As real estate agents, we understand that owning a home is about more than just affordability! It’s one thing to be financially ready to own a home (although that’s a big part of it) and another thing to take on the responsibilities and risks of a homeowner.
Here are a few signs that show a prospective first time buyer is ready to own a home:
1. You’re stable! Financial stability is great, but it’s also important to consider the stability of your lifestyle. You’ve probably heard that it’s typically not worth purchasing a home unless you can commit to 5(ish) years. And that’s true! If you could foresee a major move or job transition on the horizon, you may want to think twice.
2. You don’t call your landlord or maintenance guy very often. Unless you’re willing to shell out big bucks for a handyman, it’s worth brushing up on some home maintenance skills and investing in a toolbox! Of course, this depends largely on the type of home you purchase and whether or not you secure a home warranty.
3. You have a handle on your finances. While you don’t have to make a six-figure salary or have a pristine credit score to purchase a home, you DO have to have a sense of where you stand. The mortgage application process requires a ton of documentation, so the more aware and organized you are, the better! Be sure to keep tabs on your credit score, and save all necessary financial documents and taxes in a secure spot.
Can you name five of your neighbors? If not, you’re not alone! In fact, the majority of Americans can’t name more than three people in their neighborhood.
Some communities around the nation are working to change this through the creation of Wellness Communities. These planned developments emphasize connection among residents, healthy lifestyles, and shared spaces. Instead of front yards, there are community gardens. Instead of winding streets without sidewalks, there are community trails, bike-sharing systems, and tennis courts.
Image via growbainbridge.com
Plus, these wellness communities are sustainable and energy-efficient! The average electric bill? Just $8 per month, thanks to a largely solar-powered energy system.
Image via growbainbridge.com
Learn more about one of the pioneers of these communities, “Grow” (located just outside of Seattle) here!
Indego officially launched its bike share program in The City of Brotherly Love!
The Indego fleet which consists of 600 bicycles will be widely available at dozens of stations throughout the city. To signup and get a bike, simply sign up on your smartphone or register at the station’s kiosk.
We’re excited to see Philadelphia’s bike-friendly landscape become even more accessible for those of us without a bicycle of our own! If you’re planning on renting an Indego bike soon, send us a picture and your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org … And don’t forget a helmet!
The National Association of Home Builder Confidence Index rose to its 2015 high of 56 points last week, reflecting strong spring sales after a modest winter. Any number above 50 is considered to be good conditions.
The index takes considers builder perceptions of single family home sales, sales expectations for the upcoming six months, and prospective buyer traffic. While buyer traffic is considered to be below average for this time of year with an index score of 41, home builder sentiment for sales in the next six months is strong at 64.
Did you know that EveryHome has agents who specialize in new construction? We would love to be of assistance! Just give us a call at 215-699-5555.
The National Association of Realtors recently reported that home prices increased 9% from one year ago. The median existing home prices this past month was $212,100.
However, it’s difficult to predict how much an individual home’s value increased, as this figure obscures current real estate trends. For example, luxury home sales increased this past year. Since these luxury homes shift the median sale price higher, it becomes difficult to predict a specific neighborhood’s value without a little research from a local real estate agent.
Thinking about selling your home? Approximately 40% of all homes sold in March were on the market for less than thirty days! If you’re currently shopping for a home, this probably doesn’t surprise you — tight inventory of homes for sale is leading to fierce competition among buyers in many parts of the region. Whether you’re buying or selling (or both!) this season, we would love to be of assistance!
As the spring real estate market heats up, mortgage applications are on the rise!
The total volume of applications to purchase a home increased 16 percent from one year ago and applications to refinance a home have risen 41% in the same time period. It’s no surprise that homeowners are scrambling to refinance, as the average 30-year fixed rate loan is just 3.83% (down from 4.25% one year ago!).
Browsing for homes on EveryHome.com but don’t know when or how to reach out to a lender? We’ve got you covered! Give us a call at 215-699-5555 and we will be happy to introduce you to a local, friendly, knowledgeable loan officer.
CNBC is reporting that an impressive 51% of out-of-town students are choosing to stay in Philadelphia after graduation. Students surveyed include major universities including Temple, UPenn, Drexel, and LaSalle.
What’s keeping all of these Millennials in Philadelphia? College grads explained that they love the walkability to award-winning restaurants and nightlife, the impressive art scene, and growing reputation as a “foodie” city. Plus, it’s convenient for young people due to its low unemployment rates (just 5.8%), booming businesses (think Comcast!), and relatively affordable housing options.
Wondering what the catch is? We have more good news! All that is required is an online home buyer counseling course. You log in, take the class, and get certified. Upon certification, Fannie Mae could pay up to 3% of the price of your home. This credit will go towards your closing costs, which includes fees such as title insurance and taxes. Since closing costs can add up and prevent many young buyers from purchasing, this program is expected to allow more people to become homeowners.
The weather is heating up and so is the market for second-homes! With an improving economy (and real estate market), more and more buyer are in the market for a second home. Vacation home sales rose a staggering 57% last year over 2013! The momentum is expected to continue this year.
Plus, industry experts believe that now is the time to buy! Interest rates are expected to rise, and the low inventory of homes for sale is resulting in greater competition and increasing prices. Are you a good candidate to purchase a second home? CNBC offers this helpful advice: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102589503
And don’t forget! EveryHome Realtors is “down the shore!” With agents along the New Jersey coast, we would love to help you find an exciting new place in your favorite beach town. Just give us a call at 215-699-5555
As you might have guessed, there are a lot of myths surrounding the home buying process! Because laws, regulations, and standard practices change somewhat frequently, we find that information that first time buyers have received (usually from their parents) may be a bit outdated.
The biggest myth involves the amount needed for a down payment. Many young buyers are under the impression that they’ll need to have 20% of the purchase price (in cash, at settlement) in order to purchase a home. Luckily, this isn’t true!
The good news is that buyers typically need 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment. And if you’re active-duty or a military veteran, or purchasing in a rural area, you may be eligible to purchase with 0% down! In addition to the down payment, you’ll also be responsible for paying closing costs, which includes fees such as a transfer tax and title insurance. These fees can get hefty, but you may be able to have the seller pay for these closing costs through a seller assist.
EveryHome agents love working with first time buyers! There is no such thing as a silly question, so please be sure to reach out to your EveryHome agent for more information. We’re always available at email@example.com
Foreclosures are back to normal…. almost! Nearly seven years after the housing market collapsed, industry analysts are reporting a significant drop in foreclosures that is suggestive of a recovered housing market.
Incredibly, the foreclosure rate has dropped 67% since its peak in September 2010. Rising home values, buyer demand (especially compared to the low inventory of homes for sale!), and improving employment rates are cited as the main reasons for fewer distressed homes. But while the share of mortgages in foreclosures remains low at 1.4%, it is more than double the 0.6% that our economy enjoyed from 2000-2004.
Philadelphia Independent Film Festival (PIFF) will be back for its 8th year from April 17th through April 25th! Both local and international independent artists will be featured, and 12 diverse genres (including drama, horror, documentary, and sci-fi) will be represented.
While the PIFF’s official home is Philly Nexus, screenings will take place all over the city. In addition to screenings and awards, independent filmmakers will be hosting discussions and special events throughout the week.
Tickets are affordable and still available! A single show costs $10 and a pass for the entire weekend is available for $85. Be sure to visit www.philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.com for more information and tickets.
Drexel Hill has recently been ranked the top suburb for young buyers in the Philadelphia area! Movoto cited the Delaware county town as being affordable, convenient, and having a high percentage of married couples and residents under age five.
A 3 bedroom home for sale in Drexel Hill – just $155,000!
As a generally affordable Philadelphia suburb, Drexel Hill is also an easy commute to Center City and boasts a low unemployment rate.
Other local towns that made the top ten towns for young buyers include Devon, King of Prussia, Flourtown and Glenside. In New Jersey, Laurel Springs, Cherry Hill, Springdale and Green Tree topped the list.
To view homes in the Drexel Hill area (Upper Darby township), click here.
Remember being a kid and begging your parents for a swimming pool? And remember how your parents said no? Mom and Dad may have been onto something — after all, pool ownership shouldn’t be taken lightly. The heating costs, maintenance, safety and insurance can all be significant burdens! On the flipside, it’s hard to beat having a quick swim being just a few steps away. Plus, a pool is wonderful for entertaining friends, and the kids will love it.
Image via plantnj.com
While it still may seem counterintuitive, a home with a swimming pool in our area will often slightly bring down the value of a home when it hits the market — and this is especially true in homes that are valued under $250,000. Heating fees can cost around $200/month, weekly maintenance is typically around $80-100, and major repairs can be costly. As always, we recommend that you reach out to a local pool company for individualized pricing estimates if you find a home with a pool!
If you’d enjoy the benefits from the swimming pool in the home you’d like to purchase, be sure to ask the seller if they have maintenance and repair records for your review. Your agent will also be sure to assist you with a pool inspection during the sales process. And don’t be shy to negotiate with them about paying for any upfront pool maintenance or repairs!
What if pool maintenance isn’t in the budget, but you’re dying for the home? Removing the pool is always an option, and this typically costs around $7000-9000 (of course, this price can vary a lot!).
It happens. Sometimes we hear from new clients that they didn’t enjoy working with their prior real estate agent and that they would like to meet somebody new. While this situation can occur for a variety of reasons, the important part is that you’re served by an agent who is a great communicator, pleasant, knowledgeable and trustworthy.
We’re lucky to have an incredible team at EveryHome!
If you’re currently working with a real estate agent and you don’t think you’re a great fit, you have a couple of options. If you haven’t yet signed a Buyer’s Agency Contract (which obligates that specific agent to receive your commission), you’re free to meet a brand new agent without any hesitations. If you have signed a BAC, you can explain to your current agent why it just isn’t working out. Professional agents will appreciate your feedback and terminate your contract without any negotiations.
At EveryHome, we don’t ask clients to sign anything with us. Why? It’s simple. We trust that we will provide you with an excellent agent, and we stand by our service. We don’t feel the need to ask you to sign paperwork saying you’ll use EveryHome. Instead, we trust that you’ll enjoy working with your EveryHome agent. Of course, should you ever feel that your EveryHome agent isn’t a perfect fit, give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We keep all requests confidential, and we’re always happy to help!