Tag: Central Ohio Real Estate

How to Buy Your First HomeBuying your first home is one of the biggest financial steps that you will ever make. It is important to take this decision seriously. You need to take the time prepare yourself in every aspect in order to make your home a blessing, and not a negative experience. Here are the basic steps that you should know on how to buy your first home.

Determine If You Are Ready to Buy a Home

You should determine if you are ready to buy a home. Home ownership is a lot more expensive than renting. You are responsible for paying for all the repairs. You may also have added utility costs, such as garbage and water. In addition to that you will need to pay for taxes and insurance related to your home. These costs add up quickly, and if you are not financially prepared, you may end up in a very negative position. You should take the time to get out of debt and save up an emergency fund, before you purchase your first home. You should definitely get rid of all of your credit card debt first.

Start Shopping for a Loan
Take the time to shop for a loan. You need to get pre-approved before you shop for a home. This will help you to look within your price range. You should contact at least three people before you decide which loan to take. A mortgage broker will look at several different loan companies to find you the best rates. However, your small local bank or your credit union may have options that will save you money as well.

Once you find a loan with the correct terms you can begin shopping.

Find the Best Payment Options and Loan Types
When it comes to your mortgage you may be surprised at the different loan types and payment options available to you. It can be baffling when you think about ARMS and PMI. Usually a fixed rate 15 or 20 Year loan is the best option.
This can help you lock in a low rate. You may be considering creative financing to cover the down payment, but you should be careful when you make these choices. You want to build wealth with your home purchase. If you make the wrong choice then you may end up hurting yourself financially.

Be Honest About What You Can Afford
You also need to determine how much home you can really afford. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage along with your taxes and insurance between 25%-30% of your income. Other experts advise that your home cost be limited to two and half times your annual salary. It can be crippling if you are house poor. If you spend too much on your mortgage you may not be able to meet your daily obligations let alone save for retirement. A smaller house is worth the peace of mind.

Find a Good Realtor
Once you have determined how much you can really spend and are pre-approved you should find a good realtor. Your realtor should listen to your wants and needs carefully.
She may make recommendations or explain the market to help you find a home that suits your needs and that you can afford. She should offer several different options. Once you make an offer your realtor should work to negotiate terms that you are happy with. A good way to find a realtor is through the recommendations of friends and colleagues.

Request a Home Inspection
Another important step is a thorough home inspection. This is different from an appraisal. You should pay for the home inspection. The home inspector will look for hidden problems with the home. Through the home inspection you can learn about any issues that may prevent you from buying the home. This may include mold problems, termites, foundation problems and a bad roof. The inspection can save you thousands in repairs later on. Additionally you may be able to negotiate a lower price if you know the home needs a new roof.

Be Patient
Once you have bid on your home and the offer is accepted you will go into escrow. The escrow holder will work to make sure that all the documents, money and other necessary information is together before you close. Escrow is set up to protect the buyer, the seller and the lender. It can take time to complete escrow, although the time really depends on circumstances around your purchase. Once everything is completed for escrow you will sign the closing papers. You may or may not sign your mortgage papers at escrow. If you do, you can request that the bank send a representative to help you fully understand your loan.

Close and Move In
Once you have closed on your home, it is time to move in. You can paint, unpack and enjoy your new home. Be sure that you change your address with your bank, and other accounts. You can set up your utilities and cancel your old ones as well. This will save you time and money, because you will avoid late fees. Some companies will waive installation fees if you transfer your old account to your new address.

3 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Purchasing Your First Investment Property

3 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Purchasing Your First Investment Property

Establish a more powerful “why.”

If you have not come across the concept of having a strong “why,” this simply refers to the reason why you invest. This “why” must be so strong that when you think about it, tears come to your eyes. Anything less than that will be no match for fear.

As an example, my personal “why” is that I want to be able to control my time, and I want the one tool that, when large enough, has the potential to solve any problem (money).

I never want to have to explain to my future wife and children that I have sacrifice time with them to go to a job. I never want to be in a position where I am forced to explain that I am not able to give them every opportunity available for success or the tools to simply enjoy life. My “why” is tied to those that will be closest to me.

Increase your real estate IQ.

Lacking confidence in your education will keep you from closing on that first deal. The bright side is, you are in control! Get out and hit every real estate club meeting in your area, then narrow it down to the individual groups that bring the most value. Network with the individuals at these meetings. Some will even let you tag along when they inspect, appraise, remodel, or perform other tasks associated with their deals. This will give you an on-the-ground education.

Next, get on Amazon and have a stack of books hitting your mailbox every week. Some of the best books I have read I bought for one cent plus shipping. Vary your reading — not everything should be on real estate. If you want to become more sophisticated, you have to improve knowledge in every area of your life. I have broken my life down into health, wealth, love, and happiness. A large portfolio of properties giving you huge amounts of cash flow will be worthless if your health and relationships are in the toilet.

Increasing your knowledge will bring confidence to close the deal like a pro even when you may be a novice.

Destroy perceived obstacles.

The most difficult roadblock that we can ever encounter is a perceived obstacle. Why? Because it’s all in our minds. A fight against your own mind will almost always end with you losing. Some of the most common perceived obstacles that I see are the illusion of what a “good” credit score is and the amount of a down payment needed for the purchase of a home. Your credit does not have to be perfect, and with all the programs available from our local and federal government, these perceived obstacles to home ownership are an illusion.

What are some of the other perceived obstacles that stop us from taking the next step to our dreams?

I have found it helpful to make a list of the things I see as obstacles and then pass this list to another set of eyes that are independent of my situation to get feedback to help me identify any perceived obstacles that may be blocking me.

To sum it all up, there is nothing that should keep you in fear of purchasing that first property. There is so much money, knowledge, and professional help out there just waiting for you to grab it. You just have to take that first step to make it happen. 

3 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Purchasing Your First Investment Property

Central Ohio Home Sales Remain Strong Headed Into Fall

There were 3,116 central Ohio homes and condos sold during the month of August, a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year and a 1.5 percent increase over July. This was the highest number of closed sales for the month of August ever recorded and the second highest month for 2016, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

“Central Ohio home buyers are still being very aggressive in their decisions to purchase homes” said 2016 Columbus REALTORS® President John Royer. “Since demand for homes continues to be so high, potential sellers are encouraged to get their home on the market – they don’t have anything to lose”!

The average sales price of a home in central Ohio during the month of August was $204,629, a 3.3 percent increase over August 2015. The median price of a home sold in August was $174,000, up 5.5 percent from one year ago. Year to date (January through August), both the average and median sale prices are up 5.1 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, from last year.

The average sales price is the total volume divided by the number of homes sold. The median is the midpoint — half the homes sell for less, while half sell for more.

The number of homes for sale in central Ohio during the month of August was 6,270, a 2.1 percent decrease from the previous month and a 21 percent decrease from August 2015.
There were 3,389 central Ohio homes and condos added to the market during August, a 2.6 percent drop from the same month one year ago and a 12.3 percent decrease from July.

“Inventory and new listings are beginning to taper, but this is to be expected as we head into the fall selling season” Royer said. “However it’s still a terrific time to list your home as buyers remain eager for inventory and home values remain high!”

During the month of August, central Ohio homes and condos spent an average of 34 days on the market, which is 29.2 percent (14 days) shorter than last year and just 1 day longer than July.

“Homes are continuing to fly off the market, even as inventory begins to dwindle,” Royer said.”

According to the latest Housing Market Confidence Index by the Ohio Association of REALTORS®, 98 percent of central Ohio REALTORS® would describe the current housing market as moderate to strong.

When asked what the single most important factor that they believed limited their buyers from purchasing a property so far this year, 92 percent said difficulty finding the right property (low inventory), four percent said ability to sell existing their home, two percent said low consumer confidence and 2 percent said no factor limited buyers.

Central Ohio Home Sales Remain Strong Headed Into Fall

Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged

Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged

Federal Reserve officials lowered their expectations for rate hikes in the years ahead Wednesday but teed up a likely move before the end of 2016.

 In a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee after this week’s meeting, the central bank expressed confidence in economic growth, but not enough to make a move this month.

“The committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives,” the statement said.

Stock prices initially extended their gains after the Fed announcement but then lost some ground.

The tipoff for what could be a December move came at what appeared to be a remarkably divisive FOMC meeting, judging by the statement and an accompanying summary of economic projections.

Three members from the hawkish Fed bloc — Esther George, Loretta Mester and Eric Rosengren — dissented from the statement, an unusual split considering Chair Janet Yellen‘s adeptness at keeping the committee united. It was the most “no” votes since the December 2014 meeting.

Indeed, the so-called dot plot that shows individual members’ expectations indicated notably wider dispersion than the June meeting. While most Fed officials foresee a gradual increase of rates, one member expected the rate to be little changed from the 0.65 percent level all the way through 2019. Another member, meanwhile, put the rate expectation at 3.75 percent by 2019, more than a percentage point above the consensus.

Three members also indicated they do not want any hikes this year.

“The solid coalition is still going to be there with Yellen, (William) Dudley, (Stanley) Fischer and a handful of others. I think they’re still all in agreement,” said Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab. “I can only surmise there’s a division between those who think that we are in this secular stagnation world — slow growth for a longer time — vs. those who think it’s a cyclical issue that’s taking a very long time to play out.”

The increase likely would come at the Dec. 13 and 14 meeting, considering the Nov. 1 and 2 session comes just ahead of the presidential election and there is no post-meeting news conference scheduled.

“Most people were expecting some version of this, the idea that they weren’t actually going to hike rates but they didn’t want the notion that the Fed is never going to hike,” said Lewis Alexander, the chief U.S. economist at Nomura. “This pretty much met those expectations.” Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged.

It’s well known that homes in good school districts sell for a premium—and are a good investment for buyers with or without children. But just how much can you expect to top up that listing price or bid? And what are the top school districts where people  are rushing to buy homes—regardless of the cost?

The economic research team at realtor.com® took up the challenge and dived into the data. The team compared homes in school districts rated 9 or 10, the highest score, by GreatSchools.org with homes in nearby districts rated 6 or less.

“It’s common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district,” says Javier Vivas, research analyst for realtor.com. “Our analysis quantifies just how good it is to be a seller in these areas.”

It turns out, homes in the higher-rated public school districts are, on average, 49% more expensive—at $400,000—than the national median of $269,000, and 77% more expensive than schools located in lower-ranked districts in their own area, with a median of $225,000.

Plus, homes in higher-rated school districts sell an average of eight days faster than homes in below-average school districts, and four days faster than the national average.

People are more interested in homes in good school districts, too—they’re viewed 26% more, on average, than the average home on realtor.com, and 42% more than homes in areas with below-average schools.

Let’s check out the schools where you’ll shell out the most extra (or profit the most) for a quality public school education.

Top 10 school districts with the highest premium

1. Beverly Hills Unified School District, Los Angeles County, CA

Sixteen years after the hit teen show “Beverly Hills 90210” went off the air, the coveted ZIP code still has cachet. Homes in the top-rated Beverly Hills Unified School District (GreatSchools rating: 9) sell for an average 689% more (that’s $3.8 million) than other homes in Los Angeles County (a far more reasonable $550,000). BHUSD homes beat out those in nearby Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District, which is rated 9 and has a median list price of $2.5 million, and more recently hip Culver City Unified School District, with a rating of 8 and a median list price of $975,000.

Beverly Hills High School, home of the BHHS Normans.

Beverly Hills High School, home of the BHHS Normans

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

2. Highland Park Independent School District, Dallas County, TX

Homes in the Dallas-area Highland Park Independent School District (rated 10) carry an average 632% premium, at $1.8 million, over the median-price home in Dallas County (a mere $277,000). Buyers would get a relative bargain in the neighboring Coppell Independent School District, which has a rating of 9 and a median home price of $470,000.

3. Kenilworth School District No. 38, Cook County, IL

The Chicago area’s Kenilworth School District No. 38 ranked third in the nation with a home price premium of 606% compared with greater Cook County. Homes in the district alongside Lake Michigan (rating: 10) go for a median list price of $1.6 million. But just a bit southwest, Wilmette Public Schools District 39 has a rating of 10 and homes that go for $780,000.

Rounding out the top 10 school districts with the highest price premiums are:

4. Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, Hamilton County, OH

5. Winnetka School District 36, Cook County, IL

6. Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County, CA

7. Scarsdale Union Free School District, Westchester County, NY

8. Saddle River School District, Bergen County, NJ

9. San Marino Unified School District, Los Angeles County, CA

10. Mariemont City School District, Hamilton County, OH

The Benefits of a Home Warranty.

I have a client that just purchased a home. It was the home of their dreams and it had everything they ever asked for. I suggested to them that they get a home warranty because all of the benefits it provided.

“Home Warranty of America” was included in my 1st Home purchase and I made good use of it during the first year. I did not have it when I bought my 2nd home. As you know, the 2nd home was recently renovated with high-end appliances so I didn’t think purchasing another Home Warranty was needed. I am very glad you suggested it because in 2 months my microwave and oven both went dead. At first I panicked but I remembered that we had the home warranty. I could have paid over $1,000 to fix to these and didnt have to pay a dime. High-end products look and work good but they are expensive to repair. I won’t even think twice about buying a home without “Home Warranty of America” again.

 

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Nationwide, as buyer demand and competition for homes has grown, so has the desire for “quick closings”. Requests for quick closings have climbed as the home buying landscape has become more competitive. Buyers will offer to “close quickly” to enhance the appeal of their purchase offer making it more compelling and to help their offer stand-out among the competition.

Loan volumes play a major role in approval timelines and as loan volumes decrease, lenders are able to turn purchase approvals more quickly to the benefit of today’s home buyers. Loan volume is highly seasonal and volumes tend to increase in the spring and summer months.

As loan volume rises, your ability to do a quick close will wane. If you’re considering purchasing a home you’ll want to know How Long It Takes to Close on a Home Purchase and ways to maximize your closing speed, Follow these helpful behaviors outlined in the link and your loan can be approved more quickly.

As always, I am here to help you with all of your home-related needs whether you are in the market to buy or to sell. Call or email me anytime with questions or to start this important process.


Contact

I am always available to talk. (614)289-8799 #RealEstateSuitedForYou

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© Copyright 2016 Samuel Miller

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