Saturday, November 1, 2008

Should you list during the holidays?

Conventional wisdom holds that November/December is a bad time to sell a home. Is this fact or fiction? Although home sales are traditionally lower this time of year, being on the market during the holidays can get you a head start on those who wait until January to list their home.

While fewer buyers are looking during the November and December, the showings that you do get will probably have better prospects at this time of year than any other. Why?
Ø Fewer homes are on the market during the holidays, so you will have less competition
Ø Many of the buyers are in a “MUST BUY” situation due to job transfers and the like.
Ø Most homes have a very comfortable and warm feeling when shown fully decorated. This appeals to buyers’ emotions, which encourages them to buy.
Ø Many buyers during the holiday season are “Out-of-Towners” who are taking vacation time to search for a home. They are more likely to buy a home they have seen in person than one they have seen only online. These are buyers who will not see your home if you wait until after the first of the year to list.

Keep in mind that the average showing takes just 10-20 minutes and can be scheduled at your convenience. You are in control. You can always say “no” to a showing or reschedule it for a different time. What a great excuse to take a leisurely stroll and admire the lights!

And remember, you could get an offer and be SOLD and CLOSED before the New Year! Now that is a real reason to celebrate! Call me today to discuss your options. 206-708-9800.

Friday, October 31, 2008

If real estate was a stock...

A colleague of mine made a very interesting comment today. He said, 'If real estate was a stock, no one would hesitate to buy right now.'

And he's right. Prices are low and interest rates are still good. Two years from now, anyone who had money to invest in real estate, but didn't, is going to be kicking himself (or herself).

If you have good credit and money to invest, why hold off?

If you'd like to discuss your options or just explore the market, give me a call ... today. 206-708-9800.

Current interest rates

Here's the weekly recap of loan rate activity from our friend at Arboretum Mortgage, Troy Chambers:

Honestly …

Mortgage rates are not that great right now. They aren’t bad, and they still are under 7% across
the board, but they are definitely not great! On the bright side, home sale are on the rise … and
this whole thing may be turning around. If we can get the rates to drop just a bit, we will see a
flood of sales, and the perfect place may pop up! Hang tight and we will get through thistogether.

Have a great week and call me with any mortgage needs. Please contact me on my cell phone
at 425-418-5103.

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340

Click here to see a table of current loans rates.

Party time!

I won't be holding an Open House this weekend (a rare non-event for me). Instead I will be hosting a communal 50th Birthday Bash for my high school class down in my hometown of Centralia. Happy Halloween. See you next weekend!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home design trends

Reprinted from: Daily Real Estate News October 20, 2008

"Katherine Salant, nationally syndicated columnist and author of The Brand-New House Book,says houses designed with both a master and second bedroom on the first floor have become the most popular because they appeal to all age groups. Young couples use the second bedroom as a nursery. Middle-age couples use it to keep aging parents close by, and older couples like the design because their differing sleep patterns make sharing a bedroom difficult, Salant says.

Here are other trends Salant points to:

The newest variation on the home office is a completely separate office space, connected to the house by a hallway or a breezeway.

Kitchens are getting smaller, but they are connected to much larger dining areas, often with a center island where family members can sit while they have an informal meal.

Oversized family rooms with high ceilings are giving way to smaller, cozier rooms with lower ceilings.

Home theaters have lost much appeal because people don't want to watch television in a separate area of the home. TV viewing is a more informal activity that people engage in while they're doing other things like cooking or getting ready for work."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mortgage Market Still Open for Business

Reprinted from: Daily Real Estate News October 20, 2008

"Lenders emphasize that loans continue to be available for a range of potential home buyers, not just those who are putting down 20 percent and have a credit score higher than 720.

Although credit underwriting is tougher and loan terms stricter, borrowers can still put down 3 percent (3.5 percent after Jan. 1) on an FHA-insured mortgage and 5 percent on some Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs with private mortgage insurance. FHA standards are designed to help people with problem credit and those with scores in the upper 600s can still qualify for loans with reasonable rates offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Maximum loans in high-cost markets are capped at $729,750 through December. In June, they are expected to fall to approximately $625,000. "I don't think consumers really know how free-flowing capital is right now in the residential mortgage market. There are no shortages, no breakdowns. People ought to be aware of that," says Jeff Lipes, president of Family Choice Mortgage."