Showing posts from May, 2021

Deciding on Whether to Move

Some homeowners feel like they may as well throw a dart against the wall to decide whether to move or not.   Other people might invoke a process attributed to Benjamin Franklin.   Supposedly, to evaluate the options and bring clarity to the choice, this American founding father would list all the reasons for and against the decision on a sheet of paper.   After reducing it to writing, the choice would appear either by obvious majority or practicality. Buying a home is an emotional decision but selling a home can be also.   Separating the rationale from the emotion can make decisions seem obvious but they may still not be crystal clear. There is an inventory shortage that caused prices to rise and market time to shorten.   In many active markets there is less than 30-days' supply of homes for sale which is half of what was available a year ago.   This will make it easier to sell and maximize the proceeds from your current home. 69% of economists who participated in the first q

"Mise en Place" for Homebuying

In cooking, "mise en place" describes having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, as well as bowls, utensils and pans ready to use before you begin cooking.   The advantage is to inventory the ingredients and recognize if you have everything you need.   You are less likely to leave out an ingredient or step because it is "set up" and ready to use. The same technique works well in the homebuying process, especially in today's highly competitive environment where multiple offers are normal and bidding wars are commonplace. Check your credit ... not only does credit determine if you will get a mortgage, but it will also determine the interest rate you'll pay.   The best rates are for the borrowers with the best credit; lower credit scores mean higher rates because of additional risk to the lender.   Free copies are available from all three major credit bureaus at . Determine your budget ... knowing your

It's Not too Late to Refinance

With mortgage rates below 4% since May 2019, you would think that most people would have already refinanced but according to a recent Lending Tree survey, 49% of homeowners say they are considering a mortgage refinance in the next year.  The report estimated that over a third of homeowners are have mortgages above 4% and 11% didn't know what their rate was. Slightly more than a third of the people surveyed regretted missing the opportunity to refinance in 2020 when rates did hit their historical low.   Homeowners should not beat themselves up on this issue because the only way to know to tell that it hit bottom is after it has started going up again.   The current rates are very favorable to borrowers and some economists believe that when inflation is factored in, the rates are close to zero effectively. While there are nine specific reasons people choose to refinance their homes, two are among the most prevalent: to lower the payment or take cash out of the equity.  Most r

Writing a Successful Offer in a Low Inventory Market

With at least 40% less homes on the market currently than there were a year ago, serious buyers have probably experienced the disappointment of losing a home they wanted to buy from increased competition.   Today's buyers are looking for ways to improve their odds of being the best contract without having to use the purchase price as their only tool. Buyers should reconsider, rethink, and re-evaluate their "must have" features and amenities.   It is probably unrealistic in a normal market to think you can have the perfect home at the price you want but in today's market it is less possible.   List the things you must have and the things you would like to have and prioritize them.   Try to identify the critical from the convenient. The next step is to put together your "home" team.   You are the captain of this process, but it is essential to have a strong first officer and that is your real estate agent.   This professional will oversee the process, advi