent idea to take advantage of restrained home supply since it’s the demand that drives competition. The greater the number of potential buyers for your home, the higher the chances are that you’ll make more money.

Another upside to a seller’s market is that homes that would otherwise be difficult to sell in a buyer’s market stand a greater chance of a sale.

Some homeowners believe that once you stick a “For Sale” sign in the front of your yard, the market takes care of the rest. Although it might be easier to sell in a seller’s market, it still takes a lot more to sell a home than hanging a sign out front. It requires strategy.

 

Top strategy for selling your home in a seller’s market:

Prepare The Home For Sale

Clean, declutter, and make small repairs on your home from top to bottom. Some buyers will overlook little defects in a seller’s market because there are not enough homes on the market and they don’t have many choices. However, your ultimate goal should be to sell your home for as much as you can. This entails having a clean and decluttered home potential buyers could picture themselves calling home. You’d be surprised the difference a fresh coat of paint can make on value perception.

A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

Once you have your home clean and have taken care of small touch-ups and repairs, your next course of action should be to hire a professional stager. The benefits of staging your home far outweigh the costs that come along with it. Not only will your home look great in photographs but often, it will leave a lasting impression on buyers as they view the home.

Lower The Sales Price

If you set the price a bit below the current market value, this effort will attract more buyers. It also will leave some room for buyers to feel more comfortable bidding above the asking price. Be careful when using this strategy, pricing your home too below its market value, will most likely turn away buyers and decrease the amount of market exposure your home receives.

Set a time for offer review

Let the potential buyers know that you will consider all offers on a specified day and time. Don’t make buyers wait longer than necessary or your strategy could backfire, and they might withdraw the offer.

Review Seller’s Market Offers

After all of the offers are received, make notes on each offer so that you are aware of not just the sales price but other factors such as:

  • The amount of the earnest money deposit
  • Whether the offer is all cash or if finance & the proposed type of financing
  • Amount of down payment
  • Waiver of standard buyer inspections or contingencies
  • Seller costs, including proposal to pay the buyer’s closing costs
  • Unusual requests or allowances
  • Some buyers will send photographs of themselves, often including their pets or their children. They might write letters to the seller, talking about why they want to buy the home and sharing a bit of personal information.

Bottom Line

Buyers are searching for their new home right now! If you are considering selling your home this year, the early months of 2018 will be your best option. Contact me today to capitalize on current market conditions and get top dollar for your home.

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:49 am
Jill Judy | Category: Home Sale, Real Estate, Selling A Home | Tagged , ,

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Purchasing A Home

If you are considering purchasing a home right now, you’re probably receiving a lot of advice and information. Although your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be completely aware of your needs and what is currently occurring in the real estate market.

Asking yourself the following 3 questions could help you determine if now is a good time for you to purchase a home:

 

1. Why are you buying a home?

This should be the most crucial question to answer. If you put aside the financial investment, besides money, why did you start to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has little to do with finances.

Research by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have more to do with family and less to do with money.

The top 4 reasons why Americans are buying homes are:

-A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
-A place where you and your family feel safe
-More space for you and your family
-Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial advantages will you and your family gain from owning a home? If you are starting or already have a family, the answer to that question should be the most significant reason why you decide to go ahead with the purchase of a home or wait until you’re ready.

 

2. Where are home values headed?

According to Zillow, The median home value in Seattle is $609,100. Seattle home values have gone up 11.3% over the past year, and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Seattle is $418, which is higher than the Seattle Metro average of $205.

If we look at the estimates year over year, a home that would cost you $600,000 today, might cost you an additional $20,000 if you wait until next year.

What does that mean to you?

Simply enough, with home prices increasing each month, it might cost you more to purchase your home the longer you wait to buy one. Your down payment will also need to be higher to account for the higher price of the home you wish to purchase.

 

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

Buyers should be concerned about more than just home prices. The “long-term cost” of a home can be significantly impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months.

This rise in mortgage rates will affect how much financial investment you put in your home.

 

Bottom line:

The purchase of a home shouldn’t just be a financial decision; you have to be ready for the changes that it could potentially bring to your family life.

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:47 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate | Tagged ,

Cost of Renting vs. Buying A Home

Cost Of Renting vs. Buying A Home

Cost Of Renting vs. Buying A Home

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage required to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own!
  • Renters now account for 37 percent of all households, the highest level since the mid-1960s, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The arguments for ownership are compelling, especially for individuals who expect to stay in place for at least five to seven years but probably more. A mortgage acts like a forced savings plan, even if you’re paying the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest for the privilege of building equity.

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:45 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate | Tagged ,

Serious About Buying A Home? Get Pre-Qualified!

Throughout most of the Puget Sound real estate market, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes widely outnumbers some homes up for sale. In a “Sellers” market, it is crucial to have a solid strategy not just when it comes to getting an offer on a home but when searching for one as well.

During your house search, one way to prove to a home seller that you are serious about buying their home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your search.

Getting pre-qualified for a home mortgage not only will allow you to know what your home budget will most likely look like but it’s also great negotiation tool as it sets you in front of other home buyers who have not yet been approved for a mortgage by a lender.

It’s recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-qualified before you begin house hunting. Pre-qualification will inform you on your mortgage budget empowering you to view homes you actually can afford and enabling you to move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.

Once you have decided on a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and present them with important information about your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Potential home buyers today tend to overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage. If you are serious about purchasing a home and ready for the financial and emotional commitment, begin your home search with a winning strategy.

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:40 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Top 7 Home Buying Tips

Preparing to buy a home can be daunting. Credit scores, down payments, and mortgages are all on your mind. Here are a few best practices to help you get ready to make one of the biggest investments of your life.

 

1. Review Your Credit

Know what your credit score is? If you don’t visit annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit records from all three credit reporting bureaus: The TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. For a small fee, you can also get your credit score.

First up, check the reports thoroughly for any errors that need correcting and/or any negative records they may contain.

These reports should also indicate what you can do to improve your credit. Remember, the higher your credit score is, the easier it is to qualify for the lowest interest rates available, which in turn make your purchase more affordable.

It is a good practice not to finance anything that may potentially hurt or damage your credit before you buy a home.

 

2. Become Financially Ready

Become financially ready to purchase a home by planning ahead. Save up for your home down payment of at least 20% of what your expected home budget will be and establish an emergency fund for any unexpected expenses.

Not only will you need cash reserves to buy a home, but you’ll also need to prove to a lender that you can afford housing payments that may be higher than what you’re currently paying in rent.

 

3. Earn Extra Cash

If you’re low on cash, as most first-time buyers are, consider taking drastic steps to cut spending. Or try out some ways to increase your income, such as selling some of your stuff or taking a part-time job.

 

4. Home Wishlist

Narrow down what home features matter to you most such as home style, size, and preferred location. Use your wishlist to also decide on lifestyle choices like commute times, public transportation, and any other lifestyle options that are important to you.

Look for homes that align with these lifestyle choices.

 

5. Start Looking At Neighborhoods

Unless you already know where you want to live, take the time to visit a variety of potential neighborhoods. You’ll want to scout out ‘hoods that meet your needs regarding transportation options and other amenities. Exploring different locations will help you narrow your priorities.

 

6. Investigate Down Payment Assistance Programs

Visit Down Payment Resources to learn about programs in your area that may help you find down payment money or a low-interest loan.

 

7. Get PreQualified

With prequalification, You’ll receive a commitment in writing from a lender for an exact loan amount. Not only will this help you save time and heartbreak by giving you piece of mind to what your home budget will look like, you ae able to use it as a negotiation tool with home sellers as it shows you are just a step away from acquiring a loan.

 

Bottom line:

When buying a home, there are best practices you can follow to make the process run smoothly and efficiently. Own the home meant for you.

 

Top Resources:

www.Annualcreditreport.com

www.nerdwallet.com/blog/category/mortgages/

http://www.wshfc.org/buyers/downpayment.htm

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:36 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate | Tagged ,

5 Reasons To Use A Realtor

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to do it on their own.

In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

The field of real estate is filled with landmines; you need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and is ready for you to move into can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

Here are five reasons why you still need a Realtor:

Experience

They are well versed and experienced in the real estate market, home purchase process, and the best home sale methods.

Paperwork

Real estate is a heavily regulated profession, filled with many contracts, agreements, and duties. A missed deadline could potentially mean losing the home of your dreams. Don’t leave your future up to chance, choose a professional.

Negotiation

Negotiating a home purchase or sale can be a stressful and challenging process. Having someone on your side that not only understands the disclosures necessary but the best negotiation approaches can be priceless.

Market Knowledge

Understanding the current real estate market conditions could potentially guide you purchase in the best possible home for you or help you sell your home fast in a struggling market.

Pricing

Setting a competitive price for your home starts with knowing what comparable homes are selling for. Pricing a home too low or too high could essentially hurt your home sale timeline and profits. The same can be said about bidding price for a home, don’t lose what could’ve been the home of your dreams because of your lack of market knowledge.

 

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

 

 

 

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:34 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Estate Sale, Home Sale, Home Staging Tips, Real Estate, Selling A Home | Tagged , , ,

Top 2 Tips To Sell Your Home

During their home sale, every homeowner wants to make sure they receive the best possible price for their home. Here are two key tips to ensure you get just that.

1. Make The Price Right

Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. Over pricing, a home can not only reduce your home’s market exposure as fewer people will attend your open houses but can also negatively impact your homes online marketing strategy as other comparable homes would be priced at a lower price point. Price your home fairly, and instead of negotiating with one or a handful of buyers on pricing you might find yourself having multiple buyers fighting with each other over your house. One of the biggest assets a home has when on sale is the amount of exposure it receives, don’t hurt your marketing efforts because you didn’t price your home correctly. Partner with your real estate agent or research comparable homes in your neighborhood and choose the best pricing strategy.

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This may seem counterintuitive. As a seller, you may think that you would be able to net more money if you didn’t have to pay a real estate agent commission. However, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional. Why is this? Realtors help people buy and sell homes for a living. They’re experts at negotiation, marketing, and presenting your home to the audience. When it comes to big investments, don’t cut the wrong corners, choose an expert.

 

Bottom Line

Price your house correctly and hire a professional. These two strategies will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:30 am
Jill Judy | Category: Home Sale, Real Estate, Selling A Home | Tagged ,

Top 3 Tips To Sell your Home

Things have changed drastically in Real Estate. With more than 90% of today’s home buyers beginning their home search online, are you marketing your home in the right places? If you are struggling to sell your home, there are 3 changes you can make to your home selling strategy to get your home off of the market.

Presentation, promotion, and pricing are three strategies that are essential to any home sale.

If after these changes, your home still receives no traction, don’t hesitate to reach out to a real estate professional. The longer a home stays on the market, the less of a chance you’ll have to get the price, visibility, and terms you are looking for.

top 3 tips to sell your home

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:22 am
Jill Judy | Category: Real Estate, Selling A Home | Tagged , , ,

Home Buyers Guide

Plan your way into the perfect home

Where do you start a home search? With so many steps to take, processes and approvals, the journey could be overwhelming without the right tools and resources on your side.

This guide is full of useful home buying tips and a handy checklist to help you get started in the right direction. Use this practical resource on the first steps of buying a home– getting started. This means evaluating your buying power: estimating costs, determining your budget and reviewing your financial standing. If you know what you can afford- you can view houses in your range that might be just perfect for you.

Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to me. I am here to help.

Home Buyers Guide

Home Buyers Guide | Own The Home Meant For You

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 4:19 am
Jill Judy | Category: Buying A Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,