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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.

Is Fall A Good Time To Sell?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Sometimes, it really pays to go against the crowd.

As you probably know, spring is the season when most people put their homes on the market.

Summer is the high season, and it’s when most homes get sold.

And yet, there are a few powerful reasons why fall might actually be a better time than either spring or summer to Sell your home.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it.

By the fall, the bulk of spring listings are expiring. As a result, there is less competition, particularly when you consider the *NEW* label and the fewer days on the market that your listing will boast.

Also, home buyers in the fall are more serious. They have been looking at listings for months, and they are eager to conclude their search and move in comfortably before the holidays.

When you put those two things together, you get that homes listed in the fall Sell more quickly and often command a higher price.

Now, if you are thinking of selling your home this fall, there are a few things you have to do differently.

First, you have to prepare your home to account for the particular fall conditions.

For example, you need to check the HVAC system and replace your furnace filter so your home will be warm and smell fresh. Also, make sure to turn on all the lights; you've got to compensate for the shorter, and sometimes cloudier days. Cleaning up the yard is also a must.

The second thing you need to do is price your home correctly. If you would like some help figuring out what your home is worth, please go to SellMyCentralOregonHome.com

Once you have an idea of what your home is worth, how should you price it?

On the one hand, the fall is not a good time to start with a sky-high price. If you don’t Sell right away, you might not have time to adjust the price because of the smaller number of buyers and the shorter selling period (nobody wants to move over Christmas).

On the other hand, those serious buyers I mentioned earlier might be willing to pay more simply because they’ve been looking longer and are more eager to Buy.

It’s a balancing act. It’s also something I can definitely help you with.

Give me a call at (541) 480-7441 if you are considering selling this fall, and I’ll give you my recommendations on how to price your home based on current conditions in central Oregon.

Thanks and enjoy the Fall!

What You Want In A Home VS What You Need

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

I believe homeownership is the American Dream. When you Buy a home, though, it is important to understand the difference between what you want in a home and what you need. How can you tell the difference? 

The first thing I’d advise is pulling out a pen and a piece of paper and writing down two columns. In the left-hand column, list all of the things that you have today. In the right-hand column, list all the things you want. From left to right, your list should expand. This will be the criteria you will use to shop for a new home. 

Whatever amenities you end up listing in the right-hand column, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not get all of them in this next purchase. If your new home doesn’t have all the amenities that you want, I would strongly encourage that you start looking for ways to save money so that somewhere down the line you can procure them. 

I often see people make upgrades to their home solely as part of their strategy for selling it. This is a mistake—you’re spending money that you don’t get a dollar-for-dollar return on. If you’re making upgrades, do it for yourself first. Reap the benefits of how it contributes to the home’s sale later. 

If you have any questions you’d like answered, just shoot me an email or give me a call. I’d love to help in any way I can!

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!!

5 Worst Home Fixes

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty
I've been asked by many people over the years my opinion regarding what remodeling projects are good or not so good to do prior to listing and selling their homes. These decisions can be very puzzling and in many cases very costly for home sellers. It's natural to think that remodeling projects will always increase the value of your home. However that is often times not the case.
 
Although there are differences within regions of the U.S., there are some standards you should know about regarding this matter.  Check out the article below and perhaps you'll be able to save some money.  

 

Great News For The Housing Market

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Thought you all might be interested in reading the article attached below. This is from a national mortgage magazine regarding their outlook on the real estate market for 2016. Very good information to have.

As always let me know if you have any questions, or need any assistance.

http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/57210/home-prices-forecast-grow-mortgage-rates-sink-again

Homebuyer Tips

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty


The recent National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Buyers showed 95% of first-time homebuyers and 86% of repeat buyers financed their home purchase. Clients in the market for a new home can increase their chances of a successful home buying transaction by following some of these tips.

 
   
 
 
 


Check Credit Reports

Credit reports can affect a client's mortgage rate and ability to qualify for home financing. It's important they review their credit report for any errors and take measures to boost their credit score if needed. Homebuyers can always check their credit report for free here.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before clients start a home search, always meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved. It will not only strengthen their offer, it helps clients understand their buying potential and helps real estate agents define the field of eligible properties that they can afford. Know the difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification!

Boost the Budget

Beyond helping clients create a budget for a home within their range, consider also looking for ways that could help reduce some of the costs. Seller or lender credits or grant funds can help offset closing costs or help with larger down payment funds, possibly expanding their search options.

Resale Value

The average person moves 11.3 times in their lives so it's also important that clients consider the resale value when looking at homes. While a client may purchase their home as a long-term investment, keep in mind that they may one day need to Sell it.

Buying a home is a major undertaking. I strive to educate clients regarding all facets of the home buying process. Call or email me today if I can help you or someone you know.

No Housing Bubble Says Local Economist

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Below is an article written by economist Joseph Ditzler regarding the housing market in the Bend/Central Oregon area. Enjoy reading it. The information makes sense.

No housing bubble ahead, economist says

Growth in Bend home values to slow, incomes to rise, expert says

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

The first question, and greatest fear, that economist Matthew Gardner said he hears most often is: Are we getting into another housing bubble?

“Absolutely not,” Gardner said Tuesday in a telephone interview. He spent the weekend and Monday at Brasada Ranch, in Powell Butte, talking to Windermere Real Estate franchise owners gathered for their annual retreat. “We are in a pretty good place.”

The ghosts of the Great Recession — when ballooning home prices collapsed and fell to lows beneath loan values, putting many homeowners in foreclosure — still haunt the Central Oregon housing market.

That was then, Gardner said, the chief economist for Seattle-based Windermere since June. Conditions today weigh against a housing bubble, he said. Lenders typically look for better credit scores and larger down payments.

“Folks getting a home today are responsibly taking on debt,” Gardner said.

Gardner also predicted continued growth in employment, wages and housing inventory and a slowdown of the blistering climb in Bend home prices since fall 2011.

“We’ll start to see a slowing down in housing price appreciation,” he said Tuesday.

“It’s not sustainable, 10 (percent), 15 percent increases a year. Homebuyers are not making enough income to service that debt.”

Gardner forecast a more modest rise in Central Oregon home prices of 7.5 percent in the coming year. He also said he expects a rise of about 1 percent in mortgage interest rates to about 5 percent on a fixed, 30-year mortgage.

He also expects an average 5.4 percent increase next year in income in Oregon and a drop in the state unemployment rate to 5.1 percent. As people grow more confident in the recovery, they’ll expect more than being able to keep their jobs. They’ll exert more pressure on employers for pay raises, Gardner said. That should translate to more activity in the housing market.

“We’re going to see a lot more move-up buyers buying from people wanting to downsize,” Gardner said. “And, for the first time (since the recession), first-time homebuyers will be able to come back into the market.”

He also expects builders to take up slack in demand with a modest surge in housing starts next year that grows in 2017.

Also, high rents will give rise to a new generation of homebuyers, he said. Millennials, the generation born between approximately 1980 and 2000, will start raising families and rethinking their housing options.

They may be happier in something smaller than their parents owned, at a lower price point, Gardner said.

“This generation doesn’t necessarily want 3,500 square feet with a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a dog,” he said.

Bend and Redmond 2014 to 2015 Comparisons

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Compared to April 2014, the Bend SFR (single family residential) median sale price increased about 10% in April 2015.  The number of sales increased about 5%.   There were 88 detached SFR building permits last month, which is an increase of 14% compared to April 2014!  According to our records (provided by Beacon Appraisal Group), last month’s building permits were the highest since July 2006. 
The number of sales in the $250 to $300 range price range last month was compared to April 2014 and there was about a 29% increase.
April 2014 $250k to $300k 364 sales
April 2015 $250k to $300k 468 sales  

 

Redmond SFR shows about a 6% increase in median sale price and the number of sales last month was the same as in April 2014.  The number of new detached SFR building permits was about 66% more than in April 2014. 
Compared to April 2014, the number of sales in the $150k to $200k price range increased about 23% last month.  About a 64% increase in the number of sales in the $250 to $300 was noted between April 2014 and April 2015.

If you would like to keep a closer track of the changing trends in the central Oregon real estate market, just read my monthly newsletter available on My Website or emailed monthly to all interested parties.

Oregon The Most Desirable State to Move To

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Below is an article written by Katherine Wood for the Cascade Business news. Interesting reading about this wonderful state of Oregon and it's popularity. I hope you enjoy it. 

The Most Desirable State: Oregon by the Numbers
BY KATHERINE WOOD ON 

Oregon may be synonymous with wet winters, tall trees, and covered wagons, but lately the state has taken on another meaning. For many, Oregon is now synonymous with home. In fact, more Americans are now calling Oregon home than ever before. In 2014, Oregon was the most moved-to U.S. state, according to the annual National Movers Study conducted by United Van Lines. Inbound residents made up 66 percent of moves to and from the state (a 5 percent increase from 2013, in which Oregon also held the top spot).

Read about the 5 measurable reasons why more Americans are making Oregon their home by clicking the link below.

Read complete article here.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 104

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