About Boston Real Estate

About Boston Real Estate

All About Boston Real Estate

Looking for a home in Boston? You may want to look elsewhere. The Boston real estate market is broken for many of its potential buyers. Inventory is tight and there is not nearly enough entry level homes. It seems to be that fewer homeowners are trading up. Add in the fact that cash bearing investors and foreign buyers dominate the market which is wonderful for sellers by its often miserable to the ordinary homebuyers.

Boston’s real estate market is only normal when it is compared to other popular areas such as New York and Silicon Valley. The need for a reasonably priced home market for next generation workforce has yet to be found in Boston. The invisible hand of capitalism has not been able to meet entry level demand. Instead developers prefer to build luxury units instead catering to another class of home buyers were more money can potentially be made.

Boston is aware they have a problem on their hands but the issue never rises to a level of urgency that inspires any political action. Quietly we may enjoy watching our home prices escalate without considering the consequences of torturing a new generation of would be homeowners. Really what possibly could be the problem in having one’s home equities rise by $100,000 in 2 years?

Boston Real Estate Market

The real estate market is not considered broken to the current homeowner it’s broken for the home hunters competing in the unforgiving front lines of the real estate market. Old rules are being changed for new ones. Potential buyers are being pre-qualified, while also willing to bid higher than the asking price, and also buyers are willing to waive the mortgage contingency, meaning they would remain on the hook for buying the property if the financing falls through. Lastly buyers are willing to waive the inspection contingency, committing to the purchase of the home no matter what the inspector finds.

The question is the difference between winning a bid they placed or not. Imagine being a first time home buyer and facing the biggest purchase of your life and feeling pressure to make your decision on blind faith alone. Victories do come to persistent first time home buyers, but is it really worth the price you ultimately pay.

Boston’s Growth

Boston continues to lose population to places like Atlanta, Denver and Dallas. The Boston area has lost jobs due to the lacking population. Maybe if homes were more affordable people would move their families here and businesses would come to the area to expand in growth.

The board at a zoning appeals don’t seem concerned with the job problem in Boston, but their decision on zoning are. They regularly turn down multi-family projects and feel justified in the decision because we lack the transportation infrastructures to support them.

homes in boston

There are signs of hope for housing in Boston. A bill passed in senate last year requiring cities and towns to create multi-family zones. All though the bill has yet to be used, the issue of tackling zoning to permit more housing creation is starting to pick up.  

With all of that being said, Boston continues to gain ground as one of the hottest places to own property. Housing prices are way above the national average in the last year. The median home price for the Boston area real estate has an astonishing $378,500 compared to the national average of $215,767. While very appealing to Boston investors and homeowners, even better is places like Beantown where home appreciation rates remain some of the best in the nation. This trend seems very promising for the year to come.

The Boston and real estate market have seen mild gains in home appreciation within the last year. The appeal for home buyers and Boston real estate is found in equity gains which have exploded in the last couple of years.

Bostons Real Estate Market Is Booming


Homes purchased in Boston’s housing market a year ago have appreciated an average of $10,187. While the national average was $15,781 over the same year. Over the past three years Boston real estate began to overthrow the national average which saw gains of $64,281. For homeowners and Boston investors they get the real advantage around year seven of home ownership when total equity gains reach their full potential. Over all price appreciation and principal payments have boosted total equity growth since the recession.

As of June 2016 there currently are 779 properties in the Boston area in some type of foreclosure. According to Realtytrac the number of Boston foreclosures in the month of June was 9 percent lower than the month of May and 8 percent lower than the same time in 2015. In addition the number of REO properties decreased 37.5 percent from the previous month while decreasing 50 percent from the same time last year.

If busy city living, great food, and great sports teams interest you, Boston, MA is the place to call home. If you’re willing to make some crazy offers in this competitive market you have found the right place.

 

Buying a Waterfront Home? What You NEED To Know

Buying a Waterfront Home?  What You NEED To Know

waterfront homes

What to Expect When Buying a Waterfront Home

Are you searching for a new home? Why not consider purchasing a home or property on the water? There are many benefits and luxuries associated with waterfront living, and homeowners who purchase homes near the water live a different lifestyle than typical homeowners.  Living on the water can even reduce stress and provide a healthier lifestyle!  If you are in the market for a new home and want to know more about what to expect when buying a waterfront home, this article is for you. Read further to find out more about what waterfront living will look like for you.

Life on the Water

If you’re thinking that living in your dream home near the water would be a fun and relaxing experience, then you are correct! Living near the water comes with many advantages. For one, you have nonstop access to the water and all of the water-related activities you can think of.

You can kayak, paddleboard, swim, fish, ski, snorkel, take out your boat, and more!  In some cases, you can even keep your boat and kayak on your own personal dock. You will be able to enjoy all that the water has to offer without the inconvenience of parking fees, dock fees. etc. You can simply walk out your door and step right into the water! And think of the views! You can enjoy your water view without the high price tag of a luxury waterfront hotel. Enjoy beautiful sunsets and sunrises right from the comfort of your own home.

You can also expect a sense of tranquility and peace by living near the water. The air quality is naturally cleaner near the water as well. You can also expect more privacy with your waterfront home, as part of your home will face the water instead of someone else’s backyard.

You likely won’t have to worry about noisy neighbors or dealing with new homes being built and ruining your view. Waterfront homes often have the added benefit of enjoying the outdoors in general. From hiking the woods in a lake residence to strolling the beach in an oceanfront home, if you love the outdoors, waterfront living is for you.

Maintenance for Waterfront Homes

wrightsville-beach waterfront homesYou can expect the maintenance for waterfront homes to be a little more extensive than that of homes that are not located near the water. For example, you might want to consider adding in additional maintenance checks and precautions depending on where you live. If you live near the ocean, the salt from the ocean can do damage to certain materials, so preparing for that prior to building or purchasing is essential. Of course, flooding can occur, high winds, etc. While the upkeep might be a little more taxing, most waterfront homeowners find the extra work well worth it.

Finding the Right REALTOR

Just like with anything, you are better off when using an expert.  In this instance, we strong recommend using a real estate agent that has a specialty in waterfront properties. With all of the unique aspects of the sale that come with buying a waterfront home, having a real estate agent with experience in representing buyers for this type of property is critical.

For instance, many waterfront homes for sale have a bulkhead installed – this is the man-made barrier where the water meets the land.  Bulkheads can get extremely expensive to install or repair – we are talking up to $500 per linear foot – your agent should be able to connect you with the proper home inspector for such a project.  Bulkheads are just one example of the uniqueness of purchasing a waterfront property, there are many things that an agent who specializes in waterfront properties will be able to help with.

Insuring Waterfront Homes

The insurance for waterfront homes is typically more costly than other homes as well. This is due to the increased risks such as flooding, hurricanes, etc. that are often associated with waterfront living. Flooding, hurricanes and other storm-related damage are not usually covered in general homeowners insurance. And by living on or near the water, your home is more susceptible to these types of risks and damages. Therefore, you will likely be required to purchase wind, flood, and general homeowners insurance for a waterfront home.

Finding out the price of these insurances before choosing a waterfront home will help you understand how much you can afford as far as a monthly payment is concerned. Chances are the insurance could push you over the limit you set for yourself for mortgage payments, so that figure is important to know beforehand. As with the maintenance and upkeep for waterfront homes, most homeowners find the extra cost of insurance for waterfront property to be well worth the investment.

Beachfront Homes

Owning a beachfront home is generally something that most people consider to a factor of the Lifestyles of the Rich ad Famous.  Truth is, if you want to own your own little piece of beachfront real estate, a condo may be a way to make your dream come true.  Condos can be a very cost-effective way to live not only on the water…but on the beach!

Affordability of Beachfront Condominiums

When you purchase any condominium, you are buying into “shared ownership” with the other condo owners.  This lets the major costs of living on the beachfront be shared with your neighbors.  The bulk of the cost in living on the beach is the land itself – which in the instance of a condo, is split between all owners.  This means that owning a beachfront condominium is by far the most cost effective way to have a beachfront abode.  Of course there are unique aspects to purchasing a condo, so once again, we recommend a condo expert. One of the biggest differences between buying a condo and a single family property is the reviewing of the condo documents.   One of the hottest and most affordable destinations for beachfront condos is Panama City Beach  With the huge influx of tourists who travel to #PCB for vacations and Spring Break – many people rent out their condo’s and turn them into Vacation Rentals.

Learn About Condo Docs

 

Waterfront Homes Are Always in Demand

Another benefit that you should consider when purchasing waterfront property is the resale value. If you think about it, there are only so many waterfront properties available, and because of this limited supply, the homes located on waterfront property are much more valuable and desirable. If you ever consider selling your home or even renting it out as a vacation home, you will probably bring in top dollar for it. So in the grand scheme of it all, your waterfront property could serve as a great investment for the future.

If you are looking for a waterfront property, consider all of the benefits that waterfront living has to offer. Now that you know more about the waterfront lifestyle, you can begin your search for the perfect waterfront home!

 

All About Wilmington NC

All About Wilmington NC

Wilmington Real Estate

Wilmington NC is one of the hottest real estate markets in country.  With homes for sale ranging from small condos to huge waterfront, multi-million dollar homes, Wilmington NC has a wide variety of real estate.

Homes in Wilmington NC

The real estate market in Wilmington NC has been on fire for a long time.  With a wide variety of home styles and prices, in a multitude of price ranges makes it a unique place to buy a home.  With solid year over year real estate growth, purchasing a home in Wilmington is considered a very solid investment.  The great schools and low crime, coupled with the foot traffic and economy of tourism make Wilmington a great place to live.

Wilmington Real Estate Stats

Currently in Wilmington there are 562 pending sale in the real estate market, leaving only 1115 listings for sale. The results of those numbers are a pending ratio is 33.5% (562 divided by 1,677).  The pending ratio shows the supply and demand of the market. A high ratio means that Wilmington real estate is in demand and listed homes for sale are quickly going under contract.  In addition, a low ratio means there are not enough qualified buyers for the existing supply.

wilmington real estate stats

More Real Estate Stats

When looking at sold properties over  the last six months you see a median sold price of $249,900 and 21 DOM (Days on Market). Its very important to point out — and goes to show the strength of the real estate market in Wilmington, that properties in the $1 Million Plus price range have sold quickest over the last six months.

more real estate stats

Wilmington History

Wilmington is located on the Easterly shore of North Carolina.  With the city being established all the way back in 1739, Wilmington has a very long history.   The city has went through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War on its own land. With longstanding architecture and monuments reflecting its history, visiting Wilmington can be a history lesson in itself.  With much of its cultural and economic importance based off of the fact that Wilmington is a port city.

 

Areas of Wilmington

There are many areas withing the city of Wilmington NC.  Wilmington is surrounded by not only a deep history, but some unique styles of real estate.  With water on all sites, from the ocean to the River to Cape Fear, if you are looking for waterfront homes, Wilmington has every type.  Whether you want to live on a sandy beach or a fun river.

Historic District

With the age of the city, it is no surprise that Wilmington has a large historical district.  Wilmington’s national registry is one of the larges in the US, spanning 230 blocks.

Antique District

Not far away from the downtown area, you will find Castle Street’s Arts and Antique District.  Offering a multitude of mid century antiques, unique restaurants, bars and cafe’s, the Antique District is a “must see” if you come to the area.

Arts District

Not far from Downtown Wilmington, but a little North – you will find the Wilmington Arts District.  With rustic (but restored) church’s coffee shops, deli’s and even a brewery, the Arts District should be another stop on your trip to Wilmington.

Looking to Buy a Home in Wilmington?

Because of the historically great real estate market in Wilmington coupled with the high demand for housing, we are working with some of the top REALTORS and real estate agents in Wilmington.

mortgage pre-approval

We have located the TOP Mortgage Broker in Wilmington — so if you are thinking about moving – get pre-approved HERE.

Choosing a REALTOR to Sell Your Home

Choosing a REALTOR to Sell Your Home

bad real estate agents

How Do You Know that You are Working with the Best Realtor?

This is an excellent question since there are so many REALTORS out there. Just because your brothers, cousins, gardener’s son is a real estate agent — doesn’t mean you should use them. Selling a home is often a stressful process – not only do you have to give up the place you have lived, loved and raised your family, but the process itself, if it goes wrong, can cost you thousands of dollars.  For most people, a home sale is the most expensive transaction you will make in your lifetime.   This means that you should choose a REALTOR carefully and to do that, you have to know what you are looking for.

The  Best REALTORS

The best REALTORS are patient. They take the time to understand what you want out of the transaction so that they can ensure that you have a good experience throughout.  The best REALTORS put your own financial well being before their own.  This is called a Fiduciary Responsibility.  They will make sure that your home is properly valued and if isn’t they will advise you on what you should do about it.  To come up with that value, they do a CMA, look at other, similar homes that have sold in your area, review the local real estate market and provide you a price.  The best REALTORS will usually provide multiple prices that your home could sell at — from staying on the market for some time to “fire sale” prices.  There is a direct correlation time and home prices –

You can sell your home in 24 hours if your price it well below market value.

Communication with your REALTOR

Good REALTORS also communicate with their clients on a regular basis. They will ask you how you prefer that they get in touch with you for updates – there are some people who like to know everything as it is happening, while there are others who prefer a brief communication at the end of the day.  The best REALTORS will ask you how you choose to be communicated with.  Do you want daily e-mails?  Phone calls?  Maybe you want your updates by text message.

Availability of your REALTOR

Truth is, if you call 100 real estate agents, you will usually get 95 voice mails.  Before listing your home with an agent, ask them what is their availability.  Do they work weekends and holidays?  What is the latest they will take phone calls?  Don’t be discouraged if they have some limitations — as most agents will promise you the world, and then simply not be available when you have a question.   The best REALTORS do have some personal time restrictions, just as anyone would.

Real Estate Education

All licensed real estate agents have went through some level of real estate education in an effort to get their license.  In most states, in addition to the real estate classes necessary to get a license, many also need post-licensing classes as well as yearly continuing education.  These are the basics!  NAR provides a variety of designations, which require additional training to acquire.   Keep in mind, having REALTOR designations and certifications such as GRI or ABI doesn’t (in itself) mean you are dealing with a better agent – what it does is shows that your REALTOR cares about honing their trade.  They understand that knowledge makes them a better agent.  Ask your potential agent what additional designations or certifications they have.

Real Estate Technology

real estate technologyThe best REALTORS have invested heavily in real estate technology.  With technology playing such a large part in any real estate transaction today, your agent should have all of the necessary tools and services to market your property correctly as well as provide convenience factors such as electronic signatures.  Does your REALTOR have a website?  Is it simply their broker’s website or is it there own?  Does it rank well in the search engines?  Does it get traffic from buyers looking to purchase a home?  What do you find if you Google your agents name?  With the majority of buyers starting their real estate search online, the best REALTORS have a solid web presence.

Representing Both Buyers and Sellers

The best REALTOR will represent both buyers and sellers so that he can help his clients complete their transactions fast. This is called dual agency.  Most home sellers expect their real estate agent to bring them a buyer.  Dual agency simply lets the same agent who is listing your home, represent the seller too.  Some feel that opens the door to an agent being unscrupulous – but remember, REALTORS have a fiduciary responsibility to you.  If your realtor has clients who are looking to buy all he has to do is let them know that your home is available for sale – if it suits the needs of one of them then you sale is complete.  REALTORS that end up on “both sides” of the transaction (representing both the buyer and seller) have much more control over the sale.

Getting to the Closing Table

Some REALTORS don’t show up to the closing.  That should NEVER happen!  If your real estate agent is scheduled for a vacation to Aruba, they still should show up at the closing.   Needless to say, some agents will disagree with that stance, but truth is…they signed up for that.  In most instances, they scheduled the closing date. There are many things that can go wrong on closing day — your REALTOR should be there.

Conclusion

There are many things that make up a good REALTOR.  Don’t underestimate how important it is to choose your REALTOR wisely.  Remember – Just because your brothers, cousins, gardener’s son is a real estate agent — doesn’t mean you should use them.  Ask the right questions – Its the largest financial transaction of your life!

Thinking of Becoming a REALTOR?

Thinking of Becoming a REALTOR?

Thinking of Becoming a Real Estate Agent?

Have you thought about becoming a real estate agent? Want to take on clients, make your own hours, and guide people in their journey to finding a home? Well, before you get started, it’s important to understand the levels of education required (or highly recommended) for becoming a successful real estate agent.

Getting Your License

So how do you become a real estate agent? Well, the answer might vary depending on what state (or country) you may live in. Every state requires you to have a real estate license, and each state has their own licensing process as their rules might be different than the next state’s.

Some of the basic requirements for becoming a real estate license are that you are 18 (some state’s it’s 19) years of age and that you are a legal US resident. Also required is for you to complete your state’s required education, and that you pass your real estate license exam.

Being a real estate agent might not be as easy as it looks—it’s important that you take your real estate education seriously, as an estimated 87% of new agents fail within their first five years.

Get Educated!

become a real estate agent

So take a pre-licensing course! These courses can be taken online or in person, and generally cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Make sure that you’re going through a certified, reputable real estate school and that you are taking your state’s required number of hours (which vary from 40 to over 180 hours).

These courses are designed to teach you real estate terminology and practices, as well as the legal aspects of real estate. It is important to understand your learning style and to sign up for the classes that are best for you. Some people really struggle with online courses, so check your local colleges or real estate firms for a class schedule.

Make sure you are present in your courses, take good notes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or for clarification or examples. These courses are meant to prepare you for taking the real estate agent exam, so it’s vital that you learn all you can from them. Get your monies worth!

So go out there and get your real estate education! There has never been a better time to start your career as a real estate agent.

House Styles

House Styles

Know The Style Of Home You Are Looking For

With the “Tiny House” and the “I Was A Metal Building Once” style of home to hit the scene, it is more important than ever to be able to communicate to your Real Estate Agent what type of home you are searching for.  There are many options in Homes For Sale in New Orleans, LA.  It may not be one style that peaks your interest, you may be interested in two or three styles.   Here is a few of the most popular and what amenities they offer:

Shotgun Style and Camelback Homes of New Orleans

The Shogun Style Home gets it’s name from the simplicity of the architecture.  You enter through the front of the home and it just goes straight back.  You walk througshotgunh each room to get to the next.  Initially, this style of home was popular with the middle class, and then became a sign of poverty in the mid-20th century.  These homes are built of wood, and usually found in bright colors throughout the city.

Another version of this home is the Camelback Home.  “Camelback” shotgun houses include a second floor at the rear of the house.  They are both built with very simple materials that run from the outside of the home, to the interior.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans Real Estate lost many of these historical homes.  The damage was so excessive, and the homes were so old that bulldozing was the least expensive option.  There are still many brightly colored Shotgun Homes, and Camelback Homes, in the city that have been spared demolition and add to the historical preservation of the Real Estate in New Orleans.

French Country Homes, also referred to as French Style Homes

French Style homes are very popular in the south.  Many homes for sale in the New Orleans FrenchStyleHomeSEOarea would be described as French Style homes.  The exterior of these homes are typically recognized by their stucco and/or brick exteriors.  The windows may have working shutters, or decorative shutters and arches above windows and doors.  The high-pitched hip roof pulls together the elements of the exterior and is a very dominant characteristic.

The interior of the French Style most often has fireplaces adorned with ornate fireplace mantels and hearths.  A lot of stone and wood features inside the home giving it a classic French feel.  As you enter this style home, you will see high interior doorways, and high ceilings.

If the home is occupied and decorated, the tall windows will most often be covered with dramatic silk drapes that puddle on the floor.  Subtle colors, think white, pale mint, sand, linen or gray.  Adding pops of color in decorative accents, but even then, it will be subtle.

Contemporary-Modern Homes

Contemporary-Modern Homes are very popular in states like California, Texas and some sprcontemporaryHomeinkled throughout the south.  When searching for homes for sale in New Orleans, a few Contemporary-Modern Homes will come up on your list, especially in the higher end neighborhoods.  These homes are most identifiable by their sleek, contemporary design.  Clean, simple lines and minimal decoration.  The use of glass, and flat rooflines define the exterior. Oversized windows that are left uncovered, to bring the outside in and utilize the natural light.  An easy to spot exterior element of this style home is the use of skylights and solar panels strategically placed to light and heat the home.

The interior of the Contemporary-Modern home will carry the esthetics of the exterior, to the interior.  The use of glass, clean lines and minimal décor.  Some may describe the floor plans as being unusual with an openness that carries through to outdoor living spaces.

Interior colors of the Contemporary-Modern Home will include neutral tones of gray, brown, and blacks and whites.  Simple, bare flooring in gorgeous finishes such as hardwoods, porcelain and ceramic tiles, travertine and marble have made way to Modern-Contemporary living.

With the age of technology, this style home offers the best solutions for hosting your gadgets.  Technology is a décor feature of the Modern-Contemporary home.  The use of technology in this style of “smart home” can control things such as your lights, heat and alarm systems through smart phones, computers and tablets.

Traditional Homes

Traditional homes have characteristics of one or more architectural styles. Brick exteriors andTraditionalHome shingled roofs of various pitches, with various architectural details.  These homes are famous for not being easily defined as any “particular style”. They may be eclectic, displaying multiple stylistic influences or simply very pared-down. They fit in well in established neighborhoods and rural lots. You will appreciate the welcoming front porches and “traditional” floor plans.

The interior of the home will have formal living and dining rooms along with cozy fireplaces.  This style of interior is the most simple of all to decorate.  Neutral paint colors, and flooring using natural, but durable elements in a less than open floor plan.  The use of interior walls define each room as it’s own.  It is easy to make the Traditional Home “your own” with unlimited decorating ideas, because it is not bound by the architectural elements of the other home styles, such as the Modern-Contemporary or French Country Style.

Tudor Homes

The Tudor home will be easiest to identify by it’s asymmetrical style of architecture. Here in the United States this style of home first began growing in popularity during the late 19th and early Tudorfirst half of the 20th century.  Late in the 20th century it gained popularity once again. The Tudor Style Home are inspired by elements from medieval architecture of the early 16th century.  Most recognized by their exterior features of steeply pitched roofs and decorative half-timber used sparingly.  The steep roof design can endure the harsher elements of lots of rain and snow. In this country, the endurance of this Tudor Home style roof is popular in regions such as the Midwest, Northwest, and along the East Coast, although other regions boast their fair share of this special home.

Tudor Homes have doorways that are often embellished with stone pavers that are not uniform in shape. These doorways are inset to offer protection from the elements and often a focal point to enhance the curb appeal of the home. Always adorned with massive brick or stone chimneys, again as much as a design feature, as a way to provide heat in harsh elements. Windows come in groups of two, three or four, and are tall and narrow.  Sometimes the glass panels are diamond shaped versus rectangular.

The interior will retain the architectural features of exposed beams, arched doorways, beaded board wall paneling and elaborate mantels.  Warm colors, such as neutrals with hints of gold, red and green for contrast. The use of heavy draperies, velvet and warm woods add to the coziness of Tudor Style home.

Cottage Style Homes

Despite the cozy design, the Cottage Style Home can offer a lot of space.  Not skimping on living space, the floor plans of these homes make them feel larger than their square footage. The CottageHomeCottage Style Home sits well on picturesque lots, waterfront and beach front areas.  Storybook gable roofs, balconies, small porches, and bay windows, along with the colorful paint choices, make these homes a stand out for curb appeal.

The interior of these homes lend to a cozy style of living that lacks in the larger, less personalized homes of other styles. Soft colors, woods and the minimal use of hard stones make for an ease in decorating.

Do Your Research

There are many more styles of homes available. By doing your research ahead of time, visiting a few styles and knowing which ones best fit your needs, will make your home shopping experience a more pleasurable one.

While there are many well preserved architectural styles across the United States, some older houses have been renovated and often disguise their origin.  Using a Real Estate Professional can assist you in finding out the history, and additions to these homes.  Also, getting a Home Inspection will reveal any poor renovations or lack of permits in the pre-owned home market.

Why Granbury TX is a Great Place to Retire

Why Granbury TX is a Great Place to Retire

Granbury Real Estate Offers Retirees Options

Granbury, Texas was often overlooked as a great place to retire in Texas.  Now, based on social life, highly sought after medical facilities and taxes, Granbury is ranking at the top of some lists for retirement cities.  These rankings even show Granbury making a gain on Fredricksburg, which for years was considered the “best place to retire in Texas”.  The real estate options in Granbury are limitless.

Planned Retirement Communities

Granbury is a host to several beautiful and well planned retirement communities.  The WaterviewWaterview is one located in Granbury that offers homes for sale as with independent living, as well as assisted living options.  Located on the shores of Lake Granbury, the setting is picturesque.  Granbury Tx has many subdivisions offering a variety of living options when choosing a home.  Indian Harbor has shown to be one of the hottest areas for retirees to move to because of the waterfront, resort style living.

 

Another great Granbury Real Estate option for retirement is Lakestone TerraceKnown for modernizing the retirement experience, you can choose from spacious cottages to independent living apartments.  Very compassionate, and very stylish, nestled with a view of Lake Granbury.  With many health fairs, art shows and recreational activities planned year round, you will never have to leave home for a good time.

Medical Facilities

As aging consumers look to find the best place to retire, the options for high tech medical care is at the forefront of their minds.  They want to be able to have great physicians and hospitals that they do not have to travel hours to get to.  Granbury offers just that.

One of Granbury’s general medical surgical hospitals is Lake Granbury Medical Center. With just 83 beds, the size of this hospital is appealing to older patients who do not want to fight the obstacles that go along with larger medical facilities. Lake Granbury Medical Center has a fully staffed emergency room, and performs inpatient and outpatient surgeries.

A little more than 15 miles away, in Fort Worth, TX, is Huguley Memorial Medical Center.  This facility was ranked as “high performing in caring for patients in Heart Failure” by U.S. World & News Reports. #1

There are several other high tech health care facilities located less than 30 miles from the center of Granbury, TX.  Doctors offices and medical labs in and around Granbury, offer retirees plenty of options in healthcare.

Recreation For The Active Seniorgolfcourse

With many parks, walking trails and sought after golf courses, you can find plenty of things to keep you active in Granbury.  Live theater, music and the arts are always sure to be found in season.

Ranked Number 1

Many lists show Granbury as number one in Texas for best cities to retire.  The below, lists the top 3 cities in Texas for retirees.   SmartAsset, a website dedicated to providing easy to understand answers to financial questions. They have named Granbury the Best Place to Retire in Texas for two years running – 2015 and 2016!

BEST IN TEXAS FOR RETIREMENT

1. Granbury 

2. Fredericksburg 

3. Boerne

New Orleans Real Estate Market

New Orleans Real Estate Market

New Orleans Home Prices Begin To Level Off

The cost to own or rent a home in the City of New Orleans, LA has been rising for years, but the trend of being priced out of the city is beginning to change.

Prices have been rising since the revitalization after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.  After the catastrophic hurricane, the homes that were renovated, and ready to live in were at an all time low in supply.  If they were not destroyed in the Hurricane, they were in high demand. New Orleans natives were scooping them up at whatever cost just to stay in their city. The prices rose.

As new construction soon began popping up, more homes were available.  Still, getting back into the City was pricey for natives eager to return.  Builders knew the supply and demand conditions would be a big payoff for them for a few years after Katrina, and they capitalized on that.

Shortly after the hurricane, you would find single, shotgun style homes that were going for shotgun house$300,000.  That runs about $300.00 per square foot. Too costly for most natives to return home, coupled with the rise in crime, it just didn’t make sense to move back.  Until now.

Bringing The Price Back To Affordability

Looking at the prices of 2016, we have seen the cost of Real Estate in New Orleans neighborhoods starting to level off, and it was due to flatten out and go down a little.

2016 showed a slow down in the oil and gas industry, and the capping off of the film tax credit did cause some Louisiana jobs to move elsewhere.  Also, typically during a presidential election year, things slow down on the Real Estate front as a whole.

There appears to be a little bit of an oversupply and that will put pressure to moves prices downward some.  This oversupply will also cause rentals and sales to stay on the market a little longer in some neighborhoods of New Orleans.

Higher Priced Neighborhoods Affordable Again

The Uptown, and the Warehouse District are higher priced markets that too will see price drops, and some will be significant.  This is not to go as far as to call it depreciation, or a “Buyer’s Market”, but can be viewed as a slow down on appreciation.  This will help natives to move back into the cities higher end neighborhoods they once fled after Katrina.

Recovery Still Going On

There are still parts of New Orleans that have not recovered.  Homes are gone, but the land where they once sat remains.  Real Estate experts in the area predict these areas will again have homes built that are affordable.  As with any catastrophic event in Real Estate, there comes a time that prices level back out, and people can come home.  That time appears to be now, and all eyes are on the prices for 2017.  This will only be measured by the amount of people returning to the City.

 

Home Warranty Basics For Buyers & Sellers

Home Warranty Basics For Buyers & Sellers

 

What Is A Home Warranty

Being educated on the real estate process is important.  Home Warranty Companies have been around since the 1970’s.  They provide repair and replacement services for a home you are purchasing, or even your existing home.  If you are one who does not like expensive surprises, a Home Warranty may be a great option for you.

A Home Warranty is not to be confused with Homeowner’s Insurance, which covers your home’s structure and contents (depending on your policy) in case of theft, fire, storm, and other covered acts of nature.  There is also Flood Insurance that may be required, and is separate from both the Homeowner’s Insurance, and the Home Warranty.

A Home Warranty in comparison to Insurance, can cover repairs and replacements on covered items (based on the Home Warranty Policy) due to normal wear and tear, not acts of nature

Benefits To Buyer And Seller

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When purchasing a home, a buyer does not want to encounter any unexpected expenses when something breaks soon after moving in.  Imagine, you move into your dream home and awaken to a broken heating or air conditioning unit.  A Home Warranty can cover many of those main appliances, and lessen the worry of the new homeowner.

Several Types Of Coverage

A Buyer Conversion Warranty is purchased by the Seller, and transferred to the Buyer on the day of the closing. These can help motivate a Buyer to purchase one home over another.  A Buyer may also purchase what is referred to as A Buyer Direct Home Warranty.  Buyers, or the Buyer’s Real Estate Agent can purchase this at the closing, and it too becomes effective on that day. It may also be purchased up to 90 days after the closing depending on the Home Warranty Company’s guidelines.  Most Home Warranty’s are effective for one year, and are renewable.

Real Estate Agent’s are taught about Home Warranty’s in their Pre-Licensing and continuing education requirements, to stay knowledgeable about the Home Warranty process. The Team at Elevate Realty in Texas uses the Home Warranty quite often as incentives to their Buyer’s and Seller’s.  Real Estate Agent’s are well versed on the different Home Warranty products available.

The Seller Home Warranty  covers the property during the listing.  The seller benefits from the coverage of items that may require costly repairs during the listing period.  Since this type of Warranty is in effect for the Seller, after the Buyer Inspections, many of the items found deficient could be covered for a mere service call fee. This plan can be transferred to the Buyer at the closing also.

Cost Of A Home Warranty

The cost of a Home Warranty varies according to your location, your property and the level of coverage you choose. Basic coverage starts at about $350 and can cost up to $600, give or take,  for more comprehensive plans.  Whether you choose to cover appliances or major systems (like your HVAC system) or both, will determine the cost of your plan.  You can add extras if needed, such as a swimming pool, and/or additional appliances.  There are Service Fee’s that are not included in your annual premium depending on the company, and the type of coverage that you choose. These fees typically range from an average of $60 to $100 per service call.

Covered Items

An important consideration when choosing a Home Warranty is what is covered, and what is not. Be aware that all plans do not cover all appliances and systems. For example, your heating system could be covered, but not your air conditioning unit. Find the plan that best fits your needs.

Denied Claims

A Home Warranty may not pay repair costs for all covered appliances and systems. There are circumstances under which the Home Warranty company can deny a claim.  Improper installation or maintenance, unusual wear and tear, and code violations are examples of what may not be covered.

How To Call For A Service Provider

You must call your Home Warranty company when you need service.  If you call a service technician on your own, they may not be a provider for that specific Home Warranty company and the work would not be covered.

 

Get The Best Customer Service

As with any business, check the Home Warranty company’s reputation.  Look for complaints filed against that company for unpaid claims, and check with the Better Business Bureau.  Always go with a reputable Home Warranty company, and be clear on their coverage guidelines.

Top Three Home Warranty Companies for 2017

According to Consumer Affairs 2017 Report on the 20 top Home Warranty Companies, American Home Shield is topping the list at Number 1. Choice Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty come in at second and third.  You can find a complete list of the top 20 Home Warranty Companies on the Consumer Affairs website.

2016 Fourth Quarter Gains In Existing Home Sales

2016 Fourth Quarter Gains In Existing Home Sales

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Home Sales Are Ticking Up

The National Association of Realtors® shows the fourth quarter of 2016 showed an up tick in home sales across the United States. It is expected to slow down some during the winter months, but if this is a sign of things to come in 2017, we are in for a good year.  Real Estate Agents, Lenders, Home Sellers and Home Buyers are all keeping a hopeful, and watchful eye that this trend will continue going forward.

National Increase By Region

Southern Regions

Existing-home sales in the South rose by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter and are 5.4 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2015. The median existing single-family home price in the South was $210,500 in the fourth quarter, 7.9 percent above a year earlier. Picayune, MS is seeing this rise in existing home sales, as well as other cities across the south. Real Estate Agents in Picayune, MS report that their phones haven’t stopped ringing heading into 2017 as well.  New Orleans, LA has also seen tremendous growth in their existing home sales.  The Lakeview area of New Orleans has surpassed other metro areas within the city, with some of the strongest gains in the country.

The Rest of The Nation

Existing-home sales in the Northeast had gains of 10.5 percent, the Midwest boasts existing-home sales climbed 2.3 percent, and in the West sales gained by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter. With the Northeast showing the largest gains, we must keep in mind that sales in places like the South had not dropped off as drastically as other part of the nation during the mortgage meltdown, so the South did not have as far to climb back up. The United States (U.S.) subprime mortgage crisis was a nationwide banking emergency that contributed to the U.S. recession of December 2007 – June 2009.

What Does This Mean To Sellers

You sometimes hear this is a “Buyers Market” or this is a “Sellers Market”, I believe it can be the best of both worlds, and the data of the last fourth quarter proves it. If you are wanting to list your home for sale, there are plenty of buyers out there. If you are in the market to buy a home, there is plenty of inventory to choose from.

Be Prepared When You Are Ready To Buy

Those looking to purchase a home in 2017 will benefit from more inventory to choose from. This increase in inventory creates a balance in the housing market.

This shift in supply and demand, to a more balanced market, will give home buyers more options and opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of their dream home. No longer will buyers of existing homes for sale have to settle.

Do your homework on what price home you can afford.  Keep in mind your expenses outside of what a lender may consider, so that you have a comfortable mortgage payment for you and your family.

Get pre-approved with a reputable lender after you decide a comfortable monthly payment, and have on hand your supporting documentation such as pay stubs, bank statements and identification.

Always remember not to make any large purchases prior to applying for your home loan.  Your lender can guide you on what you should, and should not do that may affect your credit.