Don’t Wait to Move Up to Your Dream Home!

Dont Wait

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to their dream home. With interest rates still near 4% and home values on the rise, now may be a great time to make a move.

Sellers should realize that waiting while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain budget for your monthly housing costs.

Here is a chart detailing this point:

Buyers Purchasing Power

With each quarter percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5%, (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now give us a call  to help you get your dream home. We at the ASSAL team want to make sure you get the most house for your hard earned money, 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.

Things to Consider When Buying a Home (Summer Guide 2015)

Check List Guide

Thank you to those that  have e-mailed us with questions and concerns about things to consider when buying a home, since we care about you, the ASSAL team has put together a guide called “Buying a Home – Buyer Guide”.

Click here to view our “Buying a Home Summer Guide 2015″This powerful “Buyer Guide” will help you simply and effectively understand the current market opportunities.

As we said it before, Why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?. The ASSAL team is here to help you, call us, We want to make sure you have all answers to those questions and/or concerns and most important to help you overcome your fears and reach your goal faster, (the goal is for you to buy your dream home) 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.

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional Today!

We Help each other to reach the goal
We Help each other to reach the goal

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers and/or buyers think that they can sell and/or buy through a for sale by Owner also known as FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are to make sure that you acquire your dream.

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $208,700 compared to $235,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line:

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?. We at the ASSAL team want to make sure you 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.

For Sellers – Two Graphs That Scream List Your House Today

Supply-Demand

The spring and summer months have always been known as a very popular time for homebuyers to start the search for their dream home. This year is no different!

We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand.

If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now. Here is why…

DEMAND

Foot-Traffic
According to NAR, “Foot Traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity this year has far outpaced the same months in 2014. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market at great numbers.

SUPPLY

The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed that the current supply of housing inventory is at a 5.1 month supply, which remains below the 6-months necessary for a normal market.

Buyer demand is far outpacing the supply of homes available for sale.
Buyer demand is far outpacing the supply of homes available for sale.

Bottom Line

Listing your house for sale when demand is high and supply is low will guarantee the offers made will truly reflect the true value of your property. Interested in selling your home or looking to buy one, give us a call today at 786.554.8063 or send us an email at george@georgeassal.com. We will look forward to hearing from you!

Silver Bluff: One of Miami’s best-kept secrets

Most of the time, when I recommend looking at places in Silver Bluff to my customers, I’m met with a blank stare. A little known area right outside Coral Gables off Coral Way (zip code 33133 & 33145), Silver Bluff is one of the best and most affordable residential neighborhoods in the city. Often grouped in with the Gables, Brickell Hammocks or The Roads, there are few “secrets” in the Miami real estate market, and this is most certainly one of them.

As I mentioned in my last post, I would never sell a house I wouldn’t live in, and just as importantly, I would never sell a house in a neighborhood I wouldn’t live in either. So that would be why Silver Bluff comes so highly recommended by me—I live there! Therefore you have a relator’s stamp of approval of the area, and let me tell you a few reasons why…

  1. Proximity: Silver Bluff is close to everything in Miami. Only 5-7 minutes to Coconut Grove, 10-15 minutes to Brickell and Coral Gables and 15-20 minutes to South Beach.
  2. Safety: The area has a low crime rating.
  3. Neighborhood: Silver Bluff is known as being a calm, residential area with lots of trees, ample parking and families. Relationships with neighbors are important here, and there is a real sense of community.
  4. Investment: Buying a house here is a good investment with growing property values, and a much lower selling price than other areas in Miami. This is a great place for a first investment or first home because you get a lot of bang for your buck. Being so close to so many desirable areas in the city, there is only room to grow.
  5. Schools: There are three schools in the area, and the Silver Bluff Elementary School is graded “A”—perfect for all the families in the area.
    Source: http://www.city-data.com/
    Source: http://www.city-data.com/

    If the above still hasn’t convinced you and you would like to check out the neighborhood yourself, I’ll let you in on a few local Silver Bluff “secrets”:

    For wine lovers, Xixón Cafe , hip & modern Spanish eatery with multiple levels including dining room, wine cellar & bakery/deli, located on 21st and Coral Way, El Carajo is a must. Hidden away inside the BP gas station on 17th Ave and US1, they serve Spanish tapas and have an amazing bakery. At the Mighty Gastropub on Coral Way and 22nd Ave, they serve craft beer, sausages with an ambiance you can’t beat. Daily Bread Marketplace, boasts some of Miami’s best Mediterranean Food, and is located on 24 Ave and 27th St. And if you’re looking a twist on a Latin classic, Casabe 305 offers an incredible fare of Caribbean-Venezuelan Fusion and is located on Coral Way and 17th Ave.

    All Restaurants

    So whether as a place to grab a great bite, an investment, a first home to raise your family or just as someone seeking refuge from the city and its high rent, Silver Bluff is a fantastic option. In fact, if you are interested in taking a look, I would be more than happy to meet you at any of our local spots and discuss your options and the places currently available.

    My goal is to help you, even if we aren’t in direct contact, and I’d love to hear from you with any questions.

    Interested in Selling, Buying, Renting, Investing in Brickell, Downtown, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Silver Bluff, Doral and surrounding areas? Call me 786.554.8063 or email me George@GeorgeAssal.com, I can help, because working with someone who knows the numbers and area is crucial.George Assal PA

Your Neighborhood Realtor: Why Your Neighborhood Matters just as Much as Your New Home

Coral Way Banyan Trees

Last week I was having a conversation with a friend, and she asked me a question I get often—Why do you call yourself the neighborhood realtor?

It comes down to one simple reason—I would never put you somewhere I wouldn’t live. And when I’m making a decision about where to live, I’m taking years of experience into account and taking zero risk. The surroundings of your new home, your future neighborhood, can be just as important as the house itself.   And if I’m going to help you find a house, or buy one for myself, I’m thinking about the following things:

  • The neighbors and the block around the corner
  • The school district
  • The reason cited for the current home owner’s decision to sell
  • Other homes up for sale in the area
  • Predicted increase or decrease in property value

If you run every morning, I’m going to take a walk around the block to make sure you’ll feel safe beyond your street. If you have kids, I know that you’re looking to put their education first—and in Miami, location is everything. If you’re an investor, I’m going to make sure that your real estate investment is based on proprietary market insight and research. And if you work in another part of town, I’m going to have a good estimate on what your commute will look like every morning and what upcoming construction could affect that.

I know the questions to ask, so that you don’t have too, and in fact, I have customers for this very reason in my own neighborhood of Silver Bluff.

As a 26-year-old arriving to the United States,  I worked hard to have a piece of the “American dream” and one of the biggest parts of that dream is home ownership. Home ownership isn’t something I take lightly, as I know the work it takes to get to that point, and it is no coincidence that I got into the business of helping people find homes. Whether you are looking to find your first home or make a move into a much bigger one, I’m ready to be part of your process start to finish, in English or Spanish, night or day.

A proud Venezuelan born to Arabic parents, my time in the US was not my first exposure to hard work or a dream for better opportunity. My parents owned a store where I spent my summer vacations, and I shared my parents’ love for working with people and their strong work ethic—something I incorporate into my work every day, and something I’m looking forward to sharing more and more with you on this blog.

Moving forward, I’d like to share more of my insight on neighborhoods in and around Miami, quick tips for how to move a house faster, ideas for a less painful move or open house prep and of course, a few must-see listings. My goal is to help you, even if we aren’t in direct contact, and I’d love to hear from you with any questions.