Monthly Archives: January 2013

Making An Offer – The Most Important Step

 

 

Buyers are starting to get aggressive on making offers once they find a home they love, but many are not getting a firm pre-approval letter up front.  Forgetting this important step in the home buying process could end up preventing you from getting the home of your dreams.

 

GET PRE-APPROVED NOT PRE-QUALIFIED

When local real estate was in a downturn, the sense of urgency to get financing was not very high. Buyers figured they could take their time to find a home, and then they’d firm things up with their lender.  However, with the market starting to really heat up and inventories still low, buyers must change this lackadaisical mindset.

The problem isn’t that buyers are totally forgetting to speak to a lender. They are simply getting pre-qualified instead of pre-approved. A simple conversation over the phone usually is not sufficient to grant a real “approval letter”.   A lender will need to pull credit and collect specific documentation from you such as pay stubs, W-2’s, or tax returns. It may not seem like a big deal but this extra step makes all the difference in the world.

I have seen cases when a buyer gets pre-qualified over the phone, and then ends up not qualifying once the lender verifies all pertinent information.

 

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR

In an active market, you never know when that special home will come on the market, and when it does, you will need to act quick. Waiting until after you find your home to get your financing in order may be too late.

Getting a solid pre-approval letter will allow you to move forward with confidence and may also help you stand out over another buyer should you get into a bidding war.

The difference between getting pre-approved and pre-qualified is merely time and a little effort on your part but is well worth it. In fact, it could ultimately determine whether or not you get the home.

 

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Making An Offer – The Most Important Step is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©January, 2013

Why Wait For Spring, Act Now!

 

During this time of the year, people always ask us if they should wait to make a move until the late spring or summer market, when things are more active. This is a very common question and the answer we give may surprise you.

WAITING COULD BE COSTLY

There are very good reasons why delaying a move may not be in your best financial interests. Here are some things for you to think about, whether you are a buyer or seller.

HOME BUYING

1. Rates Are Historically Low – Waiting until late spring or summer may cost you as rates may inch upwards. While no one knows what will happen, rates can’t stay this low forever.

2. Some Sellers Are Motivated – There is an inventory of homes that didn’t sell during the summer/fall market. These are perfectly nice homes that were simply overpriced.  Many sellers are now much more willing to sell than they were when their home originally went on the market. Some have moved out of the area and others have found homes they would like to buy.

3. Home Values Are Rising – Recent market statistics show home values in many Cleveland area suburbs beginning to go up. Buying when values are lower certainly makes sense.

HOME SELLING

1. Inventories Are Low – The number of homes for sale throughout the area is ridiculously low. As a result, we have seen a ton of multiple offer situations, where buyers are fighting over the same home. Waiting means that you will likely have more competition.

2. Rates Are Great – Ok, we already said this for buyers, but the same can be said for home sellers as well. The lower the rates, the higher the number of buyers that qualify to buy your home. Why risk a rate increase and lower buyer pool?

3. Uncertainly – We do know that low rates, a slowly improving economy, and low inventories exist today. What we don’t know is what things will look like 3  or 6 months from now. Will the stock market continue to make buyers feel confident to spend? Will something happen in Europe to cause our economy to slow down or possibly go back into recession? The unknown brings about an added risk to the selling process.

Personally, I am conservative and like to know what I’m getting into. Today’s market is a known factor, an ideal environment for both buyers and sellers. No one knows what things will look like in the future.

Waiting may simply be a risk that you just don’t need to take, and may end up costing you money in the end.

 

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Why Wait For Spring, Act Now! is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©January, 2013

Does The Perfect Home Really Exist?

 

If you are buying a home, it is important to have realistic expectations because in the words of The Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want.”

We’re not saying that you won’t get a lot of things on your wish list and end up thrilled with your new home.  Just understand that the perfect house simply doesn’t exist at any price point.  We have seen people spend a lot of time looking at every home in their price point and not like anything.  These folks end up getting very frustrated and blame “the market” for not offering them the perfect house at the perfect price.

DO YOU HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS?

If you can’t find a home you like, you may have to re-adjust your game plan.  You should prioritize the things that you absolutely need in a home versus the things that you want. There are likely things that you positively must have, like a certain number of bedrooms and baths. Then, there are other things that would be nice, but not a necessity, like a 3 car garage. We are not saying that you should have to settle on a home that doesn’t make you happy.  However, there does come a point during the buying process where you may have to be flexible.

Opening your mind to alternative locations may also be helpful.  We see a lot of buyers start their search in one community or subdivision, but find that they can get more for the money elsewhere. Unless you have your heart set on a specific area, it can be helpful to keep your options open as you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find.

 

START WITH A PLAN

The first thing to do is get pre-approved for a loan and know specifically how much you would like to spend. Then, make a list of the “must haves” and “would like to haves” for your next home.  It is imperative that all decision makers have input here so that everyone is on the same page.

Another critical part of the process is communicating with your agent. We get a chance to tour homes on a regular basis and can often pick homes out for you once we know what you like. Sometimes we end up finding homes for our clients just by talking to other agents in the market, homes that may be coming on the market soon, yet are not currently listed. Many of our clients also end up buying a home that did not meet their original specifications, so keeping an open mind here is helpful.

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself.  Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is a daunting task and will lead to frustration.  Be realistic and understand that life is often about compromise, especially when buying a home.

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Does The Perfect Home Really Exist is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©January, 2013

Solon Real Estate – Year In Review 2012

Solon Sold homes

The following is our 4th annual year in review for Solon Ohio real estate. Here, we will provide a comparison between this past year and 2011 and offer commentary.

ALL HOMES

Year          # of Homes Sold        Ave. Sales Price   Sales Price/List Price

 

2011                      222                    $291,449                 94.16%

 

2012                      260                    $299,924                 94.03%

 

LUXURY HOMES ( sales price over $500,000 )

 

2011                       29                     $626,888                94.58%

 

2012                       39                     $640,749                92.95%

 

2012 FIRST HALF VS. SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

 

FIRST HALF              107              $284,146               93.47%

 

SECOND HALF           159              $302,114               94.39%

Source: NEOHREX

 

COMMENTARY

This has been a very good year for the Solon real estate market. We saw a lot of positive signs that the worst is behind us and that things are getting better.  Below is a list of 5 important things that the above statistics tell us:

 

1.     More homes sold in 2012 vs. 2011

2.     Average sales price was higher this past year

3.     The market IMPROVED during the second half of 2012

4.     A well priced home will receive approximately 94% of asking price

5.     The luxury home market improved, meaning affluent buyers are feeling more confident about buying a luxury home

So, what can we take away from all of this? Improvement as a result of a slowly improving economy, low interest rates, and an increase in consumer confidence.

 

BUYERS AND SELLERS BOTH FEEL BETTER

The numbers indicate more buyers and sellers coming together and overcoming the numerous challenges presented by the market.  First time buyers are feeling a little more confident as are the local move-up buyers. Those looking to sell and buy a larger home are realizing that selling their existing home is now a realistic goal and no longer have as much fear.

Sellers have come to better understand that the major correction in the local real estate market has brought prices to where they were about 10 years ago. I’m certainly not indicating that sellers are happy about this, but they now have more realistic expectations regarding price.

WE NEED MORE INVENTORY

The really good news for Solon home sellers is that the inventory of available homes is down about 25% from 2 years ago. This has helped create a much more balanced market and in some price points, things are actually learning a little toward the sellers. We have seen multiple offer situations ( bidding wars ) take place on a regular basis, especially in the $200,000-$300,000 price point.

The real estate market should continue to recover in 2013.

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Solon Ohio Real Estate – Year In Review 2012 is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©January, 2013