Record Home-ownership Rates

Record Home-ownership Rates

 

The U.S. home-ownership rate fell to the lowest in more than 50 years as rising prices put buying out of reach for many renters.

The share of Americans who own their homes was 62.9% in the second quarter. This is the lowest since 1965, according to a Census Bureau report Thursday. It was the second straight quarterly decrease, down from 63.5% in the previous three months.

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Shopping Around For a Mortgage?

Shopping Around For A Mortgage

Here’s the inside scoop on how to do it right!

First:  Are you working with a TRUE Mortgage Professional?

The largest financial transaction of your life is far too important to place into the hands of someone who is not capable of advising you properly and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way.  But how can you tell?If your shopping just rates you may want to consider who your lender is going to be to handle your transaction.

 Here are FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS YOUR LENDER ABSOLUTELY MUST BE ABLE TO ANSWER CORRECTLY.  IF THEY DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS… RUN…  DON’T WALK… RUN… TO A LENDER THAT DOES! To help narrow your search Doug Haldeman is that lender! Continue reading “Shopping Around For a Mortgage?”

Selling a Home in the Winter

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Winter may not be the most popular time to sell a home, but this doesn’t mean you have to wait until the weather warms up to list your property. With the right strategy and a bit of hard work, you can make your home stand out to potential buyers in a season where competition is less fierce, and some buyers are highly motivated to purchase.

It may take you a little planning and some prep work. However, when you need to sell your house, you need to sell your house – regardless of what season it happens to be. Knowing how to sell a home in the Winter can go a long way in increasing your chances of success.

Tips For Selling a Home In The Winter Continue reading “Selling a Home in the Winter”

Why You Might Want to Buy a Home in the Winter

winter1

Is the winter a good time to buy a home?  There are several significant advantages to buying a home during the snowy season.  Here are the motivating factors that will help you come out on top.

Less Inventory and Less Competition

In most markets, winter usually means a lower inventory with less houses on the market. While this is often the case, it’s possible to find the right space and with fewer people looking, you’ll have less competition.  Continue reading “Why You Might Want to Buy a Home in the Winter”

6 Reasons Buying A Tiny Home Could Be A Mistake

tinyhouse
Tiny House Trend

Buying a tiny home could be a mistake

When it comes to a tiny home, less may not always be more. It’s a trend that’s sweeping home improvement channels. Like, really tiny homes. And while they can be cute the price per square foot isn’t.

They are considered a mobile home with running water and plumbing, appliances, and everything you’d need in a place to live. The truth is, for investment purposes, it’s wildly impractical.

Translation? The trend probably won’t last long. It also means your return on investment is next to none. Here are five reasons why buying a tiny home may not be in your best interest.

1. It’s a fad

Just like platform sneakers and leisure suits were once popular but are now widely ridiculed, the tiny home trend is one that may be hot now but is likely to cool off before long. The key word is fad.  This is a totally unproven market, buoyed by the intense interest in reality TV.

Although there can be compelling reasons to want to simplify your life by reducing your financial obligations via less expensive housing options it is just hard to say how this trend will pay off in the long run.  The artificial interest caused by the TV trend and the uncertainty in a newer, unproven market make tiny homes a risky investment.  You can find a small home that falls into “Real Estate” investment that meets your communities standards to what constitutes as a home.  Even if you do not live in a “tiny home” you can draw inspiration from that minimal lifestyle and apply it to a home of any size.

2. Buyers are few

If you think the demand for a home that backs up to a major highway is slim, then you’ll be amazed at how few people are actually willing to pull the trigger on a tiny home.  Real estate sales are dependent on supply and demand.  A tiny home is not recommended because it only fits a small demographic of buyers in the market. The more restraints the property offers the market, the more niche it becomes. The more niche the home, the less buyers available for the home.  In other words: The supply may be great, but the demand is really, really small. (Pun Intended).   That’s not to say if you love it and plan to stay put for the long haul, you shouldn’t go for it. Just be prepared, because you might end up facing a really long on-the-market period when it’s time to sell.

3. It’s less marketable

The vast majority of tiny homes can accommodate one to two residents tops.  Basically this means many buyers who entertain or host overnight guests are simply uninterested in even considering a tiny home for their primary home or even vacation property.  Tiny homes are simply less marketable.  The average consumer needs more space, bedrooms, and bathrooms than a tiny home can offer. An average home allows buyers to grow into it and keep it long term. A tiny home offers restraints to changes in the lifestyle of the buyer.  A tiny home on a piece of property that offers space for an additional, larger home to be built later could be the exception here, giving the new owner a place to reside while a dream home is under construction (and a cozy place to host guests in the future!).

4. It’s too darn small

Sure, the concept of downsizing sounds nice, but let’s be honest: Most people have too many personal belongings to squeeze into a tiny home. You may have just graduated college or moved out of your parents basement but think of your future space you will need.  Most Americans like collecting a lot of ‘stuff’ and have a tough time finding storage space for all of it in a small, regular house that has a garage and basement.

In a tiny house you have just enough room for yourself but no options for expansion, storage, hobbies, nothing. Need to fix your car? You’re doing it in the snow or pay retail for someone else to do it. Have a cat or a dog? Where does the cat box go? Dogs don’t like being confined. Where do you put your lawn mower? Your rake and shovel? Going to have a baby? Your small house is now too small.

5. It’s not less expensive

Downsizing is supposed to help you and be less expensive. But that’s not necessarily the case with a tiny home.  There is no storage space, so you’ll need to rent a storage unit, which means paying for it, and then you have to go back and forth to it every time you need anything larger than a toothpick.  Want to have a party? Rent a venue. The list goes on. You can buy a plain old ‘non-tiny’ house for the same money and get much more utility from it.

Finally, most lenders have a minimum square footage they will lend on, so you’ll pay cash for your tiny home and so will your potential buyer, which eliminates most of the few remaining prospects you’ll have.

6. Place to put it

This increase in popularity of tiny houses, and particularly the rapid increase in the number of both amateur and professional builders, has led to concerns regarding safety among tiny house professionals. In 2013, an Alliance of tiny house builders was formed to promote ethical business practices and offer guidelines for construction of tiny houses on wheels.

Planning and Zoning

This effort was carried on in 2015 by the American Tiny House Association. In 2015, the nonprofit American Tiny House Association was formed to promote the tiny house as a viable, formally acceptable dwelling option and to work with local government agencies to discuss zoning and coding regulations that can reduce the obstacles to tiny living.

One of the biggest obstacles to growth of the tiny house movement is the difficulty in finding a place to live in one.  Zoning regulations typically specify minimum square footage for new construction on a foundation, and for tiny houses on wheels, parking on one’s own land may be prohibited by local regulations against “camping.”  In addition, RV parks do not always welcome tiny houses. DIYers may be turned away, as many RV parks require RVs be manufactured by a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association “(RVIA)”.

Is it an RV?

Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs and not suitable for permanent residence, according to the RVIA. From RVBusiness, “The RVIA will continue to shy away from allowing members who produce products that are referred to as ‘tiny houses’ or ‘tiny homes’. (However, the RVIA does allow “tiny home” builders to join as long as their units are built to park model RV standards.)”

In 2014, the first “tiny house friendly town” was declared in Spur, Texas; however, it was later clarified that a tiny house may not be on wheels but must be secured to a foundation.

In July 2016, Washington County, Utah revised their zoning regulations to accommodate some types of tiny houses.

Tips For A Smooth Loan Approval

check-markGetting a pre-approval is one step of the mortgage approval process. Having a smooth loan process depends partially on you.  As a potential homeowner you must remain responsible throughout the process. In the end only you can determine your future. Here are some tips to help you stay connected to your end goals.

  • DO continue making your mortgage or rent payments
  • DO stay current on all existing accounts
  • DO keep working at your current employer
  • DO keep your same insurance company
  • DO continue living at your current residence
  • DO call us if you have any questions
  • DON’T make a major purchase (car, boat, fur, jewelry, etc.)
  • DON’T apply for new credit (even if you seem pre-approved)
  • DON’T open a new credit card
  • DON’T transfer any balances from one account to another
  • DON’T deposit money into the bank that you can’t explain
  • DON’T pay off charge offs without a discussion with us first
  • DON’T pay off collections without a discussions with us first
  • DON’T buy any furniture
  • DON’T close any credit card accounts
  • DON’T change bank accounts
  • DON’T max out or over charge on you credit card accounts
  • DON’T consolidate your debt onto 1 or 2 credit cards
  • DON’T take out a new loan
  • DON’T start any home improvement projects
  • DON’T finance any elective medical procedure
  • DON’T open a new cellular phone account
  • DON’T join a new fitness club
  • DON’T pay off any loans or credit cards without discussing it with us

If you encounter a special situation, it is best to mention it to us right

away so we can help you determine the best way to achieve your goals.

Paint The Town Red With Keller Williams

paint-the-town-red

KW Cares/Southwest Cares

Keller Williams Realty St. Louis Southwest is Painting the Town Red with open houses on November 20 from 1-4pm while we collect can goods for for “Feed My People.” Contact us at 314-966-4700 for more details or check out: Paint The Town Red Open House

We will pick up or accept the donations at the open houses.

Special Offer:

Local home inspector, Erich Faulstich, from House to Homes Inspection, gives $1 off of a home inspection for each can of food donated.

About Feed My People

  • Feed My People was founded in 1982 by Carol and John DeGuire
  • Provides nearly $4 Million worth of food and other assistance each year.
  • Feed My People is supported by donations from individuals, schools, churches, businesses, foundations and community groups.
  • Feed My people has grown to an organization helping over 80,000 people each year.

About Keller Williams

Founded in 1983, Keller Williams Realty Inc. is an international real estate company with more than over 600 offices located across the U.S. and Canada. The company began franchising in 1991, and following years of phenomenal growth and success.  They became the fourth-largest U.S. residential real estate firm in North America in 2006. The company has succeeded by treating its associates as partners to a business of success.  Keller Williams shares its knowledge, policy control, and company profits on a system-wide basis.

Why Use a KW associate?
Because Keller Williams Realty St. Louis SW has grown from the ground up within St. Louis, our agents have unparalleled knowledge of our local real estate market and a deep appreciation for our community. Buying or selling a home does not have to be a stressful process – let us be your guide.

Our Difference:

Knowledge
Powerful curriculum through Keller Williams University keeps our associates ahead of trends, tools and advancements in the real estate industry.

Teamwork
Unlike other real estate companies, Keller Williams Realty was designed to reward agents for working together, to serve our clients better.

Reliability
Keller Williams Realty was founded on the principles of trust and honesty, emphasizing the importance of having the integrity to do the right thing and always putting our clients needs first.

Speed
Leading-edge technology solutions accelerate our associates efficiency and productivity.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/KWSTLSW/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/KWStlSouthwest

https://twitter.com/hashtag/paintthetownredstl?src=hash

Visit website for list of all open houses: http://kellerwilliamssouthwest.yourkwoffice.com/mcj/user/home.html

If Your Walls Could Talk

Bold Color Clashing
Bold Color Clashing

If our walls could talk what would they say?  Our homes may be a reflection of ourselves, but this philosophy can backfire when you’re putting a property up for sale. What a seller likes may be too personal for a buyer.

1. Bold colors

Bad paint colors instantly turn off buyers but it’s one of the cheapest things to fix. Almost always I say to stay away from bright colors,  multiple-colored living spaces, dated colors (think mauve and hunter green), and metallic colors as problematic for sellers. Instead, consider greige, beige, soft white, and gray hues. Most important? Keep the paint color consistent throughout the home.

2. Shiny hardware and accessories

One of the major trends now is all about chrome, metallic, and shiny finishes. I am all for these touches but it has gotten completely out of hand.  How do you accessorize yourself when going out for the night?  Do you wear all your jewelry at the same time?  Probably not, consider eliminating some accessories for your home just before it’s time for its close-up!

Although you’ll see kitchens with plenty of brass, copper, and polished nickel on Pinterest, it’s worth it to go with the classics like brushed nickel and use them sparingly. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and subtle and understated always stands the test of time.

Continue reading “If Your Walls Could Talk”

Making An Offer Someone Can’t Refuse

keys-to-homeThe real estate market has it’s ups and downs.  When you are finding yourself in a “sellers” market you may be experiencing multiple bid offers and losing out to other buyers.  We have put together 8 tips to making any offer someone can’t refuse to accept.

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FHA Loosens Condo Requirements

condoCondos, which are often popular housing options for many younger and first-time homebuyers, are also viable living arrangements for older homeowners who seek a more active and urban lifestyle, or a more maintenance-free quality of life. Current blanket certification policies, however, have restricted not only many would-be buyers from purchasing condo units, but have also hindered the ability of seniors to continue living in these housing developments.
FHA has historically set standards for condominium project approvals.  The good news is they have loosened some of those rules for investors and private owners.
You can do that at this following link:
 To see the actual proposal follow this link: