One of the huge benefits of owning property is the home equity you can build. But with equity comes the temptation to dip into it if a large expense or possible investment arises. There are many strategic ways to use your equity without ruining any personal financial advances you have made. The most crucial step you need to take is to fully understand your options for tapping into that money and the associated risks.
Simply put, your home equity is the market value of your home relative to any loan balances remaining. There are two main ways to utilize this value. Getting a home equity loan provides you with a lump sum of money that you pay off in monthly installments, generally over five to 15 years. As with any loan, you will be required to pay interest on the amount, but it is usually a fixed rate. Choosing to use a line of credit instead offers similar benefits, but instead of receiving the money up front, you are given a pool you can draw from as needed. With this option, the lender provides a maximum borrowing limit and you can choose to use it or not until it is reached.
Before dipping into your home equity in, either way, it is important to understand the possible consequences. In both instances, your home is used as loan collateral. This means if you are unable to make payments on the loan for any reason, the lender can sell your property or take your home in foreclosure. Additionally, there will likely be closing costs and fees you have to pay in association with the loan.
Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.
- Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
- Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
- See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.
Imagine a place more attractive and desirable to live in than San Mateo County or Napa County.
The Washington Post and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that location is in the Mother Lode.
Calaveras County ranked No. 14 out of counties in 48 states, according to Christopher Ingraham with the Post, who used data from USDA’s natural amenities scale — an index meant to measure a county’s physical characteristics that enhance a location as a place to live — last August. The scale ranks areas based on climate and scenic beauty. Hawaii and Alaska were excluded.
Lisa Boulton, executive director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau, said it was a wonderful thing to be ranked No. 14. She added it is great that others outside the region are starting to recognize the area.
“It’s absolutely significant,” Boulton said. “We have it in our media kit. We want to capitalize on it.”
The USDA index was created by combining six measures of “climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.”
At No. 17, San Mateo County just missed Calaveras. Napa was 23. Ventura County, in Southern California, came in at No. 1 on the list and Red Lake County, in Minnesota, was the least desirable place to live.
Locally, Mariposa County came in on the list at No. 15. Amador and Alpine found themselves ranked in the 20s. Tuolumne and Stanislaus were found in the 30s. Outside the foothills, San Joaquin dropped to 145. The ranking included 3,111 counties.
Click HERE to finish reading why Calaveras County is the best place to live!
HGTV came out with a great article outlining all of the secret ways you can get your home sold FAST! Here is a little bit about what the full article is about below.
Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.
Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Read the full article here on HGTV
More millennials are pursuing home ownership now than ever before. The national home ownership rate rose to 64.4 percent in the third quarter this year—an increase of half a percentage point over a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s largely attributed to the rise in new, first-time home buyers.
1. Rising Interest Rates Will Prompt Buyers to Change Strategy
Just last week, mortgage rates rose to a seven-year high, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 4.94 percent. It’s more than likely that rates will climb over 5 percent in the new year. This will cause many buyers to pause and reevaluate their purchasing power and strategy. “Even a quarter point has a real impact on housing affordability.” This means you’ll need to take more time to help clients analyze deals and understand what their money can buy in this shifting market.
2. Increased Competition From Baby Boomers for Properties
As millennials age and grow in their careers, they are acquiring more purchase power. According to the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 30 percent of millennials purchased homes for $300,000 and higher in the past year, up from 14 percent in 2013. That means millennials and boomers are going head-to-head for the same homes today. That trend is only going to continue to grow in 2019. Both groups also seek similar amenities, including walkable neighborhoods and smaller home sizes with more upgrades. “Buyers in different generations—with wildly different points of view—are competing for the same homes. For sellers and agents, catering to two different generations in marketing homes will also be a challenge.”
3. Willing to Put In Sweat Equity
Millennials are becoming more savvy to renovations and repairs, and they may have HGTV to thank for that. “Millennial buyers are still far more aware of the work, costs, and implications of a renovation than their parents would have been. Popular TV shows mean a more educated millennial buyer who knows what to look for in terms of red flags. But also has more confidence around renovating a home to make it their own and the ability to see past outdated wallpaper or a wall that can be easily removed.” Keep this in mind as interest rates continue to rise in 2019 and you’re helping clients who want to get creative while staying in their price range.
4. Clients Who are Well-Researched and Prepared
Millennial buyers are doing their online research and are entering the market well-prepared. “They are relying on real estate professionals not to introduce them to homes, most of which they can find online, but to show them what can’t be researched: neighborhoods that are up and coming, which properties stand to gain value in the coming years, and guidance when it comes to negotiations and inspections.”
5. Social Media’s Continued Impact
Social media will continue to influence millennials’ home-buying habits. This generation relies heavily on online reviews and social media presence to make purchasing decisions. A strong online reputation for real estate professionals is a must in catering to this market, she adds. Showcasing homes on social media—particularly Instagram—is essential for appealing to millennial clients.
Article provided by the National Association of Realtors
1. They have turbocharged searching power
The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.
Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so they can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.
2. They’re connected to everyone
Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your Realtor’s network. Use them.
3. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one
The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.
Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.
Read the full article here on Realtor.com
Mobile Connect Program
With NextHome’s Mobile Connect, you will enjoy a modern search experience when using the easy-to-share app. You can refine property searches by city or zip code, calculate commute times, use augmented reality to scan for properties, and review all listing details and neighborhood information in a user-friendly interface. Just another way we bring value to your clients, while staying top of mind!
Making upgrades or renovations can add value to your home. But sometimes it can be tough to gauge where you should invest your time and money.
The Houzz app lets you remodel your home virtually. The free app has over 10 million high resolution photos that you can skim through to see what your kitchen would look like after a facelift or what a new coat of paint would do to your living room.
The Zillow app lets buyers browse homes across the country. Users even get access to more than a million listings that aren’t featured in the Multiple Listing Service databases that are widely used by real estate professionals.
There’s another perk that the Zillow app offers. You can easily create and upload a video walk through so that prospective buyers can see what your home looks like inside and out, without setting foot in the front door.