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Say Goodbye to Renting and Hello to Homeownership

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

If you are renting a home or apartment and you would like to become a home owner, instead of supporting your landlord, you should start planning now on how to make this happen.  Yes, home values are up in the Eugene and Springfield area, but mortgage interest rates remain extremely affordable.  Many times, home payments will be far less than rents and also have some great tax advantages.  Here is an article from "Realty Times" that gives some ideas on how to get ready for your first home purchase.

Becoming a first-time homeowner takes a lot more than a desire to buy a house. It takes a lot of effort on your part to save up a down payment — which is usually a pretty good sized chunk of change — research neighborhoods, get pre-approved for a loan and other steps. Fortunately, it is quite possible to say goodbye to renting and hello to homeownership, especially when homeowners-to-be consider the following tips:

Focus on the Down Payment

In order to leave the land of rent, you are going to need a down payment — plain and simple. While it is common to put down 20 percent, some lenders now allow a much smaller amount, and first-time home buyer programs may go as low as 3 percent. While a smaller down payment may sound enticing, a 5 percent down payment on a $200K home is still $10,000 — not exactly a small sum. If saving money does not come naturally for you, don’t worry. With some relatively minor lifestyle changes you can speed up the down payment savings process. Come up with a savings plan to determine how much you need to set aside every week or month and then find ways to “find” that money in your budget. Using the $10,000 example from before, if you are determined to buy a home in two years, you’ll have to come up with about $415 a month to stash into your down payment account. Take a close look at your monthly bills and determine what you can pare down or eliminate — maybe you are paying $75 a month for a gym membership you rarely use, or you pay $40 extra for premium satellite channels that no one watches. These services can be cancelled and the money can go directly into your savings account. Eat out less, have Starbucks twice a week instead of every day and if you need to, consider a side hustle on the weekends to reach this magical monthly amount of $415.

Avoid Identity Theft

Unfortunately, the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft increase when you are buying and moving into a new home. The stacks of documents that are part of buying a home and that are filled with your personal information may accidentally fall into the wrong hands, and once you move, mail may not be routed correctly and thieves may steal your mail and your identity from your old mailbox. Prevent this situation from happening by purchasing an identity theft protection program; find a trusted company that will help safeguard your personal data. In addition to letting you know when a bank pulls your credit report and asking if you have authorized this inquiry, certain services will monitor your financial activity and alert you if anything is amiss.

Check Your Credit Report

When you start the pre-approval process for a loan and then move on to the Big Kahuna of applying for an actual mortgage, your credit report will be pulled numerous times. Your credit score will then be used to determine if you are approved for a loan, and what type of interest rate you will get. Please do not wait until you have the down payment saved and you are champing at the bit to go look at houses to check your FICO score — check your credit as early in the process as you can. If you have a credit card that has been issued through your bank, give them a call and see if they can run your report for you for free; in the cases of some credit cards, they also offer a free monthly FICO score check. Read through the report and check for any errors; this includes credit lines you never opened and delinquent payments that you know were made on time. Dispute any mistakes that you find and look for ways to boost your credit score, like paying down credit card bills and setting up automatic bill pay so you are never late with your payments.

Have An Awesome Week!

 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING! 

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36946 PARSONS CREEK RD
Price: $379,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 1 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 1,890
Rustic Tuscan country-style charm! Terra Cotta tile, wood flr, rustic dr & window wood trim, steel beams, large windows. Remodeled kitchen w/ ship lap feature wall, galvanized metal backsplash, butchers block countertop & eating bar. Kitchen opens t...


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Latest Market Activity for October 2017

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

October home sales in the Eugene and Springfield are were down seasonally, but remain strong and above October 2016 home sales.  Here are the October 2017 statistics.

October Residential Highlights

Lane County saw some mixed activity in October, but numbers are up across the board compared to October 2016. Pending sales (477) showed a 14.4% increase over October 2016 (417) and a 3.7% increase compared to last month in September 2017 (460). It was the strongest October for pending sales in Lane County since at least 2001!

New listings, at 446, increased 23.5% compared to October 2016 (361) but fell 14.9% short of the 524 new listings entered just last month in September 2017.

Closed sales fared similarly—at 428 in October, closings increased 6.5% from October 2016 but decreased 7.6% from last month in September 2017.

Year to Date Summary

Comparing the first ten months in 2017 to the same period in 2016, new listings (5,782) have increased 2.3%, closed sales (4,368) have remained steady, and pending sales (4,629) have decreased 1.9%.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2017 to 2016 through October of each year, the average sale price rose 9.5% from $263,200 to $288,200. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 10.6% from $235,000 to $260,000. 


HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!

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Price: $595,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 2000
Horse property only 5 mins from town! Nearly 6 level acres, backs up to canal & great for trail riding along Amazon. Wonderfully updated home with 2-car garage. 1 bedroom guest house w/ carport has income producing potential. 2 barns w/ 11 stalls, i...View this property >>


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The New U.S. Tax Code and Its Affect On You

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

There are many questions about the new tax plan currenty beeing looked at by the Senate.  How will it affect all of us?  There is much debate ahead and mostly likely many changes ahead before a bill is passed. The following is an article from "Realtor.com"  that goes over what is currently being discussed.

After months of internal debate among Republicans, the House Ways and Means Committee released the details of its plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code for businesses and individuals. The highlights include lower rates for many individual households but not the highest earners; fewer individual tax brackets; a larger standard deduction for households who don’t itemize their tax bills; trimmed-back deductions for state and local taxes; eventual repeal of the estate tax; and much lower rates for corporate profits and profits for individuals on unincorporated business income. Here is a look at all of the details.

New tax brackets and rates

Tax treatment for the wealthy is among the hottest issues. The House Republican tax plan will preserve a top individual tax rate of 39.6%. Republicans last year had been discussing a top rate of 33%, and then moved to 35% earlier this year.

The retention of the 39.6% individual tax rate marks a shift in the way Republicans think about tax policy. For years, they had focused on driving down that top tax rate. President Trump says he is instead focused on middle-income cuts and large changes to the business tax code, which he argues will boost growth and hiring.

Effect on deductions and credits

The plan aims to increase the standard deduction, while adjusting several other deduction and credits.

House Republicans had planned to release the bill Wednesday but delayed it until Thursday to finish technical work on the legislation and address thorny issues such as how to treat deductions for state and local taxes. Party leaders want to repeal the deduction, but that has sparked a rebellion from lawmakers in high-tax states like New York and New Jersey and set off a scramble for compromise, centered on keeping the deduction for property taxes.

Standard Deduction

• Current law for 2017: $12,700 (married); $9,350 (head of household); $6,350 (single)

• Proposed for 2018: $24,400 (married); $18,300 (head of household); $12,200 (single)

Personal Exemption

• Current law for 2017: $4,050

• Proposed: Repealed Child Tax Credit

• Current law: $1,000

• Proposed: $1,600 plus $300 each for the taxpayer, a spouse and any non-child dependents

State and Local Taxes

• Current law: Itemized deduction

• Proposed: Deduction capped at $10,000 for property tax only

Charitable Donations

• Current law: Itemized deduction

• Proposed: Unchanged

Mortgage Interest Deduction

• Current law: Itemized deduction on loans up to $1 million

• Proposed: Itemized deduction for loans up to $500,000 on new home purchases

Alternative Minimum Tax

• Current law: Parallel tax that disallows personal exemptions and state deductions• Proposed: Repealed

Retirement Accounts

• Current law: 401(k) plans allow pretax deferral of up to $18,000

• Proposed: Minor changes


Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
927 S. 58th Street
Price: $299,900 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1522
Beautiful brand new home from builder Gary Konold. One level home features CORETec floors, granite counters, vaulted/high ceilings, gas fireplace & Great Room. Dining area w/ slider, kitchen w/ SS appliances, recessed lighting & peninsula with eatin...


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Sell Your Home Quickly & For A Profit This Winter

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Most people would think that after Summer leaves us there is no chance of selling a home.  This is simply not true and sometimes the Winter home market can be red hot.  This year especially with the inventory of homes available for sale being very low, the Winter market could be very good.  Typically, inventories of homes for sale dips even lower during the Winter months due to the fact that most people think Spring/Summer is the selling time.  Less competition can lead to a quicker sale and more money for the seller.  The following is an article from "Realty Times" that gives some good advice for selling a home during the Winter months.

So you've decided to list your home this winter. Perhaps you've had a job change, need to relocate out of the area, or have financial or family reasons for moving. No matter what is driving the move, you may be concerned about selling at this time of year. But just because you missed the boat on the spring selling season doesn't mean you can't get your home sold quickly, and for a profit. A few tips can help get it moving.

Take photos early... or late

If you can take photos before the trees become barren and the grass goes dormant, do so! The last thing you want is for your home to look blah and depressing in photos. If you can capture a snowy day (with perfectly scraped walkways, of course), that works, too. It never hurts to have your home looking like a winter wonderland.

Go easy on the holiday décor

"Deck the halls, but don't go overboard," said HGTV. "Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes."

Always mind your curb appeal

Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can let things slide out front. Potential buyers won't give you a pass on chipping paint, a fence that needs repair, or a front door that's seen better days just because it's frigid outside.

Safety matters

Shoveling the walk from the street to your home is necessary to make it reachable, make it inviting, and also make it safe. The last thing you want is a slip and fall that could result in an injury, and a lawsuit. "Continually shovel a path through the snow, especially if snowflakes are still falling," said the balance. "Footprints on freshly fallen snow will turn to ice if the temperature is low enough, so scrape the walk. Sprinkle a layer of sand over the sidewalk and steps to ensure your buyers' stable footing. Remember to open a path from the street to the sidewalk so visitors aren't forced to crawl over snowdrifts."

Get a good indoor mat

Perhaps you never use a mat for indoors or yours is grubby or tattered from 10 straight years of winter wear. This one super easy move may not be noticed by visitors - but it sure will if it's missing or not in good shape. Little things like a $10 mat can give buyers the impression that your whole house is well cared for, or just the opposite.

Clear the front door clutter

If you live in a climate where there is likely to be snow or rain, there are a few more steps you'll probably have to take in order to keep your house looking great inside. How does your coat closet look? If it's stuffed with jackets, scarves, boots, and gloves, relocating some to make room for potential buyers to put their stuff away while touring your home is a good idea - plus, a tidy coat closet gives the impression that there is plenty of storage space in the home. It goes without saying that winter wear and shoes that tend to stack up in the entry should be banished while your house is on the market.

Make sure everything is functional

Imagine you live in a climate that stays relatively temperate year-round, and then you have a cold spell. You turn on the heater for the first time the night before your first showing, and…nothing. Same for the fireplace in the living room. Your freezing cold house is probably not going to make a great impression on buyers. As soon as you decide you're going to sell your home, go through it room by room, checking all major appliances and home functions and looking for little things that may escape notice on an everyday basis - cracked light switches, chipped baseboards, light bulbs that need to be replaced - so your home is perfect for showings.

Light it up

Shorter days with earlier sunsets limit the amount of natural light in your home. Turning on all the lights before showings is more important than ever. Think about the exterior when it comes to lights, too. If you only have a porch light, you might want to consider adding some landscaping lighting, which will help accentuate your outdoor space.

Listen to your REALTOR® when it comes to price

Will you be able to command top dollar for your home and get the same price you would have had you listed in spring or summer? That depends on so many things, including your neighborhood, the available inventory, the condition of the home, and, of course, your listing price. A trusted real estate agent will take all mitigating factors into consideration and use comparables in your area to develop a pricing strategy.

When it comes to offers, remember this tidbit from Realtor.com: "Just because your home's on the market during the slow, chilly months doesn't mean you have to accept a lowball offer. If you make your home attractive in all the right ways, qualified buyers will come."

 Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
1335 B ST
Price: $210,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 1 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 1690
Delightfully renovated! New carpet, vinyl floors, fresh interior & exterior paint, newer roof. Well-sized living rm. Family rm w/ slider & fireplace opens to dining area & well-sized kitchen. Upstairs bedrooms w/ skylights. Bonus rm/4th BR. Laundry/...

 



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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