Realty Vision


Posted by Realty Vision on 5/22/2014

If you listen to the media you will never know which way is up when it comes to the state of the real estate market. It's not just the market that determines how a house will sell but also location, price, and condition of the home. Like they say real estate is local. Just like you wouldn't expect the weather to be the same in one place vs. another - the same is true about the real estate market. There are a few things you can look at to determine the type of market in your area. 1. Contact a real estate professional. 2. If you are a seller ask for a comparable market analysis on your home. 3. If you are a buyer determine the average number of days on the market in your desired area and price range. 4. Ask your agent what the absorption rate is the market your are looking to buy or sell. Absorption rate is the rate at which homes are selling. Whether you are buying a home or selling it's important to understand the market conditions.





Posted by Realty Vision on 5/15/2014

Whether you are a buyer or a seller it is time to get off the fence. Despite years of bad news surrounding the real estate market, the time has come when it is both a good time to be a buyer and a seller. Why Buy? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and buy: 1. When investors start gobbling up real estate you know it's a good deal. In 2011, investors upped their buying by 64%.  While it is still not time to start flipping for a profit the clock is ticking down to an uptick in prices. 2. Interest rates are historically low. You have been hearing this for a while but they are hovering right around 4%. 3. First-time buyers are in a unique position. They didn't lose money in the housing market. 4. It's a great deal! Prices are at all-time lows. So you may be saving as much as 40% off a home if you buy now. Why Sell? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and sell: 1. Inventory is shrinking. Demand is up and in certain areas and price ranges there is limited inventory so putting your home on the market now will most likely result in a sale. 2. Mortgage availability has stabilized. Mortgage restrictions are loosening and especially first-time buyers are able to get mortgages as they were not affected as much by the financial crisis. 3. Unemployment is not as bad as you think. One is 30 Americans is unemployed as a result of the recent financial crisis. There are lots of able buyers out there. 4. Houses are selling and some are even going to bidding wars. Homes that are priced according to the market are selling and selling quickly. 5. Don't wait for prices to increase. This could be a long wait.





Posted by Realty Vision on 4/24/2014

There is nothing worse in a home than a wet basement. Not only can it deter potential home buyers it can also present health problems, and permanent damage to your home. Tackling the problem of a damp or wet basement is no easy task. Here are some ideas to getting and keeping your basement dry. Find the source The source of the problem could be a water leak or high humidity. Both can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth. They can even lead to rot, structural damage, premature paint failure, and a variety of health problems. Check for water seepage. Look for leaks in the foundation, or small gaps around windows or doors. Water can also come from inside your house from a leaking water pipe, toilet, shower or bathtub. Indoor humidity is often caused by normal activities of everyday living, such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes. Damp basements are usually caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. Other common causes are condensation on cold concrete walls and floors during humid months. Stop water leaks Standing water on the floor after a heavy rain is usually the result of a leaky foundation. Make sure all rain gutters are cleared and downspout runoff away from the foundation. The ground around the house should slope down and away from the foundation. If necessary, re-grade around the house. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly. Water stains on the ceiling or wall under or near a bathroom could be a leak from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. This will require a plumber to repair the leak. Water damage or mold should be handled by a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. Reducing indoor humidity Dirt floors in the basement should be covered completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil. Install ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Make sure they are venting directly outside. Clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Consult the Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents . Check the heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Have all duct air leaks sealed. Use a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation. A dry basement will not only lead to a healthier home it will lead to a more profitable sale when the time comes.





Posted by Realty Vision on 4/10/2014

You might have seen the ads on TV about reverse mortgages, but what is a reverse mortgage? It is a loan for older homeowners that uses a portion of the home’s equity as collateral. Instead of the homeowner paying the lender, it is the lender that pays the homeowner based on the equity in the home. How much can be borrowed? The amount that can be borrowed in a reverse mortgage is determined by an Federal Housing Authority (FHA formula).  The formula considers age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of the home. What are the requirements for a reverse mortgage? You must be at least age 62 The home must be owned free and clear or all existing liens. Any mortgage balance must be paid off with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage loan at the closing. There are usually no income or credit score requirements. How is the loan repaid? The loan cannot become due as long as at least one homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence and maintains the home in accordance with FHA requirements (keeping taxes and insurance current). The must be repaid when the last surviving homeowner permanently moves out of the property or passes away. The estate will have approximately 6 months to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay off the balance.  





Posted by Realty Vision on 3/27/2014

If you are looking for ways to increase the value of your home, then there are some simple guidelines to follow, as well as a few projects you may want to consider avoiding altogether.  Depending on the region, a particular home remodel has the potential to make or break a potential sale. Swimming Pools - Homes with swimming pools generally do better in the warmer states, where they can be seen as a welcome addition during the hottest months.  However, a home in New England that has a pool is increasingly likely to be viewed as a headache.  Maintenance costs, family safety, and seasonal accessibility make this addition one that is in reality more likely to hurt the chances of being able to sell your home quickly.  Not to say that you shouldn't have a pool if you have your heart set on it.  Just don't count on it making your house more appealing.  If you already have a pool, then try to sell your home in the spring or summer, when the pool is in use.  This will help potential buyers see the benefit of the addition, without reminding them of the headaches associated with upkeep. Koi ponds and indoor aquariums - These items, while beloved to a homeowner, may turn off a buyer who isn't interested in being a pet owner.  There aren't a lot of uses for an aquarium installed in a wall for someone who doesn't like the idea of having fish.  Similarly, koi ponds on the property have the capability of turning off an owner that doesn't necessarily want to have a portion of their backyard dedicated to a project that they have no interest in taking over. Converting garages and second bedrooms - While these renovations generally arise from necessity, they can hurt your resale value in the future.  Garage space is fairly desirable these days, and especially so in cold climates that deal with large amount of snow.  Converting a garage in New England isn't generally a good idea unless you absolutely need the space.  This is also true in the cases of converting second and third bedrooms into office spaces.  While a new buyer may consider at a later date to convert an extra bedroom into an office space, they may not want to have the option forced on them.  Most of the time, a two-bedroom house with an office will remain on the market longer than a three-bedroom house. Fireplaces - They can be beautiful, yes, but fireplaces are quickly falling out of favor with buyers, and are increasingly being seen as a messy addition to a home.  In 2009, a consumer preference survey from the Nation Association of Home Builders ranked fireplaces as No. 1 on a list of what NAR called “Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style.”  Not to say that fireplaces don't have a market.  Many people are still looking for homes that contain one or even two.  But installing a fireplace in an existing home can be very expensive, and the return on your investment wouldn't be that great.







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