Park City Utah Real Estate Blog

Please take a moment to browse about current Real Estate Issues and get some great tips related to Buying and Selling Real Estate. You will find interesting articles about all aspects of Real Estate related to owning, buying and selling property.

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Nov. 16, 2017

Does Selling Make Sense?

By Jim Bradley

Five Questions You Should Ask When Considering Selling Your Home.

Today's housing market presents considerable opportunities for both sellers and homebuyers. The demand for homes is high and now that prices are stabilizing, and in many cases increasing, across much of the country, it may be the right time to consider taking advantage of the market and selling your home.

While potential homebuyers are aware of the positive impact of historically attractive low interest rates, we're seeing many sellers who are confused and concerned whether now is indeed the right time to put their home on the market. If this is the fence that you're sitting on, here are five questions to help you decide if now is the right time to make a move:

1. Have you built equity in your home? Home equity can be defined as the value of a home, minus the amount of outstanding debt. Although equity does not generally develop in the first few years of home ownership, five or more years of home payments may create significant unrealized gains. Any equity you may have can be used to move up to a larger home or as a comfortable nest egg if you're nearing retirement and considering downsizing.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? You should consider your overall financial situation, including current and future expenses, in order to make an educated decision on a price range for a new home. For example, an increase in salary may allow for an increased mortgage.

3. Has your lifestyle changed? Lifestyle changes are one of the most common reasons people choose to move. Starting or adding to a family may require an extra bedroom or additional square footage. A desire to live closer to work or family may provide the motivation for a home in a new town. Or now may be the time to downsize to a home that requires less up-keep.

4. How is the housing supply in your neighborhood? Demand for homes is high and there are currently not enough sellers for potential buyers. Have you noticed there is only a spattering of for sale signs in your neighborhood? And more importantly - have you noticed how quickly those sale pending signs are posted? With fewer homes on the market, there is more competition for yours, which could mean more offers and potentially more money.

5. Are interest rates attractive? A low interest rate means lower mortgage payments on your next home, even if it is in the same price range. Visit sites like Bankrate.com to get most up to date mortgage rates in your area.

Posted in Selling my home
Nov. 16, 2017

Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home

By Jim Bradley

Did you miss your opportunity to Buy or Sell a home?

Let get together

Are you hearing that home prices have gone up so much that it is no longer a good time to buy a home? Are your friends and family telling you that it no longer make good financial sense to purchase a home because they are no longer affordable?  Guess what they could be wrong.

Right now homes are more affordable than almost any time in history except during the bottom of the last financial meltdown between 2009 and 2015 when there were so many run down foreclosures on the market selling at distress prices.  Check out the graph below published by Black Knight Mortgage Monitor which illustrates the percent of median income needed to purchase a medium home in most markets today.  

Currently the percentage needed is less than the prior periods.

Black Knight Mortgage Monitor goes on to illustrate that home affordability is better today than it was in the late 1990s in all but 3 States. Map of Affordability

 

 

Let’s get together and figure out what is your best solutions when it comes to buying your first home or selling your current house to buy the home of your dreams.

 

Nov. 8, 2017

5 Reasons Buy a Home

By Jim Bradley

Home Image out of Wood Edges

I was raised with the idea as I am sure many of you were that one of the American Dreams was homeownership. Recent reports being published are indicating that the US homeownership rate is increasing from recent lows and are predicted to continue into the near future. The reasons to own a home differ for each of us although there are many common themes why so many are choosing homeownership.

Below are the top 5 financial reasons for owning your own home.

1.  When you own a home it is a form of forced a savings plan. By paying your mortgage each month it allows you to build up equity in your home that you can use later in life for to pay off high-interest credit card debt, home renovations, or help pay for a child's education. When you are a renter you are paying into your landlord equity position and not yours.

2.  Currently you will have tax savings by deducting your mortgage interest, property taxes, and profits from selling your home. Always be sure to always check with your accountant first to find out which tax advantages apply to you in your area and how you can best apply them to your own situation.

3.  Owning a home will allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost. By purchasing a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you are able to lock in your monthly housing cost for the next 5, 15, or 30 years. The current interest rates have remained around 4%, which are some of the lowest rates in history. With inflation the value of your home will continue to rise and your monthly house payment will remain the same.

4.  Many sources are reporting that buying a home is cheaper than renting. Trulia recently reported "it is now 37.4% less expensive to buy a home of your own than to rent in the US. The amount you will save varies throughout the country and ranges from 6% cheaper in San Jose, CA to 57% cheaper in Detroit, MI."

5.  What other investment can you own which will lets you live in them. When you invest in stock market or something else still need a place to hang your hat and to live. In a home that you own you can wake up every morning knowing that your investment in your home is gaining equity while you sleep and get a place to live.

Before you get lock into another 6 months or more by signing another lease, give me a call so we can explore your options and expand your understanding of what it will take to get you into your next home.

Call or Text me Jim Bradley   801.599.1089   

Nov. 7, 2017

Extended Families are Help With Housing

Extended Families are Helping to Make Homes more Affordable 

By Jim Bradley

Families living together

There are a lot of households which are choosing to live as an extended family. These multi-generational households are becoming more popular and have proven to be a useful tool to support the families' structure and add to their economic strength.  Millions of Americans currently are sharing a roof with their grown children or parents. 

Realtor.com has reported, “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is now living in a multi-generational household – a household with two or more adult generations, or grandparents living with grandchildren – a level that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since 1950.”

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers which states that 13% of home buyers purchased multi-generational homes last year. 

There are many reasons for creating this type of household and the top 5 reported reasons are:

1.  To take care of aging parents (22%, up from 19% last year) which is a Cost savings (17%).

2.  Children over the age of 18 moving back home (16%, up from 14% last year).

3.  Families who opt to take care of aging parents or grandparents at home.

4.  Millennials who are looking to live with their parents while they attend school or save for a down payment.

5.  Last but not least, basic economics.

 

For a long time a couple and their dependent children was considered to be the nuclear family. Recently Co-author John Graham of the book “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multi-generational Living,” states and explains, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

There are many reasons this change is being ever more popular.  We are seeing a growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population which helps explain some of the rise in multi-generational living; “Data suggest that multi-generational living is more prevalent among Asian (28%), Hispanic (25%), and African-American (25%) families, while U.S. whites have fewer multi-generational homes (15%).”  Single women are a bit more likely to live in multi-generational lifestyle than their male counterparts (12% vs. 10%, respectively).

The trend has been that as home prices increase more families tend to go for the option of living together.  These extended Family households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from a single generation living in a home, these extended family households offer a solution that many families are looking for as home prices continue to increase due to the lack of housing inventory.

Nov. 6, 2017

When to Buy or Sell a Home

Home Prices see Fast Growth Due to Low Inventory Levels

By Jim Bradley

The latest Metro Home Price Report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicates that there is a historic low inventory of homes across the country. These low levels of available home inventory are keeping the number of home sale down and prices rising.  Home prices were reported to have gone up 5.3% in the last quarter.

 The Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors is reported as saying:

“Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had to outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

What this means if you are looking to sell a home

Increasing prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by the Washington Post in a recent article post:

“The rise in median sales prices has made current homeowners much more willing to sell their home, and that willingness is one of the main drivers behind the inventory that does make it on to the market. While it hasn’t been enough to meet demand, it has made the situation much better, compared with even three or four years ago.”

What this means if you are looking to buy a home

In a market where prices are increasing the cost of waiting for buyers should be taken into account. If you wait you will pay more for the same house later this year or next year. If interest rates continue to rise your payments will rise and as the prices of homes increase the amount of cash needed for a down payment to purchase that home will also increase.

Here is the takeaway!

If you are thinking of selling to downsize waiting might make sense. If you are a first-time home buyer or thinking of selling your current home and moving up, now is the best time to make your buying or selling decisions.

Call or Text to Jim Bradley @ 801.599.1089 now for help!

Nov. 3, 2017

Thinking of Selling Your Home

Thinking about Sell Now Instead of Later? Buyers are Out Now Looking for a Home

By Jim Bradley

Typically at the end of the calendar year when many homeowners are thinking of selling their home they figure that they will wait until spring to put their home on the market to sale. Recently releases data now suggests that the seller's best deal may be right now.  Right now we are looking a very low inventory of homes on the market. If you think about the "Supply and Demand" curve, when the supply of that homes are low and the demand for that homes is high is when you will get the most for your home.  

Looking into more about "Supply and Demand" consider the following:

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed for over a year. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply.

Supply is currently very low!!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. This includes more buyers looking at homes right now than at any time during last year’s spring market.

Demand is currently very high!! 

Consider this.

By waiting until the spring to list your house for sale may have made sense in the past. The market indicates this year is different. Your best deal is most likely available right now.

Nov. 1, 2017

Is Buying a home in your future?

Is Buying Home in your plans?  It is a good idea to know Your Credit Score!

By Jim Bradley

Do you know what your credit score is?  Have you looked at a copy of your credit report lately? A good place to get started in the buying process is to find out what your credit score is and get a recent copy of your credit report.  It is always better to know your credit score and how you are doing than not.

After your receive a report or if you can pull one out of a file than take a close look and make sure all the information reported is accurate.  If you find items which are unexplained or don't appear to be right take some time and work to get them corrected.  The higher your credit score the lower the interest rate you receive on a loan.   

 It is no longer true that you will need 750 Credit Score or better to purchase a home.  Ellie Mae's Origination Report states that over 53% of the loans in the last 30 days were approved with a Credit score of 750 or under. 

Here are 6 good tips to keep your credit score up or to improve it:

1. Do everything you can to make your payments on time, including but not limited to rent, credit cards and car loans.

2. Keep the balance on your credit card to no more than 30% of the credit limits.

3. Work on paying down the high-balance credit cards first. Consider a balance transfer to move your balances down on the card with higher percentages of credit limits.

4. Check for errors on your credit report and make an effort to fix them as soon as possible.

5. Keep your shopping for a mortgage limited and only allow the lender you are going with to pull your credit. Try to limit the time you are search for a lender to a 30 day period, by having a lot of inquires spread-out can lower your score.

6. Work with a professional credit counselor or lender to move your score up.

After you receive your credit score you will be ready to find a lender and get started to get pre-approved for a mortgage to buy a home.  Your lender will let you know how what price range you will be able to qualify for before you start looking seriously for your home.

Oct. 31, 2017

Applying for a Mortgage

Are you holding back from Applying for a Mortgage?

By Jim Bradley Realtor

 

There are a lot of potential buyers who won't move forward into buying a home because they are unsure about the process.  One of the biggest reasons is the concern about qualifying for a mortgage.

The Mortgage process can be a little intimidating and scary, although it does not have to be.

You will simply have to save for a down payment, (73% of all home buyers make a down payment of less than 20%, with many putting down less than 3%), have a stable income and good credit history.

There are many different professionals whom will perform necessary roles.  Throughout the entire process they will assist you through the process and guide you every step of the way.

When you are ready to apply there are 5 steps Freddy Mac suggests you be aware of and follow. Here are the 5 Steps to follow:

1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO® Score of all closed loans in September was 724, according to Ellie Mae.

 2. Start gathering all your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).

 3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer that can help you develop a spending plan, as well as determine how much home you can afford.

 4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.

 5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change), and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

 To get started

 Do your research by looking into the process, reach out and contact professionals, set up and stick to your budget, get ready to take on one of the most rewarding financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

Posted in Getting a Mortgage
Oct. 30, 2017

Renting or Buying

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You're Paying Someone's Mortgage...Yours or Your Landlords

 

There are some people who have not purchased homes yet because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich,”

 “While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

 Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 3.94% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Posted in Buying a Home