Calculating Your Asking Price

 

The best answer is get help from a real estate professional. But, if you only have a few minutes for a video, here are five points to consider.

1. Start With Measurement Learn the average per-square-foot price for recent sales in your neighborhood. That will not set your final price, but it is a baseline buyers will use.

2. Get Comparisons Ask for Comparative Market Analysis – comps – from several agents. Go through each comp with each agent to understand both competitive homes on the market AND each agents potential approach to yours.

3. Market Research. Do your own! – not just online, but in person. That will help you understand your market conditions and the buyers perspective realistically. Markets get hot and cold, up and down, and yours defines the sales envelope for your home.

4. Consider All Terms Price isnt all there is to a sale. Can you close faster? Finance or lease-option the sale yourself? Cover some closing costs? Your flexibility can make sales leverage.

5. It is Not Personal. The hardest tip of all. Most people are emotional about their home. Pricing, in the long run, is going to logical. Theyre buying your house,not your home & memories. Find a real estate professional you like and trustand let them help you through the process.

The Impact of Higher Interest Rates

Interest-Rate

Last week, an article in the Washington Post discussed a new ‘threat’ homebuyers will soon be facing: higher mortgage rates. The article revealed:

“The Mortgage Bankers Association expects that rates on 30-year loans could reach 4.8 percent by the end of next year, topping 5 percent in 2017. Rates haven’t been that high since the recession.”

How can this impact the housing market?

The article reported that recent analysis from Realtor.com found that –

“…as many as 7% of people who applied for a mortgage during the first half of the year would have had trouble qualifying if rates rose by half a percentage point.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that those buyers negatively impacted by a rate increase would not purchase a home. However, it would mean that they would either need to come up with substantially more cash for a down payment or settle for a lesser priced home.

Below is a table showing how a jump in mortgage interest rates would impact the purchasing power of a prospective buyer on a $300,000 home.

BuyersPurchasingPower3

In Conclusion

If you are considering a home purchase (either as a first time buyer or move-up buyer), purchasing sooner rather than later may make more sense from a pure financial outlook.

Tired of being a tenant? thinking of selling your home?, looking to upgrade? 1st time buyer(s)? buying your dream home? Call us 786.554.8063 or email us George@GeorgeAssal.com, WE are here to facilitate and help you during the process of buying, selling, or renting any real estate needs, which will result in reaching your financial goals quickly and with ease, visit our page www.GeorgeAssal.com

Applying For A Mortgage: Why So Much Paperwork?

Mortgage-Paperwork

We are often asked why there is so much paperwork mandated by the bank for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today. It seems that the bank needs to know everything about us and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form.

Many buyers are being told by friends and family that the process was a hundred times easier when they bought their home ten to twenty years ago.

There are two very good reasons that the loan process is much more onerous on today’s buyer than perhaps any time in history.

The government has set new guidelines that now demand that the bank prove beyond any doubt that you are indeed capable of affording the mortgage. During the run-up in the housing market, many people ‘qualified’ for mortgages that they could never pay back. This led to millions of families losing their home. The government wants to make sure this can’t happen again
The banks don’t want to be in the real estate business. Over the last seven years, banks were forced to take on the responsibility of liquidating millions of foreclosures and also negotiating another million plus short sales. Just like the government, they don’t want more foreclosures. For that reason, they need to double (maybe even triple) check everything on the application.
However, there is some good news in the situation. The housing crash that mandated that banks be extremely strict on paperwork requirements also allowed you to get a mortgage interest rate probably at or below 4%.

The friends and family who bought homes ten or twenty ago experienced a simpler mortgage application process but also paid a higher interest rate (the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage was 8.12% in the 1990’s and 6.29% in the 2000’s). If you went to the bank and offered to pay 7% instead of <4%, they would probably bend over backwards to make the process much easier.

Bottom Line

Instead of concentrating on the additional paperwork required, let’s be thankful that we are able to buy a home at historically low rates.

Tired of renting and/or being a Tenant(s)? Thinking of selling your home?, looking to upgrade?, First Time buyer(s)? Buying your dream home this year? Call us, you know you can count on our help every step of the way while reaching your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face. 📞786.554.8063 📧George@GeorgeAssal.com 💻 www.GeorgeAssal.com

52% Likely to Buy in the Next 5 Years!! Are You?

Likely to Buy

According to the recently released BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also had other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy

  • 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult a real estate agent
  • 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

Those Who Already Own

  • 75% of current home owners set a budget before looking for a home. 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
  • 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: 8% of those that purchased a home, bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why are More People not Planning their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? A recent article by Fannie Mae may give us that answer, there is evidence that a large numbers of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Perhaps it is time to sit with a us to help you determine the actual equity you have in your house and take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home you and your family has always wanted. Act now give us a call to help you be part of the statistic, while reaching your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face! Call us today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com– you can count on our help every step of the way.

Homeownership is the Key to Well-Being in Retirement

Home-Equity

There has been much talk about homeownership and whether it is a true vehicle for building wealth. A new report looks at the impact owning a home has on the financial wellbeing of people closing in on their retirement years (ages 55-64).

In recently study by the Hamilton Project, Ten Economic Facts about Financial Well-Being in Retirement, it was revealed that:

1. Middle-class households near retirement age have about as much wealth in their homes as they do in their retirement accounts.

“Over the past quarter century the largest single source of wealth for all but the richest households nearing retirement age has been their homes, which accounted for about two-fifths of net worth in the early 1990s and accounts for about one-third today.”

2. Home equity is a very important source of net worth to all but the wealthiest households near retirement age.

“Home equity is an important source of wealth for middle income households, accounting for more than one-third of total net worth for the second, third, and fourth quintiles of the net worth distribution… The fifth quintile has a much larger share in business equity—almost a quarter—than any other quintile. (The figure leaves out the bottom quintile of households because they have negative net worth. It is likely that these households will rely almost exclusively on Social Security in retirement.)”

Here is an asset breakdown for the middle 20% of Americans determined by median net worth ($165, 720):

2Components-of-Net-Worth

Obviously, the data again proves that homeownership has a big role in building wealth for American families 

Are you prepared to retire and ready to start a new life?  YES?, We the ASSAL team are here to help you reach your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face while planning your future. Call us today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com– you can count on our help every step.

Is now a good time to Rent? Definitely NOT!

No-Rent

People often ask us whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau just released their second quarter median rent numbers.

Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Increase-in-rents

At the same time, a report by Axiometrics revealed:

“The national apartment market’s annual effective rent growth rate of 5.1% in June 2015 represented a 47-month high, and continued a streak of 5.0%-plus rent growth that is now the longest in at least six years, according to apartment market research. The effective rent growth in June 2014 was 3.7%, putting June 2015’s exceptional performance into perspective. 

This is the highest rate since the 5.3% of July 2011. The metric has reached at least 5.0% for five straight months, the longest such streak since Axiometrics started monthly reporting of annual apartment data in April 2009.”

Where will rents be headed in the future?

Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research, commented on the above report in an article by Real Estate Economy Watch:

“Rent growth is just shy of the post-recession peak, and the June metrics reflect the continued strength of the apartment market. The demand for apartments is still strong, despite the record number of new units being delivered this year. Tight occupancy is why landlords can push rents higher.”

Bottom Line

Tired of paying rent? Are you ready, willing and able to start a new life? if you answered YES, now may make sense, it might not be a good time to rent however is a good time to buy,  We (the ASSAL team) are not for rent nor for sale but YES to help you reach your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face! Call us today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com– you can count on our help every step of the way.

The REAL Reasons to Buy a Home

Real Reasons to Buy

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But often, the emotional reasons are the more powerful, or compelling reasons. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

Conclusion 

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.  We the ASSAL team are another reason for you to buy a house, while reaching your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face! Call us today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com– you can count on our help every step of the way.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Fall? Next Year?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be.

Mortgage Rates

That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s July 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Mortgage Rate

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, the SVP & Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say in their latest Market Pulse:

“If you are thinking of buying a home and have the financial means to do so, this could be a good time to take a look at the neighborhoods you are interested in. We expect home prices in our national index to be up about 4.3% in the next 12 months, and mortgage rates are also likely to increase over the next year.”

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with us to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home. Remember We at the ASSAL team want to make sure you get the lowest mortgage rate possible, while reaching your goal faster, easier and with a smile on your face! Give us a call today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com– you can count on our help every step of the way.

Coral Gables a City Where Homes for Sales Keep Increasing

As the Real Estate market continues to build up in South Florida, Coral Gables luxury homes and condominiums properties are getting listed for sale at more than $1M, the highest number of 2014 sales was in June, representing a 21.4% increase over May and an incredible 278% increase when compared to January. When it comes to luxury real estate sales in South Florida, summer is anything but slow season, maybe not especially when prices increased alongside the number of properties sold.

The average price per square foot for a property sold in June was $476, up $13 from May and a full $85 per square foot from January. In fact, 55 properties were sold or under contract for sale in June, representing over 25% of the entire available inventory.

 

CG trend 07-2014
34 properties sold in June 33 of these were single-family homes.

 

Two projects are currently in pre-sale in Coral Gables:

-Merrick Manor, a 10-story, 180-unit development located adjacent to the famous Village of Merrick Park.

-Antilla Coral Gables, a 5-story, 45-unit project located in the northeastern corner of Coral Gables.

(If you need more info regarding either of this projects please contact me directly as I have direct communication with the developers)

For those that don’t know, Coral Gables is one of the nation’s earliest planned communities with a centralized business district, and is home to the iconic Biltmore hotel, one of only three national landmarks in Miami-Dade County. Coral Gables also has world-class shopping along Miracle Mile and the Village of Merrick Park, a diverse spectrum of art galleries, theaters and lots of fine dining establishments.

As a result, Coral Gables will continue to have in-demand properties that sell for a premium and should remain a sound investment.

Coral Gables City Hall at night
Coral Gables City Hall at night

 

Contact me for more info

Contact me for more info
Contact me for more info

 

Park Grove in Coconut Grove.

Park Grove in Coconut Grove.

Most ambitious architecture/project to date


The New Park Grove Condo Project is selling quickly; this luxury condo project is located in Coconut Grove more specific in the middle of a newly developed waterfront park. The condo project has 3 towers with great investment values.

PARK GROVE FLOOR PLAN

Designed by OMA and rem KOOLHAAS, the striking towers of PARK GROVE set a new architectural standard in the quiet seaside enclave of Coconut Grove.

stunning-towers

Park Grove Residences will blow everyone expectations with their high-end waterfront project. With amenities that will take you to the next level and to better your experience, The Park grove Condo offers pools, fitness, yoga, a private chef, yes a private chef and much more.

daytime

As the first Luxury Condo in Coconut Grove to be built after Grove at Grand Bay, makes this project most ambitious architecture/project to date

airy-open-kitchens

sun-filled-living-rooms


Contact me For more info about Park Grove and any other projects / new constructions in Miami or South Florida Business card