Melanie Girard

Melanie Girard

Friday, July 15, 2011

What Lenders Can Learn from Habitat for Humanity

We are very fortunate in Chatham County to have a strong, participatory Habitat for Humanity Program.  We have two thriving re-sale stores and a generous community that donates to those stores. I personally love to shop there!

Check out this national article:

http://realestate.msn.com/what-lenders-can-learn-from-habitat-for-humanity?GT1=35010

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Make An Offer

How To Make An Offer that Will Be Accepted

by The KCM Crew on May 31, 2011 · 5 comments
You have finally found the house of your dreams. It is priced right and is receiving a lot of attention from other buyers. You don’t want to miss this opportunity so you are ready to put in an offer with the real estate agent immediately. What can you do to guarantee your offer is the one accepted? Financially, offers can be broken down into three categories:

1.) An All-Cash Offer

Obviously, a cash purchaser is always favored by any seller. In today’s real estate market, an all-cash offer is even more enticing. Last month, one in four real estate transactions were impacted by a low appraisal. An all-cash buyer eliminates the need for the bank appraisal.

2.) A Non-Contingency Offer

If you don’t have the cash reserves for an all-cash purchase, the next best thing would be to make a non-contingency offer. To do this you should be already pre-approved for a mortgage and have your current house already in contract. This gives the seller the confidence that you are already a qualified buyer who will be able to complete the purchase.

3.) A Contingency Offer

Some buyers start the process of looking for a new home before their current home is sold. This could be a big mistake. If you find the home you were hoping for (perfect for your family AND priced right), it will be very difficult to get your offer accepted because you are not actually qualified to buy.
Asking a seller to wait for your home to sell is somewhat unreasonable in today’s environment. One of the reasons you would want the home is because the seller priced the home at a value to sell it NOW. They want to know it is sold when they accept an offer. They normally will not even entertain a contingency offer.

Bottom Line

Unless you have the ability to purchase with cash, the best thing to do is to be pre-approved for a mortgage and have your current house already in contract before looking for the home of your dreams. That guarantees you will get the home you love at a price that makes sense.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shadow Inventory

Last week, we reported on the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook and gave you a map showing the percentage of overall sales that distressed properties represented in each state. Today we want to show you another map from the same NAR outlook. This one shows the number of months shadow inventory by state:
NAR explained their methodology:
The map shows the number of months it would take to clear the shadow inventory by state. The months’ supply is estimated by dividing the shadow inventory and the monthly number of distressed sales. The numbers range broadly from 51 months in New Jersey to 7 months in Nevada. When looking at months’ supply it is important to keep in mind that this estimate highly depends on saturation of distressed sales. Given that New Jersey over the past year on average reported about 20 percent of existing home sales to be distressed sales, it will take a longer period for the shadow inventory to clear. In contrast, Nevada’s distressed sales averaged a considerable 70 percent share of the existing sales and at that rate the current shadow inventory would clear in 7 months.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 Reasons to Put Your House on the Market Now

I admit that I have borrowed this post from a real estate blog that I follow. Good information is good information. This is from Keeping Current Matters.

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons To Do It NOW!

by The KCM Crew on February 15, 2011 · 8 comments
The conventional wisdom when selling a home has always been to wait until the ‘Spring Buying Season’. Over the years, that has seemed to make sense and is now accepted as a good strategy for those who want to sell their house and receive the best possible price. This real estate market has shattered many previously held beliefs. The wisdom of waiting for a spring market is another belief that is about to fall. Here are five reasons why?

1.) Interest Rates Are On the Rise

Interest rates have spiked up rather dramatically over the last ninety days and are now over 5%. Initially, an increase in rates has a positive effect on the market as it forces buyers off the fence. However, it also eats into a buyer’s purchasing power. As rates increase, the mortgage amount a buyer qualifies for decreases. This will eventually have a negative impact on prices.

2.) Your Dream Home Will Never Be Cheaper

If your family goal is to sell your current house and take advantage of the fabulous selection of properties currently available to buy the home of your dreams, DO IT NOW! Prices will continue to soften in most markets. However, if you are buying, COST should be more important than PRICE. Cost can be dramatically impacted by rising mortgage interest rates. Do the math and decide if now is the time.

3.) Buyers Are Out Early

There is mounting evidence that buyers are coming out earlier this year. A belief that now is a good time to buy coupled with the increase in interest rates has started the buying season early.
Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia:
“We’re seeing a national resurgence of buyer and seller activity on Trulia.com. In January alone, we experienced an unprecedented level of site traffic including 11 million unique visitors – which is more than 70 percent year-over-year growth. We’ve are now experiencing 100,000 property views per minute.”
The National Association of Realtors just reported that the number of house  sales increased 12.9% over last month.

4.) Inventory Increases Every Spring

Every year there is an increase of inventory which comes to market as we approach the spring. Here is the number of listings available for sale in 2010.
  • February – 3,531,000
  • March – 3,626,000
  • April – 4,029,000
We believe there will be an increase in these numbers in 2011 as there is a pent-up selling demand created by the weak market of the last few years. You won’t have to worry about this increasing competition if you sell now.

5.) We Are in the Eye of the Foreclosure Storm

While banks are trying to rectify their foreclosure procedures, there is a large supply of discounted properties which has been delayed coming to market. This inventory will be released sometime in the next few months. Foreclosures sell on average at a 41% discount. When released they will be competing with your house for the buyers in the marketplace. If you are looking to sell in 2011, you want to sell before this inventory becomes your competition.
CNN Money quoted the leadership Of RealtyTrac on this issue:
“We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “This is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”
“We expect a spike in the first quarter,” said Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac spokesman.

Bottom Line

These are five strong reasons to sell now instead of waiting until later in the year. Sit down with a local real estate professional today and decide the best options for you and your family.