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How to Avoid Common Homeowner Maintenance Mistakes

by Galand Haas

This post includes just a few tips for regular home maintenance. They will keep your home in better condition, save you money, and keep you more safe.

Replace your air filter. After a hot summer, you should replace the filter if you have not already done so. It will make your HVAC system last longer and run more efficiently if you replace every 3 months.

Seal your grout and natural stone. Grout in wet areas and most natural stone should be sealed regularly, preferably every year.

Check for leaks. Run all your faucets for 10 seconds and take a quick look under the sinks to make sure there is no water leaking from supply or drain lines. A small leak can turn into a big leak without attention. For bonus points, get under the house and check the crawl space.

Earthquake-proof. It’s been too long since a major temblor, so it’s easy to forget earthquake safety. Bookshelves, mirrors, and other heavy objects should be tightly secured. Ensure that heavy objects are not over areas that you regularly sleep or sit.

Article originally posted on realtytimes.com

Good Monday Morning!

September home sales numbers are in for the Eugene and Springfield market area.  Home sales were up over the same period in 2013 but down from August.  Here are the results.

Lane County saw plenty of pending sales again this September. The 351 pendings were a 12.9% increase from the 311 offers accepted last September, although were slightly cooler than last month’s 423. Likewise, the 436 new listings bested September 2013 by 11.5% (391) but were slightly cooler than August’s 575. Closed sales (349) cooled 1.4% from the 354 closings posted last September and 3.1% compared to last month, when there were 360.

Total market time in Lane County rose to 98 days and inventory decreased to 4.9 months in September.

Year to Date Summary

In the first nine months of the year, new listings (4,908) and pending sales (3,143) have increased 4.0% and

0.7% over the same period in 2013. Closed sales (2,840) have decreased 3.8% from the same time last year.

Average and Median Sale Prices

The average price during the first nine months of 2014 was $235,200, up 3.2% from the same period of 2013, when the average was $228,000. In the same comparison, the median has risen 3.4% from $203,000 to $210,000. 

Have an Aawesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
393 Lenore LOOP
Price: $249,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1649
Pristine & brand new! This beautiful home offers spacious entry, laminate wood floors, granite counters, vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace & Great Room. Dining area with slider, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, island, eating bar & recessed lig...



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8 Reasons to Divorce Your Home

by Galand Haas

It can be bittersweet to begin the selling process. Your home is where your life happens, where you have made memories over the years with family and friends. Perhaps now though, you are feeling as if your home has lost its spark. Maybe it's time to say goodbye. 

How do you know when it's really over? 

1. It doesn't help with the housework.

How are you supposed to keep the yard looking nice when the massive shade trees are starving the lawn? Or the two-story stone fireplace that used to be white is now more of a yellowy-beige?

Your house should be helping you out instead of making it more difficult.

2. It's in need of a makeover.

Broken down, randomly working dishwasher. Sticking doors. Warping floors. Sometimes it seems like the walls are actually rejecting paint. Is that even possible?

3. No matter how much you do for it, it's never enough.

As soon as you fix one thing, another one breaks. It's like it's trying to tell you something (It is; it's telling you to move!).

4. It doesn't make you feel sexy.

The shower water smells like dirt and it gets so humid in the bathroom it takes 30 minutes to clear the mirror. Even if you were feeling flirty, you couldn't get a good glance at yourself to make sure everything looks like it should.

Plus, you smell like mud, and that's a definite mood-killer.

5. It talks back.

If pipes that are way overdue to be replaced make embarrassing noises any time you flush or wash, you've got a back talker. And that's no good.

6. It's disrespectful.

The light in the living room flickers for no reason, no matter how many new bulbs you give it. Has it occurred to you it's just trying to get a look up your skirt?

7. All it does is sit around.

Those other houses do stuff. They turn on and off lights. They help you set the air conditioning. Considering it takes four hard slaps on the wall and a good stomp on the floor by the air conditioning unit just to make it pop on, this kind of upgrade may be out of the question. Or at least out of your budget.

8. You're drawn to another.

You're not a cheater. But you find yourself, well, looking at others lately. Driving down other streets and maybe lingering a little too long. Thinking about what life would be like if you lived there.

Maybe the grass really is greener.

And maybe your house would appreciate someone who appreciates it. Maybe it's just not that into you.

So cut it loose. Set it free. Set yourself free. Divorce that house. Your castle awaits.

Article originally written on RealtyTimes

Fall?Winter Just May Be The Best Time To Sell Your Home!!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

If you are cnsidering the sale of your Eugene and Springfield area home, then seriously consider putting your home on the market for sale right now.  Most people feel that the only season that homes sell is Spring and Summer.  Statistics for home sales in our local market area show that this is not always the case.  Typically, starting in September many people who failed to sell their homes during the Summer months, take their homes off of the market.  Also, fewer new listings hit the market during the Fall and Winter months. Because of this, the inventory of homes for sale is typically at it lowest point from September through April.  This means that competition levels are significantly lower and ofter times the chances for selling your home increase dramatically during the Fall and Winter months.  Another factor that weighs in heavily are the record low mortgage interest rates that we currently have.  Chances are that by Spring, these rates are going to be higher, which may also have a detrimental effect on the number of active home buyers.  

If you are considering a home sale now or in the future, contact me and I can take a look at your home and give you some guidance on the best time to sell and mximize your dollar proceeds from the sale.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-October-2014

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32773 HIDDEN MEADOWS DR
Price: $1,200,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 4 Sq Ft: 4776
Fantastic views, gourmet kitchen, top-of-the-line finishes on 8+ manicured acres in a prestigious neighborhood just 12 minutes from the University of Oregon. This one-level 2006 Koala built home features granite counters, cherry cabinets, hardwood f...



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The Eugene and Springfield Real Estate Market Remains Very Stable!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

The housing market in the Eugene and Springfield area remains very stable at this point.  There are some slight variations from month to month with the number of sales and months of inventory, but overall the market remains steady.  Home prices are also remaining fairly steady with the price of home continuiing on a slow, but steady growth curve.  Here are the numbers for Lane County home sale activity from the month of August 2014.

August brought plenty of accepted offers to Lane County! The 423 pendings showed an increase of 14.6% over the 369 offers accepted last August and a 12.8% increase over last month’s 375. In fact, it was the best August for pending sales in Lane County since 2006, when there were 478.

Closed sales (360) fell 7.7% compared to July and 11.8% compared to last August. Likewise, new listings (575) fell 2.7% compared to the same month last year and 11.0% compared to last month.

Inventory in Lane County rose slightly to 5.0 months in August, and total market time increased to 92 days.

Year to Date Summary

In the first eight months of the year, new listings (4,458) have increased

3.1% over the same period in 2013. However, pending sales (2,819) and closed sales (2,470) have decreased 0.3% and 4.2%, respectively, from the same time last year.

Average and Median Sale Prices

The average price during the first eight months of 2014 was $236,300, up 4.0% from the same period of 2013, when the average was $227,300. In the same comparison, the median has risen 4.7% from $202,000 to $211,500. 

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
2535 PIERCE ST
Price: $359,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 2359
Amazing gem in the hills! Beautiful city view from above! Enjoy serenity and privacy while nestled in the trees! Great room layout, recessed lights, skylights, travertine tile floors, vaulted living room ceiling, 2 decks. Granite counters in kitchen...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

Do I Purchase a large Home or a Small Home?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Depending upon your stage in life and your economic position, the size of home you purchase can be a large consideration.  This article from "Realty Times" gives some insight into making the home size decision.

Do I purchase a large home or a smaller home? This can be a tricky question to answer. Partly because our needs change over the years and decades. After kids leave home, maybe smaller is better but prior to that, maybe a bigger home is what you're seeking–room for the kids, dog, and tons of the kids' sleepover friends.

The trends reflect our indecisiveness too. Sometimes McMansions are on the rise and then there's the complete opposite: tiny, tiny homes. In fact, you can watch fascinating shows online about families of four with a couple of dogs moving into these tiny well-designed homes or homes on wheels.

While that small may be far too small, size is a big consideration. It's also something you should think about before you go house-hunting for that perfect home.

Of course,while there are many personal reasons involved in choosing which size home is the best fit, there are also some very important considerations that can help you decide.

Here are few things to help you weigh your options.

The bigger the home, usually the higher the mortgage. You pay for what you get. It's likely the mortgage payments will be more. However, a smaller home with more amenities is sometimes not that far off in price from a larger home that gives you a bit more square footage.

Think about if you are planning to stay in the home a long time. If so, getting a bit more square footage now might be better than having to move again in a short period of time when you may outgrow the home.

Decide how much home you're willing to maintain. For instance, do you want the responsibility of a big back yard or do you want to have something in a planned development, such as a town home, where there is limited yard space to decorate and maintain. That reduced yard size can give you a lot more freedom and leave you with more money in your bank account as opposed to paying for landscaping maintenance.

Do you work from home or might you someday? This is really important these days as more and more people are working from home and setting up desk space on the dining room table is not optimal. If you think you might be working from home someday, look for a home that will have enough space for you to work, even it it's just a screened-off nook somewhere in the house. No doubt, you'll find a good use for the space, whether or not you actually work from home

If you want a bigger home but aren't sure you can afford it, consider your options. Can you get a roommate? Increase your income? Decrease your debt? Or maybe you can wait a little bit longer and save more to get into the home you really want.

The important thing is to think about the size and style of home you want before you start your house-hunting. This will help you target homes that are most suitable for your needs. Be sure to consult with experts to get the best advice and find out how much home you can really afford.

 Have An Awsome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

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4091 SCENIC DR
Price: $258,900 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 1836
Delightfully updated home with extras! Shop with workbench, built-ins and sink. Bonus/rec room, 3 sliders, great room layout, RV parking, tons of storage space & utility room. Living room with wood fireplace and extra-wide slider opens to large kitc...



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National Home Sales Remain Strong

by Galand Haas
VideoVideo

Good Monday Morning!

Nationally, home sales and home prices are still on the rise.  This trend is being fueled by an improving economy and the continuation of historic low mortgage interest rates.  The housing market that we are enjoying today could be short lived though.  Any increase in mortgage interest rates could quickly put the brakes on our current market.  The Fed has already stated that if the economy continues to improve, they will begin their strategy of increasing interest rates to hedge on inflation.  

If you are considering the sale of your home in the near future, you might want to consider putting it on the market soon.  The price of your home just could be at it's peak right now and it may be years before we see another housing market like we have today.  

If you are curious about what the market for your home in the Eugene and Springfield area looks like, give me a call.  With a short visit to your home I can provide you with an in depth look at your homes value and also give you the information that you need to make an informed decision about selling your home.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-In-Real-Estate-September-2014

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1313 LINCOLN ST 1201
Price: $174,900 Beds: 2 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 774
High-rise condo with valley views! Beautiful valley views from the West - enjoy sunsets everyday! Features bamboo & tile floor, quartz counters, lots of windows for natural light, great room layout. Includes gated and covered parking spot, plus secu...



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How to Decide on Whether to Remodel or Purchase a New Home!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

When I meet with home owners who are considering the sale of their home, one of the main questions I am asked is, "should I remodel and stay in my home or sell?" Also, many sellers make the mistake of doing expensive upgrades to their home prior to selling it.  The following is an informative article from Realty Times that addresses these issues.

Pending home sales are down 7.3 percent from one year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors, and this trend is likely to continue until wages increase and credit becomes more available to average borrowers. Obtaining a mortgage is a daunting task these days, even for those with reasonable credit scores. Those in the market for a new home or planning to remodel their existing one should consider the following factors before committing to either option:

Local Market Conditions

There are two dynamics to buying a new home: selling your existing one, and then getting a good price and rate on the new one. Some markets are actually conducive to doing both smoothly and efficiently.

Las Vegas is the top market for sellers, experiencing a 33 percent year-over-year increase in asking prices from July 2013 to 2014, according to data compiled by Trulia. The Sin City also experienced a 5.2 percent drop in home values from April to July of this year. Part of this, again, can be attributed to the monetary policies of the Fed in 2014.

Regardless, homeowners who act quickly to sell in cities with significant year-over-year price gains (including most of Northern California, Salt Lake City, and Portland, Oregon) will likely walk away with enough cash for a down payment on a new home. The Bay Area in particular is a prime sellers' market. Despite high prices, inventories there remain low, which means homes are snapped up almost as soon as they become available.

Check with a local real estate agent to get details on both home prices and inventory in your area.

Counterproductive Upgrades

Steven Melman of the National Association of Home Builders told Market Watch that Americans spent $130 billion upgrading their homes in 2013, up 3.1 percent from 2012. But homeowners spent far less per project over the past four years. The average renovation so far in 2014 costs $4,000, down from $6,200 in 2010, according the American Express Spending and Savings Tracker.

Renovating is obviously less expensive than purchasing a new home. But the task is not without its own hurdles. The first step to remodeling a home is coming up with the capital to do it. Most people will need to take out a home equity loan or line of credit, which in turn creates new debt.

Homeowners should only consider remodeling if it will increase the value of their home over time.Adding smart home appliances, energy-efficient windows, and lighting are the most common renovations that almost always provide a good return. Consult the annual Cost vs. Value Reportpublished by Remodeling magazine before starting any project.

Future Market Conditions

A study commissioned by the nonprofit urban leadership firm CEOs for Cities found that homes within walking distance of schools, malls, parks and other amenities are worth more than those in areas where you have to drive to get anywhere. Whenever you see construction projects happening near your neighborhood, find out what is being built.

Despite the negative reception Wal-Mart stores typically receive when being built, their overall positive effect on home values is difficult to ignore. Researchers at the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University found in a 2012 study that homes within a half-mile from new Wal-Mart stores experienced a 3 percent increase in property values. Research all current and future construction projects near your neighborhood before considering a sale.

The choice to buy new or remodel is a personal one. But exercising due diligence will ensure you're making the right decision.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 

 

 

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2535 PIERCE ST
Price: $359,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 2359
Amazing gem in the hills! Beautiful city view from above! Enjoy serenity and privacy while nestled in the trees! Great room layout, recessed lights, skylights, travertine tile floors, vaulted living room ceiling, 2 decks. Granite counters in kitchen...



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Important Tips for Your First Home Purchase

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

A large percentage of home sales today are to first time home buyers.  The current market of low mortgage interest rates has given first time buyers an excellent opportunity to become home buyers.  The following is an article from Realty Times that offers some great tips for anyone considering the opurchase of their first home.

Before you start seriously shopping for a home, there's some groundwork you should do to put yourself in the best position to buy a home.

Start early, a couple of months before you talk to a lender or hire a real estate professional.

Check and repair your credit

 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the three nationwide consumer credit report companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to provide you with a free copy of your credit report and FICO scores upon request once a year. You can order the reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.

Each credit report company has its own criteria for scoring your credit report. A lender will usually use the middle FICO score. All three scores need to be as high as possible for you to receive the best interest rates.

If you can, order the reports at least three months before applying for your home loan. If you find a mistake you need to correct, or you want to improve your score by paying down an account, you'll need at least two months before the credit score improves.

You can dispute an inaccurate item on the report by contacting the consumer reporting company and the information provider in writing. Be sure to include copies of your proof.

Don't accidentally raise your scores

Lenders not only look at how much credit you're using, they consider how much credit you have available. However, now is not the time to be opening any new accounts or closing existing accounts.

Don't purchase furniture or a new car or any other big ticket item before buying a home. Lenders are very careful about the amount of debt you have and how much you pay down every month on the debt payments you have.

Get Loan Pre-approval

Don't start house hunting without knowing how much home you can buy. To find out, you have to apply for a loan, which means you're sharing financial information with the lender such as income and work history, student loans, child support or alimony, and credit card balances.

Contact your lender for a preapproval letter. The letter shows that the lender has taken a 1003 loan application, studied your debt ratios to your income, and helped you select a loan program such as fixed rate, ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages), FHA or VA government-backed loans, etc.

Your lender will confirm your down payment source, interest rate, type of loan that's best for your circumstances, and the terms of your loan. The lender will give you a loan commitment based on your qualifications. The home you select must meet appraisal, and the underwriting department must approve the loan.

A preapproval letter will open doors for you, pardon the pun. Sellers will be impressed because you're prepared to buy and that a lender has agreed to process your loan. Your real estate agent will have to know the terms of your loan in order to write your offer.

Find out about federal, state, and local government incentives

Get help with your loan rate, closing costs and/or down payments through federal and state housing authority programs. For example, there are also incentives for workforce personnel – police, fire fighters/emergency services personnel and teachers.

Each community is different, so click on HUD's Housing Authorities to find out what's being offered in your community. Your city may be offering tax incentives to revitalize a designated public improvement area.

Narrow the choices

Think about how you want to live. One story or two? Low-maintenance condo or big yard for the kids? New or older home?

Drive through the neighborhoods you're interested in and look at homes. Visit a few open houses in the neighborhoods you will consider. They will usually be listed in your local newspaper with the hours hosted. Be sure to tell the real estate professional hosting the open house that you are already working with a buyer's agent.

With Google maps, video, virtual tours, multiple photos, school reports, neighborhood reports and more available online or on phone apps, you can get a good idea of what neighborhoods, home styles, and home prices are like where you want to live.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Broker or Agent

Buying a first home is a complex process. An experienced real estate broker or agent will assist you all through the process: the home search, comparable homes sold, making an offer, inspection, repairs, and the appraisal, as well as help you find the best value, neighborhood, and quality home for your budget and requirements.

The seller's real estate broker pays your broker or agent out of your loan proceeds. If you don't use your own agent, the seller's broker keeps the commission, so you might as well avail yourself of professional advice. Your real estate broker or agent works in your best interest.

Don't expect perfection

There's no perfect home. You may want all the latest amenities of a new home, but even new homes come at a price, including longer commutes, higher community fees, and bigger pricetags.

Homes that need updating are priced below homes that are up to the minute and move-in ready. That could be to your financial advantage, so try to look beyond outdated fixtures and focus instead on the floorplan and dimensions. Ignore the seller's tastes and imagine each room clean and clear of clutter and with your own things in them.

Most cosmetic changes are relatively inexpensive, and you can even pay for them with your mortgage loan, in some cases. Talk to your lender.

Think long-term investment

Buying a home can be a wise financial investment, if you buy right and hold your home for long-term gain. Because of closing and moving costs, it's nearly impossible to buy a home and sell it immediately for a large gain, but it is possible to sell after a couple of years with no capital gains tax should you make a profit.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, home equity growth beats inflation by about one to two percent annually, not to mention government subsidies for home ownership in the form of tax relief and other incentives.

However, if you look at owning a home strictly as an investment, you'll miss many pleasures. Look at your home as a home, rather than part of your portfolio. Buying a home allows you to live in the neighborhood you want for as long as you want, without having to worry that the landlord is going to sell out from under you. Your stake in a home makes you part of the community, committed to making it a better place to live.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 

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649 ST ANDREWS LOOP
Price: $539,000 Beds: 5 Baths: 4 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 5568
Outstanding value at $96 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. Less than 2...



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When is the Best Time to Purchase a Home!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

One oif the most frequent questions I am asked comes from potential first time home buyers who are exploring the possibility of shifting from being a renter to being a homeowner.  The following is an excellent article from "Realty Times", that addresses the question as to whether now is the time to become a homeowner.

You've done the math. With the down payment you've saved, you can safely buy a home for less money than you could ever have as a renter.

Yet, you seem unable to make a commitment. Are you sure you're really ready to buy a home?

If you find yourself saying any of the following to family, friends, or your real estate agent, you're not ready.

"I'll know when I see the right place."

"I want to see what I can find on my own."

"I'll only buy if I can get a fantastic deal."

"I'm waiting for interest rates to go down."

With houses for sale all over the place, you can easily find the right place, especially with your real estate agent screening houses for you. Prices are still lower than they were at the peak. Interest rates are still low. So what are you waiting for -- prices to rise more than they already have, for interest rates to go up? You get the idea.

Owning a home is a big responsibility, and the market has been volatile for years. If you're scared, that's understandable. So, maybe you need to examine your tolerance for risk.

Like the stock market or any other money investment, there is no sure thing, but there is plenty of evidence that returns are built over time. You'll eventually get your money back, or you might even make money on your home, if you:

1. Are realistic. A home should meet your needs for shelter and your family's activities. Don't expect your home to make you rich.

2. Buy within your means. It's no fun dreading your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Occupy your home long enough. It takes approximately four years just to get your closing costs back in equity.

4. Keep your home repaired and updated. If you have to sell quickly, you'll get a better price if your home doesn't need work.

Currently, market conditions are in your favor. High inventories in most areas, lower prices than others have paid in the past and low mortgage interest rates combine to lower your risk.

In addition, you have all kinds of incentives, like the ability to buy with a federally subsidized or guaranteed loan, as well as income tax and capital gains benefits. And there are unexpected dividends - homeowners are automatically assumed to be more responsible than renters, which is why you get a discount on auto insurance if you own a home.

If you're really ready to buy a home, you take action to make a good deal happen. You get preapproved by a lender so you're ready to make an offer on a home within your means. You give your wish list to your real estate agent, attend open houses, search on the Internet, and tell friends and family what kind of home you're looking for. Everyone and everything is working in your favor to get you to your goal.

You find the home you want, and you put your money down and you close.

That's ready.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

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2992 DAHLIA LN
Price: $217,500 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1424
Super Good Sense & quality built! Energy efficient heat pump heating & cooling, with dual heating system-can run gas or electric. Hardi plank siding, plaster finished walls, finished garage, automatic sprinkler system plus security system. Vaulted c...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

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