BUYING A HOME: IT IS MORE THAN JUST THE MONEY

 

            There are many reasons people can give you arguing that this is a good time to buy a home-  low interest rates… low prices and great supply of homes compared to a few years ago.  Why money seems to be a good reason to buy a home, let us remember buying a home is more than about money.

            Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey showed some interest responses to why people buy a home.  Here the top four reasons given for people buying a home:

  • It means having a good place to raise children and provide them a good education
  • You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  •  It allows you to have more space for your family
  • It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

 

This goes to show you that a house is more than bricks and mortar, and than buying a house is more than dollars and  cents.  No, a home is a helpful ingredient toward a better quality of life.   Have a great week.  Go buy or sell a house.—Randy Wall, Lora Lee Properties

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Something We Don't Talk About in Real Estate

Today, I want to write about a subject that we don’t talk much about in the real estate business.  That subject is crime.    Whether you are a home buyer, home seller, real estate investor, or realtor, there are  dangers inherent in the way that people buy and sell houses that can one suspectible to becoming a crime victim.     For the real estate investor or realtor, you might find yourself at a home with someone you do not know or hardly know.  For the home seller, you have people      (prospective buyers) you do not know going through your home while you are either away or not keeping an eye on them.    It is possible they could be interested in not “getting your home at a steal” but  stealing valuables from your home.    While I don’t want to appear an alarmist, I also want to say that crime is an increasing issue for those in the real estate business that we need to be aware of.     I know from personal experience that the continuing education class for North Carolina real estate brokers focused some on this issue last year.     While I am not a crime expert or a law enforcement professional, here are a few things one can do to minimize their risk:  

If possible, have someone with you if you are with a buyer, seller, or a real estate professional you do not know;  if that is not possible, let someone else know where you will be and who you will be with

If you are a real estate professional, consider getting a copy of a photo identification before being alone with a client

Keep your cell phone on your person or nearby at all times in case you need to call

If you are a home owner, prepare wisely for a home showing by making sure that valuables are “out of sight” of prospective home buyers and make sure prescription medications are somewhere other than the bathroom medical cabinet (that might be a temptation for drug addicts)

Keep your keys with you at all times.   Keys can be used as weapons to attackers, and a panic button that you can punch on your keyless entry can get someone else’s attention.

Pay attention to your feelings.  If you do not feel right being with someone, vacate the premises and the property as quickly as possible.  

Be careful out there.  Now, go buy or sell a house.-  Randy Wall, Lora Lee Properties

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Motivated Sellers: As Close as Your Local Newspaper

Today, I want to share some ways to find motivated sellers of homes  in your local newspaper.  Sellers need buyers, and buyers need sellers.    Your local newspaper might be a great, inexpensive place to start. 

Look in the classified ads of your local newspaper at homes for sale.    Look for key words like “moving”, “estate sale”, “divorce”, or “vacant”.    If you see any of these key words, the seller is probably very motivated.    Another clue the seller might be very motivated is if the phone number listed is outside your area code.    That might mean they are now living out of town and are out of town property owner.   

 Another area of the newspaper you might want to look is in the ads for yard sales and homes for rent.    If the yard sale mentions anything about estate, then the heirs might be selling the home at a future time.  If you attend that yard sale, you might not only get some great yard sale deals but also your “foot in the door” of a motivated seller.    Homes for rent is also a category to consider as you look for motivated sellers.   It might be that the landlord/ homeowner is tiring of the rental business and might be motivated to sell through a cash offer or even a lease with an option to buy.       

Another way to use the newspaper is to keep your Saturday or Sunday classified ads for several weeks, and then call the phone numbers for homes for sale or rent.    If the homeowner has not had success in renting and/or selling after a few weeks, they might be very motivated to sell. 

Good luck and God bless in your quest.  – Randy Wall, Lora Lee Properties

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Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Credit

Today, I want to write about financing your home purchase.  Let me state from the beginning that I am not a mortgage lender or credit professional, but I have worked with a good number of lenders through the years.        There are only two ways that one can buy a house:  pay cash or through financing.  I have bought homes both ways through the years.   While the best scenario for any home purchaser would be that they were  able to pay cash, most people are not able to do that.

Financing the purchase of a house today is more challenging than four or five years ago.   Requirements by lenders for financing a house purchase are generally more rigid than at that time.      Let me give an example.     The other day, a man shared his regret that a lender could not finance a home he wanted to buy.   The house was 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 2,000 square feet on 2 acres of land.     The deal fell through for the prospective home owner because the house was a mobile home.   

While you cannot change whether a property is a standard home or a mobile home, there was a few things you can do if you are credit challenged.   Here are a few ideas that can improve your credit rating:

PAY DOWN CREDIT CARDS-   Work out a plan to pay down your credit cards.    Begin by paying off the smallest amount you owe on a credit card.  After you have paid off the debt on that card, apply the monies you were using to pay down that card to another card.    Credit professionals say that it best not to have have a credit card balance of over  thirty to thirty-five percent of your credit limit.

STAY PUT-    While you might want to move once you purchase a house, stay put for as long as possible in your current home.     The same also goes for changing jobs.    Moving around  and changing jobs with great frequency sends a message of instability.    Stay put in your home and job.

IF YOU DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE CREDIT….-     Perhaps you currently don’t have any credit cards or debt.    No credit can also be bad.  There a few things you can do to help build your credit.  First, go to your local bank and see if they will let you borrow money secured by money you put in a CD.  While you might have to pay some interest, it will increase your credit standing.  Secondly,  check into getting a secured  credit card.    The credit bureaus will not know whether the credit card is secured or unsecured.    This will help you build or re-build your credit standing. 

Good luck in the process.   Happy home- hunting.-   Randy Wall, Lora Lee Properties

 

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