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Is It Time to Remodel or Is It Time to Sell?

by Galand Haas

One of the most frequent questions that I recieve is in regards to remodeling.  "Should I remodel my existing home or purchase another home?" The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone, but be cautious, remodeling is not always the best route to take.  Remodeling can be very expensive and you may find yourself in a position where you will not get your money back anytime soon.  The following article from "Realty Times", discusses this question in detail.

If you've been watching a lot of HGTV, you may be in the mood to make changes. Is it time to remodel? Or is it time to sell?

Just like anything that gets a lot of use, homes show wear and tear after a few years. Certain color schemes and decorative styles begin to look outdated. And there are some improvements that you may have put off as a new homeowner that you can afford to do now.

Some market conditions are in your favor -- interest rates are still extremely low and below where they were a year ago and the economy is improving, so you'll likely get much of what you spend to improve your home back when it comes time to sell.

The question to answer is this: If you improved your home the way you want, would you want to stay in it for a few more years, or are you ready for a complete change?

Home improvements can be substantial, such as adding a bedroom and bath to the existing footprint of your home or outfitting a kitchen with new countertops, cabinets and appliances. You want your home to support the standards set by your neighborhood, but you also don't want to end up with the most lavish house on the block.

To get started, put together the right team. If you' aren't moving walls or pouring a new foundation, you probably won't need an architect, but you will need the right contractors, kitchen planners and interior designers to help you put it all together.

You'll also need to talk to your lender to learn how much you can borrow and whether the current market value will support the facelift.

As you're putting together bids, you may find more work is required that you weren't expecting. Plan for problems to come up, change orders and delays on materials, so you won't get upside down with expenses or sideways with your contractor.

Before you make a decision on remodeling, make sure you are going to get what you want at the price you want to pay and that you'll be happy with the results for at least several years to come.

If you're not sure the remodel is the way to go, you can talk to your real estate professional. Be honest with your agent that you are considering remodeling, but that you are also open to finding another home. Your agent might know of homes for sale that have the size, features and finishes you're wanting. After you view a few homes, you should have a better idea of what you want and what you like.


You and your agent will also discuss selling your home. He or she will create a comparative market analysis of similar homes to yours that have sold recently and are currently for sale so you'll know what you can reasonably expect to net from the sale of your home. From these homes, you'll learn how long homes are staying on the market and if other sellers are getting their asking prices. Together you and your real estate professional can discuss a price range for your home, based on its location and condition.

Keep in mind that all markets have ups and downs so what your agent can show you is only a snapshot of what's true today. If you're happy with where your home ranks amid the competition, then it should be a good time to list your home for sale.

Change is an evolution, and will bring some upheaval to your life. You'll either have to open your home to workers or to buyers. But if you come out on the other side with what you and your household desire, it will all be worth it.


THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


88604 ERMI BEE RD

Price: $549,900     Beds: 4     Baths: 3     Sq Ft: 3376

Gorgeous, private estate on serene 5-acres offers outstanding views from every room. This Jerome DeMarco art.chitecture home is remodeled, April 2014, in tasteful contemporary style. Granite counters, hardwood floors. Open plan brings in beautiful l...
View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Mortgage Interest Rates & Their Impact on Your Monthly Payment

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!



Do you ever wonder how mortgage interest rates effect your ability to purchase a home, your home payment and what you actually pay over the term of the home loan? The following will give you an idea as to just how much impact mortgage interest rates have.


National average 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rates have been under five percent for over five years. They should stay low forever, right?


Economists predict that the soaring economy, improved job outlook and ebullient consumer confidence will cause the Federal Reserve to start raising overnight borrowing rates to banks. Mortgage interest rates will become volatile, and things can change quickly for consumers.


To illustrate changing mortgage interest rates and their impact on your monthly payment, consider what a difference even a small dip and rise in interest rates means to you.


In December 2014, the median-priced home in the U.S. was $209,500, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. If you purchased this home for $200,000 and with 20 percent down and a benchmark fixed-rate mortgage with the December national average commitment rate of 3.86 percent (Freddie Mac), your payment would be $751.01 a month.


You'll make 360 total payments of $270, 362.59, with $110,362.59 in interest over the term of the loan.


The same home with the same loan on February 5 would be very different. The national average commitment rate is 3.59 percent, your payment is 726.53 and your total payments add up to $261,552.16 and 101,552.16 in interest.


The difference isn't much -- just under $25 a month and $8,810 in round numbers.


But what if interest rates go up as economists predict? The January 2015 outlook by Kiplinger's predicts that interest rates could go as high as 4.9 percent. What would your monthly payments look like then?


Your monthly payment would be $849.16, for a total of $305,698.59, and interest payments of $145,698.59, a difference of $122.63 monthly and $44,146.43 in interest by the end of the loan.


If you're interested in buying a home, mortgage rates are unlikely to stay low much longer. If you would like to see just how affordable a home purchase might be with the current low mortgage interest rates, please contact us. We would be more than happy to furnish you with a complete home purchase analysis.  This costs nothing and there is certainly no obligation.


Have An Awesome Week!


THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!


48808 MCKENZIE HWY

Price: $225,000     Beds: 2     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1034
Riverfront retreat on 1.65 Acres! Enjoy river views spanning entire south side of property from large deck overlooking an island. Privacy from every direction! Sunlight floods into this updated home with 3 french doors. Relax in the master suite jet...
View this property >>



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Top 3 Responsibilities as a Homeowner

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Purchasing a home is a big deal.  With home ownership there are many things to think about.  Here is an article from Realty Times that talks about some of the things you will need to consider with your home purchase.

The American dream of owning a home is something everyone should have if they want it. You should be able to live where you want and enjoy the features of your environment that help you relax, entertain, play, and do more of the things you enjoy without the restrictions imposed by a landlord.

You can own a pet, build a treehouse, paint the walls your favorite color, and play music and videos as loud as you like without disturbing your neighbors. That's the essence of the dream -- independence.

For most first-time buyers, it's better to accept that for dreams to come true, you have to do the groundwork. Yes, you will be far more independent than you would as a renter, but you will still have some very real responsibilities to make homeownership work. Here are the top three responsibilities you'll have as a homeowner.

Financial responsibilities

You owe your lender timely payments. Paying on time helps you build your credit. With great credit, you can take on more projects such as remodeling, or you'll be able to buy furniture, cars or other things you want with lower interest on your payments.

Your debts should never be more than 40 percent of your income. If you get overextended, you'll have problems meeting the minimum payments. Instead, limit the amount of credit you actively use and pay off balances every month. Don't add new charges until you've paid off your balances.

You should also be in a position to save money, which you can do several ways. You can put money in your 401K, you can pay extra on your principal every month, or you can buy bonds or invest in the stock market, according to your tolerance for risk. You can put money in a safety deposit box or under the mattress as long as you are saving rather than overspending.

Common wisdom is to build six months of cash so you can continue to make your house payments if you lose your job or become ill. You need savings for emergencies, large expenses such as student debt, and retirement.

Neighborhood responsibilities

When you buy a home, your household becomes part of the neighborhood. You can influence whether or not the neighborhood prospers or declines simply by the way you treat your neighbors and your home. It's up to you to uphold or to set a higher standard for the neighborhood by keeping your lawn and trees trimmed, your home freshly painted, and toys and trash picked up from the entry.

This is the way you can protect your investment and those of your neighbors. It's one of the reasons many neighborhoods have homeowners associations -- to protect values by standardizing safety and maintenance for the community.

To get the benefits the HOA provides such as higher and consistent home values, you have to pay your dues and obey the covenants. You can volunteer to help or you'll have to abide by the decisions others make. Before you buy a home in a HOA-managed community, read the covenants so you'll know what you're getting into. If not being able to use certain exterior paint colors bothers you, then don't buy the home. Find something else.

Household responsibilities

You owe yourself and the other members of your household the best life you can possibly provide. Buying a new home is a great time to step up your lifestyle and enjoy what your new home and the community has to offer.

Your home should help you be who you want to be. That's the purpose of shaping your environment. You have control over whether you entertain like Martha Stewart, paint in your studio like the next Picasso, or grow a lawn as sleek as the Augusta fairways.

Choose a home that meets as many needs as you can within your means. Separate bedrooms for the kids may be doable, but you may have to compromise on a Jack and Jill shared bath. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your older children about prioritizing, delayed gratification, give and take and winning and losing gracefully.

Make sure the area you select offers amenities that your building doesn't have. If you don't have a yard for the kids and the dog, make sure there's a park and playground nearby.

Think about how far and how long it will take you to get to shopping, work, and other friends and family. Think about how a long commute will affect your family. Would you rather be sitting in traffic or attending your son's ball game?

You and your spouse may want the prestige of living in a certain area, but if your house-payment is too high, you'll introduce problems into the relationship you don't need. It's about making choices that make sense. Better to buy a smaller home in a great neighborhood and keep the arguing down.

Buy the best home you can that's within your means and it will see you through years of comfort.

Have An Awesome Week! 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

33970 Van Duyn Rd

Price: $995,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 2 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 2,930

Live where the eagles fly. Gorgeous valley and coast range views from a serene lofted location in the exclusive Country View Estates gated community. An elegant, top quality home offering spacious rooms, built-ins, and beautiful views, including ...

View this property >>

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Fall In Love with the Perfect House For You

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning! The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area remains extremely favorable for home buyers.  With low mortgage interest rates hanging around and great home values, the climate is perfect for a home purchase.  The following is an article from Realty Times that gives some good advice to home buyers.

Finding a home is a lot like finding your true love. Love makes your heart skip a beat. Your feet immediately start to spin around the empty living room and imagine yourself entertaining grandly as you waltz through the dining room. And by the time you get to the master bedroom, well….it's love.

But if you've ever been in a bad relationship, you know it can start with that head over heels feeling. You remember that feeling. It's the one that makes you do stupid things that you regret later, like blithely overlooking flaws you wouldn't have put up with if you were in your right mind.

When you go shopping for homes, remember that you're vulnerable. Cupid may strike with his bow when you least expect it, causing you to fall in love - with the wrong house.

Oh, that won't happen to me, you say. But it can. You're a fool for love. If you want to keep your head and get the home that's really right for you and your household, follow these tips:

Shop Within Your Means

The wrong house will be too much trouble and money. Your lender will give you a price limit that you can comfortably afford based on your income and current debts. These are time-tested formulas that are designed to protect you from getting overextended and putting the bank's investment in jeopardy.

Work with a real estate professional

Look online and you'll fall in love with a home out of your league. You're welcome to look at homes online, but try to stay in your price range. If you look at homes that are more expensive than you can afford, you're bound to fall in love with more luxuries and space than you can comfortably afford. Share your wish list with a real estate professional, and let him or her preview homes for you.

Shop for the right-sized home, not the biggest

The wrong home is too big. While conventional wisdom says buy the most home that you can for the money, buying the biggest home you can isn't smart. Think about the operating costs of heating, cooling, cleaning and maintaining more square footage than you really need. Instead, think about how you actually use a home. Have a use for every space.

Shop For Your Lifestyle

The wrong home is perfect - for someone else. If you're single or travel a lot, you don't want to mow 10 acres. Consider a condominium or gated community. If you have kids, you may be more interested in neighborhoods with lots of options for kids to learn and do.

Consider the commute

The wrong home dazzles you with its elegance, but there's a price. Many of the newest homes offer the most amenities, but they're on cheaper land far from city centers. Ask yourself how long you'll spend commuting to your job every day to live in that particular community?

Don't Be Fooled By a Pretty Face

The wrong home isn't just pretty, it has to meet your needs. Where do the kids put their backpacks when they come home from school? Is it easy to let the dog outside and clean muddy paws when he comes back in? Do you have the space you need for your home office or art studio? Are there enough bathrooms for the morning rush?

Don't Overlook A Wallflower

Many homes are affordable because they're older and need work. Many times, cosmetic updates can turn a so-so home into a treasure. No home is perfect, so don't be side-tracked by ugly wallpaper.

Fall in love with the right house

The right house may not be the prettiest, biggest or the newest, but it will be the one that most suits the various needs of your household. When you're comparing homes think about your wish list and which home comes closest to meeting your price, number of bedrooms, condition, space, features and the amenities of the neighborhood.

Once you move in, you'll see that there's no falling in love that feels as good as knowing you made the right choice.

Have An Awesome Week! 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

2670 Gay Street

Price: $189,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 1 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 1,924

In highly desirable North Gilham neighborhood! This home offers refinished hardwood floors, fresh interior paint, built-ins & lots of storage. Living rm w/ wood fireplace, family+dining rm w/ slider & propane stove opens to kitchen w/ pantry & eat-bar. Utility rm w/ half bath, additional rm could be office, plus storage/shop. RV parking ...

View this property >>

AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

Four Really Bad Reasons to Overprice Your Home

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

In the 26 years that I have been a Real Estate broker in the Eugene and Springfiled market area there is one thing that has not changed a bit.  This is the fact that if a seller over prices their home, it most likley will not sell. Over pricing has been and still is the primary reason that homes fail to sell.  Over pricing not only creates selling problems but it also costs sellers many thousands of dollars.  Homes that start out on the market with their price tag too high will almos t always sell for less money than if they had priced the home correctly in the first place.  The following is an article from "Realty Times" that addresss over pricing.

Why would sellers deliberately sabotage their chances of selling their homes? It doesn't make any sense, yet it happens all the time.

Sellers arrogantly slap the highest price on their homes that they think they can get away with. Then they're surprised when the market slaps them right back with insultingly low offers or none at all.

If you're a seller getting ready to list your home with a real estate professional, and you're even thinking of testing the market with a high price tag, it's time to slap you and get your attention.

Here are four really bad reasons to overprice your home.

You think you're smarter than everyone else.

If you're truly smarter than everyone else, then your agent, the buyer's agent, the buyer's lender, the county appraiser, all the other sellers who have sold or who currently have their homes listed in the market and every buyer on the market is stupid compared to you.

Maybe you'll get lucky and some state lottery winner will write you a check. Oh, yeah, that'll happen.

You want control.

You're the seller who hires a real estate professional, but then doesn't listen to a word she says. Or you politely listen, smile smugly, and then inform your agent that you're in no hurry, you can afford to wait for the right price, you can always decide to drop the price later, blah, blah, blah.

But you're not in control. The market is in control. Buyers don't have to buy homes, and they certainly don't choose to buy overpriced homes.

You're dishonest.

Like keeping an ace up your sleeve, you see nothing wrong with hiding information from your agent or the buyer. Maybe you want to put such a high price on your home because you owe more on your home than it's worth. What if you can't get your price and you have to ask the lender to take less money. That's a big risk. It takes more time, the lender could say no, and your buyer could get righteously angry and walk away.

You're entitled.

You feel you deserve nothing but the best, but you're really the client from hell. You really think it's your hapless agent's job to meet your unrealistic expectations. You expect your agent to hire Josh Whelan to video your home, put a full-page ad in the New York Times, hold an open house every week, stand in your front yard with a bullhorn and get buyers to step right up -- all for a discounted commission.

Overpricing is a risk. Buyers aren't stupid. Agents don't work for free. Lenders don't ignore lending guidelines. So don't be stupid. Don't overprice your home.

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

649 St Andrews Loop

Price: $529,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 4 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 5,568

Outstanding value at $93 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 20 minutes to U of O and hospitals...

View this property >>


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

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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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