8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

endofyearrealtorSummer 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.

via Realtor.com

WHY USE A LOCAL PADRE ISLAND REALTOR?

Local-Realtors-corpus-christi

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.

Tools:

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.

Training:

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.

Transaction-Related Matters:

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.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS

foreclosures

Foreclosures: There’s something about them that makes ears perk up. A “good deal” is hard to ignore…but what are the foreclosure auctions all about? Here are some tips and tricks if you ever find yourself with a paddle in your hand, bidding on your very own foreclosure.

1. Bring the funds with you. This must be in the form of cash or a cashier’s check

No personal checks, pre-approval letter, or your mom’s famous coffee cake. These simply won’t cut it.

Because you pay directly on the spot upon winning, you don’t want to overpay as it will take approximately 30 days to get that refund. Instead, if you’re coming with a cashier’s check, come with multiple denominations so that you can add them together to create the appropriate amount. Also, have them made out to you so you can deposit the left over checks back into your bank account. If you win, you simply sign them over.

If, however, you are in an auction online, you have a bit longer to come up with the funds.

*Some companies charge a percentage of the final sales price as a buyer’s fee. Be sure to ask about this, or read the fine print.

2. Do your research: Foreclosures are sold “AS IS, WHERE IS, NO PROMISE OF ANYTHING.”

There is no guarantee of a clear title, functioning plumbing, electrical, structural issues, etc. You must do your due diligence to make sure you know what you may be purchasing. Liens on properties are public record and can be found online or at the local courthouse.

3. Opening bid does not necessarily mean you can get the property at that price.

This number is normally set by the foreclosing lender, and is usually the estimated loan amount owed to the lender. Sometimes, the opening bid is simply an estimated minimum by law that includes only taxes delinquent on the date of judgment, or a number that the creditor believes will spark interest. This minimum bid can be just a tool to get the bidding ball rolling  – but if the bids do not reach the creditors bottom line, then the property will not sell and will go back to the creditor to do with it what they choose.

4. Purchasing an occupied foreclosure.

If the homeowner does not vacate the property after the foreclosure sale, you as the new owner, must give them a formal notice to move out. If they do not, you have the right to bring on an eviction lawsuit. If the person occupying the property is a tenant of the former owner, a different form of action must be taken. There are certain laws that actually protect these types of tenants. It all comes back to doing your research before you purchase so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

5. If you’re the one bidding, you’re the one buying.

There is an exception: By signing a Power of Attorney, you may appoint a representative to bid for you. Sometimes, auction companies may offer live remote bidding by telephone through an auction representative or has live Internet bidding capabilities. There are options if you are unable to attend an auction.

6. If the auction begins at 10, be there before 10., the first Tuesday of every month, at the county courthouse.

Auctions in Texas are the first Tuesday of every month, on the south side of the County Courthouse. The auction may only last 10 minutes total, so be timely, or you may miss the whole thing!

With that said, Texas law requires a three hour window from the time given on the auction notice and when the auction actually happens.

 

If Corpus Christi foreclosures are something that interest you, final words of advice would be: Save your money, do your research, and don’t be late! Happy bidding!

It’s a new year, but what’s in? New vs. Existing Homes

North Padre Island (Upper Padre Island)

….started developing in the 70’s, and with Schlitterbahn on the horizon, the island is becoming more and more desirable to purchase. It seems like building your dream home has been on the upward trend. But what are the advantages of an existing home? A buyer has one of two options: Embrace the new or embrace the existing. Here are some variables that outline the pros of each!

Character and Uniqueness

New: Build the character that you want! Do you like the bay windows of a Victorian, the half-timbering of a Tudor, and a central chimney of a Colonial home? You have the liberty to mix and match!

Existing: You get true history, vintage hardware, and maybe a hidden crawl space! Personality shines through, as this house is less likely to look like your neighbors.

Bang for your buck

New: If you’re building, you can choose which materials to splurge on, and where to cut costs. Go for brick on the exterior, but laminate floors on the interior. If a huge crystal chandelier in your entry reigns supreme, consider offsetting your must-haves with less expensive detailing in other areas.

Existing: You can often get a larger, older home for less per square foot than you might pay in a new home. Looking to gain a little profit? Flip it!

Quality Craftsmanship

New: Builders have fine-tuned their skills and in a timely manner! The average 3-bedroom house can go up in about 3 months. Here, you can get efficiency, and have it done quickly.

Existing: In years past, craftsmanship was an art and materials are more likely to be the real deal: Brick, hardwood floors, custom molding.

Desirable Location

New: You have options! There are lots to buy, or houses to renovate or demolish. With the right vision and plan, you can have the location of your dreams.

Existing: More times than not, the fabulous locations were snatched up a long time ago. Location, location, location. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But that’s because it’s important! Here on Padre, the first homes built probably have the best views and biggest lots.

Test of Time

New: You don’t have to wonder how previous owners treated the property. If you maintain your home and property, it is probably going to last you a very long time. The ball is in your courtyard!

Existing: If the home is still standing, something was done right! This goes hand in hand with the craftsmanship. If properly built, that house will last to see many generations play capture the flag and to host decades of turkey dinners.

Landscaping

New: You have a blank canvas! Plant the trees, bushes, and flowers that you want to see grow over the years. Prefer the maintenance free kind of yard? Rock out with a rock garden.

Existing: Mature landscaping can be a huge advantage to buyers and sellers. It takes many years for trees to grow big! The older the home, the bigger the trees.They provide privacy, shade, curb appeal, and heck, they can even increase the value of the home!

Grandfather Clauses

New: Your home will be up-to-date with all the most recent requirements.

Existing: When a new zoning ordinance or code comes into effect, these older homes will likely be granted a grandfather clause, meaning they are not in violation of the law. For instance, you may be given a grandfathered rate of flood insurance in a place where the risk of flood has since increased. Always ask about grandfather clauses on an older property – you may be pleasantly surprised by what advantages you have over your neighbors!

There is so much to consider, and lots of options awaiting you on Padre Island. Best of luck in your adventures!

Truth about the Option Period in a Real Estate Contract!

Did you know?

Did you know the standard contract for buying a home in Texas contains a clause for an Option Period?

The Option Period is the time during which the buyer can cancel the contract for any reason, without penalties. A buyer pays for the option period, usually a small amount of $100 and for a standard of 10 days. During this 10 days, the buyer can run inspections and negotiate any repairs with the seller. If an agreement cannot be made, the buyer can back out of the contract with only losing the $100. If the buyer does purchase the property, the $100 is credited to them at closing.

One thing that many realtors, buyers and sellers often question is when the option period starts. A contract is executed and binding when both parties agree and have both signed the contract. This is considered the executed date which is written into the contract above the sellers and buyers signatures. The option period starts the next day.

Example: If a buyer and seller agree and sign on November 20, 2013, the option period would start on November 21, 2013 and end at midnight on November 30, 2013.

An option period is the best money a buyer can spend when purchasing a home!

Recent Market Data For North Padre Island

North Padre Island Real EstateDID YOU KNOW??

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PADRE ISLAND AS OF MARCH 1, 2013

Waterfront Homes / Lots

There are currently 1,917 waterfront homes built on Padre Island.

There are only 189 waterfront lots left to be built on, on Padre Island.

Water Access Homes / Lots

There are currently 1,336 water access homes built on Padre Island.

There are only 1,017 water access lots left to build on, on Padre Island.

If you are even thinking about owning or building on Padre Island in the next 6-12 months we feel there is some urgency as to atleast get fully informed about the current market.  As all the new commercial developments continue here, the cost of Real Estate could go up dramatically within 24 months.  We are here to answer your questions and help you to secure your spot in Paradise, Give us a Call Today at (361) 949 – 0101.

Data provided by Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.

Want to SEARCH all Property available in the MLS in Real TIME?  GET our BRAND NEW SMARTPHONE APP for FREE >> Click HERE

 
 
 





Corpus Christi Real Estate Market Rebounds Since 2007 Slump!

CORPUS CHRISTI REAL ESTATE PRICES

Gains in existing home sales and median prices during the past three months have lifted the Coastal Bend’s housing market to its highest levels since the local housing slump began in 2007.
Sales closed between April and June numbered 1,172 units, or about a 19 percent increase compared to the same time in 2011, according to figures from the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.

The median sales price also has risen by more than 8 percent compared with 2011 to $145,367, figures show.

Housing inventory — measured as the amount of time it would take to sell all available existing homes — has dropped almost by half to 5.6 months in June compared with 10 months in June 2011.

There was a monthly average of about 2,200 homes for resale on the area’s housing market during the period, figures show.

The increased buying activity spans all price ranges, said Char Atnip, a residential Realtor and chairman of the realtors association board.

SEARCH THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE IN REAL TIME >>>CLICK HERE

“There’s a lot more people who are looking simply because interest rates are so low and prices have not skyrocketed, and it’s a great time to buy a home,” Atnip said.

New home construction activity has also increased compared to 2011.

In Corpus Christi, data from the city’s Development Services department shows there have been 449 permits issued this year for new residential construction through June, up 61 percent from the first six months of 2011.

The permits have an associated project cost of more than $82 million, figures show.

All but one of those permits is for single-family homes, with one being issued for an eight-unit building.

In all of 2011, the city logged 660 new construction permits for projects totaling more than $118 million

The local figures are similar to momentum building in many areas of the country, with builders beginning to respond to growing buyer interest.

U.S. builders broke ground on the most homes in nearly four years in June, The Associated Press reported this week.

MARKET OUTLOOK

The housing inventory of less than six months is approaching the five-month mark, which is what the area experienced during the housing boom between 2004 and 2006, said Jim Lee, economics professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

A normal inventory for the Corpus Christi market is about seven months.

Low inventories typically trigger increased prices as supply dips and demand increases.

Home building can also increase, which is good for local economies, because it generates activity that isn’t exported to other areas, Lee said.

During the area’s most recent housing boom period, construction outpaced the area’s growth rate, which contributed to the slump, Lee said.

Source: Corpus Christi Association of Realtors via Caller Times. Read the original at housing market or housing or home sales, – Google News.

Padre Island Real Estate Facts – Did You Know??

corpus christi real estate facts 2012We have had many people ask for this information over the past 90 days, so we thought it would be very helpful for all to see how Padre Island is growing by leaps and bounds.  The Island is getting set for another major expansion, are you ready to take advantage of all of the great investment opportunities out there?
 
 
 

Padre Island Facts as of 6/28/2012:

197 vacant single family waterfront lots remaining – – 1,805 have homes on them

1065 vacant single family water access/dry lots remaining – – 1,399 have homes on them

99 vacant multifamily waterfront lots remaining – – 145 have been built on

151 vacant multifamily water access/dry lots remaining – – 75 have been built on

18 vacant duplex waterfront lots remaining – – 78 have been built on

39 vacant duplex water access/dry lots remaining – 65 have been built on

Give Us a Call Today, so we can talk with you about the incredible Real Estate Opportunities Available on Padre Island, TX.