Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Housing Is a Good Long-Term Investment

Here are some financial benefits to owning a home:

· Over the past 30 years, home values have risen more than 6 percent annually.

· On average, the value of a home has nearly doubled every 10 years.

· 60 percent of the average homeowner’s wealth comes from their home’s equity.

· The average homeowner’s net worth is $171,000 – that’s nearly 46 times that of a renter’s, who has an average net worth of $4,800.

· Homeowner’s benefit from the power of leverage. At an annual appreciation rate of 5 percent, a 10 percent down payment on a home will return 94 percent after 3 years. After 5 years, the rate of return increases to 225 percent and after 10 years, 623 percent.

* All information provided by the national Association of Realtors. This is not a promise of future returns. Data based on historic percentage returns.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How Long Will It Take To Sell My Home?

Some homes sell in a few days, while others may take several months. Recognizing key factors we control that influence the market may significantly reduce the time it takes to sell.

These include:

Condition of the property. Optimize the physical appearance to maximize value. Short of spending lots of money, there are several steps you can take to make your home show better:

- Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard.

- Clean the windows and make sure the paint looks fresh.

- Be sure the front door looks its best.

- Clean and de-clutter all rooms. Ensure the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless.

- Organize closets.

- Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Replace leaky faucets.

- Make sure the house smells good. Clean and fresh, not artificial.

- Put fresh flowers out throughout the house.

Price it at the Market. A well priced home is the most important factor in selling for a top price within a reasonable time. Naturally, listing too low may generate a faster sale but will preclude the opportunity for getting top dollar. On the other hand, setting the price too high discourages showings to the people who are most likely buyers. And if a home sits on the market for too long, buyers may perceive a problem and avoid buying a home they believe will be hard to resell.

Marketing that professionally advertises your home to a broad market. The amenities of your home should speak for themselves, but attracting buyers to your door is where an aggressive, intelligent, and tasteful marketing plan is key. Use of new technologies like the internet should be a top priority. The first showing of your home will likely be on-line as over 80 percent of home buyers are using the internet.

Accessibility cannot be overstated. A home that is difficult to see will likely take longer to sell, if at all. Create an inviting atmosphere and minimize the appointment barriers to view your home.

Darin Provost - All Rights Reserved ®

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why it a Great Time to Buy a Home

With more homes to choose from, prices softening, interest rates still at their lowest, and more time to make a rational buying decision, it’s a great time to buy a home.

Future buyers, here are a few things to consider -

There are almost 15,000 homes on the market in the Portland Metro area – an amount almost three times higher than 2005. Just two years ago the inventory of homes dropped below 6,000 and buyer’s were rushed and forced to make compromises. Today’s buyers can find homes closer to work, within biking or walking distances to schools, transit, and community hotspots.

Just two years ago buyers were dealing with multiple offers and fast escalating prices. It was common for multiple buyers to bid up the price of a property. Often there were escalation clauses where buyers authorized their brokers to outbid other offers by thousands of dollars. Today, the market has relaxed and competitive bidding is rare. Selling prices are often below asking price, and a seller isn’t likely to be insulted if a buyer “makes them an offer they can’t refuse.”

Patience is Tolerated
Buyer’s can take more time in their search and decision to buy. In the hot seller’s market two years ago, everything was rushed as buyer’s had to find the home before others, and hurry to make an offer.

Due Diligence is Welcomed
Today a buyer is encouraged to obtain the necessary home inspections. Two years ago many home buyers waived these contingencies in order to gain advantage with multiple offers.

Repair Requests are Welcomed
After a buyer completes a home inspection, they are allowed to submit a repair request to the seller. In the past a seller might have insisted the home be sold “as-is.”

Fewer Investors
It is estimated that one third of all sales in 2005 were to investors. These buyers increased competition and caused the market prices to inflate.

Financing is Available
Interest rates continue at their lowest making homes are more affordable. Fixed rates are back and will be looked back upon as a great financial opportunity. FHA and first time homeowner bond programs that allow low down payment options are still available.

It truly is a great time to buy!

Darin Provost - All Rights Reserved ®