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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...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

Is There a Real Estate Transfer Tax attached to Obamacare?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Is a Natiinal Real Estate sales tax fact or fiction?  Read this interesting article from Realty Times for complete details that just might shock you!

On January 1, 2013, the Net Investment tax went into effect. Despite numerous articles and columns reminding consumers that this tax does not apply to every real estate sale, rumors continue to keep flying all over the country, claiming that the Health Reform legislation Congress enacted includes a sales tax on all real estate sales. While there is a tax, it does not apply to everyone.

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2010. It is a comprehensive and extremely complex piece of legislation. One section (1402) is entitled "Unearned Income Medicare Contribution" and does impose a 3.8 percent tax on any profit on the sale of real estate – residential or investment.

But it is aimed at high-income consumers, who comprise a small majority of American citizens.

Let's look at the true facts of this new law.

First, it is not a sales tax, nor does it impose any transfer or recordation tax. It is often called a "medicare" tax because the moneys received will be allocated to the Medicare Trust Fund, which is part of the Social Security System.

Next, if your income (technically called "adjusted gross income) is less than $200,000, you are home free. The income thresholds are clearly spelled out in the law. If you are married and file a joint tax return with your spouse, the law will apply only if your income is over $250,000. (If you and your spouse opt to file a separate tax return, the threshold is reduced to $125,000. For all other taxpayers, you have to earn more than $200,000 in order to be under the new law.

The up-to-$500,000 exclusion of gain for married couples filing a joint tax return (or up-to-$250,000 for single taxpayers) has not been repealed. Nor has the right to deduct mortgage interest and real estate tax payment been eliminated.

How is the tax calculated? It is a complex formula that could be called "the accountant's protection act". As a taxpayer, you (or your financial advisor) must determine which is less: the gain you have made on the sale of your house or the amount that your income exceeds the appropriate threshold.

Complicated? Yes. Let's look at these examples. Your adjusted gross income is $150,000. You sell your house and made a profit of $400,000. There is no change in the way you determine your gain: you take your purchase price, add any major improvements you have made over the years, and subtract that number from the net sales price. Based on this formula, you and your spouse have owned and lived in the property for at least two out of the five years before it was sold. Accordingly, you are eligible to exclude all of your profit; you are not subject to the new 3.8 tax. Keep the money and enjoy.

Change the example so that your adjusted gross income is $300,000. Since you are eligible to take the profit exclusion of up-to-$500,000, once again you do not have to pay the Medicare tax; your entire gain is excluded, and thus there is no profit to tax.

But let's assume you strike it rich and have made a profit of $600,000. Your income is $300,000. You can only exclude $500,000 under current law, so you will have to pay capital gains tax on the remaining balance. The rate currently is 20 percent, so you will owe Uncle Sam $20,000 ($100,000 x 20%).

But since your income is over the threshold, you now have to pay the 3.8 percent tax. But on what amount?

As indicated earlier, the tax is based on lesser of your profit or the difference between the threshold and your income. Your profit is $100,000. The difference between your income and the threshold is $50,000 ($300,000 - $250,000). In our example, the lower number is $50,000, and you will have to pay an additional $1900 to the IRS (3.8% x $50,000).

According to statistics provided by the National Association of Realtors, the median average sales price for homes in the United States (as of July, 2014) was $213.400. Clearly, none of these homes could make a profit of even $250,000, so if you qualify for the exclusion of gain requirements, you will not be impacted by this new law. Those requirements are: you have to have owned and used the property as your principal residence for two out of the five years before it is sold.

Of course, in homes where a large profit will be made, some home owners may be hit with this tax. But the large profit that you make should offset the nominal tax that has to be paid.

Since the law applies to all forms of real estate, including vacation homes, you should consider consulting with your tax and financial advisors as to your exposure.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

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141 KOURT DR
Price: $240,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1846
Beautiful energy star rated home! New laminate floors and carpet, interior sprinklers, vaulted ceiling, skylights & architectural ledges. Living room with gas fireplace, kitchen with eating bar opens to dining room with slider to back. Master suite ...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

The Eugene and Springfield Real Estate market is very interesting right now.  There seems to be good buyer activity in the home price ranges of $175,000 and below.  Above that it is spotty.  Homes above $300,000 just are not getting many showings right now. We need the upper end home market here to take off!

Considering Selling Your Home?

by Galand Haas

VideoVideo

Good Monday Morning!

Congratulations to the University of Oregon Ducks football team for winning their third straight Pacific 12 Championship and earning the right to play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2012.

If you are considering the sale of your home in the near future, I would suggest that you consider putting your home on the market sooner rather than later.  One of the biggest problems home sellers have faced over the past several years in competition in the market.  The inventory of homes for sale typically reaches it's lowest points in November, December, January, February and March. Homes on the market during these months will face far less competion.  To date, this year has been the same as we are now watching the inventories of good homes on the market hit levels that make it tough for home buyers.  Your chances of selling your home and obtaining top dollar are best if you act quickly and get your home on the market before the Spring rush.  

Have An Awesome Week!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-US-December-2011

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85075 Ridgetop Drive
Price: $375,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 2 Partial Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 2354
Gorgeous getaway minutes from town! 5 acres with amazing mountain views! Very light & bright w/ hardwood flrs & underground sprinklers. Master suite has his-&-her sinks, soaking tub, shower, & slider to balcony! Kitchen with eating bar & pantry, liv...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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The Housing Market in Eugene and Springfield

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

There is some good news for our housing market in the Eugene and Springfield area.  We had another month of increased home sales.  For October of this year closed home sales were up by 14.4% over 2010 and Pending sales were up by 7.3% for the same time period. New listing were down again and were off by 18.1%.  A personal observation on listings notes that the majority of the new listings are distressed sales and that those homeowners who do not have to sell are making the choice not to sell in this market.  This has actually created a short supply of homes in some areas, especially in the price ranges of $175,000 and below.

Closed home sales fell in October from September by 7.4%, but pending sales were up by 18.3% for the same time period.  The number of new listings hitting the market fell by 9.2% for the same time period.

There is currently 7.6 months of active inventory of homes for sale.  The average sales price declined again and fell by 2.9% from October of last year and now rests at $203,800.  The average time it is now taking for a home to sell is 141 days.

As long as mortgage interest rates remain constant and home inventories continue to decline, this trend should remain fairly constant.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
2594 Pierce Street
Price: $235,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 2139
Contemporary with great views of nature! Great open floor plan, wood floors throughout most of home, skylights in almost every room, large entry, vaulted ceilings, kitchen with eating bar and area. Master suite with walk-in closet. Plus good size lo...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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Eugene, Oregon Real Estate Market Update

by Galand Haas

In the interest of providing you with accurate, up-to-date and unbiased information on the real estate market in Eugene, Oregon, here are some vital statistics taken from the real estate aggregating website Trulia:

  • Average Listing Price (week ending 10.26.2011): $288,777, down 0.3% ($821) compared to the prior week
  • Median Sales Price: $204,950 down 4.7% ($10,050), based on 388 home sales from July to Sept., 2011
  • Average Price Per Square Foot: $152, down 3.2% compared to the same period last year
  • Number of Sales: 388, +3.5%

Definitions

These dollar amounts and percentages might seem self-evident, but just to be clear, here’s a paraphrasing Trulia’s definition of these terms:

Average Listing Price
This is based on daily average prices for the most recent week on new and resale houses listed on Trulia, which says it updates these prices weekly.

Median Sales Price
This is the median residential sales price for the latest 90-day period for which sales are available to the public. It is the price at which 50% of the homes sold for more than the median price and 50% of the homes sold for less than the median price. Median sale price is restructured each week as fresh sales data is released.

Average Price per Square Foot
This is determined using sales from the most recent 90-day period and kept up-to-date weekly from the latest transaction data available via public record sources.

Perspective Is Reality

In order to put the above numbers into the proper perspective, you need to compare them with the numbers for some of the other cities near Eugene. Once again, we turn to the real estate website Trulia for these figures (for more details, click on the city):

Nearby City Median Sales Price Average Listing Price
Springfield $153,800 $246,292
Coburg $109,250 $183,776
Creswell $149,900 $246,329
Junction City $149,450 $262,548
Harrisburg $124,900 $218,964

 

What Do All These Stats Mean To Me?

If you are or think you might soon be buying or selling a home in Eugene, use these facts and figures as a base on which to make well-informed decisions about property transactions. Information is power, after all, and empowerment gives you confidence.

And when it comes to the amount of time, money and, let’s face it, emotion involved in home sales transactions, regardless of whether you’re the buyer or the seller, you want all the power and confidence you can get.

Current Home Trends in Eugene/Springfield

by Galand Haas
VideoVideo

Good Monday Morning!

First time home buyers continue to make up the majority of home sales in the Eugene and Springfield area.  Affordable homes in the price ranges below $200,000 are continuing to be the most desireable homes on the market.  This is also where we are seeing the lowest inventory numbers at this time.  Also many homes in this price range are distressed properties, which means they are either bank foreclosures or short sales.  Most likely the demand for these homes will continue strong in the future as well and inventiries may also remain low.  

Have An Awesome Week!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-US-November-2011

Image Unavailable
1336 Tamarack St
Price: $165,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1471
Wonderfully updated home with huge backyard. On quiet street close to park and schools. Features light and bright living room with brick fireplace, well-sized bedrooms, updated baths, master suite with walk-in closet. 4th bed could be an office. New...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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Find Us on Facebook

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

What a gorgeous sunny Northwest day it is in the Eugene and Springfield area.  It looks like an entire week of it ahead. Yeah!!!!

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most popular communication tools used by many of us.  Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus all are widely used.  Facebook now has over 800 million users with over 300 million people on line at any given time.  We want to remain on the cutting edge and make sure that we are providing Real Estate information consistently to anyone looking for that information in the Eugene and Springfield area.  Our new Facebook business page has been designed to do just that.  Check us out at www.facebook.com/galandhaasteam.  While you are there click the "LIKE" button and you will be updated on local Real Estate news and tips along with exciting new home listings.  

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
46747 Goodpasture Rd
Price: $925,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 3124
Custom home with awesome river views! Great room welcomes you with spacious rooms, numerous windows and skylights, vaulted ceiling with wood columns, detailed custom woodwork throughout. Master suite includes his-&-her closets and sinks, soaking tub...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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Foreclosures in Lane County

by Galand Haas
VideoVideo

Good Monday Morning!

Recently, the number of homes going through foreclosure in the Lane County area shot through the roof.  There were over 300 foreclosure properties that went to auction within one week last month.  This is well above the number that we had been seeing on a monthly basis.  What this means is that in the near future we are going to see the number of bank owned properties on the market for sale skyrocket.  This will put pressure on inventories, home prices and most likely make it harder for non-forclosure properties to sell.  The positive side of this is that there will be some very good purchase opportunities out there on many of these properties once they hit the market.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-In-Real-Estate-US-August-2011

Image Unavailable
1004 54th Street
Price: $305,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1700
A great home on a spacious .99 acre dividable lot! This charming home has many features including granite counters and cooking island in the kitchen, a fireplace in the living room, and a master bedroom with french doors and his-and-her closets. Rel...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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Find us on Facebook

by Galand Haas
VideoVideo

Good Monday Morning!

If you have not checked out our new Facebook Real Estate Business Page you can do so at www.facebook.com/galandhaasteam. Here you will find posts and tips about buying and selling homes both locally and nationally and many hot new home listings. You can also conduct home searches from here and request a home value analysis.  While you are there make sure that you click on "Like It".

Have An Awesome Week!

Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-In-Real-Estate-US-August-2011

Image Unavailable
4085 Eddystone Place
Price: $305,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 2518
Stylish and spacious! Vaulted ceilings, skylights, open floor plan, well-sized bedrooms and large windows make it very light and bright inside. Living and family room, fireplace, utility, plus bonus room. Master suite with his and her sinks, shower ...



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
Galand

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