The Draw Of the Flaw

I stole the headline from the Washington Post because it is so good.  Buying a home with real or perceived flaws can allow you to be in a neighborhood at a discount. It is just best that you understand why there is a discount. Powerlines are often an issue for many.  No one has determined conclusively whether or not it is bad for you and for the conspiracy leaning folks, would the government admit to it and incur the cost of burying the lines?  In Continue reading →

How A Simple Box Will Making Moving Day Easier

Unless you have an army of people or movers that are helping you unpack, here are some things you should store away in a separate box. Paper towels – There will be food in the middle of this process, or at least snacking.  Something will break and drip, or something just won’t be clean enough for you. Garbage bags – See above, plus you’ll throw away more than you think from your previous residence. All purpose cleaner – See above Paper plates, plastic utensils, and Continue reading →

The Hardest Decision A Seller Has To Make

You would think it would be accepting an offer but it’s not. The hardest decision the seller makes is choosing the listing price. Most seller’s pay attention to their neighborhood, especially as they get closer to listing their home.  So they get a number in their head.  Then they talk to friends and probably a couple of Realtors.  By that point they have several numbers bouncing around their head.  They have their own price which is sprinkled with memories and the work they put in Continue reading →

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Some will say that when you buy a house you will find a way to make it work.  Recent foreclosure numbers might hint that isn’t enough. I have suggested to many buyers that they start immediately taking the difference between their rent and expected mortgage and put it in a savings account.  For the very bold they should add another 4% of the that expected payment and put it into the savings account as well.  While this may not predict your success in owning a home it Continue reading →

Question: Why Don’t Loan Officers Go To Closings?

I don’t have the answer but I hope this shakes some answers out of the intertubes. I have gone to almost all of my closings. A couple of times my schedule conflicted with a rush or a change and I have only had loan officers at my closings maybe 3 times. Bad customer service. I was at a 6:30 AM signing and my clients were shocked when I walked in the door but the loan officer didn’t leave them with that impression if any.

Down Payment: A Modest Proposal

There are still 100% loans out there though they are few and far between. For most, the least downpayment you can bring is 3.5%.  You can still have the sellers pay for your closing costs so you only need about $7,000 to buy a $200,000 home.  I still see people stretching themselves to take this kind of loan on with little in cash reserves.  And for all of the silly rules the banks have, they aren’t requiring six months or more of reserves while we Continue reading →

The Downside Of HOA’s

HOA’s (Homeowner Associations) are a necessary evil for attached homes – row homes and condos.  They make sure the homeowners follow the rules that they agreed to when they bought the house. They also keep up the standards for yards and exteriors which includes replacing the roof and siding when needed. Part of the issue is, when there is a problem even with just some of the homes, all have to pitch in.  And if you don’t agree with the need for the repairs you Continue reading →

Can You Limit Repair Requests From The Buyer

Trying to limit repair requests from the buyer doesn’t work for a couple of reasons; 1. If you say I will only pay $X towards repairs then you have already given up that much money.  What if the repairs are $100 more or $500 more?  Will you let the house go for that?  I have had homes with no repairs requested.  If they offered $750 it would have absolutely been requested. 2. If you say that the house is “AS-IS’ no repairs like the bank Continue reading →

Paradox of Choice

It is counterintuitive that too many choices can cause problems with decision making but this has been shown in quite a few studies.  In a longer video, Barry Schwartz talks about how too many retirement plan choices by an employer caused lower participation by employees effectively losing them an opportunity to earn money. This happens in real estate as well.  In 2005 the real estate market almost became a daily auction with multiple bidders and people scouring every resource to find a house.  There wasn’t Continue reading →