Purchasing Vs Renting A Home

Like the guy in the video says, the two do not really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity take advantage of tax benefits and protect yourself against rent increases.Also, you may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing. Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity increasing YOUR net worth. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home they are worth it.

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.

Cost & Price. Do You Know The Difference?

Time = Money

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by about three-quarters of a percentage point over the next twelve months.

According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact an interest rate increase would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today if home prices appreciate by the 5.2% predicted by CoreLogic over the next twelve months:

Waiting = Cost

Call  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 

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

There is NO Housing Bubble – Most Experts Agree.

There is no doubt that home prices in the vast majority of housing markets across the country are continuing to increase on a month over month basis. The following map (based on data from the latest CoreLogic pricing report) reveals the appreciation level by state:

1-month-price-change-GA

These increases in value have caused some to be concerned about a new price bubble forming in residential real estate. Here are quotes from many of the most respected voices in the housing industry regarding the issue:

Nick Timiraos, reporter at the Wall Street Journal:

“Predictions of a new national home price bubble look unfounded for now, according to data.”

Michael Fratantoni, Chief Economist, the Mortgage Bankers Association:

“I don’t really see it as a bubble.”

Jack M. Guttentag, Professor of Finance Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania:

“My view is that we are a long way from another house price bubble.”

Rajeev Dhawan, Director of Economic Forecasting Center at J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University:

“To have a bubble, you need to have construction rates higher than the perceived demand, which is what happened in 2003 to 2007. Right now, however, we have the reverse of that.”

Victor Calanog, Chief Economist, Reis:

“The housing market has yet to show evidence of systematic runaway asset price inflation characterized by home prices rising much faster than household income.”

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones:

“I would describe this as a rebound in home prices, not a bubble and not a reason to be fearful.”

Andrew Nelson, US Chief Economist, Colliers International:

“I don’t think there is a housing bubble.”

George Raitu, Director, Quantitative & Commercial Research, NAR:

“We do not consider the current market conditions to present a bubble.”

Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner, Beacon Economics:

“The housing market is far from overheated.”

So why have prices been increasing?

Today, there is a gap between supply (number of houses on the market) and demand (the number of buyers looking for a new home). In any market, this would cause values to increase. Here are some experts’ comments on this issue:

Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com Chief Economist:

“So does that mean we’re in a bubble? Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply.”

Robert Bach, Director of Research – Americas, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank:

“I don’t think the housing market is overheated based on demand and supply fundamentals.”

Mark Dotzour, Chief Economist, Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University:

“We are not in a housing bubble. We are in a situation where demand for houses is much higher than supply.”

Calvin Schnure, SVP of Research & Economic Analysis, NAREIT:

“Given all the demand and little supply the residential market is FAR from overheated.”

Bottom Line

Currently, there is an imbalance between supply and demand for housing. This has created a natural increase in values not a bubble in prices. Don’t let the imbalance bubble to get you, CALL us today 786.554.8063 or email us at George@GeorgeAssal.com, 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.

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.

Selling Your Home? Price It Right From the Start!

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their customers happy. However, we realized that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller(s) to like us.

Price It Right

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

One great way to see this is with the chart below. The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.

Price Visibility

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood.  Our team will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home.

Our team  will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.

Thinking of selling your home and not sure how to price it right?  Call us, We at the ASSAL team want to make sure you price your home right 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.

Are Home Values REALLY at Record Levels?

Record-High-

On July 12th, we posted an article called “What is a Housing Bubble? Is One Forming?”, last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report. The report announced that the median existing-home price in June was $236,400. That value surpasses the peak median sales price set in July 2006 ($230,400). This revelation created many headlines exclaiming that home prices had hit a “new record”:

Wall Street Journal: Existing-Home Prices Hit Record

USA Today: Existing home sales surge, prices hit record

Though the headlines are accurate, we want to take a closer look at the story. We do not want people to believe that this information is evidence that a new “price bubble” is forming in housing.

NAR reports the median home price. That means that 50% of the homes sold above that number and 50% sold below that number. With fewer distressed properties (lower valued) now selling, the median price will rise. The median value does not reflect that each individual property is increasing in value.

Below are the comments from Bill McBride, the author of the esteemed economic blog Calculated Risk. McBride talks about the challenges with using the median price and also explains that in “real” prices (taking into consideration inflation) we are nowhere close to a record.

“In general I’d ignore the median sales price because it is impacted by the mix of homes sold (more useful are the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller or CoreLogic). NAR reported the median sales price was $236,400 in June, above the median peak of $230,400 in July 2006. That is 9 years ago, so in real terms, median prices are close to 20% below the previous peak. Not close.”

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal covered this issue in detail. In this story, Nick Timiraos explained that this rise in median prices is nothing to be concerned about:

“Does this mean we have another problem on our hands? Not really…There may be other reasons to worry about housing affordability by comparing prices with incomes or prices with rents for a given market. But crude comparisons of nominal home prices with their 2006 and 2007 levels shouldn’t be used to make cavalier claims about a new bubble.”

Bottom Line

Home values are appreciating. However, they are not increasing at a rate that we should have fears of a new housing bubble around the corner. Fear of loosing the opportunity of buying or selling your home? Call us, We at the ASSAL team want to make sure you overcome your fears and reach 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.