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Home Loan: Common Mistakes


Good Monday Morning!

With mortgage rates remianing at or near historic lows, the oportunity to purchase a home remains very good.  Here is an article from"Real Estate Today" that goes over some of the common mistakes made when searching for a home loan.

For most buyers, the mortgage is the largest monthly expense they will have. Yet most borrowers will do little to no preparation, negotiation, or shopping to get the best deal. And they end up paying much more for their loans than they need to. You? You're smarter than that, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that can cost you real money.

1. Believing advertised rates are what you'll pay

Unless you have perfect, or near-perfect credit, most advertised rates are out of your league. To get boasting rights on a rate that good, you have to pay part of a point (one percent of the loan amount), a point, or more to get the best rates.

Your lender will go over your credit with a fine-tooth comb to find anything to raise the rate. That includes qualifying you at the beginning of the transaction, and then running your credit again a day or two before you're supposed to close on the home and loan. If there's been any change in your debt-to-income ratio, goodbye low mortgage rate.

 2. Not comparing lenders 

Just like everyone knows two or three real estate agents, everyone knows a loan officer or a mortgage broker. A loan officer works for a bank, or savings and loan, and can only offer you loan packages that the bank has put together. A mortgage broker prequalifies you just like a loan officer, and shops your deal around to various lenders.

Whether you talk to a loan officer or a mortgage broker, you're going to have to share personal financial information in order to get a realistic rate. Reputable brokers will show you what certain banks and credit unions quoted and you can pick the loan you like best.

If you'd rather do your own shopping, consider talking to a local bank, a national bank, a credit union, and a savings and loan, but remember, unless you give them personal information and permission to run your credit, it's just talk.

 3. Not paying attention to terms

Advertised rates even for those with perfect credit aren't what you will actually pay. The true cost of the loan is the APR or annual percentage rate, which includes fees from the lender.

Understanding loan terms is harder than shopping for a new mattress. There are so many ways lenders can inch up the fees. A loan origination fee is also called a processing fee. It pays the loan officer or mortgage broker, so this fee can vary widely. You may pay one lender more for an appraisal than another might charge you.

One lender may charge more for pulling your credit than another. It's all in your good faith estimate, which you don't get until you've applied for the loan.

All terms are negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask what a particular fee is for and can it be reduced or eliminated.

4. Waiting for a better rate

It's great to have bragging rights on a low rate, but you don't want to lose the home of your dreams over a quarter of a point in interest.

There's a big picture here you could be missing. No matter what your interest rate is, you're going to pay thousands of dollars in interest up front before you make any serious gain in equity. If you go all the way to the end of your loan's term, you'll pay so much interest that you could have bought the same home two or three times.

Instead of focusing on the percentage rate, work on how quickly you can build equity. Make one extra payment a year. Pay $25, $100, or $500 extra per month and you'll more than offset the rate you're paying.

Down the road, if rates drop through the floor, you can refinance, but even that's not an ideal solution. You'll pay loan origination fees, title search fees, appraisal fees and so on -- enough to equal the closing costs you paid the first time around.

And don't forget, you'll start the amortization schedule all over again -- with most of your payments going to interest instead of principal.

5. Choosing the wrong type of loan

Many families were hurt post-9/11 when lenders opened the spigots and gave a loan to almost anyone who could sign the paperwork. Suckers bought homes that were too expensive using balloon loans with low teaser rates.

The type of loan you choose should depend on current market conditions and how long you plan to stay in your home, not how much home you want to buy.

Current market conditions favor fixed rates, because rates are rising from all-time lows. Yes, they cost more than hybrid loans or adjustable rate loans, but the base amount is fixed and doesn't change. Only your taxes and hazard insurance will cost you more over the years.

If you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you are at the mercy of market conditions. While there's a cap on how high your interest rate can go, it's still a risk.

If you plan to stay in your home five years or more, get a fixed-rate mortgage. If you plan to sell your home sooner, you're taking a risk. It takes most borrowers five years just to earn back their original closing costs in equity.

Once you've narrowed your choice of lenders, ask them on the same day to give you a quote. If you wait even one day, rates may have changed, so you're no longer comparing apples to apples.

Have An Awesome Week!


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The Numbers are in: March 2014


Good Monday Morning,

March home sales numbers show that the Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area continues to improve and remain strong.  Here are the statistics for home sales in the Eugene and Springfield area for March of 2014.

March saw an upturn in real estate activity in Lane County! The 520 new listings bested February’s 351 by 48.1%, and last March’s 470 by 10.6%. Pending sales, at 367, rose 44.5% over February (254) and 2.8% over March 2013, when there were 357. Closed sales, at 262, rose 22.4% over February’s 214, but represented a 5.8% decrease from the 278 closings posted in March 2013.

Total market time dropped to 96 days in March, and inventory dropped to 4.9 months.

First Quarter 2014

The real estate market in Lane County is slightly less robust than the first quarter of 2013. New listings (1,279) are even with numbers from the first quarter of last year. Pending sales (894) and closed sales

(660) show a 3.2% and 4.3% drop, respectively, from the 924 pendings and 690 closings from the first quarter of 2013.

Average and Median Sale Prices

The average price in the first quarter this year was $220,800, up 9.4% from the first quarter of 2013, when the average was $201,900. In the same comparison, the median has risen 10.4% from $180,000 to $198,800. 

Have An Awesome Week!


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Good Monday Morning!

Are you considering selling your home? If so, there are certain things that you can do that will enhance the appearance of your home and get buyers excited.  The result of your efforts can mean a shorter time on the market and more money in your pocket.  Here is a recent article from Real Estate Today that addresses this.

As a seller, you have a lot more control in pleasing buyers than you think. If you start the selling process by learning what buyers really want, you can prepare your home to come as close to their dreams as possible.

Here are the five biggest turn-ons for homebuyers and what you can do to please buyers.

Curb Appeal

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Your home should sell to the buyer from the curb. That's how important curb appeal is. Your buyer should be so impressed, so charmed, so delighted that they want to leap out of the car and run inside.

How do you create curb appeal? Show attention to detail. Your home has to be prettier, cleaner and in better condition than its neighbors.

Start with sweeping the drive, walkway, and porch or entry of dirt and debris. Get rid of leggy bushes, wilted flowers and broken tree limbs. Plant fresh flowers in the front garden or in containers at the entry.

Power-wash the exterior and hand-wash the windows. Touch up paint around the windows, if needed. Paint the front door a fresh, modern color. Replace the door hardware and porch sconces.


The number one reason why people buy homes is to have more room. Whether they're moving from an apartment or moving up from the home they have, they want to have plenty of space to do the things they enjoy.

If you have a large home, you're golden, but that doesn't mean you've got it made. You can ruin a buyer's first impression with too much clutter, so make sure to keep your home picked up so your buyer can see your home's features clearly and easily.

What if you don't have a lot of space? Plan to do some storing and staging. Rent a storage unit and put away all out of season clothes, toys, and home decorations and accessories. Clean off all tables and countertops so you have only the minimum of things your need to operate your home. Empty closets of anything that is "stored" and move it to the storage unit. The small expense you'll pay in storage fees you'll more than make back from your buyer's offer.


There's a reason why first-time buyers and singles tend to buy older homes - they're more affordable than buying new. So unless your buyer is a building contractor, chances are they want a home that's as updated as possible.

You may not be interested in putting in a new kitchen in order to sell your home, but you can do a few things to make buyers happy. Replace the most dated features - countertops, cabinet pulls, or appliances.

Bathrooms are so personal that they can easily turn buyers off. Invest in new towels, bathmats and a shower curtain. Throw out slimey soaps and limp ragged bath sponges. Replace with liquid shower and bath products. You can take all the new stuff with you to the next home.

Painting is expected by buyers, but don't repaint the same colors that you chose 10 years ago. Pick an updated neutral like a warm grey instead of beige. Be sure to choose a color that will complement the architecture and flooring in your home.

Keep in mind that the typical home purchased in 2013 was 1,860 square feet and built in 1996, so homebuyers aren't expecting your home to be a mansion, nor do they expect it to be new, but they do expect to see pride of ownership. The more tweaks, updates and repairs that you perform, the more confident your buyers will be that they're choosing the right home.

Have An Awesome Week!


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The Benefit of using a Buyer Specialist.


Good Monday Morning!

With the inventory of homes for sale remaining low in many neighborhoods of Eugene and Springfield, just doing an internet search may not be enough right now.  Many of the great home listings go fast and that means that a good share of them never hit the market.  A good number of homes sell by word of mouth before they are placed into MLS.  This is why in the sellers market that we are currently in, it is important to connect a Buyer Specialist Realtor who knows the current market and also actively networks with fellow agents.  This just might be your best bet for finding the perfect home in this market.

Lisa Frey and Gail Dewitt are Buyer Specialists on my team.  Both Lisa and Gail are seasoned experts, they continually keep up on the current market and they both have an extensive network of fellow agents.  They are very successful in locating many homes before they hit the market.  If you want the competitive edge with your home search, please contact us and Lisa and Gail can start working for you today!

Have An Awesome Week!


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Contact Information

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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