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How Interest Rates Could Be Affecting Your Home Search

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Happy Spring!

I'm sure most of you have noticed that interest rates are on the rise. Have you asked yourself lately how the rise in interest rates might be affecting your home search? When rates rise, affordability goes down. Inventory levels also remain low and there are a lot of buyers out shopping right now. Are you ready?

Below I have attached a link to a March 2018 article in Realtor Magazine that will help enlighten you. More interest rate hikes are expected for 2018. If after reading this article you or someone you know is ready to kick your home search into a faster motion, contact me right away. I'm here to help! Let me know if you have any questions.

Click Here To Read The Article In Realtor Magazine

Don't Get Conned by Wire Fraud

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

How To Avoid Big Mistakes in the Real Estate Closing Process

There has been a recent increase of real estate wire transfer scams, but you have the power to spot the warning signs before it happens to you. According to data provided by the FBI, in 2017, close to $1 billion was “diverted or attempted to be diverted” from real estate purchase transactions, and wired to “criminally controlled” accounts. That figure is up explosively from 2016, when the FBI counted $19 million in stolen funds. 

 

The scam generally works like this: Hackers find an opening into a title company’s, realty agent’s, or mortgage banker’s email account. They track upcoming home purchases scheduled for closing, then assume the identity of the title or escrow agent handling the transaction. You can spot wire fraud with a few key hints:

Ways to spot wire fraud:

  • Scammers will use a loan officer, real estate agent, or title company email and letterhead.
  • They’ll state that there has been a last minute change to where the money is transferred.
  • Email will say checks are no longer accepted/money wiring instructions have changed.
  • They’ll supply new account information for the transfer.

Of course, none of that is true, but if the scammer is successful, their victim will send the money to the scammers account unknowingly, and the money is gone!

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Always call the closing company directly to verify wiring instructions before proceeding.
  • If you are affected by wire fraud or suspect suspicious activity, call your local field office of the FBI immediately and visit www.ic3.gov, the bureau’s internet complaint center.

Should I buy in the Fall??

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Everyone knows the spring housing market has a reputation for being the hottest time of year to Buy a home. But what if it’s not the smartest time to buy? According to RealtyTrac’s fifteen year analysis of over 32 million homes, fall is the time of year to Buy if you want to keep cash in your wallet. On average, buyers pay 2.6% below asking price for their home. That could equate to a savings of thousands depending on your purchase price!

Negotiating Power

Fall buyers also may have more negotiating power than their spring-time counterparts; desperate to Sell their houses before the holidays hit, sales prices drop around 2.96% on average from summer prices. Interestingly, listing prices stay the same, which suggests that buyers are able to bargain more during earlier months. This trend persists even though listings and competition, are down in the marketplace . Fall sellers need to Sell their homes quickly, and thus are willing to compromise in ways a more selective spring-seller would not consider.

Deals Deals Deals!

Shopping for a home toward the end of the year has other advantages as well. Black Friday sales are a great way to upgrade appliances and electronics in the home without breaking the bank. And with holidays looming toward the end of November and December, contract closing dates may go beyond the traditional thirty-day window to avoid closing on a major holiday. This can give you more time to pack, prepare and take some of the pressure off during busy times of the year.

If you’re looking for a home and are worried that you will need to wait until next spring, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. You might find a killer deal that would otherwise be impossible later in the year!

If you have questions or concerns about the home buying process, in the fall, or otherwise, give me a call today! 

Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Professional

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

If you or someone you know is thinking about purchasing or selling a home or investment property, click on the following link to see the A+ reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to call. I am here to help!

Checklist If You Know Someone Planning To Buy A Home Soon

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty
12 Months Out
Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.  The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to give you a free credit report once a year.
Determine how much you can afford.   Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio).
Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. FHA offers loans with only a 3.5% down payment.
9 Months Out
Prioritize what you most want in your new home. What's most important in your new home? Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street?
Research neighborhoods and start visiting open houses.  This is where I can consultant with you to efficiently help find homes for you.
Budget for miscellaneous home buying expenses.  Start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies.
6 Months Out
Collect your loan paperwork. Banks are very particular when it comes to mortgage loans, so it's important to speak with a lender to determine what they will need to provide a loan.
3 Months Out
Get pre-approved for your loan. At this point, if you've been following this timeline, your credit score, paperwork, and down payment should be on track.
Start shopping for your new home. Once you're pre-approved, I will be able to target homes that meet your priorities in your price range.
2 Months Out
Make an offer on a home.  It usually takes at least four to six weeks to close on a home.
 
If you or anyone you know has a question or needs assistance, be sure to let me know. I am happy to help!!

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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