Seasons Greeting Friends & Colleagues!
Over the years it has been our pleasure to serve many clients in all different facets of Real Estate. We have given our best whether it was representing a buyer, or seller. Our property management division has been a very important part of our business for the past decade and we have brought many owners and tenants together to create a great working experience while maintaining all properties with excellence. Coastline Properties has supported many great charitable causes over the years, and we do it because we love our community!
We strive to give our best in everything we do, not because we are required to…but because we know that relationships are the most important part of our business. We like to often say “Amateurs focus on sales, Pros focus on relationships”.
We are truly grateful & honored to receive the award from the Padre Island Business Association as “Business of the Year”. This award has come as a great surprise to the team, and we feel elated to work with so many Padre Island business owners and citizens. We are thrilled to see how many more new faces and lives we can touch this New Year and want you to know our door is always open if we can ever help you in anyway this coming year. We are much more than Real Estate agents, Coastline Properties is here to make an impact on our community and improve the lives of the people living here and our future residents as well.
Have a wonderful holiday season…Cheers to 2017!
All our best…. Coastline Properties Team
We are thrilled to announce our very own Meagan Furey has been voted “Citizen of the Year” by the Padre Island Business Association. This is a very prestigious award and we feel it could not have gone to a more genuine, hard working community focused individual. Congratulations Meagan …We are so proud of you for 2016 PIBA Citizen of the Year Award. You inspire us all, thank you for all your dedication for making our little slice of paradise an amazing place to work and play! ~ Coastline Properties Team
These dwellings are having their shining moment, thanks to an increased demand by both first-time buyers and Boomers alike! Both appear to be seeking the appeal for walkable communities in which the amenities are grand, you can get a great bang for your buck, and often less maintenance (big perk for both busy, young families and Boomers alike!).
Nationally, the number of townhouses built last year increased 18% percent over 2014. Here on the Island, the number is even more incredible!
70 townhomes were sold between September 15, 2015 – September 15, 2016
44 townhomes were sold between September 15, 2014 – September 15, 2015
That’s a whopping increase in townhome sales! The long-run prospects for townhouse construction are positive given the large numbers of homebuyers looking for high density “neighborhoods,” near the action (eh em, the new Marina District perhaps?) that offer proximity to the happenings along with community amenities.
Perk #1: Own That Land, You American Dreamer You!
What’s the main difference between a condo and a townhome you ask? It’s simple. As a condo owner, you own only your unit, nothing below or above you. As a townhome owner, you own the planet Earth beneath you, and the sky above you. And, as the Homeowners Association will nearly always maintain the complex grounds, you can be a lazy bum and still have a nice yard, albeit likely small.
Perk #2: That HOA Though…
So you own a nice patch of grass, or maybe a cute pom pom bush. Your HOA will take care of it! Many HOAs will even allow owners to plant that desired petunia border you’ve always dreamt of, just ask. So long as you pay your monthly dues, your grass will be mowed, your exterior painted, your roof re-shingled, your pool cleaned, your exterior insurance paid, and the list can go on. Now, each HOA will be different, and each will have a list of items they maintain and don’t maintain, so make sure you know what’s agreed upon and who does what in the yard. As many prefer to keep the fronts looking manicured and uniform, you may have to plant your Sneezewort Yarrow in the back.
Perk #3: Don’t Ever Leave!
When you buy a townhouse, it often comes with a community, and that community has amenities. Some developments have a pool, a laundry room, possibly boat slips (if on the canal) maybe a recreational room, etc. You may not have to leave but to go do your grocery shopping! This can be very appealing. And as an owner, you own a percentage of each of the common facilities.
Perk #4: Save Some $$
Although this isn’t a steadfast rule here on Padre, townhouses can be less expensive than single-family residences. Townhouses sometimes have the fancy upgrades built right in that you otherwise couldn’t afford in a house, like granite countertops, high-end appliances, or eco-friendly materials. And although they are often multilevel that share a side wall or two with another unit, they can have as many bedrooms and bathrooms as will fit in the floor plan, just like a single-family house. The point is, you can get a lot of the same stuff in a townhouse that you can find in a regular house, but you typically pay less for it.
Perk #5: Tight-Knit Community
Having Mrs. Kravitz nearby isn’t always a bad thing! With units that are close, and parking areas that may be shared, it’s possible that you and your neighbors see and know what’s going on with one another. As most townhomes on the Island do not allow short-term rentals, the neighborhood is often more stable in terms of less turnover and more face familiarity. This can be desirable for the young family who needs neighborly help watching kids, or the more “medically fragile” older couple who may find peace of mind knowing that their neighbors could check on them if they go sight unseen for a day or two. Travel a lot? Now Nosie Nelly doesn’t seem so bad, as she’ll be able to stink eye anyone who looks out of sorts lurking around your townhome.
With 84 townhomes currently for sale on the Island, maybe it’s time to pay them some attention!
We are thrilled to once again be a sponsor for the “Paddle for Parkinson’s – Catch the Cure” Races here on North Padre Island Saturday, September 3 2016. This is our 3rd year sponsoring this event and it is sure to be a great day for all participants and attendees. Last year many of our realtors & family members placed either first or second in several events particularly in the “Kayak Competition”. Come out for a great day and participate and give to such a great cause!
GO TO their website at www.CatchtheCure.org
You got your home under contract! You’re so excited, a buyer loves your home as much as you do! Then, inspections are set up. The three inspections typically performed on a home here are the general inspection, the pest inspection, and the plumbing inspection.
It’s this last one that seems to be an inspection that, as of late, has been causing some unease among sellers.
Fear not, sellers! The truth is, this is not at all a scary or intrusive test. But it is an important one. The only way to calm a fear or unease is to be well informed. Here I’ll break it down so that when the time comes, as either a buyer or a seller, this test is nothing to think twice about.
Definition: A hydrostatic test is a way in which pressure vessels can be tested for strength and leaks.
Don’t let the word pressure fool you. There is a common misconception that pressure is put on your system during this test. That is far from the truth. What the plumber does is quite simple. They will find your sewer cleanout/sanitary drain pipe and insert a testball/balloon into the piping and inflate it near the perimeter of the foundation. Next, they’ll simply fill the system up with water. They will then find a commode and/or shower on the lowest level and monitor the water levels. If the water maintains its level (they’ll typically watch for roughly 15 minutes) then there are no leaks! IF the water happens to fall, there is indication of a leak somewhere in the system.
Leaks often occur when foundations have shifted. Because we are built on sand here on the Island, it’s relatively rare to have a failed hydrostatic test as foundations move less on sand. In the case of a failed test, the next step is to find where the leak actually is. That test is slightly more involved, but still not dangerous to the system. An Isolation Test is what should be scheduled next, and this test finds the actual source of the leak. It’s smart to have a different plumber perform this test to eliminate the possible suspicion of an intentional failed test to get more business (as the isolation test is far more expensive).
The entire inspection/hydrostatic test takes roughly 20 minutes. Like a ninja in the night, you may not even know they were there! Our local plumbers are knowledgeable, true professionals who are happy to answer your questions or concerns.
Note: This test typically costs around $85, and only a licensed plumber is to perform this inspection.
Did you know? A hydrostatic test is DIFFERENT than a static test. They are sometimes accidentally interchangeably used in casual conversation regarding the plumbing inspection, and there’s where some confusion can occur in terms of whether pressure is put on your system during a hydrostatic test. A STATIC test is what indicates pressure, and you can do it yourself – it’s a gauge that you can purchase at any hardware store that you screw on to your hose bib. Then, turn the water on and the gage will tell you how much pressure it is outputting. Don’t let a static test be confused with a hydrostatic test.
Your home is likely your largest asset, and therefore, deserves special attention at tax time. Be sure you’re handling them correctly this year, using these tips!
Deduct from the correct year:
Here, we’re billed in arrears on our taxes, which can be confusing when taking the tax deduction. You’ll want to be sure to enter the amount you actually paid in that tax year, no matter what the date on your tax bill says. Because of this, it can be easy to confuse your payments and actually claim the incorrect amount.
Note: If taxes were paid from your escrow account, do not just deduct the amount escrowed. That’s because sometimes the amount you pay from this account can be a little bit higher or a little bit lower. Your lender will align the two to make sure they end up matching.
For example: Your property taxes were $6,000. Your lender collected $5,800. Or, maybe your lender collected $6,200. You’ll deduct $6,000, the actual taxes paid. This number will be the amount noted on your Form 1098.
Deduct your mortgage interest:
A home mortgage interest deduction allows you, the taxpayers who owns your home, to write off any interest you paid on a loan secured by your home (main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan. This allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of interest paid on the loan.
Note: You must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), and prove your mortgage is a secured debt on a qualified home in which you own.
Exceptions: You cannot deduct mortgage interest on a mortgage that is over $1,000,000, or you have over $100,000 in home equity debt.
If you’ve refinanced, you’ll be deducting points over the life of your new loan (as opposed to your regular mortgage, where you’ve been deducting points based on what you paid your lender to secure your mortgage over the course of your loan’s life – 15 years, 30 years…)
For example: Let’s say you paid $3,000 in points for a refinance of 30 years. You’ll divide 3,000 by 30 and pay $100 a year.
If you made any energy improvements, such as installing solar electric, solar water heater, geothermal, any energy-efficient systems…you may be able to take a 10% tax credit up to a certain dollar amount. However, these are one-time credits. If you claimed your new energy-efficient windows last year, you can’t do it again.
Note: See Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits
Don’t forget to:
- Keep track of your home-related expenses.
- Track your capital gains (If you sold your main home last year, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on your profit from that sale). Keep your receipts as long as you own the property plus three years.
- Deduct your home office (If you’re eligible, you can deduct $5 per sq. ft. up to 300 feet, or up to $1,500 a year).
- Keep your mortgage payoff statements forever. You never know when you may need that proof.
- Keep your appraisal or valuation used to calculate depreciation as long as you’re the owner plus three years.
- Keep your property tax payment, year-end mortgage statement, PMI payment, and energy tax credit receipt for three years after the due date of the return showing the deduction.
It’s no longer just a refinance tool, but now also for use with purchases!
First let’s review what a reverse mortgage is. It’s a loan available to homeowners who are at least 62 years old, where instead of making monthly payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to the borrower. The idea is to aid elders and retirees who have wealth in their homes, but have limited income, to cover their basic living expenses and health care expenses.
BUT there is a new program that we should know about. It is called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase product. This can greatly enhance the real estate service options we can offer our senior customers who would like to purchase a new home while still maintaining their retirement goals. Many mortgage companies in our Coastal Bend now have departments offering this option, which could be valuable for many seniors looking to relocate closer to family members, downsize, upgrade, or move to an active adult community.
This is an exciting option for qualified homeowners who are purchasing a home. This mortgage option allows homeowners to keep the home in their name while not having any monthly payments.
If you are 62 or older, will use the home as your primary residence, have no federal debt delinquency, can pay annual property taxes and homeowners insurance, vow to keep the property presentable, the property meets FHA guidelines, and agree to participate in a counseling session, YOU are qualified!
So how does it work?
When bundling the HECM with a new home purchase, the buyer can buy the property by mixing the HECM loan proceeds along with the proceeds from their previous home sale and/or savings to complete the transaction.
For example: Charlie is looking to downsize. He receives $700,000 from the sale of his home. He buys a home for $300,000. HECM loans Charlie $160,000 ($10,000 to cover closing costs). Charlie puts $150,000 as his downpayment. The remaining $400,000 goes straight into Charlie’s pocket!
- It involves financing that doesn’t require monthly principal and interest mortgage payments
- It includes increased purchasing power for those who are upsizing or downsizing
- It has a streamlined closing process as the buyers are purchasing and getting a HECM all in one transaction
- It may include supplemental income to support a better retirement, including a growing line-of-credit
Just like other loans, the HECM loan must be repaid. But it is unlike traditional loans in that this repayment isn’t due until the owner has sold the home, no longer uses it as their primary residence, or passes away. When one of these scenarios occurs, the HECM and any accrued interest and mortgage insurance must be paid, but the perk is that the homeowner will never pay more than the home’s market value at the time of repayment.
So run, don’t walk! Your dream retirement home is waiting…
COLLEGE STATION – Recent home price indices (HPI) all indicate another increase in Texas home prices, a trend that will likely continue for a while, says an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
CoreLogic’s HPI, one of several key indicators that center researchers track, showed an 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in Texas home prices in February. Prices in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown and Dallas-Plano-Irving increased 10.4 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
“As long as inventory stays tight, and as long as demand stays high relative to supply, we’re going to keep seeing these kinds of priceincreases,” said Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. Center data show statewide housing inventory in February was at 3.1 months. Houston’s inventory was at 2.7 months in February, while Dallas was at 1.8 months. An inventory of 6.5 months is generally considered a balanced market.
While the shortage of pre-owned single-family homes on the market is contributing to the market’s tightness, Gaines said there’s also a lack of new product.
“Home builders have not been building houses as fast as they have in the past,” he said. “They’re doing the best they can, but that growth is not adding to the total inventory.”
Gaines said the demand for new homes is still there, thanks to economic growth, job growth and people moving to Texas. The biggest problem is the lack of lot inventory and land development.
“Historically, Texas housing markets have maintained a good balance of supply and demand because our building industry could build houses fairly easily, fairly quickly and fairly cheaply compared with other states,” he said. “Land costs and labor costs were lower. The Texas land development model simply worked. But financing for land development and lot development dried up between 2009 and 2013, so all of a sudden there’s this shortage, and it’s going to take several years for that to get unraveled.”
Another problem is the effect local regulatory controls and impact fees are having on builders.
“The demand for goods and services provided by local governments has increased along with the population,” Gaines said. “The cost of those goods and services has also increased, and governments are faced with the problem of how to pay for them.
So they’re passing some of those costs on to developers in the form of regulatory costs, permitting fees, platting fees, direct impact fees for roads and utilities and that sort of thing. So all of our costs are going up.”
VIA – For more from Gaines on the Texas housing market, listen to the April 8 episode of the Real Estate Red Zone podcast (“All Housing, All the Time”). It’s online at http://www.recenter.tamu.edu/podcast/
In today’s competitive real estate market in Corpus Christi, some agents are offering to cut their commissions in an attempt to attract more business. The truth is that they want to be listing agents. Here are some questions to ask before listing your home with an agent who’s willing to take a “pay cut” to work with you:
WHAT IS THE REAL ESTATE AGENT‘S PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR CUTTING THEIR COMMISSION? In all likelihood, it’s because they are in a position where they simply need the business that badly. Do you really want to trust the sale of your property to someone who is desperate for your business? There is a difference between WANTING your business and NEEDING your business.
IF YOUR PROPERTY DOESN’T SELL, WHAT HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED? There is a difference between listing a property and selling a property. What the agent didn’t tell you is that they will make less money selling your property than if they sell another property on the market. You want an agent who’s going to be excited about bringing you an offer.
WHICH SERVICES ARE THEY GOING TO CUT? If you cut your commission, then you have to cut service. Many factors come into play in finding the right buyer who’s willing to pay your price. To get top price for a property, you need as many services for you as you can possibly get.
WOULD YOU REALLY BE EXCITED ABOUT A 15% PAY CUT? A 1% reduction in commission equals more than 15% of the total commission or 60% of the selling agents commission. How can the agent really be excited about working for you? Is the agent being honest with you when he or she tells you that they’re excited about getting the property sold?
ARE THEY GOING TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER BROKERS? What are they going to pay the other brokers? Why are those brokers going to be excited about taking a 15% pay cut? To get top price for your property, you need to have all brokers in the marketplace excited about selling it.
IS THE REAL ESTATE AGENT A SKILLED NEGOTIATOR? If the other broker is willing to let you negotiate them out of 15% or more of their income from the sale of your property, will they also let the buyer negotiate 15% or more from the purchase price of your property? What is that other broker’s sale price to list price ratio? You might be costing yourself tens of thousands of dollars by trying to save a couple thousand dollars in commissions.
What’s the most important thing to you in the sale of your home? Is it paying a lower commission, or is it getting “top dollar for your home?” We are in the business of “protecting” the financial interest of our sellers, and want you to receive top dollar for your property, at Coastline Properties it is our mission to insure that you receive the absolute best buyer for your home!
CORPUS CHRISTI – Plunging oil prices may be a relief for Coastal Bend residents at the pumps, but they’re having little influence on rents or mortgage payments.
Experts predict the falling price of crude will force housing costs in energy-dependent Corpus Christi to drop at some point.
That day won’t come in 2015, they say.
The housing market in Corpus Christi is perhaps the tightest it has ever been for both potential renters and those looking to buy a home. Things won’t change for the rest of the year, despite a rush on home and apartment construction, said Jim Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Oil field workers who lived in apartments in Corpus Christi are moving to Alice, Cotulla and other small towns within the energy play to be closer to work, said Melissa Gomez, a broker for AAA Apartment Locating in Corpus Christi. Others have been moving out of higher-end luxury apartments and into older, more-affordable complexes to cut costs.
The exodus has created hundreds of apartment vacancies since November, but rent prices remain unchanged. Instead of lowering rents, property managers have eased move-in criteria to insure occupancy. Applicants with credit and rental-history blemishes and those whose income is less than three times the cost of rent are no longer being disqualified for apartments.
“We’ll see a decline in occupancy rates here and there … but they (complexes) won’t empty out,” Gomez said.
The average price of homes in Corpus Christi hit a record high of $207,700 in December, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That same month, the asking rent for a typical apartment in the city was 25 percent higher than it was just four years ago.
Five recently completed apartment complexes have been cleared since March to take in tenants. Another dozen are in various stages of construction and are due to open in coming months.
The Corpus Christi area’s apartment occupancy rate was 92.5 percent in December, according to ALN Apartment Data, a Carrollton-based firm that tracks rental property trends. That’s down from 94.3 percent in November and the record months of December and April, when occupancy hit 95.2 percent.
Average rent in Corpus Christi in December was between $842 and $880, an ALN report said, though it’s not uncommon for newer complexes to ask for more than $1,100 for a one-bedroom home.
Corpus Christi’s low unemployment has been a magnet for thousands of job seekers in the past three years, most of them eyeing work in the Eagle Ford Shale energy play. The trend has slowed recently as energy companies have scaled back shale production, even shaved jobs, trying to remain profitable.
Falling oil prices and cutbacks in shale oil production by energy companies will put “downward pressure” on the local housing market, Lee said. However, the majority of newly constructed apartments are likely to be absorbed by students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and personnel from the nearby Naval air station.
“The overall housing market in Corpus Christi, including single-family rental houses, will likely soften up after reaching its current peak, but the market for apartments might continue to be tight at least the rest of the year,” Lee said.
Apartment occupancy in Corpus Christi in January 2010 was 89 percent, and average rent was about $700.
Warren Andrich, CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, was optimistic about the home sales market, while conceding more rental property was needed in the city.
The Real Estate Center reported that 375 homes were sold in Corpus Christi in December, typically a slow sales month.
The Coastal Bend’s economy, though heavily influenced by the energy industry, is diverse enough to support an increase in housing, Andrich said.
Although homes values are increasing and are being sold at or near their asking prices, Corpus Christi’s inventory of affordable homes — those priced between $125,000-$165,000 — is less than 300 units.
“These are all indicators that we were in need of the additional rentals coming on the market,” Andrich said.
Corpus Christi Apartment Market (December 2014)
Occupancy Rate: 92.5 percent
Asking Rent: $880
Effective Rent: $873
Average Apt. Size: 850 square feet
Average Market Rent Breakdown By Floor Plan
1 Bedroom, $753
2 Bedroom, $944
3 Bedroom, $1,084
4 Bedrooms +, $2,181
Source: ALN Apartment Data
Housing Activity (Annual figures)
Year No. of sales Average price Median Price Months of inventory
2004 4,745 $132,100 $113,800 4.6
2005 4,894 $147,300 $125,200 5.0
2006 5,192 $153,300 $130,400 6.2
2007 4,510 $162,000 $136,500 7.4
2008 3,773 $162,200 $138,900 9.0
2009 3,444 $155,500 $134,800 10.2
2010 3,445 $152,300 $136,500 10.3
2011 3,396 $157,500 $135,700 9.5
2012 4,058 $169,900 $142,300 7.1
2013 4,589 $180,700 $152,200 5.3
2014 4,721 $197,100 $168,600 4.5
Source: Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University.
Whether you’re trying to get the best price at the flea market, ask for a higher salary, or buy a new car, having good negotiating skills is important. Luckily, during a real estate transaction, you have a hired professional to do the tough stuff for you! Whether you are buying or selling, your agent should be representing your needs and wants through this fine art of negotiating.
Some may believe that negotiations are “all or nothing.” That one party wins over the other. This could not be further from the truth. While the goal of negotiation is most certainly getting what you want, the fact is that the best deals incorporate terms from both sides.
First, think about what you want to achieve from the process. Make a list of what you want from the negotiation and why. This helps determine what would cause you to walk away so you can build your strategy within acceptable terms. Try, also, to understand what your counterpart’s motivations are as this is equally as important. By studying the other side’s goals, it may help you frame your own by realizing that there’s a solution for you both. The single most important tool you and your agent have is preparedness. Communicating with each other the main goals and why they’re the goals gives your agent the best negotiating power there is. Follow these steps:
1. Establish a fair sales price. Your agent should run a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you to assess what a fair asking price is based on other sales in the area.
2. Establish what you can afford. If you’re buying, your agent should be able to help you with this a bit, and if you’re working with a lender they will be invaluable here. If you’re selling, what is your bottom line?
3. Decide what other things would be a deal breaker. Price is typically the most important factor. However, it may also be a deal breaker if you’re selling and you cannot afford to pay the buyer’s closing costs at their request, or you’re the buyer and your insurance requires a windstorm certificate that the home doesn’t have.
4. As a buyer, when it comes to inspections, negotiating repairs can become just as important as presenting the offer itself. If the home you’re seeking isn’t advertised as being sold “As Is” then you likely have some negotiating powers when it comes to repairs.
5. Try not to get emotional. This is a tough one as a home is personal. And if you get too emotional, you may make an exception to your goals. But your agent is there to represent you, your goals and to make it about business so this doesn’t happen.
From there, your licensed Real Estate Agent should be able to clearly communicate your desires. It’s your agent’s job to ensure you are represented correctly, fairly, and your voice is heard! It’s all about collaborating to meet both ends, making it a “win/win” situation.
What should you look for in an agent? These characteristics may be beneficial: An active listener, someone with a reputation of getting along with others, someone with a mild-mannered and optimistic personality, and a clear but firm communicator.
So sit back, and let US work for YOU. If you’re feeling like your agent is trying too hard to convince you to forgo your main goals, then perhaps it’s not the right fit. There’s a solution to every problem. Think outside the box, discuss rather than argue, and don’t forget, it never hurts to ASK!
Summer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.
Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.
The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:
1. Tax savings
If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.
2. Motivated sellers
Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.
3. Builder incentives
If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.
4. Available movers
Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.
5. Paying toward something you own
If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.
6. Consistent payments
Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.
7. Freedom to renovate
Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”
8. Gaining equity
In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.
WHY USE A LOCAL REALTOR?
This question probably prods every seller at one point or another…it’s your property, aren’t you the best suited to sell it? Perhaps. Then again, let me explain why maybe not. As a buyer, it’s just as critical to use a local Realtor. It comes down to the three Ts: Tools, Training, Transaction-Related Matters.
Real estate agents have tools, and they don’t come in a box or on a belt. One of these tools is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a system paid for by agents to showcase listings to all other agents. It also allows us to see and search every other property for sale, along with what’s closed, what’s under contract, etc…always in real time. Because the MLS dates back decades, it is trend and individual property history at our fingertips. It gives agents the unique ability to create a comparative market analysis on your property with the knowledge we have from recent closures. As a tight-knit community, we have a network of other agents and a network of title company experts who keep us up-to-date on changes to contracts and changes to the law. We are vested in the community where we live and work, and where you want to live or sell. We are familiar with the local market, building guidelines, and numerous specifications that our seaside area requires.
OK, it sounds like we’re running a marathon, but seriously, sometimes a real estate transaction feels like one! Real Estate Agents went to a school focused specifically on real estate and can help you navigate the (sometimes rough) terrain. Both a national and a state required exam must be passed to become licensed. Pricing, contract paperwork, real estate finance and law, these are all areas we’re proficient in and experts at. Likewise, we’re required to continue our education with a certain number of hours each year to ensure we stay informed and updated on the ever-changing regulations occurring in this industry. Also, not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors are properly called REALTORS and can proudly display that trademark on marketing and sales literature.
This comes down to the meat and potatoes of it all, concerning the contract itself, to the negotiations, to possible repair work, to closing details, and every possible scenario in between. It also heavily involves our Code of Ethics – for over 100 years, this code ensures agents treat their clients professionally and ethically. These ethics are strictly enforced, and you know you will be working with a true professional who focuses on your needs and wants. Your agent is accountable for fulfilling their full “fiduciary responsibilities” to you (has your best interest in mind from finances to full disclosure to confidentiality). Realtors are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor again.
The best agent I know once told me, “You’ve done your job if you’ve made it look easy.” So I invite you to relax…have a lemonade…allow us to make the process appear as seamless as possible.