The benefits of shopping for a home in late summer

Year in and year out, spring and summer are the busiest home buying seasons. And each year, home buying activity starts to slow down in August and September. Many people time household moves during summer vacations and want to be settled into their new homes when school starts again for their children. That’s exactly why late summer/early fall can be a great time to shop for a home.

Research shows that historically, due to the seasonal slowdown in demand, the supply of available properties tends to start to increase in late summer. Real estate website Zillow.com has found that in housing markets nationwide, listings tend to climb in August and the highest share of listings with at least one price reduction most often occur in August and September.

In addition, the inventory of homes available for sale typically peaks in August, declining into fall and through winter and not increasing again until the spring home buying season begins again.

It’s also important to keep in mind that although mortgage rates are up from record lows, they remain low by historical standards. Low mortgage rates stretch your home buying dollars. Thinking about buying a home? Start your home buying journey with us.

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

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You’re in a multiple-offer situation. Now what?

You found a home your family loves. But you’re not the only one who wants it. What’s the best way to make an offer on a home that other buyers are vying for as well? Here are some ways to put your best foot forward:

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Sometimes, multiple offers got me like…

Start off with your best offer. This isn’t the time to start with a lowball offer and wait for the seller to mak

e a counteroffer before you offer more. If you have competition, you’ll want to consider making your best offer right off the bat. That said, don’t let a multiple offer situation push you into offering more than you’re comfortable paying.

Make sure you’re pre-approved. Make sure you’re pre-approved for a home loan before you start your home search, not just prequalified. Attach your pre-approval letter to your offer.

Don’t skimp on earnest money. An adequate earnest money deposit is a sign that you’re serious about buying the home.

Don’t waive the home inspection. In multiple offer situations, it’s easy to get caught up in the competition and do whatever it takes to win. To stand out, some buyers will even elect to not make a professional home inspection a contingency of their offer. Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process and can help you spot costly problems.

Relax. There are so many parts of a multiple offer situation you have no control over, so try not to let the stress get to you!

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

What to expect when an appraisal comes up short

32498400 - mortgage concept. isolated on white background 3dThe appraisal is an important part of the home buying process. But what happens if the appraisal comes up short of the agreed-upon selling price?

Here’s an example: A home is listed for sale for $350,000. It’s a multiple bidding situation, so you offer a higher price of $370,000 to gain an edge over other buyers. Your offer is accepted by the seller. However, your lender’s appraisal comes back and it shows the value of the home is only $350,000. That means the lender is only going to provide you with a loan based on that amount.

When an appraisal comes in lower than expected, home buyers have a few choices. If you really want the home and have the cash on hand, you could make up the difference with a larger downpayment. You also could try to negotiate a lower selling price. The seller doesn’t have to lower the selling price, of course, and will understandably be reluctant to do so. In some cases, the buyer and seller each give a little, with the seller lowering the price and the buyer making a larger downpayment.

Another option is to see if it’s possible to order a second independent appraisal or to appeal the existing appraisal. Your lender can let you know if there’s any type of appraisal review process. You and your real estate agent will have to analyze the appraisal to make sure the appraiser included all relevant comparable sales on the report

Lastly, if you have an appraisal contingency in your offer, you have the option of walking away. It’s a last-ditch option if all other efforts fail.

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

Swap dat addy! (aka- A quick and easy way to change your address…)

Part of the moving process is changing your address so that all of your bank statements, bills, magazines and other mail goes to your new home. The quickest and easiest way to do that is to hop online and go to the U.S. Postal Service website. You’ll need to verify your identity by using a credit card, and you’ll be charged $1, but the change can be done in minutes, and without leaving home. (You also can go into a post office and make the change without using a credit card.)

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Give these guys a break. Change your addy! (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

After your change of address is processed online, mail sent to your old address will start going to your new home. The USPS mail forwarding service lasts one year for most first-class mail. Magazines are forwarded for 60 days.

Certain classes of mail, however, will not forward to your new address through a change-of-address request. Companies and organizations you’ll need to contact directly to change your address include banks and credit unions, mortgage companies, insurance companies and utility companies. Don’t forget to notify the Internal Revenue Service and the motor vehicle department as well that you’ve moved.

 

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

New homes can be jacked up too!

“New car smell” is divine, but nothing quite like the smell — and look — of a newly-built home. Pristine carpets, unblemished walls, the smell of freshly-cut lumber lingering in the air — it’s hard to beat the excitement of taking ownership of a brand-new property.

Everything looks great, and you have been involved in the construction process every step of the way. Why would you need a home inspection?

Lewis
Lewis, my ballin’ home inspector!

Home inspectors are trained to spot problem areas, and identify issues that could cost you time and money down the line. Building a home is a massive undertaking, much like fitting together a big jigsaw puzzle. It involves many different trades, from plumbers and roofers to HVAC technicians and concrete masons. When should the inspection take place? Your home inspector may want to take a look at specific times during construction and when the home is completed.

A comprehensive home inspection is always a good idea, whether your house is the NKOTB (anyone?) or a centuries-old pillar of the neighborhood.

 

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

February Market Update! (January’s numbers…and 2016 Wrap-up!)…from the Outback!

February Market Update! (January’s numbers…and 2016 Wrap-up!)…from the Outback!

Wow!  It’s been a wild and crazy start to the year!  I’ve been focusing (apart from normal business activities) a lot on trying to get all of my blog posts cleaned up and reformatted- starting with the oldest.  After moving brokerages back in October, I also changed blogging platforms and moved all of my YouTube videos over to my personal YouTube account.  Sounds easy, right?  HAH!  So, apologies for the scarcity in new blog posts as of late- but they’re coming!

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Me and my other homies on the board of Austin Young Real Estate Professionals at the Austin Board of Realtors’ (ABOR) event where we celebrated the year that was 2016 and looked forward, with hope, at the prospects of 2017 with the installation of our new ABOR President, Brandie Guthrie.  Woohoo!

In light of that, what better way to come back than with a 2016 year-end wrap-up!  Unless you’ve been living under an enchanted rock, you know that 2016 was a nutty year in Austin real estate.  You’re either feeling squeezed by rising rental rates or rising property taxes.

It’s a catch-22 really.  I mean, we love Austin because it’s an amazing city to live in.  Almost no one can deny that.  However, because it’s such an amazing city, the number of people wanting/willing to relocate here is ever-increasing.  For those of you feeling the financial squeeze of housing costs, I hate to tell you- but I think the pressure will continue for a while.  The good news:  I don’t think the acceleration of the intensity will be quite like it has been the past few years.

Check out the video below where I break down Austin’s most recent market numbers for the month of January.  Additionally, I go over the stats for 2016 as a whole and attempt to take stock of where the heck we’re at with the housing market in this sweet town.  (If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)

 

 

Barrett Raven
barrettraven@gmail.com
512.970.2648

Math Lesson! (September’s Market Stats Update for August)

The Austin Board of Realtors just released the newest round of stats for the month of August.  Check out the video below where I break down (what I think are) the most important take-aways!  Everyone knows this market is a bit nutty.  But how nutty is it, you ask?  Watch the video and judge for yourself!

If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel.