Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / by Deborah Argenta
Yes, you absolutely need a buyers' agent when contracting to buy a newly constructed home – and you need that agent with you the first time you visit a contractor's model home.
All too often buyers look at contracting to purchase a home in a new subdivision as something like ordering a new car. You go in, look at the models available, choose your options, and place your order.
When you buy that new car you know that the sales person is working for the dealership. You don't even question the fact. If you've done a little research, you probably even have a pretty good idea about how much they can or will negotiate with you.
Unfortunately, buyers are sometimes lulled into thinking the agent at that model home is working for them. And it just isn't so. That agent is working for the seller and only the seller.
When you work with a buyer's agent who is familiar with new construction, you can save thousands of dollars because your agent will know ...
Sunday, August 21, 2016 / by Deborah Argenta
Now, nearly 8 years after the foreclosure crisis began, more than 5 million homes have been lost. In June 2016 the sale of foreclosed properties fell to their lowest levels since 2008, and the foreclosure rate fell to “only” 1.7%.
That sounds like the winding-down of the crisis. Unfortunately, a whole new wave of foreclosures is on the horizon.
While newer-vintage loans are doing well, it seems that the foreclosure crisis was never solved, it was only deferred.
First, the interest-only home equity loans that people took out during the bubble years will re-set, causing dramatic payment increases. TransUnion estimates that as much as $79 billion in home equity loans are at risk of default from this source.
Next, the government’s HAMP program provided only temporary interest relief. For many, payments will now begin rising as interest rates increase by 1% per year. The belief was that the economy would be in better shape by now &nd ...
Sunday, August 14, 2016 / by Deborah Argenta
When you want to purchase a home in the Indianapolis Area, your first step should be meeting with a local lender and getting pre-approved for a loan.
This step is important for 3 reasons:
1. You'll know what you can spend. Looking at homes you can't purchase not only wastes your time, it's depressing. And, as many home shoppers have learned, once you switch to homes you can afford, none of them will please you.
2. You'll know if you need to restrict your search to (city) homes that meet certain requirements. VA, FHA, and some regional loan programs have guidelines regarding the homes that will qualify for their financing.
3. When you have a pre-approval letter in hand, it's more likely that your offer will be accepted, or at least considered over offers without such a letter. Sellers don't want to take their homes off the market in the hope that you'll be able to qualify – they want some solid assurance.
In fact, if you're shopping ...
Sunday, August 7, 2016 / by Deborah Argenta
Miss Manners has probably not written a manual on the rules of etiquette for house hunting, but such rules do exist. When you follow them, you'll endear yourself to your own agent, to the agents whose listings you'll view, and to the homeowners you hope will accept your offer on their home.
Rule #1: Be on time for your appointment. If something happens that prevents you from being on time – like a wreck blocking the freeway or a flat tire – call!
And of course, if you need to cancel, call just as soon as you know that to be a fact.
The others, in no particular order:
Wipe your feet or use booties that the agent or homeowner supplies. Don't track in dirt!
Control your children. If you've brought children along, keep them with you and enforce the "don't touch" rule, even when there are tempting toys in the house.
Don't bring your cat or dog inside. If it's too hot for them to wait in the car, leave them at home or in a boarding kennel.
If yo ...
Sunday, July 31, 2016 / by Deborah Argenta
You know first impressions are lasting impressions. When it comes to selling your house in the Indianapolis Area, curb appeal is the first impression, and can make the difference between selling your home and not selling it.
The human mind is a complex thing – and it often makes us see what we expect to see.
When a buyer sees a well-tended yard and home exterior, they enter the house expecting to see more of the same, and they generally do. When they see an un-tended lawn, weeds, and a torn screen door, they enter the house expecting to see signs of neglect and deferred maintenance – and that's what they see.
That means… it pays to spend time making sure your home's curb appeal is the best it can be.
With that in mind, here's a check list of tasks to undertake before the first buyer or buyer's agent views your home:
The house itself:
Power wash and repaint if necessary.
Check the front door for scuffs and s ...