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Renters Finding it Cheaper to Buy

Renters Are Buying

With skyrocketing rental prices, many renters are considering purchasing instead.  Low down payments (typically just 3.5% of the purchase price) and historically low interest rates have made the transition easier than ever. Many of our clients have managed to keep their closing costs low through seller assist, in which the seller pays for a portion or all of your closing costs.

renters

Renters turned EveryHome buyers, Chelsea & Kevin!

Read more about rental prices hitting “crisis” levels here!

Interested in seeing how much you may be pre-approved for? Be sure to reach out to Mark Mawby, the VP of Lending for Aurora Financial! Mark can be reached by email at mmawby@auroralending.com or on his cell phone, 215.990.8580.


Home Staging Secrets for the Summer

Home Staging Secrets for the Summer

This summer is hot, hot, hot — and so is the market in most areas! To help your home sell even quicker this summer, here are a few tricks from the pros:

1. Keep it cool! If you have central air, be sure to show it off when prospective buyers are touring your home. Especially on the hottest of days, this will provide buyers a relief and keep them comfortable as they consider making your home their own!

summer

A portable air conditioning unit can provide relief in the hot summer days

No central air? No problem! Consider purchasing an extra window unit or two (Craigslist and eBay have them for cheap) or a portable A/C, and crank the fans up.

2. Focus on outdoor living! Many families enjoy entertaining their loved ones in the warmer weather, so be sure to keep your outdoor areas spruced up with a new flag, clean outdoor furniture, fun throw pillows, and a few accent pieces (we love Home Goods and Pottery Barn!)

3. Pick up a few colorful flowers to keep outside your front door and in your entryway, if possible.

4. Consider having your windows professionally cleaned. While it might cost a few hundred dollars, it will be worth it! We encourage our clients to keep the blinds open to allow in all of the natural sunlight.


How Does a Rent to Own Work?

Considering A Rent To Own?

If you’re interested in purchasing a home in the near future, but just aren’t quite ready financially, a rent to own may be for you!

 rent to own

While the terms can vary greatly, rent to own agreements typically involve a standard lease agreement, in addition to an agreement of sale date for the home to be purchased in the future — typically between six months and two years from the date of agreement. To ensure fairness for the seller, the buyer may be asked to provide a nonrefundable deposit to ensure that they are serious about a future purchase. Sometimes this nonrefundable can be substantial (often more than $5000), which may deter some buyers who don’t have a lot of extra cash. This deposit will typically not be returned if the buyer chooses not to purchase the home.

Rent to own can allow you to save money, build your credit score, or establish job security while living in your dream home. Plus, sellers typically welcome home inspections prior to you moving in, so you can ensure the condition of your new home.

Only a fraction of homes on the market are available for rent to own, but sometimes sellers are willing to consider it if there home isn’t selling as quickly as they’d like. If you are interested in renting-to-own, give us a call at 215-699-5555! We’d love to help.


Souderton, PA Highlights

Spotlight on Souderton, PA

Tucked in the corner of Montgomery County is Souderton Borough, a community rich in history and tradition.

souderton

Image via lansdale.patch.com

The small town of Souderton offers the best of both worlds: a small-town pastoral setting with and the convenience and fun of a lively downtown area!

There is never a shortage of things to do in town, with plenty of parks, a popular community pool, Concert Sundaes (music & ice cream in the park each Sunday in the summer!), and “Art in the Park” (schedule can be found here)!

The town is served by the award-winning Souderton Area School District, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Harleysville and Telford.

If you’re interested in purchasing a home within the Souderton Area School District, click here to see every home currently available!
Homes in the area range considerably in price, although many townhomes in the borough are affordable and move-in ready.

Stay tuned for a video on Wednesday showcasing the very best of the borough!


List for Less with EveryHome offers!

How Can EveryHome List For Less?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s important to consider not only the pricing and value of your home, but also how much you will keep when it sells! This is why we at EveryHome charge just 4.5% (this is the TOTAL commission amount which includes our commission, the buyer’s agent’s commission, professional photography, and a video tour). Why wouldn’t you want to list for less?

list for less

You’ll notice that this amount is considerably less than other agencies in the region, and this is because we’re a privately-held real estate company owned by Realtors. We don’t have a ton of overhead like the other guys do, and this helps our agents keep a higher percentage of commission so we pass these savings along to our clients.

The other thing that separates us from many other agencies is we don’t lock you into a contract for 6 months or a year. If you’ve talked to other real estate agents from other brokerages before, you’ve probably seen that they’ll often require you to be locked in for at least 6 months – which we don’t think is very fair. Instead, we offer an easy-out contract which allows you to back out at any time, for any reason, with just 7 days notice. No questions asked, and no money paid. If you’d like to list for less contact Everyhome today!


 

Walkability Matters!

Walkability is Even Easier with Walk Score!

There is a direct correlation between a city’s “walkability” and real estate values, according to a recent NBC headline. It’s becoming more important for environmentally-conscious millenials to have the ability to walk or bike to work, and the demand for these areas has driven up home prices.

Want to know what your town’s walkability is like? Check out Walk Score for a detailed report on your neighborhood!

walkability

Image via www.walkscore.com

With a Walk Score of 74.1, Philadelphia ranks in the top five of major US cities, thanks to each resident’s convenient access to nearly all amenities. Center City East, Center City West, and University City ranked highest among Philadelphia neighborhoods, with scores of 97, 97, and 93, respectively.

With the belief that a walkable town is great for one’s health, the environment, and the economy, the folks at Walk Score® have worked hard to provide ratings for nearly every town and city in the United States. They provide public transit and bike rankings, too!

To check out the Walk Score® of your town (or a town where you’d like to buy a home!), check out www.walkscore.com


Fixtures are Included in the Purchase of A Home?

Which Fixtures are Included When I Purchase A Home?

As we tour prospective homes with clients, we are often asked what fixtures and appliances are included with the sale of the home. The general rule of thumb is that if something is installed or attached (“nailed, screwed, or glued”) to the home, it is included.

This typically includes items such as chandeliers, mirrors, oven/stove, alarm systems, sheds, outdoor playsets, built-in microwaves, ceiling fans and above ground pools. Items that are usually not included are washers, dryers and refrigerators. As for windows, rods and curtains typically stay whereas drapes are generally not included.
fixtures

Chandeliers are typically included in the sale of a home. 10 Stonebridge Crossing Rd, Washington Crossing PA

However, it’s popular for sellers to include washers, dryers and refrigerators with an acceptable offer because they are often difficult to move and may provide an incentive to buyers. It is also not uncommon for the seller to specifically exclude chandeliers or other items that they love. If you’re interested in a specific home, your EveryHome agent would be happy to let you know what specific fixtures and appliances will be staying!


Homes Online Are Easier

Staggering Percentage of Buyers Shopping for Homes Online

A study published by the National Association of Realtors found that a whopping 90% of prospective buyers begin shopping for homes online. While this number may be of no surprise to many of you who are shopping for homes at this very moment, the implications are important to consider.

Buyers looking for homes on popular websites rely heavily on pictures and information provided in the description of the home. Plus, a Google survey found that 86% of potential buyers use videos to find out more about a specific community (yep, like the kind that you may have seen on everyhome.com!)
For these reasons, it’s more important than ever to have a tech-savvy agent who has experience marketing homes online. And good news! EveryHome agents are online marketing gurus, with a strong focus on creating a great presence on the internet. We use a professional photographer, videographer, and advertise your home for sale on a wide variety of websites, including popular social media. If you’re interested in selling, let us know! We’d love to provide you with a complimentary comparative market analysis for your home.
shop for homes online


Fathers Day Ideas

Looking for Something to Do on Fathers Day?

Philadelphia and it’s suburbs have some of the greatest brunch spots and restaurants. Check out OpenTable’s guide to Fathers Day 2014 and make reservations here! We also love CBS Philly’s top Fathers Day events in the area. Whether Dad would love a car show, whitewater rafting, or a military event, they’ve got you covered. Visit their page for more details and a full list here!

A few of our favorite unique gifts:
1. This wine making kit is easy, fun, and delicious (I’ve tried it myself!). Just $50 and can be purchased here.

fathers day

Image via Williams-Sonoma

2. If you’re shipping something to Dad, consider a fun and crafty basket filled with goodies that he’ll love. They can be purchased here. A shipment from Omaha Steaks is another gift that’s sure to please!

3. Does Dad love to golf? Buy him a round of golf to enjoy with a buddy. Most public courses will have gift certificates available online.

4. If Dad loves gadgets and fitness, consider Nike’s popular FuelBand. He can track his progress using an app on his iPhone!


 

Calculating Your Down Payment

Down Payment Costs

We hear it all the time: “How much should I have for a down payment?” The answer is… (drumroll, please)…it depends! And the “best” amount varies from buyer to buyer. Let’s break it down a bit further:
First, it depends on the type of loan. Generally, a down payment can range from 3.5% to 20%. You may have heard of the FHA loan, which is a wonderful option for buyers who don’t have a ton of money in their reserves. This loan only requires a 3.5% down payment. The downfall, however, is that there is a cap on the total amount of money you can borrow (see where your county stands: http://www.fhamortgagecenter.com/loan-limit-calculator.html). For a single-family home in Montgomery County, the cap is at $420,000. Not too shabby!
Of course, a major factor is how much you can comfortably afford to put down. Many of our first time buyers prefer to have a lower down payment, whereas seasoned homebuyers may be able to afford a bit more due to the equity in their previous home. As you’ve probably heard, there are benefits to putting down more money (such as not having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance). Typically, these benefits increase at the 5, 10, and 20% levels.

down payment

To better understand your situation, be sure to reach out to your EveryHome agent or a qualified lending professional. If you aren’t yet working with a lender, we would be happy to send you a lit of a few great loan officers in the area! Any other questions? 215-699-5555. We’re happy to help!


First Time Buyer Myths

Myths for A First Time Buyer

We like to consider ourselves first time buyer specialists, and we’ve learned that there are a few “myths” that we’ve encountered when working with a first time buyer.

  1. The first piece of good news is that you DON’T need 20% down to purchase a home. Most homes qualify for down payments as low as 3.5% with an FHA loan (usually the most popular loan option for a first time buyer). In fact, some homes are even available for 0% down! Ask your EveryHome agent if this option is available for you.
  1. Another great thing is that you don’t pay ANYTHING for a buyer’s agent (such as your EveryHome agent who is showing you homes). It’s actually the sellers who pay for their own agent AND the buyer’s agent. As a buyer, you’re not responsible for paying a cent for representation.
  1. And, lastly, some first time buyers are told that they need to have “perfect” credit in order to buy a home. It’s good news that that’s not true! Average or good credit scores – 620 is a pretty standard minimum – can qualify to purchase a home. If you’re interested in knowing where you stand credit-wise and how easily you may get pre-approved for a home, let us know! It’s always no obligation and completely free.If you have ANY questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you.
  2. first time buyer
    EveryHome’s beautiful first time home buyers holding the key to their new place


Purchasing a Home with No Money Down

Purchasing A Home with No Money Down

Many buyers are well-qualified to purchase a home, but lack the available funds needed for a down payment. If this sounds a bit like your position, fear not! There are many options for very low or no money down payments.

If you’re looking for a home in a more rural area (typically the northern regions of Chester, Bucks, and Montgomery counties and Berks county), a USDA loan may be a great option. Sometimes referred to as a Rural Development Loan, this type of mortgage requires no money down and is a great option for those without much cash available.

no money down

If you or your spouse is a veteran or an active-duty service member, you may qualify for a mortgage backed by the Veterans Affairs (VA). A VA loan requires no money down and does not require private mortgage insurance.

Lastly, a “Seller’s Assist” may drastically reduce the amount of money needed for closing. The explanation might seem a bit confusing, but it’s really rather straightforward. Say, for example, you’re purchasing a home and you’d like to make an offer of $200,000. If you’re short on cash, the agent might suggest that you submit an offer of $206,000 instead and receive a $6,000 seller’s assist (which is money that comes back to you at the settlement table). You’re still paying a net of $200,000 and the seller is still receiving a net of $200,000. The difference is just that the sellers are providing you some upfront funds to be used toward closing costs.

Be sure to let your EveryHome agent know if you might wish to consider one of these options. We would love to help!


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EveryHome Realty is licensed by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission (license RB066839) and the New Jersey Real Estate Commission (license 0901599)