Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Great Spring Market for the Sellers

Once every couple years we have amazing markets and this has been a great year for the Sellers in the Main Line and surrounding areas.  Right from the early spring homes in decent condition were being sold in a day.  It was amazing to see and very exciting for all.  Homeowners were thrilled because the homes were going for over asking with multiple offers.  Sellers and Agents were having the unbelievable problem of trying to choose the right buyer. Who had the best financials, who was going to pull their contingencies, it was every Sellers dream.  However there was a downside to all
of this excitement the deadly appraisals could wipe out your gains in a flash.  Still the majority of the homes still increased in value which will be great for the next round of appraisals.  In case your not following me the appraisal value is very important to the mortgage company and if the appraiser cannot find homes with similar value the home price needs to be renegotiated leaving the Seller a  little worse for wear and the Buyer is more than relieved. The cause of this market a lack of homes for sale in the area.  Hopefully this trend will continue but probably not as I am being told by the market forecasters.  It was certainly fun for me and I know my Sellers were happy and that is all that counts as the Mainline Realtor

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pending Home Sales Rise in June

Pending Home Sales Rise in June

RISMEDIA, Monday, August 01, 2011— Pending home sales increased in June following a wide swing down in April and then up in May, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Activity increased in the West and South but declined in the Midwest and Northeast; all regions show strong double-digit gains from a year ago.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.4 percent to 90.9 in June from 88.8 in May and is 19.8 percent above the 75.9 reading in June 2010, which was the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there may be some increase in closed existing-home sales. “For the majority of transactions, the lag time between pending contacts to actual closings is one to two months. Therefore, the two consecutive months of rising activity should lead to overall improvement in closed sales in upcoming months,” he said. “Though a higher than normal cancellation rate can hold back final closing figures, it could well be that some past cancellations are nothing more than delayed buying decisions rather than outright cancellations.”

Yun said tight credit and economic uncertainty have been constricting the market. “The best way to ensure a more solid recovery in housing is to simply return to normal, sound credit standards so more creditworthy home buyers can get a mortgage,” he said.
“Washington also should not rock the boat with policy changes that would negatively impact affordable credit or otherwise increase the cost of buying or owning a home,” Yun added.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.4 percent to 68.9 in June but is 19.4 percent higher than June 2010. In the Midwest the index fell 3.7 percent to 79.7 in June but is 26.4 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 4.4 percent to an index of 99.2 and are 19.1 percent higher than June 2010. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 107.0 in June and is 16.4 percent above a year ago.

Existing-home sales this year are expected to total 5.0 million, slightly higher than 2010. Similarly, little change is forecast for aggregate home prices with several indicators, including NAR’s median prices, showing recent signs of stabilization.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Main Linw Real Estate Why To Buy A Home

Why would anyone want to own a home??? That is the one question when something breaks in my house. It drives me crazy. I swear I will never own again and think about how nice it would be the live in a rental and the just call the supervisor if something broke. But then I would have no control on when it would be fixed!!! Oh sure like I have a lot of control over when a plumber or an electrician will magically appear. We had a rain storm a few days ago and I was worried if the foundation leak that I had repaired 3 years ago would be leaking again. It is like I have some sort post stress disorder. What makes it worse is that I am a Realtor.
I sell a dream, a lifestyle. We buy these homes because we are getting married, got a raise or having a baby. The reasons are numerous. But what is this crazy nesting syndrome that we have. Don’t get me wrong, I love houses. I love looking at them, feeling them, breathing in their odors and trying to figure out what is cause. I love to visualize what they offer to a family. How they would look once they are cleaned and updated. It is my job to find the perfect house and trust me I can look forever. However didn’t all start in Levittown after the war “Buy the American Dream” home ownership? Don’t we just need a tarp over our heads? Well not exactly. It is a place here we realize our dreams can come true. It is where we listen to music, become creative, rest our bodies and soul and plan for the future. A home becomes an extension of who we are.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Main Line Real Estate - Did I Just Buy the Money Pit?

Often after a sale my clients have contacted me to tell me something has broke in their new home and they have thanked me for encouraging them to buy a home warranty or insisting that the seller give a credit during negotiations towards the purchase. While it is not always possible to predict if a heater will stop functioning it has always been my experience that something will go. It is not because you purchased a lemon, it just that you a bought a home. Even if the previous home owner was fastidious which they are usually not it is best to provide yourself with protection until you have set up your own schedule for maintenance.
When your offer is accepted you should always do an inspection even if you have waived the option this way you know what you are getting. These are not always foolproof and sometimes the inspectors fears are unfounded. But at least you know what to expect and they teach you how and what to look for after you have bought a home.

My own personal experience was probably the best teaching experience a Realtor could receive. I was downsizing and buying in 2007 with very little on the market at the time in my price range. I found a cute little home that had the older kitchen and bath rooms and I thought "Great now I can do it the way I want”. The problem with older homes is that they are old, and anything that could go wrong did in this particular home. I had no one to complain to but myself and it was a little over the top. My first month there we had an incredible rain storm and my basement flooded and to my dismay I had a foundation leak. Fortunately my home owners insurance covered that one. Next my Air Conditioner went and the home warranty did not cover that because my lines were below ground, chalk that up to an expensive learning experience. One day after a long day of showing houses I came home to another wet basement, my water heater was gushing like a volcano!! Then the shower pan went in the master bath which I planning on redoing, now just a little earlier than planned. As the year continued I had various clogged pipes and leaks in the basement and I was starting to know the people at the home warranty call center by first name. The last claim was a winner when my garage door opener started to spew smoke. Needless to say the home warranty company kicked me out when it was time to renew. Don't worry I found another and yes I did have a home inspection.

Main Line Real Estate - Divorce and Buying a New Home

Did I ever tell you that divorces make up a very large part of our business? So when choosing a Realtor you should find one that has been divorced. Yes, I have been there and survived. Having been through the process I know it is doable, and less traumatic than the divorce. So chin up let’s get started. Choosing the right home for your smaller family minus one is an interesting process because now it is all about you, the children and the various pets or whatever else you might have accumulated. I bought my home because of the dog, it had a fenced in yard. When you have made your final decision there is a sense of euphoria until your teenager who goes screaming through the house that they hate it and refuse to live there. The only way to calm them down is by offering them a 50in flat screen TV, it works every time. Selling you home also comes with a different set of issues. I once had a client, a lawyer who was getting a divorce but it had not finalized and he wanted to put the house on the market immediately. However I had to explain to him that you can not do this until the judge and all parties involved have agreed and signed on the dotted line. Last and not least the most important advice I can give you is to decide in advance what you are willing to concede during negotiations. Mentally you feel more in control and positive about the outcome. Compromise is about winning not losing. My personal experience, divorce is not an easy road but when the dust has settled my new home has provided me the opportunity to create a wonderful new life with peace and serenity.

Home Ownership Now What

As you lie in bed at night wide awake over the fact that you have finally made the decision to buy a home and you have a million questions. Okay where do I buy, how do I buy, and what kind of house do I like. Then of course you imagine yourself sitting in your new home on the porch listening to the birds sing and the incredible dinners you are going to cook in your new kitchen and have a real garage. I remember like it was yesterday when we started looking and I found a charming house in Pottstown and my in laws went crazy. Not that there is anything wrong with Pottstown but it was too far away… But in my opinion the best place to start is to talk to family and friends. They have all kinds of advice some good, some not so good but what the heck that is what happens when you belong to the human race. Trust me your goldfish never bought real estate. However I did buy my last house because of the dog but I will go into that later. Anyway back to the friends and family part. They will suggest realtors, mortgage people, insurance people the list goes on and on. And by the way if you live on the Main Line everyone knows a Realtor or you have a license yourself. Or you could be like me, my mother in law decided we would use her friend who was a realtor and the die was cast. And that is why I became a Realtor.
But if you are just moving to the area and don’t know a soul let me offer some advice for whatever it is worth and maybe it might apply if you are trying to choose between referrals. Look for an agent that you feel comfortable with, who listens and who is not afraid of giving advice. Make sure they are knowledgeable about the area that you’re moving to. Are they up to date with the latest technology? Do they respond to your phone calls, emails and or texts in a reasonable time? My Blackberry is tied around my throat and tightens if I don’t respond within 5 minutes. Are they available? Do they explain everything they are doing and ask you a lot of questions about what your needs are? Don’t be afraid if they suggest an in house mortgage broker; trust me these guys want to get you to settlement.
As for where to live, First of all location, location, location it is still very much alive today even if your market might be depressed. Also school districts are important they are key to your property values. Try to take in to account your commute to work, trust me nothing is more irritating that being in the car after a long day at work and having a long commute. Is there public transportation available, shopping, day care, Gym, Starbucks???? Look this is not fool proof but it does get you off to a good start in to the Real Estate Market and remember your dream.