This is the corridor to find helpful resources for the home buyer and seller. I hope you find this information helpful!
Living on the water is considered one of the most prestigious opportunities to many. Owning on a lake, river or canal can offer a world like no other from boating, fishing, skiing, or just an alternative way to go out to dinner. However, with this also comes some very important questions to ask yourself and your realtor!
Special thank you to KenMulder from HPHA who contributed important questions to this list.
Ever take a look at Zillow? I am sure you have...
The coveted "ZESTIMATE" is something we hear about all the time, but this post is going to cover something EVERY SELLER SHOULD KNOW...
THE PRICE HISTORY!!!!
I have been in this business long enough to know that agents will try all sorts of methods to keep a home relevant in your "new listings" feed they send you. What most agents don't understand is that you consumers are pretty smart! We live in a world of the .com era and better yet, GOOGLE! We can research just about anything and get an answer in under 3 seconds.
So, this is to all you sellers out there DO YOU KNOW WHAT BUYERS SEE WHEN THEY SEARCH YOUR HOME ON ZILLOW?!! I am going to show you!
Here is a little example... when you see this PRICE HISTORY about a home on Zillow, what do you think first?
You immediately think...
What you may not know as a seller is that every time your agent updates the listing by price, the status to pending, removed (including expired and withdrawn) it shows on Zillow. One of the most used real estate sites online! So, although the idea of adjusting a listing to keep it at the top of a feed MAY seem like a good idea.... it really is not. Working with an agent who knows buyer trends and market activity is critical in the sale of your home. In this current market with low interest rates, a vast millennial market that makes up 42% of all buyers now, and a high demand for homes..... if your home is not sold in 15 days, it's considered a stale listing.
Is your listing stale? There could be very specific reasons. Do you want your listing to get looked at and turned down by a buyer because of how it shows up on Zillow? A good agent knows what consumers will pay, what information they have access too and how it will ultimately affect your homes sale!
If your home is currently on the market, search it on Zillow. See what buyers get to see.
Think you may be considering a move and want the right advice the first time, let's talk! Get an instant CMA report on the homes for sale and sold in your neighborhood
Buying a home is one of the most exciting—and complex—transactions of your life. At Caliber Home Loans, Inc., we’re dedicated to explaining each step of the process in detail to every single one of our borrowers. While there are some individuals who will have a different process due to individual circumstances, the typical home buying process includes about 15 steps:
4bdrms, 3ba with full-fin bsmt. Large fenced in yard with patio, playscape and shed.
I get asked this question a lot from my clients who are selling their home. Under current laws, if you sell your principal home (the home you live in) and make a profit, you can exclude $250,000 of that profit from your taxable income. And that’s just the exclusion for an individual. Married couples can exclude up to $500,000 (if both spouses each meet the ownership and use tests below). So, depending on how much of a profit you make on the sale, you could theoretically have no capital gains tax bill at all.
I say ‘theoretically’ because in order to claim the maximum exclusion, you have to pass what the IRS calls the ownership and use tests. This means:
There are a few exceptions to these rules—for instance, if you had to move before your 2-year anniversary of owning the home due to job change or because you experienced what the IRS designates as an “unforeseen circumstance,” such as a divorce or natural disaster. In these circumstances the IRS will allow you to prorate the exclusion. As always, talk with your accountant to determine if you qualify or not.
Lastly, and what some would consider the most interesting way to avoid paying capital gains, is that the two years residency doesn’t have to be consecutive—crazy huh?- you just have to have lived in your home for a total of 24 months out of the five years leading up to the sale.
Now, that’s something to thank Uncle Sam for!
RULES, RULES, RULES! They are everywhere it seems, but for goodreason. Or are they? I hunted down some of the 7 craziest local laws and HOA rules that will have you laughing and yelling at the computer!
Both governments and homeowners associations, or condo associations if you are a condo-dweller, can levy powerful—and sometimes incredibly strange—restrictions and requirements. Some can be pretty costly, as Pennsylvania residents recently found out with the potential new requirement for sprinkler systems in single-family homes.
Even celebrities such as Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson can be at odds with an HOA. Here are seven crazy examples of laws and HOA rules:
1. Can’t park your car in your own driveway.
In Odessa, Fla., a resident was fined by his board for parking his pickup truck in his own driveway because it wouldn’t fit in his garage. Not our problem, the HOA basically told him before slapping him with a lawsuit. After a protracted legal battle, he has since won the right to park his car, but only after two years and $200,000 in legal fees.
2. Don’t plant too many roses.
While foreclosure is an increasingly real threat to homeowners, few expect to lose their house based on gardening infractions. But that’s exactly what happened to a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., resident who planted too many roses on his property. After $70,000 in fees, he lost his legal battle against the HOA and ultimately lost his home to the flower debacle.
3. Indoor drying only.
As seen in a Colbert Report expose, a Bend, Oregon, resident was shocked by her HOA’s rejection of her outdoor clothesline. Her natural drying method was dubbed a hazard, and they began levying fines that totaled nearly $1,000. She eventually took down the offending line, even after the Right 2 Dry movement got behind her.
4. No mothers-in-laws allowed.
How can you not kinda smile when you read that heading? If you’re a married man in Iowa, the government grants you a special privilege: you’re allowed to bar your mother-in-law from your home. While certainly useful to men trying to ditch their spouse’s mom, this law does not extend to women.
5. Only use sanctioned paint.
What appears to be an inoffensive pale blue house has caused a stir recently in one Georgia neighborhood. Unaware of his HOA’s rules, a homeowner painted his house before having the color officially approved by his board. And with a $25 per day fee levied every day his house bares the offending hue, he’s already racked up $6,800 in fines on top of legal fees.
6. No service dog for the hearing impaired.
A Fort Collins, Colo., HOA fined a hearing-impaired resident for keeping Pookee, her Pomeranian service dog. The HOA even threatened to put a lien on the property. All this despite the fact that Fair Housing Act requires condo and home owner associations to make reasonable accommodations in their procedures and rules to allow a person with disability to reside in a unit. This includes allowing service animals.
Have an issue related to service animal? Contact your local HUD office or local or state human rights agency.
7. Don’t use ‘inconsistent’ shingles.
As if it wasn’t tragedy enough when a plane fell out of the sky destroying a Sanford, Fla., man’s home, his HOA then challenged his rebuilding efforts. It threatened litigation because the shingles and elevation in his new house’s plans didn’t match his neighbors’.
Bending the rules
If you fight the law, you may lose. But there are ways to work with the restrictions of a HOA and still get your way. The first line of defense is to make sure you understand the HOA or condo association rules before you purchase the property.
If, after you move in, you’d like your home’s appearance to differ from that of your neighbors, you’ll need to submit a “variance” form of request. This request can be accepted or rejected at the board’s will, so it’s good to alert them early in your planning process. One tip to gain HOA support? Understand the challenges and perspective of HOAs, follow the rules to a tee, and offer to help them gain community support for their initiatives. Maybe even run for office. If you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em.
What’s the strangest local government or HOA rule you’ve ever heard of?
House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These 8 tips for finding your new home will guide you through a smart home-buying process.
Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multistory home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?
List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then hop onto my website www.KrisFordRealtor.com to register your dream home wish list and get daily listings right in your email. This will help you get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favorite neighborhoods. Use the results to prioritize your wants and needs so you can add in and weed out properties from the inventory you’d like to view.
Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to investigate financing.
Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a pre-qualification letter (you will need this in order to see homes and make an offer) spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. The lender won’t necessarily consider the extra fees you’ll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you’re comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer contingent on financing will make your bid less attractive to sellers.
Do you have blemishes on your credit that will take time to clear up? If you already own, have you sold your current home? If not, you’ll need to factor in the time needed to sell. If you rent, when is your lease up? Do you expect interest rates to jump anytime soon? All these factors will affect your buying, closing, and moving timelines.
Your future plans may dictate the type of home you’ll buy. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in the home for five to 10 years? With a starter, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you plan to nest, be sure your priority list helps you identify a home you’ll still love years from now.
Ask people you trust for referrals to a real estate professional they trust. Interview agents to determine which have expertise in the neighborhoods and type of homes you’re interested in. Because home buying triggers many emotions, consider whether an agent’s style meshes with your personality.
Finally, check whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they’re members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. NAR has been a champion of home ownership rights for more than a century.
It’s OK to be picky about the home and neighborhood you want, but don’t be close-minded, unrealistic, or blinded by minor imperfections. If you insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you may miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet and secluded.
On the flip side, don’t be so swayed by a “wow” feature that you forget about other issues — like noise levels — that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Use your priority list to evaluate each property, remembering there’s no such thing as the perfect home.
It’s natural to seek reassurance when making a big financial decision. But you know that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. If you need a second opinion, select one or two people. But remain true to your list of wants and needs so the final decision is based on criteria you’ve identified as important.