Houses – Homes – Real Estate – Portland Oregon – Portlandia – Live in Portland Oregon
Buyers! You have so much going for you right now!!
I attended the weekly Windermere Meeting Wednesday morning and was happy to hear we’re having the best start-of-the-year, in terms of real estate activity, we’ve had in three years!
How so? We have more listings coming on, on, more Buyers coming out to look for their next homes, and more Buyers closing homes than we’ve had in a long time.
It is as if the New Year sparked something in people and they are coming out with positive attitudes and a readiness to make a change. I am very encouraged about 2012.
Interest rates are so low it makes your buying-dollar go far! The lower the interest rates, the more house you can afford to buy with the same amount of money. THe higher they go, the less house you can afford with the same amount of money.
Some neighborhoods, such as Irvington and Alameda, have price brackets in which there is very little home inventory available, and high demand for homes. In those categories, it’s a Seller’s market. If you have a house in either of these neighborhoods and you are thinking about selling, please call me! I’ve got Buyers who will love to take a look.
Other neighborhoods have more inventory, but prices are still low, and with interest rates being as low as they are, folks can get homes they can stay in a while.
What I mean is, they can buy larger houses, in better neighborhoods, that they will want to stay in for a while because they were able to buy larger and in great areas. And this means they will keep their houses with loans at low interest rates. The temptation to refinance or move in the near future will be tempered with the fact that they have their loans at super-low rates. Why on earth would you mess with a good set-up like that?
I’ve been working with several sets of Buyers and Sellers who see the market for what is and have decided to go for it. Sellers see Buyers willing to buy, Buyers see a good selection of houses on the market to choose from, and it’s a good combination. Inner Southeast Portland is a particularly hot area right now. Selection is waning slightly and Buyers in their late 20s-early 30s want in. If you want to buy in Inner Southeast, it’s a great time.
So, let’s pretend you are a Buyer of mine. Here’s what I’ll tell you to do to make your offers stronger than the offers of your competition, and to weather the process with your positivity in tact:
1. Get prequalified with a lender. Better yet, get a full-approval from a lender. Sellers love to see this and there are a LOT of agents and brokers out there writing offers for clients who don’t even have a pre-approval. Sorry folks! That won’t happen with me. If Listing agents see an offer coming across their desks from me, they know my clients are pre-qualified or fully-approved for a loan. And that makes my clients’ offers very strong. And that means we can get the house for a better price.
2. Narrow your search. Drive around areas you’re thinking of looking in. Get out and walk around. Does it ‘feel’ like you? If it doesn’t, move on to the next neighborhood. You will need to be very attached to the area your next house will be in because when the home purchase is being negotiated, you may experience a lot of emotions. Being in the right neighborhood for you, will be one less thing to stress about.
3. Understand your own needs. The farther from Portland City Center you go, the more you get for your money. But that doesn’t mean farther-out-living is for you. If the City is where you want to be, stick to that. Selling a house because you don’t really like the location after all will cost you 6% with me. It’s expensive and it’s a pain. So why not get the house, in the area, you really love to begin with?
4. Know that making an offer on a house is a negotiation from the beginning. Rarely do Buyers make an offer on a house and that’s it. It’s accepted, just like that. There will likely be some going back and forth. IT ISN’T PERSONAL. That sounds like a no-brainer now. But when you get into the thick of it, the fact that it isn’t personal is more difficult to remember because it’s a home. If you know it’s a negotiation from the beginning, and you do your best to keep this in your mind, things will go much easier. The easier it goes for you as a Buyer, the easier it goes for everyone involved.
5. If you get upset and anxious, know that your real estate agent or broker will understand. It is completely normal to feel upset, anxious, worried, frustrated, even angry. If you don’t worry if this is the right decision, worry if you’re ready to make this move, worry that you aren’t choosing the right house, worry that you’re spending too much money, and worry that you will miss the place you currently live, your agent or broker should be worried. It’s a huge (awesome) decision. Trust me, your agent has heard it before. It’s okay. Go ahead and vent. They will listen. And if your agent is good, they’ll talk you down from the ledge. That is her/his job.
Other Tasty Tidbits…
* There is conventional financing available now with only 5% down for qualifying Buyers.
* Buyers – You do not pay your agent or broker. The Sellers pay the entire sales commission that is split between both the listing and selling agents.
* If you put less than 20% down, some loan products allow you to buy out the mortgage insurance at a discounted price. This can save you a lot of housepayment every month.
* Sellers! Just because one listing agent tells you they can sell your house for 5.5% commission instead of 6%, does not mean you will be getting better service, better marketing of your property, and thereby a better price for your house. Ask every listing agent you talk to, to give you examples of the marketing they are going to provide you. Examine their marketing strategy. It will be worth your time and money to do this!
Call me if you have any questions, comments, or if you want to know if folks are looking in your neighborhood. I’ve got some great statistics I’ll be happy to send you.
Amy Munsey, Realtor, Broker, SFR Certified
Windermere Cronin and Caplan Realty Group, Inc.