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The Best Way to Save Money During the Home Buying Process

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Finding the perfect home to buy is only a part of the home purchase process.  Getting a mortgage loan is the second part and it can be complicated.  Not knowing the facts can cost you thousands up front and cost you far more down the stretch.  With mortgage loans, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.  Do your research and don't fall for gimmicks or rates that seem to be much lower than the norm.  My suggestion is to find a qualified mortgage professional in your market area.  You can find them typically by asking your Real Estate agent, asking friends, etc.  Ask for references and talk to them.  This is serious business and you want to make sure that you get the best mortgage package available.  

Most of your "money" challenge rests, not with the purchase price, but with the cost of borrowing money to buy. Saving a few thousand on the purchase price, but jumping into a mortgage without any research may mean that apparent purchase savings disappear into massive accrued interest costs.

The cost of borrowing someone else's money to buy a house or condominium can add interest and other charges that result in you paying two or three times the original purchase price after a couple of decades of ownership.

Invest "brain time" learning about how to finance the purchase and you'll get pay-back in how much less you spend on borrowing the money.

For instance, if you want to buy real estate, have you taken time to…

  • Understand how to present the best possible credit rating to qualify for the best rate and terms?
  • Learn which mortgage terms, including amortization period, prepayment options, frequency of interest compounding, and many more, can cost you money and how to protect yourself before you sign on the dotted line?
  • Discover how and why you should repay your mortgage loan as quickly as possible and save on years of interest payments?

Once again, talk of rising interest rates has us mesmerized. Whether you are selling to buy, purchasing a new build, or entering the real estate market for the first time, mortgage rates are a topic you've been following. Unfortunately, tracking rates alone won't teach you enough about how to save and how to protect all your interests when buying a home. While borrowing rates are important, they are one of many factors to consider when arranging a loan.

The internet offers many good sources of refinancing information mixed in with sources of too much bad advice, dated content, and devious promotion. Stick to solid, reputable sources, including government agencies and consumer associations, and remain skeptical of all you hear and read. Ask a lot of questions and take notes. The "exam" is your financial wellbeing.

Our tendency to click around popular sites, which may have sometimes undisclosed agendas, can make learning about mortgages harder, not easier. Jumping from site to site, blog to blog, author to author can be confusing. Learn the basics, including terminology, before you look for slick tricks. Master the language of mortgages, so you can comfortably discuss your options with mortgage and real estate salespeople.

One great educational opportunity is to learn from the mistakes and mishaps of others. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established in 2010, describes itself as "a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives."

Make a Complaint: If you've experienced difficulties with a financial product, they want to hear from you.

They'll forward your issue to the company involved and provide you with status updates.

Read about Complaints: Complaint Database.

CFPB also provides educational support to head-off problems and explain new disclosures: Know Before You Owe.

If you are looking for a mortgage professional in the Eugene/Springfield market area, contact me.  I have a list of the best mortgage professionals in our area.  I can save you both time and money.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



4215 Heins Ct

Price: $239,900    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1489

Beautiful Brand New Home! Another great home from builder Gary Konold. Located in cul-de-sac w/ shopping only a 2 minute drive away! One level home offers  laminate wood flrs, granite counters...
View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Market Activity for June 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area continues to soar.  June was a record breaking month for home sales.  At the same time the inventory of homes continues to decline, making the Eugene and Springfield area a strong sellers market.  Most of this hot sales action continues to be in the lower and mid range areas.  Sales of upper end priced homes continue to be sluggish.  This is something that is more unique to Lane county as many parts of the country are seeing a hot market even in the upper price ranges.

June was another great month for closed sales in Lane County. The 536 closings outpaced last month (411) by 30.4% and last June (389) by 37.8%. It was the strongest June for closings in Lane County on the RMLSTM record—the previous June record of 508 was tallied in 2004.

Pending sales (557) outpaced last June’s 428 by 30.1% and edged out last month’s 552 accepted offers by 0.9%. New listings (680) similarly outpaced last June’s 641 by 6.1% and May 2015 (672) by 1.2%.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 2.6 months in June. Total market time decreased to 73 days in the same period.

Year to Date Summary

Activity is up during the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year. Pending
 sales (2,695) are up 29.9%, closed sales (2,164) are up 28.0%, and new listings (3,594) are up 12.0% this year compared to the first six months of 2014.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2015 to 2014 through June of each year, the average sale price rose 3.0% from $234,300 to $241,300. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 4.3% from $210,000 to $219,000.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



2511 Garfield St
 

Price: $435,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2    Half Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 3908

Spacious custom home w/ tree views! Beautiful 3 levels offer amazing treetop views from lg private master ste which occupies entire upper level. Grand KIT w/ very lg cook island, eat-bar, cherry cabs, corian counters & Wilsonart lam flrs that lead t...
View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Top 3 Reasons a Buyer Chooses to Buy a Home

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Over the past several weeks, I have been advising anyone who is considering selling their home to take action now while we have a strong sellers market.  Now, I would like to go over a few things that are important parts of being successful with selling your home.  You may notice that even during this strong market, there are homes that just sit there and don't sell.  There are reasons for that and to make sure that you do not experience this with your home sale, here are a few rules to live by as mentioned in a recent article in Realty Times.

You may think buyers will love your home because of your extraordinary taste in home furnishings or the incredible job you did with your home addition. Nope, it's not the décor or the vast add-on that gets them to commit, although they may help. There are three top reasons a buyer chooses to buy a home -- price, condition, and location.

Let's start with Price.

To choose the right asking price for your home, you need to know if your neighborhood is in a buyer's market or seller's market. A buyer's market is characterized by large inventories of six months' supply or higher, few buyers making offers, low offers, and many other concessions asked of sellers. A seller's market is characterized by low supply of six months on hand or less, heavy buyer traffic, multiple offers, and close to full price or full price offers.

Bankers, buyers' agents and buyers all have access to the same market information that your agent has given you. If you overprice for the current market, your potential buyers won't get to see your home, and even if they do, they won't get their loans approved.

 

Condition

Allow your real estate agent to help you market your home by putting it in the best condition possible. Buyer's pet peeves may be easy items to fix, but you don't want your house to go to the bottom of their list because you failed to paint, mow, replace the carpet, etc. Sometimes you have to invest a little money to make money.

Remember, today's buyers are more skeptical about buying a home, so creaky steps, dripping faucets, and outdated wallpaper just give buyers a reason to skip your home.

Location

You can't do much about your home's location, but you can make your home more attractive with lovely landscaping, fences to block out ugly views and sounds, a lower price and immaculate condition.

If you do have a great location, don't overprice. People expect to pay more for a great location next to schools, transportation, shopping and restaurants, but if you overprice, they will scrutinize the price and the condition.

It's hard not to be sentimental about the home you've lived in for years, but to buyers, your home is a commodity. Like you, they simply want to make a good deal on a home they love.

You'll quickly find out what real estate agents and their buyers think of your home. If you get a quick offer, you know you priced it right for the location, condition, and the current market.

If you don't get an offer within a couple of weeks, or whatever period is normal for your area, there's something wrong. Look at your price and condition and see if you can make your home a little more desirable.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


2060 McLean Blvd

Price: $305,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2180

Beautiful and peaceful residence! From high up on a hill enjoy serene tree views. Sunlight floods inside through numerous large windows and 2 sliders. Relax next to the fireplace in the family room, take in the view from the living room, or outside ...
View this property >>


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Market Activity for July 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

If you think that it is too late in the season to put your home on the market, think again!  The Eugene and Springfield market area continues to have a very low inventory of homes for sale in many price ranges and areas.  This means less competition and a chance for you to sell quickly at top dollar value.  The other thing that is important to think about is the fact that your home value has most likely increased significantly over the past year.  This along with a robust housing market in our area makes this a great time to think about selling.  This market won't last forever.  We will see and end to this long run of low mortgage interest rates  and when that takes place, housing affordability will suffer and most likely demand will decline.

If you have been considering selling your home and just want to check things out, please contact me.  With a short 20 minute visit to your home, I can give you some ideas on what your home is worth and also give you some information on what it would take to sell your home.  

Have An Awesome Week!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-July-2015

 

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!


28135 Spencer Creek Rd

Price: $1,250,000    Beds: 4    Baths: 4    ½ Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 6143

Just minutes from town! This gated country estate is spectacular with an exquisite manor featuring grand staircase, 4 bedroom suites, office, theater room, gourmet kitchen and more. Great shop for RV and storage, creek, waterfall pool, ponds for fishing...
View this property >>



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8 Major Steps You Will Take When Buying a Home

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

With mortgage interest rates continuing to hover at historic low levels, the number of people buying homes continues to increase. If you fall into this category, here are just a few tips from "Realty Times" about purchasing a home.

There are eight major steps you will take when you buy a home and each one is as important in its own way as the last.

Make your wish list -- Decide where you want to live and how many bedrooms and baths you'll need. Consider lifestyle -- condominiums offer shared amenities, with little responsibility. Single-family homes offer more space and privacy, but they also require more exterior and yard maintenance. Consider buying a fixer-upper for a reduced cost so you can remodel it to suit your needs.

Get preapproved -- You can prequalify yourself on the internet, but it takes a lender looking at your personal financial information to get prequalified. Your income, credit scores, revolving debts, obligations such as child support as well as the type of loan you choose will influence how much home you can buy. Other factors such as the down payment, interest rate and terms (30-year fixed or an adjustable rate) will determine what you can afford in monthly payments.

Hire a real estate professional -- Armed with a sensible price range, you're ready to hire a real estate expert to help you find the right home. Your real estate professional should be expert in the area where you want to live and familiar with the type of home you want to buy. Your agent should have house-by-house experience in the neighborhood you want so she or he can advise you.

Select your home -- No home is perfect, so don't let minor flaws influence you. Think long-term. Which available home best suits the needs of your household now and in the years ahead? Consider the amount of space, the floorplan, privacy, entertaining options and potential upkeep. Don't buy more than you need or can comfortably afford.

Make an offer -- Your offer should reflect current market conditions. If a home has been on the market a long time, you can ask the seller for a price reduction, but if it's new on the market, the seller is unlikely to comply. Sellers are more likely to respond to how much you love the home, than all the reasons why you don't think it's worth the asking price. Ask your real estate professional for advice on how to negotiate.

Get an inspection -- A home inspection is a professional third-party opinion of the home's condition. The inspector will point out the age of systems, and large and small repairs that are needed, so you'll know what you're facing as the next owner. Don't sweat small cosmetic flaws. Concentrate instead of high-cost items to replace such as air conditioners and roofing.

Get an appraisal - The bank appraisal determines market value to the lender. The appraiser will use comparables of similar homes that have recently sold. If the home doesn't appraise for the purchase price, the bank will refuse to make the loan unless you renegotiate with the seller. If it appraises for the asking price, the lender will move toward closing.

Go to closing -- Once final negotiations are complete, the parties to the transaction meet at the escrow office. This could be a title company, real estate attorney, or other closing agent customary in your area. All paperwork is signed by both parties. The lender pays the seller, minus any liens against the home such as the seller's mortgage. Once all the disbursements have been made, you get the keys to your new home, according to your agreement.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



2511 Garfield St

Price: $435,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 3908

Spacious custom home w/ tree views! Beautiful 3 levels offer amazing treetop views from lg private master ste which occupies entire upper level. Grand KIT w/ very lg cook island, eat-bar, cherry cabs, corian counters & Wilsonart lam flrs that lead t...
View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Market Activity for May 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

May home sales in the Eugene and Springfield area were strong.  This indicates a continuation of a strong Real Estate market in our area.  The one thing to note is that the majority of the activity is in the lower price ranges of $400,000 and below, with the market under $300,000 certainly remaining the strongest.  Unlike other parts of the country, the Eugene and Springfield area contnues to be a tough market in upper price ranges.

May Residential Highlights

Closings were strong this May in Lane County! Closed sales, at 411, represented a 28.8% increase over the 319 closings posted in May 2014 and a 7.6% increase over the 382 closings posted last month, in April 2015. The last May when there were more closed sales was in 2007, when there were 429 closings posted for the month. At 41 closed sales for the month, Florence posted more closed sales than any other May since 2007, when RMLSTM started keeping a separate record.

Pending sales (552) cooled 0.9% from April’s 557, but showed a 19.7% increase over the 461 offers accepted in May 2014. Similarly, the 672 new listings were 2.2% below the 687 new listings offered in April but 2.8% better than the 654 new listings offered in May 2014.

Inventory in Lane County decreased slightly to 3.3 months in May. Total market time decreased to 82 days in the same period.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2015 to 2014 through May of each year, the average sale price rose 2.8% from $230,100 to $236,500. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 2.9% from $207,500 to $213,500.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



4181 N Clarey St

Price: $210,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 1350

Beautiful home inside and out! On almost 1/4 acre featuring privacy hedges, flower & vegetable garden, large fenced backyard, huge covered patio, RVP + hookup, 2-car garage, carport, shop with wood rick, & tool shed. Living room with fireplace opens...
View this property >>


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Is This the Beginning of Another Housing Bubble?

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

I am oftened asked if our current Real Estate market is the beginning of another housing bubble.  The answer is complicated, but here is a recent article written by one of the economists for the National Association of Realtors that addresses our current national Real Estate market.

This spring buying season is off to a strong start—in fact, prices are going up faster than they were just a few months ago, according to nearly every recent metric. So does that mean we’re in a bubble?

Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply. After all, existing-home sales were up 9% year over year in March, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Inventory is also increasing, but not as fast as sales, resulting in a tight supply getting even tighter.

An equilibrium level of supply on the market is considered to be six to seven months; supply has been under five months since December. Looking at every quarter since 1988, when supply was under five months, prices rose 8% year over year on average. When supply was in the equilibrium range, prices went up only 4% on average.

The median existing home price in March was $212,100, up 8% over last year, according to the NAR. The median list price in March on realtor.com® was $220,000, which was up 11% over last year.

During the peak years of the housing bubble, from 2003 to 2005, the data on supply versus price appreciation looked very similar to what we are seeing now. But there are key differences, which is why I’m confident that on the national level, this is no bubble.

Here’s why, this time, the price increases should stick:

The level of the current price appreciation is not like the bubble. Prices went up 7% and 12% in 2012 and 2013, respectively, as the market corrected for too-severe price declines in the prior years. Last year, the appreciation level moderated. Even factoring in the one-time bounce from the prior overcorrection, median prices have grown less than 8% on a compounded annual basis over the past three years. Median prices, by comparison, grew 10% on a compounded annual basis from 2002 to 2005, without any bounce from a prior decline.  On an inflation-adjusted basis, we are 30% beneath the peak set in 2005.

Likewise, relative to rents or incomes, median home prices are not “unhinged” from long-term averages. The price-to-rent ratio is similar to the rate in the mid-1990s. It was 35% higher in 2005. The price-to-income ratio is now where it was in 2001, and it was about 30% higher in 2005.

During the housing bubble, we saw both prices and sales grow to historical levels fueled by a rapid expansion in mortgage financing. We are clearly not experiencing record sales or record mortgage originations now.

As a result, we are not seeing vacancies increase like they did at the end of the bubble. In 2005, vacancies started to rise before sales and prices reached their peak as a result of flipping activity and overleveraged speculative investing. On the contrary now, vacancies have slowly trended back to more normal levels.

So, today’s higher prices are only to be expected as the economy improves and first-time buyers gradually return to the market. Eventually, those higher prices should encourage more owners to list their homes and builders to start construction on new housing—which in turn should solve the problem of supply.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


4181 N Clarey St

Price: $210,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 1350

Beautiful home inside and out! On almost 1/4 acre featuring privacy hedges, flower & vegetable garden, large fenced backyard, huge covered patio, RVP + hookup, 2-car garage, carport, shop with wood rick, & tool shed. Living room with fireplace opens...
View this property >>


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This Month in Real Estate June 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Afternoon!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area continues to be strong.  With increasing numbers of homes sales, this market is well above where it was in May-June of 2014.  The largest problem with our local market is the lack of inventory in the price ranges below $250,000.  This is the price range where the strong demand exists. In our local market the upper price ranges, those home $350,000 and higher still can see a much more sluggish market with far fewer buyers.  Nationally, home sales have dipped, but just like in the Eugene and Springfield area, prices continue to escalate. With mortgage interest rates remaining in the sub 4% ranges, look for this exact trend to remain for the rest of the Summer months.

If you are considering selling your home, this is the time. Higher prices, lower inventory and high demand can make for a great opportunity.  For buyers, the home choices can be tough, but new homes are hitting the market daily and you just have to be on top of your search efforts.  A great way to do this is to go to the web site www.forhomeinfo.com.  You can do a live home search here and you can also set yourself up with the home alert system that notifies you every time a home meeting your search criteria hits the market.  This can give you the competitive edge you need in this market.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!


185 Crest Drive

Price: $315,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 2500

Lovely updated gem in SW Hills! Hillside location surrounds you w/ serene tree views. Sunlight floods in through numerous windows. 2-story vaulted LR w/ pellet stove insert & loft overlook mahogany flr+trim & slider. Enjoy beautifully landscaped fen...
View this property >>


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The Best Source to Get an Accurate Value on Your Home

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Many of you seem to rely on Zillow as your primary source for information in regards to your home value.  Yes, Zillow and their "Zestimate" are the #1 consumer tool used to figure out property values.  The "Zestimate", is an easy tool to use, but the truth is that the accuracy of this Zillow report may be wildly inaccurate.  The problem is that many homeowners believe that the "Zestimate" is an honest and fair assessment of their homes value.  The truth is that in most cases this is just not reality.  I find that occasionaly Zillow's home value has some accuracy, but here in the Eugene and Springfield market area, the majority of the time, the "Zestimate" is way off base.  Many times the Zillow values can be as much as 20% off of true value.  This presents a problem, because many homewoners are basing decisions on selling, refinancing, etc. based on a value that may be extrmely inaccurate.

Here is my advice!  Don't rely on Zillow for anything other that just a general ball park idea of your homes value.  There are many factors that go into getting an accurate value report on your home.  Your homes location, condition, floor plan, amenities, etc. are all factors that a "Zestimate" cannot take into consideration.  These are all factors that can only be establsihed by a professional Real Estate agent visiting your home and doing a market analysis.  If you are needing an accurate look at your homes value, this is really the only way that you are going to get it.

If you are just wanting to keep on top of your homes value and you are not needing extreme accuracy, there is a local online service that is set just for Eugene and Springfield home values.  Like the "Zestimate", this is online and automated, but the overall accuracy is heads above Zillow.  Just go to www.forhomesellers.com and enter in your homes information.  A complete online value report will give you a look at your homes current market value.  The cool thing about this site is that it automatically issues a new and updated report and e-mails it to you every month.  

If you are wanting or needing an accurate look at your homes value, please contact me.  With a 20 minute visit to your home, I can provide you with a very accurate assessment of value.  As a part of my client service this is FREE of charge and there is absolutely no obligation.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



649 ST ANDREWS LOOP
 

Price: $495,000    Beds: 5    Baths: 4    ½ Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 5568

Outstanding value at $88 per sq ft - Hardwood flooring, granite counters, travertine tile, hickory cabinets, two walk-in closets, solid core 8ft doors, creek views, next to Emerald Valley Golf Resort. Too many high end amenities to list...
View this property >>


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Market Activity for April 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area just continues to heat up.  An improving local economy and the fear that mortgage interest rates are going to begin to increase are fueling this market.  With high demand and home inventories remaining low, this is a tremendous opportunity for anyone thinking about selling their home.  If you fit into this category, then you may want to start doing your research.  A perfect way to do this is to get an online evaluation of your homes current market value.  You can easily do this by going to the web site www.forhomesellers.com.  The information that you receive from this site will give you a good indication of what your Eugene/Springfield area home vlaue is.

Lane County saw increased real estate activity across the board this April. Pending sales, at 557, showed a 56.5% increase over the 356 offers accepted in April 2014 and a 18.0% increase over the 472 offers accepted last month. In fact, this represented the strongest April for pending sales in Lane County on the RMLSTM record.


Closed sales, at 382, similarly outpaced last April (294) by 29.9% and last month (341) by 12.0%—the strongest April for closings since 2006, when there were 394 posted for the month.

New listings (687) increased 15.7% over last April’s 594 new listings and 19.7% over the 574 new listings offered in March 2015. The last April with as many new listings was in 2010, when there were 691.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 3.4 months in April, with total market time decreasing to 95 days in the same period.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Prices have been higher in 2015 than in 2014. Comparing each year through April, the average sale price rose 5.2% from $225,200 to $236,900. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 5.6% from $203,100 to $214,500.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



185 Crest Drive

Price: $315,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2500

Lovely updated gem in SW Hills! Hillside location surrounds you w/ serene tree views. Sunlight floods in through numerous windows. 2-story vaulted LR w/ pellet stove insert & loft overlook mahogany flr+trim & slider. Enjoy beautifully landscaped fen...
View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

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