Tag Archives: Real estate

Holiday Season Real Estate Bargains!

Holiday Season Real Estate Bargains!

shopping season

We tend to think of the holiday season as a shopping season for gifts and food, but not for major investments. With major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we think of buying discounted toys, games and electronics. But around the holidays is actually a great time to look at purchasing a new home, too. Here are some reasons why you should shop now:

· New homes may be less expensive – Much like retailers, builders also want to close out the year with less inventory on their books. This could translate to a great deal for you as the buyer. Shopping for a brand new home during, and right after, the holiday season could really pay off. Some builders even offer incentives like free or discounted upgrades, so keep your eyes peeled for deals.

· Investors are looking to liquidate – Real estate investors also do not want to close the year out with a lot of inventory on their books. It’s more profitable for them to flip properties quickly, and they may be willing to lower their prices or take a little less than the asking price to sell quickly. An experienced real estate agent can help you find investor-owned properties that you can snap up for a great price.

· People want a fresh start for the new year – Around the beginning of the new year, people are motivated to make major changes in their lives. Maybe moving is on their agenda, but they really don’t want to wait for spring to get into that new home. Eager sellers can offer fantastic deals for buyers, so take a look now and see what bargains are out there.

· Sellers listing in off-peak times may have a bigger sense of urgency – People listing their homes in the winter months may have a bigger need to sell their homes than those who can wait until more optimal times to sell. There may be a little more wiggle room in the price, or you may be able to ask for help with closing costs as an added bonus.

· There is less competition among buyers – Fewer people looking to buy means you may not be up against as many competing offers that may drive up your bid on a home.

We know the holidays are a busy time of year, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can balance home shopping with all of the festivities. Finding a great home for a lower price will be well worth the little bit of extra effort. Jacobson Realty and Home Staging can help you get the most house for your money. If you’re ready to find out about real estate bargains and shop for a home this holiday season, contact us today!

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Your 2016 Home Selling Checklist

Your 2016 Home Selling Checklist

sell their homes

In the Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket Virginia area, many people wait to sell their homes in the spring or summer. But that doesn’t mean you should wait on preparing. To obtain the best price for your home, you need two main components: a realtor who will go the distance to get you the best deal and a home that is well-prepped. Get ready to list your home by checking off the items below.

· Get a home inspection prior to listing your home. Show buyers that you’re proactive about getting repairs done and giving them the best possible value when they purchase your home. Once the home inspection is done, you’ll know which repairs are important for you to tackle right away.

· Get rid of clutter. When people view your home, they want to see the potential for their family in the house, not your collection of National Geographic Magazine from 1987 to the present. Pre-pack or throw away items you don’t regularly use. Organize the items that are left and clean your house from top to bottom. Buyers want storage room, so show them how much room you have by keeping your storage spaces uncluttered.

· Make sure your flooring is up-to-date. Buyers don’t want to tackle replacing all the flooring after they move in. If your current flooring is dirty, worn or dated, you may want to consider updating it prior to putting your home on the market.

· Create curb appeal. Your home’s curb appeal gives buyers their first impression. You want this to be a positive experience so they remember your home and want to buy it. Keep your yard weed-free. Add greenery as the season permits.

· Create a neutral color palate inside. Buyers don’t want a long list of improvements to make after they move in. Help attract buyers with a fresh coat of paint or two. Neutral colors and clean walls with no holes will attract buyers.

· Depersonalize your home. Even though you may love your hometown football team, you never know what will be a turn-off for potential buyers. Try to take as many personal decorative items out of your home while its on the market to avoid alienating any customers. Allow them to see themselves living in your home by removing family photos and memorabilia.

· Anticipate your buyers’ needs. Your buyers already have a list of what they want. Racking up items, no matter how small, on their future to-do list is a quick way to lose a buyer. Help them check off items on their wish list instead of creating their to-do list.

· Make your home move-in ready. Once you’ve had your inspection and prioritized your to-do list, create a budget and a timeline to make your home move-in ready. Maybe you need to replace a few windows, apply a few coats of fresh paint or spackle all the places where your photos hung. Set yourself up for success by getting your home move-in ready before it even hits the market.

· Stage to sell. A well-staged home can make the buyer feel at home. Make sure you have good lighting and properly placed furniture for showings.

If you are looking for a professional opinion on your home as you prepare it for selling, Jacobson Realty and Home Staging is there to help. We can walk you through every step of the process to make sure your home is ready to sell at the time you want to sell it. Contact us today!

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Why Buy a Home Warranty?

Why Buy a Home Warranty?

We show people a home

When we show people a home, we are very thorough about asking questions to ensure you are getting the best value for your home-buying dollar. In addition, you will probably have a home inspector check your potential new home for existing issues or issues that may arise in the near future. Even with all this, though, you should consider getting a home warranty, either as the buyer or the seller, to get the peace of mind that you have either just sold or purchased a well-functioning home.

A home warranty protects the actual structures, systems and appliances in your home. It’s not a replacement for home owners insurance, which protects your home and your belongings in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. A home warranty is a good supplement to have just in case you have issues with your major appliances, systems or structure of your home that result from the natural breakdown of manmade materials over time. A home warranty typically costs a little up front with a small fee each time services are needed, but can potentially save you thousands on repairs over time. Inevitably, things in your home will break, and it’s good to have the reassurance a home warranty can provide.

Not all home warranties are created equal. I highly recommend a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty for my customers. A warranty from a company like 2-10 can help cover your repair costs on things like your HVAC system, plumbing, hot water heater, wiring, etc. You can purchase separate structural coverage which can cover things like foundation systems, beams, columns, load-bearing walls and more. You can also get additional coverage for items like pools, septic tanks, roof leaks, wells or extra refrigerators and freezers. Most policies last one year, but are renewable every year.

How can a warranty benefit a potential seller? Sometimes people selling their homes purchase a home warranty to protect their investment during the time their house is listed and as an added bonus for purchasers. Buyers who may have depleted their savings to purchase a new home won’t have any additional major expenses should repairs arise in the first year they own their home.

If you’re the buyer, you will probably want to keep your out-of-pocket expenses low, especially if you depleted some of your savings as a down payment on a home. You may want to consider purchasing a home warranty to ensure that you don’t have any major expenditures in your first year of home ownership.

Jacobson Realty and Home Staging provides expert advice when you are looking to buy or sell a home. If you have questions on the process, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help.

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NEW FEDERAL REAL ESTATE CLOSING DISCLOSURES IN EFFECT OCTOBER 2015. What they are and what do they mean to you?

NEW FEDERAL REAL ESTATE CLOSING DISCLOSURES IN EFFECT OCTOBER 2015. What they are and what do they mean to you?

New rule for disclosures

There is a new rule for disclosures in real estate transactions – it is called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or TRID, rule. The rule will go into effect on October 1, 2015 for real estate contracts that are fully agreed to on or after this date. We atJacobson Realty and Home Staging want to fully explain what TRID is and how it will affect you so you have the necessary information to go confidently to the closing table.

Why Did We Need a New Rule?

The federal government under the direction of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) has determined that the settlement statements, currently known as TIL and HUD1, are difficult to understand, which has also made it difficult to comparison shop for services. The CFPB believes more transparency is needed to help buyers better understand the terms and conditions of their mortgage loans.

What Is the New TRID Rule?

The new rule consolidates four existing disclosures for closed-end credit transactions secured by real property, into two new ones. This means for most loans, there will be two disclosures: your Loan Estimate and your Closing Disclosure. A few exceptions to the new rule exist such as home equity lines of credit (HELOC) and reverse mortgages, will still use the Truth In Lending and HUD-1 disclosures, as always.

The Loan Estimate

The Loan Estimate is a good-faith estimate of the credit costs and the terms of your transaction. It replaces the existing Good Faith Estimate and Truth In Lending disclosures. You should receive your Loan Estimate within three business days from the date your lender received your loan application. If you want to proceed with the loan, you must notify your lender within 10 business days to state your intention. The Loan Estimate provides more detail than previously used documentation. You will receive the loan terms; projected payment changes especially if you want an adjustable rate mortgage, and a glossary of terms to ease you through the understanding process.

The Closing Disclosure

This new Closing Disclosure is the final disclosure reflecting the actual terms of the transaction for the buyer and seller. This replaces the HUD-1 and final Truth In Lending disclosures. You will receive this no later than three business days before the closing date. This gives the buyer the opportunity to fully review the terms of the loan before you go to the settlement table. The form gives you information relative loan terms, closing costs, loan costs, title services, taxes, the seller’s costs and more. There should be no surprises at the closing table with this new disclosure. In the event there is a change to the new CLOSING DISCLOSURE the transaction will automatically extend for 3 business days until paperwork is corrected and the buyer, seller and lender have had time to compete another review and there are no changes. Any further change automatically adds 3-day extension to the closing. Delays may be the result of a walk through inspection issue, a numeric correction, or any last minute uncontrolled event.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE CHANGES:

– Buyers and sellers should extend typical closing times by at least 7 days in anticipation of a delay but strive to close earlier if agreed to by all parties. This will help prevent the automatic 3-day extension imposed by the federal rule.

– Buyers should conduct their walk-through inspection at least 7 days prior to closing to provide sellers time to repair, replace or correct final walk-through issues

– Sellers need to be better organized to allow buyers to conduct a thorough and complete final walk-through inspection. The packing and moving process will be much easier for all parties if the seller is as organized as possible. Movers and moving truck assistance should not be confirmed until after the walk-through inspection.

– Buyers, with guidance from their Realtor, should be confident in their selection of lender and title companies. The stronger their relationship the higher the success rate will be to close without errors and on time!

– Average closing times have been 30- 45 days. Under this new rule buyers and sellers should anticipate a 45- 60 day timeframe for closing. Closing more quickly may prove to be difficult if mortgage financing is needed.

We are up-to-date on the latest changes in real estate regulations, and we pass our education along to the consumer, and especially to our clients. Contact us for more information and let us help you navigate through the new closing disclosure process. Or, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for details on the TRID rule.

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